Yeovil Town Story Part 33
The Yeovil Town Story : Other Pages

THE YEOVIL TOWN STORY : PART 33

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SEASON 1975-76

Following the shock announcement in April not to renew Cec Irwin's contract 35 year old Stan Harland was appointed Player Manager the following month. He had made over 500 League appearances with Everton, Bradford City, Carlisle United, Swindon and Birmingham City.

His first four signings were Rod Adams (from Weymouth), Steve Flay (Oxford United), Mike Franklin (Charlton Athletic) and Bryn Jones (Bristol Rovers). In November he signed Doug Hickton from Burton Albion, for a small fee.

Soon after, Yeovil were on the FA. Cup trail playing Stonehouse in the 1st Qual. Round, the first time that Yeovil had played at this stage since 1934-35. Stonehouse had waived ground advantage and were beaten 6-0 but went home happy with a cheque for £400 from the 'gate' of 2,122. Wins over Weston-Super-Mare (4-0 after 0-0 away) and Minehead (1-0) saw a 4th Qual. Round visit to Falmouth who were beaten 5-1. Yeovil's reward was a home draw against Milwall. A crowd of 6,722 saw the teams draw 1-1. The London club's biggest 'gate' of the season - 8,285 - saw another draw (2-2), with Yeovil dominating the game and being very unlucky when a late 'goal' from Terry Cotton was disallowed.

The following Monday a lot of fans arrived at Reading for the second replay only to find it rained off. The match finally took place at Aldershot two days later before a crowd of 3,309 - the only goal of the game coming in the 60th minute in tragic fashion. Player/Manager Harland called for the ball from 'keeper Mike Franklin, it hit his heel and Milwall gained possession to score. The three games brought over £5,000 to the Club.

During September, the news had broken that the Alliance Premier League was to be formed. It was felt the new league would come into existence in season 1980/81. In October, the Club's shareholders were told of a further loss of £9,637 for the previous season, and at the meeting, Ivan Rendall announced his resignation from the Board after 30 years with the Club, during which time he had been Secretary and Chairman and was made a Life Member in recognition of his outstanding services.

The FA. Trophy run was short lived. After a 3-1 victory at Ferndale it was back to South Wales again where a Terry Cotton own goal saw Yeovil go out of the competition to Merthyr Tydfil. Due to the fact they had played eight FA Cup games by early December, Yeovil had fallen behind with their League fixtures and were in 16th place before the Boxing Day match against Weymouth, 3078 saw Yeovil win 3-1.

A string of good results saw Yeovil move up the table and they entered the last month of the season 11 points behind Wimbledon and two games in hand but were destined to finish runners-up.

The Southern League Cup was another success story. Victories over Bath City (5-2 on aggregate), Merthyr Tydfil (3-0), Dorchester Town (3-1 after 1-1 draw), Gravesend (1-0) and Kettering (3-0 on aggregate in the semi final), brought an encounter with Wimbledon in the final. A 1-1 draw at Huish in the first leg was watched by 2,441 spectators, but Yeovil lost the second leg a week later at Plough Lane 2-1. Wimbledon had therefore achieved the 'Double'.

Yeovil however won the Western Counties Floodlight League and then beat Westland-Yeovil in the final of the Somerset Premier Cup 5-1 on aggregate, both games being played at Huish before a total of 2,386 spectators.

Maurice O'Donnell and Doug Hunt, who between them had served the Club for nearly 30 years were granted a testimonial. Bristol City came to Huish and won 5-0. Then on 13th May, and a week after they had beaten Manchester United in the F.A. Cup Final, Southampton brought their full team, except for Mike Channon, who was on England duty. They also brought the covetted trophy and gave Yeovil a football lesson winning 4-0 in front of 3,700 people.

Off the field, Dick Washbrook, the Club's first Commercial Manager, left to be replaced by Alvin Marshallsay as Lottery Manager. Yeovil mounted another serious campaign to gain Football League status. Hopes were high in the Yeovil camp but when the vote was taken this turned to despair as Yeovil just failed by 3 votes to achieve their ambition. At the last moment 2 clubs switched threir allegiance to Workington to give them 22 votes to Yeovil's 19.

During the season Yeovil played a record 80 matches, winning 42, losing 16 and drawing 22. 142 goals were scored and 66 conceded. Terry Cotton was voted 'Player of the Year' for a second time and Stuart Hoosley was the only player to be released. The average attendance had fallen again (to 2115) but receipts had risen from £18,694 to £33,642 and wages leapt from £33,058 to £45,216. Brian Thompson and Terry Cotton made most appearances (71), whilst Dick Plumb (33) and Ken Brown (28) again led the goalscorers.

Season 1975-76 : Southern League Table
Overall
Team P W D L F A Pts GD
1 Wimbledon 42 26 10 6 74 29 62 +45
2 Yeovil Town 42 21 12 9 68 35 54 +33
3 Atherstone Town 42 18 15 9 56 35 51 +21
4 Maidstone United 42 17 16 9 52 39 50 +13
5 Nuneaton Borough 42 16 18 8 41 33 50 +8
6 Gravesend and Northfleet 42 16 18 8 49 47 50 +2
7 Grantham 42 15 14 13 56 47 44 +9
8 Dunstable 42 17 9 16 52 43 43 +9
9 Bedford Town 42 13 17 12 55 51 43 +4
10 Burton Albion 42 17 9 16 52 53 43 -1
11 Margate 42 15 12 15 62 60 42 +2
12 Hillingdon Borough 42 13 14 15 61 54 40 +7
13 Telford United 42 14 12 16 54 51 40 +3
14 Chelmsford City 42 13 14 15 52 57 40 -5
15 Kettering Town 42 11 17 14 48 52 39 -4
16 Bath City 42 11 16 15 62 57 38 +5
17 Weymouth 42 13 9 20 51 67 35 -16
18 Dover Athletic 42 8 18 16 51 60 34 -9
19 Wealdstone 42 12 9 21 61 82 33 -21
20 Tonbridge Angels 42 11 11 20 45 70 33 -25
21 Cambridge City 42 8 15 19 41 67 31 -26
22 Stourbridge 42 10 9 23 38 72 29 -34

The Yeovil Town Story : Other Pages

THE YEOVIL TOWN STORY : PART 33

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