Yeovil Town were comfortably and deservedly beaten tonight at Dean Court as a strong-looking AFC Bournemouth strolled their way to a 2-0 win over the Glovers. The Cherries did all their hard work during the opening 45 minutes, as chance-after-chance saw them undo the Yeovil defence with pace, as Danny Hollands and Josh McQuoid grabbed them first half goals. The Glovers could find no way back into the game, and so sit six points from safety and with the worst goal difference in the division.
Lining up for the game, Paul Huntington and Gavin Williams were the two expected changes, with both players out suspended, and Stefan Stam and Ivan Sproule stepped into their places. On the bench, a training ground injury to Ben Roberts meant that there was no spare keeper, whilst Andy Welsh recovered from his recent calf problem, and Luke Ayling returned from his rib injury.
Right from the start, the warning signs were all there for the Glovers - Craig Alcock had to clear off the line from Anton Robinson, whilst Steve Fletcher had a shot saved - both from moments where Adam Virgo lost his footing. The Glovers were playing a high defensive line, which against the pace of Josh McQuoid was always likely to be a big risk - Virgo was undone a third time inside the opening 10 minutes when McQuoid outpaced him to the ball, but fired just wide of the target.
Andy Williams broke through at the other end, as he tried to lob rookie keeper Jon Stewart, having two bites before the Cherries Reserve keeper saved. But that was a short respite at that end of the field, as Adam Virgo and Shaun MacDonald collided whilst going for an aerial ball. Taking advantage with 19 minutes gone was Danny Hollands, who picked up the loose ball and fired home to put Bournemouth a deserved one goal up.
Yeovil went straight down the other end shortly after kick-off as a weak Jason Pearce back header was intercepted, but Dean Bowditch produced a poor shot that went wide of the target. Then Adam Virgo finally picked up his own play, as he got on the end of a set piece, with his header going wide.
But the first half was all about Bournemouth. Josh McQuoid got in behind the Yeovil defence yet again, only for John Sullivan to bail them out with a save. Another McQuoid move saw him turn provider as Liam Feeney got the faintest of touches from the striker's cross into the box, but couldn't convert. It didn't take long though for the lead to be further extended and again Josh McQuoid was the reason the Cherries got in behind. He outpaced Stefan Stam easily and fired home for 2-0. The Glovers were getting murdered by McQuoid's and Feeney's pace in a poor 45 minutes.
Adam Virgo hit a deflected shot into the side netting that had the travelling Yeovil fans on their feet as it rippled the net from the far side, looking as if the defender had scored. But the half finished with Steve Fletcher winning a flick-on that sent McQuoid through once more, and Yeovil were very lucky to see a 2-0 half time scoreline, and not anything worse.
Owain Tudur Jones replaced Shaun MacDonald at half time in what appeared to be a tactical switch, with nothing obviously wrong with the latter. Straight from kick-off, Bournemouth almost got a third, as a Liam Feeney cross was sliced by Adam Virgo, and McQuoid forced a brilliant save from John Sullivan.
Ivan Sproule was having a quiet debut for the Glovers, although he did force a save from Jon Stewart five minutes into the second period, from a Sam Williams cross. Just eight minutes into the second half, manager Terry Skiverton made his second change of the night as he took off Adam Virgo, replacing him with Luke Ayling, who had been earmarked as a stand-in goalkeeper if Sullivan had got injured during the match. Instead he got his first go as a central defender for the Glovers - the role he had played for Arsenal's academy team but had yet to show for the Glovers. Virgo looked distinctly non-plussed as he trudged off the field of play.
It was an eerily quiet second half, with Bournemouth not really stretching their legs, but Yeovil having very little idea of how to get back into the game. In fact if anything, Virgo's general grumpiness at being taken off was added to when Sam Williams got into a slanging match with Yeovil's away supporters when they reacted badly to him giving up the chase for a ball. When he was Yeovil's final substitution for Adam Phillip, the away crowd sarcastically jeered, and Williams gave them the big stare as he left the field. Matters appear to be getting a little tetchy out there.
The second half in truth was a non event. Late chances for Harry Arter and Nicholas Bignall woke up the home crowd from their slumbers, whilst Adam Phillip provided at least one moment late in the game that suggested he might have something worth looking at. However, the feeling was that the Cherries were playing in second gear, and their early withdrawal of dangermen McQuoid and Fletcher early on suggested they were already preparing for their Saturday game even 70 minutes into the match.
For the Glovers, Saturday looms massively. Go out of the cup to Hartlepool United, and they face a League season where they lie six points adrift, and with six defeats in seven matches. Even the most cheery optimist would admit that there's a pretty big tide that needs to be turned if Yeovil are to extend their stay in League One another season.
Link: Latest 2010-11 League One Table.
Final Score: AFC Bournemouth 2 Yeovil Town 0.
Scorers: Danny Hollands (1-0, 19 mins), Josh McQuoid (2-0, 36 mins)
31. Jon Stewart
15. Adam Smith 6. Marvin Bartley 16. Rhoys Wiggins 5. Jason Pearce
18. Harry Arter 8. Anton Robinson 19. Danny Hollands 11. Liam Feeney
17. Josh McQuoid 33. Steve Fletcher
21. Stephen Purches 23. Lee Bradbury (89 mins for Liam Feeney) 28. Warren Cummings 14. Lyle Taylor 34. Danny Ings 27. Nicholas Bignall (69 mins for Josh McQuoid) 24. Michael Symes (75 mins for Steve Fletcher)
1. John Sullivan
2. Craig Alcock 4. Stefan Stam 19. Adam Virgo 6. Nathan Smith
29. Ivan Sproule 21. Jean-Paul Kalala 25. Shaun MacDonald 7. Andrew Williams
9. Sam Williams 10. Dean Bowditch
8. Luke Ayling (53 mins for Adam Virgo) 11. Andy Welsh 14. Adam Phillip (68 mins for Sam Williams) 16. Edward Upson 17. Craig Calver 20. Owain Tudur Jones (46 mins for Shaun MacDonald) 23. Billy Gibson
AFC Bournemouth Bookings: Harry Arter (foul, 79 mins)
Yeovil Bookings: Sam Williams (foul, 59 mins), Luke Ayling (foul, 75 mins)
Referee: Keith Stroud (Hampshire). Assistants: Gary Jerden (Essex) and Richard Martin (Weston-super-Mare). Fourth Official: Elliott Kaye (Essex).
Attendance: 6,465 (including 478 Yeovil supporters)
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