Yeovil Town managed their first win over the 2011-12 season, as they opened up their home account with a deserved 3-1 win over Oldham Athletic this afternoon. The Huish Park crowd had to wait until the second period to see all four goals, with Ed Upson, Andy Williams and a Paul Wotton penalty putting the game out of sight. A Reuben Reid penalty gave the visitors a goal back but that wasn't going to deny the Glovers three points and an 8th place in the fledgling League One table.
The Glovers went into the match making three changes to the side that lost against Exeter City during midweek. Max Ehmer returned from injury, having missed the midweek match, whilst Curtis Haynes-Brown dropped out of the squad due to illness. Meanwhile Kerrea Gilbert made his début as a right wing-back, allowing Luke Ayling the chance to move into a more comfortable centre-back position for him. Thus Paul Wotton moved back into midfield, whilst Anthony Edgar dropped out of the starting line-up. The final change was for Rory Fallon to drop to the bench, with Jonathan Obika replacing him in the front line.
The use of Kerrea Gilbert in the right wing-back position appeared to give Yeovil a little bit more balance in their 3-4-1-2 formation, with Gilbert, Gavin Williams and Andy Williams providing plenty of pace and running to force the visitors onto the back foot for much of the half, albeit without Yeovil being too incisive in front of goal.
Their best effort of the half came from Andy Williams - his shot was tipped away by Oldham keeper Alex Cisak onto the outside of the post, and out for what appeared to be a corner, but referee Gavin Ward choose to give as a goal kick. Oldham had the odd isolated moment where they could have easily made Yeovil pay for not capitalising upon their advantage - particularly during the closing stages of the half, when Matthew Lund took advantage of a bit of empty space down the middle to charge in on goal - heading down the middle - but thankfully Jed Steer smothered his strike on goal. 0-0 at half time although the Glovers had edged it overall.
The second half opened with the Glovers getting off to the best possible start, after James Wesolowski had fouled Gavin Williams outside the box. Williams took the free kick himself, and that wasn't the best delivery ever seen at Huish Park, to say the least. However, the loose ball fell out to Ed Upson, who was 20 yards out from goal, and his strike of the ball was pure and as straight as an arrow, directly into the top left hand corner, giving Alex Cisak utterly no chance of picking the ball out before hit hit the back of the net.
Oldham reacted well, with Jed Steer being forced into a superb save from Matthew Lund within seconds of the restart. The visitors were lucky to keep all eleven players on the pitch though, with an awful tackle on Jonathan Obika being committed by centre-back Zander Diamond. The Scotsman rightfully got his yellow card, and should probably think himself lucky that was all referee Gavin Ward gave him - a more Kettlesque referee would have been seeing him getting his marching orders. Obika couldn't continue, and had to leave the field without his boot on, being replaced by Kieran Agard.
This was largely Yeovil's half, with a moment of the old 'Super Gav' magic giving them their second goal 74 minutes into the match. Gavin Williams out-weaved the Oldham Athletic back line, who had throughout disliked the idea of having players running at them with speed, and when Gavin slipped the ball through to his namesake Andy Williams, the Glovers were able to double their lead with a confident finish by the former Bristol Rovers player.
More was to come eight minutes later, when substitute Kieran Agard also had a run at the heart of the Latics defence. A wild tackle by Zander Diamond saw him lucky that referee Gavin Ward waved a good advantage, but when Agard reached the Oldham box, he was taken out a second time, by right-back Kieran Lee, and this time Mr Ward blew up and pointed to the spot. Agard wanted the ball himself, but captain Paul Wotton pulled rank, with assistant manager Nathan Jones leading the teenager away, and it was little surprise when Wotton used power to drive the ball home - Alex Cisak went the right way, but he couldn't keep it out of the net. 3-0 and game over.
During the final five minutes, plus injury time, the Glovers took off Kerrea Gilbert and brought on Rory Fallon, allowing them to play out time with a 4-4-2 as first Gavin Williams, then his replacement Steve MacLean took up the left wing slot and Luke Ayling moved out into the full-back position on the right.
Despite the comfortable win, the last word fell to Oldham Athletic, and in particular referee Gavin Ward, whose series of erratic decisions had infuriated the home crowd throughout. He judged that Luke Ayling had fouled Latics substitute Josh Parker inside the box. Ayling looked puzzled, although there were few protests from his Glovers team-mates. Up stepped Reuben Reid to hit home the consolation goal, and although there were five minutes worth of injury time played, there was little in the way of drama to threaten Yeovil's deserved three points that landed in the bag.
After the early pressure of two opening day defeats, a win for Yeovil Town will have given some relief, albeit against an Oldham Athletic side who are tipped to struggle this season. With Kerrea Gilbert in the side, the balance of the wing-back formation was somewhat better, and that allowed the likes of Gavin Williams more freedom to do what they do best. Tuesday night's opponents Milton Keynes Dons will doubtless provide tougher opposition, but at least the Glovers will go into the match with their tails up for the first time this season.
Final Score : Yeovil Town 3 Oldham Athletic 1.
Scorers: Ed Upson (49 mins, 1-0), Andy Williams (74 mins, 2-0), Paul Wotton (82 mins, pen, 3-0), Reuben Reid (90 mins, pen, 3-1)
Yeovil Town: (3-4-1-2)
1. Jed Steer
2. Luke Ayling 5. Paul Huntington 14. Max Ehmer
15. Kerrea Gilbert 20. Paul Wotton 8. Edward Upson 3. Nathan Jones
10. Gavin Williams
7. Andrew Williams 29. Jonathan Obika
9. Steven MacLean (88 mins for Gavin Williams) 11. Anthony Edgar 17. Alan O'Brien 18. Kieran Agard (64 mins for Jonathan Obika) 37. Rory Fallon (86 mins for Kerrea Gilbert)
1. Alex Cisak
19. Kieran Lee 5. Zander Diamond 2. Jean Yves Mvoto 3. Paul Black
7. Filipe Morais 20. Matthew Lund 4. James Wesolowski 18. Chris Taylor
14. Matt Smith 9. Reuben Reid
15. Ryan Brooke 17. Josh Parker (65 mins for Paul Black) 26. Carl Winchester 28. Paul Gerrard (GK) 29. David Mellor
Yeovil Bookings: Ed Upson (22 mins, foul), Nathan Jones (77 mins, dissent)
Oldham Bookings: Zander Diamond (62 mins, foul), Matthew Lund (73 mins, foul)
Referee: Gavin Ward (Surrey). Assistants: Christopher Powell (Dorset) and Timothy Wood (Gloucestershire). Fourth Official: Mark Pottage (Dorset).
Attendance: 3,237 (including 192 Oldham fans)
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