Yeovil Town grabbed a late point against Northampton Town as Yoann Arquin provided an instant response as the Cobblers threatened to take all three points in the final Christmas fixture. In a match in which neither side managed to produce serious attacking threat, former Glover Andy Williams looked to have won it in the 88th minute when he latched onto a ball over the top. But just over a minute later, Arquin produced a spectacular bolt from the blue, as he crashed a 30 yard strike off the underside of the crossbar, to provide a 1-1 draw, that leaves the Glovers in 20th place in the table, and four points off the relegation spots going into the Christmas schedule.
The Glovers went into the match making two changes to their starting line-up with both representing a change to the starting line-up. Yoann Arquin and Olufela Olomola were dropped to the bench in favour of Francois Zoko and Alex Fisher. On the bench Nathan Baxter replaced Tommy Scott, which meant that Devon Arnold came in as the Club Developed Player for the first time, due to an injury to Gabriel Rogers. In the Cobblers line-up, a quartet of ex-Glovers on the teamsheet saw Dean Bowditch and Sam Foley start, whilst Sam Hoskins and Andy Williams sat on the bench.
Apart from a Francois Zoko shot that was blocked by Ash Taylor, Yeovil took a while to provide any attacking intent. Northampton wer a bit brighter but couldn't get anything on target, as Kevin van Veen shot wide before Taylor provided their first on target effort, with Stuart Nelson tipping his header over the bar. Taylor then fired wide again, midway through the half.
It took Yeovil 22 minutes before they managed to find their shooting boots. Predictably it was a Tom James free kick, on a sharp angle. He still went direct for goal but cleared the crossbar. There was then a Rhys Browne effort inside the box that David Buchanan managed to half block for a corner, that was to prove to be the club's best chance of the half. Northampton weren't doing much more, although Sam Foley had a well driven attempt that went just wide of the far post, with one of his teammates stretching to get on the end of it. But overall, it was a fairly even half of football, and the lack of involvement of both keepers gave an idea of why there were no goals.
The second half promised much the same, as Kevin van Veen dragged his shot wide of the post. Yeovil did have loud appeals for a spot kick when Francois Zoko went down under the outstretched leg of Jordan Turnbell, but referee Robert Lewis wasn't in the mood to make big decisions on the day. Where the referee was getting involved was in a glut of bookings, notably when Sessi D'Almeida fouled Sam Foley for his obligatory yellow card, whilst Foley also got one for getting involved in a bit of afters. The former Glovers midfielder very quickly got himself on a final warning for another foul which resulted in manager Keith Curle tactically withdrawing him from what was going on out there.
Next to zero chances were coming from either side - an Alefe Santos shot after he got the ball from a free kick went wide from outside the area, with David Buchanan shooting wide at the other end. That made the 88th minute goal that gave Northampton their opener a bit of a surprise for a game that was heading for a 0-0 result. Shaun McWilliams provided a ball over the top for Andy Williams to run onto and he slotted home into the bottom corner. 0-1 down and suddenly the Glovers were staring at defeat.
Having had almost no attacking intent in the second period though, Yeovil got a quick response just over a minute from the restart. A bit of opportunism from substitute Yoann Arquin saw him pick the ball up in space from over 30 yards out and he rifled a shot off the underside of the crossbar for a stunning equalising goal, and to pull things back to 1-1.
In the six minutes of injury time, Yeovil could have fashioned a freak victory, when Gary Warren headed over the crossbar from a Yoann Arquin cross, but in the end it was points shared, which across the whole 90 minutes was probably a fair representation of the game. It leaves Yeovil with their seventh home draw of the season, but ensures that they leave 2018 with just one home victory in over ten months in League Two. With the club now dropping to 20th, and just four points off relegation, that's something they need to change in 2019 as a priority.
Link: 2018-19 Latest League Two Table.
Final Score: Yeovil Town 1 Northampton Town 1.
Scorers: Andy Williams (0-1, 88 mins), Yoann Arquin (1-1, 89 mins)
1. Stuart Nelson
23. Tom James 2. Adel Gafaiti 4. Gary Warren (Capt) 3. Carl Dickinson
11. Jordan Green 20. Sessi D'Almeida 30. Alefe Santos 7. Rhys Browne
9. Alex Fisher 13. Francois Zoko
12. Nathan Baxter (GK) 8. Omari Patrick 10. Jake Gray 18. Yoann Arquin (82 mins for Rhys Browne) 24. Olufela Olomola (79 mins for Francois Zoko) 27. Shaun Donnellan 28. Devon Arnold
1 David Cornell
18 Jordan Turnbull 16 Aaron Pierre 6 Ash Taylor
2 Shay Facey 8 Sam Foley 17 Shaun McWilliams 22 Matt Crooks 3 David Buchanan
10 Kevin van Veen 15 Dean Bowditch
7 Sam Hoskins 9 Andy Williams (67 mins for Matt Crooks) 11 Daniel Powell 14 Junior Morias (89 mins for Kevin van Veen) 19 Jack Bridge 20 Billy Waters (74 mins for Sam Foley) 30 Luke Coddington
Yeovil Bookings: Adel Gafaiti (foul, 10 mins), Sessi D'Almeida (foul, 63 mins), Gary Warren (foul, 69 mins)
Northampton Town Bookings: Sam Foley (retaliation, 63 mins), Ash Taylor (foul, 65 mins), Kevin van Veen (foul, 71 mins)
Yeovil Match Statistics: Possession: 40%; Shots: 7; Shots On Target: 2; Corners: 4; Fouls: 10.
Northampton Town Match Statistics: Possession: 60%; Shots: 7; Shots On Target: 2; Corners: 6; Fouls: 15.
Referee: Robert Lewis (Shropshire). Assistants: Darren Wilding (Worcestershire) and Andrew Laver (Hampshire). Fourth Official: Simon Shaw (Gloucestershire).
Attendance: 3,193 (with 276 Northampton Town supporters).
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