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Season 2005-2006 : Yeovil Town v Barnsley : Saturday 17th December 2005
Football League One : Yeovil Town 2 - 1 Barnsley

Venue: Huish Park
Sat 17th Dec 2005, 3pm kick-off.

Conditions: Bitterly cold, dry
Pitch: Starting to look bumpy

Scorers: Robbie Williams (15, 0-1), David Poole (46, 1-1), Efetobore Sodje (73, 2-1)

Attendance: 5,620 (including approx 400 Barnsley fans)

Referee: Mick Russell (Herts)
Assistants: Brendan Malone (Wilts), Andrew Turner (Devon)
Fourth official: John Flynn (Wilts)

Bookings:
Yeovil: Matt Harrold (65, foul)
Barnsley: Paul Reid (40, unsporting behaviour), Robbie Williams (62, unsporting behaviour)

Team Line-Ups

Yeovil Town : (4-4-2)
13. Steven Collis
12. Kevin Amankwaah 16. Efetobore Sodje 17. Scott Guyett 27. Liam Fontaine
18. David Poole 29. Chris Cohen 8. Lee Johnson 11. Nathan Jones
20. Matt Harrold 10. Phil Jevons

Subs: 1. Chris Weale (GK) 4. Terry Skiverton 7. Paul Terry (79, for Poole) 9. Kevin Gall (88,for Jevons) 25. Arron Davies (84, for Fontaine)

Barnsley :
22. Scott Flinders 2. Bobby Hassell 4. Paul Reid 15. Antony Kay 14. Neil Austin 20. Robbie Williams 7. Jacob Burns 11. Brian Howard 18. Chris Shuker 8. Paul Hayes 21. Marc Richards

Subs: 1. Nick Colgan (GK) 5. Matt Carbon (73, for Howard) 10. Stephen McPhail (78, for Williams) 17. Nicky Wroe (85, for Shuker) 19. Dale Tonge

Jeremy Gear's Match Report

Make no mistake about it, this was a massive three points for Yeovil as they defeated the in-form Barnsley by 2 goals to one in a highly entertaining fixture at Huish Park. Massive because they lifted themselves 6 points clear of the danger area, massive because they got to within 6 points of the play-offs, massive for the confidence factor leading into the vital Christmas period, and massive for individual players who can take heart from their own personal performances, none more so than the vastly improving Matt Harrold.

Barnsley came to Town on the back of a fine free-scoring 10 game unbeaten run, although they will no doubt rue the extra time played in the mid-week cup win over Bradford, even so both teams started brightly and it was the Tykes who had the best opportunity to open the scoring early on when Chris Shuker fired over from the right. Matt Harrold then looked to increase his goal tally of late and can count himself unfortunate not to do so when he took down a Lee Johnson flick with aplomb, turned and hit a first time rocket from outside the box that had Flinders in the visitors goal at full stretch, just flipping the ball over with his fingertips.

But Barnsley then took the lead in disappointing fashion in the 15th minute, when Robbie Williams scored with his head as the Yeovil defence looked less than convincing in keeping the Yorkshiremen out. Steve Thompson will have asked himself questions at this time as he decided before the game to stick to the old adage of not changing a winning side, or in this case defensive line. Scott Guyett surprisingly kept Skipper Terry Skiverton out of the side following his suspension, and Steve Collis did the same as he kept his place ahead of Chris Weale.

Collis was soon called into action again as the Yeovil left hand side was breached and his parried save rebounded off the advancing Anthony Kay, and fortunately to safety. The livewire Harrold then had a good chance to draw his side level when his forceful run into the box saw him beat the last man, but just as he shot the covering defender raced across and deflected his effort out for a corner, From the resultant corner, the initial cross being cleared, the impressive Cohen knocked the ball back into the box but neither Sodje or Fontaine could get their heads to the ball and it spun out for a goalkick. Barnsley then had a great opportunity to take a two goal lead when Yeovil failed to clear their defensive lines again and as the ball bobbled around in the box, no one could finish and no one could clear until Nathan Jones did the business and hacked the ball away to safety.

Before the break came, Lee Johnson’s free kick failed to beat the wall, Jevons and Jones combined but the strikers shot was blocked, and Collis came to the rescue again when he saved Marc Richards header low down. Cue Steve Thompson’s half time lashing as he no doubt read the riot act to his men following another early goal conceded.

Half-time: Yeovil Town 0 - 1 Barnsley

Whatever he said at half time worked, Yeovil were back in it straight away when David Poole, who started his first game since the opening day of the season finished superbly, drilling in Lee Johnson’s pass with precision low into the Barnsley net. Poole had a poor first half and he can blame ring rustiness for that, but like any player, sometimes a goal can be a turning point. Hopefully for Poole, and for Yeovil – this was it!

Yeovil were now beginning to play with a renewed belief, and Chris Cohen, superb all game, almost scored a stunning second but his long range lob narrowly missed the left upright fooling most in the ground to thinking it had gone in. They didn’t have long to wait, and like Christmas, the goal was coming. Nathan Jones, who looked a different player in the second half roared forward, he exchanged passes with Lee Johnson and carried his run deep into the Barnsley half before unleashing a ferocious shot that was superbly saved by the impressive Scott Flinders. From the corner Chris Cohen’s shot from the edge of the box was blocked, but the ball fell kindly to Efe Sodje whose first time header squirmed under the flailing hand of Flinders to put Yeovil deservedly ahead on 71 minutes.

The Glovers had the chances to extend their lead and put the game beyond doubt, Jevons shot over following another opening carved up by Johnson, but all the hard work was nearly undone when Paul Terry’s backpass, on for David Poole, put Collis under pressure and his poor clearance landed at the feet of sub Matt Carbon but his first time lob just fell the wrong side, or the right side of the bar if you are Yeovil fan.

Matt Harrold then had the perfect chance to seal the victory, released by Jones he bore down on goal and had only the keeper to beat, he will be disappointed not to have scored, he had the option to chip the advancing keeper, or take it wide following his dive, but he took the chance too early and the keeper smothered well. Harrold though deserved the goal. He is now looking like the principal striker and a consistent run of games will do his learning curve the power of good. Steve Thompson has heaped praise on him this week and has said there is plenty of potential within. Today his work rate was terrific, he led the line well and one or two efforts in the first half could on another day have gone in. If you could work on one thing with him in training this week you’d be telling him to get across his defender quicker in attacking situations, to attack the ball and make it his own…the Prince may be raw, but he’s beginning to cook nicely.

As the final whistle eventually blew, following what seemed like double the three minutes of added time, you could feel the palpable relief in and around Huish Park. Whilst lots of positives came out of this game, there is still plenty to work on. But it’s easier to work on them following two morale lifting victories. With the festive season approaching, maximum points from the home games, and maybe a couple from the two up north would be the perfect present for Thommo and his evolving team to take into 2006.

Jeremy Gear

MOTM Vote Result:

Player MOTM Score
Matt Harrold 20 583
Chris Cohen 7 311
Scott Guyett 4 230
David Poole 7 196
Efe Sodje 2 174
Lee Johnson 3 153
Nathan Jones 3 106
Kevin Amankwaah 1 21

Overall match rating: 7.5 / 10
Performance: 7.5
Entertainment: 7.5

47 votes received.

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

Full-time: Yeovil Town 2 - 1 Barnsley
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Last Updated : 18th December 2005
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