Match Details: 02/09/2008
Brentford 2-2 Yeovil Town
LDV Vans Trophy 1st Round
Yeovil Goals: Marc Bircham (39), Gavin Tomlin (77)
Yeovil Line-Up: 3. Nathan Jones, 6. Terrell Forbes, 7. Marc Bircham, 10. Gavin Tomlin, 12. Craig Alcock, 13. Josh Wagenaar, 14. Paul Warne, 16. Gary Roberts, 18. Keiran Murtagh, 23. Aaron Brown, 29. James Dayton
Subs: 1. Asmir Begovic, 4. Terry Skiverton, 8. Darren Way, 19. Andre McCollin, 27. Lee Peltier,
Substitutes Used: Andre McCollin for Paul Warne (46 mins), Darren Way for Marc Bircham (46 mins)
Bookings: Marc Bircham (Foul, 33), Gary Roberts (Dissent, 38)
Yeovil Town were knocked out of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy tonight against Brentford when they lost 4-2 in a penalty shoot-out after having fought their way back from being two goals down during the 90 minutes of play. Goals from Marc Bircham and Gavin Tomlin forced the spot-kick deciders, but Andre McCollin's penalty was saved whilst Aaron Brown missed his attempt, allowing the Londoners to go through to the next round.
The Glovers went into the match making five changes to Saturday's line-up with Josh Wagenaar, Craig Alcock, Aaron Brown, Nathan Jones and James Dayton all getting the opportunity of some first team football. They took part in a lively end-to-end first period, although neither side could quite get a grip on how to create more than half chances - a couple of excellent crosses by James Dayton whipped through the penalty area, whilst Gavin Tomlin shot wide on another occasion. Josh Wagenaar had a bit of work to do between the sticks but nothing over and beyond what would be expected of him.
The game through sparked to life with a highly controversial penalty decision by referee Phil Gibbs, when he deemed that Aaron Brown's nudge on Charlie MacDonald as he shepherded the ball out for a goal kick was worthy of an infringement. If such decisions were given every week and consistently, the likes of the Premier League would be enjoying a dozen penalties every weekend - the measure of the decision was that Brown only realised he had given the penalty away after he had trotted past several players, presumably wondering why half the Yeovil side had run towards Mr Gibbs.
Up stepped Glenn Poole, who scored from the spot, and then managed to make a bit of an idiot of himself by needlessly making a gesture to Yeovil fans behind the goal - not the greatest of respect to the club that gave him his chance in first team football. It's rare that stick to a former player is truly deserved, but the inevitable verbals that Poole got for the rest of the match was fairly justifiable.
If Brentford's opener was somewhat fortunate, the Glovers created their own problems nine minutes later when a Bees cross from the left ran right the way through the Yeovil penalty area, an air swing completely failed to clear the danger, and Kevin O' Connor was left entirely unmarked on the back post, firing across the face of a slightly static Josh Wagenaar to double Brentford's lead. A good finish from Brentford's perspective, but everything about Yeovil's defending for the goal was woeful.
Thankfully for the players ears at half time for the verbal bashing they were likely to take for that goal, they pulled one back two minutes later with a real beaut of a set piece. Gavin Tomlin had been fouled on the corner of the area, and when James Dayton whipped the ball into the box, Marc Bircham was quick off the blocks with a near post header that gave Brentford keeper Sebastien Brown no chance whatsoever.
The performance of referee Gibb was not the best in the first period, and both Bircham and Roberts landed in the book and vented their fury on the match official - particularly after one occasion when Bircham was floored by a Brentford midfielder, with the Bees player landing on him - predictably Bircham didn't take kindly to this, which in turn ignited the home crowd, who were well aware of the midfielder's former club allegiances in West London. Perhaps this was in mind when Bircham was withdrawn at half time along with Paul Warne, as Darren Way and Andre McCollin came on.
The snag was that the second half never really took off at all. Brentford were playing higher up the field and trying to squeeze the Yeovil midfield, leaving space at a premium and almost everything concentrated into the middle third. If anything the home side looked more likely to extend their lead as Yeovil took more and more risks to get their equaliser, without ever really looking likely to.
The breakthrough came when the Glovers changed tactics slightly, choosing to bypass the overcrowded midfield a little by a few dinks over the top. Suddenly Brentford's defence looked nervy, with Gavin Tomlin in particular causing them problems, but it was a slightly random looking bouncing ball that landed in the direction of James Dayton that got them their joy. With his back to goal, Dayton let the ball bounce rather than head it, and Kevin O'Connor ran into the back of him. Not really a lot of doubt on this occasion, and with the infringment happening in almost an identical spot on the pitch to the first penalty, it was not too hard for Mr Gibbs to award his second spot kick, duely converted by Gavin Tomlin for his 4th goal of the season.
The remaining 13 minutes saw both sides try to grab a winner without truly looking like doing so, although at least the equaliser forced Brentford to abandon their second half tactics and open the match up a bit more. The 90 minutes completed though without a winner, and so spot kicks settled the tie. Kieran Murtagh scored his, whilst Gavin Tomlin netted a second penalty of the night. However, Andre McCollin saw his saved, whilst Aaron Brown's sliced high and wide, meaning that not even Josh Wagenaar's save from James Wilson's penalty could deny Brentford their win - secured through Ryan Dickson.
Perhaps not surprisingly considering the number of changes, the Glovers looked a little disjointed tonight in places, and in the second period they struggled for creativity until Tomlin's penalty opened the game up. Probably of more concern though was that there were a number of injury niggles incurred throughout the match, with Craig Alcock, Nathan Jones and Gavin Tomlin appearing to pick up knocks. All three completed the match suggesting nothing of major concern, but they showed how much the team are living on the edge at present.
Final Score: Brentford 2 Yeovil Town 2 (Brentford win 4-2 on penalties).
Scorers: Glenn Poole (1-0, 28 mins, pen), Kevin O'Connor (2-0, 37 mins), Marc Bircham (2-1, 39 mins), Gavin Tomlin (2-2, 77 mins, pen).
Penalties: Kevin O'Connor (1-0), Kieran Murtagh (1-1), Marcus Bean (2-1), Andre McCollin (saved, 2-1), Ross Montague (3-1), Aaron Brown (missed, 3-1), James Wilson (saved, 3-1), Gavin Tomlin (3-2), Ryan Dickson (4-2).
Yeovil Town: (4-4-1-1)
13. Josh Wagenaar
12. Craig Alcock 23. Aaron Brown 6. Terrell Forbes 3. Nathan Jones
18. Kieran Murtagh 7. Marc Bircham 16. Gary Roberts 29. James Dayton
10. Gavin Tomlin
14. Paul Warne
Subs: 1. Asmir Begovic (GK) 4. Terry Skiverton 8. Darren Way (46 mins for Marc Bircham) 19. Andre McCollin (46 mins for Paul Warne) 27. Lee Peltier
31. Sebastien Brown 7. Adam Newton 15. James Wilson 5. Mark Phillips 14. Brett Johnson 20. Frankie Artus 4. Marcus Bean 2. Kevin O'Connor 11. Glenn Poole 10. Charlie MacDonald 19. Moses Ademola
Subs: 1. Ben Hamer (GK) 3. Ryan Dickson (64 mins for Glenn Poole) 17. Craig Pead 23. Ross Montague (64 mins for Charlie MacDonald) 25. Lewis Ochoa (83 mins for Frankie Artus)
Brentford Bookings: None.
Yeovil Bookings: Marc Bircham (foul, 33 mins), Gary Roberts (dissent, 38 mins)
Referee: Phil Gibbs (West Midlands). Assistants: Mike George (Norfolk) and Gary Young (Bedfordshire). Fourth Official: David Margetts (Essex).
Attendance: 1,339 (including 130 from Yeovil)