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Season 2006-2007 : Yeovil Town vs Northampton Town : Monday 1st January 2007
Coca Cola League One : Yeovil Town vs Northampton Town

Vote for your YTFC Man of the Match by clicking here

Venue: Huish Park
Monday 1st January 2007, 3.00pm kick-off.

Conditions: Pre-match heavy rain.
Pitch: Soft and slippery

Scorers: None.

Attendance: 5,361 (including 201 Northampton supporters)

Referee: Rob Shoebridge (Derbyshire)
Assistants: Roger East (Wiltshire), Roger Vaughan (Somerset)
Fourth official: Andrew Rodda (Devon)

Bookings:
Yeovil: Nathan Jones (36 mins, foul), Leon Best (76 mins, foul), Chris Cohen (85 mins, dissent)
Northampton: Pedj Bojic (34 mins, foul), Ian Taylor (85 mins, foul)

Team Line-Ups

Yeovil Town : (4-4-2)
1. Steve Mildenhall
28. Martin Cranie 5. Scott Guyett 6. Terrell Forbes 3. Nathan Jones
12. Martin Brittain 11. Chris Cohen 8. Anthony Barry 9. Arron Davies
25. Lee Morris 30. Leon Best

Subs: 10. Wayne Gray (69 mins for Lee Morris) 16. Andy Lindegaard 17. Bradley Thomas 18. Daniel Webb 27. Ishmael Welsh (69 mins for Martin Brittain)

Northampton Town :
13. Mark Bunn 4. Luke Chambers 2. Jason Crowe 6. Chris Doig 20. Pedj Bojic 14. Joe Burnell 11. Eoin Jess 7. Ian Taylor 3. Andrew Holt 8. Andy Kirk 28. Ryan Gilligan

Subs: 21. Chris Dunn (GK) 10. Sam Aiston 12. David Hunt (73 mins for Joe Burnell) 22. James Quinn (52 mins for Ryan Gilligan) 15. Brett Johnson (68 mins for Eoin Jess)

Match Report

After four consecutive matches in which Yeovil Town have managed to pick not only the same starting line-up but also the same substitutes bench, there were some enforced changes necessary to the Glovers line-up for the visit of Northampton Town at Huish Park. Whilst Terry Skiverton's absence was to be expected with Scott Guyett replacing him, Jean-Paul Kalala surprisingly dropped out of the sixteen with an injury and Anthony Barry was the obvious replacement. Anthony Tonkin also dropped out of the squad with a virus meaning that Andy Lindegaard made his first showing within the first team squad since August following his comeback from a groin injury, whilst Daniel Webb and Bradley Thomas were also drafted onto the subs bench. The squad was about as thin as it could ever get.

Northampton arrived without top scorer Scott McGleish, currently out with a calf injury, and with the Cobblers not exactly a goalscoring machine even with McGleish in the side, it was no great surprise that they became the latest side to arrive at Huish Park and promptly stick 10 men behind the ball. On an extremely greasy pitch, both sides struggled badly during the first 15 minutes to get any serious possession without slipping on the turf, or misjudging the speed that the ball would head across the pitch. As such the early pattern was not unlike a hot potato being passed from one player to an opposition player and then back again. A long range shot by Northampton's Andrew Holt that went just wide was about the only time the goals got threatened during the opening period.

The pre-match rain though had stopped and so conditions were gradually improving, although it was the visitors that got the first true chance of the match thanks to a double error in the Yeovil defence. Nathan Jones, captain for the day, swung at the ball and sliced, and then Terrell Forbes managed to do the same, landing the ball right in the path of Ian Taylor, presenting him with a real gift around the penalty spot. The Cobblers player shot well, but an outstanding reaction save from Steve Mildenhall saw the ball parried away, with Scott Guyett to the rescue when the ball dropped loose.

A minute later play swung up to the other end, with Lee Morris providing a right-wing cross that a Northampton defender had to hack away when close to his own goal line. Then Morris was involved again with the striker pulling the ball back for Martin Cranie to hit, but he received it on his wrong foot and keeper Mark Bunn got down well to save at the base of his post.

Eoin Jess became the second player to be denied by Steve Mildenhall after he was allowed to twist and turn on the edge of the box, determined to get the ball onto his right foot, which the Yeovil defence somewhat charitably allowed him to. Shooting from just inside the box, Mildenhall parried the shot again and this time Terrell Forbes was the one who was forced to hack the ball clear.

On the half hour mark, it was Cobblers keeper Mark Bunn in action again after Lee Morris broke through the Cobblers back line, using both feet to weave in and out of their tackles, coming in from the left flank and shooting on goal but Bunn got down to save once again.

Pedj Bojic became perhaps unjustly the first player in the book when he fouled Arron Davies, 10 minutes before the break. He could feel perhaps aggrieved because two of his team-mates had committed far worse fouls earlier in the half but without punishment, and Bojic was perhaps a victim of the crowd's growing frustration with referee Rob Shoebridge's performance and his reaction to the crowd's displeasure was to produce a card. Nathan Jones could also feel hard done by though when Bojic was fouled right by the dugouts and the Cobblers player went down writhing in pain clutching his shinbone - strange given that Jones had actually nudged him from behind! Referee Shoebridge seemed to be fooled by the playacting and the demands from the Cobblers bench to even up the card count.

Talking of incompetant officials, Mr Shoebridge had chosen to come out for the game wearing a black referee's shirt - a mere slightest of shade different from Northampton's dark blue away kit and as the light faded, the effect was for the match referee to resemble a 12th man on the pitch for Northampton. During a lengthy period for treatment to a Northampton player four minutes before the break, Lee Morris lodged a complaint with the fourth official who called referee Shoebridge over and appeared to agree with Morris and the majority of the somewhat sarcastic home crowd, who didn't need to hear the conversation to know what was being said. After a lengthy delay, another loud sarcastic cheer went up as a yellow shirt came out and we finally had "eleven vs eleven" back on the pitch again!

That rather surreal and lengthy delay was not really reflected in the two minutes of injury time awarded at the end of the half. During this time, the Glovers forced three corners, pushing the Cobblers deep into their half, but the closest they came was when a Lee Morris ball into the box was flicked on by Leon Best but again a Northampton defender close to the goalline was able to head clear. As the ball broke clear, Arron Davies came in for the rebound and the ball shot wide of goal. Not the greatest of halves of football really, and Yeovil were going to have to up their game to beat a Northampton side that were looking relatively comfortable in quelling any Yeovil advances.

Half-time: Yeovil Town 0 - 0 Northampton Town

With the Glovers now attacking the Westland Stand end, they came out a little more brightly than in the first period and gradually began to exert some serious pressure on the Cobblers. Eight minutes into the half, Arron Davies put in a shot from the corner of the area that looked as though it was going well wide but curled late and in the end only missed the goalframe by a fraction. At the other end, Steve Mildenhall made a comfortable save from Northampton's Andy Kirk with the striker aiming his drive a little too much down the throat of the Yeovil keeper.

A superb breakaway initiated by Mildenhall though set Yeovil on their way to a strong attack on the Northampton goal. Throwing the ball out to Martin Brittain on the right flank, he in turn fed Lee Morris whose shot was blocked but straight into the path of Chris Cohen, who also managed a strike on the Northampton goal, only to find Pedj Bojic getting his body in the way.

Five minutes later there was a spot of controversy when Leon Best appeared to have his legs taken from underneath him as keeper Mark Bunn came out of his goal close to the corner flag to try and block a Yeovil run, but Best got his feet to the ball first, with Bunn slipping underneath Best as the striker wriggled away, Best's shot from a narrow angle was blocked on the goal-line by Joe Burnell to deny Yeovil once again with the ball flying out for a corner - even if Mr Shoebridge seemed to have an entirely different opinion to the rest of the crowd as to which side the corner should be taken from! From Martin Brittain's corner, full-back Martin Cranie went inches wide with a powerful header.

Leon Best surprised visiting keeper Mark Bunn midway through the half when he chose to fire in a shot to the near post instead of the more obvious choice of a cross and his snapshot almost caught the keeper unawares, spilling the ball wide of his goal. Arron Davies fired yet another long range attempt after he had been put in by Chris Cohen. The Glovers were enjoying their best spell of the game and Northampton were pretty much entrenched in their own half. Despite that, the breakthrough wouldn't come and Russell Slade decided to freshen up the pitch with Wayne Gray and Ishmael Welsh to see how Northampton's legs coped with two speed merchants on the fourth game on the Christmas schedule.

David Hunt forced Steve Mildenhall to beat the ball out for a corner in a rare Northampton attack as the game drew into the final 10 minutes, but it was a dreadfully cynical foul by Ian Taylor that brought the biggest howl of disgust from the Yeovil crowd. From that corner, Ishmael Welsh was fed the ball and broke clear, racing clear into the Northampton half. There was no way that any Cobblers defender was going to catch him legally, and so Taylor's attitude was to slide in and deliberately take out Welsh's legs as he ran through on goal. With two defenders goal-side this was never going to fit the description of a "professional foul" even if in its intent this is exactly what it was. Yeovil players remonstrated with the referee claiming that a straight red could be warranted and after Taylor only received a yellow, Chris Cohen's protests also earnt him a yellow, ruling both him and Nathan Jones out of the Nottingham Forest trip in 12 days time.

The game drew to a frustrating close with Chris Cohen firing wide after good work by Nathan Jones and Ishmael Welsh down the left flank saw them feed the Yeovil midfielder. Then three minutes into injury time with the last kick of the game, Leon Best grabbed possession on the right hand side of the penalty box, but cutting in, he elected to shoot at the near post and Mark Bunn got down to save, with Wayne Gray looking frustrated and unmarked on the six yard line.

A slight disappointment therefore that all the Glovers could gain was a 0-0 draw even if Northampton could easily have walked away with the points were it not for three tremendous saves from Steve Mildenhall during the match. The Glovers have got the eight points they probably would have targetted over the Christmas period so far - strange though that the two wins were on their travels whilst their form at home appears to have stalled a touch with two 0-0 draws perhaps not quite what the home crowd would want to see. The point though keeps them in a playoff spot just, and against a Northampton side that have frustrated so many sides away from home this season, that is no great disaster.

MOTM Vote Result:

Pos Player
1 Steve Mildenhall
2 Martin Cranie
3 Lee Morris

Overall match rating: 6.1 / 10
Performance: 5.9
Entertainment: 6.3

40 votes received.

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

Full-time: Yeovil Town 0 - 0 Northampton Town
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