Match Details: 17/12/2016
Carlisle United 2-1 Yeovil Town
EFL League Two
Yeovil Goals: Nathan Smith (48)
Yeovil Line-Up: 1. Artur Krysiak, 2. Liam Shephard, 3. Nathan Smith, 6. Alex Lacey, 7. Kevin Dawson, 8. Alex Lawless, 11. Ryan Dickson, 13. Francois Zoko, 16. Matt Butcher, 19. Tahvon Campbell, 23. Ryan Hedges,
Subs: 5. Bevis Mugabi, 9. Tom Eaves, 10. Otis Khan, 12. Jonny Maddison, 14. Josh Ezewele, 15. Kyle Copp, 28. Ben Whitfield
Substitutes Used: Otis Khan for Tahvon Campbell (64 mins), Tom Eaves for Francois Zoko (71 mins), Ben Whitfield for Matt Butcher (85 mins)
Yeovil Town went down to their second defeat in a row, as poor defensive play during the first half saw them lose to Carlisle United. The Cumbrians grabbed the three points thanks to a superb long range Shaun Brisley strike that saw him beat Artur Krysiak from 35 yards out. They then doubled their lead as shaky Glovers defending allowed Charlie Wyke to head home from a corner. The Glovers fought their way back after half time, with Nathan Smith getting his third career goal for Yeovil as he headed home a corner. But the home side held on for three points that kept their automatic promotion hopes going strong, whilst the Glovers dropped two places down to 12th.
The Glovers went into the match making three changes to last weekend's line-up against Barnet, with all of them being tactical. In the front line, Francois Zoko was given a start against his former employers, whilst Tahvon Campbell came in, as Otis Khan and Tom Eaves sat on the bench. In midfield, Matt Butcher displaced his AFC Bournemouth teammate Ben Whitfield. With Omar Sowunmi out injured, Kyle Copp came in to warm the bench.
Tahvon Campbell had a couple of early opportunities for the Glovers, with one seeing him cut in from the left and force Carlisle keeper Mark Gillespie into a parried save. But Carlisle were causing the Glovers defence some discomfort with Shaun Miller's shot being saved by Artur Krysiak, whilst a follow-up attempt was hacked away.
Ten minutes into the match, home took the lead with a bit of a thunder-strike. The ball had been half cleared, and when Shaun Miller challenged Ryan Dickson for the ball, it broke to Shaun Brisley who was in an advanced position following a set piece. He struck the ball from 35 yards out with the sort of shot that a centre-back should never be able to make - a looping effort that crashed past Artur Krysiak and into the top of the net, for a 1-0 lead.
Yeovil looked overall shaky at the back and that was demonstrated when Carlisle almost doubled their lead. Shaun Miller chipped the ball over Artur Krysiak, with the ball coming off the underside of the crossbar and coming back out. Thankfully, Nicky Adams fluffed an open rebound by hitting the ball over the bar. More edgy defending saw Michael Raynes stab the ball wide of the target in a goalmouth scramble, whilst a poor backpass by Nathan Smith put his side in danger, with Krysiak thankfully coming off his line to narrow the angle and send Miller wide before he could take the opportunity.
But it was another defensive wobble that put Carlisle on their way to going 2-0 up. Artur Krysiak dropped a ball he normally would have caught, and the ball went out for a corner. Nicky Adams swung the ball in, and Charlie Wyke got far too much room to head home at the near post to double their lead. In the middle third, Yeovil weren't too shabby during the half, whilst Tahvon Campbell was lively and shot wide in the closing stages. But Carlisle got their half time lead due to the edginess around the back five Yeovil players that seemed to put them on the back foot on a few too many occasions.
The second half was a different kettle of fish. With fifteen minutes to clear their heads, they came out fresh and scored within three minutes of the restart. From a Ryan Hedges corner, Nathan Smith was inside the box to head home the set piece, and give Yeovil exactly what they needed to change the tone of the game.
Ignited by the goal, suddenly Yeovil were on the front foot again, and Tahvon Campbell's header came off Shaun Brisley for a corner, with a Ryan Hedges angled shot also saved by the Carlisle goalkeeper. That wasn't to say that the home side were completely under the cosh - they were managing to break away on a number of occasions to ensure Yeovil couldn't go too gung ho. But the Glovers looked far more dangerous, demonstrated when Francois Zoko's cross found the unlikely party of Liam Shephard heading the ball towards goal but being palmed away.
Substitutions came out in force as Tom Eaves and Otis Khan were introduced into the front line, restoring last weekend's attacking trio. Of course the more Yeovil pushed up in the closing stages, the more open spaces they would leave at the other end - Carlisle substitute Jabo Ibehre should have taken advantage of a poor Artur Krysiak goal kick, as he got the chance to run at his goal, but the Glovers keeper was alert enough to produce an excellent save to undo his error. Krysiak also saved from Jamie Devitt as the clock ticked into the final ten minutes.
The Yeovil bench thought they should have had a penalty when Ryan Hedges was tackled by Macaulay Gillesphey as he ran into the box. Referee Darren Handley thought otherwise, and decided the left-back had got a touch on the ball as he signalled for a corner, leaving the Glovers bench furious with the decision, and manager Darren Way accusing the match official of 'bottling it' in his post-match interview. In the time that remained, Carlisle could have made their life a little easier, but Jabo Ibehre fluffed a routine header from a Nicky Adams cross by putting it wide, whilst the same player saw his deflected shot superbly saved by Krysiak before Nathan Smith hacked the loose ball away from close to his goal line. Despite two 95th minute corners for Yeovil, they couldn't quite create the golden chance they needed to equalise, and instead would have to reflect upon why it took them until the second period to stabilise their back line and give themselves a fighting chance. They instead slip to 12th, although still in a position that could make the second half of their season an interesting one.
Link: 2016-17 Latest League Two Table.
Final Score: Carlisle United 2 Yeovil Town 1.
Scorers: Shaun Brisley (1-0, 10 mins), Charlie Wyke (2-0, 36 mins), Nathan Smith (2-1, 48 mins)
1. Mark Gillespie
23. Tom Miller 5. Michael Raynes 15. Shaun Brisley 12. Macaulay Gillesphey
19. Reggie Lambe 7. Jason Kennedy 4. Luke Joyce 10. Nicky Adams
20. Shaun Miller 9. Charlie Wyke
6. Mark Ellis 11. Derek Asamoah 14. Jabo Ibehre (73 mins for Shaun Miller) 17. Jamie Devitt (72 mins for Charlie Wyke) 22. Max Crocombe 26. Kevin Wright 44. Alex McQueen
1. Artur Krysiak
2. Liam Shephard 6. Alex Lacey 3. Nathan Smith 11. Ryan Dickson (Capt)
7. Kevin Dawson 8. Alex Lawless 16. Matt Butcher
23. Ryan Hedges 13. Francois Zoko 19. Tahvon Campbell
Substitutes: 12. Jonny Maddison 5. Bevis Mugabi 9. Tom Eaves (71 mins for Francois Zoko) 10. Otis Khan (64 mins for Tahvon Campbell) 14. Josh Ezewele 15. Kyle Copp 28. Ben Whitfield (85 mins for Matt Butcher)
Yeovil Bookings: None.
Carlisle United Bookings: Jason Kennedy (foul, 65 mins), Nicky Adams (ungentlemanly conduct, 90 mins)
Carlisle United Match Statistics: Possession: 47%; Shots: 11; Shots On Target: 7; Corners: 5; Fouls: 11.
Yeovil Match Statistics: Possession: 53%; Shots: 16; Shots On Target: 5; Corners: 11; Fouls: 8.
Referee: Darren Handley (Lancashire). Assistants: Richard Wild (Lancashire) and Richard Bartlett (Cheshire). Fourth Official: Alf Greenwood (North Yorkshire).
Attendance: 4,636 (with 96 Yeovil supporters).