ARGYLE’S commanding 3-0 victory over Dockyard Derby rivals Portsmouth included excellent performances from a pair of tireless, talented wing-backs......who earned the praise of their manager.
The Greens blistering first-half display put the game to bed inside 30 minutes, with three goals heavily influenced by the work-rate and energy of wing-backs Andy Kellett and Kelvin Mellor.
The wide players forged forward on every possible opportunity, stretching Pompey’s defensive line and creating gaps, exploited by first by Lewis Alessandra, who earned a penalty for Reuben Reid to convert after just 6 minutes.
More impressive build-up play allowed the always-lively Alessandra to get a goal of his own 15 minutes later, after Mellor surged into the box and calmly laid off the forward.
Reid got his second on the half hour mark, finding room as the visitors were unable to fend off the numbers coming forward from wide areas – something that John Sheridan greatly admired from the touchline.
The two wing-backs were like wingers today,” said John. “They really got in good areas and created good goal-scoring chances.”
On the subject of Mellor’s performance, after Kelvin missed the trip to Coventry in midweek through injury, Sheridan said: “I think the position suits him down to the ground.
“He is very good going forward. He is a good defender as well, but he has just got the energy and I think he enjoys that formation we play.”
“He is naturally fit; he has played every game this season and not missed a day of training. I do not think a week off would do much harm, and he has rested leg.
“He has come through and hopefully he will not get a reaction. He was up there with one of our better performances.
Mellor picked up the Man of the Match award for his showing, but was surely run close by Kellett, who celebrated the extension of his loan spell at Home Park with another exemplary display.
“He is going to stay again,” John said. “I thought in the first half he was tremendous today. He is playing well.”
“He will not force things; he will just come out and start again. That is the sign of a good player. He is only young, but even in the air, he was winning balls today, and he is only small.
“He has got that drive in him, and determination in the way he plays. He is very relaxed, and usually his decisions on the ball are very good.”