Yeovil Town and Cambridge United shared a point each in a relegation six-pointer at the Abbey Stadium on Saturday afternoon. As neither side was able to find the net, the hosts created the better chances during the match, with Jabo Ibehre's first half near post header, and a Paul Lewis shot that was dragged wide during the second period the pick of the bunch across the 90 minutes. Both teams had to battle against dreadful side-to-side blustery weather conditions that turned into icy rain in the second half, and whilst Yeovil defended resolutely, they only did enough to get a point out of the match, raising them up one place in the table to 19th, but leaving them just three points off the relegation zone at the end of the day.
The Glovers went into the match making two changes to the side that played against Forest Green Rovers on the previous weekend. Carl Dickinson was recalled, with Enes Mahmoutovic dropping to the bench, meaning that the back four shuffled around as Tom James moved to right back. On the wings, Wes McDonald had picked up a hamstring strain, meaning that he dropped out of the squad, with Rhys Browne replacing him. On the bench, Alex Fisher made his comeback from a groin strain.
Blustery conditions affected the match throughout, with Yeovil in particular finding it hard to clear their lines in the first period, with the side-to-side wind seeing the ball frequently going out of play. Cambridge managed to get themselves a couple of early free kicks, that saw George Maris strike the first into the defensive wall, before firing the rebound wide. Then Paul Lewis shot wide of the goalframe, as Yeovil frequently brought all eleven men behind the ball to defend the set piece.
It took Yeovil 25 minutes to get any sort of a shot on goal, with Tom James slicing an effort from 25 yards out that went high and wide of the goalframe. At the other end, Cambridge were mainly on top, with Jabo Ibehre forcing Stuart Nelson to dive low to stop his shot. Ibehre went particularly close with his next effort though, as his near post header went about six inches wide. But otherwise it wasn't a half for the purist at all.
The second half got worse, in terms of the weather conditions, and wasn't much better from the entertainment value. With icy rain now blowing across the stadium, Yeovil did manage to get a couple of efforts on goal that forced saves from David Forde. A Tom James free kick was a bit too optimistic, even allowing for the wind-assisted nature that helped him move the ball in the air. Sessi D'Almeida also forced Forde into a save from just outside the box, in a good ten minute period for the Glovers.
Gradually though, Cambridge began to get their act together a bit more. George Maris flashed a shot just wide of the far post, and that was followed by Reggie Lambe's shot inside the area that Stuart Nelson parried at his near post for a corner. Then came the chance of the match for the home side. A threaded ball down the middle of the pitch allowed Paul Lewis the ability to get in behind the Yeovil defence, but as Nelson came off his line, Lewis fired just wide of the left hand post, when he really should have buried it.
Yeovil's lack of attacking prowess throughout the match was measured by the fact that it took them 82 minutes to get their first corner of the match. They really couldn't create anything incisive in the final stages of the match. An injury late on to Rhys Browne didn't help matters at all as he slowly limped off the pitch after a tackle. By defending well, they just about deserved their point, but the Glovers wouldn't have justified anything more than that. They rise one place in the table to 19th, but with Notts County and Macclesfield Town both winning, they lie only three points away from the drop now.
Link: 2018-19 Latest League Two Table.
Final Score: Cambridge United 0 Yeovil Town 0.
1 David Forde
2 Brad Halliday 5 Greg Taylor 16 Harry Darling 11 Harrison Dunk
18 George Maris 6 Gary Deegan 22 Paul Lewis
20 Jeavani Brown 14 Jabo Ibehre 19 Reggie Lambe
3 Jake Carroll 4 George Taft 7 David Amoo (86 mins for Reggie Lambe) 8 Liam O'Neil 10 Adebayo Azeez (80 mins for Jevani Brown) 13 Dimitar Mitov 17 Leon Davies
1. Stuart Nelson
23. Tom James 2. Adel Gafaiti 4. Gary Warren (Capt) 3. Carl Dickinson
7. Rhys Browne 20. Sessi D'Almeida 30. Alefe Santos 11. Jordan Green
18. Yoann Arquin 24. Olufela Olomola
31. Tommy Scott (GK) 8. Omari Patrick 9. Alex Fisher (59 mins for Jordan Green) 10. Jake Gray (84 mins for Rhys Browne) 13. Francois Zoko (74 mins for Olufela Olomola) 27. Shaun Donnellan 29. Enes Mahmutovic
Cambridge United Bookings: Gary Dreegan (foul, 20 mins)
Yeovil Bookings: Alefe Santos (foul, 20 mins)
Cambridge United Match Statistics: Possession: 51%; Shots: 11; Shots On Target: 2; Corners: 5; Fouls: 15.
Yeovil Match Statistics: Possession: 49%; Shots: 8; Shots On Target: 3; Corners: 3; Fouls: 16.
Referee: Peter Wright (Liverpool). Assistants: Christopher Kidd (Oxfordshire) and Garry Maskell (London). Fourth Official: Stuart Butler (Kent).
Attendance: 3,807 (with 106 Yeovil Town supporters)
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