Whatever was said in the dressing at half time seemed to have little effect. A mix up at the back saw Collis and Lockwood give away a corner. Paul Terry then raced through the midfield and slotted a ball through to Crittenden whose shot, like his team lacked confidence. At that moment you sensed that Gary Johnson had told his team over tea that they had 5 minutes to show him they could turn things around- he obviously was not convinced. On 49 minutes D.Rodrigues, ex-Southampton and Bristol City and from Portugal replaced Adam Stansfield, he was in the mix straight away winning a free kick close to the corner flag, Johnson whipped the ball in and H.Rodrigues, also from Portugal but not related, headed over before being replaced by Andy Lindegaard seconds later. The back four reshuffled as Lockwood went in to the centre to allow Lindegaard to patrol the right back position. On 54 minutes Bury attacked down the opposite wing, Simon Whalley waltzed his way down the left and put a dangerous cross into the box that was well claimed by Collis.
Then came that moment - the ball was knocked downfield swiftly, and found its way into the box, with his back to goal the new Rodrigues controlled the ball on his chest before exercising an immaculate overhead bicycle kick that saw the ball rattle the back of the net. Cosmopolitan by name and by nature, that goal would have graced any stadium in the world. Instantly Yeovil fans had a new icon to worship, in unison 3 sides of the ground eerily chanted his name with gusto. Fired up Dani burst through again but he was brought down. Johnson, the brains of the outfit, whipped in a trademark free-kick low into the box and the new man connected and saw his shot cross the line with the aid of a deflection. The goal was as important and is was unspectacular. But who cares, the Town were back in business. Rodrigues’s introduction and the crowds reaction was the turning point, and Kevin Gall, barren in front of goal began to thrive in his right wing position, a great run and cross found Edwards in front of goal and somehow he blazed over when it would have been easier to score-if only Dani was “Johnny on the spot” he would surely have completed the most memorable hat-trick since…..I don’t know when!
Lindegaard then broke down the right and his wicked turn gave him time and space to cross accurately to Paul Terry but his header, this time on target could not find it’s way past Glyn Garner in the Shakers goal. Seconds later his Manager, Graham Barrow found his way into the Main stand, he was sent there after something he said which, not unlike the Bartlett boys, upset the crocked linesman who was now performing as the fourth official. Barrow probably wanted an excuse to listen to the last twenty minutes of his old side Chester’s game, they won 1-0 to secure the Conference title and their place in Division 3 next season.
Another great run and pass by Rodrigues saw him find Kevin Gall, he in turn fed Johnson whose shot was blocked. The clearance found Nugent up front and with only Lockwood for cover, the Yorkshireman stood his ground and patiently blocked out the threat. John Cartledge then had a chance to equalise for Bury, but his header from a corner narrowly missed the Yeovil post. Dani then had a chance for his third, a Johnson free kick was again knocked in low and hard to the near post and the faintest of touches from his attempted back flick header would have deceived the keeper. The last chance of the game fell to Bury, David Flitcroft tried his luck from the edge of the area but Collis was alert and he saved comfortably low down to his left to keep his side alive.
Mr Cooper, the ref blew for time and the contrast at 4.50pm this time around compared to the same time last week was markedly different. Relief that Yeovil picked up 3 points, Glee that a star was born and praise and applause for the way they battled hard to come back from a goal down, personified by Colin Pluck who clearly played through the pain barrier to ensure victory for his team. Whether Dani’s arrival has come to late to clinch promotion remains to be seen, but surely he’ll start at York next week. Only time will tell if this was a flash in the pan performance or whether Johnson has unearthed a golden nugget, but the reception he got today will no doubt inspire the 24 year old to battle for a contract- he enjoyed his moment…and oh how did we!
MOTM Vote Result:
Overall match rating: 7.2 / 10
63 votes received.
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