Argyle v Mansfield - Reasons to be Cheerful
AS we look forward to Mansfield Town’s visit to Home Park, Chris Groves studies the form guide to see why the Green Army should be confident in Argyle’s chances this Saturday…
Eleven is Heaven
The Greens are undefeated in the last five games they have played on the 11th day of any month – a record stretching back to September 11, 2010, when Reda Johnson responded to a goal from Andrew Bond to earn Argyle a 1-1 draw away at Colchester United. Three months later came one of the highlights of the 2010-11 season, as a brace from Bradley Wright-Phillips saw off Exeter City 2-0 in December.
Since then, day 11 of the month has brought two wins and a draw Argyle’s way, with all three of those fixtures coming last year. In January, a Dominic Blizzard goal in the 65th minute was quickly cancelled out by Kevan Hurst to ensure a 1-1 draw against Southend, before a single Conor Hourihane goal was enough to beat Wycombe Wanderers away from home in March. Seven months and one season later, Reuben Reid headed home Anthony O’Connor’s cross to give the Pilgrims their second away win of the 2014-15 campaign at Tranmere Rovers.
Alongside Hartlepool United, Mansfield are the joint-lowest scorers in Sky Bet League 2 this season, netting 33 times in 41 games. Only once during the campaign have they netted more than twice in a match – a 3-2 win against Carlisle United in September.
You would have to combine all five of Mansfield’s highest scorers in the league – Vadaine Oliver (6), Reggie Lambe (4), Matt Rhead (3), Simon Heslop (2) and Rakish Bingham (2) – to match Reuben Reid’s 17 league goals so far this campaign. Argyle’s second-highest marksman, Lewis Alessandra, has scored 10 goals in League 2, four more than Mansfield’s top scorer Oliver.
A Hopeful History
Adam Murray may have had the better of Argyle at Field Mill in his first game as caretaker manager earlier this season but, since 1995, Mansfield have recorded only three victories over the Greens. Those 20 years have seen the two teams square off 15 times, with Argyle taking all three points on eight occasions.
The away team in all of those fixtures has only won twice, and both times it was the Pilgrims who saw their 534-mile round-trip reap rewards. Mickey Evans, David Friio and Ian Stonebridge scored in a 3-0 win during their title-winning 2001-02 season, whilst an injury-time winner from Neal Trotman last season against the Yellows created the term ‘Trotman Time’.