Match Details: 21/08/2010
Yeovil Town 0-2 Hartlepool United
npower League One
Yeovil Line-Up: 1. John Sullivan, 2. Craig Alcock, 3. Nathan Jones, 5. Paul Huntington, 7. Andy Williams, 8. Luke Ayling, 9. Sam Williams, 10. Dean Bowditch, 14. Rob Kiernan, 18. Luke Freeman, 19. Adam Virgo,
Subs: 4. Stefan Stam, 6. Nathan Smith, 11. Andy Welsh, 16. Ed Upson, 17. Craig Calver, 22. Ben Roberts, 23. Billy Gibson
Substitutes Used: Andy Welsh for Luke Freeman (56 mins), Nathan Smith for Nathan Jones (63 mins), Ed Upson for Rob Kiernan (77 mins)
Bookings: Luke Ayling (Dissent, 29), Ed Upson (Foul, 90)
Yeovil Town crashed to their third defeat in a row as they were convincingly beaten by Hartlepool United at Huish Park this afternoon. Whilst they could feel hard done by in the other two defeats against Bristol Rovers and Crystal Palace in the past couple of weeks, there was nothing that could be suggested that the Glovers deserved anything out of the game. A goal in each half from centre-back Gary Liddle and winger Andy Monkhouse was the very least the visitors deserved, having dominated the match for all bar a short 10 minute spell.
The Glovers went into the match making two changes to last week's side, with both enforced. Jean-Paul Kalala's suspension saw Rob Kiernan given a central midfield role, whilst a thigh injury for Cameron Stewart meant that it was an obvious return for striker Dean Bowditch after his kidney problems last weekend. New signing Billy Gibson had to make do with watching his new team-mates from the bench.
Hartlepool were the side that got out of the traps better after an emotional minute's applause for former striker Adam Stansfield. An early header from Dean Bowditch went wide for the Glovers, but as the half went on, Adam Boyd had a shot cleared off the line by Paul Huntington, whilst John Sullivan saved brilliantly from Paul Murray.
Thus it was no surprise when the visitors went ahead on the half hour mark, with Yeovil's midfield being over-run by Hartlepool's 4-5-1 formation, leaving the inexperienced Ayling and Kiernan somewhat outnumbered. The goal itself came from a corner though, and was more down to Yeovil's inability to mark in the box, with centre-back Gary Liddle heading home from 10 yards out. 1-0 down and undeniably a deserved lead on the balance of play.
Yeovil kicked off the second period by switching to a 4-5-1 formation in an attempt to match up Hartlepool like-for-like, with Andy Williams moving into the centre and Dean Bowditch going wide. Whilst that neutralised things a touch, it left Sam Williams isolated up front, and Hartlepool still were able to bypass the now crowded midfield and double their lead. A long ball over the top met winger Andy Monkhouse and he hit his shot early - a brilliantly struck 20 yard strike to double the visitors' lead.
Thus Yeovil's attempt at a 4-5-1 was abandoned, and the Glovers reverted to their earlier 4-4-2. For 10 minutes, they looked as though they might get back into it. Andy Welsh was introduced as a substitute, and Andy Williams found a way through on goal on the opposite flank, but found Scott Flinders blocking his path to the goal. Then Dean Bowditch produced another shot that was deflected for a corner with Flinders beaten.
But that was just a brief spark; the Glovers fizzled out, frustrating the sparse 3,537 crowd, who sarcastically cheered the substitution of left-back Nathan Jones, who was replaced by Nathan Smith. Not that his withdrawal improved the game in any shape or form - there were too many other players putting on under-par performances.
In the final 10 minutes, Adam Virgo was put up front, and the sponsors' Man of the Match Dean Bowditch headed straight at Flinders and put another shot wide of the post. But it was Hartlepool who could have easily extended their lead as Andy Monkhouse was inches away from connecting with a low cross that fizzed across the Yeovil box. If they'd got it they would have deserved it.
Early days, but a poor performance against a side tipped to be around the bottom places, and a deserved defeat will give manager Terry Skiverton some extreme food for thought. Lacking Kalala in the centre of midfield, Hartlepool's flooding of that area left Yeovil struggling with two teenagers on their books, who haven't always played in that position. There's little doubt who - despite his disciplinary record - will be welcomed back with open arms next week. Not that this was by any stretch of the imagination the only problem on the park today.
Final Score: Yeovil Town 0 Hartlepool United 2.
Scorers: Gary Liddle (0-1, 30 mins), Andy Monkhouse (0-2, 54 mins)
Yeovil Town: (4-4-2)
1. John Sullivan
2. Craig Alcock 19. Adam Virgo 5. Paul Huntington 3. Nathan Jones
7. Andrew Williams 8. Luke Ayling 14. Rob Kiernan 18. Luke Freeman
9. Sam Williams 10. Dean Bowditch
22. Ben Roberts (GK) 4. Stefan Stam 6. Nathan Smith (63 mins for Nathan Jones) 11. Andy Welsh (56 mins for Luke Freeman) 16. Edward Upson (77 mins for Rob Kiernan) 17. Craig Calver 23. Billy Gibson
Hartlepool United: (4-5-1)
1. Scott Flinders
16. Steven Haslam 4. Gary Liddle 5. Sam Collins 6. Evan Horwood
14. James Brown 8. Joe Gamble 15. Antony Sweeney 20. Paul Murray 11. Andy Monkhouse
10. Adam Boyd
21. Andy Rafferty (GK) 3. Ritchie Humphreys 7. Leon McSweeney (86 mins for James Brown) 9. Denis Behan 19. Jon-Andre Fredriksen (69 mins for Joe Gamble) 23. Colin Larkin 29. Peter Hartley (71 mins for Adam Boyd)
Yeovil Bookings: Luke Ayling (29 mins, dissent), Ed Upson (90 mins, foul).
Hartlepool Bookings: None.
Referee: James Linington (Isle of Wight). Assistants: Simon Knapp (Bristol) and Marvin Thompson (Middlesex). Fourth Official: Ryan Atkin (London).
Attendance: 3,537 (including 88 Hartlepool fans)