Doncaster Rovers take on Yeovil Town at the Keepmoat Stadium. Rovers official website looks ahead to Friday night's game.
When Rovers travelled to Huish Park back in March 2004, they held a four point lead at the top of the table ahead of Hull City following a run of form which had seen Dave Penney’s side go seven games unbeaten prior to the trip to Somerset.
Gary Johnson had steered his Glovers team to victory four times in the previous seven games against Rovers; and with Yeovil in good form at home after thrashing Bristol Rovers just three days earlier few would have bet against the home side taking anything less than three points.
Ricky Ravenhill gave signal of his intentions as Rovers were the first to have a shot at goal from distance but unfortunately for the visitors it was to flash just over the head of Steve Collis and the crossbar. Terry Skiverton glanced a header wide at the other end of the field before Michael McIndoe’s free kick which was teased into the penalty area was blasted off target by loanee, Chris Brown.
The home supporters were criticising the performance of referee, Mick Fletcher, when Mark Albrighton was adjudged to have brought down Yeovil’s Gavin Williams who appeared to have been running through on goal. But Mr Fletcher only brandished a yellow card in the direction of the Rover’s defender to the relief of Albrighton.
McIndoe tested Collis before more robust challenges were in evidence, John Doolan and Yeovil’s Colin Pluck were both cautioned in a feisty encounter and the latter was lucky to still be on the field after fouling Brown and needed a final warning from the officials just before the players left the field at half time.
Rovers made the better start to the second period with some incisive passing and movement but Yeovil were to have the first attempt of the half, Kirk Jackson headed a corner goalwards but Andy Warrington was firmly behind the effort. Then the officials were the focus yet again, this time Stephen Foster clashed with Kevin Gall with the home players suggesting that the Rover’s skipper had stamped on his opponent; the referee cautioned Foster which incensed the Yeovil supporters who were baying for Foster’s dismissal.
Amidst the tackles Rovers began to take a grip on the game, McIndoe who was constantly berated by the home support all game, got the better of his marker to cross for JJ Melligan who fired in a great shot but it was matched by Collis who dived full stretch to turn it round the post. Rovers weren’t to be denied however, as with their next attack the net was to bulge. A direct ball forward was headed into the path of Ravenhill who drilled a low shot past Collis and into the goal, the travelling supporters from South Yorkshire were ecstatic.
Yeovil responded immediately, only to be denied for a foul after Williams had already lashed home and they continued to press for the equaliser. Referee Mr Fletcher had to leave the field through injury and his replacement was to also deny the Glovers an equaliser, a quick free kick ended up past Andy Warrington but the officials wanted the free kick retaking; much to the annoyance of everyone in green and white. It signalled the end of the home side’s chances of getting anything from the game and left Rovers to take the spoils and retain their four point lead at the head of the table.
Statistics V Yeovil
Rovers have only lost one of the last three games against the Glovers at home.
Expect goals this weekend; there has only been one game that has ended without either defence being breached in 22 games between the sides.
The Football League Sponsors, Sky Bet have Rovers as 5/4 favourites to beat the Glovers.
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The game has also been for selected for Live TV coverage on Sky Sports.