Match Details: 02/11/2010
Milton Keynes Dons 3-2 Yeovil Town
npower League One
Yeovil Goals: Dean Bowditch (19), Adam Virgo (75)
Yeovil Line-Up: 1. John Sullivan, 3. Nathan Jones, 5. Paul Huntington, 8. Luke Ayling, 9. Sam Williams, 10. Dean Bowditch, 19. Adam Virgo, 20. Owain Tudur Jones, 21. Jean-Paul Kamudimba Kalala, 24. Gavin Williams, 25. Shaun MacDonald
Subs: 7. Andy Williams, 11. Andy Welsh, 16. Ed Upson, 17. Craig Calver, 18. Luke Freeman, 22. Ben Roberts, 23. Billy Gibson,
Substitutes Used: Andy Williams for Dean Bowditch (70 mins), Andy Welsh for Luke Ayling (74 mins), Luke Freeman for Sam Williams (83 mins)
Bookings: Gavin Williams (Foul, 35), Nathan Jones (Foul, 83), Paul Huntington (Foul, 84)
Yeovil Town conceded three goals for the second time in two matches tonight, with once again a late goal costing them dearly. This time the goal was a winner, as a controversial Peter Leven penalty was the final nail in the coffin of another topsy-turvy game that saw the Glovers lose 3-2 at Milton Keynes Dons. Striker Dean Bowditch grabbed his third goal of the week, but a Dean Lewington header and a Jemal Johnson strike put the Dons ahead. Adam Virgo stabbed home an equaliser, but then Leven had the last laugh to keep the Glovers in the relegation zone, with their third defeat in their last four matches.
Team news saw Yeovil make two predictable changes, as John Sullivan came back into goal, replacing Bristol City keeper Stephen Henderson, who has returned to Ashton Gate one match early, due to concussion. The other change was not a change as such, when the bulk of Saturday's match against Swindon Town was considered, with Sam Williams coming in for Andy Welsh, just as he did against the Robins. As for MK Dons, despite their decimated side, ravaged by illness and injury, they still managed to cobble together a substitutes bench with four players sat on it.
Yeovil started relatively well, with an early chance for Sam Williams saw the striker shoot over the bar, whilst a Gavin Williams attempt with 10 minutes gone had to be grasped by home keeper Stuart Searle at the second attempt. When they took a 19th minute lead it was well deserved, with Nathan Jones once again grabbing an assist, having been involved in two of Saturday's three goals. His long ball over the top was hopelessly misjudged by Dons defender Sean O'Hanlon, who let the ball bounce, and it was little surprise to find Dean Bowditch pouncing to put the Glovers a goal up, and fully deserved.
The Dons hit back well, with a glancing header from Sam Baldock across the face of goal forcing Glovers keeper John Sullivan into his first save of the night midway through the half, whilst a Jemal Johnson cross into the box was inches away from connecting with Baldock as once again the ball going across the face of goal caused chaos. But overall the home side appeared to be wanting to slow down the tempo of the game, perhaps mindful of the fitness of various players who had been suffering pre-match through illness.
Yeovil's Achilles heel this season though has been how they deal with defensive set pieces, and how they have a tendency to switch off once or twice during a match. True to form, they managed it with the home side's first corner of the night. Peter Leven put the ball into the box, and completely unmarked was the experienced Dean Lewington, whose header was planted into the back of the net for the equalising goal - nine minutes before the break.
The Glovers had performed well throughout the opening 45 minutes - one corner and 30 seconds worth of play excepted - but had to settle for going in at the break level. Dean Bowditch shot over, Gavin Williams tried an audacious chip that landed on the roof of the net, whilst Paul Huntington forced the home keeper into a save, as the visitors racked up chances during the opening period, and so remained confident that they could still score again.
The second half opened with MK Dons making a tactical switch, sticking Jemal Johnson into the centre to sit just behind Sam Baldock, and that worked a treat for them, with the Glovers having a great deal of difficulty in picking him up in the deeper position. That cost them five minutes into the half, as Sam Baldock and Adam Virgo tussled out by the wing, with Virgo coming off second best and landing on the deck. A linesman's flag going up seemed to confuse the situation, and as Baldock crossed, Johnson was on hand to convert and to put the Dons a goal ahead. Protestations from the Yeovil players appeared to suggest that they felt that Virgo had been fouled, whilst both linesman and referee ruled that Baldock was the one who had been sinned against, with them choosing to play advantage.
With such decisions going against Yeovil, matters got somewhat tetchy between both sides, not helped by both teams having penalty appeals turned down, as both Dean Bowditch and Sam Baldock went down in the box. Then when Lewis Guy fouled Nathan Jones, a whole load of handbags broke out, with Adam Virgo getting very involved in something that had little to do with him. Mercifully, referee Michael Naylor was in a happy-go-lucky mood, choosing to let everyone off, although whether that added further to the temperature of the game is another point. Certainly the official's decisions were erratic throughout the night.
As both teams began to make a series of substitutions, with Luke Ayling withdrawn, worryingly clutching his ribs after another hefty challenge saw him come off worse, the Glovers got themselves a lifeline. The build-up was a touch messy, with the ball bobbling around inside the box, but Adam Virgo was the man to pounce, turning and firing home from close range for his fourth goal of the season, even if another PA announcer decided to award a goal to Paul Huntington - does Hunts pay the announcers to do this?!
It looked as though the Glovers had managed to grab a point out of a fractious game, but as with far too many games this season, a late twist in the tail denied them anything out of the evening. Luke Chadwick turned in the box, and Shaun MacDonald stuck out an inviting leg. Referee Michael Naylor finally blew his whistle for about the fourth penalty appeal both sides had tried for across the evening, and the Yeovil players erupted in fury, accusing Chadwick of having taken a dive. An unflustered Peter Leven stepped up and scored the penalty - just as he had done so in the corresponding fixture last season, when on that occasion he grabbed the final goal of the game.
That decision seemed to knock the stuffing out of the Glovers and despite five minutes of injury time being played, there was nothing else of note going on, save for referee Naylor being surrounded on the final whistle by Glovers players still angry about the penalty decision. Whether that was just or not, yet another late goal has cost Yeovil, and they will now have to suffer at least 10 more days in the relegation zone, and in 22nd place. Whether the break from a difficult League campaign will be a blessing or a curse, we'll find out when Dagenham and Redbridge arrive at Huish Park a week on Saturday, for a real six-pointer.
Link: 2010-11 Latest League One Table.
Final Score: Milton Keynes Dons 3 Yeovil Town 2.
Scorers: Dean Bowditch (0-1, 19 mins), Dean Lewington (1-1, 36 mins), Jemal Johnson (2-1, 50 mins), Adam Virgo (2-2, 75 mins), Peter Leven (3-2, 87 mins, pen)
Milton Keynes Dons:
17. Stuart Searle
7. Stephen Gleeson 6. Sean O'Hanlon 4. Mathias Doumbe 3. Dean Lewington
26. Luke Chadwick 14. Lewis Guy 13. Mark Carrington 22. Peter Leven 28. Jemal Johnson
10. Sam Baldock
8. Jermaine Easter (69 mins for Jemal Johnson) 16. Dietmar Hamann 23. Adam Chicksen (39 mins for Sean O'Hanlon) 27. Daniel Powell (77 mins for Lewis Guy)
Yeovil Town: (4-4-2)
1. John Sullivan
8. Luke Ayling 19. Adam Virgo 5. Paul Huntington 3. Nathan Jones
25. Shaun MacDonald 20. Owain Tudur Jones 21. JP Kalala 24. Gavin Williams
10. Dean Bowditch 9. Sam Williams
22. Ben Roberts (GK) 7. Andrew Williams (70 mins for Dean Bowditch) 11. Andrew Welsh (74 mins for Luke Ayling) 16. Edward Upson 17. Craig Calver 23. Billy Gibson 18. Luke Freeman (83 mins for Sam Williams)
MK Dons Bookings: Luke Chadwick (58 mins, foul), Peter Leven (73 mins, foul)
Yeovil Bookings: Gavin Williams (35 mins, foul), Nathan Jones (83 mins, foul), Paul Huntington (84 mins, foul)
Referee: Michael Naylor (South Yorkshire). Assistants: James Adcock (Nottingham) and Neil Kinseley (Essex). Fourth Official: Gary Young (Bedfordshire).
Attendance: 7,281 (including approx 140 from Yeovil)