Yeovil Town were well beaten this afternoon at Griffin Park, as a disjointed performance condemned them to a 2-0 defeat against Brentford. A controversial Gary Alexander penalty, awarded for a supposed handball against Nathan Jones, disguised the fact that the Bees were the better side overall, and they got a second during the final 15 minutes when Shaleum Logan slotted in from close range.
Team selection was always a question of which pairing of strikers manager Terry Skiverton would select. Jonathan Obika provided the one change from the previous week's game, with Kieran Agard dropping out to the bench, with the 3-4-1-2 formation used during much of pre-season being utilised to start the game.
Early play gave all the warning signs the Glovers needed. Playing in their wing-back positions, first Luke Ayling was skinned down one flank wheen a Gary Alexander cross was almost turned in, then Nathan Jones was left exposed with little support on the opposite flank. At the other end, Yeovil had rare chances, with probably their best coming when Gavin Williams had a shot parried into the path of Luke Ayling, whose rebound shot was blocked by a defender.
The Glovers were fairly fortunate to get away with a refereeing decision when Pat Miller judged that a Paul Huntington handball was outside the box, to the relief of many inside the away end - just giving a free kick instead of the spot kick. But the Glovers weren't so fortunate when Mr Miller and his linesman decided that a Shaleum Logan cross had hit the arm of Nathan Jones ten minutes later - a far more harsh decision given that the Glovers assistant manager was turning his back to block the cross and so had little chance of influencing where the ball struck him.
Lengthy lengthy protests ensued, with referee Miller making a bit of a performance of it all, booking Paul Wotton for dissent and taking his time in allowing Gary Alexander to take the spot kick. The striker kept his cool despite the lengthy delays to put the Bees 1-0 up.
During the final 10 minutes of the half, Yeovil switched to a 4-4-2, putting Max Ehmer out as a right-back and shuffling Luke Ayling into a midfield berth. It stabilised a Glovers side that was getting exposed down the flanks in the wing-back formation, but it didn't really give much to shout about at the other end.
Ehmer had received a nasty looking ankle injury just before the break, and so it was a bit of a surprise that he managed to come out for the second period, but less of a surprise that he failed to complete the half, with Curtis Haynes-Brown making his Glovers debut just 11 minutes into that half. That saw the Glovers restore the wing-back formation, and despite both strikers being replaced for a new partnership of Rory Fallon and Andrew Williams, there failed to be enough spark to give the Glovers a lift. The nearest they came was when a Gavin Williams run saw him weave his way down the middle and force a corner, and the set piece saw Williams put one across for Rory Fallon whose header went over the bar.
All in all though, it was those flanks where Yeovil looked their weakest and that was how they conceded their second goal. A Brentford trio of Jonathan Douglas, Sam Saunders and Shaleum Logan ganged up on Nathan Jones, putting him into an impossible position with a lack of support around him, and when the ball was slipped inside to Logan, he shot home and doubled Brentford's lead.
The Glovers never really looked like getting back into the game, and were indebted to a couple of superb saves by Jed Steer, who couldn't be blamed for either goal. Well beaten in the end, there needs to be a bit of thought as to how Yeovil play during the coming season. Building a formation around the preferred position of Gavin Williams will be fine if their playmaker can run the show. But today, Brentford exposed that somewhat, and Yeovil didn't really have suitable options or fluency in their up front positions to suggest they were going to deal with that problem. Much work to do before they make the trip down to Devon on Tuesday.
Final Score: Brentford 2 Yeovil Town 0.
Scorers: Gary Alexander (30 mins, pen, 1-0), Shaleum Logan (76 mins, 2-0)
Yeovil Town: (3-4-1-2)
1. Jed Steer
5. Paul Huntington 4. Bondz N'Gala 14. Max Ehmer
2. Luke Ayling 8. Edward Upson 20. Paul Wotton 3. Nathan Jones
10. Gavin Williams
9. Steven MacLean 29. Jonathan Obika
7. Andrew Williams (62 mins for Jonathan Obika) 11. Anthony Edgar 18. Kieran Agard 19. Curtis Haynes-Brown (56 mins for Max Ehmer) 37. Rory Fallon (56 for Steven MacLean)
1. Richard Lee
14. Shaleum Logan 22. Karleigh Osborne 5. Marcel Eger 3. Craig Woodman
18. Niall McGinn 40. Jake Reeves 8. Jonathan Douglas 11. Myles Weston
29. Gary Alexander 9. Clayton Donaldson
31. Simon Moore (GK) 2. Kevin O'Connor (81 mins for Jake Reeves) 6. Pim Balkestein 7. Sam Saunders (59 mins for Myles Weston) 10. Charlie MacDonald (72 mins for Niall McGinn)
Brentford Bookings: None.
Yeovil Bookings: Steve MacLean (3 mins, foul), Paul Wotton (29 mins, dissent), Ed Upson (66 mins, foul), Luke Ayling (69 mins, foul)
Referee: Pat Miller (Bedfordshire). Assistants: Darren Blunden (Kent) and Elliott Kaye (Essex). Fourth Official: Michael Webb (Surrey).
Attendance: 6,278 (including 512 Yeovil fans).
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