Nationwide Conference :
Yeovil Town 2 – 1 Nuneaton Borough

Att: 2,944

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

Chris Weale

Adam Lockwood

Colin Pluck

Anthony Tonkin

Nick Crittenden

Lee Johnson
Steve Thompson

Michael McIndoe
Kim Grant

Carl Alford

Adam Stansfield

Subs used: Tom White (53, for Pluck), Andy Turner (76, for Grant), Chris Giles (61, for Alford).

1. C.MacKenzie 2. T.Angus 3. S.Weaver 4. L.Howey 5. R.Burgess 6. D.Crowley 7. R.Lavery 8. M.Harkin 9. M.Love 10. G.Birch 11. L.Charles
No subs used

Scorers: Adam STANSFIELD (79, 1-0), Michael MCINDOE (88, 2-0), Gary Birch (90, 2-1)

This report courtesy of Fe7:

This afternoons match at Huish Park against Nuneaton Borough simmered for almost eighty minutes. A superior Yeovil side were frustrated by a capable, but unadventurous, Nuneaton side. Decisions by Mr Kettle, the referee, confused connoisseurs of the game and contributing to spoiling the affair as an entertaining contest of skill. Yeovil’s superiority and persistence on a heavy sticky pitch was rewarded twice in the last few minutes. On 79 minutes Adam Stansfield pounced on a loose ball to slot home from six yards, his fourth first team goal in three matches. Minutes later it was Stansfield again whose speed took him behind the Nuneaton defence to square the ball for MacIndoe and the Yeovil skipper was never going to miss. Nuneaton’s striker, Gary Birch, tarnished an excellent afternoon for the Yeovil lads by snatching a consolation goal deep in injury time. Final score: Yeovil 2 Nuneaton 1.

The game opened lively enough with Yeovil having the best of the play. A number of attacks were built down the right wing with Crittenden and Stansfield instrumental, but Yeovil failed to produce a telling final ball, and often Chris MacKenzie, the Nuneaton keeper, gathered the ball with little problem.

This was the pattern for much of the first half. Yeovil held much possession, but: found it difficult to link with strikers Stansfield and Alford; and were effectively marshalled by a competent Nuneaton defence. For Nuneaton’s part, when they kept possession, they demonstrated good control but consistently failed to produce a decisive final ball, and the Yeovil defence grew more comfortable as the game progressed. It is difficult to recall any instance in the first half where Chris Weale was troubled by any meaningful strikes.

Yeovil’s most exciting and audacious move came on 30 minutes when MacIndoe and Stansfield combined well on the left for the latter to float a cross to Alford at the far post. Alford attempted a spectacular scissor kick but was never appeared likely to make an effective contact and the ball drifted out of play.

Mr Kettle seemed to specialise in making time-consuming interventions for minor offences, but miss a number of blatant aggressive fouls.

Kim Grant, wound up by two consecutive, heavy tackles, ploughed-in at the next challenge only to end up himself in Mr Kettle’s book. Under such a regime one felt that Yeovil would be on the receiving end of some bad luck. That was almost the case when a right wing Nuneaton corner was cleared off the Yeovil line on to the cross bar, Chris Weales attempt to reach the ball were clearly impeded, and Yeovil were lucky to still be on level terms.

Another heavy challenge forced Nick Crittenden to leave the field with blood flowing from his head. He missed the last few minutes of the first half, but returned at the beginning of the second. It was not that this was now a dirty game, but players believed they had a fifty-fifty chance of getting away with more than usual.

The last fifteen minutes of the first half was punctuated by lengthy breaks for free kicks which Nuneaton seemed intent on stretching to the limit, and a number of lectures and bookings which seemed to require Mr Kettle to jog half the width of the pitch on numerous occasions. One Nuneaton free kick seemed to take an age as pairs of players continued to tussle in the line up.

Half Time: Yeovil 0 Nuneaton 0.

In the opening minutes of the second half it appeared as if Yeovil would take the lead. A quick Yeovil break fed Johnson on the left: his ball into the box was first struck by Stansfield but Nuneaton blocked, further shots flew in but Nuneaton survived and finally managing to scrambled Alford’s shot away for a corner.

Shortly Tom White replaced Colin Pluck and on 60 minutes Chris Giles replaced Carl Alford.

Yeovil continued to increase the pressure without being any more penetrative. Nuneaton were playing deeper and they struggled to progress over the half way line. Any progress beyond the Yeovil midfield were cleared by the Yeovil defence, often Stansfield provided an effective outlet. Noticeably, Stansfield would be first to the ball and consistently won throw-ins half way into the Nuneaton half. As a result Yeovil were then on the offensive, rather than being pegged back on the defensive.

Yeovil continued to up the pace: Tonkin made many effective runs down the left; Stansfield shot over from a narrow angle on the left; Johnson’s shot was deflected inches wide.

The game swung from one end to the other, both teams looked capable of opening the scoring. Nuneaton came close when Birch fed in Howey, but his left foot volley sliced off his boot and span out for a goal kick.

Andy Turner replaced Kim Grant on 76 minutes.

Deservedly Yeovil opened the scoring on 79 minutes. Again it was one of those instances were it appeared many players had had a bite at the cherry. This time the ball fell kindly for Stansfield and he made no mistake from six yards: Yeovil 1 Nuneaton 0.

One goal has rarely been enough at Huish Park this season and although it was pleasing, it was a slightly worrying to see Yeovil playing keep-ball during this period. As it turned out, their possession underlined their superiority before tying up the points. Yeovil continued to push forward and were rewarded by doubling their lead on eighty-eight minutes.

Falling behind Nuneaton had raised the pace of their game and pushed for an equaliser. They exhibited attractive play that underlined their position in the league. Following one such attack, Yeovil’s clearance was picked up once more by Stansfield, he and Crittenden combined to win a throw on the right just inside the Nuneaton half. Crittenden took the throw quickly and Stansfield’s thirty-yard dash took him to the edge of the Nuneaton box with MacIndoe in support on his left, only one Nuneaton defender stood in their way. Stansfield delayed his pass to give MacIndoe maximum time and space. Receiving Stansfields pass on his left foot he lashed the ball past a helpless MacKenzie from just inside the box: Yeovil 2 Nuneaton 0.

The game was over as a contest so it was no more than perhaps an undeserved consolation when Gary Birch drifted in from the Nuneaton left wing, turned a couple of Yeovil defenders, and unleashed a right foot shot that eluded Chris Weale at the foot of his right hand post: Yeovil 2 Nuneaton 1.

Within seconds of the restart Mr Kettle blew the final whistle.

Final Score: Yeovil Town 2 Nuneaton Borough 1.