Match Details: 12/12/2009
Yeovil Town 3-3 Norwich City
Coca Cola League One
Yeovil Goals: Dean Bowditch (21), Shaun MacDonald (67), Jonathan Obika (90)
Yeovil Line-Up: 1. Alex McCarthy, 2. Craig Alcock, 5. Steven Caulker, 6. Terrell Forbes, 9. Sam Williams, 10. Gavin Tomlin, 13. Ryan Mason, 14. Dean Bowditch, 21. Jean-Paul Kamudimba Kalala, 25. Shaun MacDonald, 28. Nathan Smith
Subs: 4. Stefan Stam, 7. George O'Callaghan, 11. Andy Welsh, 15. Richard Martin, 16. Scott Murray, 23. Danny Hutchins, 26. Jonathan Obika,
Substitutes Used: Jonathan Obika for Dean Bowditch (81 mins)
Bookings: Gavin Tomlin (Foul, 68), Jonathan Obika (Foul, 84), Ryan Mason (Foul, 89), Terrell Forbes (Foul, 90)
A crazy final 30 minutes at Huish Park saw Yeovil Town share six goals with Norwich City this afternoon, as a 3-3 draw saw the Glovers put on an energetic performance against the promotion chasing Canaries. After a first half of few chances, but one where Dean Bowditch put the Glovers 1-0 up, two quick goals from Chris Martin and Gary Doherty turned the match on its head. Shaun MacDonald immediately equalised, and the Glovers thought they had the points in the bag when Jonathan Obika's 91st minute header apparently gave them the winning goal. But Gary Doherty deflected Russell Martin's long range strike to give the Canaries the last laugh after a pulsating finale to the game and leave everyone departing the ground dizzy with the way the match had spun out.
With both sides naming the same sides as they'd played on the previous weekend, the first half was one of scarce chances, with the play dominated by long periods of passing and possession for both sides, but without any serious goalmouth action. In fact when Yeovil took the lead on 21 minutes, it was the first shot of any kind during the game - Ryan Mason's corner was headed towards goal by Steven Caulker, and not for the first time this season, Dean Bowditch was goalpoacher extraordinaire - deflecting the ball onwards and doing enough to send the ball past Canaries keeper Fraser Forster, and ensure that Bowditch's own personal 'East Anglian Derby' got off to a flyer right in front of the Norwich fans.
As the half went on, the visitors began to get more of a stranglehold on the game - in terms of possession anyway. Their one and only shot of the whole 45 minutes came when Simon Lappin skewed the ball horribly wide of the target. Otherwise, Norwich's main frustration was falling foul of one of the assistant referees - continually getting flagged offside, leading to Wes Hoolahan and Grant Holt having to be pulled aside by referee Craig Pawson and told to calm down on the dissent they were showing to the assistant. But half time arrived, with Norwich increasingly frustrated, and Yeovil snuffing them out entirely.
The second half opened up with more of the same, although Norwich's frustration appeared to be boiling over with an awful tackle by Adam Drury on Gavin Tomlin leaving Yeovil's attacker with studmarks at chest height. Drury was lucky that referee Craig Pawson merely produced a yellow card.
Ryan Mason had a great chance to put Yeovil further ahead when Fraser Forster saved a shot on goal. But Norwich got themselves a lifeline on the hour mark, when Nathan Smith slipped on the flank, allowing Grant Holt the chance to put in a cross into the box, and for Chris Martin to convert from close range. It's worth noting for what was to follow, that this was Norwich's first shot on target of the whole game, whilst Yeovil had also only managed one shot on target. Would anyone have predicted at this point in the game what was going to happen during the final 30 minutes?
Yeovil battled back, with Gary Doherty tackled Dean Bowditch inside the box as the Glovers striker headed in on goal, and as Doherty put his hand on Bowditch's shoulder, the striker went down, but referee Craig Pawson decided after glancing at his linesman not to award what would have been a spot kick, and a professional foul - without a doubt a match-changing incident. Doherty squared up to Bowditch and accused him of diving, whilst Bowditch squared up accusing Doherty of the foul. Thankfully the two players stayed just about on the right side of the law, but the game was boiling up significantly with both teams fired up.
If that decision could be magnified any further than it was just two minutes later - Gary Doherty himself rising to a header from a Darel Russell free kick with goalkeeper Alex McCarthy having slightly overcommitted himself, giving Norwich a turnaround on the game inside four minutes. 1-2 and real disappointment for the Glovers.
That disappointment only lasted two minutes as the game swung in another direction as Shaun MacDonald provided the quickest of quickfire responses - firing home into the bottom corner to produce the biggest roar of the afternoon. 2-2 and game back on. Best hope that no supporters decided to visit the teabars on the hour mark as they would have returned wondering how such a game had been transformed.
It was the signal for the game to go from end to end - Yeovil breaking through Dean Bowditch and seeing Fraser Forster save with his legs, leaving Shaun MacDonald with a chance to score his second inside five minutes, but the ricochet came back a little too quickly and he couldn't get his boot properly on the rebound. Having had 60 minutes of few chances for either side the goalmouth action continued apace, as Grant Holt headed wide of the target at one end. Then Gavin Tomlin put Bowditch in at the other end, and the striker was inches away from sliding in to convert his chance.
Not too surprisingly with the game closing out, nerves crept in from both sides, and matters got a little bit on the feisty side. However, there were further twists to the game to be had as the game reached injury time, with four minutes being signalled to play. Jonathan Obika had come on as a late substitute for Dean Bowditch and he made a quick impact - running to the near post to convert a peach of a Craig Alcock cross and lift the roof of Huish Park with what they thought was the winning goal.
But there was to be a further twist to the game, with 94 minutes on the clock and Norwich piling men forward including goalkeeper Fraser Forster. In a game of pinball, the ball fell loose to Russell Martin on the edge of the box, and his shot was launched through a crowd of players with Gary Doherty claiming the final touch to silence the home end and leave the away terrace on a high.
Any Yeovilian would have probably snapped your arm off for a draw against a free-scoring Norwich side at the start of the match today. But having held the lead twice, including crucially in the final minute, it was a slightly flat Huish Park on the final whistle, with those there wondering what could have been. Did anyone make the mistake of leaving for the car parks before the referee finally wrapped things up?
Link: 2009-10 Latest League One Table.
Final Score: Yeovil Town 3 Norwich City 3.
Scorer: Dean Bowditch (1-0, 21 mins), Chris Martin (1-1, 60 mins), Gary Doherty (1-2, 65 mins), Shaun MacDonald (2-2, 67 mins) Jonathan Obika (3-2, 90 mins), Gary Doherty (3-3, 90 mins).
Yeovil Town: (4-1-2-1-2)
1. Alex McCarthy
2. Craig Alcock 5. Steven Caulker 6. Terrell Forbes 28. Nathan Smith
21. JP Kalala
25. Shaun MacDonald 13. Ryan Mason
10. Gavin Tomlin
14. Dean Bowditch 9. Sam Williams
4. Stefan Stam 7. George O'Callaghan 11. Andy Welsh 16. Scott Murray 15. Richard Martin (GK) 23. Danny Hutchins 26. Jonathan Obika (81 mins for Dean Bowditch)
21. Fraser Forster
6. Russell Martin 33. Jens Berthel Askou 12. Gary Doherty 3. Adam Drury
30. Korey Smith 20. Darel Russell 19. Simon Lappin
14. Wesley Hoolahan
16. Chris Martin 9. Grant Holt
34. Jed Steer (GK) 2. Jon Otsemobor 5. Michael Nelson 8. Stephen Hughes (81 mins for Korey Smith) 17. Tom Adeyemi 24. Anthony McNamee 27. Cody McDonald (80 mins for Wesley Hoolahan)
Yeovil Bookings: Gavin Tomlin (68 mins, foul), Jonathan Obika (84 mins, foul), Ryan Mason (89 mins, foul), Terrell Forbes (90 mins, foul).
Norwich Bookings: Adam Drury (54 mins, foul), Fraser Forster (79 mins, time-wasting), Gary Doherty (90 mins, excessive celebration).
Referee: Craig Pawson (Yorkshire). Assistants: John Flynn (Wiltshire) and Stephen Child (Kent). Fourth Official: Adam Watts (Worcestershire).
Attendance: 4,964 (including 1,013 Norwich fans)