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Season 2006-2007 : Yeovil Town vs Scunthorpe United : Saturday 18th November 2006
Coca Cola League One : Yeovil Town vs Scunthorpe United

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Venue: Huish Park
Saturday 18th November 2006, 3.00pm kick-off.

Conditions: Torrential rain prior to match
Pitch: Good but very greasy

Scorers: Billy Sharp (0-1, 7 mins), Billy Sharpe (0-2, 62 mins)

Attendance: 5,921 (including 205 Scunthorpe supporters)

Referee: Andy Penn (West Midlands)
Assistants: Andrew Bennett (Devon) and Steve Creighton (Berks)
Fourth official: Simon Knapp (Gloucestershire)

Bookings:
Yeovil: Paul Terry (82 mins)
Scunthorpe United: Cliff Byrne (foul, 61 mins), Billy Sharpe (over-celebration, 62 mins), Joe Murphy (dissent, 66 mins)

Team Line-Ups

Yeovil Town : (4-2-3-1)
1. Steve Mildenhall
24. Mark Lynch, 6. Terrell Forbes, 28. Martin Cranie, 3. Nathan Jones
7. Paul Terry 8. Anthony Barry
12. Martin Brittain 11. Chris Cohen 9. Arron Davies
29. Marcus Stewart

Subs: 10. Wayne Gray (83 mins for Nathan Jones) 14. Jean-Paul Kalala 17. Bradley Thomas 25. Lee Morris (67 mins for Arron Davies) 30. Leon Best (46 mins for Anthony Barry)

Scunthorpe United :
1. Joe Murphy
6. Cliff Byrne 4. Andy Crosby 12. Stephen Foster 5. Richard Hinds
15. Cleveland Taylor 8. Jim Goodwin 11. Ian Baraclough 7. Matthew Sparrow
24. Billy Sharp 19. Andrew Keogh

Subs: 22. Josh Lillis (GK) 18. Andy Butler 10. Steve Torpey (90 mins for Billy Sharp) 2. Dave Mulligan (90 mins for Jim Goodwin) 26. Robbie Foy

Match Report

Manager Russell Slade chose to select the exact same starting eleven that had forced a 0-0 draw at Leyton Orient the previous week, with club captain Terry Skiverton failing a Friday fitness test and therefore not even making the bench for the match. Anthony Tonkin was similarly absent and that meant that Bradley Thomas grabbed a bench place for the third match running since his recall from Tamworth.

Pre-match torrential rain had left the Huish Park surface greasy to an extreme and unusually Yeovil didn't seem to find this to their liking, with Scunthorpe sliding in at will, whilst the Glovers steps seemed tentative by comparison. Jim Goodwin shot from the edge of the box, sending the ball over the bar with the ball taking a slight deflection for a corner.

From that corner, Ian Baraclough's attempt was cleared out by Terrell Forbes for a second attempt. But when Baraclough swung the ball in a second time, defender Stephen Foster headed goalbound, landing the ball at the feet of Billy SHARP who had been acting as a block against Steve Mildenhall. With his back to goal, Sharp only had to shuffle the ball between his legs and over the line to put Scunthorpe a goal up with just seven minutes gone.

There was no real shift to the balance of play during the first 20 minutes of the match. Scunthorpe looked cool and composed, and really Yeovil's only attacking outlet seemed to be Martin Brittain, who was regularly finding room on the right flank and on one occasion put in an excellent cross towards Marcus Steward but Scunny captain Andy Crosby got in there first, heading out for a corner. However, that was as close as it got and after an Ian Baraclough edge-of-the-area shot had left Steve Mildenhall flatfooted, but thankfully watching the ball go wide of the target, Russell Slade shuffled his pack by going to a 4-4-2 formation, allowing Arron Davies to go up front with Stewart, whilst Chris Cohen moved out wide. Not for the first time this season the Glovers were having to change their shape to try and get back into a game.

The shape change did have some effect upon the game, although Yeovil were being frustrated by a series of decisions from the Main Stand linesman and referee Andy Penn that were not going their way and were thwarting any attempt to attack the Scunny back line. Chris Cohen's excellent distribution out onto the right flank found Martin Brittain - who was proving to be one of the few bright sparks of the opening 45 minutes - but he rather optimistically shot from the angle of the area when a cross into the box might have been the better option.

Brittain again was Yeovil's source of inspiration five minutes before the break. A dangerous low cross placed perfectly across the six yard line narrowly missed Arron Davies on the near post, and a Scunthorpe defender got in just in front of Marcus Stewart on the back post to hack the ball out for a corner. From the corner Anthony Barry's flight across the box saw a succession of flick-ons and headers take the ball back to the near post, but the header from Arron Davies went straight into the arms of Joe Murphy with the ball probably going wide anyway. It was getting better, but as half time came, you still felt Russell Slade needed to change things to give the Glovers a little more physical presence up front as really Andy Crosby and Stephen Foster were able to get out their deckchairs at the back when dealing with incoming balls for much of the half, with Martin Brittain the only honourable exception to that rule.

Half-time: Yeovil Town 0 - 1 Scunthorpe United

Half time saw Anthony Barry replaced by new loan signing Leon Best. That allowed Arron Davies the chance to revert to a left-wing role whilst Chris Cohen went more central as Best joined Marcus Stewart up front. Five minutes into the half, a cross from Nathan Jones - who had spent much of the game on the back foot trying to shackle Cleveland Taylor - surprised visiting keeper Joe Murphy and he spilt the ball out for a corner. Then Martin Brittain cut diagonally across the Scunthorpe midfield, shooting but in doing so showing that his left foot is not quite as talented as his right, and the ball span tamely out for a goal kick. This was a lot better from the Glovers but they were still struggling to find their shooting boots and Scunthorpe looked more than comfortable at the back still.

Whilst Yeovil huffed and puffed, Scunthorpe were more clinical, and that was proven entirely when the second goal of the game was scored 17 minutes into the second half. Andy Keogh picked the ball up in midfield and in a sweeping move fed Cleveland Taylor on the right. Taylor's cross was low and across the six yard line, and Yeovil's defence completely lost their bearings allowing Billy SHARP two bites of the cherry to stab the ball home from close range. 2-0 and game over, although Sharp showed supreme stupidity by deciding to hold his goal celebration by running up to the Westland Stand and making gestures and shouting at the home terrace. Quite rightly Sharp was booked, and certainly for all of his perpetual mouthing off to the crowd, the referee and pretty much anyone who would listen probably could have seen a different colour had his team-mates not started hauling him away.

Lee Morris replaced Arron Davies as Slade looked for more attacking options, and later on went for broke by taking off Nathan Jones and replacing him with Wayne Gray to finish with a 3-4-3 formation. Gray did at least manage to come close during his brief passage of play - producing a close range shot that deflected and went off the outside of the post for a corner. But really the only closing moment for the crowd to get noisy about was the late substitution of Sharp who predictably went off to a chorus of boos, even if the 205 fans stuck out on the open terrace may have held a different opinion on his night's work.

Not the greatest of performances then by Yeovil - when you complete 90 minutes without a single shot on target, you deserve what you get. Scunthorpe looked stronger and more organised than Yeovil throughout the majority of the match, and even when the Glovers did have short spells of possession and territory, Scunny looked so self-assured at the back that it seemed plain that nothing positive was going to come out of the game. The early goal was a killer and thereafter nothing on show persuaded those watching that there would be a serious route back into the game. The problem that Russell Slade faces is that when matches like those materialised this season, the man who popped up out of nowhere to score the goal from the only chance of the game was Marcus Stewart and whilst he had a quiet game today, that sort of a pattern suggests he will be missed unless Slade can conjure up tactics or personnel that can find the target a little more often than Yeovil are doing at the moment.

Full-time: Yeovil Town 0 - 2 Scunthorpe United
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