Nationwide Conference :
Yeovil Town 2 – 1 Stevenage Borough

Att: 2,468

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

Chris Weale

Adam Lockwood

Colin Pluck

Anthony Tonkin

Nick Crittenden

Paul Broad
Steve Thompson

Michael McIndoe
Kim Grant

Carl Alford

Adam Stansfield

Subs used: Gary Haveron (81, for Thompson), Andy Turner (90, for Grant), Chris Giles (84, for Alford).

Greygoose , Hamsher , Goodliffe , Trott , Dreyer , Fisher , Williams , McMahon , Wormull , Hay , Sigere

Subs used: Campbell (87, for Hamsher), Illman (68, for Sigere)

Scorers: Joe BROAD (23, 1-0), Carl ALFORD (39, 2-0), Matt Fisher (71, 2-1)

This report courtesy of Fe7:

Yeovil returned to Huish Park today with a well-deserved victory over Conference rivals Stevenage Borough.

The game started briskly with Stevenage having slightly better of the opening fifteen minutes. Yeovil started to dominate and, after two disallowed goals, took a well deserved lead on 23 minutes: Grant and Crittenden linked well to play new boy Broad into the Stevenage penalty box, beating the last defender his strong shot flashed into the Stevenage goal.

Yeovil continued on top and it was no surprise when they extended their lead on 39 minutes: an excellent left wing run and cross by the other debutant Adam Stansfield found Carl Alford at the far post and he bravely scrambled the ball in from a couple of yards.

The second half was dominated by the number of yellow cards meted out by the referee: eleven players receiving cards throughout the game. Although bad tempered, this was by no means a violent match. Consequently the second half was less of a spectacle. Yeovil failed to recreate their first half performance and appeared content to defend their two-goal lead.

Stevenage came back into the game with a hotly disputed goal: the initial move appearing at least a yard offside, although keeper Chris Weale pushed the first header onto the bar, the rebound fell kindly for Stevenages Matt Fisher, and he no mistake with the second.

As Stevenage chased the game Yeovil were able to defend deep and counter attack, the speedy Stansfield continually harassing the Stevenage defence. Despite many attacks Stevenage never really threatened Weale’s goal again.

However, it could have been very different. The first attack fell to Stevenage and Chris Weale produced a fantastic low right-handed save on five minutes. Seconds later, Stevenage shot over Weale’s cross bar, but that was the extent of any significant Stevenage attacks for the first half.

Yeovil fought their way into the game: Carl Alford finding the back of the net with a far post header, but the goal was disallowed for climbing. Thompson broke forward and played in Kim Grant, but his shot was well blocked for a corner. Carl Alford again got his header on target but was easily cleared away from danger by the Stevenage defence. On 20 minutes Michael MacIndoe powered a clinical header in from the six yard box, but again this was disallowed: this time for offside.

However, it was all Yeovil smiles three minutes later when Broad struck a goal on his debut. It was a classy move with Grant and Crittenden exhibiting great control and passing ability: Crittenden’s ball to Paul Broad allowed him to take it in his stride, side stepping a final challenge inside the Stevenage box, he finished strongly from fifteen yards.

Yeovil were now well on top and Stevenage were restricted to chasing long balls from defence. Yeovil’s defence coped well enough, Weale remained completely safe throughout, Lockwood worked hard to cope with the tricky Hay, Colin Pluck rarely looked in any trouble, and Anthony Tonkin looked more composed at the back than at any other time this season.

Michael MacIndoe dominated corners and free kicks for Yeovil and was unlucky when thwarted by the underside of the Stevenage cross bar on 27 minutes.

With Stevenage pushing forward it was Yeovil who counter-attacked on 38 minutes. Adam Stansfield carried the ball a good thirty yards to the goal-line on the left, hooking the ball around his right back played a perfect cross to the far post. The cross initially appeared too strong, but Carl Alford not the quickest of Yeovil players never gave up and was rewarded for his efforts by beating his marker to the ball, and toe-poking into the empty net, clattering with the post in the process. While his teammates celebrated Alford took a minute or two to receive treatment and recover.

As first half injury time ticked away Alford and Stansfield put headers past the Stevenage post.

Half Time: Yeovil 2 Stevenage 0

The second half began with Yeovil’s Lockwood and Stevenage’s Hay tussling in Yeovil’s back line, both receiving yellow cards. The half continued to be disrupted with disciplinary activity for fouls, dissent, and unsporting behaviour.

One rare jewel in the second half was Adam Stansfield over-head kick on 58 minutes: this lifted the Yeovil spirits but failed to hit the target. Minutes later it was Stansfield again finishing when Lockwood and Alford headed on, unfortunately his final volley was well over the Stevenage cross bar.

With Yeovil in control at the back it was surprising that they should concede a goal. On 70 minutes Darren Hay got behind Lockwood, hugely suspicious of off-side – Weale did well to keep the first header out, but the Yeovil keeper and his defence were unable to prevent Matt Fisher following up with a second header to draw one back.

Yeovil continued to play deep but managed to threaten the Stevenage goal: Tonkin crossed from deep to Stansfield, but his header was too weak despite being on target and was easily taken by Stevenage’s keeper Dean Greygoose.

Minutes later it was again Stansfield causing trouble: beating Stevenage defence and keeper to the ball, unfortunately for Yeovil his shot failed to beat Greygoose.

As the second half drew to a close Gary Haveron replaced Steve Thompson, Chris Giles and Andy Turner replaced Carl Alford and Kim Grant.

Yeovil continued to defend well and rely on Stansfield and Giles to chase the long ball. Stevenage were unable to seriously threaten Weales goal again. Despite six minutes of injury time, the game was as good as over as a contest.

Final Score: Yeovil 2 Stevenage 1.

The difference between the two teams was Yeovil’s first half performance. Such positive creativity has not been seen at Huish Park for a number of weeks. A number of factors affected todays performance: Chris Weale’s commanding performance was a class beyond his previous best; the back three looked confident and secure; Thompson and Broad provided a bigger midfield it worked today, Kim Grant playing behind the front two was able to pick up much possession. Stansfield worked all day. Well done the lads.

Despite recently coming into Conference level football Stansfield exhibited many qualities: ran all afternoon, chased – and occasionally won – lost causes, troubled the Stevenage defence all afternoon, show vision and creativity: a good signing based on today’s performance. Well done Gary Johnson.