Yeovil Town 0-1 Aston Villa Player Ratings: D’Almeida impresses

Darren Way – pinterest.co.uk

League Two Yeovil Town put in an extremely competitive performance in their EFL Cup First Round clash with Championship side Aston Villa on Tuesday night, but fell to a 1-0 defeat in front of the Sky Sports cameras due to Conor Hourihane’s late goal. Here’s our Player Ratings from the game.

Yeovil Town

Nathan Baxter – considering this was the toughest opposition Woking’s 2017-18 Player of the Year has faced in his career, he fared reasonably well. He impressively denied Green in the first half and, although he took a long time to perfect his distribution, he did pick out some nice passes, as one would expect from somebody who has come through Chelsea’s youth setup. 6

Tom James – the right-back, who had reportedly attracted interest from Swansea this summer, enjoyed a steady return from his one-match ban. Defended his box well and made some accurate long throws. 6
Omar Sowunmi – a giant of a man at 6’6″, the captain is also a giant of a character. The Ipswich academy graduate’s incredible aerial prowess was surprisingly on show more in the opposition box than his own, due to his threat from long throws and set pieces, which saw him win the penalty; on one occasion when he did go forward though, he showed incredible desire to run back from the opposition box to tackle Hepburn-Murphy and stop an opposition break. What a performance! 9
Gary Warren – after a six-year stint at Inverness, the 33-year-old returned closer to his Bristol home this summer and appears to be enjoying life at Huish Park. Beaten by Kodjia for the goal but was not afraid to throw his weight around; a bullish block on Hourihane’s effort and an strong challenge on Adomah typified a committed display. 7
Carl Dickinson – like Warren, Dickinson has added much-needed experience to the back-line. The 31-year-old was respected at Port Vale for his work rate, commitment and leadership, qualities which were all on show tonight. Showed that extra bit of desire to get to loose balls, make blocks even while on the ground, while his powerful kicks enabled Yeovil to get balls into the box from deep. Possibly caught out of position for the goal. 7

Yoann Arquin – almost certainly the first Martiniquais footballer to represent The Glovers, Arquin bagged his first goal for the club in Saturday’s draw with Mansfield. The 30-year-old is known as a versatile attacking player who can use either foot, but he also a physical threat in the box from free-kicks and hit a powerful shot narrowly off-target on the quarter-hour mark. 6
Reece Cole – the young midfielder is highly-rated at Brentford and the fact he isn’t the first name on the teamsheet at Yeovil is testament to the form of others. Pressed intelligently in his time on the pitch, which was cut to just 33 minutes – an injury, perhaps? 6
Sessi D’Almeida – the Beninese midfielder, who has represented PSG’s B Team, is hoping to get his career back on track and there are definite signs he will do that at Yeovil. The 22-year-old is not afraid to throw himself into challenges, he did some excellent covering work in wide areas and, incredibly, his energy levels didn’t drop: there was one point late in the game when he was pressing in the final third. 9
Wes McDonald – the Birmingham academy graduate has added pace and trickery on the left wing; he tracked back well to counter Adomah’s threat and looked bright early on. As the game progressed though, there were signs that he struggled to adjust to certain physical aspects of the contest. 5

Diallang Jaiyesimi – the Norwich loanee didn’t pull up too many trees at Grimsby, but appears to be having a real impact at Yeovil; the type of player that anticipates early balls in behind due to his pace. Flicked the ball on well for Fisher’s big first half chance and posed a threat on the break which he could have maximized further with a better first touch. Unlucky to have a tap-in ruled out for offside, too in a lively performance. 7
Alex Fisher – with Francois Zoko sidelined through injury, it was important for Fisher to step up here. The Oxford-born forward offered nippy movement in behind, he pressed intelligently and forced an excellent save then had the best chance of the match blocked on the line. His penalty unfortunately lacked power, but that shouldn’t detract too much from an otherwise positive display. 6

Alex Pattison (on 34) – Yeovil landed a gem in Lewis Wing on loan from Middlesbrough last season and it looks like they have another impressive young player from Teesside. The 20-year-old, who was very highly rated at York, played an excellent ball in behind for Jaiyesimi, he hit a sharp strike from outside the box that flew just over the bar and played with a level of technical proficiency which suggests his long-term future lies above League Two. 8
Korrey Henry (on 82) – the 18-year-old, who was released by West Ham this summer, was the fifth-youngest player to feature in League Two at the weekend; here, he put himself about with youthful exuberance but the ball didn’t quite drop for him. 6
Gabriel Rogers (on 85) – this was a great opportunity for the midfielder, who has impressed in the Under-18s. Worked hard off the ball on the right side of midfield to halt Villa’s attacks. 6

Aston Villa

Andre Moreira – the 6’5″ Atletico Madrid loanee, who has represented Portugal at Under-21 level, kept a clean sheet in a recent friendly with Stoke. Given that Orjan Nyland looked nervy on his debut, there could be an opportunity for Moreira to prove his worth. Brilliantly denied Fisher early on and saved the striker’s second half penalty. 8

Ritchie De Laet – the right-back, who won the Championship title with Leicester in 2013-14, offers pace and power down the flank when fit. Those qualities will be useful this season for Villa, especially when they face defensive opposition. 6
Axel Tuanzebe – took time to settle into the game; conceded a foul early on, when his aggressive positioning was exposed by the mobility of Jaiyesimi; although, he did make a good block from the forward in the first half. Following a wayward effort from Hourihane’s first half corner, Tuanzebe looked solid after the interval. 7
Tommy Elphick – Steve Bruce is still searching for that ideal centre-back partner for James Chester; given that Elphick had been dismissed in favour of midfielder-by-trade Mile Jedinak at the weekend, the ex-Bournemouth man needed a better audition. A stupid foul on Sowunmi nearly cost Villa and question marks linger over his ability to dominate his box aerially; the one thing Chester doesn’t offer. 4
Neil Taylor – the experienced left-back offers Aston Villa solidity, but the absence of a more attacking option means a lack of width could be problematic. Lacks an extra yard of pace to run onto balls and guilty of backing off Fisher’s effort. One or two more forward forays in the second half, though. 4

Glenn Whelan – the 34-year-old had no problems getting through the dirty work we have come to expect from him, but it could be questioned whether Villa needed a player relatively limited in possession against League Two opposition. Steadily gained a foothold on proceedings though and was at times more defensively aware than Elphick. 5
Jake Doyle-Hayes – the midfielder, who has represented Ireland at Under-19s level, is rated highly due to his effective ball retention, unerring balance and link between defence and attack. However, the youngster finds himself behind four players in the central midfield pecking order and although this wasn’t a bad performance, it also wasn’t the star display needed to elevate him above his senior competitors. Some nice link play when given space, but was often forced back when Yeovil’s midfielders were quick to press. 5
Conor Hourihane –  the Irishman isn’t always a prominent influence on games; in fact he was terrible in the first half here, misplacing passes and lucky not to have been booked earlier. Came to the party more after the break and, even during his below-par displays, always has that ability to get into dangerous areas and make telling contributions, as we saw for the winner, which means the ex-Barnsley man has now scored in each of his three career meetings with Yeovil. 4

Albert Adomah – given that the ex-Middlesbrough winger is so often one of the star performers in the Championship, this was a game in which one would expect him to be a key influence; he simply wasn’t. One or two threatening deliveries in the second half aside, this was a very disappointing display from the London-born Ghanaian. 4
Rushian Hepburn-Murphy – the 19-year-old offers plenty of raw pace, but his his diminutive stature means he’s never going to win aerial duels with big, battle-hardened centre-backs. The England Under-20 international has looked bright in both of his substitute appearances this season but perhaps struggled as the lone striker; although his finishing for Villa’s youth team would suggest we should have expected more from him than to mishit Villa’s best first half opening. 4
Andre Green – the academy graduate has looked bright so far this season; the Silhillian is capable of dangerous runs in from the left channel and here he moved into central areas, forced a good save from outside the box. Green even set up Villa’s first proper chance with a quick run down the right flank, but his decision-making left a little to be desired on occasions. 5

Jack Grealish (on 57) – Villa’s creative star was named on the bench as a potential get-out clause and so it proved. Hit the crossbar within five minutes of coming on, then proceeded to take control of the game and drag Villa into prominence almost single-handedly. Just where would they be without him? 9
Jonathan Kodjia (on 57) – it might seem surprising that Bruce has started his best available striker in a competition that may be considered a secondary priority, but Kodjia has looked a tad low on confidence so far this season and is perhaps in need of a goal. Showed good movement to get in behind Dickinson, then skill to get beyond Warren before setting up Hourihane’s goal. 9
James Bree (on 83) – clearly not considered first team material by Steve Bruce and therefore needs a loan spell. 5