Few people were surprised when Gary Johnson made several changes to the line-up. Off went Colin Miles who had
been struggling to fulfil a left-back's role on his first game back for a while. On came Andy Lindegaard into a
right wing-back position, with Michael Rose his opposite number. Also on the field was Terry Skiverton with Kevin
Gall perhaps a little unlucky to be sacrificed as part of the formation change.
The result was stunning to say the least. Michael Rose, in his new deeper role, picked up the ball inside his
own half and ran close on 50 yards, riding a couple of tackles before delivering the killer ball through to
Phil JEVONS. Ten yards out, the Yeovil striker cut inside Daryl Burgess and curled a beauty into the corner
for his ninth goal of the season.
The Glovers really were looking far more the part in this new formation, with now five midfielders matching
five. Phil Jevons instigated a wonderful attacking move when he ran through the centre of the Rochdale midfield,
playing a great one-two, then slotting a through ball to Andrejs Stolcers, who forced home keeper Neil Edwards
into parrying the ball but a defender hacked clear.
The home side were also starting to pick up a number of yellow cards with Leo Bertos the first in the book
for a late tackle on Darren Way. Michael Rose produced a shot-cum-cross that whipped right across the Rochdale
goal with Stolcers once again inches away from converting it.
With Yeovil so dominant, it was no surprise when Rochdale made their own tactical ploy, with ex-Bristol Rovers
striker Paul Tait introduced as a second striker to allow them to revert to a 4-4-2. But still Yeovil dominated
with Wayne Evans almost inadvertantly increasing the Glovers lead when he headed a Stolcers cross rather too close
to his own goal for comfort.
With all this pressure but no second goal, Yeovil were made to pay when on 68 minutes Rochdale unexpectedly
equalised. Paul Weller got space on the left wing, and when his flighted cross was put into the box, Yeovil's
defensive marking went walkabout allowing Grant HOLT the chance to deposit a 10 yard free header past
Chris Weale for an equaliser that woke the home crowd up from their slumbers.
Goals change games and whilst the equaliser lifted the crowd, it also lifted Rochdale's players. After Phil
Jevons had flicked a header wide, Gary Johnson decided to change his formation for the second time in the match,
choosing to switch back to a 4-4-2 presumably to match Rochdale in the final portion of the game, Liam Fontaine
making way for Bartosz Tarachulski, with Jevons alternating between a left wing role and a withdrawn striker position.
But Rochdale were in the ascendancy and the final substitution did little to deal with that. Paul Terry did
brilliantly to thwart a run by Paul Tait when a last ditch tackle forced the striker to scuff his shot wide.
Eight minutes from the end though, Rochdale's comeback was complete when once again the Yeovil defence
failed to deal with Grant Holt. Seemingly in a low risk area close to the corner flag, he wormed his way out of a
Yeovil challenged and forced the ball to the corner of the penalty area. Indecision seemed to rule amongst
the Yeovil defence as to who should chase the loose ball, and the result was that Gary JONES was able
to fire the winning goal home via Chris Weale's near post.
Andy Lindegaard stopped it getting worse when Paul Tait turned Roy O'Brien, but Lindy forced Tait to go wide
and eventually blocked him out for a corner. But the Glovers could have snatched a now unexpected draw four minutes
into injury time when Andrejs Stolcers managed to pick out Bartosz Tarachulski five yards from goal. Sadly for
Yeovil, the Polish striker put his header inches over the bar and a long painful journey up to North Manchester
was about to become an even more painful journey home.
MOTM Vote Result:
Overall match rating: 4.6 / 10
7 votes received.
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