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Season 2006-2007 : Yeovil Town vs Millwall : Saturday 3rd February 2007
Coca Cola League One : Yeovil Town vs Brentford

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Venue: Huish Park
Saturday 3rd February 2007, 3.00pm kick-off.

Scorers: Ben May (0-1, 12 mins)

Attendance: 5,810 (including 596 Millwall supporters)

Referee: Rob Lewis (Shropshire)
Assistants: Graham Scott (Oxfordshire), Malcolm West (Cornwall)
Fourth official: James Cox (Worcestershire)

Bookings:
Yeovil: Marcus Stewart (foul, 58 mins), Jaen-Paul Kalala (foul, 90 mins)
Millwall: Darren Byfield (foul, 27 mins), Neil Harris (foul, 36 mins), Ben May (foul, 40 mins), Chris Zebroski (kicking ball away, 65 mins), Lenny Pidgeley (timewasting, 87 mins)

Team Line-Ups

Yeovil Town : (4-4-2)
1. Steve Mildenhall
16. Andy Lindegaard 5. Scott Guyett 6. Terrell Forbes 3. Nathan Jones
9. Arron Davies 11. Chris Cohen 14. Jean-Paul Kalala 15. Peter Sweeney
29. Marcus Stewart 30. Leon Best

Subs: 2. Anthony Tonkin 10. Wayne Gray (82 mins for Andy Lindegaard) 12. Martin Brittain (64 mins for Arron Davies) 25. Lee Morris (75 mins for Marcus Stewart) 27. Ishmael Welsh

Millwall :
1. Lenny Pidgeley 17. Danny Senda 28. Mark Phillips 5. Paul Robinson 3. Tony Craig 4. Marvin Elliott 14. David Brammer 24. Neal Ardley 8. Neil Harris 9. Ben May 10. Darren Byfield

Subs: 13. Chris Day (GK) 12. Chris Hackett 15. Tom Brighton (80 mins for Neil Harris) 26. Chris Zebroski (53 mins for Ben May) 30. Poul Hubertz

Match Report

Russell Slade once again was forced to do without his club captain as Terry Skiverton bowed out pre-match having failed to recover from a virus picked up at the start of the week, but was boosted by two loan signing - Peter Sweeney and Martin Brittain - during the week, plus the return of Lee Morris to the squad. However, Anthony Barry's absence through a training ground injury meant that Sweeney was chucked in the deep end, whilst Skivo's replacement was predictably Scott Guyett. Millwall arrived admitting that they would settle for a 0-0 draw - something they had yet to achieve away from home this season - something that was likely to mean pretty predictable tactics from an away side at Huish Park this season.

The match started with the visitors applying a lot of early physical pressure, doubtless trying to upset the concentration of the Glovers. Ben May squirmed past Scott Guyett for an early attempt that went just past Steve Mildenhall's right-hand post with the striker certainly causing a degree of problems early on, winning several early free kicks. The odd off the ball little niggle and shove from the visitors gave an idea of what to expect. This was not going to be an afternoon of pretty football if the Lions had anything to do with it.

Leon Best thought he had won a penalty when he looked to be upended inside the box, when he got into a tangle with a Millwall defender. Best immediately got to his feet with the ball still loose but Millwall keeper Lenny Pidgeley managed to get to it first, with referee Rob Lewis unmoved. The Glovers have yet to win a penalty this season and you start to wonder when one of these decisions will go their way.

Millwall were in the main having the best of the early period, but Yeovil were getting plenty of opportunities on the break though, carving open the left flank with Peter Sweeney, Marcus Stewart and Chris Cohen taking it in turns to go that wing. One such occasion saw Sweeney and Cohen combine well but when the ball was squared to Arron Davies he couldn't keep his shot down and the ball looped over the bar.

The bright start from the Lions though, got them a goal that was probably deserved based on the early play. The move started when the pacey Marvin Elliott managed to get up speed down the right wing. Getting to the byline, he was challenged by Nathan Jones but the ball ricocheted off Jones allowing Elliott to take the ball past his man along the byline. The right-winger got in his cross and Ben MAY netted from close range at the back post with the shot taking a slight deflection off Scott Guyett before it sneaked past Steve Mildenhall's right-hand post.

The Glovers own performance was a bit of a curate's egg. Whilst the momentum down the left wing through Sweeney was promising during the early stages, their defensive performance without Terry Skiverton in the back line looked nervous, with goalscorer May in particular seeing far too much of the ball in the final third. It wasn't just that his replacement Scott Guyett looked inferior - as has been seen in other games recently when Skivo has not made the match, the whole back line ends up looking jittery and it is no wonder that he goes back into the team whenever he is available.

Darren Byfield was booked for not allowing Chris Cohen to take a quick free kick, with the Glovers midfielder making his point by trying to push the striker out of the way - perhaps not the best thing to do with card-happy referees about these days, but fortunately referee Lewis understood Cohen's motives.

Gradually as the half wore on, the Glovers got into their stride although the final ball into the box was somewhat lacking on occasions. Sweeney was undoubtedly the major outlet for the creativity, and the Stoke man came inches away from connecting with Leon Best on one such cross. But far too often the set pieces and crosses were landing in positions where Millwall were able to easily clear. It was proving too easy for Millwall to hold onto their lead.

Neil Harris was booked for a poor tackle on Leon Best, long after the ball had gone. Then Ben May was booked for attempting to rough up Scott Guyett, needlessly shoving him as he shepherded the ball into Steve Mildenhall's arms. Certainly the visitors were not there to be timid in their approach to the game although you have to wonder what their card-count must be like if this is the way they play the game every week.

The Lions finished the half strongly though and Darren Byfield should have scored when he got into a one-on-one position with Steve Mildenhall but he delayed his shot and Mildenhall did enough to put him off. Then right on the stroke of half time, Marvin Elliott missed a great chance when he lost Terrell Forbes, getting in behind the Glovers defence, but he produced an awful shot that went well wide and the Glovers were let off the hook with the visitors no doubt feeling that they should have been going in at half time with a 2-0 lead. Definitely the Glovers looked a long way off being able to come back into the game at this stage.

Half-time: Yeovil Town 0 - 1 Millwall

Ben May was replaced by Chris Zebrowski early in the second half after the goalscorer was injured early in the second period, going down for lengthy treatment, briefly continuing but ultmimately having to limp off the field of play permanently.

Although the Glovers were pressing a little better in the second period, there was still little change to their ability to really threaten the Millwall goal, struggling to create clearcut chances for the strikers to seize upon. The best chance - and in fact almost the first chance - of the second period came when Marcus Stewart evaded the Millwall back line 18 minutes into the half, finding Leon Best in the centre but he couldn't keep his header down and it looped over the bar.

With little happening in the main though, Russell Slade made his first change of the day when Arron Davies was replaced by Martin Brittain, 20 minutes into the half and with little having happened, save for Millwall keeping a rigid back line, and the Glovers huffing and puffing - switching a few nice passes around the field before either one loose one went astray, or a poor cross proved meat and drink for the Millwall central defenders.

Midway through the second period though, Steve Mildenhall made a fantastic double-save from a Millwall free kick, firstly producing a block from a Marvin Elliott attempt after the ball was put into the box, and then when the ball ran loose, he bravely recovered into the mass of bodies and flung himself on the ball to protect his goal and stop Yeovil falling even further behind.

It didn't appear that Russell Slade was particularly impressed at what was going on out there, as he made a second change with 15 minutes remaining, with Marcus Stewart being replaced by Lee Morris as yet more fresh legs up front were introduced in an effort to unpick a Lions back line that in all honesty looked very comfortable with what they had to do.

Leon Best put a shot into the arms of the Millwall keeper from the edge of the box - not the greatest of attempts but at least it was on target which was more than could be said for what most other Glovers achieved during the afternoon. There wasn't an awful lot that keeper Lenny Pidgeley had to do all afternoon and that is never a good sign when trying to judge whether a team is going to get back into the game. Whilst Millwall were able to keep the Glovers at bay, it was pretty obvious which way this one was going.

Peter Sweeney had long since faded from the match during the second half and so it was perhaps a slight surprise when Andy Lindegaard went off for Wayne Gray as Russell Slade maximised his attacking options, changing to a 3-4-3 in the final minutes. Jean-Paul Kalala booked for a foul on Marvin Elliott that showed a degree of frustration at the fact that the minutes were ticking down.

Six minutes of injury time were awarded with the series of substitutions as well as three Millwall players being booked for timewasting or encroachment no doubt being in the referee's mind when he totted up what needed to be allowed for in the closing minutes. As if spurred on by the unexpected extra time, Yeovil did provide some kind of a mini-surge right at the death. Steve Mildenhall came up for a corner, even managing to get a head onto the ball as the Glovers finally put the Millwall penalty box under some kind of a siege but the Lions bodies were enough to get in the way of the ball. Scott Guyett looped a header over the bar from another free kick, but it wasn't really enough, with Pidgeley never really forced to work for his money prior to the final whistle.

Stifled out of the game, and lacking the invention to unlock the Millwall back line, Yeovil never really deserved a lot out of this game. Millwall had a fairly ugly gameplan but it was one that worked, and one that bore an uncanny resemblance to that adopted by Cheltenham late last year. Certainly Russell Slade needs to work on how his team approach the problem of the crowded penalty box in future weeks as the clubs at the wrong end of the table are proving far more problematic than their table position would expect them to be. The only saving grace is that a day of shock results sees Yeovil's 5th placed position and four point cushion undamaged, although that in turn shows what could have been if a better performance had been served up today.

MOTM Vote Result:

Pos Player
1 Terrell Forbes
2 Chris Cohen
3 Peter Sweeney

Overall match rating: 3.5 / 10
Performance: 3.3
Entertainment: 3.7

34 votes received.

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

Full-time: Yeovil Town 0 - 1 Millwall
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