Yeovil Town crashed out of the Carling Cup at the first attempt tonight, as they lost 2-0 to a superior Exeter City side. Whilst this wasn't quite as bad as the Saturday's game against Brentford, it was a deserved defeat, as second half goals from Guillem Bauza and a late breakaway from Chris Shephard sealed Yeovil's fate and ensure they went out at the first stage for the fifth time in the last six years - a record that means that the club has won only one match in the competition since Gary Johnson left the club.
The Glovers went into the match making two forced changes and two tactical changes as part of their line-up for the night. The two forced situations were both at centre-back with both Max Ehmer and Bondz N'Gala dropping out of the squad. Ehmer's ankle injury was well known, however N'Gala's absence meant that Paul Wotton had to drop into a back three - a position he used to occupy during his younger days at Plymouth Argyle since switching to midfield. Then there was a midfield shuffle with Anthony Edgar coming into the hole as the 3-4-1-2 was preserved, whilst Gavin Williams dropped deeper. Up front both strike partners were changed with the pairing that completed Saturday's match chosen as Andy Williams and Rory Fallon came in.
The pattern of the match was set right from the start, with Exeter looking on top by a small margin. The front line partnership of Fallon and Williams occasionally threatened a spark, with three half chances that all involved the New Zealander winning the ball and feeding his smaller partner. But these were not cast iron chances for Yeovil, and the better attempts were coming in at the other end. Midway through the first half, Richard Logan was fed by a James Dunne pass, and fired just wide when under pressure from Paul Huntington. That was the last we saw of Logan, who hobbled off, having injured himself in the process.
Logan's replacement Guillem Bauza was possibly even more dangerous - putting one shot wide before another chance saw him swivel and strike the goalpost with a left-footed shot five minutes after his arrival. James Dunne shot over the bar from close range when he should have done better, and really Yeovil were struggling to carve out chances - an Anthony Edgar shot landed easily in the middle of Grecians keeper Artur Krysiak, whilst Fallon and Williams half managed another combination attempt but it came to nothing. However, despite those chances, the Glovers fairly lucky to still be level at half time.
The relatively forgettable first half continued in much the same vein as the second, with neither side making any changes. Exeter were catching the Glovers on the break a little more during this period, with Nicholas Bignall and Liam Sercombe both getting in behind the Yeovil defence. However, in a more open phase, Andy Williams put a shot into the side netting, leaving Glovers away fans briefly convinced he'd scored. Then Paul Huntington produced Yeovil's best attempt, with his header on goal being acrobatically cleared off the line by Troy Archibald-Henville.
However, at the other end, Guillem Bauza was proving to be a menace. Just a minute after he had given a warning sign by slipping between Yeovil's centre-back trio, and firing just wide, a through ball by Nicholas Bignall found him in more space, and he slotted the ball home on the angle, for a deserved lead for the home side, with the move starting when Yeovil were dispossessed around the halfway line.
The need for the Glovers to push further up in numbers was suiting the Grecians more than it was Yeovil, with the home side counterattacking well, and the visitors, once again wearing their day-glow kit, creating little that would threaten an equaliser. In the final five or ten minutes, the pressure finally threatened to tell, and Kieran Agard even got the ball in the back of the net in the closing stages, only for referee Roger East to chalk it off for a foul on the keeper by a team-mate.
Deep into four minutes of injury time, Exeter created a sucker punch, as Yeovil's numbers in the other half of the pitch allowed them to break. Winger Chris Shephard took good advantage, planting the ball in the back of the net for the 93rd minute goal that killed the game and guaranteed that Yeovil would not be taking their Carling Cup run any further. No complaints either, as the Grecians had largely been the better side throughout the majority of the game, and again that lack of 'gelling' in the new Glovers side that manager Terry Skiverton talks about has still yet to come through. Certainly it needs to start showing some signs of doing that on Saturday.
Final Score: Exeter City 2 Yeovil Town 0.
Scorers: Guillem Bauza (1-0, 63 mins), Chris Shephard (2-0, 90 mins).
1. Artur Krysiak
2. Steve Tully 5. Troy Archibald-Henville 6. Richard Duffy 11. Scott Golbourne
7. Liam Sercombe 8. David Noble 4. James Dunne 14. Chris Shephard
20. Richard Logan 12. Nicholas Bignall
40. Lenny Pidgeley (GK) 3. Billy Jones 18. Danny Coles 21. Guillem Bauza (22 mins for Richard Logan) 29. Tom Nichols (76 mins for Nicholas Bignall) 31. Callum McNish (66 mins for Guillem Bauza) 26. Scot Bennett
Yeovil Town: (3-4-1-2)
1. Jed Steer
5. Paul Huntington 20. Paul Wotton 19. Curtis Haynes-Brown
2. Luke Ayling 8. Edward Upson 11. Anthony Edgar 3. Nathan Jones
10. Gavin Williams
37. Rory Fallon 7. Andrew Williams
31. Gareth Stewart 18. Kieran Agard (59 mins for Andrew Williams) 9. Steven MacLean (78 mins for Anthony Edgar) 29. Jonathan Obika 12. Kerrea Gilbert 23. Billy Gibson 29. Jonathan Obika (68 mins for Rory Fallon) 40. Rhys Baggridge
Exeter Bookings: None.
Yeovil Bookings: None.
Referee: Roger East (Wiltshire). Assistants: Adam Nunn (Wiltshire) and Mark Russell (Bristol). Fourth Official: Andrew Bennett (Devon).
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