Match Details: 12/01/2019
Mansfield Town 0-1 Yeovil Town
EFL League Two
Yeovil Goals: Jordan Green (19)
Yeovil Line-Up: 2. Adel Gafaiti, 3. Carl Dickinson, 4. Gary Warren, 10. Jake Gray, 11. Jordan Green, 12. Nathan Baxter, 13. Francois Zoko, 20. Sessi D'Almeida, 21. Joshua Grant, 23. Tom James, 25. Alex Dobre,
Subs: 1. Stuart Nelson, 5. Bevis Mugabi, 7. Rhys Browne, 9. Alex Fisher, 15. Gabriel Rogers, 18. Yoann Arquin, 30. Alefe Santos
Substitutes Used: Rhys Browne for Alex Dobre (72 mins), Alex Fisher for Jake Gray (83 mins), Bevis Mugabi for Francois Zoko (88 mins)
Bookings: Francois Zoko (Handball, 79)
Yeovil Town broke their ten match run of games without a win, with a battling 1-0 victory over Mansfield Town this afternoon. The surprise three points came against a side who started the day in fourth place, and came via a 19th minute Jordan Green goal, after he picked up a through ball from Carl Dickinson. The Glovers had to dig deep to hang onto the lead, particularly during the second period when Chelsea loanee Nathan Baxter made a couple of terrific saves, but defensive blocks got them through it, to finally provide their first winning feeling since the tail end of October, and to keep their distance from Macclesfield Town, whose victory at Grimsby Town keeps the lower positions in the table competitive.
The Glovers went into the match making four changes to their starting line-up compared to last weekend's game against Bury. Adel Gafaiti was recalled in the heart of defence, with new loan signing Joshua Grant sitting in the right-back position, as Shaun Donnellan left the club, and Bevis Mugabi sat on the bench. Also making his debut was Alex Dobre as Alefe Santos dropped to the bench, whilst up front Alex Fisher sat out the game, with Dobre and Jordan Green pushed up the flank into a 4-3-3 formation. In the opposition line-up Otis Khan came up against his old club, as Mansfield tried to recover from their surprise 3-2 defeat at Carlisle United last weekend.
Yeovil's start was positive, as Tom James fired a free kick over the crossbar, with Sessi D'Almeida also missing the target. They had early appeals for a spot kick turned down after Jordan Green went down over the body of Mansfield's new keeper Jordan Smith, only to find referee Carl Boyeson awarding a goal kick.
When Mansfield did get going, they found Nathan Baxter in the way, as he blocked out Christopher Hamilton's effort on goal, with the Stags looking like they were about to get into their stride. But midway through the first half, it was Yeovil who took the lead in the match. Left-back Carl Dickinson has become one of the club's key assisters this season with his accurate long balls, and he hit a diagonal pass across the pitch to find Jordan Green. The winger took a couple of touches to control the ball, before executing a well struck shot to take the lead at 0-1 and to stun the home crowd.
Mansfield almost hit back as Nottingham Forest loanee Tyler Walker forced Nathan Baxter into a brilliant near post save. Yeovil were also thankful for a few well timed defensive blocks, with Adel Gafaiti's cutting out of a Christopher Hamilton driving run being particularly key to the way the Glovers were holding out Mansfield's attempts to get an equaliser. At the other end, Sessi D'Almeida managed to shoot wide from outside the box, whilst an injury time strike from Tom James reminded the home side that Yeovil were still in the mood for a second.
Inevitably, the second period became a little more end-to-end and frantic. Otis Khan had a quiet match against his former employers and he was replaced by Danny Rose at the break. The Stags saw a Mal Benning free kick result in a goalmouth melee that saw Ryan Sweeney miss the final opportunity to convert. Yeovil were not to have too many chances in the second half, but they had one of the best efforts to get the second goal of the game when Jordan Green's shot was parried away by Jordan Smith, before Jake Gray struck the woodwork on the rebound.
Mansfield brought on further substitutes to up the pressure and it took superb goalkeeping from Nathan Baxter as he threw his whole body at Danny Rose's close range shot to block the substitute's effort. Mansfield then had the ball in the back of the net as Tyler Walker scrambled in the rebound, but a linesman's flag went up to rule the striker's attempt out.
The Nathan Baxter goalkeeping show continued as he parried another Tyler Walker shot on goal, and the worry was that Yeovil wouldn't quite hold out until the end. However, they got some respite shortly after the referee had awarded six minutes of second half injury time. Matt Preston had already been booked earlier in the half, so when he went sliding in on Tom James in the 92nd minute, referee Carl Boyeson raised a second yellow, and a red, allowing Yeovil the man advantage they needed to ease their way through the final minutes.
At times it was a little rearguard, but the three points were wholly welcome, following the last 2.5 months worth of draws and defeats. And just as well, given that Macclesfield and Cambridge United's victories did little to alter Yeovil's 22nd position in the League Two table. Next Saturday's home match against Notts County could be a little on the big side, although it will be the Magpies under more pressure after Saturday's results left them rooted to the foot of the Football League.
Link: 2018-19 Latest League Two Table.
Final Score: Mansfield Town 0 Yeovil Town 1.
Scorers: Jordan Green (0-1, 19 mins)
14 Jordan Smith
4 Matt Preston 5 Krystian Pearce 17 Ryan Sweeney
2 Hayden White 8 Jacob Mellis 10 Otis Khan 11 Will Atkinson 3 Malvind Benning
19 Tyler Walker 22 Christopher Hamilton
1 Conrad Logan 16 Callum Butcher 20 Timi Max Elsnik (63 mins for Will Atkinson) 26 Jason Law 29 Jordan Graham (58 mins for Hayden White) 30 Alistair Smith 32 Danny Rose (46 mins for Otis Khan)
12. Nathan Baxter
21. Josh Grant 2. Adel Gafaiti 4. Gary Warren (Capt) 3. Carl Dickinson
10. Jake Gray 23. Tom James 20. Sessi D'Almeida
11. Jordan Green 13. Francois Zoko 25. Alex Dobre
1. Stuart Nelson (GK) 5. Bevis Mugabi (88 mins for Francois Zoko) 7. Rhys Browne (72 mins for Alex Dobre) 9. Alex Fisher (83 mins for Jake Gray) 15. Gabriel Rogers 18. Yoann Arquin 30. Alefe Santos
Mansfield Town Bookings: Ryan Sweeney (foul, 45 mins), Matt Preston (foul, 56 mins). Red Card: Matt Preston (second bookable offence, 90 mins)
Yeovil Bookings: Francois Zoko (handball, 79 mins)
Mansfield Town Match Statistics: Possession: 52%; Shots: 19; Shots On Target: 9; Corners: 10; Fouls: 13.
Yeovil Match Statistics: Possession: 48%; Shots: 10; Shots On Target: 4; Corners: 2; Fouls: 12.
Referee: Carl Boyeson (East Yorkshire). Assistants: Peter Gooch (Lancashire) and Thomas Harty (West Midlands). Fourth Official: Joe Simpson (Manchester).
Attendance: 4,374 (with 132 Yeovil Town supporters)