Match Details: 19/03/2011
Exeter City 2-3 Yeovil Town
npower League One
Yeovil Goals: Sam Williams (43), Dean Bowditch (58), Dean Bowditch (64)
Yeovil Line-Up: 2. Craig Alcock, 5. Paul Huntington, 6. Nathan Smith, 9. Sam Williams, 10. Dean Bowditch, 11. Andy Welsh, 13. Stephen Henderson, 14. Max Ehmer, 18. Andrew Tutte, 24. Shaun MacDonald, 29. Jonathan Obika
Subs: 1. Richard Martin, 3. Nathan Jones, 15. Alex Russell, 16. Ed Upson, 19. Adam Virgo, 23. Billy Gibson, 25. Danny Fitzsimons,
Substitutes Used: Alex Russell for Sam Williams (45 mins), Adam Virgo for Nathan Smith (52 mins)
Bookings: Dean Bowditch (Foul, 74), Jonathan Obika (Ungentlemanly Conduct, 90)
Yeovil Town grabbed three valuable points against Devon rivals Exeter City at St James Park this afternoon, as they edged them out in a topsy-turvy match that ended with a 3-2 win. Exeter striker Jamie Cureton netted his 200th Football League goal to open the scoring before Sam Williams produced a flicked header to level the scores. Cureton then scored his 4th goal against Yeovil this season to give the Grecians the edge at half time, before two Dean Bowditch strikes turned the game on its head to give Yeovil a win in a match that was a typical lively local derby encounter in which both sides had chances to grab the points.
Yeovil Town's first team line-up contained a radical five changes to the starting line-up. New loan signings Jonathan Obika and Shaun MacDonald slotted straight into their favoured positions, whilst a training ground injury to Andy Williams force him out. Ed Upson dropped to the bench for MacDonald, whilst Luke Ayling's suspension meant that Craig Alcock could return. Paul Huntington came back from his toe injury, with Adam Virgo also dropping to the bench, whilst the matchday loan rules meant that two loanees had to drop out, with Oli Johnson and Antonio German not included in the squad - Sam Williams occupied Johnson's role in the hole, although he was to switch with Dean Bowditch partway through the match from Bowditch's initial left-wing starting spot.
The home side edged the first half and Grecians striker Jamie Cureton had got in behind the Glovers back line once earlier in the half which should have acted as an alarm bell for the Glovers back four, given what the 35 year old had done to Yeovil in the Football League Trophy earlier in the season. Another previous thorn in their side was midfield playmaker Ryan Harley, and it was his threaded ball down the channel that allowed Cureton to break behind the lines for his second chance on goal. Stephen Henderson parried his initial shot, but the same player was first to react to slot the ball home for the opening goal of the game.
Yeovil's equaliser came two minutes before the break when Andy Welsh's free kick was met by a brave header from Sam Williams, who neatly flicked the ball past Ben Hamer and into the back of the net to make it 1-1. On the down side, Williams took an awkward fall in winning the ball, and that was his last action of the game - coming off after a lengthy delay with a shoulder injury that looked to be a possible dislocation.
The irony of the four minute delay was that it gave Exeter the chance to retake the lead in a topsy turvy game. In the 49th minute of the first period, Scott Golbourne's hopeful lob into the box saw the Yeovil defence dither and Stephen Henderson unsure whether to come off his line or not. Jamie Cureton knew exactly what to do - nip into no man's land and slot the ball home for a 2-1 half time lead to the Grecians.
With Alex Russell having replaced Sam Williams just before the break, Yeovil began playing the match with a 4-5-1 but 10 minutes into the half replaced Nathan Smith with Adam Virgo, switching to a 3-5-2 with Craig Alcock and Andy Welsh the wing-backs as Dean Bowditch finally went up front alongside Jonathan Obika.
Although initially that change appeared to unsettle the Glovers, with their marking suspect during the couple of minutes following the substitution, the moving of Dean Bowditch into his favoured front line position reaped dividends just 13 minutes into the second half. A free kick from assist king Andy Welsh was put into the box, and Grecians keeper Ben Hamer was left stranded as Bowditch got in front of him, and the Glovers were back and level at 2-2.
Six minutes later, and a goal behind turned into a goal in front with a nice bit of athletic running by Jonathan Obika. Alex Russell thread the ball through to the striker, and he sprinted towards goal. Ben Hamer blocked his attempt, parrying the ball loose, but there was no stopping Dean Bowditch who netted his second goal of the match to put Yeovil 3-2 up and stun the home crowd.
With there being 25 minutes remaining, the Glovers were never going to have it easy, particularly with Paul Tisdale introducing Daniel Nardiello and Marcus Stewart in the closing stages. Stewart himself could have grabbed the sixth goal of the game when Henderson saved at his feet, producing a mass goalmouth scramble that was ended when referee Gavin Ward blew for a foul. Nardiello shot over, Stewart shot wide as the Glovers got the jitters across four minutes injury time but they held on for a marvellous victory.
All just as well, as with Tranmere winning 1-0, Walsall overturning a 2-0 deficit to win their match 5-2 and Bristol Rovers winning 1-0 whilst Dagenham won 2-0. So although the win over Exeter will have been good for confidence and morale it does little to change the overall picture at the bottom. However, the two goals for Dean Bowditch will hopefully show where he is best placed to serve Yeovil Town in the closing stages, and his goals could be priceless given where things stood at half time.
Link: 2010-11 Latest League One Table.
Final Score: Exeter City 2 Yeovil Town 3.
Scorers: Jamie Cureton (25 mins, 1-0), Sam Williams (43 mins, 1-1), Jamie Cureton (45 mins, 2-1), Dean Bowditch (58 mins, 2-2), Dean Bowditch (64 mins, 2-3)
Exeter City: (3-5-2)
1. Ben Hamer
5. Troy Archibald-Henville 6. Matthew Taylor 3. Richard Duffy
2. Steve Tully 4. James Dunne 7. Ryan Harley 22. Liam Sercombe 11. Scott Golbourne
20. Richard Logan 12. Jamie Cureton
30. Artur Krysiak (GK) 8. David Noble (52 mins for Steve Tully) 10. Daniel Nardiello (72 mins for Richard Logan) 14. Bertrand Cozic 16. Marcus Stewart (62 mins for Richard Duffy) 18. Billy Jones 29. John O'Flynn
Yeovil Town: (4-4-1-1)
13. Stephen Henderson
2. Craig Alcock 5. Paul Huntington 14. Max Ehmer 6. Nathan Smith
11. Andy Welsh 24. Shaun MacDonald 18. Andrew Tutte 10. Dean Bowditch
9. Sam Williams
29. Jonathan Obika
1. Richard Martin (GK) 3. Nathan Jones 15. Alex Russell (45 mins for Sam Williams) 16. Ed Upson 19. Adam Virgo (52 mins for Nathan Smith) 23. Billy Gibson 25. Danny Fitzsimons
Exeter Bookings: James Dunne (28 mins, foul), David Noble (74 mins, off the ball incident), Troy Archibald-Henville (90 mins, foul)
Yeovil Bookings: Dean Bowditch (74 mins, foul), Jonathan Obika (90 mins, kicking ball away)
Referee: Gavin Ward (Surrey). Assistants: Andrew Laver (Hampshire) and Lee Swabey (Devon). Fourth Official: John Busby (Oxfordshire).
Attendance: 5,841 (including 829 Yeovil fans)