Match Details: 07/02/2015
Yeovil Town 2-1 Crawley Town
Skybet League One
Yeovil Goals: Gozie Ugwu (66), AJ Leitch-Smith (72)
Yeovil Line-Up: 3. Nathan Smith, 4. Joe Edwards, 9. James Hayter, 10. AJ Leitch-Smith, 11. Sam Foley, 12. Artur Krysiak, 13. Kieffer Moore, 20. Ben Nugent, 25. Gozie Ugwu, 26. Stephen Arthurworrey, 32. Liam Shephard
Subs: 5. Fergus Bell, 14. Sam Hoskins, 15. Seth Nana Omuri-Twumasi, 18. Jamar Loza, 22. Gareth Stewart, 28. Alex Smith, 29. Adam Morgan,
Bookings: AJ Leitch-Smith (Ungentlemanly Conduct, 73)
Yeovil Town gained all three points in a relegation battle against Crawley Town this afternoon, as Terry Skiverton's second spell in charge of the Glovers got off to a successful start. They had to battle from behind in a 2-1 win, as their Sussex opponents took the lead slightly against the run of play when Izale McLeod's 27th minute goal put them ahead at the break. Crawley threatened to crowd out in much the same way that many of Yeovil's opponents have done so far this season but when Gozie Ugwu headed home Sam Foley's free kick from close range, the tide turned. Six minutes later AJ Leitch-Smith got his second goal of the season when he broke through to finish in a one-v-one and to lift Yeovil off the foot of the League One table - now three points from safety.
Skiverton's first act was to make four team changes to the one that his predecessor selected. One was enforced, whilst three were tactical. Artur Krysiak replaced the departed Jed Steer, but in terms of the outfield positions there were three changes and a formation switch. Ben Nugent's return from suspension saw him appear in a back three, whilst AJ Leitch-Smith and James Hayter were provided as attacking outlets. Jamar Loza, Alex Smith and Seth Nana Twumasi were the three sacrificed. On the bench, a thigh injury for Nathan Ralph and a hamstring injury for James Berrett meant that they missed out on the day, whilst Adam Morgan made his first appearance on the bench for the club this season, having been out in the cold since March 2014 - his last time on the pitch.
The Glovers dominated the early stages - a shot from Gozie Ugwu was blocked, whilst AJ Leitch-Smith's low dangerous cross fizzed across the area just begging for someone to get a boot on it. Crawley occasionally threatened on the break, with Izale McLeod running through only to find his weak shot into Artur Krysiak's arms letting him down.
But Yeovil's problems this season have been that they dominate the start of games, and then make a basic error and then fall behind. On the 28th minute, it seemed that management changes still showed that Achilles heel, when Ben Nugent lost possession in his own half, allowing Jimmy Smith a chance to break down the right flank and stick in a cross that saw Izale McLeod steal between Kieffer Moore and Stephen Arthurworrey and head home for the opening goal.
Kieffer Moore almost equalised straight away when he had a header cleared off the line by former Glover Ryan Dickson, then Ben Nugent fired into the side netting from Sam Foley's corner. But as the first half closed out, Crawley began to do what many away sides have done at Huish Park - crowd the midfield, slow the game down and frustrate the Glovers out of any rhythm they might have had.
The second period saw Crawley almost score in the opening minute as Gwion Edwards broke behind the Glovers back line, only for him to shoot straight at Artur Krysiak. Sam Foley and Joe Edwards had shots on goal at the other end, but again those Crawley bodies were getting in the way, blocking out anything and everything. Stephen Arthurworrey almost equalised in a crowded goal mouth when he tried to bundle the ball home from close range but Crystal Palace keeper Lewis Price blocked on the line. Then Gozie Ugwu's shot was blocked by Marvin Elliott for a corner, from which Ben Nugent's far post header was parried by Price again.
Gradually, Crawley began to tire in the second period, giving away a number of free kicks in their effort to stop the Glovers gaining momentum. Sam Foley has been this season's set piece star, and he continued that role with a free kick awarded after he had been fouled by Lanre Oyebanjo. In went the set piece, and Gozie Ugwu stole in front of keeper Lewis Price's efforts to claim the ball by planting a header past him and into the back of the net for the 66th minute equaliser.
Six minutes later and what had pointed to another frustrating day at Huish Park suddenly pointed to a massive three points. James Hayter's hard work down the flank saw him pull the ball into the box, and although a Crawley defender got a half-clearance in, the ball rebounded back to AJ Leitch-Smith who got in behind the Crawley defence and then slotted home for a 2-1 lead.
Crawley, who haven't won on their travels since the opening day of the season saw their resolve broken, and despite them bringing on experienced striker Dean Morgan to try to pull themselves back into the game, that flurry of action midway through the second half was to prove the decisive period of the match. Doubly important given that the three points pulled Yeovil above their opponents in the League One table - and also above Leyton Orient whose match at Rochdale was called off due to a frozen pitch. They won't get much time to rest on their laurels - Tuesday night's trip to Crewe Alexandra will be just as big - but as starts to new managerial reigns go, it's a positive and welcome one, with the gap between the Glovers and safety now narrowed by one more point.
Link: 2014-15 Latest League One Table.
Final Score: Yeovil Town 2 Crawley Town 1.
Scorers: Izale McLeod (27 mins, 0-1), Gozie Ugwu (66 mins, 1-1), AJ Leitch-Smith (72 mins, 2-1)
12. Artur Krysiak
26. Stephen Arthurworrey 13. Kieffer Moore 20. Ben Nugent
32. Liam Shephard 11. Sam Foley 4. Joe Edwards 3. Nathan Smith
10. AJ Leitch-Smith
25. Gozie Ugwu 9. James Hayter
22. Gareth Stewart 5. Fergus Bell 14. Sam Hoskins 15. Seth Nana Twumasi 18. Jamar Loza 28. Alex Smith 29. Adam Morgan (none used)
30. Lewis Price
2. Lanre Oyebanjo 12. Joe Walsh 25. Darren Ward 3. Ryan Dickson
28. Mathias Pogba 8. Jimmy Smith 33. Marvin Elliott 7. Gwion Edwards
26. Anthony Wordsworth
9. Izale McLeod
16. Lee Fowler (63 mins for Jimmy Smith) 6. Sonny Bradley 10. Dean Morgan (79 mins for Mathias Pogba) 14. Lewis Young 20. Alfred Bobson Bawling (55 mins for Gwion Edwards) 21. Gavin Tomlin 27. Scott Dutton
Yeovil Bookings: None.
Crawley Bookings: Lee Fowler (86 mins, foul), Ryan Dickson (90 mins, foul)
Yeovil Match Statistics: Possession: 61%; Shots: 15; Shots On Target: 7; Corners: 6; Fouls: 14.
Crawley Match Statistics: Possession: 39%; Shots: 5; Shots On Target: 4; Corners: 1; Fouls: 16.
Referee: Patrick Miller (Bedfordshire). Assistant Referees: Chris Powell (Dorset) and Michael Webb (Surrey). Fourth Official: William Bull (Hampshire).
Attendance: 3,807 (with 201 Crawley supporters).