Venue: Silverlake Stadium
Saturday, February 12th, 3pm kick-off
Conditions: Dry but still
Attendance: 2716 (no away figure given)
Referee: Lee Collins
Yeovil Town: Gorman ’79, Knowles ’83, Bradley ’90+
Eastleigh: Miley ’30, De Barr ’67, Hill ’83, Boyce ’83,
Sending off: None
Yeovil Town : (4-3-3)
Mark Little, Ben Barclay, Luke Wilkinson, Morgan Williams
Josh Staunton, Dale Gorman, Jordan Barnett (Yussuff ’88)
Charlie Wakefield, Olufela Olomola (Lo-Everton ’72), Tom Knowles (Bradley ’90)
Substitutes: Max Evans, Alex Bradley, Rueben Reid, Sonny Blu Lo-Everton, Adi Yussuf.
Eastleigh: McDonnell, Boyce, Broadbent, Hare, Harper, Hill, Miley, Pitman, Pritchard, Whelan, Whitehall.
Substitutes: Hesketh (for Pritchard 62), De Barr (for Whitehall), Barnett (for Pitman 88), Bragg, Kelly.
It was another story of what could have been for Yeovil Town as our ability to find a killer ball or a goal (or both) saw us peter out to another goalless draw.
The story was one of two sides with inability to turn chances in to meaningful opportunities with Yeovil dominating the play in the first half but a late strike from debutant Olufela Olomola was as good as it got.
After the break, the visitors imposed themselves on the game, but it was Glovers’ defender Ben Barclay who came closest to scoring when his header came off the top of the crossbar from a corner.
A late surge from the Spitfires saw a fine stop from Grant Smith parried to striker Tyrone Barnett who fired wide.
The talk of the team news was a (third) debut for Olufela Olomola, following his arrival on loan from Hartlepool United until the end of the season.
He was joined in a front three by Tom Knowles and Charlie Wakefield with Mark Little returning at right back and Jordan Barnett coming in midfield. Jack Robinson and Matt Worthington dropped out from the midweek defeat at Wealdstone.
The first chance for either side came after ten minutes when done good approach play broke to Tom Knowles from the edge of the box and his effort was tipped over over Joe McDonnell in the hosts’ goal.
Ben Barclay’s header flashed over from a corner three minutes later, but that was all Yeovil had to show for the greater attacking pressure in the opening 20 minutes.
There was not much opportunity for Olomola to show much until the 23rd when he lashed a shot just over but a neat link up with Knowles shortly after to set Wakefield away showed what the new boy can bring. Charlie’s run was just too soon to beat the offside flag, however.
There was good movement, nice touches from the new boy, enough to suggest a partnership with Knowles and Wakefield could be fruitful – but just lacking that final well, anything.
Then with the final minute of the half ticking away, Dale Gorman latched on to a loose ball fed it to Olomola inside the box and the striker got his shot away but crept over. Best chance of the half.
The fact that Grant Smith did not have a meaningful effort to deal with says everything about the hosts’ attack and the visitors’ defence.
Indeed, a weakness in the structurally unsound away end from jumping Yeovil fans proved the highlight of the action in that direction during the opening 45 minutes.
Half time: Eastleigh 0 Yeovil Town 0
A bit of harem scarem in the both boxes did not lead to an effort on goal until the 53rd minute when Wakefield cut inside the box and found Josh Staunton whose shot was blocked.
Though they could not have created less than their first half tally, the opening 15 minutes of the second period with winger Ryan Hill in the thick of the action.
Spitfires’ striker Brett Pitman put an effort over soon after before defender Josh Hare’s low ball in to the box shortly before the hour mark took a deflection off a Yeovil defender and away.
The momentum had certainly swung the way of Eastleigh, but on the 66th minute a corner found Luke Wilkinson at the back post and his header across goal came to defensive partner Ben Barclay who got his head to it but saw his effort come off the top of the bar.
Olomola’s afternoon came to an end when he was replaced by Sonny Blu Lo-Everton. It was far from a dream return for the former Southampton youngster, but there seemed to be enough in his performance to think he will help out lacklustre attack.
After 75 minutes, former Yeovil midfielder Tom Whelan fired a shot over from fully 20 yards which in the second period could be counted as an opportunity.
Barclay broke forward and his shot was deflected wide, and that is what it is going to take to break the deadlock. A mistake, a lucky break, a moment of brilliance.
Brilliance was in short supply, from as the resulting corner, the hosts took the ball away and broke away only for Gorman to make a ‘necessary’ foul. Unfortunately, it led to a booking, his inevitable tenth of the season. A two-match ban awaits.
Seven minutes from the end, Wakefield broke forward and forced a good save out of McDonnell.
In the aftermath, Knowles charged down the keeper, Hill took exception and put a hand in to the throat of his opponent. Referee Lee Collins decided it was a booking apiece. Hill can certainly count himself lucky not to have seen red.
But the best chance of the match took until the final chance of the match when Smith reacted smartly to push a shot out as far as substitute Tyrone Barnett who inexplicably fired wide.