Another Ugly goal condemns County to a narrow defeat

Report by Mark Vickery from Huish Park

Yeovil Town 1 (Eaves 80)

Newport County 0

Attendance: 3,353 (Estimated 439 County and one wet dog)

Form:

Newport County LLDLDLLLLd

Yeovil Town LWLLWWLLdW

PRE-MATCH THOUGHTS
 Despite injuries and a light bench, County line up has a positive look to it and will be looking to impress new manager Graeme Westley

CONDITIONS
 Cloudy at first but spell of rain before half time made conditions difficult but pitch looked in decent condition

SUMMING UP OUR PERFORMANCE IN ONE STATEMENT
 Worked hard and made a fist of the game but ultimately sloppy goal and poor quality in the final third cost us

TURNING POINT
 Jackson chance was not pivotal but in the few chances County had they needed it to go in

THE MATCH
 New County manager Graeme Westley made a few changes in formation and personnel from the side that drew 0–0 away at Colchester United. Defender Paul Bignot was injured but County adopted 4–5–1 formation with Swansea City loanee a surprise inclusion in attacking midfield. County also made two changes up front with Jennison Myrie-Williams and Marlon Jackson replacing Grego-Cox and Rhys Healey who were left out due to injury. Yeovil made a determined start to the game working the ball wide to prise some openings. County adopted for a direct approach early on with some useful kick outs by keeper Day which caused some anxiety in Yeovil defence. On 5 minutes, Myrie Williams chased down a long ball which left back Smith untidily dealt with and there was an opportunity on the right side of the area but delay in picking a cross allowed Yeovil off the hook. Yeovil were keen to use their right channel and County were given a warning on 8 minutes when Lacey found Hedges and he cut inside with ease on the right side of the area to pick out Khan inside the area but his snapshot was well blocked by Jones. County countered with Jackson and Myrie Williams seeing plenty of the ball on the left and right side but some indecision in the final third allowed Yeovil to get men back behind the ball. Yeovil were persistent with pinging passes to their right flank to test young County left back Butler but the defence kept concentration well to quell several crosses into the area. County created a decent situation on 13 minutes when Myrie-Williams found some space on the right side of the area beating Smith and his deft cross to the back post was well anticipated by Butler who had made a late run before drilling a low shot from 10 yards which Krysiak saved low down. County gained confidence from their approach play with Myrie-Williams offering some penetration on the right side. On 15 minutes, a decent move on the left side initiated by Tozer saw Jackson drive to the byline and his dangerous looking crosses was diverted for a corner by Dolan. From the resultant corner the ball flashed deep and Parkin adjusted well to direct a vicious low shot into the six yard area which Yeovil struggled to clear but County had nobody with the killer instinct to finish it. Yeovil persisted with their tactic of helping the ball to the right channel and with Hedged eager to offer an outlet, County were again on the back-foot defending several crosses which they managed to get to safety. Yeovil picked up their game midway through the half with Lawless probing play well in central midfield anticipating well and spraying around some decent passes. County were given another warning on 33 minutes when Yeovil made a quick switch from right to left with Smith overlapping well to receive a pass from Campbell and his deep cross invited Hedges to head under pressure from Butler but County keeper Day reacted well to tip the ball over. Yeovil maintained the upper hand as half time approached forcing County deep and placed some long range shots high and wide of the target. On 37 minutes, County had a decent situation on the break when they switched play well from the right flank into the midfield and Sheehan picked a hole well before drilling a shot from 25 yards wide of the left post. Yeovil were rewarded with a couple of corners on the right side on the stroke of half time with County struggling to clear their lines effectively but County keeper Day remained composed making collections under pressure. In first half injury time, County went close when a free kick was only half cleared by Yeovil and Jones blasted a decent half volley just over from the right side of the area.

County started the second half well limiting the Yeovil threat down the flanks with some tighter marking and better distribution. County created a couple of decent moves through the middle through the industry of Tozer and Sheehan making some intelligent supporting run to pick holes. On 53 minutes, County had a great chance to forge ahead with a move on the left flank when Butler played a quick pass forward which Parkin glanced into the path of Myrie-Williams. He had a free reign inside the last defender on the left side of the area but composure was lacking when he thrashed his effort well wide of the right post. Yeovil made an early change to counter the threat with target man Eaves replacing Campbell and Yeovil soon altered their tact to provide a quicker cross into the area to pick out Eaves. The County defence remained focussed and continued to probe well on the break with Sheehan growing into the game with lively runs to support and supply a pass around the edge of the area. On 58 minutes, a good move on the right side involving Sheehan saw him release Tozer on the right side of the area and tricked his way into the box only for his deft cross to be headed just over by Bennett inside the six yard area. County became frustrated by a couple of decisions that went against them when “play on” offering by the referee gave them little advantage and with Parkin giving little protection from the pulling and clambering contesting aerial balls. On 65 minutes, Parkin was booked for contesting a decision and soon after Jordan Green replaced Myrie-Williams to offer a different dimension up front. Yeovil were still effective on the right channel when Lawless was invited to loft passes into the gap and County had to remain vigilant with their marking. Yeovil gained a couple of free kicks on the right side but County dealt well with the threat from set pieces. County went close again on 70 minutes when they broke up play well in central midfield with Tozer finding Sheehan and his pass inside invited Green to pick space and his low shot fizzed just wide of the left post as the heavy rain continued to make conditions slick. County made another change soon after with Jackson being replaced by Compton and Yeovil responded with an offensive change that saw Zoko replace Khan. County had a couple of decent situations down the right flank with Barnum-Bobb eager to support but the despite getting into some good areas the final ball was often lacking and fell into the safe hands of keeper Krysiak. County were caught cold on 80 minutes in slightly fortuitous goal when Dolan made a quick break down the left flank to exploit space and he found Hedges. He drilled a low hopeful cross into the six yard area which Eaves slid in and the ball appeared to take a deflection off Butler and creep into the right corner beyond Day. County made a change soon after with youth academy Finlay Wood replacing Josh Sheehan. County pushed on with limited time left on the clock working some good situations out wide but the quality fell short from crosses allowing Yeovil to mounter counter attacks. Yeovil had a couple of chances to kill the game on the break when passing mistakes by County allowed Zoko to forge goalside by County were rescued by keeper Day and some last ditch defending. County huffed and puffed in the five minutes of injury time and Yeovil were happy to run down the clock. There was a very late substitution for Yeovil with Whitfield replacing Hedges. Yeovil had to deal with a few hopeful late crosses inside their own area that lacked edge and held out for the narrow victory but County fans showed their appreciation for their efforts at the final whistle

Day (7) — dealt well with the crosses Yeovil peppered in the area first half and showed safe hands. Kicked well under pressure and made some good saves late on. 
 Butler (4) — awareness and marking was poor not getting tight enough and needed to distribute quicker. Unlucky with the goal but always vulnerable in 442

Bennett (7) — decent game, dealt with aerial threat, looked sharper and was aware to pick up danger in behind. Threatened a couple of times on set pieces

Barnum-Bobb (6) — was generally sound defending 1–1, got tight and made some well-timed runs forward with good intentions but delivery was erratic.

Jones (5) — headed well in general if not finding the man but was robust and offered strength to clear the ball but let down with some of his passes which were left short
 Myrie-Williams (5) — saw a lot the ball first half but end product was lacking. Reluctance to shoot and indecision bugging his game and faded early.

Sheehan (7) — was never given a chance by Feeney and did well picking holes inside the final third offering intelligence with his passing and link play

Jackson (5) — did a job out wide left but never looked comfortable. Did best when he bold and drove to the byline but lacked threat and unable to work the keeper 
 Tozer (7) — made several important interventions first half protecting the left flank. Was always alert to loose ball and passed effectively despite being forced deep

Rigg (6) — not sure playing deeper he was most effective as he got caught in possession too much but honest game working hard box to box but restricted on shots.

Parkin (6) — did his best to provide an outlet and despite not given much protection by referee worked some good situations but threat was too much outside the area

SWOT ANALYSIS OPPONENTS
 Strengths — they were largely compact at the back and turned defence in attack quickly working flanks well. Worked hard off the ball and limited space to play

Weaknesses — defenders were slow to recover when turned and were a bit predictable when supporting their first time crosses

Opportunities — they went down the right side for large parts of the game often leaving themselves exposed. Went for the quicker crosses in behind after the break
 Threats — Campbell was clever with the ball at his feet, Zoko and Eaves made impact late on with their anticipation inside the area. Khan energy in around the box.

OFFICIALS
 Dean Whitestone (6) — generally consistent but very lenient with some of the pulling and failed to pick up on the crude challenges.

MAN OF THE MATCH
 Alex Lawless (Yeovil 8) — given far too much space and pick passes. Intelligent with his use of the ball and kept side organised in hole between defence and attack

IF YOU WERE GRAEME WESTLEY WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

County were better organised today inside their own box and despite not working the goalkeeper excessively they showed promise with some good moves inside and across the face of the area. County’s defending of their left channel continues to undermine the efforts and perhaps the biggest puzzle for the manager to solve is the best formation to suit the personnel County have in the short term. Both defenders Barnum Bobb and Butler are struggling with the 442 formation often being left exposed and not getting tight enough to stifle crosses. County made need to adjust to 532 to bring out the best of their young full backs and limit threat from crosses. There were positives in midfield with Tozer offering composure and assurance in behind and Sheehan had a decent game with his link play and craft. County offered plenty of physicality and work ethic today but the enterprise and tempo in the final third could not be sustained with both Jackson and Myrie-Williams fading early. County were very light on the bench today with injuries impairing the selection but you feel if they can build on the sharpness and quality their luck will change soon.

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