Nationwide Conference
Yeovil Town 1 Barnet 2

Att : 2,125

Scorers: Purser (16, 0-1), Midgley (41, 0-2), WAY (70, 1-2)

Officials: Referee – F Graham (Stanford-le-Hope)

Bookings :
Yeovil : Nick Crittenden (75, dissent)
Barnet : Neil Midgley (38, foul), Craig Pope (42, dissent), Mark Arber (88, foul)

Starting Line-Up : 1. Chris Weale, 2. Adam Lockwood, 3. Anthony Tonkin, 4. Tom White, 5. Colin Pluck, 6. Darren Way, 7. Adam Stansfield, 8. Lee Johnson, 9. Carl Alford, 10. Nick Crittenden, 11. Michael McIndoe.
Subs: 12. Andy Lindegaard (sub Pluck, 46 mins) GK: Jon Sheffield, 14. Olivier Brassart 15. Roy O’Brien 16. Chris Giles (sub Alford, 70 mins)

Harrison , Pope , Pluck , Arber , Flynn , Gower , Searle , Niven , Brown , Purser , Midgley
Subs: Toms (sub Gower, 85 mins), Sawyers (sub Searle, 56 mins), Bell , Taylor , Naisbitt

Yeovil Town came back down to earth with a bump after Sunday’s FA Trophy excitement, normal service being resumed at home with yet more points being dropped in front of the long-suffering Huish Park faithful. This wasn’t a case of ‘after the Lord Mayor’s Show’; this, sadly, was a typical home performance from the Glovers this season – no team, not even those in relegation danger at the bottom of the table have won fewer home games this term, something which simply must be addressed next season if the club are to have any hope of achieving their Football League ambitions.

The Glovers began the game brightly enough, attempting to pass the ball around and using the width of the pitch and the width inherent in the 4-4-2 formation, but all too often the final ball was poor and left Stansfield and Alford up front chasing shadows. Barnet were well-organised and looked a yard faster to the ball at times, not surprising perhaps after the Glovers exertions at Burton 48 hours earlier.

So far so unremarkable then, until the 16th minute when a long throw caught the Yeovil defence asleep in the box. With 4-5 home defenders surrounding him, Wayne Purser reacted first to head the ball firmly downwards and bouncing into the roof of the net. The defence had the numbers there to deal with any danger, but somehow the solitary attacker in the area was first to the ball. A well-taken goal from Barnet’s point-of-view, but a soft goal to give away defensively.

So far so familiar. Yeovil reacted by trying to up the tempo and by persevering with the passing game, but still the final ball was poor and the delivery from any corners or crosses all too often failed to clear any defender situated at the near post. A McIndoe free-kick flattered to deceive and a left-footed toe-poke from Alford came close, but by half-time Barnet keeper Harrison hadn’t had a serious save to make.

The Glovers were two down by then anyway. Again it was a set-piece that caused the trouble, a Barnet corner being semi-punched away by Weale but falling nicely to Neil Midgely inside the Yeovil penalty area who made no mistake with his snap shot. It could have been worse, it could have been 3-0: Nick Crittenden cleared a Barnet header off the line after an injury time corner with Weale standing helpless.

Half Time : Yeovil Town 0 Barnet 2

Andy Lindegaard replaced Colin Pluck at half-time – the defender had received treatment for a head injury just before the break – and Yeovil switched to a 3-5-2 formation with Lindegaard lining up wide on the right and with Nick Crittenden taking a more central midfield role.

Initially it seemed that this would pay dividends with Crittenden in particular seeing a lot more of the ball than in the first half. His through ball to Lindegaard found the substitute in space wide on the right and bearing down on goal unchallenged but a wild swing of the boot deposited the ball into the sparse group of away fans on the terrace rather than into the 6 yard box where Alford and Stansfield waited in vain.

Barnet were by now content to pack the defence and get 11 men behind the ball, all the play now taking place in the visitors half with only the odd breakaway to keep the Glovers defence honest. Yeovil huffed and puffed and passed and worked – no-one could fault the effort and workrate put in by the team – but actual chances on goal could be counted on the fingers of Captain Hook’s missing hand. Then Chris Giles replaced a tired looking Alford on 70 minutes and almost immediately Yeovil were back into the game – a McIndoe corner found it’s way to Darren Way on the edge of the box. The midfielder’s shot seemed to take a deflection and beat Lee Harrison at his right hand post to make the score 2-1 to the visitors.

Yeovil pressed forwards for the rest of the game but it must be said with a lack of imagination and flair. The Barnet defence coped easily with the plethora of high balls pumped into the box and the game petered out with little to comment on or to praise. Too many Yeovil players had off-days and not enough were prepared to take responsibilty and try something – anything! – different to catch the visitors napping. Credit to Barnet – they took their chances and then defended extremely competently, but it has to be said that Yeovil made it easy for them. Like far too many home games this season, this was not a 90 minutes that any Yeovil player or supporter will look back on and remember very fondly.

Final Score : Yeovil Town 1 Barnet 2

Man Of The Match: Darren Way

As voted for by YTFC fans on the internet, click here for more information.

Player MOTM Score
Darren Way 14 672
Nick Crittenden 6 360
Adam Lockwood 1 152
Chris Weale 1 120
Others 3

MATCH RATING – 4.5 (out of 10)
Performance – 4.4; Entertainment – 4.6

25 votes received.

Gary’s Verdict:

What we’re not coping with at the moment, is when teams play very deep and have one or two quick strikers at the front, and unfortunately we haven’t coped with that at home all season. We’ve not been clever enough to break teams down and create chances, which we’re very aware of for next year. We’re getting caught with a bit of pace upfront on occasions, the result of two set plays, they’ve got the knock down and two people lost their men which normally doesn’t happen to us.

It’s all the little things, we have to up it 5 to 10% at home to pick up at least 5 or 6 more wins, and if we had picked up those 5 or 6 more wins we would have been there or thereabouts and that’s tactically what the problem is.

I thought the first half was poor; I didn’t feel we created anything in the first half; it was a mental thing today. It took us until we were 2-0 down before we started playing and then there was only one team in it, but we had to get the break because they had a lot of men back. Then we show our possession play, and get the ball in the box, but you have to resort to the long ball a little bit for the simple reason they aren’t coming out at all otherwise you’re running into people.

Some people showed their mettle and tried to get on the ball and move the ball about, and I thought there were 4 or 5 good performances but it was the first half that was very poor, not enough going on. We have said we want three wins and I think if we get three wins out of the next four we will be third. So we have just made sure that in there, they are in no doubt this club wants to be third, and that’s why I spent so long in there, just to remind them that that’s where the club wants to be and if the Football League had said before the game 3 teams are going up this year, I want them playing like that just in case that’s true.

You get frustrated and you get annoyed but at the same time you have to put it right, there is no use in screaming and shouting only, which is obviously what has happened as well. You have to make sure you have got something that changes things – in the second half I changed their shape just to give us something new to think about and it seemed to work, Critts got on the ball quite a bit and we had a few half chances, whereas we didn’t really have a chance in the first half.

A couple of people need to play on Thursday, we will have to use squad players and they have to prove themselves in those games. We might change things against Stevenage, we’re not sure yet – we are going to sit down and talk about it tomorrow.