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Match Report


Posted Wed 10 Oct 12 at 19:47 PM

United 2 Yeovil 2

United 2
Jarvis 25, 58

Yeovil 2
Hayter 37,90

Yeovil win 5-4 on penalties.

UNITED were robbed of a place in the next round of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy by the cruel lottery of a penalty shoot-out.

Ryan Jarvis had been the toast of Plainmoor with a terrific brace that looked like winning the game. Yeovil equalised the first strike with an opportunist goal from James Hayter but the Gulls were seconds from victory when Hatyter again intervened with a late, late leveller.

Disappointment in the 90th minute turned to despair as Tom Cruise missed the only spot-kick from ten taken, handing Yeovil a 5-4 penalty victory.

United boss Martin Ling made four of the maximum five permitted changes under JPT rules to the side that defeated Accrington on the weekend, giving as many squad players a chance to impress as possible.

Michael Poke kept his place in goal behind the familiar central defensive partnership of Brian Saah and Aaron Downes, but the full-back slots were occupied by Daniel Leadbitter and Cruise, allowing Joe Oastler and Kevin Nicholson to take a back seat.

Damon Lathrope was replaced by Craig Easton in the midfield holding role, with Lee Mansell and Nathan Craig keeping their place in the engine room. Billy Bodin and Danny Stevens also retained the wing spots, but Jarvis was preferred to the rested Rene Howe in attack.

Yeovil manager Gary Johnson opted for a different approach to Ling, making just two enforced changes from the 3-2 loss at Tranmere Rovers on Saturday.

The suspended Joe Edwards made way for Dominic Blizzard and former Plymouth youngster replaced the cup-tied Paddy Madden as strike-partner for the experienced James Hayter.

A bright start from the Glovers had United immediately backtracking and Downes took less than two minutes to introduce himself to Reid with the sort of committed crunching tackle that has already made the Australian a cult hero with the Yellow Army.

The Gulls were exposed by a clearance that fell to Hayter in the left-channel and his early shot was scooped wide by Poke. The subsequent corner landed at the feet of Edward Upson, who thundered narrowly over from the edge of the box.

At the other end, United toiled without much luck until a foul on Bodin gave Craig a chance to fire in a free-kick from just a yard outside the penalty area, but both the initial shot and rebound were charged down by the Yeovil wall.

The action returned to the visiting attack with a scuttling shot from Hayter dragged comfortably wide for the watchful Poke. In front of the Yellow custodian, Downes remained the main man for United and his defensive bravery was soon rewarded with a goal for the Gulls.

The move started with a dazzling run from Bodin into the left channel, luring goalkeeper Marek Stech from his line before centring the ball for Jarvis to stab into the net from close range.

Full credit to Bodin for a fabulous piece of skill and perseverance to create the opening, and equal lumps of praise should be heaped on the shoulders of Jarvis for showing a striker’s instinct to get in front of his marker to convert.

Once the celebrations had quietened, Downes returned to his miraculous individual performance, seemingly blocking every Yeovil thrust with any part of his anatomy available.

The one time the Gulls were caught floundering stemmed from a loose pass by Cruise allowing Reid a run on goal but Poke beat the shot away with his fists, and you-know-who was on hand to tidy up the mess.

Stevens then kept Stech keen with a stinging drive after battling work from Craig but United’s glovesman had a moment to forget moments later.

The free-kick pumped forward looked harmless enough as Poke came to claim but the mass of bodies in front of him proved too much of an obstacle, and the ball slipped from his grasp. Ever the predator, Hayter was first to react, thumping into the empty net from eight yards.

Despite the overall brilliance of Downes, it was a goal the visitors probably deserved and they almost made it 2-1 when a low cross from Reid somehow evaded the onrushing Sam Foley at the back post.

Yeovil’s period of dominance was ended by an incisive pass from Easton cutting through the visiting defence for Jarvis to run through on goal, but Stech did well to swiftly narrow the angle and turn the shot wide for the final act of an entertaining first period.

The to and fro continued after the break, and Foley came within a whisker of edging the Glovers in front with a steered volley fired inches wide of Poke’s far post.

United were then indebted to Leadbitter for a terrific cover tackle on Hayter when the lively forward was released by some tidy approach work between Upson and Keanu Marsh-Brown.

It would prove a pivotal block, as United immediately broke down the left through Stevens, who cut inside his man before perfectly timing the pass for Jarvis. The striker took a touch to measure the chance before guiding a fine finish across Stech and into the far corner.

Once again, the build-up play from the home side was neat and incisive, but the plaudits will rightly go to Jarvis for another assured finish and his undoubted pedigree was shining through in a bright Yellow shirt.

Confidence was clearly flowing hard for Jarvis, as his next attempt was an audacious first-time volley after a deep cross by Stevens, and Stech needed fine reflexes to make the save at his near post. Now, this was a player who has scored in the Premier League.

Yeovil’s second-half display had been flat and Johnson understandably opted for a double-change to liven up his troops for the final 20 minutes, introducing Gavin Williams and Byron Webster.

Ling then made his own switch, bringing on Niall Thompson for Jarvis, who was rightly given a standing ovation by the Plainmoor faithful. Another Gull to have the crowd purring was Craig, once again imperious with his passing and general composure on the ball.

As the game drew to a close, the Yeovil strategy changed to a lump forward from every set-piece in the hope towering defensive duo of Webster and Daniel Burn could cause havoc in United’s penalty, prompting the protective introduction of Oastler for Stevens.

The Yellows were already looking forward to a home tie with Wycombe in the next round when Yeovil snatched an unlikely equaliser. The pressure had been building but the Gulls will be disappointed with the freedom afforded to winger Keanu Marsh-Brown.

His weaving run cut through the home defence and the low cross was met by Hayter to lash home from two yards out with just two minutes left on the clock. Howe came on for the dying seconds, probably more for his penalty prowess than anything else.

The whistle blew and JPT rules bypass the leg-sapping anxiety of extra time for the even more agonising ordeal of a penalty shoot-out. Both teams gathered in a huddle to choose their takers and the coin-toss landed in favour of all spot-kicks being taken in front of the closed away end.  

First up was United captain Lee Mansell and the skipper’s effort just had enough power to beat Stech and hit the top corner. James Hayter executed a perfect penalty in the same corner to equalise.

Nathan Craig strode forward for the next penalty and passed the ball into the net. Edward Upson adopted a similar approach with similar success.

Pressure turned to Tom Cruise and the former Arsenal youngster was unable to deliver, Stech producing a fine save to his right. Gavin Williams took full advantage by smashing Yeovil into a 3-2 lead.

Billy Bodin gave the Gulls hope with a brilliant strike into the top corner but Jamie McAllister hit a thunderbolt to restore Yeovil’s lead.

Rene Howe
knew he must score for any chance and he did the job in confident style but Keanu Marsh-Brown to stroke the winning penalty into the roof of the net. Harsh on United, harsh on Cruise but football can be a harsh game.

United (4-3-3): 1 Michael Poke; 12 Daniel Leadbitter, 5 Brian Saah, 4 Aaron Downes, 21 Thomas Cruise; 18 Craig Easton (9 Rene Howe 90), 7 Lee Mansell (capt), 20 Nathan Craig; 15 Billy Bodin, 8 Ryan Jarvis (29 Niall Thompson 73), 19 Danny Stevens (2 Joe Oastler 83). Substitutes (not used): 13 Martin Rice (GK), 23 Ashley Yeoman.

(4-4-2): 1 Marek Stech; 6 Dominic Blizzard, 4 Richard Hinds (5 Byron Webster 71), 18 Daniel Burn, 3 Jamie McAllister (capt); 7 Keanu Marsh-Brown, 8 Edward Upson, 21 Korey Smith, 14 Sam Foley; 9 James Hayter, 11 Reuben Reid (10 Gavin Williams 71). Substitutes (not used): 12 Gareth Stewart (GK), 23 Will Agbo, 24 Mitch Brundle.

Marsh-Brown 80

Andy Woolmer

1,280 (213 away).

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