Match Details: 07/04/2018
Yeovil Town 0-3 Luton Town
EFL League Two
Yeovil Line-Up: 4. Jared Bird, 6. Lewis Wing, 9. Rhys Browne, 11. Ryan Dickson, 13. Francois Zoko, 15. Jordan Green, 17. Omar Sowunmi, 18. Alex Fisher, 23. Tom James, 25. Stuart Nelson, 27. Shaun Donnellan,
Subs: 5. Bevis Mugabi, 7. Otis Khan, 12. Jonny Maddison, 14. Sam Surridge, 19. Marcus Barnes, 20. Oscar Gobern, 30. Alefe Santos
Substitutes Used: Bevis Mugabi for Rhys Browne (5 mins), Sam Surridge for Alex Fisher (54 mins), Oscar Gobern for Jordan Green (71 mins)
Yeovil Town came down to earth with a firm bump this afternoon, as second placed Luton Town did the double over them at Huish Park. The Glovers made it an uphill battle right from the start as Elliot Lee got in behind the back four to give the Hatters the lead with less than four minutes on the clock. Then came the crucial moment of the match as Ryan Dickson was dismissed for pulling back Danny Hylton inside the penalty area, with the Luton striker dispatching the spot kick. Francois Zoko also failed to finish the match as he became Yeovil's ninth dismissal of the season following an off the ball incident involving Alan McCormack, meaning that when Hylton got his second before the break, there were fears of another repeat of the opening day of the season's result. But with the second period turning into a training ground match, the 0-3 scoreline that stood at the break didn't get extended, leaving Yeovil in 19th place in the League Two table, but with two more suspensions to deal with in the coming weeks.
The Glovers went into the match naming an unchanged starting eleven for the third match in a row, with the only change seeing Ryan Seager drop off the teamsheet, with his Southampton teammate Marcus Barnes sitting on the bench as a replacement. In the Luton line-up, Marek Stech and Harry Cornick were on their bench, with Lawson D'Ath not making the line-up due to a recent injury, thus meaning that Nathan Jones was the only Hatter that played a part in the game, from his role in the dugouts.
Luton got themselves off to a flyer. With just 3 minutes and 10 seconds on the clock, they took the lead. A ball up field saw two Yeovil defenders challenge Danny Hylton for the ball. Unfortunately that meant that when Hylton won the flick-on, Elliot Lee was clean through on goal as he ran through, and he finished well into the corner past Stuart Nelson for a 0-1 advantage.
The visitors got numerous opportunities to extend that lead. One came after Shaun Donnellan lost the ball, leading to Elliot Lee forcing Stuart Nelson into a parried save. The keeper was alert enough to stop Danny Hylton hitting the rebound attempt into the back of the net. Then Omar Sowumni had to clear off his own goal line as he headed a James Collins attempt over the goal for a corner. Yeovil achieved little, with only an Alex Fisher effort from a Jared Bird cross going wide of the target.
It therefore wasn't too surprising when Luton doubled their lead 20 minutes into the match, although it was to be a pivotal moment. When the Yeovil Town defence looked stretched, Danny Hylton was pulled back by Ryan Dickson inside the box as he attempted to win a loose ball. The linesman flagged for the spot kick, and referee Brendan Malone deemed it as a goalscoring opportunity, meaning that Dickson was sent off. Up stepped Hylton and he blasted the spot kick home for a 0-2 advantage and a man advantage.
Yeovil reorganised, with Rhys Browne an early casualty to restore the back four, as Bevis Mugabi came on into a right-back slot, meaning that Tom James took the vacant position that left-back Dickson had vacated, leaving Yeovil lined up in a 4-3-2 formation. But things were to get worse than that just 13 minutes later, when Francois Zoko got involved in an off-the-ball incident involving Alan McCormack. Play had stopped for another incident when McCormack appeared to go down clutching his ribs, and referee Brendan Malone declared it as violent conduct, leaving Yeovil down to nine men - their ninth red card of the season, and Zoko's second dismissal of the season, that will almost certainly mean a four match ban.
The game had by this time turned ugly, with referee Malone spending some time lecturing Darren Way and Terry Skiverton for their reaction to those dismissals, whilst McCormack got loudly booed every time he got near the ball. But with numbers depleted heavily it wasn't too much of a shock when Luton got their third of the day, as Danny Hylton converted a James Collins cross. 0-3 down.
Given the temperature of the game, Hylton's decision to celebrate in front of the home supporters, mocking them, was one of stupidity, and he got himself a yellow card for that, with another incident 30 seconds later leading to Nathan Jones sensibly deciding to get his striker off the field before the match officials could produce further reds. The whole control of the game had gone, with five minutes of injury time needed to cope with all of the off-the-ball goings on that the match referee had to deal with, during which Jake Jervis fired over the bar with his first touch.
That made the second half of the match an entire write-off, played at the pace of a pre-season friendly at times. Thankfully for the most part, the temperature of the match was also lowered, apart from one moment when Alan McCormack was booked for a foul, then took a dive to try to claim a foul, with Nathan Jones again having to intervene to substitute one of his players for the second time in the match before the referee could get involved.
Most of the actual football came from Luton, with Glen Rea firing over the bar, followed by Stuart Nelson saving well in quick succession from James Collins and Alan McCormack. At the other end, Lewis Wing provided a little bit of minimal entertainment for the Glovers fans, as he fired over the bar, and then produced the club's one and only shot on target of the day, as he produced a 76th minute deflected shot that James Shea saved.
But in the end it was all a little bit of a non-event after the break. Luton didn't want to stretch themselves with the game in the bag, whilst for Yeovil it was largely about damage limitation, and not turning their two-man deficit into something that created embarrassment. The nine men did that fairly efficiently, although with Luton rarely bothering to step out of second gear, they weren't put under too much pressure. It was ultimately 'game over' just 40 minutes into the match, and that was the way it stayed, with Yeovil finishing the day in 18th place, and nine points off the relegation spot, as their fine performance on Easter Monday was firmly put into perspective against a Hatters side that have now put 20 goals past them in their last four meetings.
Link: 2017-18 Latest League Two Table.
Final Score: Yeovil Town 0 Luton Town 3.
Scorers: Elliot Lee (0-1, 4 mins), Danny Hylton (0-2, 20 mins, pen), Danny Hylton (0-3, 40 mins)
25. Stuart Nelson
23. Tom James 27. Shaun Donnellan 17. Omar Sowunmi 11. Ryan Dickson
15. Jordan Green 6. Lewis Wing 4. Jared Bird 9. Rhys Browne
18. Alex Fisher 13. Francois Zoko (Capt)
12. Jonny Maddison 5. Bevis Mugabi (21 mins for Rhys Browne) 7. Otis Khan 14. Sam Surridge (54 mins for Alex Fisher) 19. Marcus Barnes 20. Oscar Gobern (71 mins for Jordan Green) 30. Alefe Santos
36 James Shea
7 Jack Stacey 16 Glen Rea 44 Alan Sheehan 3 Dan Potts
8 Olly Lee 4 Alan McCormack 17 Pelly Ruddock
19 James Collins 9 Danny Hylton 38 Elliot Lee
1 Marek Stech 2 James Justin 5 John Mullins 14 Harry Cornick 15 Jake Jervis (44 mins for Danny Hylton) 20 Flynn Downes (77 mins for Alan McCormack) 22 Luke Gambin (88 mins for Elliot Lee)
Yeovil Bookings: None. Red Card: Ryan Dickson (19 mins, professional foul), Francois Zoko (32 mins, violent conduct)
Luton Town Bookings: Danny Hylton (41 mins, excessive celebration), Jack Stacey (70 mins, foul), Alan McCormack (75 mins, foul)
Yeovil Match Statistics: Possession: 32%; Shots: 3; Shots On Target: 1; Corners: 0; Fouls: 3.
Luton Town Match Statistics: Possession: 68%; Shots: 14; Shots On Target: 8; Corners: 4; Fouls: 10.
Referee: Brendan Malone (Wiltshire). Assistants: Adrian Tranter (Dorset) and Simon Knapp (Bristol). Fourth Official: Adam Penwell (Somerset).
Attendance: 4,316 (with 1,126 Luton Town supporters).