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Season 2005-2006 : Walsall v Yeovil Town : Tuesday 21st March 2006
Football League One : Walsall 0 - 2 Yeovil Town

Venue: Bescot Stadium
Tues 21st March 2006, 7.45pm kick-off.

Conditions: Was this really the first day of spring?
Pitch: Good

Scorers: Matt Harrold (24, 0-1), Arron Davies (33, 0-2)

Attendance: 4,464 (including approx 250 Glovers fans)

Referee: Darren Drysdale (Lincs)
Assistants: Martin Dexter (Leics), Michael Murphy (W Midlands)
Fourth official: Neil Hancox

Bookings:
Yeovil: Marc Wilson (45, foul)
Walsall: Ishmel Demontagnac (11, foul), Grant Smith (48, foul), Anthony Gerrard (82, dissent). Red card: Ishmel Demontagnac (88, foul, 2nd bookable offence)

Team Line-Ups

Yeovil Town : (3-5-2)
13. Steven Collis
2. Adam Lockwood 4. Terry Skiverton 17. Scott Guyett
12. Kevin Amankwaah 26. Marc Wilson 7. Paul Terry 29. Chris Cohen 14. Andy Lindegaard
25. Arron Davies 20. Matt Harrold

Subs: 11. Nathan Jones (19, for Amankwaah) 9. Kevin Gall (90, for Davies) 10. Phil Jevons 27. Daniel Webb 31. Michael Jordan (GK)

Walsall :
1. Andy Oakes 14. Mark Wright 4. Anthony Gerrard 6. Ian Roper 3. Daniel Fox 40. Kevin James 28. Michael Leary 17. Grant Smith 33. Ishmel Demontagnac 18. Andrew Barrowman 23. Paul Devlin

Subs: 2. Craig Pead 5. Chris Westwood (54, for Smith) 9. Mads Timm (46, for Wright) 29. Scott P Fitzgerald 31. Rene Gilmartin (GK)

Match Report

Steve Thompson came to the Bescot Stadium using the same formation that played the second half at Bournemouth although there were a few tweaks along the way. David Poole dropped out of the sixteen entirely, whilst Marc Wilson replaced Nathan Jones in the central midfield area. Most welcoming of all was the sight of Phil Jevons landing on the bench for the first time since he limped out of the Blackpool game.

Walsall got off to a reasonable early start although as was to materialise, several of their players appeared to have their boots on round the wrong way tonight. Wing-back Ishmel Demontagnac slipped into the box unnoticed with just four minutes gone but when a right wing ball came in his direction, he sliced his attempt wildly back towards the direction of the cross. Demontagnac got himself involved in the game's next major incident - a wild challenge on Kevin Amankwaah on the corner of the area that saw Amankwaah receive lengthy treatment and Demontagnac land in the book.

It had been a promising start by the Glovers, and so it was something of a disappointment when Amankwaah found he could not continue after hobbling about the pitch for five minutes or so, and he had to be replaced by Nathan Jones, who switched over to the left, allowing Andy Lindegaard to get over to a right wing-back position. However sometimes when players switch wings, defences fail to pick up their markers and that proved to be true as Andy Lindegaard raced through with the ball up the right flank, cutting inside and delivering a peach of a ball to Matt HARROLD. The Yeovil striker chested the ball down, and volleyed sweetly into the back of the net from eight yards out for his first goal since his winner at Rotherham in mid-December. Not surprisingly he celebrated with gusto in front of the travelling 250 fans!

Walsall almost equalised when Ishmel Demontagnac managed to slip down the left touchline and cut inside close to the goal-line. Pulling the ball back into the path of Kevin James, Yeovil's Nathan Jones superbly tackled to remove the ball off the boot of the Walsall player and eliminate the danger. But the Glovers were deserving of their lead, and the home crowd were not wasting time in showing their frustration, even if this was new manager Kevan Broadhurst's home debut at the Bescot Stadium. No honeymoon period here as boos started to be heard as early as half an hour into the game.

Terry Skiverton went close with a header as he moved up for a free kick from the right hand side, but keeper Andy Oakes got down well to save. However just past the half hour mark, Yeovil were getting close to having the match wrapped up with their second goal of the game. Marc Wilson's harmless looking header looped over Walsall defender Ian Roper, and his misjudgement of the subsequent bounce let in Arron DAVIES who was lurking just behind ready to scoop up the loose ball, take a forward stride then drill the ball into the back of the net from 10 yards out. After Saturday's performance, 2-0 up and who would have believed that?

Wilson completed his first half in a Yeovil shirt by landing in the book for a rather over-enthusiastic challenge on Ishmel Demontagnac. The latter was rather lucky to not receive his marching orders - barging Wilson as he walked past him. Luckily for the Walsall wideman referee Darren Drysdale only saw Wilson's offence. But the half ended to loud cheers from the away end and a chorus of boos from the home end as there was little doubt who had gone in the break on top both in terms of the scoreline and the performance.

Half-time: Walsall 0 - 2 Yeovil Town

Former Glovers transfer target Mads Timm replaced Mark Wright at half time. Grant Smith landed in the book for a foul early on and found himself being replaced by Chris Westwood as Walsall struggled to gain a foothold in the second period. The home side's frustration with their side began to reach fever pitch when a sloppy throw-out by keeper Andy Oakes saw Chris Cohen intercept off the Walsall right-back and cut inside, putting a lovely ball across the six yard line that Matt Harrold was inches away from getting on the end of.

Oakes redeemed himself with a superb save when a Chris Cohen corner was headed towards goal by Scott Guyett, fell lose to Arron Davies, who stabbed his shot at goal only to find the Walsall goal getting his body in the way. A second attempt from Davies was blocked and by now it looked more likely that the game would reach 3-0 than find Walsall getting back into the game.

Kevin James did prove there was some life in the Walsall front line as he got in front of Adam Lockwood for a left wing cross down at the other end, but his attempt to hit the target was woeful and the header went well wide.

At the Walsall end though, Yeovil were beginning to run their opponents ragged. Matt Harrold, suddenly with his tail up after his goal, skipped through the Walsall defence, riding several tackles before the ball broke loose to Arron Davies on the corner of the penalty area, who curled a shot just beyond Andy Oakes's far post.

Davies got himself into another great position moments later when he beat Walsall's offside trap by latching onto a bouncing ball. Allowing it to bounce once he lobbed the advancing Oakes but a deserved third goal just wouldn't come for the Glovers. Next Chris Cohen, Arron Davies and Nathan Jones interchanged passes out on the left flank with Walsall unable to get a tackle in on the trio before Jones broke away and shot across the angle of the goal. The home crowd vented their fury at the ease at which the Glovers had breezed through the static Walsall defence, and by this point - still midway through the second half - it was clear that many had had enough and were beginning to stream out of the Bescot Stadium.

The poor tannoy announcer had a job on his hands when attempting to announce that the club's Man of the Match text-voting lines were open, barely getting his first few words out of his mouth before he was drowned out by the howls of disgust in what was by now a horrible atmosphere for the home side to play in. The PA man tried again a few seconds later with the same end result, with it doubtful that anyone genuinely heard what he had to say.

The abuse continued with this time keeper Andy Oakes the target as he completely miscued a backpass clearance out into the path of Arron Davies. Defender Anthony Gerrard rescued the keeper's blushes but the vivid crowd responded with 'What A Load Of Rubbish'. Whilst Yeovil's passing game in the second half was part of Walsall's downfall, the dreadful defending and long-ball football was showing now a shadow of the side that had dumped Yeovil out of the FA Cup in December.

Chris Cohen and Nathan Jones teamed up in the dying minutes to nearly produce a third goal. Cohen's corner was blocked by a defender, but Nathan Jones won the loose ball, fed Cohen again, whose cross was met by Terry Skiverton who saw his shot cleared off the line by Anthony Gerrard, rescuing his side for the second time in five minutes.

As the stadium emptied in their hundreds, Arron Davies once again took advantage of dreadful defending from Ian Roper again, as his weak back-header was intercepted by the Yeovil striker, flicking on his own header just wide of the target. The crowd just gave up their attempts to voice their frustration and used their feet instead. Worse was to come for the home side though. A daft tackle from behind on Matt Harrold by Ishmel Demontagnac, who had been walking a tightrope all through the game on a yellow card, saw the inevitable happen and Walsall were down to ten men. From that free kick, Paul Terry and Chris Cohen combined well near the corner flag with Cohen feeding Terry into space, and his subsequent run and shot again forcing Oakes to deny Yeovil a late goal.

A magnificent win for the Glovers though, and one that they deserved to have in the bag by a far higher margin. A deserved mention to the 250 travelling supporters on the night, who were utterly outstanding in their support for the team - both whilst the score was 0-0 and thereafter throughout the game. Even from the opposite side of the ground, the cries of "Stevie Thompson's Green and White Army" could be heard loud and clear. Walsall were dire to say the least, and represent a stark warning that changing your manager does not necessarily cure the underlying ills in a club, but you can only beat what you get put out there against you, and the Glovers did that superbly and came home with not only three priceless points, but renewed optimism for the remaining fixtures.

Badger

MOTM Vote Result:

Player MOTM Score
Chris Cohen 6 553
Scott Guyett 3 365
Arron Davies 4 329
Paul Terry 2 200
Adam Lockwood 1 141
Nathan Jones 1 71

Overall match rating: 8.1 / 10
Performance: 8.4
Entertainment: 7.8

19 votes received.

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

Full-time: Walsall 0 - 2 Yeovil Town
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Last Updated : 21st March 2006
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