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Wed 31st July 2002
Another Clean Sheet

But not much else to get excited about in all honesty. Chris Weale, Roy O'Brien, Anthony Tonkin, Terry Skiverton, Tom White, Olivier Brassart, Adam Stansfield, Lee Johnson, Abdoulai Demba, Gavin Williams, and Michael McIndoe played through the whole ninety minutes at Hardenhuish Park, but couldn't find a way through a well organized Bluebird defence, at least not legitimately - Adam Stansfield did have one in the net right at the death ruled out for off side.

Final score: Chippenham Town 0 Yeovil Town 0

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Wed 31st July 2002
Grass, Grass And More Grass!

Pitch from the away end. Photograph © Blue Mole & Ciderspace.
Gordon spots an errant weed.


The pitch as of yesterday (30th July). Looking good!
Photograph © Blue Mole & Ciderspace.
From the Main Stand


Carl Alford. Photograph © Blue Mole & Ciderspace.
When do we put the heavy roller on?


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Sat 27th July 2002
Lindy Tames Tigers

The weathermen promised us the hottest day of the year so far - and got it completely wrong as usual. The hottest thing at Meadow Park was Andy Lindegaard, who turned in an excellent performance capped by a hat-trick, as Yeovil Town comfortably dominated Southern League Western Division Gloucester City from first whistle to last.

Yeovil opened with a strong line-up, Stephen Reed from the youth set up at left back being the only relatively unfamiliar face, and quickly took the lead on ten minutes. Lindegaard produced a 'Carl Alford Special', with an overhead whilst virtually stood on the goal line. His second on twenty-five minutes was even better, a chip with pace from about twenty yards that sailed over the keeper's head into the top corner.

At the break Gary Johnson made a host of changes, but Yeovil cruised on in complete control although not threatening the opposition goal as much. Another youth player, Paul Henbest, put in a second half worthy of mention in midfield. He's already a powerful lad who puts himself about, and wasn't afraid to have the odd dip at goal. Even at this age he was clearly able to hold his own against DM Western Division players. One we hope to hear and see more of in the future. Around the three-quarter mark Lindegaard completed his hat-trick with another quality strike.

Even though friendlies are only friendlies Yeovil's pre-season is going very well so far. Yeovil Town should look several classes above teams like Gloucester City, but football doesn't always work out as it should. On this occasion the script stuck to the form book, and the Glovers made it look a stroll in the sun - or would have done if the weather forecast had proved correct.

Final score: Gloucester City 0 Yeovil Town 3

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Thurs 25th July 2002
Johnson: Daggers Are Champions

Yeovil boss Gary Johnson has added his voice to the growing chorus of condemmnation aimed at the FA's spineless treatment of Boston (Cheats) United following the Lincolnshire club's admission that it cheated its way to last season's Conference title and the club's consequent fine and 4-point deduction from next season's Division 3 table.

Speaking to the Yeovil Express, Johnson said: "If somebody is found not doing the right thing you have got to ascertain what suitable punishment fits the crime. In this particular case I don't think the punishment fits the crime. In my opinion last season's champions are still in the Nationwide Conference - namely Dagenham and Redbridge."

Meanwhile two Early Day Motions have been filed in the House of Commons in connection with the Bostongate farce. The first EDM, filed by Hayes and Harlington MP John McDonnell before the result of the FA disciplinary panel became known, read:

That this House calls upon the Football Association to take decisive action against any club within the Conference League found to have gained an unfair advantage over its rivals by breaching the financial regulations governing the Conference League, and that this action should include demotion from the Conference League.

The EDM has been signed by 15 MP's at the time of writing, NOT including Yeovil MP David Laws. Why not, Mr Laws?

The second EDM, filed by Dagenham MP John Cruddas after the verdict of the disciplinary panel was announced, reads:

That this House calls on the Chief Executive of the Football Association to explain the inadequate verdict of the three man FA hearing which allowed Boston United, Champions of the Nationwide Conference League, to retain their promoted place in the Football League after pleading guilty to six charges of contractual irregularities; notes that by breaking the rules of the game, Boston United will now make a considerable financial gain by playing Third Division football this coming season and that their fine of £100,000 pales into insignificance compared to the £500,000 which the club can expect to receive as a member of the Football League; further notes that the FA deducted four points off Boston for this season's Third Division campaign when the club broke the rules during last season's Conference matches and that if the hearing had deducted points from last season's totals then the Championship would have been awarded to Dagenham and Redbridge FC who would have been promoted; believes there to be growing concern within the game that this verdict has initiated a cheats charter which could tempt other clubs into beaking the rules for self gain and could therefore destroy public confidence in the way football conducts itself; and urges the Chief Executive, who made it clear from the day that he took office that he wished to clean up the game and would crack down hard on clubs that broke the rules, to explain the hearing's decision, which contravenes those sentiments and brings the sport into disrepute.

This EDM has, at the time of writing, been signed by 24 MP's; Yeovil MP David Laws once again being conspicuous by his absence from the list of signatories. Why is that, Mr Laws?

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Thurs 25th July 2002
Let The Coach Take The Strain To Dorchester

The Green & White Supporters Club have announced initial details of coach travel to 'home' games at Dorchester's Avenue Stadium, whilst the new Huish Park pitch is allowed time to bed itself in.

Coaches will be run for the games with Gravesend and Northfleet on August 17, Nuneaton Borough on August 26, Farnborough Town on September 3 and Northwich Victoria on September 7. It's hoped that the Glovers will be able to return home to Huish Park for the fixture with Halifax Town on September 21. Departure times have yet to be finalised, but the cost - for all supporters, not just G&WSC members - will be set at £4 per person.

G&WSC spokesman Rob Cox said: "If any other fixtures are moved to Dorchester we will also cover those matches. This service is open to all Yeovil Town fans regardless of whether they are a member of the supporters' club or not.". The supporters club are also looking to run coaches to the away friendlies at Exeter City on August 3 or Tiverton Town on August 9, depending on demand.

For more details or to book seats phone G&WSC chairman George Coggen on 01935-423662 (at the club), 01935-420716 (evenings) or 07803 110288 (mobile).

The Yeovil Town Independent Supporters' Association will also be providing transport to the Glovers' Nationwide Conference fixtures at Dorchester. For more information please phone chairman Mark Kelly on 01935-412236.

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Thurs 25th July 2002
On To Victory Issue 2 - Your Input Is Requested

The team who produce the independent YTFC fanzine On To Victory are starting out on the road to producing Issue 2. Editor Seb White writes:

Its back at last , yes Football has returned to our lives , henmania, big brother even Glastonbury have all tried to take our hearts but Yeovil v Salisbury is where its really at. Life without Yeovil has been hard but suddenly Gravesend at home is not far away. Yeovil has kept you going through those gloriously wet and rainy days (global warming for you!) and without matches and the like you've had plenty of time on your hands to think. Well now's the time to put it to good use, put pen to paper or mouse to computer and contribute to the second issue of On To Victory. The 1st issue was a huge sucsess and we want to add more members to our team.

Unlike Man Utd we can't offer your boss £30 million for your services and we can't offer £60,000 a a week, but if a couple of pints and the reward of seeing your handiwork in print is enough we'll gladly snap you up on a bosman! Any contributions on anything to do with Yeovil or football in general will be gratefully received. If you want to join us or have any questions or comments email me on ontovictory@hotmail.com

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Wed 24th July 2002
Robins Run Ragged As Glovers Gain Revenge

Well, the headline is a bit of an exaggeration perhaps, but I couldn't resist the alliteration. The Glovers beat 2nd Division Bristol City 1-0 at The Avenue Stadium yesterday evening to gain a modicum of revenge for last season's 5-0 thrashing at Huish Park, Michael McIndoe scoring the goal after some excellent work from new signing Gavin Williams. Williams had an impressive 'home' debut, as did Abdoulai Demba, both players doing more than enough to show they will be major assets this coming season. One shouldn't get carried away by this result, this was City's first pre-season fixture compared to our sixth and City manager Danny Wilson used 22 players before the final whistle - nevertheless this was an accomplished performance by the Glovers and bodes well for the future. The Ciderspace match report is now online.

In other news the club have released their squad numbers for the coming season - and they are more or less what one would expect after the squad numbers used for the FA Trophy Final. The list is as follows:

1. Chris Weale
2. Adam Lockwood
3. Anthony Tonkin
4. Terry Skiverton
5. Colin Pluck
6. Darren Way
7. Adam Stansfield
8. Lee Johnson
9. Carl Alford
10. Nick Crittenden
11. Michael McIndoe

12. Chris Giles
13. Jon Sheffield
14. Roy O'Brien
15. Olivier Brassart
16. Andy Lindegaard
17. Tom White
18. Kim Grant
19. Abdoulai Demba
20. Gavin Williams
21. Steve Thompson
22. Steve Collis

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Tues 23rd July 2002
Boston Disciplinary Panel Revealed

Ciderspace has learnt that the FA disciplinary committee which sat in judgement over Boston (Cheats) United last week comprised Barry Bright (Chairperson) alongside Colin Taylor and Ron Barston. Obviously this means the connection made with Peterboro manager Barry Fry, as reported in yesterday's Daily Telegraph, (see below) is completely untrue.

Barry Bright, a member of the Kent FA and former chairman of Sittingborne FC, is an interesting and at times controversial character. He regularly sits on or presides over FA disciplinary panels and has been heavily criticised in the past for showing - you guessed it - undue leniency to wrong-doers and overturning harsher penalties awarded by the Premiership's Video Advisory Panel on appeal and replacing them with lesser penalties. Examples include Bright's committee reducing 3-match bans on Matt Elliot and Hassan Kachloul for violent conduct to a 1-match ban each, amongst others. Bright's committee also oversaw the case of referee Paul Taylor, accused of allegedly making lewd and suggestive comments to Notts County striker Sean Farrell. Despite Farrell's testimony and corroboration from another team mate and an opposition player, Bright's committee found Taylor not guilty and allowed him to keep refereeing.

Ron Barston is secretary of the Leicestershire & Rutland County FA and is also an FA Vice President. He regularly sits on disciplinary committees with Barry Bright. The two were involved in another controversial decision last season when Ars*nal striker Thierry Henry confronted and appeared to attempt to strike out at referee Graham Poll, the player having to be restrained by stewards and police. Bright's committee was once again criticised for undue leniency when Henry received a mere 3-match ban for his actions that day.

The third member of the committee, Colin Taylor, is president of the West Riding County FA.

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Mon 22nd July 2002
Fry Denies Boston Disciplinary Link

Today's edition of the Daily Telegraph has claimed that Peterborough manager Barry Fry was chairman of the FA disciplinary committee which oversaw the case against Boston United last week, and is still sitting in judgement over suspended Boston manager Steve Evans and director Pat Malkinson.

"So what?" we hear you cry. "Okay, Barry Fry may be a larger than life character with a good line in touchline celebrations and an inexhaustible fund of funny stories which doesn't necessarily qualify him as the chairman of a disciplinary panel making hugely important decisions on the future of a football club, but we're sure the FA know what they are doing appointing him to the role and that Mr Fry will take his responsibilities seriously even if he is a good friend of Steve Evans...... Pardon?"

Yes, it's true: Barry Fry is not only a good friend of Boston manager Evans, he is also the man who recommended the Scot to the Lincolnshire club in the first place: "At the time I recommended Steve, Boston were in the doldrums," said Fry after Boston won the Conference title. "They have been a sleeping giant and after being impressed by Steve's enthusiasm Boston took my advice to appoint him manager there. He's not always popular with his colleagues but that's the way he is. But I'm delighted for Boston and the Malkinson family. Three years on the trot I tried to get promotion at Barnet until we finally made it. So I know how hard it is.". It's a lot easier when you don't stick to the rules and cheat, like some clubs we could mention.

IF the Telegraph's story is true (for the full text click here) then clearly something has gone very wrong at the FA. It must be pointed out however that our understanding is that Barry Fry is tonight denying that he even sat on the disciplinary committee, never mind was the chairman of that body. For their part the FA are very unusually refusing to give any details of exactly who was on the panel.

Meanwhile, the FA's own compliance officer responsible for making sure the game stays clean and that offenders are weeded out, Graham Bean, is said to be on the verge of quitting his job in disgust after the panel's judgement on the charges faced by Boston (Cheats) United last week. According to various articles in the national press over the weekend Bean was "incensed" at the fact that he wasn't invited to attend the disciplinary panel despite being the chief investigator on the case and equally dismayed at the leniency with which Boston were treated by the panel. He is seeking urgent talks with the FA hierarchy to discover why they refused to take a stand on the Boston issue and has threatened to quit by the end of the week if he doesn't receive what he considers to be an adequate explanation of how it's supposed to be good for the game for Boston to win a place in the Football League by cheating, and then being allowed to keep that place. It's good to see that there's at least one man with integrity working for the FA.... even if we fear he won't be there much longer.

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Sun 21st July 2002
Loans And Breaks

The Nationwide Conference has followed its bigger brother the Nationwide League in relaxing the rules on loan players for next season. The number of loans available will go up from five to eight, with a maximum total of 465 days allowed.

Once again that tired old hobbyhorse, the mid-season break, is back on the agenda. John Moules has made it clear he will oppose this at Conference level, saying the Premiership and Nationwide League can go down that route if they want to but it should not be imposed on the rest of football:

A mid-season break would force leagues to extend the season, which would add extra costs to clubs. Also the further you extend a season, the less time players get to recover.

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Sun 21st July 2002
A Result For Salisbury

Whilst Yeovil Town recorded a comprehensive win on the pitch in yesterday's friendly at The Raymond McEnhill Stadium of much more importance was that Salisbury City F.C. were there to play the match at all. A good crowd of 565 turned out, and the considerable Yeovil contingent were keen to show their solidarity with a club in real distress and apparently doomed only days before, as the buckets and raffle ticket sellers came round. Many Glovers still vividly recall the horror of our club teetering on the brink of going under a decade ago, and the feelings of sympathy and support for Salisbury amongst those who had travelled were almost tangible. Yeovil Town F.C. had aready done its bit by waiving any share of gate receipts, and now the fans put their hands in their pockets.
We have received this message from Darren Blick, a member of the committee battling to save Salisbury City from extinction:

Just want to say thank you to all the fans of Yeovil Town. With your help we had a 565 crowd and your fans put £150 through our shop and contributed greatly to our £625 collection. Your committee members praised us for our determination on and off the pitch and we would like to thank them too. Thanks again for helping us in our most needed and darkest hour.

Ciderspace, and we are sure all Yeovil fans, wish Salisbury City fans every success in their fight to keep their club alive.

In the match itself Yeovil ran out 6-2 winners with four of our strikers on the score sheet. Carl Alford opened the account on 34 minutes after Salisbury had taken the lead with a break away goal five minutes previously. The Glovers went into half-time 2-1 up courtesy of an own goal from Andy McGlashen with the very last touch of the first period. Football is a cruel game: only seconds before the same player had pulled off one of the most incredible goal line clearances one is ever likely to see on a football field.

Yeovil began to turn the screw in the second period, and a brace from newest recruit Abdoulai Demba and a typical Adam Stansfield gaol had the scoreboard rattling round. Chris Giles had the slightly odd distinction of being subbed, then brought back on again to replace the out of sorts Andy Lindegaard. He completed the scoring for Yeovil with a well taken header in injury time. Salisbury had found it difficult to remain in the game second half but did score once on 64 minutes. It was a good move, but rather aided by lackadaisical defending from both Olivier Brassart and Roy O'Brien, that they would doubtless sooner forget but equally doubtless Gary Johnson will remind them about!

A full match report can be found on the Official Site.

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Fri 19th July 2002
Cheats Do Prosper

So it's official: Boston United did cheat their way to this season's Conference title after admitting six breaches of F.A. rules relating to the lodging of registered playing contracts containing details which were found to be false. The FA's response? A 4-point deduction from the coming season and a £100,000 fine. In effect then the FA are saying there's no need to follow the rules, if you get caught we'll slap your wrists but you'll really get away with it. The FA's statement on the whole sorry affair follows below. Our advice? Print it off and use it as toilet paper, it's all it's fit for.

A three-man F.A. disciplinary commission in Birmingham has spent the last two days hearing charges against Boston United F.C. Boston admitted six breaches of F.A. rules relating to the lodging of registered playing contracts containing details which were found to be false. The penalties imposed by the commission were as follows:

1. Four points deducted from the commencement of the 2002-2003 Football League season.
2. A fine of £100,000
3. The club is ordered to pay adjusted costs of the hearing up to a maximum of £3,000.
4. Boston United will be subjected to a full financial and compliance review at the commencement of the 2003-2004 and 2004-2005 seasons.

Steve Evans, the team manager at Boston United FC has admitted four breaches of F.A. rules relating to his involvement in the lodging of registered playing contracts containing details which were false. He has denied four other charges relating to contract irregularities and impeding the investigation, which will be dealt with at a later date. The penalties for the charges he has admitted will be decided once the other charges have been dealt with.

Pat Malkinson, the former chairman of Boston United FC, has denied two charges relating to contract irregularities and impeding the inquiry. These matters will be dealt with at a later date.

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Thurs 18th July 2002
YTISA Assists In Laundering Club's Dirty Washing

YTISA press officer Steve Sowden reports in this week's Yeovil Express:

YTISA to help out with the washing!

YEOVIL Town Independent Supporters' Association is to present the Glovers with £1,000 towards the cost of a new industrial washing machine.

The Huish Park club has been plagued in recent years in coping with the vast amount of laundry that needs to be washed and dried with the various kits. The problems have got so bad that countless trips have had to be made to a local laundrette because the club's existing washing machine breaks down.

But the club is now looking to replace the old and worn out machine with an industrial one that will be able to meet the daily demand.

Association chairman Mark Kelly was only too pleased to give the club £1,000 towards the machine - thanks to money the group raised on Yeovil's glory day out at Villa Park on May 12 for the FA Umbro Trophy Final.

"Thanks to the people who travelled with us to Villa Park and to all those who bought our merchandise we have been able to make this gesture," he said. "It is nice to think that after what the players did for us on that great day back in May, we've been able to do our bit for the club."

And Mark added: "We might not have raised enough to buy Ronaldo, but I'm sure the £1,000 will be gladly welcomed! All money we raise goes back to the club to help towards buying pieces of equipment and accessories."

If you would like to become a member of the YTISA then contact Mark Kelly on 01935-412236. Life membership is just £5 and you are entitled to discount travelling.

As most of you are probably aware the Yeovil Express is running the FAST (Fund A Scanner Today) Appeal which hopes to raise £20,000 towards the purchase of a new scanner for Yeovil District Hospital to help in the battle against the bone disease osteoporosis. Towards that end YTFC supporter and Expressman Steve Sowden has agreed to undertake two money-raising, both YTFC related, activities:

Firstly he has been challenged to a race of one lap around Dorchester's Avenue Stadium at the first 'home' match of the season (v Gravesend, Sat Aug 17) - his challenger none other than Yeovil mascot the Jolly Green Giant. The outcome of the race should be a tough one to call with both mascot and Sowden sharing similar builds, but for what it's worth Ciderspace has it's money on both competitors failing to finish the race.

Secondly, both Steve and brother and fellow Glovers fan James Wootten will be undertaking a sponsored walk from Yeovil to Dorchester on Tuesday 3rd September - arriving (they hope) at The Avenue in time for that evening's Yeovil v Farnborough fixture. They're looking for sponsorship and anyone who might like to join them on the marathon trek from Yeovil to Dorchester. Actually it's not a marathon, it's 23 miles.

Anyone who would like to sponsor Steve should contact the Yeovil Express on 01935-479811 or write to or visit the Express offices at 46 Princes Street, Yeovil, Somerset BA20 1EQ. Alternatively you can fax the Express on 01935-432251 or via e-mail at stephen.sowden@countygazette.co.uk.

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Thurs 18th July 2002
Gary Wins Battle Of Johnson Brothers

Going from exotic Riga to leafy Surrey, Yeovil Town began the English leg of their long build-up to the new season (only a month to go!) at Chertsey Town last night when, in the battle of the Johnson brothers, Gary's Glovers beat younger sibling Steve's Chertsey side by 2-0 at Alwyns Lane. Michael McIndoe and Adam Lockwood scored Yeovil's goals, the ytfc.net match report is now online.

The Glovers next scheduled friendly is away to Salisbury City this Saturday (20 July), the match now back on after being called off earlier in the week. Kick-off at the Raymond McEnhill Stadium is at 3pm, support the Glovers and local senior football in Salisbury all at the same time!

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Wed 17th July 2002
The Green, Green Grass Of Home

Where's all that rain gone when you need it? Photograph © Blue Mole & Ciderspace.
The new automated irrigation system in action.
Just watch that grass grow.........

Well, not quite yet perhaps with the Huish Park playing surface currently resembling a ploughed field rather than a lush verdant carpet [Don't mention carpets! -ed], but the club have today announced that all work being done on the new pitch has been completed by the Oxford-based contractors, White Horse Contractors Ltd. The £100,000 plus project has been completed approximately 3 weeks behind schedule, mainly due to the recent bad weather.

Martock-based firm Ocmis Irrigation (UK) Ltd, whose managing director Chris Aplin is a life long supporter of the Glovers, have in addition installed a brand new state of the art irrigation system to the pitch. Chairman John Fry commented: "We are really pleased that the job is finally finished and delighted with the end result. I would like to thank White Horse Contractors, Chris Aplin of Ocmis Irrigation, and Rod Pippard and Gordon Prosser of the groundstaff for all their efforts to get the job completed, especially considering the wet weather we have experienced. I am sure the fans will be pleased with the end result and I hope the team will benefit from the new surface."

The club are currently expecting to play the first four home games of the new season (versus Gravesend, Nuneaton, Farnborough and Northwich) at Dorchester's Avenue Stadium, as previously reported. Details of transport arrangements are expected to be announced shortly.

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Wed 17th July 2002
Salisbury Friendly Back On!

Despite yesterday's statement from Salisbury City quoted below, it seems that reports of the club's death may hopefully have been somewhat exaggerated! According to a news item on the Unofficial SCFC Website the FA have refused to accept Salisbury's resignation from the Southern League, apparently beause of improper paperwork. So at the moment, the club officially still lives on.

In response to that Yeovil Town have agreed to waive their appearance fee for Saturday's game and the friendly at Salisbury's Raymond McEnhill Stadium, kick-off 3pm, is back ON. Yeovil chairman John Fry said: "We are obviously sympathetic to another regional club and we would ask all of our fans to come up and support both ourselves and Salisbury this Saturday"

Glovers boss Gary Johnson commented, "When Tom called me [Tom Killick, returning SCFC manager], I was happy to take a team up there to help them out of their current plight. I worked closely with Tom when he was at Salisbury previously and was only too pleased to help".

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Tues 16th July 2002
Salisbury City FC

Sad news - it seems that Saturday's friendly opponents Salisbury City are no more, for the forseeable future at least. The directors of the club have released the following statement:

Salisbury City Football Club Limited

The directors of Salisbury City Football Club Limited (SCFC) have completed a detailed review of its financial position. The directors and Mr Ken Cunningham Brown had been negotiating arrangements for the coming season, and were encouraged by the positive response that Mr Cunningham Brown?s proposed involvement had generated.

The projected full year cash deficiency for the coming season is approximately £100,000. Unfortunately this has proved to be an insurmountable hurdle to overcome within the resources that could be committed.

The directors of SCFC appreciate the time and effort given by Mr Cunningham Brown.

In the absence of any other realistic proposals to continue football at the present level, the directors have concluded that SCFC will be unable to play in the coming season. It is hoped that the Club can be reorganised during this period so that it can recommence competitive football in the season after that, but on a more viable basis.

In the meantime, the directors wish to make the stadium facilities more widely available for sporting activities for schools and others. They have already taken steps to take this forward, and invite any interested parties to contact them.

Robert JR Wike
Director

Messages left on the independent Salisbury City Forum suggest that SCFC fans don't intend to take the closure of their club lying down and through their Supporters Trust are looking at the possibility of a new club rising from the ashes of the old, though it's probably too late to do anything in time for this season. Ciderspace wishes them the very best of luck, it would be a travesty if a town the size of Salisbury didn't have a senior club to call its own. Saturday's friendly has, of course, been cancelled.

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Mon 15th July 2002
Georgian International Training With Glovers

..... But don't get too excited as he's here looking for a move to the Premiership or Division One, not the Conference! Skonto Riga central defender Alexander Rekhviashvili is training with the Glovers over the next fortnight in an effort to acclimatise to English conditions and the way things are done at English clubs - and also to put himself in the shop window, with the likes of Aston Villa and Wolves already said to be interested in the player.

The link up with Yeovil obviously comes about because of Glovers boss Gary Johnson's connections with the Latvian FA - Johnson still acts as a consultant to both Skonto Riga and Latvian FA president Guntis Indrikssons. Speaking about Rekhviashvili, Johnson said: "He's looking for a move to the Premiership or Division One. I would love to have him at Yeovil but he's been a regular international for the last two years."

Meanwhile the Glovers have arranged two more friendly matches - firstly at Ryman League Chertsey Town this Wednesday (17 July), 7.30pm kick-off. Directions to Alwyns Lane can be found here. A second trip to Surrey follows on Thursday 1 August when the Glovers play Molesey. Speaking to the Western Daily Press Gary Johnson said: "I have 21 players that are all first team players who are all training so well and I don't want some of them to have to wait two weeks for a game."

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Thurs 11th July 2002
Glovers Made Favourites For Title While Losing In Latvia

Internet bookmakers Blue Square and Surreysports have released their prices for the outright winner of the Conference this season and both have made Yeovil favourites for the title, 5/1 at Blue Square narrowing to 11/4 with Surreysports. If you're thinking of having a bet over the net and haven't opened an account at a bookies yet then don't forget that if you click on the Blue Square advert at the top of the official site's news page, the club benefits financially - not by a huge amount, but in these financially uncertain times every little helps! Those Blue Square odds in full:

Yeovil 5/1
Dagenham and Redbridge 11/2
Chester 6/1
Doncaster 8/1
Scarborough 9/1
Barnet 10/1
Halifax 12/1
Burton Albion, Morecambe, Farnborough 16/1
Margate, Stevenage 20/1
Hereford, Nuneaton 25/1
Southport 28/1
Gravesend, Kettering, Telford 33/1
Forest Green, Leigh RMI, Woking, Northwich 50/1

Meanwhile the Glovers have lost their final match of their Latvian tour, going down 2-1 to Latvian league leaders FK Ventspils, Kim Grant the Yeovil scorer. The ytfc.net match report is now online. The Glovers return home then with a record of one win, a draw and a loss from their three games abroad.

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Thurs 11th July 2002
Lets Be Avenue - Glovers Will Start Season At Dorchester

According to today's editions of the local press, Yeovil will definitely be starting the coming season at Dorchester Town's Avenue Stadium whilst work is completed on the pitch at Huish Park, with the first four home games of the season - versus Gravesend, Nuneaton, Farnborough and Northwich - now confirmed as being switched. The home match v Halifax on Saturday 21st September could also be moved, but it's hoped that the new pitch will be ready for the visit of the Sky TV cameras, not to forget opponents Woking the following Tuesday 24th September.

And it could be a case of out of the Huish Park frying pan and into the Avenue fire if comments made by AFC Bournemouth manager Sean O'Driscoll are anything to go by. Bournemouth began last season playing at The Avenue whilst their new Fitness First Stadium was being completed (what was wrong with Dean Court as a name?) and the Cherries boss blamed the surface at Dorchester for Bournemouth's poor start to the season which eventually saw them relegated to Division 3. Speaking to the Western Gazette O'Driscoll said, "The pitch was terrible when we started playing on it. We had to send our groundsman down to sort it out - it really was a nightmare. They have got a lot of drainage problems there and it was very uneven. So good luck to Yeovil - I hope it plays better for them.". Glovers fans will get their first chance to see the pitch for themselves on Tuesday 23rd July, when Yeovil entertain Bristol City at The Avenue for a pre-season friendly.

Despite the uncertainty surrounding the pitch the club have said that season ticket sales are going "extremely well" and it's hoped that last season's total sales - said to be over 1,000 - will be exceeded before the new season begins. According to the Yeovil Express the club are currently negotiating with transport firms to see what arrangements could be made to take Glovers fans to Dorchester's Avenue Stadium, and more details on arrangements for season ticket holders and disabled fans travelling to Dorchester should be available shortly.

In the meantime Yeovil play the final game of their pre-season Latvian tour against league leaders FK Ventspils this evening and fly back to the UK tomorrow. Manager Gary Johnson said, "We got a terrific reception in Riga and it was nice to meet up with some old colleagues. I think the lads have played well in both games and to be unbeaten against two of Latvia's biggest sides [Skonto Riga and FK Auda] is very satisfying. The training facilities here are fantastic and the lads are really benefiting from the break. They are all looking in good shape. They are also enjoying the culture - it's not often that teams like Yeovil get the chance to come to somewhere like Riga."

Finally, the name Weale is in the headlines locally again, but this time it's nothing to do with Glovers goalkeeper Chris. Twin brother Sam Weale of East Coker has won a bronze medal representing Great Britain in the Modern Pentathlon at the European Junior Championships in Budapest last week - congratulations to him!

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Sun 8th July 2002
Alford On Target, Early Trophy Odds

The Glovers this evening played the second match of their pre-season Latvian tour, coming out on top against FK Auda by a 1-0 scoreline. Carl Alford was the scorer with a goal early on after the half-time break - Fat Harry's match report is now online on the official site. The squad now combine more training with a spot of sightseeing for the next few days until they play Latvian League leaders FK Ventspils this Thursday, before returning home on Friday.

On a separate note altogether, bookmakers Surreysports have released their odds for next season's FA Trophy and it's perhaps no surprise that they've made Yeovil 5/1 favourites to retain the Trophy. Last season's finalists Stevenage are 10/1 whilst no-hopers Bath City and Weymouth are at a remarkably generous 80/1 - surely a typo for 800/1 in Ciderspace's humble opinion. Those odds in full:

Yeovil 5/1
Dagenham 6/1
Doncaster 8/1
Chester, Stevenage 10/1
Morecambe 12/1
Barnet, Burton, Scarborough 14/1
Farnborough 16/1
Halifax 20/1
Canvey, Forest Green, Hereford, Margate, Northwich, Nuneaton, Southport 25/1
Dover, Gravesend, Hayes, Kettering, Leigh, Woking 33/1
Stalybridge, Tamworth, Telford, Vauxhall Motors 40/1
50/1 bar

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Sat 6th July 2002
Glovers Open Latvian Tour With Draw

Yeovil Town began their build-up to the new season in the Latvian capital city of Riga last night, coming away with a creditable 2-2 draw in a friendly against Skonto Riga, Latvian champions and qualifiers for the Champions League. The match was a return of last November's friendly at Huish Park when the Glovers were on the wrong end of a 5-3 defeat.

The Yeovil scorers last night were Adam Stansfield, beginning where he left off from last season, and Adam Lockwood, with his first goal for the club. The ytfc.net match report is now online. The Glovers now go on to play FK Auda tomorrow (Sunday) before completing the tour at FK Ventspils, the current Latvian League leaders, next Thursday.

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Thurs 4th July 2002
Exclusive: Evan Hung Out To Dry

Ciderspace brings you the first exclusive picture of Evan Stevens, after his suspension today by Bungston United. Mr Stevens, well known Scots manager with a name sounding oddly Welsh, was hung out to dry as the club that he taken from obscurity to infamy in four short years tried to distance itself from the cheating scandal that has enveloped it and him.

As popular around football as a slug in a salad, only yesterday Mr Stevens was maintaining that it was "business as usual" on a local radio station. An unfortunate choice of phrase perhaps, given Mr Stevens usual business of illegal payments, bribes and attempts to pervert the course of justice. Hardly surprising that this threat promise caused panic in the boardroom at Bungston United, and after a week of inaction the club went about the 'usual business' of suspending Mr Stevens from the tallest floodlight available. Mr Stevens was unavailable for comment which, if it continues for the next decade or two, will mean something worthwhile has come out of the whole sorry saga. Though even five minutes of silence from the gobsh*te would be a bonus.

Suspended for the duration
Evan Stevens was unavailable for comment today.



Thurs 4th July 2002
The Road To Latvia

New signing Abdoulai Demba prepares for the off. Photograph © Stewart Bratherton & Ciderspace.
JF: Nice new trainers, Gary.
GJ: Yeah, I found them stuffed in a draw labelled 'CL' in my office. You don't know who they belonged to, do you?
JF: (cough, splutter) Er, hmm, nice weather for the time of year.........

The Yeovil Town tour party set off today for three pre-season games in Latvia. There will be matches against FK Skonto, FK Auda and FK Ventspils on the 5th, 7th and 11th of July respectively before the team flies back to the U.K. on the 12th. Ciderspace wishes it was going too, but someone has to mind the shop.

Gary Johnson, Carl Alford and a (thankfully) partially hidden Fat Harry. Photograph © Stewart Bratherton & Ciderspace.
Will Carlo live to regret his joke about Gary's bald spot?



Thurs 4th July 2002
Pitch Update

At work on the pitch: photograph © 'Blue Mole' & Ciderspace.
Nearly ready for seeding.

Huish Park as it is today. The second set of contractors are close to completing their part in the preparation of the new pitch. Weather permitting it is expected that the seeds will go in next Wednesday.



Thurs 4th July 2002
You Can't Have Too Many Strikers...

Yeovil Town returned to training this week with boss Gary Johnson expressing his satisfaction at his players general level of fitness at this early stage of the pre-season. Speaking to the local press Johnson said: "It is great to see that the lads are still looking fit after their summer holidays and I am pleased that no-one has abused themselves." A relief to us all, that bit of news. The boss continued: "It looks like they all took on board my orders."

Talking about the coming season, Johnson said: "There are five or six teams who many would tip to be up there and we are one of those, especially with the way we played at the tail end of last season. I would be very disappointed if we did not get into the play-offs. We are going to do everything within our power to win the league. But it is going to need every ounce of effort. We can go into the season feeling optimistic - but we also need to be realistic because we won't be the only team in the league. But we'll have to give it more than 100 per cent."

With the arrival of Abdoulai Demba at Huish Park, Johnson now has five first choice strikers at his disposal for the coming season plus attacking midfielder Gavin Williams, who is also capable of playing as a front man. But it seems that despite fans speculation to the contrary - not least on these pages! - that the manager wants to keep all of his attackers at Huish Park and has no plans to offload anyone. "If we are to carry on from where we left off last season I felt we needed more options going forward, but that is taking nothing away from the players we have already," Johnson explained. "There will be two or three of the lads who will be disappointed. But they all know how I work and how I select sides. The beauty of it all is that I've got a good variation of player who can be used in different matches. We have got players for all situations which will be required. Above all the squad assembled means there will be competition for places. The addition of Demba and Gavin Williams are the little tweaks we were looking to make with the squad. We have built up a good squad with the same philosophy and I was pleased that everyone returned to training fit and raring to go."

And talking of the arrival of Demba from the Belgian League, Johnson has been enthusiastically praising his new signing, saying: "The lad is strong and very mobile - as quick as a gazelle - and has a natural eye for goal. He is an Efan Ekoku type who can make things happen in the opposition penalty area."

Some triallists have been joining in with the training sessions this week, including Bristol City striker James Pike, who spent some time on trial with the Glovers last season; ex-Newcastle United midfielder Carl Heinniger and Olivier Brassart's brother Herve. It's not expected that any of the current triallists will be added to the squad however, and in Herve Brassart's case at least a reliable source informs us that his presence at the training ground was requested as a favour to enable the player to build up fitness before he goes on to trials elsewhere. The first team squad fly out to Latvia today for the start of their pre-season tour with their first match, versus Skonto Riga, scheduled for tomorrow evening.

In other news it now seems more or less certain that the Huish Park pitch will not be ready for the start of the season and that Yeovil will play around 4-5 games at Dorchester's Avenue Stadium. When the Glovers do return to Huish Park they will not only find that the drainage problems have been solved (please god!), they will also find that the pitch has been widened and lengthened, after years in which successive bosses ordered the playing area reduced in size. The current vital stats are 101 x 64 yards - the new pitch will be 110 x 70 yards, which should suit the Glovers full-time fitness, plus the passing game Johnson wants his side to play: "In the FA Trophy Final at Villa Park, which has one of the biggest pitches in the country, I thought we kept possession once we had got into the lead and we looked very comfortable. The problem we had last term was that teams would come here to try and shut up shop against us and we ended up having a lot of draws and 1-0 defeats. By increasing the pitch size it will give us more space to move the ball around. We are a fit team and will benefit from all the extra space." Amen to that.

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Mon 1st July 2002
Latvian Tour Schedule Released

The club have released the schedule for the upcoming tour of Latvia. It reads as follows:

Thursday July 4th - Depart Heathrow 17.45. Arrive Riga 22.35
Friday July 5th - Training AM. Preparation for 1st Match PM. FK Skonto v Yeovil Town, kick off 19.00.
Saturday July 6th - Training AM. Sightseeing Riga PM. Watch Latvia v Azerbaijan evening.
Sunday July 7th - Training AM. Preparation for 2nd match PM. FK Auda v Yeovil Town, kick-off 18.00.
Monday July 8th - Training AM. More sightseeing PM.
Tuesday July 9th - Training all day.
Wednesday July 10th - Training AM. Trip to Jurmula PM.
Thursday July 11th - Training AM. Travel to Ventspils PM, 3rd match FK Ventspils v Yeovil Town.
Friday July 12th - Depart Riga 11.30am, Arrive Heathrow 12.20 pm

The players and management team will be staying at the Keizarmezs Training Centre courtesy of FK Skonto. The club's press officer, Adrian Hopper (aka Fat Harry) will be travelling with the party and will be sending regular updates to the club's official website.

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Mon 1st July 2002
Demba Is A Glover

The worst kept secret in the world.......ever (!) is a secret no more, not that it ever really was much of a secret of course after weeks of speculation - Belgian striker Abdoulai Demba, or just plain Demba, as he apparently prefers to be known, has signed a 12-month contract with Yeovil Town, with the option of a further year's extension should both parties agree.

The 26-year-old Mali-born striker has spent the last season playing for KV Ostendein the Belgian 3rd Division, finishing as the club's top scorer with 9 goals from 15 games. Previously to that he played for El Kahlij of the United Arab Emirates.

Demba came for a trial at Huish Park with the now released Francis Kumbur for a week in March and scored twice in a 5-3 friendly win over Portland United. Speaking to the club's official site, manager Gary Johnson said: "We’ve been following him for the last year and after his performances in the Belgium play-offs he has become very sought after. The trouble was that trying to access him in only a week was rather difficult and we only had the chance to play him in one match - a friendly against Portland in which he scored twice. So Thommo and I went over to watch him in action in the Belgium League and he did very well. He did receive other offers and had a choice of staying in Belgium, going to Holland or joining Yeovil."

Here at Ciderspace we welcome Demba to Huish Park. The very best of luck to him for the new season - let's hope his stay in Somerset is a long and fruitful one for both the player and the club.

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This Page Written By Jon Morgan/Hugh Gleave/Martin Baker
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Last Updated 31st July 2002


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