Yeovil Town dropped to sixteenth place in League One after suffering their sixth successive defeat in losing 2-1 to Portsmouth at Huish Park tonight.
Goals from Izale McLeod and Gabor Gyepes either side of a Reuben Reid penalty saw Pompey leapfrog the Glovers in the table and leaves Town still searching for their first league victory since the victory over Doncaster Rovers on September 1st.
Manager Gary Johnson rang the changes again, some forced and some tactical. Ed Upson was suspended following his red card at Preston at the weekend and he was joined on the sidelines by Luke Ayling, Gavin Williams and Gozie Ugwu with Reuben Reid, James Hayter, Richard Hinds and Keanu Marsh-Brown coming into the starting eleven.
Johnson utilised the 3-5-2 formation from the start but at times in the first half, it seemed like his troops were uncomfortable with the new system and trying to cope with the twin strike threat of McLeod and Wes Thomas; pace and power personified.
Marsh-Brown had the first chance of the match but his low shot to the back post was deflected for a corner and it soon became the Izale McLeod show as he was twice denied by Marek Stech, the second of which the Czech keeper pushed on to the post.
The keeper was helpless in the thirteenth minute though when a ball down through the middle was latched on to by McLeod who thumped a shot past the helpless Stech. Reid went close for the Glovers five minutes later when he outpaced the Pompey defence but couldn’t squeeze his shot past former Bristol Rovers keeper Mikkel Andersen.
The first half hour was grim watching for the Yeovil fans as their side looked like crumbling each time the visitors attacked, and that was more often than was comfortable. Adam Webster ran forty yards unchallenged down the left flank before seeing his shot blocked and Thomas shrugged off a Hinds challenge to shoot a foot wide.
Marsh-Brown sliced his shot wide from the angle of the penalty box and was then brought down in the area but late substitute referee Chris Foy waved away Town’s claims for a spot kick. The half closed with Ryan Harley’s low finish ruled out for an offside as Pompey pressed for number two.
At half time, manager Johnson made two changes bringing on Ugwu and Lewis Young for James Hayter and Hinds, reverting to a normal 4-4-2 formation. But Young was to last only three minutes, caught in a 50/50 challenge by the touchline and being stretchered off for an x-ray on his ankle. The final sub was used up by replacing Young with Nathan Ralph.
Harley sliced a shot wide on the hour before Thomas became the villain of the piece going down clutching his head after a challenge in the box, the Town crowd feeling he had made the most of it looking for a spot kick. Well, a penalty came but at the other end as Ralph beat his man but was tripped in the box, referee Foy pointing for a penalty. Reid duly dispatched the kick low and hard to the keepers left.
Reid almost grabbed a second two minutes later but Andersen saved well then he had the ball in the net on 74 minutes but again a late offside flag ruled the goal out.
Three minutes later, Portsmouth secured all three points when, after a corner wasn’t cleared properly, Gabor Gyepes was given time to turn and fire home from twelve yards out to make it 2-1. The final quarter hour saw no further clear cut chances for either side and Town now face Colchester United on Saturday looking to avoid making it seven in a row.