Yeovil Town more or less assured themselves League One safety this afternoon, as they hit the fifty point barrier, in doing so almost relegating opponents Rochdale. The 3-1 scoreline showed the Glovers general dominance of the game, with goals from Jonathan Franks and Richard Hinds in the first half, added to by Michael Woods scoring his first senior goal during the second period. Jonathan Grounds was unfortunate to put through his own net as a Temitope Obadeyi shot hit the crossbar and rebounded off the defender. But that wasn't enough to give Dale any hope of a comeback on the day, leaving Yeovil in 14th place, and their opponents on the edge of relegation being confirmed.
The Glovers went into the match making one change to their matchday squad, with Jonathan Obika dropping out of the squad as the sixth loanee. Jonathan Grounds returned to the team after the birth of his son Louis, coming in as a left-back. On the wings, Josh Morris surprisingly started on the right, whilst Lawson D'Ath was left on the other flank. Meanwhile Jonathan Franks started up front alongside Andy Williams.
The pattern of the game was set early on with Lawson D'Ath firing wide of the target early on, but within a minute of that the Glovers took the lead. Former Yeovil Town defender Kevin Amankwaah, who scored the club's first ever goal in League One football, wasn't so good on his return to Huish Park, making a nervy backpass that fell well short seven minutes into the game, allowing Jonathan Franks a chance to intercept and found goalkeeper David Lucas and into the back of the net. 1-0 up and the perfect start.
Whilst the half wasn't quite one way traffic - Andrew Tutte returned to his old club by forcing Sam Walker to parry away from his edge of the box shot, 20 minutes into the half - it was clear which team was dominating against a Rochdale defence that was a bag of nerves. Their cause wasn't helped by Kevin Long having to come off midway through the half, as they reshuffled their line with Neill Byrne coming on to replace him.
Dale went further behind on the half hour mark when Josh Morris was fouled by Andrew Tutte. Morris took the free kick and his deep ball into the box was put back across the box by Andy Williams, allowing Richard Hinds to stab the ball home from close range. 2-0 up and the first goal in a green and white shirt for Hinds.
Inevitably the visitors were looking a little sorry for themselves, although Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro did force Luke Ayling to clear the ball off his own goal line when a corner allowed the striker to head across the path of Sam Walker. Fortunately the right-back's positioning on the goal line was perfect and the Glovers deservedly went in at the break two goals up.
A half time team talk by John Coleman stirred up the visitors and they began to play a little better after the break. Jason Kennedy put the ball wide as Yeovil were guilty of a little bit too much complacency, getting dispossessed as they did too many sideways passes. Then Richard Hinds put in a wonderful block tackle on Michael Symes to prevent the on loan Bournemouth striker from benefitting from an Andrew Tutte cross into the box.
The next goal was going to be crucial and with 15 minutes remaining, it went Yeovil's way. Michael Woods had only been on the field for six minutes as a replacement for Josh Morris, as Yeovil reorganised to a 4-5-1 as a reaction to a Rochdale attacking tactical change. And it was game over as Andy Williams got his second assist of the game, giving Woods an easy tap in. 3-0 and definitely game over.
With ten minutes to go, Dale did manage to get a goal back, although even then Yeovil managed to score it for them. A Temitope Obadeyi shot hit the crossbar, and in his attempts to clear the ball off the line, the ball rebounded off Jonathan Grounds for an own goal, and to maybe give the visitors a small glimmer of hope at 3-1 - not that it was to turn out that way.
Yeovil ran out the final ten minutes relatively easily - the only concern being the withdrawal of Andy Williams, who went straight down the tunnel with the club doctor, clutching his side, having spent the preceding five minutes hobbling around the pitch. With only two days between today and the game at Meadow Lane on Monday against Notts County, he will inevitably be a doubt for the game. But with 50 points reached as the final whistle blew, that surely won't matter too much - now eight points clear of Wycombe Wanderers in 21st place, it should be safe to start planning for the 2012-13 season.
Link: 2011-12 Latest League One Table.
Final Score: Yeovil Town 3 Rochdale 1.
Scorers: Jonathan Franks (1-0, 7 mins), Richard Hinds (2-0, 29 mins), Michael Woods (3-0, 75 mins), Jonathan Grounds (3-1, own goal, 80 mins).
Yeovil Town: (4-4-2)
1. Sam Walker
2. Luke Ayling 5. Paul Huntington 28. Richard Hinds 17. Jonathan Grounds
15. Josh Morris 8. Ed Upson 6. Dominic Blizzard 14. Lawson D'Ath
16. Jonathan Franks 7. Andy Williams
24. Gareth Stewart (GK) 4. Bondz N'Gala 12. Michael Woods (69 mins for Josh Morris) 18. Kieran Agard (83 mins for Andrew Williams) 19. Curtis Haynes-Brown
23. David Lucas
4. Marcus Holness 12. Kevin Long 5. Kevin Amankwaah 3. Joe Widdowson
7. Jason Kennedy 8. Gary Jones 16. Andrew Tutte 11. Nicky Adams
26. Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro 9. Michael Symes
21. Matthew Edwards (GK) 19. Temitope Obadeyi (58 mins for Marcus Holness) 15. Joe Thompson 24. Neill Byrne (27 mins for Kevin Long) 27. Sean McConville (59 mins for Nicky Adams)
Yeovil Bookings: Paul Huntington (55 mins, foul)
Rochdale Bookings: Marcus Holness (56 mins, foul), Andrew Tutte (82 mins, off the ball incident).
Referee: James Adcock (Nottinghamshire). Assistants: Andrew Bennett (Devon) and Adam Hopkins (Devon). Fourth Official: Mark Russell (Bristol).
Attendance: 3,859 (including 180 Rochdale supporters).
Comment on this News Item on Facebook
or Go back to Top of Page