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Glovers Stop Rot with Hard Fought Draw

Impressive performance

By Alex O'Loughlin
December 12 2010

Yeovil Town earned their first point in four League One matches against promotion hopefuls Colchester United. 

The game was the Glovers first match since the 2-0 defeat to AFC Bournemouth on the 23rd of November, with snowy conditions resulting in three potential matches having to be postponed.

However, the winter break did give the Green and Whites a chance to recover to full fitness, with a number of players carrying niggling injuries being able to shake them off and return to full fitness. Although they did lose loan duo Gavin Williams and Owain Tudur Jones during the fortnight break who finished their loan spells during the snowy period. 

Ahead of the game Terry Skiverton had a full squad to chose from, electing to go with a 4-5-1 formation in a mission to try and stop the U's from scoring past a generally porous Yeovil defence. Dean Bowditch was the man elected to lead the Yeovil front line, with Andy Williams and Ivan Sproule supporting the striker on the attack. 

In all Skiverton made two alterations, reintroducing Paul Huntington from suspension in place of Stefan Stam who dropped out of the squad entirely, and replacing Sam Williams with Luke Ayling in a tactical switch to accommodate a second defensive midfield player. 

A lowly crowd of 3,748 watched on as the opening forty five minutes failed to produce anything in terms of chances, as both sides cancelled each out. 

The defensive set up of the Glovers frustrated the U's who struggled to break down a strong Yeovil defence, a position which has been suspect in recent weeks. 

Yeovil did have to deal with a blow though as Paul Huntington had to be replaced due to a nasty looking rib injury, with the defender in obvious agony despite the substitution occurring some minutes after the incident. Tom Parkes replaced Huntington to make his first appearance for the Glovers since joining on loan from Leicester City. 

Kayode Odejayi looked the most dangerous for Colchester, although all he could muster was a couple of headers which went over the crossbar. 

In terms of attacking intentions Yeovil were quite happy to defend, with their only noteworthy effort of the half falling to Adam Virgo whose weak shot was saved comfortably by Ben Williams. 

With the half time whistle approaching the Glovers almost went in a goal up, with a flurry of chances falling Yeovil's way. First Ivan Sproule fired over the bar, before seeing his dangerous low cross being cleared from near his own goal line by U's defender Tom Williams. 

Not to miss out, Nathan Smith nearly scored a contender for Yeovil's goal of the season, with his superb effort from distance flying inches wide of the goal with Ben Williams stranded between the sticks. 

Half Time: Colchester United 0-0 Yeovil Town

Terry Skiverton's tactical switch had scuppered Colchester's game plan, with manager John Ward switching to a 4-3-3 formation in a bid to counteract the Glovers tactics.

Although the switch initially made the game more open, it soon reverted back to its cagey tradition, with neither side being able to break down the other team.

Yeovil were struck another blow when Dean Bowditch had to be replaced due to injury, with Chelsea loanee Adam Phillip replacing the lone front man. 

It wasn't until the 70th minute that either side produced a golden opportunity, with the chance falling to U's striker Kayode Odejayi. The strong striker out muscled Adam Virgo before seeing his half-volley tipped onto the crossbar by a fantastic John Sullivan save. 

Adam Phillip almost scored a bizarre goal when his back post cross had to be dramatically saved by a scrambling Ben Williams in the Colchester goal. 

Much like the end of the first half, Yeovil had chances to win the game at the end of the second when Adam Phillip broke free of the Colchester defence. However, his shot was saved well by Williams with the rebound falling to namesake Sam Williams who dragged his shot dreadfully wide of target, greeted by the sound of the final whistle. 

It is fair to say that the game won't last long in the memory of both sets of supporters, but there is no doubt that Yeovil will be the happier of the two teams, as they kept their first clean sheet in the league since October the 9th. With defensive frailties looking addressed, the next step in the revival of the Glovers season is scoring at the other end, something they haven't struggled with in recent weeks. 

Yeovil travel to Hartlepool in mid-week to attempt to play their FA Cup second round match for the third time, but will have to sweat it out on the fitness of influential trio Dean Bowditch, Paul Huntington and Adam Virgo, who could barely walk at the end of the game. 

Despite the battling point, the Glovers are still six points adrift, with the teams above the starting to find some form, something the Green and Whites will have to do themselves if they wish to survive this season. 

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