Say what you like about Trevor Kettle (and plenty do) here stands a referee that will never shirk from pointing
to a penalty spot or dishing out a red card. Unfortunately, our experience at Huish Park is that Our Trev is a
touch too eager to do so, and it took him just four minutes to award his second of the afternoon although this
one was definitely more dubious than the first. Adam Rundle got clear on goal and whilst Steve Collis superbly
parried the ball, as a mass of players scrambled for the rebound, up blew Kettle's whistle with Adam Lockwood
apparently the guilty party for holding down Fraser McLachlan - not the apparent handball claim that has been
featured in several other media reports. Rhys DAY stepped up to the spot, Collis guessed the right way,
even got a palm to the ball, but couldn't prevent it hitting the back of the net. 1-2 now and Yeovil's character
would now be surely tested up to the limit.
Kettle should have been blowing for his third penalty of the afternoon 60 seconds later when Mansfield's
Gareth Jelleyman took the ball off the head of Terry Skiverton with the use of his hand, but somewhat interestingly
the referee chose to acknowledge that the ball had come off Jelleyman for a corner but off some other part of his body.
Answers on a postcard to Mr T.Kettle. Thankfully it mattered little. Lee Johnson's corner caused Mansfield all kinds
of problems and as they tried to hack it away from their goal, Darren WAY stabbed the ball home from
close range with Alex Baptiste's efforts to try and clear the ball off his own line very much in vain. 2-2 and game on!
Huish Park turned up the volume a notch and the players turned up the tempo by more than a notch. Phil Jevons
had the ball in the back of the net after Efe Sodje put an over-the-top through-ball, but he was denied by a linesman's
flag. Lee Johnson became Yeovil's only booking of the afternoon when he lazily tripped Mansfield's Giles Coke on the
hour, and Fraser McLachlan sent a header from a corner straight into the grateful arms of Steve Collis when anywhere
else would have done, but this was largely one way traffic towards the Westland Terrace now.
Kevin Gall, who was by now running Mansfield's back four into the ground, put in a sixty yard run down the right wing,
feeding Phil Jevons, but the ball ran just in behind his strike partner and Pilkington was able to gather before
Jevons could have a second attempt at scoring.
But with 20 minutes left, the game was turned twice within 60 seconds as Mansfield fell apart. Alex Baptiste
brought down Kevin Gall on another run, and as Johnson, Jevons and Rose huddled together, and Darren Way engaged in
a wonderful pantomine performance in winding up Kevin Pilkington by giving him "advice" on where the ball was likely to
go, up stepped Michael ROSE who fired home from 25 yards to put Yeovil 3-2 up. Nearly everybody loves an underdog,
and following several weeks of being labelled as Yeovil's chief scapegoat for recent results - even seemingly in games
where he hasn't played - Rose's reaction was to head for the Yeovil bench, where seemingly 30 people were
engaging in a game of "bundle" - substitutes, management, physio and even Maurice O'Donnell seemed to be piling on
in the thick of it all. Much has been said in the past week or two about Yeovil's team spirit, but if ever
there was a moment to answer how the players will back each other up when they need to, then that was it.
One minute later Huish Park was in delirium as the magical football of last December found it's way back with a
bang as Yeovil went for Mansfield's throat. Kevin Gall danced his way down the right wing With Gareth Jelleyman
probably wishing he could have gone home at this point, and Gally put in an excellent penalty spot cross that
Phil JEVONS hooked home first time leaving Pilkington sat on his behind with his head in his hands.
Gally continued to torment Jelleyman, and nearly scored himself after he went all the way down the right flank, cut
inside and shot narrowly over the bar. Arron Davies did the same three minutes later as he twisted, turned,
twisted again, turned again, refused to let Mansfield's central defensive duo within a yard of the ball and
eventually forced Pilkington to tip the ball over the bar.
From the resultant corner, Lee Johnson curled the ball in, Terry Skiverton's header found the far corner, and it
was only a header off the line from Adam Rundle that stopped it being 5-2. But straight from the resultant corner
from the same side, Johnson proved to be as deadly accurate as before as he this time aimed it at the near
post, Adam Lockwood acted as the decoy at the front, whilst Darren WAY nipped in behind him to allow
the smallest player on the pitch to score a headed goal from four yards to increase Yeovil's advantage and doubtless
leave Carlton Palmer asking questions concerning defensive gifts left on plates.
the Glovers ran riot, with Lee Johnson beautifully teeing up Efe Sodje on the overlap, whose low shot-cum-cross
whizzed across the face of goal evading goal, goalkeeper and Phil Jevons.
But with less than ten minutes left, Gary Johnson allowed three substitutions to take place, with Kevin Gall (in particular), Phil Jevons and Adam Lockwood individually receiving standing ovations around the ground.
That just left a final cameo from Mansfield's Alex Baptiste, who clearly didn't like losing too much and managed
to put in 10 minutes worth of some of the most petulant whining you could ever expect to see before referee
Trevor Kettle had the last laugh and reminded him who was boss with a yellow card.
But this match was all about the return of the Glovers, the return of their swagger and style and the return of
their flamboyant football. It may have taken 50 minutes to finally coax it out of it's shell after threatening to during
a reasonable but not spectacular first half. But once it did, Yeovil ripped through Mansfield like a demolition ball, and
it is this as well as the end result that the Glovers can now take into their final four games, knowing that
whatever had been causing the whole team to mis-fire in the past few weeks had been seen off in a flourish. Kidderminster
next week will possibly be harder than this week's opposition, but the difference is in BELIEVING you can do something
and for Yeovil, the belief is now back in the side where it belongs.
MOTM Vote Result:
Overall match rating: 8.6 / 10
80 votes received.
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