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31 January 2006 : Reserves Lose At Cheltenham
Yeovil Town Reserves lost 1-0 at Cheltenham Town tonight. An Ashley Vincent penalty just before the half time break was enough to divide the sides after Glovers keeper Chris Weale was judged to have brought down Cheltenham's Gary Bradshaw.

The game was the proverbial one of two halves as Cheltenham dominated the first period, whilst the Glovers dominated the second. Chris Weale had to make saves from a deflected Damian Spencer effort as well as a long ranger from Ashley Vincent. Chances from Michael Wylde and Sam Foley went wide of the target as the home side dominated. But despite the pressure, it was actually Yeovil who came the closest to undoing the deadlock, with Andy Lindegaard's corner seeing Gavin McCallum's downward header superbly saved by home keeper Scott Brown. McCallum also later forced Brown into a good save at his near post.

Right on half time though, Weale struggled to clear a loose ball and his tangle with Bradshaw saw referee Mr Rodda point to the spot. Although Wealey guessed the right way, Ashley Vincent put the ball right into the corner to divide the sides at half time.

The Glovers made a double substitution early in the second half and this seemed to upset the home side, with them now caught on the back foot. Pablo Bastianini stretched Brown wide to his left to stop one creeping in at the corner and later provided a typical 25 yard strike that the keeper was forced to save again. Stephen Reed tried his luck from distance in the closing stages, but again Brown ensured that he kept a clean sheet. Despite the late pressure, Yeovil couldn't break the deadlock and so Cheltenham clinched the match by Vincent's first half penalty.

Cheltenham Town: Brown; Gallinagh, Wylde, Taylor, Evans; Yao, Connolly, Foley, Vincent; Spencer, Bradshaw. Subs: Whittington (28 mins for Spencer), Musgrove (65 mins, for Whittington), Puddy, Waters, Allard.

Yeovil Town: Chris Weale; Andy Lindegaard, Gary Bowles, Daniel Webb, Stephen Reed; Gavin McCallum, Matt Concliffe, Pablo Bastianini, Dale Williams; Raphael Akala, Kevin Gall. Subs: Richard Cullingford (not used), Ebeneezer Masade (56 mins for Matt Concliffe), Jack Pitcher (56 mins for Raphael Akala).


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31 January 2006 : Vincent Signs From Derby
Yeovil Town have completed their second transfer deadline day signing with the capture of Derby County defender Jamie Vincent. The 30 year old player severed his contract at Pride Park today and immediately signed a deal at Huish Park until the end of this season. He is a left-sided defender who joined Derby in January 2004 from Portsmouth. He was born on 18th June 1975 in London.

Vincent's footballing career is to say the least a lengthy one, having started his time with Crystal Palace in 1993. After a loan spell with Bournemouth, he joined them permanently for 25,000, making over 100 appearances for the Cherries across 2.5 years. In 1999, a 500,000 pound move saw him head to Huddersfield Town and in 2001, he saw an 800,000 pound move to Portsmouth go through. Whilst at Portsmouth, Jamie had a loan spell at Walsall.

Jamie had been enjoying a regular run in Derby's side, but firstly a thigh injury then a calf injury saw him sidelined and knocked out of the Rams team. As a result, the 2005/06 season saw him placed immediately on loan to Millwall where he played against Yeovil Town in this season's 2-1 defeat for the Glovers with the left-back playing the full 90 minutes on that night.

Jamie has played roughly 339 games at Football League level and it is this level of experience that Glovers boss Steve Thompson says will make a difference explaining: "We are hoping Jamie will bring that extra bit of experience and quality to the squad."

The best of luck to Jamie and Ciderspace hopes that his stay with the Glovers turns into a successful one that extends beyond the end of this season.


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31 January 2006 : Brentford Match Rearranged
Yeovil Town's home match against Brentford has been rearranged to take place on Tuesday 7th March with a 7.45pm kick-off at Huish Park. Brentford have today lost striker Dudley Campbell (aka 'DJ') to Birmingham City in a move that will net the West London side 500,000 pounds. But with the transfer deadline more or less reached now, it is unlikely Brentford will sign a replacement.

The Somerset Premier Cup Third Round tie against Clevedon Town that was scheduled for the same day has been called off and will have to be rearranged.


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31 January 2006 : Midfielder Signs From Accy
Midfielder Anthony Barry has signed from Conference National leaders Accrington Stanley on an 18 month deal. Anthony played a full 90 minutes in last night's televised match at Exeter City that saw his side extend their lead at the top of the Conference to nine points by beating their nearest rivals 3-1 at St James Park. The match was watched by Steve Thompson and Kevin Hodges no doubt as a final consideration towards making a bid for the player. The transfer fee is currently undisclosed.

Anthony was born on 29th May 1986 in Liverpool and has been a near ever present for Accrington this season, playing as a holding midfielder for the club. He has made 32 appearances for Accy since joining them in April 2005 from Coventry City. He spent seven years playing for Liverpool Schoolboys before being signed by Everton as a trainee. July 2004 saw him signed up by Coventry City where he played for their Reserve team before moving into the Conference National league.

Whilst it is always dangerous to make comparisons with former players - no two players are identical - if Yeovil Town's aborted bid to sign Chester City's Ben Davies today was their plan to replace Lee Johnson's playmaker and dead-ball skills, then the signing of Anthony Barry is more in line with the notion of providing a long term replacement for Darren Way's combative skills as a holding midfielder.

Anthony will need time to adjust to the two-league leap from Conference to League One football, but at 19 years old, he has the time to potentially do it. Welcome Anthony to the club, and may your stay at Huish Park be a fruitful one.


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31 January 2006 : Now you see him - and now you don't (part 2)
Well, it was good while it lasted. At approximately 6pm this afternoon the club's official site proudly announced the signing of the highly-rated Wolverhampton Wanderers central defender Keith Lowe on a 3 month loan deal. Lowe had already spent 3 months on loan at Burnley this season making 18 appearances for the Championship side and looked to be the ideal player to bring in to Huish Park to bolster the Glovers rather threadbare-looking defence. In fact he looked to good to be true....

....And he was. Approximately 30 minutes after the original news item announcing his signing went online, another news story appeared on the official site, a rather terser affair, saying that Lowe had in fact had a last-minute change of mind and had decided to sign for Queens Park Rangers instead.

These things happen. Players do sometimes say one thing and then do another. Unfortunate though that this is the second player in as many weeks that the official site has announced as having signed for Yeovil Town only to have to issue a somewhat embarrassed denial some time later. Les Afful anyone? Let's hope there's not a third occasion.


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31 January 2006 : Tonight's Reserves Line-Up
The club's official site has confirmed the following line-up for the match at Whaddon Road against Cheltenham Town Reserves. It will presumably be bolstered with substitutes and any late signings.

Expected Line-Up: Chris Weale, Andy Lindegaard, Stephen Reed, Gary Bowles, Pablo Bastianini, Kevin Gall, Gavin McCallum, Richard Cullingford, Dale Williams, Craig Alcock, Ben Wood.

Gary Bowles is a recent Youth Team signing who made his debut in the recent 6-1 thrashing of Swansea City as a central defender.


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31 January 2006 : Thomas, McCallum signings confirmed
It's been confirmed on the official site that former Peterborough, Weymouth and Eastleigh defender Bradley Thomas and Canadian youth team prospect Gavin McCallum have signed contracts with the club (see Ciderspace news stories 28th/29th Jan respectively). McCallum's contract is said to be 18 months long, no details are available on the length of Thomas's deal.

Ciderspace wishes both players the best of luck for their time at Huish Park.


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31 January 2006 : Chester Turn Down Davies Bid
League Two side Chester City appear to be one of the two clubs Glovers boss Steve Thompson has referred to earlier today (see story below) when he was referring to bids for prospective midfielders. However the bad news is that Deva Stadium manager Keith Curle has already turned down the bid for the former Kidderminster Harriers midfielder.

Curle explained: "Weíve received an official faxed offer from Yeovil Town for Ben Davies. But we have rejected the bid which we have termed a derisory offer, and I am now keen to sit down with Ben and discuss an extension to his contract. I offered Ben an extension to his contract three months ago, but Benís agent refused to sit down and talk to me which begged the question of whether the agent had another club in mind for the player."

Curle's thoughts would fit in with Thommo's claim that his midfield target has already stated a wish to leave his current club. The Birmingham-born 24 year old is out of contract at the end of the season and so if Chester fail to get him on a new contract he would be entitled to leave the Deva Stadium for nothing. The midfielder is Chester's playmaker and set piece expert and has scored 16 goals in 154 appearances in Cheshire.

That doesn't mean the Glovers will have it their own way though. Davies was originally on Walsall's books as a youngster and Curle believes they have also shown an interest in the player adding: "I had heard that Walsall were interested in Ben so I rang up their manager Paul Merson. Paul told me he had received several good scouting reports about Ben and some good feedback, but the player wasnít one of his priorities at the moment. Iím well aware that Ben has attracted the interest of several clubs this season, but Iím determined to see Ben and a few other players renewing their contracts."


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31 January 2006 : Rose Close To Loan Extension
Today's Scunthorpe Evening Telegraph is claiming that they expect Glovers left-back Michael Rose to get an extension on a loan deal with fellow League One side Scunthorpe United. The paper claims that Rose has already agreed to stay at Glanford Park, and that presumably Glovers boss Steve Thompson has given the deal his blessing although there is no explicit mention of that. The paper claims the only hitch in the deal is a delay in the drawing up of paperwork to complete the deal, although it could be that Thommo is waiting for the outcome of any transfer activity today before giving the loan extension his blessing.


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31 January 2006 : Thommo on Thomas
Glovers manager Steve Thompson has been expanding on the reasons that central defender Bradley Thomas has been brought to the club from non-league football at Eastleigh, and it's clear that he sees the 21-year-old as having plenty of potential for the future rather than being immediate first-team material:

"We needed another central defender with Luke Oliver going (to Stevenage), and we see Bradley as cover." Thommo explained to the Western Daily Press. "He has the opportunity to come here, learn and improve, which I'm sure is what he'll try and do. There is always the possibility that injuries may force him into first-team contention quickly, but I think he's one we will have to work with closely and see how he progresses. His pace is one of his main attributes and we just feel there is a lot of potential there."

Bradley will probably make his debut in the green-and-white hoops in next weeks reserve team fixture at home to Bournemouth, Tuesday 7th Febtuary, 7pm kick-off. As reported below (see 30th Jan news item) he is suspended for this evening's reserve team fixture at Cheltenham and Saturday's first team match at home to Southend.


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31 January 2006 : Cheltenham Reserves Team News
Cheltenham Town's official site have announced their squad for tonight's match at Whaddon Road (see yesterday's story) as they take on a Yeovil Town Reserves side in a League/Cup double-header.

As expected their side is a mixture of first team squad players and youth-teamers, and their side is likely to have plenty of pace with Ashley Vincent, Sosthene Yao and Damian Spencer all scheduled to start in attacking positions.

Cheltenham Squad (with likely starting positions): Scott Brown (goal), Andy Gallinagh (defence), Michael Taylor (midfield), Michael Wylde (midfield), Richard Evans (left back), Sosthene Yao (wing), Adam Connolly (midfield), Foley, Ashley Vincent (wing), Gary Bradshaw (striker), Damian Spencer (striker). Likely Subs: Will Puddy (defence), Musgrove, Michael Whittington (striker), Waters, Allard.

At present there is no word from the Yeovil camp as to what sort of team Steve Thompson will be taking up to Gloucestershire.


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31 January 2006 : Busy day ahead for Thommo as transfer window closes
It's January 31st at last and the end of the first transfer window to affect the Football League is in sight. Glovers fans could be in for a busy day today trying to keep up with the arrivals at Huish Park as manager Steve Thompson attempts to bring in several players before the deadline, which officially ends at midnight tonight, or possibly more practically at 5pm this afternoon, depending on whether Football League staff are going to be at their desks this evening or not.

Speaking to the Western Daily Press Thommo said that he had agreed personal terms with 2 midfielders, one currently playing in League Two and one from a Conference club. Transfer fees were required for both players and it was getting agreement on the fees that was proving problematic:

"We have made bids over the last couple of days for two midfielders," Thompson confirmed. "I cannot divulge the names of the clubs they are from, but one is from League Two and one is from the Conference. The players both want to come and personal terms have been sorted, it's just the issue of agreeing fees with the clubs. That is proving difficult and it's hard to say how things will work out. They are both under contract and their clubs do not have to sell, but they both want to come and hopefully that will sway things in our favour. The midfield position has been my priority - Paul Terry and Chris Cohen have performed very well over the last few months, but they need some cover and competition."

Thommo admitted that the club had received enquiries about three players out of contract in the summer - striker Phil Jevons, forward Kevin Gall and midfielder Paul Terry - but all enquiries had been rebuffed and that he was hopeful that all three would sign a new contract in due course. He added that he was also in talks with an experienced central defender from a Championship club and would look at bringing in a striker on loan in the next week or so, after the transfer window closes.

"We did have an offer for Kevin Gall but we didn't feel it was reasonable, so we turned it down," he said. "People have enquired about Paul Terry and Phil Jevons, but they are staying here and hopefully we can negotiate new contracts with them in the very near future. I'm also hoping to bring in a more senior central defender and maybe a striker as well. We have not really got anywhere on the striker but we are in talks with a defender from a Championship club, although it's not as far advanced as the two midfielders."

Watch this space......


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31 January 2006 : Scott Sits Out Training
Central defender Scott Guyett is the only new player sitting out training as the First Team squad returned to training after their long weekend this week. The Australian is expected to be out for around 48 hours after picking up a virus over the weekend.

Speaking to the Teamtalk website Glovers manager Steve Thompson has said: "The lads have all had some time off over the weekend and are back in for training now. Scott has had a virus but we are hoping he will be all right for Saturday."

Scott's absence would cause Thommo a problem or two if he didn't recover from his virus, although matters do not seem too serious so far. Adam Lockwood would be a straight shoe-in for Guyett's position, but with Terry Skiverton injured and new signing Bradley Thomas suspended, right-back Kevin Amankwaah and youngster Stephen Reed would represent Thommo's next options.


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31 January 2006 : Pablo Tracked By Dutch Clubs
Yesterday's Western Daily Press carried the claims that Yeovil Town striker Pablo Bastianini has been tracked by a trio of Dutch clubs since his arrival at Huish Park. The trio had been interested in signing Pablo over the summer but were beaten to his signature by Gary Johnson.

The paper reports that Utrecht, Roda and Heerenveen have been scouting the striker for a while now, but that their interest in him has gone cold due to Pablo's lack of matches lately. The Argentinian has only started in one first team match since November 15th and has often been an unused substitute or been dropped from the sixteen entirely. With few Reserve Team matches in the past month anyone intending to monitor Pablo's progress will have been left disappointed. The Dutch clubs are therefore not expected to move for the 23 year old before the deadline tonight.


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30 January 2006 : Eastleigh Earmark Sell-On
Tonight's Southampton Echo reports that Eastleigh Manager Paul Doswell negotiated a 20 percent sell-on with Yeovil Town for new signing Bradley Thomas, should he prove a hit at Huish Park. The Glovers have got the central defender on a free transfer, with Thomas only having four months left of his deal, but if he is sold on then Eastleigh will pocket a fifth of the deal price.


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30 January 2006 : Transfer Window Round-Up : No. 9
Just 24 hours before League One fans can either heave a sigh of relief or cry into their beers. The January transfer window officially closes at midnight tomorrow (Tuesday night) although for Football League clubs the deadline may well be 5.00pm. During the last transfer window, staff at the Premiership worked up until midnight to accept late transfer dealing, but those at the Football League's office worked a normal day and therefore all transfers had to be recorded by 5.00pm. There has been no obvious indication of whether the same imbalance will apply, but it seems the most likely situation.

Matters are still relatively quite around League One with many clubs around the league reporting that they are likely to settle for what they've got. Swansea City have finally off-loaded one member of their bloated squad (and by bloated we don't mean Lee Trundle here) with striker Paul Connor signing a 2.5 year deal with League Two promotion challengers Leyton Orient. Connor's options were proving to be increasingly limited after the Jacks spent over half a million pounds during the transfer window, with Leon Knight and Rory Fallon taking up most of that. With Trundle and Akinfenwa also on their books, Connor stood little chance of a start, meaning that Gary Johnson's former Yeovil transfer target will now drop a division.

Leicester City winger Jason Wilcox has signed a permanent deal with relegation-threatened Blackpool until the end of the season. In reality this is a case of the Tangerines keeping what they have already got, with the 34 year old having arrived at Bloomfield Road in November. He arrives on a free transfer.

Another loanee turning into a permanent transfer is Aston Villa's Steven Foley. He has signed for AFC Bournemouth for 20,000 pounds, committing himself to a 2.5 year deal. The 19 year old has already played 25 games for the Cherries and their assistant Richard O'Kelly said of the deal: "Steven's been very instrumental in the way we've played. He's got a great left foot and works the ball well. We thought we might have lost him at one stage, but we can't thank the people at Villa enough."

Striker Trevor Benjamin has joined Swindon Town on loan for the rest of the season, as the 26 year old prepares to play for the 12th club of his career. He is currently on Peterborough's books and Glovers fans may recall him featuring for Northampton Town last season.

Bristol City have put the collapse of the Jermaine Easter deal behind them by capturing Luton Town striker Calvin Andrews on a month's loan. The 19 year old can also play as a left-winger and Gary Johnson has said of their new signing: "Calvin is strong and quick and is also very mature. He can play in more than one position is also an attraction. He has a fierce desire to succeed and that is the sort of player I want in my squad."

Of course the Glovers themselves have shipped out Luke Oliver over the weekend for 15,000 pounds to Conference side Stevenage Borough whilst Bradley Thomas arrives on a free transfer from Conference South side Eastleigh (see stories in the previous days).

However away from League One, one of their former loan players Martin Gritton has left Grimsby Town and headed to Lincoln City for a nominal fee, signing a deal that will keep him until Sincil Bank until the summer of 2007. Gritton has been a regular in Grimsby's side this season, but having only scored two goals so far this season, he has not built on the early promise he showed for Russell Slade's side.

Finally Al-James Hannigan has been spotted still playing football in London - he has moved from Enfield to Enfield Town who are playing at Southern League Division One East level. The 35 year old was in his fifth (yes, fifth!) spell with Enfield but has now moved to the town's off-shoot club, formed after a group of Enfield supporters expressed dissatisfaction with the running of the original Enfield club. Perhaps Al-James may find it difficult to knock up his sixth spell with that club in a year's time.


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30 January 2006 : Reserves Travel To Cheltenham
Yeovil Town's Reserve side travel to play Cheltenham Town tomorrow (Tuesday) evening in what will be a "double header" match. The result of the game will be recorded against both the Pontins Holiday Combination League and also the Pontins Holiday Combination Cup Group Stage table.

The match takes place at Whaddon Road, Cheltenham with a 7.00pm kick-off. Admission prices are 2.00 pounds for adults with all concessions admitted for free.

There is currently no team news available, although with the first team squad currently a little on the thin side, much may depend upon whether Glovers boss Steve Thompson brings in any new players tomorrow on transfer deadline day and whether they are able to get to the game on time.

Chris Weale, Stephen Reed, Dale Williams, Richard Cullingford and Daniel Webb would seem near certainties to play - the rest may be down to Thommo's judgement following the morning run-out, combined with any possibility of new blood coming in.


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30 January 2006 : Back To Work!
Yeovil Town's playing squad resume training tomorrow after a long weekend away from the club. Manager Steve Thompson gave the players a mid-season break after a similar idea last season saw the team come back in a refreshed mood, thrashing Mansfield Town by a 5-2 scoreline.

Whilst getting the same scoreline against Saturday's opponents - league leaders Southend United - might be asking a little too much, Thommo will hope that allowing the players to rest and relax will see them attack the remaining 17 games of the season with renewed vigour.

Speaking to the Teamtalk website, Thommo explained: "Most of the lads have gone away with their families for a few days well-earned rest, which was something we tried last season. I'm hoping that coming roughly mid-season the lads will gain some benefit from it."


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30 January 2006 : Booking Your Summer Holiday?
For those still thinking about dates for their summer holiday : the 2006-07 Football League season will kick off on Saturday 5th August.

Before then there's a fair bit of football to be played, and the odd World Cup to fit in.

Because of the World Cup the close of the 2005-06 season has a bit more of a staggered look than usual. The Championship will end on Sunday 30th April, with all matches kicking off at 1.30 p.m. League One and League Two is still scheduled to end on Saturday 6th May, all kick-offs at 3.00 p.m. The Premier League finishes on Sunday 7th May.

The Championship play-offs are scheduled as follows :

1st Legs - May 6th/7th; 2nd Legs - May 9th/10th; Final - Sunday May 21st.

Leagues One and Two play-offs are scheduled as follows :

1st Legs - May 13th/14th; 2nd Legs - May 16th/17th; League One Final - Saturday May 27th; League Two Final - Sunday May 28th.

All three finals are still supposed to be at Wembley, though the latest announcements from builders Multiplex throw severe doubts on this.

The F.A. Cup Final is on Saturday 13th May at 3.00 p.m., with the venue either Wembley or the Millennium Stadium. The F.A. Trophy Final will be played on Sunday 14th May at Upton Park, kick-off at 3.00 p.m., and is to be televised live on Sky Sports.

The World Cup starts on Friday 9th June and finishes on Sunday 9th July. And then on to the pre-season friendlies we go.............


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30 January 2006 : Bradley Suspended
New signing Bradley Thomas arrives at Huish Park today carrying a suspension from his previous club Eastleigh in the Conference South league.

The FA's website states that Bradley is suspended "from all football until the Club have completed 2 first team matches for 5/10/15 cautions" and in referring to his former club annotate that the suspension is due to run from 28/01/2006 until 01/02/2006.

This would have covered Eastleigh's home matches against Thurrock on the Saturday plus their midweek match against Lewes. Whilst the first match in the suspension will therefore now be served, his second match will remain open for both tomorrow's Reserve Team game at Cheltenham Town and also the home match against Southend United. The club would be unable to delay his signing until after Eastleigh's midweek game as it takes place after the transfer window closes.

Hence if our interpretation of the rules is correct, the first chance to see the central defender in action will be the home Reserve match against AFC Bournemouth on February 7th. Thereafter he will be available for future matches.

Although the FA's website never states the exact nature of the suspension, it is likely that Bradley has been suspended for picking up 10 bookings for Eastleigh this season.


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29 January 2006 : Action Photos From Yeovil Town vs Bradford City
The action photo gallery for the League One match at Huish Park last weekend that saw a 0-1 home defeat against Bradford City is now on-line. Access all 80 photos by heading here or by accessing the main Photo Gallery Index page.


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29 January 2006 : League One round-up
While the Glovers were enjoying their long weekend off and doubtless mentally at least girding their loins in preparation for next Saturday's crunch game at home to league leaders Southend, for most of the rest of League One this weekend was business as usual.

The Shrimpers warmed up for next week's encounter at Huish Park with a routine 2-0 home win over struggling Swindon; but the match of the day was at Ashton Gate, where TBCUTR saw off the Manchester Utd of League One (© Alan Tate) by a goal to nil, a Louis Carey goal on the stroke of half-time the difference between the teams. Darren Way made his league debut for the Jacks, coming on as a second half substitute. Referee Clive Penton made his mark on the match, booking 7 (count 'em!) Swansea players and 3 from the home side. Swansea winger Tom Williams eventually walked for a second bookable offence and the Welsh club are liable to be fined for having more than 5 players cautioned in one match.

Fight of the day took place after Hartlepool's 3-0 home defeat at the hands of fellow strugglers Blackpool - stewards were called to the Pools dressing room to separate the warring parties with manager Martin Scott alleged to have been attacked by one of his players. Doubtless there's more to come on that particular story.

Another manager under pressure is Gary Megson at Nottingham Forest. The shining light of Forest's somewhat ordinary season thus far has been their excellent home form but even that crumb of comfort was denied to their fans on Friday evening as they went down 2-0 to Barnsley at the City Ground. After Forest's recent £1 million plus outlay on strikers Nathan Tyson and Grant Holt this was a poor result and to make matters worse the match was broadcast live on Sky TV - the chorus of boos at the end left the viewer in no doubt as to how Forest's supporters felt about their side's performance.

Elsewhere Huddersfield came back from 2-0 down at home to Oldham to take the points with 3 second half goals and the only thing consistent about Bournemouth is their inconsistency - on their day the Cherries are as good as anyone, but yesterday they succumbed 2-1 at home to the underrated Chesterfield. Neither Gillingham nor Rotherham will be thrilled with the point apiece both gained from the 1-1 draw at Priestfield as both needed all 3 to pull away from the relegation zone. Presumably nobody was particularly thrilled full stop at Valley Parade after Bradford City played Tranmere - the match finished 0-0.

Yesterday's results leaves the bottom half - well, the bottom two-thirds really - of teams looking nervously over their shoulders at the league table. With around 3 months of the season left to play it's quite conceivable that any team from around 8th placed Oldham (43 points) downwards could still find themselves in trouble if they go on a bad enough run. Bristol City's (35 points) win yesterday means the Glovers are now only 4 points away from the relegation zone - the fact that we are 13th (37 points) illustrates exactly how tight the league is. At the other end of the table the top 7 are beginning to pull away from the pack slightly with Southend (54) going back to the top. Colchester (52) are 2nd with Huddersfield (50) leapfrogging Swansea (49) in 3rd and 4th respectively.

Of the League One teams playing in the 4th round of the FA Cup yesterday Brentford hogged the headlines by beating Premiership Sunderland 2-1 at Griffin Park; and Colchester continued their excellent run by seeing off Championship side Derby County 3-1. Walsall lost 2-1 at Stoke City.

Midfield dynamo watch: Lee Johnson made his home debut for Hearts and by most accounts played his part in their 4-1 win over Edinburgh rivals Hibs. As noted above, Darren Way was a second half substitute for Swansea at Ashton Gate and was booked for his pains.


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29 January 2006 : McCallum Gets Professional Contract
Yeovil Town youth teamer Gavin McCallum has been given a professional contract with the club. The Canadian has been with the club for just over a year now, and tends to play as a left winger, although has also been used as a striker and as a right winger. He was born on August 24th, 1987 in Mississauga, Canada.

Gavin made his debut for the club as a Youth Team player on October 2nd 2004 against Portsmouth. His first game for the Reserve team came a month later when he played against Weymouth on November 10th 2004, scoring after coming on as a substitute. His full Reserve debut came a week later in a Somerset Premier Cup win over Bristol Manor Farm.

Overall Gavin has made 20 reserve team appearances, scoring three goals, whilst at Youth Team level he has made 29 appearances, scoring nine goals. Probably his finest moment so far was a hat-trick he scored against Bournemouth earlier this month in the Football League Youth Alliance.

Gavin has also grabbed international honours with Canadaís U18 National Team. He scored for the national side on October 29th 2005 with the only goal of the game against an Everton U18s side, having played in all of the three previous tour games against Liverpool, Huddersfield Town and Manchester United U18 sides. He has also been called up to the Canadian U20s squad this season despite his age still making him eligible for the U18s. Gavin comes from a family with a strong footballing pedigree - his uncle, Trevor McCallum, played 18 times for Canada from 1983-1988.

The very best of luck to Gavin in winning a contract, and hope that the promise that he has shown in the past 15 months becomes fully realised.
Gavin McCallum at Burgess Hill in pre-season
Gavin McCallum at Burgess Hill in pre-season
Photo © 2005-06 Ciderspace



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28 January 2006 : Bradley Thomas Signs For Glovers
Yeovil Town has moved to bring in extra centre-back cover after the loss of captain Terry Skiverton to injury for six weeks and the departure of Luke Oliver to Non-league Stevenage Borough. Bradley Thomas has been signed from mid-table Conference South team Eastleigh.

David Webb and Bradley Thomas
Bradley Thomas signs for The Glovers.
Photo © 2006 Eastleigh FC


Twenty-one-year-old Thomas began his career as a trainee at Peterborough United. He had loan spells at Kettering Town, Aldershot Town, Heybridge Swifts and Weymouth. It was then manager, Steve Johnson, who first brought him to the seaside on loan in January 2005. At the start of the 2005-06 season current manager Garry Hill gave Thomas a one year contract, but by September he had been moved on to Eastleigh. Thomas was born in Forest Green (London, not the football club in Gloucestershire) but is qualified for Jamaica and has played at Under-23 level.


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28 January 2006 : Oliver doesn't want more
Stevenage Borough have confirmed that personal terms have been settled with Luke Oliver (see January 27th below for transfer story). Oliver has been awarded a contract taking him to the end of the 2006-07 season at Broadhall Way. He made his debut today at The Lamb Ground against lowly Tamworth. The tactical genius that is Graham Westley ensured a 2-0 defeat for the Hertfordshire Non-leaguers.


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28 January 2006 : Another Postponement
On the day we sat twiddling our thumbs because the game against Walsall fell foul of their appearance in the Fourth Round of the F.A. Cup (they lost 2-1 at Stoke City) another Saturday is now lost. The shock, or perhaps not so shock, defeat of Sunderland 2-1 by Brentford means The Bees will now be otherwise engaged on February 18th in the Fifth Round of the Cup. Congratulations to them, but a pain for us. We'll bring news of the date for the re-arrangement when it is announced.


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27 January 2006 : Plenty Of Bids - But Thommo Stands Firm
Apart from today's transfer of Luke Oliver from Yeovil Town to Stevenage Borough today (see story below), Glovers boss Steve Thompson has today confirmed that there have been other incoming bids for players at Huish Park, but that all have been so far turned down. The assumption has to be that these are all recent offers given that Thommo told this week's Western Gazette that there had been no bids - a quote that would have been given to the paper around Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday morning.

Speaking to the official site Steve explained: "We have had substantial offers for some of our players of late, but they have been turned down because the club does not wish to lose these players and we still feel there is an opportunity for them to commit themselves to the club. As a club we are still actively trying to bring in new players and we shall continue to do so until the transfer window closes on Tuesday. There is the opportunity to continue to bring players in on loan after that date. After that I will be glad to concentrate all my efforts on the team and the important three points we have to win against Southend."


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27 January 2006 : Transfer Window Round-Up : No. 8
Another quiet day of dealings today as the Transfer Window threatens to head out with a whimper rather than a bang, with Luke Oliver's 15,000 pound move from Yeovil to Stevenage Borough (see story below) the only money move of the day. Tuesday is the final day for permanent signings in League One, and today marked the sound of another major deal biting the dust.

Bristol City boss Gary Johnson yesterday said he didn't like talking about deals until the ink was dried and Stockport County's Jermaine Easter showed him exactly why when his third attempt to leave south Manchester came off the rails with Johnson unimpressed as to Easter's commitment to the cause.

Johnson admitted: "The deal is 100% off. We have a group of enthusiastic players here who are committed to playing for Bristol City. We need that attitude to get us out of trouble and then to get us up the table. I couldn't add someone who I didn't feel was enthusiastic, and I just felt during our meeting that Jermaine wasn't. He wanted more time to think about things, but he's had time and I can't give him any more. If you can't be enthusiastic about playing for Bristol City against Swansea when you're a Cardiff boy, then perhaps you're not right for this football club."

Oh dear! Ciderspace is also feeling rather sorry for Swindon Town midfielder Nicky Nicolau. Whilst the 22 year old might think that getting out of the relegation-threatened side, we doubt that he appreciated being sent to Edgar Street and perennial under-achievers Hereford United, where he is likely to deputise for former Glover Jamie Pitman, who is out with knee medial ligament damage for three weeks.

Doncaster Rovers striker Ben Saunders has left Belle Vue for Conference North side Worksop Town for an undisclosed fee. Not exactly manager Dave Penney's most inspired signing - Saunders departed after failing to make a first team appearance for the club since arriving at the club over the summer.

Just two new arrivals today. The first is Tommy Black who has joined Gillinghsm on loan from Crystal Palace. The 26 year old midfielder has joined on a month's loan. Meanwhile Adam Griffiths has joined Bournemouth as a free agent. The 26 year old defender was released earlier this month by Watford and has been training with the Cherries since then.


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27 January 2006 : City Tickets On Sale From The Third
Tickets for the eagerly anticipated visit to Ashton Gate on Saturday 1st April will go on sale to Season Ticket Holders only from Friday 3rd February to Saturday 18th February. Thereafter any remaining tickets will go on general sale from Monday 20th February.

All tickets are for unreserved covered seating in the Wedlock Blackthorn Stand. Numbers have not been announced, but normally Bristol City allocate visiting clubs 2,800 seats in this 5,500 capacity stand which is behind the goal. The stand has a number of pillars, so with the seating unreserved those wishing to ensure the best view should arrive early.

Prices are -

Adults : £17.00

Concessions (Over 65 and Students) : £13.00

Juniors (Under 16) : £6.00

All the above can only be purchased from the Huish Park Ticket Office.

Disabled supporters and carers will need to ring Bristol City on 0117 9630607.

For what it's worth the Ciderspace view is that we shall sell out our allocation (if 2,800), but that a reasonable number of tickets will go through to general sale and pretty much all the fans who want one will secure a seat.


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27 January 2006 : Afful Goes Home
Yeovil Town's former transfer target Les Afful has signed for League Two side Torquay United today on a three month loan deal. The winger/striker almost joined the Glovers this month but the deal fell through when Steve Thompson asked for the transfer to go through as a permanent deal to limit Yeovil's loan quotas and Exeter City's Alex Ingelthorpe refused to sanction anything other than a loan deal.

Now Afful has joined his home town Torquay in a deal that will end just before the end of the season and teams up with Gulls caretaker manager John Cornforth who Afful played under at St James Park.

Speaking to the Western Morning News, Ingelthorpe said of the deal, which ends Yeovil's interest in the player for good: "Les has recently had his fair share of clubs without actually playing for them! He's been linked with everyone. It's been a real disappointing week for him, but he lives in Torquay, he's playing in that environment and I'm really pleased for him. He knows John as well, so the familiarity is there as well."

Ingelthorpe gave a few hints as to the likely future for his player adding: "Les is 21 and his only experience football-wise has been Exeter. He came into the youth team, he came out of the youth team and played for the first team, so he has only ever known us. Sometimes, as a young man, you need to have other experiences football-wise to know what you have and haven't got. It could be that they play a different style or on different pitches and it suits them more than it suits us. The fact that he has gone up a league suggests people think he is capable of playing at that level. He is someone that I still rate very highly, it's just that at the minute, I think we have good players in and Les is finding it difficult to get a game."


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27 January 2006 : Oliver To DCBs
Centre-back Luke Oliver has been sold to Stevenage Borough, a Non-league side managed by a Mr. Westley that plays in the Conference National, for £15,000.

Oliver was signed by the Glovers in the summer of 2005 from Woking. The deal went to tribunal. The fee was not disclosed that we know of, but rumours put it at around the £10K mark. Bought as a prospect for the future he made appearances from the bench in the first three league matches of the season, coming on up front as an emergency forward whilst Yeovil awaited the arrival of Pablo Bastianini. And that, apart from a couple of Reserve matches, was the last Glovers fans saw of him. Luke was then loaned back to Woking for further development, a popular move at Kingfield where he was very well regarded.

All the best for the future, Luke. You may find Mr. Westley's approach to football management er, interesting........


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27 January 2006 : Yemi signs for Oxford Utd
Former Glovers striker Yemi Obudabe has signed for League Two club Oxford United from Eastbourne Borough for a fee of £15,000, which could rise to £25,000 depending on appearances.

Yemi left Yeovil for Eastbourne Borough in February 2005 for a 'small fee' after signing for the Glovers the previous summer from Borough's local rivals Eastbourne Town. The striker made 8 appearances for the Glovers first team, scoring twice. Yeovil are entitled to what was described at the time of his leaving Huish Park as a 'small' percentage of his sell-on fee. Good luck to Yemi at Oxford.


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27 January 2006 : Youth Alliance League Review
Last Saturday's (see news item) 6-1 win for Yeovil Town's Under 18s side has moved them up to 4th in the Football League Youth Alliance South West Conference league on 22 points. There's only a faint chance of them catching leaders Swindon Town (30 points) or second placed Plymouth Argyle (29 points) despite the pair sharing a 1-1 draw last Saturday.

They do have a great chance of a top three finish in the league though, lying just one point behind third placed Cheltenham Town but with two games in hand, after they drew 1-1 at 8th placed Oxford United.

Bournemouth (21 points) and Bristol Rovers (20 points) represent the two biggest challenges to the Glovers rise up the table although the former have played two more games. Both sides won on the weekend with Bournemouth winning 4-0 at Cirencester whilst Rovers won 1-0 against Newport County.

Only one result let to mention and it represents a milestone. Bottom side Hereford United hadn't gained a point so far in a miserable debut season, but it was 13th time lucky with a home 0-0 draw against Exeter City breaking that run. Only the small problem of a -53 goal difference and a seven point gap for them to make up on Cirencester to try and avoid the wooden spoon!

For the Glovers though, it was possibly their best performance of the season since their FA Youth Cup win at Oxford United and speaking to the Western Gazette manager Stuart Housley said of the result: "The first half was average for us but in the second half we turned on the style and only some good saves by the Swansea keeper kept it to six - it could have been double figures. Again Phil Ormrod was excellent and player-of-the-match Gavin McCallum looked the part. At the back Gary Bowles looked accomplished in his first game in green and white."

Note there are no fixtures this weekend listed on the Football League's Official Site although there may be the odd rearrangement they've overlooked. Yeovil Town's Under 18s though definitely have the weekend off.


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26 January 2006 : Skivo Backs Team Mates To Hold Fort
Terry Skiverton has told today's Western Daily Press that he would have full confidence in Yeovil Town's current set of centre-backs if boss Steve Thompson does not move to sign cover for the loss of his club captain - who is expected to be out until early March whilst he recovers from a double hernia and groin operation.

Skivo's doctor was none other than Dr Jerry Gilmore - so famous that the condition Gilmore's groin is named after him, with the doctor considered to be the leading expert in his field. He operates a specialist clinic from Harley Street in London where between 1980 and 1998 he made his name by dealing with referrals for over 3,500 patients resulting in over 2,000 operations. Professional footballers have made up 65% of his cases with 85 of the Premiership and Football League's 92 clubs using his services.

Skivo said of the operation: "I thought I just had a groin strain but when I went to see the specialist, Dr Gilmore, he said I had a double hernia and a groin strain so it was three problems really. But he has done a great job and now I just want to concentrate on getting it completely right before I come back."

Skiverton says he is happy leaving Yeovil in the hands of four of his team-mates who will compete for the centre-back slots and he told the WDP: "I think Scott Guyett has been playing really, really well and Colin Miles was having a great game against Bristol City recently until he had concussion. We have got Adam Lockwood back from Torquay and he is a really good centre half and we have got Luke Oliver, who might be needed on the bench. I thought they (Guyett and Miles) did really well last weekend against Bradford and we were unlucky. Dean Windass won the game (1-0) with a great free kick but he didn't get the chance to do much else in the game and we shackled (Danny) Cadamarteri and (Steve) Claridge really well."


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26 January 2006 : Kuffour Bid Value Claimed
The South Devon Herald Express has claimed that the bid for Torquay United striker Jo Kuffour was for 25,000 pounds. Like Ciderspace, they are of the opinion that Yeovil Town are the most likely club to be behind the bid although they admit they have been unable to get the name of the club involved from Gulls Chairman Mike Bateson. See our earlier story for full details on the transfer bid. No comment has been made from the Yeovil end at this stage.


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26 January 2006 : Thommo Keeping Rose Options Open
Glovers boss Steve Thompson has yet to make up his mind as to whether he will allow Scunthorpe United the chance to loan left-back Michael Rose for a second month at Glanford Park. Rose has been the recipient of glowing reports from those at the League One club, although it seems unlikely that any deal will be made permanent before the transfer window closes with Scunny manager Brian Laws over his playing budget.

Speaking to the Western Gazette, Thommo explained: "Michael's loan finishes on 4 February and it is possibly going to be extended by another month but I am leaving our options open. As for any more offers for our players, I have not heard anything."

Rose seems likely to only depart from Huish Park permanently if his former club Chester City come in with a suitable bid for his services. Manager Keith Curle has made it plain he would like to sign Rose, but has gone quiet in terms of the response he got from Huish Park with respect to any enquiry. Sky Sports go as far as to claim that Rose himself is not keen on the idea, although they fail to state which party has reached that conclusion.

Quite possibly Steve Thompson is currently hedging his bets and waiting to see if he loses any more players - Rose has shown he can fill in as a central midfielder when required and with no replacements for Darren Way and Lee Johnson signed up yet, Thommo may be reluctant to lose a player who can provide such cover at this stage.


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26 January 2006 : Reserve Stats At Swindon
With some confusion circulating with respect to Tuesday afternoon's match at Swindon Town, the official details for the 2-2 draw at the County Ground has been confirmed as follows:

Line-Up: 1. Chris Weale 2. Oliver Wake 3. Andy Lindegaard 4. Stephen Reed 5. Luke Oliver 6. Adam Lockwood 7. Arron Davies 8. Kevin Gall 10. Daniel Webb 11. Gavin McCallum 12. Dale Williams.

Subs: 14. Richard Cullingford (60 mins for Williams), 15. Craig Alcock (72 mins for Gall), 16. Ben Wood (72 mins for Wake).

Swindon Town Reserves: Matt Bulman, Kyle Lapham, Leigh Henry, Scott Doe, Jack Smith, Shane Garricks, Ben Wells, Michael Pook, David Stroud, Ashan Holgate, Lukas Jutkiewicz. Substitutes: Jon Stewart, Gary Pryde, Chris Allen, Jimmy Walker.

Scorers: Kevin Gall (7 mins, 0-1), Kevin Gall (18 mins, 0-2), Lukas Jutkiewicz (22 mins, 1-2), Ashan Holgate (60 mins, 2-2).

Officials: D Phillips (Referee), C Banks, T Ingram.


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26 January 2006 : Transfer Window Round-Up : No. 7
An extremely quiet day for dealings around League One - perhaps this is the calm before the post-weekend storm? The biggest news of the day is not quite cast in stone yet - Bristol City have had a bid for Stockport County striker Jermaine Easter accepted after the 24 year old pulled out of deals with Wycombe Wanderers and Oxford United.

No fee has been disclosed, although given that Oxford agreed a valuation of 120,000 pounds for the former Cambridge United striker, it would seem likely that any ballpark figure would be in that region.

City manager Gary Johnson was unwilling to count his chickens but said of the deal: "While we would prefer to keep these things quiet until the deal is done, I can confirm we have agreed a fee with Stockport for Jermaine Easter. Jermaine is a quick, hard-running striker who is still only young," Gary added. "He's been brilliant for Stockport, who are struggling and we've been keeping an eye on him for a long time."

Yeovil Town fans will be pleased if the deal goes through. Although nothing concrete has ever materialised, there have been persistent rumblings connecting Glovers striker Phil Jevons with a move to Ashton Gate. Whilst Ciderspace doubts there has been much foundation to such talk, if Johnson gets Easter's signature, that will almost certainly seal the former Yeovil manager's January dealings.

Oldham Athletic striker Chris Killen has left the club on a free transfer heading to Scottish Premier League side Hibernian. The 24 year old has signed an 18 month contract at Easter Road. Oldham have also said goodbye to Mark Bonner who has retired from the game following a broken forearm that is held together by a plate and nine pins. Bonner explained: "I have been in the game for 16 years and can look back on a lot of very happy memories. The surgeon has told me it is better not to play again. If I fell on my arm I could be permanently disabled."

Huddersfield Town are also letting a few fringe players depart. Defender John McCombe has joined managerless Torquay United on a month's loan, whilst midfielder Lee Fowler has been released and looks likely to join Scarborough having had a loan spell there this season. Terriers manager Peter Jackson found it an unfortunate situation as Fowler is the reason why his side are in League One: ""It's not worked out as we expected with Lee. I am sure many people will have fond memories of Lee scoring the winning penalty at the play-off final for us."


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26 January 2006 : Reserves In Double-Header Fixtures
More changes have been made to the Reserve Team's fixture list. The only change to those trying to manage their diaries and plan their car trips is that the away match at Plymouth Argyle on March 21st has been called off.

For those who are more interested in the statistical side of things however, the Reserves match at Plymouth Argyle on the following week on March 28th takes on a slightly different significance. This match will now be a "double header" match where the result of the game will count towards both the Pontins Holiday Combination League competition and also the Pontins Holiday Combination Cup Group table.

Similarly next Tuesday's 7.00pm kick-off at Cheltenham Town on January 31st - the next Glovers match at any level and also the first that will take place following the closure of the transfer window - will also act as a "double header" match, with the same two competitions affected.

Strangely enough, the differing competition rules could still mean that two different results are recorded for the archives! Competition rules for the cup mean that in certain circumstances (the rules are not clear) penalty kicks may be required to decide a tie. Hence if these are required, it is believed that the penalty kicks will count towards the result of the cup match, but that the result on 90 minutes will be used to decide the league match. Confused? You will be!


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26 January 2006 : Torquay Turn Down Kuffour Offer
Torquay United's official site claim that they have turned down an offer for their pacey striker Jo Kuffour. They don't actually name the bidding club, however it would be no surprise given recent rumours if that club was Yeovil Town. Kuffour is capable also of playing on either wing, and previous experience of seeing him against the Glovers puts him into the 'Kevin Gall' style of player - similar to the aborted attempt to get Exeter City's Les Afful last week suggesting that this style of player is high on manager Steve Thompson's list of priorities.

Kuffour is out of contract at the end of the season and club owner David Webb was at last Saturday's match at Plainmoor against Grimsby Town. The 24 year old, who has also been on the books of Arsenal and Swindon Town, would be entitled to walk for nothing at the end of the season, meaning that Torquay's decision to turn down an offer may not be the end of the matter.

The managerless side made their decision through their chairman Mike Bateson and he told their official site: "The offer wasn't high enough and in any event we are looking to strengthen the squad not weaken it. I think Jo has a lot to contribute in the forthcoming battle for survival."

Update : the South Devon Herald Express reports the offer was £25,000. They add that the bidding club was not revealed to them but they believe it to be Yeovil Town.


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25 January 2006 : Skivo Operation Successful
Yeovil Town club captain Terry Skiverton is back in circulation following a successful double hernia operation yesterday. Skivo was shocked to go in for an initial diagnosis on an injury to find that his specialist keeping him in for the day and immediately putting him under the knife! Clearly no NHS Waiting Lists wherever Yeovil Town are sending their players!

Skivo spoke to the official site today and said of the operation: "I'm a bit sore but everything went very well. It all happened rather quickly with the specialist telling me he could do the operation in the afternoon of my initial examination! I didn't even have any clothes or anything with me! With Yeovil not having a game this week it at least reduces the number of games I will have to miss. Now it's just a question of a steady rehabilitation programme to get me back fit as soon as possible."

Pre-operation diagnosis for Skiverton was that he would be likely to be out for around six weeks. It's not clear at this stage whether the speed of the operation or the success of it will help increase the chances of that timeframe being reduced. Enjoy the rest Skivo, and hope to see you back soon.


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25 January 2006 : Second Cardiff Reserves Date Set
Yeovil Town Reserves have had their second home match against Cardiff City Reserves set now after the match was postponed due to the Welsh side's involvement in the FA Welsh Cup.

The match will now take place on April 27th 2006 at Huish Park with a 7.00pm kick-off. This will be the second match against Cardiff to be played at Huish Park during April, with the Pontins League Cup Group game scheduled for April 11th. The match on April 27th will be an ordinary Pontins Combination League match.

Reserves Fixture List: here.


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25 January 2006 : Transfer Window Round-Up : No. 6
Over a week since the last look around League One transfers means a barrel-load of movement to get through. Of course there are several transfers that have been mentioned in other news articles that have taken place in the past week. Daniel Webb's arrival at Huish Park as a free agent after leaving Weymouth earlier this season, and Darren Way's departure to the Liberty Stadium and Swansea City for £150,000 pounds are the two that directly affect Glovers fans. However, Liam Fontaine's loan signing for Bristol City and Ben Smith's move from Shrewsbury to Weymouth are also interesting moves during January.

Midfielder Brian Stock's loan move earlier this month from AFC Bournemouth to Preston North End has now been turned into a permanent deal costing a cool £125,000. There is plenty of talk connecting Bournemouth striker James Hayter with a move to Bristol City but for the moment the South coast club are playing hard to get and keeping Gary Johnson's attempts to make a big money signing before the deadline under wraps for the moment.

One striker definitely moving is former Glovers loan striker Rory Fallon, who Swansea City have spent £300,000 bid on. His former club Swindon Town look to be pretty much signing their relegation papers by allowing him to leave the County Ground, although they no doubt hope that Lee Peacock's free transfer from Sheffield Wednesday will soften the blow. A busy week for the Wiltshire side has also seen Brighton winger Albert Jarrett arrive on a month's loan, Andy Gurney turn his loan from Swansea City into a permanent transfer, Paul Smith arrive as a free agent after Gillingham unceremoniously dumped him earlier this month and finally 24 yar old midfielder Arron Brown has completed a permanent move from Queens Park Rangers following an autumn loan period.

Swindon's relegation rivals MK Dons are spending big to try and drive their way out of the bottom four. Plymouth Argyle striker Scott Taylor has arrived at the National Hockey Stadium for the sum of 100,000 pounds. This is despite top scorer Izale McLeod seemingly looking to stay put in Milton Keynes, unless rumours connecting him with a move to Norwich City reach fruition. Defender David Partridge is another new arrival, coming in on loan from Bristol City.

Out of favour Nottingham Forest striker Gareth Taylor has left for Championship basement side Crewe Alexandra after the arrival of Nathan Tyson and Grant Holt put him out on the cold. Taylor's performances this season have not been helped by disciplinary issues such as his red card at Huish Park when he was dismissed for using his elbow on Yeovil's Colin Miles earlier this season.

Loans still seem to be the order of the day for most clubs, with Walsall continuing their plans to reinvent their team inside a heft month of trading. Paul Devlin is the latest to arrive on loan.

Junior Mendes heads from Huddersfield Town to League Two side Grimsby Town, whilst Stephen Quinn has joined Rotherham United on loan from neightbours Sheffield United along with striker Paul Shaw who is making the same journey. Midfielder Quinn is actually a second match for the mystery midfielder that Steve Thompson says he missed out on because he headed to a local side instead. Oldham Athletic's Adam Griffin was the other - heading down the road to Stockport Athletic.

More loan deals struck were Adam Green's move from Fulham to Bristol City, Eugene Dadi's move from Forest to County within the city of Nottingham, Neil Wood's journey from Coventry to Blackpool and Alan Rogers heading from Nottingham Forest to Hull City. Sheffield United's mass offloading continues with former Notts County player Kevan Hurst heading to Chesterfield.

Meanwhile the remainder of the loans affecting league clubs include Darren Craddock, who has temporarily left Hartlepool for Conference side York City. David Graham is one of the more high profile deals struck with the former Torquay United hot-shot has temporarily left Sheffield Wednesday for Huddersfield Town (as detailed on Ciderspace earlier in the week). Nathan Jarman is another going out on loan with League Two side Bury gaining his services from Barnsley.

David Fox's move to Blackpool has already been dissected by Glovers fans with the midfielder turning down an offer from Huish Park after leaving Manchester United. Fox's father is believed to be a coach at the Lancashire club. Blackpool have also snapped up Danny Warrender on a free transfer from the other senior Manchester side as they try and climb out of the bottom four. Midfielder Marcus Bean is a third arrival from Queens Park Rangers, whilst Njazi Kuqi completes a quartet of new players as he arrives on loan from Birmingham City.

Finally permanent deals struck in recent days include Sammy Clingan who has moved for an undisclosed fee from Wolves to Nottingham Forest. Meanwhile Jason Price's move from Hull City to Doncaster Rovers has taken place for a 'nominal' fee.

The transfer window is due to close for Football League sides on January 31st, 5.00pm, meaning that these last six days will see things reach fever pitch. Desperate managers will dive in with last minute bids and it will be very much a case of seeing which clubs keep their heads when all around are losing theirs.


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25 January 2006 : Bradford City MOTM result
Midfielder Chris Cohen has won the vote for Ciderspace users YTFC Man of the Match for his performance in the 0-1 home defeat against Bradford City. Full results can be found at the foot of the match report:

Yeovil Town 0 - 1 Bradford City.


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25 January 2006 : Webb targeting a Gull?
Yeovil Town are being linked with a move for a Torquay United player before the end of the transfer window with strong rumours in Devon suggesting that forward Jo Kuffour is the man attracting the Glovers attention. Chief executive David Webb watched the Gulls 2-2 draw with Grimsby on Saturday, but then-Torquay coach Leroy Rosenior wouldn't at the time be drawn on Webb's intentions.

"I think he will have been looking at more than one player," Rosenior told the Western Morning News. "It's not the first time Yeovil have watched us and it isn't the first time we have had interested parties at our games. At the moment - all credit to the chairman [Mike Bateson] - we will do everything we can to fend off bids for any of our players. We need our better players here now more than ever because of our situation in the League."

Twenty-four hours after Rosenior said the above and that situation in the league he alluded to - Torquay are 23rd in League 2 on 24 points and are in real danger of relegation to the Conference for the first time in their history - finally took it's toll today as he and the Gulls went their separate ways after three and a half years with Rosenior as manager.

"We have decided that a parting of the ways is in the best interests of both parties," chairman Mike Bateson told his club's official site. "It's disappointing that it has had to end because Leroy and I had a great working relationship. Leroy has been with us for three and a half years, and we have had some tremendous highs. We have also seen a standard of football that has surprised us all. I thank him for his efforts and wish him all the best of luck for the future."

No announcement has been made as yet regarding Rosenior's successor. Somewhat inevitably, Glovers assistant manager Kevin Hodges, a former Torquay manager in his own right, has been linked with the vacant post.


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25 January 2006 : League One tighter than ever
Last night's League One match left the lower half of the table ever-more constricted, struggling Blackpool's surprise 4-2 win over Doncaster enabling the Seasiders to swap places on goal difference with Gary Johnson's BCUTR to go to 20th on 32 points to leave only 5 points now between the Glovers in 13th place on 37 points and Bristol City on 32 points in the relegation zone. And that 5 point gap could be reduced still further this weekend with the Glovers on holiday as the rest of the league programme goes ahead. Watch this space!


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25 January 2006 : Jevo is skipper in Skivo's absence
Glovers boss Steve Thompson has backed stand-in captain Phil Jevons to fill the on-field leadership void left by the enforced absence of club captain Terry Skiverton, while the defender recovers from the double hernia operation that will keep him out for 4-6 weeks.

"Phil has been a very good player for this club for the season-and-a-half he has been here, scored plenty of goals and is a very well-liked person in the dressing room," Thommo told the Western Daily Press. "It wasn't a totally easy decision because there were some other candidates but I felt he had the right qualities for the job."

Meanwhile the Glovers boss has only 3 central defenders currently fit to play after Scott Guyett received dental treatment following an injury sustained in Saturday's 0-1 loss to Bradford City, so the free weekend coming up has turned into a blessing in disguise in more ways than one: "Scott got a nasty mouth injury during the game on Saturday and has had dental treatment. He lost a tooth and was in a bit of a bad way," said Thompson. "Hopefully with the break we have got he will be fit for the next game."

Colin Miles, Adam Lockwood and Luke Oliver are the club's remaining fit central defenders. "Myself and Kevin Hodges will be watching games and we do have people lined up, but we have four centre-halves (including Guyett) at the club at the moment," Thommo said.

In a busy day for the Glovers manager, Thommo yesterday watched winger/striker Kevin Gall score a brace for the Reserves against their Swindon counterparts and afterwards challenged the Welshman to take his reserve team form into first team matches: "He (Gall) has usually, if not always, been in my 16," said Thompson. "He has scored two good goals here and hopefully he can transfer that to first-team level."

Thommo had been hoping to include a trialist in the reserve team line-up at Swindon, but in the event the player - an unnamed Scottish central midfielder - was refused permission to play by his current club. "We wanted him to come down but at the last minute his manager said he couldn't play," said Thompson. "You can play a trialist who is under contract elsewhere in one or two reserve matches, but his manager decided against it. We still want to bring a central midfielder to the club, though."


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24 January 2006 : Way : They've Come A Little Bit Too Far Too Soon
Doesn't take long, does it? "No disrespect" says ex-Glover Darren Way, which is always the best indication that what is coming will be just that little bit disrespectful.

Talking of his first couple of days after his transfer to rivals Swansea City Way discussed the bit of rivalry that has built up between the two clubs in just three years :

I was expecting to get a bit of stick when I walked into the dressing room. Although it's a fair way from Yeovil to Swansea, it's turned into a bit of a derby game and there's been some rivalry there for the last couple of years. There were some heated games and I know that on the pitch I can be a bit of a nightmare - although I'd like to think that I'm not as bad off it. I said to the lads that it was strange training with them and not playing against them. Thankfully there has always been respect between the two teams and they have been great with me. They've made me welcome and I feel accepted already.

He then ran through a short review of his past career and his hopes for the future :

At Yeovil we got promoted from the Conference and then won League Two, and hopefully I can get up to the Championship with Swansea this season. I've had a fantastic time in the last few years and, with the players Swansea have signed and the ones they have refused to sell, I don't see why that shouldn't continue.

I used to get the train over to Norwich as a 14-year-old at the weekend. I would meet up with Welsh lads like Chris Llewellyn and Craig Bellamy, who were also at Norwich, at Bristol and they were a bit like jolly boys' outings. I played with Adrian Forbes in the youth team and we had some good times. It didn't happen for me in the end but sometimes you have to step back before you can step forward in football. I've kept on working hard and I think I'm getting my reward for that now.


Way explained why he had preferred The Swans to Plymouth Argyle, despite The Pilgrims offering Championship football, citing that you could be too close to home :

I felt the time was right for a new challenge, and once I'd spoken to the gaffer and the chairman I knew Swansea was for me. I didn't fancy Plymouth. I didn't want to be too close to the family or my mates. It's not that I'm one to get led astray, but I wanted to come away somewhere different. Plymouth are in the Championship already, but looking at the bigger picture I see Swansea as a better place to be. The chairman was talking about the Championship and then the Premiership and I think the club has what it takes to match that ambition. No disrespect to Yeovil, but I think they've come a little bit too far too soon.

Darren Way was speaking to the South Wales Evening Post.

Way made his debut for Swansea tonight, coming off the bench in the first half to replace an injured team mate in the LDV Vans fixture against Walsall. With the score locked at 2-2 after extra time at the Liberty Stadium the tie went to penalties, the home team coming out on top 6-5. Swansea City now go on to face Colchester United, who defeated Cheltenham Town 0-1 at Whaddon Road, in the two-legged Southern Regional Final, the winners getting their day at the Millennium Stadium in the er, final Final. In the Northern Section Carlisle United and Macclesfield Town both went through against Non-league opposition, defeating Kidderminster Harriers and Hereford United respectively.


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24 January 2006 : Interview With John Fry
Glovers Chairman John Fry spoke exclusively to Ciderspace today in response to concerns and questions that have been circulating around the club over the past few weeks since the takeover of the club by new owner and Chief Executive David Webb.

In the interview, John explains the current situation concerning the playing budget, why moves for Les Afful and David Fox fell through and his views on why players contracts have been problematic.

The club chairman also gives his thoughts on the club's future ambitions, why David Webb is reluctant to speak to the press, what he meant by 'preserving league status', his thoughts on allegations made by Brentford fans concerning Webb, and his thoughts on how Webb and first team manager Steve Thompson will work together.

Read the full interview with John Fry by clicking here or head to the Ciderspace Interviews Section.


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24 January 2006 : Two Reserves Rearrangements
Two Yeovil Town Reserve Team matches have been rearranged following postponements earlier in the season.

The away match at Swansea City that was postponed during December has now been rearranged to take place on March 14th 2006 with a 2.00pm kick-off.

Meanwhile a third attempt to play the Pontins Holiday League Cup Group match against Cardiff City will take place on April 11th 2006 at Huish Park with a 7.00pm kick-off.

Reserves Fixtures/Results: here.


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24 January 2006 : Interview With Arron Davies
Filling in a gap, the match day programme interview with Arron Davies that was conducted after the 2-0 away defeat against Swansea City in November is now available. The interview was originally published in the following week's Oldham Athletic home match programme.

Read the full interview with Arron Davies by clicking here or head to the Ciderspace Interviews Section.


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24 January 2006 : Reserves Can't Hold Two Goal Lead
Yeovil Town Reserves took a 2-0 lead at the County Ground this afternoon, only to see the home team come back to draw. Around 150 fans watched the Pontin's Holidays Football Combination League (Wales & West) tie, with Swindon Town Reserves fighting back with goals from Lukas Jutkiewicz (22 mins) and Ashan Holgate around the hour mark after Kevin Gall (not Steven Reed as erroneously reported by the Swindon official site) had put the visitors ahead with a brace on 7 and 15 minutes. Gally took advantage of a loose ball and slotted past Matt Bulman for the first. Eight minutes later he pounced on sloppy play at the back to double Yeovil's lead.

Both Swindon's goals came from balls lofted into the box. A Ben Wells corner found striker Jutkiewicz who smashed the ball home to make it 2-1. And in the second half a deep cross from Michael Pook was turned into the bottom left hand corner of the net by Ashan Holgate at the far post.

Swindon consolidate their position at the top of the table.

Swindon Town Reserves : Matt Bulman, Kyle Lapham, Leigh Henry, Scott Doe, Jack Smith, Shane Garricks, Ben Wells, Michael Pook, David Stroud, Ashan Holgate, Lukas Jutkiewicz. Substitutes: Jon Stewart, Gary Pryde, Chris Allen, Jimmy Walker.

Yeovil Town Reserves (as per the YTFC official site) : Weale, Wake, Lindegaard, Reed, Oliver, Lockwood, Davies, Gall, Webb, McCallum, Williams. No details of any substitutions were given.


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24 January 2006 : Skivo goes under the knife
Further from our earlier news item the club's official site have now revealed that club captain Terry Skiverton has been diagnosed as suffering from a double hernia and will be undergoing an operation to correct the problem today. The inspirational defender will be out for 4-6 weeks and it doesn't look as if the club will be looking to bring in a replacement from outside, at least initially.

"Terry is having the operation today and he will be out for 4-6 weeks," manager Steve Thompson confirmed. "I am very disappointed to lose Terry, he has been fantastic for us this season and in his six years at the club he is probably playing some of his best football at this time. We will make sure we rehabilitate him well and get him back as soon as possible. We have cover in that area in Colin Miles, Adam Lockwood and Luke Oliver although I might look at bringing in someone, but I have four centre backs at the club at the moment."

The club could do without losing Skivo for any length of time, especially with the recent departures of Efe Sodje and Liam Fontaine from the defence - any more injuries will leave the club short of bodies at the back. Skivo has been in prime form this season and was Ciderspace's Internet Player of the Month for December (see 4th January news item) and notched the last goal that the club scored in anger, in the 1-1 draw at Franchise FC. Get well soon Terry.


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24 January 2006 : Skivo Seeing Specialist
BBC Radio Bristol are reporting this morning that club captain Terry Skiverton is seeing a specialist today in an effort to resolve and diagnose a groin injury. The skipper was ruled out of Saturday's 1-0 defeat against Bradford City after an attempt to return to Thursday's training session was aborted.

Skivo had been experiencing problems since the 1-1 draw at MK Dons and had initially been diagnosed as being out for two to four weeks. Now a specialist will diagnose whether Skiverton needs an operation to get over his injury.


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23 January 2006 : Reserves Travel To Swindon
Yeovil Town's Reserve side travel to play Swindon Town tomorrow afternoon in a match that takes place at the County Ground in Swindon at 2.00pm.

The match is the last one any of the squad will take part in for a week as there is no first team match this weekend. Hence according to the official site Glovers boss Steve Thompson is sending up a strong squad. The squad named by the site is as follows:

Chris Weale, Andy Lindegaard, Adam Lockwood, Luke Oliver, Arron Davies, Kevin Gall, Pablo Bastianini, Stephen Reed, Dale Williams, Richard Cullingford and Gavin McCallum. The name 'Thompson' is mentioned although it's not clear whether that is Steve himself or son Danny. The rest of the squad will be made up of Youth Team representatives. There is no mention of the club's most recent signing Daniel Webb in the line-up.

Steve said of the match: "We have a fixture against Swindon tomorrow, it is a game I can play all the ones who didn't play against Bradford City, but also some who played against Bradford but haven't had many games recently. We will be sending a strong side to Swindon as it is our last game as a club for two weeks."

Steve is not quite correct however - the Reserves have another away match at Cheltenham Town in a Pontins Holiday Cup Group match on January 31st, kick-off 7.00pm.

Reserve Team Fixtures/Results: here.


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23 January 2006 : Ciderspace Match Report : Yeovil vs Bradford
The Ciderspace match report of Saturday's 1-0 home defeat is now available and can be found here.


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23 January 2006 : Interview With Darren Way
Former Glovers midfielder Darren Way has broken his silence following his move from Yeovil Town to League One rivals Swansea City. The Plymouth-born player completed a 150,000 pound move to South Wales on Saturday morning and spoke to BBC Radio Bristol this afternoon to give his thoughts on the move.

Darren made it clear that he was not forced out of the club, claiming that it was his own wish to leave Huish Park that had been on the cards for some time. He explained: "After six years you become too much in a comfort zone. It was important that I needed a new environment."

Read the full interview with Darren Way by clicking here or head to the Ciderspace Interviews Section.


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23 January 2006 : Ricketts Goalkeeper Of The Week
It'll come as no surprise to anyone at Huish Park on Saturday that Bradford City's Donovan Ricketts gets the goalkeeper's spot in the latest Football League Team of the Week as decided by the Press Association. Ricketts was a busy man all afternoon as Yeovil Town dominated the match, and a number of fine saves kept The Bantams in the match, allowing them to nick all three points at the death with a Dean Windass free kick.

Recently departed Efetobore Sodje, now at Southend United, also got the nod, along with his brother Sam Sodje who is with The Bees. Ex-Glover Michael McIndoe made the Premier League, er Scottish Premier League, er Championship, er League One Team of the Week as well. Fair reward for moving to a much bigger club.

The full team is :

Donovan Ricketts - Bradford City
Graeme Lee - Doncaster Rovers
Sam Sodje - Brentford
Efetobore Sodje - Southend United
Ben Chorley - Milton Keynes Dons
Stephen McPhail - Barnsley
Kevan Hurst - Chesterfield
Leon Britton - Swansea City
Michael McIndoe - Doncaster Rovers
Luke Beckett - Oldham Athletic
Steve Brooker - Bristol City


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23 January 2006 : Thommo gives the squad a rest
With no game coming up this weekend after prospective opponents Walsall qualified for the 4th round of the FA Cup after beating Barnsley in a 3rd round replay last week, Glovers manager Steve Thompson will take advantage of the lack of match action by sending his players off on a long weekend break with their families.

"Not having a game at the weekend provides us with an ideal opportunity for the players to get a little space away from each other, they have been training and playing since July 1st," Thommo told the club's official site today, adding: "We will now have this break so they can spend time with their families and just have a bit of time away from the club and maybe even away from the town of Yeovil. It is something that Gary [Johnson] and myself did last year after the Rushden defeat, we felt that we left it too late then, so this year I am being pro-active and feel the time is right now with this fixture break."

Not that Thommo needs our approval (!) but for what it's worth we at Ciderspace thoroughly agree with his decision. The squad has come through an intense period of fixtures over Christmas and the new year and needs a prolonged rest period to recharge their batteries ahead of the run-in towards the end of their first season in League One. Put your feet up and relax for a bit boys, you deserve it.


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23 January 2006 : Terriers boss Jackson is watching Gall
Huddersfield-based Glovers fan Kevin Miller has sent Ciderspace the following email. Kevin writes:

'The Friday edition of the Huddersfield Examiner carries a section ďAsk JackoĒ giving Terriers fans the opportunity to put topical questions to Huddersfield manager Peter Jackson. As I was getting sick and tired of hearing Wayne Elsey [Kevin Gall's agent] harping on about various different clubs being interested in his client, I took the liberty of posing the following question:-

'"Kevin Gallís agent insists you are interested in his player. Is there any truth in this, and what do you think about agents engineering moves for players?"

'I am pleased to confirm that the question was published today, and Peter Jackson answered as follows:-

'ďKevin Gall is one of the strikers Iíve been watching. It is part and parcel of an agentís job to manufacture rumours about their clients to spark interest and I would say 80% of them are rubbish.

'ďOn this occasion, there is a grain of truth in whatís being said because Kevin has done well against us in recent years and Iíve kept an eye on his progress.

'ďHe has got pace, he can get in behind defences and he is one of a number of strikers Iíve considered.Ē'


Many thanks to Kevin for taking the time to ask the question of Peter Jackson. From that it doesn't sound like a bid from Huddersfield for Gally is imminent, especially with the news today that Terriers have signed former Torquay striker David Graham from Sheffield Wednesday on loan until the end of the season. Keep trying Wayne...


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23 January 2006 : Rose in demand
Out-of-favour Glovers leftback Michael Rose - currently on loan at Scunthorpe United - is a player in demand, according to Iron manager Brian Laws, who is now set to hold talks with Yeovil Town over the player's future, as per Scunthorpe's Official Site.

"Michael has come in and done a terrific job for us and we'd like to keep him for a bit longer," said Laws. "There is competition out there and a few clubs want to take him now, but I hope Michael stays with us."

Another team linked with Rose, who was picked in last season's League Two Team of the Year by his fellow professionals, is one of his former clubs, Chester City, who made their interest public earlier this month (see news item January 13th). Keith Curle has maintained his interest, saying he has been talking to Rose :

I had a long chat with Michael and we will now wait for his response. He has a couple of other clubs who are interested in signing him, both who are in League One. But hopefully he will decide to come to us.

The third club hasn't publicly announced its interest, but it seems certain that Michael's days at Huish Park are numbered now, wherever he ends up.


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23 January 2006 : An Afful Mistake
Glovers boss Steve Thompson has admitted that a communications slip between Yeovil Town and Exeter City was the cause of the breakdown of the loan deal for pacey winger Les Afful. However, contrary to the statement issued by the club initially, it appears that the Glovers were looking to take on Afful on a permanent basis, rather than a loan, and that it was Exeter's reluctance to release their player from his contract that saw the deal break down.

Speaking to Saturday's Western Morning News, Steve explained: "Both me and Dave [Webb] are dealing with it and there has been [a] misunderstanding over the arrangement of the deal. We thought it was us taking over his contract and Exeter thought it was a loan, so unfortunately, we couldn't agree on which one it was. I think both parties thought the fair deal was the one that they wanted."

Exeter City manager Alex Inglethorpe said of the breakdown: "I'm so disappointed for Les because it was a good move for him. Football sometimes has a horrible way of coming round and disappointing those people who least deserve it. At it's best, you can get a phone call and you can be excited by the prospect of moving up and going somewhere else and that's fantastic for a player. But at it's worst, you can have your hopes raised and dashed within a couple of hours."


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22 January 2006 : Yeovil Lose Out In Midfielder Loan
Following up from the answer Steve Thompson gave in the interview below - Thommo's Latest Thoughts On The Transfer Window - concerning another player that Yeovil Town have missed out on, after David Fox chose to go to Blackpool (see further below), after a little bit of sleuthing from the clues provided Ciderspace believes it is likely to have been : Adam Griffin of Oldham Athletic.

Griffin is a 21-year-old midfielder in his fifth season with that club. He broke into the first team in 2003-04, and has also had loan spells at Chester City and Oxford United. He'd just returned from two months with Brian Talbot (God help him), and was immediately made available for loan again. However he'll now be plying his trade until the end of the season at Edgeley Park, home to the Football League's basement club Stockport County, rather than at Huish Park.


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22 January 2006 : Interview With Phil Jevons
Phil Jevons talked to Ciderspace and News of the World after a late goal from veteran Dean Windass gave Bradford arguably an undeserved 1-0 win at Huish Park. Jevons reassured the Huish Park faithful that as far as he is concerned, his future lies in Somerset.

The 26-year-old forward said: "I donít get involved in all the speculation. I just get on with my football. As it shows on the pitch today, I am fully committed to the cause as will be the case at Southend. I canít see anything happening."

Read the full interview with Phil Jevons (transcript by George Murray) by clicking here or head to the Ciderspace Interviews Section.


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22 January 2006 : Bradford Man Of The Match Voting Reminder
A reminder that you can vote for your Man of the Match for the Bradford City match by using the online voting form which is always here. Results are usually appended to the match reports a week after the game and are published to the Ciderspace mailing list.


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22 January 2006 : Thommo's Latest Thoughts On The Transfer Window
Glovers boss Steve Thompson gave his views on the latest comings and goings at Huish Park as part of yesterday's post-match press conference. Speaking to the assembled press, Steve answered the following questions:

Qu: Obviously we all know about the players who have departed the club now. Any more that are departing as far as you are aware?

ST: Not as far as I am aware, no. I obviously want to keep everyone who is here at the club currently and try and add a couple more to the squad to help us out. That's what I am hoping to do.

Qu: Have you got new players in mind that you would like to bring to Yeovil Town?

ST: We've been watching an awful lot of games and we've had two attempts for midfielders that have failed in the week just gone. One you know about who is David Fox who is a Man United player who chose to go to Blackpool rather than here. We were very hopeful that we would come here. There's also been another one who I rate quite highly who has again gone on loan but eight miles from the club that he is with. I suppose it is far easier for a manager to get to watch their players when they are eight miles down the road rather than down in Yeovil. But I was disappointed to lose out on both of those targets.

Qu: So a hard week ahead on the training field but more players to see and more games to watch as well.

ST: Yes, you've said it!

Qu: Was your boss away watching a game today?

ST: He was, yes.

Qu: You've got two weeks off now. Are you going to do anything different with the players?

ST: Yes, we will do a different week as far as the training is concerned. It will be a very demanding week physically. That's not through any lack of fitness. We are definitely one of the fittest teams if not the fittest team in this league but I want to maintain that. We will do that hard week physically, and mentally as well. We will be watching videos and going through tactical things. So it's going to be a big week mentally and physically for the players and for the staff as well.

Qu: They've had to deal with two big culture-shocks with Darren and Lee going just as we all have. How have they taken it?

ST: Deep down you never know how people take it but certainly they are perky enough on the outside. But you've got to look after your own career haven't you? They've got their own contracts and careers to think about. I'm sure they are not posing loads of time over Darren Way or Lee Johnson's careers and contracts.

Qu: How has it been for you Steve - to lose two people like that?

ST: Yes, I don't want to lose Lee or Darren. They have been very good players for us over the five years and I am gutted that they have both gone. But lets make this perfectly clear - they were both made fantastic offers to stay - fantastic offers - because of what they have done for the club and because of how highly I rate them. If the truth be known, they wanted to enhance of pursue their career and they feel the best way of doing that is to go to another club and to what they would assume is a bigger club. I suppose that when you look at attendances at Hearts and at Swansea it's hard to deny that. But that still doesn't make it very nice for the fans at Yeovil and for me and the staff. Both players very early in the season, and certainly before Gary Johnson had left, had decided that this was the last year of their contract. I am quite happy to say that because I strongly believe that and strongly feel that.


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22 January 2006 : Thommo's Verdict On The Bradford Game
Glovers boss Steve Thompson gave his views on the 1-0 home defeat against Bradford City yesterday. Speaking to the press after the game, Steve answered the following questions concerning the defeat:

Qu: Steve I'm at a total loss to explain how you lost that game and I expect you are too.

ST: Yes, we've totally dominated the game apart from perhaps the last ten minutes. There were numerous chances, crosses, shots and near things. But every now and then that sort of thing happens in football. I remember when it used to occasionally happen as a player. It hurt you then and it hurts you even more as a manager when you have dominated the game and end up losing it 1-0.

Qu: Is there a similarity to the MK Dons match last week in that you had all those chances and possession. You got one goal last week but you couldn't get a goal today.

ST: No, I thought that the MK Dons match was a far closer game to be fair because MK Dons had a few chances as well, even though we edged it on chances. Today I don't think it was like that. We must have had 15 or 16 good chances in terms of shots and close misses to Bradford's one or two. I am reasonably pleased with the performance but I am obviously upset with the result.

Qu: Was it something lacking in the final third? Can you put your finger on it?

ST: A little bit of quality maybe, a little bit of movement just in that penalty box and we'll try and put that right - myself and Kevin on the training field. We've got a big week's training because we've got no game on Saturday.

Qu: Their keeper had a good game but it was one of those afternoons where pretty much everything went straight at him.

ST: Yes, he made a great save from Jevo's shot in the first half but with everything else, even when we were hitting them clean he was plucking them out of the air as if he knew the exact spot that they were going to come at him from. I would like to have created a bit more from the possession we had. During the 30 minutes before half time, I don't think Bradford got into our half such was our domination of the game. So I'm obviously very disappointed to lose the game, but I've got to take heart from our fitness levels which I thought were far better than Bradford's and also our performance.

Qu: In the midfield, Chris Cohen - especially in that half hour before half time - had his best game that I've seen him play for you.

ST: Yes, he's played well for the two months but I thought he had a fantastic first half and played really well.


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22 January 2006 : Club Forced To Rethink Its Options?
Yeovil Town chairman John Fry, speaking to the Western Daily Press, said the club had been planning to run through to the end of the season with the squad as it was at the turn of the year :

It was our intention to see out the rest of the season with our current squad, but unfortunately you can't step the predators coming in for your players. We didn't want to lose Darren Way or Lee Johnson and now we have to replace them if we can.

This is a little confusing. Did the club initially intend to sit tight and say : sorry, none of our contracted players are available in this window, come back in the summer if you are still interested, when their contracts run out. This doesn't of course fit with what has happened, with Efe Sodje, Lee Johnson and Darren Way sold. Or was the stated 'intention' just a vague bit of finger-crossing that no one would come in for any Yeovil Town players in January? Hmm, that was never likely to be the case.

He continued :

We will look elsewhere to strengthen our squad and I know that David Webb [chief executive], Steve Thompson [manager] and Kevin Hodges [assistant manager] are out looking at players all the time. We have a lot of work to do and although the transfer window is open a lot of clubs are trying to sit tight at the moment.

Sitting tight? This is where we came in........


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21 January 2006 : Glovers Youth Thrash Swansea
Yeovil Town's Under 18s side dished out a 6-1 thrashing against their Swansea City counterparts on the Huish Park Top Pitch this morning. After a slowish start, the young Glovers blitzed the Welsh side during the second half and ran out with a well-deserved scoreline.

Phil Ormrod opened up proceedings 10 minutes into the match when he knocked in a short Dale Williams left wing cross from six yards out. However their joy didn't last too long as Swansea hit back, scoring from the penalty spot after keeper Scott Vine brought down a Swansea defender in the area. Midway through the first half though, they regained the lead thanks to Dale Williams who ran onto a through ball on the left flank, chipping the advancing Swansea keeper for an excellent finish.

The first half ended with both sides threatening, but in the second period of the game there really was only one side in the game. Phil Ormrod got his second of the match when again Dale Williams turned provider with an excellent low cross that nipped along the six yard line with Ormrod sliding the ball home. Then Matt Pitcher came up for a corner to score with a bullet header to put the game out of Swansea's reach. With substitutes now coming into play, one such replacement scored two late goals, with Matt Concliffe taking advantage of a demoralised Swansea defence to score two more goals from inside the penalty box, this allowing the Glovers to complete the double over the Welsh side.


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21 January 2006 : No justice as Windass shows how to take a chance
Yeovil Town dominated in terms of possession and chances against former Premiership outfit Bradford City at Huish Park this afternoon but a mixture of profligacy in front of goal and superb goalkeeping from Bantams keeper Donovan Ricketts denied the Glovers before veteran Dean Windass, with virtually his first touch of the game, fired an unstoppable free kick past Steve Collis in the Yeovil goal on 87 minutes to give the visitors a very lucky 3 points.

Not that we're bitter! Manager Steve Thompson made one change from last week's 1-1 draw at Franchise FC, captain Terry Skiverton failing to recover from a groin strain picked up at the National Hockey Stadium to be replaced by Colin Miles. Adam Lockwood was promoted from Torquay's first team to the bench. The Glovers dominated the first half in particular, pressing the visitors almost permanently into their half and raining cross after cross into the Bradford box. All to often however the final ball just lacked the quality to carve open the visitors defence and clear cut chances were few and far between - and when an effort on goal was on target keeper Ricketts was in excellent saving form, though his dead-ball kicking provided the Westland Stand with a great deal of amusement.

The second half wasn't quite as one-sided as the first. Yeovil again had the majority of the game but City occasionally looked a threat on the break, without ever really testing Steve Collis in the Yeovil goal. Darren Holloway incredibly escaped a red card after an appalling two footed tackle on David Poole nearly cut the winger in half, the normally reliable referee Jarnail Singh - who otherwise had his usual competent game - bottling that particular decision with a booking. As time wore on the Glovers began to look a little more nervous and appeared to be trying to force something to happen rather than keeping on playing their football and one began to sense that it wasn't going to be their day. That feeling was compounded with 3 minutes left on the clock after the visitors were awarded a free kick just outside the Glovers penalty area and Dean Windass, who otherwise had barely touched the ball, stepped up to beat Steve Collis with a curling effort into the top right hand corner. It was as good a freekick as you're likely to see anywhere, but was a harsh lesson to Yeovil of the value of taking your chances. Bradford could barely string 2 passes together the whole game but had one chance and took it - the Glovers played some very good football throughout the match, had a lot of half-chances and missed them all. The end result was the visitors took home the points.

Final score: Yeovil Town 0 - 1 Bradford City.

Aside from the result it wasn't a bad day for the Town. No more players were sold (though rumours were rife) and the only injury concern for manager Steve Thompson was Terry Skiverton's groin, which should be well recovered by the time the Glovers play their next game - probably at home to Southend in a fortnight's time unless something can be arranged to cover for next Saturday's postponed league match at Walsall, which doesn't seem likely.

Elsewhere in League One nothing much happened really. Five games ended in draws and most teams below Yeovil in the table tended to either only pick up a point or lost themselves, meaning we only dropped a point nearer to the relegation zone, which could have been a lot worse. Of those teams we like to consider as our local rivals the struggling TBCUTR could only draw 1-1 at the equally struggling Blackpool, but Swindon bucked the trend by beating Bournemouth 4-2. They're still 2nd from bottom however with Gary Johnson's under-achievers 20th. The Glovers are pretty much the epitome of mid-table mediocrity at present in 13th position in the table on 37 points from 29 games played, 8 points above the relegation zone and 8 points away from the play-offs - and if we can keep that up between now and the end of the season we here at Ciderspace will thank you kindly for small mercies. It's worth noting that Colchester have gone top of the table tonight after beating Port Vale 2-1 at Layer Road - a magnificent achievement for a relatively small club with little money to spend and surely an example for us to follow in the years to come. Congratulations to the U's, we hope they will still be there or thereabouts at the end of the season.

Ex-midfield dynamo watch: Darren Way unsurprisingly didn't feature in Swansea's squad after completing his transfer to the Liberty Stadium yesterday. The Jacks could only draw 1-1 with struggling Hartlepool in his absence, Pools gaining a point with the last kick of the game. Oh dear, what a shame, never mind. Lee Johnson was named in Hearts squad but never made it off the bench as his new club went down 1-0 at Kilmarnock. What a waste.


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21 January 2006 : SPC 3rd round draw - it's Clevedon, at home!
Yeovil Town Reserves will continue their defence of the Somerset Premier Cup with a 3rd round game against Clevedon Town. The match will take place at Huish Park on Tuesday 7th March, 7.45pm kick off.


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21 January 2006 : Not such an Afful-ly good idea after all
The club's official site has this morning announced that the proposed loan move for Exeter City striker/winger Les Afful has collapsed, with the player now remaining with the Conference outfit. Er, that's it.


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20 January 2006 : Thommo Welcomes Lockwood Return
Glovers boss Steve Thompson has expressed his delight at the return of central defender and right-back Adam Lockwood following a successful two month loan period at League Two side Torquay United.

Steve has told BBC Radio Bristol that he has come straight back into contention for a place in the sixteen for tomorrow's match against Bradford City explaining: "I think it was important for Adam to go out and get a few games. He'd only started one game for us all season. Now he's had seven weeks worth of games and experience of playing in League Two and has played against Premiership opposition twice in Birmingham City. So he's fully match fit and raring to go. He can go straight into the squad and yes he will come into contention to play."

Steve also felt the last two months had been a win-win situation for all three parties involved in the deal at Plainmoore adding: "He did well at Torquay. Leroy Rosenior was very happy with him and it's worked out good for everyone. It's worked out well for Adam because he's got his match fitness now which obviously he didn't have before. Torquay have done well and his stay has coincided with a good run for them. It's also done Yeovil good because we now have a fully match-fit Adam Lockwood back in the squad."


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20 January 2006 : Youth Team vs Swansea City
A reminder that Yeovil Town's Under 18s side take on their Swansea City counterparts on the Huish Park Top Pitch tomorrow morning at 11.00am. Admission is free and all are welcome.


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20 January 2006 : No Way no more
The transfer of Darren Way to Swansea City has finally been completed for 'around £150,000' according to the BBC. Weasel passed his medical and agreed personal terms today, but will not be included in the Jacks squad for their match against Hartlepool tomorrow.

Meanwhile Glovers boss Steve Thompson has been explaining why the midfield engine room of the squad has been allowed to leave Huish Park in the last week or so and why Way and Lee Johnson, amongst others, weren't signed up for longer contracts in the past which might have prevented them leaving at this point in the club's development:

"No one at Yeovil Town, especially myself, wanted to see Lee and Darren depart." Thommo told the club's official site this afternoon. "Not only have they been great players for us but they are also young enough to improve further and both have good strong characters. The club made fantastic offers to both players, however both felt they could enhance their careers and profiles elsewhere. Some people will say that they should not have been allowed to lapse into the final year of their contracts, but both players were never keen to sign long contracts, as are many players these days, because they see the benefits of the Bosman ruling. Both players though gave great service to Yeovil Town throughout our most successful period and I personally wish them both long and successful careers."


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20 January 2006 : Fox sake
The club's official site has admitted that former Manchester United midfielder David Fox, just released by the Old Trafford club, has turned down a move to Huish Park - though no details of the kind of offer made to the player - short or long-term - have been revealed.

The 22-year-old attacking midfielder, a former England youth international who has made 2 appearances in United's first team and who previously spent a month on loan at Shrewsbury, has preferred to join up with League One strugglers Blackpool instead on a free, signing an 18-month contract at Bloomfield Road.


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20 January 2006 : YeovilTown v Bradford City match preview
There's a game on tomorrow, in case you'd forgotten. Under normal circumstances the first ever visit of former Premiership side Bradford City to Huish Park would be a big deal, but these aren't normal circumstances and with mainstays of the Yeovil team like Lee Johnson and Darren Way either gone or on their way out and with rumours of more to follow behind them then tomorrow's game assumes secondary importance somehow. It shouldn't however, because with 37 points in the bank the Glovers have had a very decent first half of the season in League One and will be looking to reach the traditional safety bar of 52-53 points as quickly as possible - anything more than that this season, with the disruption currently occuring within the squad, will be a bonus.

The Bantams are currently 13th in the league table, 2 points behind the Glovers and having played the same amount of games. Their away record is as good as most in the division having won 4 and drawn 6 but their current form leaves something to be desired with 3 draws and a loss from their last 4 games, or 3 points out of a possible 12 to put it another way - though one of those draws was a creditable 1-1 at high-flying Swansea. For tomorrow's game manager Colin Todd is expected to stick with the new (for Bradford) 3-4-1-2 formation that reportedly caused the Jacks problems, with top scorer Dean Windass taking the Super Gavin Williams (of blessed memory) role, playing 'in the hole' behind the front two. And talking of the front two, pacey striker Danny Cadamarteri is expected to return from suspension, otherwise Bradford should be unchanged from last weekend. Glovers fans will doubtless be thrilled to hear this means Steve 'IPATHLYK' Claridge, former 'manager' of Conference South minnows Weymouth will start the game. Claridge, 49, has scored 4 goals this season and used to play at the highest level, you know.

As for Yeovil Town, well, your guess is as good as mine. Actually it's not quite that bad. Assuming we haven't sold anyone else between now and 3pm tomorrow (a dangerous assumption I know) then we might even be unchanged from last week's 1-1 draw at Franchise FC - though don't put your house on it. Three of the back four that played last week all picked up knocks last weekend and while Terry Skiverton and Scott Guyett are very hopeful of being fit to play, Kevin Amankwaah is doubtful after missing training for much of the week - Adam Lockwood, back from a successful loan spell at Torquay is set to deputise. It remains to be seen as to whether new signings Daniel Webb or Les Afful will play a part either in the starting XI or on the bench. "Of course we want a good result against Bradford, especially as our game against Walsall has been moved," manager Steve Thompson said yesterday. "It's unlikely at this late stage that we will get something sorted for that Saturday at such late notice," he added.

Selected betting odds for tomorrows game: Yeovil win - evens; draw - 9/4; Bradford win - 12/5. My recommendation: Head ruling heart time tomorrow - I'll be hoping for the win, but with Bradford's away record taken into account my fiver will be bet on the draw. Record so far this season: +£20.80p


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20 January 2006 : Afful Signs On Loan
Yeovil Town have brought in striker/winger Les Afful on loan from Conference side Exeter City. The 21 year old is a graduate from the Devon side's Youth System and will be at Huish Park for the rest of the season.

Afful was born in Liverpool on February 4th 1984 and has clocked up 61 starts and 29 substitute appearances for the Grecians, scoring three times for the club. He is 5'6" tall and has plenty of pace. He was signed by Exeter after he was spotted playing for a youth team in Toxteth and made his first team debut for Exeter in November 2001 after impressing at Under 19s level.

Afful has generally faded out of Exeter's side this season and has played in just 10 league matches and two cup matches, scoring one goal, and has featured just twice since the end of October. He is out of contract at the end of this season. He played in the recent Reserve Team friendly between Tiverton Town and Yeovil Town as a guest for the Tiverton side, in a match that Tiverton won 5-2, although Afful did not feature in the list of scorers on the night.

Speaking to the Glovers official site, boss Steve Thompson explained: "Les' arrival will give us some new options up front with his undoubted pace and it will give us the opportunity to have a good look at him."

A pre-2006-07 season friendly between the two clubs has also been agreed, presumably as part of this deal.


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20 January 2006 : Plymouth In Frame For Way
Glovers midfielder Darren Way is being chased by two clubs. Aside from the officially publicised 150,000 pounds bid for Darren, Championship side Plymouth Argyle are believed to have matched their bid, meaning that the 26 year old now has a choice of where he chooses to play for the rest of the season.

Argyle would be an interesting proposition for Way. Not only are they his city of birth, they are also currently a league higher than Swansea and so represent an immediately higher standard of football for the midfielder.

Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins admitted there was a second offer for Way to look at, explaining: "It's taken about 40 hours of conversations, but we have agreed a fee. Now it's down to the player and what his preference is."

Jacks manager Kenny Jackett explained his reasons for wanting Way to sign adding: "Darren has done very well for the last couple of years in a position where we haven't got a lot of competition at the moment. He would be a very good addition for us and is the sort of player this club should be competing for. He has done very well in the past and has good potential."


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19 January 2006 : Gazette gets its answers
A week may be a long time in politics, it can feel even longer when you're a Yeovil Town supporter during the transfer window. Cast your mind back 7 days gentle reader, and recall that a week ago the Western Gazette printed an open letter to new Glovers major shareholder and chief executive David Webb asking him various questions concerning his shareholding and the direction in which he is likely to take the club (see news item 11th January). Those of us who can remember the new chief executive's attitude towards the press on a good day from his first spell at the club could have told the Gazette that the 'open letter' tactic might not have been the best way to go about getting an interview, and sure enough, a few days later the official site carried an open letter from Webb back to the Gazette, in effect telling the Gazette to do one and that all communications from the club would be through manager Steve Thompson and chairman John Fry. Webb would not be talking (see news item 13th January).

A few days and a few player sales later and we arrive at today's edition of the Gazette, with club chairman John Fry answering the questions posed by the paper to David Webb the week before. What follows are not the whole quotes Mr Fry gave to the paper, even in an electronic medium space doesn't allow for JF in full flow ;-), but we believe are a fair and accurate reflection of his answers to the paper:

Q: What are David Webb's intentions for the club and why did he buy it? Did he buy out Jon Goddard-Watts with solely his own money or is he in partnership with someone else?

JF replied that Webb's intentions were to progress the club and to maintain our league status. He said that he couldn't comment on Webb's previous financial association with Brentford or Southend because of his (Fry's) own lack of knowledge of those situations. He said that Webb was a football person so had an advantage over both himself and previous owner John Goddard-Watts because of that and as a football person and a businessman Webb was able to progress the club in ways that the previous regime could not. On the specific points of the shares that Webb owned and how they were acquired Fry said there was a confidentiality clause in place but was able to confirm that the shares had not been split in any way and that as far as he and the board were aware Webb was the majority owner of the club.

Q: What is David Webb's role? Is he going to seek out players whom the club could sign? Is Steve Thompson's role one of a manager or a head coach?

JF reiterated that Webb had the football knowledge, contacts in the game and business sense needed to progress the club in the football league and that he and previous owner Jon Goddard-Watts would not have been able to accomplish as much. Goddard-Watts had wanted new blood and new enthusiasm brought in to the boardroom. Webb had a full-time, 6 days a week job and Fry was remaining as a full-time executive to assist the new chief executive. Webb would be looking at everything involved with the club, including players, training pitches, the stadium, facilities and youth development.

As for Steve Thompson, he was regarded as manager and head coach, just as Kevin Hodges was the assistant manager and assistant head coach. JF asserted that further additions to the coaching staff could be expected as the club would be pursuing a policy of developing young players to a much greater extent than seen before. The chief executive would assist the manager in contract negotiations and 'wheeling and dealing' during the transfer windows, but Thommo's main focus was expected to be on the players at the club and the day-to-day management of them, including their coaching and welfare. Webb would not be getting involved in any of that side of the club, either in training or at matches.

Q: Is David Webb looking to move on experienced players and replace them with youngsters, a policy which worked most successfully during his time as Yeovil Town manager in 2000? Is he trying to cut the wage bill?

JF responded by saying that the club had concentrated its limited financial resources on the first team squad over recent seasons, perhaps to the detriment of other parts of the club - in particular he mentioned the poor state of the training pitches as an example of where the club was lacking compared to other clubs. He said that the club needed a recruitment and selection policy when it came to signing players so that 'fewer mistakes' would be made when signing players and that Webb had the experience and expertise needed to set up such a system.

Q: How close is the club to agreeing contracts with the players whose deals run out in the summer? Should fans fear more departures?

JF didn't directly answer these questions other than reiterating that the club wanted to progress and is ambitious but that there was a wage structure in place that would not be broken. He affirmed that the club would not be put into any sort of financial risk and that the quality of life for players in Somerset was second-to-none and that there was more to life than money.

Q: What are the club's plans for the ground and its surroundings? Have they changed since David Webb took over? Would the club consider the sale of the site and relocation of the club?

JF insisted that the club would not be relocating from its present site. He said that the club wanted to live in harmony with local residents and that the club had contributed greatly to the town in terms of publicity and income and hinted that the club might welcome a 'contribution' from the town. He said that the stadium needed development in parts but that team development would not be placed in jeopardy over stadium development.

We are extremely happy on this site. We have to live in harmony with the local residents and community as well as the town and we are quite proud that we have helped put this town on the map nationally. You dream all the time that you need a bigger stadium but we will not put that development in front of the team and put that in jeopardy. We will develop it the way we can afford to and if we get help from outside then that is terrific.

Saying that, we do need to bring the stadium in line with the type of football we play and there are things that we know we need to develop. But I say it again, there are clubs who we go to whose facilities are a lot, lot worse than ours.

There are priorities which Mr Webb will be discussing with the board but he is trying to get his feet under the table at the moment. He has been busy going out looking for players for Steve Thompson and travelling around on my behalf looking at different ways to help develop the club but I feel very comfortable that everything is in good hands.


Q: What is your view on the signing of Daniel Webb, David Webb's son?

JF replied that Daniel was a great addition to the club and a 'super lad'. What else did you expect him to say?


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19 January 2006 : Weasel To Become A Swan
Darren Way v Bristol Rovers, 2005
The Weasel bares his teeth: no one had more passion than Darren on the pitch.
Photo © 2005 Ciderspace


Well it looks as if he will tomorrow.

League One rivals Swansea City have announced that they have had a bid of around £150,000 accepted by Yeovil Town for Darren Way. He is expected to arrive at the Liberty Stadium tomorrow to sort out personal terms, and the Swans hope to have the deal completed in time for their fixture on Saturday versus Hartlepool United. Swansea also revealed there had been competition for Darren's signature from Plymouth Argyle.

Darren Way and Lee Johnson were at the midfield heart of Yeovil's success over the last four years and now both have departed inside a fortnight.

Way, nicknamed Weasel, has been a favourite of the fans throughout his time at Huish Park. A combative ninety minutes of perpetual motion he and Johnson complemented each other perfectly in the middle of the park. Way never gave less than 100%, had the heart of a lion, and no fear. To see him square up to some hulking centre-back or giant centre-forward with his chin bristling at their chest was almost as inspiring as watching him out jump them. Way's mantelpiece was groaning with Player-of-the-Season and other awards from supporters, the local and wider media, and footballing organisations.

Joining Yeovil Town in the summer of 2000 when we were in The Conference, Way had been knocked back by a number of Football League teams, including Bristol Rovers, for being too small. Steve Thompson, then Assistant Manager, spotted and recommended him to the club. Way made his debut on August 19th at home to Kettering Town. He went on to make 247 appearances for the first team and scored 33 goals.

Darren Way v Charlton Athletic, 2005
Way drives forward on goal against Premiership Charlton Athletic in the F.A. Cup.
Photo © 2005 Ciderspace


It's never easy when a much loved player is sold to a rival club. One tiny consolation is we have already played the Swans twice this season; the sight of Weasel lining up against us before the end of this season would have really rubbed in the salt. We at Ciderspace sincerely wish Darren all the best in his future career. He gave his sweat and blood for this club and was an inspiration. A player of huge stature, in all but his height. He will be greatly missed on the pitch and in the dressing room.


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19 January 2006 : Famous Last Words ...
Glovers boss Steve Thompson went on BBC Radio Bristol this afternoon to play down suggestions on an unofficial Swansea website that midfielder Darren Way had already left Huish Park. Perhaps unbeknown to Thommo and the radio station, by the time the interview was broadcast at 6.30pm, Swansea's official site had already gone public with their story claiming that a fee had been agreed at Huish Park.

Steve said that as far as he was considered, the position had not changed explaining: "No, nothing new has happened today, but you take things day by day at the moment with the way that calls and other stuff has been coming in. Anything can change at any time but there is no news to report on transfers - ins or outs - today."

BBC Radio Bristol made specific reference to the unofficial Swansea website and asked Steve if he found such reports as being unhelpful. Steve replied: "It's not unhelpful when they say that because I don't read them. But it is unhelpful when they remind me of it. I'll just say it's a web site. Any person can put anything they want on near enough any web site. That's the way the world is going, but it's not up to me to talk about that really. If we worried about everything that was written on any web site then we would be worrying all day and life wouldn't be worth living, would it?"

By the time the interview was broadcast, the position had already changed, although the radio station were oblivious to this fact and continued to run with the interview as it stood.


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19 January 2006 : Bateson Grateful For Lockwood Stay
Torquay United chairman Mike Bateson has expressed his thanks to Yeovil Town for allowing central defender Adam Lockwood's stay at Plainmoor to be extended to cover the two FA Cup matches against Birmingham City.

As reported yesterday, Lockwood has made his return to Huish Park and Bateson admitted he was sorry to see him go. Speaking to the Plymouth Herald Bateson said: "It's not entirely unexpected, and it was decent of Yeovil to let us get the Birmingham game out of the way before they called Adam back".

Glovers boss Steve Thompson also told the Western Morning News that the injuries to Terry Skiverton, Scott Guyett and Kevin Amankwaah (see yesterday's news) were also influencing his decision-making: "We are recalling Adam from Torquay because we need him back here now. We don't know if all three will be available, and we can't take that chance."

Lockwood now turns his attention to getting back into a side that he has not really featured in for over 18 months now, and the Wakefield-born defender told the same paper: "I had a bit of a nightmare season last year, and I have come back and things have not perhaps gone the way I have wanted them to go. It's what you want to do, you want to test yourself at the highest level. I've come down (to Torquay) and managed to get that chance - the other week as well (against Birmingham City). I've really enjoyed my time here, it's been really beneficial and it's gone well."

Lockwood also praised his team-mates for the way that they performed in the two FA Cup Third Round matches, drawing 0-0 at Plainmoor whilst only losing the replay by a 2-0 scoreline: "We came here to St Andrew's and wanted to put them on the back foot. We knew they are a good side, they are playing in the best league in the world, so to be able to come and play and approach the game well is a credit to us. We could have sat back and tried to defend all the way through, but we didn't."


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19 January 2006 : Swansea Site Claims Way Signing
Swansea City's rivals.net site Jack Army is sticking it's neck on the line, claiming that Glovers midfielder Darren Way has been sold to the Welsh club for an unspecified fee.

The unofficial website claims that "he signed terms for Swansea City this morning" and "that personal terms and fees have been agreed". They go on to claim that "he will go straight into the Swans squad for the weekend game against Hartlepool".

Whilst the Jack Army website is usually fairly reliable with it's reporting, it would be a surprise if such a situation had moved on that quickly given that only yesterday Jacks chairman Huw Jenkins claimed his side had not made a bid, whilst Glovers boss Steve Thompson said on the previous day that he had received no bids for Darren. That said, this week's Western Gazette had claimed there would be an announcement soon, and so such a development can not at this stage be ruled out. More information as and when we get it. There is currently no comment from either club's official sites.


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18 January 2006 : Coming Soon From A Western Gazette Near You
Tomorrow's Western Gazette will carry the cheerful news from Yeovil Town chairman John Fry that negotiations with some unspecified players are not going well :

Contract negotiations with some of the club's players are proving a problem.

Money appears to be the issue. Whether that boils down to certain players asking for more, or the club offering them less, is open to speculation.

Elsewhere in the paper, club Media & Communications Manager Adrian Hopper has been mentioned in connection with an announcement which the Gazette describe as "major". The paper goes on to claim that it is linked to a player leaving the club, although Ciderspace has since heard that this news may not be as concrete as the Gazette claim. The paper reports :

As the Western Gazette went to press, Glover's spokesman Adrian Hopper revealed the club would be making a major announcement in the next day or two. The Western Gazette understands that it relates to another player leaving Huish Park.

More on all this when we've seen the articles in full and digested the implications.


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18 January 2006 : Glovers Donate Shirt To Maccy
Yeovil Town F.C. is one of the clubs to respond to the plea of Macclesfield Town for signed shirts as part of their "Fans United Day" on January 29th at Moss Rose, one of a whole series of fund raising activities. Maccy have appealed for signed shirts from all Premiership and Football League clubs which will be paraded to show support for their plight. The shirts will then be auctioned on e-bay to raise money.

The following clubs have so far donated shirts :

Brentford, Brighton & Hove Albion, Cardiff City, Norwich, Nottingham Forest, Notts County, Oldham Athletic, Plymouth Argyle, Port Vale, Preston North End, Southampton, Stockport County, Stoke City and Yeovil Town.

The Silkmen were fined £62,000 by the Football Association, and instructed to repay the Football Foundation £195,000, following an inquiry into the funding of the Estate Road Stand and a hearing at the F.A. that found them guilty of a series of charges including false accounting. They have been given until January 31st to pay the fine and return the misused grant to the Football Foundation. The latest figure from the Silkmen is that they have raised close to £60,000 to date in donations and pledges.

Ciderspace wishes them success in their attempts to raise the money needed, partly because we would not wish any football club to go out of business, but also because we want to see the money that belongs to the 'football community' as a whole returned to the Football Foundation where it can be granted to a club that will spend it honestly on what is intended.


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18 January 2006 : New Date For Walsall
As per our item yesterday, the fixture versus Walsall on Saturday 28th January has been postponed because of their continued involvement in the F.A. Cup. The rearranged date for our visit to the Bescot Stadium in the League One match up is Tuesday 21st March, kick-off at 7.45 p.m.

The Ciderspace guide to all things Walsall can be found here.


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18 January 2006 : Swansea Claim Way Interest ... Eventually!
Swansea City Chairman Huw Jenkins has once again used the media as a sounding board for attempting to drum up support for prospective signings. Jenkins and manager Kenny Jackett used the South Wales media as a pawn when attempting to unsettle Lee Johnson in August whilst he was still a midfielder at Huish Park.

This time round, he seems to have come in a day late, given that Glovers boss Steve Thompson has already told the Western Daily Press (see yesterday's story) that there have been no bids made for Way.

Speaking to the Swansea Evening Post, Jenkins claims: "Darren Way is one of six or eight players we've enquired about in the last two weeks. We've spent hundreds of hours on the phone since the window opened and he's someone we're interested in. We haven't actually bid for him, but we have talked figures with his club."

Jenkins claims that Yeovil are playing a waiting game on Way, though exactly what they are waiting for given Jenkins himself admits there has been no bid submitted remains to be seen. The Swansea Chairmain claimed with reference to the midfielder: "Clubs are sitting around just now, waiting to see what offers may come in before the transfer window closes."

Swansea's plans for Lee Johnson turned out to be little more than hot air, with the Welsh club continuing to make a song and dance about their "plans" long after the trail had gone dead at the Yeovil end.

The Swansea paper claims that "around £100,000 (is) believed to have been mentioned as a possible fee" - an identical figure to the sum claimed for Johnson, although sources from the Huish Park end suggested that their valuation of Johnson was in reality far less than that. It would be no surprise if the paper had obtained the figure from Jenkins himself.

Jenkins goes on to moan about apparent paper talk drumming up interest in their striker Lee Trundle complaining: "I'm getting tired of saying it, but once again I can assure you that we have had no offer or phone call about Lee" following newspaper speculation that he is about to sign for Premiership side Everton. Those that live by the sword, Mr Jenkins ...


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18 January 2006 : Torquay Confirm Lockwood Recall
Torquay United's official site has confirmed that defender Adam Lockwood has returned to Huish Park, as predicted on Ciderspace yesterday.

Gulls Chairman Mike Batesman has thanked Lockwood himself for the last two month's service that saw him play in 12 games and score three goals, whilst Batesman has also added his thanks to Glovers boss Steve Thompson for delaying Locky's recall until Torquay's FA Cup run was completed. The Gulls exited the FA Cup last night, losing 2-0 to Birmingham City in a Third Round Replay.


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18 January 2006 : Defensive Trio On Treatment Table
Glovers boss Steve Thompson has revealed that three of his current first choice back four have been left out of training so far this week due to injuries sustained in the 1-1 draw against MK Dons.

Scott Guyett, Terry Skiverton and Kevin Amankwaah all sat out training on Monday due to various knocks sustained during the game although it has to be stressed that all three completed 90 minutes on the day and so presumably the injuries sustained are minor.

Thommo explained: "They were unable to train on Monday. I am hoping all three will be available for Saturday because we want to keep our run going. Two wins and two draws have been good for us and I am looking for another win on Saturday."

Fellow defenders Colin Miles, Luke Oliver, Adam Lockwood and Andy Lindegaard would look to step in if any or all of the above fail to recover. Lockwood returns to Huish Park today following last night's 2-0 defeat for Torquay United against Birmingham City which saw Locky complete his two month loan stay at the Devon club.

Meanwhile in today's Western Daily Press, Thommo has expanded on the decision to bring Daniel Webb (see yesterday's story) to the club and drew comparisons with a previous father-son relationship at the club: "Daniel has been brought in to add to our attacking options. He's a big targetman who holds the ball up well and brings other people into play. Few people had heard of Lee Johnson when he arrived at the club and if Daniel can go on to be half as successful as Lee, everyone will be happy."


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18 January 2006 : Officials For Bradford City Game
Yeovil Town fans with good memories will be delighted to know that Saturday's match against Bradford City will be refereed by Jarnail Singh of Hounslow. Singh, along with Andre Marriner is one of a very small collective of officials that has consistently turned in good performances at both Huish Park and other grounds when the Glovers are involved and the match official's own progression up the leagues have more or less matched Yeovil Town's own rise.

His most recent trip to Huish Park was in October 2005 for the 3-0 win over Nottingham Forest. However, he has also been involved in a wide selection of other matches including this season's pre-season friendly at Woking plus last season's 4-2 home win over Shrewsbury Town and the 1-0 win over Swansea City in September 2004. Trace through the Ciderspace archives and you can find him featuring in matches as long as seven years ago, running the line in a 0-0 draw at Farnborough Town.

Assistant Roger Vaughan of Somerset is also a regular to Yeovil matches. His last match as linesman was the Friday night 2-0 defeat at the Liberty Stadium against Swansea City whilst he also ran the line against Lincoln City in Yeovil Town's final League Two match of last season which resulted in a 3-0 win. Vaughan has also occasionally taken charge of more minor Yeovil matches such as this season's pre-season friendly at Tiverton Town, or the Pontins Holiday Combination match last season against AFC Bournemouth that saw a 2-0 win.

Second assistant Malcolm West of Cornwall is making his first appearance in a Yeovil Town match this season. His last appearance was as linesman in the 4-2 win over Bristol Rovers last season, whilst he was also involved in the highly controversial 4-3 defeat at Plainmoor in the LDV Vans Trophy against Torquay United. His third match from last season was the now legendary 3-2 win over Plymouth Argyle in the Carling Cup.

Fourth official is Mike Mullarkey of Exeter who again is no stranger to Huish Park. More often than not he seems to be the fourth official these days with his last action as a linesman being the 5-2 win over Mansfield Town last season, whilst his last spot as a man in the middle was in the 2-1 home defeat against Leyton Orient in the preceding season, when as fourth official he had to take over the game when match referee Mark Warren pulled up with a groin strain.


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17 January 2006 : Action Photos From MK Dons vs Yeovil Town
The action photo gallery for the League One match at the National Hockey Stadium last weekend that saw a 1-1 draw against MK Dons is now on-line. Access all 57 photos by heading here or by accessing the main Photo Gallery Index page.


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17 January 2006 : Walsall Fixture Postponed
The League One fixture between Walsall and Yeovil Town at Bescot Stadium scheduled for Saturday 28th January will now be postponed following The Saddlers progression to the F.A. Cup Fourth Round. They defeated Barnsley 2-0 tonight in a Third Round replay.

We'll bring news of the rearranged date as soon as it becomes available, but it will obviously become a mid-week fixture. Tickets can only be obtained through Walsall. Pay-on-the-daynight will presumably continue to operate, but if you wish to avoid the £2.00 surcharge you need to order your tickets in advance: see details on the Ciderspace Profile. Our experience from the F.A. Cup tie earlier this season was that Walsall are very efficient, with tickets ordered in the afternoon arriving in the next morning's post, so there should be no issues with delaying until the new date appears but still saving yourself money.


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17 January 2006 : No Way Out For Darren
Glovers boss Steve Thompson has today confirmed welcome news for all Yeovil Town fans - there are no bids on the table for vice-captain Darren Way. The Western Daily Press put forward the question to Thommo after apparently picking up a rumour that League One rivals Swansea City had put in a bid for the popular Plymouth-born player.

If Swansea were ever interested in Way, then the news has yet to reach their internet message boards. Past experience has shown that the Swans camp is prone to 'leaking' information to supporters or their local press and chairman Huw Jenkins is certainly not shy about discussing prospective signings, but as yet there is no sign of that having happened. When the South Wales side made their failed move for Lee Johnson, they were fairly blatantly leaking deals of their move to supporters groups at the Liberty Stadium.

Manager Kenny Jackett has admitted he is after a holding midfield player, but states that his current thinking is more towards a loan signing. After being linked with Wrexham attacking midfielder Mark Jones, Jackett told the Swansea Evening Post that Jones was not the sort of player he was after: "He's a good attacking midfield player, but I don't think that's the type we need. Owain(Tudur Jones) has played that role for us for the majority of the season and Andy Robinson looks like he can do it too. I've been very pleased with him in the last three or four games and felt he was our best player at Bradford. With Leon Britton as well, we're well covered in that department and it's more of a holding player we need. Maybe we'll end up getting someone on loan."

The Swans had hoped to grab AFC Bournemouth midfielder Brian Stock just before the weekend, matching Preston North End's valuation of the player. But Stock chose Championship level football, and it would appear likely that the 24 year old was Jackett's intended weekend target.

Speaking to the WDP, Steve Thompson said of the claims: "Darren Way is a good player and I would not be surprised if teams were interested.But we have had no written offer for him."

Thommo implied on Saturday that there had been at least one written offer for a Yeovil Town player apart from those for Lee Johnson and Efetobore Sodje who departed to Hearts and Southend United respectively earlier this month. However, he also stated that such formal offers were few and far between, and Chester City manager Keith Curle's interest in Michael Rose appears to have more legs on it.

Darren is planned to be back in training this week and although he missed yesterday's Reserve match at Bristol Rovers the club are still hopeful that he will make his return in time for Saturday's home match against Bradford City.


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17 January 2006 : Locky Makes Final Bow For Gulls
Yeovil Town defender Adam Lockwood will make his final appearance for Torquay United in style when he travels to St Andrews hoping to play his part in what would be one of the biggest FA Cup upsets in over 15 years. The Gulls face Birmingham City in an FA Cup Third Round Replay after dominating a 0-0 draw at Plainmoor.

All being well, tonight will be Locky's 12th appearance for the Gulls during a two month period that has seen him score three goals. The latest came when he opened the scoring a Gigg Lane on Saturday, but there was little he could do to stop his loan side going down 3-2 against Bury in League Two.

Speaking to the Western Morning News Gulls manager Leroy Rosenior said of tonight's match: "We have nothing to lose and everything to gain. It's a massive challenge for us. But if we get a result, it will go down in folklore. It will go down in history - not just Torquay history, but in the history of the FA Cup."

Locky's return to Huish Park has become more inevitable since the loss of Liam Fontaine who concluded his loan deal at Huish Park, whilst injuries to Colin Miles and Kevin Amankwaah almost accelerated his return. But thankfully Thommo has not needed him, which means that Locky will get the icing on the cake tonight when he gets the opportunity to experience life in front of what is expected to be a near 29,000 capacity crowd, with at least 2,000 travelling from Devon for the match.


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17 January 2006 : Thommo Says No To Mohamoud
Glovers boss Steve Thompson has today stated that he will not be following up his interest in Charlton Athletic midfielder Abdigani Mohamoud. The 18 year old played 45 minutes of a Reserve team match yesterday but evidently did not impress, and was replaced by Youth Teamer Richard Cullingford in the second half.

Speaking to the Western Daily Press Thommo explained: "I don't think he would be ready for our first team at the moment."

The Yeovil boss also stated that he wanted to see more from out of favour striker Pablo Bastianini. The Argentinian played in central midfield alongside Mohamoud with Thommo no doubt trying out options for a player that has seen the door heavily shut by the successful partnership built up by Phil Jevons and Matt Harrold, meaning that Pablo has mainly been an unused substitute or even out of the sixteen on occasions.

Thommo told the WDP: "Pablo had a good game and played well in midfield. But I would need to see more of him to convince me that he could play in midfield at League One level."


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17 January 2006 : Striker problem solved
Yeovil Town have announced on their official site that they have signed striker Daniel Webb on a contract - though the length of the contract is left open for conjecture.

The six foot tall 22-year-old has played for 5 league clubs in his short career to date, scoring 11 goals in a total of 72 starts and 49 substitute appearances - 121 appearances in total. He was released by his last club, Cambridge United, after a season in the Conference when he scored 3 times in 35 matches; and was recently rejected by Conference South outfit Weymouth after a trial period at the Wessex Stadium earlier this season. Daniel is of course the son of the Glovers major shareholder and chief executive David Webb.

"Daniel will help to give us more options in the striking role at the club," manager Steve Thompson commented.


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16 January 2006 : Wilson Likes His Greek Mythology
Believe it was Sisyphus who was condemned by the Gods to rolling a huge boulder to the top of a hill, only to see it roll back down again, for all eternity. Condemned to managing Franchise FC we can see where Danny Wilson's thinking is coming from.

After Saturday's 1-1 against Yeovil Town the manager of MK Dons had this to say :

It was a good result in terms of getting something from the game after trailing. But it was no more than we deserved and we had two or three great opportunities to win the game.

Second half we came out and were strong and committed. We showed a lot of drive throughout the game and thankfully scored the leveller. We didn't get the break for the winner, but overall we can take heart from the draw - especially after the heavy defeat against Swansea.

I'm delighted for Izale
[McLeod] to get the goal. He has a big impact whenever he comes into the team and I know he is a terrific player. Malvin [Kamara] also had a good game. Izale set it up by putting Malvin in and he has got down with a fantastic delivery. The pace unlocked the door for us.

We had great chances in the first half, and when confidence is a bit low they are sometimes snatched at. But I think overall we just need a slice of luck and we deserved it from that performance.

Hopefully this draw is the start of a bit of a run. If a stone is rolling down a hill you can't push it straight back up, you have to stop it first. That's the position we're in now. We've stopped the losing run and hopefully we can get back on track. We can take great confidence from the Yeovil game, because we came back into the game.



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16 January 2006 : Liam Signs For City
Liam Fontaine has signed for Bristol City on loan until the end of the season. Fontaine, who has had two extended loan spells at Huish Park, goes straight into the squad for tomorrow night's League One match with Colchester United at Layer Road.

City manager Gary Johnson is quoted as saying :

Liam was immensely popular at Yeovil and is a player I rate very highly. Other clubs have been chasing him, but he wanted to come and play for me again. He can play in central defence or at left-back and is a good distributor of the ball.

The news will come as a blow to Yeovil Town fans, who certainly harboured hopes that the club might be in with a shout of a permanent signing. Liam's contract at Fulham expires at the end of this season and the London club has yet to make a decision on whether to keep or release him. Yeovil manager Steve Thompson has said on several occasions he would be keeping a close eye on Fontaine's availability. Looks much less likely from today that he needs to bother.


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16 January 2006 : All square for the reserves at the Mem
Yeovil Town Reserves came back from a goal down to draw 1-1 with their Bristol Rovers counterparts in a Combination League match at the Memorial Stadium this afternoon.

The Glovers fielded their usual mix of first team squad members, youth team players and triallists; including club owner David Webb's trialist son Daniel playing as a striker, another striker Pablo Bastianini playing as a central midfielder and Charlton trialist Abdigani Mohamoud also playing as a midfielder, though he was replaced at half-time. Jon Bass opened the scoring for the home team with a header from a corner on 11 minutes. Former Gashead Kevin Gall thought he had replied with a goal on 55 minutes only for it to be ruled out for a previous infringement; Andy Lindegaard finally levelled things up on 64 minutes with a shot into the left hand corner of the net.

Final score: Bristol Rovers Reserves 1 - 1 Yeovil Town Reserves

Yeovil Reserves:
Chris Weale, Ollie Wake (RB), Steve Reed (LB), Colin Miles (CB), Luke Oliver (CB), Pablo Bastianini (CM), Abdigani Mohamoud (CM), Andy Lindegaard (RW), D Williams (LW), Kevin Gall (ST), Daniel Webb (ST).

Subs:
Gavin McCallum (80 mins for Lindegaard), Richard Cullingford (46 mins for Mohamoud), Craig Alcock (75 mins for Wake).

Bristol Rovers Reserves:
Steve Book, Ben Willshire, Robbie Ryan, Mark Preece, Jon Bass, Matt Groves (Tom Parrinello 75), Darren Mullings, Chris Lines, Lewis Powell, Sean Rigg, Paul Trollope. Subs: (not used) Matt Thorne, Martin Horsell, Charles Reece, James Palmer.


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16 January 2006 : Charlton Midfielder On Trial
Yeovil Town have taken Charlton Athletic midfielder Abdigani Mohamoud on trial for this afternoon's Reserve Team match against Bristol Rovers.

Abdigani is a product of the South-East London side's Academy system, hails from Kidbrooke and went to Woolwich Polytechnic school. His club's official site describes him as "neat and tidy on the ball and light on his feet" and "more than capable of picking a pass and making his presence felt in the final third of the pitch".

The central midfielder missed five months of last season with a broken ankle, meaning that he only made seven starts for his U18 side in the FA Premier Academy League. The previous season saw him make eight starts for the U17s side and two more for the full academy side.

Charlton's official site also describe Abdigani as a fully-practicing Muslim who observes Ramadan by fasting for a month between sunrise and sunset. As the Islamic calendar is lunar rather than solar based Ramadan moves each year in relation to the Western system of months.


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16 January 2006 : Transfer Window Round-Up : No. 5
The weekend in transfers was a quiet affair with obviously most clubs out on the road or preparing for home games. However there is always a bit of last minute wheeling and dealing, particularly in the loan market where the glories of an inconsistent rulebook allow players to be signed up on loan up to 21 hours after the deadline for playing permanent signings on a Saturday.

Bristol City boss Gary Johnson has allowed striker Guy Madjo to leave on a free transfer for Forest Green Rovers - an unusual decision given that Madjo, who was once on trial at Huish Park under Johnson, was one of the first players brought into Ashton Gate by the former Yeovil manager. The 21 year old has already been playing at The Lawn on loan and now leaves for Gloucestershire permanently.

Glovers fans who saw Saturday's game at MK Dons will have already caught sight of goalkeeper Ricardo Batista, albeit sat on the substitutes bench. The Fulham shotstopper has been brought in on loan to act as cover for David Martin who as reported earlier has headed off to Liverpool. Of course one player who didn't leave the National Hockey Stadium was Izale McLeod, even if those present from Somerset on Saturday probably wished he had. As mentioned on Friday, Chairman Pete Winkleman was left with egg on his face as Wolves refused to play ball over the 1.4 million pound package, and over the weekend history has been rewritten with Winkleman telling Dons fans before the game that McLeod had himself pulled the deal and manager Danny Wilson saying after the game that it was Wolves fault as they'd been given permission to talk to the striker 2.5 weeks ago but hadn't got in touch - which would make Winkleman's timing of his statement to the press to appear all the more bizarre. If McLeod isn't losing his rag over this by now, he ought to be.

Chris Dagnall represented the only visible instance over the weekend of money changing hands. Tranmere Rovers have sold the striker to Rochdale for £25,000 pounds. This represents a nice profit for the north Manchester side who sold Grant Holt to Nottingham Forest last week for 300,000 pounds, although whether 19 year old Dagnall can score at the same rate as Holt remains to be seen.

Money will be changing hands very soon for AFC Bournemouth midfielder Brian Stock. He went on loan to Preston North End just before Saturday's game and provided an assist for one of the Championship side's goals. He is due to transfer permanently to Lancashire although there seems to be a bit of a bun fight going on over whether Bournemouth's figure of 125,000 pounds, or Preston's claim of 100,000 pounds was the last agreement between the two club chairmen. Cherries manager Sean O'Driscoll is less than impressed claiming that poor communication during the deal and a delay over the arrangements has cost him an immediate replacement for Stock, with his intended target having signed for another club.

Finally Chesterfield striker Mark DeBolla has had his contract terminated by mutual consent, whilst Jon-Paul Pittman has temporarily switched between League One clubs. The 19 year old striker has been brought in from Nottingham Forest to help fire up a Hartlepool United attack that looked very shot-shy on their recent visit to Huish Park, and manager Martin Scott explained: "He caught our eye for their reserves and we're delighted to bring him here. The chairman's backing has been great over these loan moves and hopefully he can prove an excellent addition."


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16 January 2006 : Reserves vs Bristol Rovers
A reminder that Yeovil Town Reserves travel to play Bristol Rovers Reserves today in the Pontins Holiday Combination League. The match takes place at the Memorial Stadium at 2.00pm this afternoon.

There is no word from the club to suggest what kind of side Yeovil are likely to put out, however it is likely that Saturday's five substitutes - Chris Weale, Andy Lindegaard, Kevin Gall, Pablo Bastianini and Colin Miles - will travel, along with the likes of Stephen Reed, Luke Oliver, Richard Cullingford and Dale Williams. Trialist Daniel Webb is another possible player who may be on show.

If anyone is going to this afternoon's game and would like to supply a few lines, or is able to pass over a mobile number, then please do drop us a line.


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15 January 2006 : Ciderspace Match Report : MK Dons vs Yeovil
The Ciderspace match report for yesterday's 1-1 draw against MK Dons at the National Hockey Stadium can be found here.


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15 January 2006 : Thommo : Roll On The End Of January!
Glovers boss Steve Thompson gave his thoughts yesterday on his current playing squad, their contractual situation and the January transfer window as events combine to produce probably the busiest month of the footballing calendar.

Thommo hopes that having got club captain Terry Skiverton to commit himself to a deal until the summer of 2007 that others may look to follow suit. Steve admitted: "I certainly hope so. I've got a group of lads who do have that work ethic and who are trying to improve their games with little things. Kevin Hodges must be given a lot of credit as well. We are constantly working on the coaching on the training field to try and improve little things with players and also looking after the ones who are not in the team so that we maintain the spirit that we've had here for the last five or six years."

That said, Steve admitted that he couldn't offer any firm indications as to when any further announcements could be made concerning contract renewals adding: "There is lots of talking going on but obviously resolving situations is proving very difficult."

Steve felt that some of the selling points the club could offer was the team spirit and the way the club were developing young players like this season's signings David Poole and Matt Harrold who are now finally beginning to realise their talent. The Yeovil boss explained: "I love these players and I've been with them all for a long time. I also feel that some of the players are blossoming and taking that responsibility of a first team place on very well. People like David Poole, I thought had another good game again today. Matty Harrold is blossoming and taking on the responsibility of being a first team regular and that is great for the club."

That said, Thommo was not prepared to stand still and hope all his squad would still be at the club at the end of January or even the end of the season. The club were already operating a 'Plan B' to look at possible alternatives or boosts to the current squad: "We are watching loads of games. I went to games on Monday, Tuesday and Friday. Kevin went to games on Monday and Dave Webb is watching games. There are three of us as well as our normal scouts watching games. You've got to be on the look-out watching players just in case. Even if we don't lose any players you've still got to be on the look out for new players. Obviously there is the threat of losing players because of the contractual situation."

Steve confirmed though that he would not be confirming or denying any of the current myriad of rumours doing the rounds both in newspapers and on the terraces adding: "That would be between me and the players - I wouldn't divulge that at the moment. I've spoken to other managers and their phones are non-stop asking about players. But if you're talking about actual written offers then that's very different and I don't think I would divulge any of those. Suffice to say though there are not many written offers at all, but there is a lot of talk."

In the middle of probably the busiest month of his managerial career, Thommo probably spoke for every person associated with Huish Park when he said with a broad grin: "Roll on the end of January - that's what I say!" - certainly by then the trio of Webb, Thompson and Hodges will be able to take stock of the situation and determine what is and isn't needed to build on or maintain the Glovers current comfortable midtable standing in League One over the remainder of this season.


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15 January 2006 : Way Comeback Still Imminent
Glovers boss Steve Thompson said yesterday that he did not regard the late withdrawl of Darren Way from this weekend's match as a matter of serious concern. Way had been pencilled in for making his comeback against MK Dons but by midweek that plan appeared to be in doubt with the midfielder not travelling to the friendly at Tiverton and by Thursday it was revealed that Way would not be in the squad for the weekend game.

Thommo said that the reasons were just down to the Plymouth-born player needing an extra week before returning rather than any suggestion that his leg was not healing as planned following his stress fracture. Speaking in Buckinghamshire, Thommo said of Darren: "It was a delay more than a setback. Hopefully it's only a week's delay and he'll be available for next Saturday's game."


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15 January 2006 : Thommo's Verdict On The MK Dons Game
Glovers boss Steve Thompson was again satisfied to pick up another valuable away point after yesterday's 1-1 draw against MK Dons at the National Hockey Stadium. Speaking to the press after the game, Steve answered the following questions:

Qu: Steve what's your reaction after that game? Do you feel that you have gained a point or lost two?

ST: I thought we did enough to win the game. I thought we just about edged the game. It was a very exciting game. I've told the players all week that MK Dons are a good team. I watched them against Swansea and if you look at the stats they managed as many shots on target as Swansea on Tuesday and double the corners. So we knew we were in for a hard game and that was certainly proved right. I was delighted with the boys performances. I thought their workrate again was fantastic and I think that in the game we created nine or ten good openings or chances.

Qu: It was a good set piece that got you your goal in the end. Chris Cohen's corner to Skiverton and in the back of the net.

ST: That was fantastic. We have been trying to work on set pieces that are a little different and have a bit more power in their delivery and Chris Cohen has got some real power behind that and it was a bullet header right into the top corner, so that one has worked well for us.

Qu: Terry Skiverton signed that contract on Friday and he showed his worth with that goal and then he was back down the other end heading the ball over the bar to get it off the line.

ST: If anything encompasses Terry Skiverton it was that thirty seconds. A bullet header into the top corner, then he is back clearing off the line. He is a fantastic person, a fantastic player and a first rate skipper.

Qu: At half time were you slightly frustrated perhaps that you hadn't got that second goal to make it more comfortable?

ST: Yes, I was a little bit frustrated because I felt that we had the oportunities there. David Poole had a great run and shot that went just over the bar and Arron Davies had a shot which he normally connects so well with that just screwed past the post. We did have those openings and we were the better team without doubt in the first half. But credit to MK Dons because they came back quite strongly during the first 15 minutes of the second half. They brought McLeod on there and went for the game in a big way and pushed four forward at times.

Qu: Their goal was classic counter-attack - started and finished by McLeod.

ST: Yes, you can see with his movement, he is very quick over the ground and you can see why the big clubs are looking at him.

Qu: At the end of the game are you happy to come away with a point from a ground like this?

ST: I'm happy with the performance, I'm very happy with the lads and the way they performed. I'm just a little bit disappointed that we didn't get the win because I felt that we edged the chances. If you look at Steve Collis, how many saves has he had to make? I can think of one in the first half where he went down low to gather one and then we had one off the line right at the start of the second half. So I just felt that we had better chances. But credit to MK Dons. I said that they had a good team during the week to make sure that the players didn't under-estimate them with them being bottom of the league and I maintain that they are a good team. They pass the ball but they have also got the tools to mix it up with Platt, McLeod and Wilbraham up front.

Qu: Were you pleased with the performance of your midfielders? Obviously it was a new-look midfield this afternoon but they controlled the game well during the game, especially during the first half.

ST: Yes, I was very pleased. I felt they all turned in good performances - all four of them. I was obviously very pleased with that.

Qu: Any injuries to report after that game?

ST: Not that I know of. Sometimes something comes to light. Injuries are not always the first thing I see to. There are none that came to light straight away. I just felt that with 10 minutes to go that we maybe needed to bring some athletes on the pitch in the form of Kevin Gall and Andy Lindegaard and it very nearly worked because we had the counter-attack where Gall fed to Lindegaard and it just screwed past the post. They played their part as well. I know it only seems like 10 minutes but you can lose a game in a minute so that 10 minutes that they played is very important as well.

Qu: When they came on the momentum seemed to be switching MK Dons way a little bit but they wrestled it back towards you again.

ST: Yes, I thought that they both came on and had an effect on the game. Lindy has had the shot that went just past the post with the little turn and he hit the bar with the cross that hit the bar. Gally got in very nearly from Chris Cohen's pass that was just a little bit over-hit, otherwise he was in one-on-one with the keeper. I ask my subs to come on and have an effect and I thought they both had an effect.

Qu: Even Lindy can't claim that was a shot though can he?

ST: I don't think so, no!


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15 January 2006 : Interview With Terry Skiverton
Terry Skiverton spoke to the media after scoring the Glovers only goal in the 1-1 draw away to MK Dons just days after he signed his seventh consecutive contract. Skivo, as he is affectionately known by the Huish Park faithful, revealed just how grateful he is for the faith that everyone associated with Yeovil Town has shown him in the past six and a half years.

The 30-year-old said: "It is nice to get a goal but the most important thing is that the club have shown faith in me again by offering me a new contract. I have been at this club for six and a half seasons now and the club has been absolutely brilliantly to me along with the supporters."

Read the full interview with Terry Skiverton (transcript by George Murray) by clicking here or head to the Ciderspace Interviews Section.


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14 January 2006 : Action Photos From Yeovil Town vs Hartlepool United
The action photo gallery for the League One match at Huish Park last weekend that saw a 2-0 win against Hartlepool United is now on-line. Access all 60 photos by heading here or by accessing the main Photo Gallery Index page.


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14 January 2006 : Draw leaves Glovers still unbeaten in 2006
Ah, the joys of following the beautiful game. But not today. Soulless town, miserable weather, atmosphere free stadium, poor quality match.

There was a good turnout of Glovers in the Wetherspoon pre-match, most staying as long as possible before venturing down to the 'hospitality' of The National Hockey Stadium. A wise choice. The first thing one notices is the lengthy list of rules of all the things one must not do displayed on every available surface. A quick paraphrase would be : ANYTHING AT ALL. The ground looked as it's named, less the National bit. A weird lopsided effort, with one reasonable stand, a covered home end, and then opposite the main stand a box of uncovered seats stretching about a quarter the length of the pitch. The away end, a scaffolding job of uncovered seating more suited to the eighteenth at the Open, was a forest of green and white anoraks, macs, kagools, and the odd umbrella that had defied Rule No. 163. No banners - Rule No. 318.

Not much happened in the first half.
It rained.
Yeovil Town took an early lead when Terry Skiverton celebrated his contract extension with a towering header at the near post from a corner. 13 mins, 1-0.
It drizzled.
It rained.
One of the assistant referees sported a yellow flag the size of a beach towel. Perhaps it had soaked up so much water he couldn't physically lift it? Or possibly his reason for not signalling a Franchise player three yards offside was myopic stupidity? Anyway the result, after the move fizzled out, was a flag substitution for a smaller one.
It drizzled.
On 36 minutes something amazing must have happened. No idea what it was, but it caused sound in the Main Stand. On looking over one suddenly realised 3,000 people had been sat there all along practicing the submarine Silent Running Routine to avoid depth charges.
It rained.

Milton Keynes, January 2006
Glovers fans can't contain their excitement as they dream of future trips to Franchise F.C.
Photo © 2006 Ciderspace


Less happened in the second half.
It rained.
Yeovil got a corner, lost the ball, the home side wandered down the pitch. Presumably those in red and black heard a call : PLAN B!! Plan B involved dropping off any player in white, running away from where the ball was, and above all don't tackle, DO NOT TACKLE. Plan B was executed to perfection. 75 minutes, 1-1.
It drizzled.

Final score: MK Dons 1 - 1 Yeovil Town.

Attendance : 5,548

A full report that may attempt to make the game sound more exciting and interesting will appear here. It will fail.

The draw means the Glovers are still unbeaten in 2006 with a record of 15 points from the last 8 league games - good form by anyone's standards. We drop a place in the table to 11th on 37 points, solidly mid-table at present, 6 points away from the play-offs and 9 ahead of the relegation zone. Of the clubs that interest us TBCUTR came back from a goal down to draw 1-1 at home to Scunthorpe to lie 3 points ahead of Blackpool in the final relegation place, City are 20th with 31 points, Blackpool 21st with 28 - a small gap now developing between the bottom four and the rest of the table. Rotherham lie 22nd on 27, the less-than-merry Millers losing 2-0 at Bournemouth. Swindon lost 3-0 at Gillingham to remain deep in trouble 2nd from bottom with 25. Franchise FC were the only side in the bottom four to gain a point today but despite that remain in last position on 24.

At the other end of the table Southend are top with 50 points after a fine 4-1 win over Brentford, former Glover Efe Sodje scoring for the Shrimpers to send them on their way. The Manchester United of League One (© Alan Tate) drew 1-1 at Bradford City, our next opponents, to drop to 2nd on 48 points. Huddersfield won 2-0 at home to struggling Blackpool to go to 3rd in the table on 47. Away from League One there was a reunion of former Glovers in the unlikely surroundings of East End Park in Scotland, where Dunfermline entertained Hearts. The visitors came out on top as 4-1 winners with Lee Johnson making his Hearts debut as a 90th minute sub. Bartosz Tarachulski managed 45 minutes on the pitch as a second half sub himself, but only picked up a booking for his trouble. Some things never change.


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14 January 2006 : Sign on with me, urges Skivo
Club captain Terry Skiverton has been speaking to the press after the news of him signing a one-year contract extension was announced yesterday, with the skipper urging those of his teammates who are out of contract at the end of the current season to follow his example:

"I am very pleased," Skivo told the Western Daily Press today. "I am the first one to sort something out with David Webb and the manager; and David Webb was good to me the last time he was here. I was very happy with the way we sat down and spoke about the future. I am very settled (in Yeovil) and everything was right for me to stay. It's a weight off my shoulders and hopefully some of the others will follow and sign too."

Skivo however acknowledged that in these uncertain days of the Bosman ruling and transfer windows that agendas would be different for individual players: "It is a difficult situation because there are a lot of people in our team who are very marketable and are very good players and there's going to be a lot of interest," he admitted. "Everybody has their own individual circumstances and whatever they decide to do they will have the blessing of the manager (Steve Thompson), David Webb and myself."


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14 January 2006 : Youth game postponed
The Youth team match due to take place this morning against Bristol Rovers has been postponed due to a waterlogged pitch. No new date has yet been arranged.


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13 January 2006 : Curle In Talks For Rose?
Chester "Put In A Bid For" City manager Keith Curle says he's been in talks with Yeovil Town for left-back Michael Rose :

I'm still looking to strengthen and I've spoken about signing Michael Rose permanently.

Michael Rose, 2005
April 9th 2005, and Rosey scores his only goal for the Glovers.
Photo © 2005 Ciderspace


Rose, currently out on loan at Scunthorpe United, began his career at The Deva (as it then was) after being released at the conclusion of his trainee spell at Manchester United. He spent the bulk of the 2001-02 season there, and then had two seasons with Hereford United before moving to Huish Park in the summer of 2004. His debut was on August 7th, and in the 2004-05 League Two Championship season he made 48 appearances, including 37 starts in the league. Although arriving with a reputation as a dead-ball specialist, and billed by Gary Johnson as a 10-goal-a-season defender, he only hit the net once, in a 5-2 win over Mansfield Town.

This season he has been completely out of favour at Huish Park, only making a single appearance from the bench to date. A loan spell at Cheltenham Town earlier in the season didn't work out, with Rose returning early. Scunthorpe offering him a loan deal two weeks ago came as something of a surprise.

If Curle wants Rosey we'd have thought he'd be pushing at an open Huish Park door. Trouble is you can never tell with Put-in-a-bid-for-Chester whether they are serious.


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13 January 2006 : Hartlepool match MOTM result
Striker Phil Jevons has been voted YTFC Man of the Match by Ciderspace and Mailing List users following the 2-0 win over Hartlepool at Huish Park last Saturday.

Full results can be found at the foot of the match report.


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13 January 2006 : Tis The Season Of Open Letters
In response to the Open Letter to Yeovil Town owner and Chief Executive David Webb from and published by the Western Gazette (reproduced below on January 11th), Mr.Webb has issued his own Open Letter.

Dear Sirs,

Whilst you may not have had any success in contacting me of late, I also have had no joy in replying to your reporter, who it seems has had his phone on answerphone.

Firstly my apologies for any inconvenience this may have caused your paper.

I find it rather arrogant that you believe the staff at this club, who have their own jobs to get on with, have the time to be chasing me on your paper's behalf, and how you state that you represent many of the club's supporters.

This football club has had a continued success over recent years with a good relationship with both yourselves and more importantly the supporters.

It has been based on the principle of either the manager or the Chairman being responsible for making any statements with regard to the club's business.

Having recently joined the club I have no intention to interfere or complicate that policy and therefore any information regarding the football side will still come from Steve Thompson, and all other comments will come from Chairman John Fry.

David Webb


One each. We'd suggest stopping now lads, before it starts getting silly.


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13 January 2006 : Skivs Signs Deal
Yeovil Town club captain Terry Skiverton has signed an extension of a further year on his contract. This will take him through to the end of the 2006-07 season. Since Terry is over 18 and has agreed of his own free will, far be it for us to query the decisions of either party, though a 12 month extension does seem to be about the absolute minimum that could be offered.

League Two Title Comes to Huish Park, 2005
Captain Terry Skiverton, leading the troops from the front as ever.
Photo © 2005 Ciderspace


Speaking to the Official Site manager Steve Thompson said :

Obviously I am delighted with the news that Terry has signed a new contract. Skivs has been the mainstay of the team for last six years and his performances this season have seen him playing the best football of his career. Being the skipper of the club his commitment to the club is second to none and his decision to stay at Yeovil has given everybody a huge boost.

And that's what supporters may be thinking. Skiverton is greatly respected by his team mates and there will be hopes that his putting pen to paper will break what, from the outside, has seemed to be a bit of a log-jam on agreements to new deals, with other players now following suit.


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13 January 2006 : Bristol Rovers Games Clarifications
Monday's Pontins Holiday Combination fixture against Bristol Rovers has been confirmed as a 2.00pm kick-off, as per the Ciderspace Reserve Team fixtures page. The venue for the match is almost certainly the Memorial Stadium, however if there is a change of venue we will republicise this fixture.

As expected, the Youth Team's match against Rovers in the Football League Youth Alliance will definitely be on the Huish Park Top Pitch, kick-off 11.00am tomorrow (Saturday). Admission is free and all are welcome. If anyone is going and would like to write a few paragraphs for the news page (or even a full blown match report) then let us know.


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13 January 2006 : Forthcoming League One Coverage
Sky Sports will be showing two League One fixtures live in the next six weeks, both on Friday evenings.

First up will be Nottingham Forest v Barnsley on January 27th, kick-off 7.45 p.m. Coverage starts at 7.30 p.m. on Sky Sports One. This will be followed by Swansea City v Huddersfield Town on February 24th, also at 7.45 p.m. with coverage starting at 7.30 p.m., but this time on Sky Sports Two.


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13 January 2006 : Amankwaah Fit To Start
Following up from the main match preview (below) news comes from the Yeovil Town Official Site that right-back Kevin Amankwaah came through training this morning and will be available for selection on Saturday. Presumably thoughts of recalling Adam Lockwood from Torquay United on the 24 hour rule can now be discounted.


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13 January 2006 : Glovers Spend £53K On Agents
Following up from our item on Agents? Scum of the Earth yesterday, the Football League today published its fourth six-monthly report on the transactions of its clubs with agents in the transfer market.

The report, covering the period of July 1st 2005 to December 31st 2005, shows there was a decrease in the amount paid to agents compared to the same period the previous year, down from £5,019,789 to £4,427,986. As would be expected the bulk of this money was committed by Championship clubs.

In total there were 1,765 (up from 1,498 from the same period in 2004) player transactions in the Football League. A transaction is counted as any of : new registrations/player transfers, contract updates, contract cancellations and loans. Of these 237 involved payment by a club to an agent.

In League One, which interests us most, there were 560 (up from 482) player transactions, 64 involving the payment of an agent. The fees paid by League One clubs to agents totalled £549,110 (up from £353,295). Nine clubs did not pay for the services of a licensed agent during this period: Blackpool, Chesterfield, Colchester United, Gillingham, Hartlepool United, Huddersfield Town, Port Vale, Scunthorpe United and Walsall.

In the period January 1st 2005 - June 30th 2005 (see Ciderspace July 21st 2005 for full details) Yeovil Town spent £11,500 in agent fees. This was the first time since the Football League started publishing these figures that we were recorded as making such payments. In the last six months that figure has rocketed to £53,000.

The full breakdown of figures for Yeovil Town is as follows :

New registrations and transfers : 15
Updated contracts : 0
Cancelled contracts : 1
Loans : 8
Payments to agents : £53,000

In terms of League One this puts us as the fourth highest spenders on agents, behind only : Nottingham Forest (£124,950); Bristol City (£86,850); Doncaster Rovers (£56,000).

Agents are easy to target as parasites on the game, and it's true many seem to do themselves no favours (apart from to their bank accounts) in the way they act. However here we are more concerned with the policy at Yeovil Town. We are guessing, as the Football League doesn't itemise which transactions attracted an agent fee, that our payments mostly concerned imports of South Americans. For differing reasons none of those three transactions is likely to be seen as a roaring success to date by most supporters. Perhaps the club should be reassessing whether it is getting value for money from these payments?

On a slightly wider point, we are a smallish club in League One terms. Should we really be fourth in the spending chart for fees to agents in the first place?


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13 January 2006 : Milton Keynes Dons v Yeovil Town Match Preview
The country's youngest Football League club............ will meet Yeovil Town for the first time this Saturday. Since the footballing authorities ripped up their own rule book and gifted Championship status to a club materialising in the middle of England MK Dons, as they now call themselves, Franchise F.C. to everyone else, have had a torrid time. Shame. Relegated last term, they currently lie 24th in League One in this campaign.

This week has not been good for them. Comprehensively outplayed in the mid-week game at Swansea City their chairman, Pete Winkelman (don't you instantly dislike a public figure who tries to appear a 'right-on' man-of-the-people by shortening his first name?) has embarrassingly shot himself in the foot, possibly blown it clean off, with a self created debacle over Franchise's one major asset on the pitch, Izale McLeod. Trumpeting to the local press that he had been sold to Wolverhampton Wanderers for 1.4 million pounds Winkelman discovered only a few hours later that it takes two to make a deal. The supposed buyer in this case er, wasn't. Wolves pointed out that Winkelman, presumably engaging in what he believed to be cunning brinkmanship, had previously turned down their package totalling £1.4 million , and they were seriously unimpressed with him cheerfully announcing he'd now take it after all. In fact the money was no longer on the table to be taken. Oops. What McLeod thinks of his chairman messing up his chance of a move to Molineux isn't yet recorded.

All this said, it might be thought a good time to be playing the franchise. However despite their rock bottom position they have only lost three league games at The National Hockey Stadium this season, their problem at home being too many draws - seven, with a mere three wins. They will also be determined to bounce back after the poor performance at the Liberty Stadium that saw them three down in less than half an hour.

Franchise player Paul Mitchell can be found on the club website apologising for the result at Swansea and guaranteeing there will be a backlash :

As players we need to offer a big apology for the performance at Swansea City on Tuesday. It was nowhere near good enough and to concede three goals in the manner in which we did was very disappointing. We lacked commitment and passion and we want to make a public guarantee that the fans will not see a performance like that again from this team.

After a performance like that we need to all take a long look at ourselves and accept the criticism. The manager kept us in the dressing room afterwards to make his feelings known and it was the least we deserved. The buck stops with the players who are out there, individually and collectively. And it is up to put things right this weekend against Yeovil by showing Danny Wilson, the fans and ourselves, that we are hurt by the recent run and will go through brick walls to get a win.


Should there be any complacency in the Glovers camp, which we'd doubt, we have been warned.

Craig Morgan misses the game with a one match ban following his fifth booking of the season in the F.A. Cup tie against Southampton. However one out, one in, as Trent McClenahan returns from his suspension. Franchise's No. 2 keeper David Martin left for Liverpool this week. Gary Smith and Alex Tapp are injured, and with the small squad looking stretched there's speculation Ben Harding may have been brought back from his loan spell at Forest Green Rovers to fill a hole.

The visitors have their own problems. Play-maker Lee Johnson moving on to pastures new this week increased the need for his long-term midfield partner Darren Way to be fit. Weasel has long been pencilled in for a return in this match, whether starting or on the bench, but his rehabilitation has had a set back and he will not be available. After a twisted knee up at Doncaster Rovers, Kevin Amankwaah failed to complete a second match in a row when he had to come off with a tight hamstring against Hartlepool United, and he was doubtful. His most obvious replacement, Adam Lockwood, is still on loan at Torquay United. There has been some clamour from fans for his recall, and speaking to the Western Gazette (so someone at the club still does) manager Steve Thompson admitted he had been considering it. At the time of writing Thompson has upped Amankwaah's chances from an earlier 70-30 to 80-20 and it looks as if Locky will see out his second month with the Gulls.

Speaking to the Western Daily Press, Thommo said :

Kevin [Amankwaah] trained today with the physio and he's training with the team tomorrow, so he's 80-20 to be fit for Saturday. Adam Lockwood will definitely be coming back at the end of his second month. We are leaving open the possibility of calling him back before then, but as it stands Kevin is looking good, so I don't feel I need to call him back at this moment.

Uriah Rennie will be tomorrow's whistle blower, last seen by Yeovil supporters in the season's opening fixture against Oldham Athletic.

Taff's Tips : With two bets on the trot cantering home (to apply racing parlance) I'm on a bit of a roll at the moment with my profit so far this season standing at £25.80 - which won't make much of a dent in the club's agents bill, but makes me happy. Selected odds for tomorrow's game: Franchise FC win: 7/5; draw: 9/4; Glovers win: 13/8. My fiver's going on the away win.

For all those not boycotting tomorrow's match the Ciderspace guide to Wimbledon Milton Keynes is online here.


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12 January 2006 : Lee Would Not Have Signed A Contract
Glovers boss Steve Thompson has claimed that he would have lost midfielder Lee Johnson under the Bosman Ruling if the club had not agreed to allow him to move to Scottish Premier League club Hearts earlier this week.

Speaking to the Western Gazette, Thommo believed Lee would not have signed a new deal with the club, explaining: "I want to make it clear that Lee would have gone in the summer anyway whether Gary Johnson, Steve Thompson or David Webb was here or not. Lee would have been out of contract in the summer so he was never going to move for the fee that some people have been speculating about. £60,000 from Hearts was the only offer we had since the Swansea City one in August."

There had been rumours circulating a month or so ago that at least one Glovers player had openly told the team management that he would be leaving the club at the end of the season and would not consider a new contract. Given his family ties with the Glovers manager during the early part of the season, it could be that Lee felt he had to 'come clean' and let Gary know of his intentions. If so, it would go a long way towards explaining why the club felt they had to sell, although perhaps in such circumstances openly transfer-listing the midfielder would have been more appropriate to try and force the asking price up to a more reasonable value.

Another player who could be potentially looking at a similar plan of action to Johnson is winger Kevin Gall. Thommo has told the Gazette that there is a contract on the table for him but implies that it is something that will only be formally discussed at the end of the season. Despite the claims of Gall's agent Wayne Elsey there have been no bids for the player who joined the club in 2003.

The Yeovil boss explained: "Kevin is part of the plans here. I want him playing well, in the first team and to sign a deal at the end of the season - that is my ideal scenario. All the speculation regarding him is something agents do. If we had an offer for him and he wanted to go then we would look at the situation."


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12 January 2006 : Youth Alliance League Review
Last Saturday's 4-3 win for Yeovil Town's Under 18s side over AFC Bournemouth lifted them up to fourth in the Football League Youth Alliance table for the South West Conference section. Stuart Housley's side have now taken 19 points from 11 games - a relatively satisfying haul.

They have little chance of catching leaders Swindon Town, who have yet to lose a match and have dropped points in only two games this season, leaving them 10 points ahead of the Glovers. They saw off Oxford United at home by a 3-0 scoreline. Second placed Plymouth Argyle also won, thrashing basement side Hereford United 5-1. Hereford have become the whipping boys of the division on their debut in this league, losing every game so far and clocking up a goal difference of -49.

Cirencester Town did the Glovers a big favour by defeating third-placed Cheltenham Town 3-2 in the shock of the day. The win by the league's second from bottom side, coupled with Yeovil's result leaves the Glovers just two points off the Robins.

Bristol Rovers present Yeovil's biggest threat below them in the table. They defeated Exeter City by a 3-2 scoreline. Meanwhile the only draw of the day saw Newport County and Swansea City share six goals in Gwent.

The Glovers take on Bristol Rovers at home this coming Saturday, hoping to keep the Bristol club below them in the table whilst the first team are at Milton Keynes. Kick-off is 11.00am and the venue will almost certainly be the Top Pitch. If anyone is going to the game and would like to write a short report or just a paragraph or two, please let us know.

Yeovil Town Under 18s Fixtures/Results: here.


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12 January 2006 : Agents? Scum of the Earth*
In the same week that Yeovil Town has lost one player - Efe Sodje - through the actions of an agent and another - Kevin Gall - has been touted around the Football League by another agent as available for transfer, quite clearly against his manager's wishes, it's interesting to see Luton manager Mike Newell come out today condemning the actions of agents and alleging that bungs are commonplace during transfer deals.

"The FA must play a much bigger role than they are doing - agents are the scourge of the game," Newell said in a BBC interview today. "If the governing bodies don't eradicate some of the things that are happening, it will kill the game. Hopefully the Football League and the Premier League will come to their senses and bring in stricter laws. So many players have come and gone who have been absolutely no good to the game or the clubs who bought them. But the agents will have made money once again and the game in this country will have suffered. Millions of pounds have gone out of the game that will not be seen again."

Newell received support from former FA chief executive Graham Kelly this evening, the former FA chief calling for a 'corruption review' in the game. "It's an absolute scandal that there is no proper financial regulation system within football," Kelly told BBC Sport. "Agents have a licence to print money and have had since before I went to the FA in 1988. Agents are the biggest sore, the biggest cancer in the game. Millions and millions have gone out of the game to agents over the last 20 years - they're printing their own money. The Premier League doesn't require its clubs to declare what commissions they give to agents. Manchester United is the only club that chooses to. In contrast, the Football League requires all its clubs to. But still nobody knows what the agents do with the money because they are outside the game."

Kelly attempted to set up a compliance and monetary unit at the FA during his time with the organisation but was restrained by the reaction of the Premiership and Football League at the time: "They said the clubs were already subject to company law and didn't need a new bureaucracy crawling all over the club's books," he told BBC Sport. "It was like trying to play keepy-uppy when 10 players are kicking you in the shins."

A compliance unit was eventually set up in 1999 by the FA, headed by Graham Bean, a former policeman - he has since resigned, frustrated by a lack of cooperation from all concerned it seems: "For such a multi-million pound business, football is a cottage industry," he said. "It's a small, close-knit community where everybody knows everybody and what everybody else is doing. That makes the investigative procedure harder because people are reluctant to come forward and give information. The problem I found was that you constantly went down dead ends and what you had was never enough to put somebody in front of a commission."

Perhaps now with Mike Newell coming forward that evidence will be forthcoming at last? The Luton manager meets with the FA next week with FA chief executive Brian Barwick saying: "These are very serious claims that Mike Newell has made. We welcome the fact that he has said that he is willing to provides names and details of people who have breached the rules. We have contacted Mike this morning and will meet with him early next week. If he provides us with evidence we will investigate fully. The FA takes this issue very seriously."

For the record, Yeovil Town spent £11,500 on agents fees last season.

*"Scourge of the game" was the exact quote, we prefer our version.


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12 January 2006 : Glovers Feature On Soccer Night Programme
Tonight's ITV West (Bristol region) Soccer Night programme features a behind the scenes look at Yeovil Town on matchdays, presumably centring on the Glovers 2-0 win over Hartlepool United last Saturday.

Neither TBCUTR or Roooovers were in action over the weekend leaving the question of how Jed Pitman and Co will use up 30 minutes of broadcasting time. Let's hope they stick to the football rather than the 'jokes'.


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12 January 2006 : Transfer Window Round-Up : No. 4
It may be only 24 hours since the last round-up of transfers amongst League One clubs but over one million pounds worth of players are lined up to change hands since the last round up of what's going on during the January transfer window.

One such deal hasn't quite gone through yet, but is worthy of note because it directly impacts upon Yeovil's Saturday opponents Milton Keynes Dons. Top scorer Izale McLeod looks set to head for Championship side Wolves after both clubs agreed a 600,000 pound transfer deal that could be worth up to 1.4 million pounds if various appearance clauses, promotion clauses and international appearance clauses are invoked. Derby County will claim a third of the profit on a player that was sold from Pride Park for 150,000 pounds two years ago.

Franchise FC owner and destroyer of traditional football clubs Pete Winkelman said of Glen Hoddle's bid: "We've agreed a deal with Wolves so Izale is free to talk to them. I'd be really happy if Izale stays but it's never been my policy to stand in a player's way of progressing his future career. Izale has never said he wants to leave, but Wolves now have permission to talk to him so it's up to them to work it out. But he has a terrific strike rate for us and I remain hopeful that we can keep hold of him."

Whilst that leaves things open as to whether McLeod will face the Glovers on Saturday, one Franchise FC player that won't be appearing is young goalkeeper David Martin. The 19 year old is the son of former West Ham defender Alvin Martin, and probably wouldn't have started on Saturday, with only three LDV appearances to his name this season, although it does leave Franchise FC with the dilemma as to who to put on their bench.

A second big money mover today is Rochdale's Grant Holt, who the Glovers once put a bid in for under Gary Johnson's reign. Whilst the size of that bid was never disclosed, Ciderspace confidently predicts that it wasn't the 300,000 pounds and 3.5 year contract that Nottingham Forest offered for the 24 year old. The former Sheffield Wednesday player is the third player to sign at the City Ground this month and almost certainly takes their spending over the one million pound mark in the past week. Forest manager Gary Megson can hardly accuse his board of not backing him up to the hilt now.

Huddersfield Town have made their first delve into the market of the month with Dan Smith arriving on a month's loan from Premiership side Sunderland. The 19 year old can play at left-back or in midfield. Meanwhile Tranmere Rovers have waved goodbye to Jamaica international midfielder Theodore Whitmore after his contract was torn up by mutual consent with the 33 year old failing to start a match this season.

Finally, any good day's round-up wouldn't be complete without a trip to the Bescot Stadium. Walsall's attempts to replace their entire playing squad with a new one seem to be ticking along nicely with Republic of Ireland international Steve Staunton the latest to be leaving WS1.

His departure is for good reasons though, with his country likely to name him as their new national manager tomorrow. Saddlers Chief Executive Roy Whalley has said of the situation: "As far as we are concerned we have now cleared the way for them to appoint Steve. The door is open and we wish Steve every success for his first venture in management, and the same message of goodwill goes to the FAI. When he has played, it was very easy to see he has played at the top level. He has also been involved on the coaching side, so hopefully his time with Walsall has been very useful in introducing him to that side of the business and it will help him in the future."


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12 January 2006 : Son of 'Win A Player'
Claiming a dramatic success last year, with 1.1 million entries (though of course as you could vote once a day over the 80 days it ran that doesn't equate to 1.1 million different individuals), The Football League and Coca-Cola are repeating their 'win a footballer for your club' concept this season.

Last year a Brighton & Hove Albion supporter, Aaron Berry, won £250,000 for his club and £10,000 for himself. The Seagulls bought striker Colin Kazim-Richards on the strength of it.

Win a Player 2 has upped the stakes. First prize is still £250,000 for a club, with a personal cheque of £10,000 for the winning fan, but this time two further clubs, both from different leagues, will each win £50,000, with £1,000 for the winning fans. The three winning fans will be invited on to Sky TV's Soccer AM on 29th April 2006, where presenters Tim Lovejoy and Helen Chamberlain will reveal the winning clubs live on air. There is no ruling about what happens if you point out you are travelling up to The Galpharm Stadium that morning.

The prizes are allocated through a draw, not necessarily to the clubs with the largest number of entries, though of course the more entries for your club the higher the chance of being drawn.

Entries are already underway: Head to Coca-Cola Football.co.uk if you want to be involved.


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11 January 2006 : Open Letter From The Western Gazette
As it's billed as an "Open Letter" Ciderspace feels it only right to reproduce it here. We've had our disagreements with the Western Gazette over the years, and sometimes been critical of the way they have covered Yeovil Town F.C., but like it or loathe it the "Western Gutsache" is an important local media player for good or ill, and has a strong influence on how people in the region perceive our club.

Dear Mr Webb,

For the past two weeks the Western Gazette have been trying to get in contact with you but have had no success.

Staff at Huish Park have been chasing you on our behalf and although we understand that you are a busy man, we feel it is important that you find time to speak with your local newspaper which represents many of the club's supporters.

Below are questions which we, on behalf of Glover's followers, would like you to answer.

What are your intentions for the club and why did you buy it? Did you buy out Jon Goddard-Watts with solely your own money or are you in partnership with someone else?

What is your role? Are you going to seek out players whom the club could sign?

Are you looking to move on experienced players and replace them with youngsters, a policy which worked most successfully during your time as Yeovil Town manager in 2000.

How close are you to agreeing contracts with the players whose deals run out in the summer? How many of them have already signed?

What are your plans for the ground and its surroundings? Would you consider the sale of the site and relocation of the club?

The Western Gazette are not questioning your motives or recent actions but feel that the fans deserve to be made aware of what is happening to their club and why.

Western Gazette 12 Jan 06


Ciderspace feels these are fair questions. But on a wider issue, when David Webb was last at Huish Park he was an employee. Unless there were specific clauses in his job description otherwise, he had no further obligations towards the media than those of a manager attending managerial press conferences. Now he owns our club, and has taken the role of Chief Executive. Although there are no rules that go with that, and Mr. Webb can do as he wishes, this club is an integral part of the local community, and has been for over one hundred years. As supporters we expect our club to talk to us, communicate with us. If Mr. Webb sees his acquisition of Yeovil Town as a mere business move, so be it. There's nothing that can now be done about that. We'd like to think we have an owner for whom the club is not just a plus or minus in the accounts column. An owner who wants to be a part of the 'Yeovil Town Story'. Responding to interrogation of his agenda and plans for our club is part of joining the community of Yeovil Town F.C.

[Our thanks to Don Gibson for the transcription.]


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11 January 2006 : Lee Likes The Look Of Tynecastle
Outgoing midfielder Lee Johnson has told the Scottish press today that another factor in his decision to leave Yeovil for Edinburgh was the outstanding facilities and set-up at Hearts and their Tynecastle ground.

Lee said of the set-up: "I didn't realise how big this club was. I was speaking to the gaffer this morning and I said to him that there is nothing that Arsenal have got that Hearts haven't, as I was at Arsenal when I was younger. Looking at it, it's the perfect place to kick your career on and improve myself as a player. The facilities are unbelievable - from the yoga teacher, to the nutritionists, to the psychologist, to the facilities and the outdoor pitches. It's all top notch. I don't know if Arsenal had a yoga teacher, they didn't when I was there and I was there for two to three years."

The 24 year old admitted that on a smaller scale that was what had attracted him to Huish Park 4.5 years ago, adding: "I was given the chance to go to Denmark but my Dad, Gary told me to come and sign for Yeovil. I knew it would be a very good club but I just didn't realise exactly how well it was geared to improving yourself."

The deal, finalised today (see story below), has been revealed to be worth a mere £50,000 pounds for a player that based on his abilities and form should have been leaving Huish Park for the sort of figure that Gavin Williams commanded when he left Yeovil for West Ham United. Those in charge at Huish Park need to have a long hard think about how to protect their assets more carefully in the future to stop more players of Lee's quality being allowed to leave for a pittance.


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11 January 2006 : Thommo's Delight At Cohen Loan Extension
Glovers boss Steve Thompson has expressed his delight at finally getting Chris Cohen's loan extension sorted out, particularly with fellow midfielder Lee Johnson moving in the other direction today.

Cohen's agreement to stay at Huish Park until the end of the season was confirmed yesterday and speaking to BBC Radio Bristol Thommo said of the news: "He has come in at League One and played practically every minute of every game, or near enough. That's a credit to him and a credit to the people at West Ham, in that he is fit enough and strong enough to come down and go straight in. It's also to do with the way that he had been football-educated as well. He is a great lad and a very good player."

Thommo also admitted that he was still keeping his eyes and ears open in terms of any future possibility of landing Chris on a more permanent basis. Speaking to the Official Site he added: "He has done very well in the two months he has been here. The departure of Lee Johnson gives the arrival of Chris Cohen extra importance as we have lost one excellent midfielder but also brought in one excellent midfielder. I think it was important that after losing Lee that we brought in someone on a more long term basis. As to the end of the season there is always a chance of keeping him, but to do that we will have to continue to do well. Chris has enjoyed his two months here and he needs to keep enjoying it but of course West Ham will have their own agenda on what they plan for Chris so we shall have to see how things develop."


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11 January 2006 : Transfer Window Round-Up : No. 3
The last few days has brought a few more big moves in the January transfer window that have affected many of Yeovil's fellow League One clubs. Of course, one major one has affected the Glovers today - Lee Johnson's transfer to Hearts having already been covered in detail earlier in the day.

Every day in January seems to be bringing more comings and goings at the Bescot Stadium, and it is now looking that Yeovil's second away match of the season against Walsall will see them lining up against radically different opponents to those who played in the FA Cup match in December. Gone is top scorer Matt Fryatt, who has already scored twice against Yeovil this season. He has signed a 3.5 year contract with Championship side Leicester City for an undisclosed fee that has other payment clauses ready to trigger if Fryatt settles in at the Walkers Stadium.

Gone also is midfielder Julian Bennett. The left-back is another moving for an undisclosed fee and Nottingham Forest are the beneficiaries. Bennett said of the deal: "Lots of other teams, including ones in the Championship, were showing interest in me, but this is my home-town club and it's a dream come true."

Fortunately for manager Paul Merson, who must be the busiest boss in England at present, he does have one new man coming in and it looks to be a direct replacment for Bennett. Grant Smith is coming in on loan from Bristol City after failing to start a game under Robins manager Gary Johnson. The 25 year old is becoming a bit of a nomad - Walsall will be the 11th club of his fairly short career. Smith can play either as a left-winger or a left-back, although the loss of Bennett would imply a shoe-in for the latter position.

Another former Walsall man is down on his luck this week. Midfielder Paul Smith is out of work after Gillingham released him, just two months after he agreed to ditch an 18 month contract with the Saddlers to come back to a side he once captained. Now it seems that show of loyalty backfired. Smith said of the news: "I was in no rush to leave Walsall because it is a good club but it was the lure of coming back down south and going back to Gillingham, where I had been for so long and knew everyone, that was behind my decision. I suppose my affection for Gillingham cost me in the end because really I should have said no but I was desperate to get back there. One minute I was playing for them, then the next minute I am not - and the contract offer is taken away. Gillingham have made up their minds they do not want me and there is not a lot I can do. I just need to put this experience behind me and get another club."

Gillingham have also let two other players go - both travelling to Scotland. Striker Steve Hislop has signed a 2.5 year deal with Livingston, whilst goalkeeper Tony Bullock has moved to St Mirren.

Life does exist though outside WS1 in League One. Chelsea defender Steve Watt has moved to Swansea City on a free transfer. The 20 year old has penned an 18 month deal and is no stranger to this level having played for fellow League One side Barnsley on loan last season. The glut of loan deals continues with Gerard Nash's move to Hartlepool United. The 19 year old defender is attempting to re-establish his career after a series of knee injuries. Meanwhile Bradford City midfielder Lee Crooks won't be at Huish Park in 10 days time - he is off for a loan spell with Notts County.

The loan transfer movement concludes for today with Hull City defender Marc Joseph heading to relegation-threatened Blackpool. That is likely to turn into an 18 month permanent deal for the 29 year old who has already experienced League One football this season with Gary Johnson having taken him on a short loan spell with Bristol City.

Finally one more intruiging transfer to ponder as we see how manager's opinions can differ. Swindon Town in 24th place felt that striker Tony Thorpe was not what they wanted and so they paid him off last month, leaving him a free agent. Now Colchester United in 5th place reckon he is worth a deal until the end of the season. A crazy or an inspired move from Colchester boss Phil Parkinson? Having taken Thorpe's Swindon strike partner Jamie Cureton on loan in the autumn and getting seven goals out of a player that hadn't scored for the Wiltshire side all season, it seems likely that Parkinson is hoping that lightning really does strike twice with one-goal Thorpe.


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11 January 2006 : Thommo Admits Gall Offer Would Be Considered
Glovers boss Steve Thompson has stated his version of events surrounding the future of Yeovil Town winger Kevin Gall following remarks made by Gall's agent Wayne Elsey who appears to be attempting to engineer a move for the Welshman either now or at the end of the season.

Speaking to the Western Daily Press, Thommo explained: "Kevin's contract is up in the summer and therefore if we get an offer in the January window we'll have to consider it. He remains part of my plans and I don't think I've ever left him out of my matchday sixteen. Kevin Gall has been a big part of Yeovil's success in recent years and I hope he'll play his part for us over the coming months. We'll then have to see what happens in the summer."

The implications of Thommo's comments suggest that either there isn't a contract on offer for Gally at present, or more likely his agent is advising him not to sign one. The pacey winger turns 24 years old next month, meaning that he could move under the Bosman ruling and so it stands to reason that if Gall refuses to put pen to paper that the club would have to look at bringing in some transfer money for his services. The snag for Gall is that as of New Years Day, Thommo confirmed after the 1-0 win over Doncaster Rovers that he had not had a single enquiry for the Welshman, despite what his agent was claiming at the time.

There are of course risks to playing such a waiting game. Bartosz Tarachulski turned down two contract offers with the Glovers during the season, yet had not found a new club by the time pre-season training had come round. By that time the then manager Gary Johnson had moved on to other targets and Bartosz was left out in the cold and without a club. Perhaps the best advice his agent could give him would be that if no offers come in for him during January that he should look to pen a new deal at Huish Park, but having built up claims that his client was being chased by four Football League clubs, would Elsey be prepared to give Gally such advice?

Kevin Gall's Player Profile: here.


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11 January 2006 : Johnson Signs For The Heart Of Scotland
Glovers midfielder Lee Johnson has now formally put pen to paper on a 2.5 year deal with Scottish Premier League side Hearts. Lee appeared at a press conference in Edinburgh today with Yeovil Town receiving what the second placed club have described as only a "nominal" fee.

Neither club have owned up as to what the actual transfer fee was *, although two different schools of thought have suggested to Ciderspace that the actual sum obtained was a five figure amount. Lee has revealed that the transfer materialised due to a loophole in FA rules that allowed him to talk to clubs from another country's FA from New Years Day - a situation that obviously meant that Scottish clubs were fair game.

Talking to the Hearts Official Site, Lee explained: "It all happened quite quickly. My contract was up at the end of the season and there had been rumours that Hearts were watching me along with a few other clubs from England. On January 1st I was able to speak to clubs from outside England and Hearts were the first in with a solid offer. Once I knew Graham Rix was interested, that was it for me. There was only one place I wanted to come. The main thing that attracted me to Hearts was the head coach Graham Rix. Among players all over England he has an absolutely fabulous reputation as a coach and a manager. His whole ethos on the game of football - from the way he coaches, the way he wants his teams to play, and the ideas he puts across to his players - has seen him forge a great reputation among players in England. I'm really excited about working with him at Hearts."

Lee has also stated that part of his thinking was to join another club that was capable of winning trophies. With the Edinburgh side having broken the perenniel two-horse race of the two Glasgow sides in Scottish football, Lee hopes to continue his knack of picking up silverware north of the border.

Lee said of that and also his potential ambition to one day play for the Scottish national side: "I'm ambitious to win things. I've won a few titles with Yeovil already and I know that winning things is addictive. I want to progress my career and, although I realise it is a big jump from the level I was playing at to the level that Hearts play at, I want to make that step up and win trophies here with Hearts. First and foremost I want to do well for Hearts and be part of the good things that I'm sure are coming for the club. Any international considerations are a long way off. First of all I need to get settled in, get into the team, and then we'll see what happens."

Lee also spoke to the Western Daily Press last night to say his goodbyes to Somerset. Speaking to Chris Spittles the midfielder explained: "Yeovil was really the launchpad for my career. I owe a lot to everyone at the club. They took a chance on me when I was thinking of going abroad and I'm proud to have been a part of the success the club's had in recent years. I've had a lot of calls from the lads since Hearts came in for me and it's been quite humbling because they all really want me to do well. I know I've been lucky to get a move like this and their support means a lot to me."

Making reference to those supporters who accused his father Gary of nepotism by bringing his son into the side, Lee added: "I understand why some of the fans were sceptical at first, because it's human nature. Whenever a manager signs his son or one of his relatives, he's accused of nepotism. I always tried my hardest and gave everything for the club and hopefully I did prove myself to those who doubted me. I'd really like to thank the fans for the support they gave me and all the lads during my time at Yeovil. And it wasn't just the fans, the people around the town have always been great as well and always looked after me. I had a fantastic time in Yeovil and I'll always have good memories of my time there."

Lee made 229 appearances for Yeovil Town, scoring 28 goals, including a memorable hat-trick against Plymouth Argyle. Despite a minority of supporters refusing to appreciate his skills and preferring to believe the 'nepotism' conspiracy theories, the opposition managers, pundits and journalists showered Johnson with praise considering him to be the lynchpin in Yeovil Town's side. Only last month Lee picked up a regional BBC award as player of the year and the PFA selected him in their League Two Team of the Year for the 2004/05 season, alongside four of his team-mates.

Lee undoubtedly has the talent to take his career that one step higher - from us at Ciderspace thanks Lee for all the great memories and we hope your stay in Scotland is a happy and successful one.

* Subsequently revealed by Yeovil chairman John Fry as £50,000.


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11 January 2006 : Walsall Ticketing Information
Tickets for Yeovil Town's second trip of the season to the Bescot Stadium can now be purchased in advance. The Glovers play Walsall on January 28th in a League One match where they will look for revenge against a side that knocked them out of the FA Cup in December.

Tickets for the match must be purchased from Walsall's Ticket Office, which can be contacted on 0870-442-0111 or 0870-442-0222. No advance sales are available from Huish Park. Walsall's ticket office appears to shut a little earlier than most and although no times of opening are publicised they appear to be roughly 9.00am - 4.30pm.

Pre-match prices are 16 pounds for adults, 10 pounds for Over 60s and Under 16s. Disabled supporters are admitted for 16 pounds with any associated assistant admitted free of charge.

Matchday prices go up by two pounds, thus meaning that admission is 18 pounds for adults, 12 pounds for Over 60s and Under 16s. Disabled supporters are admitted for 18 pounds with any associated assistant admitted free of charge.

Walsall's official site notes that "there will be a 50p credit card charge per transaction when booking tickets by telephone. There will be a £1 charge if ticket(s) are posted out". Logic would therefore assume that if you are able to buy tickets in groups it will be more cost efficient than buying tickets separately.

WARNING : Walsall have a F.A. Cup replay v Barnsley on Tuesday 17th January. Should they win that and go through to the Fourth Round the fixture against Yeovil Town on the 28th will be postponed. Do not purchase tickets in advance of that if you would have trouble making a mid-week rearrangement.

Ciderspace Guide To Walsall: here.

A reminder that tickets for Saturday's match against Milton Keynes Dons continue to be available from the Huish Park Ticket Office. See our news item on January 8th. Tickets will be available on the day of the game, but have to be purchased from the Hockey Stadium Ticket Office.

Ciderspace Guide To MK Dons: here.


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11 January 2006 : Johnson Announcement Imminent
Rumours suggest that Lee Johnson will become a Hearts player at a press conference at the Scottish Premier Division club at 2.00pm today. The midfielder has already passed his medical at the club and now is being lined up to sign his contract this afternoon.


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10 January 2006 : Glovers Stay Tenth
Five 'catch-up' games this evening in League One. Swansea City rolled over Milton Keynes Dons, a first half hat-trick from Leon Knight on his debut killing the game off inside thirty minutes. Franchise FC did eventually pull one back in the second period with a twice taken penalty, but 3-1 was enough to see the Swans leapfrog Southend United back to the top of the table.

Scunthorpe United were within seconds of taking a much needed three points to halt their slide down the table when Huddersfield Town's Martin McIntosh popped up to deny them at the death and make the score 2-2. The Terriers moved up one to fourth, the Iron stay in 17th.

The nine game unbeaten run of Oldham Athletic was brought to a surprising end at Bloomfield Road, a single strike from Blackpool moving them up one place to 21st.

Caretaker Alan Knill has just been confirmed as the new boss of strugglers Rotherham United until the end of the season. His first match as permanent manager was eventful with the Millers having Michael Keane sent off and a penalty saved by Port Vale. The 1-1 result wasn't particularly useful for either side. Rotherham drop one to 22nd, Vale remain in 16th.

Barnsley moved up two to 6th with a narrow 1-0 win at home to Gillingham who stay 19th.

The divisional battle resumes on Saturday with a full fixture list. Yeovil Town travel to The National Hockey Stadium to complete their set of League One clubs. Franchise FC are the only club we haven't yet played.


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10 January 2006 : Reserves Hammered At Tivvy
A Yeovil Town Reserves side were given a lesson at Ladysmead in tonight's friendly against Tiverton Town. Fielding all players who were not in the starting line-up for Saturday's match against Hartlepool United, the second string side were always struggling against a Tivvy side that included several guests from Exeter City including Chris Vinnicombe, Les Afful, Dean Moxey, Jamie Mackie and Santos Gaia. New club owner David Webb was watching the game from the stands as his son Daniel Webb represented the only 'guest' in the Glovers line-up.

Yeovil got off to a flier, scoring in the second minute when Kevin Gall latched onto a long ball putting the visitors 1-0 up. However a minute later Tivvy were on level terms through Jamie Mackie.

On 29 minutes though, two more goals were scored in a minute. Former Glovers youth teamer Sam Croft scored after getting on the end of a free kick, but straight from kick-off Yeovil equalised again. Pablo Bastianini shot from the edge of the area and Daniel Webb was there to follow up the rebound. By half-time though, Tivvy held the upper hand as Jamie Mackie scored his second of the night.

In the second half, the Glovers missed a great opportunity to pull level after Arron Davies was upended in the penalty box. Pablo Bastianini had his effort saved, but the kick was ordered to be retaken due to the Tivvy keeper moving off his line. However on the re-spot, Davies took the second attempt and blazed over the bar.

Tivvy grabbed two more goals during the second period with Mackie completing his hat-trick and Chris Bale grabbing another to complete a highly unimpressive night for the Glovers in which few, if any, showed any sign of pushing for a place in the starting line-up at Milton Keynes Dons on Saturday.

Tiverton Town XI 5 Yeovil Town Reserves 2

Yeovil: Chris Weale, Richard Cullingford, Luke Oliver, Colin Miles, Stephen Reed, Arron Davies, Gavin McCallum, Dale Williams, Kevin Gall, Pablo Bastianini, Daniel Webb.

Subs: Andy Lindegaard, Craig Alcock, Scott Vine, Jake Smeeton.


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10 January 2006 : Cohen Loan Extension Confirmed
The West Ham United Official Site has confirmed the extension of the loan deal for Chris Cohen until the end of the season.

The 18-year-old originally headed to Huish Park on a one-month loan in November. After extending the deal by a further month, he has now agreed to sign for the remainder of the campaign.

Good news for all parties.


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10 January 2006 : Gall's Agent Stirs It Up Again
Football agent Wayne Elsey of Platinum One is at it again. Supposedly there to represent the best interests of his client, it is becoming more and more obvious that the agent is attempting to undermine Gall's position at Yeovil Town and engineer a move from the club.

Back on December 13th, Sky Sports claimed Gall was being chased by Doncaster Rovers, Huddersfield Town, Blackpool and League Two side Carlisle quoting Elsey who claimed there was a huge amount of interest in his client. All of that seemed fine until Glovers boss Steve Thompson pointed out that he had not received a single enquiry about his Welsh right-winger/striker.

Now Elsey is off again having contacted Sky Sports a second time this time claiming that the Glovers have told Gall he can leave the club. Sky Sports again cite Doncaster, Huddersfield and Carlisle as being three clubs chasing him and quotes Elsey as saying: "Yeovil have told us that Kevin will be allowed to leave. There is a great deal of interest in him and we will now see what happens."

This rather flies in the face of Glovers boss Steve Thompson's comments in today's WDP that says that he is under no pressure to let players leave Huish Park. What seems far more likely is that Elsey is trying to make a bit of commission on a sale this month and so is anxious to see one of his players move on. Time to look for another agent, Gally - one that has your interests at heart and not his own?


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10 January 2006 : Johnson: I'll leave Yeovil alone
Former Glovers manager Gary Johnson has claimed that he will not try to unsettle any Yeovil Town players in an effort to sign them for his own club in the future. "I promise Yeovil Town I won't unsettle any of their players, I just wouldn't do that," the Bristol City manager told the Western Daily Press last night.

"If a situation arises that a player can't agree a contract or is made available then I'm sure there will be a few managers interested, not just me," he continued. "But at the moment all the Yeovil players are under contract and I presume that they will be offered new ones. They (Yeovil) are in a position in League One and I'm sure they'll want to keep their squad together."

Johnson's remarks are welcome on the face of it but will be treated with a degree of scepticism by Glovers fans at least. Just yesterday striker Phil Jevons was linked with TBCUTR by The Sun and it was only last November that Johnson himself was quoted in the Western Daily Press as saying: "Fourteen players are out of contract at Yeovil (at the end of the season) and I don't want 14 of them. But there may be one or two that interest us..." - surely a message to any player of his intentions? On top of that strong rumours from previously reliable sources close to the Huish Park dressing-room persist that City have already made enquiries in December about 2 Yeovil players which have been rebuffed - though it must be emphasised that this is rumour and has never been confirmed or denied officially by either club.

On a different note the former Glovers boss spoke yesterday of his son Lee Johnson's impending transfer to Scottish Premier League side Hearts, which is expected to be completed today after Lee undergoes a medical at Tynecastle.

"It's a fantastic move for him," Johnson said. "He's worked very hard and he deserves it. It's the move he wants and how often do any of us have the chance to do exactly what we want? As soon as Hearts came in for Lee that was where he wanted to go. Yeovil Town have handled the whole thing very well and at first they tried very hard to talk him out of it. David Webb, Steve Thompson and the board of directors were all very good to Lee. I think it was hard for him because he loved the club (Yeovil) but in the end they couldn't stand in his way. The prospect of playing in the Scottish Premier League is very exciting for him and of course he could also have the chance of being in the Champions League. It's a super move for him and as his dad and his former coach I'm very proud."

"He has Scottish blood in him because his mother, Caron, was born in Glasgow," Johnson added. "You never know, he might just have thoughts of a Scotland cap at the back of his mind for some point in the future."

Glovers manager Steve Thompson has explained why he decided to allow Lee to leave for Scotland. "Obviously, we are disappointed that Lee is going," he told the Western Morning News yesterday. "We would always let our players know if a Premiership club - either English or Scottish - and certainly one that could be in Europe, was interested in them. Lee was always going to find out - through his agent - that a club the size of Hearts was going to come in for him. When they did, it became difficult to stand in his way. For Lee it is a massive move - and why stand in his way for the next four months? At the end of the day there is no way we could do that and we wish him well because he's been a great servant to this club."

Thommo himself was on the road last night scouting players at a reserve team fixture between Wolves and West Bromwich Albion and is expecting to tie up the season-long loan of West Ham midfielder Chris Cohen by tomorrow at the latest. The deal has been "verbally agreed" and just needs to be put on paper to be officially confirmed.


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10 January 2006 : Reserves Change Of Fixture
Yeovil Town Reserves have had their Reserve Team fixture on February 7th changed. Instead of travelling to Cheltenham Town on that date, they will instead host AFC Bournemouth on the same day, kick-off 7.00pm at Huish Park. The Cheltenham match will at some point be rearranged to an alternative date.


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10 January 2006 : Cohen and Johnson Deals Near Completion
Yeovil Town are expected to announce one loan extension and one departure within the next 48 hours. Speaking on BBC Radio Bristol this morning, Glovers boss Steve Thompson is expecting Lee Johnson transfer to Scottish Premier Division side Hearts to be finalised later today. There is still no mention of a fee, although Ciderspace remains confident that it is not anywhere near the 600-500K mark that has been rumoured!

Thommo has also revealed that he now has verbal agreement for Chris Cohen's loan to be extended until the end of the season. The club are expected to draw up the paperwork tomorrow (Wednesday) for the respective parties to sign. With Johnson likely to have gone by then, Cohen's position in the side suddenly takes on a new importance as the club seek to cover the loss of their key playmaker.


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9 January 2006 : Roberts Creates Scottish Cup Shock
Former Glovers manager Graham Roberts was at the centre of a dramatic Scottish Cup shock yesterday as his First Division Clyde side knocked Scottish giants Celtic out of the competition by a 2-1 scoreline. Roberts, who guided the Glovers to promotion from the ICIS League in 1997 has hailed the result as the greatest of his managerial career.

Roberts took over the reins at Clyde in the summer and had only two players on their books at one point during the close season. Yet on Sunday, they overturned Gordon Strachan's side with goals from Craig Bryson and Eddie Malone before Celtic forced a nailbiter at the end by getting a consolation goal from Maciej Zurawski. The match was meant to herald Roy Keane's debut but instead the focus ended up on the former Yeovil boss.

A delighted Roberts said after the game: "I think both myself and Joe Miller have tears in our eyes. It is the greatest day of my managerial career. I cannot quite believe it and at the moment - I'm very emotional. I think we deserved it, we played from the first to the last and created all the chances. Every player gave it their best and we knew we were going to win. We could have won by four or five. Everyone was saying the match was about Roy Keane making his Celtic debut but Gordon Strachan came to watch us last week and knew what to expect. Our players worked to the plan and worked hard through the game - it would have been an injustice had we not won. The players want to prove they are in a good team. They work hard and are always willing to learn."


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9 January 2006 : Glovers Travel For Tiverton Friendly
A friendly against Tiverton Town is taking place tomorrow (Tuesday night) at Ladysmead, kick-off 7.30pm. Tiverton's official website say that the match has been set up at Yeovil Town's request.

Admission prices for the match which kicks off at 7.30pm are two pounds with concessions priced at one pound.

Slightly bizarrely five Exeter City players have been pencilled in to guest for Tiverton with Santos Gaia, Jamie Mackie, Les Afful, Chris Vinnicombe and Dean Moxey set to play alongside various Tivvy players.

Tiverton have also named ten of the travelling players for tomorrow's match with Chris Weale, Andy Lindegaard, Luke Oliver, Colin Miles, Stephen Reed, Arron Davies, Dale Williams, Kevin Gall and Pablo Bastianini set to play. Daniel Webb who is currently training with the Glovers is also planned to travel.

Glovers assistant boss Kevin Hodges has said of the match: "It's an ideal opportunity for players who have not had a first team run-out for a while to get a game. At this time of year reserve team fixtures are hard to come by so this opportunity to take a side down to Tiverton is useful."


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9 January 2006 : Trio Make Team Of The Week
With so few League One matches on, and the Glovers having the biggest scoreline of a low-scoring day, it is no surprise to find a trio of Yeovil Town players making the Football League Team of the Week today. Again unsurprisingly in a day where finding the back of the net, it is no surprise to find two-goal hero Phil Jevons make the side, with his striking partner Matt Harrold alongside him. Matt may not have scored, but he struck the woodwork and caused the Hartlepool backline no end of problems.

The trio is made up by Paul Terry, who gets his first inclusion of the season. If there is a surprise there it is that the Football League seem to think he played as a central defender on Saturday! Paul supplied the excellent cross for Jevo's opening goal from the right wing and has been a near ever-present since Steve Thompson took over as manager.
Paul Terry on the right wing
Paul Terry on the right wing - getting his first team of the week nomination of the season.
Photo © 2006 Ciderspace

The full team of the week, which also includes recent Yeovil departee Efetobore Sodje, is as follows:

Darryl Flahavan (Southend)
Duncan Jupp (Southend), Efetobore Sodje (Southend), Paul Terry (Yeovil Town), Spencer Prior (Southend)
Sammy Clingan (Chesterfield), Brian Stock (Bournemouth), Marc Bridge-Wilkinson (Bradford), Mark Hughes (Oldham)
Phil Jevons (Yeovil Town), Matt Harrold (Yeovil Town).


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9 January 2006 : Scott Bemoans Will To Win
Hartlepool United manager Martin Scott blamed his side's inability to be efficient in the final third as one of the main factors in his team's 2-0 defeat at the hands of Yeovil Town at Huish Park on Saturday.

Speaking after the game, Scott said: "Youíve got to have players to put the ball in the back of the net, youíve got to have your strikers, wingers and midfielders busting a gut to put the ball in the back of the net. Weíve got to have a good look at ourselves. Once we were 1-0 down we seemed to click into place, we passed the ball around well and we looked nice, but weíve got to put the ball in the back of the net. We were never really driving forward with purpose which we need to do. Weíre not getting into the final third with drive and purpose to get a goal."

Scott also criticised his team for only waking up when they were a goal down adding: "I felt we didnít really start in the first fifteen or twenty minutes and Yeovil had more of the early possession. When we went 1-0 down, we started to get on the ball more and pass it about better, causing Yeovil problems but we need to start performing earlier than that. Second half we had lots of possession and some great opportunities in the final third but we are not having that luck in the final third. Twice the ball rolled across the goal line but this is where you have to have players bombing in there to get the goal."

Hartlepool have slid below the Glovers in recent weeks and now find themselves in 18th place with just two points out of the last six games. That has left them hovering only just above the relegation zone - a fact that Scott was very much aware of.

The under pressure manager added: "Winning is a habit and losing is a habit. We have to be strong mentally and physically. We take the criticism on the chin, we all do, because we all want to progress as a club and be successful. It is not a case of feeling sorry for ourselves because, we cannot afford to do that any longer, we have to make things happen. All of the players in the squad, whether playing or injured, need to stand up and be counted. Of course we are looking over our shoulder but we can look forward as well because we know how tight the league is. People will say it is a test of character but I believe we have got good character in the squad and they need to show that from now until the end of the season."

That all said, Scott still felt he was stuck in Groundhog Day as the Glovers presented them with another unhappy journey home and he ruefully admitted: "I am saying the same thing every week, I might as well put the same tape out. I am sick or saying it and no doubt the supporters are sick of hearing it as well."


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9 January 2006 : Transfer Window Round-Up : No. 2
Now into the second week of the transfer window, plenty of movement is now starting to be seen around all of the League One sides, even if an equal number appear to be still up in the air - most notably Lee Johnson's likely move to Scottish Premiership side Hearts.

January opponents (subject to their FA Cup replay) Walsall are one of the busier sides in the division. Having already acquired midfielder Kevin James on loan from Nottingham Forest, they have also taken on loan Manchester United striker Mads Timm, who was a target for Yeovil Town earlier this season. Their third loan signing of the month is midfielder Michael Leary, who has come in from Championship side Luton Town. Manager Paul Merson has said of his two recruits: "Both players will add a great deal to our squad. Mads is an extremely talented young lad. If he hits top form he will set us alight. Michael is a box-to-box type of player who works hard and gets his foot in. I have been looking for someone like him for a long time."

Pity though Walsall's Daryl Taylor, who heads out on loan from the Bescot Stadium to midtable Conference side Hereford United. Defender Jonny Harkness has also had a bad weekend, with his contract at the club being terminated by mutual consent.

Midfielder David Noble has had his loan spell with Bristol Citys made permanent at Ashton Gate. The player was a Gary Johnson target at Hush Park and he now moves from Boston United for an undisclosed fee. Also undisclosed is Anthony Lloyd's move from Huddersfield Town, who joins Torquay United.

Goalkeeper Alan Blayney is one of two big money movers of the last few days with Doncaster Rovers paying 50,000 pounds for the Southampton goalkeeper. Meanwhile the name of Jonathan Forte will be familiar to all Donny fans, having spent time on loan earlier this season from Sheffield United. The 19 year old striker is now back on loan again, this time to Rotherham United who are trying to plug last week's loss of top scorer Deon Burton.

Top spenders over the weekend were Swansea City who have paid 125,000 pounds for the services of Brighton and Hove Albion striker Leon Knight, as a means to plug the gap caused by an injury to Lee Trundle. However Chairman Huw Jenkins claims the Swans will be getting in more strikers adding: "We're still pursuing strikers and have bids in with three clubs at the moment, hopefully one will come off in a few days."

Sean Doherty has joined Port Vale from Dutch side ADO Den Haag on a free transfer. Vale manager Martin Foyle said of the former Fulham trainee: "Sean is an exciting player who can go forward on the left - we need his quality. He has represented England at different levels, but at the moment he needs to play games."

Finally all Glovers fans will know full well about Efetobore Sodje's surprise exit from Huish Park for an undisclosed fee to League One leaders Southend United. At present he is only on loan at Roots Hall but this will be converted to a permanent transfer shortly.

Two movements outside League One of interest to Glovers fans. Former loan left-back Ronnie Bull has left New Zealand Knights to join League Two strugglers Rushden and Diamonds. Meanwhile former midfielder Neil Mustoe is currently acting as caretaker manager of Southern League Premier Division side Gloucester City.


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9 January 2006 : I'm under no pressure to sell, says Thommo
Glovers boss Steve Thompson has denied claims in today's national press that he is under pressure to sell anymore players in the wake of Lee Johnson's expected move to Hearts today and Efe Sodje's transfer to Southend last Friday.

Ths morning's edition of The Sun links striker Phil Jevons with Bristol City and claims that Thommo fears the break-up of the squad that has the club at 10th in League One : "That is absolutely not the case and if anything the impending departure of Lee Johnson will make it far less likely that other players will be allowed to leave," Thompson told the Western Daily Press today. "I didn't want Lee to go and he has not gone for financial reasons. I want to work with the squad that I've got and finish as high in the table as possible. Our first target is 53 points to make sure of safety and at the moment that short-term goal is as important as any long-term plans at the club."

Thommo shed a little more light on the Johnson transfer, revealing to the WDP that Hearts made their initial offer for the midfielder the day before the Bristol City match at Huish Park on New Year's Eve: "We received a fax the day before that game and Lee has played the last three matches knowing about their interest," said Thommo. "It's a credit to him that he's played so well throughout that time. I didn't want to lose Lee, he's been a great player for the club and has always done very well for me. I wanted him to sign a new contract but it's a fantastic career move and a great opportunity for Lee. It would have been wrong of us to stand in his way."

There's been no official confirmation as yet of the move being completed, but the loose ends of personal terms are expected to be tied up today - more on this when we get it.


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9 January 2006 : Final Forum Closure
A reminder to those getting onto work this morning that the Ciderspace Fans Forum is now permanently closed. It closed on Saturday night after seven years of service. The main Ciderspace site will continue as normal and the forum closure will hopefully free up more time for the moderators to concentrate fully on the main site.

There are two alternative YTFC forums that are running completely independently of Ciderspace. We recommend that you bookmark their pages and register on them now. Future updates relating to Ciderspace such as news items and match reports will continue to be posted on both of the new forums.

The YTFC Forum is run by Dazza12, Comedy Jock, Mad Mal and RJH Glover and can be found here:

http://www.ytfcforum.co.uk

The Green Room is run by Jack Adams, Daz Taylor and The Mayor and can be found here:

http://www.ytfc.com/ytfc.mpl

Our sincere thanks to all of those who left farewell messages on the forum during the final few days of its operation. They really were appreciated.


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8 January 2006 : Thommo's Verdict On The Hartlepool Game
Glovers boss Steve Thompson hailed top scorer Phil Jevons for his stunning finish that opened the scoring in Yeovil's 2-0 win over Hartlepool United yesterday at Huish Park. Speaking after the game, Steve ansered the following questions relating to the match:

Qu: Steve congratulations, it's been a good year for Yeovil so far and a good year for Phil Jevons.

ST: Yes, that was great to win 2-0 and Jevo is very happy because he scored the two goals. I thought it was a good performance although maybe not up to the Bristol City or Doncaster performances. But it was still a good performance and another clean sheet. When you start getting these clean sheets you have got a great chance of winning the game.

Qu: I think the turning point was on the hour mark when Nelson headed narrowly wide and you went down the other end and Phil made it 2-0.

ST: Yes, it was an important point in the game and if Nelson had scored there it could have been a lot more difficult for us. That's not to say it wasn't difficult anyway, because we had to withstand a bit of pressure during the second half at times when Hartlepool had quite a lot of possession.

Qu: Obviously you train all week but you can't train for a goal like the one you scored in the first half with Phil's acrobatic effort. Watching it from the opposite stand was it as good for you as it was for me in the commentary box?

ST: Yes it was a fantastic strike and a very difficult one to put in because you have got to control that, try and keep it under the bar and swivel all in one go. He managed to do that fantastically well. We see what a good finisher he is in training and we have seen that again today.
David Poole's left wing cross set up Phil Jevons to score Yeovil's second goal
David Poole's left wing cross set up Phil Jevons to score Yeovil's second goal.
Photo © 2006 Ciderspace

Qu: Hartlepool started the second half brightly but once you made it 2-0 you looked like you were having a bit of fun really, with people like Matt Harrold hitting the post.

ST: Yes, we had a few chances at 2-0. But in fairness to Hartlepool I thought they had a few chances in the second half and if we are going to be ultra-critical we will look at the chances we gave away in the second half and try and improve upon that, although it was nice to have another clean sheet.

Qu: So a clean sheet was one plus, and Phil Jevons scoring two was another. Anything else in particular please you? I thought Scott Guyett had another very good game alongside Terry Skiverton in defence.

ST: Yes, he did and I thought that the workrate from the team again was fantastic. Even though we weren't fluent all the time, the workrate was great.

Qu: I think that puts you up to 10th in League One, but you're not quite looking at the play-off zone yet are you?

ST: Well I look at the whole table. I look at the top places and I look at the bottom places as well. This league is so tight that you have to be looking both ways. You have to be aware of the situation at all times. To me that is just another three points along the lines to safety which obviously has to be the first target. When you look at it, in most seasons 53 or 53 points is what certainly keeps you up and that has to be your first target. It is no good getting carried away with things even though I am very pleased with the win.


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8 January 2006 : Amankwaah Doubtful For Next Week
Kevin Amankwaah on his run for the opening goal
Kevin Amankwaah on his run for the opening goal - his place in next week's side is in doubt.
Photo © 2006 Ciderspace

Yeovil Town right-back Kevin Amankwaah is rated as doubtful for next Saturday's trip to Milton Keynes Dons after picking up a hamstring injury in yesterday's 1-0 win against Hartlepool United. The popular player was forced to withdraw 10 minutes before the break after pulling up, but Glovers boss Steve Thompson did not believe it was directly related to his injury sustained on Monday at Doncaster.

Thommo explained: "It was a separate injury. It was a hamstring. It's not what we would call pinged or anything like that. It was a tight hamstring. He's got to be doubtful though for next Saturday with that. Obviously that is a blow. But I thought that Lindy came in and had a pretty good game and did well. When you pick up one injury like Kevin did with his knee, sometimes it can have an effect on something else. Maybe that has been the case or maybe it is purely coincidental."


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8 January 2006 : Agent To Blame For Sodje Departure
Glovers boss Steve Thompson believes that agent interference led to Efetobore Sodje leaving Huish Park. The Nigerian left just before Saturday's match for league leaders Southend United and Steve admitted: "It all came about very quickly. Efe has been a little bit upset about not being in the team across the last two or three games. His agent has been ringing around, we had the offer and we have accepted the offer. It is largely as simple as that."

However, Steve expressed his frustrations over suggestions that agent Dan Fletcher had played a big part in Southend's interest in his player, adding: "I found out that Sodje's agent had been ringing a few clubs. That's the way football is nowadays with agents. They make money out of players moving don't they? Myself and Efe have had no real disagreement. We have had talks because obviously I rested Efe from the team. But I spoke to him after the move last night and there are certainly no hard feelings. I understand what some agents do. That's the situation and we have to get on with it. I can bleat about it, but he's gone and he's playing for Southend now and we have to get on with it."


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8 January 2006 : Interview With Phil Jevons
Striker Phil Jevons spoke to the awaiting press after he struck twice to help give his side three points against Hartlepool United for his fifth goal in as many games. Jevons gave credit to the linesman for spotting that his second goal crossed then but admitted that he did his best with his celebration to convince the linesman that the goal should stand.

Jevons said: "I ran away and sort of convinced him myself anyway! It was behind the line and I was convinced myself. It was a good spot (by the linesman)."

Read the full interview with Phil Jevons (transcript by George Murray) by clicking here or head to the Ciderspace Interviews Section.
Phil Jevons scores his spectacular opener - no doubt that this went over the line!
Phil Jevons scores his spectacular opener - no doubt that this went over the line!
Photo © 2006 Ciderspace



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8 January 2006 : Ticketing News For MK Dons
Yeovil Town's next match is a trip to Franchise FC and tickets are now on sale from the Huish Park Ticket Office.

Glovers supporters will be accommodated in the West Stand which is uncovered seating situated behind one of the goals that can cope with up to 2,442 spectators. Be prepared to bring appropriate clothing to cope with the prospect of spending two hours in the open elements! Tickets can be purchased in advance from the Huish Park Ticket Office and are priced 15 pounds for adults with over 60s and students carrying an NUS card admitted for 10 pounds. Juniors are admitted for 8 pounds, whilst under sevens are admitted free of charge.

Tickets will be available on the day but they must be bought from a ticket office situated at the corner of the West Stand and the South Stand. The club have in the past charged a surcharge for matchday tickets, but it is not clear whether this practice still operates this season.

Disabled supporters are admitted at the Seniors/Students rate with a carer admitted on a complimentary basis. There are 12 places available in the West Stand and admission is available via Turnstiles 8 and 9. If you need any special provisions then telephone either main club reception on 01908 607090 or the ticket box office on 01908 609000.


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8 January 2006 : Webb Junior Trains With Glovers
Striker Daniel Webb has arrived at Huish Park and is currently training with the first team. Webb is the son of new club owner David Webb and has trained at Huish Park before under Gary Johnson's management.

Webb is currently without a club after being released by Conference South minnows Weymouth and given their decision to release him it would be a major surprise if he was found to be suitable for League One football. The 22 year old is a former Southampton trainee, who was also on Southend United's books - joining the club a couple of months after Webb Senior joined the Shrimpers as manager.

However, he has never really settled at any club he has played for and in addition to these three clubs has also clocked up loan spells with Brighton and Hove Albion (twice), Hull City and Lincoln City. Another loan spell at Cambridge United turned into a permanent spell in Cambridgeshire. The Poole-born player has played against the Glovers on several occasions, scoring for Cambridge in Yeovil's 4-1 win at Huish Park in February 2004.

Glovers boss Steve Thompson gave little of his thinking away on the subject when he said yesterday: "Daniel Webb is down here just training with us at the moment. He has trained with us for two or three days."


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8 January 2006 : Cohen Hoping For Loan Extension
With the shock news that Lee Johnsonís days at Huish Park appear to be numbered, once again the strength in depth of the Glovers central midfield will come under the spotlight. Steve Thompson and Dave Webb will have an uphill struggle to find a long-term replacement for Johnson Jr but some good news did emerge yesterday, and Chris Cohen looks almost certain to extend his loan deal until the end of the season.

"There hasnít been confirmation but there has been talk," said the on-loan midfielder. "The club know that I would like to stay. I am really enjoying myself. It is just a matter of sorting out the wages and stuff like that and hopefully it will be sorted out next week. I have spoken to the assistant manager at West Ham and he has spoken to Alan Pardew. I have just got to wait for the confirmation. ," added Cohen.

Glovers boss Steve Thompson was equally positive about the prospects of Cohen staying adding: "We're looking to do it until the end of the season. We are still trying and we are very close to doing that. He is an important player. He has got quite an old head on young shoulders."
Chris Cohen battles in midfield
Chris Cohen battles in midfield - Steve Thompson hopes to keep him for the rest of the season.
Photo © 2006 Ciderspace



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8 January 2006 : The Heart Of The Matter
Lee Johnson
Lee Johnson, plucking a turkey
Photo © 2004 Ciderspace


Lee Johnson, the almost ever present play-maker at the heart of Yeovil Town's success for the last four and a half years, has been sold. A so far undisclosed fee has been agreed with Scottish Premier League club Heart of Midlothian. All that remains is for Lee to settle personal terms, and this is expected to be completed tomorrow.

In his time at Huish Park Johnson made 229 First Team appearances and scored 28 goals. He won winners medals in the F.A. Trophy, then Nationwide Conference, and the Coca-Cola Football League League Two.

Lee is a strong character, and overcame years of barracking from some unperceptive fans, who couldn't see further than him being the manager's son for most of his time with the club, from his debut on 18th August 2001. Those with the eyes to see always supported him as a crucial creative force in the team. He has been a great servant to the club, and Ciderspace wishes him nothing but the best in his future career.

Lee Johnson
Lee scores against old rivals, The Annies
Photo © 2004 Ciderspace


These are potentially difficult times for Yeovil Town. After four years of stabilty and success the manager at the heart of that success went in the autumn and the ownership of the club then changed hands at the end of 2005. New owner and Chief Executive David Webb will have his own ideas about the future direction and strategy he wants to impose. With three weeks remaining in this transfer window we wait to see whether the moves of Efetobore Sodje and Lee Johnson herald a break up of the team that won the League Two title last term or are just coincidental.


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8 January 2006 : Youth Team Edge Out Bournemouth
Yeovil Town's Under 18s side gained maximum points yesterday in a wonderfully entertaining match on the Top Pitch against AFC Bournemouth's youngsters in the Football League Youth Alliance, with a Gavin McCallum hat-trick and a Dale Williams penalty sealing the points, but only after the Glovers had to come from behind twice.

This was the first game for both sides since the usual Christmas suspension of the league programme and it showed with a scrappy first 20 minutes or so. Bournemouth opened the scoring midway through the first half with a low free kick being placed into the bottom corner beyond keeper Jamie Jenkins's grasp. However right on the stroke of half time, McCallum gained the first of his goals from another set-piece as he turned his marker to slot the ball in at the near post following a foul on the edge of the box.

Early in the second half, Yeovil also scored the third goal - unfortunately into the back of their own net, with a corner ball to the near post coming off a Yeovil defender's shins. However in a second half that saw Yeovil really stretch the Bournemouth backline with their pace, the Glovers went from the ridiculous to the sublime - Dale Williams and substutite Ben Wood combining on the left wing for McCallum to equalise with the goal of the game - a left-footed volley straight from Wood's cross, despite the Bournemouth bench repeatedly telling their players that the Canadian had no left foot!

Yeovil had chance after chance as the half went on with McCallum and Williams ripping into the Bournemouth back line and when McCallum grabbed his hat-trick by slipping the ball under the keeper following a one-on-one, that looked to be game over. But Bournemouth pulled it back to 3-3 when they showed clever movement in the box on another free kick. However, Yeovil had the last laugh when in the closing minutes a visiting defender handled in the box and up stepped Williams to cooly stroke the ball home from the penalty spot. Great entertainment, and the only criticism would be that Yeovil should have had the game way out of sight by the time that late penalty was scored.

A full match report should be on-line in the next day or so.


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7 January 2006 : Glovers win Pools!
Yeovil completed their first double of the season this afternoon at Huish Park, a Phil Jevons brace making the difference as the Glovers beat Hartlepoool 2-0 to move up to 10th position in League One.

Yeovil deservedly took the lead after twenty-seven minutes on the clock after dictating the early play when Phil Jevons netted his tenth goal of the season. Paul Terry beat his man on the wing before feeding Jevons who superbly volleyed his side in front.

Hartlepool stepped up their game considerably in the second period and just as they looked like equalising, on the hour mark, Jevons scored his fifth in as many games after good work from David Poole on the left flank. Matt Harrold was unfortunate not to have found his name on the score sheet when he saw his shot rebound off the post only for his follow up to be cleared off the goal line.
Match precis - George Murray

Final score: Yeovil Town 2 - 0 Hartlepool United. Click for the full match report.

Injury news: Kevin Amankwaah was substituted after 35 minutes today - this was due to a tight hamstring and was not related to the knee injury Kev sustained at Doncaster on Monday night. He's not expected to be fit for next Saturday's match at Franchise FC, but neither is the injury thought to be too serious.

With the 3rd round of the FA Cup being played today only 3 other games in League 1 took place. Apart from our result, Chesterfield beat Bradford City by a single goal, and the games between Oldham and Southend - Efe Sodje making his debut for the Shrimpers - and Tranmere and Bournemouth finished goalless. Yeovil move up to 10th in the table, on 36 points - 6 points away from the play-off places and a healthy 10 points ahead of the relegation zone, though the Glovers have played 27 games, 1 or 2 matches more than most other teams in the division. Next week's opponents Franchise FC, lost to Championship side Southanpton this afternoon in the Cup, Saints coming out on top by 4-3.


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6 January 2006 : Sodje For Shrimpers?
The Sky Sports website are claiming that Yeovil Town central defender Efetobore Sodje has left the club. The suggestion is that the Nigerian is signing for League One leaders Southend United for an undisclosed fee, penning a 1.5 year contract which is effectively the remaining period on his contract at Huish Park.

The claims have come through his agent Dan Fletcher who says: "Efetobore is really pleased to be joining a club higher up the league. The deal will be good for his family and he's looking forward to it."

There is no mention of this transfer on either club's official site although Southend's site claims that their manager Steve Tilson was "hopeful" that he would be signing a player in advance of their weekend trip to Oldham Athletic. Southend's squad is described on their official site as currently "thread bare". However for Sodje to play for the Shrimpers tomorrow they would have needed to register him with the Football League by 12 noon today, so it remains to be seen as to whose books Sodje will be on for tomorrow's game.

Sodje has played 24 times for the Glovers so far this season, with a further six coming during last season's League Two campaign. He has scored three goals for the club.

Update : 10:00pm : Both official sites have now confirmed this, although with a slight difference of opinion. The YTFC OS claims this is a straight transfer, whilst Southend's OS claims this is a loan deal - presumably to bend the rules on player registrations - that will turn into a permanent deal next week. Neither site makes any mention of what the fee was, although it is stated that one was involved.


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6 January 2006 : Yeovil Town v Hartlepool United match preview.
Yeovil Town will be looking to complete their first double of the season tomorrow afternoon when they entertain Hartlepool United at Huish Park, kick off 3pm. The Monkey Hanger's have a special place in our hearts - it was at Pools' Victoria Park ground last September that Yeovil gained their first 3 points in League One with a slightly fortunate 1-0 win from a Pablo Bastianini goal, the first victory of the league campaign after a - let's not beat around the bush - terrible start to the season.

We were rock bottom of the league after that first encounter with a mere 5 points to our name, 4 months later and we're a rather healthier 14th with 33 points in the bank - we've grown up in this league a lot since that first win. Pools themselves have been solidly mid-table for most of the season but will want to address the downward drift they fallen into lately - they are currently 18th on 31 points and have only taken 2 points from the last 5 league games.

United will be without defender Hugh Robertson, and strikers Adam Boyd and Joel Porter tomorrow, all of whom have knee injuries; though Porter, who's yet to start a game this season, is now back in training. On the plus side for Pools, midfielder Matty Robson has returned from injury and played for the reserves in midweek and they've signed Charlton striker James Walker on loan, who is expected to make his debut at Huish Park tomorrow.

"Yeovil have done very well since coming in to the division," Pools manager Martin Scott told his club's official site. "We know that it won't be an easy place to go but if we prepare right and go down there with the right attitude then hopefully we can come away with a positive result. The lads have looked bright again in training and worked hard as they always do and we will be going there looking to put on a strong display."

Yeovil will be without Colin Miles tomorrow, the defender still recovering from the concussion picked up last week in the 1-1 draw against Bristol City. Midfielder Darren Way is now back in training after recovering from his shin injury but won't be considered for selection before next week's match at Franchise FC; and Kevin Amankwaah faces a fitness test tomorrow after limping off with a knee injury 2 minutes from the end of the Glovers excellent 1-0 win at Doncaster on Monday. Midfielder Chris Cohen plays the final game of his loan spell tomorrow though it's hoped that another loan period can be arranged with parent club West Ham United (see separate news story).

Selected betting odds: Yeovil win - 11/10; draw - 23/10; Hartlepool win - 2/1. Our recommendation: The odds are still evens or better (just) for a home win, so that's where our fiver's going this week. Record so far this season: +£20.30p.


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6 January 2006 : Cohen Heading For Season Stay
Today's Western Daily Press is reporting the very welcome news that on-loan midfielder Chris Cohen is being lined up to spend the rest of the season at Huish Park. The West Ham United youngster is approaching the end of his second month with the club and is proving himself to be an excellent prospect.

Chris was brought in as cover for the injured Darren Way and although Way is expected to return in time for the trip to Franchise FC, Cohen's ability to play on the left wing as well means that both players could easily fit in the same starting eleven.

Glovers boss Steve Thompson explained the situation: "I want Chris Cohen to stay until the end of the season and we're quite near to sorting out. I've been very happy with Chris since he's been here. He's a good lad and he's played almost every minute of every game. He's become an important part of our squad."

Chris reaches the final leg of his two month period after tomorrow's match against Hartlepool United and so a decision on his future is expected today or tomorrow.

Meanwhile defender Adam Lockwood looks like he will be returning to Huish Park following Torquay United's FA Cup match against Birmingham City and League Two match at Bury. The WDP do not quote Thommo's thoughts on this subject, but the wording implies that the Glovers will not be considering a third month loan. With Liam Fontaine having returned to Fulham the Glovers are currently a defender short and Lockwood's return will help level up the numbers again.

Locky has played 9 games so far for the Gulls and has scored twice during a period where the relegation-threatened side have lost only twice and over the New Year managed to claw their way out of the League Two relegation slots. In addition the Gulls have during that period set themselves up with a money-spinning tie against Premiership side Birmingham City - all a far cry from their form prior to Locky's arrival that had seen them win just two matches all season. Torquay manager Leroy Rosenior has admitted he would like to keep him either permanently or on an extended loan, but it would seem that for now the Gulls boss will have to turn to alternative personnel to help get his side out of trouble.


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6 January 2006 : Youth Team vs Bournemouth
Tomorrow's Youth Team game against AFC Bournemouth will take place on the Huish Park Top Pitch at 11.00am. Admission to the match is free. Temperatures overnight are expected to dip down to -1 degrees overnight (rising to 2 degrees during Saturday afternoon) hence the pitch may be subject to a pitch inspection. If any such news is received we will post details on these pages.


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5 January 2006 : Amankwaah Battling For Saturday Fitness
Kevin Amankwaah, victim of probably the only bad tackle in the match at Belle Vue (Earth Stadium), but one ignored by the referee, is battling to be fit for the visit of Hartlepool United this coming Saturday. Speaking to the Western Daily Press today Kevin was expressing cautious optimism that he could make it.

It was a terrible challenge. I was trying to shield the ball out for a goal-kick and he has come in two-footed and it has twisted my knee and I fell awkwardly on my hip. The referee didn't even speak to him about it - maybe he thought I was time-wasting. Yesterday it felt quite bad but today it's settled down a little and I am hoping it will settle down more through the week so I am still hopeful for Saturday.

After the tackle from Mark Albrighton Amankwaah struggled from the pitch to have his knee immediately packed in ice.

Amankwaah had an excellent match up until the 88th minute when forced out of the game, with supposed Doncaster Rovers danger man Michael McIndoe firmly stuffed into his back pocket.

Everyone was telling me that he was a good player but when he comes up against someone with the same sort of pace as him he struggles, and so I made sure I got tight to him.

Long-term injury Darren Way was expected to return to training today for the first time since his operation on a stress fracture of the shin. The latest prognosis from manager Steve Thompson is for a possible return by January 14th for the trip to The National Hockey Stadium and Franchise F.C.


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5 January 2006 : Terry Skiverton: Internet player of the month for December
Club captain Terry Skiverton is December's Internet Player of the Month. The central defender beat off the challenge of striker Matt Harrold by the narrrowest of margins to be voted Player of the Month for the second time ths season.


Matt Harrold looks delighted on hearing the news that he came 2nd in the Internet Player of the Month poll. First placed Terry Skiverton looks like he wants to punch someone.
Matt Harrold looks delighted on hearing the news that he came 2nd in the Internet Player of the Month poll. First placed Terry Skiverton looks like he wants to punch someone.
Photo © 2005 Martin Baker / Ciderspace


December's points totals were as follows:

Terry Skiverton - 444 points
Matt Harrold - 439
Lee Johnson - 309
Scott Guyett - 259
Chris Cohen - 245
Colin Miles - 237
Kevin Gall - 188
Efetobore Sodje - 169
Stephen Collis - 111
Phil Jevons - 107
David Poole - 105
Kevin Amankwaah - 100
Nathan Jones - 71
Paul Terry - 31
Liam Fontaine - 19

The Player of the Season current leader board is as follows:

Kevin Amankwaah - 409 points
Terry Skiverton - 357
Lee Johnson - 326
Matt Harrold - 306
Darren Way - 298
Phil Jevons - 283
Efetobore Sodje - 272
Chris Weale - 231
Nathan Jones - 229
Kevin Gall - 227
Pablo Bastianini - 223
Colin Miles - 211
Paul Terry - 140


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5 January 2006 : Forum Closure Notice - Final Announcement
Further to our announcement just after Christmas relating to the closure of the Ciderspace forum, two groups of supporters have stepped forward and launched their own web-based forums to continue where the Ciderspace Fans Forum left off.

In view of the fact that both forums are now stable and thriving, it seems sensible to bring forward the transition period so that everyone can make a fresh start on the new forums.

It is therefore envisaged that the Ciderspace Fans Forum will be closed during the evening of Saturday 7th January, whenever the moderators return from the Hartlepool United game.

For that reason, we would strongly recommend that you do not start any new threads on Saturday, particularly those that relate to the Hartlepool game itself, as once the forum is closed only a closure notice will be displayed and the threads themselves will not be visible.

We therefore strongly recommend that you register yourself on one or both forums as soon as possible. Future announcements relating to Ciderspace such as match reports, news etc will be posted on both forums.

The YTFC Forum is run by Dazza12, Comedy Jock, Mad Mal and RJH Glover and can be found here:

http://www.ytfcforum.co.uk

The Green Room is run by Jack Adams, Daz Taylor and The Mayor and can be found here:

http://www.ytfc.com/ytfc.mpl

We would like to wish both forums the best of luck in their ventures and strongly encourage you to start registering and using them now.

Many thanks to those who have provided such passionate discussions over the past seven years. We will meet again shortly on the other side of the fence! :-)


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4 January 2006 : A Few City Badges Left
Tim Lancaster has just a few of his latest issue left.

Yeovil Town vs Bristol City enamel lapel badges, priced at £3.50 to include first class P&P. Both club crests are featured as are the match details.

Yeovil Town v Bristol City
Two badge designs celebrating the meeting of Yeovil Town and Bristol City in League One on 31/12/2005.
Photo © 2005 Tim Lancaster


Cheques to - Tim Lancaster, 45, Goytre Road, Goytre, Port Talbot, West Glamorgan, SA13 2YN.


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4 January 2006 : Super Gav Signs Up At Portman Road
Former Yeovil Town midfielder Gavin Williams has made his stay in Suffolk a permanent one by signing a contract with Championship side Ipswich Town today. The deal is worth £300,000 which means a small dribble of money will come the Glovers way - they will be entitled to a share of the 50 grand profit that his former club West Ham United have made in the deal, following his £250,000 move from Somerset just over a year ago. The sell-on clause is thought to be around 20-25 percent, meaning an income of about 10-12K into the Huish Park coffers.

The 25 year old has already made nine appearances at Portman Road, scoring one goal, and has signed until the summer of 2009 - an excellent deal which gives an idea of how highly Ipswich rate him. The Welshman is believed to have settled in Chelmsford whilst playing in East London, meaning that he will not even need to move house to play for Joe Royle's side.

Speaking to the Ipswich official site, Gavin said: "I have enjoyed it at Ipswich from the moment I arrived. The players have made it easy to settle in, the gaffer has been great and it's a terrific club so it's an easy decision for me to make. When I first arrived I made it clear that I liked it here and a permanent move would appeal and I'm delighted it has worked out like that. I feel that Ipswich is a club that is heading in the right direction and if the gaffer can bring in a couple of new players to strengthen the squad, I don't see why we can't start moving quickly up the League. Reading and Sheffield United have gone but the Play-Offs are still open to a lot of clubs and while we have a lot to do, it's still possible that we could make that top six."

Once again the rumourmill has failed badly - there have been persistent claims that Gavin was joining Swansea City and that his partner had already moved back to South Wales in anticipation of such a move - it would appear that such rumours had little or no foundation. Swansea Chairman Huw Jenkins had gone as far as to declare that he was going to sign the pacey winger, but neither Williams nor West Ham showed any sign that this was ever likely to happen.


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4 January 2006 : Transfer Window Round-Up
As the first few days of the January transfer window finally kick in, some movement is now being reported amongst League One clubs.

First major news of the year has been Rotherham United top scorer Deon Burton who has left the relegation-threatened side for £110,000 signing for Championship side Sheffield Wednesday. The League One side have also cancelled the contract of midfielder Paolo Vernazza.

Yeovil left-back Michael Rose of course has gone on a month's loan to fellow League One side Scunthorpe United and played in their match on Monday.

Youngster Scott Golbourne has been sold for an undisclosed fee by Bristol City with him heading upwards to Championship runaway leaders Reading. The 17 year old has already played 16 times for City and their Chairman Steve Lansdown explained: "It was felt the offer was not only a good one but also one we had to make Scott aware of."

Meanwhile Nottingham Forest have completed the signing of Nathan Tyson after his loan period there, with League Two side Wycombe Wanderers benefitting to the tune of £675,000. Heading in the other direction midfielder Kevin James has temporarily left the City Ground for this month's league opponents Walsall. He joins the Saddlers for the rest of this season.


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3 January 2006 : Ciderspace Match Report : Doncaster vs Yeovil
The Ciderspace view of yesterday's 1-0 win over Doncaster Rovers can be found here.


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3 January 2006 : Skivo In Team Of The Week Again
The return of Yeovil Town captain Terry Skiverton to the side has seen him catapulted into the Football League League One Team of the Week for 03/01/2006 for his performances against Bristol City and Doncaster Rovers. Congratulations, Skivo.


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3 January 2006 : Two Reserve Matches Postponed
The forthcoming Yeovil Town Reserves matches against Cardiff City Reserves, on Wednesday January 11th, and AFC Bournemouth Reserves, on Tuesday February 28th, both scheduled for Huish Park, have been postponed. The new dates have not yet been settled.


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3 January 2006 : Thommo's Verdict On The Doncaster Game
Glovers boss Steve Thompson declared his team's performance at Doncaster Rovers as "magnificent" as a near perfect away performance saw the Glovers come home with maximum points thanks to a 1-0 win at Belle Vue (more recently rechristened as the Earth Stadium). Steve answered the following questions after the game:

Qu: Steve a terrific result and in truth you should have had the game killed off before their late charge shouldn't you?

ST: Yes, we were magnificent today. I thought that all the lads were magnificent for the whole 90 minutes. I thought we definitely deserved to win and should have won by more. We had a few chances in the first half and a couple of chances at the start of the second half as well that we should have put away.

Qu: It was inevitable that Doncaster would have a spell, but you managed to see them off.

ST: Yes, they had a spell at the end, in the last 10 minutes, and that was what I was worried about. They did have that spell but we defended resolutely and Steve Collis didn't have one particularly hard save to make, although he had a few that he had to gather, just off the rebounds. So the lads were magnificent and there's not an awful lot more to say about that game really!

Qu: Perhaps you should keep playing four games in the space of eleven days then!

ST: Yes, we've had four games in ten days. We played very well today and very well against Bristol City. We played quite well against Bournemouth and got the draw and we even played pretty well in the first half against Tranmere. So we just had that one poor half that cost us a little bit. Today is what matters at the moment though, and that was magnificent.

Qu: What was the key to them all doing their jobs well today do you think?

ST: The key to everyone doing their jobs well is concentration, discipline, aggression, passion, skill and workrate. All of those things go together to produce a great performance. I said to the lads at the hotel before the game that the consistency of our performances on the whole has been pretty good. When you look back it's only certain halves of games that have really let us down, such as the second half at Southend, the second half at Tranmere and the first half at home to Oldham. Apart from that, I don't think we've gathered the points that our consistency and performance has deserved. The way we do that though is by firstly keeping clean sheets which we have managed to do today and secondly having that little bit of quality in the final third which Jevons showed in the first ten minutes there with a fantastic finish.

Qu: It was emphatic, wasn't it?

ST: Yes, it was a great finish and worthy of winning any game.

Qu: His partnership with Matt Harrold is one that you seem to have settled on now and there are real signs that they are enjoying playing together as well.

ST: Yes, they have been very good together. They have done very well together and it has coincided with a decent run form - the wins against Rotherham and Barnsley and the win today. It should have been a win against Bristol City and they played well in that game as well.

Qu: You seem to like coming up here as a team but at half time as you rightly said it was a shame that you didn't get two or three goals in this contest. Was it a case of saying to them just make sure you don't give Doncaster a route back into the game?

ST: Yes the obvious thoughts that come into your mind are that we gave up a 1-0 lead up at Tranmere and we gave up a 1-0 lead against Bristol City, so it is obvious that is going to enter your mind. However, it is very important that you do the same things in the second half that you were doing in the first. We did by and large and it was only in the last 15 minutes that Doncaster began to find a few little things. Doncaster threw caution to the wind and people were turning up all over the place for them and we had to match that by putting people on when other people were falling with injuries. So it was all hands to the pump in the last ten minutes but that doesn't take away from the fact that we thoroughly deserved the win.

Qu: There was good defensive performances as well, and to keep some of their key performers quiet like Michael McIndoe must be pleasing I would imagine.

ST: I thought Kevin Amankwaah and Paul Terry who doubled up on him did a fantastic job. Everyone did today. We kept him quiet but then again we kept all the other Donny players quiet as well.

Qu: Have the performances of the players and in particular some of the others that have come in on recent weeks shown what kind of a squad you've got here? Has that made you readjust your thinking in terms of this transfer window month as to what you might want or need?

ST: So much goes into what you think makes a player. One is obviously ability but there are so many more attributes. You can have the most ability in the world but if you don't have the desire or the passion and the workrate, then I don't think you're the type of player that we could suffer. I think our players have shown that workrate ever since I took charge and even before we showed that workrate. There's lots more to just picking the easy on the eye player. There is a lot more to being a player. Some of these players have shown true determination and character and exactly what they are about, when you come to a place like Doncaster or Rotherham. It isn't always pretty but you have got to have players that can cope with that, and not only cope with it but feed off it. I thought we had a lot of players who did that today.

Qu: How is Kevin Amankwaah?

ST: I don't know at the moment. It was so close to the end that when he hobbled off, I thought there was no point in playing with ten men for five minutes and so I put Lindy straight on. Hopefully he is not too bad and it is just a whack.

Qu: Obviously it was great to see Phil Jevons score his first goal in open play if you don't count the Rotherham one for a little while.

ST: Why wouldn't you count the Rotherham one?

Qu: It's down as an own goal at the moment.

ST: Is it? I thought that was his goal. I thought it was a fantastic goal today and deserving to win any game.

Qu: No Liam Fontaine today. Is there any progress there?

ST: Liam is going back to Fulham now and that had an effect upon my decision not to play him today. It must be quite hard for a player when you are at one club and you know you are going back in a days time. We know from Liam's two spells at the club that he is a very good player and he is somebody that I would be very interested in having at the club again.

Qu: Similarly with Chris Cohen?

ST: Definitely.

Qu: Was that probably the best defensive performance of the season in that the defence gave Steve Collis so little to do?

ST: Yes, I thought it was. We've probably had a few good ones this season. I've said that the key to turning consistent performances into results is keeping clean sheets and we have done that today. You can see that if we hadn't kept a clean sheet today then we wouldn't have won the game because we only managed to get one in at the other end.

Qu: Are you expecting much movement in the transfer window?

ST: Who knows what may happen in the transfer window? There might be people lining up bids all over the place, but as of now nothing has happened. But it's only the first day of January isn't it?

Qu: Is there any news on Kevin Gall?

ST: No, there is no news on Kevin Gall. I have had no manager ring me since the loan deadline day. A couple rang me just before that to ask me about him and I said no, I was not going to let him out on loan deadline day and I have had no enquiries since then about him.

Qu: About anyone? None at all?

ST: Yes, I have had people make enquiries about my players but that is for me and them.


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2 January 2006 : 7 Of 8
Yeovil Town extended their terrific record at Belle Vue (The Earth Stadium), making it seven victories from eight visits with just the single defeat. The home side and disappointing home crowd turned in a subdued performance, subdued by a Glovers team that showed excellent application and controlled the game from start to finish.

With Colin Miles not travelling after his head injury on Saturday manager Steve Thompson had to make a change from the starting eleven that drew 1-1 with Bristol City, but that was the only one - Scott Guyett, who had come on to replace Miles, stepping up from the bench. On the bench Efetobore Sodje, out of the sixteen on Saturday, was back, and Arron Davies took the place of Pablo Bastianini.

The Glovers started purposefully and soon got a grip on the game they were not to relinquish. An early advantage through a rifling shot from a narrow angle by Phil Jevons on 12 minutes could have been added to several times over before half-time. Captain Terry Skiverton brought the best save of the game out of 'keeper Jan Budtz with a towering header, and the contingent of away fans were appealing that the ball had crossed the line - more with optimism than realism to be fair - when a Matt Harrold close range scrambled effort was cleared by a defender. All in all Yeovil were good value for their lead at the break.

Doncaster Rovers rang the changes in the second half, with Dave Penney making use of his substitutes on 52, 59 and 66 minutes. Nothing he did made a significant difference. Rovers got a bit more possession, but never looked threatening. The visitors held them at bay comfortably, and as Doncaster resorted to tame shots from further and further out it was clear they had nothing to offer on the day.

As the contest began to peter out Thompson began to use his substitutes. Jevons, who had run himself into the ground, was replaced by Kevin Gall on 75 minutes to give some fresh legs up front for Rovers to think about. Kevin Amankwaah limped off after a foul and Andy Lindegaard replaced him on 88 minutes. Amankwaah's knee was packed in ice, but this was more precautionary and it's hoped no significant injury has been sustained. As referee Mr. Booth found five minutes of time added on from somewhere Thompson made his first defensive decision of the game and brought on Sodje to replace Paul Terry. Still Doncaster produced little more than huff and puff, though with the score still 0-1 there was a little nail biting on the terrace.

The Yeovil faithful had been keen to see a much (self-)talked about genius destined for great things at Celtic (allegedly). As it happens he didn't turn up, and we got rather bored by some skinny bloke who wasn't very good.

Final score :

Doncaster Rovers 0 Yeovil Town 1

Attendance: 5,680

A full match report will be found on Ciderspace here.

Elsewhere in League One it was generally a good set of results for the Town, who ended the day at 14th in the table. Next opponents Hartlepool United drew 1-1 with Swindon Town, and Scunthorpe United only picked up a point with a similar score at AFC Bournemouth. Milton Keynes Dons stay rooted to the foot of the table, losing 0-1 at home to Oldham Athletic. Blackpool's slide continues, beaten 1-2 by Southend United who went to the top of the table with Swansea City, Brentford and Huddersfield Town all drawing, against Port Vale, Bradford City and Gillingham respectively. Colchester United continued their excellent run of form, turning over Nottingham Forest 3-1 and moving into 4th spot. Tranmere Rovers defeated Rotherham United 3-2, Chesterfield and Barnsley drew 0-0, and TBCUTR beat Walsall 3-0. The table still remains very tight, with the Glovers 7 points above a relegation spot and six points behind a play-off place.


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2 January 2006 : Interview with Scott Guyett here mate
Scott Guyett talks to Ciderspace, BBC Radio Bristol, and the Western Daily Press following the 1-1 draw with Bristol City after coming on for the injured Colin Miles in the first half. The Aussie revealed his frustration over the fixture congestion over the festive period but acknowledges that the Glovers had a somewhat easier route compared with most other teams.

The centre-back said: "We were quite lucky that we had the Bournemouth game brought forward because a lot of other teams have had four games in seven days. Surely they could have done something else? It is crazy."

Read the full interview with Scott Guyett (transcript by George Murray) by clicking here or head to the Ciderspace Interviews Section.


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2 January 2006 : Rose out on loan to Iron
Out of favour Glovers defender Michael Rose has gone out on loan for the 2nd time this season - this time to League One rivals Scunthorpe United. The 23-year-old has gone to Glanford Park for a month initially and is available for selection for the Iron's match at Bournemouth today.

Rose's fall from grace at Huish Park has been remarkable. He was a regular starter for most of last season following his transfer from feeder club Hereford and was picked by his fellow professionals in League Two's PFA Team of the Year in his preferred position of left-back. This season however he hasn't had a look in, aside from one solitary substitute appearance (and that as an emergency midfielder), with Nathan Jones, Colin Miles, Liam Fontaine and the now departed Alejandro Melono all apparently ahead of him in the pecking order on the left side of defence. Rose spent a month on loan at Cheltenham earlier in the season but came back to Huish Park early after only starting 3 games. He's surely too good a player to be left kicking his heels in the reserves and needs regular, competitive games to get back to his best. Good luck to Michael at Scunny. Did we mention he's got some labrador puppies for sale?

Other loan news: As mentioned in the Doncaster preview (news page 1st Jan) Dale Williams has now returned to Huish Park after completing his month long loan spell at Newport County. Defender Adam Lockwood is to stay at Torquay for the time being, but Glovers boss Steve Thompson intends to discuss the situation with the player later this week.


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2 January 2006 : Interview with Steve Collis
Steve Collis spoke exclusively to Ciderspace and the Western Daily Press after the 1-1 draw at home to Bristol City yesterday. Collis, who started his fifth consecutive league game of this campaign, naturally spoke of his delight at having an extended run in the first team.

The 24-year-old said: "It does take time to get back into the swing of it really and it is nice that I have had a fairly decent run. I am at a club where I enjoy coming in every day, I enjoy training, and I enjoy everything about it really. I am really happy."

Read the full interview with Steve Collis (transcript by George Murray) by heading here or head to the Ciderspace Interviews Section.


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1 January 2006 : Immortality Awaits
Brendon Owen, author of Yeovil 'til I die! : A Ciderspace Odyssey, which this site holds in great affection for some reason, and Behind The Green Door : The Inside Story Of Yeovil's First League Season has another project in mind. We'd better just let him explain it in his own words :

"It must be the time of year, or the need to calm the Bank Manager, but I feel another book coming on. (Fat chance of making money with a Yeovil Town book, unless I went for the bizarre such as a topless picture book of the moderators of Ciderspace of course.) [There's a fortune to be made there, Brendon. A Ciderspace moderator.]

I have the idea to write a book about all of us, the fans. Out of some five to six thousand regulars now, and a good two thousand way back when, there must be an equal number of tales to tell. Our collective history of fandom goes back many, many years and now is the time for that story to be told. New owners, chairman, managers and players come and go but us, the fans, are the bedrock of Yeovil Town. We all have a contribution to make.

I would dearly love you to email me at Brendonowen@aol.com and let me know any unique tales that you have to tell. It may be the worst away trip ever, the greatest meat pie ever consumed, the most delicious lady that you tripped over on the terraces. The day you missed the winning goal somewhere because you had left the ground. What happened when you left your ticket on the kitchen table and travelled hundreds of miles to an away game. Where you ever taken short at a big game and had to pee in the pocket of the guy in front? Any wicked or naughty exploits you may have got up to on an away weekend. Did you ever have to lie to a loved one so that you could attend a game? What awful excuses did you make to get time off work to go to the game?

I am sure that you get the picture of what I need for this celebration of being a Yeovil supporter. The book can contain real names of people involved in the stories, forum names or if some rascaly or illegal behaviour took place, anonymity.

Email me with your stories, long or short, or if you prefer let me know your telephone number and I can give you a ring and we can chat about your experiences. If it was a mate that was involved in the tale it is not necessary to reveal who he or she was - it's the story I need. If I can get enough material together I will be looking to publish the book just before next Christmas. (Just coincidental that that will be a good time to be buying books as presents.)

I wish all Ciderspace forum users a very Happy New Year and would like to take this opportunity of thanking Badger, HHH and Taff for all the enjoyment I have had reading Ciderspace over the years. Without you I would never have had the opportunity of writing 'Yeovil til' I Die' and 'Behind the Green Door'. Many thanks,

Brendon Owen."


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1 January 2006 : Thommo's Verdict on the Bristol City Game
Glovers boss Steve Thompson praised his side for a great first laugh performance against Bristol City yesterday and believed that they were one goal away from finishing the game off. Speaking after the 1-1 draw at Huish Park, Steve answered the following questions:

Qu: Steve, what's your reaction to the spoils being shared at Huish Park here this afternoon?

ST: A little bit disappointed because I felt we created more chances and we should have won the game in the first half when we should have gone in (at half time) two or three up.

Qu: Do you feel that is where the game was won and drawn?

ST: No, a game is always won, drawn and lost in the whole 90 minutes. Certainly in that first 45 minutes we played very well and we created a whole host of chances. But we only managed to put one of them away and 1-0 is always dangerous. It only takes a little bit of luck or one bit of magic to score a goal and you are back on level terms. I think it came off the back of Matt Heywood's head nethertheless, but for a centre-half coming up it will have been a good goal for him. We needed that second goal and I think it would have been very hard for Bristol City then.

Qu: A goal up in the first two minutes so you must have been very pleased with the start your team made. And it wasn't as if they sat back then was it?

ST: No, I felt we went at them for the whole of the first half and played very well. I was very pleased with the workrate and the interpassing and with the play of everyone in that first half. We looked sharp, strong and fit and had a very good half and it was just a shame that we couldn't be more than one up at half time.

Qu: Bristol City had that 20 minute spell at the start of the second half where they maybe bossed it a little bit, but apart from that, Yeovil still came back into it again and could have snatched it at the end.

ST: Yes, Bristol City did have a good 15 or 20 minute spell but without creating too many good chances. I can't remember a chance apart from that goal during that time. So on chances created we deserved to win. However the game is on goals scored and it is 1-1. Gary might be a little bit happier than me with the result.

Qu: Basso, their keeper, had a great game didn't he?

ST: Yes, he made some great saves and his entertainment value was quality throughout the game! It went from football to boxing! But he was good and he made some great saves and it was good to see that passion at the end and see that he wanted to stay on. He'd been knocked out, so the physio said. It was certainly entertaining stuff from the goalkeeper but what do you expect from Brazilians!

Qu: Gary Johnson made his return to the club and a lot was made of that in the build-up. Were you pleased about the reception that he got from the Yeovil Town fans?

ST: Yes, there's no taking away from it. Gary was a legend here and what he achieved in four years was magnificent. Everyone in Yeovil is very fond of Gary Johnson. He is a good friend and a very good person and I thoroughly enjoyed working with him during that four years. We had a lot of success but we also had a lot of laughs. That was tremendous.

Qu: Nice to remind him a little bit of what he left behind?

ST: Yes, when you saw the first half it was a typical Gary Johnson home performance wasn't it? I was really pleased with the way we played in that first half. We had a 10 minute session yesterday because I didn't want to tire them too much knowing that the game would be played on a heavy pitch today and the 10 minutes they had were like that first half. I stopped them and said that's it because they always want to carry on a lot longer and I told them that if they produced that today then they would be doing well, and they did. To their credit our workrate, even during the 15 minute spell where Bristol City got on top of us in the second half, was incredible.

Qu: How is Colin Miles?

ST: He's quite bad actually. I don't know the exact problem but he is in a bad way and has had to go to hospital. It is a head injury. So obviously we have got him down there to get him checked out.

Qu: Was it a delayed reaction to that incident with Scott Murray?

ST: Yes, it wasn't too delayed though as it was only two or three minutes later when he came off. But when you get a head injury that can happen. Glen, the physio noticed straight away, about 30 seconds after both of them got up and Colin carried on. He had a problem and that problem has persisted for the next hour. We want to get him checked out as soon as possible and that's why he's gone straight to hospital.

Qu: Does that leave you short of centre-backs? Where was Sodje today?

ST: Sodje is fit and available. Colin is definitely out but Sodje is fit and available as are other cente-halves like Liam Fontaine and Luke Oliver.

Qu: When does Liam go back to Fulham?

ST: After Monday's game (at Doncaster).

Qu: So you are not thinking about recalling Locky?

ST: It has crossed my mind since Colin's injury. But I will have a sit down with Kevin Hodges and discuss that one now.

Qu: You can recall him on 24 hours notice?

ST: Yes, we can recall him for Monday's game if we so desire.

Qu: On a human level you wouldn't want to pull him out of the Birmingham City game.

ST: You wouldn't want to, no, but we have to do what's right for Yeovil Town. But I have got centre-halves that are fit and it's not as if I am down to my last two centre-halves and that is why I need to discuss that with Kevin Hodges.

Qu: The decision today to change both centre-backs from Wednesday's game (at Tranmere) looked fully justified really because you looked very solid at the back.

ST: Yes, so did Scott when he came on. So the three centre-halves looked very solid and that is pleasing.

Qu: I have to ask about the developments during the week with David Webb returning to the club as the owner and chief executive. What's your reaction to David Webb's return to Yeovil Town?

ST: Well, I know David, and I am pleased to see David Webb here. He is a big football man and has an enormous amount of contacts and people in football that he knows. I am sure that he will do a good job.

I'd also like to say a big thank you to Jon Goddard-Watts who has been here for eight years and has allowed and made the foundation for the success that Dave Webb, Colin Addison, myself and Gary Johnson have been able to achieve with all of the players. So I would like to thank Jon Goddard-Watts. He is a quiet man but he is a very good man.

Qu: Have you had a chance to talk with David Webb yet as to the future direction that the club might take?

ST: Yes we have spoken, but our conversations will remain between us!

Qu: He has suggested that he would take over the contract talks. Is that something you are comfortable with?

ST: Yes, I will still be involved in the contract talks, but it is good to have someone who has had many dealings in that sphere with me, sorting it out.

Qu: Are you confident then that you can keep the squad together?

ST: We have had a brief discussion yesterday. Dave said can you give me an analysis of every player and that is what I will do.


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1 January 2006 : Webb going back to the future
New Glovers majority shareholder and chief executive David Webb has given a series of interviews to various sources over the last day or so to explain the direction in which he sees Yeovil Town moving under his charge.

Speaking to the Western Daily Press and in an interview on the club's official site Webb addressed the issue of players wages and expiring contracts. With a reported 14 players on the books whose contracts are due to expire at the end of the season there's been increasing speculation about which players have or haven't signed up again and who may leave during the January transfer window, which opened today.

"I know Steve [Thompson]'s been in a dilemma over the last month with players asking about new contracts," Webb admitted. "It doesn't normally happen until the end of the season but it's all changed with the transfer window. Agents are already playing clubs off against one another and I don't want to get into a Dutch auction. We've got a month to work it out and I want to flush out those that want to stay for the right reasons. I want to find out if players just want to stay for the money or if they genuinely want to stay at the club.

"We will have a wage structure, a pecking order, and I will make sure that is not thrown out of synch. Once it is put in place it will be adhered to. The club has been run very well and very efficiently and that has got to carry on."

It's difficult to make any definite statements without seeing actual figures, but the above would suggest that any players expecting big rises when new contracts are offered may well be disappointed. If there is a high turnover of players either this month or next summer - as in Webb's first spell at the club when he oversaw the move from part-time to full-time football - then he intends to fill the gap in exactly the same way as he did the first time around, by bringing in promising youngsters who may have been rejected once by higher league clubs.

"I see lots of young players who are not given a proper opportunity," Webb said. "I've got a long list of players who I've seen at every level of the game. The biggest problem is at the big clubs where talented youngsters just aren't given a chance. I think it represents a golden opportunity for a club like Yeovil to tap into that talent and we could be pioneers. When I was here last time I brought in a lot of young players, people like Chris Weale, Darren Way, Anthony Tonkin and Nick Crittenden, and put together a team. Now I want to do the same thing again. A club like Yeovil can't afford to bring in ready-made players. We need to take players who haven't been given a chance, give them that chance and help them develop here.

"I want to look at the youth that's at the club. I have already spoken to Steve [Thompson] and he has agreed with me in that respect, that we want to get back to where we were a few years ago and the basis this club was built on. We had ambition and we wanted to go forward and we gave the players the opportunity to do that. Tonkin was one of them, Chris Weale, Darren Way, Skiverton, Lindegaard, all these players have had the opportunity and ended up with smashing careers with this Club, that's what's important to me, that we go back to that type of basis.

"I donít think this Club is in a position to enter the international market and bring more and more players in from that, it doesn't need to be geared to that. There are a lot of players in the football fraternity that have not been given a fair crack of the whip with the clubs they are with. I would like to open the doors to them and say come here, try your luck and if you are good enough, we will give you a contract."


The new Glovers chief executive has promised that on the pitch and on the training ground, manager Steve Thompson will be allowed to manage without the experienced Webb constantly back-seat driving, though it's already fairly clear that if Thommo gets suggestions from Webb he'd be well-advised to follow them up:

"I've had a long chat with Steve Thompson and I intend to keep off his shoulder and let him get on with things," said Webb. "I must make it clear that I don't want the day-to-day involvement of being on the training pitch and running the team any more. Steve Thompson will work with me but I don't want to detract from his work on the football side. There should be one man and one voice in the dressing room and on the pitch and that will be Steve."

"We have already had a chat this afternoon [Sat 31st Dec 2005], I gave him certain advice on certain matters and heís acted upon that already. I think what Steve would like is to have the comfort of having someone perhaps like myself here, who is not frightened to make decisions. Sometimes you make them and they are wrong and I'll expect him to back his decisions and I'll back my own decisions. He asked me about certain things today, I have said go ahead and do it, if you think that's right then do it, and if I think its not right to do something, then I will tell him."

There's a full interview with David Webb on the subscription-only part of the official website, Glovers World, a few small excerpts of which are quoted above. Visit the official site to hear the full interview. Thanks are due to Colin Redman [Yorkshire Glover] for his help in compiling this article.


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1 January 2006 : Doncaster Rovers v Yeovil Town match preview
You can picture the scene in houses all around Yeovil. The alarm-clock rings and bleary-eyed, they stagger out of bed and run a hot bath to try to ease aching limbs reeling under the onslaught of four games in eleven days before yet another interminable journey oop north cooped up in a coach, with only an ipod and a rest stop at Strensham services to keep them sane... And that's just the supporters. Whatever must the players be feeling like?

If tomorrow is the 2nd day of the new year then it must be Doncaster up next, the last stop on the seemingly interminable Christmas fixtures express; a schedule that has seen the Glovers travel from Somerset to Merseyside, back down to Somerset and now all the way back up to darkest Yorkshire to take on old Conference rivals Doncaster Rovers, including, for the time being, former Glovers bad boy Michael McIndoe. I say for the time being because, as usual, rumours concerning Macca's future are legion and usually include mention of the words 'Celtic' and '500k'. Which is nice, because we get a sell-on fee as part of the original transfer deal which took Macca to Yorkshire after he had thrown his toys out of his pram and burned his bridges at Huish Park, not necessarily in that order. Of course there are always rumours surrounding McIndoe, most of them planted fresh that day by his agent, but this time it seems that there may just be no smoke without fire, though judging by our previous record with transfer sell-on fees he'll probably end up at somewhere like Crewe for a couple of mars bars and a packet of crisps and our sell-on windfall will be a Cadbury's cream egg, if we're lucky. No offence to Crewe fans intended naturally.

Doncaster are currently 13th in League One, 3 points ahead of the Glovers and with a game in hand. They've done themselves and the division proud lately by reaching the quarter-finals of the League Cup, beating Premiership sides Manchester City and Aston Villa along the way and coming within 30 seconds of knocking Arsenal out before eventually losing to the Gooners on penalties. Since that match, perhaps unsurprisingly, Donny have lost both of the league matches they have played, 4-0 at Nottingham Forest and a last-minute 1-0 defeat at local rivals Rotherham yesterday. At the time of writing there's little injury news to be had other than noting that first-choice defender Steve Roberts will definitely be missing - the Welshman was carried off at Millmoor yesterday with his legs strapped together and is expected to be out for weeks, if not months. Striker Paul Heffernanis also out - the former Bristol City forward was sent off for a second bookable offence yesterday and will accordingly be suspended for tomorrow's match.

As for Yeovil, defender Colin Miles will definitely be out after being taken to hospital yesterday after a clash of heads during the 1-1 draw with Bristol City. He has now been released from Yeovil Hospital but did not travel. David Poole has travelled, but with a slight unspecified strain and is doubtful for tomorrow. Midfielder Darren Way is not expected back before next Saturday's match at home to Hartlepool at the earliest. With the news that Dale Williams has now returned from his latest loan spell at Newport County then other than Miles and Way and possibly Poole the entire squad is available for selection. It's worth pointing out that tomorrow's match is the last of Liam Fontaine's loan spell, the defender returns to Craven Cottage on Tuesday.

Selected betting odds: Doncaster win - 8/11; draw - 12/5; Yeovil win - 10/3. Our recommendation: 10/3! At Donny?! Lump on boys... Record so far this season: +£3.63p.

For those of you who incredibly (a) haven't seen enough football this Christmas, and (b) haven't seen enough of the delights of Belle Vue full stop; and are intending to make the trip to the home of those dark satanic mills tomorrow, the Ciderspace guide to all things Doncaster is here.


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