Match Details: 14/01/2012
Yeovil Town 2-1 Tranmere Rovers
npower League One
Yeovil Goals: Joe Edwards (19), Andy Williams (90)
Yeovil Line-Up: 1. Rene Gilmartin, 2. Luke Ayling, 3. Nathan Jones, 4. Bondz N'Gala, 5. Paul Huntington, 7. Andy Williams, 8. Ed Upson, 12. Ryan Dickson, 15. Joe Edwards, 22. Dean Parrett, 29. Jonathan Obika
Subs: 9. Steve MacLean, 10. Gavin Williams, 18. Kieran Agard, 19. Curtis Haynes-Brown, 24. Gareth Stewart,
Substitutes Used: Gavin Williams for Nathan Jones (73 mins)
Bookings: Bondz N'Gala (Foul, 9)
Yeovil Town manager Gary Johnson got a fairy-tale return to Huish Park this afternoon, as his side secured a last minute winner over Tranmere Rovers. The 2-1 win was only decided 94 minutes into a match that the Glovers had largely dominated, but failed to take advantage of the visitors rearguard tactics. Adam McGurk had put the Wirral side into the lead, but Bristol City loan full-back Joe Edwards quickly cancelled that out on his debut. The crowd had to wait until four minutes into injury time for Andy Williams to give Johnson the points he so desperately wanted at the start of his second spell at Huish Park.
Team news saw a radical revamp of the Glovers side, with four changes to the starting line-up. On Tuesday night, Paul Wotton, Gavin Williams, Max Ehmer and Steve MacLean were all in the starting line-up. By Saturday, Wotton was off to Plymouth Argyle, whilst Ehmer was out of the squad as the club's sixth loanee, with Williams and MacLean on the bench. In came Joe Edwards and Dean Parrett for their debuts, whilst Bondz N'Gala and Nathan Jones were recalled to the back line, having come on as substitutes in midweek.
The game got off to a wobbly start despite the first nine minutes having seen the Glovers look lively in their play. A Bondz N'Gala foul earned him a booking wide of the goal area, and when Adam McGurk fired the ball towards the goal, Rene Gilmartin appeared to misjudge the shot, and the ball crept in via his near post to deflate the Glovers crowd, who had earlier cheered Johnson's return, and given warm applause to his assistant Terry Skiverton.
Yeovil were pushing forward in numbers a great deal more than they had been in recent weeks though, and they deservedly equalised 19 minutes into the match. Ryan Dickson's run forced a corner, and Ed Upson's delivery into the box saw Tranmere centre-back Ian Goodison's clearance fall to Joe Edwards on the edge of the box, and the Bristol City defender fired a left footed shot into the corner of the net to allow the 21 year old to score on his debut, and lift the home crowd's spirits.
The Glovers went on to dominate the half, with Dean Parrett and Joe Edwards particularly impressive in the way that they moved forward. Parrett himself wasn't afraid to run at the Tranmere defence, and perhaps the only disappointment was that they didn't go in at half time in the lead, with the new look midfield pressing far better than their opponents, but with one too many final shots from them and the strikers going wide of the target. When they did land on target, visiting keeper Paul Rachubka was in great form, pushing a number of shots around the foot of his post for corners.
The second half saw more of the same, although the balance of the match changed somewhat as Tranmere introduced winger Martin Devaney - a former Cheltenham Town player who Gary Johnson tried to sign during his first spell with the club, only for Devaney to do a u-turn. His influence upon Tranmere's attacking intent combined with some tiring legs amongst Yeovil's side. Hearts were sent fluttering when Robbie Weir's shot came off the inside of the post from distance, but straight back into the grateful arms of Rene Gilmartin, with Tranmere getting a strong 15 minutes period towards the end of the game. Things weren't helped by a lengthy delay caused by referee Simon Hooper suffering a hamstring injury and needing to be replaced, nor by Tranmere employing significant delaying tactics that ultimately led to seven minutes of added time, with one of the linesmen taking over refereeing duties.
Just as it seemed as though the Glovers would have to settle for the point, Ryan Dickson's run down the flank saw him put in a great cross to the back post, where Andy Williams flung himself at the ball, heading into the back of the net to send the supporters in front of him on the home terrace crazy with the match-winning goal. Gary Johnson ran down the touchline high-fiving anyone who got within distance of him, and there was no way back for Tranmere, as the Glovers boss got the perfect end to his day.
There's still a long way to go for the Glovers - they still remain in the relegation zone, although only on goal difference. However, momentum is everything, and it was important that the new management team got off to a good start to give the players the belief that they can get out of it. The newer players impressed significantly, and to get the win in second half injury time will have capped off the best start to Johnson's time back at Huish Park.
Final Score : Yeovil Town 2 Tranmere Rovers 1.
Scorers: Adam McGurk (9 mins, 0-1), Joe Edwards (19 mins, 1-1), Andy Williams (90 mins, 2-1)
Yeovil Town: (4-4-2)
1. Rene Gilmartin
2. Luke Ayling 5. Paul Huntington 4. Bondz N'Gala 3. Nathan Jones
15. Joe Edwards 8. Ed Upson 22. Dean Parrett 12. Ryan Dickson
7. Andy Williams 29. Jon Obika
24. Gareth Stewart (GK) 19. Curtis Haynes-Brown 10. Gavin Williams (73 mins for Nathan Jones) 9. Steven MacLean 18. Kieran Agard
23. Paul Rachubka
15. Danny Holmes 5. Ian Goodison 6. Mark McChrystal 3. Zoumana Bakayogo
8. John Welsh 10. Robbie Weir 12. Ash Taylor 17. Lucas Akins 14. Adam McGurk
9. Mustafa Tiryaki
13. Andy Coughlin (GK) 2. Michael Kay 16. David Buchanan 25. Martin Devaney (59 mins for Lucas Akins) 4. Joss Labadie
Yeovil Bookings: Bondz N'Gala (foul, 9 mins)
Tranmere Bookings: Paul Rachubka (timewasting, 52 mins), Adam McGurk (foul, 87 mins), Mustafa Tiryaki (foul, 90 mins)
Referee: Simon Hooper (Wiltshire). Assistants: Justin Amey (Dorset) and Mark Russell (Bristol). Fourth Official: Adrian Tranter (Dorset).
Attendance: 4,083 (including 133 Tranmere supporters)