Yeovil Town went down to their heaviest away defeat of the 2018-19 season on Tuesday night, as Oldham Athletic's new manager Paul Scholes got off to a dream start. The 4-1 win was kickstarted during first half injury time as Jose Baxter was fed by wide ball into the box. Six minutes into the half, Callum Lang headed home to double their lead, but Yeovil threatened a quick comeback as Bevis Mugabi converted from a Carl Dickinson free kick. Oldham then grabbed late goals from Mohammed Maouche and Christopher Missilou to put a bit of gloss on their scoreline as Yeovil remain just two points off the drop, having now played a game more than many of their rivals.
The Glovers went into the match making four changes to their starting line-up from the team that took to the field against Grimsby Town. At right-back Craig Alcock was suspended and so Matt Worthington was forced to drop into the back four. Bevis Mugabi, who might have been a candidate for the right-back position, had to come in as centre-back as Gary Warren had dropped out with a hamstring problem. In midfield, Yoann Arquin replaced Rhys Browne, whilst Alex Pattison filled the gap left by Worthington's positional change. Meanwhile up front Francois Zoko was preferred to Tristan Abrahams.
The opening five minutes largely involved the two club physios being on the pitch. Within seconds of kick-off, Thomas Hamer and Alex Fisher collided in an aerial challenge. Despite attempting to continue for around ten minutes, Hamer went down with concussion and had to be substituted. In between that Peter Clarke glanced a header from a corner wide, whilst Johan Branger shot from 25 yards out only to find his direction lacking significantly.
Yeovil's big chance of the half came quarter of an hour into a match that had struggled to get going, mainly due to the lengthy stoppage. Alex Fisher won the ball inside the Oldham box, and Jake Gray fired off a shot from the knockdown. Unfortunately, it came off the post, and back out, leaving the game goalless. Still, Yeovil enjoyed their best spell of the game as Francois Zoko managed a pair of efforts on goal, after he was set up by Alex Dobre and then Alex Pattison - neither particularly troubled Latics keeper Daniel Iversen, but at least worried a home crowd that were getting increasingly irate by one or two of the more robust tackles Yeovil were puttting in - Jake Gray and Alex Pattison picked up bookings for a couple of the more extreme ones.
As the half closed though, Oldham finally began to get into their stride. Gevaro Nepomuceno fired over the bar after he received the ball from a corner kick, and that was followed by a Callum Lang effort that went wide. But five minutes into the six signalled minutes of injury time, the home side got the break they needed. Johan Branger was part of a move down the left flank, as Yeovil lost their markers, and he executed a short pass into the path of Jose Baxter, who curled a shot from 12 yards into the bottom right hand corner for a 1-0 half time lead.
Oldham needed just six second half minutes to double their lead. Once again, it was Yeovil's right side that was the problem, as Gevaro Nepomuceno slipped past Matt Worthington before delivering a near post cross that saw Callum Lang beat Stuart Nelson for the ball, and head home into an empty net for a 2-0 scoreline.
To Yeovil's credit, they did manage to pull a goal back three minutes later. A deep free kick into the penalty box from Carl Dickinson, saw Bevis Mugabi manage a poacher's finish from six yards out, sliding in to nudge the ball home from six yards out, to pull the game back to 2-1, and to perhaps cause the home side a little bit of nerves.
Jose Baxter got in behind the Yeovil defence midway through the second half, only to find his effort on goal saved by Stuart Nelson, who got down well to stop the shot. At the other end Matt Worthington put over the bar, after Oldham only half-cleared their defensive lines. Then came one of the more unusual tactical moments of the 2018-19 season. Alex Pattison was taken off, perhaps due to his lack of match fitness, with Rhys Browne replacing him. Rather than slot into a midfield position, Browne was moved to a right-back slot, with Worthington filling Pattison's role.
The tactical switch didn't have a lot to do with what unfolded in the final few minutes, given that Oldham undid Yeovil straight down the middle twice. The first came from a long goal kick where Yeovil didn't deal with a bouncing ball. Mohammed Maouche managed to muscle his way through, before firing home into the bottom left hand corner for a 3-1 lead.
A minute later, and it was 4-1. Bevis Mugabi couldn't clear his lines inside his own half, and that led to a game of pinball on the edge of the box. Oldham had two bites of the cherry, where shots were blocked by defenders on the edge of the box, before it fell to Christopher Missilou on the edge of the box, and his 20 yard shot flew into the back of the net to give Oldham Athletic a comfortable victory. On a night where only four matches took place, Yeovil remain in 21st place, but with five consecutive defeats now on the results list, and only two points off the drop, you wonder where all of this leads.
Link: 2018-19 Latest League Two Table.
Final Score: Oldham Athletic 4 Yeovil Town 1.
Scorers: Jose Baxter (1-0, 45 mins), Callum Lang (2-0, 51 mins), Bevis Mugabi (2-1, 54 mins), Mohammed Maouche (3-1, 88 mins), Christopher Missilou (4-1, 89 mins)
1 Daniel Iversen
34 Thomas Hamer 4 George Edmundson 26 Peter Clarke 27 Gevaro Nepomuceno
17 Christopher Missilou 28 Mohammed Maouche 8 Jose Baxter
22 Johan Branger 9 Zachary Dearnley 19 Callum Lang
10 Chris O'Grady (76 mins for Zachary Dearnley) 11 Urko Vera 13 Zeus de la Paz 20 Jamie Stott 23 Rob Hunt (11 mins for Thomas Hamer) 42 Mohamad Sylla (69 mins for Jose Baxter) 46 Harry Robinson
1. Stuart Nelson
8. Matt Worthington 5. Bevis Mugabi 2. Adel Gafaiti 3. Carl Dickinson
18. Yoann Arquin 17. Alex Pattison 10. Jake Gray 25. Alex Dobre
9. Alex Fisher 13. Francois Zoko (Capt)
12. Nathan Baxter (GK) 7. Rhys Browne (66 mins for Alex Pattison) 11. Courtney Duffus (74 mins for Alex Dobre) 15. Gabriel Rogers 16. Tristan Abrahams (85 mins for Yoann Arquin) 26. Daniel Ojo 27. Ryan Seager
Oldham Athletic Bookings: None.
Yeovil Bookings: Jake Gray (foul, 15 mins), Alex Pattison (foul, 32 mins), Alex Dobre (foul, 60 mins), Matt Worthington (foul, 88 mins)
Oldham Athletic Match Statistics: Possession: 49%; Shots: 17; Shots On Target: 6; Corners: 6; Fouls: 12.
Yeovil Match Statistics: Possession: 51%; Shots: 8; Shots On Target: 4; Corners: 2; Fouls: 16.
Referee: Thomas Bramall (South Yorkshire). Assistants: Ken Haycock (South Yorkshire) and Lee Freeman (Sheffield). Fourth Official: Sebastian Stockbridge (Tyne & Wear).
Attendance: 3,868 (with 56 Yeovil Town supporters)
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