Lockyer on target as Rovers are held at Yeovil

July 18, 2018

Heading into the fixture, Rovers boss Darrell Clarke opted to start the encounter with Sam Slocombe between the sticks, as Tom Lockyer and Tony Craig were again deployed at the heart of the Rovers defence.

In the opening exchanges, Rovers enjoyed the fair share of possession inside the Yeovil half. Chris Lines produced the first real attempt of the game, cushioning a volley from long-range that didn’t quite dip enough to find the target, with Lines’ attempt resting on the roof of the net.

Chances were at a premium in the opening forty-five minutes. There was a worrying moment for Rovers when Jordan Green burst free down the right – as the winger was able to pick out Diallang Jaiyesimi in a threatening position. The striker set himself to shoot but under pressure from the Rovers defence the resulting shot flew high over the target.

The deadline was broken in the ten minutes leading up to the half-time interval. A corner from the left was drifted into a congested penalty area, where Tom Lockyer was able to get across his marker to poke the ball home past Stuart Nelson.

Rovers looked to build on the opening goal and in the minutes that followed almost registered a second strike. Michael Kelly made progress down the left before floating a cross into an uncertain area. The delivery was headed behind for a corner courtesy of Omar Sowunmi, but the defender’s header crept dangerously close to the target, with plenty of anxious gasps inside Huish Park.

At the interval, Rovers made just the one change, as James Clarke was introduced at the expense of Daniel Leadbitter.

Consistent with the first-half proceedings, the second half didn’t present any immediate chances on goal. Relentless work chasing down a back-pass from Tom Nichols forced goalkeeper Stuart Nelson into a rushed clearance, that was scuffed behind for a corner. The resulting delivery wasn’t dealt with by Nelson, who mistimed a punch to clear the danger, as this teammates were on hand to usher the ball clear.

Yeovil managed to level encounter on the hour mark. A free-kick from Carl Dickinson was floated across the six-yard area, where Bevis Mugabi was on hand to power home a close-range header.

Rovers responded with an effort from Sam Mattews. The winger took full advantage of the freedom of space on the outskirts on the Yeovil area and produced a left-footed attempt that deflected off the crossbar and behind for a goal-kick, with Nelson in the frame of the goal seemingly beaten by the strike.

As the final twenty minutes approached, Tom Nichols saw his driven attempt across the surface held by Nelson, who was quick to get down low to grasp the shot, as Chris Lines struck a free-kick into the wall from a threatening location.

The encounter served its purpose for a high proportion of the Rovers squad – with ten players getting a full allocation of ninety-minutes.

Next up for Rovers is a trip to the New Lawn this Saturday to face Forest Green Rovers.

Rovers: Slocombe, Leadbitter (45′ J.Clarke), Craig, Lockyer, Kelly, Matthews, Bennett, Lines, Sercombe, Upson, Nichols.

Subs: Smith, O.Clarke, J.Clarke, Mensah, A.Clarke, Broadbent, Rodman.

Goals: Tom Lockyer 37′, Bevis Mugabi 57′.

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