Match Details: 22/11/2008
Yeovil Town 1-0 Tranmere Rovers
Coca Cola League One
Yeovil Goals: Terry Skiverton (23)
Yeovil Line-Up: 4. Terry Skiverton, 6. Terrell Forbes, 10. Gavin Tomlin, 11. Danny Schofield, 12. Craig Alcock, 13. Josh Wagenaar, 14. Paul Warne, 16. Gary Roberts, 17. Aidan Downes, 25. Gifton Noel-Williams, 28. Nathan Smith
Subs: 3. Nathan Jones, 9. Andy Welsh, 18. Keiran Murtagh, 20. Steve Thompson, 22. Jordan Street,
Substitutes Used: Andy Welsh for Gifton Noel-Williams (79 mins), Nathan Jones for Aidan Downes (88 mins)
Bookings: Gavin Tomlin (Foul, 66), Gary Roberts (Foul, 86)
Yeovil Town gained a valuable three points at Huish Park this afternoon when they clocked up a 1-0 victory over Tranmere Rovers. The single goal of the afternoon came from a Danny Schofield free kick, who teed up captain Terry Skiverton, who probably surprised most of the crowd watching by launching a 20 yard drive into the top corner. That goal went on to inspire the Glovers, and the only question mark at the end of the game was how on earth Rovers got away with a single goal defeat as they were dominated by some superb counter-attacking football that really should have brought Tranmere a thrashing.
The non-arrival of Luke Rodgers - ill with a virus - and the continuing absence of defender Gareth Owen, who has yet to be given a new loan contract offer by the club, were added to by the loss of Lee Peltier (suspension), Aaron Brown (suspension), Darren Way (groin injury) and Marc Bircham (ankle injury). All of that meant that Yeovil's squad of sixteen was so thin that the bench was completed by former youth-teamer Jordan Street and 45 year old assistant manager Steve Thompson. Not that Tranmere were without problems - they had to make six changes to their side from last week, including three suspensions.
The Glovers started off like they meant business. Apart from a single unmarked header that went a little too close to Josh Wagenaar's left hand post for comfort, the majority of the action was at the away end, where Paul Warne and Danny Schofield had shots blocked, whilst Gifton Noel-Williams fired over the bar. However, the home side took the lead midway through the first half after Gavin Tomlin had been fouled on the edge of the box.
As Danny Schofield and Gary Roberts stood over the ball, a direct shot on goal or a cross into the box looked the best bet. Perhaps that caused Tranmere to not expect the unexpected - a short ball was rolled by Schofield into the path of Terry Skiverton, who everyone in the ground, including the Tranmere defence, expected to be running into the box for one of his trademark headers. Instead they got a Skivo bullet with his feet - an 18 yard shot that blasted into the top corner - leaving the skipper running to the Yeovil bench in delight, chased by his team mates en masse.
The goal inevitably lifted the players and the crowd - the latter of which had been a touch tense whilst sizing up whether a threadbare squad could recover from Tuesday night's 5-0 hammering at Stockport. This showed everyone in green and white that it was possible, and Yeovil gripped the game by the scruff of the neck, putting Tranmere firmly onto the back foot.
Gavin Tomlin really should have done better with a weak header in free space that went straight at the Tranmere keeper, whilst the same player had another attempt blocked after he had been put through by Nathan Smith. Aidan Downes was also unlucky when he fired against the foot of Danny Coyne's near post after he cut in from the right wing, but the ball pinged out towards the side for a throw-in.
Tranmere did have a small bite at an equaliser when Wagenaar produced an 'exhibition save', thumping the ball away from his goal as Rovers got their one first half chance to equalise. But that would have been a travesty for the Glovers who dominated the half from the moment they scored, and probably edged the period before Skiverton's surprise thunderbolt.
The second period saw more of the same. Tranmere made a half time double substitution, changing their tactics and getting more men forward to try and attack Yeovil's goal. But if anything that seemed to play into Yeovil's hands, with the pace and off the ball running of Downes, Tomlin and Warne a constant thorn in the side of a sluggish looking Tranmere defence.
The trio provided frequent crossfield passes that carved the Tranmere back line in two. Several crosses, particularly from the left fizzed across the face of the Tranmere goal, utterly begging for a final touch. Perhaps if someone sends Luke Rodgers a video of this match from his hospital bed that he will make a rather sharp recovery - several balls were tailor made for a goal poacher, yet somehow Yeovil couldn't double their lead. Downes and Warne looked the most dangerous - the latter twice swivelling and volleying on the turn and forcing Coyne into strong saves.
Tranmere really only threatened once - when Chris Greenacre broke through - probably the only time during the match that Tranmere managed to get behind the Yeovil back line - but Wagenaar was equal to his shot on goal, and the game very quickly reverted back to Yeovil's excellent counter-attacking, with Andy Welsh joining in late on as he came on as a substitute, and Tranmere began to lose track of where Yeovil players were, with constant switching between positions.
The 1-0 final scoreline didn't really do the performance justice. This was a fast flowing entertaining match, and probably the best home football the Glovers have produced since August. That they did so just four days after the Stockport thrashing shows that this team have a lot of character, and that will be invaluable if they are to continue their efforts to claw themselves away from the danger zone.
Final Score: Yeovil Town 1 Tranmere Rovers 0.
Scorer: Terry Skiverton (1-0, 23 mins).
Yeovil Town (4-4-2):
13. Josh Wagenaar
12. Craig Alcock 4. Terry Skiverton 6. Terrell Forbes 28. Nathan Smith
17. Aidan Downes 11. Danny Schofield 16. Gary Roberts 14. Paul Warne
10. Gavin Tomlin 25. Gifton Noel-Williams
3. Nathan Jones (88 mins for Aidan Downes) 9. Andrew Welsh (79 mins for Gifton Noel-Williams) 18. Keiran Murtagh 20. Steve Thompson 22. Jordan Street
Tranmere Rovers (4-4-2):
1. Danny Coyne 15. Danny Holmes 2. Godwin Antwi 4. Ben Chorley 3. Andy Taylor 9. Ian Moore 13. Gareth Edds 19. Charlie Barnett 27. Mark Wilson 23. Chris Shuker 7. Bas Savage
24. John Achterberg (GK) 10. Chris Greenacre (46 mins for Gareth Edds) 17. Luke Waterfall 16. Edrissa Sonko (46 mins for Ian Moore) 18. Aaron Cresswell (71 mins for Chris Shuker)
Yeovil Bookings: Gavin Tomlin (66 mins, foul), Gary Roberts (86 mins, foul)
Tranmere Bookings: Bas Savage (45 mins, dissent), Charlie Barnett (52 mins, foul), Mark Wilson (67 mins, foul), Ben Chorley (79 mins, foul)
Referee: Jarnail Singh (Hounslow, Middlesex). Assistants: Peter Grove (West Midlands) and Simon Knapp (South Gloucestershire). Fourth Official: Mike Mullarkey (Devon).
Attendance: 3,445 (including approx 100 Tranmere supporters).