Match Details: 25/04/2009
Tranmere Rovers 1-1 Yeovil Town
Coca Cola League One
Yeovil Goals: Jonathan Obika (67)
Yeovil Line-Up: 1. Chris Weale, 6. Terrell Forbes, 10. Gavin Tomlin, 11. Danny Schofield, 12. Craig Alcock, 14. Paul Warne, 18. Keiran Murtagh, 23. Aaron Brown, 25. Andros Townsend, 26. Jonathan Obika, 28. Nathan Smith,
Subs: 9. Andy Welsh, 13. Josh Wagenaar, 15. Luke Rodgers, 24. Danny Hutchins, 29. Danny Maguire
Substitutes Used: Andy Welsh for Andros Townsend (57 mins)
Bookings: Paul Warne (Ungentlemanly Conduct, 22), Gavin Tomlin (Foul, 62), Aaron Brown (Foul, 69), Terrell Forbes (Dissent, 86), Craig Alcock (Foul, 90)
Yeovil Town secured their League One status this afternoon, with a deserved draw against promotion-chasing Tranmere Rovers. The Glovers were probably somewhat unlucky not to claim all three points after Jonathan Obika gave them the lead midway through the second half, with a narrow-angled shot. But Antony Kay's impressive strike just 11 minutes later made for a nervous finish to the game, even if Carlisle United's draw at Cheltenham Town meant that the away point was all that Yeovil ultimately needed.
They went into the match with one change forced upon them, as Lee Peltier dropped out with an ankle injury, whilst Craig Alcock was preferred to Danny Hutchins, who sat out the game on the bench. Terrell Forbes, who had also missed the previous game through injury, came back into the side, taking back the captain's armband from Peltier.
Yeovil pressed well during the whole of the first period, and had their opponents on the back foot for much of the half, despite a slight tendency to want to walk the ball into the back of the net that denied them more shots on goal than they got.
Andros Townsend was a constant thorn in the side of the Tranmere right-back, so much that if it wasn't for the woefully erratic refereeing of Richard Beeby that the home side could have been down to 10 men inside 20 minutes - three tackles after the ball had long gone surely enough to warrant at least one yellow? Not if you are refereeing in Beebyland, where five Yeovil players were to pick up cautions during the game instead.
Tranmere keeper Danny Coyne saved well from Obika early on, whilst Paul Warne shot just wide of the target. Andros Townsend did the same - skating an angled shot across the face of goal where a deflection or a touch from a Yeovil player would have opened the scoring. On a few occasions, Tranmere defenders got in strong last-ditch blocks to prevent Obika and Tomlin in particular from squirming their way through the gaps in the Rovers defence.
At the other end, Chris Weale and his defence were far less busy, although one excellent save from Ian Moore kept the scoreline blank as Wealey blocked the attempt with his legs. The home side looked nervous and suffering from the expectancy of an 8,000 strong crowd, who were mostly very subdued on the day.
Inevitably Tranmere came out for the second period in a positive manner, doubtless having been given a flea in their ear from their manager Ronnie Moore. But it wasn't long before again the Glovers were showing their dominance, and Danny Schofield was inches away on the hour mark as he thumped a 20 yarder against the crossbar and back out again. Tranmere's fans reacted in panic and frustration, with them needing at least a point to get themselves back into the play-off positions, but them looking the more likely to concede.
On 67 minutes, they did just that - Gavin Tomlin and Jonathan Obika juggled the ball between them on the edge of the Tranmere box, and when Obika danced his way through a couple of defenders legs, he produced a shot from an impossible angle that pinged off the far post and into the back of the net. 1-0 up, and League One safety was now a significant reality.
With Carlisle United also winning 1-0 at Cheltenham, it was important for Yeovil to hold that lead if they wanted to see things sorted out on the day, but that lead was to only last 11 minutes. Tranmere's specialism was long throw-ins, but they'd been doing that all afternoon without success. Unfortunately all it takes is one mistake, and the Glovers allowed a 78th minute throw-in to bounce inside the box, and Antony Kay produced a superb finish on the volley to level the scores and to bring the home crowd to life.
Thankfully, down the M5, Carlisle were committing suicide - two red cards and a penalty allowed Cheltenham to equalise, and so Yeovil's initial despair was almost immediately turned into the joy that they were still in the driving seat. An expected Tranmere late charge came to nothing, and with the match at Whaddon Road finishing around five minutes before Yeovil's, when the final whistle blew, both players and supporters knew they were safe at last.
The obligatory celebrations, a post-match players huddle, and this season's away shirts were thrown into the away end for some of the brilliantly noisy away supporters to collect as a souvenir of a marvellous day. Next weekend, everyone can enjoy their day of relaxation and celebration, and after such a rollercoaster of a season surely no-one will be able to complain about that.
Final Score: Tranmere Rovers 1 Yeovil Town 1.
Scorers: Jonathan Obika (67 mins, 0-1), Antony Kay (78 mins, 1-1)
1. Danny Coyne 13. Gareth Edds 4. Ben Chorley 26. Ryan Shotton 3. Andy Taylor 16. Edrissa Sonko 6. Antony Kay 12. Steven Jennings 19. Charlie Barnett 9. Ian Moore 25. Craig Curran
24. John Achterberg (GK) 14. Terry Gornell (62 mins for Edrissa Sonko) 18. Aaron Cresswell 22. Ash Taylor 28. Robbie Burns (76 mins for Charlie Barnett)
Yeovil Town (4-4-2):
1. Chris Weale
12. Craig Alcock 6. Terrell Forbes 23. Aaron Brown 28. Nathan Smith
14. Paul Warne 18. Keiran Murtagh 11. Danny Schofield 25. Andros Townsend
26. Jonathan Obika 10. Gavin Tomlin
9. Andrew Welsh (57 mins for Andros Townsend) 13. Josh Wagenaar (GK) 15. Luke Rodgers 24. Danny Hutchins 29. Danny Maguire
Tranmere Bookings: Charlie Barnett (72 mins, foul)
Yeovil Bookings: Paul Warne (22 mins, unsporting behaviour), Gavin Tomlin (62 mins, foul), Aaron Brown (69 mins, foul), Terrell Forbes (86 mins, dissent), Craig Alcock (90 mins, foul)
Referee: Richard Beeby (Northamptonshire). Assistants: Ryan Johnson (Greater Manchester) and David Storrie (West Yorkshire). Fourth Official: Steven Cummins (Cheshire).
Attendance: 8,306 (including approx 250 Yeovil fans).