Venue: The Lawn
Thurs 26th December 2002, 3pm kick-off.

Conditions: Warm and wet
Ground: Soggy and clinging

Nationwide Conference :
Forest Green Rovers 2 – 1 Yeovil Town

Att: 1,836 (including 648 Yeovil supporters on the away terraces).

Referee: Mr L Probert
Assisted By: Mr J Cox and Mr K Johnson.

Yeovil: Pluck (41, foul), Grant (83, handball)
Forest Green Rovers:

Line up : (4-4-2)

1. Chris Weale

14. Roy O’Brien

2. Adam Lockwood

4. Terry Skiverton

5. Colin Pluck

10. Nick Crittenden

6. Darren Way

8. Lee Johnson

11. Michael McIndoe

25. Kirk Jackson

20. Gavin Williams

Substitutes: 22. Steven Collis, 16. Andy Lindegaard, 18. Kim Grant (69, for Jackson), 24. Abdelhalim El Kholti (31, for O’Brien), 26. Jimmy Aggrey

Forest Green: 1. Steve Perrin, 28. Darren Jones, 25. Jon Richardson, 3. Stephen Jenkins, 27. Matthew Russell, 7. Kevin Langan, 20. Gary Owers, 8. Martin Foster, 12. Alex Sykes, 9. Neil Grayson, 29. Kayode Odejayi
Subs : 13. Ellis Glassup, 24. Steven Cowe, 10. Alex Meechan, 34. Ben Cleverley (70, for Sykes), 2. Matthew Coupe

Scorers: Terry Skiverton o.g. (1-0), Kayode Odejayi (40, 2-0), Terry Skiverton (90, 2-1)

This report courtesy of Tony Elbourn:

Too much turkey and Christmas pud? Whatever the excuse, Yeovil lacked drive and flair for the first half of this game. The Glovers struggled to put passes together, resorting to hoofing the ball upfield from the start. On the other hand Forest Green pushed the ball around purposefully and showed great determination to gain and maintain possession.

After just three minutes Terry Skiverton failed to connect with an inswinging corner at the far post of an open goal. Ten minutes later Gavin Williams came close to scoring when the Forest Green defence momentarily showed confusion after a swift free kick and allowed Williams to thread his way through. Towards the half hour a Michael McIndoe free kick floated across the goal and Lockwood appeared to have been pushed over, but the referee waved play on. Forest Green then launched a couple of fast attacks that ended with a cross being lanced into his own goal by the outstretched foot of Terry Skiverton.

The goal inspired Forest Green to up the pressure. Yeovil obliged by falling back, even though Roy O’Brien was replaced by Abdelhalim El Kholti. On 37 minutes Neil Grayson rattled the woodwork, and three minutes later a powerful run by Martin Foster launched Kayode Odejayi on his own run, Adam Lockwood failed to put the tackle in and Odejayi slotted the ball under Chris Weale.

On the stroke of half time Michael McIndoe’s shot ricocheted off a packed defensive line and fell just short of Kirk Jackson’s boot. The subsequent goal kick found Kayode Odejayi, who ran round Nick Crittenden and Chris Weale, leaving Lee Johnson to clear off the line.

Half Time: Forest Green Rovers 2 Yeovil Town 0.

Play re-started at an increased tempo, Yeovil exerting considerable pressure in the next 30 minutes but lacking the final touch. Forest Green launched several fast counter-attacks during this period. On the hour a fine run by Michael McIndoe ended with a cross and an open goal, but no-one was there to tap the ball in. Five minutes later Gavin Williams’ shot was saved by Steve Perrin, and the subsequent fast break needed a close-range save by Chris Weale from Kayode Odejayi to prevent Forest Green increasing their lead. With a quarter of an hour to go Michael McIndoe’s shot was cleared from a crowded goalmouth, and a few minutes later a run by Kim Grant and then Michael McIndoe came close to scoring.

By now Yeovil had started using the long ball again, and Forest Green had brought themselves back into the game, but on 89 minutes Terry Skiverton headed home a free kick to liven the final moments up. The pitch was so slippery at this stage that the game began to resemble mud wrestling more than football. Two minutes into stoppage time there was a huge pile up in the Forest Green goalmouth as shot after shot was cleared away, but it was Forest Green who launched the last attack of the game, appropriately through Kayode Odejayi, who took on and beat two defenders and was only denied by a fine save from Chris Weale.

Full Time: Forest Green Rovers 2 Yeovil Town 1.