Match Details: 11/10/2014
Port Vale 4-1 Yeovil Town
Skybet League One
Yeovil Goals: Aaron Martin (86)
Yeovil Line-Up: 2. Brendan Moloney, 3. Nathan Smith, 4. Joe Edwards, 5. Aaron Martin, 6. Jakub Sokolík, 8. James Berrett, 10. AJ Leitch-Smith, 11. Sam Foley, 23. Simon Gillett, 24. Jake Kean, 25. Jordy Hiwula
Subs: 1. Chris Weale, 7. Kevin Dawson, 9. James Hayter, 13. Kieffer Moore, 16. Nathan Ralph, 19. Liam Davis,
Substitutes Used: Kieffer Moore for Sam Foley (25 mins), Kevin Dawson for Brendan Moloney (71 mins), James Hayter for Jordy Hiwula (72 mins)
Bookings: James Berrett (Foul, 12), Brendan Moloney (Foul, 26)
Yeovil Town slumped to their worst defeat and worst performance of the 2014-15 season this afternoon, as they slipped back into the relegation zone. The 4-1 defeat against Port Vale, who used their win to leapfrog the Glovers. The result was never in doubt, with the Valiants leading scorer Tom Pope netting twice during the opening half hour, as he headed home a Mark Marshall cross and then took advantage of poor marking from a corner. Straight from the restart, midfielder Chris Lines got a tap-in after a shot was blocked, and although Aaron Martin pulled back a late goal, Colin Daniel completed the rout as he took advantage of paper-thin defending for the final goal of the match, and to push Yeovil down into 21st place in the League One table.
The Glovers made four changes to their starting line-up, with Ben Nugent's suspension and Seth Nana Twumasi's injury seeing Brendan Moloney and Jakub Sokolik coming in as part of the back four. On the left-wing Sam Foley replaced Nathan Ralph, whilst up front AJ Leitch-Smith was swapped for James Hayter. On the bench Joel Grant's international call-up and Jack Price's return to Wolves meant that those two disappeared, allowing Liam Davis and Kieffer Moore a chance to sit in as substitutes.
The visitors actually started the game - briefly - as the better team, with Simon Gillett's free kick going wide, and a Joe Edwards chance shaving the outside of the post. But the fragile nature of the side, who became increasingly rattled by a physical Port Vale side saw them gradually retreat into their shells, and for the home side to asset their authority. Eighteen minutes into the match, Mark Marshall - who played for the club as a trialist during the 2007-08 season - skinned Brendan Moloney down the Glovers right flank and stuck in a cross for Port Vale's big centre-forward Tom Pope, who was able to easily head home for the opening goal.
Gary Johnson's reaction was to make an early substitution, taking off Sam Foley and reorganising his attacking options by introducing Kieffer Moore, and moving AJ Leitch-Smith out into the wide position. But it was down Marshall's flank that the weakness seemed to exist with both James Berrett and Brendan Moloney landing in the book during the first period for fouls - with weak officiating from rookie referee Darren Handley allowing Vale's players to cajole him into making his decisions.
The further the half went on though, the greater the home side's superiority. They emphasised that on the half hour mark as a Chris Lines corner took a near post flick and the ball fell into the path of Vale's top scorer Tom Pope - who was entirely unmarked inside the box, and had a comfortable chance to double their lead at 2-0.
Half time couldn't come quickly enough, with a possible chance for Yeovil to reorganise themselves and get some recomposure. Not that this opportunity was taken - just 60 seconds into the second half, Tom Pope broke through on goal and although Nathan Smith managed to block his shot, the loose ball fell invitingly to Chris Lines. Once again the marking was nowhere and he was able to poke the ball into an empty net with Jake Kean having already committed himself for the initial Pope effort.
A double substitution from the Glovers saw Kevin Dawson and James Hayter replace Brendan Moloney and Jordy Hiwula, but with the game surely already lost. As the Glovers pushed numbers up, Port Vale spurned numerous opportunities to create a real thrashing with Mark Marshall and Tom Pope both firing shots over the crossbar when they were in plenty of space in good positions. Yeovil did manage to pull back a goal though, when a Nathan Smith cross into the box saw Aaron Martin take advantage of a deflection inside the box, slotting the loose ball home from ten yards out.
The home side rightly finished the match off with the final word, finishing off one of their many second half chances against the paper-thin Yeovil defence. Substitute Colin Daniel got in behind the back four, and the man who relegated Bristol Rovers at the end of last season also gave the Glovers a miserable end to a miserable day, as he fired past Jake Kean for a 4-1 win. With the club slipping into the relegation zone, the manner of the defeat felt like a watershed moment, and there will need to be strong action taken by the management if the club are not to let such a poor performance become a habit.
Final Score: Port Vale 4 Yeovil Town 1.
Scorers: Tom Pope (18 mins, 1-0), Tom Pope (29 mins, 2-0), Chris Lines (46 mins, 3-0), Aaron Martin (86 mins, 3-1), Colin Daniel (90 mins, 4-1)
1. Chris Neal
2. Adam Yates 6. Richard Duffy 32. Stephane Zubar 3. Carl Dickinson
8. Louis Dodds 15. Michael O'Connor 10. Chris Lines 20. Mark Marshall
11. Tom Pope 9. Ben Williamson
26. Remie Streete 7. Chris Birchall 12. Sam Johnson 14. Colin Daniel (77 mins for Ben Williamson) 17. Michael Brown (83 mins for Michael O'Connor) 19. Byron Moore 22. Ryan Lloyd
Yeovil Town (4-4-2):
24. Jake Kean
2. Brendan Moloney 5. Aaron Martin 6. Jakub Sokolik 3. Nathan Smith
8. James Berrett 4. Joe Edwards 23. Simon Gillett 11. Sam Foley
10. AJ Leitch-Smith 25. Jordy Hiwula
1. Chris Weale 7. Kevin Dawson (71 mins for Brendan Moloney) 9. James Hayter (72 mins for Jordy Hiwula) 13. Kieffer Moore (25 mins for Sam Foley) 16. Nathan Ralph 19. Liam Davis
Port Vale Bookings: None.
Yeovil Bookings: James Berrett (foul, 12 mins), Brendan Moloney (foul, 26 mins).
Port Vale Match Statistics: Possession: 45%; Shots: 19; Shots On Target: 6; Corners: 4; Fouls: 3.
Yeovil Match Statistics: Possession: 55%; Shots: 9; Shots On Target: 3; Corners: 5; Fouls: 11.
Referee: Darren Handley (Lancashire). Assistant Referees: Bob Roberts (Lancashire) and James Wilson (Cheshire). Fourth Official: Gary Hilton (Lancashire).
Attendance: 4,798 (with 179 Yeovil Town supporters)