Yeovil Town were deservedly beaten at Broadhall Way, as a poor first half contributed to their downfall in a 4-1 defeat. The Glovers went behind thanks to two long range strikes from Luke Amos and Jonathan Smith, who netted just before the break. One minute ater the break and Danny Newton caught the defence napping, whilst Ben Kennedy took advantage of large gaps in the penalty area to score a fourth. Yeovil finally got a consolation through Southampton loanee Ryan Seager and rallied in the closing stages, but that was too little too late on a day where they were out-fought and over-run by the home side.
The Glovers went into the match making two changes to their line-up compared to Tuesday night's match against Barnet. Otis Khan made his return following a six game absence, sporting a wrist bandage that explained his absence in the one game he was not suspended for. Jordan Green was ill, which meant he did not make the squad. In midfield, Alefe Santos was brought in for Oscar Gobern. In the opposition line-up, Dean Bowditch sat on the bench - something that Francois Zoko was unable to do for Yeovil given he was starting his two match suspension.
The match was entirely inert for the opening 14 minutes, with it taking a Danny Newton shot to open up proceedings. But the Stevenage striker was off-balance and dragged his shot wide. However, their next effort was decidedly more accurate, with a flowing move across midfield seeing Yeovil fail to close players down, allowing Joe Martin's pass into the path of Luke Amos that saw the Stevenage midfielder fire a dipping 25 yard shot into the right hand corner of the net before anyone could get across to stop the shot. 1-0 down.
That was ultimately the difference between the two sides in the first half. Stevenage's midfield passing was far more fluent, whilst Yeovil had a nasty habit of giving the ball away around the halfway line. It took a superb last ditch block by Ryan Dickson around the penalty spot to stop Stevenage dancing their way through the centre for a second goal. When Mark McKee shot over the crossbar from the edge of the box, it was painfully obvious that no-one in midfield was acting as that blocker to close down those sort of edge of area attempts.
McKee nearly scored when sloppy defending put him clean through on goal down the middle, but Jonny Maddison came out to block well with his legs. Stevenage then tried a different route as Joe Martin chipped the ball over the top of the back line, with Ben Kennedy's ambitious first time volley just clearing the crossbar.
Yeovil had contributed very little as an attacking force. A Tom James free kick went a yard or two wide, but in open play it was only rarely Alex Fisher and Sam Surridge saw the ball - the team failed to manage a shot on target before the break. Even worse was that as the fourth official signalled for two minutes of added time before a break that could have seen them regroup, they fell further behind. Once again, Stevenage created room on the edge of the box through John Goddard and when he slipped the ball to Jonathan Smith once again no-one was closing down, and another 20 yard shot was buried in the back of the net for a 2-0 half time score.
A half time substitution saw Rhys Browne introduced for Alefe Santos, allowing Jake Gray a chance to put a bit more grit into the centre of midfield, whilst Browne went wide right. But whatever message was delivered during the break became completely irrelevant within 60 seconds of the restart. Yeovil lost possession down their left flank, freeing up Ben Kennedy to put a cross into the box, and Danny Newton was on hand to get a close range tap in.
It took 55 minutes before Yeovil managed their first shot on target of the entire match. A corner into the box found Sam Surridge lurking at the back post. His shot was well hit, but keeper Tom King covered his angles well to ensure he was right in the way of the shot. But any hope that there might be a Glovers comeback was well and truly ended just short of the hour mark. Ben Wilmot fed Ben Kennedy who was seemingly in a harmless position near the corner flag. But Yeovil know all about Kennedy's quick feet from last season's match at Broadhall Way - the problem was they didn't do anything about it as he danced his way past three defenders, broke into clear space, and then fired home from a narrow angle at the far post for 4-0.
Yeovil introduced Ryan Seager for Alex Fisher, and finally started to get some attacking joy, even if the feeling was that Stevenage had taken their foot off the gas a bit. Lewis Wing produced a superb shot from the edge of the box that Tom King tipped over the bar for a corner. Then they finally got a goal back, albeit thanks to a generous assist from Stevenage substitute Kevin Lokko. Having only just got onto the pitch, he got his bearings all wrong in an attempt to do a backpass to King, and Seager was at the far post to convert from close range into an empty net.
The 4-1 could have very quickly have become 4-2 if Sam Surridge hadn't wasted a golden opportunity to head home at the back post from close range, with his attempt instead clearing the crossbar. And apart from a few Stevenage breakaways, the Glovers oddly managed to dominate the final 15 minutes of the match, albeit with the feeling that the home side were by now playing to close the game out. That was the only small positive from a wretched game, in that those who finished the 90 minutes didn't throw in the towel. But overall this was a poor performance defensively throughout the game - not just the back four but the way the midfield failed to protect them - and the outcome was hard to disagree with.
Link: 2017-18 Latest League Two Table.
Final Score: Stevenage 4 Yeovil Town 1.
Scorers: Luke Amos (16 mins, 1-0), Jonathan Smith (45 mins, 2-0), Danny Newton (46 mins, 3-0), Ben Kennedy (58 mins, 4-0), Ryan Seager (76 mins, 4-1)
13 Tom King
20 Terence VanCouten 33 Ben Wilmot 4 Jack King 3 Joe Martin
14 Luke Amos 2 Jonathan Smith 30 Mark McKee
10 Ben Kennedy 19 Danny Newton 11 John Goddard
1 Joe Fryer 5 Fraser Franks 6 Luke Wilkinson 18 Tom Conlon 22 Dean Bowditch (80 mins for Ben Kennedy) 26 Joe White (90 mins for Danny Newton) 28 Kevin Lokko (74 mins for Joe Martin)
12. Jonny Maddison
22. Corey Whelan 17. Omar Sowunmi 23. Tom James 11. Ryan Dickson (Capt)
10. Jake Gray 30. Alefe Santos 6. Lewis Wing 7. Otis Khan
14. Sam Surridge 18. Alex Fisher
24. Steve Phillips (GK) 4. Jared Bird 8. Connor Smith 9. Rhys Browne (46 mins for Alefe Santos) 20. Oscar Gobern (52 mins for Otis Khan) 21. Ryan Seager (64 mins for Alex Fisher) 27. Shaun Donnellan
Stevenage Bookings: Joe Martin (37 mins, foul)
Yeovil Bookings: Otis Khan (42 mins, foul), Lewis Wing (82 mins, foul)
Stevenage Match Statistics: Possession: 51%; Shots: 15; Shots On Target: 7; Corners: 4; Fouls: 9.
Yeovil Match Statistics: Possession: 49%; Shots: 11; Shots On Target: 5; Corners: 4; Fouls: 10.
Referee: Nicholas Kinseley (Essex). Assistants: Grant Taylor (Warwickshire) and Adrian Waters (London). Fourth Official: Ravel Cheosiaua (Worcestershire).
Attendance: 2,355 (with 220 Yeovil Town supporters).
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