FLEETWOOD manager Micky Mellon missed the big talking point as his side returned to winning ways at Highbury – with a little help from Plymouth skipper Darren Purse.
The game was delicately balanced when, with little over ten minutes remaining, the defender tangled with Jamie McGuire on the edge of the Argyle box – earning himself a red card, Fleetwood capitalising to bag two late goals.
But Mellon insisted he hadn’t seen the incident.
He said: “I wouldn’t get involved with another manager’s players, it’s not my place. I honestly didn’t see anything. I’m not doing the old ‘I’m too far away’ job.
“I know the referee has made a decision very quickly and then the next thing I saw a red card going up, which is disappointing because you don’t want that to happen. I don’t want to see anybody getting sent off, I’m not that kind of manager.
“But it’s not my place to say anything more.”
Plymouth manager Carl Fletcher was struggling to explain what had happened.
He said: “I think Darren was sent off for a straight red, I’ve not seen it, but that’s how I think it has gone.
“When you play a football match, every game is different and sometimes the will to win boils over into actions that you wouldn’t normally do.
“I’ve done things on the pitch that, in the cold light of day, you wouldn’t do, and I think for people who haven’t played it’s difficult to understand the adrenaline, the frustration and that will to win.
“Sometimes you do things you wouldn’t normally do.”
Before the sending off, Fleetwood had been struggling to impose themselves on the game, despite taking an early lead through David Ball.
Mellon said his side, at times, had stuck too much to their formation rather than playing their usual creative game.
“At times we were a little bit rigid,” he insisted.
“The early goal was exactly what we wanted but we didn’t take advantage.
“Once we started to play with a little more freedom I think we came into the game and created some good chances.
“To get the three points and to be where we are in the table, you’ve got to be pleased.”
“They came here and had a right go and tried to beat us and credit to them
“Three goals in the end maybe flattered us, when it comes to the gap between the two teams, but we’re delighted with the result.”
Following Purse’s dismissal, Fleetwood took control of the game, Plymouth’s Curtis Nelson putting through his own net before Junior Brown bagged a third at the death.
Mellon said: “It was good quick thinking from Barry Ferguson, the kind you’d expect.
“It was cute play to get it to Curtis and Curtis has got a great ball in. The lad has had to defend it and he’s turned it into his own net.
“The third goal, I’m sure, will delight Junior.
“He’ll be the first to admit he’s had a little dip a few weeks ago.
“He’s only young. He’s new to this league and these things will happen.
“But this will catapult him on again.”
And, with three goals on the board, without reply, Mellon was keen to play down Fleetwood’s striker crisis, David Ball the only fit player at kick off on Saturday.
He said: “I don’t want to tag people and say just because you’re a striker it’s your job to score goals.
“If you find yourself in that box, you’ve got to make the right runs and try and score for us.
“We’re not going to make excuses that we’ve got strikers missing.”
“If we’re putting the ball into dangerous areas, we expect people to be making chances and scoring goals, no matter what they call themselves.”
The Highbury crowd were also singled out for praise.
“We’ve tried a bit in the past to get things going with the fans,” said Mellon.
“But they were fantastic today. Everybody’s learning at the football club and they made it a really good atmosphere and made it feel like a real football league game.
“We’re delighted with that, we’re delighted with the clean sheet and we’re delighted with the position we find ourselves in the league table.”