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Season 2006-2007 : Yeovil Town vs Nottingham Forest : Friday 11th May 2007
Coca Cola League One : Yeovil Town vs Nottingham Forest

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Venue: Huish Park
Friday 11th May 2007, 3.00pm kick-off.

Conditions: Pre-match rain
Pitch: Extremely greasy

Scorers: Kris Commons (pen 23 mins, 0-1), James Perch (pen 90 mins, 0-2)

Attendance: 8,935 (including 1,500 Forest supporters)

Referee: Nigel Miller (County Durham)
Assistants: Ron Ganfield (Somerset) and Graham Horwood (Bedfordshire)
Fourth official: Kevin Friend (Leicestershire)

Yeovil: None
Forest: John Curtis (foul, 69 mins), Wes Morgan (foul, 74 mins), Kris Commons (foul, 78 mins)

Team Line-Ups

Yeovil Town : (4-4-2)
1. Steve Mildenhall
16. Andy Lindegaard 5. Scott Guyett 6. Terrell Forbes 3. Nathan Jones
10. Wayne Gray 8. Anthony Barry 11. Chris Cohen 9. Arron Davies
25. Lee Morris 29. Marcus Stewart

Subs: 13. Darren Behcet (GK) 12. Martin Brittain 14. Jean-Paul Kalala 24. Mark Lynch 30. Darryl Knights

Nottingham Forest :
1. Paul Smith 21. John Curtis 3. Luke Chambers 6. Ian Breckin 12. Alan Wright 17. James Perch 37. Lewis McGugan 4. Gary Holt 8. Kris Commons 10. Scott Dobie 14. Jack Lester

Subs: 20. Rune Pedersen (GK) 5. Wes Morgan (72 mins for Scott Dobie) 29. Julian Bennett (87 mins for Lewis McGugan) 30. Spencer Weir-Daley (79 mins for Kris Commons) 36. Felix Bastians

Match Report

No huge surprises in the Yeovil Town team selection with manager Russell Slade reverting back to roughly the team that had played against Doncaster Rovers two weeks ago after the somewhat experimental line-up against Gillingham last week. That meant Lee Morris and Marcus Stewart were restored to the starting line-up whilst Wayne Gray switched out wide. Main absentee was club captain Terry Skiverton, although the likes of Paul Terry, Matthew Rose, Bradley Thomas and Anthony Tonkin left Yeovil well short of defensive cover. Forest took to the field with a slight crisis on their hands with strikers Junior Agogo, Nathan Tyson and Grant Holt all missing for various reasons. It can only be considered to be a slight crisis though - the line-up that they took to the field with certainly looked sharp enough with Kris Commons and Jack Lester able to provide plenty of attacking options.

The game itself took a while to form a pattern with both sides battling hard in midfield but without truly troubling the keepers. In fact both sides appeared to be struggling to retain their balance on the greasy turf, with the players perhaps misjudging their choice of boots.

Seven minutes into the half though, the Glovers broke clean away with Marcus Stewart feeding Lee Morris who produced an outstanding reverse pass to set away Arron Davies who broke well clear of the Forest defence, only to find Forest keeper Paul Smith sprawling to his right to turn the sharp strike from Davies out for a corner.

That seemed to be the catalyst for the Glovers to up the pressure on their opponents. Anthony Barry set off on another sharp break against a Forest back line that seemed to be lacking in pace, but his final pass across the face of the box was a yard too far in front of Marcus Stewart for the striker to capitalise. Then a neat one-two between Wayne Gray and Marcus Stewart saw a long range shot from the latter which Paul Smith had to stretch to clutch out of the air. Only a slip from Marcus Stewart right at the wrong moment prevented the Glovers from mounting another strong breakaway, with play breaking up as the striker landed on the deck.

Some of the decisions being made by referee Nigel Miller were not to the home crowd's liking. Anthony Barry's tussle with Lewis McGugan looked anything but a foul except in the eyes of the match official. Thankfully the free kick came to nothing. Another battle between Scott Guyett and Jack Lester again saw Yeovil come out somewhat unfairly with Miller gifting another free kick, which led to McGugan firing over the bar. So with the crowd already having their backs up about the official, they were furious when a Kris Commons through pass was met by James Perch with Nathan Jones looking to intercept. Jones provided an outstretched boot towards the ball, Perch crashed over and Miller immediately pointed to the spot, with manager Russell Slade storming out of his dugout to vent his fury at the decision. The unflappable Kris COMMONS sent Steve Mildenhall the wrong way to give Forest the lead with their first on-target attempt.

At 1-0 up, Forest made a radical switch of gameplan, trying to slow down the Yeovil play, that was still being quick on the counterattack. Lee Morris fired from a narrow angle on the left, whilst Chris Cohen shot from the edge of the box, but on both occasions keeper Paul Smith smothered their attempts confidently.

A last ditch tackle by Forest hero Kris Commons thwarted a chance for Lee Morris to break through the middle just before the break, and despite Yeovil having dominated the half, they were to go in a goal down, with pantomine villain Nigel Miller soundly booed and abused by the home crowd as he left the field of play. The Glovers hadn't played badly, but they were definitely going to have to convert their second half chances.

Half-time: Yeovil Town 0 - 1 Nottingham Forest

The second period opened with Forest probably having their one small period of domination, albeit without doing anything that would particularly concern Steve Mildenhall, whose only serious work in the first half was to claim a few crosses and pick the ball out of the net from the penalty. Kris Commons put a ball across the face of the box that Lester and Perch were close to getting on the end of before a Yeovil boot thumped the ball away. Commons then had a drive that was deflected out for a corner. Then a Scott Dobie shot went narrowly wide of the pot.

But that was about as good as it got for Forest as they gradually got sucked into their own half, and the Glovers, kicking towards their favoured Westland Stand end got themselves back on top. Anthony Barry's long range drive was deflected by James Perch for a corner. Then an excellent cross by Marcus Stewart found the head of Wayne Gray, but he got under the ball a little too much, and his header sliced narrowly wide of the target when anything on target would surely have scored.

Marcus Stewart was the next to head wide as he failed to convert an Andy Lindegaard cross. Forest were by this time being upset by Yeovil's running at pace at their back line, with Arron Davies in particular the tormentor in chief, causing their defence to back off every time he surged forward. Chris Cohen was also one for a forward run or two, but one of his runs was blocked by Forest youngster Lewis McGugan - one of the lesser names in their side, but one of the best for the visitors on the night. A Lee Morris cross was met by Wayne Gray at the back post, but he was a little too wide of goal to justify shooting, and his pull-back missed his team-mates as the ball flashed across the goal. Gray then forced keeper Paul Smith into a sharp parry, with the Forest defence being forced to hack the ball away as the home crowd roared, willing the ball into the back of the net for an equaliser that just felt imminent under the pressure that was being forced.

With under 20 minutes left, Yeovil found just the width of a goalpost separating them from an equaliser as they turned the screw on Forest. Anthony Barry's excellent cross to the back post saw Marcus Stewart find himself some room in the box but his downward glancing header bounced off the base of the post, with Forest keeper Paul Smith caught entirely flatfooted, and the visiting defence were able to hack the loose ball away. It couldn't get much closer than that though.

Forest's desperation to keep the Glovers away from their goal gradually began to use illegal means that saw them pick up three bookings in quick succession. John Curtis was the first for a foul on Nathan Jones after the left-back was pulled back. Wes Morgan came on as a substitute to try and tighten up the Forest defence even further, and his first contribution to the game was to land in the book for a foul on Chris Cohen. Then Kris Commons continued the Forest trend of kicking a lump out of the Yeovil midfielder and he joined Curtis and Morgan in the book, with Commons leaving the field immediately afterwards for Forest's second substitution.

It has been a running trend for Yeovil to struggle to get penalties awarded for themselves this season. Should they go down doing crocodile rolls? Should they surround the match officials in order to try and force the issue home? Whatever it is, it is extraordinary that yet another cast iron penalty should have been awarded nine minutes from time. Right in front of the Westland Stand, Lee Morris gained possession inside the penalty box, and with his back to goal, threatened to turn before the boot of Wes Morgan clearly kicked clumsily at the back of his calf. Absolutely no doubt that referee Nigel Miller should have blown for a spot kick that would have put Yeovil back in the game, and the match official even had a second bite of the cherry when Morris scrambled to his feet in an attempt to regain his momentum, only to find Morgan leaning on him and sending him to the deck a second time. The second challenge was debatable, but the first just left you scratching your head, as well as throwing a few more expletives at the match official. Precisely what did he see that suggested that a defender kicking someone on the calf isn't a foul?

If a 1-0 scoreline didn't do justice to the attacking efforts of Russell Slade's side across the whole 90 minutes, then the doubling of that scoreline in the final couple of minutes was nothing short of soul-destroying. That said, it was self-inflicted. The usually impeccable Terrell Forbes, who was about to pick up a handful of end of season player awards, slid in on a loose ball that Jack Lester was racing in on and the Forest striker got their first, knocking the ball sideways and then going down under the challenge. If the first spot kick had been controversial, this one was not at all, and after a lengthy delay involving unrelated treatment to Forest's Gary Holt, James PERCH stepped up to the plate in the absence of the substituted Kris Commons and again Steve Mildenhall went the wrong way, giving Forest a priceless 2-0 lead as injury time approached.

Unsurprisingly, a shellshocked Glovers side didn't create an awful lot in the closing minutes of play, and they will certainly need to keep their chins up for the second leg if they are to maintain their self-belief for the second leg. It says rather a lot that Forest's only two shots on target in the entire 90 minutes were the two spot kicks. Steve Mildenhall wasn't forced into a save, whilst Forest keeper Paul Smith had to deal with close to a dozen Yeovil efforts at the other end. If the Glovers can maintain that ratio in the second leg, then they will stand a chance - provided they can give Forest a scare with a fairly early goal. The playoffs are not entirely out of Yeovil's reach, but the two penalties at Huish Park could well prove costly to their ambitions in the end.

Full-time: Yeovil Town 0 - 2 Nottingham Forest
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