Match Details: 14/11/2009
Yeovil Town 1-0 Southend United
Coca Cola League One
Yeovil Goals: Dean Bowditch (76)
Yeovil Line-Up: 1. Alex McCarthy, 2. Craig Alcock, 4. Stefan Stam, 5. Steven Caulker, 7. George O'Callaghan, 11. Andy Welsh, 13. Ryan Mason, 16. Scott Murray, 21. Jean-Paul Kamudimba Kalala, 23. Danny Hutchins, 26. Jonathan Obika,
Subs: 8. Keiran Murtagh, 10. Gavin Tomlin, 14. Dean Bowditch, 15. Richard Martin, 28. Nathan Smith
Substitutes Used: Dean Bowditch for Andy Welsh (71 mins), Gavin Tomlin for Scott Murray (80 mins), Keiran Murtagh for Ryan Mason (89 mins)
Bookings: Jean-Paul Kamudimba Kalala (Foul, 43), George O'Callaghan (Foul, 54)
Yeovil Town striker Dean Bowditch completed a three-month comeback from a nightmare opening-day injury by scoring the winning goal in a 1-0 win over Southend United today. He came off the bench to score from a set piece, as Jonathan Obika connected with a Scott Murray free kick, with Bowditch getting the final touch from close range. In a one-sided match, Southend were forced to compete with 10 men after Sean Morrison was dismissed on the half hour mark for a professional foul and it was only wasteful finishing and astonishing goalkeeping from former keeper Steve Mildenhall that stopped a goalglut.
The Glovers made five changes to last weekend's team, largely through injury and illness, with Stefan Stam, Danny Hutchins, Scott Murray, George O'Callaghan and Jean-Paul Kalala all brought into the starting line-up. The game had a slightly quiet start, as both sides tried to adjust to blustery conditions, with Yeovil kicking towards the Blackthorn Stand and against the wind.
Southend grabbed the first chance of the game, with Francis Laurent scooped the ball into the side netting from close range. But the Shrimpers were to create few chances during the game, with the Glovers well on top despite being against the conditions, forcing former Glovers keeper Steve Mildenhall into a string of saves. Craig Alcock thumped a header against the post from a Scott Murray corner. Murray almost connected with a George O'Callaghan cross, but Mildenhall collected before Murray could get his head in the way. Then Mildenhall saved with his legs after Murray broke through and shot with his left foot. Mildy foiled the Glovers yet again just a minute later when Jonathan Obika was the latest to find the big keeper in the way - getting down low to push Obika's shot out for a corner.
Half an hour into the game, Southend's defensive problems magnified when Jonathan Obika burst through, and Sean Morrison cynically pulled him back on the edge of the box. A red card was fairly inevitable, even though the Shrimpers tried to claim that Adam Barrett was covering, and Southend were forced to reshuffle, with the unfamiliar sight of Jean-Francois Christophe acting as a centre-back for the Shrimpers, forcing them into a 4-4-1 formation. Ryan Mason's free kick from the offence was bent over the wall, but wide of the target. With three minutes remaining, Andy Welsh struck the crossbar after Alan McCormack gifted the ball to Yeovil's left winger allowing him to race through on goal, but the shot hit the woodwork and headed into the home terrace. At half time you had to wonder how on earth the scoreline was still 0-0.
The second period saw more of the same, as Scott Murray was put through on goal, but he trod on the ball and lost his momentum and could only shoot wide of the target with Anthony Grant closing him down. Chances fell to Andy Welsh, and to Jean-Paul Kalala as he attempted to blast the ball into the net. Mildenhall was there again with yet another save from Ryan Mason as he was put through by Craig Alcock. Southend were relying on the counter-attack heavily, but it was only on rare occasions that they got any end product.
At times, the Glovers got a little frustrated, and the game threatened to boil over, with both sides getting frustrated with either the referee or with members of the opposition. There was a great fear out there that the Glovers might end up having to settle for a 0-0 ... or even worse. With 20 minutes remaining, Dean Bowditch was introduced to a huge cheer from the crowd. His introduction was to be crucial.
After Scott Murray was flattened by Dougie Freedman off the ball in an accidental collision. Murray took the free kick, and the ball landed with Jonathan Obika, whose shot was turned in from close range by Dean Bowditch to create a sensational return and put Yeovil 1-0 up. Five minutes on the pitch, and he had his second goal of the season - over three months after his last one.
Bowditch could have made it 2-0 when he slid in on goal minutes later, only to find the brick wall of Mildenhall in the way again. The only fear was that Southend might sneak an equalising goal, but they were struggling with a paper-thin squad, and Anthony Grant and Alan McCormack were probably quite lucky to not join Sean Morrison in the dressing room for some of their tackles and verbals whilst sat on yellow cards.
The win puts Yeovil up to 12th place in the League One table, leapfrogging their opponents in the process. They are now seven points away from the relegation spots and six points from the play-off slots, albeit with Southampton and Brighton due to play on Sky Sports tomorrow. Despite the 1-0 scoreline suggesting a slender win, this was anything but, and will have given the team great heart as they recover from the recent disappointments of Leeds and Oxford.
Link: 2009-10 Latest League One Table.
Final Score: Yeovil Town 1 Southend United 0.
Scorer: Dean Bowditch (1-0, 76 mins)
Yeovil Town: 4-4-1-1/4-2-3-1
1. Alex McCarthy
2. Craig Alcock 5. Steven Caulker 4. Stefan Stam 23. Danny Hutchins
16. Scott Murray 7. George O'Callaghan 21. JP Kalala 11. Andy Welsh
13. Ryan Mason
26. Jonathan Obika
15. Richard Martin (GK) 8. Keiran Murtagh (89 mins for Ryan Mason) 10. Gavin Tomlin (80 mins for Scott Murray) 14. Dean Bowditch (71 mins for Andy Welsh) 3. Nathan Jones
1. Steve Mildenhall
2. Simon Francis 5. Sean Morrison 6. Adam Barrett 7. Anthony Grant
26. Francis Laurent 4. Jean Francois Christophe 8. Alan McCormack 14. Franck Moussa
9. Lee Barnard 16. Dougie Freedman
10. James Walker (81 mins for Dougie Freedman) 12. Damian Scannell 22. Stuart O'Keefe 31. Kyle Asante
Yeovil Bookings: Jean-Paul Kalala (43 mins, foul), George O'Callaghan (54 mins, foul)
Southend Bookings: Alan McCormack (56 mins, timewasting), Anthony Grant (63 mins, dissent), Red Card: Sean Morrison (31 mins, professional foul)
Referee: David Phillips (West Sussex). Assistants: Stephen Phipps (Oxfordshire) and Tim Robinson (West Sussex). Fourth Official: Chris Powell (Dorset).
Attendance: 3,906 (including 344 Southend fans)