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Season 2006-2007 : Yeovil Town vs Crewe Alexandra : Saturday 23rd September 2006
Coca Cola League One : Yeovil Town vs Crewe Alexandra

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Venue: Huish Park
Saturday 23rd September 2006, 3.00pm kick-off.

Conditions: Moderately hot and sunny. Dry.
Pitch: Good

Scorers: Ben Williams (45 mins, o.g., 1-0), Paul Terry (71 mins, 2-0).

Attendance: 5,333 (including 328 Crewe fans)

Referee: Dean Whitestone (Northamptonshire)
Assistants: Brendan Malone (Wiltshire), Lee Swabey (Devon)
Fourth official: Ron Ganfield (Somerset)

Bookings:
Yeovil: Nathan Jones (foul, 40 mins)
Crewe Alexandra: None

Team Line-Ups

Yeovil Town : (4-2-3-1)
1. Steve Mildenhall
24. Mark Lynch, 4. Terry Skiverton, 6. Terrell Forbes, 3. Nathan Jones
7. Paul Terry 14. Jean-Paul Kamudimba
9. Arron Davies 11. Chris Cohen 25. Lee Morris
29. Marcus Stewart

Subs: 2. Anthony Tonkin 5. Scott Guyett 8. Anthony Barry 10. Wayne Gray (68 mins for Lee Morris) 27. Ishmael Welsh (87 mins for Marcus Stewart)

Crewe Alexandra :
1. Ben Williams 2. Jon Otsemobor 5. Julien Baudet 6. Neil Cox 3. Billy Jones 12. Luke Varney 4. Gary Roberts 8. Michael O'Connor 11. David Vaughan 18. Nicky Maynard 36. Rodney Jack

Subs: 13. Stuart Tomlinson (GK) 10. Michael Higdon (46 mins for Rodney Jack) 14. Ben Rix (90 mins for Michael O'Connor) 17. Darren Moss 37. Daniel O'Donnell

Match Report

Exactly a year after Gary Johnson infamously deserted the Glovers, Yeovil claimed their third victory out of five matches at 'Fortress Huish', climbing up to a lofty sixth position in League One. Managers often stress that the team's position after ten games gives a good indication as to how the whole season will unfold, and, while Johnson quickly sought the fire escape after leaving his team languishing in a relegation mire at this stage last year, Russell Slade continues to please everyone with his new ideas, as Yeovil now aspire to the play-offs.

Yeovil showed that they meant business from the very beginning. Just after Marcus Stewart's drive from 15 yards forced Crewe keeper, Ben Williams, into making an early save, Williams was impressively alert to Arron Davies' snapshot, diving quickly to his left to foil the Welshman. Davies, having been put through in the clear, didn't take full advantage of the situation, as his delay in shooting simply allowed defenders to crowd round him and narrow the goal.

Yeovil's best manoeuvre came on 8 minutes, when Chris Cohen, out on the left flank, found Jean-Paul Kalala in space on the right, who in turn delivered an accurate cross for Stewart at the far post. Stewart rose well to the ball and headed it across goal for Lee Morris, but his close-range connection was again kept out by the busy Williams. Minutes later, Crewe almost punished Yeovil for their missed chances, as, first Rodney Jack scuffed his shot from a dangerous position 12 yards out, and then Nicky Maynard's close-range header forced Steve Mildenhall into his first save of the match.

Between speculative efforts from Stewart, whose 20-yard lob sailed narrowly over the bar, and Cohen, whose sweetly struck drive from 25-yards - bound for the top-right corner - was saved, Davies was again the culprit of spurning yet another golden opportunity, as he shot narrowly wide, after being gifted possession from an awful clearance by Williams. Crewe reminded Yeovil that they were still in the game with a couple of measured attacks, Michael O'Connor firing wide, first with a volley from an acute angle, and then with a low-shot from 15 yards.

Ironically, Mildenhall had to be at his finest in response to a rather unnecessary back-pass from Terry Skiverton. But to Yeovil's good fortune, the slapstick moment was to occur at the other end instead. On the stroke of half-time, Arron Davies' corner was palmed into the net by Crewe keeper Ben WILLIAMS, who was seemingly under no pressure whatsoever!

Half-time: Yeovil Town 1 - 0 Crewe Alexandra

The second half started just as brightly as the first, with a rapid counter-attack involving Morris and Cohen almost bearing fruit, but for a poor final ball. As Crewe managed to sustain some decent pressure in Yeovil's half, they almost cut Yeovil's slender lead with their best chance of the match. After a tense goalmouth scramble, the ball popped out to O'Connor in space, who wastefully shot over the bar. This was followed by an even uglier miss by Luke Varney and a weak attempt by Maynard, poking well wide from 8 yards, when both would have expected to do hit the target.

With Paul Terry and J-P Kalala tackling tenaciously and intercepting determinedly, as they comfortably controlled the midfield, Cohen was freed up to roam forwards. After a strong, direct sprint down the middle, he unfortunately miscued his 20-yard effort, which trickled wide.

But the Glovers sealed victory five minutes later under similar circumstances to their first goal. This time it was Cohen who supplied the corner in the 71st minute, for Skiverton to flick onwards to Stewart, whose point-black header at the far post was clawed back by the sprawling Williams, but Paul TERRY was at hand to deliver the killer blow, poking the loose ball narrowly over the line from a yard out.

Seemingly dead and buried, Crewe should probably have pulled one back on 75 minutes, when a long ball from the keeper eluded Yeovil's defence to find Maynard in on goal, but the dependable Mildenhall spread himself wide to block the shot. Terry, who is arguably playing his best football for Yeovil at the moment, nearly doubled his tally with his header from Cohen's cross narrowly flying over the bar.

This victory against a strong Crewe Alexandra outfit, rejuvenated after their four-match unbeaten run, brings cause for encouragement. The team was largely solid and stable in defence while exciting and ingenious in attack, something which has improved of late. However, the player who caught my eye the most was the industrious J-P Kalala, who competed tirelessly in the midfield for the entirety of the match. While both the desired result and a desirable performance were achieved, there is still room for improvement, most notably the need to be more clinical in front of goal. Hopefully this is an area of our game that will quickly come to fruition, starting with Brighton on Tuesday night.

James Francis.

Full-time: Yeovil Town 2 - 0 Crewe Alexandra
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