|The Laitt Report - U's 1 Yeovil Town 0|
Tuesday, 25th Nov 2008 23:13
Colchester United recorded their second home win of the season tonight thanks to Jermaine Easter's first goal for the club.
Jermaine Easter first goal for Colchester United helped them to a vital home victory over Yeovil Town this evening. The U's lost the services of another two players at half time so three points in the bag will come as a welcome relief for the U's manager who hasn't ruled out new additions to the squad ahead of Thursday's loan deadline.
With injuries decimating the U's squad, there were no real surprises in Lambert's team selection. Phil Ifil returned at right back in place of White whilst Chris Coyne was given permission by Australia to play for the U's and replaced Matt Heath whilst there was also the return of Paul Reid to the bench.
The Yeovil side had much changed since the club's last meeting - the day the U's won promotion to the Championship at Huish Park with Terry Skiverton the only man remaining from that fateful day (For the records, United have five players who played in the goalless draw: Dean Gerken, John White, Pat Baldwin, Scott Vernon and substitute Kem Izzet). Terry Skiverton would have to be watched at set-pieces whilst Gifton Noel-Williams had been highly-rated as a youngster with Watford.
Both sides started brightly with early attempts on each other’s goal: Tomlin firing wide for the visitors while Yeates' drive straight at the keeper was, as one wag pointed out, the closest we'd come in the last three home games!
A Yeates' free-kick went narrowly wide of Wagenaar's near post before Schofield skipped past an Ifil challenge on the left-hand side of midfield only to curl a shot in to the midriff of U's goalkeeper Dean Gerken.
Jermaine Easter, making his home debut though having already played for Millwall at the U's new ground earlier in the season, brought out the best of Yeovil's Canadian keeper Josh Wagenaar who dived full length to tip the U's striker’s goal bound effort behind for a corner.
Wagenaar dealt comfortably with another free-kick from Yeates which was perhaps a little too far out for a strike on goal to be realistically profitable. However, the U's Irish midfield man should have done better as he latched on to Easter's knock-on to sprint in to the box. However, from this position the angle was far too tight and the chance gone when in hindsight (and so much easier when full of confidence) he should hit a first time effort across the goalkeeper.
A deep Yeates corner caused the Glover's keeper some problems as he palmed the ball out to Hammond on the far post but the U's skippers instinctive header fell in to the lap of the by the prone Town shot-stopper.
Yeovil were forced in to a change of their own when Terry Skiverton - who had picked up a knee injury in an attacking foray - was replaced by Aaron Brown with ten minutes to go to the break. Izzet fizzed a volley from the edge of the box wide but for all the U's huff and puff they had so far been unable to unlock the defence to register their first home goal since the end of October.
U's manager Paul Lambert's injury woes continued at half time as he was forced in to two substitutions. Paul Ifil had picked up a gashed shin during a tackle late in the first half and was replaced by Paul Reid with Pat Baldwin moving to right back. Anthony Wordsworth also came on to replace Kem Izzet who had complained of a hamstring problem - David Perkins moved inside to central midfield to partner Dean Hammond.
There was little of interest for the opening ten minutes of the second period bar a very easy shot for Gerken to save but then the U's finally broke the deadlock. Perkins ball in to the box was delightfully nodded down by Clive Platt in to the path of Jermaine Easter who volleyed right footed. Wagenaar got a good hand on the ball but couldn't prevent it from crossing the line which was perhaps unlucky on the former Leeds United man. However, in front of the lowest ever crowd at the WHCS of just 3,214 United had got their noses in front.
Yeovil manager Russell Slade reacted by introducing his new loan signing Luke Rodgers for Gavin Tomlin but they watched as Platt and Easter almost repeated their earlier effort albeit from a little further out. This time the effort was a yard or so wide of the far post.
Just before Vernon replaced Platt Wordsworth sent in a dipping free-kick which Wagenaar watched carefully over his cross bar. Easter saw the run of Yeates across the U's penalty area but the Irishman couldn't get his volley on target as the ball came in.
The nearest Yeovil could come was a late free-kick just outside the U's box. Rodgers, who had caused the U's back four some problems with his direct running, curled a low shot around the wall but thankfully, also around the right side of the post as far as U's fans were concerned.
United were content to try and wind the time down as Yeovil pumped the ball in to the box. On one occasion, a swift counter-attack almost saw Yeates put in Scott Vernon but the Yeovil keeper was out quickly to smother the danger. The visitors continued to test the U's rearguard by getting the ball in to the box and hoping for a knock down but in truth, the home side coped admirably with the threat and in reality, Dean Gerken had had a very quiet evening in the U's goal.
Shot of the Match: For its importance, it has to be Easter's volley that opened the scoring.
Save of the Match: Wagenaar did well to tip Easter's drive from the edge of the box behind for a corner.
Moan of the Match: Just over 3,000 in attendance is a very worrying sign and suggests that something needs to be done, however, dramatic, to get the fans back supporting the club. Yes, results will go some way towards doing that, but other ideas and marketing plans need to be instigated as soon as possible otherwise this stadium will be a White Elephant for all concerned.
Man of the Match: No one really stood out for me in this game. Platt and Easter worked manfully up front against a side who were never going to let us settle in to playing fast, free-flowing football (even if we were capable of such a thing which we're not just yet). The midfield huffed and puffed and defensively there was little to worry the back four. So, my MOTM is going to PAT BALDWIN who did well at centre half before his move to right back where he tried to get forward as often as possible.
Colchester: Gerken, Ifil (Reid 46), Baldwin, Coyne, Jackson, Yeates, Izzet (Wordsworth 46), Dean Hammond, Perkins, Easter, Platt (Vernon 66).
Subs Not Used: Cousins, Wasiu.
Booked: Dean Hammond, Easter.
Goal: Easter 55.
Yeovil: Wagenaar, Alcock, Forbes, Skiverton (Brown 35), Smith, Downes (Welsh 71), Roberts, Peltier, Schofield, Tomlin (Rodgers 59), Noel-Williams.
Subs Not Used: Jones, Warne.
Booked: Forbes, Peltier.
Ref: David Phillips (West Sussex).
Photo: Action Images
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