Nationwide Conference :
Yeovil Town 0 – 1 Chester City

Att: 2,833

Line up : (4-4-2)

Chris Weale

Adam Lockwood

Tom White

Terry Skiverton

Anthony Tonkin

Nick Crittenden

Tommy Schram

Lee Johnson

Michael McIndoe

Carl Alford

Scott Ramsay

Subs used: Chris Giles (46 mins, replacing Scott Ramsay), Steve Thompson (77 mins, replacing Lee Johnson), Andy Turner (77, replacing Tommy Schram)

Brown, M Rose, Ruffer, Halford, C O’Brien, Kilgannon, Blackburn, Porter, M O’Brien, Haarhoff, Beesley
Sub used: Malkin (74, for Haarhoff)

Scorers: Beesley (21, 0-1)

This report courtesy of Fe7:

Chester’s lowly league position belies their current form. Having endured a run of ten games without a win including six straight defeats, they are now back on form: their last three league games have produced seven points from opponents Doncaster, Morecambe and Margate, conceding only one goal in the process.

Following exits from two cups within the past week Yeovil would surely be keen to get back to winning ways. Gary Johnson’s main priority today must be to ensure that the Yeovil defence performs better than the previous Saturday.

With injuries to Sheffield, Way, and Grant the Yeovil side picked itself: Weale and Schram kept their positions while Scott Ramsey returned in place of Grant.

Yeovil began with an air of confidence, within the opening minutes Lockwood sent in two right wing crosses from deep and Skiverton sent an opening shot just wide. Chester replied on four minutes by winning their first corner. On nine minutes Schram produced a fierce volley from another Lockwood cross, but this failed to trouble Brown in the Chester goal. Brown continued to thwart Yeovil’s attacks by easily collecting right wing crosses from, first Crittenden, and minutes later MacIndoe.

The opening fifteen minutes were a relatively quiet affair, Yeovil having the better of the play, but neither keeper being seriously troubled.

As if a rerun of previous games, it was the less active team who broke the deadlock on 20 minutes. A pinpoint cross from the left dropped over Whites head. The cross was well executed, out of both his and Weales reach, and fell perfectly for Chester’s Beesley who gently volleyed the ball into the right hand corner of Weale’s goal. Unlike previous games it was a good goal by the visitors: a cross that neither defence nor keeper had any significant opportunity to clear, and finally executed clinically.

Yeovil restarted the game quickly with Crittenden winning a corner on the right. But, soon reverted to their composed strategy in attempt not to over-commit themselves and concede a second goal.

Yeovil continued their superiority and almost equalised on 26 minutes. MacIndoe sent an excellent cross to the far post; Alfords strong header inside the post was excellently parried away for a corner by the recovering Brown.

Within minutes Yeovil created another good opportunity. Lockwood’s long ball was header on by Alford, Ramsey’s shot from outside the box flashed across the Chester goal but wide of the far post.

Chester advanced on 36 minutes and White was on hand to clear for a corner. The resulting cross was shot well over Weale’s cross bar.

The main stand was on its feet as the first half drew to a close: Crittenden’s shot appeared to have snuck into Brown’s goal, but the ball had instead dribbled the wrong side of the post.

Half Time: Yeovil 0 Chester 1

Yeovil had proved they could last 45 minutes without giving away a goal, as such the second half was there to play for. Gary Johnson introduced Giles for Ramsay at the beginning of the second half.

Chester started the second half quickly, but it was soon Yeovil who were making all the play. Yeovil forced successive corners and Johnson’s shot flashed over the Chester cross bar.

The tide turned again and Yeovil were on the back foot as Chester moved the ball accurately and quickly.

However, Yeovil weathered this short spell of attacks and then moved into their most dangerous period of the match: producing five minutes of scintillating, attacking play. Firstly Alford’s header flew over the bar, Crittenden’s chip shot was well saved by Brown at the far post, Alford’s header was then cleared off the line, Crittenden’s shot from the left was again well saved by Brown, and finally Giles header was scrambled away for another corner at the near post. Despite three or four goal scoring prospects, Brown and his defence managed to keep Yeovil out and the score remained 0-1.

Gary Johnson introduced Thompson and Turner in place of Johnson and Schram. However, Yeovil failed to emulate such produce such chances again.

Yeovil pressed for an equaliser but were restricted to attacks from wide. Turner produced two good crosses but again Brown was in excellent form and dealt with them comfortably.

As the game wore on, and Yeovil pushed forward, it was Chester who should have extended their lead. Firstly a long ball over Tonkin’s head was played back across the Yeovil penalty box but Chester’s final shot flew back across the goal and past the far post. Minutes later Weale challenged well outside his box, instead of over-committing himself he forced the Chester striker wide and was then content to let his defence clear up any further danger.

Full Time: Yeovil 0 Chester 1.

Chester are no longer the whipping boys of the Conference. For Yeovil to assume any right to beat such teams would miss the point completely. Winning any league depends on a bit of luck: meeting opponents when they are going through a difficult stage, that is no longer Chester. Last week Yeovil had two problems: giving away goals, and not scoring. If it had not been for Brown in the Chester goal Yeovil would have solved both problems. Chester’s resurgence proves that a good team does not become a bad team overnight. Yeovil must take heart from this.

Todays defeat was disappointing. But Gary Johnson knows what problems he has to solve. Lets hope he can solve these problems sooner than later.