Match Details: 02/04/2011
Yeovil Town 0-1 Bristol Rovers
npower League One
Yeovil Line-Up: 2. Craig Alcock, 5. Paul Huntington, 10. Dean Bowditch, 11. Andy Welsh, 12. Oli Johnson, 13. Stephen Henderson, 14. Max Ehmer, 19. Adam Virgo, 20. Paul Wotton, 24. Shaun MacDonald, 29. Jonathan Obika
Subs: 6. Nathan Smith, 7. Andy Williams, 8. Luke Ayling, 9. Sam Williams, 15. Alex Russell, 16. Ed Upson, 26. Gareth Stewart,
Substitutes Used: Andy Williams for Oli Johnson (72 mins), Alex Russell for Paul Wotton (75 mins), Sam Williams for Max Ehmer (87 mins)
Bookings: Paul Wotton (Foul, 65)
Yeovil Town crashed to a home defeat against relegation rivals Bristol Rovers this afternoon to leave them still a win short of the magical 50 points mark. Rovers substitute Gavin Williams, who has brought so much joy to Glovers fans across his three spells with the club, did the damage as he came off the bench to net from close range 14 minutes from time. But the Glovers only had themselves to blame by missing a glut of first half chances that could have put themselves out of sight earlier in the match.
Team news saw Terry Skiverton choose an unchanged squad, including the line-up, and given that they went into the game with three wins in a row, who could blame him? The 3-5-2 was preserved, and Rovers struggled badly to pick up Oli Johnson in the early stages, with his role in the hole allowing him plenty of space to move and collect the ball in several good attacking moves. Johnson himself got Yeovil's first attacking attempt - a shot on the angle that visiting keeper Conrad Logan did well to save, but Johnson should have buried.
That set the scene for a series of great first half opportunities. As the Glovers capitalised on almost every loose second ball in the middle of the park, an Andy Welsh free kick routine saw Logan save again, then came a couple of real killer chances. Jonathan Obika screwed wide in front of an open goal although mercifully for him it wouldn't have counted as Dean Bowditch's cross had seen the ball run out of play. However, there were fewer excuses for Oli Johnson as he sliced wide a Craig Alcock ball across the face of the box - perhaps he was stretching for the ball, but with Logan having been forced to his near post it should have been buried.
As the half closed, Rovers began to get a better grip on cutting out the supply to Oli Johnson, but without really getting a hold on the game itself. Harry Pell's hopeful tumble in the box looked little more than a dive, whilst at the other end, referee Neil Swarbrick correctly called Dean Bowditch's loss of footing in the box as nothing worthy of a spot kick. The final moment of the half saw Paul Wotton screw the ball inches wide of the post as he shot from the edge of the box, and that really summed up Yeovil's half - so near and yet so far, with the scoreline holding at 0-0.
The second period opened much like the first, with an Andy Welsh cross into the box seeing Craig Alcock's near post header crash against the underside of the bar and come straight back out again. But this was a much better half from the visitors, in truth, and they managed their first proper on target shot of the game just short of the hour mark when Chris Lines produced a powerful swirling free kick pot shot at Stephen Henderson, who punched the ball away to clear his goal.
On the hour mark, Gavin Williams was introduced to the game as a substitute, with warm applause from the home supporters for the service he has given them over the years. But still Yeovil pressed, with Adam Virgo going close as Logan turned his stooped header around the post from a corner, as another Andy Welsh delivery threatened their goal.
However, Yeovil were to be left ruing their pressure, as with 16 minutes left, Rovers finally got in behind the Yeovil defence with real incisiveness. James Tunnicliffe fed Will Hoskins down their left flank and Rovers' leading goalscorer skinned Paul Huntington close to the byline, before putting in a near post low cross, which Gavin Williams converted from close range right in front of the fans who used to adore him. To his credit, Williams refused to celebrate, even though his team-mates piled in on top of him in their own extended celebration.
The question was whether the Glovers could break down their opponents following the goal, and Rovers switched immediately to a 4-5-1 following the goal, and then switched again, taking off striker Jo Kuffour for defender David McCracken for a big loud siren call for what they planned to do during the final 15 minutes. Even though Yeovil themselves reacted by replacing defender Max Ehmer for striker Sam Williams to push three up front in the closing stages, it never really happened - there was a bit too much 'headless chicken' from an increasingly desperate Yeovil side, who were getting blocked off by the Rovers rearguard. A little more patience and application might have bought them the equaliser, but instead it was Rovers who gained the three valuable points. Yeovil's wait for their own 50 point target will have to wait an extra week at least.
Link: 2010-11 Latest League One Table.
Final Score: Yeovil Town 0 Bristol Rovers 1.
Scorer: Gavin Williams (0-1, 76 mins)
Yeovil Town: (3-5-2)
13. Stephen Henderson
5. Paul Huntington 19. Adam Virgo 14. Max Ehmer
2. Craig Alcock 24. Shaun MacDonald 20. Paul Wotton 11. Andy Welsh
12. Oli Johnson
10. Dean Bowditch 29. Jonathan Obika
26. Gareth Stewart (GK) 6. Nathan Smith 7. Andrew Williams (72 mins for Oli Johnson) 8. Luke Ayling 9. Sam Williams (87 mins for Max Ehmer) 15. Alex Russell (75 mins for Paul Wotton) 16. Ed Upson
36. Conrad Logan
37. Danny Senda 15. Byron Anthony 5. Danny Coles 6. James Tunnicliffe
22. Harry Pell 7. Stuart Campbell 4. Chris Lines 11. Jeff Hughes
17. Jo Kuffour 8. Will Hoskins
13. Mike Green (GK) 14. Wayne Brown (90 mins for Stuart Campbell) 35. Gavin Williams (61 mins for Harry Pell) 18. Eliot Richards 19. Reggie Lambe 31. David McCracken (85 mins for Jo Kuffour) 20. Charles Reece
Yeovil Bookings: Paul Wotton (65 mins, foul)
Rovers Bookings: Danny Coles (71 mins, dissent)
Referee: Neil Swarbrick (Lancashire). Assistants: Charles Breakspear (Surrey) and Andy Turner (Devon). Fourth Official: Andrew Bennett (Devon).
Attendance: 6,281 (including 1,739 Rovers fans).