Match Details: 28/01/2012
Yeovil Town 2-1 Preston North End
npower League One
Yeovil Goals: Andy Williams (30), Andy Williams (62)
Yeovil Line-Up: 1. Sam Walker, 2. Luke Ayling, 4. Bondz N'Gala, 5. Paul Huntington, 7. Andy Williams, 8. Ed Upson, 10. Gavin Williams, 12. Ryan Dickson, 15. Joe Edwards, 22. Dean Parrett, 29. Jonathan Obika
Subs: 3. Nathan Jones, 9. Steve MacLean, 18. Kieran Agard, 19. Curtis Haynes-Brown, 24. Gareth Stewart,
Substitutes Used: Kieran Agard for Dean Parrett (77 mins)
Bookings: Ed Upson (Foul, 63), Dean Parrett (Foul, 73),
Yeovil Town gained their second consecutive home victory under Gary Johnson, as two goals from Andy Williams saw them beat midtable side Preston North End by a 2-1 scoreline. A late rally from the Lancashire side, via a Clarke Carlisle header threatened to get them a point, despite playing 88 minutes with ten men after Craig Morgan was dismissed for a professional foul. But the Glovers also had to deal with the same problem late on as Paul Huntington was sent off for a foul, leaving both sides a man short, but Yeovil clung on for the win.
Team news saw Yeovil go into the match making just one change from last week's line-up at Bury. There were few surprises that the left-back position was the one adjusted, with Nathan Jones dropping to the bench. However, an Achilles injury for Kelly Youga meant that he was not able to take his place in the line-up, with Ryan Dickson dropping into a left-back position, and Gavin Williams coming into the starting line-up as a left-winger.
The game got off to a dramatic start with a red card coming out of referee Oliver Langford's pocket just two and a half minutes into the match. Andy Williams went on a strong run, and there was little doubt that he was hauled back by Preston centre-back Craig Morgan - the only question was whether the match official would dare class it as a professional foul that early in the game. Two years ago he didn't make such a key decision in a game at Huish Park against Southampton; this time he did, leaving the visitors down to 10 men for 88 minutes.
Preston perhaps showed their intent from that moment with referee Langford having to speak to goalkeeper Thorsten Stuckmann regarding timewasting a minute later. The Lancashire side were forced into an early substitution with the gap left by Craig Morgan filled by substitute Alex Marrow, making his debut for Preston, as Adam Barton was sacrificed in midfield. Early shots from Dean Parrett, Andy Williams and Gavin Williams showed Yeovil were in the ascendancy, but with perhaps one too many of them being outside the box, as the Lillywhites sat men behind the ball.
However, on the half hour mark, they got the lead their play deserved. With Gavin Williams coming back into the side following a couple of games on the bench, he fed Andy Williams over the top and through the Preston back four, and shot past the advancing goalkeeper to put Yeovil 1-0 up and to present a different problem to the Preston side, whose tactic following the red card had been to line up with two banks of four and attempt to frustrate; now they would have to attack.
That allowed Yeovil a lot more freedom to run at the opposition, and they dominated the final 15 minutes of the half. Andy Williams could have doubled the lead but Thorsten Stuckmann was equal to his shot, whilst Jonathan Obika and Joe Edwards also got in on the act, and perhaps the only disappointment was that the game hadn't been put to bed by the break. Whilst Preston remained just 1-0 down they were still in with a chance, and whoever scored first in the second period would be crucial.
The second half was slightly more reserved in its play, with Yeovil still passing well and having the glut of possession, with Gavin Williams, Joe Edwards and Dean Parrett combining well. They extended their lead further just past the hour mark; once again Gavin Williams the creator, as he received a crossfield ball, controlling it on the left flank before squaring it and putting it on a plate for Andy Williams to convert for 2-0.
Game over now, surely? Preston hadn't managed a shot on goal all game, whilst even their off target efforts were fairly tame. It was therefore something of a shock when with 16 minutes remaining, Clarke Carlisle put them back in the match; his header wasn't particularly contested from a Paul Parry cross, but it put the visitors back in the match at a stage when the game should have been out of sight.
Yeovil's performances in the final 15 minutes of matches have been their undoing far too often this season, and inevitably, the nerves began to creep in, both on and off the pitch. Dean Parrett was taken off after he picked up a booking, with Joe Edwards moving into the centre of the park, as Kieran Agard went wide.
As Preston began to attack, sensing a route back into the match, Jamie Proctor fizzed a ball across the face of goal which Agard cleared before anyone could get near it. Chris Holroyd tried his luck with an overhead kick, and in the dying minutes, even goalkeeper Thorsten Stuckmann began to come up for set pieces.
Referee Oliver Langford had been building a rod for his own back in the second half through a series of yellow cards to add to that early red card. When Paul Huntington's 89th minute hard challenge went in on Jamie Proctor, and when Preston players waded in on Hunts as relatiation for the tackle, Langford had a melee on his hands. His questionable judgement was a red for Huntington for the tackle, and a yellow for Proctor for his retaliation, although it opened up two questions - did Hunts win the ball for the tackle, and did Proctor throw a punch?
It was now ten vs ten, and with four minutes of injury time likely to become more than that, due to infringements, Preston put a great deal of pressure on the Yeovil goal as the game closed, but they couldn't find a route through. The Press Association statistics show that Yeovil had 15 shots against Preston's 3 shots - with their only one on goal being Carlisle's header - it would have been daylight robbery if they had got something out of the game. The win lifts them up to 18th in the table. The trick now is for them to stay out of the bottom four.
Link: 2011-12 Latest League One Table.
Final Score: Yeovil Town 2 Preston North End 1.
Scorers: Andy Williams (30 mins, 1-0), Andy Williams (62 mins, 2-0), Clarke Carlisle (74 mins, 2-1)
Yeovil Town: (4-4-2)
1. Sam Walker
2. Luke Ayling 5. Paul Huntington 4. Bondz N'Gala 12. Ryan Dickson
15. Joe Edwards 8. Ed Upson 22. Dean Parrett 10. Gavin Williams
7. Andy Williams 29. Jon Obika
24. Gareth Stewart (GK) 3. Nathan Jones 9. Steven MacLean 18. Kieran Agard (77 mins for Dean Parrett) 19. Curtis Haynes-Brown
Preston North End:
1. Thorsten Stuckmann 2. David Gray 5. Clarke Carlisle 6. Craig Morgan 35. Jamie McAllister 9. Jamie Proctor 8. Paul Coutts 15. Adam Barton 38. Andrew Procter 17. Paul Parry 37. Chris Holroyd
25. Andreas Arestidou (GK) 10. Barry Nicholson 13. Alex Marrow (7 mins for Adam Barton) 14. Steven Smith (66 mins for David Gray) 34. Jake Jervis (90 mins for Jamie McAllister)
Yeovil Bookings: Ed Upson (63 mins, foul), Dean Parrett (73 mins, foul). Red Card: Paul Huntington (89 mins, serious foul play)
Preston Bookings: David Gray (47 mins, foul), Paul Coutts (56 mins, foul), Chris Holroyd (72 mins, dissent), Jamie Proctor (90 mins, retaliation). Red Card: Craig Morgan (3 mins, professional foul).
Referee: Oliver Langford (West Midlands). Assistants: Mark Pottage (Dorset) and Paul Rees (Bristol). Fourth Official: Daniel Robathan (Surrey).
Attendance: 4,245 (including 559 Preston supporters)