Match Details: 28/12/2015
Yeovil Town 0-0 Oxford United
Skybet League Two
Yeovil Line-Up: 1. Artur Krysiak, 2. Ben Tozer, 4. Matthew Dolan, 6. Jakub Sokolík, 10. Shaun Jeffers, 11. Ryan Dickson, 14. Jack Compton, 24. Connor Roberts, 26. Darren Ward, 30. Josh Sheehan, 39. Francois Zoko
Subs: 3. Nathan Smith, 8. Marc Laird, 12. Chris Weale, 19. Iffy Allen, 21. Alex Lacey, 22. Mark Beck, 25. Christian Maghoma,
Substitutes Used: Nathan Smith for Ryan Dickson (46 mins), Alex Lacey for Jakub Sokolík (70 mins), Iffy Allen for Jack Compton (73 mins)
Yeovil Town gained a battling home 0-0 draw on Bank Holiday Monday afternoon against a promotion-chasing Oxford United side. The Glovers were indebted to goalkeeper Artur Krysiak for his performance after he returned to the starting line-up for the first time in nearly two months, as he pulled off a number of second half saves that kept the visitors at bay. At the other end, Yeovil hit the crossbar for the second match running, with Josh Sheehan's 20 yard strike coming off the woodwork during the first half, but for the second game running they couldn't find the back of the net, with Dagenham and Redbridge's 3-1 away win ensuring that they ended 2015 at the foot of the League Two table, and two points adrift of their nearest opponents.
Darren Way went into the match making three changes to his starting line-up, with Krysiak displacing Chris Weale between the sticks, whilst both wingers dropped to the bench, as Iffy Allen and Nathan Smith were swapped for Ben Tozer and Jack Compton. That led to a formation change as well, with a 4-3-3 being deployed, in line with the tactics that had ended the Boxing Day fixture against Plymouth. Oxford's line-up included former Glovers loanee John Lundstram, who scored for his new side in their previous fixture.
Yeovil enjoyed plenty of the game during the first half, but it was Oxford who got the first clear-cut chance with Callum O'Dowda turning inside the box and freeing up Kemar Roofe to shoot, but Artur Krysiak was able to save. Josh Sheehan got in Yeovil's first attempt but it went comfortably wide of the posts, and that was followed up by Sheehan's corner which saw Darren Ward head over the bar. Like their trip to Home Park though, the Glovers were thwarted by the crossbar from distance. Matt Dolan was the unlucky man on Boxing Day, but this time round it was Sheehan's turn, as a good move down the left flank saw the ball come his way in a central position, and he unleashed a shot from the edge of the box that rebounded directly off the bar and to safety. That was followed by another Glovers effort as Francois Zoko fed Shaun Jeffers, but his shot was parried by Sam Slocombe for a corner.
Oxford gradually began to find their feet in the game, and a shot by Kemar Roofe had to be parried by Artur Krysiak around his post for a corner. However, the rhythm of the first half was disrupted somewhat by two lengthy injury delays in the closing stages, with Oxford being forced into an early substitution after Johnny Mullins left the field, whilst Ryan Dickson appeared to be struggling at times throughout the half, and he needed treatment three minutes before the break, with it being little surprise that he became the club's first substitution at half time - replaced by Nathan Smith, which at least meant that the Glovers didn't have to do any positional juggling. Deep into first half injury time, Callum O'Dowda fired over the bar when he had a golden opportunity to put Oxford into the lead, meaning that the teams went in level at the break.
The second period opened with Kemar Roofe being denied by the legs of Artur Krysiak, with Ryan Taylor being unable to convert the rebound as Krysiak blocked again. Inevitably with Oxford in second place in the table, they were playing for all three points, and with Yeovil's chances thinning out - a Francois Zoko flicked header from a corner was a rare effort - they began to get forced into a more defensive mode than they'd been during the first period. On the hour mark, Jakub Sokolik produced a brilliant block close to his own goal line after a ball by substitute Chey Dunkley appeared to find Jake Wright, but the Glovers defender threw his body across the ball to stop what would have been a certain goal.
That may have been a factor in why Sokolik had to be replaced five minutes later, as he limped off to be replaced by Alex Lacy for the final 20 minutes. Oxford ramped up the pressure in the closing stages, as Artur Krysiak ramped up the saves that would give him the sponsors man of the match on the day. Kemar Roofe, George Baldock and a number of goalmouth scrambles kept the Pole ultra-busy. But then wastefulness from Liam Sercombe denied Oxford as he struck the ball over the bar from close range with ten minutes remaining. Oxford ultimately couldn't find a route through, and the end result was a point for Yeovil - a good one in any other circumstances, but with the club's winless run in the league now stretching to sixteen games, and Dagenham's win at Stevenage sending them bottom, they will eventually need to start converting those draws into wins if they are to claw their way out of trouble.
Link: 2015-16 Latest League Two Table.
Final Score: Yeovil Town 0 Oxford United 0.
1. Artur Krysiak
24. Connor Roberts 6. Jakub Sokolik 26. Darren Ward (Capt) 11. Ryan Dickson
30. Josh Sheehan 4. Matt Dolan 2. Ben Tozer
10. Shaun Jeffers 39. Francois Zoko 14. Jack Compton
12. Chris Weale (GK) 3. Nathan Smith (46 mins for Ryan Dickson) 8. Marc Laird 19. Iffy Allen (73 mins for Jack Compton) 21. Alex Lacey (70 mins for Jakub Sokolik) 22. Mark Beck 25. Christian Maghoma
1. Sam Slocombe 2. George Baldock 3. Joe Skarz 4. Kemar Roofe 5. Johnny Mullins 6. Jake Wright (Capt) 8. Liam Sercombe 11. Alex MacDonald 15. Callum O'Dowda 18. John Lundstram 20. Ryan Taylor
7. Danny Rose 9. Patrick Hoban (75 mins for Callum O'Dowda) 10. Danny Hylton 13. Benji Buchel 14. Josh Ruffles 33. Chey Dunkley (35 mins for Johnny Mullins) 36. Jordan Evans
Yeovil Bookings: None.
Oxford Bookings: None.
Yeovil Match Statistics: Possession: 48%; Shots: 9; Shots On Target: 2; Corners: 4; Fouls: 10.
Oxford Match Statistics: Possession: 52%; Shots: 21; Shots On Target: 6; Corners: 9; Fouls: 9.
Referee: Stephen Martin (Staffordshire). Assistants: Mark Derrien (Dorset) and Andrew Bennett (Devon). Fourth Official: Ron Ganfield (Somerset).
Attendance: 4,661 (with 1,061 Oxford supporters).