Match Details: 09/10/2010
Rochdale 0-1 Yeovil Town
npower League One
Yeovil Goals: Luke Freeman (66)
Yeovil Line-Up: 5. Paul Huntington, 6. Nathan Smith, 8. Luke Ayling, 9. Sam Williams, 11. Andy Welsh, 13. Stephen Henderson, 14. Dean Bowditch, 19. Adam Virgo, 20. Owain Tudur Jones, 24. Gavin Williams, 25. Shaun MacDonald
Subs: 2. Craig Alcock, 7. Andy Williams, 16. Ed Upson, 17. Craig Calver, 18. Luke Freeman, 22. Ben Roberts, 23. Billy Gibson,
Substitutes Used: Andy Williams for Gavin Williams (46 mins), Luke Freeman for Andy Welsh (62 mins), Craig Alcock for Dean Bowditch (79 mins)
Bookings: Nathan Smith (Foul, 90)
Yeovil Town achieved back-to-back away wins for the first time in eighteen months today as they beat Rochdale by a single goal at Spotland. The second 1-0 win in a row, following last week's three points at Walsall was their first away double since the February 2009 pair against Leyton Orient and Peterborough United - former boss Russell Slade's last two games. Striker Luke Freeman was the hero - following up Owain Tudur Jones' attempt that came off the woodwork.
The Glovers went into the match with another unusual statistic - the first time this season that they have managed to select the same starting eleven and same substitutes bench in two matches running. Goalkeeper John Sullivan, midfielder Jean-Paul Kalala and defender Stefan Stam remained out of the squad through injury, whilst Cameron Stewart continued as the sixth loan sat in the stands, barely a couple of miles from his parent club's ground.
The action started in frenetic fashion, with Glovers keeper Stephen Henderson taking a shot straight in the face from Gary Jones that was parried out for a corner, whilst at the other end Sam Williams forced Josh Lillis into a parried save. Rochdale looked lively going forward, and from set pieces, and a Josh Thompson header from a corner whistled just wide of the post as a demonstration of the home side's intent. Both sides were employing fluid formations, with plenty of off-the-ball movement and switching of players, with the home side particularly gifted at doing that.
The half eventually settled down somewhat with the Glovers edging the game in terms of chances. Owain Tudur Jones forced Josh Lillis into a good save, whilst Shaun MacDonald fed Dean Bowditch for another chance. Yeovil's growing confidence was displayed by Adam Virgo's ludicrously long range 45 yard attempt that forced a corner, from which Gavin Williams' delivery almost saw Paul Huntington force the ball home close to the post. Rochdale's main danger was coming from Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro, who was playing as a wide winger-cum-striker down Luke Ayling's flank, weaving his way in and out of the teenager and putting him under a great deal of pressure.
The second half opened with Gavin Williams having to withdraw with a repeat of his ongoing ankle injury, as Andy Williams replaced him out on the right flank. Rochdale started with their tails firmly up, with Akpa Akpro again looking dangerous, but it was the Glovers who created the first big chance, as Sam Williams fired the ball at goal, across the face of the box, with it striking the post, and as Andy Williams slid in for the rebound, he landed in the back of the net, but without the ball.
Rochdale continued to press well, although the Glovers were more incisive throughout the match, and that was proven when they took the lead midway through the second half. Managers always enjoy it when a substitute appears on the field and immediately influences the play, and when Luke Freeman was introduced for Andy Welsh he needed just four minutes to make his mark. Owain Tudur Jones, who had been playing a deeper-than-usual role during the match made a rare venture forward, and his shot on goal struck the woodwork, coming outwards. Freeman was the first to react, slotting the ball home to give the travelling side a valuable lead.
The home side continued to look dangerous, although appeared to take conceding the goal a touch badly, losing their rhythm badly for a five or ten minute spell following the breakthrough. They did gradually get their way back into the game, and the Glovers were indebted to a terrific save by loan keeper Stephen Henderson, who tipped a Craig Dawson header onto the underside of the crossbar, with the ball bouncing just in front of the line.
Deep into injury time, Luke Freeman had appeals for a penalty turned down when he robbied Craig Dawson of the ball and was upended inside the box. That would have potentially sealed the three points, but referee Andy Haines caused fury on the Yeovil bench by waving away their side's protests. In the end though it didn't matter, allowing both the team and an away end that included former Glover Lee Johnson amongst their travelling numbers, to celebrate a rise up to 16th place in the League One table and a win that now gives them a three game unbeaten run. Somehow losing at Notts County and Huddersfield Town feels a bit of a world away now.
Link: 2010-11 Latest League One Table.
Final Score: Rochdale 0 Yeovil Town 1.
Scorers: Luke Freeman (0-1, 66 mins)
Yeovil Town (4-4-2):
13. Stephen Henderson
8. Luke Ayling 5. Paul Huntington 19. Adam Virgo 6. Nathan Smith
24. Gavin Williams 20. Owain Tudur Jones 25. Shaun MacDonald 11. Andy Welsh
9. Sam Williams 10. Dean Bowditch
22. Ben Roberts (GK) 7. Andy Williams (46 mins for Gavin Williams) 2. Craig Alcock (79 mins for Dean Bowditch) 16. Edward Upson 17. Craig Calver 18. Luke Freeman (62 mins for Andy Welsh) 23. Billy Gibson
1. Josh Lillis
18. Josh Thompson 4. Marcus Holness 26. Craig Dawson 3. Joe Widdowson
6. Brian Barry-Murphy
8. Gary Jones 7. Jason Kennedy
15. Joe Thompson 19. Chris O'Grady 14. Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro
31. Ryan Jones (GK) 16. Andrew Tutte 28. Matthew Flynn 11. Matt Done (76 mins for Josh Thompson) 12. Alan Goodall 9. Anthony Elding (79 mins for Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro) 17. Deane Smalley (56 mins for Joe Thompson)
Rochdale Bookings: Craig Dawson (foul, 22 mins), Joe Widdowson (foul, 70 mins), Matt Done (foul, 87 mins)
Yeovil Bookings: Nathan Smith (foul, 90 mins)
Referee: Andy Haines (Tyne and Wear). Assistants: Martin Coy (Durham) and Anthony Tankard (South Yorkshire). Fourth Official: Jason Whiteley (West Yorkshire).
Attendance: 3,150 (including approx 200 Yeovil fans)