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Season 2006-2007 : Yeovil Town vs Tranmere Rovers : Saturday 17th February 2007
Coca Cola League One : Yeovil Town vs Tranmere Rovers

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Venue: Huish Park
Saturday 17th February 2007, 3.00pm kick-off.

Scorers: Chris Shuker (0-1, 53 mins), Chris Shuker (0-2, 83 mins)

Attendance: 5,168 (including 189 Tranmere supporters)

Referee: Andy D'Urso (Essex)
Assistants: Andrew Laver (Hampshire), Andrew Sainsbury (Wiltshire)
Fourth official: James Linington (Isle of Wight)

Bookings:
Yeovil: None
Tranmere: Chris McCready (48 mins, encroachment), Ian Goodison (60 mins, foul), Paul McLaren (84 mins, excessive celebration)

Team Line-Ups

Yeovil Town : (4-4-2)
1. Steve Mildenhall
6. Terrell Forbes 4. Terry Skiverton 5. Scott Guyett 3. Nathan Jones
9. Arron Davies 11. Chris Cohen 31. Nicholas Law 15. Peter Sweeney
10. Wayne Gray 30. Leon Best

Subs: 2. Anthony Tonkin 8. Anthony Barry 12. Martin Brittain (70 mins for Wayne Gray) 18. Daniel Webb (80 mins for Nathan Jones) 27. Ishmael Welsh

Tranmere :
24. John Achterberg 2. Robbie Stockdale 16. Chris McCready 15. Ian Goodison 5. Shane Sherriff 7. John Mullin 4. Paul McLaren 6. Jason McAteer 9. Gareth Taylor 10. Chris Greenacre 23. Chris Shuker

Subs: 1. Gavin Ward (GK) (16 mins for John Achterberg) 8. Calvin Zola 19. Steve Davies 11. Kevin Ellison (89 mins for Chris Greenacre) 18. Danny Harrison (44 mins for Robbie Stockdale)

Match Report

Over the past week or so, Russell Slade has seen his squad cut back even further by more injuries and suspensions to force him into making major changes to the line-up that took to the field against Tranmere Rovers. Whilst the absence of Jean-Paul Kalala was self-inflicted in that it came for picking up five bookings, the loss of Marcus Stewart and Andy Lindegaard - both injured at Carlisle - was a further body blow meaning that there would have to be at least one change in defence, midfield and attack. Terrell Forbes was pushed out wide to take the vacant right-back slot, whilst Scott Guyett came into his position. New loan signing Nicky Law, who arrived the day before from Sheffield United, moved into Jean-Paul Kalala's central midfield position, whilst Wayne Gray retained the position he occupied up front when he replaced Stewart last week. Unlike last week, the Glovers commenced the match with a normal 4-4-2 formation, coming up against a Tranmere side who had their own team selection problems.

The new look back four took a while to solidify with the home side able to narrowly edge wide of both posts in the opening six minutes. Firstly Chris McCready's header from a Chris Shuker cross went wide with Steve Mildenhall looking unlikely to get near the ball. Then John Mullins got himself room on the edge of the box, firing across the face of Mildenhall's goal, but with his drive going narrowly wide of the opposite post.

Other than that, it was a very bitty first half, not helped by a four minute stoppage caused by an early injury to Tranmere keeper John Achterberg. After an abortive attempt to take a goal kick that had been heavily delayed, down the keeper went a second time, and Gavin Ward was forced into an early appearance from the subs bench.

That appeared to cause the rhythm of the game to be somewhat slowed down, and it took Yeovil until the midway point of the first half before they created a chance of note. A spot of Tranmere showboating saw them back-heel a ball straight onto the path of Leon Best, who raced out of a defensive position, feeding Wayne Gray up the right wing, who in turn found Arron Davies. The Welshman weaved his way in from the flank, producing a shot from just inside the box that the keeper was forced to parry out, with no-one able to grab the rebound.

Not an awful lot else happened, aside from Tranmere getting a little more possession than Russell Slade would have liked. Leon Best put a low cross over the six yard line that missed everyone with the goal gaping as sub keeper Gavin Ward covered his near post. Then Ward was forced to punch a dangerous looping header over his own bar as the half drew to a close, but that was about as good as it got in the two penalty boxes. Not good for the Glovers, but not too bad - it was really a question of who was going to create the chances for Yeovil to score from.

Half-time: Yeovil Town 0 - 0 Tranmere Rovers

The second period opened with Chris McCready being booked for breaking early from a defensive wall as Yeovil lined up a free kick in front of the Westland Stand. But just eight minutes into the half, Tranmere took the lead via a disputed throw-in. The Glovers perhaps expected a ball out by the Cowlin Stand touchline to be given their way, but as Rovers picked up the ball and instantly took the throw-in, the ball found Chris SHUKER, who cut inside Terry Skiverton and fired a low shot under the body of Steve Mildenhall to put the away side 1-0 up, slightly against the run of play. Now the hard part came - could the Glovers break down a Tranmere side that had been pretty defensively-minded even at 0-0, and would now be likely to camp even more in their own half.

Ian Goodison curled a ball into the keeper's arms, whilst at the other end Wayne Gray was almost clean through thank to a pass from Leon Best, but visiting keeper Gavin Ward just about beat him to the ball, with Gray colliding with the keeper as a result and looking none too happy thereafter, limping around for around 25 minutes of the second period before Russell Slade replaced him with Martin Brittain, with Arron Davies moving up front.

Davies' more advanced position allowed him to accept a Chris Cohen ball that finally got him behind the Tranmere back line with a wonderfully timed pass, but Ward was off his line quickly to block the shot well on his near post. Yeovil's inability to win a penalty this season continued when Davies grabbled with Ian Goodison. As Goodison looked to have handled the ball, a shout went up and the whistle blew ... for a foul by Davies - a decision that did not please the home supporters too much.

Scott Guyett had a right-footed attempt from the edge of the box palmed out for a corner and a minute later Terry Skiverton nodded downwards on the near post as Nathan Jones crossed right-footed into the box, but Ward got down low to block the attempt. The Glovers were having their best spell of the game and just starting to show signs that they could force an equaliser.

Ian Goodison landed in the book for a fairly blatant trip on Leon Best after he gave the Tranmere defender the slip. Best then squirmed his way clear of his marker in the box when Nathan Jones kicked off a move involving a series of his traditional step-overs, leaving himself with plenty of room to square the ball for Best. Sadly, the Southampton striker's attempt was again blocked by Gavin Ward.

Tranmere manager Ronnie Moore was fairly critical of Yeovil in the August fixture between the two sides, claiming that the Glovers were too negative in their play. One would therefore hope that he would be equally critical of Ian Goodison's playacting in the box when he tried to claim that he was injured. Referee Andy D'Urso thankfully wasn't fooled and told Goodison if he wanted treatment he would have to leave the field. He probably should have made him do that regardless, but after a little limp up the field, Goodison was soon skipping around without the need for a physio. A remarkable recovery for a player unable to initially move inside his own penalty box. Elsewhere Tranmere were little more positive - on occasions they had all eleven player either on or behind the eighteen yard line.

The initial head of steam that the Glovers had built up following the opening goal began to rapidly evaporate as they ran out of ideas, and in the final 10 minutes, Daniel Webb was introduced for Nathan Jones, seeing a formation change to a 3-4-3 and a pressing of the gamble button. Three minutes later, that move didn't look so great. Jason McAteer, who had an impressive 90 minutes in the centre of the park, took a free kick, releasing Chris SHUKER into a dangerous position and with Yeovil caught short at the back he weaved his way through without too much in the way of a challenge and fired into the roof of the net from a narrow angle. If coming back from a goal down was hard, then two goals was going to be pretty much impossible.

The Glovers notched up a couple more half-hearted efforts before the final whistle blew. Martin Brittain's angled shot was deflected by Leon Best but again Gavin Ward was well positioned to make the save look easy. And Yeovil's bad day was summed up by an injury time free kick by the normally lethal Leon Best. Able to shoot from what should have been a dangerous position, all he was able to do was to perform a slow daisycutter into Gavin Ward's arms. The final whistle couldn't come soon enough.

A fairly miserable day for the Glovers, and unfortunately the patterns are all too great at present. At home, their attack appears powderpuff - crosses into the box seem to be floated in rather than driven in, making it all too easy for the opposition to defend against. Although Gavin Ward had several saves to make during the match, none of them took him beyond what you would expect a competant League One keeper to be able to achieve, and the Glovers will need to work out why this becoming such a strong feature of their home matches, whilst they score so freely away from home. Perhaps they won't be complaining too loudly when they see the fixture list and realise that four of their next five league matches are on the road ...

Full-time: Yeovil Town 0 - 2 Tranmere Rovers
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