Match Details: 14/08/2010
Bristol Rovers 2-1 Yeovil Town
npower League One
Yeovil Goals: Adam Virgo (89)
Yeovil Line-Up: 1. John Sullivan, 2. Craig Alcock, 3. Nathan Jones, 5. Paul Huntington, 7. Andy Williams, 8. Luke Ayling, 9. Sam Williams, 15. Cameron Stewart, 18. Luke Freeman, 19. Adam Virgo, 21. Jean-Paul Kamudimba Kalala,
Subs: 4. Stefan Stam, 6. Nathan Smith, 12. Danny Hutchins, 14. Rob Kiernan, 16. Ed Upson, 17. Craig Calver, 22. Ben Roberts
Substitutes Used: Nathan Smith for Luke Freeman (43 mins), Rob Kiernan for Cameron Stewart (76 mins), Ed Upson for Nathan Jones (77 mins)
Bookings: Luke Freeman (Foul, 18), Luke Ayling (Foul, 38), Adam Virgo (Handball, 46),
For the second time in a week, Yeovil Town lost a game with almost the last kick of the match. The Glovers lost to a Bryon Anthony goal four minutes into injury time, barely minutes after Yeovil thought they had snatched a point through Adam Virgo. Rovers had opened the scoring through Jo Kuffour just before the break, and that looked to be enough in a somewhat scrappy game, until the two late goals saw Rovers edge out by a 2-1 scoreline.
The Glovers lost Dean Bowditch pre-match to an unspecified injury, with Cameron Stewart replacing him in the starting line-up but moving out to the left wing. That allowed Luke Freeman a chance to move up front for the start of the game. There was still no place for Andy Welsh who has yet to feature in the 2010-11 season proper.
Rovers probably started the sharper, with John Sullivan being forced into an early save, along with some relative pressure, albeit without creating volumes of chances. The Glovers were in a highly physical move, flying into challenges on a greasy surface that saw Luke Freeman rightly carded as he made a typical striker's challenge to close down a defensive clearance and ended up clattering a Rovers defender.
Freeman almost got onto Yeovil's first chance - an Andy Williams shot from outside the box that Mikkel Andersen spilled, and the Arsenal striker was if anything too close to the Rovers keeper to have a chance of following up on the rebound. The Glovers grew into the game, and managed to force play into the Rovers half, although were not exactly creating a glut of the chances.
Pick of the bunch though, came from a great team move that saw a Sam Williams shot cleared off the line by Danny Coles. Started by a brilliant chipped pass by Luke Freeman that set Nathan Jones on an overlap down the left flank, Jones cut the ball back from the by-line superbly and the swivel and turn from Big Sam was exquisite. Unfortunately his shot wasn't the best, and Coles was able to clear the ball from danger.
Yeovil didn't create too much else that was clear-cut and they weren't helped by Luke Freeman hobbling around and eventually having to be replaced. That saw Nathan Smith introduced, seeing a big change around to accommodate the swap. Cameron Stewart switched flanks and Andy Williams went up front. Quite possibly that switch unsettled the Glovers, given that Stewart's new marking duties would almost certainly have involved Gary Sawyer. He received a ball out wide on the left from Will Hoskins and his unchallenged ball into the box was met by a free header from Jo Kuffour to put Rovers 1-0 up right on the stroke of half time. When someone as small as Kuffour gets in a free header, you know your marking has gone astray badly.
A fair bit of rain in the first half turned into heavy rain lashing down in Bristol, for the opening of the second period, coupled with the odd lightning flash. Sadly there wasn't quite so much going on pitch-wise, with Rovers looking comfortable enough to keep the Glovers away from their goal. Yeovil had a 15 minute spell when they almost looked as though they were going to gain ascendancy, but again without those magical chances being created.
Just as things began to fizzle out, the Glovers shot themselves in the foot further by losing a man to a red card. Jean-Paul Kalala had only just been booked for a foul on Chris Lines, when a fairly daft foul on Stuart Campbell was committed. Not an ugly one by any stretch of the imagination, but an easy one for Michael Oliver. All 552 Yeovil fans knew what was coming, and the Glovers were down to 10 men.
Adam Virgo was pushed up front as the Glovers made a double substitution for the final 15 minutes, and again it looked as though that attempt to shake things up was going nowhere. But from a corner in the 89th minute, Virgo headed home for an equalising goal, and what looked to be a bit of a get out of jail card.
Alas, we said in our match preview to expect the unexpected in derby matches against Bristol Rovers. After Rovers appeals for a handball by Nathan Smith from a Wayne Brown shot had been turned down, and with the clock ticking out on 94 minutes, Rovers won a corner, the ball was floated in, and it dropped nicely to Byron Anthony who was able to win the match with more or less the last kick of the game. Barely a chance to kick-off again before referee Michael Oliver blew his whistle.
Neither goalkeeper had to do much throughout the game other than pick the ball out of the net in all honesty, with not too many incisive shots on goal during the 90 minutes. Hence the Glovers may feel that a draw would have been a fairer result. But from the moment Rovers went 1-0 up just before the break, there was too much huffing and puffing by the Yeovil side and the Virgo equaliser came out of the blue. Such a shame that the 10 men couldn't hang on for another 30 seconds.
Final Score: Bristol Rovers 2 Yeovil Town 1.
Scorers: Jo Kuffour (45 mins, 1-0), Adam Virgo (89 mins, 1-1), Byron Anthony (90 mins, 2-1).
1. Mikkel Andersen 15. Byron Anthony 5. Danny Coles 6. James Tunnicliffe 3. Gary Sawyer 7. Stuart Campbell 14. Wayne Brown 4. Chris Lines 11. Jeff Hughes 17. Jo Kuffour 8. Will Hoskins
13. Mike Green (GK) 16. Dominic Blizzard 10. Darryl Duffy 2. Carl Regan 20. Charles Reece 23. Ben Swallow 18. Eliot Richards
1. John Sullivan
2. Craig Alcock 5. Paul Huntington 19. Adam Virgo 3. Nathan Jones
7. Andrew Williams 21. JP Kalala 8. Luke Ayling 15. Cameron Stewart
18. Luke Freeman 9. Sam Williams
22. Ben Roberts (GK) 17. Craig Calver 14. Rob Kiernan (76 mins for Cameron Stewart) 4. Stefan Stam 6. Nathan Smith (43 mins for Luke Freeman) 12. Danny Hutchins 16. Edward Upson (77 mins for Nathan Jones)
Rovers Bookings: Wayne Brown (48 mins, foul), Danny Coles (54 mins, foul)
Yeovil Bookings: Luke Freeman (18 mins, foul), Luke Ayling (38 mins, foul), Adam Virgo (46 mins, handball), Jean-Paul Kalala (76 mins, foul). Red Card: (81 mins, second bookable offence).
Referee: Michael Oliver (Northumberland). Assistants: Mike Cairns (Somerset) and Mick McDonough (Northumberland). Fourth Official: Rob Lewis (Shropshire).
Attendance: 6,438 (including 552 Yeovil fans)