Yeovil Town picked up a home point in their opening game of the 2012-13 season this afternoon at Huish Park. They had to come from behind after Cody McDonald's 10th minute header gave Coventry City the lead in front of 6,006 supporters that included well over 2,000 travelling Sky Blues fans. However, those visitors were soon silenced after Richard Hinds scored his third goal of the season as once again he netted from a set piece midway through the half. Both sides had their chances to win it, with Hinds seeing a goal ruled out, whilst McDonald struck the woodwork during the second period, but in the end they had to settle for a share of the points.
The Glovers selected an unchanged team for the match, with even the five substitutes chosen identical to the midweek win over Colchester United. Gavin Williams (calf muscle) and Rohan Ince (shin) remained absent once again, having both missed several weeks of pre-season. They came up against a Coventry side playing at third tier level for the first time since 1964 and with them travelling to Yeovil for their first ever competitive fixture.
Yeovil may have had the first chance, with Richard Hinds firing over the bar from an Ed Upson corner that Coventry failed to clear. However, it was the visiting club's own set piece that gave them the lead. Hinds gave away a free kick for a foul on the edge of the box, and when John Fleck's dead ball was put into the box, Cody McDonald was allowed far too much space to head home from close range to lift the 2,000 visiting supporters inside the ground. The Glovers looked a little overawed during the opening quarter hour, allowing Coventry too much time on the ball, and for them to turn them.
It took a while for the Glovers to get into the match, and The equalising goal came midway through the first half, after Coventry keeper Joe Murphy had comfortably tipped over Byron Webster's header for a corner. Yeovil Town's first two goals in midweek came via Ed Upson corners, with Richard Hinds the goalscorer, so it was not as if Coventry's scouts would have not known of the possible combination. However, Hinds made a good run in front of his marker when the corner kick was taken, and Yeovil were level, with his header this time going past Murphy into the back of the net.
That was the cue for Yeovil to dominate the majority of the first period - Coventry's only real further chance before the break came when Jamie McAllister's poor backpass let in Cody McDonald. However, Marek Stech rescued his captain with a fine save, and Richard Hinds blocked any chance that John Fleck had of getting the rebound. Otherwise the half was Yeovil's - they grew into the match following the goal, breaking on the Sky Blues, and with Reuben Reid and James Hayter both getting sights on goal. When they got possession with the ball on the deck, there the home side were undoubtedly the dominant force.
Around the hour mark of a somewhat less eventful opening to the second half, there were two questionable incidents involving the match officials. Firstly Reuben Reid landed in the referee's notebook for kicking the ball away, after he felt he was unjustly given offside, having sprung a run from inside his own half. But a minute later, Coventry had appeals for a penalty turned down when Byron Webster and Cody McDonald both went down inside the box - referee David Phillips waved the visitors appeals away in what would have been a certain red card decision had it been given, leaving the visitors fuming.
Not that this was the only decision that Mr Phillips got involved in. After Adam Barton had curled a ball against the post, having made his way in from the wings, Yeovil thought they had retaken the lead through Richard Hinds. Once again, the centre-back showed his prowess at the other end of the field - chesting the ball down with his back to goal, then turning his marker and firing the ball into the back of the net. Unfortunately referee Phillips chalked the goal off, with the feeling that he had penalised Hinds for handling as he controlled the ball.
Both teams played for the win in the closing stages, with Yeovil's three pacey substitution changes mirroring the alterations made on the Tuesday night, as Keanu Marsh-Brown finished the game up front, with Lewis Young and Nathan Ralph occupying wing positions as they injected fresh legs on the pitch. Gozie Ugwu's withdrawal seemed possibly forced - the Reading loanee had picked up a knock on the hour mark, following a poor challenge by Coventry full-back Chris Hussey.
Right at the end, Cody McDonald should have won the game for Coventry as he burst through with just Marek Stech to beat. But with the game into five minutes of injury time, McDonald fluffed his lines, slicing the ball well over the bar, and ensuring that both sides came out of the game with a point each. That leaves Yeovil and Coventry tied in equal 7th place along with six clubs who all drew 1-1 today, and will be seen as a decent start against a side presumed to be looking to challenge in the top six positions during the coming season.
Link: 2012-13 Latest League One Table.
Final Score: Yeovil Town 1 Coventry City 1.
Scorers: Cody McDonald (0-1, 10 mins), Richard Hinds (1-1, 21 mins)
Yeovil Town: (4-4-2)
1. Marek Stech
2. Luke Ayling 4. Richard Hinds 5. Byron Webster 3. Jamie McAllister (Capt)
19. Gozie Ugwu 6. Dominic Blizzard 8. Ed Upson 14. Sam Foley
9. James Hayter 11. Reuben Reid
7. Keanu Marsh-Brown (60 mins for Gozie Ugwu) 12. Gareth Stewart 15. Lewis Young (81 mins for James Hayter) 16. Nathan Ralph (77 mins for Sam Foley) 20. Curtis Haynes-Brown
1. Joe Murphy
2. Jordan Clarke 35. Reece Brown 24. Richard Wood 3. Chris Hussey
10. John Fleck 27. Billy Daniels 15. Kevin Kilbane 16. Adam Barton
9. Cody McDonald 17. Callum Ball
13. Chris Dunn 6. Kevin Malaga 11. Gary McSheffrey (33 mins for John Fleck) 8. Carl Baker 25. William Edjenguele 14. Stephen Elliott (63 mins for Callum Ball) 12. Steve Jennings
Yeovil Bookings: Reuben Reid (kicking ball away, 49 mins)
Coventry Bookings: Chris Hussey (foul, 58 mins)
Yeovil Match Statistics: Possession: 65%; Shots: 15; Shots On Target: 7; Corners: 4; Fouls: 16.
Colchester Match Statistics: Possession: 35%; Shots: 6; Shots On Target: 3; Corners: 5; Fouls: 16.
Referee: David Phillips (West Sussex). Assistants: William Bull (Hampshire) and Mark Pottage (Dorset). Fourth Official: Adrian Tranter (Dorset).
Attendance: 6,006 (with 2136 Coventry supporters).
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