Yeovil Town crashed to their fifth home defeat of the 2011-12 season this afternoon, when they lost 0-3 at home to Carlisle United. The Cumbrians gained their first ever victory at Huish Park thanks to second half goals from Liam Noble, Jon-Paul McGovern and Danny Livesey, but the game turned significantly on a red card issued to debutant Flavien Belson just before the break as he faced an early bath for two bookings.
The Glovers went into the match having to make three forced changes to their first team squad. The goalkeeping position was well known about with Marek Štěch coming in to make his début for the club, as he replaced the injured Jed Steer, who returned to Norwich City in midweek. The other major change came as Paul Huntington dropped out of the side with a hand injury, with Flavien Belson coming in to make his début for the club.
It was a fairly open first half period, albeit with Glovers keeper Marek Štěch being one of the busiest players on the pitch. The game opened with the other debutant Flavien Belson leaving his foot up during the opening five minutes, and picking up an early booking that was to be significant. A Gavin Massey shot was well saved by Carlisle keeper Adam Collin after an Oli Johnson run had set him through.
At the other end, Carlisle looked dangerous though with Rory Loy and Liam Noble getting far too much space to move in on the Yeovil back four. Loy struck the post with the ball rolling dangerously across the face of the goal, and only an excellent Ed Upson tackle stopped the open goal from being breached. Meanwhile Noble was able to charge through the middle without a tackle - not unlike Giles Coke's goal for Bury in the last home match. Marek Štěch made the first of several terrific first half saves to bale his side out as he tipped the ball out for a corner. Štěch also made further saves from Loy and Noble as he kept his side in the game.
That said, the Glovers had their own chances to break the deadlock, with Oli Johnson making a terrific break on the Cumbrians, only to be let down by his final shot. Then there was a touch of controversy when Steve MacLean got the ball in the back of the net - with a linesman's flag having gone up in the build-up for some kind of infringement as MacLean challenged his marker. MacLean continued with plenty of chat with referee Carl Berry about the decision as play resumed, with it not being entirely clear why play had been pulled up.
The turning point though in the game came right on the stroke of half time. Belson had committed a number of fouls during the first period, and although his challenge on Tom Taiwo was a fairly run-of-the-mill one, suggestions were that referee Carl Berry had only just warned him about his foul rate when the latest challenge came in. A soft second yellow card though, and it left Yeovil Town to 10 men, and some boos for Berry at the break.
Perhaps surprisingly, the Glovers retained their personnel and shape for the start of the second period, with Carlisle having had plenty of space in midfield through the likes of Liam Noble even with Belson in the middle. It was therefore not too surprising when he was the man in free space when a Yeovil defensive header landed at his feet ten minutes into the half, and he finished well to put Carlisle 1-0 up.
Max Ehmer almost turned the ball into his own net, whilst Bondz N'Gala had to put in two great tackles to rescue his side, as the Glovers began to creak at the seems, and it only took another ten minutes before 0-1 became 0-2. A ball over the top saw Jon-Paul McGovern beat the offside trap, and as Marek Štěch advanced off his line, McGovern skilfully lobbed him to put the Cumbrians another goal to the good.
Realistically, Yeovil were never in the game during the second period, and whilst two late substitutions tried to freshen things up a touch, with Anthony Edgar and Curtis Haynes-Brown coming on, a Jon-Paul McGovern corner six minutes from time was flicked on at the near post, and Danny Livesey headed home. 0-3 down. Game over, and a dispiriting climax to a game.
The Flavien Belson red card was no doubt the tipping point in a match that had been a fairly lively end-to-end game, and no doubt made a difference in the magnitude of the win on the day. However, it shouldn't be forgotten that Marek Štěch was the busiest man on the pitch, even before Belson's double-booking, and the Czech Republic keeper deservedly picked up the Sponsors Man of the Match for those first half saves. Yeovil now slip to 23rd in the League One table, and this current run of form, and in particular the consistent shipping of goals, has to be causing some significant concerns within the ranks right now. October was earmarked as an opportunity for the Glovers to pick up points against some 'lesser' sides - instead it threatens to maroon them inside the bottom four at an early stage of the season.
Link: 2011-12 Latest League One Table.
Final Score: Yeovil Town 0 Carlisle United 3.
Scorers: Liam Noble (0-1, 55 mins), Jon-Paul McGovern (0-2, 65 mins), Danny Livesey (0-3, 84 mins)
Yeovil Town: (4-3-3):
30. Marek Štěch
2. Luke Ayling 14. Max Ehmer 4. Bondz N'Gala 3. Nathan Jones
22. Flavien Belson 20. Paul Wotton 8. Ed Upson
21. Gavin Massey 9. Steven MacLean 16. Oli Johnson
24. Gareth Stewart (GK) 11. Anthony Edgar (78 mins for Steve MacLean) 18. Kieran Agard (63 mins for Oli Johnson) 19. Curtis Haynes-Brown (78 mins for Nathan Jones) 23. Billy Gibson
1. Adam Collin 22. James Tavernier 6. Peter Murphy 5. Danny Livesey 3. Matthew Robson 12. Tom Taiwo 17. Liam Noble 21. James Berrett 9. Rory Loy 4. Jon-Paul McGovern 14. Lee Miller
20. Mark Gillespie (GK) 13. Francois Zoko (83 mins for Rory Loy) 15. Craig Curran (90 mins for Lee Miller) 16. Jeremy Helan (87 mins for Jon-Paul McGovern) 29. Stephen O'Halloran
Yeovil Bookings: Flavien Belson (5 mins, foul), Nathan Jones (51 mins, foul), Luke Ayling (80 mins, dissent). Red Card: Flavien Belson (45 mins, second bookable offence)
Carlisle Bookings: James Berrett (52 mins, foul), James Tavernier (75 mins, foul)
Referee: Carl Berry (Surrey). Assistants: Justin Amey (Dorset) and Colin Lymer (Hampshire). Fourth Official: Adam Nunn (Wiltshire).
Attendance: 3,673 (with 175 Carlisle supporters)
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