Match Details: 08/03/2011
Southampton 3-0 Yeovil Town
npower League One
Yeovil Line-Up: 6. Nathan Smith, 7. Andy Williams, 8. Luke Ayling, 10. Dean Bowditch, 12. Oli Johnson, 13. Stephen Henderson, 14. Max Ehmer, 15. Alex Russell, 16. Ed Upson, 18. Andrew Tutte, 19. Adam Virgo,
Subs: 1. Richard Martin, 2. Craig Alcock, 3. Nathan Jones, 9. Sam Williams, 17. Craig Calver, 21. Antonio German, 25. Danny Fitzsimons
Substitutes Used: Sam Williams for Andrew Tutte (57 mins), Craig Alcock for Alex Russell (62 mins), Craig Calver for Oli Johnson (83 mins)
Bookings: Luke Ayling (Foul, 23), Nathan Smith (Foul, 45), Craig Alcock (Foul, 90)
Yeovil Town were comfortably beaten at St Mary's Stadium tonight as a very strong looking Southampton side brushed them aside in a 3-0 win. The Glovers rarely looked like getting into the match once Lee Barnard had opened the scoring 15 minutes into the match. The same player added a second, opening up the ability for the home side to take control, and they added a third shortly afterwards with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain finishing the game off and sending the Glovers home without anything to show for their efforts.
The Glovers went into the match without the injured Paul Wotton (hamstring) and Paul Huntington (toe) with Ed Upson and Adam Virgo like-for-like replacements. Nathan Smith was made the captain for the night for the first time in his Yeovil career.
Both sides made early statements of intent with Dean Bowditch trying his luck, and then Dan Harding's wayward shot going wide. It was a relatively low key opening 45 minutes with neither side really imposing themselves on the match, which made the opening goal all the more frustrating.
Time and time again Yeovil's Achilles heel has been their ability to concentrate on set pieces and they were caught out once again just 15 minutes into the match. Adam Virgo conceded a free kick, and as Yeovil seemed to be dithering on how they planned to defend it, Danny Butterfield slipped a simple pass through to Lee Barnard and he was able to slot the ball into the back of the net for a goal that was as soft as you can get.
The Saints didn't really capitalise on that lead during the remainder of that half, even though they dominated possession in spades, with their front four players looking lively when they had the ball. That tendency to sideways pass frustrated the home crowd increasingly throughout the half, with them doubtless wanting the Saints to put on the style in front of their home fans.
That didn't really happen in terms of chances, although certainly the Glovers weren't looking like they would score either - their best chance of the half came when a Dean Bowditch shot span off Dean Hammond for a corner, with the Glovers getting three corners in quick succession without any great output, and a woeful free kick that was tapped into the Saints wall, rather than struck with any real intent.
The second half proceeded with more of the same - Saints classy and holding possession, and Yeovil trying to thwart and frustrate them. But the decisive second goal came 10 minutes into the half, where the home side carved open the Yeovil back line. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain combined with Adam Lallana who skinned Nathan Smith down the right flank, and when the cross came into the box, Lee Barnard was given far too much free space inside the box to head home and make it 2-0.
At this point the floodgates began to open, with Barnard in particular looking to add to his tally to grab a hat-trick. A tackle by Luke Ayling inside the box on the Saints striker mercifully didn't result in a penalty, with Ayling already on a yellow card. Then Stephen Henderson blocked brilliantly from the same player to prevent him getting his hat-trick.
Instead it was Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who grabbed the third, 67 minutes into a game that Saints were threatening to run away with. His shot had a small amount of fortune to it - a deflection off the leg of Dean Bowditch who had been forced into defending deep, and that was enough to spin past Stephen Henderson for a 3-0 scoreline.
At that point, Saints clearly had the game won, and made a series of substitutions to wind the game down. The Glovers didn't look likely to score, or at least not from normal play. A cross by Nathan Smith deceived Saints keeper Kelvin Davis who dropped the ball onto the crossbar, losing it momentarily. Had a Yeovil player been more alert to Smith's cross they could easily have had a tap-in before Davis got his bearings again.
In the closing stages, Saints substitute Jonathan Forte almost grabbed a fourth, but Stephen Henderson bravely blocked, getting a bang on the knee for his pains, leaving him limping and leaving Adam Virgo taking his goal kicks thereafter. Why the Yeovil back line though persisted in giving the hobbling Henderson backpasses to kick out though is anyone's guess.
Game over though, and the four minutes injury time were fairly pointless. Well beaten by a team that at times played the game in second gear, Yeovil's biggest concern will be whether Stephen Henderson's knee injury will add to a treatment table containing Paul Wotton and Paul Huntington. The game on Saturday against Walsall will be more crucial to whether Yeovil end up playing League One football next season, and they will need everyone fit for them to stand the best chance of beating the Saddlers.
Link: 2010-11 Latest League One Table.
Final Score: Southampton 3 Yeovil Town 0.
Scorers: Lee Barnard (15 mins, 1-0), Lee Barnard (55 mins, 2-0), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (67 mins, 3-0)
1. Kelvin Davis
12. Danny Butterfield 6. Jose Fonte 17. Aaron Martin 3. Dan Harding
26. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain 14. Dean Hammond 30. Richard Chaplow 20. Adam Lallana
9. Lee Barnard 7. Richard Lambert
23. Tommy Forecast (GK) 2. Frazer Richardson (80 mins for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain) 5. Ryan Dickson 8. Jonathan Forte (77 mins for Adam Lallana) 19. Daniel Seaborne 27. Oscar Gobern (69 mins for Richard Chaplow) 32. Dany N'Guessan
Yeovil Town (4-4-1-1):
13. Stephen Henderson
8. Luke Ayling 19. Adam Virgo 14. Max Ehmer 6. Nathan Smith
18. Andrew Tutte 16. Ed Upson 15. Alex Russell 10. Dean Bowditch
12. Oli Johnson
7. Andy Williams
1. Richard Martin (GK) 2. Craig Alcock (62 mins for Alex Russell) 3. Nathan Jones 9. Sam Williams (57 mins for Andrew Tutte) 17. Craig Calver (83 mins for Oli Johnson) 21. Antonio German 25. Daniel Fitzsimmons
Southampton Bookings: Richard Chaplow (37 mins, foul)
Yeovil Bookings: Luke Ayling (23 mins, foul), Nathan Smith (45 mins, foul), Craig Alcock (90 mins, foul)
Referee: Keith Hill (Hertfordshire). Assistants: Ian Cooper (Kent) and Kevin Johnson (Weston-super-Mare). Fourth Official: Derek Eaton (Gloucestershire).
Attendance: 18,623 (including 497 Yeovil fans).