Venue: Roots Hall
Tuesday, January 11th, 7.45pm kick-off
Attendance: 4,845 , 80 away supporters
Scorers: Jason Demetriou 29 (0-1), Clifford 60 (0-2), Reid 90 (1-2)
Referee: Adrian Quelch
Yeovil Town: Gorman 76,
Southend United: Lopata 20, Neal 84
Yeovil Town : (4-3-3)
Dan Moss, Max Hunt, Luke Wilkinson, Jordan Barnett
Dale Gorman, Josh Staunton, Sonny Blu Lo-Everton
Tom Knowles, Adi Yussuf, Charlie Wakefield
Substitutes: Reuben Reid (for Lo-Everton, 56), Joe Quigley (for Yussuf, 56), Jack Robinson (for Barnett, 80), Morgan Williams, Max Evans.
Southend United: Arnolds, Ralph, Hobson, Murphy (for Rush, 76), Dalby, Clifford, Atkinson (for Ferguson, 46), Neal, Lopata, Demetriou, Dennis (for Kensdale, 85).
Substitutes: Coulson, Davies.
Yeovil Town fell to a fourth successive defeat at Southend United after putting in a lacklustre performance for much of the match in Essex.
The visitors took the lead through Jason Demetriou after half-an-hour before Tom Clifford doubled the advantage in the second half and it took the Glovers until that second to wake up.
With the game seemingly out of reach, the visitors looked the stronger side in the closing stages with Joe Quigley denied by a fine stop from Shrimpers’ keeper Steve Arnold and Max Hunt having a ‘goal’ ruled out for handball with five minutes to go.
Substitute Reuben Reid got his first goal of the season as the clock ticked in to injury time but worryingly for captain Luke Wilkinson limped off with what looked like a hamstring strain to leave his side to play out the six minutes added on with ten men.
Despite the defeat, we remain in 11th place in the National League table eight points off the play-off places and 16 points off the relegation zone.
Here’s how it went down at Roots Hall……
The team news saw Grant Smith returned between the posts in place of Dillon Barnes who dropped out of the squad after appearing in the home defeats against Torquay United and AFC Bournemouth in their last two outings.
There was no place in the squad for Matt Worthington who was replaced by Sonny Blu Lo-Everton in an attacking looking Yeovil side who also pushed Jordan Barnett to left-back and brought Charlie Wakefield in the front three alongside Adi Yussuf and Tom Knowles.
Having spoken of our relief to see Smith back in goal, the gloveman fluffed a tenth minute clearance under pressure from the hosts’ striker Sam Dalby who was unable to get the ball out of his feet and the visitors were able to clear.
Smith was in action again on 16 minutes when he was equal to the effort from Southend’s on-loan striker Matt Dennis.
There was not a huge amount to threaten either goalkeeper in the opening 25 minutes, but it was certainly the home side who had the upper hand and took the lead shortly before the half-hour mark.
It was former Glovers’ favourite Rhys Murphy who brought the ball forward and fed it to Jason DEMETRIOU whose effort from the edge of the box took a deflection on its way past Smith.
Murphy has an effort blocked soon after and he rattled the visitors’ woodwork soon after with Yeovil’s defence looking rattled and out of sorts.
The first visitors’ first meaningful opportunity came on 35 minutes when Yussuf connected with Dan Moss’ cross but hosts’ keeper Steve Arnold made the save when the Tanzanian should have given him not chance.
Going the other way the home side looked increasingly menacing with every attack and Murphy had another chance to put his old employers to the sword with four minutes of the half to go, but Smith was equal to it again.
But, the final chance of the game fell to Yeovil with Dan Moss again finding Yussuf but his shot was blocked as the clock ticked over to 45 minutes.
The home side will be wondering how they were not further ahead at the break. Luckily, they weren’t.
Half time: Southend United 1 Yeovil Town 0
It was a brighter start for Yeovil with Barnett getting forward more in the opening five minutes after the restart than he had in the previous 45 minutes.
But, aside from a header from Dalby and a pot shot from Murphy in the first 15 minutes there was not a huge amount of threat from either side and on 56 minutes Yeovil introduced Joe Quigley and Reuben Reid to make a difference.
The switch was made to 4-4-2 and the there were signs of some good link-up between the two frontmen………but on the hour mark the home side doubled their advantage.
Dennis was allowed to bring the ball forward from deep inside the Yeovil area and laid the ball off to Tom CLIFFORD who was at the back post to tap the ball in.
The home side’s tails went up, the visitors’ heads dropped and it could have got worse when substitute Nathan Ferguson‘s was blocked inside the box.
On 73 minutes, Luke Wilkinson hammered a free-kick in to the hands of Arnold and five minutes later Quigley twisted and turned and force a good save out of Arnold.
The feeling was that it not going to be our night and, if you needed proof, we had the ball in the net through Max Hunt – only for it to be ruled out for handball. Was it? Let’s wait for the highlights.
There was time for REID to pull a goal back with his first of the season in the final minute of normal time. The substitute was at the back post to poke home a ball after Wakefield’s long-range was spilled by Arnold.
But, even more worrying was an injury to Wilkinson, who limped off the pitch to leave the Glovers to play injury time with ten men.
There was a final flurry to action from the visitors, but where was that last 20 minutes for the entire match.