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MATCH REPORT: First home win for Yeovil Town in 3-1 defeat of Nottingham Forest
A PENALTY save from 'man-of-the-match' keeper Wayne Hennessey helped Yeovil Town to their first ever home league victory in the Championship, as they beat former European champions Nottingham Forest 3-1 at Huish Park on Saturday.
After the game Gary Johnson described the on loan Wolves stopper as a 'ball magnet', adding: “I don’t like my keeper being man of the match when we’ve won 3-1 but you’ve got to hand it to him - he was fantastic.”
Midfielder Ed Upson scored a brace, Byron Webster netted a header, and Nathanial Chalobah scored a close range header in an action packed first half in which Simon Cox also missed a penalty.
Upson’s first came in the seventh minute courtesy of the little bit of luck that has so far eluded the Glovers at home, as a slight deflection from Upson’s volley gave visiting keeper Karl Darlow no chance.
Then came the turning point in the game. A lovely through ball from Chalobah bisected the home centre-backs and sent Simon Cox clear, but before he could get his shot away, he was blocked by the recovering Shane Duffy, illegally according to the referee.
Cox himself then stepped up to take the third penalty conceded by Yeovil in the last four home games, but his poor effort was saved by Hennessey, who then brilliantly blocked the resulting rebound, and Duffy made up for his foul by clearing off the line when Hennessey was beaten.
With the home fans euphoric off the back of the first 15 minutes, Yeovil poured forward with Duffy twice coming close from Upson corners, while on the break Cox had a curling effort well saved by the home keeper.
Then, in the 39th minute Upson drove forward and struck a superb shot from 20 yards into the bottom left corner, sparking a frantic five minutes.
Chalobah ended the Yeovil celebrations prematurely as within two minutes the Chelsea loan player had pulled a goal back for the visitors, tapping in from a couple of yards after an Andy Reid free kick was headed back across goal.
Just as the Forest fans were calming down, Webster restored the home side’s two-goal advantage as a Joel Grant shot was palmed over by Darlow, and from the resulting corner Webster headed against the inside of the post and in.
Forest scorer Chalobah was booked just before the half time whistle, as the visiting players started to show their frustration.
The second half was a much more subdued affair as the Yeovil players looked scared to make a tackle, perhaps understandable after the penalty and with both central midfielders on a booking.
Forest then began to assert their dominance as wave after wave of attacks were repelled by the home defence, and when the resistance was broken, the visiting strikers found Hennessey an immovable object in goal.
Yeovil were restricted to occasional attacks on the break but in injury time Upson almost completed his hat-trick as his powerful strike from the edge of the box was well saved by Darlow.
The final whistle was greeted by huge cheers as the whole stadium stood to applaud the home side’s first home win in the second tier of English football.
The Glovers will hope to take that confidence to Elland Road on Saturday when they play Leeds United.