Yeovil Town manager Gary Johnson left Huish Park this afternoon impressed by his side's second half performance against Barnsley. The 1-1 draw was one that was defined by a below par first half period that saw the Tykes take the lead via a long range Conor Hourihane strike, before an improved second period saw them finally get their reward as an own goal from Yeovil-born defender Martin Cranie levelled the scores.
Johnson acknowledged the quality of Hourihane's strike, with the midfielder having moved from Plymouth Argyle over the summer for a fee reported in the Devon press as being in the region of £200,000. The Glovers boss felt Barnsley were getting good value out of their new signing but that he felt his own side's second half showing was worthy of acclaim:
"I think the overriding emotion is that I was proud of their second-half performance. I did say before the game that this would be the strongest team we come up against so far and Barnsley showed that in the first half. We weren't quite ready for their sharp, quick, clever play. The lad (Conor Hourihane) that they paid a few hundred thousand for (from Plymouth Argyle) scored a goal worth a few hundred thousand from outside the box. We weren't really able to create enough good opportunities to look dangerous. But in the second-half we made a couple of substitutions and I just felt we showed that willingness and that effort and desire to get into the box and create chances. Sometimes quality comes out and sometimes it doesn't. But what did come out was the passion. The amount of crosses and shots and corners and free kicks that we had, I would have liked to have scored more than one, but we did keep going and we showed our public as well that there is a bit of a team there. With the second-half, as you said, we should have come away at least 2-1 or 3-1 winners."
The equalising goal will go down with Cranie's name against it, after he nudged home a Jakub Sokolik cross that AJ Leitch-Smith got a glancing touch on as it flew across the box. That was the one slice of fortune the Glovers got from the pressure they put on the Barnsley goal with their keeper Adam Davies managing to get in the way of everything else that was thrown at him:
"It would be nice to recognise one of our players, as opposed to an own goal - we don't like own goals! But it was as a result of two or three super crosses into the box. We had them all at sea - their keeper (Adam Davies) in the second half had a charmed life. Everything that ricocheted seem to come straight to him. I don't know whether he is that good, or that lucky, but certainly everything went to him, and he got behind everything. He made the saves that he had to make, and on occasions we didn't quite have that technique to just finish it off. People have got that technique to finish it off, so I'm just hoping that one day soon they will show us their technique. At the moment they are showing me their desire anyway."
The Glovers are likely to be without midfielder Simon Gillett for the foreseeable future, with Johnson expressing concern about what is believed to be a knee injury sustained just before half time today. The former Southampton player will go in for a scan on Monday to see what the damage is, but he will certainly miss Tuesday night's Football League Trophy match against Portsmouth.
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