Player Ratings: Mansfield 0 Plymouth Argyle 1

Finally a return to winning ways for Plymouth Argyle, and a first September win since 2016, as Conor Grant’s first goal in green secured all three points against Mansfield Town. For the fourth time in five league visits, Argyle have now kept a clean sheet at the One Call Stadium.

Alex Palmer, GK – 8

After a slightly shaky few weeks, Palmer was a pivotal factor in Argyle’s win and will no doubt get a boost in confidence from that display. His command of area and handling were consistently good and helped quell Mansfield’s pressure in the second half with two fantastic reflex saves. His distribution was more bad than good, but that can be forgiven on an absolute swamp of a pitch.

Scott Wootton, CB – 7

After showing signs of trending back towards last season’s poor form, this was a much more assured display from Wootton. He still wasn’t perfect, especially in the air but it was a welcome return to competency after a rocket up his backside. His positioning and passing under pressure were both good

Will Aimson, CB – 8, Player of the Match

A quite simply sublime performance from the ex-Bury man who provided exactly the kind of solidity and aerial dominance that Argyle have lacked over the last few games. He too was excellent on the ball and wasn’t miles from being awarded a 9. Fans will be encouraged by this performance from someone growing well into his role

Gary Sawyer, CB – 6

Sawyer had two very poor moments in the first 45 minutes where he was far too slow to get to the ball and allowed Mansfield their only two decent openings in a half which Argyle dominated. However, we were more under the cosh in the second half and Sawyer adapted better to the challenge with an improved display. His lack of pace is still a concern.

Joe Edwards, RWB – 8

A second successive strong performance in away games in which he played the right wing back role, he looks to be making the role his own after a bit of turbulence in the position. His energy levels were relentless throughout and his decision making was excellent. He always knew when to press and when to hold off and he executed it well more often than not.

Antoni Sarcevic, CM – 7

Whereas Grant and Mayor are mostly to be commended for their good passing range, Sarcevic is mostly to be praised for an excellent defensive display. His pressing was brilliant throughout and whenever he was called up to defend in the final third, he did so very well with one saving block in the first half.

Conor Grant, CM – 7

A refreshing addition to our set of central midfield options, Grant is the kind of player who endears himself well to the fans. He demonstrated a good passing range and an energetic ability to pick up loose balls, not to mention his absolutely fantastic winning goal. The only reason he’s a 7 rather than an 8 is his display in the last quarter of the game where he tired visibly.

Callum McFadzean, LWB – 7

He won’t be the most remembered player in today’s win, as most of the play didn’t go down his side for whatever reason. However, he still put in a very capable defensive display and showed to be an outlet for the ball whenever possible. His running with the ball is focused and fast, always likely to frighten defenders out of position even if the end product isn’t there.

George Cooper, AM – 5

A performance that wasn’t good but was more accurately described as frustrating rather than outright bad. He seemed to know what he was meant to be doing in the new inside forward role in terms of movement and attempted passes but just was a little wasteful with the end product. More to come, I’m sure.

Danny Mayor, AM – 8

Another wonderful performance from the midfield magician who is rightfully gaining a reputation as our most important player. He was always showing for the ball and always looking to move it on efficiently, creating four solid to good chances throughout the course of the game. Fans can only hope that the injury he picked up isn’t a severe one.

Joel Grant, ST – 5

Whilst Grant might yet prove to be a good forward option in Lowe’s typical 3-1-4-2 formation, this game did show up some weaknesses that may exist when it comes to playing as a lone striker. He was decidedly dodgy when it came to holding the ball up as it’s clearly something that doesn’t come naturally to him. His movement was good, but like Cooper, the end product wasn’t there.

Substitutes

Ryan Taylor, ST – 6

A bit of an odd game for Argyle’s target man forward. When he did get the ball, he largely did well. He won more headers than he lost and got a couple of good flick ones. However, his off the ball work wasn’t brilliant. He didn’t make the runs he needed to in order to stretch their defence.

Klaidi Lolos, AM – 4

This rating may be the one that causes the most consternation among the fanbase. Lolos is a good young prospect and I don’t want people to think that I’m bashing him after a good win. However, sometimes you just need to call it as you see it and there’s no denying the young Greek was very poor off the bench. He appeared to barely challenge for headers and he was no kind of outlet for long balls. His introduction coincided with a marked decline in Argyle’s performance. He’s more suited to a central striker role than that of a wide forward.

Joe Riley, RWB – n/a

After he was introduced in the 79th minute, Riley was solid if unspectacular and helped grind out a much needed win.

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Sam Down

Sam is the lead editor for Argyle Life's opinion articles as well as writing match and analysis pieces. He also features on our weekly Green & White podcast. View all posts by Sam Down