Match Details: 23/04/2011
Yeovil Town 2-2 AFC Bournemouth
npower League One
Yeovil Goals: Adam Virgo (86), Shaun MacDonald (90)
Yeovil Line-Up: 2. Craig Alcock, 5. Paul Huntington, 6. Nathan Smith, 10. Dean Bowditch, 11. Andy Welsh, 13. Stephen Henderson, 14. Max Ehmer, 19. Adam Virgo, 20. Paul Wotton, 24. Shaun MacDonald, 29. Jonathan Obika
Subs: 3. Nathan Jones, 9. Sam Williams, 16. Ed Upson, 18. Andrew Tutte, 22. Martin Gritton, 23. Billy Gibson, 26. Gareth Stewart,
Substitutes Used: Billy Gibson for Andy Welsh (74 mins), Andrew Tutte for Paul Wotton (74 mins), Sam Williams for Jonathan Obika (79 mins)
Bookings: Paul Huntington (Ungentlemanly Conduct, 44), , Adam Virgo (Ungentlemanly Conduct, 54), Max Ehmer (Foul, 90)
Yeovil Town grabbed a last-grasp draw at Huish Park in extraordinary circumstances against Bournemouth this afternoon. Trailing by two goals from Danny Ings with just four minutes remaining, an Adam Virgo penalty put them back into the match despite being a man down due to Paul Huntington's earlier red card. But deep into second half injury time, Shaun MacDonald's header gained Yeovil a fairly implausible 2-2 draw at a time when the majority of the Glovers fans inside the ground had long since given up any hope of getting anything out of the match.
The Glovers selected a somewhat unusual starting line-up, even if the 4-4-1-1 formation has been utilised for much of 2011. The loss of Oli Johnson, returning to Norwich City, and Luke Ayling to a two match ban, meant that full-backs Craig Alcock and Nathan Smith returned to the side and the flat back four was restored, following the recent 3-4-1-2 tactical diversion. Max Ehmer was given a rare venture into his preferred midfield position, having played almost his entire Yeovil career as a centre-back. More unusual though was the decision to put Dean Bowditch out wide, whilst placing Shaun MacDonald into a supporting striker position just behind Jonathan Obika.
The first period was a mixed one with the Glovers struggling a touch for momentum under their slightly experimental formation, although conversely they carved out more of the early chances. A Paul Wotton free kick landed straight in the arms of Cherries keeper Shwan Jalal, then Andy Welsh had a shot deflected wide for a corner. All was promising from set pieces, but they were in truth struggling to string passes together in open play.
Bournemouth began to get a grip on the game when Danny Hollands wasted a chance to give them the lead - his flicked header from close range was almost harder to miss the target than hit it, but he managed to put it wide. Harry Arter's header from a corner was on target, but straight at Stephen Henderson. Then a Glovers defensive error almost let the Cherries in as Adam Virgo's attempted clearance after a Bournemouth free kick struck Craig Alcock, pushing the ball into the path of Steve Lovell. Thankfully Nathan Smith was able to rescue the situation - blocking Lovell's attempt to score.
With Bournemouth relatively on top, the 4-4-1-1 formation was abandoned, with Dean Bowditch moving up top and Shaun MacDonald moving out wide in a 4-4-2 and now it was Yeovil's turn to take command - even if a succession of chances for Jonathan Obika meant that the game stayed goalless. Obika's first chance really should have been put away, as he screwed the ball wide after collecting a pass from Dean Bowditch, whilst another saw Cherries keeper Shwan Jalal tip a deflected shot just around his post for a corner. In between a Nathan Smith piledriver saw Jalal cover his attempt well.
The half finished with the game getting a little heated - as if the sultry Easter weather wasn't making the game hot enough anyway. Harry Arter's reckless challenge on Max Ehmer was always going to get himself a booking, but Paul Huntington also landed himself in the book for needlessly getting in the face of Danny Hollands as matters got a little fractious - time for the players to cool down at the break.
Except that didn't quite happen as planned. Four minutes into the second half, Paul Huntington blocked off Danny Ings, and with the centre-back having already landed in the book just before the break, Hunts received his second red card of the season, and Yeovil Town's eighth dismissal of the 2010-11 season.
With the Glovers down to ten men, in high temperatures, matters were always going to be difficult, but they got even harder 10 minutes into the second period, via a bizarre penalty decision. Bournemouth's Adam Smith went down in the box under a challenge from Nathan Smith, and referee Steve Tanner chose not to blow his whistle. However, when Adam Virgo grappled with the Bournemouth player to bring him to his feet, clearly feeling he'd dived, assistant official Adam Watts flagged for a foul, and after lengthy consultation with referee Tanner, the penalty was awarded, and Virgo landed in the book for his involvement in the incident. Up stepped Danny Ings, sending Stephen Henderson the wrong way.
At 1-0 down and down to ten men, the Glovers readjusted, pushing Max Ehmer into the centre of defence, whilst Dean Bowditch moved deeper into midfield, as they put up a 4-4-1 formation to stay in the game. However, it looked to be game over on 68 minutes as Bournemouth doubled their lead. A Nathan Smith long throw was claimed by Shwan Jalal, and with the Glovers full-back committed and out of position, Jalal's quick throw to Liam Feeney released the winger up the flank. He slipped the ball through to Danny Ings and despite Shaun MacDonald's late efforts to get back as the last man, Ings fired home to put Bournemouth 2-0 up, and surely the end of Yeovil's hopes of getting anything out of the game?
Both sides used up their substitutions as the second half ran out, perhaps both conscious of a game coming up on Easter Monday, where players needed to conserve their energy for the second fixture. But with four minutes remaining, it was anything but game over, when the Glovers were awarded a penalty - a ball into the box struck the hand of a Cherries defender, and referee Steve Tanner awarded his second spot kick of the match. Up stepped Adam Virgo and he blasted the ball home to take the game back to 1-2.
As the match inched its way into injury time, Bournemouth almost put the ball into their own net, as a defender's flicked header flew across the face of the area, and out for a corner. But with Stephen Henderson racing up into the opposition box for a last gasp effort, Bournemouth failed to pick up Shaun MacDonald, who headed home Dean Bowditch's corner, to lift the roof off the Huish Park stadium, as the 4,000 home fans erupted with the Welshman's get out of jail card. 2-2 and no-one could have seen that one coming five minutes previously.
There was no time for either side to grab a vital fifth goal before referee Steve Tanner blew his whistle on an amazing end to the game - a valuable point for the Glovers that now has them eight points clear of the relegation zone with three games remaining. Not enough to satisfy the mathematicians, but another notch on the road to safety. Easter Monday should see Yeovil's League One safety assured, with the Cherries left ruing how they had completely thrown away the win.
Link: 2010-11 Latest League One Table.
Final Score: Yeovil Town 2 AFC Bournemouth 2.
Scorers: Danny Ings (55 mins, 0-1, pen), Danny Ings (68 mins, 0-2), Adam Virgo (86 mins, 1-2, pen), Shaun MacDonald (90 mins, 2-2).
Yeovil Town: (4-4-1-1)
13. Stephen Henderson
2. Craig Alcock 5. Paul Huntington 19. Adam Virgo 6. Nathan Smith
11. Andy Welsh 14. Max Ehmer 20. Paul Wotton 10. Dean Bowditch
24. Shaun MacDonald
29. Jonathan Obika
26. Gareth Stewart (GK) 3. Nathan Jones 9. Sam Williams (79 mins for Jonathan Obika) 16. Edward Upson 18. Andrew Tutte (74 mins for Paul Wotton) 22. Martin Gritton 23. Billy Gibson (74 mins for Andy Welsh)
AFC Bournemouth: (4-4-2)
1. Shwan Jalal
15. Adam Smith 5. Jason Pearce 4. Shaun Cooper 28. Warren Cummings
27. Donal McDermott 19. Danny Hollands 18. Harry Arter 11. Liam Feeney
10. Steve Lovell 36. Danny Ings
30. Dan Thomas (GK) 7. Marc Pugh (69 mins for Donal McDermott) 20. Mark Molesley 21. Stephen Purches 23. Lauri Dalla Valle (83 mins for Danny Ings) 26. Mathieu Baudry 33. Steve Fletcher (83 mins for Steve Lovell)
Yeovil Bookings: Paul Huntington (retaliation, 44 mins), Adam Virgo (off the ball incident, 54 mins), Max Ehmer (foul, 90 mins). Red Card: Paul Huntington (second bookable offence, 50 mins)
Bournemouth Bookings: Harry Arter (foul, 43 mins), Donal McDermott (foul, 48 mins)
Referee: Steve Tanner (Somerset). Assistants: Charles Breakspear (Surrey) and Adam Watts (Worcestershire). Fourth Official: Richard Corp (Somerset).
Attendance: 6,150 (including 2,163 Bournemouth fans)