Yeovil Town made the long trip to the north east of England and returned with a point after a goalless draw with Hartlepool United at Victoria Park this afternoon.
The Glovers suffered a shaky start but grew into the game and nineteen goal striker Paddy Madden hit the bar in the first half but a game that rarely sparked into life will leave both sides frustrated at different ends of the table with a draw not the perfect end to the weekend.
The point sees Yeovil drop to fifth but with Swindon and Sheffield United also both drawing, it could have been worse but will add extra significance to the Glovers’ next two games at home against Crawley Town and Swindon Town. Victories in those two fixtures could see the Glovers in the mix for the top two with other playoff sides also facing each other.
Yeovil Town manager Gary Johnson named an unchanged side as he prepared to take on a Hartlepool side buoyed by a cracking return of form that had seen them take eighteen points from their last nine league games. But the Glovers could point to nine wins from eleven games in 2013 as they steamed towards the League One promotion zone.
The first half was a forgettable affair with precious little in the way of absolute clear cut chances. The home fans thought they were due a penalty when a shot cannoned off the arm of Dan Burn but ref David Webb said “No penalty” and straight after, James Poole shot just wide.
Sam Foley took a knock on eleven minutes and was replaced after an aborted attempt to carry on by Gavin Williams. Both Joe Edwards and top scorer Paddy Madden had shots blocked and Poole went close again with a shot that Marek Stech saved comfortably. The keeper then had to be sharp to block Neil Austin’s attempt from an Evan Horwood ball in.
The game brightened up a bit after the half hour mark and Yeovil went the closest in the first period to a goal when Madden turned and lashed a shot against the underside off the crossbar and away with Williams shooting straight at former Town loanee keeper Scott Flinders moments later. James Hayter then set up Madden but he shot over and veteran left sided player Richie Humphreys hit a scorcher of a shot a foot wide from long range as the half closed.
The second half offered hope that it might prove better but any improvement was really marginal. Madden went close with a near post header and after home boss John Hughes made a double change on 65 minutes, Williams had a real opportunity to open the scoring but headed at Flinders when well placed.
Kevin Dawson and Hayter were replaced by Lewis Young and debutant Wes Fletcher, on loan from Burnley, in the second half of the second period. But it was a replacement for the ‘Pools that went closest to rescuing a win when Anthony Sweeney was denied late on by Stech who pushed his shot wide for a corner.
In stoppage time, Young broke down the right and fired a shot that Flinders pushed to Madden but the ex-Carlisle front man screwed his shot wide and the home keeper also gathered efforts from Ed Upson and Young as the Glovers pushed for the winner.