A goal in each half from Darren Way and Marcus Stewart allowed Yeovil Town's magical run of form on Doncaster Rovers' home patch to continue as they notched up a 2-1 win over their former Conference rivals today. Not even the late dismissal of Stewart for two yellow cards, or the even later consolation goal for Donny could deny them a hard-fought victory at the Keepmoat Stadium to lift them into the dizzy heights of 7th place.
Russell Slade's selection plans were hampered somewhat by the loss of Terry Skiverton, who had missed the last few days training suffering from a bug that was sweeping the camp. Skivo was well enough to make the bench, and the back four slotted fairly well together with left-back Nathan Jones returning from suspension, allowing Terrell Forbes to move into the centre.
Doncaster opened proceedings well, producing slick passing, although perhaps without much bite to it as the Glovers midfield struggled to match up to their opposite numbers. If games were decided on possession alone, Doncaster would have been well ahead during the first period, although perhaps the limited number of times that Steve Mildenhall had been forced to break sweat gave an idea that perhaps Donny were flattering to deceive.
One of their best chances to score was thwarted when Scott Guyett produced a superb blocking tackle on Doncaster striker James Hayter as the former Bournemouth man prepared to fire a shot on goal from close range. Otherwise their only on target shot came from left-winger Martin Woods, who cut in from the left-wing and shot, but Steve Mildenhall grabbed the shot at the second attempt.
The Glovers had rarely threatened during the first period, but it was Russell Slade's men that were to break the deadlock eight minutes from the break. Darren Way last scored for Yeovil over two years ago in an FA Cup match against Macclesfield Town, but when he made a long run through the centre of midfield having been fed through by James Walker, Way then took a pot shot from distance and the ball deflected off the shin of Donny defender Stephen Roberts and into the net for a 1-0 lead with Yeovil's first shot on target. That lead was comfortably held, with the home side perhaps surprisingly being booed off at half time.
The second period saw the Glovers method of frustrating the opposition and neutering them look even more effective. Donny just couldn't break through the 18 yard line that the back four held, and with the home side increasingly lacking imagination as to how to deal with that, it was inevitable that manager Sean O'Driscoll would try and shake things up. Midway through the second period, a glut of substitutions saw Yeovil replace Zoltan Stieber with Anthony Barry after the Hungarian had picked up a dead leg, whilst Doncaster chose the same moment to make a double substitution and switch to a 4-3-3 in an attempt to force the game.
However, it was Yeovil that drew the next blood in the tactical battle going on between the two managers. With 12 minutes left, Yeovil got a free kick on corner of the box, and Anthony Barry's set play into the box ended with a stooped header from Marcus Stewart to double Yeovil's lead to leave Donny looking rather baffled. Two shots and two goals and the game was as good as won - or at least it would have been if a few late incidents had not made the game a little more dramatic than it looked like at that moment in time.
Referee Ray Lee decided though that he wanted to take centre stage as time ran out - firstly dismissing Marcus Stewart for a second bookable offence on 90 minutes, then as a Martin Woods shot was deflected into his own net by Terry Skiverton to bring the score back to a more slender 2-1, Lee then proceeded to play almost five minutes of injury time, despite the Woods shot having landed in the net with the three previously signalled already up. This was the second occasion that referee Lee's timekeeping had come under scrutiny - he was the official in charge when Tranmere Rovers scored a controversial equaliser six minutes into injury time at Huish Park earlier this season.
Thankfully there was no further twist in the tail this time and the Glovers grabbed their third consecutive win to lift them within touching distance of the play-off places - no mean feat given that in doing so they also ended Doncaster's unbeaten league run that stretched back 10 games and 2.5 months. In the month of May, this could well turn out to be a priceless three points.
Final Score: Doncaster Rovers 1 Yeovil Town 2.
Scorers: Darren Way (0-1, 37 mins), Marcus Stewart (0-2, 78 mins), Terry Skiverton (1-2, own goal, 90 mins)
Yeovil Town (4-4-1-1):
1. Steve Mildenhall
27. Lee Peltier 6. Terrell Forbes 5. Scott Guyett 3. Nathan Jones
14. Paul Warne 17. Darren Way 7. Gary Dempsey 25. Zoltan Stieber
10. Marcus Stewart
28. James Walker
Subs: 4. Terry Skiverton (70 mins for Gary Dempsey) 8. Anthony Barry (63 mins for Zoltan Stieber) 9. Lloyd Owusu 15. Justin Cochrane 19. Craig Alcock
Doncaster Rovers: (4-4-2)
1. Neil Sullivan
2. James O'Connor 11. Adam Lockwood 4. Stephen Roberts 18. Sean McDaid
7. Lewis Guy 8. Brian Stock 15. Mark Wilson 19. Richard Wellens
12. James Hayter 17. Martin Woods
Subs: 23. Jason Price (65 mins for Mark Wilson) 9. Mark McCammon 27. Craig Nelthorpe 26. James Coppinger (64 mins for Lewis Guy) 20. Paul Green (85 mins for Stephen Roberts)
Yeovil Bookings: Marcus Stewart (foul, 10 mins), Red Card: Marcus Stewart (second bookable offence, 90 mins)
Doncaster Bookings: Mark Wilson (foul, 47 mins), Stephen Roberts (foul, 52 mins), Brian Stock (foul, 53 mins)
Referee: Ray Lee
Attendance: 5,967 (including 247 Yeovil Supporters)
Link: 2007-08 Latest League One Table.
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