Match Details: 01/04/2013
Notts County 1-2 Yeovil Town
npower League One
Yeovil Goals: Paddy Madden (45), Matthew Dolan (52)
Yeovil Line-Up: 1. Marek Stech, 2. Luke Ayling, 5. Byron Webster, 8. Ed Upson, 9. James Hayter, 17. Paddy Madden, 18. Daniel Burn, 20. Joe Edwards, 22. Kevin Dawson, 26. Matthew Dolan, 29. Angelo Balanta
Subs: 4. Richard Hinds, 10. Gavin Williams, 12. Gareth Stewart, 13. Vitalijs Maksimenko, 14. Sam Foley, 16. Nathan Ralph, 19. Ben Gordon,
Substitutes Used: Sam Foley for Matthew Dolan (70 mins), Nathan Ralph for Angelo Balanta (77 mins), Richard Hinds for James Hayter (86 mins)
Bookings: Daniel Burn (Foul, 48)
Yeovil Town gained a valuable three points three points this afternoon, as they saw off a midtable Notts County side at Meadow Lane. All three goals in a 2-1 win came around the half time break, with Paddy Madden netting his 22nd goal of the season just before half time before Alan Judge levelled from the penalty spot after Dan Burn bundled him over in the box. But the scores were level for just three minutes as Matt Dolan flighted home a wonderful free kick to seal the win and put Yeovil back in the play-off zone again, taking advantage of Tranmere Rovers losing by a single goal at Portsmouth.
The Glovers went into the match making one change to their starting line-up following Good Friday's draw against Walsall. Sam Foley dropped to the bench with Matt Dolan taking his position in the team, meaning that the midfield was shuffled around a little. Kevin Dawson moved out to the right wing, allowing Dolan the chance to take up the central role.
The match opened up with Yeovil making a fairly decent start. Angelo Balanta forced a save out of Notts County reserve keeper Fabian Speiss, then fired just wide of the target. Then Paddy Madden put one wide of the target. The game though was being played on a hard bobbling pitch, where both sides were having problems in gaining control of the ball - what would normally take one touch to control, seemed to need two, and every now and again players from both sides were being left occasionally embarrassed by their loss of ball control. This was not going to be a day to play too much tippy-tappy stuff, even if Yeovil in particular did try to play the ball along the deck.
Notts County did have their moments in a relatively even half, particularly towards the end of the first period when their strike pair Yoann Arquin and Enoch Showumni, sporting bright green and bright red boots, began to link up more strongly. Marek Stech saved easily when Arquin met Alan Judge's cross from the byline, but had to make a far more impressive save from Showumni three minutes before the break, when he got low down to his right to push the former Bristol City player's header away from the foot of his goalpost.
Just as it looked as though the game was going to go in scoreless at half time, a long range drive from Matthew Dolan helped open up the scoring. His low shot was firm and skimmed across the Meadow Lane 'turf', causing keeper Fabian Speiss to merely parry the attempt. First to react was Paddy Madden, who operated in pure goal-poacher mode, capitalising on the loose ball, and lifting it over the stranded keeper and into the back of the net for a very welcome lead at the break.
The second period opened up with the Glovers immediately putting themselves onto the back foot. Dan Burn showed a spot of inexperience when he chased down Alan Judge inside the box, going through the back of the midfielder instead of holding back on the challenge or forcing him wide. No real complaints then, when referee Fred Graham pointed to the penalty spot. Judge chose to take the kick himself and rolled the ball into the left hand corner, with Marek Stech having already committed himself by diving the other way.
The Magpies though were to only hold the scores level for three minutes, as the game immediately swung back in Yeovil's favour. Kevin Dawson was brought down by Gary Liddle on the corner of the penalty box, with a few Glovers fans appealing for it to be given inside the area. Whether it was, or it wasn't mattered not - Matthew Dolan's left-footed curler from the set piece went in via the near post, despite Fabian Speiss getting a hand on the ball. 2-1 and advantage Yeovil again.
The home side really should have gone level three minutes after Dolan's goal, but ended up wasting the opportunity with one of the worst misses you'll see in League One all season. A ball in from the right-hand side passed through a County player in the centre of goal, reaching former Bristol Rovers player Jeff Hughes at the back stick. With Marek Stech forced to commit to his front post, the goal was gaping, Hughes was unmarked, and stood inside the six-yard box. Instead he sliced wide of the left hand post, with the laughter from the away end letting him know what the travelling 349 Glovers fans thought of it.
Still Notts County pressed for an equalising goal, but they never really put Yeovil under the acute pressure that would have been expected after that Hughes miss. The main worry was that on a dodgy pitch with unpredictable bounce, that just one mistake could wreck the day. Matty Dolan was replaced, after spending 10 minutes hobbling about with what looked like a groin injury, although still managed to fire another dangerous effort at Speiss before he hobbled off. In the closing stages, as Yeovil introduced Richard Hinds to sit in front of the defence in a 4-1-4-1 style formation, the best the Magpies managed was a fairly tame Showumni header, and a more worrying Alan Judge cross that looked like it could produce a goal, but instead whizzed across the face of the box, missing everyone.
On the whole, this was a deserved victory, even if Yeovil were never head and shoulders above their opponents on the day. The difficult pitch meant that this was a game largely of attrition and concentration, than one of silky ball skills, and the most vital part was of course the three points. Still five more games to go of twists'n'turns, but after today, it's firmly back in Yeovil's hands to secure the play-off place they currently hold.
Final Score: Notts County 1 Yeovil Town 2.
Scorers: Paddy Madden (45 mins, 0-1), Alan Judge (49 mins, 1-1, pen), Matt Dolan (52 mins, 1-2)
23. Fabian Speiss
2. Julian Kelly 8. Gary Liddle 6. Dean Leacock 3. Alan Sheehan
20. Jamal Campbell-Ryce 28. Andre Boucaud 4. Neal Bishop 10. Alan Judge
9. Enoch Showunmi 15. Yoann Arquin
35. Kevin Pilkington 5. Manny Smith 11. Jeff Hughes (46 mins for Jamal Cambell-Ryce) 13. Francois Zoko (77 mins for Andre Boucaud) 17. Tyrell Waite (65 mins for Yoann Arquin) 21. Curtis Thompson 25. Greg Tempest
Yeovil Town: (4-4-2)
1. Marek Stech
2. Luke Ayling 5. Byron Webster (Capt) 18. Daniel Burn 20. Joe Edwards
22. Kevin Dawson 8. Ed Upson 26. Matthew Dolan 29. Angelo Balanta
9. James Hayter 17. Paddy Madden
12. Gareth Stewart 4. Richard Hinds (86 mins for James Hayter) 10. Gavin Williams 14. Sam Foley (70 mins for Matt Dolan) 16. Nathan Ralph (77 mins for Angelo Balanta) 19. Ben Gordon 13. Vitalijs Maksimenko
Notts County Bookings: Alan Judge (73 mins, diving), Neal Bishop (82 mins, foul)
Yeovil Bookings: Dan Burn (48 mins, foul)
Notts County Match Statistics: Possession: 53%; Shots: 8; Shots On Target: 4; Corners: 4; Fouls: 8.
Yeovil Match Statistics: Possession: 47%; Shots: 13; Shots On Target: 6; Corners: 2; Fouls: 8.
Referee: Fred Graham (Essex). Assistants: David Benton (South Yorkshire) and Neil Hair (Cambridgeshire). Fourth Official: Danny Gratton (Staffordshire).
Attendance: 5,004 (with 349 Yeovil supporters).