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Yeovil show plenty of fight but still end up beaten

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: September 24, 2012

Sheffield United's Neill Collins (centre) celebrates his goal at Yeovil Town   picture: Gary Day/Pinnacle

Sheffield United's Neill Collins (centre) celebrates his goal at Yeovil Town picture: Gary Day/Pinnacle

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Changes to personnel and formation were not enough to prevent an improved Yeovil Town slump to their worst run of Football League defeats.

Sheffield United captain Neill Collins' second-half header split the teams at Huish Park, condemning the Glovers to a fourth successive loss for the first time since promotion in 2003. However, the hosts matched their physical opposition for long periods and created chances of their own despite switching from a 4-4-2 to 4-5-1 shape.

Manager Gary Johnson said: "Sometimes you have got to take the emotion out of it after losing because we have had four poor defeats but today the lads gave it a right go against a good team, kept the ball well and created opportunities.

"People are going to assume that we are down because it is still a 1-0 defeat. If you take the emotion out of it, I thought we played well and I thought we did well against a very strong team that is very hard to break down. If you can say it that way, it was our best defeat today."

After ringing the changes at Leyton Orient in midweek, Johnson did similar in a bid to blunt the Blades.

Captain Jamie McAllister returned ahead of Nathan Ralph following a three-game ban, while Luke Ayling regained his right-back spot as Dominic Blizzard assumed his familiar midfield role.

Richard Hinds came in for injured Chelsea loanee Rohan Ince at centre half and Gozie Ugwu made way for fit-again Gavin Williams, making his first appearance of the season.

However it was an ever-present figure that made the first contribution for Yeovil, Marek Stech acrobatically tipping over Tony McMahon's 20-yard free-kick.

As the half wore on the Glovers showed signs of getting a footing in the game. Korey Smith crossed from the byline and Ed Upson somehow picked out goalkeeper Mark Howard from close range.

Upson fed Smith after 42 minutes and the tricky Norwich City midfielder turned and shot only to be denied by Howard.

On 45 minutes Williams gave away possession 25 yards from goal and Stech palmed away McMahon's cross.

The Czech Republic 'keeper was called into action in injury time, stopping Paul Gallagher's drive with his out-stretched right boot.

A bright Yeovil start to the second half was ended by the Blades' decisive goal ten minutes after the restart. Collins climbed highest at the near post to meet a corner, powerfully heading home.

On 57 minutes Blizzard's angled effort from the corner of the box fizzed across the face of goal, leaving United's defence rooted to the spot. But it was to prove a rare second-half chance for the hosts as again Stech earned his corn on 74 minutes. The 'keeper was initially stuck to his line from a wide delivery but then got down well to save from Richard Cresswell.

Keanu Marsh-Brown capped a lively introduction with a cross that picked out Joe Edwards at the far post, but he nodded wide as Howard and McMahon collided.

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