Match Details: 25/04/2008
Yeovil Town 0-1 Leeds United
Coca Cola League One
Yeovil Line-Up: 1. Steve Mildenhall, 4. Terry Skiverton, 6. Terrell Forbes, 8. Anthony Barry, 10. Marcus Stewart, 16. Jaime Peters, 20. Marc Bircham, 27. Lee Peltier, 28. Nathan Smith, 32. Marvin Williams, 33. Aidan Downes
Subs: 3. Nathan Jones, 5. Scott Guyett, 9. Lloyd Owusu, 12. Matthew Rose, 24. Andy Kirk,
Substitutes Used: Andy Kirk for Marvin Williams (76 mins), Lloyd Owusu for Anthony Barry (83 mins)
Bookings: Nathan Smith (Foul, 40), Marc Bircham (Foul, 68)
Yeovil Town lost narrowly to play-off hopefuls Leeds United last night at a packed Huish Park. The Yorkshire side grabbed an early Dougie Freedman goal and managed to hold onto it for the duration of the match, despite being reduced to 10 men following a two-footed tackle on Lee Peltier that saw Alan Sheehan get his marching orders.
Yeovil's team selection was a simple one. Following the impressive performance last week at the Liberty Stadium, manager Russell Slade selected the same starting eleven and formation, and bar the swap of Matthew Rose for goalkeeper Darren Behcet, selected the same sixteen.
The start to the game was not good by any stretch of the imagination. Whilst off the pitch on the home terrace, chaos was reigning as two small pockets of Leeds fans were able to openly display their club colours and chant, causing skuffles to break out, whilst stewards and police looked on motionless, some slack defending merely yards away and a likely handball in the build-up allowed Frazer Richardson to cross the ball in from the right, Bradley Johnson to control the ball with his hand, and some hesitant Yeovil defending to allow Dougie Freedman to stab the ball home from close range. More scuffles broke out and probably for many in the home terrace, the game itself was sadly incidental - their own personal safety was more of a concern.
Whilst it was difficult to concentrate on the football, the Glovers gradually worked their way back into the game, carving out their own chances in an end to end game. After Jonathan Douglas scuffed a shot wide of the target that could have made it 2-0, Yeovil picked up their game and began to take the play down to the far end where Marcus Stewart headed over, Marvin Williams forced Leeds keeper Casper Ankergren into a superb double-save with the second attempt hitting the outside of the post, whilst Nathan Smith and Jaime Peters also weighed in with chances.
The second half opened with the Glovers still pressing to find an equaliser - Anthony Barry received a short free kick from Marc Bircham that if Marcus Stewart had got half a toe on would have seen an equalising goal. The Glovers were still having to be on their guard with Leeds looking a physically strong side, with the odd long ranger from Lubomir Michilak being fired like bullets at Steve Mildenhall's goal but mercifully wide of the target.
Midway through the first half, the game boiled over with a nasty-looking tackle from Leeds defender Alan Sheehan being committed on Lee Peltier close to the dugouts. In the midst of a multi-player ruck, Sheehan appeared to elbow Marc Bircham and so it was little surprise that he was the man that was singled out by referee Keith Stroud. Thankfully Stroud did not react beyond a yellow card when Bircham responded three minutes later with another full-blooded tackle.
The sending off didn't really benefit the Glovers. With Leeds down to 10 men, their ambition to extend their lead was heavily reduced and they lined up their two banks of four, challenging the Glovers to break them down. Creative ability has not been Yeovil's strength this season and some of the balls into the box, particularly from Anthony Barry's corners, really were not good enough. Barry was withdrawn along with Marvin Williams as the Glovers finished the game with additional firepower in the form of Andy Kirk and Lloyd Owusu.
But you can have as many strikers on the field as you like - much of Yeovil's problems this season have been in the delivery into the box and the best that the Glovers managed was when the rather unlikely form of 'right-winger' Terry Skiverton (yes, you read right!) overlapped close to the touchline and delivered an impressive cross that Aidan Downes almost converted at the far post, with Casper Ankergren protecting his side's lead and ultimately guaranteeing them a play-off spot. The Glovers weren't that far off their illustrious opponents throughout the night, but rather like the Elland Road match it was the ability to create and convert chances that was to divide the two teams.
Final Score: Yeovil Town 0 Leeds United 1.
Scorer: Dougie Freedman (0-1, 4 mins).
Yeovil Town: (4-4-1-1)
1. Steve Mildenhall
27. Lee Peltier 4. Terry Skiverton 6. Terrell Forbes 28. Nathan Smith
32. Marvin Williams 8. Anthony Barry 20. Marc Bircham 33. Aidan Downes
16. Jaime Peters
10. Marcus Stewart
Subs: 3. Nathan Jones 5. Scott Guyett 9. Lloyd Owusu (83 mins for Anthony Barry) 12. Matty Rose 24. Andy Kirk (76 mins for Marvin Williams)
Leeds United: (4-4-2)
1. Casper Ankergren
2. Frazer Richardson 33. Lubomir Michalik 32. Alan Sheehan 3. Paul Huntington
37. Neil Kilkenny 4. Jonathan Douglas 14. Jonathan Howson 16. Bradley Johnson
38. Dougie Freedman 39. Anthony Elding
Subs: 25. David Lucas (GK) 5. Rui Marques (85 mins for Neil Kilkenny) 7. David Prutton (78 mins for Bradley Johnson) 20. Tresor Kandol 22. Andy Hughes (68 mins for Anthony Elding)
Yeovil Bookings: Nathan Smith (40 mins, dissent), Marc Bircham (68 mins, foul)
Leeds Bookings: None. Red Card: Alan Sheehan (65 mins, serious foul play).
Referee: Keith Stroud (Hampshire). Assistants: Steve Rubery (Essex) and Ceri Richards (Camarthenshire). Fourth Official: Lee Probert (Wiltshire).
Attendance: 9,527 (including 'officially' 1,500 Leeds fans).