Yeovil Town won their first Skybet Championship home game of the season with a thrilling 3-1 victory over Nottingham Forest this afternoon.
The Glovers took an early lead through a spectacular Ed Upson strike before Simon Cox saw his penalty saved brilliantly by Wayne Hennessey. Upson then added a second special before Nathan Chalobah pulled a goal back.
Byron Webster made it 3-1 right on half time and Gary Johnson’s side maintained their improved performance in the second half to win all three points for only the second time this campaign. But as much as the three goals won it, the man of the match was keeper Wayne Hennessey who produced a stupendous keeping performance to deny Forest’s attack several times.
Johnson made two changes to his starting line up, bringing in Joe Ralls for the injured Frazer Fyvie and Joel Grant replaced James Hayter up front.
Yeovil started far more confidently than in previous games, stroking the ball around nicely and playing at a higher tempo than has been seen recently. Kevin Dawson went close early on for Yeovil and Liam Davis’s thunderous shot was blocked by a Forest defender.
On seven minutes came the opening goal of the game. A throw in from the right found Upson 25 yards out and his right foot volley flew into the top corner leaving visiting keeper Karl Darlow helpless. It was a typical Upson goal and came at precisely the right time to hurt their opponents.
Forest were given a lifeline on fifteen minutes, and not for the first time this season, Yeovil were left fuming at a controversial penalty decision. Simon Cox went down under a challenge from Shane Duffy and ref Mick Russell checked with his assistant (who didn’t flag for the foul) and awarded the spot kick. Cox though was denied by a superb diving stop from Hennessey who blocked a follow up before Webster then headed a third chance off the line.
Duffy then headed over and later at Darlow as he threatened from set pieces while Ralls shot was blocked by Hobbs. Yeovil were playing some good football but still only a goal ahead,a slender lead at this level.
That was brought more into focus as Hennessey produced top saves from Cox and Radoslaw Madewski inside sixty seconds. Yeovil needed a second goal to settle down and on 39 minutes it came, again from Upson. This time, the midfielder hit a beauty from 25 yards with the outside of his right boot into the bottom left hand corner of the goal.
Within two minutes though, Forest had a goal back, again in dubious fashion. Dawson was yellow carded for what looked a tangle of legs with returning fans favourite Chris Cohen and from the free kick, Hobbs headed back across goal where Chalobah nodded in at the far post.
Yeovil didn’t let the goal get to them and regained their two goal lead almost immediately. Joel Grant’s fearsome shot was tipped over by Darlow and from the resultant corner. Byron Webster’s header hit the post and crossed the line before being cleared by the Forest defence. The assistant referee signalled for the goal and the Glovers went in 3-1 ahead.
Forest, no doubt having received an ear bashing from manager Billy Davies at the interval, came doubt all guns blazing and had five chances to score before Yeovil had an opportunity of their own. Andy Reid shot over, Hobbs sliced an effort horribly wide and Hennessey saved well from Cox, Jamaal Lascelles and sub Jamie Mackie.
Davis then spurned a chance to make it 4-1 to Yeovil when he opted for power at the near post rather than square the ball into the middle and shot wide. Hennessey was called into action yet again when he saved from Darius Henderson and twice more from Lascelles.
Davis went close again with a left foot rising volley that whistled past the upright as Yeovil continued to look for a fourth to kill the game off.
The game had been niggling away all afternoon and as Forest began to lose their self control near the end, Henderson kicked out at Webster as he lay on the floor but neither official saw it. And Gonzalo Jara who had inexplicably escaped a yellow card despite committing multiple offences, also aimed a sly boot at Hoskins who had run himself into the ground all afternoon.
Upson went close late on, forcing Darlow to save his shot with a full length dive but the game ended with the Yeovil fans able to celebrate another historic day for the club with their first ever Championship victory; a deserved one against the side lying fourth in the table at the start of play.