Glovers fail to press home advantage as they lose two-goal lead against Crawley
at Huish Park
Yeovil Town threw away a two-goal lead and two npower League One points as they were held to a 2-2 draw by Crawley Town at Huish Park last night.
The Glovers crumbled from a commanding position after Byron Webster and Paddy Madden gave them a comfortable lead.
However, they looked a shadow of their first-half selves after the break, gifting the Reds a way back into the game, conceding twice in 16 minutes and frustratingly missing a chance to close in on the top two.
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Sam Foley's abdominal muscle injury meant he missed the clash, Ben Gordon making his Yeovil debut a day after signing a month's contract.
The former Chelsea left footer took just four minutes to announce his arrival. Following a series of Yeovil corners the 22-year-old sent over an enticing cross that Byron Webster forced his way onto and converted with a determined header.
On 14 minutes Mat Sadler danced past Kevin Dawson on the Glovers' right. Marek Stech had to claw away his cross before Dan Burn headed off the line from Paul Hayes as Crawley recycled play.
Four minutes later Yeovil doubled their advantage through top scorer Madden. The Irishman swept home Luke Ayling's centre when the right back showed greatest desire to cross.
The Reds threatened to battle back on 25 minutes. Burn's unnecessary push on Billy Clarke allowed Matt Sparrow the chance to go for goal with a 19-yard free kick, striking the bar and Joe Edwards scrambling clear.
A minute before the half hour mark Sadler again advanced down the Crawley left, crossing for Hayes. But, with the goal begging, the experienced frontman somehow blazed over from yards.
The Reds halved the deficit within seconds of the restart as the hosts napped at the back. Hayes was allowed to nod Sparrow's free-kick to the far post and Jamie Procter headed in.
As Yeovil continued to capitulate, they had Stech to thank for keeping Crawley at bay on 51 minutes, the Czech Republic stopper blocking Sadler's effort with his feet after Dawson had failed to track his run.
Sadler released Hayes on 56 minutes but Stech again saved and Webster thumped clear in his own six-yard box.
Ayling's 61st-minute free-kick picked out James Hayter who headed against the post and as Yeovil switched off, Crawley countered with devastating effect, Matt Sparrow firing home an equaliser.
On 82 minutes the visitors failed to clear a Yeovil attack and after Webster and Burn had headed on Ayling's deliver, Joe Edwards' first-time volley rebounded off the far post. Moments later Nathan Ralph – a first-half replacement for Jamie McAllister – timed his tackle to dispossess Crawley substitute Aiden O'Brien who was clean through.
With 88 minutes on the clock Webster gifted replacement Mike Jones possession 20 yards from goal and he left Stech rooted to his spot, rattling the goal frame.
The Glovers were handed a let off in the dying seconds, Dawson's handball from a Nicky Adams centre going unpunished in the box.
Yeovil Town (4-4-2): Stech; Ayling, Webster, Burn, McAllister (Ralph 24); Dawson, Upson, Edwards, Gordon (Blizzard 66); Hayter (Williams 78), Madden. Substitutes (not used): Hinds, Stewart (gk), Young, Fletcher.
Goals: Webster 4, Madden 18.
Bookings: Webster (foul).
Crawley Town (4-3-3): P Jones; Dumbuya, Essam, Walsh, Sadler; Torres (Adams 69), Bulman, Sparrow; Clarke (M Jones, 55), Proctor (O'Brien, 77), Hayes. Substitutes (not used): Connolly, Hunt, Taylor, Maddison.
Goals: Proctor 46, Sparrow 62.
Bookings: Sparrow (dissent), Walsh (foul), Proctor (foul).
Referee: J Adcock (Nottinghamshire).