Match Details: 09/04/2012
Notts County 3-1 Yeovil Town
npower League One
Yeovil Goals: Jonathan Franks (79)
Yeovil Line-Up: 1. Sam Walker, 2. Luke Ayling, 5. Paul Huntington, 6. Dominic Blizzard, 7. Andy Williams, 8. Ed Upson, 12. Michael Woods, 14. Lawson D'Ath, 16. Jonathan Franks, 17. Jonathan Grounds, 28. Richard Hinds
Subs: 4. Bondz N'Gala, 15. Josh Morris, 18. Kieran Agard, 19. Curtis Haynes-Brown, 24. Gareth Stewart,
Substitutes Used: Josh Morris for Michael Woods (65 mins), Kieran Agard for Jonathan Franks (83 mins)
Bookings: Richard Hinds (Foul, 19), Ed Upson (Foul, 39), Paul Huntington (Dissent, 88)
A Lloyd Sam hat-trick saw Yeovil Town crash to an away defeat at Meadow Lane this afternoon. Taking on a side battling for a play-off place in League One, the Glovers thought they had stolen a point from the Magpies as Jonathan Franks cancelled out Sam's first half strike with 11 minutes to go. But the home side had largely dominated the match, and Sam grabbed his second and third of the day in the final three minutes to seal victory against a tiring Glovers side.
Manager Gary Johnson made one change to his starting line-up, swapping Michael Woods for Josh Morris as the former Chelsea man continued his moves towards full first team fitness. For the second game running Jonathan Obika was the man to miss out as he sat out the game as the sixth loan. Otherwise the Woods-Morris swapover was the only change.
The game kicked off with Notts County passing the ball around well, playing it out to the wings and whipping in dangerous crosses into the box. In blustery conditions, with standing water by the touchlines, this was not going to be an easy game to play passing football, but County did it well. The measure of how much a factor the conditions could have in the match came when an Alan Judge corner turned into an on target shot with Sam Walker had to punch away.
In a three pronged attack, it was actually Daniel Bogdanovic and Lloyd Sam who were proving the most difficult to pick up, with the more experienced Lee Hughes being well marshalled despite his physical approach to the game. Bodanavic headed over the bar, and then shot wide, before Yeovil created a few half chances through Andy Williams and Michael Woods, who both broke through only to find home keeper Stuart Nelson on hand to palm their attempts out for corners.
Frustratingly Yeovil went behind after a series of play that appeared to show the home side running out of a few ideas; getting more frustrated that their domination wasn't bearing fruit. Referee Andrew Madley wasn't helping the rhythm of the game, booking a number of players - must crucially Ed Upson who picked up his 15th booking of the 2011-12 season, that will earn him a three match ban, when confirmed.
However, the goal when it came was all about Yeovil not clearing their lines in the box. A ball by Jeff Hughes saw Glovers defenders struggle to clear the ball, and Lloyd Sam lashed it home from around the penalty spot, with Sam Walker having little hope of keeping it out. The Glovers weren't helped by having Ed Upson lying injured on the deck during the build-up, leaving them a man down.
The home side finished the half well on top, and probably the half time whistle helped the Glovers recompose themselves, having lost their way a bit following the goal, as Magpies fans cheered every pass, and their team threatened to double their lead, with Bogdanovic just missing the post as the whistle blew.
The second period was more of an even affair - and a quieter one too, in terms of chances. The match referee annoyed both sets of supporters in quick succession - firstly when Mr Madley gave Yeovil an 'advantage' for a foul, and then promptly blew up for an offside. He then infuriated the home fans when Lee Hughes took a swallow dive on the edge of the box, with them screaming for a free kick after he fell over Luke Ayling, although the referee's signalling suggested he thought Hughes had taken a dive - in which case why wasn't a second yellow produced?
The Glovers occasionally threatened, with Paul Huntington's downward header coming close, but in all honesty they didn't look like they were going to get back into it. All of that changed with 11 minutes remaining, when Andy Williams chased a lost cause and dispossessed a County defender near the byline. Another error was forced by his cross into the box, as a defender sliced the ball up in the air, and Jonathan Franks was the first to react, slamming the ball into the roof of the net for an equalising goal. 1-1 and game on.
Sam Walker produced a terrific save virtually from kick-off as the Yeovil defence was forced to hack away, and there was little doubt that with the Magpies needing to win the game to stay in the play-off positions that plenty of pressure would be forced. Sadly parity only lasted eight minutes, as a controversial goal put the home side back in front. Sam Walker came to collect a ball, and Lloyd Sam poached it out of his hands for an 87th minute goal, leaving the Yeovil players furiously protesting with both referee and linesman as Paul Huntington picked up a booking for his protestations at the decision. One for the Football League Show.
Matters were put beyond Yeovil's reach in injury time as Lloyd Sam again drove in from the right flank, and fired home from a narrow angle to grab his hat-trick, and give his side a 3-1 victory. Whilst there was no doubt the home side had the greater of possession and chances, that third goal was a little harsh on the Glovers given that for 87 minutes the game had been in the balance. Thankfully with Walsall, Wycombe and Leyton Orient all losing as well, there is no damage done - the gap remains at eight points with four games to go.
Link: 2011-12 Latest League One Table.
Final Score: Notts County 3 Yeovil Town 1.
Scorers: Lloyd Sam (37 mins, 1-0), Jonathan Franks (79 mins, 1-1), Lloyd Sam (87 mins, 2-1), Lloyd Sam (90 mins, 3-1).
Notts County: (4-3-3)
17. Stuart Nelson
2. Julian Kelly 24. Liam Chilvers 35. Damion Stewart 3. Alan Sheehan
14. Alan Judge 10. Neal Bishop 11. Jeff Hughes
32. Lloyd Sam 9. Lee Hughes 40. Daniel Bogdanovic
4. Mike Edwards 20. Kieron Freeman 23. Jon Harley (90 mins for Alan Judge) 30. Dele Adebola (68 mins for Lee Hughes) 31. Gavin Mahon (68 mins for Daniel Bogdanovic)
1. Sam Walker
2. Luke Ayling 5. Paul Huntington 28. Richard Hinds 17. Jonathan Grounds
12. Michael Woods 8. Ed Upson 6. Dominic Blizzard 14. Lawson D'Ath
16. Jonathan Franks 7. Andy Williams
24. Gareth Stewart (GK) 4. Bondz N'Gala 15. Josh Morris (65 mins for Michael Woods) 18. Kieran Agard (83 mins for Jonathan Franks) 19. Curtis Haynes-Brown
Notts County Bookings: Alan Judge (30 mins, foul), Lee Hughes (42 mins, foul)
Yeovil Bookings: Richard Hinds (19 mins, foul), Ed Upson (39 mins, foul), Paul Huntington (88 mins, dissent)
Referee: Andrew Madley (West Yorkshire). Assistants: Geoffrey Russell (Northampton) and Nigel Smith (Derbyshire). Fourth Official: Paul Hobday (Birmingham).
Attendance: 5,852 (including 261 Yeovil fans).