Yeovil Town may have the excitement of an FA Cup tie with Liverpool just around the corner but for many Glovers supporters - and players - the real match of the season is the one taking place at the Memorial Stadium this afternoon.
The trip to Bristol Rovers was the date to which almost everyone connected with the Huish Park club was drawn when details of Yeovil's historic first Nationwide League campaign were published. No player has looked forward to the derby more than Kevin Gall, the 21-year-old striker who scored 14 goals for Yeovil's Conference champions last season after being released by Rovers manager, Ray Graydon.
Gall has continued to find the net in the Third Division, with six in a season that has gone well for the newcomers, who are fifth in the table compared with Rovers, who are 13th. Graydon defends his decision to let Gall go, even though the Wales Under-21 international could come back to haunt him today. "Kevin is a real nice lad and I'm delighted he is doing well," Graydon said. "But you make a decision on what he's done for you and while he was with us he didn't do enough."
Gall himself would beg to differ. "I thought I did all right there," he said. "It was just one manager's opinion at the end of the day. I think I've proved to people I can score goals since coming here."
The match has generated so much excitement that Rovers are anticipating a crowd of more than 10,000 for the first time in over two years.
Twice that number could turn out for the Second Division match between Barnsley and Sheffield Wednesday at Oakwell, a derby that could not have fallen better in the fixture list, just a day after confirmation that Barnsley are out of administration. The Tykes are unbeaten at home while Wednesday, relegated from the First Division last season, are winless in eight matches.