Match Details: 28/03/2015
Rochdale 2-1 Yeovil Town
Skybet League One
Yeovil Goals: James Hayter (56)
Yeovil Line-Up: 3. Nathan Smith, 8. James Berrett, 9. James Hayter, 10. AJ Leitch-Smith, 11. Sam Foley, 15. Seth Nana Omuri-Twumasi, 21. Scott Loach, 25. Gozie Ugwu, 26. Stephen Arthurworrey, 27. Byron Webster, 35. Stephen Kingsley
Subs: 5. Fergus Bell, 12. Artur Krysiak, 13. Kieffer Moore, 14. Sam Hoskins, 16. Nathan Ralph, 20. Ben Nugent, 24. Craig Eastmond,
Substitutes Used: Kieffer Moore for Gozie Ugwu (81 mins), Sam Hoskins for AJ Leitch-Smith (85 mins)
Bookings: Stephen Arthurworrey (Foul, 50), Seth Nana Omuri-Twumasi (Foul, 77), James Hayter (Foul, 80)
Yeovil Town slipped to their fourth consecutive defeat this afternoon, as two quick-fire goals condemned them once again. The Glovers have made a habit recently of conceding pairs of goals to gift the opposition the game, and today's match at Spotland was true to form, as defensive errors gave Rhys Bennett and Jack O'Connell two goals in three minutes just after half time. James Hayter pulled one back almost immediately after Sam Foley put him through, atoning for an earlier penalty miss, but the visitors couldn't get themselves an equalising goal, leaving themselves ten points short of safety and even nine short of 22nd place, with everyone bar Colchester having pushed comfortably clear of the bottom-placed side.
The Glovers went into the match making three changes to their line-up - two due to international call-ups, with another caused by injury. Joe Edwards' ankle injury at Colchester meant that he was replaced by James Berrett, whilst Liam Shephard and Joel Grant's duty with Wales and Jamaica meant they were replaced by Seth Nana Twumasi and AJ Leitch-Smith. With Adam Morgan and Liam Davis both out injured, that then allowed Ben Nugent and Fergus Bell to make rare appearances on the bench, with only Alex Smith voluntarily left out of the squad.
The first half was played in atrocious weather conditions, with both teams struggling to get serious fluency on a rough looking pitch, where puddles began to form on the surface. Michael Rose was on free kick duties and much of Rochdale's attacking presence came from his set plays, with Scott Loach forced to palm away one effort early on.
Twenty minutes into the match, the Glovers had a superb opportunity to take the lead, when the poor pitch conditions helped them win a penalty. A Rochdale backpass was underhit as it stuck on the turf, and James Hayter was clearly brought down by former Glovers trialist Jamie Jones, with the keeper slightly fortunate that only a yellow card was produced. Hayter stepped up to take the spot kick, but the keeper redeemed himself by saving the effort and to keep the scores level.
Jones showed his better side a few minutes later as AJ Leitch-Smith had a close range effort saved, then a Sam Foley strike was deflected for a corner, as the Glovers created the lion's share of the chances in the lead-up to half time, with appeals for a second penalty turned down after Gozie Ugwu appeared to be fouled in the box - referee Eddie Ilderton wasn't willing to blow his whistle twice. In truth Scott Loach had little to do at the other end, and the main frustration was that the scores were level at the break.
Yeovil have conceded quick pairs of goals against Bristol City, Leyton Orient and Colchester that have rapidly taken the game away from them from a level position, and that pattern repeated itself once again at Spotland. A Michael Rose set piece was put to the back post, but no-one followed the ball, and Rhys Bennett was able to finish six minutes after the break to put Rochdale 1-0 up from close range.
Two minutes later, and Rochdale were 2-0 up. Another ball into the box from Michael Rose from a corner saw several Yeovil Town defenders fail to clear their lines, and Jack O'Connell was able to bundle the ball home from close range. Two similarly messy goals from Rose's set plays, and both in which Yeovil Town bodies failed to get in the way of the ball, and Rochdale were now in a commanding position.
To their credit, Yeovil managed to carve their way quickly back into the game, with Sam Foley's through ball to James Hayter giving the game three goals in five minutes, as Hayter partially made up for his earlier penalty miss, slotted home for a 56th minute goal that at least set the match up at 2-1.
During the final half hour, Yeovil battled hard, but without really looking as though they would get the equaliser that they needed. James Berrett had a shot bravely charged down by a Rochdale defender, but at the other end Ian Henderson spooned over the bar from two yards that should have put the game out of sight during the final five minutes. Perhaps surprisingly Yeovil didn't show enough ambition to try to get that equaliser, pulling all players into their defensive third to defend Rochdale's dangerous set pieces, meaning there was no attacking outlet when they did gain possession again.
Now four defeats in a row, and only one win in their last ten games, the Glovers now lie ten points short of safety, and even nine points separate them from Leyton Orient in 22nd place. With seven games to go, the Glovers will probably struggle to avoid the 24th place at the end of the season, let alone harbour any real possibility of escaping the drop.
Link: 2014-15 Latest League One Table.
Final Score: Rochdale 2 Yeovil Town 1.
Scorers: Rhys Bennett (51 mins, 1-0), Jack O'Connell (53 mins, 2-0), James Hayter (56 mins, 2-1)
19. Jamie Jones 27. Andrew Cannon 22. Jack O'Connell 6. Olly Lancashire 33. Tom Kennedy 28. Callum Camps 25. Michael Rose 3. Rhys Bennett 17. Scott Tanser 39. Joe Bunney 40. Ian Henderson
1. Josh Lillis 2. Joe Rafferty (63 mins for Scott Tanser) 10. Febian Brandy 11. Reuben Noble-Lazarus (66 mins for Callum Camps) 14. Bastien Hery 26. Joel Logan 31. Nyal Bell
21. Scott Loach
15. Seth Nana Twumasi 27. Byron Webster 26. Stephen Arthurworrey 3. Nathan Smith
10. AJ Leitch-Smith 11. Sam Foley 8. James Berrett 35. Stephen Kingsley
25. Gozie Ugwu 9. James Hayter
12. Artur Krysiak 5. Fergus Bell 13. Kieffer Moore (81 mins for Gozie Ugwu) 14. Sam Hoskins (85 mins for AJ Leitch-Smith) 16. Nathan Ralph 20. Ben Nugent 24. Craig Eastmond
Rochdale Bookings: Jamie Jones (foul, 20 mins)
Yeovil Bookings: Stephen Arthurworrey (foul, 50 mins), Seth Nana Twumasi (foul, 77 mins), James Hayter (foul, 80 mins)
Rochdale Match Statistics: Possession: 47%; Shots: 10; Shots On Target: 4; Corners: 7; Fouls: 6.
Yeovil Match Statistics: Possession: 53%; Shots: 6; Shots On Target: 2; Corners: 9; Fouls: 15.
Referee: Eddie Ilderton (Tyne & Wear). Assistant Referees: Alan Clayton (Cheshire) and Paul Thompson (Derbyshire). Fourth Official: Nicholas Barnard (Cheshire).
Attendance: 2,650 (with approx 150 Yeovil Town supporters).