Match Details: 01/10/2016
Plymouth Argyle 4-1 Yeovil Town
EFL League Two
Yeovil Goals: Darren Ward (45)
Yeovil Line-Up: 1. Artur Krysiak, 2. Liam Shephard, 3. Nathan Smith, 4. Matthew Dolan, 6. Alex Lacey, 7. Kevin Dawson, 8. Alex Lawless, 11. Ryan Dickson, 16. Matt Butcher, 18. Izale McLeod, 26. Darren Ward,
Subs: 6. Bevis Mugabi, 10. Otis Khan, 12. Jonny Maddison, 17. Omar Sowunmi, 19. Tahvon Campbell, 23. Ryan Hedges, 28. Ben Whitfield
Substitutes Used: Ryan Hedges for Ryan Dickson (57 mins), Bevis Mugabi for Liam Shephard (68 mins), Tahvon Campbell for Izale McLeod (75 mins)
Bookings: Nathan Smith (Foul, 35), Ryan Hedges (Foul, 62), Kevin Dawson (Foul, 67)
Yeovil Town continued their erratic form in League Two this afternoon, as two consecutive wins have now become two consecutive defeats, after a 4-1 loss against leaders Plymouth Argyle. Stubborn first half resistance was broken six minutes before the break when Jimmy Spencer found room to fire home through a crowd of players after a corner had been half cleared. Almost immediately, Jake Jervis doubled the home side's lead, but Yeovil had a route back into it just before the half time whistle blew as Darren Ward converted a Matt Dolan cross from close range. The Glovers' best spell came early in the second half, with the game turning after Izale McLeod had a shot blocked, with Argyle's Graham Carey scoring their third less than a minute later. Matters were polished off four minutes from time when Jake Jervis got his second, to keep the home side on top of the division, whilst Yeovil lie just one point above the relegation line.
The Glovers went into the match making one of their most radical changes to their line-up of the 2016-17 season so far. The entire front three who have been a mainstay of the line-ups so far were removed, with Tom Eaves having an ankle injury, whilst Otis Khan and Ryan Hedges sat on the bench. Up front Izale McLeod acted as a lone striker, supported by wide men Kevin Dawson and Nathan Smith, whilst Alex Lawless became a central midfielder and Ryan Dickson slotted in at left-back in a 4-5-1 formation.
All that pointed to the main Glovers tactic being an attempt to snuff out the home sides attack and to frustrate them during the game. During the opening 25-30 minutes that worked relatively well, with much of the game eaten up in feisty competitive midfield challenges that you'd expect from a pseudo-local derby match. Yeovil had an early penalty appeal as an Alex Lawless header was blocked from close range by Sonny Bradley's arm, whilst at the other end, Ben Purrington's cross was blocked by Darren Ward. The referee was entirely consistent with both decisions - nothing given.
Argyle were forced to try to pick out long range attempts, with Graham Carey's effort a notable one. Then Jimmy Spencer saw his shot parried by Artur Krysiak with the angle of the shot defeating Ben Purrington on the rebound as he put the ball into the side netting. As the half progressed though, Izale McLeod began to look more and more isolated at the far end, whilst Plymouth began to force the issue. Jimmy Spencer forced a corner, and when that ball came into the box, Matt Dolan's clearance eventually reached Spencer again, with him giving himself room before firing through the goalmouth of players, with the ball possibly taking a deflection on its way into the net. 1-0 down.
That first goal quickly saw another goal follow. Alex Lawless lost possession and Graham Carey broke up field. He played in Jake Jervis whose shot took a deflection off Alex Lacey and into the back of the net, with two goals scored in four minutes to put Argyle 2-0 up. The danger there was that the game could end up out of sight by the time we reached the break, but they got themselves a lifeline just as they reached the half time point. Yeovil had barely managed a chance on goal during that first half, but when a set piece was recycled, Matt Dolan found Darren Ward at the back post, and the centre-back grabbed his second goal in just over a week to put the Glovers back in the match at the break.
The second period opened up with Ryan Dickson playing in front of Nathan Smith in a slight tactical switch. Yeovil seemed to have far more attacking intent with Alex Lawless having a shot from the edge of the box saved by Luke McCormick. Then Nathan Smith missed a superb chance to level after a Matt Dolan cross saw him completely free and six yards out with his header going wide of the target. Lawless then saw another effort go wide.
Argyle took a while to get back into their stride, with Jake Jervis firing from long range just after Ryan Hedges had been introduced for Ryan Dickson on the left flank, with the former Plymouth player's match fitness finally defeating him. The Glovers had to reshuffle again as Bevis Mugabi came on for an injured Liam Shephard, with his ongoing hobbling becoming an issue, having been badly fouled on his troublesome leg earlier in the match.
The turning point of the game came 70 minutes into the match. Izale McLeod had struggled to hold the ball up on his own but he had a golden opportunity to equalise inside the box, only to find David Fox getting in the way of his shot, with the ball going out for a corner. Within a minute, Plymouth were to extend their lead. With the Yeovil defence having got themselves a bit out of position, Graham Carey burst through the midfield area, easing past Matt Butcher, and then struck an excellent 30 yard strike past a stranded Artur Krysiak for the crucial goal of the game.
At that point, Yeovil started to show signs of tiring. Izale McLeod was replaced by Tahvon Campbell, with the more experienced of the two strikers having had little football due to his recent knee injury, and unable to last the distance. However, players like Darren Ward were starting to show fatigue, with him having to last the full 90 minutes after all three substitutes had been made. That may have been a factor in why Argyle wrapped things up rather easily in the closing stages, as substitute Craig Tanner broke through, Alex Lacey seemed to stumble, and Jake Jervis got an easy tap-in at the far post for a 4-1 result.
In the end, the Glovers did have small glimpses in which they could have got back into the game, particularly during the early part of the second half. However, those Smith and McLeod chances didn't put the pressure on Plymouth that could have made the difference, and in the end a tiring Yeovil side could have suffered in the closing stages. Plymouth stay top, and once again Yeovil Town lie just one point above the dotted line in 21st place.
Link: 2016-17 Latest League Two Table.
Final Score: Plymouth Argyle 4 Yeovil Town 1.
Scorers: Jimmy Spencer (39 mins, 1-0), Jake Jervis (43 mins, 2-0), Darren Ward (45 mins, 2-1), Graham Carey (71 mins, 3-1), Jake Jervis (86 mins, 4-1)
23. Luke McCormick
2. Gary Miller 5. Nauris Bulvitis 15. Sonny Bradley 16. Ben Purrington
4. Yann Songo'o 24. David Fox 14. Jake Jervis 10. Graham Carey
11. Ryan Donaldson 9. Jimmy Spencer
6. Connor Smith 7. David Goodwillie (88 mins for Graham Carey) 8. Jordan Slew 18. Oscar Threlkeld (77 mins for David Fox) 21. Vincent Dorel 22. David Ijaha 27. Craig Tanner (82 mins for Ryan Donaldson)
1. Artur Krysiak
2. Liam Shephard 6. Alex Lacey 26. Darren Ward (Capt) 11. Ryan Dickson
7. Kevin Dawson, 16. Matt Butcher 8. Alex Lawless 4. Matt Dolan 3. Nathan Smith
18. Izale McLeod
Substitutes: 12. Jonny Maddison 6. Bevis Mugabi (68 mins for Liam Shephard) 10. Otis Khan 17. Omar Sowunmi 19. Tahvon Campbell (75 mins for Izale McLeod) 23. Ryan Hedges (57 mins for Ryan Dickson) 28. Ben Whitfield
Plymouth Argyle Bookings: David Fox (foul, 7 mins), Craig Tanner (foul, 84 mins)
Yeovil Bookings: Nathan Smith (foul, 35 mins), Ryan Hedges (foul, 62 mins), Kevin Dawson (foul, 67 mins)
Plymouth Argyle Match Statistics: Possession: 60%; Shots: 21; Shots On Target: 12; Corners: 7; Fouls: 9.
Yeovil Match Statistics: Possession: 40%; Shots: 10; Shots On Target: 4; Corners: 5; Fouls: 20.
Referee: Sebastian Stockbridge (Tyne and Wear). Assistants: Adrian Tranter (Dorset) and Christopher Wade (Hampshire). Fourth Official: Mark Derrien (Dorset).
Attendance: 8,529 (with 495 Yeovil supporters).