The second half opened with Mike Flynn landing in the referee's notebook for an industrial tackle on Pablo
Bastianini although the South American style crocodile roll did not win him too many friends in Priestfield.
From the resultant free kick, Colin Miles curled the ball around the wall, but keeper Paul Crichton again
made things look easy with a comfortable save.
Gillingham had a rare chance on the hour mark when Chris Weale had to stretch to catch Neil Harris's looping
header from a deep Tom Williams left wing cross. Manager Neil Cooper, who had already brought on Moses Ashikodi
made his last two throws of the dice to try and impose the game upon Yeovil by bringing on two more substitutes,
but this was a disjointed messy second half with neither side really imposing themselves upon the game.
Darren Way took a nasty looking knock midway through the second period when he attempted to head away the
ball only to find the boot of Moses Ashikodi landing square in his face, laying him out cold. Referee Fletcher's
immediate signal to the stretcher bearers looked ominous but somehow Darren got to his feet and after a lengthy
chat with physio Glen Schmidt came back onto the field of play. Ashikodi got perhaps a harsh, but significant
booking - it was little more than an accidental collision.
If Ashikodi's first booking had been harsh, his second was purely academic. Eight minutes after his first
introduction into the referee's book, he recklessly charged into Yeovil captain Terry Skiverton after the defender
had cleared the ball, with the collision occurring whilst the ball was 30 yards upfield. The only surprise
was that it was two yellows rather than a straight red, particularly with many on the main stand side having
witnessed a bit of afters in the form of a stamp. Gillingham, with 15 minutes remaining, were down to ten men.
Paul Terry landed in the book for a rather poor tackle on the edge of the area as the game began to get a
nasty undercurrent to it, and there was a real fear at this stage that the referee would look to even things up.
Thankfully Yeovil kept their cool, whilst Gillingham looked to play out time, ironically keeping possession
far more efficiently than they had done with eleven men on the field, being forced to pass the ball around for
the first time during the match. That made Yeovil's attempts to capitalise on the extra man a lot harder, even if
Kevin Gall and Arron Davies were now on the field in an attempt to inject extra urgency into what was by now a
rather slow-paced staccato second half.
In the dying minutes, Phil Jevons almost grabbed a winner when he chested the ball with his back to goal
following an Arron Davies cross, but when he hooked his shot over his head, home keeper Paul Crichton parried the ball
over his own crossbar to preserve the blank scoresheet.
Referee Fletcher's untidy match was compounded by somehow contriving to only award two minutes injury time as
the Glovers attempted to pressurise Gillingham into making a mistake. Given that Way was out cold for around double
that time it was mystifying as to how the match official could only find two minutes in a half that had been
punctuated by five substitutions, Way's head injury, Skivo's injury and the sending off of Ashikodi, and several
attempts by the referee to speed up Crichton's goal kicks. But in the end perhaps it could be argued that even
if he had extended the match by ten minutes, Yeovil's second half chances on goal were so few and far between, it
is doubtful if it would have made a difference. Had they sneaked a goal during the better first half performance,
then it seems likely that they would have got all three points against a Gills side whose attitude and body
language makes it clear why they lie 22nd in the table after this weekend's games. A useful away point, but it
could have been somewhat more.
MOTM Vote Result:
Overall match rating: 5.4 / 10
56 votes received.
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