Yeovil Town Story Part 45
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THE YEOVIL TOWN STORY : PART 45

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SEASON 1988-89 PART ONE

Yeovil Town F.C. 1988-89 First Team Squad
Yeovil Town F.C. 1988-89 First Team Squad

Back row (L-R): Paul Hillard (Asst. Manager), Paul Rodgers (Coach), Bob Iles, Len Bond, Steve Ritchie (Res. Team Manager), Peter Standiey (Physio).
Centre Row: Steve Tapley, Jimmy Quinn, Paul Thorpe, Andy Wallace, Tony Ricketts, Paul Randall, Martyn Grimshaw.
Front Row: Mike Doherty, Dave Linney, Garry Donnellan, Brian Hall (Manager), Tiv Lowe, Gerry Pearson, Jeff Sherwood. .

Even before the football season 1988/89 had got underway, Yeovil supporters were treated to a feast of football, teams to visit Huish for the pre-season matches being Arsenal (Alan Skirton's Testimonial game), Queens Park Rangers, Bristol Rovers and Exeter City.

Tony Ricketts lifts the Vauxhall-Opel Charity Shield after the Glovers defeated Bromley
Tony Ricketts lifts the Vauxhall-Opel Charity Shield after the Glovers defeated Bromley.
Photo © 2003 Tim Lancaster
During the summer Len Bond had joined the club from Exeter City and Tiv Lowe from Saltash United. A big blow though was that Phil Ferms had broken his leg in two places at Farnborough and did not appear again until the last game of the season when he came on as a substitute.

Also in the summer the club announced plans on a new Lottery competition with a £3,000 first prize for a 50p stake, this replaced the £1,000 for a 25p ticket. No news was forthcoming from the Public Enquiry and new estimates showed the proposed new development at Houndstone had risen to £3.5m with a further £300,000 for Architects fees.

The first game back in the top flight of Semi Professional football for the three years was against Wycombe Wanderers, where a crowd of 3,106 watched a 1-1 draw. Shortly after Yeovil won the Vauxhall-Opel Charity Shield 4-0 against Bromley, Mick Doherty scoring a hat-trick.

Wayne Noble moved on to Gloucester City for £500 and the Club made an enquiry about unsettled Steve Claridge of Weymouth but did not pursue the matter. Dave Linney moved to Basingstoke in September and ex-Bristol Rovers star Archie Stephens arrived for a short spell.

October opened in sensational fashion with a Club Call Cup match against relegated Newport County. With just 17 minutes to go Yeovil were cruising 3-0 but finally lost 4-5 after extra time. During the game, referee Bunce, sent off five and booked six others!

A string of good results sent Yeovil up the table and the club took out an insurance policy where they would receive £100,000 if they won the League, the premium being £2,500.

Guy Whittingham arrived on the scene in November and made a big impact
Guy Whittingham arrived on the scene in November and made a big impact
Photo © 2003 Ciderspace

Archie Stephens had a short spell with the club during the 1988/89 season
Archie Stephens had a short spell with the club during the 1988/89 season.
At this time, Yeovil became the first club outside the Football League to introudce their own "Hotline" and Paul Thorpe set some sort of record when he was sent off in less than a minute after coming on as a substitute against Chorley! Chris Townsend (Cheltenham Town) and Denny Mundee (Bournemouth) both made brief appearances on a loan basis but the big signing of November was soldier Guy Whittingham from Waterlooville. Tony Ricketts returned to Bath City for a fee of £10,000.

As Christmas approached Yeovil were going well in the FA Cup with victories over Worcester City away (2-1, gate 2,145) and Merthyr Tydfil home (3-2, gate 4,079). Paul Randall got the goal against Torquay United which took Yeovil to Plainmoor for the Second Round replay where a goal from Richard Thompson, later to sign for Yeovil, put Torquay United into Round Three. Highlights of this game were shown on BBC TV. The 'gate' at Huish was 5,612 and a mere 3,246 turned up for the replay, Yeovil receiving only 400 tickets. Prior to this, Yeovil had an extraordinary 6-2 victory at Stafford Rangers. The Yeovil squad had been decimated through injuries and suspensions. Three members of the team had never played for Yeovil before and few others should not have played due to flu and injuries.

It was not a Happy Christmas for Yeovil, when on Boxing Day, arch-rivals Weymouth came to Huish with only one point from 13 away games. With 20 minutes to go, Yeovil were leading by 2 goals to nil but three late goals sent Yeovil crashing to a disappointing defeat. Playing for Weymouth that day was Tony Pounder. Two days later, Paulton Rovers felt the 'back lash' when they were trounced 9-0 in the Somerset Premier Cup. Five minutes from the end with Yeovil winning 8-0, a voice from the crowd shouted "Don't throw this one away Yeovil!"

Gary Donnellan pictured against Macclesfield
Gary Donnellan pictured against Macclesfield
Photo © 2003 Ciderspace



The Yeovil Town Story : Other Pages

THE YEOVIL TOWN STORY : PART 45

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