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Kettle Boils Over as Nine Man Glovers Hold Owls

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By Alex O'Loughlin
January 26 2011

The Glovers have walked away from Hillsborough with a more than deserved draw, as the nine men of Yeovil held on to earn an excellent 2-2 draw. 

For the first time in three games manager Terry Skiverton made a change to his starting eleven, with Oli Johnson replacing the off-form Sam Williams. Other than that, it was the same team which has only lost one game in 2011 and conceded just the one goal. 

The opening quarter of an hour was dominated by Sheffield Wednesday free-kicks, which fortunately all came to nothing. 

Dean Bowditch looked the likely man for Yeovil, as he tested Nicky Weaver early on with a shot which the veteran 'keeper saved well. 

But the wide man didn't have to wait long to get his goal, although he did need a large slice of luck. 

The ex-Ipswich man cut inside from the left before crossing goal wards, only for his cross to deflect off of Tommy Spurr and loop over Weaver to give the Glovers a some what fortuitous lead. 0-1.

Sheffield Wednesday immediately responded with the impressive Gary Teale, whose close range effort flew off of the post and fortunately wide for a goal kick. 

But it didn't take the Owls long to equalise, as Tommy Spurr's cross landed onto the head of Gary Madine, who nodded home from just six yards, although Luke Ayling should have done better to prevent the striker making contact with the cross. 1-1.

The remainder of the first half became an open affair, with both sides looking to get into the lead. First Andy Williams missed from six yards, before Stephen Henderson acrobatically denied a Neil Mellor effort just before the break.

Half Time: Sheffield Wednesday 1-1 Yeovil Town

Rumours coming into the game were that if the Owls lost manager Alan Irvine would lose his job, and it was evident he had riled his side for the second half, as they began ferociously.

Although, their was a delay as Reda Johnson emptied the contents of his stomach onto the Hillsborough pitch. 

Despite the Owls beginning the second half in a determined manner, it was the Green and Whites who took the lead just before the hour mark.

Andy Welsh's in-swinging corner met the head of captain Paul Huntington, who headed home emphatically before running off to celebrate with the travelling Glovers fans. 1-2.

The game looked to be turning in Yeovil's favour until defender Luke Ayling received his marching orders for a second yellow card. His first booking came after fouling Neil Mellor, and the second after pulling back Gary Teale in an unnecessary moment of madness. 

That left the Glovers having to endure half an hour with ten men, with Terry Skiverton shoring up the defence with Adam Virgo replacing Dean Bowditch as they changed to a 4-4-1 formation. 

Virgo's stay on the pitch lasted just three minutes though, as he too was dismissed by the card happy Kettle. Goalkeeper Stephen Henderson punched out a Wednesday cross and the on running Gary Madine was adjudged to have been pushed by Virgo, although the decision was dubious. Of course, Virgo received his marching orders and a penalty was awarded. 

Up stepped Giles Coke to take the penalty, after Kettle booked Andy Williams and Henderson for protesting.

Coke smashed home the penalty and ran off to celebrate before Kettle ordered a re-take for encroachment by Paul Heffernan.

That seemed to unnerve Coke whose second attempt flew wildly over the bar, with both sets of fans now feeling angered at Trevor Kettle's decisions.

The odds were now incredibly stacked against the Glovers, who looked to just hold on to the advantage they had.

The Owls immediately put four players upfront, and looked to play route one football to get themselves back into the game, although all they met early on was an impressive Stephen Henderson who punched away ball after ball.  

But the two extra players for Sheffield Wednesday eventually paid off, as Henderson was finally beaten on the third attempt by Breda Johnson, who bundled home in a less than attractive goal with less than four minutes of normal time remaining. 2-2.

Six minutes of added time were a nervy time for the Glovers, who rode the storm excellently although Henderson did have to make one last save to deny the Owls claiming a far from deserved victory. 

Yeovil held on to claim a well fought draw, displaying the battling qualities manager Terry Skiverton has demanded in recent weeks.

As is now the way, the Yeovil players huddled on the half way line long after the final whistle, before receiving an encore from the travelling fans, who could have been nothing but impressed by their sides resilience.

The problem faced for Yeovil now is the right-back position, with Luke Ayling and Adam Virgo now both missing for Saturday's game at Brentford. Regular right back Craig Alcock is still out injured, meaning the Glovers will either have to blood the young talent of Rhys Baggridge or bring in someone on loan.

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