Yeovil Town lost out by a 2-1 scoreline at Huish Park tonight as two first half goals from Scunthorpe United and a red card killed the game off early. Referee Dean Whitestone once again caused controversy with the sending off of club captain Terry Skiverton for an alleged elbow 34 minutes into the game. That decision happened midway between Scunny's two goals - a Sam Togwell tap-in, and Gary Hooper's one-on-one right on the stroke of half time when he sprung the offside trap.
A spirited second half display from the ten men saw Yeovil match the play-off chasing side, and they got just rewards for their efforts in the 90th minute when substitute Andre McCollin headed home from a Nathan Jones corner. But despite a brief panic from the Iron as Yeovil threatened an equaliser, it was too late to grab an improbable point.
The Glovers went into the match with a patched up squad. Having only 15 players of any significance to choose from, and with the long-running saga over the signing of striker Luke Rodgers endlessly drifting into another day, three players that were not fully fit were sent out to perform, with goalkeeper Josh Wagenaar (shoulder), Craig Alcock (virus) and Danny Schofield (achilles/heel) all suffering somewhat. On the bench, youngster Lloyd Irish who is spending his Saturdays playing for Taunton Town filled the role of a second keeper in case Wagenaar's shoulder gave out.
Yeovil gave their usual spirited start to the game, but with all the usual flaws that many have seen for most of the season. Good possession, good build-up play, good approach, but a lack of conviction inside the penalty box. Scunny had threatened once when Gary Hooper flashed wide of the target, but otherwise held an even hand on the game. That all changed 24 minutes into the half when Hooper's interchange of passes with Garry Thompson saw the Glovers left flank exposed and when the ball was put into the centre, midfielder Sam Togwell - the player Yeovil Town were inches away from signing over the summer - prodded the ball into the back of the net from close range to open the scoring.
Togwell was proving himself a true box-to-box midfielder at the other end of the park - blocking a goal-bound shot from Aidan Downes midway through the half as Yeovil pressed for an equaliser. But their hopes of getting a foothold in the match were dealt a savage blow 10 minutes before the break when Terry Skiverton got into a tangle with Scunthorpe's Andrew Wright, and referee Dean Whitestone deemed Skivo to have made use of his elbow to shrug off the attentions of the defender. Trying to beat Scunthorpe with 11 men is hard enough, but with 10 and their talisman captain off the field, it was going to be even harder.
As the home crowd were left stunned, and Huish Park descended into near silence, matters got worse right on the half time break when Gary Hooper sprung the offside trap via a ball over the top, and slotted past Wagenaar to double the lead. With Wags going down injured - presumably on his injured shoulder - there were certainly fears that this could turn into another Stockport match, where everything that could go wrong, would.
Thankfully Wagenaar appeared for the second period, and so did Yeovil's spirit and workrate. Even if the odds are often stacked against the Glovers this season, there have been few occasions where the spark has gone out of the side, and to their credit they refused to let what appeared to be a near impossible situation get them down. Danny Schofield was denied early in the second period by a flying save from Joe Murphy, after Paul Warne's cross deceived the Scunthorpe defence. At the other end Paul Hayes found his shot blocked brilliantly by Gary Roberts for a corner.
It was a frenetic end-to-end opening period - the Glovers pushing up despite playing a man short, and Scunny's quick counterattack threatening more goals at the other end. Midway through the second period, Sam Togwell produced a superb threaded ball that undid the Yeovil back line, letting Gary Hooper clean through on goal - thankfully this time Hooper wasn't so clinical with his one-on-one and Josh Wagenaar produced a strong save.
The final ball for Yeovil though, generally let them down, particularly from their corner kicks where their set pieces might have counted for something. However, with all three substitutes introduced, it took two of them to point out how a corner kick should be delivered and executed. In the 90th minute, Nathan Jones swung in the ball, and Andre McCollin grabbed his first ever Yeovil Town goal, to at least send the players and supporters home with something to show for their efforts. A brief panic from Scunthorpe during injury time almost threatened an improbable collapse by the visitors, but despite Wagenaar even venturing up field to cause problems in his opposite box, the Iron held on for points that on the balance of the 90 minutes they probably deserved, but if Yeovil had been able to select Luke Rodgers and keep 11 players on the pitch for the home game, it might not have been quite so comfortable for Scunny - who completed their 5th consecutive victory over Yeovil, including a double for this season.
Final Score: Yeovil Town 1 Scunthorpe United 2.
Scorers: Sam Togwell (25 mins, 0-1), Gary Hooper (45 mins, 0-2), Andre McCollin (90 mins, 1-2)
Yeovil Town: (4-1-3-2)
13. Josh Wagenaar
12. Craig Alcock 4. Terry Skiverton 6. Terrell Forbes 28. Nathan Smith
16. Gary Roberts
17. Aidan Downes 11. Danny Schofield 9. Andy Welsh
10. Gavin Tomlin (36) 14. Paul Warne
3. Nathan Jones (80 mins for Andy Welsh) 18. Keiran Murtagh 23. Aaron Brown (36 mins for Gavin Tomlin) 19. Andre McCollin (76 mins for Paul Warne) 31. Lloyd Irish
1. Joe Murphy
24. Andrew Wright 26. Krystian Pearce 15. David Mirfin 3. Marcus Williams
8. Garry Thompson 18. Sam Togwell 17. Grant McCann 16. Martyn Woolford
9. Paul Hayes 10. Gary Hooper
22. Josh Lillis (GK) 7. Matthew Sparrow 4. Andy Crosby 23. Kevan Hurst (66 mins for Martyn Woolford) 30. Ben May (74 mins for Paul Hayes)
Yeovil Bookings: Nathan Smith (78 mins, foul) Red Cards: Terry Skiverton (34 mins, serious foul play)
Referee: Dean Whitestone (Northamptonshire). Assistants: Mark Philpott (Cornwall) and Roger Vaughan (North Somerset). Fourth Official: Stephen Phipps (Oxfordshire).
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