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Season 2005-2006 : Tranmere Rovers v Yeovil Town : Wednesday 28th December 2005
Football League One : Tranmere Rovers 4 - 1 Yeovil Town

Venue: Prenton Park
Wed 28th Dec 2005, 7.45pm kick-off.

Conditions: Sub-zero temperatures
Pitch: Hard frost, marginally playable

Scorers: Phil Jevons (pen, 32, 0-1), Chris Greenacre (50, 1-1), Calvin Zola (72, 2-1), Chris Greenacre (73, 3-1), Chris Greenacre (86, 4-1)

Attendance: 6,327 (including approx 250 Glovers fans)

Referee: Jon Moss (Tyne & Wear)
Assistants: Steven Cook (Surrey); Karl Evans (Greater Manchester)
Fourth official: Tony McGee (Merseyside)

Yeovil: Chris Cohen (73, foul), Matt Harrold (76, foul), Efe Sodje (90, foul)
Tranmere: Michael Jackson (56, handball), Jason McAteer (71, dissent)

Team Line-Ups

Yeovil Town : (4-4-2)
13. Steven Collis
12. Kevin Amankwaah 16. Efetobore Sodje 17. Scott Guyett 5. Colin Miles
18. David Poole 7. Paul Terry 8. Lee Johnson 29. Chris Cohen
10. Phil Jevons 20. Matt Harrold

Subs: 1. Chris Weale (GK) 4. Terry Skiverton 9. Kevin Gall (78, for Amankwaah) 11. Nathan Jones (78, for Miles 25. Arron Davies (78, for Poole)

Tranmere Rovers : (5-3-2)
13. Steve Wilson
2. Simon Francis 17. Paul Linwood 5. Ian Sharps 4. Michael Jackson 18. Daniel Harrison
6. Jason McAteer 12. Steven Jennings 3. Gareth Roberts
28. Steve Davies 10. Chris Greenacre

Subs: 9. Calvin Zola (45, for Linwood) 11. Sam Aiston (45, for Jennings) 15. Ian Goodison 20. Carl Tremarco (87, for McAteer) 27. Philip Palethorpe (GK)

Match Report

There is something horrible about the M6 on a weekday evening, travelling away for a Yeovil Town match. During Gary Johnson's first season in charge a Friday night fixture at Southport took almost seven hours to get to as the road between Birmingham and Manchester turned into a car park caused by the rush hour traffic. Then last season, the Glovers Friday nighter to Rochdale saw a similar story - a nightmarish journey to get to the north-west. What was coupled with those two matches was a pair of pretty awful performances on the field of play. It wasn't to spell the sign of an awful season - the FA Trophy and the League Two title followed - but both matches captured probably two of the lower points of those respective seasons. Hence on a journey up to Tranmere, that took six hours to navigate on a road crammed full of what were presumably sales shoppers, there was a slight sense of foreboding in the pre-match journey.

Boss Steve Thompson made two changes to the side that had drawn 1-1 against Bournemouth last Friday. Whilst the moving of Paul Terry into midfield and pushing Chris Cohen out to the left wing reflected the last hour of Friday night's match, the return of Colin Miles for Nathan Jones saw the latter land on the bench. Liam Fontaine travelled but didn't make the sixteen, although Thommo said after the game that Liam was fit and available.

The game almost didn't make it. On a night that saw games at Chester, Bolton, Blackburn and Stockport all fall victim to the weather, this was a rarity in the north-west of England, and the frost-coated pitch must have been marginal when referee Jon Moss (presumably not the Culture Club drummer!) inspected it at 7.00pm.

The frosty conditions certainly may have been responsible for a fairly tentative start by both sides, as it took 11 minutes for anything of note to happen, with Kevin Amankwaah's right wing cross meeting the head of Phil Jevons, only for the attempt to loop over the bar. Six minutes later Tranmere went one closer - after a succession of three corners, an inswinger from Gareth Roberts was flicked on by Paul Linwood. Glovers keeper Steve Collis fumbled the close range header, but caught it on the second attempt leaving a small group of Tranmere supporters in the Johnny King Stand screaming for a goal, claiming that the ball had crossed the line. The linesman on that side didn't seem to give it much thought before moving on.

The Glovers were on the whole looking comfortable, and they forced their first corner of the game when Phil Jevons was put through thanks to a clever over the top dink and only a sliding tackle from Jason McAteer thwarted his shot on goal. The best Tranmere could manage in response was a shot from Steve Davies (presumably not the snooker player) that ballooned 20 yards over the bar after he had been put through by Gareth Roberts. That said on the half hour mark Chris Greenacre got a lucky ricochet when a clearance cannoned off the face of a Yeovil defender and into the Tranmere striker's path, but Steve Collis comfortably dived to his left and collected the ball.

Two minutes later though, Yeovil had the lead. David Poole received the ball on the edge of the area, but a rash challenge by Tranmere's Paul Linwood missed the ball entirely and kicked Poole's ankle, leaving referee Jon Moss with the academic decision of awarding the spot kick. Tranmere's crowd may have protested, but Linwood's head in his hands rather said it all. Phil JEVONS stepped up and sent keeper Steve Wilson the wrong way.

Tranmere tried to immediately hit back but were thwarted by some brilliant defending by Colin Miles. As a ball came in over the top to Steve Davies, he put his whole body inthe way of the shot, and when the same player found his second attempt blocked by Steve Collis, Miles was ready again to boot the ball into the stands. But in the main Yeovil were able to see out the half with ease and perhaps Tranmere's half was summed up when a Gareth Roberts cross was challenged by both Steve Davies and Steve Jennings with both succeeding in knocking each other off the ball with a tame goal kick being the end result.

Half-time: Tranmere Rovers 0 - 1 Yeovil Town

With the Glovers looking so comfortable, Tranmere manager Brian Little made a double substitution at half time, with the home side reverting to a 4-4-2 with Calvin Zola being introduced as a big lanky forward. The Glovers looked distinctly uncomfortable with the new challenge, and five minutes into the half Tranmere drew level as a Jason McAteer free kick found it's way tamely to Chris GREENACRE who was able to turn his marker and shoot from a narrow angle into the top corner. 1-1 and Yeovil needed to steady the ship somewhat.

They didn't show early signs of being able to do that. A goalmouth melee resulted almost immediately, leaving Tranmere trying to scramble the ball into the back of the net. With one blocked attempt failing to reach Steve Collis, the Yeovil keeper was left prone on the deck, but fortunately the leg of Scott Guyett blocked the follow-up attempt by Daniel Harrison and the ball squirmed out for a corner.

Michael Jackson (presumably not the singer) cynically blocked an over the top ball through to Matt Harrold with his hand and thus got the award for the most obvious yellow card award of the night. Lee Johnson took a clever short free kick on the back of the decision, setting up Phil Jevons in clear space, but his shot was scuffed into the advertising boards. Next Chris Cohen also screwed the ball wide after superb build-up work by Matt Harrold and Phil Jevons.

Scott Guyett stood up well to substitute Calvin Zola midway through the second half as he muscled the Tranmere striker off the ball when he was inside the penalty area, using his strength to hold the ball, turn and head up field when in a position where it would have been all too easy to have fouled him in attempts to get rid of the dangerous situation.

Jason McAteer landed in the book for disputing the referee's erratic decisions, but if he was complaining about the rub of the green Tranmere were getting then he could have no complaints when referee Jon Ross gifted Tranmere the free kick that led to their second goal. David Poole won about as clear a tackle as you could ever see, but Ross inexplicably awarded the home side a free kick on the edge of the area, and when Gareth Roberts' free kick came off the underside of the bar, Calvin ZOLA was there to nudge the rebound over the line from close range.

That was the point at which the tide rapidly turned Tranmere's way as the Glovers fell apart. A shellshocked Glovers fell further behind just two minutes later when Steve Davies produced a blocking tackle on Kevin Amankwaah, grabbed the loose ball and threaded a pass through to Chris GREENACRE who slotted the ball home first time for his second goal of the night. 3-1 and the game had gone from level pegging to almost out of sight inside two minutes.

Chris Cohen landed in the book for a wild tackle on Jason McAteer as Yeovil's composure began to crumble, and Steve Thompson responded by making a triple substitution and switching Yeovil's tactics to a 3-4-3 to try and force the situation, with Arron Davies and Nathan Jones playing as the wide men as Kevin Gall went up front.

But such moves to try and rescue the game can also leave you open at the back, and Chris GREENACRE claimed the match ball with four minutes remaining as he got in behind a threadbare Yeovil defence. Despite the new formation keeping going until the end, they never really looked like they were going to succeed. Rather like the match at Southend, the Glovers had lost the plot somewhat an hour into the match, and once they lost it they lost it badly! Let's hope the next midweek night away game up the M6 doesn't turn up for many more years yet!


MOTM Vote Result:

Player MOTM Score
Colin Miles 3 525
Lee Johnson 2 300
Steven Collis 2 225
Scott Guyett 2 200

Overall match rating: 5 / 10
Performance: 4.6
Entertainment: 5.4

8 votes received.

Any comments/questions please email

Full-time: Tranmere Rovers 4 - 1 Yeovil Town
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