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Season 2006-2007 : Yeovil Town vs Brentford : Saturday 20th January 2007
Coca Cola League One : Yeovil Town vs Brentford

Vote for your YTFC Man of the Match by clicking here

Venue: Huish Park
Saturday 20th January 2007, 3.00pm kick-off.

Scorers: Leon Best (1-0, 55 mins).

Attendance: 5,373 (including approx 437 Brentford supporters)

Referee: Michael Jones (Cheshire)
Assistants: David Phillips (Sussex), Lee Swabey (Devonshire)
Fourth official: Simon Snartt (Gloucestershire)

Bookings:
Yeovil: Terry Skiverton (foul, 24 mins), Andy Lindegaard (foul, 45 mins).
Brentford: Michael Leary (foul, 49 mins), Red Card: David Partridge (6 mins, violent conduct), Che Wilson (90 mins, professional foul).

Team Line-Ups

Yeovil Town : (4-3-1-2)
1. Steve Mildenhall
16. Andy Lindegaard 4. Terry Skiverton 6. Terrell Forbes 3. Nathan Jones
9. Arron Davies 14. Jean-Paul Kalala 11. Chris Cohen
29. Marcus Stewart
30. Leon Best 10. Wayne Gray

Subs: 2. Anthony Tonkin 5. Scott Guyett 8. Anthony Barry 26. Stephen Maher 27. Ishmael Welsh (65 mins for Wayne Gray)

Brentford :
28. Nathan Abbey 33. Che Wilson 6. Adam Griffiths 31. David Partridge 3. Andrew Frampton 7. Paul Brooker 22. John Mousinho 32. Michael Leary 16. Joe Keith 10. Jo Kuffour 25. Charlie Ide

Subs: 26. Sebastien Brown (GK) 23. Darius Charles 4. Thomas Pinault 19. Calum Willock (79 mins for Paul Brooker) 20. Ryan Peters (88 mins for Charlie Ide)

Match Report

The positives of bringing back Nathan Jones and Chris Cohen into the starting line-up after their suspensions last weekend were partially levelled out by the pre-match news that striker Lee Morris had strained a calf muscle in Friday training, meaning a late change to manager Russell Slade's thinking prior to the visit of basement side Brentford. He could have pushed Marcus Stewart up front and brought in a fourth midfielder, but instead he chose to make a one-for-one swap by allowing Wayne Gray a rare start, whilst Jones and Cohen ousted last week's deputies Anthony Tonkin and Anthony Barry. Despite the return of that pair, the bench was still thin enough for Stephen Maher to continue his bench warming after his debut last weekend.

Yeovil Town started sluggishly allowing Brentford an early corner and free kick just outside the box, but without either set piece coming to anything too worrying. At the other end a wayward Leon Best shot from distance worried the corner flag more than goalkeeper Nathan Abbey.

But the first sign of incident was an astonishing one. Before any serious action had developed in either goalmouth Brentford committed apparent suicide by reducing themselves to 10 men. Dave Partridge - on loan from Bristol City and one of the men involved in the serious nightclub incident a year ago in Bristol - once again lost his rag by getting involved in an off the ball incident with Leon Best and referee Michael Jones had little hesitation in red carding Partridge leaving Brentford needing to play 85 minutes with just 10 men! City manager Gary Johnson claimed at the time of Partridge's trial that he and the other City players involved had been involved in anger management classes as part of their rehabilitation - judging by the match referee's mime of a headbutt to indicate to all concerned why he was producing his red card, such efforts haven't worked on Partridge as it was difficult to work out why he had resorted to such unprofessionalism so early in the game.

Yeovil wasted the free kick that had been awarded on the back of the incident, and the game had a fiery undercurrent with the Brentford bench furious with the decision and referee Jones having to approach the dugouts in an attempt to calm them down. Brentford reorganised by putting Andrew Frampton into the centre and the reshuffle meant that Jo Kuffour was left on his own up front to try and provide the Bees' loan input on goal.

But in a swirling wind, neither side were getting their foot on the ball, and the end result was midfield scrapping with very little pattern and unsurprisingly Brentford sticking pretty much the whole side behind the ball, breaking well under Kuffour and certainly on the field at least not letting their man disadvantage get them down.

Midway through the first half, Terry Skiverton picked up a booking after a clash of heads between him and Michael Leary had the Brentford fans calling perhaps optimistically for the sides to be evened up, but referee Jones kept his head. The home crowd were getting increasingly impatient, with the first 25 minutes not really having achieved an awful lot despite the man advantage.

As the half wore on though, matters began to gradually swing Yeovil's way. Leon Best broke through on goal after Marcus Stewart put him through on goal, but he chose the wrong option by firing wide of goal when a pass back to Stewart or a ball through to Wayne Gray would have probably been the less selfish option with the Brentford back line closing him down. Next Wayne Gray was put through by Chris Cohen, showing his pace to hold off a Brentford defender but sending his shot just wide of the target as keeper Nathan Abbey advanced. Then from a corner, Michael Leary deflected a Chris Cohen header over the crossbar as Yeovil finally managed to get spaces in the final third and put the pressure on the Bees.

Nathan Abbey almost gifted Leon Best with a goal when he spilt a ball in the wind almost at the feet of Best, but the stand-in keeper who left Torquay at the end of the year recovered possession at the second attempt. But at the other end, Brentford almost grabbed golddust when Terrell Forbes gave away possession cheaply to Jo Kuffour who forced Steve Mildenhall into a strong parried save and Jean-Paul Kalala did enough to stop Charlie Ide coming in for the rebound.

The Glovers on the whole continued on the offensive though, and another great Chris Cohen move set up Wayne Gray through on goal but the end result was the same as his first attempt on goal - a whisker away from the post, with this time a Brentford defender managing to get a slight deflection to take the ball out for a corner. The Glovers may not have been firing on all cylinders by any means but one player who was clearly enjoying being back on the football field following his 15 day break was midfielder Cohen.

The half ended as it had begun though - in scrappy fashion with neither side really getting their foot on the ball and if anything the Glovers looking a touch edgy at their failure to capitalise on the man advantage. Andy Lindegaard ended up in the book for a foul on John Mousinho, and both team and crowd needed to learn to relax a bit over the half time break to get back to the basics of playing the game and to forget that they were playing against 10 men. At the break they were pretty much playing into Brentford's hands.

Half-time: Yeovil Town 0 - 0 Brentford

The start of the second half was preceded with both sides coming out early - Yeovil presumably on the end of a tongue-lashing by Russell Slade whilst Brentford performed a bizarre routine involving bringing out the training cones onto the pitch and performing a mini-training session much to the bemusement of many of those watching.

Yeovil opened positively playing towards the Westland Stand with Wayne Gray heading wide of goal from an Arron Davies cross after Leon Best had set up the Welshman. Michael Leary landed in the book for a poor foul on Chris Cohen, and Leon Best's free kick following the foul curled just wide and into the advertising boards. Then a long range shot from Terry Skiverton after Yeovil took a quick corner also landed into the boards.

Ten minutes into the second half though, the dam finally burst for Brentford. Following good work in their own half by Nathan Jones and Marcus Stewart, Chris Cohen broke away up the left flank, stretching the Brentford back line and forcing them wide. Unselfishly as he cut towards goal, he squared the ball to the incoming Leon BEST who produced a sharp reaction to sweep the ball home and to finally break the deadlock. 1-0 and Huish Park erupted with relief!

Unsurprisingly the game now opened up and Arron Davies went a whisker away from goal, hitting the outside of the goalframe as he shot from a narrow angle as he burst through on goal. But at the other end, controversy struck when Paul Brooker went down in the box under a challenge from Nathan Jones. The Brentford crowd were furious with referee Michael Jones for not awarding a penalty - Jones was furious with Brooker for what he saw as a dive. Either way it was a reminder that on the hour mark, Brentford could still be a threat on goal and that the game was still not won.

Leon Best put one wide as an Arron Davies ball into the box saw Best head just wide of the target with half the ground convinced that the rippling of the ball against the back of the net was on the inside of the goalframe rather than on the outside. Just past the hour mark, Ishmael Welsh replaced Wayne Gray as Yeovil reorganised to a 4-4-2 formation with Stewart going up front allowing Welsh to go wide left, with Yeovil no doubt looking to go more solid, but Brentford managed their first genuine on target shot of the half when Charlie Ide shot from distance, with Steve Mildenhall getting down well to save well.

Considering the circumstances, Yeovil still didn't look entirely sure of themselves and the frustration continued with Brentford still able to get plenty of space in the ball as both players and crowd continued to show nerves with misplaced passes galore and the crowd frequently showing their displeasure at the situation. John Mosenior put the ball over the bar from one such attempt where Yeovil had simply allowed the visitors to move their way round the edge of the box and this was not the way to ease out the closing period of the game. Substitute Calum Willock went even closer - putting in a cross that turned into an unintentional shot as it evaded Steve Mildenhall, coming off the woodwork and rebounding out into open territory.

Leon Best shot just wide for the Glovers with only the keeper to beat with six minutes to go, with the striker certainly having been gifted with a chance to seal the game. Meanwhile Andrew Frampton cleared the ball close to his goal line as an Ishmael Welsh shot hit the target but couldn't beat the defender.

In injury time both sides had chances to get a late goal, with Callum Willock getting space to shoot on target, but matters were sealed deep into injury time when Brentford pressed the gamble button by sending keeper Nathan Abbey up for a corner. As the set piece was cleared, the Bees were suddenly under huge pressure, and with their players scrambling back, the clearance was thread through to Ishmael Welsh. Initially defender Che Wilson looked favourite to get to the ball, but Welsh ran past him like an Intercity 125 overtaking a tractor, and Wilson's last actions of the game were to wrap his foot around Welsh's ankle. A red card was academic and with Brentford now down to nine men and injury time more or less over, there was no way back.

A win is of course a win, and at the end of the season, the 1-0 victory over Brentford will stand a three points for the Glovers in their fight to keep themselves in the promotion slots. But this was not the prettiest matches to watch, with some anxious moments and Yeovil making heavy work of seeing off the West London side. On another day, disaster could easily have struck. Thankfully Leon Best was on hand to save Yeovil's blushes and to ensure that the club's ambitions of a top six finish in League One can still be maintained.

MOTM Vote Result:

Pos Player
1 Terrell Forbes
2 Chris Cohen
3 Leon Best

Overall match rating: 5.3 / 10
Performance: 5.5
Entertainment: 5.1

37 votes received.

Any comments/questions please email ytfc.motm@tiscali.co.uk

Full-time: Yeovil Town 1 - 0 Brentford
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