Match Details: 24/10/2015
Yeovil Town 2-3 Cambridge United
Skybet League Two
Yeovil Goals: Ryan Bird (44), Josh Sheehan (79)
Yeovil Line-Up: 1. Artur Krysiak, 3. Nathan Smith, 6. Jakub Sokolík, 8. Marc Laird, 9. Ryan Bird, 11. Ryan Dickson, 16. George Thomas, 21. Alex Lacey, 23. Harry Cornick, 24. Connor Roberts, 30. Josh Sheehan
Subs: 4. Matthew Dolan, 10. Shaun Jeffers, 12. Chris Weale, 19. Iffy Allen, 22. Mark Beck, 28. Ollie Bassett,
Bookings: Marc Laird (Foul, 9), Ryan Bird (Handball, 63), Jakub Sokolík (Foul, 83)
Yeovil Town suffered their second home defeat in five days this afternoon as a catastrophic first half performance saw them go down against Cambridge United. The damage was done during the opening 35 minutes as the visitors raced to a 3-0 lead, with a poor defensive error letting in Rory Gaffney for an opening goal after just four minutes. Then the Glovers conceded from a corner with Gaffney bagging his second, meaning that it was pretty much game over when Luke Berry's shot into the corner provided Cambridge's third. Yeovil did battle their way back into the match, with Ryan Bird getting his sixth goal of the season just before the break, whilst a much improved second half saw Yeovil create the best of the second half chances, with Josh Sheehan's conversion from a corner setting up a tense final ten minutes. But that opening spell gave them too much of a mountain to climb, leaving the Glovers still in 23rd place and now three points short of safety.
The Glovers went into the match making two changes to their line-up. One was forced, with Fulham loanee Stephen Arthurworry picking up a knee injury that is likely to keep him out of action for around three or four weeks. His place was taken in the side by Alex Lacey. Up front there was a chance for Coventry City loanee George Thomas to make his debut for the club, with Shaun Jeffers sitting on the bench for this match. Also on the bench was Mark Beck, following his recent glute muscle injury, with Wes Fogden dropping out of the squad for this match.
As starts to a game of football are concerned, Yeovil's couldn't have gone any worse. Harrison Dunk's corner wasn't cleared, and a poor defensive header from Alex Lacey fell into the path of Cambridge striker Rory Gaffney, who was able to slot the ball home from six yards out for a 0-1 lead. Yeovil's defence overall look nervous and jittery every time they were put under pressure, with too many mistakes being made. The only thing that stopped Cambridge from taking 26 minutes to grab their second was the lengthy delay that saw their defender George Taft stretchered off after he seemed to slip awkwardly on the turf. But by the time they regained their momentum, they were 2-0 up. Another corner from Ryan Donaldson wasn't defended well enough as it went straight through the crowd and Rory Gaffney was gifted his second of the afternoon.
Yeovil could have pulled one back when Ryan Bird struck the goal post on the half hour with their best chance of the match, whilst a Ryan Dickson corner saw Jakub Sokolik head over the bar. But 35 minutes into the game that difficult task became an almost impossible one, when Harrison Dunk's cross from the left was controlled by Luke Berry and then fired home from just inside the box. 0-3 down and with a team on low moral and confidence the worry was that a cricket score could be on the cards.
A minute before the break though, Yeovil got a tiny glimmer of light in the darkness. Just two-and-a-half months into this season, Ryan Bird's sixth goal of the 2015-16 campaign meant that his tally beat last season's top goalscorer, as he darted between two Cambridge defenders after receiving the ball from a Jakub Sokolik pass, and almost appearing to take one touch too many before he slotted past goalkeeper Sam Beasant. The half time whistle was inevitably greeted with boos, but perhaps they were a little more muted than they would have been if Bird hadn't managed to end it on a mildly positive note.
Perhaps surprisingly, there were no half time substitutions made, but perhaps also surprisingly Yeovil didn't fold in the way that they could have. Instead it was Cambridge who began to wobble as a Nathan Smith cross found Ryan Dickson, whose shot was saved by the goalkeeper, with the rebound being shot wide. Then Harry Cornick had a shot saved from a corner, with the resultant set piece seeing Sam Beasant brought into action again as he tipped George Thomas's effort over the bar.
As the game went into its final quarter, Paul Sturrock tweaked the eleven that were out there by pushing Harry Cornick into a more advanced position, as George Thomas played wide left, in a more attacking 4-3-3 formation. With eleven minutes remaining, they got themselves an exciting finale as Ryan Dickson's corner was flicked on by Jakub Sokolik, and the ball eventually fell to Josh Sheehan, who converted into the bottom corner for a 2-3 scoreline.
Yeovil's attempt at a comeback didn't quite happen, despite some Cambridge players appearing to be out on their feet in the closing stages, despite the away side having made all three of their substitutions early on, whilst a still fresh looking Yeovil side kept the same eleven out there. If only the Glovers hadn't put in such a Jekyll and Hyde performance across the 90 minutes, they might have got something out of the game, but they will be left kicking themselves for the woeful opening half hour performance that sealed their fate, rather than the more impressive second period that could have got them out of jail.
Link: 2015-16 Latest League Two Table.
Final Score: Yeovil Town 2 Cambridge United 3.
Scorers: Rory Gaffney (4 mins, 0-1), Rory Gaffney (26 mins, 0-2), Luke Berry (35 mins, 0-3), Ryan Bird (44 mins, 1-3), Josh Sheehan (79 mins, 2-3)
1. Artur Krysiak
24. Connor Roberts 6. Jakub Sokolik 21. Alex Lacey 3. Nathan Smith
23. Harry Cornick 30. Josh Sheehan 8. Marc Laird 11. Ryan Dickson (Captain)
9. Ryan Bird 16. George Thomas
12. Chris Weale 4. Matt Dolan 10. Shaun Jeffers 19. Iffy Allen 22. Mark Beck 28. Ollie Bassett
13. Sam Beasant
3. Greg Taylor 22. George Taft 12. Alie Sesay 11. Harrison Dunk
17. Liam Hughes 18. Jeff Hughes 8. Luke Berry 7. Ryan Donaldson
10. Barry Corr 21. Rory Gaffney
2. Elliot Omozusi (22 mins for George Taft) 9. Jordan Slew (80 mins for Ryan Donaldson) 15. Robbie Simpson 16. Gearoid Morrissey 19. Daniel Carr 24. Conor Newton 25. Mickey Demetriou (64 mins for Rory Gaffney)
Yeovil Bookings: Marc Laird (9 mins, foul), Ryan Bird (63 mins, handball), Jakub Sokolik (83 mins, foul)
Cambridge Bookings: Ryan Donaldson (77 mins, foul)
Yeovil Match Statistics: Possession: 46%; Shots: 10; Shots On Target: 5; Corners: 10; Fouls: 10.
Cambridge Match Statistics: Possession: 54%; Shots: 8; Shots On Target: 5; Corners: 4; Fouls: 10.
Referee: Christopher Sarginson (Staffordshire). Assistants: Daniel Leach (Oxfordshire) and Simon Knapp (Bristol). Fourth Official: Matt Eva (Surrey).
Attendance: 3,224 (with 257 Cambridge supporters).