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Season 2006-2007 : Yeovil Town vs Blackpool : Saturday 17th March 2007
Coca Cola League One : Yeovil Town vs Blackpool

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Venue: Huish Park
Saturday 17th March 2007, 3.00pm kick-off.

Conditions: Blustery wind
Pitch: Surprisingly bumpy and bobbly

Scorers: Andrew Morrell (0-1, 57 mins)

Attendance: 6.012 (including 390 Blackpool supporters)

Referee: Paul Armstrong (Berkshire)
Assistants: Steven Cook (Surrey) and Andrew Rodda (Devon)
Fourth official: Mike Mullarkey (Devon)

Yeovil: Wayne Gray (foul, 7 mins), Terrell Forbes (foul, 67 mins)
Blackpool: Shaun Barker (foul, 37 mins). Red Card: Shaun Barker (second bookable offence, 59 mins)

Team Line-Ups

Yeovil Town : (4-4-2)
1. Steve Mildenhall
6. Terrell Forbes 4. Terry Skiverton 5. Scott Guyett 28. Martin Cranie
9. Arron Davies 11. Chris Cohen 14. Jean-Paul Kalala 31. Nicholas Law
10. Wayne Gray 29. Marcus Stewart

Subs: 12. Martin Brittain (79 mins for Nicky Law) 15. Peter Sweeney 25. Lee Morris (85 mins for Wayne Gray) 32. Matthew Rose 33. Adam Rooney (66 mins for Scott Guyett)

Blackpool :
1. Paul Rachubka
25. Shaun Barker 29. Ian Evatt 33. Kaspars Gorkss 2. Danny Coid
8. Adrian Forbes 26. Claus Bech Jorgensen 20. David Fox 27. Wesley Hoolahan
10. Scott Vernon 18. Andrew Morrell

Subs: 21. Rhys Evans (GK) 5. Michael Jackson (63 mins for Wesley Hoolahan) 22. Marcus Bean 7. Keigan Parker (73 mins for Scott Vernon) 30. Simon Gillett (80 mins for Adrian Forbes)

Match Report

Russell Slade's midweek worries about Steve Mildenhall's back and Scott Guyett's ankle turned out to be unfounded as for once the Yeovil boss stuck with the same eleven players as took to the field against Cheltenham last week. There was perhaps a slight bit of readjustment within midfield with more of a flat bank of four being lined up rather than the diamond formation. Nicky Law was chosen as one of those wide players allowing Chris Cohen to take a central role.

Yeovil are often slow starters so it was pleasing to note how positively they came out of the blocks on this occasion - full of determination and a desire to be first to the ball, even if Wayne Gray's 6th minute booking for what can only be described as a "striker's challenge" on Blackpool full-back Shaun Barker, showed that perhaps that enthusiasm needed to be reined in a touch. Referee Paul Armstrong thought so too, with a fairly academic yellow card for Gray to sit on for 84 minutes.

A 14th minute chance down the left flank almost reaped dividends as Chris Cohen, Marcus Stewart, Wayne Gray and Arron Davies were all involved in an excellent move that ended when the ball was chested into the path of Davies, whose shot was deflected across the face of the area with no-one able to get on the rebound. At the other end, Blackpool weren't getting a lot out of the game - their best early attempt came from Adrian Forbes who picked the ball up wide, weaved through the centre but after he had created himself enough room he skewed the final shot well wide.

Midway through the half, Marcus Stewart went close with a touch of acrobatics. After Blackpool had failed to clear their lines, with the ball pinging around in the box, Stewart got the ball with his back to goal. Trying to catch the Blackpool defence off-guard, he hooked the ball over his shoulder but was unlucky to find it being blocked on the goal line. Then Chris Cohen let fly from the edge of the box with a ball that curled significantly - unfortunately for Cohen the curl took it wide and missed the target.

Shaun Barker became the first Blackpool player to land in the book after he upended Marcus Stewart out on the wing. This was a fiercely competitive game with tackles flying in all over the place and perhaps the only downer was that referee Paul Armstrong seemed a little too happy to stop play on a repetitive basis, frustrating Yeovil's attempts to keep the game flowing. Also frustrating the Glovers was the state of the Huish Park pitch - yes, you heard right! - it is not often this excellent surface comes in for criticism, but today it seemed bobbly, uneven and over-hard and the crossfield passes the Glovers attempted were often sent along the surface like a potato bouncing along a kitchen floor. Not the pitch quality that we are normally accustomed to thee days.

The half finished with the width of the woodwork denying Yeovil a goal - a cross from the right from Arron Davies was flicked on by Marcus Stewart and with goalkeeper Paul Rachubka beaten by the flight, the ball bounced tantalisingly onto the crossbar and over for a goal kick. Half time and 0-0 but on the whole a promising display, with Steve Mildenhall getting next to no opportunities to test out the strength of his back during the first 45 minutes.

Half-time: Yeovil Town 0 - 0 Blackpool

The second period didn't open too badly - Arron Davies made a weaving run through the centre of the park, seeing off a succession of challenges as he headed towards the Westland Stand. Play really opened up for him, but his eventual shot was a little too straight - making it relatively comfortable for keeper Paul Rachubka to collect the attempt.

But overall Yeovil weren't as sharp as they were in the first period, standing off far more than they had been and allowing Blackpool a fair bit of time on the ball. That somewhat lax start was to see Yeovil punished as Blackpool mounted a rare attack that was to be crucial. Martin Cranie failed to cut out a crossfield ball to Wes Hoolahan and as he exchanged passes with David Fox, the ball was thread through to Andrew MORRELL who instantly lashed the ball home from 12 yards out to give Blackpool the lead.

Being now up against it, the Glovers should have had a clear lifeline, when full-back Shaun Barker, already on a booking, committed an act of sheer stupidity out by the Westland Terrace touchline. Arron Davies had possession and tried to squeeze along the line, but Barker stuck out his elbow, made contact with the Yeovil winger's face, and the only real surprise was that referee Paul Armstrong didn't consider a straight red card offence. But Barker still walked for a second yellow card, and theoretically Yeovil now had a route back into the game. Hoolahan was immediately sacrificed as Michael Jackson wa brought on to fill in at the back and the challenge was for Yeovil to break Blackpool down.

The Glovers also reshuffled, bringing on Adam Rooney for him to make his debut, with Scott Guyett's exit seeing a formation reshuffle to fit in the extra forward. The Glovers have not exactly excelled this season when going a goal down at home, but with the extra man and the extra forward you would have thought this would be the exception to the rule. Sadly not so. Having spent most of the game following a rearguard action, Blackpool suddenly had an air of swagger about them - passing the ball around better than they had done at any other time in the game, and despite Yeovil getting the ball into the box on occasions, it rarely went within a mile of a green and white shirt in doing so.

Jean-Paul Kalala shot from distance in what seemed to be a sign of desperation creeping in as time ticked down rapidly as both sides made their substitutions - Blackpool in an effort to wind down the clock and Yeovil in an effort to get even more forward-thinking players on the pitch. But it was Yeovil's lack of invention that was the most frustrating out there. At times the positional sense of the players had to be questioned - on one occasion Marcus Stewart appeared to be the only player in the box when the ball was being pushed forward down the centre. A left-wing pass into space seemed to be the obvious move - but there was no left-winger! So Stewart moved out wide to collect the ball successfully, but that then left the problem that Marcus can't be in two places at once and with no Yeovil bodies in the penalty box where it mattered, there was nothing Stewart could do but to play it backwards.

It also says a lot that the nearest Yeovil came to scoring was from Steve Mildenhall! He pushed forward for a last minute corner, and his looping header went clean over keeper Paul Rachubka, but defender Claus Bech Jorgensen was covering on the line and headed the ball clear for a corner. Then in the third minute of injury time, Yeovil's puzzling attitude to getting the ball into the box was shown up again when with what was destined to be the last kick of the game and everyone up for a corner in a packed penalty box, the Glovers decided to play a short corner! Blackpool came out in numbers, closed down the guilty pair and any hope of getting the ball into the box was lost - along with the game.

Another 0-1 home defeat was inevitable, and whilst Steve Mildenhall was a spectator for the majority of the match, Blackpool keeper Paul Rachubka was hardly troubled - particularly in the second half when Yeovil should have been turning the screw on their visitors, but strangely never did. Their punishment was to be Sunday training - and if Russell Slade has watched the same game I did, then the one key thing he would have worked on during their "day off" would be the delivery of the ball into the box and the moves of player to get themselves on the end of the ball in that area. Yeovil need their player to deliver dangerous balls into the box and need players willing to attack the ball when those crosses are delivered. They seem to be able to do that away from home, but when at Huish Park the away sides pack the goalmouth, they seem unable or unwilling to do that, and that is the puzzle that Russell Slade needs to unravel during the final eight games of the League One season.

Full-time: Yeovil Town 0 - 1 Blackpool
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Last Updated : 18th March 2007
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