Match Details: 18/04/2009
Yeovil Town 2-3 Hartlepool United
Coca Cola League One
Yeovil Goals: Gavin Tomlin (7), Andros Townsend (57)
Yeovil Line-Up: 1. Chris Weale, 6. Terrell Forbes, 10. Gavin Tomlin, 14. Paul Warne, 18. Keiran Murtagh, 20. Danny Maguire, 24. Danny Hutchins, 25. Andros Townsend, 26. Jonathan Obika, 27. Lee Peltier, 28. Nathan Smith
Subs: 9. Andy Welsh, 11. Danny Schofield, 12. Craig Alcock, 15. Luke Rodgers, 23. Aaron Brown,
Substitutes Used: Andy Welsh for Paul Warne (69 mins), Danny Schofield for Danny Maguire (81 mins), Aaron Brown for Andros Townsend (86 mins)
Bookings: Nathan Smith (Foul, 76), Keiran Murtagh (Foul, 90)
Yeovil Town lost out in the odd goal in five to a lively Hartlepool United side at Huish Park this afternoon as they failed to pick up the points that would have almost guaranteed their League One status. Two goals from Joel Porter including a controversial penalty did the damage, whilst Daniel Nardiello provided the winning goal for the away side with a second half header. The Glovers had taken the lead through a Gavin Tomlin strike, and pulled it back to 2-2 through an Andros Townsend free kick, but this was not one of their more fluent performances, with Pools frequently stretching their back line.
Team selection saw one change, with Queens Park Rangers midfielder Danny Maguire making his Football League debut as cover for the suspended Gary Roberts, whilst Aaron Brown took Maguire's place on the bench.
The game saw an instant spark to life, with the Glovers taking the lead just seven minutes into the match. Andros Townsend fed Jonathan Obika down the left channel, and Hartlepool's defence seemed to stop dead in their tracks, expecting an offside flag to be waved. Obika carried on and delivered a low ball across the face of the six yard box that was instantly side-footed home by Gavin Tomlin to leave the visiting defence staring at each other and the Cowlin Stand linesman.
That lead only lasted six minutes though. Daniel Nardiello appeared to be going nowhere down the right channel, with Lee Peltier shepherding him out, when the Hartlepool striker seemed to rather theatrically land on the deck. Referee Jarnail Singh gave a goal kick. The Main Stand linesman disagreed and flagged for a foul, which he then clarified to Mr Singh as being inside the box. The home crowd howled in disgust, but that didn't stop Joel Porter notching up his 22nd goal of the season with a well struck spot kick.
The Glovers were not playing at their best throughout the whole of the match. Hartlepool appeared to be playing them at their own game - fast tempo, quick-passing football that stretched play from wing to wing, often doubling players up on the flanks and at times Yeovil were left chasing shadows, and not really getting a grip on the centre of midfield. Keiran Murtagh went close with a dipping long ranger that had keeper Jan Budtz beaten, but also the crossbar. Aside from that, the Glovers were struggling to create chances and Hartlepool were looking the more dangerous when opening up defences.
That pattern of play was confirmed right on the stroke of half time when Andy Monkhouse broke down Hartlepool's left flank and delivered a pinpoint cross that saw Joel Porter in acres of free space inside the box, and a header planted into the corner of the net, to take his tally to 23 for the season.
The second half saw the balance of play change little, with the home crowd somewhat restless, and with far less of an atmosphere than in recent weeks. They did wake up though on 57 minutes, when Yeovil won a free kick on the angle on the box after Ben Clark had fouled Paul Warne. Andros Townsend stepped up and delivered a low ball towards the far corner. A couple of air swings from players of both sides served to deceive Pools keeper Jan Budtz and the end result was the ball nestling in the bottom far corner of the net for Townsend's first Football League goal.
The equaliser lifted both team and crowd for the first time in the afternoon, and it looked for some while as though Yeovil might sneak a win on the day. However, Hartlepool's wing play was far superior to Yeovil's on the day, and Andy Monkhouse was their shining light. His cross into the box with 18 minutes to go, after Yeovil had only semi-cleared their lines from another Hartlepool attack, saw Daniel Nardiello in acres of space to plant a header inside the right-hand post for what was to prove to be the winning goal.
The Glovers tried to grab an equaliser, with all three substitutes being used, including the introduction of Aaron Brown as a late striker in a 4-3-3 formation. Gavin Tomlin, the sponsor's Man of the Match, was at the centre of Yeovil's best two chances to grab a third. Just before Hartlepool's winning goal, he had been put through by Paul Warne, and instinctively lobbed the advancing Budtz only to see the ball drop wide of the post. Then in the final five minutes, Tomlin's shot on the edge of the box was deflected wide for a corner, as Hartlepool held out for the win that they hope will guarantee them League One safety.
For the Glovers, they at times looked leggy and weary when faced with Hartlepool's high tempo approach. The defensive solidity of the past six games was nowhere to be seen, as they struggled to deal with high balls down the channels delivered to Hartlepool's wingers. The end result is that Tuesday night's game against relegated Hereford United becomes that little bit more edgy. One win is really all that is needed still, but the Glovers need to make sure they grab it sooner rather than later.
Link: 2008-09 Latest League One Table (including today's results).
Final Score: Yeovil Town 2 Hartlepool United 3.
Scorers: Gavin Tomlin (7 mins, 1-0), Joel Porter (13 mins, pen, 1-1), Joel Porter (45 mins, 1-2), Andros Townsend (57 mins, 2-2), Daniel Nardiello (72 mins, 2-3)
Yeovil Town: (4-4-2)
1. Chris Weale
24. Danny Hutchins 6. Terrell Forbes 27. Lee Peltier 28. Nathan Smith
14. Paul Warne 20. Danny Maguire 18. Keiran Murtagh 25. Andros Townsend
26. Jonathan Obika 10. Gavin Tomlin
9. Andy Welsh (69 mins for Paul Warne) 11. Danny Schofield (81 mins for Danny Maguire) 12. Craig Alcock 15. Luke Rodgers 23. Aaron Brown (86 mins for Andros Townsend)
1. Jan Budtz
7. Gary Liddle 6. Sam Collins 5. Michael Nelson 34. Joe Skarz
8. Ritchie Jones 12. Ben Clark 15. Antony Sweeney 11. Andy Monkhouse
10. Joel Porter 20. Daniel Nardiello
21. Arran Lee-Barrett (GK) 2. Jamie McCunnie 3. Ritchie Humphreys (83 mins for Ben Clark) 18. Michael Mackay (86 mins for Joel Porter) 29. Keigan Parker
Yeovil Bookings: Nathan Smith (76 mins, foul), Keiran Murtagh (90 mins, foul)
Hartlepool Bookings: Sam Collins (19 mins, foul), Ritchie Jones (65 mins, foul), Ben Clark (69 mins, foul)
Referee: Jarnail Singh (Middlesex). Assistants: John Farries (Oxfordshire) and Neil Radford (Worcestershire). Fourth Official: Simon Knapp (South Gloucestershire).
Attendance: 4,332 (including approx 200 Hartlepool fans)