Match Details: 22/04/2017
Grimsby Town 4-2 Yeovil Town
EFL League Two
Yeovil Goals: Alex Lawless (47), Francois Zoko (75)
Yeovil Line-Up: 2. Liam Shephard, 3. Nathan Smith, 4. Matthew Dolan, 6. Alex Lacey, 8. Alex Lawless, 10. Otis Khan, 11. Ryan Dickson, 12. Jonny Maddison, 13. Francois Zoko, 28. Ben Whitfield, 31. Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro,
Subs: 5. Bevis Mugabi, 9. Tom Eaves, 16. Matt Butcher, 17. Omar Sowunmi, 19. Brandon Goodship, 32. Tom James, 39. Shayon Harrison
Substitutes Used: Bevis Mugabi for Ben Whitfield (46 mins), Shayon Harrison for Liam Shephard (68 mins)
Yeovil Town were still unable to guarantee their League Two survival this afternoon, as they suffered their 10th away defeat of the season, with a 4-2 defeat at Grimsby Town. The Glovers were behind in the match almost from the start with Sam Jones converting a 6th minute penalty. Chris Clements fired home a second, and although Alex Lawless pulled one back early on in the second period, two goals in three minutes from Scott Vernon and Jamey Osborne made it a stroll in the park for Russell Slade's side, meaning that Francois Zoko's 75th minute strike wasn't likely to worry them. The Glovers slip to 20th again, and with Newport County winning they climb out of the relegation zone, meaning that one more point is still needed to ensure new 23rd placed side Hartlepool United can't catch them.
The Glovers went into the match making one change to their starting line-up. Kevin Dawson has been struggling with an ongoing injury for the past few weeks, so with Ben Whitfield having completed his three match suspension he came back into the squad in a like-for-like swap, as Dawson dropped entirely out of the squad. The substitutes bench was unchanged with Artur Krysiak and Darren Ward as long term absentees. In the Grimsby line-up, former midfielder James Berrett took to the field, whilst in the dugout the familiar face of Russell Slade was present in his third game for the Mariners.
Although Yeovil Town started relatively solidly, the first key piece of action saw them concede a penalty, six minutes into the match. Jamey Osborne was one of the key midfielders in the Solihull Moors side that former Grimsby boss Marcus Bignot had built up to knock Yeovil out of the FA Cup, and he has since moved across to Blundell Park. His run saw him brought down by Jonny Maddison inside the box and Sam Jones fired the spot kick straight down the middle for an early lead.
That was the main action from the opening 20 minutes, save for referee Eddie Ilderton making a pig's ear of breaking up one of Yeovil's few attacks as he accidentally blocked off a Ben Whitfield pass by getting in the way of the ball. Jamey Osborne tried a long range shot that was easily saved, whilst Scott Vernon fired wide, as the home side showed the greater attacking intent. It was therefore not too surprising when Grimsby doubled their lead - Chris Clements surged forward, riding two attempts to challenge him for the ball and then fired off a 36th minute shot from the edge of the box into the corner for a 2-0 lead.
Really all Yeovil could muster were two Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro attempts that went a fair distance wide. The first was a header from an Otis Khan cross after a corner had gone into a second attacking phase. He then tried a shot from distance that also went wide of the target. Grimsby were more incisive, with Sam Jones forcing another save out of Maddison, and the home side looked particularly comfortable with their half time lead.
At half time, Bevis Mugabi replaced Ben Whitfield in a tactical reshuffle as they came out in a 3-4-3 formation, with Ryan Dickson and Liam Shephard pushed into midfield, and Otis Khan going into a forward line. Initially it seemed as though that change might have worked. Two minutes into the half, Francois Zoko won a header inside the box, laying the ball off to Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro, who in turn fed the ball to Alex Lawless, who fired home from the edge of the box for a 2-1 scoreline.
This was Yeovil's best period of the whole 90 minutes, as Grimsby struggled to pick up players. But again, they couldn't carve out serious chances to worry their opponents excessively, and just short of the hour mark they conceded again. A corner from Danny Andrew was put into the box, and as Jonny Maddison couldn't fight his way through a crowd of players, Scott Vernon was judged as having got the final touch on a close range header, to restore Grimsby's two goal advantage at 3-1.
Three minutes later, it was game over. Yeovil's defensive shape was all over the place, with Jamey Osborne managing to catch them on the break. He cut inside last man Liam Shephard, and slid a low shot past Jonny Maddison to give the home side a 4-1 scoreline after just 62 minutes.
Shayon Harrison was brought on for Liam Shephard, as the 3-4-3 was undone, with Bevis Mugabi taking the right-back slot with the 4-4-2 restored with Harrison as the right winger. They did manage to pull one goal back, after Matt Dolan's 75th minute corner was only half cleared, with the ball dropping to Francois Zoko, whose smart shot from inside the box fired into the top corner from around 12 yards out. 4-2 now the deficit.
Grimsby probably looked the most likely to get any further goals, with substitute Callum Dyson producing a particularly impressive shot that Jonny Maddison matched with an even more impressive save, with Bevis Mugabi hacking the ball away. Dyson then forced another save during injury time - overall the back four and those who were meant to be protecting the back four didn't cope with Grimsby's attacking midfielders, and the end result was a deserved defeat. They'll need to get something from Game No.45 or for those below them to drop points to make things mathematically safe.
Link: 2016-17 Latest League Two Table.
Final Score: Grimsby Town 4 Yeovil Town 2.
Scorers: Sam Jones (1-0, 6 mins, pen), Chris Clements (2-0, 36 mins), Alex Lawless (2-1, 47 mins), Scott Vernon (3-1, 59 mins), Jamey Osborne (4-1, 62 mins), Francois Zoko (4-2, 75 mins)
1 James McKeown
12 Zak Mills 5 Shaun Pearson 22 Danny Collins 3 Danny Andrew
8 Craig Disley 16 James Berrett
32 Jamey Osborne 35 Sam Jones 31 Chris Clements
21 Scott Vernon
2 Ben Davies 10 Dominic Vose (76 mins for James Berrett) 18 Tom Bolarinwa (88 mins for Jamey Osborne) 20 Andrew Boyce 23 Dan Jones 26 Brandon Comley 29 Callum Dyson (71 mins for Scott Vernon)
12. Johnny Maddison
2. Liam Shephard 6. Alex Lacey 3. Nathan Smith (Capt) 11. Ryan Dickson
28. Ben Whitfield 8. Alex Lawless 4. Matt Dolan 10. Otis Khan
13. Francois Zoko 31. Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro
Substitutes: 5. Bevis Mugabi (46 mins for Ben Whitfield) 9. Tom Eaves 16. Matt Butcher 17. Omar Sowunmi 19. Brandon Goodship 32. Tom James 39. Shayon Harrison (68 mins for Liam Shephard)
Grimsby Town Bookings: None.
Yeovil Bookings: None.
Grimsby Town Match Statistics: Possession: 57%; Shots: 16; Shots On Target: 10; Corners: 3; Fouls: 9.
Yeovil Match Statistics: Possession: 43%; Shots: 6; Shots On Target: 2; Corners: 7; Fouls: 7.
Referee: Eddie Ilderton (Tyne and Wear). Assistants: Danny Gratton (Staffordshire) and Neil Sharp (Cleveland). Fourth Official: Mark Dwyer (West Yorkshire).
Attendance: 4,061 (with 101 Yeovil Town supporters).