Yeovil Town went down to their sixth defeat in a row on Saturday afternoon, as play-off chasers Forest Green Rovers picked up a routine 3-0 win. The Glovers saw the damage done during a poor first half that saw Junior Mondal convert from inside the box midway through that half. They doubled their lead on the half hour mark when Christian Doidge headed home at the near post from a corner. Then some woeful defending on the hour mark, as Lee Collins took advantage of another corner that flew through the box without a challenge. Yeovil managed to hit the crossbar through Jake Gray, but their overall play was well behind their opponents on the day, leaving them just one point off relegation, and now in 22nd place in the table.
The Glovers went into the match making two changes to their starting line-up. One was expected with Craig Alcock returning from a one match suspension, meaning that Matt Worthington dropped to the bench. There was also a return for Nathan Baxter between the sticks, with Stuart Nelson sitting on the bench. As a result of the extra man, Daniel Ojo dropped out of the squad. In the opposition line-up, former striker Reuben Reid only got as far as the bench, and didn't get as far as the pitch, whilst Liam Shephard was out with a knock meaning that he missed the game entirely.
The early phase of the match was a largely attritional battle, with plenty of defensive blocks from both sides on a fairly poor quality pitch. It took until midway through the first half for a key opening to occur, and unfortunately it was a goal for Forest Green. Carl Winchester was the creator, although whether he was trying to score himself, or feed the ball through to Junior Mondal was another matter - his drive towards goal came off a Yeovil defender, and into the path of Mondal who was quick to react for a 1-0 home advantage.
Nathan Baxter was forced to tip a Christian Doidge header over the crossbar on the half hour mark, but that was to only delay Forest Green doubling their advantage by virtue of the corner kick that came. George Williams delivered it to the near post, and Doidge got in there first to flick the ball on and past Baxter for a 2-0 lead.
No surprise that after a slightly slow start, Forest Green were well on top, with George Williams breaking straight through the middle of the park, only to be denied by Nathan Baxter. Then Reece Brown shot wide for Rovers. It took 44 minutes for Yeovil to show any sort of true attacking intent, with Alex Dobre's attempt to aim for the far corner of the goal seeing Lewis Ward parry it out for a corner. Then in first half injury time, Jake Gray struck the crossbar, as he attempted to follow up on a loose ball, that came from Francois Zoko's initial parried shot. A small slither of hope for the Glovers, but they needed to start the game a little earlier than one minute before the half time whistle.
Yeovil changed their formation into a 4-2-3-1 line-up for the second half, with Alex Dobre moved into the middle behind the front line of Arquin, Zoko and centre man Fisher, which effectively matched up Forest Green's own shape. They opened with Jake Gray firing a wayward shot outside the stadium. But they still had to be wary as a long range George Williams free kick - in the style of Tom James - was saved by Nathan Baxter. Then Gavin Gunning flicked a ball on from a corner, using a back-heel that Baxter had to be alert to.
The Glovers had been doing slightly better since the restart, with another Alex Dobre shot on goal, coming off a defender for a corner. But at the other end of the park, some woeful defending let them down on the hour mark. George Williams produced a low bouncing corner that should have been easily cleared, but it ended up bouncing all the way through the box around the six yard line, before reaching Lee Collins, who probably couldn't believe his luck at the back post. He fired home for a 3-0 lead, and a goal that had been gifted to them.
The goal put the home side back in control, and there was a danger that it might turn into a thrashing, as Forest Green's danger man George Williams shot from the edge of the box, with Nathan Baxter once again denying him. The home team then had big shouts for a penalty turned down, as Carl Winchester struck a shot that appeared to be blocked by the arm of Carl Dickinson, but referee Ben Toner mercifully wasn't interested. It was also just as well the official was in a lenient mood when Adel Gafaiti managed to commit two robust challenges whilst he was sat on a yellow card, seemingly getting a 'last warning' for both incidents.
Yeovil tried to get back into the game, with Alex Dobre finding his attempt on goal blocked by Farrend Rawson around the six yard line, before Rhys Browne and Ryan Seager both put over the bar. But Forest Green were always the more dangerous, with another George Williams free kick from 35 yards out hitting the crossbar late on, with Nathan Baxter having to parry away another Williams effort. During injury time, Christian Doidge got the ball in the back of the net, but a linesman's offside flag stopped any further misery. But Yeovil's sixth consecutive defeat in League Two is ringing huge alarm bells - now just one point off the relegation zone, as Notts County and Morecame won and Macclesfield Town drew, they have dropped to 22nd place. All of their rivals are now picking up points, but they are flatlining on 30 points - that is not going to be anywhere near what they need if they're to avoid dropping below the dreaded dotted line.
Link: 2018-19 Latest League Two Table.
Final Score: Forest Green Rovers 3 Yeovil Town 0.
Scorers: Junior Mondal (1-0, 22 mins), Christian Doidge (2-0, 32 mins), Lee Collins (3-0, 58 mins)
Forest Green Rovers:
34 Lewis Ward
7 Carl Winchester 6 Farrend Rawson 16 Gavin Gunning 23 Joseph Mills
5 Lee Collins 20 Paul Digby
11 George C Williams 10 Reece Brown 25 Junior Mondal
9 Christian Doidge
4 Lloyd James 18 Ben Liddle (79 mins for Lee Collins) 19 Nathan McGinley (66 mins for Joseph Mills) 21 Shawn McCoulsky (71 mins for Junior Mondal) 22 Udoka Godwin-Malife 24 Lewis Thomas 26 Reuben Reid
12. Nathan Baxter
24. Craig Alcock 5. Bevis Mugabi 2. Adel Gafaiti 3. Carl Dickinson
18. Yoann Arquin 17. Alex Pattison 10. Jake Gray 25. Alex Dobre
9. Alex Fisher 13. Francois Zoko (Capt)
1. Stuart Nelson (GK) 7. Rhys Browne (57 mins for Yoann Arquin) 8. Matt Worthington 11. Courtney Duffus (75 mins for Alex Fisher) 15. Gabriel Rogers 16. Tristan Abrahams 27. Ryan Seager (66 mins for Francois Zoko)
Forest Green Rovers Bookings: Lee Collins (foul, 16 mins), Paul Digby (foul, 61 mins)
Yeovil Bookings: Adel Gafaiti (foul, 51 mins), Carl Dickinson (foul, 76 mins), Craig Alcock (foul, 83 mins)
Forest Green Rovers Match Statistics: Possession: 57%; Shots: 20; Shots On Target: 9; Corners: 6; Fouls: 10.
Yeovil Match Statistics: Possession: 43%; Shots: 14; Shots On Target: 3; Corners: 6; Fouls: 11.
Referee: Thomas Bramall (South Yorkshire). Assistants: Ken Haycock (South Yorkshire) and Lee Freeman (Sheffield). Fourth Official: Sebastian Stockbridge (Tyne & Wear).
Attendance: 2,449 (with 354 Yeovil Town supporters)
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