Match Details: 29/09/2012
Preston North End 3-2 Yeovil Town
npower League One
Yeovil Goals: Gavin Williams (6), Daniel Burn (87)
Yeovil Line-Up: 1. Marek Stech, 2. Luke Ayling, 3. Jamie McAllister, 5. Byron Webster, 6. Dominic Blizzard, 8. Ed Upson, 10. Gavin Williams, 18. Daniel Burn, 19. Gozie Ugwu, 22. Joe Edwards, 26. Korey Smith
Subs: 4. Richard Hinds, 7. Keanu Marsh-Brown, 9. James Hayter, 11. Reuben Reid, 12. Gareth Stewart, 14. Sam Foley, 15. Lewis Young,
Substitutes Used: Sam Foley for Gavin Williams (59 mins), Reuben Reid for Gozie Ugwu (66 mins), Keanu Marsh-Brown for Luke Ayling (66 mins)
Bookings: Ed Upson (Foul, 69),
Yeovil Town went down to their fifth consecutive League One defeat on Saturday afternoon, as poor defending saw them lose out through the odd goal in five at Deepdale. Despite leading through an early Gavin Williams penalty. The second period turned into a comedy of errors as Jeffrey Monakana and Chris Beardsley put the home side in front, albeit with the latter goal coming off Luke Ayling as it went into the net. The third was definitely an own goal, as Dan Burns put the ball into his own net from close range, but the Fulham loanee redeemed himself a minute later by scoring a headed goal at the other end. Yeovil's miserable afternoon was completed by a red card for Ed Upson who committed two yellow card tackles to see the Glovers finish the game with ten men.
The Glovers went into the match with manager Gary Johnson making three changes to the side that lost 0-1 against Sheffield United last Saturday. Striker Gozie Ugwu was a straight swap for James Hayter as a lone striker, whilst Joe Edwards was preferred as a right-winger, as Gavin Williams switched flanks and Sam Foley was dropped to the bench. Meanwhile Richard Hinds also suffered a similar fate, as Fulham loanee Dan Burns came in to make his debut. Nathan Ralph was the one player to drop entirely out of the squad, having stayed in Somerset with a slight injury.
Home goalkeeper Thorsten Stuckmann had been restored to the Lilywhites starting line-up for the first time in a fortnight, but his return to action saw him get off to the start he didn't want. Gozie Ugwu's run through was undoubtedly taking him away from goal, but the keeper rashly raced out off his line and brought the Reading loanee down for a spot kick - a bit of a surprise that Stuckmann avoided a yellow card for the offence. Up stepped Gavin Williams to fire the ball home into the top right corner for a valuable early lead for the Glovers - 1-0 up and only six minutes gone.
Once the pattern of the first half was established, it was one of the home side generally holding the territory, but without having the inventiveness to get in behind the Glovers defence. Some deep defending in serious numbers meant that any balls put into the box by Preston were comfortably cleared - the obvious surprise was that whilst they were the home side and a goal down, that Graham Westley's side were unwilling to commit more players forward. They had the odd chance - Bailey Wright wildly lashed the ball wide when he got the ball in free space on the angle after a Marek Stech punch only half cleared danger. Scott Laird's free kick right inside the 'D' was blocked well by the defensive wall, and his second bite at the cherry was scuffed into the ground. 1-0 up at half time, but enough signs to suggest that the game was not over yet.
Just 12 minutes into a second half that had seen pretty much more of the same, Preston finally got it right with a low ball from Will Hayhurst from the left flank. The Yeovil defence failed to cut out the cross as it flashed across the face of the box, allowing an unmarked Jeffrey Monakana the chance to control the ball, and compose himself before firing home an angled shot that deflected off a Glovers defender as it landed in the back of the net.
At that point, Yeovil crumbled somewhat, and seven minutes later they conceded again. Their main weak points had been their full-back positions, and Jeffrey Monakana had been giving Jamie McAllister a difficult time - his ball into the box was half-cleared by Marek Stech, but was then headed home from close range. The tannoy announcer gave the goal to Chris Beardsley, and that was the message that was given out by the Press Association, however, the video replays show clearly that Luke Ayling got the one and only touch on the ball as it landed in the back of the net. 2-1 down and Preston in full control.
Matters went from bad to worse in the space of seven minutes, shortly after that second Preston goal. The Glovers were losing control of the midfield, despite having the extra man, and Ed Upson had been forced into a foul that had earned him a 69th minute yellow card, for the club's first booking of the match. Upson's next action was to try to deal with tricky Arsenal loanee Jeffrey Monakana. His weave through the centre of the park was heading towards the penalty box and the Glovers midfielder brought him down just outside the box, giving him an inevitable second yellow card and an exit from the field of play. No complaints for what was more desperate tackling than anything particularly malicious, but not the sort of tackle that a player on a yellow card could commit.
To their credit, in the final 10 or 15 minutes, there was a bit of a mini-rally, as the ten Glovers left on the field pushed forward in numbers. A double substitution saw a change in formation, with Keanu Marsh-Brown and Reuben Reid coming on as strikers in a 4-4-2, as the withdrawal of Luke Ayling saw Joe Edwards move to the right-back slot, and Korey Smith moved into a right-wing position. But that didn't stop Yeovil conceding their third goal of the afternoon, when the stretched defence tried to cut out a Jack King pullback from the byline, with Daniel Burn scrambling back and seeing the ball rebound off his legs and into the back of the net.
If that wasn't quite the debut that Daniel Burn wanted in a Yeovil Town shirt, things got better for the Fulham loanee just 60 seconds later. Jamie McAllister's free kick three minutes from time was put across the box, and the defender's height allowed him to plant a looping header into the back of the net to give his temporary side a little bit of hope at 3-2. There could even have been an incredible smash'n'grab two minutes later, as Byron Webster's header from almost the same position in the box beat Thorsten Stuckmann entirely, but home defender Bailey Wright rescued his side with a goal line clearance, with Yeovil's appeals for the ball having crossed the line being ignored by the linesman.
Not that such an equaliser would have been justified on the balance of play. From a first half that could be categorised as "mostly OK", they went into a second period that was kamikaze at times. Not that it was just the back four at fault - the midfield lost control and got sucked deeper, thus putting pressure on the line behind them, and in doing so left a massive gap between them and the lone striker to be able to relieve the pressure. Five defeats in a row isn't quite a crisis, as the 13th place in the League One table demonstrates. But it's a huge concern, and something that Gary Johnson will urgently need to break by any means necessary.
Link: 2012-13 Latest League One Table.
Final Score: Preston North End 3 Yeovil Town 2.
Scorers: Gavin Williams (0-1, 6 mins), Jeffrey Monakana (1-1, 57 mins), Chris Beardsley (2-1, 64 mins), Dan Burns (3-1, own goal, 86 mins), Dan Burns (3-2, 87 mins)
Preston North End:
1. Thorsten Stuckmann 2. Keith Keane 4. Paul Huntington 26. Bailey Wright 3. Scott Laird 17. Jeffrey Monakana 21. John Mousinho 13. Joel Byrom 24. Will Hayhurst 20. Chris Beardsley 29. Stuart Beavon
23. Steve Simonsen 6. Shane Cansdell-Sherriff 7. David Amoo (79 mins for Jeffrey Monakana) 8. Nicky Wroe 16. David Buchanan (69 mins for Will Hayhurst) 19. John Welsh 22. Jack King (77 mins for Chris Beardsley)
Yeovil Town: (4-5-1)
1. Marek Stech
2. Luke Ayling 5. Byron Webster 18. Daniel Burn 3. Jamie McAllister (Capt)
22. Joe Edwards 6. Dominic Blizzard 26. Korey Smith 8. Ed Upson 10. Gavin Williams
19. Gozie Ugwu
12. Gareth Stewart 4. Richard Hinds 7. Keanu Marsh-Brown (66 mins for Luke Ayling) 9. James Hayter 11. Reuben Reid (66 mins for Gozie Ugwu) 14. Sam Foley (59 mins for Gavin Williams) 15. Lewis Young
Preston Bookings: Keith Keane (24 mins, foul), Jeffrey Monakana (36 mins foul), Bailey Wright (40 min, foul)
Yeovil Bookings: Ed Upson (69 mins, foul). Red Card: Ed Upson (76 mins, second bookable offence)
Preston Match Statistics: Possession: 49%; Shots: 12; Shots On Target: 4; Corners: 6; Fouls: 15.
Yeovil Match Statistics: Possession: 51%; Shots: 4; Shots On Target: 3; Corners: 4; Fouls: 15.
Referee: Mark Brown (East Yorkshire). Assistants: Matthew Dicicco (Cleveland) and David Benton (South Yorkshire). Fourth Official: Simeon Lucas (Lancashire).
Attendance: 8,520 (including approx 200 Yeovil supporters)