Full match report from Prenton Park
Yeovil Town let slip a two goal advantage to lose by three goals to two at league leaders Tranmere Rovers this afternoon.
Cruising at 2-0 after goals from Paddy Madden and Sam Foley, the Glovers conceded a soft goal right on half time through James Wallace before levelling early in the second period through Jake Cassidy. After Yeovil’s Joe Edwards saw red for two bookable offences, Ronnie Moore’s table toppers completed an unlikely comeback when Danny Holmes scored with eight minutes left.
The defeat, Yeovil’s seventh in their last eight games, will be a bitter disappointment to manager Gary Johnson who may also feel let down by some poor officiating from ref Kevin Wright who failed to send off home midfielder Wallace for flinging an arm and connecting with Korey Smith just before the break.
The Yeovil boss had the rare luxury of being able to name an unchanged starting eleven this afternoon which meant that defender Byron Webster’s return from suspension was only as far as the sub’s bench. Carlisle loanee Paddy Madden and James Hayter continued their fruitful partnership up front, leaving Reuben Reid and Gavin Williams on the sidelines.
But it was at the other end where the game’s first action took place. Richard Hinds and Dan Burn’s mix up at the heart of the defence allowed Jake Cassidy in but the on-loan Wolves striker was denied by a brilliant save from Marek Stech with less than a minute on the clock.
On eight minutes, Yeovil took the lead and it was that man Madden again. Sam Foley’s wayward shot was blocked but fell to Madden who sidefooted home leaving Tranmere’s defenders claiming an offside. It was Madden’s third goal in a week since joining from the Cumbrian’s on a month’s loan deal.
Tranmere sprayed the ball around nicely in the first half hour but an Adam McGurk shot over was all they had to show for the pressure though Keanu Marsh-Brown could have made it 2-0 with a shot. The second goal came shortly afterwards when Marsh-Brown’s shot was diverted into the net by Sam Foley for his third goal of the season.
Stech saved the Glovers on 32 minutes from a long range blast by James Wallace and James Hayter then shot weakly when through set up four minutes later. The major talking point aside from the goals came on forty minutes when Korey Smith pulled Wallace back as he escaped from the Norwich midfielder. Wallace chose to retaliate immediately though and swung an elbow round, catching the Yeovil player in the head. Referee Wright was wrong though, and issued yellow cards to both players.
Salt was rubbed into the wounds right on the break when Adam McGurk’s free kick was headed home by Wallace to make the score 2-1 and breathing life into the Rovers team at the worst possible time for Yeovil.
The second period began with Stech having to save well from a Hinds clearance but he was helpless a minute later when the Rovers equaliser arrived. McGurk was again involved, shooting straight at Stech, but the Czech keeper could only push it to Cassidy who tapped in for his eighth goal of the season. 2-2 and the optimism of just ten minutes before had almost disappeared.
Stech then saved a left foot drive from Zoumana Bakayogo before watching a Cole Stockton go wide. It wasn’t all one way traffic though and Marsh-Brown had two attempts one goal from distance, neither troubling home keeper Owain fon Williams though he will have been watching the first effort go close.
Eighteen minutes remained when Joe Edwards tripped the accelerating Bakayogo and, having been booked earlier for a foul on Joe Thompson, saw the red card shown leaving Johnson’s men to try to hold on for a point with ten men and no recognised right back on the pitch. Making a double switch soon after, Johnson introduced Gavin Williams and Byron Webster for Foley and Hayter.
After fon Williams had saved Madden’s shot and seen Foley’s shot fly wide, Stech produced his best save of the match denying Bakayogo with a flying save, tipping it away for a corner. From the flag kick though, Danny Holmes was given the freedom of the penalty area and even had time to follow up his own effort saved by Stech to hammer home the winner.
Cassidy went close late on when he should have squared for a team mate and in stoppage time, Marsh-Brown joined Burn and Smith in the inconsistent referee’s book when he fouled Abdulai Bell-Baggie. All to no avail though and the Glovers now lie in 14th place, three points above the bottom four and eight points from the playoff zone.