Match Details: 24/08/2002
Morecambe 1-2 Yeovil Town
Yeovil Goals: Carl Alford (28), Howard Forinton (72)
Yeovil Line-Up: 1. Chris Weale, 2. Adam Lockwood, 3. Anthony Tonkin, 4. Terry Skiverton, 6. Darren Way, 8. Lee Johnson, 9. Carl Alford, 10. Nick Crittenden, 11. Michael McIndoe, 19. Abdoulai Demba, 20. Gavin Williams,
Subs: 5. Colin Miles, 13. Jon Sheffield, 14. Roy O'Brien, 16. Andy Lindegaard, 23. Howard Forinton
Substitutes Used: Colin Miles for Abdoulai Demba (55 mins), Howard Forinton for Carl Alford (66 mins), Roy O'Brien for Lee Johnson (88 mins)
Bookings: Abdoulai Demba (Foul, 42), Terry Skiverton (Foul, 44), Lee Johnson (Dissent, 88)
Gary Johnson made one change to the side that travelled to Barnet, with an injured Tom White dropping out of the squad. The lucky replacement was Carl Alford, as Johnson chose to also alter the shape of the side, with Gavin Williams being tucked in behind the front two of Alford and Demba.
The Glovers at last started a game brightly, even if Scott Gouck's sixth minute drive across the face of the goal was the first real action of the game. Yeovil were immediately looking far more fluent than in their previous two games, and the new striking partnership nearly showed early dividends as Demba headed downwards a long ball, providing Alford with a superb attempt from 20 yards which whistled just over the bar.
Despite 20 minutes worth of relative domination though, for the third game running, the Glovers fell behind. A Scott Gouck free kick was floated in and knocked back by a Morecambe player in the box as far as Iain SWAN. His strike on goal took a heavy deflection off an incoming Yeovil defender and the ball looped over a back-pedalling Chris Weale for a freak goal start for the home side.
Yeovil looked a little stunned, but didn't take too long to get back into the game. Gavin Williams was causing Morecambe all kinds of problems, and when he linked up with Nick Crittenden on the right wing, Crittenden's back post cross was met by Carl ALFORD for a trademark goal for the big striker, and a more than deserved equaliser.
Demba had a superb chance to put Yeovil back in the lead when he got in behind the home side's defence, but keeper Craig Mawson was equal to Demba's driving shot, and the ball was parried out with no Yeovil player able to capitalise on the loose ball. Then Michael McIndoe did the same following a Demba flick-on - even managing to land the ball in the net - but it seemed from McIndoe's body language that he already knew that he would be ruled off-side - the linesman did not disappoint. Minutes later, McIndoe and Demba combined once again, with the Scotsman dancing his way straight through the Morecambe defence and laying off a high quality ball to Demba. Once again, Mawson had to come to Morecambe's rescue with another superb parrying save. Yeovil may have had to settle for a level score at half time, but there was little doubt as to which side would be going in with their tails up.
Half Time: Morecambe 1 Yeovil Town 1.
Michael Stringfellow gave notice that the home side weren't going to completely lie down when he shot into the side netting early in the second half, with many of the home support cheering an apparent goal - but this was the outside of the net that had rippled.
Morecambe attempted to get their grip back on the game by introducing ex-Southport player Lee Elam and Shrimps mainstay Ryan Zico Black, both of whom had been the scourge of Yeovil in past meetings with the Glovers. Gary Johnson's immediate response to the introduction of the two attack-minded players was to introduce defender Colin Pluck for striker Abdoulai Demba as the Glovers swapped to a 4-4-2.
The Shrimps seemed to be pegging Yeovil back and enjoyed their best spell of the game, though without really creating anything to test Chris Weale with. Instead when Yeovil broke, McIndoe and Williams were lethal, and Mawson had to once again save Morecambe when he once again parried a fierce shot, beating out Adam Lockwood's header. McIndoe reacted brilliantly with a return header of his own, but the ball came off the post, and once again to safety.
With 24 minutes remaining, the prodigal son returned to Yeovil Town as Gary Johnson introduced Howard FORINTON to a loud cheer from the away support, for the striker to commence his third spell with the club. And it took him just six minutes to make his mark, as Yeovil took control of the game, and despite Mawson once again providing heroics by blocking a Williams shot inside the penalty area, this time the rebound fell kindly and Forinton drove the ball home from the edge of the area and through a crowd of players.
Morecambe attempted to find a way back into the game, but their resolve seemed to have been broken, and whilst they looked weary, a buoyant Yeovil side were able to hold them with ease, save for one moment when Chris Weale mislaid the ball inside his own penalty area and his fellow defenders had to take away the pressure.
Overall, this could have so easily have been a repeat of last season's 5-1 were it not for the form of home keeper Craig Mawson, who deservedly won the sponsors man of the match for the Shrimps. But they had been out-classed on the day by a Yeovil side that finally found what had been stuttering to get out on the previous two games, and they will go into Monday's Nuneaton game knowing that they have not lost the spark and imagination that made last season such a success.
Final Score: Morecambe 1 Yeovil Town 2.
Sat 24th August 2002
Match Report: Martin Baker
Pitch: Superb condition, if a little damp
Weather: Some pre-match rain, but otherwise dry
Scorers: Iain Swan (1-0, 20 mins), Carl ALFORD (1-1, 28 mins), Howard FORINTON (1-2, 72 mins)
Referee : R. Booth
Assistants : J. Hay, K. Lawton
Yeovil Town Line-Up : (3-4-1-2)
1. Chris Weale,
2. Adam Lockwood, 4. Terry Skiverton, 3. Anthony Tonkin,
10. Nick Crittenden, 6. Darren Way, 8. Lee Johnson, 11. Michael McIndoe,
20. Gavin Williams,
9. Carl Alford, 19. Abdoulai Demba.
Substitutes : 5. Colin Pluck (sub 55 mins for Demba), 13. Jon Sheffield, 14. Roy O'Brien (sub 88 mins for Johnson), 16. Andy Lindegaard, 23. Howard Forinton (sub 66 mins for Alford).
Bookings: Demba (foul, 42 mins), Skiverton (foul, 44 mins), Johnson (dissent, 88 mins).
1. Craig Mawson 2. Dave McKearney 3. Lee Colkin 6. Stewart Drummond 7. Adriano Rigoglioso 8. Andy Gouck 11. Gary Thompson 12. Neil Uberschar, 14. Iain Swan 21. Wayne Curtis 24. Keith Hill
Substitutes : 17. Danny Carlton, 18. Michael Stringfellow (sub 33 mins for Gouck), 19 Ryan Zico Black (sub 55 mins for Uberschar), 22. Michael Knowles, 23. Lee Elam (sub 55 mins for Rigoglioso).
Bookings: Rigoglioso (foul, 37 mins)
Att : 1,343