Venue: Huish Park
Sat 19th October 2002, 3pm kick-off.

Conditions: Sunny following early frost.
Ground: Perfect.

Nationwide Conference :
Yeovil Town 1 – 1 Doncaster Rovers

Att: 6,674

Referee: Mr G Singh

Yeovil: Pluck (36, unsporting behaviour), Crittenden (40, dissent)
Doncaster: Marples (17, unsporting behaviour), Morley (34, unsporting behaviour), Albrighton (78, unsporting behaviour)

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

12. Jon Sheffield

2. Adam Lockwood

14. Roy O’Brien

5. Colin Pluck

10. Nick Crittenden

6. Darren Way

8. Lee Johnson

11. Michael McIndoe

20. Gavin Williams

16. Andy Lindegaard

23. Howard Forinton

Substitutes: 1. Chris Weale, 4. Terry Skiverton (45, for Pluck), 9. Carl Alford (81, for Lindegaard), 12. Chris Giles, 19. Abdoulai Demba (58, for Forinton)

Doncaster Rovers: (3-5-2) 1. Andy Warrington, 2. Simon Marples, 3. Tim Ryan, 4. David Morley, 5. Dean Barrick, 6. Mark Albrighton, 28. Danny Hudson, 27. Ben Muirhead, 14. Andy Watson, 9. Paul Barnes, 10. Justin Jackson
Subs : 11. Jamie Paterson (62, for Muirhead), 13. Stuart Nelson, 15. Robert Gill. 18. Jamie Price (73, for Watson), 23. Stephen Foster

Scorers: Danny Hudson (1, 0-1), Gavin WILLIAMS (15, 1-1)


This report courtesy of Noddy Elms:

Yeovil Town and Doncaster Rovers played out this top-of-the-table encounter in front of the season’s best Conference gate of 6675 at Huish Park. Yeovil Town failed to repeat their usual demolition display against a capable, solid, and often dangerous Doncaster Rovers side. Neither team will be happy to “drop” two points, but both teams will have reason to celebrate this afternoon’s events: Doncaster will be happy to have visited Huish Park and maintained a five-point deficit, rather than slipping three points behind; Yeovil will be happy to have increased their points advantage at the top of the table, due to Chester’s failure at Woking. More importantly Yeovil will be happy to maintain their unbeaten record: not losing, as well as winning, is a habit – and Yeovil are keen to maintain that habit. That said: it took a strike of supreme Williams class to draw Yeovil back on level terms.

Gary Johnson was faced with the unenviable choice of reinstating leading goal-scorers, club captain Terry Skiverton, after suspension, and Abdoulai Demba, after injury, or sticking with the same line-up responsible for demolishing Telford just six days earlier. At the end of the day, the Gaffer went with the previous week’s team. But after a minutes play he may have regretted that decision.

After a kick-off delayed by fifteen minutes due to crowd congestion Doncaster got off to the perfect start: opening the scoring in the first minute. The Yeovil defence back-peddled as the first Doncaster attack swarmed forward. Their first strike on goal, by Danny HUDSON, deflected off a Yeovil defender’s leg and as John Sheffield had committed himself to his left, the ball dribbled off to the right and ended up nestling at the bottom of the Yeovil goal: Yeovil 0 Doncaster 1. Huish Park had begun to believe itself invincible and the sense of disbelief around the ground could be felt.

For a few minutes Yeovil were disjointed. Doncaster forced the first corner of the game; Roy O’Brien needed to be on hand to cut out a Doncaster attack. But Yeovil worked their way back into the game: Crittenden winning Yeovil’s first free kick on the edge of the Doncaster box, McIndoe’s cross was headed closely over by Lindegaard.

By the twelfth minute Yeovil were on top, putting together multi-man moves: Forinton and Lindegaard combined for the later to strike, but Warrington took his shot with ease. Two minutes later Lindegaard played in Crittenden, but the Doncaster defence shepherded the danger away for a Yeovil throw. From the throw the ball was fed to Gavin WILLIAMS who moved forwards and from twenty-two yards unleashed a shot of supreme accuracy. Donny keeper, Warrington, with all of his six foot thirteen height advantage was unable to get close with a fingertip, let alone keep the ball out of the net. As the ball ricocheted off the right angle the Main Stand briefly wondered who would be following up, but the short was of impeccable accuracy and was safely cradled under the goal netting. Yeovil 1 Doncaster 1.

The remainder of the half provided opportunities for both sides, Yeovil defended nervously and tended to defend deep and throw up the long ball, Doncaster relied on the occasional counter-attack. Yeovil have been perfect at working the ball into the box in recent weeks, so it was somewhat disappointing to see them revert, unsuccessfully, to the typical Conference approach.

McIndoe won a free kick in the Doncaster half, but Johnson’s curling cross drifted wide of the far post with no Yeovil striker getting a decisive touch. When Yeovil played football it was invariably through Williams, but by now, Doncaster were fearful of Williams’ ability, and ably shepherded him away to the wings, and away from danger.

Despite Yeovil enjoying the majority of the control, Doncaster showed that they were dangerous when breaking, Yeovil had Pluck to thank for clearing a left wing attack: a perfect low cross to the far post was initially blocked by Pluck. The ball fell behind him and it was fortunate that he regained his bearings before any Doncaster striker could capitalise further.

At the other end Williams and Lindegaard set up McIndoe, but the Yeovil captain was unable to create enough space for a decisive shot. Mr. Singh, admired in previous appearances, reiterated the fallacy that flattery will get you anywhere as he continually blotted his copy-book by following the policy of: “if there is a foul in the penalty area – give a free kick against the attacker”. Time and time again Forinton was manhandled in the box, only to be penalised for “backing-in”. What a cop out.

As the first half draw to its conclusion it was Pluck, then O’Brien, who were called into action to produce last ditch tackles to keep Doncaster at bay.

The final action of the first half was acted out in the Doncaster box: Firstly, Lindegaard’s trickery winning a free kick that Lee Johnson again curled past the far post. Secondly, Lindegaard used his speed to beat Warrington to a McIndoe through-ball, but Lindy’s touch and speed had taken him wide and his shot from a tight angle was off target.

Half Time: Yeovil Town 1 Doncaster Rovers 1.

At the start of the second half Yeovil replaced the struggling Puck with Skiverton. Immediately Skivvo was in action, not in defence, but in the Doncaster penalty area. Yeovil started the second half looking to snatch the all-important winner. They were, for the first fifteen minutes, over Doncaster like the proverbial rash: much pressure, and many corners culminating in firstly Skiverton, then Lockwood, heading in on goal. But Doncaster held firm. They rode their luck and appeared eventually happy to settle for the draw.

Demba replaced Forinton on 57 minutes but Doncaster were by now defending deep, consequently his pace was less of a threat. Despite Yeovil maintaining the greater level of possession Way and Johnson were unable to find Demba with their crosses and utilise his height.

On the counter-attack Doncaster looked dangerous: Sheffield pulled off an incredible right-handed save from Albrighton’s deflected header.

On eighty minutes McIndoe’s free kick found Crittenden on the right wing: he beat Paterson to centre for Lindegaard at the near post. Unfortunately, the cross was slightly behind the Yeovil striker and his header looped over the Doncaster bar rather than powering goal-ward. That was the last action for Lindy, Alford replaced him a minute later. The last few minutes saw Alford volley a Crittenden cross at the back post but, again, the Doncaster defence blocked well.

Full Time: Yeovil Town 1 Doncaster Rovers 1.

At the end of the day Yeovil were always guaranteed to be at the top of the league – that is supremely important. In avoiding defeat they maintained their advantage over Doncaster. With Chester stumbling over recent weeks Doncaster now appear to be the major threat. Yeovil have a good record against Doncaster with two draws at Huish Park and two wins at Belle Vue last season. So who knows what will happen later on in the season? Yeovil were not the same side that thrashed Southport or Telford, they reverted to, or were forced to revert to the typical Conference long ball game. With the players on the park today that is not appropriate. Yeovil may have maintained possession but they conceded domination. That, if anything, is of concern.

Noddy Elms

Internet Man of the Match Result:

Player MOTM Score
Gavin Williams 21 556
Roy O’Brien 10 372
Michael McIndoe 7 224
Colin Pluck 5 168
Adam Lockwood 4 148
Andy Lindegaard 1 80
Jon Sheffield 1 76
Darren Way 1 60

Overall match rating: 6.9 / 10
Performance: 6.7
Entertainment: 7.2

50 votes received.