Match Details: 15/08/2015
Yeovil Town 0-1 Bristol Rovers
Skybet League Two
Yeovil Line-Up: 1. Artur Krysiak, 3. Nathan Smith, 4. Matthew Dolan, 5. Stephen Arthurworrey, 6. Jakub Sokolík, 9. Ryan Bird, 20. Wes Fogden, 21. Alex Lacey, 22. Mark Beck, 23. Harry Cornick, 24. Connor Roberts
Subs: 10. Shaun Jeffers, 12. Chris Weale, 14. Jack Compton, 16. Jamie Burrows, 19. Iffy Allen,
Substitutes Used: Shaun Jeffers for Harry Cornick (63 mins), Jamie Burrows for Mark Beck (78 mins)
Bookings: Matthew Dolan (Ungentlemanly Conduct, 17),
Yeovil Town went down to their third consecutive defeat of the 2015-16 season this afternoon, but it took a single late goal for them to lose out against local rivals Bristol Rovers. The match was sealed by an Ellis Harrison strike just two minutes from time after the Glovers were forced to play the final 25 minutes with ten men, with Matt Dolan's red card coming as the result of two bookable offences. Even with eleven men, Artur Krysiak had to be at his best throughout the match, but that turned the screw further - he couldn't quite block out for the full 90 minutes, leaving the Glovers still looking for their first points on the board in the new campaign.
The Glovers went into the match making three changes to their line-up. One of those was forced, with midfielder Marc Laird out with a torn hamstring and replaced by Wes Fogden. Shaun Jeffers and Iffy Allen dropped out of the side and were replaced by big front pairing Mark Beck and Ryan Bird, as Yeovil headed back to a 4-4-2 and two target men to aim at. Alex Lacey moved into midfield, having played part of the second half there during midweek.
An extremely quiet opening 15 minutes showed Bristol Rovers as slightly the better side, albeit without any serious chances. However, as the half wore on, it became plain which team was on top. Ellis Harrison's shot was parried by Artur Krysiak for a corner, and then the Polish keeper had to be at his best when he pushed an Ollie Clarke attempt over the crossbar. It took Yeovil half an hour to have their first chance of the game - an Alex Lacey header that went wide of the target from a Harry Cornick cross. But other than a Matt Dolan free kick that went into the wall that was as good as it got.
As the half wore on, the game began to turn into the Artur Krysiak show. Chances fell for former Glovers trialist James Clarke, and from former loanee Tom Parkes who headed wide. Then during injury time, Krysiak saved superbly from Matty Taylor to keep the scores level at the break. That was probably the most positive aspect of the 45 minutes - that the home side had stayed firm in terms of their defending, but on the balance of play they had not shown much to get excited about.
The second period opened up with Yeovil matching up Rovers in terms of their formation, as Alex Lacey dropped into defence, whilst Connor Roberts and Nathan Smith converted to wingbacks. Ryan Bird acted as the player in the hole in a 3-4-1-2 formation, as Harry Cornick went up front. As with their previous two matches, the half time break seemed to do the Glovers good, with Matt Dolan producing a good save out of Aaron Chapman after Bird had set him up.
But Dolan's positive contribution in the second half was followed by a negative one with 25 minutes remaining, after he committed a foul on Daniel Leadbitter. Nothing particularly outrageous about the tackle, except that the midfielder was already on a yellow for blocking off a first half free kick, and referee Brendan Malone didn't hesitate too much in sending him off the pitch. That was to change the pattern of the half, with Ryan Bird being forced into playing a full midfield role to cover the loss of Dolan. Rovers brought on wingers to try to force the issue and gain all three points.
During the closing stages, Krysiak was once again forced into a string of saves, parrying from Ellis Harrison's shot for a corner, seeing a Tom Parkes header go over the bar. Harrison then saw another shot parried by Harrison for another set piece, whilst Daniel Leadbitter - booed every time he touched the ball for his role in Dolan's red card - saw his cross/shot deflected for another corner.
With two minutes remaining, Rovers finally got their breakthrough, shortly after a Stuart Sinclair shot was blocked. Substitute Jeffrey Monakana's cross was played into the path of Ellis Harrison and the striker's shot into the back of the net was hit with enough quality to ensure that not even Artur Krysiak's sparking form could stop the ball from hitting the back of the net. 0-1 down, with two minutes left, and with all the play being in one direction for much of the game, not enough time to turn that around and threaten an equaliser at any stage after the goal. The result was undoubtedly a fair result and although it's early days in the season, Yeovil will need to improve their game radically from what they served up today.
Link: 2014-15 Latest League Two Table.
Final Score: Yeovil Town 0 Bristol Rovers 1.
Scorers: Ellis Harrison (0-1, 88 mins)
1. Artur Krysiak
24. Connor Roberts 5. Stephen Arthurworrey 6. Jakub Sokolik 3. Nathan Smith (Captain)
23. Harry Cornick 21. Alex Lacey 4. Matthew Dolan 20. Wes Fogden
9. Ryan Bird 22. Mark Beck
12. Chris Weale 10. Shaun Jeffers (63 mins for Harry Cornick) 14. Jack Compton 16. Jamie Burrows (78 mins for Mark Beck) 19. Iffy Allen
30. Aaron Chapman
15. James Clarke 6. Tom Parkes 4. Tom Lockyer
2. Daniel Leadbitter 14. Chris Lines 24. Stuart Sinclair 8. Ollie Clarke 3. Lee Brown
9. Ellis Harrison 10. Matty Taylor
11. Jake Gosling 17. Jermaine Easter (67 mins for Matty Taylor) 21. Cristian Montano (75 mins for Tom Lockyer) 22. Kieran Preston 23. Billy Bodin 28. Jay Malpas 29. Jeffrey Monakana (75 mins for Ollie Clarke)
Yeovil Bookings: Matt Dolan (obstructing a free kick, 17 mins). Red Card: Matt Dolan (second bookable offence, 65 mins).
Bristol Rovers Bookings: None.
Yeovil Match Statistics: Possession: 33%; Shots: 4; Shots On Target: 1; Corners: 3; Fouls: 9.
Bristol Rovers Match Statistics: Possession: 67%; Shots: 16; Shots On Target: 8; Corners: 11; Fouls: 7.
Referee: Brendan Malone (Wiltshire). Assistants: Nigel Smith (Derbyshire) and Andrew Quin (Devon). Fourth Official: Adrian Tranter (Dorset).
Attendance: 5,895 (with 2,038 Bristol Rovers supporters).