A coach fire on the M5 northbound during one of the busiest weekends on the road of the year did not help
preparation for this game. Originally intended for a 3.00pm kick-off, Gary Johnson's team spent two hours in the
motorway chaos that ensued, and the end result was that the players only arrived at Whaddon Road at 3pm, with
the game finally kicking off 34 minutes late.
Three interesting changes to the 'provisional' first team line-up that has been used in some of the recent
friendlies. Chris Weale nudged his way ahead of Steve Collis, whilst Nathan Jones and David Poole were given
starts in an effort to prove their fitness ahead of Colin Miles and Kevin Gall. It certainly appears that
otherwise these three positions, the starting line-up for Oldham is close to taking it's final shape.
Yeovil started slightly sluggish, particularly at the back, conceding too many free kicks around the 20-30 yard
area and one such offence allowed Cheltenham playmaker Grant McCann to curl a free kick over the Yeovil wall and
towards the bottom right corner as early as the 4th minute. Chris Weale showed top form to tip the ball away from
goal and for a corner.
Perhaps that was down to the rigours of the coach journey as 10-15 minutes into the match, Yeovil began to find
their legs and really open up the Cheltenham defence; going on to control the rest of the first half. Pablo
Bastianini gave another example of why Gary Johnson has brought him in for this season when he saw Cheltenham
keeper Scott Brown off his line and chose to chip him Beckham-style from 45 yards out. Brown's blushes were
saved by the meat of the crossbar and a defender cleared the rebound away.
Three minutes later, Phil Jevons got receipt of a through ball from Terry Skiverton which deflected nicely off
a Cheltenham defender's head and straight into his path leaving him in behind the Cheltenham defence, but his attempt
on the half volley went just wide of the post.
Finally on 26 minutes, Yeovil's general domination of the half paid off. A string of passes saw Darren Way
and Nathan Jones combine up the left flank and when the latter's cross was put low into the area, Phil JEVONS
was able to turn, make room for himself, and fire low into the bottom left corner of the net for a goal that had
The Glovers could have still increased their lead further before the break as they thumped the woodwork for
a second time. A corner from the right was only half cleared and when the ball reached David Poole on the edge
of the area, his volley deflected heavily, allowing the ball to loop up and leave Cheltenham keeper Scott Brown
stranded once again. For the second time though, the crossbar came to his rescue.
But this was overall a pleasing half of football. Poole and Jones were looking highly impressive despite
their recent layoffs and the overall shape of the team was looking good. Perhaps most critically was that bar
some early free kicks, they had kept Cheltenham's attacks out of range of Chris Weale, despite the League Two
side kicking down the slope towards the home terrace, where previous visits to Whaddon Road have seen many a
long ball launched into the danger zone.