Yeovil Town’s recent good run of form in League One came to a juddering halt tonight as they were beaten by three goals to one by playoff chasing Stevenage at Huish Park tonight.
Filipe Morais gave the visitors a second minute lead before Paddy Madden scored his sixth goal in seven games to level on seven minutes. But Stevenage fought back and further goals from Lucas Akins and James Dunne sealed the three points in front of Yeovil’s lowest over Football League crowd of 2,900. The result leaves the Glovers in eleventh place in the table.
After Saturday’s 3-0 defeat in the FA Cup at Preston, manager Gary Johnson was able to welcome back cup tied trio Daniel Johnson, Korey Smith and Joe Edwards along with the fit again Byron Webster. This meant there were substitute roles for Richard Hinds and Gavin Williams while Ed Upson began his four game suspension and Dominic Blizzard missed out through injury.
The game promised more than it delivered after a fiery, feisty first eight minutes in which both sides scored. Filipe Morais scored first when he swept the ball home unmarked at the far post after a low ball across the edge of the box. It was the worst possible start for the Glovers but after Sam Foley had shot wide, they equalised on eight minutes.
Byron Webster’s long diagonal ball found Foley on the wide left and he swung in a curling teasing cross that Paddy Madden brilliantly volleyed home with both feet off the ground. It was a goal that oozed confidence from a marksman currently on top of his game.
After a further flurry of chances where James Hayter had a shot blocked and pushed another effort wide and Keanu Marsh-Brown suffered the same fate, Lucas Akins’ shot was easily held by home keeper Marek Stech.
On 26 minutes, the game sprang to life again when Daniel Johnson earned the game’s first yellow card for a fair challenge on Greg Tansey, the Stevenage player’s theatrical reaction not helping Johnson’s plea of innocence. Tansey’s recovery was complete within seconds as he returned to action almost immediately.
Yeovil then went closer still with a double chance on 36 minutes as the game picked up pace again after a brief lull. Marsh-Brown burst through the midfield like a knife through butter and set up Madden but his shot was parried by keeper Steve Arnold and Marsh-Brown’s follow up was blocked too.
The second half began in disastrous fashion for the Glovers as Stevenage went ahead again on 49 minutes. Stevenage had made a change at half time bringing on Marcus Haber for Patrick Agyemang and the Canadian striker set his strike partner Akins up after a run and cross down the left.
Akins then ran thirty yards unchallenged through the centre before seeing his shot deflected for a corner and Marsh-Brown wasted a chance when Jamie McAllister’s long ball down the left set him up. Foley then tried curling a shot past Arnold but the keeper easily held his effort.
Haber, impressive during his 45 minute appearance then set up James Dunne but he sliced his shot wide but Stevenage weren’t to be denied and scored the decisive third just after the hour. Dunne cut inside from the right and his left foot shot took a deflection off a Yeovil boot, taking it further away from Stech and into the corner of the net.
Johnson made a double sub on seventy minutes when Gavin Williams and Reuben Reid came on for Hayter and Marsh-Brown and the Welshman was involved in Yeovil’s next two chances, shooting low at Arnold and heading a Webster cross over the bar. Arnold then had to be alert to tip a Madden cross shot over and the Carlisle loanee then headed a corner over the bar at the far post.
The final minutes of the game were played out with lots of huff and puff but no further chances and the Glovers will be hoping that their recent good form , along with the missing spectators, on Saturday with the visit of Hartlepool.