By Gerry PrewettHaving collected just 10 points from their 11 games Bristol Rovers opponents in tonight EPL Trophy Yeovil Town have other priorities on the mind.
On Saturday as Rovers were taking Northampton Town’s longstanding unbeaten home record, the Glovers were going down 4-1 at Plymouth.
The West Country battle of the Greens burst into life just before half-time. Argyle striker Jimmy Spencer notched 39th minute opener cracking his shot into the top corner of the Glover’s net.
With the first-half looking to close with the game at 1-0, Jake Jervis doubled the home team’s lead when his 20-yard effort took a deflection and deceived Artur Krysiak in the Yeovil goal.
The Glovers managed to pull a goal back before the half was over with skipper Darren Ward calmly stroking the ball home from inches out.
With 20 minutes of the game left Graham Carey stroked a 25 yard shot into the top corner. Jervis put the icing on the Argyle cake as he made it 4-1 with 4 minutes of regular time left.
Looking to the history of games between the clubs the very first time they met was back in November 1924. Rovers were drawn away to Yeovil and Petters (as Westland Helicopters were earlier known) in the first round of the Cup. Morgan (2), Phillips and Whatmore scored for Rovers and Gardner and Hayward for the Glovers giving a 4-2 away win.
The Glovers recorded a historic victory in their first ever League visit to the Mem in December 2003 followed by their thrashing of Rovers 4-0 in their first League visit to Huish Park.
The following season saw an amazing 2-2 draw at the Mem and Rovers once again go down heavily in South Somerset 4-2. Last season both games went in favour of the away team with a 2=1 result at the Mem and a 3-0 score line at Huish Park.
In 2010/11 Rovers won both League games by a single goal, 2-1 at home and 1-0 at Huish Park.
In last season’s clash at the Mem, as Rovers incredible run for an automatic promotion spot gained momentum they entertained the Somerset team on 16 April. Rovers took the lead 3 minutes before half time. Liam Walsh fouled Billy Bodin outside the box, and when the Rovers attacking midfielder put the ball into the box, Rory Gaffney was able to evade his marker and power home a header.
On 73 minutes Leroy Lita struck the equaliser, a Ryan Dickson through ball put him through to hit his shot hard across the face of Mildenhall and into the back of the net.
Within minutes substitute Jermaine Easter was the provider for Matty Taylor’s 26th goal of the season and Rovers went on to gain a valuable 3 points.
English Football League chief executive Shaun Harvey has defended the new format of the newly branded Checkatrade Trophy. For the first time, top-flight clubs with Category One academies were invited to enter the competition.
Arsenal, Tottenham, Manchester City, Liverpool and Manchester United did not enter because of fixture clashes. Three of the first round of matches were watched by fewer than 600 fans. 45,888 fans went to 32 matches in the opening round this season, at an average of 1,434. 29,931 fans went to 16 matches in the opening round last season, at an average of 1,871.
With many fans of EFL Clubs boycotting the competition it has turned into something of an own-goal.