Yeovil Town finally had their unbeaten run ended today, in emphatic fashion as six matches without defeat were followed by a 4-0 loss at Elland Road, with table-toppers Leeds United wiping the Glovers out in a second half blitz. Goals from Bradley Johnson, Max Gradel, Jermaine Beckford and Tresor Kandol were a touch harsh on a Yeovil side that had done well over the first 35 minutes of the match. But once the Whites scored their first, they never looked back, and the final whistle couldn't come soon enough.
The Glovers went into the match making one change, with Scott Murray pulling out with a calf injury and his place being taken by Jonathan Obika. The formation used was as per recent games, with Obika trying his luck in a wide-right position. Stefan Stam was deemed fit enough to make the bench, although didn't get as far as the pitch itself, meaning that youth-teamer Rhys Baggridge missed out on sitting on the bench by a whisker.
The first half was a tight affair, with neither side giving any quarter. Leeds were finding Shaun MacDonald and Jean-Paul Kalala to be a brick wall in attempting to get near the Yeovil goal, and bar an early Sam Vokes attempt, the home side were being neutered well. Sporadic, but incisive breaks were reaping dividends for the Glovers, with Jonathan Obika firing direct down Casper Ankergren's throat, Ryan Mason firing over the bar and a Craig Alcock header going over the bar.
Three minutes before the break though, the home side got lucky with a cruel looking goal. Bradley Johnson's cross deflected off Shaun MacDonald but still looked harmless enough, until Jermaine Beckford moved across the path of Alex McCarthy's near post. The assumption was that Beckford had the final touch to stick it past McCarthy and that was the name that the PA announcer gave as the scorer, but big screen replays at half time confirmed that Johnson's cross had gone direct into the back of the net for a 1-0 half time lead.
The second period saw the game fail to ignite, with a poor tempo and Leeds almost strolling around the pitch. Yeovil didn't appear to have a plan on how to open the home side up in such a situation, and everything had gone a bit stale. That was until Leeds introduced Max Gradel and Neil Kilkenny onto the field as substitutes, and Gradel needed just 11 minutes to open his account. His cool finish just inside the box as he angled the ball across the face of Alex McCarthy was the cue for Leeds to finally turn on the style as they produced a final 20 minute period that demoralised the Glovers and showed why the Yorkshire side were top of the league - prior to that there had been little to choose between the two teams, but by the end, most in the away corner would have been willing for the final whistle to blow.
Jermaine Beckford got his
second first of the game when he robbed Terrell Forbes of the ball when the ball trapped under the defender's foot allowing Beckford room to move through on goal and fire past Alex McCarthy. Then as McCarthy was having to make several more saves to keep the score down, another Leeds substitute Tresor Kandol had room in the centre to plant a header home from a left-wing cross from Robert Snodgrass home and finish off the scoring, even if Leeds created more than that in the latter stages to extend that scoreline.
The final 4-0 scoreline will have been a bit of a body blow, and it was an ugly way for the unbeaten run to end. What Yeovil have to remember is that the standard of opposition and the depth of squad that they were able to choose from, particularly from their substitutes bench, is not the par for League One and they will not come across a 'Leeds United' standard team every week. As with the last two seasons, what will matter more is how the Glovers perform and how many points they gain from the Wycombes, Tranmeres and Stockports of the league - it's that which will decide whether they are in League One for another season, and not a defeat at Elland Road.
Final Score: Leeds United 4 Yeovil Town 0.
Scorers: Bradley Johnson (42 mins, 1-0), Max Gradel (69 mins, 2-0), Jermaine Beckford (79 mins, 3-0), Tresor Kandol (84 mins, 4-0).
1. Casper Ankergren
26. Leigh Bromby 6. Richard Naylor 3. Patrick Kisnorbo 22. Andy Hughes
23. Robert Snodgrass 14. Jonathan Howson 4. Michael Doyle 16. Bradley Johnson
9. Jermaine Beckford 15. Sam Vokes
25. Alan Martin (GK) 7. David Prutton 8. Neil Kilkenny (59 mins for Michael Doyle) 13. Mike Grella 17. Lubomir Michalik 20. Tresor Kandol (81 mins for Jermaine Beckford) 28. Max Gradel (58 mins for Andy Hughes)
Yeovil Town: (4-4-1-1)
1. Alex McCarthy
2. Craig Alcock 5. Steven Caulker 6. Terrell Forbes 3. Nathan Jones
26. Jonathan Obika 25. Shaun MacDonald 21. JP Kalala 11. Andy Welsh
13. Ryan Mason
9. Sam Williams
15. Richard Martin (GK) 4. Stefan Stam 8. Keiran Murtagh (73 mins for Andy Welsh) 18. Andy Lindegaard (88 mins for Ryan Mason) 23. Danny Hutchins 28. Nathan Smith 34. Rob Clowes
Leeds Bookings: None.
Yeovil Bookings: Andy Welsh (44 mins, dissent), Jean-Paul Kalala (72 mins, foul).
Referee: Andy Haines (Tyne and Wear). Assistants: Gary Beswick (County Durham) and Billy Khatib (Tyne and Wear). Fourth Official: Jason Tyas (West Yorkshire).
Attendance: 24,482 (including approx 300 Yeovil fans).
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