For the Yeovil contingent in the large Bank Holiday crowd expectations were high for this match. Having won the previous six matches and being joint top of the league, Yeovil looked likely to be easy winners over Shrewsbury, who were themselves sitting just above the relegation zone. However, from previous experience we know that Yeovil never make things easy for themselves, and so this potentially bland, one-sided fixture became an enthralling encounter.
The first half started as quite a well balanced affair, with both teams creating reasonable opportunities. However, Yeovil seemed to lack any real urgency and their finishing wasn't that of a team challenging for automatic promotion. Shrewsbury also had some promising attacking movements, with John Grant playing some good crosses in from the right wing.
As the game approached half time it was still goalless, but Yeovil now seemed to take control. They piled the pressure on Shrewsbury and it seemed inevitable that, after numerous opportunities, they would find the back of the net. It was Darren WAY's low drive from the edge of the area on 33 minutes which gave the home side the lead at half time.
In the second half Yeovil continued where they had left off at the end of the first, creating chance after chance, with Way's excellent long range strike just clearing the cross bar. However, a misjudgement from the usually flawless Yeovil 'keeper Chris Weale resulted in him fouling Kelvin Langmead, who it has to be said went down fairly easily on the edge of the area. Referee Jarnail Singh awarded a penalty, which Jake SEDGEMORE confidently converted.
Shrewsbury now sensed that they were back in the match and, although Yeovil continued to attack, the game was now far more evenly balanced. Shrewsbury were counter attacking well and it was one of these breaks which created a major turning point in the game. As Shrewsbury broke quickly down the left, Yeovil defender Colin Miles knew he was beaten. He slid in with a ridiculously high tackle and the referee had no choice but to show him a straight red. Minutes later, a hopeful Jamie TOLLEY shot caught the Yeovil defence unaware and gave Shrewsbury the 2 - 1 lead.
This time last season, a goal and a player down, Yeovil would almost certainly have crumbled completely. However, their experience in the league meant that they knew exactly how to respond. They continued to attack and seemed just too hot to handle for the Shrewsbury defence, with Latvian international Andrejs Stolcers proving particularly difficult to contain on the left wing.
On 74 minutes, Yeovil winger Andy Lindegaard was brought down by Luke Rodgers right in front of the Yeovil fans. An ugly melee ensued, which involved local boy Lindegaard being thrown to the ground. Rodgers was duly dismissed. The sending off seemed to inspire Yeovil, and now the teams were equal in numbers the home side looked more likely to gain at least a point, if not all three from this game. Their equaliser finally came on 78 minutes when Man of The Match Paul TERRY, headed past the helpless Scott Howie in the Shrewsbury goal. Terry later revealed that he celebrated the goal so flamboyantly because he had forgotten Shrewsbury's second and thought he had given his team a 2 - 1 lead!
The home side now felt that they could go on and win the tie and so pushed more and more players forward. Substitute Adrian CACERES sprinted forward to direct a Kevin Gall cross into the net. With the crowd now buzzing, Yeovil were all over the visitors. Minutes later, Caceres returned the favour when his perfect pass tore apart the Shrewsbury defence and sent Kevin GALL clean through on goal. Gall finished off the movement with a sublime strike past the advancing Howie, winning the match and sending the Somerset outfit three points clear at the top of the league.
Overall,this was an inspired comeback from a team clearly on the crest of a wave.
MOTM Vote Result:
Overall match rating: 8.1 / 10
45 votes received.
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