Yeovil Town’s long unbeaten League One record finally came to an end tonight after they were beaten by two goals to nil at chilly Colchester United tonight.
Goals from Billy Clifford and Freddie Sears sealed the U’s victory, only their fourth in the last sixteen games and meant the Glovers, third on Saturday, dropped down to sixth place with some other results not going their way. It was a below par performance from Gary Johnson’s side whose game was littered with uncharacteristic mistakes and poor passing.
There was a double blow for Johnson before the start with the news that experienced duo James Hayter and Jamie McAllister had failed to recover from injuries picked up in the 1-1 draw with Doncaster Rovers at the weekend. Nathan Ralph came in for the Scots left back, Byron Webster taking the captaincy, and Kwesi Appiah made his first start, deputising for Hayter up front in a team with an average age of just 22.
The first half was really nothing to write home about. Colchester started the brighter with big centre half Magnus Okuonghae heading wide from a corner and Sam Foley shooting over after top scorer Paddy Madden’s shot was blocked by a defender.
Appiah headed a Joe Edwards cross over in a rare Glovers attack and again Okuonghae went close, this time from a Clifford corner before Clifford himself, on loan from Chelsea, forced Glovers keeper Marek Stech to tip his rising effort over the crossbar.
Yeovil’s first clear cut chance came on 41 minutes when Edwards cut the ball back to Upson but his shot was saved well by former Yeovil Town loanee Sam Walker and the significance of the save was rammed home right on half time when Clifford was allowed the freedom of Essex to run through from midfield and hit an unstoppable shot past Stech into the net. It was the second successive game the Glovers had been hit by a first half stoppage time goal.
Stech saved early on from Jabo Ibehre but the second goal came just after the hour when Bradley Garmston broke down the left flank and beat two defenders before crossing for Freddie Sears to net his eighth goal of the campaign.
As the game progressed, manager Johnson sent on Gavin Williams, Matt Dolan and Lewis Young for Appiah, Kevin Dawson and Foley respectively. Madden and Williams both shot straight at Walker and Dan Burn, up from the back, tested Walker with a header but in truth, clear cut chances were few and far between for a Yeovil side that hasn’t had problems scoring during their nine match unbeaten run.
In the second minute of stoppage time, Upson hit a shot from long range that Walker saved but with no further chances at either end, the Glovers were left to lick their wounds ahead of Saturday’s crucial home encounter with fellow promotion chasers Tranmere Rovers, hoping that Hayter and McAllister will be close to recovery for the big match.