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Season 2005-2006 : Port Vale v Yeovil Town : Saturday 11th February 2006
Football League One : Port Vale 1 - 0 Yeovil Town

Venue: Vale Park
Sat 11th Feb 2006, 3pm kick-off.

Conditions: Cold, clear skies
Pitch: Dreadful - didn't look like it had been rolled and was cut to ribbons by the end

Scorers: Leo Constantine (52, 0-1)

Attendance: 4,732 (including 331 Glovers fans)

Referee: Clive Oliver (Northumberland)
Assistants: Gary Hilton (Lancs), Nigel Smith (Derbys)
Fourth official: Patrick Keane (West Midlands)

Bookings:
Yeovil: Adam Lockwood (82, foul)
Port Vale: Craig James (71, dissent)

Team Line-Ups

Yeovil Town : (4-4-2)
1. Chris Weale
14. Andy Lindegaard 12. Kevin Amankwaah 2. Adam Lockwood 11. Nathan Jones
7. Paul Terry 8. Anthony Barry 29. Chris Cohen 18. David Poole
9. Kevin Gall 10. Phil Jevons

Subs: 13. Steven Collis (GK) 15. Steven Reed 20. Matt Harrold (54, for Terry) 25. Arron Davies (74, for Poole) 27. Daniel Webb (74, for Gall)

Port Vale :
1. Mark Goodlad 15. George Abbey 2. George Pilkington 27. Mark McGregor 3. Craig James 8. Michael Cummins 12. Tony Dinning 18. Mark Innes 10. Sean Doherty 9. Nathan Lowndes 33. Leon Constantine

Subs: 24. Jonny Brain (GK) 11. Jeff Smith (45, for Innes) 4. Danny Sonner (46, for Dinning) 30. Michael Husbands (77, for Doherty) 16. Steve Rowland

Match Report

Not the best of match preparation for Steve Thompson, as his dwindling number of central defenders dwindled even further up at the hotel as Colin Miles dropped out of the squad following an overnight bout of suspected food poisoning - makes you wonder if the Glovers will be choosing that hotel next season if they are still in the same division as Vale. The repercussions of that late problem, rippled throughout the team and that combined with the planned changes to react to last Saturday's poor second half against Southend United and the end result was only five players - David Poole, Nathan Jones, Phil Jevons, Adam Lockwood and Anthony Barry - retaining their positions in the starting eleven, and Stephen Reed and Daniel Webb making rare positions on the substitute bench.

With Yeovil operating with two smaller centre forwards, it was vital that they kept the ball on the deck and an early move saw Kevin Gall sprint his way down the right flank, providing a peach of a cross-field ball that David Poole latched onto, coming in from the opposite flank, but his first time shot was denied by a fantastic block by Vale keeper Mark Goodlad, and then by a linesman's flag.

At the other end of the park, Sean Doherty sent one shot flying wide of Chris Weale, whilst Nathan Lowndes turn and shoot ended up with the same end result. The game as a whole was a frantic high-speed one with both sides playing a swift passing game but the defences overall keeping matters largely under control with cast iron chances during the first period at a premium. Vale had marginally the upper hand on the creative factors - Mark Innes fed Sean Doherty out on the left wing and he in turn put in a low cross for Tony Dinning to fire on goal, but Chris Weale pushed the ball round the post at full stretch to force a corner. From that set piece, Wealey punched bravely to clear his lines and was alert enough to block the ball on the opposite post seconds later as Port Vale grabbed another corner.

That mid-half period was to be Port Vale's best spell of the game, and Leon Constantine almost scored a wonderful goal when he took down a 40 yard ball over the top of the Yeovil defence superbly on his right instep, and battling forward, lifted the ball above the advancing Chris Weale but in doing so also managed to clear the crossbar.

As the half closed though, play swung back in favour of the visitors. Firstly a Chris Cohen corner struck the outside of the woodwork with keeper Goodlad seemingly just watching as the ball pinged back towards the corner flag. Next David Poole cut inside beautifully on the left wing, curling a strike that saw Mark Goodlad parry away from goal excellently. The ball came back out to Phil Jevons on the opposite flank, who immediately cut the ball back for Kevin Gall, but when he fired first time, Goodlad was back in position to save low down to his left. In the end a fairly even and entertaining half with it slightly surprising that neither side had managed to break the deadlock.

Half-time: Port Vale 0 - 0 Yeovil Town

Port Vale made a double substitution at half time as injury forced them to rearrange their side somewhat, and the opening five minutes was a scrappy affair that implied that the match might be fizzling out a touch. The pitch had cut up badly during the first period and large divots could be seen all over the pitch during the half time break, so perhaps it was becoming harder to play a purist football game as time went on. However, perhaps Adam Lockwood will contest that the deterioration of the pitch was in part responsible for what was to transpire.

Seven minutes into the second half, Nathan Lowndes sent through midfield what appeared to be a harmless ball but Adam Lockwood's 'golf air shot' blotted his otherwise impeccable copybook, letting in Leon CONSTANTINE behind the Yeovil defence. Despite two defenders attempting to recover the situation, the end result was that they got in the way of the advancing Chris Weale, allowing Constantine the ability to round the keeper and shoot into an empty net. 1-0 and another upward climb was going to be needed.

Almost immediately, Steve Thompson responded by introducing Matt Harrold onto the field of play, replacing Paul Terry who had struggled to achieve anything out on the right flank. Harrold moved into the centre, with initially Kevin Gall going wide-right, but almost immediately Phil Jevons found his way out there instead for one of the game's more confusing moments.

Port Vale predictably slowed the game down to a snail's pace - after 52 minutes worth of fast attacking play, they made a clear conscious decision to try and play out the remaining 38 minutes at half pace, packing men behind the ball to protect their slender lead. Steve Thompson's response for a game that was in danger of slipping away, was to take off Kevin Gall and David Poole and introduce Daniel Webb and Arron Davies. Vale's only real chances were on the break and were rare with Jeff Smith's attempt to extend their lead, thwarted by a brilliant blocking tackle by Andy Lindegaard just as the substitute shaped to shoot on goal.

The arrival of Daniel Webb on the field, working in tamden with Matt Harrold seemed to upset the Port Vale back line. Now having to track two big strikers, they struggled to cope with a Yeovil attack that was closer to a 4-2-4 formation with Davies and Jevons both operating as wide strikers, and Lindegaard and Jones operating as wing-backs.

Nathan Jones forced Mark Goodlad into a fantastic save as he drove a rising shot towards the top corner, with the keeper forcing the ball out for a corner. Then even when Yeovil beat Goodland, they were still denied - Adam Lockwood's header from a corner was heading for the corner of the net but George Abbey's goal line header stopped the Glovers gaining what would have been by now a fully deserved equaliser.

The Yeovil onslaught was rather bizarrely thwarted in the final minutes with a spectator getting onto the pitch for reasons that can only be known to him. Kevin Amankwaah was being used as the only defender when the Glovers went up for set pieces, and this Port Vale 'fan' was able to get onto the centre of the pitch without a single home steward moving a muscle towards him. A lone steward eventually reacted with the fan confronting the Yeovil defender, but the spectator was easily able to out-sprint him and race for the side stand. It looked like the poor stewarding was going to be defeated - that was until our 'fan' tried to vault back over the perimeter wall whereupon a Vale fan inside the stand did what half the ground would have like to have done - delivering an excellent upper-cut to flatten the 'fan' back onto the pitch. A moment that would have brought even a smile to those increasingly disappointed Glovers fans behind the goal. Football Fans 1 Idiots 0.

As the game went into injury time, and the home fans whistling and begging the match official to blow up for time, Phil Jevons cut in from the right with the ball and saw a clear strike on goal. But he dragged his shot across the face of goal, and sent the ball just wide of the far post. So close but yet so far! Yeovil were to come home pointless despite having had the home side on the back foot for most of the final part of the game, but at the moment the ball just won't go in the net for the Glovers and what must be a growing concern for Steve Thompson is that since their main playmaker Lee Johnson left the club, Yeovil Town have scored only one goal in four games and despite all of the possession, team spirit and will to win that still exists, that is a worrying statistic. A win against MK Dons on Tuesday is undoubtedly what Yeovil need to avoid a drama being turned into a crisis. But even then with the Yeovil squad paper thin in certain areas, Thommo must be given the remit to bring in some quality players to ease the pressure on his enthusiastic, young, but on the whole inexperienced and learning team.

Badger

MOTM Vote Result:

Player MOTM Score
Kevin Amankwaah 4 527
Anthony Barry 3 509
Chris Cohen 3 400
Adam Lockwood - 164
Andy Lindegaard 1 109

Overall match rating: 5.4 / 10
Performance: 5.8
Entertainment: 5

11 votes received.

Any comments/questions please email yeo.motm@ntlworld.com

Full-time: Port Vale 1 - 0 Yeovil Town
Match reports are welcomed by Ciderspace for publication - they can be as long or short as you like, humourous or serious as you prefer; and we welcome more than one viewpoint - the more the merrier! Send them to us as soon as possible after the game to ytfcciderspace@yahoo.com, or simply post them to the Ciderspace Mailing-List or Fans Forum and we will pick them up from there.

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Last Updated : 11th February 2006
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