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REPORT: YEOVIL TOWN 0-0 EXETER CITY

26 December 2016

Yeovil Town began the first of three games in a week with a 0-0 draw at home to Exeter City in Sky Bet League Two.

The Glovers dominated proceedings at Huish Park, especially after the break, but couldn’t find a winner against a resolute City outfit. 

Tom Eaves came closest to scoring by hitting the bar midway through the second half, but Town had to settle for a share of the spoils. 

Darren Way made three changes to the side that narrowly lost out to Carlisle United in Cumbria a little over a week ago in Sky Bet League Two. 

Top scorers Eaves and Otis Khan returned to the front three in place of Francois Zoko and Tahvon Campbell who moved to the bench, whilst Ben Whitfield reclaimed his midfield spot in place of Matt Butcher.

However, the Bournemouth loanee was introduced inside the opening ten minutes after Ryan Hedges picked up an ankle injury after an industrious challenge from City’s Troy Brown, with Butcher replacing the Welshman.

Enjoying the majority of possession, the Glovers threatened to open up their Devon opponents in the opening 20 minutes, and almost did so through Whitfield. 

Alex Lacey’s diagonal ball was flicked on by Eaves into the path of the roaming Whitfield, but Christy Pym was quick off of his line to dive at the feet of the 20-year-old and smother the danger.

After a quiet start, the Grecians settled into the match and enjoyed a good spell of their own, limiting Town’s time on the ball despite not creating much by way of goal scoring opportunities. 

Lloyd James wasted a 20-yard free-kick by firing straight into the wall after 37 minutes, before Artur Krysiak raced from his line to make himself big and block former Glover Reuben Reid’s prodded effort from the edge of the box a few minutes later.

That chance for the visitors sparked the hosts into action as Eaves came close to heading in the opener at the other end.

Ryan Dickson’s cross was destined for the striker at the back post, but the smallest of touches from Pym took it off the head of the 24-year-old and out for a corner.

As the game ticked into six minutes of first half stoppage time largely for lengthy injuries to Hedges and Eaves, Exeter’s Ollie Watkins rattled an effort just over the bar from 20 yards. 

Neither side could utilise the additional time as it went into the break at deadlock, with no changes made by either manager at the break.

After having the last chance of the first half, Watkins struck first in the second 45 but saw his curling shot fly into the arms of Krysiak, before Town enjoyed a good spell of pressure.

The Glovers won a succession of corners as Exeter’s defence became increasingly stretched, before Darren Way’s side had a strong penalty appeal waved away. 

From a cross wide on the right the ball deflected onto the arm of Jordan Taylor-Moore, but despite vociferous claims from players and fans alike, referee Tim Robinson rebutted the appeals. 
Now dominating proceedings, Eaves went closer than anyone to opening the scoring just past the hour mark as his well directed header from Ryan Dickson’s cross cannoned back off the bar, as Yeovil piled on the pressure. 

Looking to hit the hosts on the counter, City engineered two opportunities in quick succession as first Krysiak raced from his line to beat substitute Liam McAlinden to the ball, before the Polish stopper denied the same man with a strong save at his near post moments later. 

Desperate to convert their second half dominance into the three points Way introduced striker Zoko for Whitfield with a little over 10 minutes remaining, as Town committed numbers forward.

Despite entrenching themselves in the Grecians half Yeovil couldn’t find a way past a deep-sitting Exeter outfit in the closing stages, as they had to settle for a share of the spoils at Huish Park, ending a run of two defeats.

Yeovil Town: Krysiak; Shephard, Lacey, Smith, Dickson; Dawson, Lawless, Whitfield (Zoko 76’); Hedges (Butcher 9’), Eaves, Khan.
Bookings: Dawson 44’, Butcher 75’, Smith 79’, Eaves 90’. 
Subs not used: Maddison, Ezewele, Mugabi, Campbell, Sowunmi. 

Exeter City: Pym; Stacey, Brown, Moore-Taylor, Woodman (Harley 50’); Wheeler, James, Taylor, Holmes (Grant 77’); Watkins, Reid (McAlinden 62’).
Bookings: Brown 2’, McAlinden 67’
Subs not used: Olejnik, Harley, Oakley, Riley-Lowe, Tillson. 

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