Match Details: 02/02/2019
Stevenage Borough 1-0 Yeovil Town
EFL League Two
Yeovil Line-Up: 2. Adel Gafaiti, 3. Carl Dickinson, 7. Rhys Browne, 8. Matt Worthington, 9. Alex Fisher, 10. Jake Gray, 12. Nathan Baxter, 20. Sessi D'Almeida, 23. Tom James, 24. Craig Alcock, 25. Alex Dobre,
Subs: 1. Stuart Nelson, 5. Bevis Mugabi, 11. Courtney Duffus, 15. Gabriel Rogers, 16. Tristan Abrahams, 18. Yoann Arquin, 27. Ryan Seager
Substitutes Used: Bevis Mugabi for Sessi D'Almeida (17 mins), Courtney Duffus for Matt Worthington (73 mins), Ryan Seager for Rhys Browne (80 mins)
A single goal from Alex Revell was enough to see Yeovil Town fall to defeat against Stevenage at Broadhall Way on Saturday afternoon. The hosts won the match 18 minutes from time when Jordan Gibson's cross from the right found Revell at the near post to give them all three points. Yeovil struggled to create clear-cut chances, although did have a Tom James free kick ruled out for offside when his angled cross evaded everyone inside the box, only for the linesman's flag to go up due to a Glovers player in an offside position. They remain just three points off the relegation spots, in 21st place, on a weekend where five League Two matches failed to take place due to the icy conditions.
The Glovers went into the match making five changes to their starting line-up, although despite the busy final week in the January transfer window, none of them were debuts. The only 'new' boy was an old one, with Craig Alcock coming in for Joshua Grant who had a bruised foot. Adel Gafaiti had recovered from a head injury to displace Bevis Mugabi, whilst a groin injury meant captain Gary Warren dropped out, with Tom James dropping into the back four to replace him. Matt Worthington took the holding midfield slot. Rhys Browne was brought in for Yoann Arquin, whilst Alex Fisher started up front in place of Francois Zoko, who was not on the teamsheet against his former side.
The match opened up slowly, but the first chance fell to Bournemouth loanee Alex Dobre, whose angled shot from the left flank flashed a couple of yards wide for the Glovers. On the other flank, Jake Gray forced Stevenage keeper Paul Farman into a smart stop at his near post. However, Stevenage created the game's first big chance when a Michael Timlin shot was flicked on by Kurtis Guthrie, with Nathan Baxter having to produce a brilliant one-handed save to palm the ball away for a corner.
The flow of a low-tempo half was not helped by Sessi D'Almeida going down injured after a full-blooded challenge by Johnny Hunt. The Yeovil midfielder appeared to land on his shoulder and after lengthy treatment on the sidelines, he was forced to retire, with Bevis Mugabi replacing him, meaning that Tom James moved into the midfield berth. That really didn't seem to suit Yeovil, as it meant they had two defensive midfielders on the pitch, whilst there was a tendancy for Alex Dobre and Rhys Browne to drop back into midfield positions, leaving Alex Fisher very isolated in what was in reality a 4-5-1.
Stevenage were the team forcing the initiative, with Alex Revell heading wide at the near post from a free kick. Then Johnny Hunt struck the woodwork from close range after he got free inside the box - not something that would have counted, given a linesman's flag went up, but a warning of how the home team were dominating. Ilias Chair's curling free kick over the wall was palmed away by Nathan Baxter, leading to a goalmouth scramble that saw Adel Gafaiti have to put in a block, before Baxter finally dropped to the floor to put his body over the ball. There was also a nasty moment just before the break when Carl Dickinson lost his bearings, trying a back header to Baxter, that instead went way beyond the keeper, but mercifully the ball dropped wide of the post.
The second period opened up with Tom James having a shot from distance, but one that Paul Farman was able to easily gather. However, James was then involved in a disallowed goal, that will need much replaying on the video. As he stepped up to take a free kick on the angle, his ball into the box looked to be aimed as a cross to the back post, but with bodies going across the ball, it did enough to fool Farman and for the ball to go direct into the back of the net. As Yeovil celebrated, up went a linesman's flag though, and after a brief discussion, it was ruled out for offside, presumably due to a Glovers player either interfering with play by moving across the keeper's line - there didn't appear to be a touch on the way through.
Rhys Browne showed a few nice twists and turns before his shot forced Farman to punch the ball away, and the same player got in another shot shortly after. Yeovil were playing with a bit more attacking prowess in the second period, having stuck numbers heavily behind the ball in the first period, but equally that was giving Stevenage gaps to exploit.
With just eighteen minutes remaining, they did just that. Substitute Jordan Gibson got space down the right flank, and his ball into the box was converted at the near post by Alex Revell, who ran off to the East Terrace in celebration at their breakthrough. 1-0 down and Yeovil would have to change their outlook ... something that was done straight from kick-off, as Courtney Duffus was introduced for his debut, as Matt Worthington came on, giving the Glovers a 4-4-2 formation that their lack of width up until that point that probably needed.
That 4-4-2 didn't last long though, with Ryan Seager being introduced as time ran out, with a 4-3-1-2 seeing the former Southampton man playing behind the two main strikers. Tom James seemed to be the only attacking outlet as in the final ten minutes, he tried a Dolanesque run through midfield and shot that Farman saved low to his left. James then tried a free kick from 25 yards out but it cleared the crossbar on the way through.
The frustration was that even at a goal down, Yeovil created little in the closing stages to threaten an equalising goal. There was no great final burst to throw men forward, and Stevenage finished the match very comfortably, keeping the ball in Yeovil's half, and finishing most of the three minutes of injury time 70 yards away from their goal. It meant the final whistle blew in muted circumstances from the travelling away end's point of view. A club takeover may be in sight, but for the problems faced on the field of play, not too much has changed. Bar the offside goal, Yeovil created little, and ended the day in 21st place, and must be thankful that Macclesfield Town were unable to capitalise on the day.
Link: 2018-19 Latest League Two Table.
Final Score: Stevenage 1 Yeovil Town 0.
Scorers: Alex Revell (72 mins, 1-0)
1 Paul Farman
2 Luther Wildin 5 Scott Cuthbert 31 Ben Nugent 3 Johnny Hunt
24 Moses Makasi 4 Michael Timlin 8 Joel Byrom 12 Ilias Chair
9 Alex Revell 28 Kurtis Guthrie
16 Arthur Iontton (80 mins for Alex Revell) 23 Jordan Gibson (61 mins for Moses Makasi) 25 Ronnie Henry (87 mins for Joel Byrom) 27 Oliver Byrne 30 Luke Wilkinson 35 Callum Dyson 36 Elijah Adebayo
12. Nathan Baxter
24. Craig Alcock 23. Tom James 2. Adel Gafaiti 3. Carl Dickinson (Capt)
10. Jake Gray 8. Matt Worthington 20. Sessi D'Almeida
7. Rhys Browne 9. Alex Fisher 25. Alex Dobre
1. Stuart Nelson (GK) 5. Bevis Mugabi (17 mins for Sessi D'Almeida) 11. Courtney Duffus (73 mins for Matt Worthington) 15. Gabriel Rogers 16. Tristan Abrahams 18. Yoann Arquin 27. Ryan Seager (80 mins for Rhys Browne)
Stevenage Bookings: None
Yeovil Bookings: None
Stevenage Match Statistics: Possession: 56%; Shots: 14; Shots On Target: 6; Corners: 7; Fouls: 11.
Yeovil Match Statistics: Possession: 46%; Shots: 11; Shots On Target: 5; Corners: 2; Fouls: 9.
Referee: John Busby (Oxfordshire). Assistants: Paul Yates (Kent) and Declan Ford (Lincolnshire). Fourth Official: Adrian Tranter (Dorset).
Attendance: 2,157 (with 171 Yeovil Town supporters)