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Season 2005-2006 : Yeovil Town v Gillingham : Saturday 22nd April 2006
Football League One : Yeovil Town 4 - 3 Gillingham

Venue: Huish Park
Sat 22nd April 2006, 3.00pm kick-off.

Conditions: Sunny, warm
Pitch: Excellent

Scorers: Tommy Black (11, 0-1), Phil Jevons (17, pen, 1-1), Chris Cohen (35, 2-1), Paul Terry (51, 3-1), Arron Davies (55, 4-1), Michael Flynn (76, 4-2), Andrew Crofts (87, 4-3)

Attendance: 6,040 (including 597 Gillingham fans)

Referee: Brian Curzon (Leicestershire)
Assistants: Eric Mackrell (Hampshire), Simon Snartt (Gloucestershire)
Fourth official: Andrew Laver

Bookings:
Yeovil: None
Gillingham: Jon Wallis (14, foul), Leon Johnson (32, foul), Darren Byfield (56, dissent). Red Card: Brent Sancho (15, professional foul)

Team Line-Ups

Yeovil Town : (4-4-2)
13. Steve Collis
14. Andy Lindegaard 2. Adam Lockwood 4. Terry Skiverton 5. Colin Miles
18. David Poole 7. Paul Terry 22. Craig Rocastle 29. Chris Cohen
10. Phil Jevons 25. Arron Davies

Subs: 9. Kevin Gall (70 mins for Poole) 11. Nathan Jones (81 mins for Miles) 17. Scott Guyett (73 mins for Rocastle) 20. Matt Harrold 31. Michael Jordan (GK)

Gillingham :
13. Jason Brown 23. Jon Wallis 5. Brent Sancho 6. Ian Cox 11. Danny Jackman 8. Tommy Black 10. Michael Flynn 7. Andrew Crofts 21. Matthew Jarvis 9. Gary Mulligan 20. Darren Byfield

Subs: 1. Paul Crichton (GK) 14. Leon Johnson (18 mins for Black) 22. Daniel Spiller 19. Neil Harris (41 mins for Mulligan) 30. Sean Clohessy (39 mins for Jackman)

Jeremy Gear's Match Report

The best things come to those who wait!

Jimmy White, the best player never to win the World Snooker Championship, Tony McCoy, the best Jockey never to win the Grand National, Chris Cohen, the best player never to score for Yeovil. At least that was the scenario at three o'clock this afternoon, but 36 minutes later that had all changed as the outstanding youngster headed home his first and Yeovil's second of the afternoon, and keeping to the snooker analogy, cue the celebrations - on and off the pitch!

Gillingham, on a terrific rich vein of form, came to town on a gloriously warm afternoon. Even though their relegation battle had been won, they were looking to equal a club milestone by recording seven wins on the bounce. In contrast Yeovil's recent form has been poor, but all good things, or bad in this case, must come to an end and it was the rampant Glovers who came out on top in a game that did wonders for your first suntan of the year, but very few favours for your blood pressure.

When Yeovil take the lead they grow in confidence, when they go one behind they tend to struggle, and that's exactly what happened when the Gills opened the scoring as early as the 11th minute. A quick break down the Yeovil right flank culminated in a low hard cross that ran across the face of goal where Tommy BLACK was on hand at the far post to slam the ball home to give the visitors the ascendancy.

Fortunately, the crowd who kept belief were rewarded four minutes later with what can best be described as a double whammy, Phil JEVONS, starting up front with Arron Davies, burst into the box, and under what appeared at first to be a soft challenge, fell to the floor. The Gills fans saw it as a dive, the ref saw it differently and to the delight of all home fans not only did he point to the spot, he also pulled out the red card for the offending defender Brent Sancho. To pinch a Grand National analogy, you should never look a gift horse in the mouth. At times like these it's Jevo you need, and with his usual composure he slotted the spot kick calmly in to bring the home side level. No time thankfully to dwell on being behind!

That goal gave Yeovil and the crowd the confidence to play and sing. Terry Skiverton, in an advanced position down the left, cut the ball back to Cohen, who shot wide from 25 yards, and then Lindegaard, playing as a right back in a flat back four, burst forward and crossed with venom only to see his danger ball cleared for a corner which Jason Brown in goal collected with ease. And then it came - the moment all Glovers had been waiting for. Even his Dad said before the game that all his kid needed was a goal, and his kid duly obliged. Following some neat passing between Davies, Poole and Lindegaard it was the latter whose cross into the area was only half cleared, and the ball fell oh so kindly to Chris COHEN and his gentle but precise header looped over the keeper to nestle in the back of the net. My God how he deserved that. The players bundled, the fans screamed, and according to his Dad, he went mental! "His mum comes to every game" he said afterwards "but of all games, she missed this one!" I'm sure Mrs Cohen will hear all about it tonight, tomorrow and the next day. Maybe in light of Yeovil's fight against relegation, and for the superstitious amongst us, she should politely stay away next week too!

Ironically, the West Ham youngster had the chance to double his tally moments later. Phil Jevons on the left wing picked out the advancing midfielder at the back post, and with a perfect cross all it seemed Cohen had to do was connect and the ball would have pinged into the back of the net. Connect he did but Cohen ain't a natural goalscorer, therefore on this occasion he should be forgiven for missing the target.

Gillingham had already made one substitution, Ronnie Jepson their boss making a tactical change shortly after the dismissal. But to make, or be forced to make, two more in quick succession was a blow. It was Yeovil though who nearly suffered the next blow, when a ball from the right blazed towards the home side's goal. Steve Collis got a hand to the ball to beat it down and partially claw it away, and then Lindegaard lashed it off the line.

Huish Park at the interval suddenly fell eerily quiet as the Stadium announcer read out the half time scores, and by the sound of most of them maybe we were seeing divine inspiration.

Half-time: Yeovil Town 2 - 1 Gillingham

With Yeovil having the brighter of the first half, it was they too who came out of the blocks for the second stronger. Jevons and Cohen combined well to set up Paul Terry, but his weak shot was easily saved by Brown. Arron Davies that had a snatch shot that he fired high over on 50 minutes, but the passing leading up to his effort was crisp and confident, something that has been lacking of late.

Terry, who lacked punch earlier made amends a couple of minutes later, but it was man of the moment Cohen who once again caught the eye. Playing on the left of midfield due to Craig Rocastle's inclusion in the centre, he powered down the flank and quite literally left full back Jon Wallis on his backside before squaring the perfect ball to Paul TERRY, who this time finished with aplomb from 15 or so yards.

On 55 minutes, the fans could relax, or so they thought. Rocastle and Jevons had a private game of head tennis in the middle of the park, before "Rocky" released a long hopeful ball into the centre forwards territory. Against the little Arron DAVIES it should have been meat and drink for the central defender, but he hesitated, Davies didn't! Keeping his eye well and truly on the ball he gambled like all predators should, and he struck lucky. The ball broke free and in a flash the Welshman bore down on goal and put the Glovers 4-1 ahead with great calm finishing to send Huish Park into Rhapsody!

If that finish was calm the rest of the game wasn't. On 60 minutes the industrious Paul Terry shot from 20 yards straight at the keeper, and it was Yeovil who were looking more likely to add to their tally, Then, following a couple of substitutions made by Steve Thompson, Yeovil appeared to go defensive and were put on the back foot, but at 4-1 up, and with God on our side, even we couldn't lose this… could we?

David Poole, who was having one of his best games for Yeovil, was replaced by Kevin Gall. Gall took up the centre forward role and Davies moved to the right hand side of midfield. Then on 73 minutes, Rocastle who was tiring and had signalled to come off, was replaced by Scott Guyett who took up the central defender's position, meaning Lockwood went to right back, Davies went to the left flank, and Lindegaard advanced into the spot vacated by Davies. This "tinkering" unsettled the tempo, and the Gills took advantage when a 25 yard shot from Mike FLYNN, took a huge deflection and wrong-footed Steve Collis to make it 4-2 after 76 minutes.

Almost immediately it was nearly 4-3 as Gillingham flew down the left wing, only for the resultant shot to narrowly miss Steve Collis' far post. On 82 minutes Nathan Jones replaced the inspirational Colin Miles, who had reclaimed his left back spot. In games like these Miles offers a reassuring solidity at the back and he didn't put a foot wrong all game. Lack of match practice probably forced him off, he also signalling to the bench. However he'd have a right to feel very hard done by if he doesn't make the starting line up next week at Huddersfield.

With three minutes left, and Yeovil looking less than comfortable, it was the turn of the fans to feel the pressure that only the threat of relegation brings. We have become accustomed to celebrations at this time of year, I suppose you can argue that watching Yeovil is never dull, but in contrast to this time last year and the year before that, and the subsequent few years before that, this is different. It was very different when Gillingham pulled it back to 4-3 with the best goal of the game. Andrew CROFTS, with his back to goal in the box, swivelled and let fly with an unstoppable left foot shot that gave Steve Collis absolutely no chance. It gave the plentiful travelling supporters hope, and the home supporters the collywobbles, but thankfully that man upstairs again prevailed, and the Glovers survived. Some will argue that we should have beat the Gills 5 or 6-1. Some will argue we held on. The league table however is the only thing to believe and it will tell you that 3 points today, regardless of performance, tactics, or God's intervention, will go a heck of a long way to ensuring, whilst not quite confirming, there's no chance of meeting Hereford should they gain promotion next season…now that, as they say is blasphemy!

Jeremy Gear

MOTM Vote Result:

Player MOTM Score
Chris Cohen 27 900
Craig Rocastle 4 338
Phil Jevons - 119
Arron Davies - 106
Terry Skiverton - 94
Andy Lindegaard 1 75

Overall match rating: 8.1 / 10
Performance: 7.7
Entertainment: 8.5

32 votes received.

Any comments/questions please email yeo.motm@ntlworld.com

Full-time: Yeovil Town 4 - 3 Gillingham
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Last Updated : 22nd April 2006
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