Match Details: 26/12/2014
Bristol City 2-1 Yeovil Town
Skybet League One
Yeovil Goals: Ben Nugent (88)
Yeovil Line-Up: 2. Brendan Moloney, 3. Nathan Smith, 4. Joe Edwards, 8. James Berrett, 9. James Hayter, 11. Sam Foley, 20. Ben Nugent, 23. Simon Gillett, 26. Stephen Arthurworrey, 27. Tom Eaves, 30. Jed Steer
Subs: 10. AJ Leitch-Smith, 12. Artur Krysiak, 15. Seth Nana Omuri-Twumasi, 16. Nathan Ralph, 24. Ryan Inniss, 28. Alex Smith,
Substitutes Used: Seth Nana Omuri-Twumasi for Brendan Moloney (46 mins), Alex Smith for James Berrett (79 mins)
Bookings: James Berrett (Foul, 62), Stephen Arthurworrey (Dissent, 64), Nathan Smith (Dissent, 64), Ben Nugent (Foul, 81)
Yeovil Town slipped to the bottom of the League One table tonight, as table-toppers Bristol City inflicted a 2-1 defeat at Ashton Gate upon them. In a rather one-sided first half, the Glovers played against the wind and went in behind at the break after Matt Smith's header on the half hour mark was powered in from close range. City had already been given a first half penalty after Brendan Moloney was judged to have brought down Kieran Agard, but the former Yeovil striker's penalty was saved. Referee Kevin Johnson then awarded them a second half spot kick after Greg Cunningham went down in the box, and this time substitute Jay Emmanuel-Thomas scored past Steer. An improved second half performance from the visiting side gained them a goal in the final couple of minutes, as Cardiff City centre-back Ben Nugent scored a spendid 35 yard strike, giving an exciting climax to the game but on the whole the home side deserved their three points, leaving Yeovil still two points off the escape line and with a huge home match against Leyton Orient to come on Monday night.
The Glovers went into the match making two changes to their starting line-up for the fixture with both wide positions being replaced. Seth Nana Twumasi dropped to the bench, whilst Sam Hoskins dropped entirely out of the squad as the latest of a long line of Yeovil Town players sat on the treatment table. In came James Berrett and James Hayter as the wide and front positions rotated somewhat with Tom Eaves moving back into a left flank position as James Hayter took the front line role, whilst Sam Foley moved out onto the right. Joe Edwards played a holding role, attempting to thwart the roaming Luke Freeman - one of four ex-Yeovil Town players in the home side's starting line-up, with Gary Johnson, Brendan Moloney, Simon Gillett and Joe Edwards all making their returns to Ashton Gate.
The first half was pretty much one way traffic, with Bristol City in a clear ascendancy and Yeovil being restricted to half chances as crosses put into the box either only just connected with incoming players, or ended up being cleared before they could meet the man in the box. The clearcut chances came City's way - Kieran Agard's early shot was saved by Jed Steer, before Luke Freeman shot wide. Then Joe Bryan had a pop on goal before Matt Smith missed two excellent chances - the first saw him round Steer before sticking it into the side netting.
Then Bristol City got the first of their two penalties. Kieran Agard was moving away from goal when Brendan Moloney challenged him - a dangerous ploy for the right-back to make at his old club, and Agard fell to the floor, with referee Kevin Johnson immediately blowing for a spot kick. Agard stepped up to take his own penalty, but Jed Steer saved it to keep the game goalless, and for the Yeovil players to feel vindicated at what they saw as a soft decision.
Bristol City striker Matt Smith - on loan from Fulham - set the home fans howling with disgust when he missed his second good chance of the match - skying a ball into the box from Luke Ayling, but barely a few minutes later the home fans were all smiles as a Joe Bryan cross was met by a strong header from Smith to put his side 1-0 up and a lead that one the balance of play they undoubtedly deserved.
The danger at that point was that the home side could have entirely taken control of the match, but instead of that, their threat on goal seemed to evaporate somewhat between Smith's header and the half time whistle. Anyone in the green'n'white section of the Atyeo Stand wouldn't have minded that - a mere 1-0 deficit to take in at the break could be considered as a victory of sorts on the balance of play.
The second period opened with Yeovil attacking that end, and with the wind and rain at their backs, and the difference showed somewhat, albeit with Yeovil's lack of serious attacking prowess still the problem that it has been in recent months. James Hayter's cross into the box was met first time by Sam Foley, but the ball went well over the bar with his shot a little too ambitious to keep down. The Glovers had their own penalty appeal turned down when a cross into the box was blocked by Bristol City defender Mark Little via his outstretched arm, but referee Kevin Johnson either didn't see it or decided that it was ball to hand.
At the other end though, the match referee was more than happy to hand out late Christmas gifts. After initially allowing Simon Gillett to take a free kick, referee Kevin Johnson changed his mind, awarding it to Bristol City and catching the Glovers off-guard with the decision. As play moved into the Yeovil penalty area, Greg Cunningham went down in the box and the match official blew for a second penalty kick. Yeovil's defenders reacted with fury at Cunningham and at the referee - collecting two yellow cards for dissent in the process, thus delaying the taking of the kick. That didn't bother substitute Jay Emmanuel-Thomas who fired the ball home for a 2-0 advantage that was going to be very hard to level from.
To their credit they didn't give up. James Hayter half connected with a cross that if he'd been six inches closer would have turned into a proper chance. Then City defender Aden Flint almost turned a Sam Foley cross into his own net, forcing Frank Fielding to push the ball out for a corner. Then came an glimmer of hope from an unlikely source. Given the end-to-end wind the odd pot shot was always worth a go, but few would have bet on Cardiff City loanee Ben Nugent being the man who hammered in an 88th minute 35 yard drive to make matters interesting during the final few minutes of the match.
Suddenly the home crowd were anxious with only a 2-1 advantage, with what had once seemed very comfortable suddenly now rather edgy. But the Glovers couldn't fashion a spot of smash'n'grab - the nearest they came was when substitute Alex Smith set up Tom Eaves, but the angle in a crowded goalmouth defeated him, and not even five minutes of injury time was enough to pull off the unlikely. To make matters worse, Johnson Jnr's Oldham side fell to their third consecutive defeat, allowing basement club Crewe Alexandra to leapfrog over the Glovers. The margin between themselves in 24th and the safety position is still only two points, but it makes Monday night's home match against 20th placed Leyton Orient a huge one - anyone who talks about a certain FA Cup Third Round tie in January ahead of this one needs to get their priorities straight.
Link: 2014-15 Latest League One Table.
Final Score: Bristol City 2 Yeovil Town 1.
Scorers: Matt Smith (31 mins, 1-0), Jay Emmanuel-Thomas (64 mins, 2-0, pen), Ben Nugent (88 mins, 2-1)
1. Frank Fielding 4. Aden Flint 12. Todd Kane 17. Greg Cunningham 2. Mark Little 22. Luke Ayling 15. Luke Freeman 7. Korey Smith 23. Joe Bryan 9. Matt Smith 19. Kieran Agard
5. Karleigh Osborne 10. Jay Emmanuel-Thomas (58 mins for Kieran Agard) 11. Scott Wagstaff (83 mins for Todd Kane) 13. Dave Richards 16. Jordan Wynter 21. Marlon Pack (74 mins for Matt Smith)
30. Jed Steer
2. Brendan Moloney 26. Stephen Arthurworrey 20. Ben Nugent 3. Nathan Smith
4. Joe Edwards
11. Sam Foley 8. James Berrett 23. Simon Gillett 27. Tom Eaves
9. James Hayter
12. Artur Krysiak 10. AJ Leitch-Smith 15. Seth Nana Twumasi (46 mins for Brendan Moloney) 16. Nathan Ralph 24. Ryan Inniss 28. Alex Smith (79 mins for James Berrett)
Bristol City Bookings: Todd Kane (foul, 56 mins)
Yeovil Bookings: James Berrett (foul, 62 mins), Nathan Smith (dissent, 64 mins), Stephen Arthurworrey (dissent, 64 mins), Ben Nugent (foul, 81 mins)
Bristol City Match Statistics: Possession: 44%; Shots: 10; Shots On Target: 6; Corners: 5; Fouls: 5.
Yeovil Match Statistics: Possession: 56%; Shots: 16; Shots On Target: 3; Corners: 10; Fouls: 15.
Referee: Kevin Johnson (Somerset). Assistant Referees: Colin Lymer (Hampshire) and Grant Taylor (Warwickshire). Fourth Official: Matthew Donohue (Manchester).
Attendance: 13,731 (with 1,121 Yeovil supporters).