Match Details: 24/10/2009
Bristol Rovers 1-2 Yeovil Town
Coca Cola League One
Yeovil Goals: Jonathan Obika (61), Terrell Forbes (64)
Yeovil Line-Up: 1. Alex McCarthy, 2. Craig Alcock, 3. Nathan Jones, 5. Steven Caulker, 6. Terrell Forbes, 9. Sam Williams, 11. Andy Welsh, 13. Ryan Mason, 16. Scott Murray, 21. Jean-Paul Kamudimba Kalala, 25. Shaun MacDonald,
Subs: 7. George O'Callaghan, 8. Keiran Murtagh, 15. Richard Martin, 18. Andy Lindegaard, 23. Danny Hutchins, 26. Jonathan Obika, 28. Nathan Smith
Substitutes Used: Jonathan Obika for Scott Murray (59 mins), Keiran Murtagh for Andy Welsh (83 mins)
Bookings: Jean-Paul Kamudimba Kalala (Foul, 44)
Central defender Terrell Forbes broke a career duck today in the best possible way, by scoring the winning goal in a 2-1 win over Bristol Rovers at the Memorial Stadium. He scored a 64th minute close range effort that saw the Glovers come back from a Chris Dickson goal for the home side at the start of the second half. Substitute Jonathan Obika scored with his first touch when he headed home from a free kick, but there's little doubt that Forbes will be the one grabbing the headlines this week.
Team selection was as simple as you like for manager Terry Skiverton. With Craig Davies ending his loan spell by returning to Brighton and Hove Albion, there was space for Jonathan Obika on the bench and that was the one and only change as Yeovil sought to extend a five game unbeaten run.
It certainly took them an age to come out of the blocks. The first 20 minutes was all about Bristol Rovers, who were playing down the slope and with the wind at their backs. The Glovers rarely created a chance all half, but Rovers squandered several along the way. Worst culprit had to be Jeff Hughes. Put through by Jo Kuffour, he looked a good few yards offside but the linesman's flag never came, and Hughes inexplicably sliced the attempt wide of the target.
Aaron Lescott, Hughes again, Chris Lines and Byron Anthony all had chances, but bar Anthony's effort which was blocked by a combination of Alex McCarthy and Steven Caulker, the Gas seemed to be making good work of testing the car alarms in the car park more than McCarthy's goal net.
At the other end, Yeovil's opportunities were almost non-existent, although referee Neil Swarbrick surely had to make some kind of a decision when Ryan Mason went down in the box. The Glovers player's fall to the floor was certainly emphatic and if Mr Swarbrick didn't think Mason's appeals were legitimate, then a yellow card for a dive seemed a formality in the circumstances. Instead he gave neither and the decision appeared to be a cop-out from both sides' viewpoints.
It took Yeovil 42 minutes to have any shot on goal of any description. A ball into the side netting and a Scott Murray long range effort that was gleefully jeered at by Bristolians from the blue half of the City was all that Yeovil could count, and they were probably a bit fortunate that Rovers' finishing was so wasteful at the other end.
Having weathered the storm, in both senses of the word, the Glovers had the strong wind at their backs in the second period, and so will have been deeply disappointed that the advantage of the elements counted for nothing just 60 seconds into the second period. A Stuart Campbell corner was flicked on by Danny Coles and Chris Dickson smashed home the loose ball to put the home side 1-0 up.
It was difficult to see Yeovil getting back into the game as they huffed and puffed, all until a fairly ineffective Scott Murray was taken off in favour of Jonathan Obika. The Rovers fans sarcastically cheered and jeered the former Bristol City player, who probably hadn't had the kind of game back in Bristol that he would have wanted to have. But the smile was wiped entirely off Rovers' fans faces, when straight from the free kick that was waiting to be taken, Andy Welsh curled in a real beauty, and Obika's glancing header put Yeovil level with his first touch. Nice sub, Skivo!
If that provoked joy in the away end, three minutes later, it turned into delirium. Rovers were guilty of conceding a large number of second half fouls in needless situations, and another set piece in a near identical position was again whipped in by Mr Assist, Andy Welsh. The flicked header looked to have a lesser outcome, until Terrell Forbes stuck a leg out right in front of goalkeeper Mikkel Andersen and the ball inched its way over the line for Terrell's first ever professional goal. With wild eyes and a crazed beaming smile, he ran up the line past the Yeovil supporters and straight into the arms of Terry Skiverton and the rest of the Yeovil bench. Nice one Terrell! Definitely one of those 'I was there' moments. More importantly, three minutes after the tactical change, the game had been turned on its head.
A third Andy Welsh free kick from an identical position was greeted by Rovers players in the same way as a batsman facing a bowler on a hat-trick, but Rovers survived. They in turn made their own substitutions to try and change the game, but were not so fortunate as the game swung from end to end. A few brave blocks by Yeovil defenders kept the wolves at bay, but in reality it was the Glovers who had the best chances to grab an additional goal, with both Jonathan Obika and Shaun MacDonald having great opportunities tipped away by home keeper Mikkel Andersen.
In the end a victory that the second half performance deserved, even if once again it was a game of two halves. The windy conditions had a lot to do with that though, as did the excellence of Andy Welsh's wicked deliveries, along with that priceless moment from Terrell Forbes. The win moves the Glovers up to 12th position in the League One table, and even though it's some League One minnow called Leeds United the club are facing next weekend, they will go into that match relaxed and confident, and for the moment at least they have no need to look over their shoulders at what is behind them in the table.
Final Score: Bristol Rovers 1 Yeovil Town 2.
Scorers: Chris Dickson (1-0, 46 mins), Jonathan Obika (1-1, 61 mins), Terrell Forbes (1-2, 64 mins)
Bristol Rovers: (4-4-2)
27. Mikkel Andersen
2. Carl Regan 15. Byron Anthony 5. Danny Coles 32. Aaron Lescott (79)
11. Jeff Hughes 4. Chris Lines (45) 7. Stuart Campbell 3. Mark Wright (61)
17. Jo Kuffour 9. Chris Dickson
51. Rhys Evans (GK) 8. Andrew Williams (61 mins for Mark Wright) 10. Darryl Duffy 6. Steve Elliott 20. Charles Reece 23. Ben Swallow (79 mins for Aaron Lescott) 16. Dominic Blizzard (45 mins for Chris Lines)
Yeovil Town: (4-4-1-1)
1. Alex McCarthy
2. Craig Alcock 5. Steven Caulker 6. Terrell Forbes 3. Nathan Jones
16. Scott Murray 21. JP Kalala 25. Shaun MacDonald 11. Andy Welsh
13. Ryan Mason
9. Sam Williams
15. Richard Martin (GK) 7. George O'Callaghan 8. Keiran Murtagh (83 mins for Andy Welsh) 18. Andy Lindegaard 23. Danny Hutchins 26. Jonathan Obika (59 mins for Scott Murray) 28. Nathan Smith
Rovers Bookings: Byron Anthony (69 mins, foul), Stuart Campbell (90 mins, foul)
Yeovil Bookings: Jean-Paul Kalala (44 mins, foul)
Referee: Neil Swarbrick (Lancashire). Assistants: Brendan Malone (Wiltshire) and SJ Martin (Staffordshire). Fourth Official: MD Rowley (Berkshire).
Attendance: 7,812 (including 686 Yeovil supporters).