Yeovil Town slipped to their first league defeat of the season when they were beaten by a single goal to nil by Bournemouth at Huish Park this afternoon.
A spectacular 34th minute free kick from Richard Hughes was the only difference score-wise between the two local rivals but the visiting Cherries passed their hosts off the pitch and at times, looked like they had two extra players on the pitch, such was their dominance.
The loss means that Gary Johnson’s men drop to third place in the npower League One table and his side also failed to score for the first time this season, creating no chances at all in the last half an hour of the game.
Boss Johnson was forced into changing his starting eleven with the three game suspension of Jamie McAllister meaning that teenage defender Nathan Ralph came in for his first start in league football. Byron Webster was McAllister’s replacement as captain having recovered from his bruised ribs from midweek.
The opening ten minutes was typical of the way the rest of the game continued. Wes Fogden curled a shot over on 55 seconds, Lewis Grabban was denied a goal by a desperate last ditch tackle by Ralph and returning Glovers loanee Shaun MacDonald hit a shot a foot over Marek Stech’s crossbar as the Cherries slipped into a slick, passing rhythm straight away.
Sam Foley went close after he danced through the Bournemouth defence but pulled his shot wide and Ralph again thwarted the visiting defence with a clearance after great work from MacDonald and Grabban. Stech then saved well with his feet from Fogden
Just after the half hour came the only goal of the game. Webster blocked the impressive Josh McQuoid twenty five yards out and earned a yellow card for his trouble but the punishment was further inflicted when Richard Hughes hit a left foot piledriver into the top corner via a hand from Stech.
Manager Johnson moved quickly making a rare double substitution right on half time. Dominic Blizzard and Reuben Reid were withdrawn and Gozie Ugwu along with Rohan Ince replaced them. Luke Ayling had the next chance but his left foot shot lacked power; Ed Upson sent in a dipping volley that crept over the crossbar of Shwan Jalal and in between times, Myles Addison headed down and over the bar from a Hughes corner.
MacDonald looked to continue the recent habit at Huish Park of former players netting against their old clubs but his right foot shot was simple for Stech to gather. Upson then fed Ugwu in the right channel but the Reading striker fired way over from the angle.
Incredibly, it was to be the Glovers last chance worthy of the name. The rest of the half saw a measure of huff and puff but all too few real openings. At the other end, the defence of Yeovil creaked and groaned under the sheer number of Cherries attacks aimed at them.
Stech was the first, and not the last to save his side when, after Webster had been deceived by the flight of a Bournemouth clearance, McQuoid’s ball into the box was met by Fogden, blocked with his legs by the big Czech.
Grabban’s shot was blocked by Hinds; he then shot into the side netting from a tight angle; was then denied again by Stech who then held another shot from McQuoid. Wes Thomas, on for McQuoid a minute later, was also wasteful pulling his shot wide after the Cherries had broke, three on two with the home defence.
Thomas and Simon Francis both shot wide as the chances rained in before Hinds blocked another effort from Grabban and Stech saved from MacDonald in stoppage time.
The players were kept in the dressing room for more than forty minutes after the game and Johnson will expect to see a strong response from his troops at next Saturday’s match against Milton Keynes Dons.