Match Details: 20/11/2012
Crawley Town 0-1 Yeovil Town
npower League One
Yeovil Goals: Own Goal (90)
Yeovil Line-Up: 1. Marek Stech, 2. Luke Ayling, 3. Jamie McAllister, 5. Byron Webster, 7. Keanu Marsh-Brown, 9. James Hayter, 14. Sam Foley, 17. Paddy Madden, 18. Daniel Burn, 21. Korey Smith, 22. Joe Edwards
Subs: 4. Richard Hinds, 10. Gavin Williams, 12. Gareth Stewart, 19. Gozie Ugwu, 20. Curtis Haynes-Brown,
Substitutes Used: Gozie Ugwu for Sam Foley (68 mins), Gavin Williams for James Hayter (80 mins)
Bookings: Daniel Burn (Handball, 15), Sam Foley (Foul, 30), Jamie McAllister (Foul, 71)
Yeovil Town grabbed a last minute winner against Crawley Town on a rainswept night at the Broadfield Stadium. A total of 89 minutes and 33 seconds into the match, David Hunt headed into his own net from a Jamie McAllister corner after a match that saw the Glovers on the back foot on several occasions. Goal-line clearances from Byron Webster and Luke Ayling ensured they kept a clean sheet on the two occasions that goalkeeper Marek Stech was beaten, whilst Crawley striker Gary Alexander landed a header onto the top of the crossbar. But Yeovil held firm with Hunt's rather charitable header, under pressure from Paddy Madden, proving to be the unwilling winner.
Team selection wasn't too controversial with manager Gary Johnson opting for the line-up that he'd had on the field following the first substitution against Swindon Town on Saturday. That meant that Joe Edwards moved into the centre of midfield, whilst Keanu Marsh-Brown was drafted in as a right-winger. That left no room for Aston Villa midfielder Daniel Johnson, who in fact was left out of the squad entirely as the 'sixth loanee' with the news that the club would not be extending his one month loan accompanying it. With Reuben Reid dropping out of the squad through injury, and Lewis Young, Nathan Ralph and Dominic Blizzard continuing to be unavailable, that left just five players on the bench for the fixture.
In a match played on a foul rainy night, and on a pitch that radically decayed throughout the match, the first half was played in a frantic end-to-end style. Keanu Marsh-Brown almost put Yeovil ahead within five minutes when his darting run into the box from the right flank saw him fire a shot that was well saved by Crawley keeper Paul Jones at his near post, and out for a corner. At the other end, an attack from the home side saw Jamie McAllister put in a terrific block to stop the ball being put across the box.
The Glovers have come across referee Andy D'Urso many a time over the years, and the experience hasn't always been good. Whilst both teams tried to attack end-to-end, his officiating was erratic, notably for a 15th minute handball decision against Dan Burn which he had waved play-on for, but was flagged for by his assistant. Despite not having given the free kick himself, D'Urso then decided the offence was worthy of a yellow card! Thankfully Crawley's free kick went into the wall and deflected away. D'Urso later card Sam Foley for what appeared to be a robust ball-winning tackle on Nathan Byrne, but then failed to notice Byrne's nasty bit of retribution five minutes later when he flattened Foley in the next opportunity. Not even a foul given.
Crawley really should have been ahead when Marek Stech couldn't hold onto a Nathan Byrne shot on the increasingly greasy surface. With the keeper on the deck, and the ball falling loose to Billy Clarke, the Crawley striker turned and shot, but snatched at the attempt, with the ball drifting harmlessly across the face of goal. The home side had the greater pressure, yet oddly it was Yeovil who carved out the most clear-cut chances - Joe Edwards cut in from the left side, forcing Paul Jones into a save not unlike the earlier one he'd made from Marsh-Brown, but this time on his opposite post, with the ball again going out for a corner. Then came the move of the half, with Marsh-Brown's drift into the centre losing his marker, before he flipped around and put in a superb cross to Paddy Madden, with keeper Paul Jones brilliantly anticipating the downward header to stop what seemed to be a certain goal.
There were concerns for the Glovers when another late Crawley tackle saw Byron Webster on the deck for a lengthy period during first half stoppage time, but both sides went in at the break on even terms at the end of a fairly entertaining half. Somehow Webster was fit enough to hobble out for the next 45 minutes, with Yeovil now defending the end occupied by just under 200 travelling supporters. Although they got in the first chance - a Keanu Marsh-Brown free kick with a serious amount of Brazillian bend on it, this was a half largely dominated by the home side - Gary Alexander put a near post attempt wide of the post, whilst blocks from Marek Stech and Jamie McAllister kept further efforts away from the goal.
Even when Crawley did get the ball past Stech they were denied. On one of many occasions, the Czech Republic keeper had to punch the ball away from a high Crawley cross that swirled in the wind, and whilst he was on the deck, Byron Webster superbly anticipated the danger by racing to the goal-line and being in the right place at the right time to block a Nicky Adams shot on the goal line with a sliding clearance. Then Luke Ayling did the same - stood on the right-hand post as Mark Connolly drove in a shot that had Stech beaten, but not the Yeovil right-back who deflected the ball out for a corner. Crawley even hit the woodwork, albeit that Gary Alexander's looping header bounced onto the top of the crossbar, with Stech having that one covered. But this was growing pressure, and on a pitch that had sliced up badly, and on such a slippery surface, it seemed one mistake would seal the game.
As it happened, that one mistake didn't have anything to do with the turf. Yeovil had only won one corner in the second half, such was the home side's pressure. When they won their second in the 90th minute, it seemed as though an opportunity had suddenly presented itself. Jamie McAllister swung in a left-footed ball from the right-hand side, and as Paddy Madden leapt for the ball, so did substitute David Hunt, and the defender planted a powerful header past his own keeper to send the away end into a frenzy at the three points that they had grabbed at the death, and leave the entire outfield Glovers players heading towards McAllister for the 'assist'.
There was no way back for Crawley, and Yeovil celebrated wildly their fifth away win of the 2012-13 season - more than they managed during the entire 2011-12 campaign. Whilst Crawley have derided the Glovers victory as 'lucky', credit is deserved for a battling Glovers performance, in particular the back four who ensured that on the whole Marek Stech was dealing with a series of punches inside his box rather than serious saves. The level of commitment from those defenders was superb, and although the quality of the football deteriorated as the weather conditions and pitch gradually made good play impossible, the performance stayed there, and that was what won them all three points in the end.
Link: 2012-13 Latest League One Table.
Final Score: Crawley Town 0 Yeovil Town 1.
Scorer: David Hunt (0-1, own goal, 90 mins)
1. Paul Jones
3. Mat Sadler 5. Kyle McFadzean 4. Mark Connolly 19. Nathan Byrne
16. Nicky Adams 11. Josh Simpson 6. Hope Akpan 21. Mike Jones
7. Billy Clarke 9. Gary Alexander
25. Michel Kuipers 8. Sergio Torres 13. David Hunt (44 mins for Kyle McFadzean) 14. Nicky Ajose (76 mins for Mike Jones) 15. Dannie Bulman 17. John Akinde 20. Charlie Wassmer
Yeovil Town: (4-4-2)
1. Marek Stech
2. Luke Ayling 5. Byron Webster 18. Daniel Burn 3. Jamie McAllister (Capt)
7. Keanu Marsh-Brown 22. Joe Edwards 21. Korey Smith 14. Sam Foley
9. James Hayter 17. Paddy Madden
12. Gareth Stewart 4. Richard Hinds 10. Gavin Williams (80 mins for James Hayter) 19. Gozie Ugwu (68 mins for Sam Foley) 20. Curtis Haynes-Brown
Crawley Bookings: None.
Yeovil Bookings: Dan Burn (15 mins, handball), Sam Foley (30 mins, foul), Jamie McAllister (71 mins, foul)
Crawley Match Statistics: Possession: 48%; Shots: 25; Shots On Target: 12; Corners: 7; Fouls: 7.
Yeovil Match Statistics: Possession: 52%; Shots: 10; Shots On Target: 5; Corners: 4; Fouls: 16.
Referee: Andy D'Urso (Essex). Assistants: Christopher O'Donnell (Bedfordshire) and Ian Cooper (Kent). Fourth Official: Constantine Hatzidakis (Kent).
Attendance: 2,912 (including 198 Yeovil Town supporters).