When I saw the team sheet for this afternoons game, I knew we were in for a tough afternoon. The City side had two players with league experience in Rhys Weston (who was withdrawn after about an hour of a pretty gentle comeback game) and Stuart Fleetwood who had played for aboutr ten minutes as a sub in the home game with Stoke. Compare that to Yeovil who had, by my reckoning, seven players with league experience and we were always underdogs.
Yeovil's reserves offer great entertainment - before today they were averaging three goals scored and two conceded every game and you could see why on this evidence!
The elements certainly played a part in the game with a cold north wind blowing straight down the ground towards the Grange End. City had the wind advantage in an open first half which was marked by some fine goalkeeping, Northmore in the visiting goal distinguishing himself with good saves from Fleetwood, Thomas and Fish, whilst Fleetwood again and Weston both went close. Arran Lee Barrett was busy as well with saves from Weatherstone the Yeovil skipper.
The one goal of the first half came around the quarter hour mark when Fleetwood burst on to a pass from Ledley and showed good composure to place the ball wide of the keeper.
The end to end nature of the opening half made one forget how strong the wind was and it soon became apparent in the second half as Yeovil adopted a shoot on sight policy that a one goal lead was probably not going to be enough for the City.
To make matters worse, the wind became very strong in the opening minutes of the second half and undoubtedly played a part in the equaliser when Weatherstone hit a ball in from the touchline about forty five yards out which caught the wind and sailed over Lee Barrett's head and into the net - perhaps the Yeovil player meant it, but it looked a complete fluke to me!
Although the City stayed on terms for a while, they were struggling to cope with a Yeovil team who were bigger, more powerful and playing some good football.
City hardly threatened the Yeovil goal throughout the second half as the visitors operated a successful offside trap which constantly caught out Fleetwood and Thomas (although some of the decision looked extremely tight to me).
The decisive period of the game came with about twenty minutes to go when Yeovil scored two in a minute as Weatherstone's shot from outside the box took a deflection that left Lee Barrett helpless and then Stansfield cut infield to fire a tremendous twenty five yard shot past the keeper for the goal of the game.
City looked down and out, but a mysterious penalty award gave Fleetwood the chance to reduce the deficit to a single goal and Yeovil had to endure some dodgy moments before they sealed the points right at the death when some sloppy defending allowed substitute Williams to score.
In all honesty, not many City players shone today although, strange as it may seem when he conceded four goals, Arran Lee Barret probably played as well as I have seen him do for us. In the first half Fleetwood and Thomas troubled the visitors with their speed and alertness and Nicky Fish again showed up well, but the second half fade meant that the City finished a well beaten team.
One last thing, as there was no PA announcer at the ground today, I am not too sure if I got all of the Yeovil goalscorers right - still I suppose City fans aren't going to be bothered one way or another about that!