Match Details: 21/03/2008
Yeovil Town 2-1 Doncaster Rovers
Coca Cola League One
Yeovil Goals: Terry Skiverton (22), Lloyd Owusu (31)
Yeovil Line-Up: 4. Terry Skiverton, 5. Scott Guyett, 6. Terrell Forbes, 8. Anthony Barry, 9. Lloyd Owusu, 10. Marcus Stewart, 11. Jean-Francois Christophe, 24. Andy Kirk, 26. Stephen Maher, 27. Lee Peltier, 31. Scott Flinders,
Subs: 15. Liam Bridcutt, 17. Simon Church, 19. Craig Alcock, 20. Marc Bircham, 32. Marvin Williams
Substitutes Used: Simon Church for Andy Kirk (66 mins), Craig Alcock for Terry Skiverton (70 mins), Marc Bircham for Stephen Maher (79 mins)
Bookings: Marc Bircham (Foul, 86), Scott Guyett (Ungentlemanly Conduct, 90), Anthony Barry (Foul, 90)
Yeovil Town defeated their former Conference rivals Doncaster Rovers this afternoon at Huish Park, thanks to first half goals from Terry Skiverton and Lloyd Owusu. Donny pulled a goal back through Paul Heffernan with 17 minutes remaining, but the Yorkshire promotion chasers couldn't find an equalising goal.
Once again the Glovers went into the match with a threadbare line-up. Mark Lynch was out with a hamstring tear, meaning that Lee Peltier became the latest player to try his luck at left-back. Matthew Rose was out with a virus and that meant that an extraordinarily youthful trio of Anthony Barry, Stephen Maher and Jean Francois Christophe were selected to try and combat a Doncaster midfield quartet that have had the critics drooling at League One level this season. Such is the quality of Donny's midfield this season, that there was not even space for former Glovers loan player Martin Woods on their bench.
Yeovil got off to a strong positive start, much as they have in many of their recent home games. However, much was about trying to adjust to the conditions - a swirling side-to-side wind that became more end-to-end as the game went on, that both sides often misjudged throughout the game.
Much of Yeovil's games in the last three months have been about who has grabbed the first goal. The last time they scored first and lost a game was back in November 2007 when they lost 2-1 against Millwall. Thus when Anthony Barry's curling free kick was met by a near slow-motion looping header from Terry Skiverton midway through the first period, the scene was set for one of those 'good days'. The team were visibly lifted by the goal, and settled into their best period of the match, forcing Doncaster onto the back foot.
Comedy struck though half an hour into the game as Yeovil doubled their lead. Donny keeper Neil Sullivan had been having a right old battle with Glovers striker Lloyd Owusu. Having raised his studs to Owusu in somewhat dubious fashion early on in the game when collecting a ball, Sullivan had also got the benefit of a poor decision from the erratic referee Steve Bratt when punching a ball clear under pressure from the big target man. Sullivan perhaps should have had the experience to know that Owusu was going to want to get his own back, and perhaps trying to dribble out of your own area when an opposition striker is bearing down on you in blustery conditions is not out of the coaching handbook. Owusu blocked the clearance, then gleefully poked the loose ball into an empty net for one of those comedy goals that you know you will be viewing once the Christmas Stocking DVDs have been produced at the end of the year. 2-0 up, half an hour played, and if anything the Huish Park crowd seemed a little stunned by the scoreline.
Donny created little during the first period, with James Coppinger seemingly more gifted at mouthing off at the Main Stand linesman than he was at playing out on the wings. Probably the most nervy moment came right on the stroke of half time, but Stuart Elliott's free kick just outside the box was driven right into the foot of the Yeovil wall, and the half-time lead was deservedly held.
Of course, it wasn't game over yet. A half-time squally shower sprayed water deep into the home terrace as the wind confirmed its switch to an end-to-end one that would require some classy defending to keep Doncaster out. Stuart Elliott's deflected shot that whistled just beyond the left hand post of Scott Flinders read alarm bells, and Doncaster's passing was much improved during the second period, with only their occasionally tame finishing letting them down. Flinders was being forced into numerous saves at the foot of his posts, which he took confidently each time, but there was little that you wouldn't have expected a keeper of his class to deal with.
The Glovers couldn't quite hold out though, and Paul Heffernan's strike from the edge of the box with 17 minutes remaining threatened a panicky end to the game, particularly as club captain Terry Skiverton had just left the field, clearly still suffering from his sinus problems that have plagued him in the past week. But despite having a route back into the game, Donny struggled to carve out further chances, with a determined Yeovil side blocking them at every opportunity possible - with sponsors man of the match Marcus Stewart forgetting he was a 35 year old, and instead doing a passable impression of Darren Way throughout the latter period, constantly snapping at the heels of Donny's midfielders.
If anything Yeovil should have sealed the game in the dying minutes, when Stewart set Owusu free down the left flank, but instead of opting for the selfish route to goal, he tried to square the ball back across the face of the box, and the move evaded two in-rushing Yeovil players. Five minutes of injury time couldn't deny Yeovil three priceless points that now put them 12 clear of fourth-from-bottom Gillingham, and although no-one within the Glovers ranks would dare say it, probably enough points to guarantee League One football for next season. As for Doncaster, they will doubtless live to fight again in their promotion battle, but with yet another win over the Yorkshire side, they must wonder what they did to deserve to become Yeovil's (Easter) bunnies.
Final Score: Yeovil Town 2 Doncaster Rovers 1.
Scorers: Terry Skiverton (22 mins, 1-0), Lloyd Owusu (31 mins, 2-0), Paul Heffernan (73 mins, 2-1).
Yeovil Town: 4-3-2-1
31. Scott Flinders
6. Terrell Forbes 4. Terry Skiverton 5. Scott Guyett 27. Lee Peltier
8. Anthony Barry 26. Stephen Maher 11. Jean Francois Christophe
24. Andy Kirk 10. Marcus Stewart
9. Lloyd Owusu
Subs: 15. Liam Bridcutt 17. Simon Church (66 mins for Andy Kirk) 19. Craig Alcock (70 mins for Terry Skiverton) 20. Marc Bircham (79 mins for Stephen Maher) 32. Marvin Williams
1. Neil Sullivan
2. James O'Connor 11. Adam Lockwood 22. Matthew Mills 3. Gareth Roberts
19. Richard Wellens 8. Brian Stock 20. Paul Green 26. James Coppinger
14. Paul Heffernan 25. Stuart Elliott
Subs: 4. Stephen Roberts 9. Mark McCammon (89 mins for Matthew Mills) 10. Gareth Taylor (71 mins for Richard Wellens) 12. James Hayter (87 mins for Paul Green) 18. Sean McDaid
Yeovil Bookings: Marc Bircham (86 mins, foul), Anthony Barry (90 mins, foul), Scott Guyett (90 mins, timewasting).
Doncaster Bookings: Brian Stock (19 mins, foul)
Referee: Steve Bratt (West Midlands). Assistants: Stephen Tomlinson (Hampshire) and Simon Hooper (Wiltshire). Fourth Official: Andrew Turner (Devon).
Attendance: 6,146 (including approx 600 Doncaster fans)