Sercombe double sees off Scunthorpe

CHAMPIONSHIP

  • YEOVIL TOWN 0 - 0 BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION
On-loan Fraser Fyvie was involved in Yeovil's best chances in the first half, but soon left the field injured. Credit: Mike Egerton/EMPICS Sport

Goal-shy Yeovil suffered further woe on home soil after a disappointing 0-0 stalemate with Brighton.

In a match devoid of any cutting edge, the hosts showed why they remain the Sky Bet Championship's tamest outfit in front of goal, having found the net only six times in a dozen matches.

Glovers boss Gary Johnson made four changes to his side that were thrashed 4-1 at Middlesbrough before the international break, with Republic of Ireland international Paddy Madden, whose 23-goal haul fired Yeovil to promotion from League One last season, left out of the squad.

The injury-hit visitors, looking for their first win in four attempts and first goal on the road since August, started the game brightly with on-loan Cardiff midfielder Craig Conway impressing on the left flank.

Oscar Garcia's side cut through the static Yeovil rear-guard after only four minutes and came inches away from snatching an early lead when Will Buckley took advantage of a quick free kick to feed Ashley Barnes, who blazed over from close range.

Despite their opponents making the 160-mile trip to the South West, it was the Glovers who continued to look jaded with goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey keeping Albion out in the early exchanges with a smart save from Barnes's powerful header.

The hosts' brightest moments in an otherwise drab first half came through debutant Fraser Fyvie, who signed on loan from fellow Championship side Wigan this week.

A first curling free-kick was headed narrowly over by Shane Duffy, before the 20-year-old's second set piece stung the palms of Albion goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak.

But Fyvie's debut proved short-lived after he fell heavily under a bruising tackle from former Glover Rohan Ince, and left the field mid-way through the first half clutching his shoulder.

Brighton poured forward in a bid to take advantage of Yeovil's misfortune with Barnes and Buckley both spurning good opportunities to break the deadlock.

The Huish Park faithful were finally awoken from their slumber early in the second half when Sam Hoskins broke away promisingly, but his disappointing strike did little to worry Kuszczak in the Albion goal.

Yeovil's early effort in the second period saw confidence flow back into their veins, with midfield talisman Ed Upson breaking away from his marker before hitting a ferocious 25-yard drive straight at the goalkeeper.

Brighton brought new loan signing Leroy Lita off the bench on the hour mark in response, but it was Yeovil again who seized the initiative with Upson hitting an ambitious effort narrowly over the bar.

The Glovers came close to breaking the deadlock as the game began to peter out when Duffy headed an Upson corner over the crossbar.

But Brighton should have snatched all three points late on - with Buckley and Lita both spurning gilt-edged chances.

LEAGUE TWO

  • HARTLEPOOL UNITED 1 - 0 PLYMOUTH ARGYLE
Rommy Boco was denied by Hartlepool goalkeeper Scott Flinders. Credit: Joe Giddens/EMPICS Sport

Hartlepool played for over an hour with 10 men but were still able to pick up their fourth straight win after seeing off Plymouth.

Jack Compton was sent off after just 26 minutes for a dangerous challenge on Jamie Reckord, but Luke James struck his sixth goal of the season 10 minutes after half-time to secure the points.

Reuben Reid, Rommy Boco and Conor Hourihane were all denied by home goalkeeper Scott Flinders.

  • SCUNTHORPE UNITED 0 - 4 EXETER CITY
Liam Sercombe scored twice in Exeter City's 4-0 win at Scunthorpe. Credit: PA Wire

Exeter City have climbed to third in the table after a comfortable win at Scunthorpe.

Liam Sercombe scored twice on either side of half-time, with further goals from Arron Davies and Sam Parkin.

Sercombe's first was a 20 yard strike ten minutes before half-time.

Davies doubled the advantage five minutes into the second half with a long range effort from the left-hand touchline which sailed over goalkeeper Sam Slocombe, who was off his line.

A minute later it was 3-0 when Alan Gow played in Sercombe for his second of the afternoon.

And there was still time for sub Parkin to tap-in from close range after Matt Grimes' shot was parried by Slocombe.

  • TORQUAY UNITED 0 - 0 MANSFIELD TOWN
Billy Bodin was unlucky not to break the deadlock against Mansfield. Credit: Tony Marshall/EMPICS Sport

Torquay United and Mansfield shared the points at Plainmoor.

The Gulls played the last 20 minutes with ten men after Krystian Pearce was sent off for receiving two bookings.

Billy Bodin was unlucky not to break the deadlock. He hit the post with a 20 yard effort, and saw a volley deflected wide.

The Stags also came close, but Martin Rice pulled off a fine save to deny Matt Rhead.