Match Details: 29/09/2009
Millwall 0-0 Yeovil Town
Coca Cola League One
Yeovil Line-Up: 1. Alex McCarthy, 2. Craig Alcock, 3. Nathan Jones, 5. Steven Caulker, 6. Terrell Forbes, 9. Sam Williams, 10. Gavin Tomlin, 11. Andy Welsh, 21. Jean-Paul Kamudimba Kalala, 25. Shaun MacDonald, 30. Craig Davies,
Subs: 7. George O'Callaghan, 8. Keiran Murtagh, 15. Richard Martin, 16. Scott Murray, 18. Andy Lindegaard, 28. Nathan Smith, 32. Andre McCollin
Substitutes Used: Andy Lindegaard for Craig Alcock (46 mins), George O'Callaghan for Jean-Paul Kamudimba Kalala (70 mins), Keiran Murtagh for Craig Davies (81 mins)
Bookings: Sam Williams (Ungentlemanly Conduct, 34), Craig Davies (Ungentlemanly Conduct, 45), Nathan Jones (Ungentlemanly Conduct, 67), Terrell Forbes (Ungentlemanly Conduct, 73), George O'Callaghan (Foul, 79)
Yeovil Town gained a deserved point at the New Den tonight when neither side could find the back of the net in a match against Millwall that had plenty of side incidents to mull over, but not so many clearcut chances. The best for the Lions was a Steve Morison header that bounced onto the top of the crossbar, whilst two second half long range attempts from Shaun MacDonald and Jean-Paul Kalala also struck the woodwork, with home keeper David Forde producing a stunning save to deflect MacDonald's attempt.
Team selection for the night saw midfielder Ryan Mason drop out with a groin strain, meaning that Craig Davies got his first start for the club, whilst there was some minor tweaking of Saturday's tactics, with Davies getting the wide role whilst Tomlin was moved back into the centre.
The first period was a low quality affair and on many occasions became a comedy of errors, with both sides contributing to misplaced passes, overhit crosses and ball control that at times looked like the players were trying to juggle with a hot potato.
This was a game with an edge to it though, sparked in part by a confrontation between Sam Williams and home keeper David Forde that referee Steven Cook only seemed to belatedly decide to deal with. It remains doubtful as to whether the match official saw the incident, and so he decided to book both players just to be sure, whilst Forde was given a head bandage, which he decided to discard at half time. Referee Cook decided to only play a minute of first half injury time, despite that incident alone having seen play held up for around three minutes.
Millwall were perhaps slightly more forceful when they got the ball into the final third, and Steve Morison's header onto the top of the crossbar from a James Henry corner was probably the pick of their attempts. In the main, the Glovers looked comfortable though with containing their more illustrious opponents.
In the second half though, Yeovil came out far more on the front foot and produced the game's first period of clear dominance. This was despite losing Craig Alcock at the half time break for Andy Lindegaard - there had been a rumour that Alcock had been injured in the pre-match warm-ups but chose to continue, and presumably this was at the heart of his withdrawal.
Shaun MacDonald and Jean-Paul Kalala were playing the second period maybe five yards or so further up the field, and MacDonald's rasping drive was brilliantly tipped by David Forde onto the woodwork. Two minutes later though, Kalala's 25 yard attempt from a similar position on the pitch saw Forde stranded, but once again the woodwork came to the rescue of the Lions.
Unfortunately that period of dominance by the Glovers never reached fruition, and gradually a few weary legs began to see Millwall even out proceedings somewhat. The often bizarre performance of referee Steven Cook tonight also didn't help. Whilst referees can get penalty decisions wrong, or throw-ins wrong, you expect them to at least have a basic level of awareness about them in terms of what was going on in the game, but Mr Cook seemed to be gradually losing control of the match.
With 10 minutes to go, he allowed Millwall to take a throw-in despite Craig Davies being down injured in the centre circle before the throw was taken. Even a Millwall player seemed to want to draw attention to Cook's wretched performance - using Davies as a roundabout as he attempted to dribble his way up field. The game had also become increasingly fractious and Andy Frampton's shove on Davies as the injured player left the field went entirely unnoticed by the match referee - fundamentally because he wasn't looking at the substitution taking place at all. Cook's handling of the game also induced a mini-brawl as Gary Alexander's crude challenge on Glovers keeper Alex McCarthy saw players flying in to confront the Lions striker. Alexander and Terrell Forbes came out with yellow cards. In the end it was difficult to keep count of how many times Mr Cook had raised his cards, and we're pretty certain the Press Association statistics are at least one booking short in terms of Glovers bookings (believed to be George O'Callaghan). But when your side's yellow cards include 'slapping the corner flag' it's easy to see how such things can mount up.
A fairly messy game ended with some Yeovil players almost dead on their feet. If Terry Skiverton could have made a fourth substitution, Sam Williams would have undoubtedly been taken off, with the striker absolutely dead on his feet and unable to run in any shape or form during the final five minutes that ran into another five minutes worth of injury time. Several other players were looking very weary, and so they would have been thankful that Alex McCarthy kept out a late Gary Alexander shot to keep the scoreline blank. For that much effort it would have been cruel if the Glovers had come back from London with nothing to show for their efforts.
Final Score: Millwall 0 Yeovil Town 0.
1. David Forde
2. Alan Dunne 21. Jack Smith 18. Darren Ward 3. Andy Frampton
26. Nadjim Abdou 11. David Martin 17. James Henry 22. Ali Fuseini
9. Neil Harris 20. Steve Morison
13. John Sullivan (GK) 4. Adam Bolder 7. Danny Schofield (71 mins for David Martin) 8. Gary Alexander (46 mins for Steve Morison) 12. Chris Hackett (70 mins for James Henry) 16. Scott Barron 24. Marc Laird
Yeovil Town: (4-4-1-1)
1. Alex McCarthy
2. Craig Alcock 6. Terrell Forbes 5. Steven Caulker 3. Nathan Jones
30. Craig Davies 21. Jean-Paul Kalala 25. Shaun MacDonald 11. Andy Welsh
10. Gavin Tomlin
9. Sam Williams
15. Richard Martin (GK) 7. George O'Callaghan (70 mins for Jean-Paul Kalala) 16. Scott Murray 18. Andy Lindegaard (46 mins for Craig Alcock) 28. Nathan Smith 8. Keiran Murtagh (81 mins for Craig Davies) 32. Andre McCollin
Millwall Bookings: David Forde (off the ball incident, 35 mins), Gary Alexander (foul, 73 mins), Ali Fuseini (foul, 90 mins)
Yeovil Bookings: Sam Williams (off the ball incident, 34 mins), Craig Davies (unknown reason, 45 mins), Nathan Jones (unsporting behaviour, 67 mins), Terrell Forbes (off the ball incident, 73 mins), George O'Callaghan (foul, 79 mins).
Referee: Steven Cook (Surrey). Assistants: Neil Hair (Cambridgeshire) and Gary Young (Bedfordshire). Fourth Official: Wade Norcott (Essex).
Attendance: 6,617 (including 156 Yeovil fans).