Match Details: 16/03/2019
Yeovil Town 0-2 Macclesfield Town
EFL League Two
Yeovil Line-Up: 2. Adel Gafaiti, 6. Omar Sowunmi, 9. Alex Fisher, 12. Nathan Baxter, 13. Francois Zoko, 16. Tristan Abrahams, 17. Alex Pattison, 21. Joshua Grant, 23. Tom James, 25. Alex Dobre, 30. Alefe Santos
Subs: 1. Stuart Nelson, 5. Bevis Mugabi, 8. Matt Worthington, 11. Courtney Duffus, 18. Yoann Arquin, 26. Daniel Ojo, 27. Ryan Seager,
Substitutes Used: Matt Worthington for Alex Pattison (28 mins), Bevis Mugabi for Tristan Abrahams (46 mins), Ryan Seager for Alefe Santos (54 mins)
Bookings: Alex Fisher (Ungentlemanly Conduct, 68), Adel Gafaiti (Foul, 78)
Yeovil Town crashed to their second damaging defeat inside a week, as relegation rivals Macclesfield Town did the double over them, with a 0-2 win at Huish Park. The Silkmen took advantage in the midst of a dreadful first half performance that saw James Pearson unmarked inside the box to convert midway through that period. Just beyond the half hour mark, Harry Smith extended the visitors' lead when he received a cross from former Glovers loanee Reece Cole. Despite having hit the post early on in the game through Alex Fisher, the Glovers ran out of ideas during the second half, in a defeat that leaves them just three points above the drop zone.
The Glovers went into the match making two changes to their starting line-up, with both incoming players going into the forward positions. Francois Zoko and Alex Fisher started, with Courtney Duffus dropping to the bench, whilst a hamstring injury to Rhys Browne meant that Tristan Abrahams dropped into the right-wing position. Macclesfield's line-up included two former Glovers, with Michael Rose and Reece Cole in the centre of midfield.
The early period of the game was a bit of a curate's egg. At the back, the Glovers were edgy and nervous, giving away the ball as they tried to play it out from the back in windy conditions that were in their favour. At the other end, Tom James and Tristan Abrahams tested the conditions, although fired significantly over the bar. However, they did go close when Francois Zoko pulled the ball back for Alex Fisher, with his strike partner hitting the post with the keeper beaten.
That brief spell of good attacking play wasn't going to count for a lot, when Macclesfield took the lead just 18 minutes into the match. A strong run by Ben Stephens wasn't tracked and when he squared the ball for James Pearson, the right wing-back got free passage inside the box to fire his team into a 0-1 lead.
Alex Fisher was the only Yeovil Town player showing significant attacking threat, and he was unfortunate again from an Alefe Santos corner, when his header was cleared off the line by David Fitzpatrick. The same defender had to clear his own lines from the next corner kick, as Yeovil tried to use the conditions to get back into the game. Their attempts were not helped by another injury to Alex Pattison. He pulled up after he tried to go shoulder to shoulder with Michael Rose, with what looked to be a repeat of his back problem. He was replaced by Matt Worthington.
Nathan Baxter had to push a James Pearson cross out for a corner, in what was an open game. But just beyond the half hour mark, the Silkmen extended their lead after a corner was recycled. Former Glover Reece Cole put the ball back into the box and Macclesfield striker Harry Smith fired home to put his team 0-2 up.
Play deteriorated in the lead-up to the half time whistle from a Yeovil point of view, although Alex Dobre did at least get himself a brief foothold in the game, forcing Kieran O'Hara to parry the ball away after he cut inside from the wing. But overall Macclesfield were in acute control of the game, soaking up possession, and even hinting at a third goal, with Harry Smith going close to scoring at the far post as Nathan Baxter struggled to get down in time for his low shot. No surprise that the half time whistle was accompanied by boos and catcalls as the team went down the tunnel.
Manager Darren Way presumably agreed, as he chose to make a half time substitution and a formation change. When you're 2-0 down, taking off a winger/striker and bringing on a defender was unconventional though - it meant Bevis Mugabi came into the back line, as Tom James moved into a defensive midfield position, with Tristan Abrahams sacrificed to provide a 4-3-3 line-up, with Francois Zoko and Alex Dobre as the wide men.
Still Macclesfield continued their control of the match, with Elliott Durrell firing over the bar as sloppy play from Alefe Santos saw him become the latest Yeovil player to give the ball away inside their own half. The change in formation lasted just nine minutes, as Santos was withdrawn, making Ryan Seager the final substitution, lining up in a central position behind the front striker, in a 4-2-3-1 shape.
But Yeovil struggled for creativity during the second period, with Macclesfield running down the clock in a manner that stretched the rulebook, but with them 2-0 up it was hard to blame them. They were close to adding a third when Harry Smith burst through the middle, with only the goalkeeping of Nathan Baxter saving them as Smith tried to go around the Chelsea loanee. The feeling was that Yeovil could have played on until midnight and not scored, and lacked imagination when another Tom James free kick badly cleared the crossbar on a day when the wind and the elements should have worked in his favour. The end result was the game fizzled out, and Yeovil now lie in a clear three-way relegation fight - five points away from the teams above them, but with Macclesfield and Notts County just three points below - crucially, the Silkmen have a game in hand. The last eight games need to produce a better performance than was witnessed at Huish Park today.
Link: 2018-19 Latest League Two Table.
Final Score: Yeovil Town 0 Macclesfield Town 2.
Scorers: James Pearson (0-1, 18 mins), Harry Smith (0-2, 33 mins)
12. Nathan Baxter
23. Tom James 2. Adel Gafaiti 6. Omar Sowunmi (Capt) 21. Josh Grant
16. Tristan Abrahams 17. Alex Pattison 30. Alefe Santos 25. Alex Dobre
9. Alex Fisher 13. Francois Zoko
1. Stuart Nelson (GK) 5. Bevis Mugabi (46 mins for Tristan Abrahams) 8. Matt Worthington (28 mins for Alex Pattison) 11. Courtney Duffus 18. Yoann Arquin 26. Daniel Ojo 27. Ryan Seager (54 mins for Alefe Santos)
1 Kieran O'Hara
27 Nathan Cameron 5 Fiacre Kelleher 33 Zak Jules
19 James Pearson 7 Elliott Durrell 24 Michael Rose 30 Reece Cole 3 David Fitzpatrick
15 Ben Stephens
10 Harry Smith
8 Tyrone Marsh 9 Scott Wilson 14 Miles Welch-Hayes 17 Callum Evans (75 mins for Ben Stephens) 23 Danny Whitaker (90 mins for Reece Cole) 28 Emmanuel Idem 39 Liandro Martis
Yeovil Bookings: Alex Fisher (throwing the ball away, 68 mins), Adel Gafaiti (foul, 78 mins)
Macclesfield Town Bookings: Nathan Cameron (foul, 53 mins), Elliott Durrell (timewasting, 82 mins)
Yeovil Match Statistics: Possession: 34%; Shots: 12; Shots On Target: 3; Corners: 5; Fouls: 8.
Macclesfield Town Match Statistics: Possession: 66%; Shots: 8; Shots On Target: 3; Corners: 8; Fouls: 10.
Referee: Gavin Ward (Surrey). Assistants: John Flynn (Oxfordshire) and Adam Matthews (Gloucestershire). Fourth Official: Lee Swabey (Devon).
Attendance: 2,899 (with 150 Macclesfield Town supporters).