Match Details: 19/03/2016
Cambridge United 3-0 Yeovil Town
Skybet League Two
Yeovil Line-Up: 1. Artur Krysiak, 2. Ben Tozer, 3. Nathan Smith, 7. Kevin Dawson, 8. Marc Laird, 11. Ryan Dickson, 19. Brandon Goodship, 23. Harry Cornick, 24. Connor Roberts, 25. Liam Walsh, 26. Darren Ward,
Subs: 6. Jakub Sokolík, 9. Ryan Bird, 10. Shaun Jeffers, 12. Chris Weale, 14. Jack Compton, 21. Alex Lacey, 38. Leroy Lita
Substitutes Used: Ryan Bird for Kevin Dawson (46 mins), Jack Compton for Harry Cornick (68 mins), Leroy Lita for Brandon Goodship (75 mins)
Bookings: , Marc Laird (Foul, 27), Ben Tozer (Foul, 29), Ryan Dickson (Foul, 58)
Yeovil Town went down to their first defeat in seven games this afternoon, as mid-table Cambridge United gained a 3-0 victory at the Abbey Stadium. It was a one-sided encounter at times, not helped by an early goal from Ben Williamson that was followed by Everton midfielder Liam Walsh getting sent off just a quarter of an hour into the match, following an off the ball incident involving James Dunne. Williamson followed up with a crucial second goal during first half injury time, giving the Glovers very little chance of working their way back into the match. Matters were polished off three minutes from time as substitute Jimmy Spencer converted a loose ball from close range. The only plus side was that with York City, Dagenham and Redbridge and a number of other relegation rivals losing, there was little damage done, with the eleven point buffer being maintained.
The Glovers went into the match making just one change to their line-up, following the disappointing news that Francois Zoko's injury last week had been diagnosed as a torn calf muscle that would leave him out of action for around four-to-six weeks. His place in the side was taken by AFC Bournemouth loanee Brandon Goodship, who took the central role in the 4-3-3. Shaun Jeffers came onto the bench, with Tahvon Campbell ruled out due to illness, whilst Jakub Sokolik returned following his recent illness problems.
To say Yeovil Town got off to a bad start would be an understatement. Just four minutes into the match, Harrison Dunk's cross was flicked on by Josh Coulson and that left Ben Williamson in free space to tap the ball home from close range. That brought to the end a Glovers run of 460 minutes without conceding a goal, but was a sign of things to come throughout the game.
Defender Leon Legge threatened to quickly add to the early opener, but a defensive block stopped the ball going near the goal, as the home side stayed on top of the game. Things got worse for Yeovil very quickly though when James Dunne got involved in an off the ball incident with Everton loanee Liam Walsh. Dunne appeared to provoke the teenager, but when Walsh retaliated, fans views were that the midfielder had put a hand in Dunne's face, meaning that referee Lee Swabey brought out a red card for the offence, leaving Yeovil down to ten men for 74 minutes.
Cambridge had been well on top even before that, but they used the extra man advantage well. The tetchy nature of the match following that red card threatened to boil over, with Marc Laird and Ben Tozer both booked for fouls on the pantomime villain James Dunne, whilst an incident involving Ben Williamson and Connor Roberts by the touchline that saw the Cambridge striker leave the field entirely, saw the Cambridge bench flying out of their dugout area, calling for action which referee Lee Swabey seemed unmoved by.
When the football did break out, it was Cambridge who were providing the attacking intent, with the Glovers not managing a single shot all half. Zeli Ismail's free kick was pushed around the post by Artur Krysiak for a corner, then James Dunne fired wide. The only reason why Cambridge weren't threatening more was that they were tending to over-elaborate, in trying to out-pass the ten men, rather than more directly, giving Yeovil a chance to efficiently block out by using a 4-4-1 formation, as the two wide 'forwards' played more as wingers, leaving Brandon Goodship as the one true striker.
Unfortunately for Yeovil, they switched off just at the wrong time, with the final kick of the half, as Darren Ward committed a rare error. The Glovers were too over-elaborating inside their own half and Ward's misplaced pass allowed Cambridge to attack back at them, and Harrison Dunk's cross in found Ben Williamson in space at close range, and Cambridge were 2-0 up just as the whistle blew for the break - a killer time to score a goal.
At half time, a groin injury forced Kevin Dawson off the field, with Ryan Bird replacing him, seeing the big striker play as the central man, whilst Brandon Goodship took up Dawson's vacant role on the right. At 2-0 down the Glovers had to opt for more of a 4-2-3 rather than the more resilient looking 4-4-1 plan they'd taken following Walsh's red card. It took them 51 minutes, but finally Yeovil got themselves a shot on goal, with Harry Cornick's long range attempt easily saved, but with Bird following up ten minutes later with a break through the centre that was stopped only by an impressive defensive block, at least the new line-up showed better penetration.
The snag was that at the other end, Cambridge were still getting plenty of good chances. Ben Williamson had a couple of opportunities for his hat-trick, with crosses from Harrison Dunk once again setting him up, only for him to fluff his lines. Then substitute Jimmy Spencer forced Artur Krysiak to punch over the crossbar. Williamson was denied his hat-trick once again - although on this occasion did get the ball in the back of the net. He had strayed offside following a corner kick, and although he finished from close range, the Glovers defence had pushed out, leaving him stood in an illegal position.
Cambridge also thought they had won a penalty kick with ten minutes remaining. Darnell Furlong burst into the box and went down, and when referee Lee Swabey blew his whistle, the home fans cheered, and then were subdued when the Devon official produced a yellow card and booked him for diving - this time the home fans, rather than the away supporters were left aiming chants in his direction about his ability to handle the game.
Matters were wrapped up with three minutes to go - another Harrison Dunk cross wasn't cut out, and when Jimmy Spencer's initial effort was parried by Artur Krysiak, the ball rebounded kindly to the same player, and Spencer finished off the rebound from close range, ending any possible doubt over the result. Mercifully, with York and Dagenham both losing, the position below the Glovers lies unchanged, and although today acts as a significant reality check, in terms of their battle for survival, it does no noticeable damage. The loss of Francois Zoko before the game, the red card for Liam Walsh, and an injury to Kevin Dawson might worry Darren Way a little more though.
Link: 2015-16 Latest League Two Table.
Final Score: Cambridge United 3 Yeovil Town 0.
Scorers: Ben Williamson (4 mins, 1-0), Ben Williamson (45 mins, 2-0), Jimmy Spencer (87 mins, 3-0)
35. Will Norris 25. Darnell Furlong 6. Leon Legge 14. Josh Coulson 34. Ryan Haynes 16. James Dunne 23. Ryan Ledson 20. Zeli Ismail 8. Luke Berry 11. Harrison Dunk 22. Ben Williamson
2. Elliot Omozusi 5. Mark Roberts 13. Sam Beasant 15. Robbie Simpson 17. Shane O'Neill 20. Jimmy Spencer (60 mins for James Dunne) 28. Ryan Horne
1. Artur Krysiak
24. Connor Roberts 26. Darren Ward (Capt) 3. Nathan Smith 11. Ryan Dickson
8. Marc Laird 25. Liam Walsh 2. Ben Tozer
7. Kevin Dawson 19. Brandon Goodship 23. Harry Cornick
12. Chris Weale (GK) 6. Jakub Sokolik 9. Ryan Bird (46 mins for Kevin Dawson) 10. Shaun Jeffers 14. Jack Compton (68 mins for Harry Cornick) 21. Alex Lacey 38. Leroy Lita (75 mins for Brandon Goodship)
Cambridge United Bookings: James Dunne (foul, 48 mins), Josh Coulson (foul, 60 mins), Darnell Furlong (diving, 80 mins)
Yeovil Bookings: Marc Laird (foul, 27 mins), Ben Tozer (foul, 29 mins), Ryan Dickson (foul, 58 mins). Red Card: Liam Walsh (violent conduct, 16 mins)
Cambridge United Match Statistics: Possession: 61%; Shots: 12; Shots On Target: 8; Corners: 5; Fouls: 11.
Yeovil Match Statistics: Possession: 39%; Shots: 7; Shots On Target: 4; Corners: 3; Fouls: 8.
Referee: Lee Swabey (Devon). Assistants: Ashvin Degnarain (London) and Mark Jones (Nottinghamshire). Fourth Official: Josh Smith (Lincolnshire).
Attendance: 4,956 (with 265 Yeovil supporters).