On Saturday, Yeovil Town manager Gary Johnson described his team as 'unrecognisable' from the one he'd seen in pre-season. Tonight, in the League Cup First Round match against Gillingham, there is a fair chance that the starting line-up will be 'unrecognisable' from Saturday's against Doncaster Rovers as the Glovers prepare to ring the changes from that dreadful opening performance.
As it happens, Johnson said in Saturday's post-match interview that he had already planned to make two or three changes for the League Cup match regardless of how his team performed - with the standard of Saturday's performance being below par, it would not be a surprise if this was nearer four or five changes for the match - at an extreme, feasibly the whole substitute bench from the Doncaster game is in line for a start against the Kent side.
Midfielder Kevin Dawson missed Saturday's fixture with an ankle injury sustained at Truro City in pre-season, and although he is expected to be available again 'soon' it may be that he's not rushed back for a lesser cup competition. Winger Joel Grant hasn't been seen at all in pre-season due to a foot injury, and there haven't been any signs just yet that he is ready to resume full training. Otherwise there are no other injury concerns, meaning that tonight is likely to be about squad rotation and shaking off the memory of Saturday afternoon.
Gillingham are much in the same boat. They were the divisions other big losers, going down 4-2 against Milton Keynes Dons, despite leading 2-0 during the first half via goals from Cody McDonald and Danny Kedwell. They will be missing McDonald tonight, after he limped off with a twisted knee - not as serious as the Gills initially thought, but certainly bad enough to keep him out tonight. Goalkeeper Stuart Nelson will also be absent with a hand injury, meaning that their substitute keeper Glenn Morris will start tonight with Tom Hadler on the bench.
With the Gills having been a bit of a yo-yo team in recent seasons, this will be the first meeting between the two clubs since the 2009-10 season - the last was a pretty inert 0-0 draw at Huish Park in February 2010. Prior to that, Yeovil had won all three Football League meetings on home turf, with past meetings tending to go with territorial advantage in both Somerset and Kent.
Tonight's match kicks off at 7.45p.m. with specially reduced prices for the fixture. The game will be settled on the night - if the scores are level after 90 minutes then 30 minutes of extra time will be played. If the match is still not settled at that stage, then penalty kicks will be used to decide who goes into the second round.
Link: Ticketing For Yeovil Town vs Gillingham.
Link: League Cup Officials For Yeovil Town vs Gillingham.
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