Yeovil - Do Otters HAVE Pockets?
Tuesday 12th September 2017 1945hrs
Attendance: 2205 (38 from Morecambe).
Morecambe made the long trip to Somerset - where it was apparently `wetter than an otter`s pocket` tonight - to face Darren Way`s Yeovil Town in League Two. After a disastrous start to the season when the Glovers conceded no less than eight goals against Luton Town in Bedfordshire, Yeovil have shipped another eight in total which partially explains their seventeenth position in the table. Critically, however, they have yet to be beaten at Huish Park although their form against visitors Morecambe has been poor, with the team from Lancashire winning three of their previous four clashes including both of their two visits to Yeovil so far. Having said that, the Glovers won for the first time ever against the Shrimps at the Globe Arena last March to throw the betting odds into the air although on current form, the visitors` inability to score and their lower position in the league - three places inferior to their hosts` - probably made the team in the green strip favourites prior to kick-off.
The appalling and deteriorating conditions - driving rain right throughout the contest - was probably the greatest leveller of all and the weather had a huge effect on what happened on the pitch right from the off, with Barry Roche initially finding his kicks being blown back towards him in the early stages of the game. Unsurprisingly - with the gale blowing behind them - Yeovil had the first effort of the evening, when Otis Khan tried his luck from 25 yards but saw the ball fly over the Morecambe bar after five minutes. Alefe - `Alfie` - Santos was the next to try and hit the target two minutes later but his attempt was wide of the goal and didn`t trouble Big Baz either. At the other end, clever play by Aaron Wildig after just over a quarter of an hour led to a 50 yard run from Patrick Brough, whose cross was met on the volley by Kevin Ellison, who also failed to hit the target. Two minutes later, Adam McGurk found the ball at his feet and let fly only for his shot to be gathered easily by Yeovil keeper Artur Krysiak. Krysiak was forced into action again after 25 minutes when Aaron McGowan took advantage of a slip by Ryan Dickson and put a low cross across the home penalty area only for the goalie to very appropriately get his gloves on it. At the other end, Francois Zoko came the closest of anyone so far to break the stalemate when his fancy footwork led to a shot which smashed back off the bar after 35 minutes with everyone in the Morecambe rearguard beaten. Just two minutes later, though, the same player intercepted Dean Winnard`s under-hit back-pass, rounded a despairing Roche and bulged the back of the net to put the Glovers ahead.
The hosts thus went in to the shelter of the changing rooms at half time leading one-nil. With the powerful wind behind their backs, though, Morecambe had the opportunity to take the game by the scruff of the neck during the second period. Garry Thompson took advantage of a poor clearance to volley just wide after 49 minutes and the visitors played the better, more progressive football in the earliest part of the half. A wind-assisted ball over the top from Elliot Osborne reached McGurk after almost an hour but his shot was again wayward. Despite being under almost constant pressure and seeing their goalkeeper booked for time-wasting with almost half an hour still to play, Yeovil went further ahead after Jake Gray launched a lightning counter-attack down the Glovers` right after 65 minutes and crossed for Sam Surridge to smash the ball home to double the home side`s advantage. Almost straight from kick-off though, Adam McGurk reduced the arrears with his first goal for Morecambe with an unstoppable blast into the top corner of the net from fifteen yards out. With their heads failing to drop, the visitors kept up the pressure on the home defence with Ellison, Thommo, Brough and McGurk all having attempts which missed the target in the first five minutes after reducing the arrears. It seemed just a matter of time before the visitors equalised and Kev duly obliged when he headed home a corner at the far post with seventy-seven minutes on the clock. Even then, the visitors didn`t take their foot off the gas and went in search of a decisive strike, winning corners and coming close through substitute Callum Lang before Ellison shot just over following excellent approach play by Osborne and newly-introduced Adam Campbell with just six minutes still scheduled to play. Try as they might, though, the visitors just couldn`t quite find the winner which their battling performance probably merited. The result left both teams as they were before the match before game - in seventeenth and twentieth positions respectively. Jim Bentley can be really proud of his troops tonight for never giving up in extremely difficult conditions. Tribute must also be paid to the 38 Shrimps stalwarts who made the long journey all the way to the West Country and faced a ride home again in truly appalling weather: safe journey back everybody...
Yeovil Town: 1 Artur Krysiak (Y); 3 Nathan Smith; 7 Otis Khan (15 Jordan Green 80 mins); 10 Jake Gray (9 Rhys Browne 88 mins); 11 Ryan Dickson; 13 Francois Zoko; 16 James Bailey (C); 23 Tom James; 25 Sid Nelson; 30 Alefe Santos (4 Matt Worthington 82 mins); 14 Sam Surridge.
Subs not used: 12 Jonny Maddison; 6 Keston Davies; 5 Bevis Mugabi; 8 Connor Smith.
Morecambe: 1 Barry Roche; 3 Patrick Brough; 6 Dean Winnard; 5 Steven Old (Y); 2 Aaron McGowan; 24 Michael Rose (C); 11 Kevin Ellison; 15 Aaron Wildig (29 Callum Lang 62 mins); 20 Adam McGurk (10 Adam Campbell 80 mins); 21 Elliot Osborne (4 Alex Kenyon 88 mins); 7 Garry Thompson.
Substitutes not used: 12 Danijel Nizic; 22 Max Muller; 17 Mitchell Lund; 8 Andy Fleming.