Match Details: 19/01/2009
Yeovil Town 0-2 Leicester City
Coca Cola League One
Yeovil Line-Up: 6. Terrell Forbes, 9. Andy Welsh, 11. Danny Schofield, 12. Craig Alcock, 13. Josh Wagenaar, 14. Paul Warne, 15. Luke Rodgers, 16. Gary Roberts, 17. Aidan Downes, 23. Aaron Brown, 28. Nathan Smith
Subs: 3. Nathan Jones, 10. Gavin Tomlin, 18. Keiran Murtagh, 19. Andre McCollin, 22. Jordan Street,
Substitutes Used: Keiran Murtagh for Gary Roberts (11 mins), Andre McCollin for Paul Warne (75 mins), Nathan Jones for Aidan Downes (87 mins)
Yeovil Town lost out 0-2 at home in front of the Sky Sports cameras as league leaders Leicester City proved the stronger team on the night. Two second half goals did the damage, with a Steve Howard strike being deflected in by Nathan Smith, whilst the game was wrapped up two minutes from time by substitute Joe Mattock. The Glovers put in a fine battling performance, but the lack of a strong target man to stick the ball to in the Foxes penalty box, and an early injury to midfielder Gary Roberts didn't help matters, and the end result was no surprise.
The Glovers went into the match making one enforced change and one tactical switch. Aaron Brown replaced the suspended Terry Skiverton, meaning that Terrell Forbes got the captain's armband. Up front, there was little surprise as Luke Rodgers made his permanent debut for the club, with Gavin Tomlin shuffling out to the bench. Jordan Street was preferred on the bench to Lloyd Irish, suggesting that Josh Wagenaar's shoulder injury had sorted itself.
Although Yeovil came out of the traps quickly, it was Leicester who immediately imposed their class on the game. The Foxes are on a hot streak of form, unbeaten in the league since October, and chances fell to Matty Fryatt, who forced a parried save by Wagenaar, and to Matt Oakley, who sliced the loose ball wide with the goal gaping.
The Glovers suffered a serious blow just 11 minutes into the match when Gary Roberts had to leave the field after falling awkwardly, having trodden on a loose ball. He suffered ankle ligament damage and is expected to be out for 4-6 weeks - just what the Glovers can't afford with two other central midfielders out for the season.
Leicester midfielder Mark Davies was capitalising on Yeovil's lack of a midfield blocker, proving to be a real thorn in Yeovil's side, and he too forced Wagenaar into a fingertip save. Steve Howard clipped the top of the crossbar from close range and Yeovil seemed to be hanging on a touch.
When they broke forward though, the Glovers much more impressive, even if predictably the final ball was still a concern for them. Andy Welsh and Danny Schofield were combining well, with the latter being put through on goal, only to find that he struck the side netting on keeper David Martin's near post. Nathan Smith acrobatically hooked the ball just over the bar, and along with Aidan Downes shot over the bar a second time. The further the half went on, the more comfortable Yeovil looked, even if despite Luke Rodgers looking dangerous, it was difficult to work out how they would turn that play into goals.
The second period showed more of the same, with Leicester on the backfoot slightly, albeit without being put under too much pressure. It was therefore all the more frustrating when the visitors took the lead. The Foxes grabbed a corner when certainly the television replays looked as though one of their own players had headed the ball out for a goal kick. From that set piece, Yeovil couldn't get the ball cleared, and when Steve Howard shot through a crowd of players, Nathan Smith turned the ball into his own net. All of the press agencies have generously given Howard the nod, although there's no doubt that Smith's touch was crucial.
The Glovers responded well to the setback and certainly gave Leicester a run for their money. The work ethic is superb, and there's little doubt that the players are putting in maximum effort in these games. It's rare in any match to see heads go down and that will be priceless in any battle against the drop. However, the final ball into the box did what it has often done this season and with a side of Leicester's obvious class, they mopped up with ease. It is painfully obvious why Russell Slade is looking for a target man, or at the very least a striker with some physical presence inside the box. Rodgers looked a threat, but he is a poacher and not a ball winner, and without that, teams of Leicester's standard are always going to keep goals out of reach.
As it happens, the Foxes cruelly finished matters off two minutes from time. This time there were no complaints, and no deflections, as substitute Joe Mattock cut inside his marker and finished into the far corner from the edge of the box. 2-0 and game over.
Whilst the result ensured two home defeats in a row, which never looks good on paper, the Glovers need to get those two games out of their heads as quickly as possible. The likes of Scunthorpe and Leicester are undoubtedly a class above. What matters more is how Yeovil perform in forthcoming matches against relegation rivals Leyton Orient and Crewe Alexandra, and 'beatable' teams in midtable such as Northampton, Huddersfield and Bristol Rovers. Those will be the sort of matches that determine their path during the final four months of the season.
Final Score: Yeovil Town 0 Leicester City 2.
Scorers: Steve Howard (57 mins, 0-1), Joe Mattock (88 mins, 1-1).
Yeovil Town: (4-4-2)
13. Josh Wagenaar
12. Craig Alcock 6. Terrell Forbes 23. Aaron Brown 28. Nathan Smith
17. Aidan Downes 11. Danny Schofield 16. Gary Roberts 9. Andy Welsh
14. Paul Warne 15. Luke Rodgers
3. Nathan Jones (87 mins for Aidan Downes) 10. Gavin Tomlin 18. Keiran Murtagh (11 mins for Gary Roberts) 19. Andre McCollin (75 mins for Paul Warne) 22. Jordan Street
26. David Martin
4. Kerrea Gilbert 25. Jack Hobbs 15. Michael Morrison 31. Bruno Berner
8. Matt Oakley 33. Mark Davies 24. Andy King 11. Lloyd Dyer
9. Steve Howard 12. Matt Fryatt
35. Carl Pentney (GK) 7. Tom Cleverley (85 mins for Matt Fryatt) 21. Ashley Chambers 23. Joe Mattock (66 mins for Lloyd Dyer) 27. Paul Dickov
Yeovil Bookings: None.
Leicester Bookings: None.
Referee: Iain Williamson (Berkshire). Assistants: James Cox (Worcestershire) and Brendan Malone (Wiltshire). Fourth Official: Roger East (Wiltshire).