Gary Johnson decided over the break that Gall and Weatherstone were not going to be the men to win the game,
and so Adam Stansfield and Jake Edwards got their chance to prove to the boss that they were still worthy of
a chance in next season's squad.
The result had a rather immediate effect with the Glovers grabbing the lead within 60 seconds of the game
recommencing. Hugo Rodrigues picked up a loose ball in the penalty box, which Lincoln keeper Alan Marriott could
only parry and Adam STANSFIELD made his first touch since coming on count as he bundled the loose ball
home to put Yeovil 1-0 up and send 1,200 supporters into delerium.
The Glovers continued to control the game but had a set-back on the hour mark when after releasing a long ball
up field, Adam Lockwood was clattered with Lincoln's Mark Bailey landing a studs up waist high "tackle" straight
into Lockwood's side with the ball now yards away. Somehow referee Mr Mason, who otherwise had a good game, saw
this as only worthy of a yellow card. Yeovil's medics considered it worse and Lockwood was stretchered off,
with Nick Crittenden as the immediate replacement.
During the lengthy hold-up, Paul Terry had run across to the Yeovil fans with a signal from the bench.
Mansfield had equalised and Terry's gestures to the supporters were greeted with wild celebrations ... heaven
only knows what Adam Lockwood was thinking of the noise, given that he was just being loaded up onto his stretcher.
Thus we saw the first "invisible goal celebration" ever witnessed at a Yeovil Town match.
The Glovers powered forward on the crest of a wave, and there was little surprise when they extended their
lead with 72 minutes gone. Another ball into the penalty box saw Hugo Rodrigues once again win his aerial challenge,
and when the loose ball dropped, Jake EDWARDS was the first to pounce and he slammed the ball into the back
of the net with the help of the underside of the crossbar, and Mark Bailey, who was stood on the goal-line - ironic
given that he shouldn't have been on the pitch.
Almost immediately, Adam Stansfield could have made it 3-0 when his volley looped over keeper Marriott but landed
wide of the target. But then there was confusion both on and off the field. Word was received from the bench that
Northampton were 2-1 up, but a couple of minutes later, a shout went out from one of the lower row seats in the away
end, and the whole of the Yeovil travelling support jumped up, convinced that it was Mansfield that were 2-1 up!
Players revealed afterwards that they presumed the celebrations to be a Mansfield equaliser at 2-2 - having already
been made aware of the Northampton goal, and so for five minutes confusion reigned until the Lincoln supporters
dutifully informed us all that things were not going to plan at Field Mill. 2-1 to Northampton it definitely was.
Gary Johnson pressed the gamble button and pushed Hugo Rodrigues permanently up front hoping to grab a few
late goals to turn the screw on Lincoln, but home manager Keith Alexander, from his banished position in the stands
had his own different ideas and sent on Simon Yeo and Arron Wilford to freshen things up. Both were to make
significant contributions to the game that rocked Yeovil back on their heels.
First Lincoln broke down the right through Gary Fletcher, whose cross was met by Yeo who shot at goal. Steve Collis
parried the ball well but straight into the path of Arron WILFORD who nodded the ball straight back and into
an empty net.
Perhaps then, the Glovers should have regrouped and decided to hold out for the 2-1 win but before they could do
that, Lincoln delivered what seemed to be a killer blow just three minutes later. Catching Yeovil on the break,
Fletcher again did the spadework, this time shooting direct at goal. Once again Steve Collis was equal to the initial
shot but could do nothing about the loose ball which Simon YEO tapped into an empty net with the Glovers
defence nowhere to be seen.
It seemed as though that would finish Yeovil. Half the team sank to their knees in disbelief, and it seemed like
it was all over. But when you're in a fix, you always produce the joker card and there's little doubt that
Gavin WILLIAMS holds that title within the Glovers playing squad. After Lincoln conceded a foul on Andy
Lindegaard out on the right wing, Williams stepped up from 25 yards and showed some coolness and class by slotting
the ball into the far corner of the net and through a crowd of players to give the game it's final twist.
even three minutes worth of injury time could allow Lincoln a route back into the game and the only thing the
Glovers could do on the final whistle was to wait and hope for a Mansfield equaliser that never came, despite
the Field Mill game continuing long beyond the end of the exciting game at Sincil Bank. So near, and yet so far ...
Yeovil had missed out on a playoff position on goal difference, and just seven points off an automatic spot ...
that will tell Gary Johnson how marginal the squad improvements may need to be in order to turn this season's
near miss into something to hope for at the start of next season.
MOTM Vote Result:
Overall match rating: 8.6 / 10
38 votes received.
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