With the proverbial mountain to climb, an early breakthrough seemed important
and Andy Lindegaard tried a shot just thirty seconds after the restart,
but failed to trouble the keeper as it drifted wide. He continued to run
at the defence and was hauled down by Clark, but the resulting free kick
was headed wide by Roy O?Brien under pressure from defenders.
Abdehalim El Kholti was the next to be fouled, with Burgess the offender,
but again Mr Tomlin kept his cards in his pocket. Johnson's free kick was
met by the head of Pluck. He landed in a heap, but seemed alright to continue,
although his subsequent withdrawal may at least partially have been as a
result of this collision.
An El Kholti throw was headed on by Jackson to Gall, but when he pushed
the ball through he was blocked by Sampson. Another free kick, but again
no caution. A Williams corner was headed down by O'Brien, but blasted over
the crowded penalty area and bar by Pluck. Gavin Williams was the next Glover
to be brought down, midway into the Northampton half. Another free kick.
Again, no caution. Perhaps Mr Tomlin had left his cards in his dressing
room by mistake?
With an hour on the clock El Kholti played a ball into the area which Colin
Pluck - in a very attacking role - crossed high across the box in a real
rugby style 'up and under'. The ball was headed on, but then headed off
the line by Luke Chambers. Two goal line clearances - perhaps this just
wasn't Yeovil's day? Another chance a minute later saw Darren Way get the
ball to Kirk Jackson in the area, but his downward header went straight
to Thompson. Almost immediately after Jackson ran into the area with keeper
Glyn Thompson diving at his feet. The ball squirmed loose, and Williams
shot was blocked. The ball fell to Gall, whose shot was gathered gratefully
buy the now upright Thompson.
A Northampton substitution saw Marc Richards replace Martin Smith up front.
Yeovil were spreading the ball around nicely, but with no end result, and
so also made a change with Adam Stansfield on for Kirk Jackson.
A speculative long shot from Williams went over the bar, followed there
by a Lockwood header after a Johnson free kick was nodded across the area
by Pluck. The free kick was earned when Lindegaard was pulled down yet again.
A fine long ball by Johnson, who hadn't had the best of games, saw Stansfield
put El Kholti away on the left wing, earning a corner. Colin Pluck continued
to play his more forward role, but after indicating some sort of problem
to the bench he was replaced by Hugo Rodrigues in the 71st minute.
After 12 minutes on the field Northampton substitute Marc Richards seemed
reluctant to allow Yeovil to take a throw-in, and decided to hold onto the
ball. At this point Mr Tomlin rediscovered his cards, and added Richards
name to his book.
Darren Way tried a shot from outside of the box, and although a reasonable
effort it went wide of the left hand post. Gary Johnson made his final change
with Paul Terry coming on for Andy Lindegaard, who I felt had been one of
Yeovil's better players. A Johnson corner gave Way a chance to shoot from
closer range, and Thompson saved well by punching the ball away.
With just ten minutes left Yeovil were awarded another free kick, with Gall
having been brought down. This was taken quickly, and handled by Paul Trollope
who was well within ten yards of the ball. This earned him a booking, and
his disagreement saw the free kick brought forward to the very edge of the
penalty area. El Kholti took the kick, but shot straight at Thompson.
In the 83rd minute Williams was tripped just outside the area by Oliver
Burgess, and speculation amongst Yeovil fans varied between a yellow card
and a straight red, and it was a yellow card shown. The free kick was passed
from Johnson to Way, who crossed. The cross was chested down by O'Brien
for Lockwood to shoot but his shot cleared the bar.
With three minutes of normal time remaining Northampton replaced striker
Dudfield with midfielder Paul Harsley. The last few minutes saw a Johnson
corner headed over by Hugo Rodrigues; a last minute Stansfield shot deflected
over for a corner; a brilliant Weale save from Low after he was put through
by Richards; and a Northampton defender hoof the ball right out of the ground
for the sixth time.
Final score: Yeovil Town 0 Northampton Town 2
The purpose of this game is simple: score more goals than your opponents.
The history books will show that Northampton did this by scoring two when
we failed to hit the net.
However, although our failure to take our chances may be a cause of some
concern I am not the only one to take some consolation from the fact that
we played better football than our opponents. I know this because after
the final whistle I heard someone behind me saying they were glad they were
watching Yeovil this season and not Northampton. I heartily agree!
Still, they got the three points and we didn't. I am sure there are still
plenty of matters which Gary Johnson will wish to address, but I am equally
sure that there were enough positives from today to give hope - just not