1. ITV Report

Hayter on the spot against his former club

James Hayter scored Yeovil's winner from the penalty spot. Photo: Jonathan Brady/PA



Yeovil Town picked up three vital points in their battle to avoid the drop from the Championship. The Glovers beat fellow strugglers Doncaster 1-0 at Huish Park, on a day the bottom three teams all won.

A second-half penalty from former Rovers striker James Hayter condemned Docaster to their 10th defeat on the road this season - and reduced the gap between the relegation rivals to only five points.

The hosts, who handed on-loan midfielder Duane Holmes a first start, looked bright from the outset but spurned a handful of openings in a first half that epitomised much of their season so far.

Striker Ishmael Miller took only four minutes to threaten the visitors' goal but scuffed Joe Ralls' sweeping ball disappointingly wide.

Yeovil manager Gary Johnson was left with a headache when Miller limped off with a hamstring injury after 10 minutes with ex-Dorchester Town target man Kieffer Moore replacing him alongside Hayter in attack.

Doncaster, who came into the game having won only once away from home all season, slowly grew into the contest with Mark Duffy and Jordan Bowery looking lively in a pulsating opening period.

Rovers goalkeeper Sam Johnstone came up against his former club following a short-lived spell in the south west earlier this season, and he thwarted his former employers with a terrific save in the 27th minute after Tom Lawrence's fizzing free-kick was glanced on by Byron Webster.

The visitors almost grabbed the lead after half an hour when captain Richie Wellens, returning to the starting eleven after a two-match ban, found Bowery on the penalty spot but his shot was blocked by Yeovil's Shane Duffy.

At the other end, Yeovil forced Johnstone into two more saves before the break. Defender Luke Ayling found Moore and then Duffy in the box but both players headed wide as the home side went into half time frustrated.

The Glovers last enjoyed a league win against Blackpool on December 3 but the hosts will not have created many more clear-cut chances than early in the second half when Tom Lawrence tamely headed Holmes' cross straight at Johnstone.

Yeovil's fortunes turned shortly before the hour mark when debutant Holmes, who signed on loan from Huddersfield on Friday, was tripped in the box by James Husband. Former Doncaster striker Hayter confidently stroked the ball home from the spot.

With Doncaster's defence rocking, Moore should have doubled the hosts' advantage moments later but his header was expertly saved by Johnstone from point blank range.

Substitute Kevin Dawson rattled the crossbar from a late header for the home side but their defence was rarely tested in the closing exchanges.

Despite the three points, Yeovil remain bottom of the table. That's because Charlton and Barnsley also won.

It's important when you're near the bottom of the league that you keep your shape and create chances, and we did that.

We deserved the win. 1-0 is a bit hairy-scary, and looking at today's results it was important we stayed in touch. The result has brought Millwall and Doncaster closer to us.

It wasn't pretty but it's not easy to play on that pitch at the minute with all the rain we've had. Everyone put a shift in and credit to the team - they deserve it.

A lot of decisions have gone against us in recent weeks, but the referee has done his job today for us.

Opposition teams who get beat always have a little moan about decisions, but that shows how important they thought today's game was.

If James (Hayter) gets an opportunity you know he's clever enough to tuck it in the corner.

That's why he's done so well for us and scored so many goals over the years. He's a great asset and a calming influence for us.

– Gary Johnson, Yeovil Town manager


Lewis Alessandra scored Argyle's second goal. Credit: Joe Giddens/EMPICS Sport

Plymouth Argyle have climbed above their opponents in the table, after first half goals from Reuben Reid and Lewis Alessandra earned the Pilgrims three points.

Reid opened the scoring in the fifth minute, firing in the rebound after Conor Hourihane's free-kick hit the crossbar.

The hosts equalised 20 minutes later through Zavon Hines, but Argyle were soon back in front when Matt Parsons' cross was volleyed home by Alessandra for his 10th goal of the season.

Jamie Allen scored the only goal of the game at St James Park. Credit: Barrington Coombs/EMPICS Sport

Exeter City's miserable home form continues after a single goal was enough to give promotion-chasing Rochdale victory.

The Grecians haven't won at St James Park for 10 games - the last time was against West Country rivals Plymouth Argyle on October 5th.

John O'Flynn missed a great opportunity to put City ahead, but fired over from 10 yards. That miss proved costly as Jamie Allen soon broke the deadlock just before half-time.

Matt Lund almost doubled the advantage in the second half, but saw his shot strike a post.

Former Glasgow Rangers striker Kal Naismith scored the only goal of the game for Accrington at Torquay. Credit: Lynne Cameron/PA Archive

Torquay United suffered their third straight defeat after losing to fellow strugglers Accrington at Plainmoor.

Substitute Kal Naismith scored the winner ten minutes from time when he beat three defenders before side-footing past Michael Poke.

The Gulls best chances fell to Joss Labadie, but he saw two headers cleared off the line.

Bottom club Northampton also won today, which leaves both teams level on 29 points in the relegation zone.

More on this story