Yeovil Town picked up their fifth win in six matches, and their fourth out of five in League One this afternoon, as a solitary goal against Crewe Alexandra got them all three points. In a match that was more summarised as 'dogged and determined' rather than a truly classy game, a Byron Webster goal from close range saw them triumph when he capitalised on a loose ball from a corner to fire into the roof of the net. Despite controlling large portions of the game, the Alex couldn't get back into the match, with Marek Stech in fine form when they did threaten the goal.
The Glovers went into the match with an unchanged line-up across the starting eleven and the seven substitutes, with left-back Jamie McAllister having been the major pre-match doubt, having limped off in midweek. He recovered from that knock, and his side took part in a fairly low key opening 20 minutes, most of which was about Crewe striker Chuks Aneke. He was booked five minutes into the half for a flailing arm on Byron Webster and then later forced Marek Stech into two early saves.
A poor first half saw Yeovil create very few openings of their own - on one occasion Paddy Madden did have the ball in the back of the net only for a linesman's flag to rule that one out. Keanu Marsh-Brown delivered a few decent crosses that just evaded strikers in the box, whilst Ed Upson nearly capitalised on a loose ball and a long range strike that keeper Alan Martin made a bit of a meal out of.
Overall though the home side were on top, and so it was a bit of a surprise when five minutes from the break the Glovers took the lead. A corner into the box from Ed Upson saw Byron Webster challenge for the ball, only to find his initial header blocked. His second attempt though was rather more emphatic - a close range shot that was fired into the roof of the net. No goals in seven-and-a-half years for Byron before last Saturday, yet now two on consecutive weekends!
Whilst the first half had seen Crewe's Chuks Aneke miss a couple of good opportunities, the second period opened with Mathias Pogba missing two good opportunities - one blazed well over the bar, whilst another forced Marek Stech into an excellent save. The gambit from the Glovers in a far more open second half was to defend in numbers, with men behind the ball, and then use the likes of Paddy Madden to quickly break on their opponents - Sam Foley was pushed up front as part of a reorganistion ten minutes into the half that saw Daniel Johnson introduced for a fairly quiet James Hayter, with Johnson slotting into Foley's left-wing position.
The question was whether one goal would be enough to defend on. A mix of wastefulness, superb goalkeeping from Stech and some brave defensive blocks ensured that was the case, and towards the end Yeovil even indulged in the odd bit of 'slowing the game down' that seemed to frustrate the home side, as they picked up a few late bookings. Whilst this wasn't the most typical 'Gary Johnson style match' that we're used to, it did show that the players are capable of grinding out results just as much as showing the flair side of their game. Few in the 156 travelling supporters would have complained, even there wasn't much to warm them up on their day in the suitably named Ice Cream Stand - until the final whistle blew, of course.
Link: 2012-13 Latest League One Table.
Final Score: Crewe Alexandra 0 Yeovil Town 1.
Scorers: Byron Webster (0-1, 40 mins)
13. Alan Martin 2. Matt Tootle 3. Harry Davis 5. Mark Ellis 8. Luke Murphy (Capt) 9. Mathias Pogba 11. Byron Moore 12. Oliver Turton 14. Kelvin Mellor 23. Michael West 26. Chuks Aneke
1. Steve Phillips (GK) 6. Adam Dugdale 15. Gregor Robertson 16. Jon Guthrie 17. George Ray 18. Brendon Daniels (65 mins for Michael West) 22. Harry Clayton
Yeovil Town: (4-4-2)
1. Marek Stech
22. Joe Edwards 5. Byron Webster 18. Daniel Burn 3. Jamie McAllister (Capt)
14. Sam Foley 8. Ed Upson 21. Korey Smith 7. Keanu Marsh-Brown
9. James Hayter 17. Paddy Madden
12. Gareth Stewart 2. Luke Ayling 4. Richard Hinds 6. Dominic Blizzard (88 mins for Keanu Marsh-Brown) 10. Gavin Williams 11. Reuben Reid 25. Daniel Johnson (56 mins for James Hayter).
Crewe Bookings: Chuks Aneke (5 mins, foul), Brendon Daniels (90 mins, foul), Mark Ellis (90 mins, dissent).
Yeovil Bookings: Jamie McAllister (49 mins, dissent)
Crewe Match Statistics: Possession: 47%; Shots: 19; Shots On Target: 9; Corners: 7; Fouls: 4.
Yeovil Match Statistics: Possession: 53%; Shots: 10; Shots On Target: 3; Corners: 2; Fouls: 11.
Referee: Tony Harrington (Cleveland). Assistants: Joe Clark (West Midlands) and John Law (Worcestershire). Fourth Official: Robert Jones (Merseyside).
Attendance: 4,156 (including 156 Yeovil fans).
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