Yeovil Town fell to their first home defeat of the 2016/17 season against Morecambe. A second half Kevin Ellison goal was enough to send the Shrimpers home happy, although goalkeeper Barry Roche was forced into numerous fine saves to protect the away side’s clean sheet.
While there was an obvious sense of disappointment and frustration around Huish Park from the home faithful, I didn’t think the Glovers’ performance was too bad; they simply had a bad day at the office against a well-set up and organised team who knew how to thwart Yeovil’s attacks.
Despite some good approach play, it was one of those days where the ball just didn’t fall in the right way in the penalty area, and Morecambe never failed to clear the ball away from danger.
A makeshift defence was no doubt what led to Morecambe’s winning strike. There was some positional confusion as well as failure to track Ellison, and Artur Krysiak seemed a little unsure as to whether he should come off his line or not after his hot-headedness led to conceding a penalty in midweek.
It may be two defeats in a row, but I don’t feel as if there’s reason to panic. I hope that the recent mini-run of bad form hasn’t damaged the confidence of the side too much, and that they are able to go to Everton next Tuesday and give it a real go.
Artur Krysiak 7 – Our Polish keeper didn’t really have too much to do, although he claimed the ball well from corners on a couple of occasions and made a fine reflex save, which luckily Ellison hit the post with on the rebound. As mentioned above, he possibly could have been more decisive when coming off his line to try and stop Ellison’s goal, but it would be harsh to describe him as at fault.
Bevis Mugabi 9 (MOTM) – In truth, it was quite difficult to choose a man-of-the-match, but I though Bevis Mugabi impressed in defence. He looked comfortable on the ball and also showed promise going forward, making runs and crossing the ball as if he was a winger rather than a full back. He also performed adequately when he moved into the centre of defence towards the end of the game.
Matt Butcher 6 – The AFC Bournemouth loanee didn’t have a bad game at all. Although his performance can’t be described as solid, that can be attributed to him being thrust into an unfamiliar and ever-changing centre back pairing.
Nathan Smith 6 – Again, it must be difficult to perform consistently when you’re part of a back four that is so inconsistent, but Smithy managed to do it fairly well. Despite picking up a knock recently, there were no signs that he was struggling. #recyclingcrew
Ryan Dickson 6 (substituted for Omar Sowunmi on 84 minutes) – Unfortunately, unlike Smithy, Ryan Dickson did look as if his recent knock had affected his game slightly, as he was a little bit off the pace. However, as captain, he must receive praise for being able to keep a constantly chopping-and-changing defence fairly organised.
Kevin Dawson 8 – It’s always encouraging to see Kev’s commitment and ability to chase the ball down and make challenges, especially when you’re 1 – 0 down. I also thought that he was booked by a poor referee for a perfectly fine tackle in the centre of the park.
Alex Lawless 6 – The experienced midfielder didn’t misplace a pass in the first half and worked well to pick out players and create space going forward. Unfortunately, it seemed to me as if a different player came out for the second half, as his passing became sloppy and he gave away a few needless fouls. However, it’s always clear that he does have quality and with his leadership, it’s almost like having an extra captain on the pitch.
Matty Dolan 7 – No David Beckham-esque worldies from Dolan today sadly, and there were a few free kicks that didn’t match his usual standard, but it’s still clear to see the remarkable improvement that he’s made since last season. When Yeovil dominated patches of the first half, he was almost always involved in every attack and did his defensive duties well.
Ryan Hedges 7 (substituted for Tahvon Campbell on 64 minutes) – The Swansea loanee was another player who perhaps wasn’t on his A game, but still showed a lot of class. In a match where the overall quality of crossing was poor, he was able to put some decent balls both into the box and in towards Tom Eaves.
Tom Eaves 7 – Some of you may recall that I got a bit of stick for my assessment of Tom Eaves in my last set of player ratings, and I’ll happily admit that I was harsh. I was more impressed with him this time around, although his hold up play and first touch was lacking on a couple of occasions. Despite those two minor criticisms, I’m glad that I’m now able to see what other fans see in him.
Otis Khan 6 (substituted for Francois Zoko on 64 minutes) – Young Otis didn’t have the best of games today, and he was nowhere near as influential as he was against Notts County. However, that’s probably due to Morecambe doing such a good job of nipping any of his potential runs in the bud, with him only given the opportunities to run at players once or twice.
Tahvon Campbell 6 – The West Brom loanee was one of the few players on the pitch who was able to penetrate the Morecambe defence and run into the box. Unfortunately, he was unable to find the right final product to match his creative approach play.
Francois Zoko 6 – The striker had a very welcome return off the bench today, and he definitely tried to make an impact. Sadly, the Shrimpers made it very difficult for him to get any service, and as such he didn’t get many opportunities to go forward.
Omar Sowunmi 5 – A five is probably a little harsh, but it feels right to me considering he didn’t have any impact on the game when he came on. Admittedly, he was a presence inside the box but he has very little in the way of other attributes to justify playing him as a striker.
Let me know if you agree or disagree with my assessments in the comments below or on Twitter.