Venue: Huish Park
Tues 25th Jan 2005, 7.45pm kick-off.

Conditions: Cold but dry
Pitch: Good

Scorers: Alan Goodall (8, 0-1), Bartosz Tarachulski (54, 1-1), Leo Bertos (77, 1-2), Lee Johnson (pen, 85, 2-2)

Attendance: 5,180 (including approx 100 Rochdale fans)

Referee: Paul Armstrong (Berkshire)
Assistants: Wendy Toms (Dorset); Ron Ganfield (Somerset)

Yeovil: Bartosz Tarachulski (44, foul)
Rochdale: Greg Heald (63, foul), Paul Tait (68, foul)

Yeovil Town : (4-4-2)
1. Chris Weale
7. Paul Terry 4. Terry Skiverton 17. Scott Guyett 5. Colin Miles
9. Kevin Gall 6. Darren Way 8. Lee Johnson 27. Andrejs Stolcers
11. Phil Jevons 18. Bartosz Tarachulski

Subs: 10. Adrian Caceres 13. Steven Collis (GK) 16. Andy Lindegaard (45, for Miles) 24. Yemi Odubade (77, for Tarachulski) 25. Arron Davies (45, for Jevons)

Rochdale :
13. Matthew Gilks 2. Wayne Evans 5. Gareth Griffiths 16. Greg Heald 3. Tony Gallimore 7. Leo Bertos 11. Gary Jones 18. Jamie Clarke 29. Scott Warner 12. Alan Goodall 10. Paul Tait

Subs: 28. Danny Woodhall (GK) 4. Ernest Cooksey (57, for Warner) 6. Daryl Burgess (90, for Goodall) 27. Gary Brown 23. Leighton McGivern (90, for Griffiths)

Jeremy Gear’s View of the Game

Yeovil’s run of slightly worrying form continued tonight at Huish against a Rochdale side who before the game lay in 12th position – and judging on their performance this evening it looks a false one as they were possibly one of the best sides to visit so far this season. Since the club’s great run of 9 or so league games without defeat, and really since Boxing Day’s away win at Swansea the Glovers have somewhat stuttered, although they head the table… that in itself could be the problem ! It’s when you’re top every one wants to beat you –Shrewsbury may have, Oxford did, Cambridge tried and Rochdale could have quite easily!

Gary Johnson kicked a box and got his foot stuck during his team talk on Saturday, laughable then but I would think it was more of the same at half time tonight as quite frankly the home side looked unable to fight their way out of a wet paper bag, let alone a box…did they have Charlton on their minds? – surely not – not when you sit pretty at the top of the league. Two immediate substitutions after the break livened things up somewhat, as did playing towards the home end as it always does, but Johnson will have a few selection issues for Saturday as he attempts to bring down Charlton.

The only change from Saturdays game was Colin Miles who came in for the slightly unfortunate Steve Reed at left back. Reed took a bit of stick after his performance at the weekend, yes he looked ring rusty, and a tad nervous but a couple of games at this level would have sharpened him up, at least he looks like a full back. Colin Miles plays best in the middle, and when he seemed to be struggling with a knock, he was replaced at half time by Andy Lindegaard, also back in the squad following his suspension. Lindegaard, although right footed did give a little more pace down that side in the second half, but with Rose out that position could be considered still up for grabs.

In the opening moments of the game Rochdale knocked the ball around confidently and played some neat football, Huish was unusually quiet and a disappointing crowd of only 5180 were left with little to warm the cockles as Dale took the lead after only 8 minutes. Alan GOODALL got away from Paul Terry down the home side’s right and slid the ball past Chris Weale to give his side the lead. For most of the half, Yeovil were outfought and Rochdale were winning the 50-50’s and mopping most long balls up (why the long balls when we have such pace?) Yeovil just did not look sharp and the football barely flowed- when it did and we overlapped down the flanks Stolcers seemed a yard of pace behind and Gall couldn’t find the killer cross. Jevons, when he had the ball looked dangerous, when he didn’t he was oblivious.

That said, we had our chances as always. Jevons fired a free kick just over, Tarachulski headed just wide after a cross from the right, the huge Pole then rattled the bar with a fine shot and turn from 15 yards. Right on Half time, Jevons broke the offside trap and was forced wide by the keeper but his inviting cutback was cleared before a hooped shirt got there.

Half-time: Yeovil Town 0 Rochdale 1

The second half started, and in these situations optimism fills the heart as you know what’s coming next. Andy Lindegaard replaced Miles as mentioned, and Jevons was replaced by Aaron Davies and almost immediately you could sense the change. A quick corner saw Guyett burst into the box and his now customary header bounced off the turf and hit the bar before ricocheting over. Then Johnson, named man of the match for the second game running fed Davies out wide on the left, his searching cross to the back post was met by Bartosz TARACHULSKI and his well directed header found the bottom left hand corner to give Yeovil the fillip required to take the game by the scruff of the neck as he brought the scores level at 1-1. Yeovil attacked but were fortunate not to concede almost immediately when the defence was sliced apart but Weale did well to save from Bertos, then straight away Yeovil were denied a penalty on the next attack when Tarachulski appeared to be hauled to the deck.

Yeovil now pressed for the winner, Darren Way’s snapshot was saved, then a fine cross from Paul Terry was flicked on by a defender, the ball sat up lovely for the onrushing Lindegaard at the far post whose header was acrobatically saved and pushed out for a corner. Stolcers then crossed low for Skiverton and he blazed over, Johnson then shot from distance and again it was pushed around the post for a corner. As the town pressed though gaps appeared in the middle, Tait held the ball up well before shooting and forcing Weale into a smart save.

Like Saturday, on 77 minutes Yeovil replaced the tiring Tarachulski with Yemi Odubade and within a minute a goal. This time though it was for the opposition. The ball was cleared by Rochdale and looked an easy one to mop up as it made the half way line, but neither Paul Terry or Scott Guyett reacted, and as the ball bounced Rochdale pounced and carved up Yeovil easily as a fine throughball found Bertos who unchallenged beat Weale comfortably to put his side ahead.

Would Yeovil come back from this or had they used up all their luck? Fortunately they still had a bit left! Arron Davies made a strong run into the box and was brought down, and again like Saturday Yeovil were awarded a penalty. With Jevons off the field, Lee Johnson took full responsibility and like Jevons blasted the ball home comfortably to bag a point for his team. Johnson could have won it in the dying minutes but again, his hard low drive was turned away for a corner, then Davies should have won it for Yeovil. A fine searching ball from Stolcers put him clear and a first time shot with his left peg would surely have found the net but for some reason Davies held the ball up, maybe to get it on his stronger foot but by then the chance had gone…like the one to go six points clear at the top.

Jeremy Gear

Full time: Yeovil Town 2 Rochdale 2

MOTM Vote Result:

Player MOTM Score
Lee Johnson 14 570
Bartosz Tarachulski 6 403
Darren Way 6 279
Arron Davies 3 270
Kevin Gall 1 85
Paul Terry 1 79
Andrejs Stolcers 1 67
Chris Weale 1 36

Overall match rating: 5.9 / 10
Performance: 5.3
Entertainment: 6.5

33 votes received.