Match Details: 26/02/2013
Colchester United 2-0 Yeovil Town
npower League One
Yeovil Line-Up: 1. Marek Stech, 2. Luke Ayling, 5. Byron Webster, 7. Kwesi Appiah, 8. Ed Upson, 14. Sam Foley, 16. Nathan Ralph, 17. Paddy Madden, 18. Daniel Burn, 20. Joe Edwards, 22. Kevin Dawson
Subs: 4. Richard Hinds, 6. Dominic Blizzard, 10. Gavin Williams, 12. Gareth Stewart, 15. Lewis Young, 19. Matthew Dolan,
Substitutes Used: Lewis Young for Sam Foley (56 mins), Gavin Williams for Kwesi Appiah (64 mins), Matthew Dolan for Kevin Dawson (76 mins)
Yeovil Town crashed to their first defeat since Boxing Day this evening, as relegation-threatened Colchester United sprang a surprise on them. A goal in each half from the Essex side saw them grab all three points as a long ranger from Billy Clifford right on the stroke of half time was followed by Freddie Sears adding the second from a Bradley Garmston cross just past the hour mark. The Glovers couldn't get a foothold in the game, and ended up slipping once place to sixth in the League One table, as the top seven continue to be separated by the tiniest of margins.
The Glovers were forced into two changes to their starting line-up for this match. Jamie McAllister's ankle problem and James Hayter's foot injury, both sustained at Doncaster, meant that both dropped out of the squad, with Nathan Ralph getting his first start since September, and Kwesi Appiah getting his first chance to impress from the start of a game, after four substitute appearances for the club. In the opposition line-up, former loanees Sam Walker and Gavin Massey got starts against their old club.
Yeovil got off to an uncharacteristic jittery start, with Nathan Ralph showing signs of one or two nerves that seemed to spread into some of Marek Stech's early kicking. Although a Sam Foley attempt went over the bar, it was the home side who were getting a bit more penetration, particularly targeting Yeovil's left flank. Colchester centre-back Magnus Okuonghae put wide of the target from a corner, whilst at the other end Kwesi Appiah was wasteful with a Joe Edwards cross that he headed over the bar, followed by Ed Upson forcing Sam Walker into his first meaningful save five minutes before the break.
But the Glovers had been given a warning sign in the lead-up to half time, as Chelsea loan midfielder Billy Clifford forced his way through the midfield without a challenge being put in. On the first occasion, Marek Stech palmed away his top corner attempt and away from the goal, with the resultant corner coming to nothing. But when Clifford tried the same again right on the stroke of half time, the Yeovil defence parted for him far too easily, allowing him to whip a 25 yard drive into the net to put Colchester 1-0 up and a half time lead they deserved.
In theory there should have been a half time rocket dished out by manager Gary Johnson. He allowed the same eleven players to go again for the second period but to no discernible effect. That was visible by Marek Stech's stunning early save from a Jabo Ibehre turn on the edge of the box that should never have been allowed, with the striker able to make himself room far too easily to shoot on goal. Then Gavin Massey fired well wide of the target, but in another move where the Glovers midfield failed to stop any surging runs from the home side.
Gary Johnson rang the changes with Lewis Young replacing a fairly quiet Sam Foley, but with Young moving out onto the right flank and Kevin Dawson switching to the left. That change certainly seemed to be a factor in the second goal, with Colchester full-back Bradley Garmston managing to get past Young far too easily, building up a head of steam that allowed him to evade Luke Ayling's challenge and put a ball into the box that Freddie Sears converted at the near post to double the Colchester lead.
Gavin Williams replaced Kwesi Appiah, who hadn't really gained a strong partnership with the frequently isolated Paddy Madden, who only had a couple of half chances during the game. Matthew Dolan also replaced Kevin Dawson, but the more the half progressed, the more Yeovil seemed to run out of ideas than show signs of getting back into it. Ed Upson came the closest, as his long range attempt flew at goal, but former Glover Sam Walker had a tidy game, and never really looked like being beaten.
In the end it was one of those nights. Once again, the League One table wildly swung about as several teams topped the table during the evening, and with the Glovers briefly dropping out of the top six, until a late Coventry goal against Bournemouth slotted them back in by a single goal only. That's how tight League One is, and whilst tonight's game didn't come up to scratch, that goal down at Dean Court shows how even battling for a single consolation goal in defeat could be vital come the end of April. Tonight that battle wasn't quite there.
Link: 2012-13 Latest League One Table.
Final Score: Colchester United 2 Yeovil Town 0.
Scorers: Billy Clifford (1-0, 45 mins), Freddie Sears (2-0, 62 mins).
44. Sam Walker
20. Brian Wilson 4. Magnus Okuonghae 18. Tom Eastman 3. Bradley Garmston
21. Gavin Massey 14. Andrew Bond 41. Billy Clifford 39. George Porter
11. Freddie Sears 17. Jabo Ibehre
1. Mark Cousins 9. Clinton Morrison (86 mins for Jabo Ibehre) 15. Marcus Bean 28. Alex Gilbey 30. Drey Wright (90 mins for George Porter) 33. Jack Compton 40. Josh Thompson (78 mins for Bradley Garmston)
Yeovil Town: (4-4-2)
1. Marek Stech
2. Luke Ayling 5. Byron Webster 18. Daniel Burn 16. Nathan Ralph
22. Kevin Dawson 8. Ed Upson 20. Joe Edwards 14. Sam Foley
7. Kwesi Appiah 17. Paddy Madden
12. Gareth Stewart 4. Richard Hinds 6. Dominic Blizzard 10. Gavin Williams (64 mins for Kwesi Appiah) 15. Lewis Young (56 mins for Sam Foley) 19. Matthew Dolan (76 mins for Kevin Dawson)
Colchester Bookings: Brian Wilson (58 mins, foul).
Yeovil Bookings: None.
Colchester Match Statistics: Possession: 41%; Shots: 8; Shots On Target: 5; Corners: 6; Fouls: 9.
Yeovil Match Statistics: Possession: 59%; Shots: 10; Shots On Target: 7; Corners: 9; Fouls: 5.
Referee: Steven Rushton (Staffordshire). Assistants: Neil Davies (Merseyside) and Ian Rathbone (Northamptonshire). Fourth Official: Stuart Butler (Kent).
Attendance: 2,367 (including 183 Yeovil fans).