Match Details: 28/12/2009
Swindon Town 3-1 Yeovil Town
Coca Cola League One
Yeovil Goals: Gavin Tomlin (27)
Yeovil Line-Up: 2. Craig Alcock, 4. Stefan Stam, 5. Steven Caulker, 8. Keiran Murtagh, 9. Sam Williams, 10. Gavin Tomlin, 13. Ryan Mason, 15. Richard Martin, 21. Jean-Paul Kamudimba Kalala, 26. Jonathan Obika, 28. Nathan Smith,
Subs: 3. Nathan Jones, 6. Terrell Forbes, 11. Andy Welsh, 16. Scott Murray, 18. Andy Lindegaard, 29. Sam Lechmere, 33. Ben Roberts
Substitutes Used: Scott Murray for Jean-Paul Kamudimba Kalala (46 mins), Andy Welsh for Sam Williams (63 mins), Terrell Forbes for Stefan Stam (80 mins)
Bookings: Sam Williams (Dissent, 52), Ryan Mason (Foul, 82), Terrell Forbes (Foul, 87)
Yeovil Town were comfortably beaten today at the County Ground, as a dominant performance by Swindon Town condemned them to their 6th away defeat in the league this season. Two early goals from Billy Paynter and Charlie Austin came during Yeovil's best spell of the game, and a Gavin Tomlin shot-cum-cross gave the scoreline a more realistic look. But when Daniel Ward was presented with a late Christmas gift 13 seconds into the second half, it was game over, and the home side went on to control and dominate the second period with ease.
The Glovers went into the match suffering two pre-match blows. Goalkeeper Alex McCarthy was suffering from a virus, whilst Dean Bowditch had a tight hamstring and could not play, although the injury is only expected to keep him out for the one game. Danny Hutchins also withdrew from the bench, and that meant that Richard Martin and Jonathan Obika gained starting spots, whilst the bench included two coaching staff, as well as midfielder Sam Lechmere, who has been on trial at the club, via the Nike Academy and also has experience with non-league sides Thurrock and more recently Aveley. Having played for the Glovers in their recent County Cup match, Lechmere has been registered on first team league forms.
Given that Swindon were to establish a comfortable two goal lead by the midway point of the first half, it's worth noting that Sam Williams could have had a hat-trick by that point. Headers from corners saw Williams denied by Jonathan Douglas and Simon Ferry who were covering opposite goalposts to deny the Yeovil striker. However, Williams really should have buried an in-play chance he had when he rounded keeper David Lucas, only to find former Glover Kevin Amankwaah sticking out one of his lanky legs to deflect the ball out for a corner.
That Yeovil didn't take the lead during that spell was to prove highly costly. A Jon-Paul McGovern left wing cross saw the bulk of Billy Paynter get in front of Steven Caulker and he powered his header into the bottom corner to give Swindon a 13th minute lead. Nine minutes later, the Robins doubled their lead, although in controversial circumstances. Paynter appeared to give Nathan Smith a shove in the back right in front of the linesman's nose, but neither he, nor the erratic referee Keith Stroud blew for the offence, and Paynter's cross found Simon Ferry inside the box, who in turn threaded the ball through to Charlie Austin. Swindon's graduate from Poole Town turned on a sixpence to plant the ball in the back of the net to put Swindon 2-0 up and somewhat against the run of play.
Given the early balance of the game, it was only just when Yeovil pulled a goal back five minutes later, although if Gavin Tomlin meant what he did, then we'd be surprised. Almost certainly aiming at the head of Sam Williams, he over-pulled the right-wing cross, and home keeper David Lucas was left out of position and finding the ball looping directly over him and into the back of the net. A slightly sheepish celebration probably revealed Tomlin's true intent.
By this time, Yeovil had moved to a flat 4-4-2, with Tomlin out on the right and Ryan Mason shuffled over to the left. The Glovers looked good enough when they had possession, but when they lost the ball, Swindon were getting far too much room down the flanks, and the back four were being left rather exposed.
The other problem was that Jean-Paul Kalala was struggling with a knee injury and he was replaced at half time by Scott Murray as Yeovil reshuffled again. Although whatever the second half gameplan was, it went entirely out the window just 13 seconds in, when Nathan Smith made a total ricket of a defensive clearance, and on loan Bolton Wanderers winger/striker Daniel Ward got given the ball on a plate, blasting it back at the Yeovil goal from the edge of the box, for Swindon's third and crucial goal.
By now, lacking Jean-Paul Kalala and with Shaun MacDonald long gone, the Glovers were looking rather bereft in midfield, and Swindon were able to comfortably keep the ball in the Yeovil half without ever looking like they needed to do too much to keep things that way. Yeovil's second half chances were largely restricted to long shots, with Ryan Mason twice forcing David Lucas into saves that forced the ball around his goal post.
Sam Williams had to be withdrawn to save him from a possible red card, with referee Keith Stroud having already booked him for dissent when the Hampshire official gave a challenge with Kevin Amankwaah against Yeovil. A further offence by Williams had the Swindon players and bench getting hysterical about nothing, but it was clear Stroud was getting suckered in by it all, and with manager Terry Skiverton having seen some of Stroud's previous performances, the substitution that brought Andy Welsh into play was a wise move. Despite that, Williams and Terrell Forbes have now reached five bookings for the season, and will now miss the next league game.
Overall, the win was eventually far too comfortable for the Robins, with Yeovil wasting a series of corners by failing to get beyond the front post each time, and bar that opening 25 minute spell where ironically Swindon scored two of their goals, the Glovers looked second best throughout. Too little protection from the admittedly weakened midfield was combined by some defensive frailties, and Yeovil in the end looked a world apart from the side that had beaten Wycombe Wanderers on Boxing Day. With Swindon now back in the top six, and Wycombe having been whipped 5-2 at home today, perhaps this gives the measure of the pecking order in League One at present. The Glovers slip one place to 14th, but that Wycombe defeat against Brighton and Hove Albion now means they have just a four point gap between them and fourth from bottom Leyton Orient, who just happen to be their next opponents.
Final Score: Swindon Town 3 Yeovil Town 1.
Scorers: Billy Paynter (13 mins, 1-0), Charlie Austin (22 mins, 2-0), Gavin Tomlin (27 mins, 2-1), Daniel Ward (46 mins, 3-1).
1. David Lucas
15. Kevin Amankwaah 2. Scott Cuthbert 6. Gordon Greer 3. Alan Sheehan
7. Jon-Paul McGovern 4. Jonathan Douglas 30. Simon Ferry 18. Alan O'Brien
20. Billy Paynter 32. Charlie Austin
12. Phil Smith (GK) 9. Ben Hutchinson 10. Michael Timlin 21. Lee Peacock (85 mins for Charlie Austin) 22. Lloyd Macklin 24. Daniel Ward (35 mins for Alan O'Brien) 31. Alex Revell
Yeovil Town: (4-1-2-1-2)
15. Richard Martin
2. Craig Alcock 5. Steven Caulker 4. Stefan Stam 28. Nathan Smith
21. Jean-Paul Kalala
10. Gavin Tomlin 8. Keiran Murtagh
13. Ryan Mason
26. Jonathan Obika 9. Sam Williams
33. Ben Roberts (GK) 3. Nathan Jones 6. Terrell Forbes (80 mins for Stefan Stam) 11. Andy Welsh (63 mins for Sam Williams) 16. Scott Murray (46 mins for Jean-Paul Kalala) 18. Andy Lindegaard 29. Sam Lechmere
Swindon Bookings: None.
Yeovil Bookings: Sam Williams (52 mins, dissent), Ryan Mason (82 mins, foul), Terrell Forbes (87 mins, foul)
Referee: Keith Stroud (Hampshire). Assistants: Andy Hendley (West Midlands) and Gavin Muge (Bedfordshire). Fourth Official: Simon Knapp (Gloucestershire).
Attendance: 8,509 (including 638 Yeovil fans).