FINAL WHISTLE: Wanderers 1 Yeovil Town 1
WANDERERS avoided what may have been one of the most embarrassing results in their history thanks to Alex Baptiste’s hotly-disputed equaliser in injury time at the Reebok.
A goal down thanks to a horrendous error from Adam Bogdan, Dougie Freedman looked to be facing some tough questions about his own future as 90 minutes ticked by.
But with 92 minutes on the clock, auxiliary striker Zat Knight hooked the ball back from the byline for Matt Mills to head on to the bar, and Baptiste to push over the line.
Yeovil claimed the ball had crossed the line before Knight’s cross – and looked to have a very good case – but that didn’t stop the Reebok heaving a massive sight of relief at the final whistle.
Though Wanderers started fairly brightly, the longer things went on at 0-0, the quicker confidence seemed to sap from Freedman’s players.
Medo Kamara was desperately unlucky to see a low, bouncing shot hit the inside of Wayne Hennessey’s right-hand post 13 minutes in, and likewise David Ngog a few moments later when his snap-shot was brilliantly blocked in front of goal by Shane Duffy.
Those missed chances seemed to set the Whites back a little – and though they continued to look dangerous in the final third of the pitch, some of the decision making close in smacked of a side bottom of the table.
Yeovil got players behind the ball when they had to but started to force the issue at the other end after Joe Ralls blasted a volley wide with 10 minutes of the half remaining.
Had it not been for a smart save by Adam Bogdan, the Glovers would have seized the advantage, as Irish striker Paddy Madden turned Joel Grant’s cross towards goal at the near post.
But equally, Hennessey was in fine fettle at the other end, and when space opened up for Chung-Yong Lee to place a shot in on goal, the on-loan Wolves keeper made a fine stop low down to his left.
Perhaps that was still playing on the South Korean’s mind when he got free down the middle shortly after the restart but passed up the chance to shot. The ball was eventually worked to David Ngog but his tame shot went wide.
Bogdan made another fine save from Grant as Yeovil tried to take advantage of Wanderers’ brittle confidence – and the Hungarian keeper was also happy to see a lobbed effort from Madden drop over his net moments later.
Freedman threw on Jermaine Beckford and new signing Liam Feeney to try and change things but was immediately set back when Jay Spearing picked up a bad cut above his eye, and went down the tunnel for treatment, and full-back Marc Tierney collapsed on the near touchline with what looked a painful ankle injury.
Spearing ended up being patched up while Zat Knight was put on as a substitute as Tierney was helped down the tunnel.
Beckford had one brief chance to change the course of the game when Eagles played him in, only for his early shot to drift narrowly wide.
With 11 minutes to go, Wanderers effectively committed suicide. Ed Upson drilled a low effort straight at Bogdan from the edge of the box, which dribbled through the keeper’s hands and apologetically inside the post.
It looked downright comical. Albeit very few people around the ground were laughing.
Freedman frantically tried to throw players forward in search of an equaliser, and they finally showed some of the fighting spirit he has been searching for in recent weeks, but it looked a forlorn effort until Knight’s late cross found its way to Baptiste to nudge across the line.
And the Whites skipper – booed by his own fans on his arrival on to the pitch – nearly stole all three points with a header at the end from Feeney’s cross.
The point was not enough to stave off more jeers at the final whistle but was lift the Whites off the bottom on goal difference from Barnsley.