Match Details: 16/08/2011
Yeovil Town 0-1 Milton Keynes Dons
npower League One
Yeovil Line-Up: 1. Jed Steer, 2. Luke Ayling, 3. Nathan Jones, 5. Paul Huntington, 7. Andy Williams, 8. Ed Upson, 9. Steve MacLean, 10. Gavin Williams, 14. Max Ehmer, 15. Kerrea Gilbert, 20. Paul Wotton,
Subs: 4. Bondz N'Gala, 11. Anthony Edgar, 17. Alan O'Brien, 31. Gareth Stewart, 37. Rory Fallon
Substitutes Used: Alan O'Brien for Kerrea Gilbert (33 mins), Rory Fallon for Steve MacLean (70 mins), Anthony Edgar for Gavin Williams (76 mins)
Bookings: Nathan Jones (Foul, 45), Paul Wotton (Foul, 68), Luke Ayling (Foul, 75)
Yeovil Town suffered their first home defeat of the 2011-12 season, when a solitary Sam Baldock goal divided the two sides in a competitive game at Huish Park. Milton Keynes Dons got the win and the three points just ten minutes into the match when the highly rated striker won a foot race to get behind the Glovers defence, and despite both sides having chances to increase the number of goals during the match, that was the one that mattered on the final whistle, leaving the Glovers in equal 16th place in the ultra-early League One table.
The Glovers went into the match making one enforced change, with Jonathan Obika dropping out of the squad after picking up an ankle injury against Oldham Athletic on the weekend. A candidate replacement for Obika would have been Kieran Agard but he also picked up an injury, dropping out of training yesterday, meaning that Steve MacLean got a start, partnering Andy Williams.
The Dons started off as the superior side, playing a nested 4-2-3-1 formation with four strikers covering the latter two layers, including former Glover Dean Bowditch playing wide on the left. It was a high tempo start, and the visitors grabbed the lead with their first chance of the match - a ball lobbed over the top and through the Glovers back line, allowing Sam Baldock the ability to break past Paul Huntington and slot the ball home across the face of Jed Steer.
Baldock was the clear danger man for the Dons throughout the majority of the match. He set up Angelo Balanta for what should have been their second goal, but he shot at Jed Steer, who saved well to keep the ball out. The Glovers had been starting the match with a 3-5-2 formation, but switched several times shortly after that between a 4-3-3 and a 4-5-1 before eventually settling upon a 4-4-2 when they lose Kerrea Gilbert, who pulled up off the ball, and limped off, replaced by Alan O'Brien, as Luke Ayling took over Gilbert's right-back slot and O'Brien headed to a left-wing position.
Yeovil began to play much better now they were matched more positionally against their opponents. Aside from a Steve MacLean volley, there were a number of penalty shouts during the closing stages of the first period - both Gavin Williams and Andy Williams went down in the box, whilst there was another cry for a handball that went up. As they went in at the break, Yeovil were definitely getting the measure of their opponents after their slow start.
Straight from the restart though, Sam Baldock again reminded the Glovers of his pace, setting up Angelo Balanta, who again fluffed his lines when put through. The Dons were getting numbers behind the ball, with Ed Upson twice trying replicas of his Saturday goal - one went wide of the target whilst one was blocked out by a Dons defender. Even Nathan Jones found too many bodies in the way when he tried his luck, and as the half wore out, the Dons increased their defensive bodies by swapping Balanta for Adam Chicksen, to allow him to sit in as a holding midfielder.
Yeovil's main chances in the closing stages came when the two wingers cut in from space, with both Alan O'Brien and Anthony Edgar creating scares as their flashed shots across the face of the box went close. The Dons were made to sweat a little more when five minutes injury time went up on the board, and then a little more, when some slightly misguided gamesmanship by Darren Potter earned him a second yellow card for timewasting as he mucked about with a throw-in, in an attempt to see the clock out. Referee Graham Scott had already dished out six bookings, and Potter's yellow meant the Dons had to play out a small amount of time with 10 men.
In the end the Glovers needed a little bit more invention and guile up front to be able to force the issue, with the visitors tactics becoming fairly predictable in the closing stages, although they deserve credit for making it look comfortable. It would be no surprise if the Dons were occupying another play-off slot at the end of this season, so hopefully Yeovil will take that on the chin a bit, and concentrate on Saturday's trip to Walsall, who are far more likely to be a judge of where things are at for the coming season.
Link: 2011-12 Latest League One Table.
Final Score: Yeovil Town 0 Milton Keynes Dons 1.
Scorers: Sam Baldock (10 mins, 0-1)
Yeovil Town: (3-4-1-2)
1. Jed Steer
2. Luke Ayling 5. Paul Huntington 14. Max Ehmer
15. Kerrea Gilbert 20. Paul Wotton 8. Edward Upson 3. Nathan Jones
10. Gavin Williams
7. Andrew Williams 9. Steven MacLean
11. Anthony Edgar (76 mins for Gavin Williams) 17. Alan O'Brien (33 mins for Kerrea Gilbert) 37. Rory Fallon (70 mins for Steve MacLean) 4. Bondz N'Gala 31. Gareth Stewart
Milton Keynes Dons: (4-2-3-1)
1. David Martin
2. Adam Smith 5. Gary MacKenzie 13. Shaun Williams 3. Dean Lewington
7. Stephen Gleeson 8. Darren Potter
11. Angelo Balanta 19. Jabo Ibehre 9. Dean Bowditch
10. Sam Baldock
16. Ian McLoughlin (GK) 12. Adam Chicksen (85 mins for Angelo Balanta) 17. Daniel Powell (65 mins for Dean Bowditch) 18. George Baldock 23. James O'Shea
Yeovil Bookings: Nathan Jones (foul, 45 mins), Paul Wotton (foul, 68 mins), Luke Ayling (foul, 75 mins)
MK Dons Bookings: Darren Potter (foul, 16 mins), Shaun Williams (foul, 38 mins), Adam Smith (handball, 45 mins). Red Card: Darren Potter (second bookable offence - timewasting, 90 mins)
Referee: Graham Scott (Oxfordshire). Assistants: Ronald Ganfield (Somerset) and Derek Eaton (Gloucestershire). Fourth Official: Lee Swabey (Devon).
Attendance: 3,274 (including 117 MK Dons fans).