A sending off for Luke Wilkinson and a battling performance will be how the statistics show only Yeovil Town’s second goalless draw of the season, but the real story here was the return of supporters to Huish Park.
In total, 1,497 home fans – unless anyone from Maidenhead United sneaked in unnoticed – were on hand for a battle of two distinctly mid-table sides .
But, if this performance is anything to go by, you can see how much the Glovers have missed the presence of fans in the ground.
The better chances fell to the home side with Josh Neufville and Charlie Lee hitting the woodwork in each half and even after Wilkinson’s dismissal for a second yellow when he clearly handled a corner in to the net.
But, even with a man disadvantage, it was Yeovil who looked to be pressing for the winner and might even go away feeling disappointed not to have got more than a point.
All in all, for those lucky enough to be inside the ground – football is back.
Here’s how I saw it…..
Joe Quigley for Reuben Reid in the frontline was the only change Yeovil Town manager Darren Sarll made to his starting line-up, with under-18s’ midfielder Adam Heaton named among the substitutes with the bench at full strength.
The boss was also able to start with the same back four as he did in the 3-1 win over King’s Lynn three days earlier. There’s a novelty, eh?
On the fourth minute, every fan, player and member of staff of both clubs joined in a rapturous round applause in memory of late Glovers’ skipper, Lee Collins. I’m not crying, you’re crying!
— Stephen D'Albiac (@s_dalbiac) May 18, 2021
Josh Neufville had the game’s first opportunity forcing Maidenhead James Holden, who joined from Championship Reading five days earlier, in to a stop.
Five minutes later, the Luton Town loanee was cutting in from the right and hit a drive which grazed the top of the bar on its way over.
From then on in, it was fairly end-to-end next with the visitors threatening to create something, but not quite forcing Adam Smith in to any meaningful action as two physical teams cancelled each other out.
The nearest opportunity came on 35 minutes when a deep free-kick from Carl Dickinson saw Holden caught in no man’s land and found Quigley whose header was turned wide for a corner, from which Charlie Lee headed just over at the back post.
Holden was in action again with five minutes to go as Chris Dagnall‘s fine pass found Tom Knowles on the right of the box whose shot was turned away.
The half finished goalless but Yeovil will have gone in at the break feeling they had the better opportunities.
Half time: Yeovil Town 0 Maidenhead United 0
It was a bright start for the home side having a shot cleared off the line in the opening exchanges and making the better opportunities without ever really threatening the Maidenhead goal.
On the hour mark the visitors made an opening when Smith had to make a good double save from first full-back George Wilson and then reacted quickly to deny Danilo Orsi-Dadamo on the rebound.
On 62 minutes, a corner in from the right was met by the raised arm of Luke Wilkinson who bundled the ball back in to the net and, having picked up a yellow card in the first half, was given his marching orders by referee Daniel Lamport.
It was a disappointing way for such an experienced player to go with a first yellow for kicking the ball away and a second for deliberate handball to bring his season to a premature end.
Lee rattled the crossbar with an impressive volley with 20 minutes to go, but despite their numerical disadvantage it was still Yeovil who still looked the more likely to find the breakthrough with plenty of attacking intent.
However, the final chance of the game did fall to Orsi-Dadamo who broke in to the box in the final minute of normal time, but could only chip an effort over the bar.
That was fun. #YTFC
— Gloverscast 🎙⚽️💚 (@gloverscast) May 18, 2021
Full time: Yeovil Town 0 Maidenhead United 0
Yeovil Town: Smith, Kelly, Wilkinson, Sass-Davies, Dickinson (c), Lee, Knowles, D’Ath, Neufville (for Sonupe, 85), Quigley, Dagnall.
Substitues (not used): Evans (GK), Stephens, Heaton, Quigley.
Bookings: Wilkinson, Dagnall.
Sending off: Wilkinson.
Maidenhead United: Holden, Massey (c), Wells, Parry, Twumasi, Coley (for Keetch, 77), Smith (for Sparkes, 67), Ince, Comley (Egan, 80), Upward, Orsi-Dadamo.
Substitutes (not used): Wiltshire.