Captain Courageous sinks the Swans
Steve Thompson, now officially Yeovil Town's new Manager, started where his unofficial reign left off with another superb three points, this time against the league leaders. Buoyed by the terrific welcome he received prior to kick off, Thompson looked more than comfortable and at home in his dugout. There is, for some reason, something more reassuring seeing the boss dressed for action rather than suited and booted as his predecessor, who was sat in the stands, often preferred.
Following his successful role as caretaker, he was praised midweek by his chairman who was more than impressed by his new man's quick decision making at Scunthorpe, a decision which effectively won the game and probably secured him the role. Thompson had decisions to make today as well and kept faith with Matt Harrold up front following his little purple patch of late, with Arron Davies away with the Welsh U-21’s it meant a return to the starting line up for Paul Terry. Kevin Gall had recovered from his hamstring pull and returned to the bench along with Nathan Jones, Phil Jevons took the vacant left hand side berth.
This fixture always has an exciting edge, it’s not a derby but it feels like one, probably due to the terrific support Swansea always bring. They were almost silenced in the first few minutes though when Bastianini applied his trademark effort from the halfway line but on this occasion his shot had the legs but not the accuracy. Seconds later it was Swansea who attacked through Leon Britton, the tricky little player’s well struck shot was fortunately deflected to safety.
After a good start by both sides it was Yeovil who took the game by the scruff of the neck, some great close control by Pablo and then a cute pass into Jevons path almost broke the deadlock, but the scouser's shot just went wide. Jevons had another chance a bit later when Amankwaah tore down the wing and pulled his cross back to the penalty spot but this time he found the target but his header was saved comfortably by Willy Gueret in the Jacks goal.
One thing that has been commented on lately regarding the step up in levels is that the strikers are unforgiving, and with Lee Trundle, who Thompson said later is one of the best players outside the Premiership, Sodje and Skiverton in the heart of defence had to be equally unforgiving, and they were. None more than typified when the Nigerian made a great tackle in the Swansea box on the big centre forward and cleared the danger.
It’s early days as far as Thommo is concerned, but his hardest battle has already been won, he has the undeniable support of his players… if only the Swede could say the same. The work rate (Yeovil’s not England's) was high in evidence, especially when Pablo raced back to the full back position and helped his defence. It was Pablo who instigated a little towards the first goal on 39 minutes when he was fouled midway in the Swans half. Lee Johnson’s free kick was cleared for a corner, and from that little Johnno whipped in an inswinging cross that had the captains’ name on it. Terry SKIVERTON is playing the football of his life this season - in both boxes. Fresh from his six stitches the previous week Skivvo showed no fear and his strength, aggression and bravery were rewarded when he headed home into the bottom right hand corner to score what turned out to be the winner.
“I’ve nearly had my face kicked off these last few games," the skipper joked ruefully after the match. "I got a fat lip at Southend, stitches last week, another fat lip today and a cut on my forehead, I’ve got to stop putting my head in there ‘cos I’ll have no face left by the time I finish playing football. This time, as I got my head in for the goal I’ve been kicked again, it was worth it but my girlfriend's gonna leave me ‘cos I’m getting uglier and uglier!”
As the first half drew to a close, Paul Terry made a fantastic tackle in his own box, Andy Robinson had skipped past Skiverton and Amankwaah and Terry timed his interception perfectly, anything other and he would have probably have conceded a penalty. It would have been harsh on Yeovil to have gone in with anything other than a deserved lead.