Match Details: 03/03/2015
Yeovil Town 0-1 Walsall
Skybet League One
Yeovil Line-Up: 8. James Berrett, 9. James Hayter, 11. Sam Foley, 13. Kieffer Moore, 19. Liam Davis, 21. Scott Loach, 25. Gozie Ugwu, 27. Byron Webster, 30. Josh Sheehan, 32. Liam Shephard, 35. Stephen Kingsley
Subs: 14. Sam Hoskins, 15. Seth Nana Omuri-Twumasi, 16. Nathan Ralph, 17. Joel Grant, 22. Gareth Stewart, 24. Craig Eastmond, 31. Adam Morgan,
Substitutes Used: Nathan Ralph for Stephen Kingsley (11 mins), Adam Morgan for James Hayter (58 mins), Joel Grant for Nathan Ralph (58 mins)
Bookings: Liam Davis (Foul, 45), Josh Sheehan (Foul, 70), Kieffer Moore (Foul, 75)
Yeovil Town found one of their former loan players coming back to haunt them on Tuesday night, as a single goal sunk them to their eighth home defeat of the season. Manchester City striker Jordy Hiwula struck the only goal for Walsall in the 32nd minute of a one-sided first half as he was allowed space to break through the centre of the Glovers defence for what would prove to be the winner. Both teams could have found the net via penalties, but found two goalkeepers in fine form throughout the night. Tom Bradshaw saw his saved by Rotherham United loanee Scott Loach whilst the game was goalless, whilst Adam Morgan found his attempt saved by Richard O'Donnell that could have given the Glovers a point late on, but the defeat keeps them six points adrift with now just 12 games remaining to save their season.
The Glovers went into the match making four changes to their line-up compared with the Saturday match at Scunthorpe. Goalkeeper Artur Krysiak's injury meant that Scott Loach came in for his debut, but that meant Stephen Arthurworrey was forced out by the matchday loan rules, replaced by Liam Davis. At the other end of the pitch, James Hayter came in for Joel Grant, whilst a head injury to Nathan Smith meant that James Berrett was restored to the starting line-up.
Arthurworrey's absence meant that Stephen Kingsley was asked to act as a left-sided centre-back in a 3-5-2, but unfortunately his night only lasted around six minutes. His side had created one good chance as Gozie Ugwu's cross saw James Hayter stretching to convert from close range before Kingsley was the victim of a very physical challenge from Walsall striker Tom Bradshaw. Referee Charles Breakspear appeared not to see it, with a talk with one of his assistants leading to Bradshaw just getting a talking to, but there was more concern for the state of Kingsley, with a stretcher needed to take him off the pitch after a five minute delay, with a suspected fractured cheekbone meaning there was no chance of him continuing - Nathan Ralph replaced him.
When the football finally resumed, it was Walsall who were well on top throughout the first half. Jordy Hiwula fired over the bar, whilst Scott Loach had to save a low effort, but despite being the better side the Saddlers didn't have too much to show for their efforts. However, they spurned a great opportunity to take the lead 27 minutes into the match when Loach was deemed to have fouled Hiwula inside the box. After a long delay whilst referee Charles Breakspear tried to sort out various 'afters' following the award, up stepped Tom Bradshaw, but his spot kick was saved by Loach - redeeming himself for the foul.
It didn't take too long though for Walsall to gain the upper hand, as their growing dominance of the game reaped rewards. Jordy Hiwula, who had scored just once in nine appearances during his Glovers loan spell, had been speaking in the Walsall press about how much he'd improved his game since that 2014 loan spell, and he demonstrated that by taking Andy Taylor's pass, cutting inside and then firing under Scott Loach's body to give the Saddlers the lead.
At that point, Walsall could have gone on and taken the game by the scruff of the neck. Scott Loach became the busiest man on the park as he kept out efforts from Romaine Sawyers and James Baxendale as he pushed the ball around his posts for corners, whilst another Saddlers attempt was thwarted as he smothered Tom Bradshaw's attempt to break through on goal. Then another Jordy Hiwula effort was palmed away and the only positive thing when the half time whistle blew was that Yeovil were only a single goal down, and that they could at least regroup at the break.
Just before half time, Yeovil had switched to a 4-4-2 combination, with Nathan Ralph and Liam Davis taking the left flank whilst Liam Shephard and James Berrett took the right side, and that formation was maintained during the second period. However, Walsall's dominance continued as James Baxendale's deflected shot came off a goalpost and back out again, before being cleared to safety. At the other end, Gozie Ugwu did get the ball in the back of the net, but a linesman's flag had already gone up due to James Hayter having strayed too far offside during the build-up. Overall the balance was still with Walsall, with Hiwula wastefully putting the ball over the bar with his latest attempt on goal.
A change on the hour mark saw Joel Grant and Adam Morgan replace James Hayter and Nathan Ralph - with the latter suffering the pain of being the substitute that got substituted, having lasted only 47 minutes on the pitch. Gradually the new line-up began to show some promise, with Grant forcing Richard O'Donnell into parrying the ball for a corner from a Josh Sheehan pass. Then Grant forced a 71st minute penalty - a clear foul by Walsall's Ben Purkiss saw the Glovers gain a spot kick. With James Hayter off the field, Adam Morgan once again stepped up to take it, but unlike his Gillingham heroics, he couldn't get past O'Donnell, with the keeper saving his attempt.
Whilst the first half had all been about the goalkeeping of Scott Loach, the closing stages of the second half became all about the goalkeeping of Richard O'Donnell. In addition to his penalty save, he stopped a long range attempt from James Berrett and then made the save of the night when he pushed a downward Byron Webster header from a corner around his goalpost. He then blocked when Adam Morgan broke through on goal, to ensure his side kept all three points and to keep Yeovil in deep deep trouble at the foot of League One. The only good news was that all other sides in the bottom five lost on the night, meaning that the league table remained unaffected, but with one less game to get themselves out of their current situation.
Link: 2014-15 Latest League One Table.
Final Score: Yeovil Town 0 Walsall 1.
Scorers: Jordy Hiwula (0-1, 32 mins)
21. Scott Loach
13. Kieffer Moore 27. Byron Webster 35. Stephen Kingsley
32. Liam Shephard 11. Sam Foley 8. James Berrett 30. Josh Sheehan 19. Liam Davis
25. Gozie Ugwu 9. James Hayter
22. Gareth Stewart 14. Sam Hoskins 15. Seth Nana Twumasi 16. Nathan Ralph (11 mins for Stephen Kingsley) 17. Joel Grant (58 mins for Nathan Ralph) 24. Craig Eastmond 31. Adam Morgan (58 mins for James Hayter)
1. Richard O'Donnell
2. Ben Purkiss 6. Paul Downing 15. James Chambers 3. Andy Taylor
7. Adam Chambers 17. Reece Flanagan 11. James Baxendale 10. Romaine Sawyers
30. Jordy Hiwula 9. Tom Bradshaw
4. James O'Connor 12. Michael Cain (89 mins for Reece Flanagan) 13. Craig MacGillivray 16. Matt Preston 20. Amadou Bakayoko 22. Liam Kinsella 24. Ashley Grimes (78 mins for James Baxendale)
Yeovil Bookings: Liam Davis (45 mins, foul), Josh Sheehan (foul, 70 mins), Kieffer Moore (foul, 75 mins)
Walsall Bookings: Paul Downing (60 mins, foul), Ben Purkiss (foul, 71 mins), James Baxendale (diving, 76 mins)
Yeovil Match Statistics: Possession: 58%; Shots: 8; Shots On Target: 7; Corners: 11; Fouls: 8.
Scunthorpe Match Statistics: Possession: 42%; Shots: 19; Shots On Target: 7; Corners: 8; Fouls: 13.
Referee: Charles Breakspear (Surrey). Assistant Referees: Andrew Bennett (Devon) and Colin Lymer (Hampshire). Fourth Official: Mark Derrien (Dorset).
Attendance: 3,668 (with 149 Yeovil supporters).