30th August 2014

Yeovil Town produced a stirring second half fightback to claim a point in a 1-1 draw with high flying Barnsley.

After a poor first half in which Conor Hourihane’s brilliant 26th minute strike looked out of place,  the Glovers came out a different side after the break and although Martin Cranie’s own goal was all they had to show for their efforts, it was a huge improvement on the first period and the side deserved the standing ovation the 3,991 crowd gave them at the end.

The point leaves Yeovil in 19th place while Barnsley, who were second at one point this afternoon, end in seventh spot, just outside the playoff berths.

Gary Johnson went with an unchanged lineup with Seth Twumasi resuming on the bench and former Yeovil loanee Martin Cranie captaining the visiting Tykes on his return to his home town.

The first half won’t be remembered fondly by the Glovers in the ground. It took until the 39th minute for the home side to get an effort on target when Ajay Leitch-Smith tested visiting keeper Adam Davies. But by then, Yeovil had been outpassed by a smooth looking Barnsley side who grew with confidence as the half went on.

Sam Foley hit a shot over the crossbar early on but the Tykes dominated before the break. Home keeper Chris Weale saved superbly from Reece Brown and watched two Keith Treacy efforts go wide but he was helpless on 26 minutes when Conor Hourihane, scorer of a beauty last week for the Yorkshiremen, hit a sweet left footed drive into the top corner of the net.

Yeovil improved before half time and after Leitch-Smith’s effort, both he and Simon Gillett also had shots that barely troubled Davies.

After the break, a different Yeovil came up. Fired up from the dressing room talking to, they played at a higher tempo and looked far more full of running and at times, Kieffer Moore, on as sub for the injured Simon Gillett just before the break, drew a save from Davies at the near post.

Joe Edwards, who had a fantastic game in centre midfield for Yeovil, had his acrobatic volley saved by Davies who also blocked efforts from Leitch-Smith and Moore. Chris Weale then saved from Bradley Abbott but in truth, it was a rare chance for Barnsley in an enthralling second half.

Johnson made a double switch on 64 minutes taking off Kevin Dawson and James Hayter and replacing them with Sam Hoskins and Nathan Ralph and if anything, the tempo upped another gear with the extra pace on the attack causing Barnsley problems.

The final twenty minutes were all Yeovil with only the occasional breathing space for the visitors. On 75 minutes came the breakthrough when a ball in from the right from Jakub Sokolik was turned into his own net by Martin Cranie with Moore close by ready to pounce.

The goal gave Yeovil, and their fans, renewed hope that they could get more than a point from the game. Leitch-Smith, Sam Foley, Moore and Ralph all had efforts to score go wide, or were blocked by an increasingly desperate Tykes backline.

Dale Jennings crossed over late on but his ball in evaded everyone and ran out harmlessly for a goal kick but even in the dying minutes, Moore saw a header cleared off the line and Leitch-Smith went close on an afternoon that left him very unlucky not to have broken his league duck.