Venue: Huish Park
Tuesday 8th November, 7.45pm kick-off
Conditions: Wet and windy
Yeovil Town: Bevan 42, Reckord 64, Oluwaborie 90+4
Maidenhead United: Asare 45, Beckwith 67, Adams 90+3
Referee: Robert Massey-Ellis
Yeovil Town (4-3-3):
Substitutes: Andrew Oluwabori (for Ewan Clark, 60), Gime Toure (for Georgiou, 84), Chiori Johnson, Ollie Hulbert, Malachi Linton.
Maidenhead United: Gyollai, Ferdinand, Asare, Massey, Nathaniel-George (for Clifton 90+3), Acquah, Arthur (for Keetch, 54), Smith (for McCoulsky, 87), Beckwith, Adams, Clerima. Substitutes (not used): Odutayo, Andre.
Yeovil Town’s ninth draw of the National League season was enough to move them out of the National League relegation zone in Mark Cooper’s first home game in charge.
But, more tellingly, it was also the eighth time this season that the Glovers have drawn a blank in front of goal and a failure to do much to force the Maidenhead United goalkeeper in to action was plain for all to see.
There was an improvement – if you set the bar at the last time out against Aldershot Town in Chris Hargreaves’ final match – especially when debutant Andrew Oluwaborie came on after an hour, but it still was not enough.
On loan Leyton Orient winger Anthony Georgiou was handed a debut and fellow wideman Andrew Oluwaborie, signed just hours before kick-off from Peterborough United, was named on the bench as the Glovers set up with a three-man forward line in a bid to improve their record as the National League’s lowest scorers.
However, there was no place in the squad for Will Buse, Morgan Williams, Sam Perry, Lawson D’Ath, Charlie Wakefield or Jake Scrimshaw. Signs of changes being rung by Mark Cooper?
The first meaningful chance saw Kane Ferdinand take advantage of a Max Hunt error to test Grant Smith with an effort from the edge of the box and moments later another effort skidded off the slippery surface to force the keeper to awkwardly turn it wide.
But chances were at a premium in the opening 45 minutes. Jamie Andrews, starting his second match since joining on loan from West Bromwich Albion, was a bright spark on a damp night, he kept his head up and seemed a creative force in midfield.
As the half came towards an end, Owen Bevan was lucky to escape with just a yellow after a two-footed tackle on Ferdinand – call that one an ‘orange’ card with referee Robert Massey-Ellis perhaps given him credit
The best chance of the game so far fell to Emile Acquah as the game crept in to injury time. The striker’s effort shot took a ricochet off someone and forced Smith in to a fine stop to turn it over the bar.
We look better than we did last time out against Aldershot Town, but that isn’t saying much. Not much to warm you on a miserable evening.
Half time: Yeovil Town 0 Maidenhead United 0
To say the second half started in similar fashion to the end of the first would be an understatement. Ferdinand brought a stop out of Smith on 57 minutes but that was probably about as ‘exciting’ as it got….and I use exciting in the loosest possible sense of the word.
Perhaps recognising the risk of hypothermia setting in for those in the Thatcher’s Stand, Yeovil manager Mark Cooper introduced Andrew Oluwabori in place of Ewan Clark, who had a bright first half but again took some heavy knocks.
The change brought the impact it was seeking with Oluwabori added attacking impetus and sparking fellow debutant Georgiou into bombing forward.
A couple of dangerous balls in to the box from Georgiou were turned aside first by Josh Staunton and then from Max Hunt, but neither forced Daniel Gyollai in to a stop.
The keeper was called in to action on 71 minutes when Oluwabori found Alex Fisher who flicked the ball towards goal but was denied by Gyollai. A shot on target, folks!
Max Hunt put a header wide four minutes later, but that was honestly about as near as we came to mustering a meaningful shot on target.
The statistics speak for themselves – two shots on target and two shots off target in 90 minutes of football.
We’re out of the bottom four at the expense of Scunthorpe United who take on Wrexham on Wednesday night, but beyond that positives are hard to come by.