Match Details: 24/09/2016
Yeovil Town 4-2 Cheltenham Town
EFL League Two
Yeovil Goals: Otis Khan (6), Darren Ward (16), Matthew Dolan (45), Tom Eaves (90)
Yeovil Line-Up: 1. Artur Krysiak, 2. Liam Shephard, 3. Nathan Smith, 4. Matthew Dolan, 6. Alex Lacey, 9. Tom Eaves, 10. Otis Khan, 16. Matt Butcher, 23. Ryan Hedges, 26. Darren Ward, 28. Ben Whitfield
Subs: 6. Bevis Mugabi, 8. Alex Lawless, 12. Jonny Maddison, 14. Josh Ezewele, 15. Kyle Copp, 17. Omar Sowunmi, 19. Tahvon Campbell,
Substitutes Used: Alex Lawless for Ben Whitfield (67 mins), Bevis Mugabi for Darren Ward (67 mins)
Bookings: Matthew Dolan (Foul, 73), Matt Butcher (Foul, 78), Liam Shephard (Ungentlemanly Conduct, 90)
Yeovil Town gained their second victory in a row after they defeated Gary Johnson's Cheltenham Town by a 4-2 scoreline at Huish Park. In an action-packed match, the Glovers gained the upper hand right from the start when Otis Khan gave them an early lead, as he followed up an Eaves cross that was spilt by the keeper. They then doubled their lead as Khan turned provider, with his corner headed home by Darren Ward. Cheltenham then began to claw their way back into the game as an Aaron Downes header gave them hope, but Matt Dolan's diving header right on the stroke of half time restored a two goal advantage. The second half was equally eventful, as Billy Waters got on the rebound of a penalty kick that was saved by Artur Krysiak, but the game was polished off by Tom Eaves who netted his fifth goal of the season to lift Yeovil into 19th place.
The Glovers went into the match making just one change to their starting line-up with Ben Whitfield replacing the suspended Kevin Dawson in a like for like swap. With Francois Zoko, Ryan Dickson and Izale McLeod all injured that meant the one change to the bench was the addition of the one spare player, with Kyle Copp getting on the teamsheet. In the Cheltenham side, there were two players with Yeovil connections - James Dayton was a Crystal Palace loanee who played under Russell Slade, whilst Aaron Downes was a trialist under Gary Johnson's second spell with the club, who is now his captain at Whaddon Road.
Yeovil Town got off to a perfect start as they took the lead just six minutes into the match. After Harry Pell had put wide from a corner, it was a goalkeeper error at the other end that helped the Glovers on their way. Tom Eaves put a cross into the box, and Russell Griffiths made a bit of a hash of it, spilling the ball into the path of Otis Khan who made himself room before putting the ball into the back of the net for a 1-0 lead.
Matters got even better with just 16 minutes on the clock. This time Otis Khan turned provider, as he took a corner to the near post, and running in with a well timed header was captain Darren Ward who put his side 2-0 up, leaving Cheltenham looking shaken, to say the least. Griffiths redeemed himself a little by saving from Khan after he made a powerful run, and then Ryan Hedges nearly engineered another goal as his run caused Cheltenham problems, with defender Easah Suliman just about getting in the way of Tom Eaves' follow-up.
No surprise that Gary Johnson wasn't happy. His side looked uncomfortable throughout the opening half hour, and they made a double substitution and a reshuffle, with Billy Waters and Jack Munns coming onto the pitch for Suliman and Jonathan Smith. That seemed to immediately help them stabilise their formation, with James Dayton putting over the bar. Four minutes before half time they got a goal back, as Aaron Downes headed home from a corner, and the worry was that the visitors would get back into the match.
However, Yeovil restored their two goal advantage deep into first half injury time with Otis Khan once again the thorn in Cheltenham's side. His run forced a save from Russell Griffiths, but the ball looped back up in the air, with Matt Dolan producing an improvised diving header from the edge of the box to quickly send the rebound past the prone goalkeeper for a 3-1 half time lead. No doubt that was a crucial goal, as Cheltenham had looked dangerous from their substitution, and if they'd gone in just a goal behind, the second half could have looked very nervy.
That wasn't to say they couldn't make a game of it. Just before the hour mark, Cheltenham managed to reduce the deficit, after they got themselves a penalty. Rob Dickie was pushed inside the box by Tom Eaves, and Danny Wright stepped up for the spot kick. His penalty attempt was well parried by Artur Krysiak, but unfortunately the Robins were far more alert for the rebound, with substitute Billy Waters running in to net the rebound from the loose ball.
Cheltenham never really built up the head of steam that they could have in the closing stages, although the game inevitably became an end-to-end affair. Rob Dickie shot just wide of the target, then at the other end, Yeovil substitute Alex Lawless had a shot well saved by Griffiths who palmed out for a corner. But in the 90th minute they got themselves the goal they needed to give them that breathing space, with Tom Eaves running through for an excellent solo goal, with his legs far more fit to cope with the 90 minutes than the visiting defenders were, scoring his fifth goal of the season for a 4-2 win as he literally dribbled the ball over the line and into the back of the net. Back-to-back wins for the first time in the league this season, and a nice four point cushion on the bottom two, will serve them well as they go into Tuesday night's trip to Cambridge United.
Link: 2016-17 Latest League Two Table.
Final Score: Yeovil Town 4 Cheltenham Town 2.
Scorers: Otis Khan (1-0, 6 mins), Darren Ward (2-0, 16 mins), Aaron Downes (2-1, 41 mins), Matt Dolan (3-1, 45 mins), Billy Waters (3-2, 57 mins), Tom Eaves (4-2, 90 mins)
1. Artur Krysiak
2. Liam Shephard 6. Alex Lacey 26. Darren Ward (Capt) 3. Nathan Smith
28. Ben Whitfield, 16. Matt Butcher, 4. Matt Dolan,
10. Otis Khan, 9. Tom Eaves 23. Ryan Hedges.
Substitutes: 12. Jonny Maddison 6. Bevis Mugabi (67 mins for Darren Ward) 8. Alex Lawless (67 mins for Ben Whitfield) 14. Josh Ezewele 15. Kyle Copp 17. Omar Sowunmi 19. Tahvon Campbell
1. Russell Griffiths
26. Easah Suliman 5. Aaron Downes 6. Daniel Parslow 24. Daniel O'Shaughnessy
27. Jonathan Smith 7. Harry Pell 28. Robert Dickie 17. Jordan Cranston
21. James Dayton
9. Danny Wright
2. Jack Barthram 8. Billy Waters (31 mins for Jonathan Smith) 10. Amari Morgan-Smith 11. Jack Munns (31 mins for Easah Suliman) 12. Calum Kitscha 14. Asa Hall (81 mins for James Dayton) 29. Josh Thomas
Yeovil Bookings: Matt Dolan (foul, 73 mins), Matt Butcher (foul, 78 mins), Liam Shephard (off the ball incident, 90 mins)
Cheltenham Town Bookings: Danny Wright (foul, 90 mins), Harry Pell (off the ball incident, 90 mins)
Yeovil Match Statistics: Possession: 48%; Shots: 12; Shots On Target: 8; Corners: 7; Fouls: 12.
Cheltenham Town Match Statistics: Possession: 52%; Shots: 13; Shots On Target: 6; Corners: 4; Fouls: 13.
Referee: Graham Salisbury (Lancashire). Assistants: Andrew Laver (Hampshire) and Adam Matthews (Gloucestershire). Fourth Official: Mark Derrien (Dorset).
Attendance: 3,448 (with 290 Cheltenham supporters).