Match Details: 29/01/2008
Port Vale 2-2 Yeovil Town
Coca Cola League One
Yeovil Goals: Gary Dempsey (6), Andy Kirk (52)
Yeovil Line-Up: 1. Steve Mildenhall, 3. Nathan Jones, 4. Terry Skiverton, 6. Terrell Forbes, 7. Gary Dempsey, 9. Lloyd Owusu, 12. Matthew Rose, 14. Paul Warne, 19. Craig Alcock, 24. Andy Kirk, 25. Zoltán Stieber
Subs: 5. Scott Guyett, 8. Anthony Barry, 15. Justin Cochrane, 23. Ishmael Welsh, 24. Mark Lynch,
Substitutes Used: Anthony Barry for Matthew Rose (46 mins), Ishmael Welsh for Zoltán Stieber (65 mins), Justin Cochrane for Gary Dempsey (73 mins)
Bookings: Matthew Rose (Foul, 41)
Yeovil Town were left frustrated in their attempts to get closer to the play-off positions at Vale Park last night, when they were forced to accept a 2-2 draw against basement side Port Vale. Whilst the Glovers could have easily had the game out of sight in the first period, by the end they could have come home with nothing in a topsy-turvy game.
Match preparation was nothing short of chaotic. Paul Warne and Zoltan Stieber needed late fitness tests, which thankfully they passed, given that Marcus Stewart failed to resolve a tight hamstring sustained at the weekend. To make matters worse, three of the midfielders who were standing by to replace them were all suffering from a virus - Matty Rose and Gary Dempsey were passed fit but neither managed to complete the game, whilst Marvin Williams was an ultra-late drop-out from the sixteen - despite being named on the teamsheet, a late change prior to kick-off saw Mark Lynch drafted onto the bench.
Considering the disruption and a tendency for the Glovers to be slow starters lately, it was impressive that they kicked the game off in a positive manner, taking the lead with just six minutes gone. Matty Rose and Zoltan Stieber combined before feeding Andy Kirk on the left flank. The striker proved that he can provide as well as poach, when his cross into the box was met by Gary Dempsey, who from six yards out gave Yeovil a dream start and a 1-0 lead.
The Glovers dominated the first period, with Terry Skiverton, Matty Rose and Andy Kirk all having opportunities to extend Yeovil's lead, but they were left bemoaning their luck when Vale equalised with their first shot on target of the match. It was a superb strike from Adam Eckersley, even if the way he received the ball was somewhat lucky. Craig Alcock slipped when coming to meet the advancing Paul Edwards and when Paul Warne tried to deal with the situation, the ball ricocheted into the path of Eckersley who unleashed a 25 yarder that flew past Steve Mildenhall.
The second half saw changes forced with Rose too ill to carry on, and ultimately Dempsey joining him for the same reasons. But that was not before two quick-fire goals that saw the see-saw nature of the game continue.
First, the Glovers took the lead again when Lloyd Owusu intercepted a Port Vale crossfield pass, breaking forward before slipping the ball square to Andy Kirk, who hooked the ball over the advancing Joe Anyon in the Vale goal, to make it 2-1.
However, that lead only lasted six minutes as Vale again came back into the match, with a Chris Herd cross from the right being converted by a diving Paul Edwards header, with Yeovil's marking having gone AWOL in the process. Once again the Glovers were back to square one, despite having dominated proceedings.
In the closing minutes though, the Glovers could have come away with nothing. Terrell Forbes had to clear a shot off the line, whilst Steve Mildenhall had to acrobatically tip over a Luke Rodgers attempt but the late burst from the home side came to nothing.
The end result was probably a fair one, although it is one that does neither team much favours. Both sides clearly needed and wanted the win, but whilst a draw still leaves Vale rooted at the bottom of League One, it also means another opportunity for the Glovers to close the gap on the top six slipped somewhat, even if it did bring them a point closer to sixth placed Leeds United, on the edge of those elusive positions.
Final Score: Port Vale 2 Yeovil Town 2.
Scorers: Gary Dempsey (0-1, 6 mins), Adam Eckersley (1-1, 38 mins), Andy Kirk (1-2, 52 mins), Paul Edwards (2-2, 58 mins).
12. Joe Anyon
28. Dave Mulligan 2. George Pilkington 5. Keith Lowe 20. Adam Eckersley
25. Chris Herd 8. Paul Harsley 34. David Howland 11. Paul Edwards
33. Tobias Mikaelsson (84) 10. Luke Rodgers
Subs: 26. Chris Martin (GK) 29. Chris Slater 24. Kyle Perry (84 mins for Tobias Mikaelsson) 21. Danny Glover 27. James Lawrie
Yeovil Town (4-4-2):
1. Steve Mildenhall
19. Craig Alcock 6. Terrell Forbes 4. Terry Skiverton 3. Nathan Jones
14. Paul Warne 7. Gary Dempsey 12. Matty Rose 25. Zoltan Stieber
24. Andy Kirk 9. Lloyd Owusu
Subs: 5. Scott Guyett 8. Anthony Barry (46 mins for Matty Rose) 15. Justin Cochrane (73 mins for Gary Dempsey) 23. Ishmael Welsh (65 mins for Zoltan Stieber) 24. Mark Lynch
Port Vale Bookings: David Howland (76 mins, foul), Dave Mulligan (87 mins, dissent)
Yeovil Town Bookings: Matty Rose (41 mins, foul)
Attendance: 2,869 (including 130 Yeovil fans)
Referee: Andy Haines (Tyne & Wear). Assistants: Dean Mohareb (Cheshire) and Danny Roberts (Greater Manchester). Fourth Official: Oliver Langford (West Midlands).