Match Details: 08/01/2008
Yeovil Town 0-2 Walsall
Coca Cola League One
Yeovil Line-Up: 1. Steve Mildenhall, 2. Mark Lynch, 3. Nathan Jones, 5. Scott Guyett, 6. Terrell Forbes, 7. Gary Dempsey, 8. Anthony Barry, 9. Lloyd Owusu, 10. Marcus Stewart, 25. Zoltán Stieber, 28. James Walker,
Subs: 15. Justin Cochrane, 19. Craig Alcock, 20. Marc Bircham, 23. Ishmael Welsh, 32. Marvin Williams
Substitutes Used: Marvin Williams for Nathan Jones (69 mins), Marc Bircham for Gary Dempsey (69 mins), Ishmael Welsh for Zoltán Stieber (83 mins)
Bookings: Mark Lynch (Foul, 69), Terrell Forbes (Foul, 81)
Two goals in five second half minutes from Scott Dann and Alex Nicholls saw Walsall extend their unbeaten run to 17 matches, whilst the Glovers were left frustrated at a string of chances that came their way across the 90 minutes.
Walsall showed it was quality not quantity that counts in torrential conditions at Huish Park that saw the visitors weather a first half storm in both senses of the word before punishing the Glovers for not putting the game out of reach by half time.
The Glovers started by making three forced changes to the side that faced Luton Town with Anthony Barry, Mark Lynch and Lloyd Owusu all coming into the starting line-up. The lack of a suitable right-winger also made for an adjustment in formations with a three man front line and the tactic that fluency and interchange between Stieber, Stewart and Walker would be the key to unlocking the Walsall defence.
A fierce wind at Yeovil's backs that later produced torrential rain made it important for the Glovers to take advantage of the conditions, and they got off to a flyer with early chances for James Walker, Marcus Stewart and Zoltan Stieber, leaving Walsall on the back foot.
Poor old Clayton Ince in the Walsall goal found the going so tough that he managed to send a goal kick off for a corner as the ball looped back over his head, such was the magnitude of the conditions. Then as the rain came down, the rather bedraggled visiting fans were moved off the away terrace as the game decended into farce.
Perhaps the conditions were eventually too much in Yeovil's favour. The early glut of chances thinned out as the Walsall defence bravely got bodies in the way, and Yeovil got more desperate, perhaps realising that they needed a goal or two before the break before they ended up with the wind and rain in their faces. Unfortunately that advantage never came and Walsall held firm.
With the wind dropping somewhat over the interval, Yeovil continued their dominance, but they fell behind in rather sloppy circumstances after Walsall somewhat controversially were awarded a free kick for a foul by Anthony Barry. Substitute Richard Taundry made his first moment count as he put in the free kick, and Scott Dann's flicked header skimmed into the net with Yeovil's back line perhaps left wanting in terms of their marking skills.
Five minutes later, Glovers fans were left somewhat speechless as Walsall doubled their lead. Alex Nicholls got room on Walsall's left flank, cut inside Mark Lynch, then as no-one managed to put in a challenge, Nicholls fired into the bottom corner. Two on target shots, two goals, game nearly over, despite the glut of Glovers chances that had preceded it.
Russell Slade introduced substitutes Marc Bircham and Marvin Williams to try and rescue the game, reverting to three at the back and pretty much playing with four or five wingers/strikers towards the end, but the holes at the back made it perhaps more likely that the visitors would score, and there was no way back into the game.
Final Score: Yeovil Town 0 Walsall 2.
Yeovil Town: 4-3-3
1. Steve Mildenhall
2. Mark Lynch 5. Scott Guyett 6. Terrell Forbes 3. Nathan Jones
8. Anthony Barry 7. Gary Dempsey 10. Marcus Stewart
28. James Walker 9. Lloyd Owusu 25. Zoltan Stieber
Subs: 15. Justin Cochrane 19. Craig Alcock 20. Marc Bircham (69 mins for Gary Dempsey) 23. Ishmael Welsh (83 mins for Zoltan Stieber) 32. Marvin Williams (69 mins for Nathan Jones)
1. Clayton Ince
2. Rhys Weston 15. Scott Dann 5. Anthony Gerrard 3. Daniel Fox
19. Troy Deeney 7. Darren Wrack 18. Mark Bradley 22. Edrissa Sonko
17. Alex Nicholls 29. Michael Ricketts
Subs: 6. Ian Roper 11. Paul Hall (62 mins for Edrissa Sonko) 13. Bertrand Bossu (GK) 14. Martin Brittain (84 mins for Alex Nicholls) 26. Richard Taundry (58 mins for Michael Ricketts)
Yeovil Bookings: Mark Lynch (69 mins, foul), Terrell Forbes (81 mins, foul)
Walsall Bookings: Darren Wrack (86 mins, dissent)
Attendance: 4,319 (including 169 Walsall fans).
Goals: Scott Dann (59 mins, 0-1), Alex Nicholls (64 mins, 0-2)
Referee: Mike Russell (Hertfordshire). Assistants: Warren Atkin (West Sussex) and David Phillips (Sussex). Fourth Official: Ian Hamilton (Gloucestershire).