Match Details: 30/12/2016
Yeovil Town 0-0 Portsmouth
EFL League Two
Yeovil Line-Up: 1. Artur Krysiak, 2. Liam Shephard, 3. Nathan Smith, 6. Alex Lacey, 7. Kevin Dawson, 8. Alex Lawless, 9. Tom Eaves, 10. Otis Khan, 11. Ryan Dickson, 19. Tahvon Campbell, 28. Ben Whitfield
Subs: 5. Bevis Mugabi, 12. Jonny Maddison, 13. Francois Zoko, 14. Josh Ezewele, 16. Matt Butcher, 17. Omar Sowunmi, 22. Ollie Bassett,
Substitutes Used: Bevis Mugabi for Liam Shephard (21 mins), Francois Zoko for Tahvon Campbell (71 mins), Matt Butcher for Ben Whitfield (82 mins)
Bookings: Ryan Dickson (Foul, 90)
Yeovil Town gained their second 0-0 draw of the Christmas period this evening, as they ended up having to settle for a share of the points with play-off chasing Portsmouth. At a foggy Huish Park, a fairly even encounter overall saw the visitors create the best first half chances, with Artur Krysiak pulling off a superb save from Kal Naismith in the lead-up to the break. But it was the Glovers who came the closest, as Otis Khan found the goalframe in the way, with his late shot coming off the angle and back out, as they finished December with three games on home turf without finding the back of the net - three fixtures tonight mean that they rise one place to 12th for the time being at least.
The Glovers went into the match making one change to their starting line-up from the team that turned out against Exeter City on Boxing Day. That change was an enforced one with Ryan Hedges ruled out of action for four to six weeks with an ankle injury, allowing Tahvon Campbell the chance to come into the side. In the Portsmouth line-up, they chose to retain their side that won 3-2 on Boxing Day, with Kal Naismith and Michael Smith having also been their most convincing players in the season's earlier EFL Trophy tie.
The match took place in fog. Thick thick fog, meaning that anyone stood behind one goal for the match was only realistically going to see half the game. Thus in the first half, most Yeovil fans got to see the Pompey attacks - those appeared to be the pick of the first half attempts, even if an early Ben Whitfield effort went wide of the target as the first effort at the goal. The first on target one came from Kal Naismith as Artur Krysiak had to punch over his own crossbar for a corner. From that set piece, Naismith's corner found Matt Clarke, but the centre back's attempt went wide. Naismith was again the provider as Michael Smith shot wide, before Carl Baker put one over the bar.
Yeovil were forced into an early change as Liam Shephard went down off the ball - the initial assumption was that he was injured, but post-match indications were that he was merely ill - Bevis Mugabi replaced him. As the first half closed, Yeovil began to assert themselves a bit more, with Otis Khan's shot flying over the bar, whilst another Ben Whitfield attempt went wide. A Khan free kick produced their first on target effort but was too central to worry Pompey keeper David Forde. As the half closed, the best save of the half came from Artur Krysiak as he flung himself at a Naismith shot, with the ball running loose on the parry - thankfully a linesman's offside flag prevented any issues on what might have happened next. Good defending then stopped Michael Doyle from getting in a clean shot from a Carl Baker free kick, as the ball bobbled out via a defender's leg for an apparent corner which never got taken due to the half time whistle.
A fairly quiet and even start to the second period saw neither side offer anything of note until ten minutes in, when Portsmouth's Noel Hunt and Yeovil's Kevin Dawson both had good efforts from distance, but again with the goalkeepers easily positioned to save. Substitutions began to kick in as Francois Zoko was introduced for Tahvon Campbell, with both defences looking very resolute. Artur Krysiak had to save from Michael Smith but was largely well shielded by his back four during the evening, with Pompey getting one clear sight on goal, when a Smith header beat Krysiak to a cross, but with Ryan Dickson anticpating well to hack the loose ball clear - Pompey's best chance of the match.
Then with seven minutes remaining, came Yeovil's best chance. Otis Khan once again found the goal frame frustrating him as his shot inside the box came off crossbar and post and back out again, with Tom Eaves unable to get his boot on the rebound for what would have been an almost certain winner. The Glovers finished the game strongly, but that was to be the one clear moment they had to break the deadlock in a generally even game. The frustration for them will be that they have only picked up two points from their two Christmas home fixtures, although with Pompey almost certainly likely to reach the play-offs this year, holding their more wealthy opponents to a draw was no mean feat on the night. Shame that for many in the crowd, they only saw around 50 percent of the game, as the fog proved to be just as much of a frustration as the angle of Khan's late strike.
Link: 2016-17 Latest League Two Table.
Final Score: Yeovil Town 0 Portsmouth 0.
1. Artur Krysiak
2. Liam Shephard 6. Alex Lacey 3. Nathan Smith 11. Ryan Dickson (Capt)
7. Kevin Dawson 8. Alex Lawless 28. Ben Whitfield
19. Tahvon Campbell 9. Tom Eaves 10. Otis Khan
Substitutes: 12. Jonny Maddison 5. Bevis Mugabi (21 mins for Liam Shephard) 13. Francois Zoko (71 mins for Tahvon Campbell) 14. Josh Ezewele 16. Matt Butcher (82 mins for Ben Whitfield) 17. Omar Sowunmi 22. Ollie Bassett
1. David Forde
26. Gareth Evans 5. Matthew Clarke 6. Christian Burgess 3. Enda Stevens
7. Carl Baker 4. Danny Rose 8. Michael Doyle 22. Kal Naismith
20. Noel Hunt 9. Michael Smith
10. Milan Lalkovic 13. Liam O'Brien 16. Jack Whatmough 19. Conor Chaplin (82 mins for Carl Baker) 21. Adam Buxton 23. Kyle Bennett (67 mins for Noel Hunt) 24. Amine Linganzi (90 mins for Michael Doyle).
Yeovil Bookings: Ryan Dickson (foul, 90 mins)
Portsmouth Bookings: None
Yeovil Match Statistics: Possession: 52%; Shots: 10; Shots On Target: 5; Corners: 2; Fouls: 7.
Portsmouth Match Statistics: Possession: 48%; Shots: 11; Shots On Target: 4; Corners: 4; Fouls: 11.
Referee: Christopher Sarginson (Lancashire). Assistants: Neil Radford (Worcestershire) and Michael Webb (Surrey). Fourth Official: Adrian Quelch (Dorset).
Attendance: 6,306 (with 2,084 Portsmouth supporters).