Yeovil Town and ten man Swindon Town played out an entertaining 1-1 draw at Huish Park this afternoon.
The Glovers took the lead in the first half through James Hayter but former Yeovil star Andy Williams levelled before his team mate Nathan Thompson earned a second yellow as the Robins played out the last thirteen minutes a man short.
It was a terrific game for the neutral but a point will fall short of what both managers hoped for before the start. The visitors had the momentum with the leveller but the dismissal set the game up for a fascinating final few minutes.
Yeovil boss Gary Johnson rang the changes big style from last week’s 4-1 debacle at Port Vale. No fewer than eight alterations to his starting line up including a whole new back five, one of which was new centre half on loan from Crystal Palace, Ryan Inniss. Swindon had two ex-Glovers in the squad with
Jon Obika up front to start with and Andy Williams on the bench. From the opening exchanges, Swindon’s insistence on playing the ball out from the back using the keeper and the centre backs in a 3-5-2 formation was admirable. However one felt they were always prone to a player making a mistake though at times, keeper Wes Foderingham struggled with his kicks against the wind.
Jordy Hiwula delayed his shot on five minutes and saw it blocked by a defender and Swindon’s Jordan Turnbull was left kicking himself when he headed a Nathan Byrne free kick wide of the goal.
Joe Edwards then tested the Swindon keeper with a back post header but the rest of the half was marred by some baffling decisions from the official, Scott Mathieson. James Hayter was yellow carded for a slightly late challenge but was then scythed down by Jordan Turnbull without penalty. Then, straight afterwards, Iraqi midfield general Yaser Kasim clashed with Hayter behind the referee’s back, escaping any punishment.
Hayter got his revenge in the best possible way by opening the scoring on 34 minutes. He broke the offside trap, pulled in the defenders before squaring to Hiwula. The Manchester City loanee pulled the ball back to Hayter who fired past three defenders.
Hiwula then almost grabbed a second with a shot that Foderingham parried but it was the final chance of an up and down first period.
At half time, Swindon manager Mark Cooper brought on Andy Williams for Jon Obika, playing the ex Yeovil attacker as part of a front two with Michael Smith.
And his influence was apparent straight away when he latched on to a long kick from Foderingham, cut inside across the box but sliced his shot wide of the near post.
Williams then set up Byrne but he pulled his shot wide and the same player repeated the feat again after Massimo Luongo had fed him. Swindon were enjoying the better of the second period but Hiwula fired a warning shot across Swindon’s bows when he shot into the side netting.
Simon Gillett then forced Foderingham into an excellent full length diving save at the expense of a corner from which Ryan Inniss was denied twice from headers. Ben Gladwin, on for Amari Bell then fired well wide from thirty yards.
The reprieve was temporary though as Swindon were on par minutes later. Jack Stephens burst down the right found Andy Williams and the striker swept the ball into the far corner of the net for his seventh goal of the season.
This set up the game for a final frantic twenty minutes in which either side could have grabbed a winner. But before any more chances could accrue, Swindon were down to ten men when Nathan Thompson got a second yellow card after tangling with Hiwula. The exact nature of the second yellow was unclear.
Byrne had one final chance but sent his shot at Artur Krysiak who then followed up by saving from Smith in the final minutes.