Match Details: 10/08/2013
Yeovil Town 0-1 Birmingham City
Football League Championship
Yeovil Line-Up: 1. Marek Stech, 2. Luke Ayling, 4. Joe Edwards, 5. Byron Webster, 6. Dan Seaborne, 7. Kevin Dawson, 8. Ed Upson, 9. James Hayter, 10. Sam Foley, 17. Paddy Madden, 18. Alan Tate,
Subs: 3. Jamie McAllister, 11. Michael Ngoo, 12. Gareth Stewart, 14. Sam Hoskins, 20. Billy Clifford, 21. Liam Davis, 23. Joel Grant
Substitutes Used: Gareth Stewart for Marek Stech (6 mins), Sam Hoskins for Sam Foley (67 mins), Michael Ngoo for Paddy Madden (67 mins)
Bookings: Sam Foley (Foul, 52), Ed Upson (Foul, 54)
Yeovil Town succumbed to a single goal defeat yesterday afternoon, as an own goal separated themselves and Birmingham City at Huish Park. A ricochet from a Byron Webster defensive header after a Birmingham corner came off the body of Dean Seaborne and into the back of the net for a 0-1 away win. The Glovers day was marred by a serious hand injury to goalkeeper Marek Stech who faces a three month spell on the timelines after he suffered two broken bones.
After a midweek match that saw five changes to the starting line-up, Gary Johnson swapped back to the line-up at Millwall, with the only change on the bench being that Jamie McAllister's fitness allowed him to join the substitutes list, with Kieffer Moore being the player to miss out. In the opposition line-up was Dan Burn, making his first return to Huish Park since scoring in the Wembley Play-Off Final in May.
The match was started by an opera singer and fireworks, to greet the club's first ever home fixture at Championship level, in front of a near-capacity crowd, and in bright sunshine. After a competitive start, with Byron Webster and Dan Burn getting involved in some friendly but extremely competitive jostling on early corners, the Glovers suffered a major blow just six minutes into the game. Marek Stech came and punched a ball but in doing so, his fist landed into the back of Webster's head, injuring both players. The goalkeeper clearly came off the worst, and had to leave the field in pain - with a broken hand the eventual diagnosis that will keep him out of football for three months. In came Gareth Stewart for an unexpected 84 minutes worth of football.
That set the tone for a somewhat disjointed first half, which needed five minutes of injury time added due to the delay. The Glovers back four protected Gareth Stewart well, given that he spent his first 15 minutes merely dealing with a couple of backpasses. At the other end, Luke Aying and Paddy Madden had early attempts before Byron Webster's well struck shot forced Darren Randolph into an excellent parried save, with his reactions to Madden's follow-up probably even more impressive given that he was on the deck when the ball flew out to his fellow Irishman.
Birmingham finally tested Gareth Stewart, as Andrew Shinnie fired at goal on the near post, although the save itself was a relatively bulk standard one for a goalkeeper, with Stewart ensuring that Birmingham had no hope of a rebound from his initial parry.
The visitors were being rather combative elsewhere, clocking up a series of bookings for little trips that weren't nasty, but were certainly 'professional' in the way that they were intended to stop Yeovil's play. Referee Tim Robinson attempted to take charge of the situation by calling across captain Paul Robinson following one such trip, to make it clear that he was unimpressed by the persistent nature of those trips.
You might then think that Neal Eardley's lazy trip on Sam Foley - the same player he had fouled twice earlier in the game, would have resulted in a second yellow card, coming so close after the match official's 'final' warning. But instead, and to the fury of Glovers boss Gary Johnson, Mr Robinson proceeded to give a 'final final' warning, again calling over the Birmingham captain, with boos ringing around the ground for the referee's failure to produce a card for what should have been one of the easier decisions to make.
As the crowd continued to jeer at the official, he then gifted Yeovil a goal kick from a Birmingham shot that had clearly deflected off a Glovers defender - even the home terrace chanted "You don't know what you're doing" despite the decision having gone in their favour. The officials clearly needed a half time break to sort their heads out, and perhaps Birmingham boss Lee Clark needed to remind his players that they needed to watch their step - thankfully the second period was played out in less controversial circumstances.
It opened with a goal, as a Shane Ferguson corner was challenged for by Dan Burn, but clearly met by the head of Byron Webster. Unfortunately, the bal rebounded off the body of an unwitting Dan Seaborne and into the back of the net. Even though Burn celebrated it as if it was his, and the tannoy announced it as his, television replays made clear it had not gone near the ex-Yeovil loanee.
The big question was whether Yeovil could get back into the match now. Initially they responded well, with Ed Upson's free kick producing the save of the match, with Byron Webster's downward header perfectly placed, only for the diving Darren Randolph to get a leg in the way of the ball, as it rolled off his body and onto the crossbar and back out again.
Gary Johnson tried to mix things up midway through the half as Michael Ngoo and Sam Hoskins came on for Paddy Madden and Sam Foley. But unlike last week against Millwall, that didn't really shake things up as much as it did at the New Den, with Birmingham's defence holding firm, and Dan Burn giving Glovers fans a reminder of just how good a player he is. The nearest they came was in the 88th minute, when Ed Upson got a free kick on the edge of the box, which he curled well around the defensive wall, but unfortunately went just around the post.
The visitors ran the clock down in 'professional' style, and bar that Upson effort the Glovers ran out of attacking ideas a little during the closing stages. Certainly not outclassed at any stage during the game, but on the other hand, Birmingham's experience showed a little bit, and Yeovil will need to out-think such teams a little better to win points off them in future matches.
Final Score: Yeovil Town 0 Birmingham City 1.
Scorers: Dan Seaborne (0-1, own goal, 48 mins)
Yeovil Town (4-4-2):
1. Marek Stech
2. Luke Ayling, 5. Byron Webster (Capt), 6. Danny Seaborne, 18. Alan Tate
7. Kevin Dawson, 8. Ed Upson, 4. Joe Edwards, 10. Sam Foley
9. James Hayter, 17. Paddy Madden
12. Gareth Stewart (6 mins for Marek Stech) 3. Jamie McAllister 11. Michael Ngoo (67 mins for Paddy Madden) 14. Sam Hoskins (67 mins for Sam Foley) 20. Billy Clifford 21. Liam Davis 23. Joel Grant
1. Darren Randolph 8. Hayden Mullins 6. Dan Burn 4. Paul Robinson 2. Neal Eardley 22. Andrew Shinnie 15. Wade Elliott 24. Tom Adeyemi 27. Shane Ferguson 12. Lee Novak 25. Matt Green
5. Kyle Bartley 7. Chris Burke 13. Colin Doyle 16. Koby Arthur 17. Callum Reilly (72 mins for Matt Green) 20. Olly Lee 26. Scott Allan
Yeovil Bookings: Sam Foley (52 mins, foul), Ed Upson (54 mins, foul)
Birmingham Bookings: Neal Eardley (25 mins, foul), Shane Ferguson (33 mins, foul), Paul Robinson (59 mins, foul), Wade Elliott (64 mins, foul)
Yeovil Match Statistics: Possession: 56%; Shots: 11; Shots On Target: 3; Corners: 2; Fouls: 9.
Birmingham Match Statistics: Possession: 46%; Shots: 10; Shots On Target: 5; Corners: 4; Fouls: 13.
Referee: Tim Robinson (West Sussex). Assistants: Simon Knapp (Bristol) and Lee Swabey (Devon). Fourth Official: Adrian Tranter (Dorset).
Attendance: 8,717 (including 2,048 Birmingham supporters).