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.
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
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