Match Details: 02/01/2017
Crawley Town 2-0 Yeovil Town
EFL League Two
Yeovil Line-Up: 1. Artur Krysiak, 3. Nathan Smith, 5. Bevis Mugabi, 6. Alex Lacey, 7. Kevin Dawson, 8. Alex Lawless, 9. Tom Eaves, 10. Otis Khan, 11. Ryan Dickson, 18. Jack Storer, 28. Ben Whitfield
Subs: 4. Matthew Dolan, 12. Jonny Maddison, 13. Francois Zoko, 14. Josh Ezewele, 16. Matt Butcher, 17. Omar Sowunmi, 19. Tahvon Campbell,
Substitutes Used: Matt Butcher for Otis Khan (46 mins), Francois Zoko for Jack Storer (46 mins), Tahvon Campbell for Ben Whitfield (74 mins)
Bookings: Bevis Mugabi (Foul, 40), Francois Zoko (Ungentlemanly Conduct, 71), Tom Eaves (Dissent, 73), Alex Lawless (Foul, 90)
Yeovil Town stretched their run of matches without a win to five games, as they opened 2017 with a 2-0 defeat against Crawley Town. The home side took a while to get into their stride, but took control of the game during the 20 minutes leading up to half time, as Josh Howerth converted from a corner, and they doubled their lead when James Collins converted from the penalty spot, with Otis Khan having brought Enzio Boldewijn down during the box. An end-to-end second period failed to produce further goals, leaving the Glovers dropping to 14th place and now eight points from the play-off slots, having scored only once in their last five matches.
The Glovers went into the match making two changes to their starting line-up from the side that had drawn against Portsmouth on the Friday night. New loan signing Jack Storer went straight into the starting line-up, as the central striker, with Tom Eaves being pushed out to the right. Meanwhile Bevis Mugabi replaced Liam Shephard who dropped out through illness. Crawley's line-up included former Glovers Billy Clifford and Lewis Young, with the latter gaining the Player of the Day from the Crawley sponsors.
The opening 20 minutes were largely devoid of chances with James Collins putting one early attempt over the bar, whilst at the other end, a misdirected Crawley defensive clearance almost landed on the boot of Nathan Smith only for the ball to be hacked away. Crawley went close when Mark Connolly's strike in a crowded goalmouth was well blocked by the Yeovil defence. Once again, Yeovil were looking useful in the middle third and in terms of their approach play, but actual hard chances were few and far between with an Otis Khan effort after he cut in from the left flank but found Glenn Morris saving low to his left the pick of the crop.
A defensive error gave Crawley their opening goal. A bouncing ball was misjudged, with James Collins able to rush through and fire a shot on goal that Artur Krysiak could only parry for a corner. In came the delivery from a Dean Cox corner, and Josh Howerth converted at close range for the opening goal.
At point, the home side took full control of the match, as Yeovil seemed to go into their shells. Lewis Young struck a shot that Artur Krysiak saved well, but with a pattern of play developing it wasn't a huge surprise when they doubled their lead. Otis Khan had to track back to defend down the left flank, and he put in an unnecessary challenge on Enzio Boldewijn, with the end result being an obvious penalty. Up stepped James Collins who fired home a powerful penalty for a 2-0 lead.
There was concern that things could have got worse, as a few wild challenges saw the Yeovil defence still look stretched. Otis Khan fired wide of the target just before the break, but in general terms the Glovers looked rattled. It therefore wasn't too surprising when a double substitution was made at half time, although the decision to take off Otis Khan - the brightest of Yeovil's front three - was presumably down to his defensive prowess. Debutant Jack Storer also got little time to impress as Francois Zoko and Matt Butcher came on to line up in a 4-4-2 formation for the second period.
The opening 10 minutes of the second half briefly looked as though Yeovil might get a foothold in the match, as a Francois Zoko downward header and a Tom Eaves shot in quick succession forced the best out of Glenn Morris with the Crawley defence having to hack away the parried saves. But the change also meant that Yeovil were far more open at the back, with Yeovil extremely fortunate that referee John Busby ruled that a goalbound clearance by Nathan Smith from a Billy Clifford shot was deemed a legal one, with Crawley fans appealing for handball and a penalty.
Clifford had a poor loan spell when he was on the Glovers books but looked a dominant midfielder in Crawley colours as he forced Krysiak into another save, preventing Yeovil from building up a serious steam. The overall game seemed to have a bit of a tetchy frustrated streak to it, demonstrated by Francois Zoko and Josh Payne getting involved in an off the ball incident that got both booked, quickly followed by Tom Eaves for dissent. Then Josh Yorwerth got booked for an awful tackle on Bevis Mugabi and there was a significant danger that one side wasn't going to keep 11 players on the pitch.
Yeovil needed a goal to scare Crawley a bit more, and their shot-shy attack - one goal in their last five matches - didn't really get that moment they needed - a late Francois Zoko free kick curled over the wall but Glenn Morris got a hand on it to push it over the bar to keep his clean sheet. Overall it was a messy performance from Yeovil Town, and particularly from that 20 minute spell during the first half, they got what they deserved.
Link: 2016-17 Latest League Two Table.
Final Score: Crawley Town 2 Yeovil Town 0.
Scorers: Josh Howerth (29 mins, 1-0), James Collins (38 mins, 2-0, penalty)
12. Glenn Morris
6. Mark Connolly 22. Joe McNerney 15. Josh Yorwerth
2. Lewis Young 8. Jimmy Smith 18. Billy Clifford 4. Josh Payne 28. Dean Cox
7. Enzio Boldewijn 19. James Collins
11. Jordan Roberts (61 mins for Dean Cox) 13. Yusuf Mersin 14. Andre Blackman 17. Bobson Bawling (89 mins for Enzio Boldewijn) 24. Aliu Djaló 33. Sanchez Watt (80 mins for Billy Clifford) 44. Conor Henderson
1. Artur Krysiak
5. Bevis Mugabi 6. Alex Lacey 3. Nathan Smith 11. Ryan Dickson (Capt)
7. Kevin Dawson 8. Alex Lawless 28. Ben Whitfield
10. Otis Khan 18. Jack Storer 9. Tom Eaves
Substitutes: 12. Jonny Maddison 4. Matt Dolan 13. Francois Zoko (46 mins for Jack Storer) 14. Josh Ezewele 16. Matt Butcher (46 mins for Otis Khan) 17. Omar Sowunmi 19. Tahvon Campbell (74 mins for Ben Whitfield)
Crawley Town Bookings: Lewis Young (68 mins, foul), Josh Payne (72 mins, off the ball incident), Josh Howerth (83 mins, foul)
Yeovil Bookings: Bevis Mugabi (40 mins, foul), Francois Zoko (71 mins, off the ball incident), Tom Eaves (73 mins, dissent), Alex Lawless (90 mins, foul)
Crawley Town Match Statistics: Possession: 52%; Shots: 17; Shots On Target: 7; Corners: 7; Fouls: 15.
Yeovil Match Statistics: Possession: 48%; Shots: 10; Shots On Target: 7; Corners: 3; Fouls: 15.
Referee: John Busby (Oxfordshire). Assistants: Andrew Laver (Hampshire) and Christopher Kidd (Oxfordshire). Fourth Official: Rob Smith (Hertfordshire).
Attendance: 2,304 (with 342 Yeovil supporters).