Match Details: 11/03/2017
Morecambe 1-3 Yeovil Town
EFL League Two
Yeovil Goals: Matt Butcher (45), Alex Lacey (65), Bevis Mugabi (71)
Yeovil Line-Up: 1. Artur Krysiak, 2. Liam Shephard, 4. Matthew Dolan, 5. Alex Lacey, 6. Bevis Mugabi, 7. Kevin Dawson, 8. Alex Lawless, 9. Tom Eaves, 11. Ryan Dickson, 13. Francois Zoko, 28. Ben Whitfield,
Subs: 12. Jonny Maddison, 16. Matt Butcher, 17. Omar Simpson, 22. Ollie Bassett, 31. Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro, 32. Tom James, 39. Shayon Harrison
Substitutes Used: Matt Butcher for Alex Lawless (44 mins)
Bookings: Matt Butcher (Foul, 84)
Yeovil Town broke a run of eight games without a win this afternoon, as they beat Morecambe by a 3-1 scoreline at the Globe Arena. Their first away victory in the league since October was sparked when AFC Bournemouth loanee Matt Butcher volleyed home on the stroke of half time for his second goal of the season, after the Glovers had switched midway through the half into a 4-4-2 formation. The home side applied early second half pressure and equalised when Antony Evans tapped in. But Alex Lacey put his side in front from close range after Ben Whitfield's ball into the box, and Whitfield's corner was responsible for Bevis Mugabi heading home for the decisive third goal of the day and their first league victory on the road since the October 22nd win at Crewe Alexandra.
The Glovers went into the match making one change to their starting line-up, as Barnet loanee Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro dropped out of the starting line-up with Tom Eaves coming back in. There was also a formation change, with the regular 4-3-3 being restored as Eaves came into the middle. A foot injury for Brandon Goodship allowed Ollie Bassett a chance for his first bench position since January. In the visitors line-up they were without former Glover Michael Rose who was serving a two match suspension.
The match got off to a lively start as Morecambe striker Kevin Ellison forced Artur Krysiak into an early save on his 100th appearance for the club. At the other end, Ben Whitfield's low skidding shot was palmed away from Barry Roche but without anyone able to get the loose ball on the rebound. From a corner shortly after, Alex Lacey - who had picked up an early head injury that left him with a head bandage - looped a header that caused Roche with a bit of discomfort but the keeper managed to backpedal and get a hand to hook it over the bar.
After that early flurry, Yeovil decided to switch to a classic 4-4-2 formation, with Morecambe's wing-backs having enjoyed a bit too much space early on. Ben Whitfield and Kevin Dawson took the wide positions, with Dawson and right-back Liam Shephard having to deal with the softer side of the pitch. Both sides had half chances, with two attempts by Paul Mullin for the home side, whilst Tom Eaves had a header flicked wide of the target.
Whilst the game was much more open than recent away matches had been, the big issue was whether some clear cut chances could be created. It looked as though the game was heading for the break without either side having created that true killer chance, when Matt Butcher created a goal out of the blue. Tom Eaves had a shot blocked just on the stroke of first half injury time, and when the ball ricocheted up in the air, Butcher volleyed a superb strike first time to send the ball into the roof of the net for a 1-0 half time lead.
Morecambe came roaring back straight after the break, immediately forcing the initiative from kick-off in what was to be their best spell of the game. Artur Krysiak had to make early saves from Lee Molyneux and Kevin Ellison, with the home side being gifted another opportunity after a mistake by Bevis Mugabi let in Paul Mullin, only to find Krysiak standing strong again. With all that pressure it wasn't too surprising that the home team equalised - again Mullin was involved, as his shot forced Krysiak to parry, and Antony Evans was on hand to fire home the rebound.
Yeovil weathered the storm, and tried to slow the play down, having created little themselves since the break, but they got a big boost when their first opportunity of the second half landed in the back of the net. There was a bit of fortune behind it, in that Ben Whitfield's cross into the box played pinball inside the box, with Morecambe unable to clear their lines, and it fell nicely to Alex Lacey, who fired home from close range for a 2-1 lead.
Rather than settle for that scoreline, Yeovil were the most positive they'd been in months, as they pushed play up field, with Francois Zoko unfortunate to get a goal, as Barry Roche saved his volleyed effort. But the Glovers got their third of the afternoon when a Ben Whitfield corner found the head of Bevis Mugabi for his first Football League competition goal, and Whitfield's second assist of the day. 3-1 up!
With the sudden two goal buffer, Yeovil began to play with freedom. They should have been further ahead shortly after, when Kevin Dawson set up Matt Dolan, and his typical long range shot bounced off the goalpost. Awaiting the rebound was Francois Zoko and he should have buried it, but ended up firing over the bar, with a bit too emphasis on power rather than placement. Further chances fell for Liam Shephard and Ben Whitfield, with the former shot beaten away by Roche who was having a difficult afternoon.
In the closing stages, another Matt Dolan long ranger was saved, before Tom Eaves missed a great opportunity to score after Whitfield set him up - the shot went wide of the target instead. But the third goal had killed Morecambe's resolve, and once that went in there was only one outcome in the match. The formation change gave Yeovil more open expansive football, and it suited them as they ran out as comfortable winners. That victory still keeps them 17th but most importantly will help settle any nerves in terms of what was happening below them in the table - the 11 point gap should mean they can play their final ten games with a bit of freedom, which they did today.
Link: 2016-17 Latest League Two Table.
Final Score: Morecambe 1 Yeovil Town 3.
Scorers: Matt Butcher (0-1, 45 mins), Antony Evans (1-1, 53 mins), Alex Lacey (1-2, 65 mins), Bevis Mugabi (1-3, 71 mins)
1 Barry Roche
5 Ryan Edwards 6 Dean Winnard 16 Alex Whitmore
19 Michael Duckworth 21 Antony Evans 8 Peter Murphy 10 Lee Molyneux
15 Aaron Wildig
7 Paul Mullin 11 Kevin Ellison
2 Liam Wakefield 3 Aaron McGowan 12 Danijel Nizic 14 Luke Conlan 17 Andrew Fleming 18 Rhys Turner (78 mins for Antony Evans) 27 Luke Jordan (78 mins for Kevin Ellison)
1. Artur Krysiak
2. Liam Shephard 6. Bevis Mugabi 5. Alex Lacey 11. Ryan Dickson (Capt)
7. Kevin Dawson 8. Alex Lawless 4. Matt Dolan
28. Ben Whitfield 9. Tom Eaves 13. Francois Zoko
Substitutes: 12. Johnny Maddison 16. Matt Butcher (44 mins for Alex Lawless) 17. Omar Sowunmi 22. Ollie Bassett 31. Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro 32. Tom James 39. Shayon Harrison
Morecambe Bookings: Kevin Ellison (foul, 74 mins)
Yeovil Bookings: Matt Butcher (foul, 84 mins)
Morecambe Match Statistics: Possession: 46%; Shots: 15; Shots On Target: 9; Corners: 5; Fouls: 10.
Yeovil Match Statistics: Possession: 54%; Shots: 24; Shots On Target: 7; Corners: 7; Fouls: 13.
Referee: Mark Brown (East Yorkshire). Assistants: Kevin Mulraine (Cumbria) and Matthew Bristow (Manchester). Fourth Official: Aaron Jackson (Liverpool).
Attendance: 1,433 (with 95 Yeovil Town supporters).