Line up : (4-4-2)
Subs used: Steve Thompson (67, for Turner), Scott Ramsey (56, for Giles),
Westhead , Spooner , Scott , Farrell , Fisher , Skinner , Twiss , Salt , Burkin , Monk , Hallows
Subs used : Kielty (90, for Salt), Fitzgerald (73, for Skinner), Swan (65, for Twiss)
Scorers: Hallows (8, 0-1), WAY pen (64, 1-1), RAMSEY (85, 2-1)
This report courtesy of Fe7:
On a hot and sunny September afternoon Yeovil, on the back of two away wins, entertained Leigh R.M.I. Leigh also enjoyed a good run: three straight wins. One, or both, of those runs would be ended this afternoon.
Back to the game.
Yeovil remained unchanged from the successful line-up that faced Dover the previous Saturday. That excluded MacIndoe, now suspended, and included Adam Lockwood, the latter giving manager Gary Johnson the luxury of keeping a 4-4-2 formation. Chris Giles maintained his strike partnership with Alford. Gary Haveron, on the bench, was a second new face to Huish Park.
Leigh kicked off and made their positive intentions obvious. However, the first major opportunity fell to Yeovil’s Turner, his shot from inside the Leigh box, ended up in the side netting.
Yeovils back four looked good. The six foot tall Lockwood looked at place with his three co-defenders. So, it was somewhat of a shock that Leigh opened the scoring on 7 minutes.
A clever cross dropped behind Tonkin. He seemed to wait for the ball to run out of play, or whether he decided not to make a challenge, the Leigh winger nipped in and lobbed the ball back from the goal line. It was a delicate ball that missed out Sheffield and fell perfectly for Leigh’s Marcus Hallows to head in from within the six-yard box. Yeovil 0 Leigh 1.
Yeovil did not panic and kept to their game plan.
Crittenden cut in from the right and played a teasing ball for Alford who had run across him. His chase only just beat Westhead to the ball and he was unable to direct the ball into the goal. Westhead remained on the floor after the collision and received treatment.
Lockwood was booked for a late tackle on the halfway line. It was again Lockwood, on 17 minutes, who fulfilled his defensive duties well by heading clear after a good right wing break and cross by Leigh.
Giles picked up a booking midway through the first half. It became apparent from the bookings and, what appeared frequent free kicks, that todays game would be disjointed.
The Leigh attack continued to press Yeovil and a good through-ball on 29 minutes seemed to put Leigh through but the flag was up for off-side.
Yeovil’s opportunities during the first half hour were few and far between. To be true Yeovil had still not settled properly: they failed to produce incisive telling passes; Johnsons free kick or corners were all too often too close to Westhead, Yeovil appeared to lack the energy that MacIndoe often supplied.
Farrell was booked for a foul on Giles. Again, Westhead, all too easily, collected Johnson’s free kick.
Towards the end of the first half Yeovil had their clearest strike. Johnson’s corner was cleared, but Way, collecting the ball outside the box hammered a powerful low right-foot shot back across the goal, Westhead was at his best to parry the ball away for a second corner. Unfortunately Johnson’s corner was hit too far to the back post and out for a goal kick.
This seemed to spark Yeovil to raise their game, and, while they now enjoyed there most dominant period of the game, there were few clear-cut opportunities.
Half Time: Yeovil 0 Leigh R.M.I. 1.
Yeovil stated the second half lively. Yeovil, for the second home game in a row, found themselves trailing at half time, they reverted to the long ball, and this appeared to have some success as the Leigh defence struggled with Alford’s strength.
After 55 minutes Ramsay replaced Giles and immediately linked up with Alford more effectively.
Tonkin pushed forward down the left with more conviction. On 59 minutes he cut into the Leigh box and released a vicious near post shot that Westhead did well to cover and push away for a corner. Yeovil continued to press with successive corners.
Minutes later Lockwood and Alford combined for the latter to produce a delicate cross cum shot that had Westhead scrambling to his back post, but the ball was too high and flew out for a goal kick.
For Yeovil fans the game sparked into life on 61 minutes. A long ball was flicked on by Alford and as Ramsay raced Farrell towards the Leigh penalty box the later stretched for a tackle and was adjudged to have fouled Ramsay in the box. That meant a penalty, a second yellow card for Farrell, and consequently an early bath.
After a few psychological games by Westhead, Darren Way stepped up and coolly slammed the ball high into the top right hand corner of Westhead’s goal. Yeovil 1 Leigh 1.
Yeovil were now up for it, the Westland Terrace started singing and the Yeovil faithful expected more.
Steve Thompson replaced Andy Turner. He was soon in the thick of the action and looked as if he should score as he drifted in at the far post. He was unable to dig the ball out from under his feet and the ball drifted across the Leigh goal and out of play.
Leigh were restricted to the occasional break and a cheeky free kick, but rarely gave Sheffield trouble.
Yeovil played more positively, most notably Lockwood, Way and Crittenden down the right hand side. Crittenden, commanding three markers each time he approached the Leigh penalty box.
As the loudspeaker system announced todays attendance at 2,835 and the final minutes ticked away Adam Lockwood broke from his own half. Taking the ball coolly past three or four Leigh challenges towards the edge of the Leigh box he executed a perfect pass forward and to his outside. Crittenden chased and struck a perfect low cross that flashed past Westhead to the far post where, Scott Ramsay, steaming in, met the ball forcefully and deliberately with his right foot and smashed it back, low into the back of Westheads goal, giving the Leigh keeper no chance.
The fairy tale was complete and the Yeovil faithful were sure it would pass with no further incident. But, within the last few minutes further bookings were made, most notably that of Adam Lockwood for dissent. Lockwood left the field of play early, but confusion remained as to whether this was a second yellow, or a full red. Having just signed Lockwood as the missing right back the difference for Gary Johnson is critical.
Final Score: Yeovil 2 Leigh RMI 1.
Todays game was not pretty, but football is not about pretty, football is about winning. When you are a successful Premiership club, you can worry about pretty. Yeovil were fortunate today, they did not dominate long spells or play attractive football, but they were resilient. Leigh will feel hard done by. But, the statistics will show Yeovil 3 points. That’s all thats important.