Match Details: 15/12/2012
Walsall 2-2 Yeovil Town
npower League One
Yeovil Goals: Reuben Reid (78), Sam Foley (90)
Yeovil Line-Up: 1. Marek Stech, 2. Luke Ayling, 3. Jamie McAllister, 5. Byron Webster, 8. Ed Upson, 10. Gavin Williams, 14. Sam Foley, 17. Paddy Madden, 18. Daniel Burn, 21. Korey Smith, 22. Joe Edwards
Subs: 4. Richard Hinds, 6. Dominic Blizzard, 9. James Hayter, 11. Reuben Reid, 12. Gareth Stewart, 19. Gozie Ugwu,
Substitutes Used: Reuben Reid for Paddy Madden (61 mins), James Hayter for Ed Upson (61 mins), Gozie Ugwu for Korey Smith (80 mins)
Bookings: Daniel Burn (Foul, 17), Jamie McAllister (Foul, 54), Ed Upson (Foul, 58)
Yeovil Town gained a rather improbable away point this afternoon, after they came from two goals down to snatch a point against struggling Walsall. The Saddlers had gone 15 matches without a win, but looked to be breaking that duck when goals in each half from Jamie Paterson and Will Grigg put them into a 2-0 lead their play wholly deserved. But Gary Johnson sides tend to do the impossible when they need to, and when substitute Reuben Reid pulled a goal back, nerves crept in amongst the home side's defence, and Sam Foley's sixth goal of the season in the 90th minute gave them a point they probably didn't deserve, but one that they gladly took.
On the back of an impressive performance last weekend against Notts County, the same squad was chosen for the match at the Bescot Stadium - a decision made easier when Keanu Marsh-Brown pulled out of the travelling team with an ankle injury, thus making himself unavailable after his return from suspension. The unchanged starting line-up should have allowed Yeovil to start where they left off last season, but inconsistencies have plagued them this season, and instead they put on a stuttering first half performance.
The opening goal of the game came after just 13 minutes, thanks to both Walsall wingers combining well to put the home side ahead. Febian Brandy delivered a cross in from the right flank and a rather static Yeovil defence watched the ball reach Jamie Paterson, who had the space to fire into the bottom right hand corner to give the Saddlers a lead that they just about deserved.
Midway through the first half, the Glovers had the ball in the back of the net when Jamie McAllister's free kick saw Dan Burn challenge for the ball with Walsall keeper Aaron McCarey. The keeper never looked close to getting control of the ball, but referee Tony Bates judged that there had been a foul in the box, and blew up late to disallow the goal, and award a free kick to the Saddlers. Yeovil created little during the opening 45 minutes - the best being a Joe Edwards cross that went across the face of the box, but failed to meet a target in the box.
The disallowed goal was the cue for the home side to go on to dominate the first half - not by an emphatic distance, but more because Yeovil really weren't creating anything. More worrying was that Dan Burn picked up another yellow card and then ended up walking a tightrope after he fouled Febian Brandy, earning a lengthy finger-wag that appeared to be a last warning from referee Tony Bates. The longer the half went on, the more the home side grew in confidence, and it was a small mercy that the Glovers went in just a goal down at the break.
The second half saw an initial flurry from the Glovers - doubtless on the back of a half time rocket in the dressing room for a 45 minute period that had seen them muster just one shot on goal. The game looked to be all over with 18 minutes remaining, when Byron Webster's slip on the halfway line allowed Febian Brandy to break through on a strong run. As the last man and on a last warning, the best Dan Burn could do was to try to shepherd the winger away, but when Brandy slipped the ball through to Will Grigg the Walsall striker had the chance of an easy finish.
Game over ... or so you would have thought. Reuben Reid seems to like playing against his former clubs, having bagged a brace against West Bromwich Albion earlier in the season. On as a double substitution, with James Hayter joining him up front, as Gavin Williams dropped into the right wing position, the striker bagged his sixth goal of the campaign with 12 minutes remaining to give his side a lifeline. Sam Foley was the creator, with his low cross being put across the six yard line, and Reid was on hand to tap in from close range.
At 2-1 suddenly Yeovil looked interested and Walsall looked nervous, with their manager making two late substitutions in an attempt to take the sting out of the game. But just as the clock ticked over into injury time, a Jamie McAllister free kick did the business, with an equalising goal. Walsall failed to clear their lines, with Byron Webster winning a ball in the box, and when it dropped to Sam Foley, he drilled the loose ball into the back of the net to wipe out the Saddlers advantage, and give Yeovil a point that only their final 15 minutes of play really could attempt to justify. On the plus side, the players dug in deep and didn't give up, but those problems of inconsistency threatened to send them home pointless - that until Foley's late Get Out Of Jail card was played. In the end, a point very much gained.
Final Score: Walsall 2 Yeovil Town 2.
Scorers: Jamie Paterson (13 mins, 1-0), Will Grigg (72 mins, 2-0), Reuben Reid (78 mins, 2-1), Sam Foley (90 mins, 2-2).
32. Aaron McCarey
14. Ben Purkiss 22. Paul Downing 5. Dean Holden 26. Andy Taylor
10. Jamie Paterson 27. Sam Mantom 7. Adam Chambers 12. Febian Brandy
9. Will Grigg 29. Craig Westcarr
1. David Grof 6. Nicky Featherstone 11. Ashley Hemmings 17. George Bowerman (82 mins for Febian Brandy) 20. Malvind Benning (87 mins for Jamie Paterson) 24. James Baxendale 25. James Chambers
Yeovil Town: (4-4-2)
1. Marek Stech
2. Luke Ayling 5. Byron Webster 18. Daniel Burn 3. Jamie McAllister
22. Joe Edwards 8. Ed Upson 21. Korey Smith 14. Sam Foley
17. Paddy Madden 10. Gavin Williams
12. Gareth Stewart 4. Richard Hinds 6. Dominic Blizzard 9. James Hayter (61 mins for Ed Upson) 11. Reuben Reid (61 mins for Paddy Madden) 19. Gozie Ugwu (80 mins for Korey Smith)
Walsall Bookings: Adam Chambers (foul, 89 mins)
Yeovil Bookings: Daniel Burn (foul, 17 mins), Jamie McAllister (foul, 54 mins), Ed Upson (foul, 58 mins)
Walsall Match Statistics: Possession: 51%; Shots: 12; Shots On Target: 7; Corners: 5; Fouls: 12.
Yeovil Match Statistics: Possession: 49%; Shots: 6; Shots On Target: 5; Corners: 1; Fouls: 14.
Referee: Tony Bates (Staffordshire). Assistants: Joe Hull (Cheshire) and Ken Haycock (West Yorkshire). Fourth Official: Mark Howes (Birmingham).
Attendance: 3,160 (including 231 Yeovil fans).