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A Point Gained or Two Points Dropped?

penalty miss

By Alex O'Loughlin
January 1 2011

Yeovil Town have come away from Cornwall with a point, but will rue a missed penalty in the first half which could have seem them crawl closer to safety in what is likely to be a tough second half of the season. 

Ahead of the game Terry Skiverton was forced into making three changes, with Adam Virgo and Craig Alcock missing out through injury, whilst loan player Ivan Sproule returned to Bristol City during the snowy weather. 

Luke Ayling replaced right-back Alcock, whilst loan arrivals Max Ehmer and Paul Wotton entered the starting eleven for Virgo and Sproule. Incidentally, Wotton was lining up against a side he played over 400 times for in an eight year spell at Argyle. 

It was Yeovil who started the brightest, getting some early luck down the left wing with Nathan Smith and Andy Welsh making themselves known early on. 

Their opposition Plymouth had already felt the effects of the transfer window, with influential midfielder Craig Noone joining Brighton & Hove Albion before hand, with top scorer Bradley Wright-Phillips and youngster Curtis Nelson attracting attention from elsewhere. 

The Green and Whites had begun the game in fluent fashion, and nearly grabbed the lead when debutant Wotton thrashed a tremendous effort from all of thirty yards just wide, with goalkeeper David Button scrambling and seemingly beaten. 

That triggered a flurry of Yeovil chances, with captain for the day Paul Huntington seeing his header from a Andy Welsh free-kick tipped over the bar by Button. 

From the resulting corner Huntington was there again causing problems, ending with Sam Williams heading onto the top of the cross bar. 

Defending has been the Glovers achilles heel this season, but they stood strong to resist a number of Argyle corners, all of which were cleared easily and effectively. 

Despite Yeovil's early dominance, it was Plymouth who should have taken the lead when James Patterson rushed through on goal only to be let down by his touch allowing John Sullivan to dive on the ball. 

That chance revived Argyle though who began to slowly creep into the match, with Joe Mason running at the Yeovil defence before seeing his goal bound shot be deflected out for a corner.

The following minutes saw the game even out, with both sides looking positive going forward or though there was little in terms of chances for either side. 

All that changed just before the half hour mark when referee Brendan Malone pointed to the spot after Andy Williams was hacked down in the box by Curtis Nelson.

Penalty takers are generally decided pre-match, but the argument for the ball between Andy Welsh and Sam Williams suggested otherwise, with the latter winning the exchange of words. 

Up stupped Williams to take the penalty, in an attempt to find only his fourth goal in over eighty appearances for Yeovil, although that never happened as his weak attempt was saved comfortably by David Button in the Plymouth goal. 

The question has to be raised, why didn't a generally more potent player take the penalty, such as Dean Bowditch or Paul Wotton? Who was designated penalty taker during his time playing for Plymouth. 

That miss took the wind out of the Glovers sail, who continued to press but couldn't find a final pass, allowing the home team to slowly creep into the match.

In terms of chances there were few for either side, with both teams missing that killer through ball or creative flair to undo the oppositions defence. 

Half Time: Plymouth Argyle 0-0 Yeovil Town 

Argyle manager Peter Reid must have given his team a 'firey' half time team talk as they began the second half looking like a completely different team, dominant proceedings.

Carl Fletcher saw his powerful shot blocked, in what may have been an opening goal had his effort gone through on goal. 

In fact, the opening quarter of the second period became a one sided affair, with wave after wave of Argyle attack looking to test John Sullivan's goal. 

Against the run of play Yeovil appealed for a red card to be shown to Curtis Nelson, who had cynically pulled down Andy Williams as he looked to go through on goal. However, the referee didn't see it as a clear goal scoring opportunity and awarded a yellow card instead. 

That proved to be the Glovers only real attack of the second period, as they slowly began to sit back and become seemingly happy with a draw.

Jean-Paul Kalala came on for Andy Welsh, in a change of formation seeing the Green and Whites play with three deep midfield players, in a bid to contain the resurgent Plymouth midfield.

The second half became something of a non-event, with neither side looking that likely to break the deadlock.

A saved Dean Bowditch shot on the 74th minute was as good as it got for Yeovil, whilst John Sullivan found himself a spectator for much of the second half in the Glovers goal.

The full time whistle blew with both sides going home with a point each, a result which is more likely to please the travelling Yeovil than Argyle, who received a chorus of boos. 

A clean sheet will have pleased manager Terry Skiverton, although the balance between scoring and not conceding continues to allude the Glovers, who seem unable to achieve both. Next up is in-form MK Dons, a game which is vitally important in seeing the Green and Whites try and get something from the festive period. 


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