Match Details: 26/08/2002
Yeovil Town 3-2 Nuneaton Borough
Yeovil Goals: Michael McIndoe (34), Gavin Williams (35), Adam Lockwood (70)
Yeovil Line-Up: 1. Chris Weale, 2. Adam Lockwood, 3. Anthony Tonkin, 4. Terry Skiverton, 6. Darren Way, 8. Lee Johnson, 9. Carl Alford, 10. Nick Crittenden, 11. Michael McIndoe, 19. Abdoulai Demba, 20. Gavin Williams,
Subs: 5. Colin Miles, 13. Jon Sheffield, 14. Roy O'Brien, 16. Andy Lindegaard, 23. Howard Forinton
Substitutes Used: Howard Forinton for Carl Alford (66 mins), Roy O'Brien for Abdoulai Demba (66 mins), Colin Miles for Lee Johnson (90 mins)
Bookings: Gavin Williams (Foul, 37)
Yeovil Town and Nuneaton Borough contested an action-packed game in near perfect conditions at Yeovil's temporary home of The Avenue, Dorchester. Despite conceding the lead again, Weale's error letting in a speculative Jones's shot at the near post, Yeovil responded quickly with two excellent goals in two minutes: McIndoe curling in a left footed free kick; then Williams waltzed into the Nuneaton box to finish with a strong left footed shot. The second half was only less eventful. Yeovil were strolling when Williams persevered down the left wing to set up the overlapping defender, Lockwood. But Nuneaton made the final minutes tense, Yeovil failed to intercept a simple free kick and substitute Quayle pulled it back to 3-2. Yeovil managed to hang on to ensure they took all three points.
In truth Yeovil should have had the three points well and truly in the bag to avoid those tense final few minutes. They had the majority of possession and created numerous chances against a physical, sometimes petulant, Nuneaton side.
Johnson stuck with the 3-4-1-2 formation that had been successful at Morecambe two days earlier, preferring to play three at the back in order to accommodate Gavin Williams behind his strikers. That formation seemed to provide for an attack-minded performance, but left gaps at the back, the Yeovil defence often looking pressured.
Yeovil started confidently, Demba involved in both of their opening moves. The first move finished with a near post cross that was easily taken by Mackenzie, Demba appearing to have squandered a better chance, his first touch took Johnson's through-ball wide. The second move was as a result of his persistence: setting Johnson away his far post cross was just too strong for Alford.
The first Nuneaton foray into Yeovil territory saw Weale and Lockwood hesitate, but the Nuneaton striker could only force the ball out for a goal kick. Mackenzie, at the other end, was undoubtedly the busier: firstly collecting an Alford header after a sweeping passing move; then saving McIndoe's shot following a neat 1-2 with Demba.
Nuneaton searched to profit from Yeovil's understaffed back three and won three corners in succession, the second cleared off the line by Lockwood. But from the third Yeovil broke quickly and Mackenzie was forced to save Johnson's shot.
Yeovil looked the more dangerous going forward and Nuneaton defended desperately at times: blocking Demba's shot after a delightful Alford back heel from a quick right wing throw-in. Throughout the first half Terry Angus persisted in maintaining dialogue with the barracking Yeovil crowd, or anyone that would listen to him, rather than getting on with the job in hand. This seemed to rub off on his team mates who continually questioned any decision, Howey eventually ending up in Mr Stroud's book.
It was almost against the run of play when Nuneaton took the lead. Gary JONES broke in from the left wing on thirty-two minutes, getting the better of Lockwood and Johnson, his shot from outside the box looked innocuous. Weale was slow to get down to his right-hand post and Jones's shot skidded in off the post. Not the first time Yeovil have conceded the opening goal this season, and not the first time Weale has been beaten at that post in that fashion. Yeovil 0 Nuneaton 1.
Yeovil replied immediately. Michael McINDOE's curling left-footed free kick from the right hand side of the box was of the highest quality. Yeovil 1 Nuneaton 1.
That quality was only surpassed by Yeovil's next move. Gavin WILLIAMS broke in from the right wing, weaving past three defenders into the Nuneaton box, dropping his right shoulder and firing left-footed past a helpless Mackenzie. Yeovil 2 Nuneaton 1.
Yeovil's next attack should have added a third, but Demba's header from the six-yard box was too high.
Yeovil continued to dominate until halftime. It was not until Lockwood was forced to leave the field to receive stitches to a head wound did Nuneaton manage to make any progress, the half finishing with Howey heading a rare Nuneaton corner wide.
Half Time: Yeovil Town 2 Nuneaton Borough 1
Steve Burr must have given his players the obligatory roasting at half time as they came out full of purpose. It was time for Weale to make amends as he strongly palmed away Lavery's goal bound shot. Two minutes later Weale was well beaten by Turner's twenty-five yard shot, but the Yeovil right-hand post came to the rescue, and the Yeovil defence cleared desperately. Under Nuneaton pressure the Yeovil wingbacks defended deeply. However, this left a depleted midfield that Nuneaton took full advantage. Nuneaton continued to surge forward and strike from far out. Weale was again at hand to tip over a Peake long-range effort. Minutes later Lockwood was again called upon to clear off his line.
However, Yeovil had weathered the storm and could have extended their lead. This time Williams was guilty. Latching onto an excellent Alford flick on he should have done better than blasting high from the edge of the box. With the introduction of O'Brien and Forinton for Alford and Demba Yeovil reverted to a 4-4-2 formation with Williams moving forward. It was Williams's more forward role that proved decisive on seventy-one minutes. Stumbling on the left wing he appeared to have lost the ball in a Nuneaton challenge. But he persisted and regained his footing to moved forward to beat a second challenge before driving in a low hard cross. The overlapping Adam LOCKWOOD was first to the ball in the six-yard box, and a clinical side footed volley formally despatched the ball into the Nuneaton goal. Yeovil 3 Nuneaton 1.
Nuneaton surged forward in response but the Yeovil defence stood firm. Despite some hectic action in the Yeovil goalmouth: a Nuneaton free kick was eventually headed clear by Lockwood; Squires's header dropped just over Weale's crossbar.
At the other end Forinton looked sharp, quick and strong. He did well to set up McIndoe, and was then disappointed to head Johnson's powerful diagonal cross well wide. Angus had to throw himself at O'Brien's shot to deflect it wide. And, as the game ebbed away, Williams, McIndoe and Way turned on an exhibition on the right wing.
But it was Nuneaton who would have the last of the action. On ninety minutes McGregor floated in a free kick from thirty yards, and it was Mark QUAYLE in a crowded box who got the final touch. Yeovil 3 Nuneaton 2.
Nuneaton pressed for the equaliser with a couple more corners before the final whistle but the introduction of Pluck for Johnson ensured Weale was not beaten again.
While the recent success of Johnson's 3-4-1-2 formation cannot be questioned, the Kevin Keegan "score-more-goals-than-the-opposition" philosophy has at best a chequered history. Against better opposition Yeovil will need to ensure a more resolute defence.
Final Score: Yeovil Town 3 Nuneaton Borough 2
Mon 26th August 2002
Match Report: Noddy Elms
Pitch: Firm with a good covering of grass.
Weather: Overcast and moderate end to end wind
Att : 2,504
Scorers: Gary Jones (0-1, 32 mins), Michael McINDOE (1-1, 34 mins), Gavin WILLIAMS (2-1, 35 mins), Adam LOCKWOOD (3-1, 70 mins), Mark Quayle (3-2, 90 mins).
Referee : K. Stroud (Dorset)
Assistants : R. Greenwood W. Bull.
Yeovil Town Line-Up : (3-4-1-2)
1. Chris Weale,
2. Adam Lockwood, 4. Terry Skiverton, 3. Anthony Tonkin,
10. Nick Crittenden, 6. Darren Way, 8. Lee Johnson, 11. Michael McIndoe,
20. Gavin Williams,
9. Carl Alford, 19. Abdoulai Demba.
Substitutes : 5. Colin Pluck (sub 90 mins for Johnson), 13. Jon Sheffield, 14. Roy O'Brien (sub 66 mins for Demba), 16. Andy Lindegaard, 23. Howard Forinton (sub 66 mins for Alford).
Bookings: Williams (37 mins, foul).
Nuneaton Borough : (4-4-2)
Squires, Howey, Angus, Clarkson,
Peake, Lavery, Turner, Lenton,
Substitutes : Love, Peyton, Harris, Hodgson, McGregor.
Bookings: Lee Howey (45 mins, dissent), Gary Jones (74 mins, dissent).