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Season 2006-2007 : Yeovil Town vs Oldham Athletic : Saturday 21st October 2006
Coca Cola League One : Yeovil Town vs Oldham Athletic

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Venue: Huish Park
Saturday 21st October 2006, 3.00pm kick-off.

Scorers:

Attendance: 5,471 (including 330 Oldham supporters)

Referee: Danny McDermid (London)
Assistants: Ron Ganfield (Somerset), Andrew Turner (Devon)
Fourth official: Andrew Rodda (Devon)

Bookings:
Yeovil: None
Oldham: Gary McDonald (13 mins, entering the field of play without permission), Simon Charlton (69 mins, foul), Will Haining (71 mins, foul)

Team Line-Ups

Yeovil Town : (4-4-2)
1. Steve Mildenhall
24. Mark Lynch, 4. Terry Skiverton, 6. Terrell Forbes, 3. Nathan Jones
9. Arron Davies 7. Paul Terry 14. Jean-Paul Kamudimba 11. Chris Cohen
29. Marcus Stewart 25. Lee Morris

Subs: 2. Anthony Tonkin (85 mins for Terry Skiverton) 8. Anthony Barry 10. Wayne Gray (52 mins for Lee Morris) 27. Ishmael Welsh 30. Kevin Cooper

Oldham Athletic :
1. Les Pogliacomi 15. Gary McDonald 5. Will Haining 6. Stefan Stam 2. Simon Charlton 22. Andy Liddell 4. Craig Rocastle 7. Richard Wellens 18. Chris Taylor 21. Chris Porter 14. Paul Warne

Subs: 39. Ryan Smith (GK) 12. Chris Hall (74 mins for Craig Rocastle) 10. Neil Wood 27. Matthew Wolfenden (89 mins for Warne) 51. Kelvin Lomax (17 mins for Gary McDonald)

Match Report

This Glovers victory - their fifth at Huish Park - would surely have pleased many Yeovil supporters, as, while not being the most entertaining match, Yeovil showed again that they have exactly the right qualities to stay at the very pinnacle of League One this season. A rock-solid goalkeeper and resolute defence combined with an industrious midfield and clinical forward-line, Yeovil consistently score more than they concede. Of additional importance, the green and white army is inspirationally rallied and encouraged by a man with true leadership qualities.

For me, our very own Terry Skiverton closely resembles Chelsea's John Terry. He reads the game like a book, using his strong positional awareness to good effect in defence, and regularly makes his mark on the score-sheet with his danger from set-pieces. Today showed Skiverton to be a real match-winner for Yeovil, as he proved to be the difference between two very even sides. It wasn't the greatest performance by Yeovil, but the fact that they still managed to claim all three points indicates that their setup is very much geared to churning out results.

Neither side had any major effort on goal in the first thirty minutes. Skiverton and Terrell Forbes were successfully keeping at bay Oldham's front pair, the towering Chris Porter, with eight goals to his name already this season, and the agile Paul Warne. Similarly, Yeovil failed to manufacture any clear-cut chance at the other end. However, some fluid manoeuvres, involving Lee Morris, Chris Cohen, and Arron Davies, were in development. On 14 minutes, Cohen's strong run down the left flank was followed by a dangerous cross-shot, which landed on the roof of the net. Then in the 22nd minute, Davies, having sprinted along the right flank, tried his luck with a shot from just outside the box, which travelled narrowly wide of the near post.

The fact that Oldham had to wait until the 31st minute for their first chance is testimony to the Glovers' mean defending. An accurate passing move down Oldham's right wing culminated in Kelvin Lomax crossing the ball for Warne to strike a first-time volley into the steady hands of Steve Mildenhall. Oldham's second opportunity arrived only minutes later, as Stefan Stam's header from Andy Liddell's free kick flew wide of an upright. After Cohen's good long-range strike on 38 minutes, Yeovil claimed advantage with Terry SKIVERTON's perfectly timed goal seconds before half-time. He instinctively met Davies' corner with a firm header at the near post - something which the Huish Park faithful has come to expect from him now.

Half-time: Yeovil Town 1 - 0 Oldham Athletic

Yeovil went out into the second-half with a clear and sensible strategy. They would try their hardest to score a second goal and put further distance between themselves and the Latics, but would not commit so many men in attack as to leave the defence vulnerable and risk conceding.

Both Davies and Cohen came close to increasing Yeovil's tally within minutes of the restart. Davies' confident run on the right was completed by a fantastic 25 yard shot from a tight angle, which forced Pogliacomi to make a smart one-handed save, tipping the ball over the crossbar. The consequent corner from Davies was almost tucked away by Cohen at the near post, but he struck narrowly wide.

As was to be expected, Oldham showed signs of improvement, as they sought that precious equaliser. They had already displayed beginnings of a quick and slick passing game in the first half, and this duly continued in the second, as they subjected Yeovil's defence to growing pressure. Temporarily on the back-foot, Russell Slade brought Wayne Gray on for Lee Morris, who had performed admirably, in order to facilitate faster and stronger counter-attacks. Cohen was moving well from box to box and provided good support for the strike-duo of Gray and the hard-working Stewart.

Latics manager, John Sheridan, also made a substitution, taking off Craig Rocastle, who rightly received applause from Yeovil fans for his efforts to ensure the club's survival in League One last season. Yeovil nearly wrapped up the points on 71 minutes, when Davies' superb bending free kick, 30 yards out on the left, connected with a powerful diving header from Gray, who was lurking dangerously at the far post, but this golden chance sailed disappointingly wide.

Oldham had been let off the hook and continued to press forwards in search of a goal. Although the Glovers defence largely kept their strikers at close quarters, they managed to muster a couple of dangerous efforts, and Huish underwent a collective sigh of relief when Porter's glancing header from a Liddell corner flew just wide. But the three points increasingly looked like heading Yeovil's way, as time was always running out for the Lancashire outfit, which had made the mammoth journey south to no avail.

Yeovil determinedly held on for the win with some brave defending, Skiverton even getting injured for the cause. When many would have needed a stretcher, Skiverton simply rose to his feet and walked to the side, causing minimal fuss. Despite his eagerness to fight to the death, he had to be substituted by Anthony Tonkin, making his first appearance in green and white since his return to the club. Yeovil could have enlarged the margin minutes before the final whistle, as both Gray and Cohen, from a free kick, came close, but were ultimately satisfied with their hard-fought 1-0 victory.

The grin on the face of Huish Park widened, as news filtered through that Bristol City had lost at Nottingham Forest, thus propelling the Glovers to a lofty 2nd place, which will hopefully be consolidated by a derby victory against City in a fortnight.

James Francis.

Full-time: Yeovil Town 1 - 0 Oldham Athletic
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