Yeovil Town's Skybet Championship home debut ended in defeat as they went down by a single goal to BIrmingham City this afternoon.
An own goal from Danny Seaborne a minute into the second half was all that separated the two sides with James Hayter hitting the post and Byron Webster's header pushed on to the crossbar by visiting keeper Darren Randolph. The Glovers can feel hard done by that they don't take anything from a compelling game. They will also have concerns over keeper Marek Stech who was taken to hospital with a broken hand after going off on seven minutes.
Manager Gary Johnson reverted to the side that beat Millwall at the Den last Saturday, having made five changes for the Capital One Cup tie in midweek. It meant that Nine of the starting eleven were from last year's promotion winning side.
In a first half buzzing in a superb atmosphere generated by a crowd of more than 8,700 the injury to Stech was the first real action of the game. The big Czech came out to punch a cross clear and collided with Byron Webster, both men needing treatment but Stech going off to be replaced by Gareth Stewart.
Luke Ayling shot wide on 11 minutes and two minutes later, Paddy Madden stung Randolph's hands with a rasping drive. Andrew Shinnie then missed a golden chance to put his side ahead when he beat the offside trap but couldn't direct his header at all.
Webster and Madden both went close in a matter of seconds before Neil Eardley earned the first of what could have been several yellows during the match for a foul on Sam Foley. He was then followed into the notebook by Shane Ferguson for clattering Ayling.
Right on half time, a rebounded clearance fell into the path of Hayter who then side footed his effort against the outside of the post. The half ended with Eardley making his third challenge worthy of a yellow and boss Gary Johnson remonstrating with the official Mr Robinson.
The second half started in terrible fashion for the home side. Ferguson swung in a left footed corner and Webster headed against the back of former team mate Dan Burn who wheeled away in celebration.
The game then entered a scrappy phase with yellow cards handed out increasingly more often. For BIrmingham, Robinson and Wade Elliott were booked along with Foley and Joe Edwards of Yeovil.
Former Yeovil loan star Dan Burn, outstanding all afternoon, then went close with a curling shot before at the other end, Madden flicked a header at Randolph and Webster's header was pushed on to the crossbar by the impressive keeper.
Michael N'Goo and Sam Hoskins replaced Foley and Madden but as time went on, Stewart was called into action to deny Shinnie. Ed Upson then went close with a free kick and both Tom Adeyemi and Callum Reilly fired shots over in the closing stages.