Yeovil Town’s “regular” league season ended with a 3-2 defeat at already relegated Bury at Gigg Lane this afternoon.
In an awful first half, Town conceded three goals in little more than half an hour through a Jonson Clarke-Harris double and Nicky Ajose. But Town came back in the second half with James Hayter and Kevin Dawson scoring what proved to be consolation goals as the visitors suffered defeat in their last trip before taking on the playoffs next weekend.
Late drama elsewhere saw Brentford miss a last minute penalty before conceding an even later goal at home to champions-elect Doncaster Rovers and Swindon let two late goals slip against relegated Scunthorpe. Once the excitement had settled down, Yeovil will now face Sheffield United in the playoffs with the first leg set to be at Bramall Lane next Friday and the second leg at a buzzing Huish Park next Monday afternoon.
Yeovil boss Gary Johnson was down to the bare bones as far as selecting his squad was concerned. With five players out injured, Johnson was forced to name two youth team scholars in Melchi Emanuel-Williamson and Aidan Chainey on a five man bench. On the pitch itself, Dominic Blizzard came in for Nathan Ralph at left back with Lewis Young coming in at right back for central defender Byron Webster, captain Luke Ayling moving across to the middle.
Paddy Madden’s work ethic is well known to Glovers fans and he nearly created himself a goal inside twenty seconds when he charged down a poor clearance from Shakers keeper Cameron Belford but lashed his shot wide. Within four minutes, he was made to pay when Bury opened the scoring. A Bury corner was only cleared to Jonson Clarke-Harris and the teenager’s shot, not perfectly struck, still managed to find its way through a crowded penalty box.
The youngster then nearly added a second from an even better opportunity but fired wide from Vitalijs Maksimenko’s clearance but the chances dried up as both sides struggled to cope with a bumpy pitch that had also endured a brief storm at kick off. Sam Foley shot at the keeper after being played through and Craig Fagan & Clarke-Harris both tested keeper Marek Stech before the latter scored his, and Bury’s second in the 26th minute. Awarded a free kick outside the box, Clarke-Harris opted for a low driven effort that went into the corner of the net.
Yeovil felt they should have had a penalty when James Hayter’s header into the box was handled above his head by former Glovers defender Efe Sodje but ref Dean Whitestone said “No” and a matter of minutes later, a counter attack from Bury saw Nicky Ajose outpace the Town defence and slot home for his fourth goal of the season to make it 3-0. Town got to half time without conceding further and even had shots from Foley and Madden to add to their list of chances.
Yeovil needed a timely boost early in the second half if they were going to get anything from the match and after a Joe Edwards shot had whistled inches wide, James Hayter showed all his predatory ability when he headed home from an Ed Upson corner on 57 minutes; it was the ex-Bournemouth frontman’s 16th goal of a good debut season in green and white.
Foley flicked a header just wide and Joe Edwards volleyed at Belford as the Glovers stepped up a gear or two, Edwards then victim of the first change coming off for Gavin Williams. With ten minutes left, Johnson introduced Angelo Balanta and Richard Hinds for strike pairing Madden and Hayter with Lewis Young pushing up front alongside Balanta.
Ajose then finished poorly and both Kevin Dawson and Upson went very close before the second goal arrived two minutes into stoppage time. Young sped forward from deep before laying it off to Dawson who grabbed his second of the season. The game ended with flared tempers and five bookings in stoppage time including yellow cards for Blizzard, Upson and Young along with Tom Soares and Belford from the Shakers.