VIDEO: Mansfield Town 0 Plymouth Argyle 1: Match report
MANSFIELD TOWN 0 PLYMOUTH ARGYLE 1
CENTRE-BACK Neal Trotman could not have timed his first goal for Argyle much better than this.
Trotman headed home a free-kick from captain Conor Hourihane deep into stoppage time at the end of the second half to clinch victory.
It capped a superb man-of-the-match performance from the Pilgrims' defender.
Ask us for a quote for standard C Rated (Window Energy Rating) windows and we will upgrade your order to A Rated for FREE
Terms: Must quote Okehampton People website when arranging survey
Contact: 01837 510303
Valid until: Tuesday, December 31 2013
Argyle had gone eight games without a win in all competitions and the last-gasp win against Mansfield will ease some of the pressure on manager John Sheridan.
The Pilgrims were put under heavy pressure in the first half but Mansfield did not turn their dominance into any goals.
It was much more even after the break, with Argyle coping better with what the home team could throw at them.
They would have probably settled for a point but Trotman's late headed goal sent them back to Plymouth with a much-needed and morale-boosting victory.
Argyle's starting line-up showed three changes from the 0-0 draw with Newport County at Home Park on Tuesday.
There were recalls for Durrell Berry and Jamie Reckord, plus Guy Branston, as the Pilgrims went with a new 3-4-3 formation.
Luke Young and on-loan Brentford striker Paul Hayes dropped down to the substitutes' bench and there was no place in the squad for Andre Blackman.
Mansfield had a makeshift defence because John Dempster and James Jennings were both suspended and Martin Riley was injured.
The Stags were so short of cover that George Pilkington was recalled from a loan spell at Forest Green Rovers and went straight into their side.
Mansfield were also without experienced 'keeper Alan Marriott, who failed a late fitness test.
He was replaced by Liam Mitchell, who made his first appearance of the season after signing from Notts County in the summer.
Despite all the changes, Mansfield made a very purposeful start to the match.
They forced four early corners and on-loan Nottingham Forest midfielder Jack Blake had a goalbound shot blocked behind by Neal Trotman.
Mansfield had an excellent chance to take the lead in the 13th minute after a break down the right by Lee Beevers.
He crossed into the penalty area and striker Sam Clucas had a shot superbly saved at point-blank range by Luke McCormick.
Mansfield were well on top and Mitchell, who had a loan spell with the Stags last season, did not even touch the ball until 18th minute.
Argyle defender Maxime Blanchard blocked a shot from striker Matt Rhead for a corner before the very lively Clucas headed over the bar from close range.
The visitors had their first chance in the 29th minute when striker Reuben Reid threaded the ball through to Hourihane.
The Argyle captain got away a left-foot shot from inside the box but it was easily saved by Mitchell.
Lewis Alessandra headed over the bar soon afterwards after a Hourihane free-kick was not dealt with by the Stags.
Mitchell then dived on a low cross from Hourihane just before the break, with Reid ready to pounce, as it remained goal-less.
Argyle had a good chance early in the second half when Reid's fierce shot on the turn was parried away by Mitchell for a corner.
The striker claimed his shirt had been pulled by Mansfield defender John McCombe but his penalty appeals were in vain.
Mansfield should have taken the lead in the 52nd minute when Colin Daniel got on the end of a low cross from Rhead.
However, instead of getting away a shot from close range, Daniel inexplicably put the ball back across the goal and none of his team-mates could apply a finish.
Moments later, a header from Rhead was well saved by McCormick under his own bar after a free-kick from Daniel into the heart of the penalty area.
Mansfield defender Ritchie Sutton then headed over from a Ben Hutchinson cross.
Reid had a weak shot saved by Mitchell after good play from Hourihane as the game started to open up.
Argyle made their first substitution in the 75th minute with Boco making way for Andres Gurrieri.
Reid had a shot blocked by McCombe as both sides showed a lot of endeavour, without creating too many chances.
Tyler Harvey and Paul Hayes were sent on as 85th minute substitutes for Argyle, to replace Alessandra and Reckord.
McCormick did well to hold onto a fierce shot from Daniel before Trotman headed wide for the visitors after a free-kick from Hourihane.
It looked as though the game was destined to end in a goal-less draw until Argyle struck in the third minute of stoppage time.
Hourihane aimed a free-kick into the penalty area and Trotman powered home a header.
That was enough for the Pilgrims to secure their first win since beating Bristol Rovers 1-0 at Home Park on September 7.
MANSFIELD: Liam Mitchell; Ritchie Sutton, John McCombe, George Pilkington; Lee Beevers, Jack Blake, Ben Hutchinson (Lindon Meikle 83 mins), Jamie McGuire, Colin Daniel; Matt Rhead (Calvin Andrew 68 mins), Sam Clucas (Ollie Palmer 78 mins).
Substitutes (not used): Paul Black, Keiran Murtagh, Lee Stevenson, Anthony Howell.
ARGYLE: Luke McCormick; Maxime Blanchard, Neal Trotman, Guy Branston; Durrell Berry, Curtis Nelson, Conor Hourihane, Jamie Reckord (Tyler Harvey 85 mins); Lewis Alessandra (Paul Hayes 85 mins), Reuben Reid, Rommy Boco (Andres Gurrieri 75 mins).
Substitutes (not used): Jake Cole (gk), Luke Young, Paul Wotton, Hamza Bencherif.
REFEREE: Gary Sutton (Lincolnshire)
ATTENDANCE: 3,379 (460 away)
GOALS –Mansfield: None; Argyle: Trotman 90 +3 mins