Yeovil Town crashed to a damaging defeat tonight at The Valley, as relegation rivals Charlton Athletic took all three points in a vital match for both sides chances. Given Charlton's matches have largely been low scoring affairs this season, the 3-2 final score was a little surprising, but the tone was set early on as each side exchanged a goal during the opening 12 minutes of the match.
The home side got the opening goal when the Yeovil defence weren't wise enough to the danger posted by Astrit Ajdarevic, as he was allowed time to drift across the edge of the Yeovil penalty box, giving himself room and then firing past Chris Dunn and into the bottom right hand corner from 20 yards out. But two minutes later Yeovil were level, as Jamie McAllister's ball up field was controlled by James Hayter who put the ball into the path of Joel Grant. His shot was partially blocked but that deflection helped the ball go past keeper Ben Hamer for the equalising goal.
Both sides looked edgy on a poor bumpy pitch that has struggled to field matches during the recent wet winter. That led to a first half in which attacking players seemed on top throughout, with defenders never quite sure how the ball was going to bounce or follow through. From one Yeovil corner Tom Lawrence almost scored direct, as his cross into the box clipped the crossbar. But in the lead up to the break Charlton were the side who began to look dangerous and the Glovers had to thank Shane Duffy for a critical goal line clearance just before the half time whistle blew.
A slow start to the second period though was to prove costly. Three minutes in, a Johnnie Jackson corner was met by the head of Dorian Dervite who put Charlton 2-1 up. Then three minutes after that a cross into the box from Reza Ghoochannejhad fell into the path of Marvin Sordell and he got himself an easy conversion from close range.
With Charlton now having a two goal advantage, they took control of the game's pace and tempo, slowing play down and preventing Yeovil from building up a head of steam. Manager Gary Johnson introduced Kieffer Moore as an additional striker just after the hour mark, and that paid dividends with 16 minutes remaining when Charlton keeper Ben Hamer over-committed himself inside his box allowing Moore the chance to fire home with the keeper well out of position.
That inevitably did produce a spot of late pressure, with Charlton doing their best to run the ball into the corner flag areas when they did regain possession. But not even five minutes worth of injury time could make up for what was an undeniably sloppy opening five minute period at the start of the second period. Outside that, the Glovers played reasonably - but concentration levels have been a factor during many 2013-14 matches, and Charlton capitalised on those moments, leaving Yeovil now six points away from safety with just five matches remaining. We're going to need a bit of a mini-miracle now to claw this one back.
Link: 2013-14 Latest Championship Table.
Final Score: Charlton Athletic 3 Yeovil Town 2.
Scorers: Astrit Ajdarevic (10 mins, 1-0), Joel Grant (12 mins, 1-1), Dorian Dervite (48 mins, 2-1), Marvin Sordell (51 mins, 3-1), Kieffer Moore (74 mins, 3-2)
1. Ben Hamer 5. Michael Morrison 15. Richard Wood 6. Dorian Dervite 16. Rhoys Wiggins 39. Diego Poyet 8. Reza Ghoochannejhad 24. Jordan Cousins 4. Johnnie Jackson 42. Astrit Ajdarevic 10. Marvin Sordell
2. Andy Hughes 11. Callum Harriott (79 mins for Reza Ghoochannejhad) 12. Jonathan Obika (76 mins for Astrit Ajdarevic) 21. Yohann Thuram-Ulien 28. Leon Cort (89 mins for Marvin Sordell) 35. Joe Pigott 36. Morgan Fox
Yeovil Town (4-4-2):
24. Chris Dunn
2. Luke Ayling 5. Byron Webster 15. Shane Duffy 3. Jamie McAllister (Captain)
23. Joel Grant 4. Joe Edwards 19. Joe Ralls 21. Liam Davis
9. James Hayter 11. Tom Lawrence
1. Marek Stech 7. Kevin Dawson 8. Ruben Palazuelos (81 mins for Joe Ralls) 13. Kieffer Moore (62 mins for Joel Grant) 14. Sam Hoskins 18. Matteo Lanzoni 26. Seth Nana Ofori-Twumasi
Charlton Bookings: None
Yeovil Bookings: Byron Webster (56 mins, foul), Joe Ralls (79 mins, foul), Ruben Palazuelos (90 mins, dissent)
Charlton Match Statistics: Possession: 55%; Shots: 10; Shots On Target: 8; Corners: 3; Fouls: 7.
Yeovil Match Statistics: Possession: 45%; Shots: 14; Shots On Target: 4; Corners: 4; Fouls: 18.
Referee: Graham Scott (Oxfordshire). Assistants: Carl Brook (East Sussex) and Mark Mellor (Hertfordshire). Fourth Official: Simon Hooper (Wiltshire).
Attendance: 15,430 (with 657 Yeovil supporters).
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