Nationwide Conference :
Hayes 0 – 4 Yeovil Town

Att: 708

Line up : (3-4-1-2)

Chris Weale

Adam Lockwood

Colin Pluck

Anthony Tonkin

Nick Crittenden

Lee Johnson
Steve Thompson

Michael McIndoe
Olivier Brassart

Kim Grant

Adam Stansfield

Subs used: Tom White (59, for Thompson), Terry Skiverton (73, for Pluck), Carl Alford (63, for Grant)

1. B.Bossu 2. R.Spencer 3. Mark Molesley 4. D.Coppard 5. D.Sterling 6. P.Holsgrove 7. D.Clark 8. K.Dyer 9. M.Currie 10. P.Holsgrove 11. K.Warner
Subs used: Jon Case (46, for Coppard), Richard Jolly (57, for Holsgrove), John Shipperly (76, for Dyer)

Scorers: Kim GRANT (26, 0-1), Lee JOHNSON (41, 0-2), Olivier BRASSART (66, 0-3), Adam STANSFIELD (71, 0-4)

This report courtesy of Ben Ashby:

Yeovil travelled to Hayes’ ramshackle Church Road looking to take an unbeaten run into double figures and to avenge the 3-1 FA Cup qualifying round defeat back in October. Hayes were looking to stop the recent rot, three defeats in their last four games seeing them slip to 16th place in the table.

Darren Way and Andy Turner were out with ankle and hamstring injuries respectively, but Yeovil were able to include Frenchman Olivier Brassart in the team for the first time. The Yeovil fans had travelled in strength and probably outnumbered, and certainly out-voiced, their hosts. This didn’t stop two or three of them greeting each other with a flurry of punches before the game, much to the bemusement of the home fans.

The Yeovil players started the game in as belligerent mood as their followers, going straight for the jugular. They immediately set about playing their neat, incisive passing game – no mean feat on a heavily waterlogged pitch. After just 2 minutes Michael McIndoe broke through on the left of the Hayes box and cut the ball back for the on-rushing Kim Grant. He looked certain to score before he was scythed down from behind by Dominic Sterling. Referee Steve Rubery awarded Yeovil a penalty and Sterling a yellow card. Grant it was who picked himself up to take the penalty, only to see his feeble side-footed effort off a two-pace run-up saved by the legs of mammoth Hayes ‘keeper Bertrand Bossu.

Yeovil almost atoned immediately afterwards, Dean Coppard heading a goal-bound effort from Brassart off the line from the next attack. At the other end Mark Molesley shot wide when he broke clear of the Yeovil defence, and to add to his misery he joined Sterling in the referee’s notebook soon after.

Yeovil continued to enjoy a lot of penetration down the left flank, McIndoe probing intelligently. Indeed, on 12 minutes he freed Adam Stansfield who skipped past a couple of challenges in the box, before being blatantly tripped. Inexplicably, Mr Rubery declined to award Yeovil a second spot-kick.

When the opening goal came, though, it was from the opposite flank. Bossu, who was colossal in the FA Cup fixture, looked like a bag of nerves in the Hayes goal, dropping, flapping and fumbling everything that came near him. When Yeovil worked a short corner and got the ball over from the right, Kim Grant rose highest in the box to loop a header goalwards. Bossu looked favourite to get to it, but he failed to get any air and somehow the ball dropped over his despairing flap and into the net. It was no more than Yeovil deserved after an overpowering opening spell.

After another miserable attempted punch from Bossu, allowing Stansfield, half his size, to beat him to the ball and head narrowly over from a corner, the lanky stopper redeemed himself with a couple of saves. First Brassart, enjoying an encouraging first 45 minutes in Yeovil colours, shot from an angle after being put through by McIndoe and Bossu saved at his near post. Then Johnson shot from a similar position and again the Missioners’ ‘keeper was equal to it.

Yeovil dominated the first half, and it was a credit to them that they were able to play good flowing football on a difficult surface. They bossed the midfield and had all the possession, forcing a hatful of corners and fashioning plenty of chances. It was neither a surprise nor an injustice, then, when they extended their lead 4 minutes before the interval. Lee Johnson was the man who finished off a quick Yeovil break, lashing the ball past Bossu from just inside the box after a square ball from Grant. It really was a beautiful move, beginning on the edge of the Yeovil box and needing just three precise passes to cut the Hayes defence open like a tin of beans. The green and whites went in at half time no doubt pleased with their display and buoyed by that fine goal.

Half-time: Hayes 0 Yeovil 2

Yeovil came out wearing fresh, clean tops at the start of the second half, but if anything it was Hayes who were invigorated. Jon Case came on for Coppard and Richard Jolly replaced Peter Holsgrove, and for 10 minutes or so they matched Yeovil and played with much more spirit than they’d shown before the break. Yeovil replaced Steve Thompson with Tom White and gradually reasserted themselves. Johnson had a couple of dazzling runs and he, along with McIndoe, soon established a stranglehold in midfield, pulling the strings and prompting everything. Brassart was also increasingly influential – on this evidence he looks a fine player and a good signing.

On the hour Carl Alford replaced Grant, and the big striker made an immediate impact. He collected a pass in the inside-right channel and bustled his way into the box. Looking up, he pulled the ball back perfectly to find the run of Olivier Brassart, and the Frenchman finished with his left foot to embellish an already impressive debut.

With a 3-0 cushion, Yeovil poured forward in search of more goals. They really were enjoying themselves – every player on the pitch was playing well and some of the football they played was quite outstanding.

It was after a typical quick, incisive move that Yeovil scored their fourth. A rapid interchange of passes down the left led to a through ball which Bossu raced out to meet. He could only slide and block the ball, which squirted out to Stansfield. The Yeovil number 7 was left with the simple task of running the ball into the net as Bossu galloped back in a desperate attempt to cover his goal.

In the remaining quarter of an hour Yeovil could have added to their tally. McIndoe saw a shot fizz wide and a spectacular volley from Stansfield from a Brassart cross took a lick of paint off Bossu’s post. Alford twice narrowly failed to notch with late efforts, and Hayes came nearest to scoring at the death, albeit through a couple of ugly goalmouth scrambles. But Yeovil held firm to keep a clean sheet, the icing on the cake of an exceptional performance.

So the Glovers side-stepped a potential banana skin in West London to pick up three valuable points and keep the heat on at the top of the Conference, extending their unbeaten run to ten games. On current form, and particularly after this performance, Yeovil look like the best side in the Conference. If they can replicate this kind of performance week in week out, and that means at Huish Park too, then who is to say they can’t take their place in the football league come next season?

Final score: Hayes 0 Yeovil 4

Ben Ashby