Match Details: 29/01/2013
Yeovil Town 2-1 Milton Keynes Dons
npower League One
Yeovil Goals: Paddy Madden (26), Paddy Madden (78)
Yeovil Line-Up: 1. Marek Stech, 2. Luke Ayling, 3. Jamie McAllister, 5. Byron Webster, 8. Ed Upson, 9. James Hayter, 14. Sam Foley, 17. Paddy Madden, 18. Daniel Burn, 19. Matthew Dolan, 22. Kevin Dawson
Subs: 4. Richard Hinds, 6. Dominic Blizzard, 7. Kwesi Appiah, 10. Gavin Williams, 12. Gareth Stewart, 15. Lewis Young, 20. Joe Edwards,
Substitutes Used: Joe Edwards for Matthew Dolan (60 mins), Kwesi Appiah for James Hayter (60 mins)
Bookings: Byron Webster (Ungentlemanly Conduct, 40), Paddy Madden (Ungentlemanly Conduct, 63), Kwesi Appiah (Ungentlemanly Conduct, 83), Kevin Dawson (Ungentlemanly Conduct, 90)
Yeovil Town striker Paddy Madden grabbed his fifth brace of the 2012-13 season tonight at a rain-sodden Huish Park, as his side leap-frogged Milton Keynes Dons to push them up to seventh in the League One table. Since sealing his permanent transfer from Carlisle United, the Irishman has hit six goals in three games, to push his seasonal total up to 14 goals, as one in each half downed the Dons. In between Antony Kay equalised, but he didn't last the distance, as he was red carded for putting his hand in Madden's face during the second period, giving the Glovers a man advantage that they secured all three points from.
The game itself very nearly didn't go ahead. Referee Mick Russell seemed unhappy with large parts of the Huish Park pitch, following heavy rain during the preceding 24 hours, and told the ground staff to get the forks and sand out, whilst keeping those who wanted to get through the turnstiles locked outside until a 7.00p.m. pitch inspection finally gave the game the go-ahead. Out of that came an unchanged starting eleven, with the Glovers putting new signings Joe Edwards and Kwesi Appiah on the bench, along with Lewis Young who was making his return from a four month lay-off.
The Glovers got off to the sharper start - perhaps surprising given they were the team that had suffered a 17 day lay-off thanks to a mix of snow and blank weekends caused by FA Cup fixtures. Matt Dolan forced David Martin into an early save, whilst Shaun Williams made a hash of a Sam Foley ball into the box that swirled beyond Martin, with the Dons defender slicing the ball high up into the air inside his own box. Then Paddy Madden was put through only to fire wide of the target, in a strong opening spell.
Midway through the first half, the Glovers took a deserved lead, as their 'Jedward' Irish pairing gave them their goal. Kevin Dawson's move down the right flank saw him produce a low drag back, with Paddy Madden anticipating it perfectly, running onto the pass and firing the ball home for his 12 goal since moving to Huish Park and to put the Glovers 1-0 up.
Ultimately though the game was to swing towards the visitors thanks in part to a substitution. Not any form of tactical acumen by Dons manager Karl Robinson, but more his hand being forced, as Ryan Lowe suffered a head injury, and was replaced by former Bristol Rovers midfielder Chris Lines. That saw the Dons reshuffle slightly, switching to a 4-5-1 for the remainder of the half, seeing them flood the midfield and put pressure on Yeovil Town's back line.
Nine minutes after Madden's opener they were level - a corner forced immediately after a free kick was deflected and when Ryan Harley put the ball into the box, Yeovil's marking went missing, and Antony Kay was able to plant a free header home for what was on the balance of play a fairly soft and undeserved equaliser. 1-1 with 10 minutes to go before the break.
That said, if MK Dons were the lesser side before their equaliser, they were certainly the better team following that. Izale McLeod and Byron Webster got involved in an off the ball incident after Webster had gone into a strong tackle on the striker. Referee Mick Russell decided after a lengthy delay to only book both, when he could have produced a different colour, certainly for Webster's retaliation. That made Webster's block to stop Ryan Harley's attempt to shoot on goal a minute later particularly superb as he stretched to stop the shot - any mis-timing of it would have seen him off the field.
Marek Stech was forced into a save from Adam Chicksen during the closing stages, but could only parry out into the danger zone. Thankfully Izale McLeod continued the poor form that he'd managed during our December meeting with Portsmouth at Fratton Park, and fluffed his lines, failing to convert the rebound. With the balance of the game now having firmly swung to the visitors, the half time whistle was a welcome one to sort out a few things.
The second period saw Yeovil play with the wind behind them, with the conditions playing a big part, and the pitch cutting up badly - half time had seen not just the groundstaff out on the pitch, but most of the youth team squad - all trying to fill in divots and sprinkle sand into the more problematic areas.
What had been a fairly even start to that second period was turned through an incident just beyond the hour mark. Dons defender Antony Kay got involved in an off the ball incident involving Paddy Madden. As he appeared to put a hand in Madden's face, the Irishman landed on the deck. The main problem appeared to be that referee Mick Russell hadn't seen the incident himself, but after a long delay and a consultation with the fourth official, the referee produced a straight red, leaving the Dons down to ten men, and opposition manager Karl Robinson throwing a tantrum in the dugouts, with the fourth official again having to intervene. The Dons players also tried to provoke their own situation, heading for Madden - he received a yellow card for some kind of a role in the incident.
At that point, the game swung back Yeovil's way, and it was largely about whether they could carve out a suitable opening. With 12 minutes to go, they got that as a Ed Upson cross into the box was met by the head of Paddy Madden - his second goal of the match, and his sixth in the three games he has played during the month of January, to cap an extraordinary month since he became a permanent Yeovil Town signing.
In the closing stages, the visitors tried one more formation change as they brought on former Leeds United veteran Alan Smith, moving to three at the back, but were unable to do so, even if substitute Mathias Kouo-Doumbe's cross in the final minute of the match caused hearts in mouths as it whistled across the box with Izale McLeod once again unable to get any proper contact on the ball. On the balance of the match a late equaliser would have been undeserved, no matter what Dons manager Karl Robinson might have had to say on the game's talking points after the game. Up to 7th, and with the gap closed down to a manageable three points from the play-off slots, the Glovers are back within touching distance again.
Link: 2012-13 Latest League One Table.
Final Score: Yeovil Town 2 Milton Keynes Dons 1.
Scorers: Paddy Madden (26 mins, 1-0), Antony Kay (35 mins, 1-1), Paddy Madden (78 mins, 2-1).
Yeovil Town: (4-4-2)
1. Marek Stech
2. Luke Ayling 5. Byron Webster 18. Daniel Burn 3. Jamie McAllister
22. Kevin Dawson 8. Ed Upson 19. Matthew Dolan 14. Sam Foley
9. James Hayter 17. Paddy Madden
12. Gareth Stewart 4. Richard Hinds 6. Dominic Blizzard 7. Kwasi Appiah (60 mins for James Hayter) 10. Gavin Williams 15. Lewis Young 20. Joe Edwards (60 mins for Matt Dolan)
Milton Keynes Dons: (4-2-3-1)
1. David Martin
2. Jon Otsemobor 6. Shaun Williams 24. Antony Kay 3. Dean Lewington
20. Ryan Harley 8. Darren Potter
12. Adam Chicksen 14. Ryan Lowe 9. Dean Bowditch
13. Izale McLeod
4. Mathias Kouo-Doumbe (65 mins for Ryan Harley) 11. Alan Smith (80 mins for Jon Otsemobor) 16. Tom Flanagan 18. George Baldock 21. Dele Alli 23. Chris Lines (31 mins for Ryan Lowe) 32. Zeli Ismail
Yeovil Bookings: Byron Webster (off the ball incident, 40 mins), Paddy Madden (off the ball incident, 63 mins), Kwesi Appiah (kicking ball away, 83 mins), Kevin Dawson (kicking ball away, 90 mins).
MK Dons Bookings: Izale McLeod (off the ball incident, 40 mins). Red Card: Antony Kay (violent conduct, 63 mins)
Yeovil Match Statistics: Possession: 48%; Shots: 10; Shots On Target: 4; Corners: 4; Fouls: 13.
MK Dons Match Statistics: Possession: 52%; Shots: 5; Shots On Target: 3; Corners: 5; Fouls: 6.
Referee: Mick Russell (Hertfordshire). Assistants: Adam Bromley (Devon) and Neil Radford (Worcestershire). Fourth Official: William Bull (Hampshire).
Attendance: 3,152 (with 99 Milton Keynes Dons fans).