If you had tried to put money down the bookies on Russell Slade's starting line-up against Nottingham Forest you wouldn't have got very good odds. Having already apologised to Scott Guyett via the press in the pre-match coverage, it seemed inevitable that club captain Terry Skiverton was going to be recalled to the side following his injury during the Crewe Alexandra match. Meanwhile the inclusion of Anthony Barry and Anthony Tonkin was a simple decision - the loss of Chris Cohen and Nathan Jones through suspension meant that Slade had to select the only senior players left in his squad who could occupy such a position. As a result, Darren Behcet kept his place on the bench as substitute keeper, whilst the squad was left so thin there was even space for Irish teenager Stephen Maher who was making his debut in the first team squad.
The formation though was one thing that didn't change from last Friday's 3-1 win over Huddersfield Town, with Skiverton, Barry and Tonkin being like-for-like swaps for the men they replaced. The Glovers made a bright positive start, kicking towards the impressive 1,225 travelling support that had occupied the Bridgford Lower Stand at the City Ground. The earliest chance came when Anthony Tonkin gained room on the left flank and delivered a cross into the path of Anthony Barry who chested the ball down and drove his shot on target, but straight into the arms of Forest's Paul Smith. Leon Best, Lee Morris and Marcus Stewart were causing the Forest back line a lot of trouble in getting to grips with the Glovers' formation and it took the home side 15 minutes of defending before they started to gain any sort of composure, even if they did largely keep the clearcut chances for Yeovil down to a minimum.
Once Forest got to grips with the way Yeovil were playing, the game got a bit scrappy with neither side getting a real route towards their opponent's goal. Part of this was caused by a strong side-to-side wind coming up the River Trent and getting caught inside the stadium, frequently causing the ball to swirl in the air - something that was to be significant in the way the game was to unfold.
The measure of Yeovil's comfortableness against Forest was shown when it took the home side 29 minutes to gain their first corner and their first shot of any note. James Perch took the set piece and the ball reached Julian Bennett on the edge of the box after it had bobbled about in the box but his shot produced a comfortable save from Steve Mildenhall.
At the other end, Leon Best had a shot deflected out for a corner by Wes Morgan, but from that corner Forest showed their first sign of true class as they counterattacked in style. Anthony Barry lost the ball as he was left wrong-footed and the ball ran under his feet, setting away Nathan Tyson down the left flank, but despite the free space, Tyson tried to beat Mildenhall on his near post and the Yeovil keeper saved comfortably.
The game was just starting to open out from this passage of end to end play with both teams gaining some space as the half ended. Forest won a free kick on the edge of the box after a lazy trip by Leon Best upended Nathan Tyson in a dangerous position, and James Perch's free kick was curled over the wall but comfortably over the bar. At the other end, Lee Morris got space on the left side of the penalty box thanks to a layoff from Leon Best, but his sharp shot was saved by Paul Smith's legs for a corner, even if perhaps the attempt was going wide of the target anyway. From that corner, the ball was played short and Lee Morris's cross almost curled directly in at the far post as the wind took it back towards the goal.
Anthony Barry was booked for a foul on Nathan Tyson with referee Andy D'Urso being a little over-theatrical in the way he wanted to be the centre of attention for the booking. D'Urso thankfully was not as bad as he has been on previous meetings involving Yeovil, but he irritated throughout with some puzzling decisions, most of which seemed to be home-crowd friendly, even if they were not necessarily crucial.
Into two minutes of injury time, Nathan Tyson sent a free kick under the Yeovil wall from distance, but Mildenhall again collected, and overall it had been a promising half for the Glovers, even if they had created very little in the way of chances. Forest, bar set-pieces, had threatened even less and there had not been a lot for the home crowd to get noisy about.