Match Details: 31/01/2017
Yeovil Town 2-1 Plymouth Argyle
EFL League Two
Yeovil Goals: Nathan Smith (62), Alex Lacey (64)
Yeovil Line-Up: 1. Artur Krysiak, 2. Liam Shephard, 3. Nathan Smith, 4. Matthew Dolan, 6. Alex Lacey, 7. Kevin Dawson, 9. Tom Eaves, 11. Ryan Dickson, 13. Francois Zoko, 16. Matt Butcher, 28. Ben Whitfield,
Subs: 5. Bevis Mugabi, 12. Jonny Maddison, 17. Omar Sowunmi, 19. Brandon Goodship, 22. Ollie Bassett, 32. Tom James, 39. Shayon Harrison
Substitutes Used: Brandon Goodship for Francois Zoko (79 mins), Omar Sowunmi for Tom Eaves (84 mins), Shayon Harrison for Ben Whitfield (90 mins)
Bookings: Tom Eaves (Foul, 83), Artur Krysiak (Ungentlemanly Conduct, 90), Kevin Dawson (Foul, 90)
Yeovil Town picked up their first league win in nine matches on Tuesday night, by a 2-1 win over promotion-chasing Plymouth Argyle. In a rain-sodden game, all three goals were netted during the second period, with the Glovers centre-backs taking the honours. Nathan Smith converted from close range from a Ben Whitfield corner, and less than two minutes later Alex Lacey got the final touch on a Matt Dolan free kick. The Pilgrims threatened in the closing stages, as former defender Jakub Sokolik netted from a set piece to set up a close finale, but the Glovers held on to secure three valuable points.
The Glovers went into the match making two changes to their line-up. Darren Ward is currently struggling to complete two matches a week. due to his knee issues, and so he dropped out of the fixture, making way for Ryan Dickson who had been left out over the weekend due to FA rules on concussion. He took the left-back slot with Nathan Smith moving into the middle. Up front, Omar Sowunmi dropped to the bench, with Ben Whitfield coming in, as Tom Eaves went back to his preferred central role. In the opposition line-up, former Glover Jakub Sokolik got his first league start for his new club.
On a rain-soaked evening, the opening 30 minutes or so saw very little in the way of concrete chances, even if the Glovers started brightly, with a Francois Zoko effort being blocked by Sonny Bradley before it could reach the goal. At the other end, Alex Lacey did the same from a Craig Tanner shot, meaning that neither goalkeeper had to worry too much about the ball reaching their hands.
Matters began to warm up during the fifteen minute period leading up to the break, with Argyle exerting plenty of pressure in that period. Craig Tanner fired a deflected shot wide and out for a corner, whilst Nathan Blissett saw his header saved by Artur Krysiak. Then six minutes before the break came an almighty goalmouth scramble, as a sea of bodies inside the penalty box saw Yeovil defenders flying in front of the ball, unable to clear their lines, but with Argyle mercifully unable to get a firm boot on the ball. Who exactly touched what, and when? We're guessing.
Yeovil needed the half time break a little, although it seemed that Argyle boss Derek Adams was the one who wasn't particularly happy. He'd already tried a couple of subtle formation changes during the game - one midway through the first half then another at half time. He then made a double substitution eleven minutes into the second period, putting both substitutes into wing positions.
Whether that change upset Argyle or not, five minutes later they found themselves a goal down from a set piece. Oscar Threlkeld conceded a corner, shortly after Nathan Smith had executed a brilliant defensive block at the other end. Ben Whitfield took the corner kick, and it seemed as though Smith had barely enough time to reach the other end of the pitch, running in from a deep position, to finish from close range, for a 1-0 62nd minute lead.
Less than two minutes later, one goal became two. Ben Whitfield won a free kick after Jakub Sokolik upended him. This time Matty Dolan was the man delivering the set piece - his ball into the box saw Jordan Slew get a touch on the ball, before Alex Lacey got the final decisive contact for the second goal of the game. 2-0 advantage.
Perhaps through the sudden realisation that they could break an eight match run in the league, or perhaps because Argyle threw caution to the wind (and the rain), the Glovers seemed to spend five or ten minutes sitting back, and the visitors got themselves back into the game. Ben Whitfield fouled Graham Carey, and when Jake Jervis put in the free kick, Jakub Sokolik was judged to have got the final touch on the ball against his old club, leaving 13 minutes for the game to hang in the balance once again.
Surprisingly, we didn't get the late charge from Argyle that might have been expected. Yeovil Town rode out the remaining period of the game without showing too much ambition to add to their goal tally, but on the other hand doing enough to snuff the game out, even if some of Artur Krysiak's creative timewasting became a little bit too obvious to referee Kevin Johnson, who was fussy enough on the night, without giving him a clear reason to dish out a late yellow card. That won't have worried too many inside the home part of the stadium though - the club's first win since December 5th, and a small rise up the table into 15th place, gives a more pleasant viewing of the league table going into February, than 2017 has offered so far.
Link: 2016-17 Latest League Two Table.
Final Score: Yeovil Town 2 Plymouth Argyle 1.
Scorers: Nathan Smith (1-0, 62 mins), Alex Lacey (2-0, 64 mins), Jakub Sokolik (2-1, 77 mins)
1. Artur Krysiak
2. Liam Shephard 6. Alex Lacey 3. Nathan Smith 11. Ryan Dickson (Capt)
7. Kevin Dawson 16. Matt Butcher 4. Matt Dolan
28. Ben Whitfield 9. Tom Eaves 13. Francois Zoko
Substitutes: 12. Jonny Maddison 5. Bevis Mugabi 17. Omar Sowunmi (84 mins for Tom Eaves) 19. Brandon Goodship (79 mins for Francois Zoko) 22. Ollie Bassett 32. Tom James 39. Shayon Harrison (90 mins for Ben Whitfield)
23. Luke McCormick 18. Oscar Threlkeld 4. Yann Songo'o 15. Sonny Bradley 31. Jakub Sokolik 3. Gary Sawyer 24. David Fox 11. Ryan Donaldson 10. Graham Carey 27. Craig Tanner 13. Nathan Blissett
7. Antoni Sarcevic (68 mins for David Fox) 5. Nauris Bulvitis 8. Jordan Slew (56 mins for Nathan Blissett) 14. Jake Jervis (56 mins for Ryan Donaldson) 20. Louis Rooney 21. Vincent Dorel
Yeovil Bookings: Tom Eaves (foul, 83 mins), Kevin Dawson (foul, 90 mins), Artur Krysiak (timewasting, 90 mins)
Plymouth Argyle Bookings: David Fox (foul, 24 mins), Yann Songo'o (foul, 87 mins)
Yeovil Match Statistics: Possession: 49%; Shots: 4; Shots On Target: 4; Corners: 1; Fouls: 13.
Plymouth Argyle Match Statistics: Possession: 51%; Shots: 12; Shots On Target: 3; Corners: 7; Fouls: 8.
Referee: Kevin Johnson (Somerset). Assistants: Ravel Cheosiaua (Worcestershire) and Dean Treleaven (West Sussex). Fourth Official: Michael Webb (Surrey).
Attendance: 4,788 (with 1,747 Plymouth supporters).