Ben Barrett previews Yeovil Town's trip to ReadingYeovil Town are back in SkyBet Championship action this Saturday and after four home games in a row, it’s time to dust off the team bus and head for Reading.
The Royals are placed just inside the play-off spots but are five points behind the side in 5th place, Nottingham Forest.
For Saturday’s hosts, the result will be more about cementing their place in the end of season showdown, rather than making a push for the top two automatic spots.
At the other end, a three match unbeaten run and a massive victory over Doncaster Rovers has kept Yeovil within touching distance of the other sides aiming to avoid the drop.
The Glovers may still be in 24th in the table, but instead of trying to claw back an eight point gap, the difference is now just three.
With a game in hand over the two sides just above the dotted line and some momentum on their side, the ‘mission survival’ is in full swing at Huish Park.
With four of the bottom sides playing away from home this Saturday, a surprise result for any one of the teams could add valuable points onto their tally.
Last Saturday, incredibly, the entire bottom three notched valuable victories. Doncaster and Millwall subsequently found themselves pulled back into the scrap with Bolton, Blackpool and even teams as high as Sheffield Wednesday in 14th now nervously looking over their shoulders.
Of course, Yeovil can only control their own game and Reading’s recent form suggest they are a side who blow hot and cold. A 1-0 defeat to Blackburn was preceded by a 3-1 thumping of big spending QPR.
Prior to that Sheffield Wednesday took all three points from the Majeski Stadium and yet they travelled to Millwall and came back with a 3-0 win. However, those two home defeats in a row can’t cast a massive shadow over their home record in January.
An impressive 1-1 with Nottingham Forest was backed up when they hit Bolton for seven and Blackpool for five shortly after. Reading will be able to call on the services of Latvian international Kaspars Gorkss, he was sent off in a recent match against QPR but had his suspension overturned allowing him to play in this fixture. Despite his international status with Latvia, Gorkss didn’t feature in the recent friendly between Yeovil and his nation.
However, one man who did was Stuart Taylor. The Reading reserve ‘keeper was meant to be joining Yeovil on a short term loan but only managed a 45 minute appearance in that friendly before returning.
For Yeovil, Sam Hoskins and Liam Davis both suffered minor setbacks in their recovery from injury and missed the game against Doncaster as a result.
A hamstring problem for Joel Grant also kept him out, but on loan debutant Duane Holmes made a bright start and a good impression on the Glovers faithful. If Holmes is to continue with a place in the squad, one of the loaned squad members will have to sit out as the club currently has six.
Against Doncaster, it was John Lundstram that missed out, but with Ishmael Miller hobbling off against Doncaster, that decision may end up being made for Gary Johnson. Considering the relative distance between the two sides, Reading and Yeovil have only met twice in competitive action.
An Adrian Foster goal helped scare the Royals into thinking they may be on the end of a cup upset in 1999, but the home side eventually prevailed 4-2 in the FA Cup first round. Earlier on this season, Reading took all three points from Huish Park after Adam Le Fondre converted a controversial penalty deep into the second half.
Yeovil won’t want a repeat of that and with three games behind them without tasting defeat the Glovers will be more than up for this fixture.
Supporters have been praised this week for their efforts to get behind Gary Johnson’s men and tickets are available for the Reading fixture on the match day. Adults are priced at £30 and their pricing structure is staggered for different age groups.
If you are unable to make the game in person, you can tune in to commentary as always on Glovers Player and the club’s YouTube channel will be showing the match action and reaction in the few days after the match.
After this weekend, Yeovil come back to Huish Park for two more home games, tickets for those are available now; Saturday 8th March vs Sheffield Wednesday and the following Tuesday night against Ipswich.
A foot in both camps.
This is quite a list: Simon Church, Alex McCarthy, Adam Lockwood, Aaron Brown, Abdulai Bell-Baggie, Brian McDermott, Ben Roberts, Scott Murray, Stuart Taylor and most recently, Gozie Ugwu.
Chris Tarrant, Leo Sayer, Bill Oddie and Mike Oldfield. Some also claim that Kate Winslet and Ricky Gervais are fans