Venue: Huish Park
Wed 1st January 2003, 3pm kick-off.

Conditions: Overcast turning to heavy showers
Ground: Near perfect but damp on top – bare in goalmouths.

Nationwide Conference :
Yeovil Town 1 – 0 Forest Green Rovers

Att: 4,692

Referee: Mr K Stroud

Yeovil: None
Forest Green: M.Coupe (28, foul), J.Richardson (51, foul), S.Jenkins (57, foul), K.Langan (63, foul), D.Jones (86, foul).

Line up : (3-4-1-2)

1. Chris Weale

2. Adam Lockwood

4. Terry Skiverton

5. Colin Pluck

10. Nick Crittenden

6. Darren Way

8. Lee Johnson

11. Michael McIndoe

20. Gavin Williams

25. Kirk Jackson

16. Andy Lindegaard

Substitutes: 14. Roy O’Brien (sub 90 for Colin Pluck), 18. Kim Grant, 22. Steven Collis, 24. Abdelhalim El Kholti (sub 77 for Gavin Williams), 26. Jimmy Aggrey (sub 59 for Terry Skiverton)

Forest Green: 1. Steve Perrin 2. Matthew Coupe 25. Jon Richardson 28. Darren Jones 3. Stephen Jenkins 7. Kevin Langan 20. Gary Owers 8. Martin Foster 12. Alex Sykes 9. Neil Grayson 29. Kayode Odejayi
Subs : 10. Alex Meechan (sub 76 for Neil Grayson) 13. Ellis Glassup (GK) 17. Daniel Allen 21. Rob Cook (sub 76 for Kevin Langan) 24. Steven Cowe (sub 77 for Alex Sykes)

Scorers: None

This report courtesy of Noddy Elms:


Forest Green Rovers proved to be stubborn opponents in this New Year’s Day fixture against Yeovil Town. A Huish Park crowd of 4692 saw Yeovil open the brighter and looked likely to score early on but the woodwork came to Forest’s rescue twice in the opening ten minutes. Forest rode their luck but were forced to defend for almost the full ninety minutes. Yeovil failed to repeat that impressive opening spell and had to wait until the 69th minute for their breakthrough, Jackson converting a decisive Crittenden cross. From then on Yeovil never looked anything but victors.

Kirk Jackson had again opened the Yeovil attack with a strong run and shot that forced Steve Perrin, the Forest keeper, to concede the opening corner. At the other end Odejayi soon suggested he would be the threat that had won him Forest’s second goal on Boxing Day. But his first chance this afternoon was sheparded away from danger.

With only six minutes on the clock Jackson showed great control to set up Gavin Williams on the edge of the Forest box. Williams unleashed an accurate shot that had Perrin beaten all ends up. But his shot smacked the foot of the Forest keeper’s right hand post, rolled back across the face of the goal and, fortunately for Forest, rolled away from danger. Two minutes later Lindegaard and Way combined to set up McIndoe on the left. McIndoe’s lob dropped onto the Forest bar, again with Perrin well beaten, but again rolling away from danger.

On ten minutes the busy Lindegaard was again instrumental in creating a good Yeovil opportunity. As Perrin came for a ball Lindegaard pressed the defenders who cleared across the penalty area straight to the waiting Williams. From there Williams should have done better than shoot wide of an open goal.

Williams was today, playing more effectively behind Yeovil’s front two, and enjoyed his more familiar role, weaving his way down the right wing and, after fifteen minutes, into a crowded Forest box. As he cut across one defender he fell, Mr. Stroud waved away the Yeovil penalty appeals. Only a minute passed when Yeovil threatened the Forest goal again. Lindegaard showed great vision and ability to find Pluck in the Forest box, Perrin was off his line quickly to block Pluck’s goal-bound chip.

Forest were always going to create the odd chance. They counter-attacked on 19 minutes when Grayson should have done far better than to shoot well wide. Although always likely to threaten Grayson and Odejayi were far less of a danger than they had been on the sticky Lawn pitch on Boxing Day.

Forest appeared to have ridden their luck and Yeovil opportunities were now less dangerous. But one concluded the Forest defence were becoming more and more stretched as Forest names filled Mr Stroud’s little black book. Lindegaard was a continuous thorn in the Forest side during the first half, being the victim of some rather late Forest tackles, and the cause of two of Forest’s five yellow cards. Yeovil have on the other hand reformed their disciplinary record, this was the third game when no Yeovil bookings were incurred. Colin Pluck was undoubtedly the most fortunate though.

Yeovil continued to dominate and raised their work-rate on thirty minutes. Forest continued to defend well but found it difficult to gain more than a second’s respite as Yeovil persistently pushed forward. Despite almost non-stop domination Yeovil were now restricted to long-range efforts; Way’s shot was well off target and his looping header was also wide of the mark. At the other end Odejayi forced Weale to charge from his goal line to save at the Forest striker’s feet.

Half Time: Yeovil Town 0 Forest Green Rovers 0.

The second half continued in the same fashion; Lindegaard won Yeovil’s first corner. Lee Johnson’s ensuing cross flew across the face of the Forest goal mouth but no-one in a green shirt could apply, what appeared, a relatively easy task, the cross drifting out for a Forest goal-kick.

At the other end Grayson’s persistence, and a touch of good fortune, enabled him to force a good save from Weale. As Forest maintained a period of pressure Yeovil’s defending bordered on the desperate. Skiverton dived into one such melee and subsequently required treatment. It was quickly apparent that he would not continue and was replaced by substitute Jimmy Aggrey.

As the game wore on, tiredness appeared to creep into many legs: Yeovil crosses began to go astray and it became likely that neither team would break the deadlock. Just as that became more and more of a possibility an almost last gasp surge saw Crittenden breaking down the right and swinging in an optimistic ball. Yeovil’s game plan might well have been to build cautiously, and this urgency seemed to catch Forest by surprise, Lindegaard and Kirk JACKSON seemed unmarked in the penalty box. Yeovil’s centre forward did the business and swept Crittenden’s cross smoothly past Perrin’s right hand for, what was to prove, the decisive goal. Yeovil 1 Forest 0.

Yeovil continued to dominate and Williams and McIndoe teased the Forest defence with increased confidence. Williams was brought down to earth as Langan clattered into him. In most circumstances it would have at least warranted a yellow card, but Mr Stroud decided, rightly or wrongly, not to punish the Forest man. It would have been Langan’s second yellow card and his early departure would have been ensured.

Forest introduced their three substitutions on 75 minutes to try and change the imminent outcome and for a short period Yeovil were forced to defend. But they soon regained their domination and in all honesty there was no suggestion that Forest were likely to upset the Yeovil celebrations.

Yeovil used up their full compliment of substitutes and played keep-ball in the corners to run the clock down. However, there was still time for Lindegaard to force Perrin to gather a header destined for his top corner, and to save Jackson’s shot following good work by Crittenden and Johnson.

The three points were assured for the Glovers and their victory was even sweeter when the score from the Deva Stadium was announced. Three points in the bag, clean sheet, and five points clear.

Final Score: Yeovil Town 1 Forest Green Rovers 0.

Noddy Elms

Internet Man of the Match Voting Result:

Player MOTM Score
Darren Way 14 522
Kirk Jackson 11 371
Colin Pluck 3 224
Nick Crittenden 3 146
Adam Lockwood 2 107
Andy Lindegaard 2 98
Chris Weale 2 68
Gavin Williams 2 63
Michael McIndoe 63
Lee Johnson 2 54

Overall match rating: 6.5 / 10
Performance: 6.7
Entertainment: 6.4

41 votes received.