Match Details: 25/04/2015
Yeovil Town 1-2 Port Vale
Skybet League One
Yeovil Goals: Gozie Ugwu (80)
Yeovil Line-Up: 1. Chris Weale, 5. Fergus Bell, 8. James Berrett, 11. Sam Foley, 13. Kieffer Moore, 25. Gozie Ugwu, 26. Stephen Arthurworrey, 27. Byron Webster, 30. Josh Sheehan, 32. Liam Shephard, 35. Stephen Kingsley
Subs: 3. Nathan Smith, 4. Joe Edwards, 9. James Hayter, 10. AJ Leitch-Smith, 12. Artur Krysiak, 15. Seth Nana Omuri-Twumasi, 17. Joel Grant,
Substitutes Used: Nathan Smith for Sam Foley (12 mins), Seth Nana Omuri-Twumasi for Byron Webster (46 mins), Joe Edwards for Fergus Bell (46 mins)
Yeovil Town headed to defeat in their final home match of the 2014-15 season, as Port Vale gained a deserved 2-1 win to give manager Paul Sturrock his first defeat. The Valiants controlled the main periods of the game, with Tom Pope's well-executed 13th minute opener scored just after he had a goal ruled out for a push in the box. The Glovers equalised when a half-cleared James Berrett free kick was acrobatically finished by Gozie Ugwu for his fifth goal of the season, but parity only lasted two minutes as Michael Brown was credited as scoring the winner just eight minutes from time as he bundled in a loose ball from a free kick.
With the aim of seeing as many of his players and formations as possible before the season ends, Paul Sturrock made four changes to his line-up for this afternoon's game. Chris Weale got his first start under the new boss, replacing Artur Krysiak, whilst the same was true for Fergus Bell who came in for Nathan Smith. Sam Foley had recovered from a hamstring injury enough to see Seth Nana Twumasi drop out, whilst Gozie Ugwu was preferred for Joel Grant up front. A midfield diamond was used within the 4-4-2, with James Berrett at the base and Bell as the most attacking presence.
Port Vale were the superior side early on, with the wing play of Mark Marshall and the physical presence of Tom Pope providing the difference - their centre-forward got in two strong headers early on from that outlet with the second only being denied a goal due to a linesman flagging up for a foul on Liam Shephard as Pope jumped for the ball. But it didn't take long before he did give the Valiants the lead. Marshall's cross was only half cleared and Ben Williamson put the ball into the path of Pope whose looping shot cleared Chris Weale's head and into the back of the net.
Yeovil's cause was not helped by Sam Foley's withdrawal as his hamstring gave in, and that meant that Nathan Smith came in as a left-back, with Stephen Kingsley being pushed into the left side of midfield. Their attacking chances were few and far between, and largely from Fergus Bell - the first saw him run from deep and fire a well hit shot just wide, followed by a header clearing the bar. But Tom Pope's shot that fizzed across the face of goal and a Michael O'Connor free kick that Chris Weale palmed away showed where the real pressure was. Overall it was a bit of a flat first half.
During the break, Paul Sturrock opted to make two changes, introducing Joe Edwards for Fergus Bell, with the latter having hobbled his way through the final five minutes of the half. Also swapped were Byron Webster, who made way for Seth Nana Twumasi, as a formation change took place - a 3-5-2 formation was restored with Liam Shephard and Stephen Kingsley used as the wing-backs whilst Nana, Stephen Arthurworrey and Nathan Smith took the back three positions.
The general feel of the game was maintained, with Port Vale happy to take the points that would guarantee their League One survival, whilst the home side seemed a little bit too much in end of season mode. Ten minutes from time in what had been a lacklustre second period though, Yeovil got themselves back into the match from a James Berrett free kick. Port Vale only half cleared their lines, and Gozie Ugwu was the first to respond, acrobatically hooking the ball into the net for the equalising goal.
Unfortunately for Yeovil, that brief flash of attacking only lasted two minutes, with Port Vale almost immediately retaking the lead. Joe Edwards fouled fellow substitute Colin Daniel and when Michael O'Connor's free kick was put into the box, a scramble saw Michael Brown credited as the man who got the last touch before the ball went over the line. 1-2 down.
Port Vale now had the scoreline they needed to preserve their own status and immediately started running down the clock. Stephen Kingsley hit the side netting in the closing stages, whilst the Valiants hearts were set fluttering with the last move of the game as Chris Neal was forced into a superb flying save from Gozie Ugwu as he went close to a late late equaliser. But that would have been a lucky result if that had gone in, with the end scoreline probably about right on the balance of play. Perhaps a reality check following Paul Sturrock's early results that there will be plenty of work to be done over the summer.
Final Score: Yeovil Town 1 Port Vale 2.
Scorers: Tom Pope (0-1, 13 mins), Gozie Ugwu (1-1, 80 mins), Michael Brown (1-2, 82 mins)
1. Chris Weale
32. Liam Shephard 27. Byron Webster 26. Stephen Arthurworrey 35. Stephen Kingsley
5. Fergus Bell 11. Sam Foley 8. James Berrett 30. Josh Sheehan
25. Gozie Ugwu 13. Kieffer Moore
12. Artur Krysiak 3. Nathan Smith (12 mins for Sam Foley) 4. Joe Edwards (46 mins for Fergus Bell) 9. James Hayter 10. AJ Leitch-Smith 15. Seth Nana Twumasi (46 mins for Byron Webster) 17. Joel Grant
1. Chris Neal
21. Frederic Veseli 16. Neill Collins 4. Chris Robertson 3. Carl Dickinson
8. Louis Dodds 15. Michael O'Connor 17. Michael Brown 20. Mark Marshall
9. Ben Williamson 11. Tom Pope
2. Adam Yates 7. Chris Birchall (73 mins for Ben Williamson) 12. Sam Johnson 14. Colin Daniel (55 mins for Louis Dodds) 18. Tommy O'Sullivan (86 mins for Michael O'Connor) 25. Mohamed Coulibaly 28. Achille Campion
Yeovil Bookings: None.
Port Vale Bookings: Mark Marshall (foul, 19 mins), Tom Pope (dissent, 84 mins)
Yeovil Match Statistics: Possession: 57%; Shots: 8; Shots On Target: 1; Corners: 3; Fouls: 9.
Port Vale Match Statistics: Possession: 43%; Shots: 6; Shots On Target: 3; Corners: 7; Fouls: 13.
Referee: Graham Scott (Oxfordshire). Assistant Referees: Andrew Laver (Hampshire) and Steven Plane (Worcestershire). Fourth Official: Mark Pottage (Dorset).
Attendance: 4,127 (with 523 Port Vale supporters).