Yeovil Town gained their first 0-0 draw of 2012, and their first goalless game under Gary Johnson, as they continue to inch their way towards League One safety. Another point on the board in a draw against AFC Bournemouth this afternoon at Dean Court, was only gained thanks to a series of saves made by Chelsea loan goalkeeper Sam Walker, who kept the home side at bay despite them having the lion's share of the chances. At the other end, Yeovil's chances were few and far between, but Andy Williams clipped the top of the crossbar in the first half, whilst Lawson D'Ath was denied in the second period by a goal line clearance.
The Glovers went into the match making two changes to their starting line-up as Jonathan Grounds dropped out of the squad, due to his partner giving birth, meaning that he stayed in Middlesbrough for the week. That allowed his Boro team-mate to be recalled to the squad, and the starting line-up. Josh Morris moved into the back line to block the absence of Grounds, whilst Lawson D'Ath swapped wings to allow Franks to resume his right-wing role. At the back, the second change saw Richard Hinds return to the starting line-up following his calf injury, meaning that Bondz N'Gala dropped to the bench, allowing the Glovers to name five subs after leaving the bench one short last weekend.
The pattern of the game was well established by the opening chances that fell to the home side after a busy but scrappy start. Wes Thomas headed wide, then Shaun Cooper's deflected attempt saw Glovers goalkeeper Sam Walker readjust himself well to tip the ball over the bar. Steve Cook put the ball over from the corner that followed.
Yeovil's chances were minimal, and the only one worth talking about came when Lawson D'Ath put Andy Williams through on goal, and force Darryl Flahavan off his line. Williams lobbed the former Southend United keeper, but managed to just about clear the goal frame with the ball clipping the crossbar and out for a goal kick.
But most of the play was at the other end, and was mainly about whether Bournemouth could get past Sam Walker. The Chelsea keeper has come in for plenty of stick for errors that have given sides goals in recent matches, but he was standing up to the task well, getting down low to his left to block a Wes Thomas effort, then a brilliant tip over the bar as a Marc Pugh cross was met by a Steve Cook header, but with the Cherries being forced to go in goalless at the break, despite clearly having dominated proceedings.
The second half saw more of the same, even if things were not quite so one-sided, as Bournemouth began to struggle to carve out chances during long period of the half. Zavon Hines rounded several Yeovil defenders who failed to get in blocks or tackles, only to find Sam Walker in his way, smothering the ball as Marc Pugh threatened to get the rebound.
The Glovers could have sneaked a goal against the run of play though, as a breakaway saw a cross into the box met by Lawson D'Ath whose downward header appeared to be heading towards the back of the net, only for Steve Cook to block the ball off the line with a great clearance. Overall though it was the home side continuing the pressing, and the longer the game went on, the more nervy and tense everything got, leaving both sides scrambling at times, as legs tired.
Inevitably in the final five minutes, it was a bit of a rearguard action. Sam Walker put in another terrific save as Wes Fogden's looping header towards the top corner seemed a stick-on for a goal, only for the Chelsea man to again palm the ball away for a corner. Then as time ticked out Walker did it twice more - once from Scott Malone, then from Wes Thomas. An excellent day for him, and a big confidence boost for a goalkeeper that has been under pressure in recent matches. For the Glovers, with only Bury and Scunthorpe winning in the bottom half of the table, and the vast majority gaining draws, they still remain six points off the drop zone with a game more played, and even nudged above Preston North End, who seem to be imploding under new manager Graham Westley at present.
Link: 2011-12 Latest League One Table.
Final Score: AFC Bournemouth 0 Yeovil Town 0.
23. Darryl Flahavan
18. Simon Francis 22. Scott Malone 3. Steve Cook 34. Miles Addison
7. Marc Pugh 8. Harry Arter 4. Shaun Cooper 16. Shaun MacDonald
9. Wesley Thomas 30. Zavon Hines
1. Shwan Jalal (GK) 12. Wes Fogden (76 mins for Harry Arter) 15. Steven Gregory (67 mins for Shaun MacDonald) 32. Donal McDermott (59 mins for Zavon Hines) 40. Stephane Zubar
Yeovil Town: (4-4-2)
1. Sam Walker
2. Luke Ayling 5. Paul Huntington 28. Richard Hinds 15. Josh Morris
16. Jonathan Franks 8. Ed Upson 6. Dominic Blizzard 14. Lawson D'Ath
7. Andy Williams 29. Jonathan Obika
24. Gareth Stewart (GK) 4. Bondz N'Gala 12. Michael Woods 18. Kieran Agard 19. Curtis Haynes-Brown (None used)
Bournemouth Bookings: None.
Yeovil Bookings: Sam Walker (kicking the ball away, 90 mins)
Referee: Darren Sheldrake (Surrey). Assistants: Dave Bushell (London) and Neil Radford (Worcestershire). Fourth Official: Adam Nunn (Wiltshire).
Attendance: 6,170 (including 814 Yeovil supporters).
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