Match Details: 09/02/2013
Coventry City 0-1 Yeovil Town
npower League One
Yeovil Goals: Paddy Madden (45)
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, 20. Joe Edwards, 22. Kevin Dawson
Subs: 4. Richard Hinds, 6. Dominic Blizzard, 7. Kwesi Appiah, 10. Gavin Williams, 12. Gareth Stewart, 15. Lewis Young, 16. Nathan Ralph,
Substitutes Used: Dominic Blizzard for Sam Foley (72 mins)
Bookings: Sam Foley (Foul, 28), Kevin Dawson (Foul, 87)
Yeovil Town stretched their winning run to six victories in a row yesterday afternoon when they saw off promotion chasing Coventry City by a single goal at the Ricoh Arena. That man in form Paddy Madden notched up his 15th goal for the club since joining from Carlisle United and his 16th for the 2012-13 season to make him League One's leading goalscorer for the campaign, catching the Sky Blues on the break right on the stroke of half time. The home side battled back in the second period and struck the bar through substitute Stephen Elliott, but Yeovil's rearguard action got them the points to firmly cement themselves into a top seven position, and to draw clear of their rivals.
The Glovers went into the match making one enforced change, as Matthew Dolan dropped out of the squad with an ankle injury, with Joe Edwards taking his place in the centre of midfield. That allowed room on the bench for Nathan Ralph to make his comeback from a recent training ground injury and resume his place in the squad. Thankfully Marek Stech still made it into the team, despite his partner still being due to give birth to his first child.
The home side thought they had taken the lead ten minutes into the match when Carl Baker landed the ball in the back of the net. But he was ruled offside, having stood behind the Yeovil back line when Leon Clark's shot was parried by Marek Stech. Baker pounced on the rebound, but did so from an illegal position, and so up went the linesman's flag. Stech then saved from the same player on the edge of the box.
Daniel Burn and Byron Webster were having to deal with a lot of aerial balls pumped in from deep position by their opponents, on a pitch that was badly roughed up in the middle, with the only green areas seen out wide on the touchlines. Coventry seemed to know how to play this a lot better than Yeovil did - keep the ball on the deck via the wingers, but then bomb the ball into the box rather than attempt to pass it in there. A slip by Byron Webster allowed James Bailey to get through midway through the first half, but Marek Stech saved well to keep the scoreline blank. That immediately produced Yeovil's first chance, as Paddy Madden fed Sam Foley at the other end, but Joe Murphy got down well to save Foley's shot, with the attempt a little too square at the keeper. Then James Hayter and Dan Burn put headers wide, as the Glovers began to adjust to the play with the balance of the game evening up as the half drew to a conclusion.
The vital moment of the match came just before the half time whistle, when Coventry City really should have gone in at 1-0 up. Carl Baker put lone striker Leon Clarke through on goal, and he toe-poked it past Marek Stech with the intention of running past to score. Thankfully Byron Webster had recovered his ground well, and intercepted the ball behind Stech, clearing the ball up field. With that, Sam Foley picked up possession and ran with the ball, slipping a pass through to Paddy Madden, who struck low, early and hard on the angle and into the back of the net from the edge of the box. From nearly conceding at the other end, suddenly it was Yeovil with the half time lead and a classic bit of away team counter-attacking.
Coventry came out for the second half making a tactical change, as they switched to an orthodox 4-4-2 and bringing on a second substitution just eight minutes into the half, as a sharp indication of how unsatisfied Sky Blues boss Mark Robins was with some of his side's forward play. One of the two introduced was Stephen Elliott, and he came the closest for Coventry, when his curling attempt from the edge of the box came back off the top right hand corner of the crossbar and out to safety, as Yeovil began to hang onto their single goal, and play a little bit too deep for most of the 727 supporters' liking.
The Glovers back line though gradually began to asset their authority, forming a wall that began to frustrate Coventry and reduce them to long range attempt. When they did get room to shoot, mostly from distance, Marek Stech was once again the difference as he saved further chances from Carl Baker and Stephen Elliott, turning a second Baker chance over his crossbar. As the Sky Blues began to push men up field, Yeovil even threatened to catch them on the break towards the end, as they produced a classic away performance of defending in numbers and then breaking out on the counter-attack.
Coventry eventually ran out of ideas and the Glovers took all three points for the sixth time in succession. This still wasn't good enough to get them into a play-off position, but again keeps them bashing on the door of the top six. More importantly it's given them a four point cushion on Coventry, who stay immediately below them in the table. If the Glovers can continue that form with a win against Preston North End on Tuesday, then they could turn the play-off race into a chase between seven teams for six places as the top places begin to tighten up significantly.
Link: 2012-13 Latest League One Table.
Final Score: Coventry City 0 Yeovil Town 1.
Scorers: Paddy Madden (0-1, 45 mins)
1. Joe Murphy
21. Cyrus Christie 24. Richard Wood 25. William Edjenguele 39. Blair Adams
8. Carl Baker 12. Steve Jennings 38. James Bailey 32. Franck Moussa 11. Gary McSheffrey
15. Leon Clarke
13. Chris Dunn 2. Jordan Clarke (46 mins for Blair Adams) 4. Conor Thomas 5. Nathan Cameron 10. John Fleck (72 mins for Steve Jennings) 14. Stephen Elliott (53 mins for Gary McSheffrey) 16. Adam Barton
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 20. Joe Edwards 14. Sam Foley
9. James Hayter 17. Paddy Madden
12. Gareth Stewart 4. Richard Hinds 6. Dominic Blizzard (72 mins for Sam Foley) 7. Kwesi Appiah 10. Gavin Williams 15. Lewis Young 16. Nathan Ralph
Coventry Bookings: None.
Yeovil Bookings: Sam Foley (28 mins, foul), Kevin Dawson (87 mins, foul).
Coventry Match Statistics: Possession: 56%; Shots: 19; Shots On Target: 9; Corners: 9; Fouls: 15.
Yeovil Match Statistics: Possession: 44%; Shots: 11; Shots On Target: 8; Corners: 2; Fouls: 11.
Referee: Gary Sutton (Lincolnshire). Assistants: Robert Hodges (Buckinghamshire) and David Plowright (Nottinghamshire). Fourth Official: Joe Clark (West Midlands).
Attendance: 11,277 (including 727 Yeovil Town supporters).