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Contentious Penalty Covers up Defensive Flaws

three in three for Andy

By Alex O'Loughlin
November 21 2010

The Glovers dismal run of form continued with a 3-2 defeat at the hands of 2nd placed Charlton Athletic. 

The changes were ringed ahead of the game with first choice full-backs Craig Alcock and Nathan Smith recalled to the starting eleven, allowing stand in right-back JP Kalala to revert back to his traditional midfield position. Andy Welsh and Luke Freeman dropped out of the squad due to injury, allowing Adam Phillip to make the bench as the 5th loanee. Due to the defensive changes, Owain Tudur Jones also found himself on the bench. 

After a disappointing home defeat to Dagenham & Redbridge last weekend the Glovers started the game with something to prove, earning a host of half chances which neither Gavin Williams or Andy Williams could convert. 

Despite their early dominance it was the Addicks who took the lead, capitalising on some poor defending. A static Yeovil defence were slow to react to a throw-in, allowing Lee Martin space to whip in a ball for Johnnie Jackson to net and grab the lead. 1-0.

The goal didn't faze the Green and Whites though and they were soon back level thanks to the in-form Andy Williams. His infield runs from the right wing had gone unnoticed by Charlton, and they failed to pick him up as he ran onto a Sam Williams flick on to smash home from 15 yards, with a bit of help from the post. 1-1. 

A recurring theme throughout the season so far has been the number of sloppy goals the Glovers have conceded, a theme which wasn't set to change at the Valley, as they gifted Charlton a second of the afternoon.

Perhaps international duty with DR Congo had tired him out, but JP Kalala's hospital pass to Craig Alcock resulted in Matt Fry dispossessing the Yeovil captain, before sliding the ball across for Therry Racon to slide home. 2-1.

The Addicks lead was somewhat undeserved, with Yeovil dominating the game and looking like the side in 2nd position for large parts, apart from the sloppy defending which had seen them concede a further two goals. 

And their first half dominance was almost rewarded with an equaliser before half-time, with Sam Williams chesting the ball into the path of top scorer Dean Bowditch, but his shot from 12 yards was under hit allowing 'keeper Rob Elliot to palm away comfortably. 

Half Time: Charlton Athletic 2-1 Yeovil Town

The flowing football didn't reappear in the second half, with both sides being unable to find some passing fluency, although referee Dean Whitestone didn't help proceedings with a 'blow-happy' approach to the game. 

Luck has generally alluded the Glovers this season, but they received a large chunk of lady luck when Gary Doherty fired into his own net to draw the game level. Adam Virgo's free-kick had been driven to the back post, and under pressure from Paul Huntington the ex-Norwich defender poked into the top of his own net from 6 yards. 2-2. 

The next turn of events saw the game swing in Yeovil's favour, with referee Whitestone dismissing Charlton centre back Christian Dailly for violent misconduct. The Scotsman was late in an aerial challenge with Sam Williams, clattering into the Yeovil front man. There was no question that it was a foul, but not many expected Dailly to receive his marching orders. The decision was met by a chorus of bemused boos from the Charlton fans, accompanied by a few uncomplimentary songs directed at the officials. 

Addicks manager Phil Parkinson reinstalled his back four, replacing attacker Kyle Reid with defender Jonathan Fortune. 

Despite their man advantage the Green and Whites failed to create anything in the way of chances, and looked on course to earn a respectable point at the Valley. 

However, referee Whitestone wasn't done yet, levelling up the sides and awarding Charlton a penalty just five minutes from time. 

Yeovil centre back Paul Huntington was adjudged to have pulled back Akpo Sodje earning the Addicks and penalty and the defender a red card for "denying a goal scoring opportunity", although Sodje was never going to reach the looped ball over the top, which now nestled in the hands of John Sullivan. The question has to be asked, if the same had happened at the other end, would it have been given?

Up stepped Johnnie Jackson to duly fire past Sullivan to steal all three points for Charlton, and earn the midfielder a second brace in two weeks. 3-2. 

The few minutes that remained saw Adam Phillip come on to make his Yeovil debut, and under the circumstances impressed, showing some sharp skills and attacking momentum. 

Yeovil went out with a whimper and slumped to their fifth league defeat in six matches, a run of form earning them 23rd position. Although refereeing decisions from Dean Whitestone undoubtedly effected the outcome of the game, it would be naive of anyone connected with Yeovil Town to pass the blame onto the officials and avoid the recurring theme of slack defending. The game at the Valley became the eighth game this season that the Glovers have conceded three or more goals, something which simply has to be corrected or the realisation of relegation will grow, at a worrying rate. 

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