Match Details: 11/12/2010
Colchester United 0-0 Yeovil Town
npower League One
Yeovil Line-Up: 1. John Sullivan, 2. Craig Alcock, 5. Paul Huntington, 6. Nathan Smith, 7. Andy Williams, 8. Luke Ayling, 10. Dean Bowditch, 19. Adam Virgo, 21. Jean-Paul Kamudimba Kalala, 25. Shaun MacDonald, 29. Ivan Sproule
Subs: 9. Sam Williams, 11. Andy Welsh, 12. Tom Parkes, 14. Adam Phillip, 16. Ed Upson, 17. Craig Calver, 22. Ben Roberts,
Substitutes Used: Tom Parkes for Paul Huntington (18 mins), Adam Phillip for Dean Bowditch (51 mins), Sam Williams for Ivan Sproule (76 mins)
Bookings: Dean Bowditch (Foul, 41), Ivan Sproule (Dissent, 46), Nathan Smith (Foul, 75)
Yeovil Town gained a valuable away point at Colchester United's Community Stadium this afternoon, as a 0-0 draw was ground out in Essex. The game was one of very few chances, with the Glovers frustrating the home side throughout, and both keepers making few saves. The only down side to the afternoon were injuries to three key players that could cause a headache when Yeovil play their FA Cup Second Round match at Hartlepool United on Tuesday.
The Glovers made two changes to the side that played last two-and-a-half weeks ago, with Paul Huntington coming back from suspension, whilst Stefan Stam dropped from the squad through a hamstring injury. Meanwhile Sam Williams dropped to the bench as a tactical switch meant that Luke Ayling was employed as part of a midfield five, as Dean Bowditch was left up front on his own. Craig Alcock took the captaincy role.
It was a half largely devoid of chances. Shaun MacDonald unusually sat as the deepest of the three midfielders, leaving Jean-Paul Kalala and Luke Ayling to look to snuff out Colchester midfield pairing Kemal Izzet and David Perkins. They did that task well, seeing the midfield flooded out.
The Glovers suffered an early blow, as defender Paul Huntington had to come off early on, clutching his ribs, and looking in severe pain, despite having had to carry on for a significant amount of time after the fourth official delayed Yeovil's attempt to make a substitution. Leicester City teenager Tom Parkes came on to make an extended début from his bench.
Main Colchester striker Kayode Odejayi put a couple of headers over the bar, but largely the home side were struggling to find room on the pitch. Not that Yeovil were creating too much themselves - their only shot on target in the first period was an Adam Virgo effort after he received the ball from a long range free kick, but home keeper Ben Williams swallowed the ball easily.
The Glovers finished the first period with a mini-surge of pressure that would have put them in at the break with their tails up. Ivan Sproule, who had a fairly quiet opening 45 minutes, put one over the bar, whilst another cross was cleared close to his own goal line by Tom Williams. Then Nathan Smith put a screamer just wide with home keeper Ben Williams well beaten. All of this led to the home side being booed off when the whistle blew - a measure of how much Yeovil had frustrated their hosts during the half.
Colchester opened up play in the second period by switching to a 4-3-3 to try to out-do the Glovers tactics, and whilst initially that made the game a bit more open, the match soon reverted to type. The Glovers lost a second player to injury when Dean Bowditch had to come off, leaving Adam Phillip out on his own as the incoming striker.
There were odd periods of play when the game threatened to open up, but they were rare. Midway through the second period came Colchester's golden chance, as Kayode Odejayi out-muscled Adam Virgo, and John Sullivan made a stunning save to push the big striker's shot onto the bar. A total of 70 minutes in and the first cast-iron chance of the match for either side. At the other end, Adam Phillip's cross to the back post turned into an on-target shot as it curled in, and Ben Williams was left scrambling to stop a freak goal.
Into three minutes of injury time, and the Glovers could easily have sneaked all three points. Adam Phillip broke clear on goal, and as Ben Williams saved, the ball fell free to fellow substitute Sam Williams. But his attempt to win the game went wide of the target, and that was greeted with the final whistle.
A good point that pretty much everyone involved at Yeovil Town would have taken before the game kicked off, against a team gunning for the play-offs. However, the draw may have come at a high cost - with Paul Huntington suffering a painful injury and Dean Bowditch limping off early in the second period, that was added to in the closing stages, with Adam Virgo virtually immobile as Yeovil effectively played out with ten men, having used all three substitutes, with Luke Ayling acting as a centre-back to cover Virgo and see the game out. We'll have to wait and see where that leaves Terry Skiverton for Tuesday night's long trip to Hartlepool United on Tuesday, and pray that one of the two centre-backs pulls through.
Yeovil stay in 23rd place in the League One table, with Dagenham, Leyton Orient, Plymouth Argyle, Hartlepool United and Plymouth Argyle all winning. However, it was a bad day for Bristol Rovers, who drop into the bottom four after a 6-2 thrashing, and Yeovil are now six points away from them, with Tranmere Rovers, Notts County and Rochdale all on 22 points.
Link: 2010-11 Latest League One Table.
Final Score: Colchester United 0 Yeovil Town 0.
1. Ben Williams
20. Brian Wilson 6. Paul Reid 5. Pat Baldwin 31. Tom Williams
7. Ashley Vincent 10. Kemal Izzet 17. David Perkins 22. Anthony Wordsworth
15. Kayode Odejayi 16. Ian Henderson
12. Mark Cousins (GK) 3. Lee Beevers 19. David Mooney (65 mins for Ashley Vincent) 24. Ben Coker 26. Lloyd James (85 mins for Kemal Izzet) 27. Liam Henderson (78 mins for Kayode Odejayi) 28. Matt Heath
Yeovil Town: (4-5-1)
1. John Sullivan
2. Craig Alcock 19. Adam Virgo 5. Paul Huntington 6. Nathan Smith
29. Ivan Sproule 8. Luke Ayling 25. Shaun MacDonald 21. Jean-Paul Kalala 7. Andrew Williams
10. Dean Bowditch
22. Ben Roberts (GK) 9. Sam Williams (76 mins for Ivan Sproule) 11. Andy Welsh 12. Tom Parkes (18 mins for Paul Huntington) 14. Adam Phillip (51 mins for Dean Bowditch) 16. Edward Upson 17. Craig Calver
Colchester Bookings: Anthony Wordsworth (foul, 70 mins), Brian Wilson (foul, 90 mins)
Yeovil Bookings: Dean Bowditch (foul, 41 mins), Ivan Sproule (dissent, 46 mins), Nathan Smith (foul, 75 mins)
Referee: Steve Rushton (Staffordshire). Assistants: Stuart Butler (Kent) and Oleksandr Saliy (Middlesex). Fourth Official: Elliott Kaye (Essex).