Yeovil got off to an extremely forceful start with a Chris Cohen crossfield ball picking out Martin Brittain beautifully. The on-loan Ipswich winger, who had an unusually quiet first half, got off to a flyer with his first touch of the second period, forcing Gillingham defender Ben Chorley to head out Brittain's cross-cum-shot from under his own crossbar with keeper Brill stranded. From the loose ball, Arron Davies picked out another shot on goal but this time Brill's positioning allowed him to get down low and smother the shot.
Five minutes into the half and a wonderful piece of ball control by Nathan Jones completely lost a pair of Gillingham players who were supposedly marking him, sliding the ball past one then performing one of his trademark step-overs to completely wrong-foot the other, to leave the Yeovil left-back in acres of space down the left flank. Arron Davies applied a delicate near post flick-on to the dangerous looking cross, but a Gills defender blocked the ball out for a corner.
Just 14 minutes into the second period though, Yeovil doubled their lead after some sloppy Gillingham defending. A Martin Brittain corner landed at the back post, and a Gills defender half-cleared the attempt but into the path of Lee Morris who had his back to goal. He pushed the ball back a couple of yards to Chris COHEN who was on a narrow angle, but still managed to smash the ball into the roof of the net. 2-0 and unless Yeovil did something stupid this was game over. The celebrations involved some slightly bizarre karate-style moves, and its probably just as well that no-one got in the way of Skivo as he came running in for his own high-kick celebration!
Yeovil's confidence grew with the second goal, and Leon Best twisted and turned inside the box to fire in a shot that Brill had to palm out for a corner. Arron Davies also cut inside the visiting defence, getting into a nice position but with his final shot lacking a bit of pace to go with it. Gillingham manager Ronnie Jepson decided he needed to gamble badly and threw on three substitutes with just under 30 minutes left in an attempt to salvage something.
The effect of the change in personnel from the visitors was to leave them acutely stretched at the back as they pushed men up field. On one occasion, Nathan Jones almost inadvertantly set Yeovil up from long distance - his 40 yard cross was hopelessly misjudged by keeper Brill, who came off his line too fast, and in the end could only get a single flapping palm on the ball before grabbing it on the bounce, with Lee Morris patrolling behind him hoping for some scraps.
With 10 minutes left, Arron Davies showed astonishing athleticism for a match that was almost over, by capitalising on Gillingham losing possession in the Yeovil half, with the Welshman running 70 yards up the field, completely leaving the paper-thin Gills defence for dead and firing in a shot that deserved a goal but was turned around the post for a corner. From that set-piece, Terry Skiverton was denied firstly by a brilliant save by Brill as he put in a bullet header, and then by a block from Brent Sancho as he tried to follow-up with a second header. Three chances inside 60 seconds and Yeovil had Gillingham rocking.
Despite the extra men up front, Gillingham's shooting was woeful with the majority of their second half chances landing in the Copse end of the ground. The nearest they got to getting a goal came almost with the last kick of the game when a Clint Easton free kick struck the post, rolled behind the prone Steve Mildenhall, then trickled along the goalmouth and out for a goal kick on the opposite side of the goal. When it's not your day, it's not your day!
An excellent performance though by the Glovers and their best for probably around a month, giving hope that they have reignited the spark they needed to get themselves back into challenging for the playoffs. The team was as fluent as it has been all season, and the new formation suited them. Perhaps in Leon Best they have a striker who may make the loss of Marcus Stewart not hurt quite as much as they might have thought it would.
MOTM Vote Result:
Overall match rating: 7.5 / 10
52 votes received.
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