Match Details: 01/02/2011
Yeovil Town 1-0 Plymouth Argyle
npower League One
Yeovil Goals: Andy Williams (66)
Yeovil Line-Up: 5. Paul Huntington, 6. Nathan Smith, 7. Andy Williams, 8. Luke Ayling, 10. Dean Bowditch, 11. Andy Welsh, 12. Oli Johnson, 13. Stephen Henderson, 14. Max Ehmer, 16. Ed Upson, 20. Paul Wotton,
Subs: 1. Richard Martin, 3. Nathan Jones, 9. Sam Williams, 15. Alex Russell, 18. Andrew Tutte, 19. Adam Virgo, 23. Billy Gibson
Substitutes Used: Alex Russell for Ed Upson (57 mins), Andrew Tutte for Oli Johnson (71 mins), Sam Williams for Dean Bowditch (79 mins)
Bookings: Nathan Smith (Foul, 82)
Yeovil Town finally climbed out of the League One relegation zone as their pheonix from the flames progress in 2011 continued this evening with a 1-0 win over Plymouth Argyle. In what was a tight match, a deflected shot from Andy Williams was enough to seize the points, although the decision of the match sponsors to give Stephen Henderson the Man of the Match award showed this was no one-sided contest. The three points were enough to pull Yeovil level with their opponents and rise up to 17th in the table.
Team news saw Luke Ayling, as expected, replace Jean-Paul Kalala, who had left for Bristol Rovers yesterday. Otherwise the only changes were on the bench as Adam Virgo also returned from suspension, whilst new boy Andrew Tutte got a place on the bench, with Craig Calver the unlucky man to miss out. The Pilgrims included Rory Fallon as a loan striker - one of two ex-Glovers loans, with Romain Larrieu on the bench.
A quiet start to the first half saw Argyle getting plenty of possession but little in the way of chances, as Kari Arnason's long range attempt provided the only opportunity of the opening 15 minutes. Andy Williams headed wide at the other end to provide Yeovil with a rather tame effort.
The Glovers took 26 minutes to create their first true chance, with Dean Bowditch receiving the ball from a throw-in, turning smartly on the edge of the box and hitting a 20 yarder that David Button had to parry low down to keep it out. At the other end, former Glover Rory Fallon produced a flicked header that Stephen Henderson did well to tip over the bar, after the Glovers keeper had shown a bit of hesitancy as to whether to come off his line or not.
Argyle, who had previously enjoyed plenty of possession but without any real throughput, then sprung the offside trap, with Rory Patterson breaking behind the Glovers back four only a couple of minutes after Rory Fallon's attempt. Thankfully Stephen Henderson came off his line briskly and confidently to parry Patterson's attempt and as the ball span out, it just evaded the boot of Yannick Bolasie, and Fallon's follow-up attempt was saved at the second attempt by Henderson to keep the scoreline blank.
Aside from that quickfire set of chances, the rest of the half passed off with little of note or interest - perhaps a Rory Fallon attempt from the edge of the box that went over the bar, with Stephen Henderson probably covering, the nearest that things got to troubling the two goalkeepers. It certainly wasn't a classic opening 45 minutes by any stretch of the imagination.
The Glovers made a tactical switch at half time, rotating their four most attacking players, with Oli Johnson playing as the main striker, and Dean Bowditch supporting him. That left Andy Williams occupying the left wing slot with Andy Welsh the only player to stay put. With so little being created by Yeovil, it made sense to opt for a shake-up with the starting personnel to see if different bodies could carve open the Argyle defence.
Instead it was the visitors who created the first chance of the half, with Rory Fallon flicking on a throw-in in a congested penalty box, and the New Zealander saw his ball hit the crossbar and deflect over for a goal kick. At the other end, Dean Bowditch got in a couple of half chances, including a magnificently optimistic 40 yarder.
The goal itself came on 66 minutes and owed a small amount of fortune to it. Andy Welsh's corner was a poor one, and got blocked out at the near post straight back to him. He then swung in a much better ball, and Andy Williams got the opportunity to fire a slightly scuffed shot through a crowd of players, taking a deflection for an opening goal. 1-0 up!
Argyle's previous intentions became clear when they immediately reacted to the goal, pushing Rory Patterson up front, abandoning their 4-5-1 formation for a bulk standard 4-4-2. Yeovil responded by their own tactical switch, taking off Oli Johnson and putting on Andrew Tutte for his debut. The first sight of him for Glovers fans saw him occupying an advance midfield position in a 4-4-1-1 formation but that didn't last long, as Dean Bowditch pulled up with a thigh or hamstring strain, coming off and forcing a reshuffle, with Tutte going out into a wide left position. Sam Williams replaced Bowditch.
The Pilgrims' part in the game was still there to be seen, as in the final 10 minutes, Stephen Henderson was forced into the save of the match, as he blocked a header from Stephane Zubar with a single hand, forcing the ball out for a corner to leave the Plymouth defender with his head in his hands at how close he had come to scoring. In truth, Yeovil were sitting a little too deep, and you could see Paul Wotton trying to coax his team-mates to push out and avoid getting sucked into Argyle's mini spell of pressure.
Three minutes of injury time emerged but any hopes Argyle had of a late equaliser went when Yannick Bolasie got involved in an off the ball incident that appeared to involve Nathan Smith. Bolasie had only just been involved in a spat with Stephen Henderson, and although it wasn't immediately clear what he'd done, it no doubt stemmed from that. Down to 10 men, there was barely time to restart before referee James Linington completed the match with the final whistle.
Never a classic, although the second half opened up a little, particularly once Yeovil scored and Argyle were forced to open up their formation. However, if ever three points were important, it was tonight - for the psychological boost of climbing out of the relegation zone. Victory assured that, as defeats for Swindon Town and Brentford along with a draw for Tranmere Rovers lifted Yeovil up to 17th place. Great news, although with 19 games still remaining the job is only half done. They need to make sure they stay there now over the following three months of football that remain.
Link: 2010-11 Latest League One Table.
Final Score: Yeovil Town 1 Plymouth Argyle 0.
Scorers: Andrew Williams (1-0, 66 mins)
Yeovil Town: (4-4-2)
13. Stephen Henderson
8. Luke Ayling 14. Max Ehmer 5. Paul Huntington 6. Nathan Smith
11. Andrew Welsh 20. Paul Wotton 16. Edward Upson 10. Dean Bowditch
7. Andrew Williams 12. Oli Johnson
1. Richard Martin (GK) 3. Nathan Jones 9. Sam Williams (79 mins for Dean Bowditch) 15. Alex Russell (57 mins for Ed Upson) 19. Adam Virgo 23. Billy Gibson 18. Andrew Tutte (71 mins for Oli Johnson)
31. David Button 36. Stephane Zubar 35. Curtis Nelson 30. Marcel Seip 2. Karl Duguid 11. Kari Arnason 6. Chris Clark 4. Carl Fletcher 19. Yannick Bolasie 8. Rory Patterson 14. Rory Fallon
1. Romain Larrieu (GK) 3. Bondz N'Gala 21. Anton Peterlin 23. Krisztian Timar 18. Jack Stephens 34. Luke Young
Yeovil Bookings: Nathan Smith (82 mins, foul)
Plymouth Bookings: Carl Fletcher (90 mins, dissent). Red Card: Yannick Bolasie (90 mins, violent conduct).
Referee: James Linington (Isle of Wight). Assistants: Ron Ganfield (Somerset) and Richard Martin (Weston-super-Mare). Fourth Official: Brett Huxtable (Devon).
Attendance: 5,208 (including 1,441 Argyle fans)