INJURY ADDS TO YEOVIL’S MISERY
Broken hand woe for Stech
BIRMINGHAM City ensured Yeovil Town’s Championship parade was given the Blues and the Glovers’ big day was also overshadowed by a broken hand for goalkeeper Marek Stech that will rule him out for three months.
The Czech stopper was a key figure in the Glovers’ promotion to the second tier but lasted just six minutes of their opening home game before sustaining the injury punching the back of defender Byron Webster’s head.
And Stech’s absence proved costly as replacement keeper Gareth Stewart flapped at a corner in the build-up to Birmingham’s winner.
As goalkeeping coach Stewart flailed, Webster headed the ball against defensive partner Dan Seaborne and into the back of net.
Town manager Gary Johnson will now sign a goalkeeper on loan before next weekend’s trip to Burnley but admits the goalkeeper’s absence is a real shame for both player and club.
Johnson said: “It’s a massive blow. I’m sorry for Marek because we can find another keeper but he can't get another hand!
“He’ll be out for three months because he’s broken two bones in his hand and we’ll have to get someone in on loan.
“We had it in our minds anyway to get a loan keeper in if anything happened to Marek and we’ve got a couple of names in mind.
“We’ll have a new goalkeeper next weekend but it was a blow for us and it deprives Marek of the chance to play in the Championship for the next few months.
“He was so important for us last season and had started well this time around as well. But you have to cope with injuries.”
Johnson also felt Blues should have been reduced to ten men in the first half when wing-back Neal Eardley escaped a second yellow card for a late challenge, having earlier been booked for a trip on Sam Foley.
He said:“We felt hard done by with that decision.We don't want to see sendings off and yellow cards but that would have changed the game in our favour.”
However City manager Lee Clark countered that claim, believing Eardley should not have been booked in the first place
He said:“The ref made an issue for himself with Neal’s booking because that was never a yellow card. He made a fair attempt for the ball. It’s a foul, but not a booking. Then there’s an issue with the next foul.
“It’s getting crazy the amount of times I have to speak with the head of referees and we need more consistency.”
Birmingham rode their luck at times as Yeovil striker James Hayter hit the outside of a post while goalkeeper Darren Randolph produced two brilliant saves to deny Byron Webster.
In the first half, the Republic of Ireland international dived full length to beat away a volley from the Glovers defender.
Then after the break, Randolph diverted Webster’s header on to the crossbar with an outstretched foot.
But despite Randolph’s heroics and the fortunate way in which his side scored, Clark was philosophical about the result.
He added: “We were on the end of an unfortunate result last week against Watford when we didn’t deserve to lose so we’ll take that.
“It doesn’t matter how you win the game, you've just got to win, and it doesn’t matter how we score.
“We’ve got three points and we’re up and running. My players have shown a magnificent work ethic so far and it needs to continue.
“Yeovil created a party atmosphere and I told my players all week how tough this would be. I’m delighted with the result.”
WE’LL TAKE THAT: Dan Burn celebrates with Tom Adeyemi and Paul Robinson after the opening goal
CLANGER: The Yeovil defence are powerless as Birmingham lead through an own goal