A single second half goal from Barry Corr was enough to sink Yeovil Town at Huish Park this afternoon, as a rough physical Swindon Town side muscled their way to three points that at the half time break they'd looked unlikely to grab.
Russell Slade made one change to the starting line-up from Saturday's match at Leyton Orient, swapping out Scott Guyett, who had a calf injury, and bringing in Marcus Stewart following his single match suspension. That allowed the Glovers to revert back to a 4-4-2.
The first half was on the whole relatively pleasing, albeit with a tendency for Yeovil's attacks to fizzle out a touch amidst Swindon's tactic of using Corr as a lone striker as soon as the visitors lost possession - using their nine other outfield players to pack behind the ball and try and crowd Yeovil out.
That almost didn't come off - a curling strike from James Walker was an absolute peach and deserved to open the scoring after 36 minutes, but the upright came to Swindon's rescue. A header from Marcus Stewart and a strike from winger Zoltan Stieber represented Yeovil's other chances but one concern was that for the huge number of balls that were going into the Swindon box, the most regular recipient was Swindon keeper Peter Brezovan, who seemed to be happy to pluck any cross that came his way out of the sky without breaking sweat.
The second half saw a few warning signs come Yeovil's way as Swindon began far more brightly than they had done so in the first 45 minutes - not that Glovers keeper Steve Mildenhall was exactly working his socks off either. The most he had to do from the early second half exchanges was to push a Corr chance around the post for a corner - Swindon's first on target chance of the match.
The deterioration in Yeovil's quality of play though was showing as the match went on, and with 66 minutes on the clock, it was Swindon that broke the deadlock. Kaid Mohamed's flick-on to a forward ball played in Barry Corr behind a rather flat-footed Yeovil back four and the striker beat an on-rushing Mildy to the ball, which slowly dribbled into the back of an empty net for a 0-1 scoreline.
The Glovers huffed and puffed their way into clawing their way back into the game but all of those efforts were made immaterial when with 12 minutes remaining, Corr fouled Terry Skiverton on the halfway line. Darren Way prepared to take the free kick, but when referee Danny McDermid - the match official who recently had to answer charges brought by the FA on the back of a Gillingham vs Leeds United match in September - halted proceedings and went off for a chat with his assistant on the Cowlin Stand side ... followed by another chat with the Fourth Official. Out of the blue a red card was shown to Skiverton.
What for? We'll have to wait for the match video to tell us, but Russell Slade said post-match that Corr had kicked Skivo off the ball and that the Yeovil captain had reacted. If true, then why Corr - already on a yellow card for an ugly first half tackle on Lee Peltier was able to stay on the field of play is anyone's guess. McDermid had an awful game throughout but the decision to red card Skiverton lost him any remaining credibility he might have had with the Yeovil faithful. His decision also to restart play with a free kick to Swindon, despite all of this happening during a deadball, was also baffling, and again the match video is going to be needed to explain that one away.
The sending off though killed the match. The Glovers brought on Matthew Rose to be able to revert to three centre-backs and a 3-4-2 formation but almost every decision the Yeovil players seemed to make thereafter contrived to be the wrong one. An unwillingness to shoot at goal, coupled with a tendency for the younger players to get bullied into submission by the physical nature of Swindon's play meant that firm chances refused to come to Yeovil. The closest they came was in the closing five minutes when a header from substitute Lloyd Owusu was flicked wide of the target from five yards out.
Final Score: Yeovil Town 0 Swindon Town 1.
Yeovil Town: 4-4-2
1. Steve Mildenhall
27. Lee Peltier 4. Terry Skiverton 6. Terrell Forbes 3. Nathan Jones
14. Paul Warne 7. Gary Dempsey 17. Darren Way 25. Zoltan Stieber
10. Marcus Stewart 28. James Walker
Subs: 8. Anthony Barry (76 mins for Gary Dempsey) 9. Lloyd Owusu (67 mins for Paul Warne) 12. Matty Rose (80 mins for Nathan Jones) 15. Justin Cochrane 20. Marc Bircham
12. Peter Brezovan
14. Miguel Comminges 16. Hasney Aljofree 5. Jerel Ifil 3. Jamie Vincent
10. Jon-Paul McGovern 4. Lee Peacock 8. Craig Easton 23. Kaid Mohamed
9. Barry Corr 31. Simon Cox
Subs: 15. Andrew Nicholas (24 mins for Hasney Aljofree) 19. Michael Pook 20. Billy Paynter (82 mins for Barry Corr) 21. Blair Sturrock 24. Chris Allen (86 mins for Kaid Mohamed)
Yeovil Bookings: None. Red Card: Terry Skiverton (78 mins, violent conduct)
Swindon Bookings: Barry Corr (43 mins, foul)
Scorers: Barry Corr (0-1, 66 mins)
Referee: Danny McDermid
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