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Sunday, 18 October 2009

L1: Yeovil 3 Carlisle 1

Another game of two halves yesterday at Huish Park, but this time it was the Glovers who imposed themselves on our visitors from the off yesterday, dominating the first half and sweeping into a thoroughly deserved 2-0 lead at the break with 2 goals from the excellent Ryan Mason. In a mirror-image of last week's match, it was Carlisle who rallied after the break, pulling a goal back from a penalty and pushing the Glovers back. The home side still looked dangerous on the break however and substitute Kieran Murtagh made the game safe with Yeovil's 3rd with only a few minutes left. Thoroughly entertaining stuff and good to see a few more home fans turning up in the crowd of 4,333 - I estimated around 250-300 at most made the trip down from Cumbria.

The Glovers lined up as follows in the now familiar 4-2-3-1 (or 4-4-1-1 if you prefer) formation:

1. Alex McCarthy: 8/10 - Probably his best display of the season. Made one terrific save in the second half when a goal looked certain and otherwise dominated his area. Some people on the green room were questioning McCarthy's aerial ability last week - he made them eat their words yesterday.

2. Craig Alcock: 8/10 - And probably his best display of the season. I've been questioning Craig's passing lately and he made me eat my words by providing Ryan Mason with an inch-perfect ball for his first goal. Neat and tidy defensively and always willing to provide an overlapping attacking option. First-class.

5. Steven Caulker: 8/10 - You don't know what you've got 'til it's gone, as the song goes and Steven's return from international duty showed how much we missed him last week. Never looks flustered or hurried, dominant in the air and as much passing ability as any midfielder. More than played his part in not giving either Scott Dobie or Vincent Pericard a sniff of a chance.

6. Terrell Forbes: 7/10 - I've marked him down a point for diving in unnecessarily to give Carlisle a penalty. Pretty much faultless otherwise.

3. Nathan Jones: 5/10 - Didn't play as badly as some on the green room would have you believe, but not entirely convincing either. At least he's stopped bawling at his teammates at the drop of a hat.

16. Scott Murray: 6/10 - Always going to be tough to follow up last week's MOTM display. Provided some threat on the right in the first half, but faded out of the game after the break.

21. JP Kalala: 7/10 - Mr Consistency. Does all the hard graft in midfield that often goes unnoticed.

25. Shaun MacDonald: 8/10 - As with JP above, does the hard graft in midfield but adds touches of exquisite skill as well. This week he reminded me of Steve Stott (older fans will remember him) but with bags more skill, pace and application. Excellent.

11. Andy Welsh: 7/10 - Good performance from Andy, always looking to get involved and instrumental in the build-ups to the second and third Yeovil goals. Starting to add consistency to his undoubted flashes of brilliance.

13. Ryan Mason: 9/10 - What can you say? Took his two most obvious chances clinically and could easily have scored a hat-trick with a tad more luck. Ran the game in the first half from his more advanced position in the hole and all I can say to that is: Told you so. So much more to come from him too, as long as he can stay fit. Can we keep him all season? That's my only concern. In the meantime, enjoy him while he is here.

9. Sam Williams: 7/10 - A brave display from Sam, left very much on his own up front and once again battered from pillar to post by a physical opposition backline. Never stopped competing however and unlucky not to score with a shot that just screwed wide of the post. He's making it very difficult for Skivo to even consider dropping him, and you can't say fairer than that.

Subs used:
8. Keiran Murtagh (87 mins for Scott Murray): N/A - Despite his goal, not on long enough to give a mark to.

30. Craig Davies (76 mins for Ryan Mason): 6/10 - Began on the right and looked awful, consistently giving the ball away. Finished in the centre alongside Williams and looked much more potent.

A very pleasing win then, not least because it leaves me £14.50 in credit in my weekly battle with the bookies, and a thoroughly entertaining game. The three points takes us up to 14th in the table, 4 points away from the relegation zone and 4 points away from the play-offs. With 2 very tough away games up next (at Bristol Rovers and Leeds respectively) that little buffer zone between ourselves and the relegation places may well be needed, but having said that we shouldn't put ourselves down. The squad Skivo has assembled as it stands has now gone five games undefeated and judging by every other team I've seen at Huish Park this season is certainly competitive in this division. We should travel to the Mem and Elland Road under no pressure and with no fear, and with every reason for hope.

This has been a party political broadcast on behalf of those of us whose glasses are not only green-tinted but half-full. Normal pessimism will be resumed at a future date. Thank you for listening.


  1. Can't argue with a lot of that. Fair summing up of a terrific game and performance.

    I have been thinking about the role Sam Williams plays for us. You mentioned a couple of weeks ago on your blog how you think he needs to score more. Whilst I dont necessarily disagree with that, I feel he plays the Emile Heskey role for us. As everyone knows Heskey can't score for toffee yet he is a constant threat. I feel we have that threat with Sam.

  2. Is that the Emile Heskey that plays for England or the Emile Heskey that plays for Aston Villa? :)

    I dunno, as long as the team's scoring then it doesn't matter that Williams isn't and he is doing a great job as the targetman. I worry for him when Bowditch is fit however...

  3. Emile Heskey doesn't play for Villa. He sits on the bench. :P