Yeovil struggle as Rochdale box clever!
Yeovil’s run of slightly worrying form continued tonight at Huish against a Rochdale side who before the game lay in 12th position – and judging on their performance this evening it looks a false one as they were possibly one of the best sides to visit so far this season. Since the club's great run of 9 or so league games without defeat, and really since Boxing Day’s away win at Swansea the Glovers have somewhat stuttered, although they head the table… that in itself could be the problem ! It’s when you're top every one wants to beat you –Shrewsbury may have, Oxford did, Cambridge tried and Rochdale could have quite easily!
Gary Johnson kicked a box and got his foot stuck during his team talk on Saturday, laughable then but I would think it was more of the same at half time tonight as quite frankly the home side looked unable to fight their way out of a wet paper bag, let alone a box…did they have Charlton on their minds? - surely not – not when you sit pretty at the top of the league. Two immediate substitutions after the break livened things up somewhat, as did playing towards the home end as it always does, but Johnson will have a few selection issues for Saturday as he attempts to bring down Charlton.
The only change from Saturdays game was Colin Miles who came in for the slightly unfortunate Steve Reed at left back. Reed took a bit of stick after his performance at the weekend, yes he looked ring rusty, and a tad nervous but a couple of games at this level would have sharpened him up, at least he looks like a full back. Colin Miles plays best in the middle, and when he seemed to be struggling with a knock, he was replaced at half time by Andy Lindegaard, also back in the squad following his suspension. Lindegaard, although right footed did give a little more pace down that side in the second half, but with Rose out that position could be considered still up for grabs.
In the opening moments of the game Rochdale knocked the ball around confidently and played some neat football, Huish was unusually quiet and a disappointing crowd of only 5180 were left with little to warm the cockles as Dale took the lead after only 8 minutes. Alan GOODALL got away from Paul Terry down the home side's right and slid the ball past Chris Weale to give his side the lead. For most of the half, Yeovil were outfought and Rochdale were winning the 50-50’s and mopping most long balls up (why the long balls when we have such pace?) Yeovil just did not look sharp and the football barely flowed- when it did and we overlapped down the flanks Stolcers seemed a yard of pace behind and Gall couldn’t find the killer cross. Jevons, when he had the ball looked dangerous, when he didn’t he was oblivious.
That said, we had our chances as always. Jevons fired a free kick just over, Tarachulski headed just wide after a cross from the right, the huge Pole then rattled the bar with a fine shot and turn from 15 yards. Right on Half time, Jevons broke the offside trap and was forced wide by the keeper but his inviting cutback was cleared before a hooped shirt got there.