Match Details: 10/09/2016
Yeovil Town 1-2 Hartlepool United
EFL League Two
Yeovil Goals: Matt Butcher (56)
Yeovil Line-Up: 1. Artur Krysiak, 2. Liam Shephard, 3. Nathan Smith, 4. Matthew Dolan, 6. Alex Lacey, 7. Kevin Dawson, 8. Alex Lawless, 9. Tom Eaves, 10. Otis Khan, 16. Matt Butcher, 23. Ryan Hedges,
Subs: 5. Bevis Mugabi, 12. Jonny Maddison, 14. Josh Ezewele, 15. Kyle Copp, 18. Izale McLeod, 19. Tahvon Campbell, 28. Ben Whitfield
Substitutes Used: Tahvon Campbell for Otis Khan (77 mins), Izale McLeod for Tom Eaves (77 mins), Ben Whitfield for Alex Lawless (84 mins)
Bookings: Nathan Smith (Foul, 75)
Yeovil Town suffered a final minute defeat this afternoon, as Hartlepool United took all three points at Huish Park to keep the Glovers in the League Two relegation zone. The damage was done by Nathan Thomas who managed to overturn an opening goal from AFC Bournemouth loanee Matt Butcher, who has put the Glovers ahead 11 minutes into the second half. But Thomas latched onto a long ball to equalise, then scored the winner deep into injury time when he fired an angled drive into the back of the net for a rather sickening 1-2 home defeat for Yeovil.
The Glovers went into the match making two changes to the side that lost 0-3 against Blackpool on the previous weekend. One was enforced, as Ryan Dickson's ankle problem put him out for another game. The big surprise was that Alex Lacey replaced him and captained the side - he hadn't been due back on the playing field for another month following his broken arm, but was able to play with a light cast supporting the arm. The other change was semi-enforced with Izale McLeod suffering a slight niggle that probably wouldn't have allowed him to complete a game, although Ryan Hedges' return from international duty made him an obvious replacement. On the bench, Josh Ezewele made it onto the teamsheet for the first time this season.
Hartlepool had been thrashed 6-1 on the previous weekend against the might of Stevenage, and their defensive wobbles showed early on, most notably when Matt Dolan stuck a ball into the sky and bodies rushed in to claim it. Goalkeeper Trevor Carson was one of those, but his fumbled attempt to grab the ball saw it go into the back of the net under pressure from Nathan Smith. It was a fairly obvious foul, but the confusion it caused showed how much the visitors had the jitters, and that was something Yeovil needed to exploit.
They did it fairly well during the first period in terms of controlling possession, but not so much in terms of getting big chances that would seriously worry Hartlepool. Gradually over the course of time, Hartlepool began to organise well enough to get bodies in the way of shots and that meant that Ryan Hedges had one attempt go out for a corner, whilst Kevin Dawson saw another from the edge of the box blocked by a full body of a Pools defender. On the occasions when they did break clean through, Hartlepool managed to hold their heads above water, with Hedges finding the best chance of a goalless half ended when Trevor Carson managed to block with his feet at the near post. Tom Eaves saw another effort deflect wide for a corner, with his header going over the bar at the next attempt.
The visitors were timewasting right from the very start - goalkeeper Trevor Carson's goal kicks were turning into a soap opera with the number of changes he made to his positioning of the ball on each kick, with referee Charles Breakspear giving him two verbal warnings whilst an increasingly irate home crowd voiced their complaints. Third time around, the yellow card came out. At the other end, they managed only a couple of attempts. The main point of criticism of the Glovers first half performance was that they were increasingly narrow in their attack, which allowed Hartlepool the opportunity to crowd bodies around the middle third of the width of the pitch, rather than trying to get the play stretched.
Hartlepool's Rob Jones was limping during the final five minutes of the half, so it was no surprise to find him replaced at the break. They also used that as an opportunity to change from their opening 3-5-2/5-3-2 formation and line up with a 4-3-3 that matched the Glovers up. That seemed to help the visitors more than it helped Yeovil, with Nathan Thomas having a shot pushed around the post by Artur Krysiak early on, as they forced the initative. In a bit of a twist though, Yeovil managed to take the lead during this period, despite it being their least impressive spell of the match up until that point. A corner from Matt Dolan was knocked about and headed back into the box. Matt Butcher seemed to have zero room to turn inside the box as Pools blocked him off, but he turned their defenders twice before firing home a low shot that seemed to take a small deflection on its way into the net.
With Yeovil 1-0 up, this was bound to change Hartlepool's attitude to the game. Ironically it was an ultra-quick goal kick from Trevor Carson - who had been the first half pantomime villain for how much time he was taking with them - that gave Hartlepool an equaliser ten minutes later. Yeovil had a corner which Carson claimed, and he chose to launch a rocket up field at speed. As the ball dropped from the sky, Liam Shephard made a bit of a pig's ear of the bounce, and Nathan Thomas - their only player up field, pounced on it, and weaved his way through before slotting the ball past the advancing Krysiak.
At this stage, Yeovil seemed to go into their shells somewhat, either through wanting to protect the point that they had, or perhaps through fear of what might come. Hartlepool were gradually becoming the superior side, and attempts to freshen things up by the introduction of Tahvon Campbell and Izale McLeod didn't really do what Darren Way presumably hoped it would. Instead Hartlepool were creating the chances - they had a goal chalked off after substitute Lewis Alessandra followed up a Nathan Thomas shot that Artur Krysiak fumbled, with the linesman's flag only going up when Alessandra went in for the loose ball and put it in the net.
But with four minutes of injury time signalled, the moment Yeovil had been fearing happened midway through that period. Winger Nathan Thomas, who had been Hartlepool's main outlet throughout the afternoon, got himself room on their right flank, and from the corner of the box, he curled a superb shot across the face of Artur Krysiak's goal for a 92nd minute winning goal. The home terrace, which had been horrifically sparse with the club's worst ever Football League crowd, suddenly got even more empty, and there were few in the ground still there to make their feelings known with some full time whistle booing. It wasn't as bad as last week's Blackpool defeat, but once again the Glovers had failed to make their periods of dominance count, whilst the opposition had made sure they had made their best periods of the game were fruitful, and that's what won them the game.
Link: 2016-17 Latest League Two Table.
Final Score: Yeovil Town 1 Hartlepool United 2.
Scorers: Matt Butcher (1-0, 56 mins), Nathan Thomas (1-1, 67 mins), Nathan Thomas (1-2, 90 mins)
1. Artur Krysiak
2. Liam Shephard 6. Alex Lacey, 3. Nathan Smith, 16. Matt Butcher
7. Kevin Dawson, 8. Alex Lawless, 4. Matt Dolan,
10. Otis Khan, 9. Tom Eaves, 23. Ryan Hedges
Substitutes: 12. Jonny Maddison 5. Bevis Mugabi 14. Josh Ezewele 15. Kyle Copp 18. Izale McLeod (77 mins for Tom Eaves) 19. Tahvon Campbell (77 mins for Otis Khan) 28. Ben Whitfield (84 mins for Alex Lawless)
1. Trevor Carson
5. Rob Jones 22. Aristote Nsiala 26. Scott Harrison
2. Carl Magnay 4. Nicky Featherstone 18. Lewis Hawkins 28. Josh Laurent 33. Liam Donnelly
7. Nathan Thomas 9. Padraig Amond
10. Billy Paynter 13. Adam Bartlett 15. Lewis Alessandra (46 mins for Rob Jones) 17. Nicky Deverdics (86 mins for Lewis Hawkins) 19. Jordan Richards 32. Bradley Fewster (77 mins for Padraig Amond) 34. Tom Heardman
Yeovil Bookings: Nathan Smith (75 mins, foul)
Hartlepool United Bookings: Trevor Carson (40 mins, timewasting), Josh Laurent (84 mins, foul), Nicky Deverdicks (90 mins, foul), Nicky Featherstone (90 mins, timewasting)
Yeovil Match Statistics: Possession: 49%; Shots: 10; Shots On Target: 5; Corners: 9; Fouls: 18.
Hartlepool United Match Statistics: Possession: 51%; Shots: 4; Shots On Target: 3; Corners: 5; Fouls: 14.
Referee: Charles Breakspear (Surrey). Assistants: Ravel Cheosiaua (Worcestershire) and Kevin Morris (Herefordshire). Fourth Official: Colin Lymer (Hampshire).
Attendance: 2,749 (with 66 Hartlepool United supporters).