Match Details: 01/03/2011
Yeovil Town 0-1 Brighton and Hove Albion
npower League One
Yeovil Line-Up: 5. Paul Huntington, 6. Nathan Smith, 8. Luke Ayling, 9. Sam Williams, 10. Dean Bowditch, 12. Oli Johnson, 13. Stephen Henderson, 14. Max Ehmer, 16. Ed Upson, 18. Andrew Tutte, 20. Paul Wotton,
Subs: 1. Richard Martin, 7. Andy Williams, 15. Alex Russell, 17. Craig Calver, 19. Adam Virgo, 21. Antonio German, 25. Danny Fitzsimons
Substitutes Used: Alex Russell for Ed Upson (46 mins), Andy Williams for Sam Williams (62 mins), Antonio German for Dean Bowditch (79 mins)
Bookings: Ed Upson (Foul, 38), Max Ehmer (Foul, 43)
Yeovil Town went down by a single goal tonight at Huish Park, as they lost out to an Elliott Bennett goal midway through the first half in an open League One encounter. That was enough to give all three points to a professional looking Brighton and Hove Albion side, who showed a lot of the organisational skills to give a clue why they have led League One since September last year. Headers for Oli Johnson and Andy Williams in the second half could have made it interesting, but the Seagulls deserved what they got for their first half show.
Team news saw just one change to Yeovil's starting line-up with Dean Bowditch coming in for Andy Williams, and more formation tweaking with a 4-4-2 that verged towards 4-4-1-1 with Oli Johnson running deep. The game opened up at 100mph with both sides looking to impose themselves upon the game. That said, there wasn't too much in the way of clear-cut chances during those early stages - more huff'n'puff than cutting edge. Yeovil's best was an Oli Johnson shot that deflected off Brighton defender Adam El-Abd for a corner. The same pair had a coming together inside the box a few minutes later inside the box, leaving Johnson sounding off heavily towards referee Scott Mathieson, who took the criticism on the chin for not awarding the decision - to be fair not too many of Oli's team-mates called for it.
Brighton took the lead 25 minutes into the match with a spot of clinical build-up and finishing of the type that Yeovil should look at both from a defensive point of view as well as a lesson in how to carve teams open. When both Chris Wood and Glenn Murray ran down the left flank, Luke Ayling was left entirely exposed, with no support, and that meant that Wood was able to switch the ball across to Elliott Bennett, who was one of Brighton's best players on the park at the Withdean Stadium back in October. He enhanced that reputation by shooting from the edge of the box to put the Seagulls a goal up.
If Brighton had not really imposed themselves fully on the game before the goal, they certainly did so after the goal, nearly doubling their lead through Inigo Calderon, who was another player who displayed a decent shot on himself at the Withdean. His shot was just about saved at the second attempt by Stephen Henderson. Further attempts by Adam El-Abd and Glenn Murray showed up which team was in command, and the only thing the Glovers had to show at the other end was a Paul Wotton free kick ten minutes before the break, after Luke Ayling had been fouled, but Casper Ankergren saved well through a crowd of players.
As the half closed off, Yeovil began to get a little frustrated with not being able to get near the ball at times with a fluent Brighton side looking comfortable. Ed Upson and Max Ehmer landed in the book, whilst it would have been very easy for Paul Wotton and Oli Johnson to have joined them, with Wotton clattering former Glover Liam Bridcutt and only a referee's advantage saving the yellow, with referee Scott Mathieson perhaps having forgotten by the time play stopped. At half time the Seagulls had a deserved lead and looked in control.
A switch at the break saw Alex Russell replace Ed Upson, with the latter having committed more fouls than anyone else on the park during the first half. An early chance created by Sam Williams, who had started off on the right wing, slipping the ball in for Alex Russell but he couldn't get his shot away. Then Luke Ayling struck a free kick over the bar as the Glovers came out flying and in an attacking mood, although had to be wary of what Brighton could do at the other end, with Chris Wood forcing Stephen Henderson into a strong save from a narrow angle.
After Sam Williams had been replaced by Andy Williams and the Glovers employed yet another switch of their front players and wingers, the best chance of the game was presented to Oli Johnson as Alex Russell put in a cross on a plate for him inside the box. Unfortunately Johnson's head has been proven in past games to not have the talent that his feet have - the chance was flicked wide from around eight yards out with little doubt that one side or the other of Casper Ankergren would have seen an equaliser. Five minutes later, and Andy Williams did little better - his weak header being planted straight into the keeper's arms.
Elliott Bennett almost made it 2-0 when his shot deflected off a defender, deceiving Stephen Henderson and with the ball bouncing off a goal-post and a linesman's flag stopping Glenn Murray from following up. Still Yeovil persevered, and even though they struggled to carve open the Brighton defence they were determined to give them a run for their money and attempt to put them on the back foot. Former Glover Liam Bridcutt became the game's most obvious booking as he took out Nathan Smith to stop him breaking through on goal. A professional foul in the true sense of the word, but with defenders covering, no danger of a red.
But Brighton seemed to have enough organisation and professionalism to see the game out, and in the end it was those headed chances from Johnson and Williams that were Yeovil's real chances to sneak a point. Once again, like Charlton and Peterborough though, coming up against the big boys the Glovers were edged out, and again it is that clinical nature in front of goal that proved to be the difference between the two sides. On the plus side, a spirited second half performance should give Yeovil some heart when they come up against the lesser sides in the division - Brighton are surely heading for bigger and better things.
Link: 2010-11 Latest League One Table.
Final Score: Yeovil Town 0 Brighton and Hove Albion 1.
Scorers: Elliott Bennett (25 mins, 0-1)
13. Stephen Henderson
8. Luke Ayling 5. Paul Huntington 14. Max Ehmer 6. Nathan Smith
18. Andrew Tutte 20. Paul Wotton 16. Edward Upson 9. Sam Williams
12. Oli Johnson
10. Dean Bowditch
1. Richard Martin 19. Adam Virgo 15 Alex Russell (46 mins for Ed Upson) 25. Danny Fitzsimons 7. Andy Williams (62 mins for Sam Williams) 17. Craig Calver 21. Antonio German (79 mins for Dean Bowditch)
Brighton and Hove Albion:
16. Casper Ankergren
14. Inigo Calderon 3. Gordon Greer 6. Adam El-Abd 22. Marcos Painter
18. Gary Dicker 26. Liam Bridcutt
7. Elliott Bennett
9. Ashley Barnes 39. Chris Wood 17. Glenn Murray
1. Peter Brezovan (GK) 4. Tommy Elphick (90 mins for Elliott Bennett) 10. Matthew Sparrow (83 mins for Chris Wood) 20. Chris Holroyd 21. Francisco Sandaza 27. Mauricio Taricco 31. Craig Noone (66 mins for Ashley Barnes)
Yeovil Bookings: Ed Upson (foul, 38 mins), Max Ehmer (foul, 43 mins)
Brighton Bookings: Adam El-Abd (foul, 65 mins), Liam Bridcutt (foul, 80 mins)
Referee: Scott Mathieson (Cheshire). Assistants: Adam Watts (Worcestershire) and Tim Wood (Gloucestershire). Fourth Official: Kevin Johnson (Weston-super-Mare).
Attendance: 3,832 (with 547 Brighton fans).