Yeovil Town went down to their second defeat in a row this afternoon, after Carlisle United needed a single goal to gain victory. After a tight first half, the game opened up in the second period with Hallam Hope scoring four minutes after the break. The visitors largely had the edge during the game, with Hope hitting the woodwork later in the half, and it was only in the closing ten minutes that Yeovil began to look as though they might get something out of it, with Lewis Wing's 90th minute attempt coming off the woodwork. Despite defeat Yeovil remain 17th, although with five sides below them winning and the gap to the bottom two falling to eight points, the 0-1 defeat was a reminder that they still have work to do before the end of the season to guarantee their league status.
The Glovers went into the game making three changes to their starting line-up, compared to the side that started against Stevenage last Saturday. In fact those three changes were easy to understand, as they were the substitutions that were made during last weekend's match. Ryan Seager started in favour of Alex Fisher, whilst the two midfield changes that were made in that game were replicated today, as Alefe Santos and Otis Khan dropped out, making way for Oscar Gobern and Rhys Browne. In the opposition line-up, former loanee Tom Parkes lined up as a left-back.
The first half took a long time to get going, with neither side having too much to worry the goalkeepers. Hallam Hope put wide from the edge of the box for the visitors, whilst Omar Sowunmi put over the bar from a Tom James free kick. The difference between the two sides was probably that Carlisle were forcing more corners and free kicks that were putting pressure on the Yeovil penalty box, albeit without a clear outcome - a Richie Bennett header from a Tom Parkes free kick was as close as it came.
Yeovil had a good effort when Ryan Seager fired wide of the target, with referee Antony Coggins playing a good advantage after Sam Surridge was fouled by Clint Hill on the edge of the box. Jake Gray was also unfortunate when Surridge put him through, with keeper Jack Bonham doing well to narrow the angle as Gray's shot went wide. However, with Hallam Hope shooting over the bar, after Jamie Devitt put him through, and Tom Parkes firing across goal with Richie Bennett stretching to divert the attempt into the back of the net, the visitors were dangerous, and created the greater share of the chances in the first half.
More worrying for Yeovil was a serious injury to Jake Gray just before the break, leading to five minutes of added time as he was treated for a knee injury. He went down as he put a cross into the box, with no Carlisle player near him, appearing to fall awkwardly on the turf. Both physios came out to look after him, with the midfielder eventually leaving the ground on a stretcher, suggesting that he will be the latest player to suffer a lengthy injury this season. That led to a rather subdued end to the first period, and a goalless scoreline when the players came off for the break.
Yeovil started the second half in sluggish fashion, with Jonny Maddison being forced to block a Richie Bennett effort after he was put clean through on goal within a minute of the restart. And that theme continued four minutes into the half, as Carlisle took the lead through Hallam Hope. A flicked ball into the path of Bennett allowed him to thread a pass to Hope, and fired the ball into the bottom corner from just inside the box, to give the visitors the lead.
Inevitably, Carlisle began to organise themselves into two hard defensive lines, now that they had their noses in front. Otis Khan shot wide from inside the box after Tom James set him up, whilst Oscar Gobern also hit one from distance that failed to trouble the keeper, but in reality Carlisle looked increasingly comfortable. Attempts to shake things up didn't really spark, with Jordan Green playing up front for a while following Ryan Seager's withdrawal, before Alex Fisher was brought on, allowing Green a chance to take the departing Rhys Browne's slot on the wing.
Carlisle even threatened themselves to extend their lead, as substitute Michael Jones put through Jamie Devitt, only for the attacking midfielder to make a bit of a pig's ear of his shot as it went wide. There was then a nervy moment as Hallam Hope struck the goalpost, with the rebound falling out to Carlisle sub Ashley Nadesan. Jonny Maddison did well to smother the rebound attempt.
It was only in the final 15 minutes that Yeovil began to put pressure on the Carlisle goal. Alex Fisher had a shot blocked by keeper Jack Bonham, with the loose ball running clear to Omar Sowunmi. His shot was then cleared off the line by Gary Liddle. Then in the final minute Lewis Wing was inches away from levelling as his drive struck the woodwork following a corner ball that came his way. But Carlisle managed to ride out the four minutes of injury time to seal victory.
On a day where Barnet, Chesterfield, Morecambe, Forest Green Rovers and Crewe Alexandra all won, defeat radically shrunk the buffer they currently have from the bottom clubs. They may remain in 17th place in the table, but now have only an eight point gap between themselves and 23rd placed Chesterfield, and with five club three points or less behind them, it's a reminder that they can't afford too many days like today in the 12 league matches that remain.
Link: 2017-18 Latest League Two Table.
Final Score: Yeovil Town 0 Carlisle United 1.
Scorers: Hallam Hope (0-1, 49 mins)
12. Jonny Maddison
22. Corey Whelan 17. Omar Sowunmi 23. Tom James 11. Ryan Dickson (Capt)
9. Rhys Browne 20. Oscar Gobern 6. Lewis Wing 10. Jake Gray
14. Sam Surridge 21. Ryan Seager
25. Stuart Nelson 4. Jared Bird 8. Connor Smith 7. Otis Khan (45 mins for Jake Gray) 15. Jordan Green (56 mins for Ryan Seager) 18. Alex Fisher (71 mins for Rhys Browne) 27. Shaun Donnellan
1 Jack Bonham
5 Gary Liddle 29 Clint Hill 16 Mark Ellis 6 Tom Parkes
28 Kristopher Twardek 11 Jamie Devitt 4 Luke Joyce 9 Hallam Hope
14 Richard Bennett 23 Cole Stockton
3 Danny Grainger 8 Michael Jones (46 mins for Kristopher Twardek) 13 Jamal Campbell-Ryce 15 Louis Gray 18 John O'Sullivan (74 mins for Cole Stockton) 19 Reggie Lambe 30 Ashley Nadesan (64 mins for Richard Bennett)
Yeovil Bookings: Rhys Browne (off the ball incident, 55 mins)
Carlisle United Bookings: None.
Yeovil Match Statistics: Possession: 51%; Shots: 11; Shots On Target: 2; Corners: 4; Fouls: 8.
Carlisle United Match Statistics: Possession: 49%; Shots: 13; Shots On Target: 4; Corners: 8; Fouls: 11.
Referee: Antony Coggins (Oxfordshire). Assistants: Christopher Kidd (Oxfordshire) and Michael Webb (Surrey). Fourth Official: Dean Treleaven (West Sussex).
Attendance: 2,688 (with 162 Carlisle United supporters).
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