Yeovil’s near inevitable drop into League Two was confirmed this afternoon with a 1-1 draw at home to fellow strugglers Notts County.
The Glovers had led through a ninth minute own goal from County defender Haydn Hollis but Garry Thompson’s 78th minute equaliser condemned Town to their second successive relegation in new manager Paul Sturrock’s first game in charge. Although James Hayter hit the bar for Yeovil, it wasn’t enough in a game which ebbed and flowed but never really caught alight.
The new boss, appointed on Thursday, made two changes from the side that lost 4-0 at Fleetwood on Easter Monday. Seth Twumasi and Josh Sheehan dropped to the bench with James Berrett and Nathan Smith coming into the starting eleven.
Yeovil got off to a great start on nine minutes. After initially giving Yeovil the advantage after a foul, ref Darren Drysdale then pulled play back to give Yeovil a free kick. Sam Foley swung a superb ball in and Magpies defender Haydn Hollis stooped low to head past his own keeper Roy Carroll, a great finish at the wrong end though.
The first half was scrappy but shaded by the Glovers. James Hayter almost got on the end of another defensive rocket, this time a short back pass but Carroll was quick off his line and cleared the danger. It was indicative of new County manager Ricardo Moniz that he was encouraging his side to play out from the back but at times, it almost backfired as they wobbled somewhat.
County forward Jimmy Spencer was twice off target with chances while in between , Hayter set up Stephen Kingsley but his first time left foot volley on 35 minutes was smothered well by Carroll.
Carroll excelled himself two minutes later with a brilliant save on 37 minutes to deny Gozie Ugwu, the big striker placing his header back across goal but Carroll’s One Andes tip over gaining applause from both sets of fans.
At half time, Moniz had seen enough of both Hollis and Sam Newton and brought on Jamal Campbell-Ryce and Blair Adams to strengthen the left and side attacking wise. But it was Yeovil who had the first chances with Hayters shot lacking power before he then set up Ugwu who promptly sliced his shot well wide of the right hand post!
Garry Thompson was awry with two headers from corners as finally County started to threaten and they looked even better once Paddy McCourt had been withdrawn and on loan Aston Villa striker Graham Burke introduced on the hour as County’s last sub.
Burke stung Yeovil keeper Artur Krysiaks hands with a thirty yard left foot shot and the Polish keeper then repeated the safe from Gary Jones four minutes later from even further out.
Yeovil broke through Joel Grant and Hayter but when the Jamaican international passed to Hayter, his effort hit the top of the crossbar and away to safety. Within seven minutes though, a heavy nail was hammered into the Yeovil coffin with the County equaliser. With Campbell-Ryce switching flanks to attack down the right, his cross found Garry Thompson who placed his header past the despairing dive of Krysiak.
With so much riding on the game, tempers got a little frayed late on with four late bookings, three for Yeovil, as things got increasingly desperate. Sam Foley burst through late on but then fired well wide and although the introduction of late sub Kieffer Moore added some energy and physicality up front, nothing more than chances came of it. Moore was unlucky with a left foot strike across goal and he then set up another sub, Seth Twumasi with a pull back but the defenders shot was blocked.
Former England, Leeds and Manchester United attacker Alan Smith had County’s last chance, volleying straight at Krysiak first time. The final whistle sounded after four minutes stoppage time and Yeovil Town, in the Championship twelve months ago, will kick off life in August in League Two.