Yeovil Town were denied their fourth win in a row tonight as two goals from Jonathan Parkin denied them victory at a foggy Huish Park. Leading the game twice through a Gavin Williams free kick, and a debut goal for Middlesbrough loanee Jonathan Franks, the Glovers were pegged back by the on loan Cardiff City striker, who netted just after the break, and then with the final kick of the game, as he scored four minutes into injury time to tie the match at 2-2.
Glovers boss Gary Johnson chose to keep the same squad that had travelled up to Oldham Athletic on the Saturday. Same starting line-up, same formation, same substitutes. That meant that Dean Parrett had to sit in the stand, despite having returned from his suspension, due to league rules concerning loan players.
The opening half hour of the game was a relatively tame one, with few chances for either team. Not that it was easy to tell what was going on in the conditions, with the match being passed as okay to play by referee Danny McDermid despite fog having hung around Huish Park all day. Andy Williams created Yeovil's first chance as he shrugged off a slipping Scunthorpe defender, to fire in on goal, with Sam Slocombe saving easily. That was sandwiched by two chances for the visitors big bustling forward Jonathan Parkin - a header straight at Walker, and a volley that went just wide of the target.
Jonathan Obika should have put Yeovil ahead at the other end as he headed an Ed Upson corner at the outside of the goalpost, when perhaps he should have scored. However, the Spurs striker helped the Glovers get their opening goal - a shirt tug by Iron defender Cliff Byrne was a soft free kick to give away. Up stepped Gavin Williams to blast his free kick through the visitors defensive wall and into the back of the net. 1-0 up and half an hour gone.
The remainder of the half passed off with Scunthorpe perhaps surprisingly still playing the slow tempo they'd started the game with. Jonathan Franks set up Andy Williams to fire wide, then Franks had a go himself from 25 yards out, with keeper Sam Slocombe perhaps being deceived in the fog - needing two attempts to grab the shot. Just before the break, Scunthorpe nearly levelled, although even then it was a Yeovil man doing the job for them, as Richard Hinds got in a bit of a mix-up with Sam Walker, with the defender.
Given their lack of tempo, it was little surprise to find Scunthorpe manager Alan Knill making a double change at the break, and that was to have a sharp impact on the match, as the Iron equalised eight minutes into the second period. The Yeovil defence failed to close down Mark Duffy outside the box, and when they did react to the danger, they failed to pick up Jonathan Parkin, who received an inside pass and converted from close range for the equalising goal.
Scunthorpe took the upper hand for around five minutes as Yeovil tried to find their feet after the shock of conceding - Jonathan Obika was withdrawn for Lawson D'Ath as the Glovers reshuffled with Jonathan Franks pushed up front, and D'Ath moving onto the wing. Ed Upson burst Yeovil back into life from their mini-slumber as his fiercesome shot that was palmed over the bar, as they gradually began to take control of the game.
On 68 minutes came the goal of the match. Upson broke up play in his own half and slipped the ball through to Andy Williams. The striker pushed the ball onto the right flank, finding Jonathan Grounds with his pass, and the Middlesbrough loanee's cross found an incoming Jonathan Franks - his team-mate at the Riverside Stadium, and he netted his debut goal for the club to put Yeovil 2-1 up again - from end to end of the pitch in a classic counter-attacking move.
The visitors could count themselves lucky not to be down to ten men when Paul Reid chopped down Andy Williams - referee Danny McDermid doing what wasn't done at MK Dons with Dean Parrett - issuing the defender with a lengthy finger wagging that made it clear that he was on a final warning, having already been booked in the first half. Williams was withdrawn shortly after with a slight shin injury - hopefully just a precaution to protect him for Saturday's match against Walsall - Kieran Agard brought more pace into the front line.
With five minutes remaining, Bondz N'Gala replaced Jonathan Franks as the final change; not the switch to five men at the back that might have been envisaged, but a slightly unexpected sight of Bondz as a centre-forward. Three minutes went up for injury time, as Scunthorpe put their own pressure on, changing to a 4-3-3, and with four minutes having played into that injury time period, they managed to grab an equaliser with almost the last kick of the game.
Gavin Williams appeared to be fouled in the build-up and the Glovers players were perhaps guilty of hesitating; expecting the referee's whistle. Andy Barcham took advantage of that as he ran through, and goalkeeper Sam Walker was unsure whether to charge the man down or play mind games with the player. In the end Barcham won hands down as he lobbed the ball past him, and although Richard Hinds did well to clear the ball off the line, in came Jonathan Parkin to smash the loose ball home for a last gasp equalising goal.
Needless to say, the Huish Park crowd were deflated on the final whistle, as they came inches away from witnessing their fifth straight home win. But even if it was clearly two points dropped, a point does them no harm at all - lifting them up to 13th in the table, with only three other fixtures being played on the night. This was more of a 'must not lose' fixture, keeping their opponents below them in the table, and a reality check on Yeovil's recent form might not do too much harm in the long run.
Link: 2011-12 Latest League One Table.
Final Score: Yeovil Town 2 Scunthorpe United 2.
Scorers: Gavin Williams (1-0, 30 mins), Jonathan Parkin (1-1, 53 mins), Jonathan Franks (2-1, 68 mins), Jonathan Parkin (2-2, 90 mins)
Yeovil Town: (4-4-2)
1. Sam Walker
2. Luke Ayling 5. Paul Huntington 28. Richard Hinds 17. Jonathan Grounds
16. Jonathan Franks 8. Ed Upson 6. Dominic Blizzard 10. Gavin Williams
7. Andy Williams 29. Jonathan Obika
24. Gareth Stewart (GK) 4. Bondz N'Gala (85 mins for Jonathan Franks) 12. Michael Woods 14. Lawson D'Ath (64 mins for Jonathan Obika) 18. Kieran Agard (75 mins for Andy Williams)
13. Sam Slocombe 6. Cliff Byrne 15. Paul Reid 5. David Mirfin 25. Jamie Reckord 3. Eddie Nolan 7. Jimmy Ryan 12. Damien Mozika 9. Jon Parkin 16. Mark Duffy 21. Andy Barcham
1. Josh Lillis (GK) 4. Sam Togwell 10. Jordan Robertson (83 mins for Mark Duffy) 11. Garry Thompson (46 mins for Jimmy Ryan) 14. Josh Walker (46 mins for Eddie Nolan)
Yeovil Bookings: None.
Scunthorpe Bookings: Paul Reid (32 mins, foul).
Referee: Danny McDermid (Hampshire). Assistants: Richard Corp (Kent) and Paul Kelly (Kent). Fourth Official: Andrew Laver (Hampshire).
Attendance: 3,767 (including 125 Scunthorpe fans)
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