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Silky Saints Sink Glovers

took a knock

By Alex O'Loughlin
March 9 2011

Yeovil Town completed their trio of games against top five sides with a disappointing 3-0 defeat to Southampton at St. Mary's.

Coming into the game manager Terry Skiverton was forced into making two changes, with Paul Wotton and Paul Huntington both missing out through injury. In came Ed Upson and Adam Virgo respectively, as Nathan Smith took hold of the captains armband for the first time in his Glovers career.

The opening half of football was a bit of a non-event with neither side really playing to the best of their ability, although Dean Bowditch and Dan Harding tried their luck early on to try and get the game going. 

Something you cannot afford to do against a high flying side like Southampton is waste chances, and that's exactly what Yeovil did when they earned themselves a free kick 25 yards out.

Alex Russell lined up for the free kick and tried to play a clever through ball under the Saints wall, which only achieved to gift possession to Southampton who cleared the danger with relative ease.

Just a few minutes after the Glovers woeful attempt at a free kick Southampton were a goal up when a quickly taken Danny Butterfield free kick caught the Yeovil defence napping, allowing Lee Barnard to waltz in on goal and fire past Stephen Henderson. 1-0.

Struggling to defend a set piece should ring a few bells for Yeovil fans.

The Green and Whites nearly responded immediately however, as Dean Bowditch ran at the back four before seeing his shot deflect off of a Saints defender and trickle out for a corner.

Alex Russell was arguably man of the match for Saturday's game against Huddersfield, but a second game in four days seemed a bit much for the veteran midfielder who struggled to find his passing range.

Just before the half hour mark it was the same man again for Yeovil who got a shot away on goal, this time Kelvin Davies saved easily from Dean Bowditch's shot.

Southampton were far from their best, but they didn't have to be at peak performance to win the game as moments of quality looked to dazzle the Glovers, who could only watch as the Saints forward trio combined before setting up Dean Hammond whose shot went just wide of the post.

Half Time: Southampton 1-0 Yeovil Town

Things began brightly for Yeovil in the second half as Bowditch yet again drew a good save from Davies as he shot from virtually the by-line to force an early corner.

but just ten minutes into the second half and Saints doubled their lead as yet more poor defending cost the Green and Whites.

Starlet Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain crossed over to the back post where Lee Barnard was left unmarked to head in past Henderson for the second time, highlighting yet more questionable defending. 2-0.

That triggered a change from the Yeovil bench as Sam Williams took to the field in place of Andrew Tutte as the Glovers looked to hold up play a bit better.

Just past the hour mark it looked like the game might become a rout when the Saints began to pile on the pressure.

First Barnard went down under a clumsy challenge from Luke Ayling which luckily went unpunished, before a few moments later Rickie Lambert set up Barnard who should have completed his hat-trick only to be denied by Henderson between the sticks.

With a huge game against Walsall coming up on Saturday for Yeovil veteran midfielder Russell was replaced by Craig Alcock, meaning Luke Ayling switched from right back into the centre of the park.

If that was a move to shore up the defence it failed, as just a few minutes later it was three when Alex Chamberlain's shot was wickedly deflected into the net past a helpless Henderson to seal all three points. 3-0.

The game fizzled out after that but Yeovil could and should of had a consolation after a mistake from Saints 'keeper Davies.

The shot stopper could only push Nathan Smith's cross onto the bar but Sam Williams wasn't awake to the danger and failed to react, costing him a simple tap in. 

In the remaining few minutes there was only time for Craig Calver to get a rare run out on in place of Oli Johnson, and Stephen Henderson produced another marvellous save to deny Jonathan Forte, although the 'keeper picked up an injury and the extent of the knock is not yet known.

The result was expected, although the manner in which the goals were given away were slightly disappointing. With Bristol Rovers and Plymouth both winning, Saturday's clash with Walsall is looking more and more like a relegation six pointer.

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