Match Details: 26/12/2018
Exeter City 2-1 Yeovil Town
EFL League Two
Yeovil Goals: Tom James (53)
Yeovil Line-Up: 1. Stuart Nelson, 2. Adel Gafaiti, 3. Carl Dickinson, 4. Gary Warren, 7. Rhys Browne, 9. Alex Fisher, 11. Jordan Green, 13. Francois Zoko, 20. Sessi D'Almeida, 23. Tom James, 30. Alefe Santos
Subs: 5. Bevis Mugabi, 10. Jake Gray, 12. Nathan Baxter, 18. Yoann Arquin, 24. Olufela Olomola, 27. Shaun Donnellan, 28. Devon Arnold,
Substitutes Used: Yoann Arquin for Rhys Browne (50 mins), Olufela Olomola for Francois Zoko (74 mins)
Bookings: Jordan Green (Handball, 23), Rhys Browne (Foul, 50)
Yeovil Town's poor run of form continued on Boxing Day, as a late goal from Jayden Stockley sent them home from St James Park with a 2-1 defeat. The lunchtime West Country derby saw Exeter City take the lead towards the end of the first half when Lee Holmes cut inside before curling a shot into the top corner. In an improved second period, the Glovers equalised when Tom James bagged his fourth goal of the season but his first from open play, as he drove a 25 yard shot home. But Grecians top scorer Stockley grabbed the win when he scrambled home the winner from close range with just two minutes remaining, leaving Yeovil winless in their last seven matches.
The Glovers went into the match naming an unchanged side compared to the team with the only alteration being the inclusion of Bevis Mugabi on the bench, meaning that Omari Patrick dropped out, whilst Enes Mahmoutovic was a second loanee also absent from the teamsheet. In the Exeter line-up former loanee Nicky Law started, whilst former defender Aaron Martin sat on the bench, as the Grecians also opted for an unchanged starting eleven.
Exeter started the match as the superior side, with Lee Holmes finding his shot blocked by Carl Dickinson for what would turn out to be a succession of four corners. For one of those, a bit of a goalmouth scramble materialised after Dara O'Shea flicked the ball on, but Yeovil eventually cleared their lines on each occasion, with Stuart Nelson, Adel Gafaiti and Gary Warren having been kept particularly busy.
At the other end, Yeovil contributed almost nothing during the half. Only Sessi D'Almeida managed any shots, and even those were well wide, with one going well over and into the Big Bank stand, whilst another skewed a yard or two wide. Exeter almost got the ball in the net when a Lee Martin lob over Stuart Nelson was clearly goalbound but some superb defending by Tom James managed to see the ball cleared off the line to keep the scores level.
But that was the warning for Yeovil to up their game. Instead, Exeter scored with their next attack 35 minutes into the match, with Lee Holmes cutting in from the right flank, breaking past Rhys Browne, and then curling a shot from the edge of the box into the far corner of the net, for a 1-0 advantage which on the balance of play the home side had deserved. They stayed on top until the half time whistle, with Lee Martin's 30 yard effort going wide, but showing their territory that had given them the single goal.
Yeovil came out of the traps much more sharply during the second period, even though that didn't save Rhys Browne from being substituted for Yoann Arquin to come on. Eight minutes into the half, they drew level. Tom James has unusually been one of Yeovil's best attacking outlets in the last couple of months, although they've normally come from set pieces. On this occasion, he picked up a loose ball and drove a low shot from 25 yards out and into the bottom corner for a 1-1 equaliser. Game on, with Yeovil's first shot on target of the match!
Exeter responded to Yeovil's new impetus, as Nicky Law fired over the bar. But this was a much more evenly-contested half of football than the first half had been, with Yoann Arquin attempting to repeat his stunning Northampton goal by an improvised long range strike that caught out Grecians keeper Christy Pym who could only palm the ball away for a corner. Tom James fired over from a 20 yard free kick as Yeovil again tried their luck from distance, but they got a far more realistic chance to take the lead when substitute Olufela Olomola turned on the penalty box and shot, only to find Pym's legs getting in the way of his shot.
The home side were still in the game though, and they managed to get their noses in front with a bit of persistence from a corner. Nicky Law took the set piece and when it was only half cleared, the ball returned into the penalty box and Dean Moxey's shot was saved by Stuart Nelson. The quickest to react was Jayden Stockley, who netted his 15th goal of the season, and in the 88th minute one that would turn out to be the winning goal of the game.
Yeovil rallied, as within 60 seconds of kick-off, Jordan Green fired a drive that came off the post, with Alex Fisher desperate to get in on the rebound before it was cleared for a corner. In injury time an Adel Gafaiti header was saved by Christy Pym, but Exeter held on, sending Yeovil home to a 2-1 defeat, with a run of form that leaves the Glovers winless in seven League Two matches, and with only one win to their name in their last 15 league matches. They will have to sit and sweat out the other ten League Two matches this afternoon, but with Cambridge United winning in the other lunchtime game, their current 20th place position is tightening up.
Link: 2018-19 Latest League Two Table.
Final Score: Exeter City 2 Yeovil Town 1.
Scorers: Lee Holmes (1-0, 34 mins), Tom James (1-1, 53 mins), Jayden Stockley (2-1, 88 mins)
1 Christy Pym
2 Pierce Sweeney 4 Dara O'Shea 21 Dean Moxey 3 Craig Woodman
8 Nicky Law 25 Jake Taylor 27 Archie Collins 10 Lee Holmes
7 Lee Martin
11 Jayden Stockley
5 Aaron Martin 6 Jordan Tillson (89 mins for Nicky Law) 13 James Hamon 14 Jonathan Forte 17 Matt Jay 19 Tristan Abrahams (76 mins for Lee Martin) 24 Chiedozie Ogbene (74 mins for Lee Holmes)
1. Stuart Nelson
23. Tom James 2. Adel Gafaiti 4. Gary Warren (Capt) 3. Carl Dickinson
11. Jordan Green 20. Sessi D'Almeida 30. Alefe Santos 7. Rhys Browne
9. Alex Fisher 13. Francois Zoko
12. Nathan Baxter (GK) 5. Bevis Mugabi 10. Jake Gray 18. Yoann Arquin (50 mins for Rhys Browne) 24. Olufela Olomola (74 mins for Francois Zoko) 27. Shaun Donnellan 28. Devon Arnold
Exeter City Bookings: None.
Yeovil Bookings: Jordan Green (handball, 23 mins), Rhys Browne (foul, 50 mins)
Exeter City Match Statistics: Possession: 58%; Shots: 8; Shots On Target: 2; Corners: 7; Fouls: 13.
Yeovil Match Statistics: Possession: 42%; Shots: 13; Shots On Target: 4; Corners: 7; Fouls: 6.
Referee: Graham Salisbury (Lancashire). Assistants: Ronald Ganfield (Somerset) and Ben Cobb (Dorset). Fourth Official: Sam Allison (Wiltshire).
Attendance: 5,974 (with 576 Yeovil Town supporters)