Match Details: 20/09/2008
Yeovil Town 2-2 Bristol Rovers
Coca Cola League One
Yeovil Goals: Terry Skiverton (6), Gary Roberts (45)
Yeovil Line-Up: 1. Asmir Begovic, 4. Terry Skiverton, 6. Terrell Forbes, 8. Darren Way, 9. Andy Welsh, 11. Danny Schofield, 14. Paul Warne, 16. Gary Roberts, 17. Aidan Downes, 27. Lee Peltier, 28. Nathan Smith
Subs: 3. Nathan Jones, 10. Gavin Tomlin, 12. Craig Alcock, 18. Keiran Murtagh, 23. Aaron Brown,
Substitutes Used: Keiran Murtagh for Darren Way (46 mins), Gavin Tomlin for Andy Welsh (72 mins), Craig Alcock for Aidan Downes (80 mins)
Bookings: Terry Skiverton (Handball, 39)
Yeovil Town had to settle for their fourth consecutive home draw of the season today, despite twice taking the lead against Bristol Rovers in an end-to-end game at Huish Park. An early header from Terry Skiverton and a wonderful Gary Roberts strike right on half time edged the Glovers ahead, but Rovers levelled matters each time through a Richard Lambert penalty and a Jo Kuffour shot.
With a full set of players on the training ground, manager Russell Slade was able to make genuine team selection decisions when putting together his sixteen players. As a result Nathan Smith and Aidan Downes made their comebacks from injury, whilst the squad omitted the likes of midfielder Marc Bircham and winger James Dayton - who looks likely to have played his last game for the Glovers, with his one month deal at Huish Park expected to expire during the week.
The revamped side got off to a bit of a shakey start, with Chris Lines and Richard Lambert hitting the crossbar inside the first four minutes. However, it was the Glovers that gained the lead with their first chance of the match - with Andy Welsh's excellent right wing corner being met by the head of an unmarked Terry Skiverton. 1-0 and a perfect start with just six minutes gone.
Yeovil took around 15 minutes to quell the early Rovers pressure, but gradually they began to cut out the service to the huge frame of Richard Lambert, going on to put their own pressure on the away side as they dominated possession, including Aidan Downes also hitting the woodwork from distance. All of that made matters all the more frustrating when Terry Skiverton went from hero to villain when the Yeovil captain had a split second of madness - putting his arm across his face in his own penalty box as he went up for a header and giving referee Rob Shoebridge one of the easiest penalty decisions he'll have all season. Asmir Begovic went the right way, but Richard Lambert's spot kick went in the bottom corner.
The response to the equaliser though was perfect. Right on the stroke of half time, Gary Roberts picked up the ball on the right angle of the area from a Danny Schofield layoff. Firing from 20 yards out, Roberts provided the perfect tonic for the half time team talk in the home dressing room by staking his early claim for Yeovil's goal of the season and what was bar the first few minutes a pretty fair half time scoreline.
The second half saw Darren Way withdrawn with a knee injury, after he had jarred his knee in a first half tackle, with Kieran Murtagh replacing him. They started relatively well, but suffered a set-back when Rovers substitute Jo Kuffour got on the scoreline just two minutes after landing on the pitch after being fed by Aaron Lescott. Having briefly switched to a three pronged attack, Rovers then reversed the formation change by taking off Darryl Duffy and the suggestion was that they were setting themselves out for a point.
Despite the odd bit of pressure, in an effort to grab a winning goal, the Glovers seemed to run out of legs in the end - perhaps what was key was that Darren Way, Andy Welsh and Aidan Downes were all substituted, and one or two like Danny Schofield faded during the second period. The one thing they all had in common was that they have had breaks recently due to injury, illness or in Welsh's case missing pre-season entirely, and all showed signs of not being in peak match fitness at present. Hopefully this means that there are better things to come out of them, because certainly the Glovers benefitted during the early parts of the game from the increased flair that the likes of Downes and Welsh offer the team.
Substitute Gavin Tomlin was the width of a football boot away from a last gasp winner when he slid in at the back post during second half injury time, but he couldn't quite stab the ball home. Once again, Yeovil were so close to turning one point into three.
Final Score: Yeovil Town 2 Bristol Rovers 2.
Scorers: Terry Skiverton (1-0, 6 mins), Richard Lambert (1-1, 39 mins), Gary Roberts (2-1, 45 mins), Jo Kuffour (2-2, 62 mins).
1. Asmir Begovic
27. Lee Peltier 4. Terry Skiverton 6. Terrell Forbes 28. Nathan Smith
17. Aidan Downes 8. Darren Way 16. Gary Roberts 9. Andrew Welsh
11. Danny Schofield
14. Paul Warne
Subs: 3. Nathan Jones 10. Gavin Tomlin (72 mins for Andy Welsh) 12. Craig Alcock (80 mins for Aidan Downes) 18. Kieran Murtagh (46 mins for Darren Way) 23. Aaron Brown
Steve Phillips, Ryan Green, Danny Coles, Steve Elliott, Aaron Lescott, David Pipe, Craig Disley, Stuart Campbell, Chris Lines, Richard Lambert, Darryl Duffy
Subs: Jo Kuffour (60 mins for David Pipe), Mike Green, Ben Hunt, Byron Anthony, Craig Hinton (73 mins for Darryl Duffy)
Yeovil Bookings: Terry Skiverton (handball, 39 mins)
Bristol Rovers Bookings: None.
Referee: Rob Shoebridge (Derbyshire). Assistants: Lee Collins (Surrey) and Andrew Rodda (Devon). Fourth official: Matt Foley (Berkshire).
Attendance: 5,748 (including approx 1,300 Bristol Rovers fans)