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Season 2005-2006 : Hartlepool United v Yeovil Town : Saturday 3rd September 2005
Football League One : Hartlepool United 0 - 1 Yeovil Town

Venue: Victoria Park
Sat 3rd Sept 2005, 12 noon kick-off.

Conditions:
Pitch:

Scorers: Pablo Bastianini (68, 0-1)

Attendance: 4,572 (including 179 Glovers fans)

Referee: Darren Drysdale (Lincolnshire)
Assistants: Andrew Smith (Yorkshire) and Russell Tiffin (Co Durham)
Fourth official: Steve Drew (Tyne & Wear)

Bookings:
Yeovil: Luciano Alvarez (36, foul), Pablo Bastianini (82, foul)
Hartlepool: Michael Proctor (35, foul)

Team Line-Ups

Yeovil Town : (4-5-1)
1. Chris Weale
12. Kevin Amankwaah 4. Terry Skiverton 27. Liam Fontaine 5. Colin Miles
9. Kevin Gall 6. Darren Way 8. Lee Johnson 11. Nathan Jones 26. Luciano Alvarez
22. Pablo Bastianini

Subs: 2. Adam Lockwood 7. Paul Terry (70, for Alvarez) 13. Steven Collis (GK) 18. David Poole 20. Matt Harrold (82, for Bastianini)

Hartlepool United :
1. Dimitrios Konstantopoulos 23. Darren Williams 5. Michael Nelson 29. Carl Jones 18. Matty Robson 8. Ritchie Humphreys 15. Antony Sweeney 16. Ben Clark 24. Thomas Butler 6. Michael Proctor 10. Adam Boyd

Subs: 4. Mark Tinkler 11. Eifion Williams (32, for Boyd) 14. Jon Daly (64, for Eifion Williams) 21. Jim Provett (GK) 22. Lee Bullock (50, for Butler)

Match Report

For the third time this season, Gary Johnson switched formations as he looked to kick-start the Glovers fortunes in League One. Gone was the 3-5-2, and in it's place was a 4-5-1 formation that looked defensive on paper, but often mutated into a 4-3-3 in the manner that wide men Luciano Alvarez and Kevin Gall made up ground to link up with lone striker Pablo Bastianini. Nathan Jones moved into midfield, occupying a blocking role to allow the dynamic duo of Darren Way and Lee Johnson to do what they are best at.

The start didn't particularly suggest that this change was going to reverse the Glovers recent fortunes. Hartlepool, who came within a whisker of Championship football for this season, dominated the first 20 minutes and should have landed themselves a couple of goals up during that time, contriving to send several chances wide of the target.

A first minute Carl Jones effort was deflected over the bar after Yeovil only half cleared a Hartlepool corner, whilst Michael Proctor wasted a glorious opportunity after he got in behind the Yeovil back four, skewing his shot across the face of the Yeovil goal when Chris Weale advanced off his line. Two minutes later though, Clark missed a peach of a chance when he headed wide whilst on the back post from a corner, with half the goal to aim at, such was the dubious nature of Yeovil's marking for the set piece. Next up to miss for the home side was Antony Sweeney, who accepted another ball over the top, which caught the Yeovil defence flat-footed, but he also joined the growing numbers of Hartlepool players who had failed to get the ball on target with his attempt failing to even go out of play and landing around the corner flag.

It took Yeovil 26 minutes before they could mount their first serious attack. Kevin Gall broke through a long ball over the top and as he broke into the penalty box his weak shot was easily saved by home keeper Dimitrios Konstantopoulos, with perhaps a back-post ball to the incoming Luciano Alvarez being the better of the two options.

Still at least it was to be the sign of a change in fortunes, with the Glovers now working out how to get at the Hartlepool defence, with Gall's runs frequently upsetting them. They really should have had a penalty half an hour into the match when Luciano Alvarez was climbed all over when jumping for a header, but the main stand linesman seemed unimpressed. In fact this particular official performed little more than the function of a garden gnome - merely present for ornamental purposes. The comedy moment when Pablo Bastianini was fouled right on top of the official's feet whilst the linesman stood there gormless would have been less funny if referee Darren Drysdale hadn't decided that his eyesight at 50 yards was better than his so-called 'assistant' at one yard.

Yeovil were looking to take over control of the game and their best route to goal seemed to be through their set pieces. A Lee Johnson free kick saw Luciano Alvarez sneak in front of Pablo Bastianini and plant a glancing header just over the bar. Next, a Johnson corner saw Terry Skiverton perform a diving header at the near post that went over the bar.

Hartlepool's Adam Boyd had twice received treatment during the opening half hour and hobbled off to be replaced by Eifion Williams - a major blow for the home side and for a player that netted 29 times last season for the play-off final losers.

Michael Proctor became the first player to land in the book after he fouled Chris Weale when the two played for a 50:50 ball with Wealey coming out on top. It was a harsh booking, perhaps provoked by it being the third such foul on the Yeovil keeper during the first half, with Proctor probably being punished for the misgivings of tackles made by his team-mates earlier in the game. Almost inevitably Luciano Alvarez became the referee's balancing of the books when he was yellow carded after a fairly innocent looking competitive tangle on the touchline, that got the home crowd demanding action.

Michael Proctor managed a weak shot into the arms right on first half injury time but his side's chances were drying up as the half went on, and Yeovil went in at the break well on top after their somewhat shaky start.

Half-time: Hartlepool United 0 - 0 Yeovil Town

The home side took off Thomas Butler five minutes into the second half, with the home crowd loudly booing his withdrawl. Hartlepool seem to be a little like Barnsley in that the ground tends to have an undercurrent of unrest and mutterings, and the more that Yeovil's grip on the game grew, the louder those mutterings got.

Seven minutes into the half, the mutterings briefly ceased when the home end thought they had got a goal. A Ritchie Humphreys corner went looping high and directly into the net, right on the back stick, but referee Mr Drysdale's whistle went early for an infringement, with Michael Proctor's block on Chris Weale looking the most likely reason, and although there didn't appear to be much contact anywhere in the area, Hartlepool's players seemed to accept the referee's decision fairly easily.

Hartlepool went close again when substitute Lee Bullock flicked a header wide of the goalframe with Chris Weale and the ball seemingly moving forward in slow motion, with the angle of Bullock's header having apparently deceived the Yeovil keeper.

Yeovil were continuing to get the best of their opportunities from set pieces, and a Nathan Jones corner saw home keeper Dimitrios Konstantopoulos come out of his goal, only to be beaten by the head of Luciano Alvarez. Had the Argentinian managed to keep the ball under the bar, this was a certain goal, with the home keeper stranded.

But midway through the second half, Yeovil's dangerous set pieces paid off. Luciano Alvarez was taken out from behind by Darren Williams on the corner of the area, and as Hartlepool looked to organise their defences, a quickly taken Lee Johnson free kick was curled across the six yard line, and with a trio of Yeovil players having second-guessed Johnson's intentions, Pablo BASTIANINI was the middle man to nod the ball home, unmarked from six yards out for an excellently worked goal.

Yeovil continued to stroke the ball around confidently, often catching Hartlepool by surprise, who perhaps had expected the Glovers to slow the game down during the final 20 minutes. Luciano Alvarez made way for Paul Terry, as Yeovil tightened up in the middle with Darren Way heading out to the wings. The expected thrust forward from the home side never materialised and the nearest they came to any action during the latter stages was when Chris Weale had to come off his line and dive at the feet of Antony Sweeney. Otherwise the Yeovil keeper was well protected by the head of Terry Skiverton and the quick feet of Liam Fontaine, who efficiently mopped up everything that Hartlepool threw their way.

A tired Pablo Bastianini, who had just been carded for a mis-timed sliding tackle on a Hartlepool defender was replaced by Matt Harrold with eight minutes to go. There was just enough time for Colin Miles to prove his worth in the back line with a superb flicked header close to his own goal-line as a ball was whipped to the back post with a duo of home players approaching. But Hartlepool had no end product on show, and the end result was a fairly calm last few minutes, with even the five minutes of injury time the referee added on passing off without any heart flutters.

An excellent away performance by the Glovers, and one that saw them superbly organised in snuffing out the Hartlepool attack. Once they had weathered the storm in the first 20 minutes, they were either equal to or better than their hosts throughout the game, and the three points Gary Johnson took on the long journey home were more than deserved. A landmark win for Yeovil - their first at League One level - lets hope the players can now use that win as a platform for next week's home match against Walsall.

Badger

MOTM Vote Result:

Player MOTM Score
Terry Skiverton 4 640
Liam Fontaine 3 320
Kevin Gall 1 280
Pablo Bastianini 1 180
Colin Miles - 100
Lee Johnson - 100
Kevin Amankwaah - 100

Overall match rating: 7.6 / 10
Performance: 7.6
Entertainment: 7.6

10 votes received.

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

Full-time: Hartlepool United 0 - 1 Yeovil Town
Match reports are welcomed by Ciderspace for publication - they can be as long or short as you like, humourous or serious as you prefer; and we welcome more than one viewpoint - the more the merrier! Send them to us as soon as possible after the game to ytfcciderspace@yahoo.com, or simply post them to the Ciderspace Mailing-List or Fans Forum and we will pick them up from there.

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Last Updated : 3rd September 2005
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