Ben Barrett previews the visit of Bolton Wanderers
PROGRAMME SPONSOR - FRIENDS OF YEOVIL TOWN FC
BALL SPONSOR - SYMONDS & SAMPSON
Yeovil Town are back in SkyBet Championship action this Saturday and it’s a massive game at the bottom of the table as Bolton Wanderers come to visit Huish Park.
Bolton, who were deep in trouble just a few weeks ago have managed to drag themselves up to 17th in the Championship table, ten whole points above Yeovil and eight above the relegation zone.
However, whilst that gap may be significant at the moment, if results don’t favour Saturday’s visitors, they could soon find themselves being hauled back into the dog fight at the end of the season.
For Yeovil, 23rd place is looking more and more like a slightly false position, for a few minutes on Tuesday night against Wigan they were actually above the dotted line, so the bottom six or seven places are changing frequently with every passing match.
On Tuesday, Yeovil secured one of their more dramatic points as Luke Ayling (of all people) scored a 93rd minute equaliser against Wigan.
The fixture at the DW stadium was looking like petering out as the Latics took a 1-0 lead beyond the 80-minute mark, but Ishmael Miller scored twice in a quick succession to make it look like the Glovers would snatch all three points. But, Wigan replied in suit, two goals in two mintues put them back ahead as the clocked ticked 90. The drama didn’t end there, a Tom Lawrence corner was bundled home in the dying seconds.
Goalkeeper Marek Stech claimed it, Shane Duffy ran away like he’d got a decisive touch, but it was in fact Luke Ayling, the right back with over 100 league appearances and not a single league goal to his name that had be credited with the goal.
A last ditch equaliser that felt as good as a win and Yeovil will be hoping to carry that momentum forward. Bolton didn’t have a game on Tuesday, so their players may have an extra day or two’s rest in the bank.
Last Saturday, they were beaten at home by Brighton, two Will Buckley goals securing all three points. Prior to that, Bolton had actually been on a decent little run; a draw against high flying Derby was the icing on the cake after handing out two thrashings to Leeds and Blackburn as well as claiming all three points against Watford.
Wanderers are hoping to welcome back Mark Davies into squad after he missed out of the squad at the weekend. However Darren Pratley and Stu Holden are both long term injury worries and will miss the whole season.
For Yeovil, Joel Grant came off in the first half on Tuesday night, but should be fine to make the squad this Saturday. Reuben Palazuelos is the other major concern, but even he has a chance of making the squad.
Liam Davis is the only player who is guaranteed to miss out with a longer term problem, whilst other members of the squad are carrying knocks and niggles there’s nothing that can’t be managed.
At the time of writing, Gary Johnson hadn’t ruled out one addition from the loan market, but as yet nothing had come of that.
When the two sides met earlier this season, Ed Upson scored a late goal that squirmed through Adam Bogdan’s grasp and looked like springing a surprise result.
But Alex Baptiste scored an even later equaliser, despite Zat Knight cross clearly having gone out of the play in the build-up.
Prior to this season, the two other meetings between the two sides had both gone Wanderer’s way. A 2-0 win in the Carling Cup (pictured below) and a 2-1 win in the FA Cup in 2001. That cup tie nearly went the Glovers’ way after Warren Patmore gave the travelling fans a shock lead.
A win for Yeovil, could put them into 21st in the table, depending on other results, getting above that line would be a huge psychological boost ahead of a trip to Leicester.
This week, even Gary Johnson admitted he does like to look at the sides around them and their fixtures and results, so it’s only fair we do the same. Barnsley host Bournemouth, Millwall travel to Leeds, Charlton play Burnley and Doncaster are at home against Sheffield Wednesday.
The sides just above that, Blackpool and Birmingham are both at home as well, facing Huddersfield and Reading respectively.
Bolton have said that over 1500 tickets have been sold for the away stand so Glovers fans need to respond in numbers.
Tickets are available right up until kick off and those coming to Huish Park are hopefully in for a treat as the Glovers look to build on that last minute equaliser on Tuesday night.
If you cannot get to the game, you can still catch all the action on Glovers Player and all the reaction and highlights will be available on the YouTube channel as soon as possible.
Radio and TV Personality Vernon Kay, Boxer Amir Kahn, Funny man Paddy McGuinness, TV Presenter Emma Forbes and the man behind the most famous English commentary of all time, Kenneth Wolstenholme.
A foot in both camps – who have played for both sides?
Craig Davis, John McGinlay and Dick Pym who played for Bolton in the first FA Cup final at Wembley went onto play for Yeovil and Petters United.