Venue: Memorial Stadium
Tues 19th Oct 2004, 7.45pm kick-off.


Scorers: Paul Terry (27, 0-1), Gavin Williams (57, 0-2), James Hunt (64, 1-2), Junior Agogo (86, 2-2)

Attendance: 9,295 (including 1,100 Glovers fans)

Referee: Phil Crossley (Kent)
Assistants: Bob Desmond (Wiltshire); Richard Smith (West Midlands)

Yeovil: Michael Rose (25, foul), Colin Miles (78, foul), Gavin Williams (84, timewasting)
Bristol Rovers: Christian Edwards (38, foul), Junior Agogo (87, dissent). Red card: Dave Savage (45, violent conduct), Steve Elliott (45, violent conduct)

Yeovil Town : (4-4-2)
1. Chris Weale
14. Roy O’Brien 25. Liam Fontaine 5. Colin Miles 3. Michael Rose
7. Paul Terry 6. Darren Way 8. Lee Johnson 20. Gavin Williams
11. Phil Jevons 27. Andrejs Stolcers

Subs: 13. Steven Collis (GK) 9. Kevin Gall (79, for Terry) 10. Adrian Caceres (90, for Rose) 16. Andy Lindegaard 18. Bartosz Tarachulski (79, for Stolcers)

Bristol Rovers :
1. Kevin Miller 19. Alistair Gibb 5. Christian Edwards 14. John Anderson 6. Steve Elliott 3. Robert Ryan 15. David Savage 8. James Hunt 32. Aaron Lescott 9. Junior Agogo 17. Richard Walker

Subs: 2. Craig Hinton (45, for Walker) 7. Stuart Campbell (41, for Gibb) 10. Lee Thorpe (85, for Lescott) 11. Jamie Forrester 20. Craig Disley

Robin Evans’ View of the Game

As usual, defensive selection issues dominated Gary Johnson’s thinking with Terry Skiverton the latest to join the treatment table. That meant for a slight gamble with Colin Miles getting a starting place despite having played little football this season, with Roy O’Brien moving out to the right-back slot and Paul Terry going up the flank. That meant that Kevin Gall was sacrificed for a match against his old club.

A busy start by both sides saw the midfields battle it out without anything much happening to bother either keeper. Colin Miles gave Richard Walker half a chance when he cleared a ball straight to the Rovers striker but Roy O’Brien did well to close Walker down and stop any chance of a shot on goal. Yeovil were far too guilty of conceding free kicks in dangerous positions but thankfully Rovers were doing little with them.

Rovers were predictably playing the Atkins brand of football with long balls being punted up for the two strikers, though most were being dealt with efficiently by the Yeovil back line or going out for goal kicks. A very eerie atmosphere for a local derby was developing with both sets of supporters waiting to see who would come out on top of the midfield scrap to the extent that players voices could clearly be heard over the 9,200 strong crowd.

The first clear-cut chance though came the visitors way. Gavin Williams cut in from his left wing position, and chipped a cross-cum-shot that Kevin Miller could only get his finger-tips to, and when Andrejs Stolcers tried to follow-up the loose ball, Robert Ryan was forced to clear off his own goal-line.

As the game headed towards the half hour mark though, Yeovil worked their way into a deserved lead. Phil Jevons fired a low ball across the face of the Rovers penalty area, Andrejs Stolcers pulled the ball back and as the Rovers defence watched and admired, Paul TERRY fired through a crowd of players from 10 yards to put Yeovil 1-0 up.

They say teams are at their most vulnerable after scoring, so it was fortunate that Chris Weale was alert to his first save of the evening, after Richard Walker squeezed around a Yeovil defender to poke an eight yard shot towards goal. Wealey grabbed the ball at the second attempt.

But it was Yeovil looking the stronger following the goal. Gavin Williams was given the freedom of Bristol when he got the ball just outside the home side’s penalty area, having time to pick his spot, and only a finger-tip save for a justifiably furious Miller stopped Yeovil doubling the lead.

At the other end, Junior Agogo almost netted from an acute angle, but Paul Terry anticipated the chip shot well by heading the ball away from his own goal-line, with James Hunt spooning the loose ball well wide of goal.

As half-time approached though, the pattern and atmosphere of the game changed radically over the course of two consecutive pieces of play separated by six minutes of injury time. For a local derby all seemed to be fairly well controlled until Rovers midfielder Dave Savage decided he wanted to extract the shirt of Gavin Williams a little earlier than the full time whistle. As the referee blew for a free kick, Savage lunged at Williams, catching him a punch on the side of the head and resulting in a melee involving both sides and their respective benches. The end result was obvious – a red card for Savage – with referee Phil Crossley deciding not to penalise any of the other players involved.

Straight from the free kick, and clearly Steve Elliott hadn’t taken enough deep breaths from his involvement in the mass free-for-all. As the aerial ball came down, Elliott lost his head and gave Phil Jevons a clear elbow. When Jevons fell to the floor, up went the linesman’s flag and a second free-for-all erupted. The only debating point was whether referee Crossley would have the bottle to issue his second red card but following consultation with his linesman the Kent official made his decision clear and Rovers were down to nine men.

There was an evil atmosphere around the Memorial Stadium with Rovers fans inexplicably blaming the match officials for their players ill-discipline. Missiles were thrown onto the pitch and two Rovers fans chose to invade the pitch, eventually being escorted from the ground by stewards. Ten minutes of “injury time” later and with chaos reigning, referee Crossley thankfully decided to give everyone 15 minutes to cool down by taking the teams in for the break.

Half-time:  Bristol Rovers 0 Yeovil Town 1

Announcements over the tannoy system at half time heard a Rovers official pleading with their supporters for calm, with the club only having recently been investigated by the FA for missiles being thrown at Oxford United keeper Chris Tardif in a recent league match. But the Rovers fans seemed to pay little heed with Chris Weale appearing to have objects thrown at him as he arrived at the Blackthorne End.

Doubtless there were appeals for calm inside both dressing rooms and Rovers reorganised opting for a 4-3-1 formation to attempt to put men behind the ball, leaving Junior Agogo as the lone man to receive their long belts up field.

Yeovil unsurprisingly had the lion’s share of the position, and there was perhaps a little too much sideways passing rather than trying to get in behind their hosts but all of that seemed not to matter when Gavin WILLIAMS produced a real quality 20 yard curler into the bottom corner on 57 minutes to make it 2-0. Now the Glovers would be able to turn on the style and stick the knife in on their hosts … or so you would have thought.

Again the sideways passing persisted, with Yeovil strolling about as if they were in a training ground match. But at the other end, Rovers were winning free kicks largely though Agogo reacting to any vague challenge put in by the Yeovil defence. One such set play saw the strike disappear under the Yeovil wall but thankfully wide of the post.

The alarm bells were ringing though, seven minutes after the Williams strike. Pumping one of their familiar 60 yard balls up field, Michael Rose misjudged the flight of the ball allowing Junior Agogo to get in behind him. And as the former Barnet striker brought the ball to the by-line, a low cross saw James HUNT sweep the ball home from close range to make it 2-1.

Phil Jevons got the ball into the net immediately afterwards only to find it chalked off for an off-side flag. But Yeovil were becoming far too tentative in their approach, staggeringly backing off the Rovers nine and looking distinctly uncomfortable at the long-ball tactics. One such case saw a 70-yard Kevin Miller ball trapped by Agogo, who turned and shot wide.

With time marching on but Yeovil’s tempo on the game winding down to walking pace, Gary Johnson decided it was time to liven the play up with Kevin Gall and Bartosz Tarachulski doing one-for-one positional swaps with Paul Terry and Andrejs Stolcers. Gally immediately livened up proceedings with a couple of right wing crosses but with no-one on the end to meet them.

Six minutes from time though, disaster struck. After Agogo won another free kick, Gavin Williams kicked the ball away, and despite his hurried attempts to retrieve it, referee Crossley booked him for the offence and advanced the free kick into a more dangerous position. From that set-piece, Yeovil failed to clear their lines, and allowed Junior AGOGO two bites of the cherry before he was able to finally stab a loose ball into the far corner of the net, sending the Memorial Stadium crazy and Yeovil into despair.

It took Yeovil 41 minutes of this second half to finally realise they were in a match and up the tempo the way they should have done from the half time break. Pressing forward, we finally saw the sort of football we should have been seeing in the preceding part of the second half but this was simply too little, too late. Kevin Gall came within inches from setting up what would have been an extraordinary end to the match when his cross whistled across the face of the Rovers goal, but somehow it missed everyone, and the Glovers had gifted Rovers a “Get Out Of Jail Free” card for them to take away with them. Too much of a “training ground passing attitude” and too many free kicks conceded in dangerous positions had seen Yeovil punished dearly.

Full-time: Bristol Rovers 2 Yeovil Town 2


MOTM Vote Result:

Player MOTM Score
Darren Way 4 383
Paul Terry 3 383
Lee Johnson 2 233
Roy O’Brien 1 233
Gavin Williams 1 233
Liam Fontaine 1 133

Overall match rating: 5.3 / 10
Performance: 4.3
Entertainment: 6.3

12 votes received.