Match Details: 24/03/2008
Hartlepool United 2-0 Yeovil Town
Coca Cola League One
Yeovil Line-Up: 4. Terry Skiverton, 5. Scott Guyett, 6. Terrell Forbes, 8. Anthony Barry, 9. Lloyd Owusu, 10. Marcus Stewart, 11. Jean-Francois Christophe, 24. Andy Kirk, 26. Stephen Maher, 27. Lee Peltier, 31. Scott Flinders,
Subs: 12. Matthew Rose, 15. Liam Bridcutt, 19. Craig Alcock, 28. Nathan Smith, 32. Marvin Williams
Substitutes Used: Liam Bridcutt for Anthony Barry (58 mins), Nathan Smith for Jean-Francois Christophe (61 mins), Marvin Williams for Stephen Maher (73 mins)
Bookings: Jean-Francois Christophe (Foul, 48), Marcus Stewart (Foul, 83)
Yeovil Town went down 2-0 at Victoria Park this afternoon when a goal in each half from James Brown and Joel Porter condemned them to their 10th away defeat of the season and their 6th in the last nine away fixtures. With Hartlepool having now won six out of their last seven home matches, the result went strictly by the form book, but that didn't make it any less disappointing following Friday's high at Huish Park.
The Bank Holiday weekend inevitably shortened manager Russell Slade's options even further in terms of team selection. Simon Church was away on international duty, whilst Marc Bircham also dropped out of the sixteen despite travelling with the squad, due to his troublesome hamstring. That meant that Matthew Rose was drafted into the sixteen despite not having trained all week and having spent the whole week out with a virus. Another unexpected face was Potters Bar left-back Nathan Smith, who signed non-contract forms with the club to allow him to make his Football League debut, despite strictly speaking being only a trialist with the club. Club captain Terry Skiverton was only passed fit on the morning of the game, and ultimately had to last 90 minutes.
The Glovers faced the reverse of Friday's fixture - having to play into the wind during the first half, and so they got a pretty good taste of what Doncaster Rovers had to put up with earlier in the weekend. As such it was a rearguard action from the start and Hartlepool struck the foot of a goalpost through Joel Porter early the first half, with the resultant ball running loose but Richard Barker put the rebound over the bar.
Hartlepool were forced into two early substitutions, including Barker, due to injury and one of those players James Brown got the benefit of a quickly taken throw-in that led to the opening goal. Joel Porter turned Terry Skiverton just outside the box out wide, and laid the ball across the face of the goal to Brown, who finished to put Pools 1-0 up and despite some resolute defending by the Glovers probably fair on the balance of play.
The Glovers created their first real chance a couple of minutes later when a Stephen Maher cross set up Marcus Stewart but home keeper Arran Lee-Barrett tipped the ball wide for a corner. That was as good as it got in a difficult opening 45 minutes in which Hartlepool were dominant, and the Glovers would rely on the strength of the wind to give them a second half advantage.
The snag though was that the elements dropped during the second period, and the momentum for the Glovers never really got going. The game was killed off by Hartlepool midway through the half after they succeeded in neutering the Glovers midfield and attack throughout a solid but largely uneventful 20 minutes. A cross into the box from Andy Monkhouse after the Glovers went to sleep on a throw-in was met by the boot of Joel Porter and at 2-0, a comeback for the Glovers seemed unlikely.
To be fair to Yeovil, they didn't drop their heads as much as has happened in recent matches when they have fallen behind, and two of their best chances in the game came late on. Firstly Lloyd Owusu set Andy Kirk down the wing with a breakaway chance, drawing Lee-Barrett out of his goal. The keeper sent Kirk wide of the target though, and the loose ball into the box was blocked by the body of an in-rushing defender before Owusu could accept the return.
That chance would have set up a grandstand finale, but even substitute Marvin Williams could have given Yeovil hope in the final minute of the game when he smashed a shot against the Hartlepool post. Aside from this though, chances were few and far between for the Glovers and even when chasing the game they struggled to unlock a Hartlepool defence that always looked likely to hold onto their three points.
The result showed little damage on the League One table, with Gillingham going down 2-1 at Port Vale - a result that allowed Vale a chance to live to fight another day, even if it seems likely that they will suffer relegation within the next fortnight. Crewe Alexandra suffered a blow when a 90th minute Walsall equaliser denied them the chance to drive the nail into the Gills coffin, but Mark Stimson's side are now cut five points adrift of safety, and their single game in hand over their rivals is looking all the more vital with games running out.
Final Score: Hartlepool United 2 Yeovil Town 0.
Scorers: James Brown (1-0, 28 mins), Joel Porter (2-0, 67 mins)
Yeovil Town: 4-3-2-1
31. Scott Flinders
6. Terrell Forbes 4. Terry Skiverton 5. Scott Guyett 27. Lee Peltier
8. Anthony Barry 26. Stephen Maher 11. Jean Francois Christophe
24. Andy Kirk 10. Marcus Stewart
9. Lloyd Owusu
Subs: 12. Matty Rose 15. Liam Bridcutt (58 mins for Anthony Barry) 19. Craig Alcock 28. Nathan Smith (61 mins for Jean Francois Christophe) 32. Marvin Williams (73 mins for Stephen Maher)
Hartlepool United: 4-4-2
21. Arran Lee-Barrett
2. Jamie McCunnie 6. Ben Clark 27. Sam Collins 8. Ritchie Humphreys
15. Antony Sweeney 4. Willie Boland 7. Gary Liddle 11. Andy Monkhouse
10. Joel Porter 9. Richard Barker
Subs: 5. Michael Nelson (13 mins for Sam Collins) 14. James Brown (18 mins for Richard Barker) 17. David Foley (68 mins for Willie Boland) 19. Matty Robson 24. Michael Mackay
Hartlepool United Bookings: Ben Clark (78 mins, foul)
Yeovil Town Bookings: Jean Francois Christophe (48 mins, foul), Marcus Stewart (83 mins, foul)
Referee: Carl Boyeson (East Yorkshire). Assistants: Mark Lawson (Northumberland) and Garry Wallace (Tyne and Wear). Fourth Official: Ross Joyce (Cleveland).
Attendance: 3,808 (including 138 Yeovil supporters)