Yeovil Town grabbed a route into the Second Round of the Football League Trophy tonight, as they turned over local rivals Bristol Rovers on their own patch. The 3-0 scoreline perhaps belied what was a closer game, but two second half Ed Upson free kicks stunned the Gasheads as he got his first goals of the 2012-13 season. Upson then turned provider in injury time as Sam Foley got his first goal for the Glovers. The only downside to the night was a red card for Jamie McAllister, who was dismissed for an off the ball incident involving former Bristol City team-mate David Clarkson.
The Glovers went into the match naming an unchanged line-up with only the need to name just five substitutes meaning that Archange Nkumu had to drop out of the squad. Gavin Williams and Curtis Haynes-Brown were also present at the match, watching their team-mates from the stands. In the Rovers line-up they had former Glovers Tom Parkes, Adam Virgo and Jamie Paterson, although Matt Harrold had to sit the game out through injury.
The game saw a fairly dull first opening 15 minute period, with Bristol Rovers have the majority of play, but without too many chances bar an Adam Virgo attempt that went well wide. However, when Yeovil got their first chance, they managed to hit the woodwork, as Jamie McAllister's free kick was missed by a number of Rovers defenders; the ball going across the box before Luke Ayling put a shot onto the woodwork.
Overall though this first half period belonged to the home side, even if their greater possession and forward play failed to turn into actual shots on target, with Marek Stech having to largely deal with crosses rather than attempts that would breach his goal. Eliot Richards had a couple of those half chances, whilst David Clarkson put a free kick over the bar. Rovers even had the ball in the back of the net through Michael Smith, but referee Michael Naylor blew up before Smith converted due to Matthew Gill barging over Byron Webster in his efforts to get to the rebound himself.
The 45 minutes was warmed up finally by Cian Bolger's dreadful tackle on Keanu Marsh-Brown, which got him a yellow card. Whilst the Glovers were preparing to take the free kick, Byron Webster and Richard Hinds got in a spot of pushing and shoving with Bolger, no doubt on the back of that foul as the players marked up from the dead ball. Fortunately referee Naylor chose to keep his cards in his pocket, whilst the players regained their heads by the time the half time whistle blew.
This had been a poor performance from a Glovers point of view, and they needed to up their game badly. Rovers still managed to get the ball in the back of the net though, within minutes of the restart, with an offside flag denying David Clarkson a positive start for the home side. Gradually it was the away side that got into the ascendancy, although it was only after a couple of substitutions that they really began to take hold of the game, as Gozie Ugwu replaced James Hayter, and Rohan Ince came on for what looked to be an injured Byron Webster.
The opening goal of the match came not long after Rohan Ince had headed over from an Ed Upson cross. The growing Glovers pressure induced former loan defender Tom Parkes into fouling Gozie Ugwu, and Upson took on free kick duties. The ball arrowed direct into the back of the net from 20 yards out to give the midfielder his first goal of the season, and in doing so meant his side now had something to hold onto in the remaining twenty minutes.
Not that they had it their own way. Jamie McAllister and Rovers striker David Clarkson were good friends whilst in a Bristol City shirt. That didn't show when Rovers were given a throw-in, with just 14 minutes remaining - the two players got into a spot of handbags about it, and when McAllister raised an arm towards the player, the red card was coming, and to be fair to the left-back, he didn't dispute it, walking off immediately, knowing he'd committed a moment of madness that would rule him out for three matches. Nathan Ralph was immediately introduced as a substitute to plug the gap and it seemed like it would be a long end to the game.
Instead, Yeovil had the cheek to extend their lead. The same combination of players were involved again - Gozie Ugwu was fouled on the edge of the box, as Rovers failed to deal with the Reading loanee - Elliot Richards the latest player to bring him down. Up stepped Ed Upson again, and the rest was as you were - this time from an even greater distance. 0-2 up and with six minutes remaining, a cushion, even with the man deficit.
Rovers problem was that their final shot on goal was decidedly powderpuff, with Marek Stech having to make few saves in anger. Tom Parkes was one of the few to force Stech to block his goal in the closing minutes, with the Gas efforts in vain on the night. Instead, the last laugh went to Sam Foley, who accepted a threaded ball from Ed Upson, two minutes into injury time, to polish off the night, to fire home from inside the box. 3-0 ... and very much a case of 'Goodnight Irene' for the Rovers fans as they chose to make their exits from the the ground, and from the Johnstone's Paint Trophy.
Final Score: Bristol Rovers 0 Yeovil Town 3.
Scorers: Ed Upson (0-1, 70 mins), Ed Upson (0-2, 84 mins), Sam Foley (0-3, 90 mins)
28. Sam Walker
2. Michael Smith 6. Tom Parkes 19. Adam Virgo 29. Cian Bolger 3. Jim Paterson 8. Matthew Gill 21. Wayne Brown 14. Lee Brown 7. David Clarkson 10. Eliot Richards
20. Conor Gough 11. Fabian Broghammer 15. Oliver Norburn 16. Joe Anyinsah 24. Ollie Clarke
Yeovil Town: (4-4-2)
1. Marek Stech
2. Luke Ayling 4. Richard Hinds 5. Byron Webster 3. Jamie McAllister (Capt)
7. Keanu Marsh-Brown 6. Dominic Blizzard 8. Ed Upson 14. Sam Foley
9. James Hayter 11. Reuben Reid
12. Gareth Stewart 15. Lewis Young 16. Nathan Ralph (77 mins for Keanu Marsh-Brown) 17. Rohan Ince (61 mins for Byron Webster) 19. Gozie Ugwu (58 mins for James Hayter)
Bristol Rovers Bookings: Cian Bolger (41 mins, foul)
Yeovil Bookings: None. Red Card: Jamie McAllister (77 mins, violent conduct)
Yeovil Match Statistics: Possession: 54%; Shots: 11; Shots On Target: 4; Corners: 4; Fouls: 11.
Rovers Match Statistics: Possession: 46%; Shots: 11; Shots On Target: 4; Corners: 5; Fouls: 11.
Referee: Michael Naylor (South Yorkshire). Assistants: Mark Howes (Birmingham) and Edward Smart (West Midlands). Fourth Official: David Woolford (Hampshire).
Attendance: 2,810 (including 296 Yeovil fans)
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