Match Report


Sat 15 Aug 09

The U's continued their winning start to the season on Saturday, as two first half goals were enough to see them home against Yeovil Town.

The home team were exceptional in the first half and couuld have had far more than the two goals that they got, including chances after the restart.

Often frustrated by the efforts of the referee, the U's kept their shape despite a late goal back from the Glovers and ensured they retained their place at the top of the table.

There was a great atmosphere at the home of the U's, as the South Stand got right behind their boys with a packed attendance at that end.

The U's have reverted to the side that took on Norwich last week, with Scott Vernon replacing the suspended Clive Platt.

The visitors had the first chance as Tomlin headed an effort towards goal, but Williams got his hand to the ball and gathered it at the second attempt to ensure that nothing came of the opportunity.

But the U's fought back and the wide pairing of Hackney and Vincent were key in their early play.

And that pressure was rewarded with the first goal of the game. Vincent was brave to surge into the box and take on his man and when the ball popped back to Fox on the half volley, he made no mistake with a shot that flicked off Stam as it found the back of the net.

If the South Stand was loud before the goal, it was explosive as the ball hit the back of the net.

The officials were gaining the ire of the home support though, with a number of decisions going against the U's, including a number of offside decisions against Lisbie who was certainly close a couple of times.

On the third occasion, Lisbie did get away and slid the ball out to Hackney. The wide man sent over a sensational cross that just missed Vernon at the near post before Vincent came in at the back stick to head home an effort that didn't have power, but wrongfooted McCarthy in the visitors goal to make it 2-0.

The U's were stroking it about with confidence, with Hackney and Vincent virtually unplayable.

A cleverly worked corner kick on the half hour mark drew applause from around the ground. Lisbie came short to play it back to Hackney and his low cross caused bedlam in the home area, with Beevers having a shot blocked.

The U's pace was causing trouble for the home defence and when Vernon wrestled one loose ball forward towards the onrushing Vincent, his fierce volley hit with real power was blocked by McCarthy, but only collected at the second attempt above his head.

There was a worry for the U's on 36 minutes when Beevers felled Obika down the left hand flank, just outside of the box. But Tierney blocked bravely with his head to see the ball away from danger.

And it should have been three nil on 40 minutes. The ball was chipped into the box by Okuonghae and it fell loose after Lisbie and the keeper came together. The striker regained his feet to have one shot blocked and Fox's follow-up was deflected back onto the midfielder and over the bar.

The visitors had only their second chance of the half on 42 minutes when the ball was played in from the left and Williams held off his man to hit a shot on the turn which went well over the bar.

In fairness, the Glovers finished the half strongly and, on the occasions in which they did get into the U's final third, the home side held their shape to ensure that no cheap opportunities were given away.

Vernon had a chance not long after the restart as he broke into the area, but he couldn't quite contrive the space to get a shot away, but he helped set up Vincent for another shot that the defence did well to block away. From the resultant corner, Lisbie got his head to it, but couldn't bury his effort.

The front man, who had grabbed two a week earlier at Norwich, should have added to his seasonal tally as he was put away through the middle. He had time to think about his effort as McCarthy came off his line, but stumbled on the ball just at the wrong minute and the chance was gone.

Hackney was then booked for kicking ball away, before Mason seized on a loose ball in the box to stab a headed chance just wide of the far post.

The U's were the team creating the chances though, and Vincent nearly added to his tally with a sharp low drive to the far post that McCarthy did well to tip away from danger low to his right.

With the home side on top, the visitors replaced Welsh with Nathan Smith for the final half an hour of the match, with loanee John Obika coming on for Tomlin five minutes later.

It came amidst a spell of possession for the visitors, with the U's defending manfully to keep their opponents at bay.

However, with the pace in their side, they were always on top with the counter attack, with Fox's fluency moving the ball well with one move midway through the second half, only for his shot to be blocked at the last.

That effort was followed up by a shot from a tight angle by Vincent, which McCarthy did well to pat down under pressure.

The visitors were growing in confidence and former U's loanee Williams had a great chance on 70 minutes, but the home goalkeeper of the same name pulled off a fine stop, before Smith put it into the side netting.

The U's decided to shore things up by replacing Lisbie with Izzet, with Vincent pushing up top for the final part of the match.

The U's substitute was a key part of the next chance for the home team, heading into the danger area from a loose clearance where Vincent turned a sharp shot into the midriff of McCarthy.

And whilst the U's weren't quite as fluent going forward in the second half, they were still working hard to ensure that they kept the ball out of dangerous areas.

Their efforts weren't always helped by some questionable decisions by the match referee and his assistants, and the visitors got back in the game with a goal from a strange free kick twenty-odd yards out. Mason stepped up and curled it into the bottom corner past the despairing dive of Williams with eight minutes remaining.

The U's then went to secure the other flank by bringing off the excellent Hackney for Perkins for the final six minutes of the match, as the nerves jangled for the closing stages.

The impressive Vincent was doing his best to put the visiting defence under pressure as they tried to play out from the back, but the U's were again left frustrated by another poor refereeing decision as Vernon's shirt was tugged as he went to head the ball home.

The U's management's frustrations had grown during the course of the game and that non-decision was too much for boss Lambert, who saw red as the game entered into five minutes of additional time.

The crowd, equally enraged by the officials' actions, were keen to see their side home, lifting the volume in the stands for those dying minutes.

U's: Williams, Tierney, Baldwin, Okuonghae, Beevers, Hackney, Fox, Hammond, Vincent, Lisbie, Vernon

Att: 4,263

    Data provided by Press Association

    Recent Match Reports