Glovers boss Gary Johnson had threatened in his pre-match analysis that he would be reacting to the defeat at Grimsby
by making a number of changes, and he kept to his word by doing a spot of squad rotation to keep things fresh.
Kevin Gall and Bartosz Tarachulski - both substituted at Grimsby - dropped out of the side, allowing Paul Terry and
Rory Fallon to take their places. More subtly Phil Jevons and Arron Davies swapped left wing and striker positions.
Northampton started like a greyhound out of the traps and had the Glovers all over the place in the first ten minutes.
Gary Johnson had initially planned to watch the game from the heights of the main stand but within about five minutes
he had raced down to bark out instructions as Yeovil failed to get their early shape right. They looked completely
baffled by an early Northampton free kick move awarded after a foul by Terry Skiverton on Eric Sabin. After three players
dummied the ball, the fourth saw Martin Smith strike the ball, David Rowson flick it on, and Scott McGleish attempt an
overhead kick that Chris Weale brilliantly tipped over on his near post.
Rowson had another early shot from the edge of the area heavily deflected, with Wealey once again scrambling to push the
ball round for a corner. The Glovers were getting pulled all over the pitch by the Northampton movement off the ball and
individual players were losing their markers or looking like a bag of nerves when they did manage to get hold of the
The barking of instructions from the sidelines from Messrs Johnson and Thompson gradually calmed things down though
and soon it was Cobblers boss Colin Calderwood who was screaming at his players as first Andy Lindegaard and then
Darren Way were allowed to ghost through the middle of the park on solo runs, with the home defence kindly waving them
through unchallenged. Luckily for Calderwood's side keeper Lee Harper smothered both shots.
McGleish tried his luck from the edge of the area, but Wealey was able to beat out the shot. With just 13 minutes
gone in a frenetic start to the game, Northampton thought they had a lead, only to find the goal ruled out.
Eric Sabin knocked the ball out of Chris Weale's hands as he prepared to take a goal kick, and although
Graham Salisbury did nothing to stop the move, when Lee Williamson put the ball in the net, linesman Michael McPherson
reminded Salisbury of his duties by flagging for the foul.
McGleish had been badly hurt by his earlier overhead kick acrobatics, and had to withdraw with an injured arm
with Norwich City striker Danny Crow taking his place. At this stage Yeovil were just starting to impose
themselves on the game, and the loss of the striker seemed to require Northampton time to adjust. Phil Jevons
picked up the ball for Yeovil on the edge of the area and volleyed at goal forcing Harper to tip his drive onto
the crossbar and ultimately for a corner. From the resultant corner, Terry Skiverton's header had to be cleared
off the line by Lee Williamson who was stood on the post, blocking the chance.
Arron Davies had his penalty appeals turned down midway through the half when a Northampton defender clearly grabbed
hold of his shirt and hauled him to the floor but to add insult to injury when Davies fell on the ball, his arm contact
resulted in a free kick being given against him for handball!
Despite the early scares, Yeovil were by this time well on top of the game and it was no surprise when they grabbed
the lead on the half hour mark. A foul on Rory Fallon by Chris Willmott saw Lee Johnson take a quick free kick whilst the
Northampton players were still arguing with the referee, and the Cobblers were caught cold. Finding Andy Lindegaard wide
on the right, his ball into the centre was dummied at the near post allowing Arron DAVIES an easy chance
to convert from six yards out, proving that he doesn't just score 30-yarders for the Glovers!
Five minutes later it would have been 2-0 if not for a wonderful save by Lee Harper. Another Lee Johnson free kick
wide on the right seemed to be tailor-made for a floating cross and that was doubtless what the Cobblers were bracing
themselves for. But instead, Lee drove the ball low and hard across the six yard line and as Rory Fallon reacted first,
Harper showed instinctive reactions to palm the ball over the bar.
Northampton looked shell-shocked and on the backfoot, but Yeovil know from past experience that they can be dangerous
at the drop of a hat. Tommy Jaszczun proved that right on the half-time break when after a slight period of comeback
by the home side, Jaszczun drove the ball across the face of the box, with the ball pinging off the foot of Chris
Weale's left hand post. But that was as good as it got for the Cobblers following their early burst of pressure,
and the Glovers could consider themselves more than happy with the first 45 minutes of football.