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Yeovil match report
26 December 2015 17:58 Post ID: #71532
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A battling win, two points clear at the top, six points clear of fourth place and another of the Big Five back in the squad - it's been a good Christmas for Argyle!

A Ryan Brunt second half goal was enough to finish off a struggling Yeovil Town team.

Credit to the players for attempting to play good football in a strong swirling wind and on an awful pitch at Mud Park.

Yeovil are a poor side, without a league win since September and didn't trouble our defence until the closing stages, their only shot of note was a first half long range effort that claimed a huge assist from the wind as it crashed against the crossbar.
We should have scored more and had to hang on a little at the end as Yeovil hit high hopeful balls into our penalty area but in the end we settled for a rare 1-0 win.
The shots stats tells its own story, 15 attempts from us with nine on target and no shots on target from Yeovil.

Carl McHugh was a colossus in midfield - closing down, tackling and spraying the ball around while Brunt, after a quiet first half, sprang to life for the second 45 and deservedly scored the winner after closing down the keeper after he saved a long range shot from Craig Tanner.

The large crowd at Mud Park saw a committed Argyle team, some for the first time, it wasn't a day for pretty football, clearances would go high, catch the wind with the ball ending up further back from when it was initially kicked.

Tanner had the first chance for Argyle when his header was saved by Chris Weale in the Yeovil goal. It was a day for keepers to just get a hand on any swirling shot which would later be the downfall of Weale and Yeovil.

A speculative cross from Gregg Wylde ended up as a shot that Weale parried away and was on his feet in an instant to block a follow-up shot from Jake Jervis.

Against the run of play Yeovil hit the crossbar when Matt Dolan tried his luck from 30 yards out, Luke McCormick and everyone inside Mud Park thought the ball would easily clear the bar except the wind got hold of it and the ball crashed against the bar and was eventually cleared.

We started the second half positively, largely due to Brunt dominating the Yeovil centre-backs, getting hold of the ball and moving the team further up the pitch.
A free-kick from Jervis was superbly saved by Weale, who again opted to play safe and parry the ball away rather than catch it.
Jervis and Wylde briefly swapped wings but to no avail.

By now Reuben Reid had started his 20 minute warm-up (I'm not kidding) on the touchline and the crowd were calling his name as Yeovil were frustratingly keeping Argyle at bay.
Almost immediately we were in front. A long range shot by Tanner was again parried away by Weale except this time he didn't push the ball away to safety and there was Brunt closing in to tap in from close range. 1-0!

Yeovil changed tactics and went to a 4-3-3 formation.

We were never in any danger of conceding but 1-0 is never enough until the final whistle goes and we didn't really go for the killer second goal.

Argyle manager Derek Adams brought on Reid (to a tremendous applause) and Josh Simpson, replacing Tanner and Wydle and matched Yeovil's formation of 4-3-3.
The change was more defensive and we retreated into our shell, content to play on the counter-attack.

Reid nearly had one chance but the final ball from Jervis was poor.

In the end it was a battling 1-0 win and hugely deserved but with the unpredictable wind we could have conceded a late goal.

McHugh was immense in midfield, the total midfield player - tackling, passing, heading.

Brunt struggled with the wind in the first half but played out of his skin for the second half and the win is credit to him for not only scoring the winner but raising his game for the second half.

Tanner was another who had a better second half and was unlucky to be subbed.

Curtis Nelson and Peter Hartley made a few uncharacteristic mistakes, although that was due to the wind and pitch conditions.
Oscar Threlkeld probably had his best game for Argyle, we do have an abundance of good midfielders when all fit.
KelvinMellor struggled and gave the ball away and was better going forward than defending.

It was strange to hear two sets of fans singing "Green and white army". :)

Man of the match: McHugh.

McCormick 6, Mellor 5, Nelson 6, Hartley 6, Sawyer 6, McHugh 8, Threlkeld 7, Tanner 7, Wylde 6, Jervis 6, Brunt 8, Reid 6, Simpson 5, Purrington n/a.

Goal: Brunt, 59. Attendance, 12,821.
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