MEMORY MATCH: Billy Bingham’s Mansfield Town smash five past Plymouth Argyle

1979 Stags v Plymouth Argyle Dave Syrett
1979 Stags v Plymouth Argyle Dave Syrett

Mansfield Town will tomorrow be hoping to improve on a poor record against the Pilgrims of Plymouth Argyle.

Of their 38 meetings, Argyle have won 22 of them with nine drawn and just seven Mansfield victories.

The sides last clashed in 2016/17 with two League Two games and an FA Cup tie, all won by the Pilgrims.

Indeed, Stags have not won any of their six clashes and just one in 19 meetings.

But, for our Memory Match this week we take you back to a much happier day for the Stags as, on Monday, 12th March 1979, Mansfield made light work of Plymouth, thumping them 5-0 at Field Mill.

It was their biggest win in an otherwise disappointing season in which Billy Bingham’s men ended up 18th in Division Three and a first win in eight miserable games.

Dave Syrett and Mick Carter both chalked up braces with the other goal scored by Neville Hamilton to delight a 4,325 crowd.

The clean sheet was a bonus with Martin New playing his second game in goal for the injured Rod Arnold.

As the month then ended with three draws stags were 21st and in a relegation battle with 15 games to go.

Nine of those were played in April and, with four of them won and one drawn, it proved enough to rise a place to 20th .

Due to postponements the season ended with six home games in a row, Stags winning three and drawing two to end up seven points clear of the drop.

Goalscoring was their biggest problem that season with only 51 scored, Bobby Curtis top-scoring with six – five of them from the penalty spot!

After two and a half years at Mansfield, Hamilton went on to play for Rochdale and Wolverhampton Wanderers but was forced to retire after suffering a heart attack during pre-season training with Wolves.

Plymouth were 2-0 winners at the One Call Stadium on their last visit back in March 2017.

It was an afternoon when Steve Evans’ Stags were punished for failing to take their numerous chances.

Argyle had barely had a shot before Sonny Bradley headed home a 69th minute corner from a Graham Carey cross.

Five minutes later Carey drilled home a free kick from over 25 yards and it was game over.