Yeovil Town moved off the bottom of the table after gaining a point at home to Coventry City. Neither side managed to break the deadlock although both often threatened to, with the stand out moment of the match being a penalty save from home ‘keeper Jed Steer.
In a game which Yeovil desperately needed to win to keep their unbeaten run going, and Coventry desperately needed to win to avoid being dragged down into a relegation battle, you’d have expected a bit more of a competitive edge in a first half which produced no real clear-cut chances. The Sky Blues beat the Glovers at home earlier this season but seemed less confident on the ball in this encounter, even though in truth neither side enjoyed comfortable possession.
A half volley from home debutant Liam Shephard was probably the closest either team came to scoring, but it flashed just wide of the post. 0 – 0 at half time, after a very boring 45 minutes indeed.
However, after the restart the game came alive and it took Coventry just 5 minutes to win a penalty after the faintest of touches sent Reda Johnson to the ground. Gary Madine stepped up but was thwarted with a fantastic save by Jed Steer, who dived the right way and got down well to push the ball past the post.
While Coventry will be rueing that missed chance, Yeovil will be disappointed they didn’t manage to find a goal in the patches in which they dominated. Jamar Loza will be most disappointed; after a loose ball found it’s way to the striker, he didn’t manage to keep his shot down.
There were also grumbles from the home fans when AJ Leitch-Smith was clearly pushed inside the penalty area. With the push being as blatant as they come, and the referee not even giving the incident a second glance, you can understand their frustrations.
The green and white faithful will still be happy to move off the bottom of the table though, and particularly pleased to keep the run going.
Jed Steer 8 – Steer didn’t have much to do, but you can’t deny that when he was given something to do he dealt with it well! There were a few other good pieces of goalkeeping, particular praise has to go for the commanding of his box against tall and strong opposition.
Liam Shephard 8 – Shephard looked a real bright spark going forward with plenty of positive runs and a shot which went just wide in the first half, and another which also whistled past the post in the second. He looked slightly vulnerable when defending, but that’s to be expected of such an inexperienced player.
Stephen Arthurworrey 6 – The on-loan Fulham defender didn’t his best game by any stretch of the imagination but still managed to keep a clean sheet and overall kept former Premier League striker Simeon Jackson quiet.
Kieffer Moore 7 – There are still moments where Moore looks sloppy as a centre back, but it was still another solid performance. He’s certainly not shy of going into tackles and will do everything he can to put the opposition off; the positive attitude which he has shown while embracing his new role has been admirable.
Nathan Smith 5 – An important part of a full-back’s game is his ability to cross; unfortunately, Nathan Smith is pants at crossing. There were many times when they were overhit and went out for either a goal kick or throw in, while other times they failed to beat the first man. He was slow getting back which meant Coventry found a lot of space down the right.
Seth Nana Twumasi 5 – It seemed at times that Twumasi and Shephard were both playing wing-back roles, with them both getting forward and then doing defensive work in equal measures. However, while Shephard looked dangerous going forward, sadly things didn’t click for Nana today. He was also the culprit who gave away the penalty, even if it looked soft.
Sam Foley 7 – Foley looked a little off the pace of the game in the first half but grew in the second, especially when Yeovil were on top. You could argue that his fitness levels looked superior to his midfield opposition, as he danced past them on numerous occasions in the game’s closing moments.
Joe Edwards 6 – Captain Fantastic had another mediocre game today, as he didn’t really make an impact going forward and didn’t seem to be able to win the ball back as easily as he normally does. As usual, no complaints about his effort.
Alex Smith 7 – Smith looked impressive, with lots of good runs towards goal. Luckily, his crossing is a lot better than that of his namesake’s.
Jamar Loza 6 – Based on how he’s played so far, I’m not Loza’s biggest fan. In fact, it was no surprise to me when he failed to really get into the game. In the second half he became more involved and actually managed to keep hold of the ball.
Gozie Ugwu 5 – Unfortunately Gozie was unable to keep his good goalscoring run going, and was largely ineffective in this game. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was struggling with his calf muscle as he didn’t seem to be using the pace that he showed in his last two games for the Glovers.
AJ Leitch-Smith (for Twumasi, 56 minutes) 6 – Leitch-Smith managed to give the Glovers more width, and also made some dangerous runs into the box. There were a couple of times where his passing was suspect, although that was probably because he had just come on.
Nathan Ralph (for Alex Smith, 66 minutes) 7 – Very much a like-for-like substitution, with a similar level of performance.
James Hayter (for Jamar Loza, 82 minutes) 3 – It always baffles me when I see James Hayter getting ready to come on towards the end of matches. When searching for a goal, what on earth is a 5 foot 8 inch 35-year-old going to do in 8 minutes of a game?