Yeovil Town 1, Stevenage 3: Glovers punished for sloppy defending
Less than 3,000 people watched Stevenage end Yeovil Town's fine run of npower League One form with a 3-1 victory.
The Glovers had won their last three outings in the division but were twice punished for sloppy defending in front of the lowest gate to watch a Football League clash at Huish Park.
Manager Gary Johnson made four changes to the side knocked out of the FA Cup at Preston North End. Fit-again Byron Webster replaced Richard Hinds and Joe Edwards came in for the injured Dominic Blizzard at right back.
Korey Smith partnered Daniel Johnson in his first Yeovil start as Gavin Williams dropped to the bench and Ed Upson served the opening game of a four-match ban.
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Stevenage took just three minutes to break the deadlock, the opener shrouded in controversy.
The referee's assistant failed to raise his flag when Patrick Agyemang returned from an offside position before Byron Webster dwelled on the ball and was dispossessed by Lucas Akins. James Dunne then crossed for Filipe Morais to clinically sweep home.
The Glovers refused to let their heads drop and came close on five minutes when Sam Foley cut infield and drove narrowly wide.
Madden went one better on eight minutes, hitting the net with a superbly-executed airborne volley, converting Foley's cross who had in turn been picked out by a raking Webster pass.
On 18 minutes Foley and Joe Edwards exchanged exquisite long passes for the former to have an effort blocked before Keanu Marsh-Brown's shot was blocked at point blank range by keeper Steve Arnold.
James Hayter should have done better with a snap shot on 25 minutes after he raced on to a high ball mis-judged by former Glover Bondz N'Gala.
Madden's drilled shot on 37 minutes deflected off Mark Roberts and almost wrong-footed Arnold before Dan Burn's supremely timed challenge at the other end prevented Agyemang from pulling the trigger after the forward beat Webster to a through ball.
Boro enjoyed a similarly rapid start to the second half as they did the first, regaining the lead on 50 minutes thanks to more lax Yeovil defending.
Half time substitute Marcus Haber burst to the byline and when Edwards slipped trying to clear the cross Akins had time to place his shot and beat Marek Stech.
On 63 minutes Marsh-Brown's shot lacked power but N'Gala was somehow unable to clear. Foley curled goal-wards from the edge of the box but Arnold caught acrobatically.
A minute later Stevenage opened up a two-goal cushion. Stech palmed away James Dunne's strike moments after the midfielder had blazed wide but was foxed by a subsequent attempt from the number eight, the ball going in via a deflection off Johnson.
The visitors' third goal appeared to knock the wind from their opponents' sails as Yeovil struggled to rediscover the quality evident in their early attacking play.
Arnold had to tip over Madden' cross on 84 minutes before the striker headed over the subsequent corner, but this turned out to be as close as the Glovers would go.
Yeovil Town (4-4-2) - Stech; Edwards, Webster, Burn, McAllister; Marsh-Brown (Williams, 69), Smith, Johnson, Foley; Hayter (Reid, 69), Madden. Unused subs: Ayling, Hinds, Stewart, Haynes-Brown.
Goals: Madden 8.
Bookings: Johnson (foul), Williams (foul).
Stevenage (4-4-2) - Arnold; Gray, N'Gala, Roberts, Charles; Tansey, Grant (Freeman, 85), Dunne, Morais (Risser, 90); Agyemang (Haber, 46), Akins. Unused subs: Day, Hills, Rogers, Lopez.
Goals: Morais 3, Akins 50, Dunne 64.
Ref: Mark Brown (East Yorkshire).