Match Details: 20/01/2015
Preston North End 1-1 Yeovil Town
Skybet League One
Yeovil Goals: Gozie Ugwu (45)
Yeovil Line-Up: 3. Nathan Smith, 4. Joe Edwards, 11. Sam Foley, 13. Kieffer Moore, 15. Seth Nana Omuri-Twumasi, 18. Jamar Loza, 25. Gozie Ugwu, 26. Stephen Arthurworrey, 28. Alex Smith, 30. Jed Steer, 32. Liam Shephard
Subs: 8. James Berrett, 9. James Hayter, 12. Artur Krysiak, 14. Sam Hoskins, 22. Gareth Stewart,
Substitutes Used: James Hayter for Gozie Ugwu (53 mins), Sam Hoskins for Jamar Loza (67 mins), James Berrett for Alex Smith (85 mins)
Bookings: Kieffer Moore (Foul, 83), Nathan Smith (Foul, 90)
Yeovil Town gained a valuable point against Preston North End at Deepdale tonight as they took four points in two games from play-off contenders in the space of three days. Despite a threadbare squad, it was the Glovers who had the better of the first half and they took a deserved lead when striker Gozie Ugwu scored his second goal in two games, latching onto a nod down from a Sam Foley set piece right on the half time whistle. The second half was a different kettle of fish, and the home side equalised when Sylvan Ebanks-Blake latched onto a Kevin Davies through ball fourteen minutes from time. Preston tried to fashion a winner but some valiant defending and a few wayward shots ensured that they held out for the 1-1 draw.
The Glovers were forced into two changes for the game with both wingers dropping out of the team through injury. AJ Leitch-Smith and Nathan Ralph were replaced by Alex Smith and Liam Shephard, with both players making their full debuts, and in the case of Shephard his first Yeovil Town appearance. Seth Nana Twumasi moved further up the flank to accommodate Shephard's favoured right-back position, whilst Smith played on the left wing, in front of Nathan Smith. On the bench the cupboard was most definitely bare, with two goalkeepers numbering the five named substitutes.
Early stages of the game saw few chances hit the target - Preston had the lion's share of the attempts on goal but without Jed Steer needing to move for them. Paul Gallagher put over the bar, then Kevin Davies put through Jermaine Beckford with a ball over the top, but the former Everton striker was stretching for the ball as he too cleared the goalframe. Yeovil's best effort came from Alex Smith in his left wing role - he cut inside and shot from 25 yards out but the ball went comfortably wide of the goal.
Gradually though, the Glovers started to carve out the better chances of the 45 minutes. Another attempt from Alex Smith from distance was followed up by Kieffer Moore shooting from the edge of the box after he collected a Sam Foley knockdown from a ball into the area - inches on the wrong side of the post, with the Yeovil players unsuccessfully appealing for a corner. Then Gozie Ugwu broke through only to be denied by home keeper Sam Johnstone - briefly on loan with the Glovers - who parried well in the one-v-one. Johnstone made another strong save from a Foley shot that took a deflection - he managed to anticipate the change in flight well to stop the ball.
With one minute of added time just before half time, the Glovers managed to grab the lead with the final kick of the opening period. Scott Laird gave away a free kick on the edge of the box when he fouled Kieffer Moore close to the touchline, and when Sam Foley flighted the ball into the box it was flicked on at the near post, and Gozie Ugwu was on hand to fire home for his second goal in two games. There was barely enough time to take the kick-off before the referee blew up for the half time whistle. Definitely the best time to score in a game!
The further the half had progressed, the more the Glovers had dominated, and so it wasn't too surprising to find Preston making a half time substitution and a formation change as they tried to get their way back into the match. But Yeovil still had the opening chance - Gozie Ugwu's turn and quick movement almost caught out Sam Johnstone with the sharp shot on goal. Unfortunately that was to be his last major contribution - a calf injury going into the game saw that begin to sharply freeze up early in the second period, and he slowly limped off to be replaced by James Hayter.
As the half wore on though, Preston began to build up a head of steam - helped by the ability to bring on players of the quality of Sylvan Ebanks-Blake and Kyel Reid from their bench as attack-minded options. A succession of corners meant that centre-backs Stephen Arthurworrey and Kieffer Moore had to be constantly on their guard. Despite that pressure, Arthurworrey could have put Yeovil two goals ahead at the other end of the pitch, but he got under Sam Foley's corner and put his header over the bar.
Such chances were rare in the second half, and with just fourteen minutes remaining, a Kevin Davies pass got in behind the Yeovil defence for one of the first times on the night, and substitute Sylvan Ebanks-Blake was able to round Jed Steer for the equalising goal, and to finally bring the Deepdale home crowd into voice for the night, expecting Preston to now go on and win the match.
That head of steam never really happened though. Ebanks-Blake almost got Preston a second goal with a spectacular overhead kick that landed on the roof of the net, but Preston were constantly thwarted by committed defending that protected Jed Steer and his goal. The Preston sponsors decision to award goalkeeper Sam Johnstone their Man of the Match was a sharp reminder of the club's first half performance and when the final whistle blew, the home fans responded with a chorus of boos. For Yeovil and the travelling 73 supporters, there was a much happier reaction, with four points gained in the last three days against promotion-chasing opposition the gap between themselves and safety has shrunk from five points down to two points. Suddenly there is some light at the end of the tunnel - the only problem is the number of bodies available for the remaining 20 games - it shouldn't be forgotten that the draw was achieved with eight players out injured and one suspended. Hopefully some of the walking wounded can be patched up for Saturday.
Link: 2014-15 Latest League One Table.
Final Score: Preston North End 1 Yeovil Town 1.
Scorers: Gozie Ugwu (0-1, 45 mins), Sylvan Ebanks-Blake (1-1, 76 mins)
Preston North End:
34. Sam Johnstone
5. Tom Clarke 23. Paul Huntington 6. Bailey Wright
7. Chris Humphrey 30. Josh Brownhill 12. Paul Gallagher 19. John Welsh 3. Scott Laird
9. Kevin Davies 10. Jermaine Beckford
4. Scott Wiseman (46 mins for Bailey Wright) 8. Neil Kilkenny 17. Kyel Reid (66 mins for Josh Brownhill) 21. Thorsten Stuckmann 22. Jack King 31. Alan Browne 40. Sylvan Ebanks-Blake (66 mins for Jermaine Beckford)
30. Jed Steer
32. Liam Shephard 26. Stephen Arthurworrey 13. Kieffer Moore 3. Nathan Smith
15. Seth Nana Twumasi 11. Sam Foley 4. Joe Edwards 28. Alex Smith
18. Jamar Loza 25. Gozie Ugwu
12. Artur Krysiak 8. James Berrett (85 mins for Alex Smith) 9. James Hayter (53 mins for Gozie Ugwu) 14. Sam Hoskins (67 mins for Jamar Loza) 22. Gareth Stewart
Preston Bookings: None.
Yeovil Bookings: Kieffer Moore (foul, 83 mins), Nathan Smith (foul, 90 mins)
Preston Match Statistics: Possession: 50%; Shots: 16; Shots On Target: 3; Corners: 9; Fouls: 9.
Yeovil Match Statistics: Possession: 50%; Shots: 9; Shots On Target: 3; Corners: 3; Fouls: 11.
Referee: Christopher Sarginson (Staffordshire). Assistant Referees: Simon Clayton (County Durham and Matthew Dicicco (Cleveland). Fourth Official: Richard Bartlett (Cheshire).
Attendance: 7,491 (with 73 Yeovil supporters).