Match Details: 10/03/2018
Yeovil Town 0-2 Newport County
EFL League Two
Yeovil Line-Up: 6. Lewis Wing, 7. Otis Khan, 8. Connor Smith, 11. Ryan Dickson, 12. Jonny Maddison, 13. Francois Zoko, 14. Sam Surridge, 15. Jordan Green, 17. Omar Sowunmi, 22. Corey Whelan, 23. Tom James,
Subs: 4. Jared Bird, 5. Bevis Mugabi, 9. Rhys Browne, 18. Alex Fisher, 19. Marcus Barnes, 25. Stuart Nelson, 27. Shaun Donnellan
Substitutes Used: Marcus Barnes for Sam Surridge (60 mins), Rhys Browne for Jordan Green (70 mins), Alex Fisher for Otis Khan (77 mins)
Bookings: Francois Zoko (Foul, 45)
Yeovil Town slipped to their second consecutive home defeat this afternoon, after Newport County inflicted a 0-2 home defeat. After an even first half, it was former Swansea City loanee Josh Sheehan netted his first goal for 14 months to put the Glovers behind just before the hour mark, and despite having started the match well, play gradually deteriorated and veteran Paul Hayes polished the game off in injury time to leave Yeovil still struggling in 17th place, but fortunately still the same distance off the relegation spots.
The Glovers went into the match making two changes to the line-up that lost against Shrewsbury Town in midweek. Lewis Wing had been cup-tied for that match, and he was recalled as Oscar Gobern dropped out due to a knock he picked up in that game. Meanwhile Jared Bird was replaced by Sam Surridge as Darren Way headed back to a 4-4-2 formation. In the opposition line-up, the trio of Josh Sheehan, Matt Dolan and Ben Tozer lined up against their former club, with the Glovers boss having been bullish in his Thursday interview, in believing that his current crop of midfielders was better than his old charges.
The game took a while to warm up, with Yeovil's first two chances - and best efforts of the half - coming within 30 seconds of each other. A quickly taken free kick by Connor Smith came close to catching out Joe Day before the Newport keeper turned the ball around the corner of the post. From Otis Khan's corner kick, Omar Sowunmi forced Day into another save.
Newport had only really threatened through Ben Tozer's long throws, and it took until 35 minutes before they lined up a serious effort, when Joss Labadie shot over the bar from a Matt Dolan. As the half completed, the visitors began to find their feet properly, with Jonny Maddison having to palm the ball over the crossbar, when Padraig Amond flicked on a Matt Dolan cross/shot into the box. From that corner Amond got space at the near post to head over the bar, with there being a feeling that the visitors were starting to get on top - a long range Ben White free kick that went over the bar completing the half. There was a nasty moment in first half injury time when Francois Zoko caught Mickey Demetriou with his studs - thankfully referee Lee Collins saw it as worthy of a yellow, even if the Exiles tried to appeal for more.
The second period saw an Otis Khan effort deflected into the arms of the keeper, whilst Francois Zoko and Sam Surridge both shot wide. After Robbie Willmott also fired wide when he got into space, another Zoko chance saw him head wide from a Connor Smith cross.
That failure to test the keeper inevitably looked wasteful when Newport took the lead 12 mintutes into the half. For all of the pre-match talk about Ben Tozer and Matt Dolan's abilities as former players, it was the third ex-Glover that got the goal. Former Swansea City midfielder Josh Sheehan hadn't scored a goal since January 2017, partly due to a serious injury that has kept him out of action, but when right-back Ben White set him up, Sheehan was able to drill a low shot into the back of the net for a 0-1 advantage.
Initially Yeovil responded well, bringing the best out of Newport keeper Joe Day. A Corey Whelan cross saw Francois Zoko blocked at close range. Day then did even better when a Connor Smith cross found Zoko again - this time his header went to the bottom corner, but Day got his hand to the ball to push it around the post.
However, when those chances didn't go in the game began to deteriorate in terms of the quality and passing from the Glovers, and a shot from Paul Hayes that whistled just over the bar was a reminder that the Exiles were still dangerous. Frank Nouble also shot wide from range. In the closing stages Alex Fisher came on, as they finished the game playing a 4-3-3 formation as he partnered Marcus Barnes and Francois Zoko.
But it didn't really have an effect. Newport's own substitute Aaron Collins almost caught the Glovers on the break, with Tom James having to put in a great block for a corner to stop his counter-attack. And then three minutes into injury time, the points were sealed. Frank Nouble's cross into the box found Paul Hayes and he finished from inside the box into the corner of the net for a 0-2 scoreline, and final whistle booing and heckles from the home end at what had been a rapidly degenerating game from their point of view. Still eight points from relegation, still 17th, but with seven of their eleven remaining games coming on their travels, and nearly all games against top half of the table sides, they have to be wary of their position.
Link: 2017-18 Latest League Two Table.
Final Score: Yeovil Town 0 Newport County 2.
Scorers: Josh Sheehan (57 mins, 0-1), Paul Hayes (90 mins, 0-2)
12. Jonny Maddison
22. Corey Whelan 17. Omar Sowunmi 23. Tom James 11. Ryan Dickson
15. Jordan Green 6. Lewis Wing 8. Connor Smith 7. Otis Khan
14. Sam Surridge 13. Francois Zoko (Capt)
25. Stuart Nelson 9. Rhys Browne (70 mins for Jordan Green) 4. Jared Bird 5. Bevis Mugabi 18. Alex Fisher (77 mins for Otis Khan) 19. Marcus Barnes (60 mins for Sam Surridge) 27. Shaun Donnellan
1 Joe Day
6 Ben White 12 Ben Tozer 28 Mickey Demetriou
7 Robbie Willmott 31 Josh Sheehan 8 Matthew Dolan 4 Joss Labadie 3 Dan Butler
9 Padraig Amond 39 Paul Hayes
10 Frank Nouble (56 mins for Padraig Amond) 13 Marlon Jackson 15 Shawn McCoulsky 17 Scot Bennett (81 mins for Matt Dolan) 19 Tyler Reid 30 James Bittner 45 Aaron Collins (84 mins for Robbie Willmott)
Yeovil Bookings: Francois Zoko (foul, 45 mins)
Newport County Bookings: Paul Hayes (foul, 67 mins), Joss Labadie (foul, 83 mins)
Yeovil Match Statistics: Possession: 45%; Shots: 11; Shots On Target: 5; Corners: 5; Fouls: 10.
Newport County Match Statistics: Possession: 55%; Shots: 12; Shots On Target: 4; Corners: 8; Fouls: 15.
Referee: Lee Collins (Surrey). Assistants: Paul Hobday (West Midlands) and Darren Wilding (Worcestershire). Fourth Official: Marc Whaley (Devon).
Attendance: 2,880 (with 439 Newport County supporters).