Match Details: 31/08/2010
Yeovil Town 1-3 Exeter City
LDV Vans Trophy 1st Round
Yeovil Goals: Andy Welsh (76)
Yeovil Line-Up: 1. John Sullivan, 2. Craig Alcock, 5. Paul Huntington, 6. Nathan Smith, 9. Sam Williams, 10. Dean Bowditch, 11. Andy Welsh, 15. Cameron Stewart, 19. Adam Virgo, 20. Owain Tudur Jones, 21. Jean-Paul Kamudimba Kalala,
Subs: 4. Stefan Stam, 8. Luke Ayling, 16. Ed Upson, 18. Luke Freeman, 22. Ben Roberts
Substitutes Used: Luke Ayling for Jean-Paul Kamudimba Kalala (61 mins), Luke Freeman for Cameron Stewart (83 mins)
Bookings: , Paul Huntington (Foul, 90)
Yeovil Town crashed out of the Football League Trophy tonight, as they lost 1-3 at Huish Park against Exeter City in an end-to-end encounter. Whilst two Jamie Cureton goals and a Ryan Harley last minute free kick were Yeovil's undoing, they shot themselves in the foot when Sam Williams was red-carded just before the break after he headbutted Exeter's James Dunne, and will now miss three matches. Winger Andy Welsh gave the Glovers brief hope by equalising but could only hold that for less than two minutes.
Team news saw the Glovers make just one change, with Andy Williams ducking out of the squad entirely, due to an ankle injury sustained at Oldham Athletic on Saturday that saw him exit Boundary Park on crutches. His place was taken by Cameron Stewart, whilst Shaun MacDonald and Rob Kiernan commenced their international duty with Wales and the Republic of Ireland sides. However due to competition rules that only allow five players on the bench, that wasn't too much of a problem for selecting sixteen players.
The match was preceded by a minute's applause for Adam Stansfield, who was such a hero for both teams' fans, with a huge No.9 flag-cum-shirt stretched out on the Copse End terrace, which the Exeter fans are carrying around with them. Chants of "There's only one Adam Stansfield" rippled out across the stadium throughout the night, started by both sets of supporters - if there's one good thing to come out of such a situation, it's that it has brought two local clubs closer together as a result.
It was a game that saw the Glovers open in very promising circumstances. Cameron Stewart shot over the bar, Owain Tudur Jones had a shot parried for a corner and then from that set piece Sam Williams saw his header go just wide of the target. All the pressure was in one half, and so it was somewhat of a surprise when they conceded the first goal.
The Grecians' opener was scored in classic counter-attacking style in the way that any away side would want to get a goal. Ryan Harley, who had been the subject of much speculation prior to the transfer window closing, lobbed the ball over the top for Jamie Cureton to chase, and he outpaced Adam Virgo to the ball, slotting it home to give Exeter the lead, decidedly against the run of play.
Once Exeter had worked out they could do it once, they tried it again ... and again. Jamie Cureton broke through a second time, but this time John Sullivan saved. Then Liam Sercombe again caught the Glovers on the counter-attack with pace, firing wide of the target. Next Cureton broke through a third time - again Sullivan the saviour, causing the on-loan Millwall keeper to direct a volley of complaints at his centre-back pairing for allowing him to be exposed so many times.
And yet oddly, despite these moments for the Grecians, Yeovil were - territorially at least - the side that was on top of the game. Paul Huntington was enjoying life at the other end of the park a little more; lashing the ball against the crossbar after he received a knockdown whilst he was stood on the penalty spot.
Right on half time though, the Glovers suffered a blow when Sam Williams got his marching orders. After Adam Virgo and Exeter centre-back Troy Archibald-Henville had got involved in a mild form of handbags that seemed to be going nowhere, Williams got needlessly involved; appearing to aim his head at Exeter's James Dunne. Whether there was much contact with Dunne didn't matter too much - the intent was there and referee Brendan Malone saw it all. A red card for Williams, a three match ban, and a 45 minute period to play with 10 men.
Considering they were down to 10 men, the Glovers showed no sign of a disadvantage when they opened the second half. Playing a 4-4-1 formation, first Dean Bowditch played through Owain Tudur Jones, and Exeter keeper Paul Jones made a bit of a hash of his save, as the ball squirmed through for a corner. Then Andy Welsh showed trickery down the flank to feed Cameron Stewart who was set up nicely to fire a shot wide of the target.
Exeter made a double-substitution and a formation change to try and counteract the Glovers new-found energy, slowing the game down as much as they could and concentrating on keeping possession. Just beyond the hour mark, Jean-Paul Kalala came off for Luke Ayling, taking an ice bag from physio Simon Baker and using it on his hamstring area, suggesting that he had been withdrawn to protect himself against a possible problem.
Richard Logan managed a rare chance for Exeter, as they largely settled for defending their lead, and that was the way things looked as though the match was going to go until two goals in three minutes brought the game to life again.
Dean Bowditch, who had minutes before shot into the side-netting - bringing half the ground to their feet thinking he had scored - was involved in the build-up. His ball into the box was only half cleared, and Andy Welsh struck from the edge of the area; a neat volley that nestled into the bottom corner to give Yeovil an equaliser that based on their second half efforts was rather deserved.
The snag was that the Glovers only held that equaliser for 120 seconds, if that. Exeter had been seemingly playing within themselves, settling for the 1-0 result, and their next attack was an incisive one as they realised they had to come out of their shells, and Yeovil Town weren't prepared for it. Substitute Jake Thompson put a cross into the box, and there was Jamie Cureton yet again, with a swivel and volley and the lead restored.
Richard Logan could have easily finished the game off shortly afterwards, were it not for a brilliant point-blank save by John Sullivan. But for the final 10 minutes, the Glovers went for broke, introducing Luke Freeman as a striker and sending Adam Virgo up front in a 3-3-3 formation, though they struggled to carve out chances.
Instead it was Exeter who had the last laugh. A bad tackle by Paul Huntington appeared to see him crocked after he brought down Liam Sercombe, and after a lengthy delay, up stepped Ryan Harley for a peach of a free kick, and for his personal performance a deserved goal, even if the Glovers will feel that flattered the Grecians a little given how tight the game at been at one stage.
For the Glovers, it won't have just been the result of the game that will have concerned them. A three match ban for Sam Williams, coupled with a possible hamstring strain for Jean-Paul Kalala, and a limping Paul Huntington just about completing the game, will put strain on a squad just as Shaun MacDonald and Rob Kiernan are away on international duty this Saturday. Filling the bench at Notts County could be an interesting problem if Kalala and Huntington don't recover in time.
Final Score: Yeovil Town 1 Exeter City 3.
Scorers: Jamie Cureton (10 mins, 0-1), Andy Welsh (76 mins, 1-1), Jamie Cureton (78 mins, 1-2), Ryan Harley (90 mins, 1-3).
Yeovil Town (4-4-2):
1. John Sullivan
2. Craig Alcock 5. Paul Huntington 19. Adam Virgo 6. Nathan Smith
15. Cameron Stewart 20. Owain Tudur Jones 21. Jean-Paul Kalala 11. Andy Welsh
9. Sam Williams 10. Dean Bowditch
22. Ben Roberts (GK) 4. Stefan Stam 8. Luke Ayling (61 mins for Jean-Paul Kalala) 16. Edward Upson 18. Luke Freeman (83 mins for Cameron Stewart)
27. Paul Jones 3. Richard Duffy 5. Troy Archibald-Henville (53) 18. Billy Jones (53) 2. Steve Tully 4. James Dunne 7. Ryan Harley 22. Liam Sercombe 11. Scott Golbourne 12. Jamie Cureton 20. Richard Logan
30. Artur Krysiak (GK) 14. Bertrand Cozic 15. Rob Edwards (53 mins for Billy Jones) 21. Jake Thomson (53 mins for Troy Archibald-Henville) 29. John O'Flynn
Yeovil Bookings: Paul Huntington (foul, 90 mins). Red Card: Sam Williams (violent conduct, 45 mins)
Exeter Bookings: Scott Golbourne (foul, 26 mins), Troy Archibald-Henville (off the ball incident, 45 mins)
Referee: Brendan Malone (Wiltshire). Assistants: Marvyn Amphlett (Worcestershire) and Warren Atkin (Sussex). Fourth Official: Chris Powell (Dorset).