Match Details: 27/04/1999
Yeovil Town Morecambe 1
Yeovil Town line-up:
Substitutes: Phil Simpson (70 for Piper), Damien Franklin (80 for B.Smith), Rob Smith (87 for Tonkin)
Team Selection: As forecast before the game by Ciderspace, neither Appleton, Keeling or Pickard were fit to play. Therefore Tony Pounder was indeed chosen to partner Warren Patmore up front. Anthony Tonkin replaced the injured Murray Fishlock and Ben Smith kept his place ahead of Phil Simpson. On the subs bench reservist Damien Franklin came in as forward cover and it was a pleasure to see Rob Smith fit again after his career threatening cruciate ligament injury, not a broken leg as reported elsewhere.
Before the game an immaculately observed minute’s silence was held to honour the memory of former Yeovil Town manager Brian Hall, who sadly died today. Brian had been battling against cancer, and our thoughts are with his family.
Morecambe began the stronger of the two sides, threatening Yeovil’s goal with a powerful shot from David Gardener from outside the penalty area, well saved by Tony Pennock. GARDENER was merely finding his range however and less than a minute later and from a virtually identical position he fired home leaving the Yeovil keeper completely flat-footed.
The shock of conceding so early shook Yeovil out of their lethargy and they began to put one or two moves together in what was to be their best spell of the game. Warren Patmore headed fractionally wide after a quality cross from David Piper and Yeovil went on to force a series of corners all of which made the Morecambe defence uneasy. Ben Smith put a lovely defence-splitting pass into Tony Pounder’s stride but the makeshift centre-forward was only able to shoot agonisingly wide of the goal when one-on-one with Andy Banks in the Morecambe goal.
At the same time Morecambe were doing their own attacking and giving reserve wing-back Anthony Tonkin a torrid time wide on the left. To his credit he stuck to his task well, with little support from his team-mates. In stark contrast to Yeovil, the Morecambe players were shooting on sight of the goal, leaving Pennock scrambling to save on more than one occasion.
Yeovil again came close to grabbing an equaliser from a corner when Kevan Brown’s near post header flashed across the goalmouth, missing by inches; but it was Morecambe who ended the half the stronger with – that man again – Kevan Brown making an excellent goal-saving tackle on John Norman deep inside the Yeovil penalty area when it seemed that all the Morecambe forward had to do was to tap into the unguarded net.
Half Time : Yeovil Town 0 Morecambe 1
Second half: The Glovers began the second half reasonably well. The ever-willing Warren Patmore skimmed the bar after a lovely turn and shot deceived the Morecambe defence and a Rob Cousins cross after some nice interplay with David Piper found Tony Pounder completely unmarked 5 yards from goal. Unfortunately for Yeovil he somehow contrived to make virtually no contact with the ball when it seemed that all he had to do was touch it into the net.
Morecambe were still pushing forward in search of a second goal to kill the game off and a cross-cum-shot from wide on the right forced Tony Pennock into an excellent reaction save. Ben Smith then came close for Yeovil after his free-kick from the edge of Morecambe’s area grazed past the post. Smith and David Piper were beginning to combine well on the right flank and were starting to cause the Morecambe defence some problems, so it came as something of a surprise when Colin Lippiatt replaced Piper with Phil Simpson in the 70th minute. The increasingly frustrated Huish Park crowd weren’t slow to voice their disapproval of the decision.
As the game wore on, so Yeovil’s football began to deteriorate. Not that they had been playing particularly well throughout the game, but it was evident now that the long season was beginning to take it’s toll. The players were looking tired and it was showing in their game. Dean Chandler was booked after a tackle from behind and Morecambe were looking increasingly comfortable at 1-0 up.
Ben Smith was replaced by Damien Franklin in the 80th minute, again to the evident unhappiness of some supporters. Yeovil made some half-hearted claims for a penalty just afterwards when Morecambe keeper Andy Banks punched Warren Patmore instead of the ball, but the referee deemed his transgression accidental. Morecambe substitute Neil Morton had the chance to put the match beyond all doubt when one-on-one with Tony Pennock but screwed his shot wide.
There was time for Rob Smith to make a very welcome return to first-team action replacing Anthony Tonkin, and just before the end Damien Franklin raised hopes of a last-minute equaliser when after dribbling through a packed defence his snap shot was blocked. From the resultant long throw Franklin’s header sailed over the top of the bar and that, for Yeovil, was that.
Final Score: Yeovil Town 0 Morecambe 1
Verdict: Yet again another poor performance at home from the Glovers. Perhaps unsurprisingly the players – and the crowd – seemed somewhat flat after last week’s efforts. Too many players were off their games tonight. There was no lack of effort but sadly inspiration was all too often missing. Credit to Morecambe – they were more up for it and seemed a yard faster to the ball. They deserved their win.
Jon’s Man Of The Match – Warren Patmore: Kevan Brown and David Piper deserve a mention in dispatches for keeping going to the end (or the 70th minute in David’s case) but Wazza was my man-of-the-match. He lead the line by example and was always causing the Morecambe defence trouble. He deserved a better service than he got tonight.