Match Details: 26/01/2010
Tranmere Rovers 2-1 Yeovil Town
Coca Cola League One
Yeovil Goals: Ryan Mason (90)
Yeovil Line-Up: 1. Alex McCarthy, 2. Craig Alcock, 3. Nathan Jones, 4. Stefan Stam, 5. Steven Caulker, 8. Keiran Murtagh, 9. Sam Williams, 14. Dean Bowditch, 21. Jean-Paul Kamudimba Kalala, 25. Shaun MacDonald, 28. Nathan Smith,
Subs: 6. Terrell Forbes, 11. Andy Welsh, 13. Ryan Mason, 16. Scott Murray, 17. Aidan Downes, 26. Jonathan Obika, 33. Ben Roberts
Substitutes Used: Ryan Mason for Keiran Murtagh (58 mins), Andy Welsh for Nathan Smith (72 mins), Jonathan Obika for Dean Bowditch (78 mins)
Bookings: Stefan Stam (Foul, 57)
Yeovil Town were comfortably beaten by relegation-threatened Tranmere Rovers tonight, as once again another poor away performance condemned them, merely days after a home victory. Two goals just after the break from Ian Thomas-Moore and Ash Taylor put the home side well in control after a dreadful quality first period, and things didn't get much better after that, although an injury time penalty from Ryan Mason at least gave those travelling something to briefly cheer about before the final whistle blew.
Manager Terry Skiverton promised changes to the side and the formation in an effort to shore up his side's woes on their travels. Out went Saturday's attacking 4-2-1-3 formation and in came a more solid looking 4-4-2, with Keiran Murtagh and Nathan Smith occupying wide slots, whilst Jonathan Obika and Ryan Mason started the game on the bench.
On a dodgy looking playing surface, both sides resorted to largely lumping the ball up in the air during the majority of the first period. For Tranmere, their reputation since Les Parry took over as manager is that they have gone back to 'old school' tactics of 'if in doubt, hoof it out'. That was being done with plenty of gusto, and with the Glovers doing little to attempt to get it on the deck. Deliberate tactics on a dodgy pitch? Or a case of one side getting suckered into another side's tactics? Either way, it wasn't pretty to watch.
It took 28 minutes for either side to have any sort of a chance, with a long bit of hoofball straight over the top saw both Steven Caulker and Stefan Stam miss their headers, but fortunately Tranmere striker Terry Gornell sent the ball over the crossbar. Then minutes later Gornell forced Alex McCarthy into his first save of the match with a long range attempt, whilst straight up the other end, the Glovers forced their first corner of the match with a sort-of-shot from Dean Bowditch that deflected off a Tranmere leg for a set play.
In the run-up to half time, a Dean Bowditch shot was blocked, whilst a Steven Caulker header went wide of the target, whilst Tranmere landed two players in the book. Overall the one big positive that could be said for the opening 45 minutes was that the Glovers were still on level terms and that neither side was better than the other.
Not that this lasted for long in the second period. Three minutes in, Tranmere opened the scoring after Yeovil only half-cleared a Paul McLaren free kick and when the ball was played back into the box, Ian Goodison laid the ball back for Ian Thomas-Moore to fire home from inside the box. 1-0 and the question was could the Glovers fight back from a goal down?
The answer to that question was an emphatic no. Four minutes after Tranmere's first, their second goal of the evening arrived after the home side took a short free kick and Chris Shuker was the recipient, pushing the ball across the area and into the path of Ash Taylor with the Yeovil defence failing to be alert enough as Taylor slotted home. From level terms to 2-0 inside four sloppy minutes, and with Yeovil's away form, you sensed that everyone just as well get up and go home.
Ryan Mason was introduced for Keiran Murtagh just before the hour mark, and the midfielder had an almost immediate impact when he thread a ball through to Nathan Smith on goal. There was a suspicion that Smith was man-handled by defender Ian Goodison as he raced through on goal, but referee Graham Salisbury waved protests from the Yeovil bench away, earning him a mouthful from manager Terry Skiverton and his coaching team for what would have been a penalty kick. The Glovers had another appeal turned down when Sam Williams collided with Tranmere defender Zoumana Bakayogo but again, nothing was giving.
But in truth, Tranmere dominated the second period, with the Glovers struggling to make Tranmere keeper Luke Daniels make a meaningful save during the entire game. Tranmere looked the most likely to score the next goal, and the Glovers were looking ever more disspirited in their play.
With the substitute board being put up for injury time though, Yeovil's three substitutes all combined to eventually give the Glovers a tiny bit of glory to take home with them. Andy Welsh rolled the ball into the path of Jonathan Obika, and Manchester City defender Shaleum Logan - the player who caused Dean Bowditch's shoulder to be dislocated back in August in the corresponding fixture - fouled again, and referee Graham Salisbury pointed to the spot. Up stepped the other substitute Ryan Mason to bring the scoreline back to 2-1.
But this was too little too late, and if Yeovil had dragged a second goal out of injury time it would have been
daylight night-time robbery. Having established a 2-0 lead, Tranmere even showed they could play a little bit of football to go with the first half long-ball tactic, but Yeovil never really showed anything of consequence throughout the game, and got what they deserved.
Final Score: Tranmere Rovers 2 Yeovil Town 1.
Scorers: Ian Thomas-Moore (1-0, 48 mins), Ash Taylor (2-0, 52 mins), Ryan Mason (2-1, 90 mins, pen)
1. Luke Daniels
2. Shaleum Logan 5. Ian Goodison 12. Ash Taylor 24. Zoumana Bakayogo
23. Chris Shuker 6. Paul McLaren 11. John Welsh
25. Craig Curran 9. Ian Thomas-Moore 14. Terry Gornell
Substitutes: (none used)
13. Joe Collister (GK) 3. Aaron Cresswell 4. Gareth Edds 8. Marlon Broomes 10. Alan Mahon 18. Chris McCready 19. Charlie Barnett
Yeovil Town: (4-4-2)
1. Alex McCarthy
2. Craig Alcock 5. Steven Caulker 4. Stefan Stam 3. Nathan Jones
8. Keiran Murtagh 21. Jean-Paul Kalala 25. Shaun MacDonald 28. Nathan Smith
14. Dean Bowditch 9. Sam Williams
33. Ben Roberts (GK) 6. Terrell Forbes 11. Andy Welsh (72 mins for Nathan Smith) 13. Ryan Mason (58 mins for Keiran Murtagh) 16. Scott Murray 17. Aidan Downes 26. Jonathan Obika (78 mins for Dean Bowditch)
Tranmere Bookings: Chris Shuker (45 mins, dissent), Paul McLaren (45 mins, foul), Luke Daniels (90 mins, dissent)
Yeovil Bookings: Stefan Stam (57 mins, foul)
Referee: Graham Salisbury (Lancashire). Assistants: Matthew Bristow (Manchester) and Dean Mohareb (Cheshire). Fourth Official: Carl Dunn (Staffordshire).