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REPORT | Yeovil Town 1-1 Northampton Town

Late drama in festive meeting

22 December 2018

Two goals inside the final stages saw the Glovers share the spoils with Northampton Town in their final home match of 2018.

In an interesting tactical battle, both sides enjoyed moments of promise from their differing formations in the first half. 

With the Glovers lining up in 4-4-2 against the Cobblers' 5-3-2, clear chances were at a relative premium despite Tom James and Rhys Browne going close for the hosts. 

Remaining goalless at the break, the Glovers flew out of the traps following the restart and squandered the best chance of the game when Jordan Green failed to round Northampton's goalkeeper when through on goal following a swift counter-attack.

Becoming an ill-tempered affair in the final 20 minutes the visitors looked to have snatched the win when former player Andy Williams came off the bench to open the scoring. 

As stoppage time approach fellow substitute Yoann Arquin provided a strong contender for goal of the season when his stunning volley from 30 yards cannoned in off the bar to lift the roof off of Huish Park and earn Town a point.

Looking to end the year at Huish Park on a high, Darren Way made two changes to the side that came back from Cambridge United last weekend with a point. 

Picking up a 0-0 draw in Cambridgeshire the Glovers looked for extra firepower by introducing top scorer Alex Fisher and club captain Francois Zoko for their first starting partnership of the campaign. 

The alterations saw Yoann Arquin and Olufela Olomola drop to the bench where they were rejoined by the fit again Nathan Baxter and Academy product Devon Arnold, who at 17 years old was awarded the number 28 jersey. 

Still faced by a lengthy injury list, Way was unable to call upon Omar Sowunmi (ankle), Bevis Mugabi (shoulder), Alex Pattison (back), Gabby Rogers (ankle), Wes McDonald (hamstring) and Diallang Jaiyesimi (knee) for the meeting in Somerset. 

After ending a run of four straight defeats last time out, the green and whites were looking to add goals to their clean sheet performance last time out.

In an opening 45 minutes which saw the action flow from end-to-end, Zoko and Northampton's top scorer Kevin Van Veen both had early attempts on goal, albeit failing to call either keeper into action.

Next to try his luck, James produced the latest in his series of impressive free-kicks when from an acute angle he saw his strike whiz over the bar under the watch full eye of David Cornell. 

As both sides continued to trade chances, Foley - one of four former Glovers in Northampton's ranks - drove a shot from 20 yards that was almost turned in at the back post by the lurking Matt Crooks. 

The sense that an opening goal was coming grew further when Browne's strike from just inside the box looped off of David Buchanan and dropped just wide, as the half-hour mark approached. 

However, the game plateaued up to the halfway stage as the Cobblers enjoyed an extended spell of possession that didn't yield anything in front of goal to tee up an intriguing second 45 minutes. 

Making a bright start following the restart, Browne once again saw a goalbound strike deflected away from goal after cutting in from the left as Town penned in their visitors. 

With either goalkeeper yet to make a meaningful contribution as the hour-mark passed the notion that one goal would win it increased and the hosts soon had a glorious chance. 

Moments after Van Veen saw a shot ricochet wide in front of the travelling supporters, Stuart Nelson's quick distribution set Browne two-on-one with support from Green. 

Finding his fellow wideman, Green attempted to round Cornell but the Cobblers stopper pounced on the ball to thwart the best opportunity of the game. 

Sparking the crowd into life the match itself became a feisty affair with five yellow cards awarded in the space of 10 minutes as Town's tempo was interrupted by the stop-start nature of proceedings. 

Now into the final quarter-of-an-hour the green and whites attempted to freshen things up in attack as Olomola replaced veteran Zoko whilst Arquin took to the field in place of the impressive Browne. 

Northampton made changes of their own and Williams came back to haunt his former employers when he kept his goal when clean through to pick out the bottom corner with 87 minutes played. 

Not willing to go down without a fight the hosts hit back in mesmerising style. 

Arquin's volley from a long way out left Cornell with no chance and issued an instant response, setting up a dramatic six minutes of additional time with the home faithful roaring. 

The green and whites pressed for a late winner but it wasn't to be as 2018 at home ended with a draw. 

Yeovil Town: Nelson; James, Gafaiti, Warren, Dickinson; Green, Santos, D'Almeida, Browne (Arquin 82'); Fisher, Zoko (Olomola 79').
Bookings: Gafaiti 10', D'Almeida 62', Warren 69'
Subs not used: Baxter, Donnellan, Gray, Patrick, Arnold.

Northampton Town: Cornell; Facey, Turnbull, Taylor, Pierre, Buchanan; Crooks (Williams 67'), McWilliams, Foley (Waters 74'); Bowditch, Van Veen (Morias 88').
Bookings: Foley 62', Taylor 65', Van Veen 71'
Subs not used: Coddington, Bridge, Powell, Hoskins.


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