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31 January 2009 : Tomlin Header Sinks Orient
Yeovil Town grabbed their third consecutive league win today as they defeated a Leyton Orient side right at the death, to pull themselves seven points clear of the relegation zone. A Gavin Tomlin header from an Andy Welsh corner came five minutes into injury time and with almost the last move of the game, after having kept the home side firmly away from their own penalty box for more or less the entire 90 minutes.

The Glovers went into the match by giving Jonathan Worthington his debut after he signed on loan from Huddersfield Town yesterday. Worthington fitted in at the base of a four man midfield, displacing Keiran Murtagh to the bench. Striker Paul Warne was also deemed to be fit enough to start, following his knee injury, replacing the injured Luke Rodgers. Not even the availability of club captain Terry Skiverton could get him a spot in the starting line-up - two clean sheets for the current back four meant that Skivo needed to wait until Tuesday to commence his comeback.

The first half was played out almost as if Yeovil were the home side - camping in Orient's half and challenging the Londoners to hit them on the break - something they generally failed to do so throughout the match. The Glovers carved out a number of reasonable chances - albeit without the six-yard tap-in that they craved.

Worthington had a long range shot well saved, whilst Aleksander Prijovic produced a hooked volley inside the box that if he had sliced even in the slightest would have landed in the back of the net - instead it went straight down the throat of home keeper Jamie Jones. Aaron Brown had two headers from set pieces - one from a Welsh cross that forced Jones to get down low to his right and probably Yeovil's best chance of the half. All that Orient could muster in return was a Charlie Daniels free kick that was to be their one and only shot on target all game - easily saved by Josh Wagenaar.

Whilst the first half saw Yeovil dominance, the second period saw things even up a touch. Not that this meant that the home side started creating chances - it was more that Yeovil seemed to run out of ideas a touch. So much so that you could have almost staked your house on a 0-0 result, the longer the game went on. The tempo wasn't helped by a series of stoppages, which referee Graham Horwood (who incidentally had an excellent game) had clearly been noting. A total of six minutes of injury time was put up on the board, so when the Glovers won a corner five minutes into the second period, there was little doubt to all that it would be the last action of the game.

Andy Welsh swung in the corner, and meeting it at the near post was Gavin Tomlin, who executed a flicked header that gave Jamie Jones absolutely no chance of stopping the only goal of the game, right at the death. Glovers keeper Josh Wagenaar probably used up more energy than he had needed to expel all game in his goal celebration right in front of 415 rather delirious travelling fans, and the Yeovil bench spilled onto the pitch in joy. Just 30 seconds later, and the final whistle blew, and the home fans streamed out of the stadium knowing that their side had dropped back into the relegation zone.

Yet another excellent team performance today, with it difficult to pick out stars. On the plus side, Orient barely got a sniff all game, whilst on the minus side Yeovil's lack of creativity sometimes was exposed, particularly in the second half. But three clean sheets, three 1-0 wins, and nine priceless points would have been unthinkable eight days ago with Yeovil's current injury list, and those are the statistics that everyone will focus on after yet another fine win.

Final Score: Leyton Orient 0 Yeovil Town 1.

Scorer: Gavin Tomlin (0-1, 90 mins)

Leyton Orient:
12. Jamie Jones
2. Stephen Purches 5. Tamika Mkandawire 28. Jordan Spence 25. Charlie Daniels
7. John Melligan 8. Adam Chambers 20. Jason Demetriou 11. Dean Morgan
18. Adam Boyd 23. Ryan Jarvis

Substitutes:
1. Glenn Morris (GK) 4. Alton Thelwell (78 mins for Stephen Purches) 17. Paul Terry (56 mins for Dean Morgan) 21. Loick Pires 24. Harry Baker (66 mins for John Melligan)

Yeovil Town: (4-4-2)
13. Josh Wagenaar
12. Craig Alcock 6. Terrell Forbes 23. Aaron Brown 28. Nathan Smith
7. Jonathan Worthington
11. Danny Schofield 26. Shaun MacDonald 9. Andy Welsh
14. Paul Warne 24. Aleksander Prijovic

Substitutes:
3. Nathan Jones 4. Terry Skiverton 10. Gavin Tomlin (64 mins for Aleksander Prijovic) 18. Keiran Murtagh 25. Lee Cox

Leyton Bookings: Stephen Purches (72 mins, foul)
Yeovil Bookings: Jonathan Worthington (88 mins, foul)

Referee: Graham Horwood (Bedfordshire). Assistants: Rob Whitton (Essex) and Irvine Woodward (East Sussex). Fourth Official: Barry Holderness (Essex).

Attendance: 4,597 (including 415 Yeovil fans).


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30 January 2009 : Ladies Match Is Now A League Fixture
A reminder that Yeovil Town Ladies are in action on Sunday where they will take on Forest Green Rovers. The match was originally an Ambassador League Cup match, but will now be an ordinary league match against the same opposition, with the competition organisers anxious to clear a backlog of fixtures that has developed with several divisional sides.

Kick-off will still be 2.00p.m. at Gassons Lane, Somerton with all welcome to turn up and support.


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30 January 2009 : Officials For Leyton Orient vs Yeovil Town
Tomorrow afternoon's match between Leyton Orient and Yeovil Town will be looked after by referee Graham Horwood (Bedfordshire). He was promoted to the Football League's referees list for the start of the 2007-08 season and so is still only 18 months into officiating at this level.

We've only had Mr Horwood once before as a match referee. That was for the 2-1 win over Brighton and Hove Albion in December 2007 at Huish Park. We were more than happy with his first half performance, but felt that the longer the game went on, the more he seemed to be conscious of the match scoreline - booking Yeovil players for apparent timewasting that had been no worse than offences committed by Brighton players whilst the score had been level, and awarding the Seagulls a series of controversial decisions. As such, he seemed to be getting a little too wrapped up in the game, rather than letting it flow as he had done so during the first period.

Prior to the Brighton match, we're aware of Mr Horwood popping up twice as an assistant referee for Yeovil Town matches. Of particular note, he was there for the Play-Off Semi-Final First Leg against Nottingham Forest in May 2007, whilst the other was for an away match against Rushden and Diamonds in the 2004-05 season. Both matches ended in 2-0 defeats for the Glovers.

Mr Horwood will be assisted by Rob Whitton (Essex) and Irvine Woodward (East Sussex). The Fourth Official will be Barry Holderness (Essex).

Link: Ciderspace Match Report : Yeovil Town 2 Brighton and Hove Albion 1.


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30 January 2009 : Youth Team Reminder
A reminder that Yeovil Town's Under 18s side are in action at home tomorrow morning. They take on Swindon Town Under 18s in a Youth Alliance South-West Conference match. Swindon are top of the division by some considerable margin, having only dropped points in one game so far this season. The Glovers lie in 9th place in the table, some 20 points behind and so this is likely to be one of Yeovil's toughest tests of the season.

Kick-off will be at 11.00a.m. at Gassons Lane, Somerton. Admission is free, with all welcome to turn up and support the lads. If anyone is at the game and wants to supply a few details, then please drop us a line at ytfcbadger@ntlworld.com


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30 January 2009 : Ciderspace Guide To Leyton Orient
For those who are travelling up to Brisbane Road tomorrow, the Ciderspace guide is now available. Featuring directions, ground information, club background and a pub guide, along with much more information, the guide to Leyton Orient can be accessed via the link below.

Link: Ciderspace Guide To Leyton Orient.


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30 January 2009 : Bircham Retirement Now Official
It may have taken a long time for the paperwork to be done, but today Yeovil Town midfielder Marc Bircham has officially retired from the game.

Bircham announced his decision on January 3rd and since then he has been in negotiations with the club to sever his contract.

That has now formally taken place today, taking Marc off the Huish Park payroll and leaving the former Queens Park Rangers player free to concentrate on media duties and completion of his UEFA 'A' Coaching Badge.

The very best of luck to Marc in his new career - it's a shame things worked out so badly for him down in Somerset.


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30 January 2009 : Leyton Orient vs Yeovil Town Match Preview
Yeovil Town travel to Leyton Orient tomorrow, hoping to clock up their third win in a row, after two impressive performances against Southend United and Huddersfield Town in the last week. Orient lie two places and four points below the Glovers, and with both clubs lying just outside the relegation spots, this stands as a definite 'six-pointer'.

The Glovers go into the match with a whole load of injury and suspension worries to contend with. Four midfielders remain sidelined, with Darren Way (car accident), Marc Bircham (ankle ligaments), Gary Roberts (ankle ligaments) and Lee Peltier (ankle ligaments) all rulled out. Striker Luke Rodgers (ankle ligaments) is also unavailable whilst Aidan Downes serves the second of a three match suspension.

On the plus side, club captain Terry Skiverton returns from his suspension, whilst Huddersfield Town midfielder Jonathan Worthington should travel, assuming he completes the paperwork for a loan deal today. Meanwhile loan pair Aleksandar Prijović and Shaun MacDonald should have had a couple of training sessions at Huish Park since Tuesday, meaning that by tomorrow they may stand a chance of being able to remember the names of their team-mates! Yeovil's only dilemma will be to test the fitness of striker/winger Paul Warne, who was borderline on Tuesday with a knee injury, but came off the bench for half an hour to play through the pain barrier.

Orient welcome back striker Adam Boyd, who has been suffering with a calf injury, whilst midfielder Adam Chambers will return from suspension. Sean Thornton is the only definite absentee - out with a thigh injury. Andrew Cave-Brown and Dean Morgan will require fitness tests after they picked up knocks in midweek, although Jordan Spence has arrived on loan from West Ham United and Orient want to add another loanee before the weekend. Defender Aiden Palmer won't feature though - he has headed out on loan to Dagenham and Redbridge.

In terms of form, Orient have the worst home record in the division, with just two wins and 11 goals in 13 home matches. However, having fired manager Martin Ling earlier this month, they are now under the caretakership of Youth Team manager Kevin Nugent, and he gained an impressive 2-1 away win over Milton Keynes Dons in midweek, which no doubt will have boosted a side that was flagging somewhat until that point, with just three points in their previous nine games. Orient fans will doubtless hope that win was not a flash in the pan, but the potential of a season-turning win under new management.

Nugent is not expected to get the job full time, but he will certainly be in charge again tomorrow. Orient's plans to appoint a new manager appear to have been delayed due to talks concerning a boardroom takeover at Brisbane Road, with owner Barry Hearn looking to sell to Terry Byrne - an advisor for local lad David Beckham. The press are linking Beckham with Byrne's consortium, although it seems likely they are flying a kite on this one, rather than having any firm evidence of the midfielder's involvement. However, it would seem likely that any permanent successor to Ling will need to wait until the ownership issue has been sorted, with Byrne likely to want a say in who gets brought in.

Meetings between the two sides have not seen the brightest of encounters of late. Two 0-0 draws in the last two meets have not been full of goalmouth action by any stretch of the imagination, and it would be no surprise if tomorrow's match is more of the same, given both clubs have struggled to score goals this season. Despite numerous meetings, Yeovil have only ever won once at Brisbane Road - a 3-2 win all the way back in December 2004, when Yeovil were on their way to the League Two title.

The match kicks off at 3.00p.m. and this is a pay-on-the-day match, with no advance sales from Huish Park. The Ciderspace guide to Leyton Orient is being tweaked slightly at present, and will be republicised shortly, however 95 percent of last year's guide still holds and so the impatient can find it in the Opposition section of this site.

For those who are not travelling, there will be live commentary on BBC Somerset on 95.5FM throughout the afternoon.


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30 January 2009 : Beavon Move Unlikely
Yeovil Town are unlikely to move for Weymouth striker Stuart Beavon before the transfer window closes. Reports at the Weymouth end suggested that the former Didcot Town striker had been in talks with the club after he spent an evening as a guest of the club during the recent televised match against Leicester City.

However, no bid had been placed by the Glovers, and it looks as though they wanted to bring him to South Somerset on trial first. With the transfer window due to close on Monday, manager Russell Slade has said to the Western Gazette that is now looking increasingly unlikely:

"We were due to have a look at him for a few days this week but whether that is going to happen now I do not know. He has got quite a bit of interest so that a trial probably will not happen and we will monitor the situation now. We have watched him and we know he has done okay for Weymouth, has scored goals for them and works very hard."

As it happens, Beavon may not leave the Wessex Stadium anyway. The cash-strapped Dorset side are currently in talks with a prospective consortium, who have asked for plans to sell off some of Weymouth's top wage earners to be put on hold. Beavon is, however, out of contract in the summer and so it would still seem likely that the striker - who has netted 14 times this season - will eventually leave for bigger things. League Two side AFC Bournemouth and a string of Conference National clubs are all believed to be tracking his progress, with Bournemouth the only club known to have put a hard bid down on the table. However, even they are reporting this morning that their attempt to sign him have been scuppered by those looking to purchase the Conference outfit.


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30 January 2009 : Slope And Glory Update
For those who have yet to get hold of 'Slope And Glory' - the magazine devoted to Yeovil Town's world-famous 1948-49 FA Cup run - editor Seb White has announced additional ways that you can get hold of the publication.

You can send a cheque made payable to `Seb White' to 120 Lichfield Court, Sheen Rd, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 1AY. There will be a postage charge of £1 for the UK, £2 Europe and £3 Rest of the World.

Alternatively if you live in the Yeovil area, the following shops should have copies for sale:
a. A Touch of Glass, 1 Church St, Yeovil BA20 1HE. 01935 411088
b. WHSmith, 10 Middle St, Yeovil, BA20 1LZ. 01935 426231
c. Mad Hatters, 42 Princes St, Yeovil. 01935 471545
d. Yeovil Town F.C. Club Shop, Huish Park.
e. The Green and White Supporters Club Shop, Huish Park

Seb will also be at tomorrow's match at Brisbane Road, so if you are looking for a copy, most supporters should be able to point him out to you. Pre-match Seb will be in the Birkbeck Tavern, with a large number of Capital Glovers, and post-match he will be hovering outside the turnstiles. As an aside, the Birbeck Tavern is one of the best real ale pubs in the area, and you'll find many of the London and South-East Glovers (as well as the editors of this site) propping up the bar for a couple of hours before the game - pop in and say hello!

Alternatively, if you head back to Monday's news, you'll find other payment methods including Paypal and eBay to get your hands on a copy. This site may be a little bit biased, but we highly recommend this publication.

For further information on Slope And Glory and how to get your hands on a copy, Monday's news item should tell you all you need to know.


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30 January 2009 : Southend Man Of The Match Result
Last Saturday, Yeovil Town achieved an impressive 1-0 win at Roots Hall, despite playing over half an hour of the match with 10 men. With multiple injuries and the dismissal of Aidan Downes, the Glovers might have been forgiven for falling apart midway through this game against Southend United.

However, they clung on with a superb defensive performance to keep the Shrimpers out. It's therefore no surprise to find the top four votes and all of the outright MOTM submissions went to defensive players in our Man of the Match poll.

Goalscorer Aaron Brown was rated highly along with his defensive partner Terrell Forbes, who has recently become a father for the first time. However, it was keeper Josh Wagenaar who stole the show with an impressive string of second half saves which manager Russell Slade described as 'inspired' after the game.

The full results are as shown below, with outright MOTM votes shown in brackets:

1 Josh Wagenaar 114 (9)
2 Aaron Brown 62 (4)
3 Terrell Forbes 30 (3)
4 Craig Alcock 16 (1)
5 Andy Welsh 12 (0)
6 Danny Schofield 8 (0)
7 Luke Rodgers 6 (0)
8 Nathan Jones 2 (0)
8 Nathan Smith 2 (0)


OVERALL MATCH RATING: 7.14

Performance: 7.86
Entertainment: 6.43

VOTES RECEIVED: 14

Don't forget that you can still place your votes for Tuesday night's 1-0 win over Huddersfield Town by using the form below, although all votes must be in before tomorrow's match at Leyton Orient kicks off.

Link: Yeovil Town vs Huddersfield Town : Man of the Match Voting Form.


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30 January 2009 : Worthington To Arrive On Loan
Yeovil Town have agreed a deal with Huddersfield Town to take midfielder Jonathan Worthington on loan. The 25 year old will arrive at Huish Park today, and will provide useful midfield cover until March 3rd, according to the Huddersfield official site.

Worthington captained the side between 2004 and 2007 and has made over 200 appearances for the Terriers. However, he has not featured for his club since Boxing Day, and with Huddersfield having recently splashed out on three new signings, his chances are likely to remain limited.

Worthington has a reputation as a tough-tackling player, who as a consequence picks up his fair share of yellow cards. Born in Dewsbury, Huddersfield are his one and only club, having turned professional in August 2002. However his contract expires in June 2009 meaning that he has plenty to prove with his future at the Galpharm up for grabs.


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29 January 2009 : Andrew Heads To The Seaside
Crystal Palace striker Calvin Andrew has joined League One side Brighton and Hove Albion on loan for the rest of the season, according to the Croydon Advertiser. The paper also claims that the Palace marksman had interest from Yeovil Town. Manager Neil Warnock told the paper:

"Calvin will join Brighton until the end of the season. We just want him to go out and get some games – but he will be back here next season fighting for a first-team place."

Although Warnock has confirmed the loan deal to the paper, Brighton have yet to officially confirm the news, suggesting that they have some paperwork to deal with first.

Glovers manager Russell Slade has confirmed the interest but suggested money was the problem:

"I had a try for Calvin Andrew but we are not going to be able to deal with that one financially."

Our understanding is that the club was working off a shortlist of multiple strikers, and so although this tells us that Andrew was one of those players, it doesn't tell us where he sat in the pecking order.


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29 January 2009 : Centre Of Excellence vs Swansea City
With apologies for the slight delay in the reporting of this, Yeovil Town's Centre of Excellence sides were all largely sat in doors with their feet up last weekend. The one exception we are aware of are the Under 16s side, who were up against Swansea City.

The original plan had been for the match to be played in Swansea, but pitch problems saw the game switched to Yeovil's Kingsbury Episcopi training ground. The Glovers won 1-0, and they have now won six in a row. The result against Swansea was all the more pleasing because their last game against the Swans finished in a 3-1 defeat.

As for the other age groups, most - if not all - of the other age groups were due to have a training day on Sunday, also at Kingsbury Episcopi. Unfortunately by Sunday the pitches were deemed to be waterlogged and so the session was cancelled.

This weekend, all age groups are planned to be playing Bristol Rovers - if you are at any of the games and can supply details, please get in touch at ytfcbadger@ntlworld.com


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29 January 2009 : Brown Getting Itchy Feet?
Yeovil Town centre-back Aaron Brown appears to be growing a touch frustrated as he continues to operate on just a week-to-week contract. The former Reading defender has been without a permanent deal at Huish Park since his arrival at the club over the summer, and despite him having clocked up 13 appearances and 2 goals that situation has yet to change.

Speaking to the Western Gazette, Aaron said he felt that the situation had been discussed, but that the club were 'dragging their feet' over the situation:

"It is up to the board and the chairman – they are the guys who have the money and the power. The gaffer, to be fair, has said he has spoken with them a few times but they are just dragging their feet and have not come back to me. It is in their hands, not mine."

Yeovil Town's Chief Executive Martyn Starnes admitted to the paper that talks had yet to start with Brown but hoped that these would happen 'shortly' implying that he was aware of the need for talks to be held:

"We are looking very seriously at a contract until the end of the season and we will have a conversation with him very shortly. Whenever he has been asked to come in and do a job he has done it."

It may be that Brown's words are coincidence, but with the transfer window about to close, and Aaron able to walk away from the club at just seven days notice - or of course be shown the door - that his more recent run in the first team has attracted other Football League sides who are more willing to offer him a proper contract. Given Aaron has proved his dues as a valuable squad member, there seems to be little reason to delay matters further, at the risk that he could walk out in favour of greater job security.


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29 January 2009 : Asamoah On Trial At Huish Park
Yeovil Town have taken 27 year old striker Derek Asamoah on trial for a couple of days. The Ghana-born speed merchant is a free agent at present after last being seen at French side Nice.

Manager Russell Slade used to coach Asamoah whilst he was at Northampton Town, and so the two know each other well. Russell explained to BBC Somerset some of his background:

"He's played for Shrewsbury and Mansfield, and we signed him in fact when I was at Northampton along with Kevin Wilson and we gave him his first contract. So he has been in training with us and looks nice and lively. He was at Colchester and was offered a contract there but turned it down. So he is here for a day or two, and we'll have to make a decision on that."

Asamoah is merely 5'6" tall and started his career at Slough Town and Hampton and Richmond before Cobblers manager Kevin Wilson stepped in along with Slade to offer him a deal. Thereafter he became a familiar figure at League One and League Two level, with Mansfield Town, Lincoln City, Chester City and Shrewsbury Town all enjoying spells with him.

Asamoah, who is also capable of playing as a winger, has courted the odd bit of controversy in the past - his transfer to OGC Nice for £50,000 only came after the player had gone on trial there without Shrewsbury's permission. The two clubs eventually settled on a fee after his trial with the French club went successfully. On a rather more contentious note, Asamoah also ran into problems at Chester during a loan period at the Deva Stadium after he missed a training session, having to move out a director's house that he had been renting at short notice. On that occasion, both parties appeared to kiss and make up shortly afterwards.

He has represented Ghana at national level, making his debut against South Korea in October 2006, and has so far made three appearances for his national side.


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29 January 2009 : Rodgers Out For Up To Four Weeks
Yeovil Town striker Luke Rodgers is set to be out for three or four weeks following an ankle injury sustained in Tuesday night's match against Huddersfield Town. Rodgers was the victim of a late challenge from Terriers substitute Ian Craney, who only received a yellow card for the foul.

Speaking to BBC Somerset manager Russell Slade admitted that the news was not good on the goal-poacher:

"He's still on crutches and there is not much we can do. He has to rest it for now. We have had the results of the scan. Fortunately there is no lasting ligament damage in there, and he doesn't have to have an operation. However, there is bone damage in that it is bruised. That has shown a hot-spot on the scan, so he has to be careful with that. It is very sore and he can hardly put it down. He will have to wear a boot in the next couple of days. In terms of time period, I suspect that he will be out for about three to four weeks."

Rodgers joins a lengthy list of Yeovil players on the sidelines. Midfield pair Darren Way (car accident) and Marc Bircham (ankle) will not play again this season, whilst two other midfielders in Gary Roberts (ankle ligaments) and Lee Peltier (ankle ligaments) have medium term injuries that are expected to keep them both out of Saturday's game, with Peltier out for somewhat longer.

Meanwhile Aidan Downes will serve the second of a three match suspension on Saturday, and he will be joined by Danny Schofield and Terrell Forbes next Tuesday who will serve a single match ban for reaching five yellow cards.

All of this means that for next week's trip to Crewe Alexandra, Yeovil are likely to be missing eight players from their first team squad.


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29 January 2009 : Double Suspension Blow For Glovers
The two yellow cards from Tuesday night's match against Huddersfield Town have proved costly to the Glovers. The FA have now confirmed that midfielder Danny Schofield will be suspended for the trip to Crewe Alexandra next Tuesday for picking up his fifth yellow card.

The bad news is that he will also be joined by Terrell Forbes, who the FA have confirmed has also picked up a one match suspension for having reached the same number of cautions. Both players will therefore miss the same match.


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28 January 2009 : Russell's Verdict On The Huddersfield Game
Following last night's 1-0 win over Huddersfield Town, manager Russell Slade gave his usual post-match views to BBC local radio. Speaking to reporter Pete Simson, the transcript of Russell's interview can be read via the transcript below.

Link: Russell's Verdict On The Huddersfield Game.


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28 January 2009 : Reserves Thrashed By Robins
Yeovil Town Reserves were hammered 4-0 at Whaddon Road this afternoon by Cheltenham Town Reserves. They came up against a Robins side looking to impress the watching scouts as boss Martin Allen attempts to offload six of his first team squad members before the transfer window closes, including former Glovers right-back Andy Lindegaard. As such, the Cheltenham official site's match preview openly advertised which players were available for sale or loan, making this a 'shop window' game for the home side.

As it happens, two of those on the transfer list didn't do too badly, with striker Damien Spencer netting two goals, including the first after just 7 minutes, from a Jack Durrant through ball. Striking partner Paul Connor is also on the transfer list and he knocked in the second in the 31st minute, after Joe Barrett had won a penalty area ball. Barrett also provided the third before half time, as Damien Spencer doubled his tally with a header off the underside of the crossbar.

Spencer and Connor were mercifully withdrawn at half time, but one of their replacements - Cheltenham youth teamer Dean Maynard - fired in the fourth and final goal, through a free header 72 minutes into the match to polish off an unimpressive match for the Glovers, who included club captain Terry Skiverton in their line-up after he completed his recent suspension.

Final Score: Cheltenham Town Reserves 4 Yeovil Town Reserves 0.

Scorers: Damien Spencer (1-0, 7 mins), Paul Connor (2-0, 31 mins), Damien Spencer (3-0, 38 mins), Dean Maynard (4-0, 72 mins).

Cheltenham Town Reserves: W Puddy; Andy Lindegaard, M Townsend, Gavin Caines, A Ledgister; M Watkins, Jack Durrant, L Fathers, Joe Barrett; Paul Connor (J Lee 46), Damien Spencer (Dean Maynard 46). Subs not used: J Perry, B Pattison, J Emery.

Yeovil Town Reserves: David Bevan; Harry Nodwell, Terry Skiverton (Lloyd Moyce 61), Rob Fitzgerald, Jordan Street; Tom Scott, Lee Cox, W Fornoa, Elliot Peck (J Burn 61); Dan Mobsby, Andre McCollin. Subs not used: R Wilson, Adam Wakely.

Referee: S Martin (Staffordshire).


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28 January 2009 : Sunderland Anniversary Match Is OFF
Tomorrow evening's match between a Yeovil Town XI and a Sunderland XI has been called off due to the current state of the Huish Park pitch. The match, which was due to commemorate the 60th Anniversary of Yeovil Town's Fourth Round victory over Sunderland in the FA Cup, had been due to feature a number of former stars from both clubs, but has now been postponed.

There is no new date for the fixture, but it is now likely to be left until the end of the season. The pitch cut up extremely badly during last night's 1-0 win over Huddersfield Town with the top soil breaking up rapidly as the game went on, and looks likely to require a significant overhaul when summer arrives. Thankfully Yeovil's next two games see them on their travels, with the next home match not due until Saturday 7th February, when Northampton Town are the visitors.


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28 January 2009 : Man of the Match Voting For The Huddersfield Match
A reminder to those who were at Huish Park last night that the Man of the Match voting form is available. Choose your top three players from the match against Huddersfield Town, along with your performance and entertainment ratings, and add in any additional comments you wish to make, via the form below.

Link: Yeovil Town vs Huddersfield Town : Man of the Match Voting Form.


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27 January 2009 : Schofield Heading For Single Game Ban
By our calculations, midfielder Danny Schofield picked up his fifth booking of the season in tonight's 1-0 win over Huddersfield Town. If confirmed, he will sit out next Tuesday's game against Crewe Alexandra. This will be Danny's first suspension of the season.


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27 January 2009 : MacDonald Dream Debut Seals Back-To-Back Glovers Wins
New loan signing Shaun MacDonald became an instant hero for Yeovil Town tonight, as he marked his debut, whilst on loan from Swansea City, with the winning goal and the Sponsors Man of the Match in a 1-0 win over Huddersfield Town. The three points ensured Yeovil's first back-to-back league wins since they beat Hartlepool United and Doncaster Rovers all the way back in December 2007. In a tight game that the Glovers edged, MacDonald got his first Glovers goal right on the stroke of half time, with a deflected shot from a Danny Schofield pass, and as the weather and the pitch deteriorated, the Terriers couldn't find their way back into the match.

Having only arrived at the club a few hours previously, McDonald and striker Aleksander Prijovic went straight into their debuts, as the Yeovil Town squad began to look a little more palatable than it had a few hours previously. Paul Warne sneaked onto the bench - presumably only partially fit following his knee injury sustained at Southend United on Saturday. Keiran Murtagh was given the nod for a rare start in the third of three changes to the starting line-up, although fortunately all were like-for-like swaps, with no need to considerably tweak the formation. Murtagh predominantly sat as a holding midfielder, allowing the other three to push forward throughout the game.

Not too surprisingly, the new look Yeovil side took around five or ten minutes to get some kind of fluidity going, with the two debutants in particular struggling to find their bearings. But once they got going, MacDonald in particular began to shine for the Glovers. Danny Schofield was another player determined to impress on the night, up against his former club, and he broke clear of the Huddersfield back line and clear on goal, only to find Jim Goodwin blocking his shot just as he was about to pull the trigger. Then Nathan Smith fed Luke Rodgers, who put through Prijovic, who probably lacked a little bit of composure when he shot early instead of taking on the exposed Huddersfield keeper.

As the visitors threatened less and less, Yeovil carved out a deserved lead just before the break. Keiran Murtagh got himself into a forward position, firing in a shot that deflected for a corner, and from that set piece, Andy Welsh's kick reached Danny Schofield, who teed up Shaun MacDonald to fire home, with the goal taking a deflection on its way - not that anyone would be complaining about that at the half time break. 1-0 and half way to another three points.

Aleksander Prijovic spurned a glorious chance early in the second period to double Yeovil's lead when Luke Rodgers made himself space, dragging the Huddersfield defence out of shape before pulling the ball across to the Serbian. Again Huddersfield looked short of creating chances, even if they did move forward nicely, with Forbes and Brown once again having great games at the back for Yeovil.

Former Hereford United winger Lionel Ainsworth was ominously introduced as a second half substitute and he headed over the bar from a deep cross five minutes after entering the field, whilst at the other end Paul Warne was set free on goal but as he tried to finish the chance, his shot went narrowly wide of the far post. Then Warne's right wing cross produced a flying header from Andy Welsh and an even more flying save from Huddersfield keeper Alex Smithies. Play then switched immediately to the other end with Anthony Pilkington taking advantage of a nasty bobble that deceived Aaron Brown, but thankfully Pilkington shot wide of the target.

The pitch was cutting up beyond belief as the game went deeper and deeper into the second half, almost making it impossible for any ball-playing midfielder to cut more than a short basic pass. The top soil at Huish Park has been breaking up badly in recent matches and the driving rain wasn't exactly helping the situation. This didn't really help either side, but with Huddersfield needing to chase the game, perhaps it favoured Yeovil a little more in that they had the lead.

Despite creating a few good half chances, the luck was out for the Terriers, and in fact they had to be wary that Yeovil didn't catch them on the break. In the final minute of normal time, the Glovers did just that, and this was the cue for the one rather nasty part of the match - Ian Craney's vicious tackle to stop Luke Rodgers in his tracks as he sped away, and Craney was fortunate the colour dished out by referee Graham Scott was only yellow. But once again a poor opposition tackle caused a Yeovil player to have to leave the field, and there's no doubt that will cause a concern or two tomorrow morning when Rodgers arrives for some physio work.

Four minutes of injury time failed to threaten the Glovers goal, and so in slightly calmer circumstances than Saturday's match at Southend, Yeovil made it six points out of six for the first time in over a year's worth of football. That has drawn them five points clear of the relegation zone, although with Leyton Orient and Crewe Alexandra the next two opponents across the next seven days, there's no time to relax just yet.

Final Score: Yeovil Town 1 Huddersfield Town 0.

Scorers: Shaun MacDonald (1-0, 45 mins)

Link: 2008-09 Latest League One Table.

Yeovil Town: (4-4-2)
13. Josh Wagenaar
12. Craig Alcock 6. Terrell Forbes 23. Aaron Brown 28. Nathan Smith
26. Shaun MacDonald 18. Keiran Murtagh 11. Danny Schofield 9. Andy Welsh
15. Luke Rodgers 24. Aleksander Prijovic

Substitutes:
3. Nathan Jones (79 mins for Andy Welsh) 10. Gavin Tomlin (90 mins for Luke Rodgers) 14. Paul Warne (59 mins for Aleksander Prijovic) 19. Andre McCollin 25. Lee Cox

Huddersfield Town: (4-4-2)
28. Alex Smithies
2. Andy Holdsworth 6. Nathan Clarke 18. Andy Butler 16. Robbie Williams
9. Danny Cadamarteri 4. Michael Collins 11. Jim Goodwin 19. Anthony Pilkington
7. Keigan Parker 14. Phil Jevons

Substitutes:
27. Matthew Glennon (GK) 3. Joe Skarz 5. Ian Craney (79 mins for Jim Goodwin) 12. Tom Clarke 34. Lionel Ainsworth (54 mins for Keigan Parker)

Yeovil Bookings: Terrell Forbes (39 mins, foul), Danny Schofield (65 mins, foul)
Huddersfield Bookings: Ian Craney (90 mins, foul)

Referee: Graham Scott (Oxfordshire). Assistants: Kevin Johnson (Somerset) and Paul Melin (Surrey). Fourth Official: Andrew Bennett (Devon).

Attendance: 3,703


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27 January 2009 : Slope And Glory Heads To The Club Shop
For those looking for a copy of the new Slope and Glory magazine, it will be on sale in the Huish Park Club Shop, both tonight and Thursday. Priced at £3.00, it describes the FA Cup run from the 1948-49 season that established Yeovil Town as the country's most famous giantkillers.

For a full preview of Slope and Glory, see Monday's news.


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27 January 2009 : Glovers Make Double Loan Signing For Tonight
Yeovil Town have made two loan signings ahead of tonight's match with Huddersfield Town. Both signings are subject to the paperwork being completed in time for kick-off, which will require full confirmation from the Football League that the documentation is in good working order.

Coming in on loan are Derby County striker Aleksandar Prijović and Swansea City midfielder Shaun McDonald. Both deals are for a month period, although Swansea report that the McDonald agreement is more open-ended.

Aleksandar was born in St Gallen in Switzerland on April 21st 1990 and so is currently 18 years old. He was on the books of his local club FC St. Gallen but left to join Italian side Parma, who he made one appearance for. In the summer of 2008, he signed a two year deal with Derby, oddly interrupted initially by the Swiss Army, who he had to complete National Service with.

Aleksandar is a Serbian U17 and U19 international player, and qualifies for the country through his parents, despite having been born and bred in Switzerland.

Shaun McDonald was born on June 17th 1988, and therefore is 20 years old. Speaking to the Swansea official site the player explained how the move came about:

"The move came out of the blue to be honest. I have been nagging the gaffer (Roberto Martinez) to go out on loan for the last few weeks because I was desperate to get some game time under my belt. He spoke to me in training last night and said that Yeovil manager Russell Slade had asked if I would be interested in a loan spell there. I know there were a few other clubs interested, but I'm more that happy to go to Yeovil because at this stage of my career I need to be playing. I've been training well and I think I've done okay when I've played this season, but at my age I need to be playing because it gets a bit frustrating otherwise. Hopefully I can get my match fitness pretty quickly, do well for Yeovil and come back to Swansea stronger and in a better position to fight for my place. I think Yeovil have got seven games in the next month, so I'll have plenty of opportunities to impress."

McDonald is Swansea born and bred, and signed his first professional contract with the club during the 2005-06 season after coming through their academy sides. He is a Welsh Under 21 international player.

We wish Shaun and Aleksandar the very best of luck in Somerset over the next month. We also wish Club Secretary Jean Cotton the very best of luck with the fax machine this afternoon, as the club aim to get the go-ahead for both to join tonight's squad.


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27 January 2009 : Yeovil Town vs Huddersfield Town Match Preview
Yeovil Town play host to Huddersfield Town tonight at Huish Park in a League One match. The Glovers will go into the match with high spirits but a small squad, as they attempt to repeat their 'Against all Odds' performance at Southend United.

They will have to do so without a large number of key players. Midfield quartet Darren way (car crash), Marc Bircham (ankle ligaments), Gary Roberts (ankle ligaments) and Lee Peltier (ankle ligaments) are all unavailable through injury, whilst winger/striker Paul Warne will require a fitness test on a knee injury, with the club hoping that anti-inflammatory pills and intensive treatment will see him pull through. Meanwhile Terry Skiverton and Aidan Downes both are suspended following recent red cards.

All of this means that unless Warne produces a surprise recovery, or the Glovers get in a late loan, that tonight's team will pretty much select itself. Currently, there are just 12 'recognised' first team players for tonight's match, meaning that manager Russell Slade will just need to decide which player to keep on the bench. That is likely to be striker Andre McCollin, and it would seem that he will be joined on the bench by midfielder Lee Cox, centre-back pair Jordan Street and Rob Fitzgerald and one of Taunton Town goalkeeper Lloyd Irish or 46 year old assistant manager Steve Thompson. Bar McCollin, none of those likely to feature on the bench have made a first team appearance - unless Thommo fancies adding to the 97 first team appearances he made for the club, with his last league appearance having come during the 2001-02 season. It's difficult to remember the last time Yeovil Town took to the field with so few experienced players available.

At the other end of the scale, we have tonight's opponents Huddersfield Town. They will bring down three new players, all hoping to make their debuts in tonight's match, with Dominik Werling, Anthony Pilkington and Lionel Ainsworth all having arrived late last week at the Galpharm Stadium. The latter two players are believed to have cost an incredible £750,000 between them - Ainsworth arriving from Watford whilst Pilkington will hope to play his fourth match against the Glovers, having signed from Stockport County. After several seasons of under-achievement in Yorkshire, it would appear that they are pushing the boat out now to try and grab a top six slot in their Centenary Season.

Slade admits Yeovil are up against it, but told BBC Somerset that he hopes his team's fighting spirit that they showed against Southend will shine through:

"They've got an unbelievable squad. They've been under-achieving so far this season, and that is without doubt. They've just spent in the region of three-quarters of a million pounds on two players, to hopefully strengthen their bid for a top six finish. So we know that is the sort of outfit we are playing. They are another top side, driving for promotion. So we know it is not going to be easy and let's be honest, if you were an outsider you wouldn't back against Huddersfield. But we have a terrific fighting spirit and if we can keep that going and try and dig out something again, because that is what it is going to be a case of, even if it doesn't look pretty at times.

"Let's face it, Saturday (at Southend) was not pretty, in the main. We've played much better in recent games and got beaten. But we need to dig something out, because it is points that matter right now. If we can just get away from that bottom four and put one or two other teams under a little bit of pressure as well, that would be great news for us all. It's like Lee Clark's Christmasses have all come at once. I should think he'll be unwrapping his presents tomorrow night and playing both of them. So that is great for him, and they are a big club. As I've said, it is going to be a difficult match, and it may be a rearguard action again
."

It was precisely that sort of fighting spirit and rearguard action that got the Glovers a point up at the Galpharm late last year. A 0-0 draw saw a stunning performance from on loan keeper Asmir Begovic on a bitterly cold night in Yorkshire. Slade recalled that night as being fairly similar to Yeovil's current situation:

"We had another terrific performance defensively away at Huddersfield. Asmir had a terrific game that night and we defended well. We had injury problems again that night. We had no Forbes or Skiverton and I think it was Aaron Brown and Gareth Owen there. So we did terrific that night to get a result."

Huddersfield's one blow is that they will be without top scorer Gary Roberts, who was sent off for foul and abusive language at the tail end of Saturday's game against Leicester City, which the Terriers lost 4-2. The loss of that player though won't be missed by any live match commentators, who around a week ago would have been sweating on the prospects of having to describe two players called Gary Roberts, each playing for opposing sides. Now, to the loss of both teams, they have none.

Tonight's match kicks off at 7.45p.m. with tickets available on the day from the Huish Park Ticket Office, subject to the usual matchday tariffs. There is a full League One programme on tonight, and with many of Yeovil's rivals facing difficult away trips at top of the table sides, realistically any positive result tonight at Huish Park would be of benefit to Yeovil's overall position.


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27 January 2009 : Russell Praises Roots Hall Travellers
Yeovil Town manager Russell Slade has praised the Glovers fans who made the trip to Roots Hall on Saturday for the way that they got behind the team. Something in the region of 200 supporters took their place in Southend United's away end, and speaking to BBC Somerset, Russell felt that they had backed the team from the moment the game kicked off:

"Our fans on Saturday celebrated that win, as we felt. We felt it was a terrific win, and they celebrated it as if we'd won the cup. Full credit to them, as they made that long journey yet again. They were right behind us from the first minute."

The 1-0 win was achieved very much against the odds, with injuries to Paul Warne and Lee Peltier added to by a red card for Aidan Downes, leaving the Glovers down to extreme bare bones as the match ended. Russell felt that it was impossible to truly assess the magnitude of the victory unless you were at Roots Hall on the day:

"The supporters will tell you, and only they can tell you how much effort those 10 men put in to bringing those points back to Huish Park. It was quite remarkable. Those things don't happen too many times over the course of a season. People from the outside will probably see it as relatively insignificant, albeit that some people might say 'Oh that's a good result for Yeovil'. But people will never realise, unless you were there, what a terrific result it was."


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26 January 2009 : Russell Goes On A Loan Hunt
Yeovil Town manager Russell Slade has said that he is still urgently looking at bringing in at least one loan player to try and patch up the massive hole in his side that has been created by injuries to an already small squad. The Glovers go into tomorrow night's match against Huddersfield Town without four experienced midfield players, plus club captain Terry Skiverton will serve the last of a three match suspension. On top of that Paul Warne is not expected to feature in the game, although reports today suggest that he has come in on Monday in a better state than he was at the weekend.

The obvious need is for numbers to be added to the squad, and today Chief Executive Martyn Starnes has stated that there will be some funding available for short term loans to try and help resolve the situation. However, Russell told BBC Somerset that the club would only move for loan players if it was clear that they were going to improve the squad currently at his disposal:

"There are two ways of looking at that. Yes, I can go out and get someone and yes that is easy to do. But to get somebody that is going to perhaps take you that little bit forward is not so easy, because we are all fighting for them. That is the problem that you come up against. If we are all fighting for them also, then their club may not let them go anyway. There are lots of little scenarios, but you just need one or two of those plates spinning to drop for you. That's what it is all about. You spin so many and then one or two drop, and that is what you need. Whether they drop for tomorrow night, I couldn't tell you."

As we understand it, whilst there are regulations in place for permanent transfers, the loan rules for Football League match do not impose a deadline on signings before a game. The only restriction is on how fast the club can process the paperwork when they get a player signed up, and consequently how fast the League and FA can process it at their end and confirm registration. As such if the club do sign anyone tomorrow, it will simply be a case of hoping that everything goes through before the 7.45p.m. kick-off.


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26 January 2009 : Officials For Yeovil Town vs Huddersfield Town
Tomorrow night's home match against Huddersfield Town will be looked after by referee Graham Scott (Oxfordshire). Mr Scott is a new appointment to the National Referees list from last summer, although he has been involved in numerous Yeovil Town matches prior to that as an assistant referee or fourth official.

He has yet to do a Yeovil Town match as the man in the middle, and has so far been restricted to League One and League Two matches. According to soccerbase.com, he has dished out a slightly heavy 7 red cards along with 48 yellow cards in 18 matches this season, with the last being the League Two match between Wycombe Wanderers and Grimsby Town on January 17th where just three yellows were produced.

Mr Scott will be assisted by Kevin Johnson (Somerset) and Paul Melin (Surrey). The Fourth Official will be Andrew Bennett (Devon).

As a point of trivia, Mr Melin has actually done more Football League games than Mr Scott has. Melin has been a long-standing referee in Yeovil Town matches, and it's fair to say that we don't really like him. Hopefully the fact that he has been demoted this season, now refereeing Conference National games, whilst Mr Scott has taken over as one of the new brigade appointed this year is a sign that referees assessors do sit up and take notice of what happens on the field of play.


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26 January 2009 : Aaron And Josh Make Team Of The Week
Congratulations are due to two of our players this week. Step forward goalkeeper Josh Wagenaar and defender Aaron Brown who have been selected for the Football League's Team Of The Week for League One.

Aaron not only scored the winning 6th minute goal, but also man-marked Southend United aerial danger man Adam Barrett to great effect during the game. Meanwhile Josh put on a goalkeeping masterclass in the second period, producing a series of great saves to keep the scoreline blank from a Shrimpers point of view. All of this was achieved very much against the odds with the Glovers down to ten men and with two senior players off injured, so it is certainly good to see a couple of Glovers players recognised for their feats. Well done boys!

The full team is as follows:

Josh Wagenaar (Yeovil Town)
Paul Rodgers (Northampton) Aaron Brown (Yeovil Town) Michael Morrison (Leicester) Bruno Berner (Leicester)
Garry Thompson (Scunthorpe) Ian Westlake (Cheltenham) Steven Jennings (Tranmere) Chris Taylor (Oldham)
Jermaine Beckford (Leeds) Billy Clarke (Northampton)


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26 January 2009 : Land Of Slope And Glory
This coming Thursday marks the 60th anniversary of one of the greatest chapters in the history of Somerset's premier football club, Yeovil Town FC.

To mark the occasion of the club's epic FA Cup run of 1948/49, supporter Seb White has produced a commemorative magazine, entitled "Slope and Glory", with contributions from a number of Yeovil Town supporters. Slope and Glory is truly by the fans, for the fans.

The 4th Round victory over Sunderland is frequently voted in polls as the greatest F.A. Cup shock of all time. Slope and Glory features over 30 new, never seen, photographs and descriptions of events surrounding the entire cup run. These include photos from the scrapbooks of Yeovil's mascot Rex Rainey, the late Yeovil left-back Ralph Davis and supporter Dennis Lane.

Endorsed with a foreword by former Glovers manager Gary Johnson, the magazine sets the context by describing life in Britain and Yeovil in the 1940s. There follows an in depth description of the entire cup run, including reviews of the matchday programmes and a feature on what happened to the players after they left Yeovil.

A must for any Yeovil Town fan, or football historian, Slope and Glory is priced at £3.

How to get Slope and Glory:

1. An email payment via paypal. If you email sebytfc@yahoo.co.uk, Seb will then send you an invoice which has a link to purchase securely on Paypal. There will be a postage charge of £1 for the UK, £2 Europe and £3 Rest of the World.

2. 'Slope and Glory' is listed on Ebay. Type in 'Slope and Glory' in the search box ad the listing will come up. Note Seb has had to charge an extra £1 for postage for this method to cover the fees on Ebay.

3. The magazine will also be on sale at the following games:

27/01 Huddersfield (H)
29/01 Yeovil Town Legends v. Sunderland Legends at Huish Park
31/01 Leyton Orient (A)

4. Slope and Glory will also be on sale in Mad Hatters, 42 Princes Street, Yeovil.

5. The Green and White Supporters Club and Programme Shop (tbc).

More stockists to follow in the next few days. If you know of anyone in the Yeovil area who could stock the magazine please get in touch.

Editor Seb White can be contacted at:
E-mail: sebytfc@yahoo.co.uk
Phone: 07590079506
Slope And Glory - The Front Cover - Out Tomorrow! Slope And Glory - some selected pages - Out Tomorrow!
Slope And Glory - Out Tomorrow!



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26 January 2009 : Peltier Out For A Month
This morning's BBC Somerset sports bulletin is stating that midfielder/right-back Lee Peltier "could be out of action for a month" following the injury he sustained at Southend United on Saturday. They don't provide further details as to the exact nature of the injury - when we find out we'll provide further information.

Lee injured his ankle after suffering a late tackle from former Glovers loan winger Kevin Betsy - a tackle that resulted in a yellow card only from referee Paul Taylor. The month lay-off suggests that the x-ray proved negative, but now means that the Glovers will be without four central midfielders for tomorrow's match.

There is no word at present on the status of winger/striker Paul Warne who hobbled off half an hour into the match with an ankle injury.

Update 8.30a.m.: This has now been confirmed by the Western Daily Press. The paper quotes manager Russell Slade as saying that winger/striker Paul Warne is also out of tomorrow night's clash:

"Pelts looks like he will be out for two to four weeks with ligament damage to his ankle. Warnie is still very sore and clearly they are both going to miss Tuesday night's game with Huddersfield."


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26 January 2009 : Leicester Man Of The Match Result
Yeovil Town's last home game took place last Monday in front of the Sky Sports cameras. The match against Leicester City ended up in a 0-2 home defeat, with the Foxes looking good value for their top of the table position.

The Man of the Match voting though was dominated by three attacking players, showing that the Glovers played their part at the other end of the field as well, even though they couldn't turn their good approach play into strong chances. Danny Schofield finished runner-up, but it was left-winger Andy Welsh who came out on top by a small margin. The full results, with outright MOTM votes shown in brackets:

1 Andy Welsh 212 (17)
2 Danny Schofield 174 (13)
3 Luke Rodgers 144 (6)
4 Josh Wagenaar 128 (6)
5 Terrell Forbes 92 (4)
6 Craig Alcock 70 (2)
7 Nathan Smith 64 (4)
8 Paul Warne 50 (2)
9 Aidan Downes 36 (2)
10 Keiran Murtagh 18 (0)
11 Aaron Brown 8 (0)
12 Gavin Tomlin 2 (0)

OVERALL MATCH RATING: 6.82

Performance: 6.57
Entertainment: 7.07

VOTES RECEIVED: 56


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25 January 2009 : Reserves March On
Yeovil Town Ladies Reserves extended their unbeaten league run this season to 14-1-0 with a 10-0 romp against Somerton and Langport this afternoon. There were hat-tricks for Claire Dawe and Abbey Palmer, with Charlie Lewis, Michelle Yeowell, Amy Landers and Becky Wakely getting one each. It was the fifth match in a row in which the Ladies have kept a clean sheet.

The Reserves next scheduled fixture is away to Winsham on the 1st February. The following Sunday (8th February) sees the start of their Somerset County Women's League Cup campaign, with Bradford Town the opposition: see here.


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25 January 2009 : Russell's Verdict On The Southend Game
Following yesterday's 1-0 win at Roots Hall, over Southend United, Yeovil Town manager Russell Slade talked to BBC Radio Bristol about the game. Speaking to reporter Alistair Durden, the full transcript is now available via the link below.

Link: Russell's Verdict On The Southend Game.


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25 January 2009 : Scunthorpe Man Of the Match Result
Around 12 days ago, Yeovil Town played Scunthorpe United at Huish Park, in a match that saw the Glovers lose out by a 1-2 scoreline. The Man of the Match voting saw two players dominate the poll - midfield pair Gary Roberts and Danny Schofield.

In the end Gary got the nod by a very small margin, having picked up a handful of additional second and third placed votes along the way. The full results, with outright MOTM votes shown in brackets are as follows:

1 Gary Roberts 108 (7)
2 Danny Schofield 100 (7)
3 Andy Welsh 58 (3)
4 Craig Alcock 50 (2)
5 Nathan Smith 24 (1)
6 Paul Warne 20 (0)
7 Nathan Jones 10 (1)
8 Terrell Forbes 8 (0)
8 Andre McCollin 8 (0)
10 Terry Skiverton 2 (0)


OVERALL MATCH RATING: 6.17

Performance: 6.26
Entertainment: 6.09

VOTES RECEIVED: 23


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25 January 2009 : Reserves Cup Draw
Yeovil Town Ladies Reserves, unbeaten to date this season, have received a home drawn against Bradford Town in the Somerset County Women's League Cup. The Glovers had a bye through the First Round, while Bradford beat Somerton & Langport 8-2.

The tie is scheduled for Sunday 8th February with a 2.00 p.m. kick-off. Both Yeovil Ladies First Team and the Reserves play their home fixtures at Somerton Sports Ground.


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25 January 2009 : Ladies Match Is OFF
Yeovil Town Ladies have had their league match today called off due to a waterlogged pitch. The home match at Somerton, against Plymouth Argyle Ladies has become yet another match this winter to fall victim to the weather and will now need to be rearranged.

Although in fact Yeovil's position in terms of matches played is not problematic, across the division the situation is approaching crisis proportions with around forty postponed fixtures needing to be caught up. Today's opponents, before this match was also postponed, have managed to complete a mere four league fixtures to date this season. The SWCL has issued a request for members to play mid-week, but this is rarely practical in women's football especially in a very geographically dispersed division like the South West Conference, and it seems very likely that the season will have to be extended, a step already taken by the Women's Southern Premier League.

The next scheduled match for the Ladies comes next weekend when they are due to take on Forest Green Rovers in the Ambassador League Cup Quarter-Finals. Kick-off will be 2.00 p.m. at Somerton.


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25 January 2009 : Man Of The Match Voting For The Southend Match
For those who travelled to Roots Hall yesterday and enjoyed the 1-0 win over Southend United, a reminder that the Man of the Match Voting form is available for you to cast your votes.

Choose your top three players on the day, plus performance and entertainment marks, along with any additional comments you want to make about the match. Remember to cast your votes before 7.45p.m. on Tuesday, as voting will auto-close at that point due to the midweeker against Huddersfield Town.

Link: Southend United vs Yeovil Town : Man Of The Match Voting Form.


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24 January 2009 : Peltier Heading For X-Ray
Yeovil Town manager Russell Slade has indicated his concerns regarding first half injuries to Paul Warne and Lee Peltier in the 1-0 win over Southend United. Both players failed to complete the game, making them significant doubts for Tuesday night's match against Huddersfield Town.

The other problem for the Glovers was the red card for Aidan Downes, dished out for a crunching midfield tackle early in the second period. Although Russell suggested to BBC Somerset that he had few issues about the decision itself, he felt aggrieved that the tackle on Peltier in the first period did not meet with a consistent punishment, particularly as Pelts will now need an x-ray to assess the damage caused:

"I don't see it as that much different from the one in the first period, where Kevin Betsy has led with a straight leg. My player now needs to go for an x-ray. It's OK, you take it on the chin and you accept it, but we were disappointed with that in the first period as well."

Downes will now miss the next three matches, and there were also concerns for Warne, who survived just half an hour of the match at Roots Hall. That leaves Slade with a big headache unless additions can be made to his squad before Tuesday night's match:

"Paul has damaged his knee. We don't know how bad that is, but we'll have to wait and see. Warney will throw some tablets down his throat or do whatever he can if it will take some swelling off his knee. But we could do with a little bit of help, and we could do with one or two things dropping for us in the transfer window, and try and freshen us up and bring in a few new faces that could help us in our battle."


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24 January 2009 : Brown The Hero At Roots Hall
Yeovil Town gained a priceless three points at Roots Hall this afternoon, as a single goal from Aaron Brown just six minutes into the match proved to be the divide between both sides in a feisty encounter. Whilst the result leaves the Glovers four points clear of the drop zone, injuries to Paul Warne and Lee Peltier in the first half, and a red card for Aidan Downes early in the second period for a midfield tackle will give manager Russell Slade something to think about on the way home.

The Glovers went into the game making just two changes in their sixteen. Lee Peltier, who was back from suspension, was a straight swap for the injured Gary Roberts, whilst new loan signing Lee Cox displaced Jordan Street on the bench. They came up against a Southend side featuring four former Yeovil Town players in the starting line-up.

They got off to a flyer, with it taking just six minutes for the deadlock to be broken. Andy Welsh's cross into the box was only flicked at by former Glovers keeper Steve Mildenhall, and Aaron Brown showed a surprising amount of goal-awareness for a central defender, by hooking the ball over his shoulder with his back to goal, to set up a 1-0 early lead.

This wasn't a game for finnesse or silky skills. This was a game for the midfield battler, where both sides went in for full-blooded tackles in an effort to gain their side an advantage. Territorially at least, the Shrimpers held the upper hand, even if most of their chances went wide of the target, or ran out of juice once they reached the brick wall of the Arron Brown and Terrell Forbes partnership in the heart of Yeovil's defence. Southend's main aerial threat came from Adam Barrett - their equivalent of Skivo in both boxes - but Brown was marking him superbly throughout.

The Glovers suffered two injury blows during the first period - a knee injury to Paul Warne, and an awful tackle on Lee Peltier by Kevin Betsy right on the stroke of half time, with the former Glovers loan player perhaps lucky that the card for the late tackle was not a different colour. Either way, Shrimpers manager Steve Tilson took his own action - Betsy did not reappear for the second period, whilst Peltier was also missing and will require an x-ray to determine just how bad the injury is. The problems meant that Yeovil had already been forced to introduce former Fisher duo Keiran Murtagh and Gavin Tomlin before the second half commenced.

Matters got worse eight minutes into the half when some more frenetic midfield tackling ended with Aidan Downes going in for a crunching tackle on Southend's Johnny Herd. Referee Paul Taylor charged in about one nano-second later, like an Olympic torch-bearer, brandishing a red card before anyone - including himself - could have considered whether the tackle was worthy of such punishment. Certainly you have to wonder how Betsy's first half chopping down on Peltier that took the Yeovil midfielder out of the game could be any less of a foul. Unfortunately referee Taylor had a stinker throughout, ultimately leading to both sets of fans heckling him for a series of odd-ball decisions.

Inevitably the man advantage allowed Southend the ability to surge forward, and the Glovers had keeper Josh Wagenaar to thank for two or three superb saves during this period, to ensure his clean sheet remained intact. Blocks and parries from chances involving Theo Robinson, Franck Moussa and Damian Scannell were the pick, with one being a brilliantly brave block at the Southend player's feet as he prepared to pull the trigger.

In the end, the Glovers could have made it safe, as Luke Rodgers began to take advantage of the wide open spaces Southend were leaving at the back as they pressed forward. With several late balls being banged down the channels for him to chase, Keiran Murtagh and Gavin Tomlin almost took advantage of balls into the box, but a two goal win in such circumstances would have been just plain greedy.

This was a monumental backs-against-the-wall performance at times. Never polished, never fluent and often devoid of chances; Yeovil have played far better this season and lost matches. However, when you are already missing Marc Bircham, Darren Way, Terry Skiverton and Gary Roberts and suffer the loss of Paul Warne, Lee Peltier and Aidan Downes, leaving the side playing with almost the last 10 available players in their squad, it takes guts and togetherness to not throw in the towel. Once again, the attitude was superb; the three points priceless. At the end, Russell Slade celebrated by throwing his jacket into the crowd of the delirious away end - let's hope the club don't bill him for it! The only worry is how many bodies will be left for Tuesday night's match against Huddersfield Town. Just how paper-thin can a paper-thin squad get before some action has to be taken?

Final Score: Southend United 0 Yeovil Town 1

Scorer: Aaron Brown (6 mins, 0-1)

Southend United:
1. Steve Mildenhall 15. Osei Sankofa 2. Simon Francis 6. Adam Barrett 18. Johnny Herd 21. Kevin Betsy 7. Anthony Grant 20. Jean Francois Christophe 14. Franck Moussa 9. Lee Barnard 10. James Walker

Substitutes:
24. Ian Joyce (GK) 12. Damian Scannell (83 mins for Osei Sankofa) 17. Theo Robinson (46 mins for Kevin Betsy) 19. Charles Ademeno 30. Stuart O'Keefe (82 mins for Jean-Francois Christophe)

Yeovil Town: (4-4-2)
13. Josh Wagenaar
12. Craig Alcock 23. Aaron Brown 6. Terrell Forbes 28. Nathan Smith
17. Aidan Downes 27. Lee Peltier 11. Danny Schofield 9. Andrew Welsh
14. Paul Warne 15. Luke Rodgers

Substitutes:
3. Nathan Jones (67 mins for Andy Welsh) 10. Gavin Tomlin (30 mins for Paul Warne) 18. Keiran Murtagh (46 mins for Lee Peltier) 19. Andre McCollin 25. Lee Cox

Southend Bookings: Kevin Betsy (44 mins, foul), James Walker (90 mins, foul)
Yeovil Bookings: Luke Rodgers (34 mins, foul), Craig Alcock (65 mins, foul). Red Card: Aidan Downes (53 mins, serious foul play)

Referee: Paul Taylor (Hertfordshire). Assistants: Lee Betts (Norfolk) and Chris Francis (Cambridgeshire). Fourth Official: Warren Atkin (West Sussex).

Attendance: 6,409 (including approx 200 Yeovil supporters).


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24 January 2009 : Glovers Linked With Beavon
Yeovil Town are being linked with a move for Weymouth striker Stuart Beavon. The Dorset Echo report that Beavon was invited up to Huish Park on Monday night as a guest for Yeovil's home match on Sky Sports.

Beavon is a 24 year old striker that the Terras recruited in from Didcot Town and has scored 13 times this season, including two goals in their 3-0 win over Northwich Victoria today. However, he is out of contract at the end of this season and with the Dorset side currently struggling with significant debts, they are keen to both get him off their wage bill and to look at the potential of getting a fee for him before the end of the season.

As yet, the Glovers are not believed to have placed a bid for the player, but Terras boss Alan Lewer has openly admitted that the player has held talks with Yeovil about a possible move:

"Stuart is a wanted man at the moment and he is talking to everybody to ensure the next move he makes is the right one for him and his career. Yeovil are one of loads of clubs who have shown an interest and last week their manager Russell Slade asked us to take him up on Monday to watch their game against Leicester City which we did. Russell then spoke to Stuart afterwards and they remain in talks at the moment and that is as far as it has gone at this stage."

The fact that Weymouth are so openly touting Beavon for business suggests that they are looking to ensure that the sale goes through before the transfer window closes. The Dorset Echo claims that AFC Bournemouth, Torquay United, Oxford United, Rushden & Diamonds and Cambridge United are all expressing an interest in the player who signed for them exactly two years ago, but now seems likely to move on.


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23 January 2009 : Ciderspace Guide To Southend
Ah, a trip to the seaside in January. Sounds a bit grim doesn't it? Actually, our experience of Southend United, the town, Roots Hall, and its people has been a rather pleasant one - perhaps in part because we recall it fondly for a significant victory that put us right on the edge of promotion from League Two back in April 2005. But we've enjoyed other trips there as well, and find out why using our guide below.

Link: Ciderspace Guide To Southend.


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23 January 2009 : Officials For Southend United vs Yeovil Town
Tomorrow's match between Southend United and Yeovil Town will be looked after by referee Paul Taylor (Hertfordshire).

We last had Mr Taylor for the 1-1 draw with Brighton and Hove Albion last September. On the day he didn't have a particularly brilliant game, with miscommunication with his assistants added to by a rather picky second period that saw him eventually raise the yellow card eight times, including a red for Brighton's Joe Anyinsah, and he was probably guilty of not sorting out some of the altercations going on between Nathan Jones and some of his former colleagues a little earlier.

Prior to that, he took charge of the August 2007 2-1 away win at Northampton Town, where again we weren't overly happy with his performance - bottling an off the ball punch dished out by a Cobblers player with merely a yellow card, and giving some odd second half decisions.

On the whole though Mr Taylor has been one of the Football League's better referees, and prior to the Sixfields visit we had him away from home in February 2007 against AFC Bournemouth, where a 2-0 away win saw Mr Taylor fail to get a single mention in the match report.

His last visit to South Somerset was for the 0-0 draw against Bradford City in December 2006. Rather scarily we praised him in that match, and indeed found him to be one of the better officials around when he visited during the 2005-06 season for the 0-0 draw with Swindon Town, again praising him for a booking-free game. We're therefore hoping that Mr Taylor's last two performances are not evidence of a growing trend, and that we'll get the standard he showed in the Bradford and Swindon games.

As a point of interest, Mr Taylor has become the latest referee to take advantage of age discrimination laws. Under the old rules, he would have been pensioned off at the end of last season, but he has agreed to keep going for at least another season.

Mr Taylor will be assisted by Lee Betts (Norfolk) and Chris Francis (Cambridgeshire). The Fourth Official will be Warren Atkin (West Sussex).

Link: Ciderspace Match Report : September 2008 : Yeovil Town 1 Brighton and Hove Albion 1.

Link: Ciderspace Match Report : August 2007 : Northampton Town 1 Yeovil Town 2.

Link: Ciderspace Match Report : Feb 2007 : AFC Bournemouth 0 Yeovil Town 2.

Link: Ciderspace Match Report : Dec 2006 : Yeovil Town 0 Bradford City 0.


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23 January 2009 : Southend United vs Yeovil Town Match Preview
Yeovil Town make the familiar trip to Roots Hall tomorrow, where they will take on Southend United. The Shrimpers have been regular opponents of Yeovil since we entered the Football League and in fact have played the Glovers in every season bar one. As such, it's a popular trip, with a fair bit of mutual respect between both clubs.

Southend currently lie in 15th place in the League One table, four places and seven points better off than the Glovers. They've had a fairly ropey run of form lately, not helped by a series of injuries. Three strikers are expected to be missing on Saturday, with Alex Revell (broken leg), Francis Laurent (ankle fracture) and Dougie Freedman (thigh strain) all missing from tomorrow's squad. Defender Peter Clarke misses out through suspension, whilst midfielder Alan McCormack is doubtful with a groin injury. Winger Junior Stanislas has returned to West Ham United after his loan period expired. For full team news from the Shrimpers, see yesterday's news article.

The injury list at Roots Hall, means that out of favour striker James Walker will get the nod with Lee Barnard partnering him. In addition to Walker, three other former Glovers are expected to start, with goalkeeper Steve Mildenhall, midfielder Jean-Francois Christophe and winger Kevin Betsy all in their midweek line-up. Certainly despite their injury list, the Shrimpers still have a strong side to choose from.

Manager Russell Slade watched them in midweek against Leyton Orient - the following weekend's opponents, and he felt Southend's woes up front would make the striking partnership one of their easier decisions:

"I fully expect him (James Walker) to play against us. They've lost Alex Revell with a broken leg and Dougie Freedman came off with a thigh injury, so that probably gives them a bit of a headache unless they bring somebody in on loan in time for Saturday's game. But I fully expect James to play and probably have Lee Barnard playing along side him. I went to watch them in the week against Orient and they did well to come back from 1-0 down. They scored late on through James Walker. They are a decent side going forward and there is no doubt about that. They've got one or two injury problems themselves, but it's going to be a difficult task, as it is never easy to get a result at Roots Hall. We'll be doing our best though, as we need to get some points on the board quickly now."

For the Glovers, things are fairly straight-forward. Midfielder Lee Peltier returns whilst rookie midfielder Lee Cox teams up with the squad for the first time, but long term injury victims Marc Bircham and Darren Way are joined by a third midfielder Gary Roberts, who is expected to undercut the initial estimate for recovery from his ankle injury by a week or two but certainly won't be available for this weekend. Captain Terry Skiverton is in the middle of a three match suspension. Other than that, Russell told BBC Somerset that matters were not too bad:

"There are one or two niggly things. But other than Gary Roberts who is going to be out for another few weeks, we are OK. But he is making decent progress. Of the others, everyone else should be fit, and we've got Lee Peltier back in contention of course."

The two sides last met at Huish Park in October of last year, where a 1-2 home defeat saw the Glovers dominate possession yet fail to finish off their chances. Matters were made worse by the controversial sendings off involving Danny Schofield and Gary Roberts, with the former eventually being rescinded by the FA. Russell admitted it was a hard day to take:

"I thought we'd done enough and I though we were really unlucky that day. I thought it was a game where we had come off having lost 2-1, but in the circumstances we'd lost two players and so it was a game to forget from that point of view. It was one of those games where I thought how on earth have we not got anything out of it. But that was the case and that sometimes happens in football."

The match kicks off at 3.00p.m. at Roots Hall, with tickets for the match available on the day, subject to a matchday surcharge. Alternatively, there will be live coverage of the match on BBC Somerset on 95.5FM throughout the afternoon.

For those making the trip the Ciderspace guide to Southend can be found here or through the usual site links.


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23 January 2009 : Youth Game At Torquay Is OFF
Yeovil Town's Under 18s side have had their match tomorrow called off. As it happens, the game against Torquay United hadn't previously been publicised, so presumably few people will miss it dropping off the fixture list again!

No reason is given, but we'd guess that this has been caused by a waterlogged pitch. The match appears to be the away match at Torquay that was also postponed last year, and so this will now need a third date planned.


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23 January 2009 : Russell Explains Cox Arrival
Manager Russell Slade has given his thoughts on the new loan signing of Leicester City midfielder Lee Cox. The 18 year old signed up for a month on Wednesday, with the Foxes paying his full wages during that period.

Russell told BBC Somerset that the deal came out of a conversation that he had with Foxes boss Nigel Pearson after Monday night's home match, and that Leicester recognised that the Glovers were running on a small squad. Russell explained how the deal to sign Cox came about:

"He's a young fellow, and I spoke to Nigel Pearson who I know, and to Steve Welsh after the game. They are letting me have him really. He's a squaddie, and he (Nigel Pearson) knows we've not got too many bodies, and he has kindly let us have him. He's a tough-tackling little player, with good energy. He wants to get on the ball, wants to pass, wants to move. He's a good little type and it will be interesting to see how he develops over the month, but he is not there to go straight in the team - that's for sure."

Slade admitted though, that Cox is very likely to land on the bench for tomorrow's match at Roots Hall against Southend United - no great surprise given that the Glovers still only have 15 senior players available for tomorrow's match. Cox seems likely to displace Jordan Street from the bench.

Russell added that the search is continuing for more players before the transfer window shuts, although the fact that the Glovers appear to be looking for short term loans suggests that the end of month deadline need not be quite so significant:

"Obviously we are trying to see if we can bring in maybe one or two short term loans. A striker remains the priority, and possibly we want a defender, or a defensive midfielder who could fill both roles. But we'd have to wait and see as there are not too many out there."


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22 January 2009 : Cheltenham Reserves Date Brought Forward
Yeovil Town's Reserve Team fixture against Cheltenham Town Reserves has been brought forward to next Wednesday. The match, which will be played at Whaddon Road, will now take place on Wednesday 28th January at 2.00p.m.

The original date of February 17th has been shelved because the Glovers first team are playing at Bristol Rovers that night. Cheltenham also have a rearranged first team fixture scheduled for that date.


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22 January 2009 : Darren Finds The Way To Go Home
Further to Wednesday's news on midfielder Darren Way, he has now been given the clearance to leave Yeovil General Hospital.

Darren will return to his home tomorrow for the first time since mid-December, after in excess of eight operations across three West Country hospitals and one London clinic. He is still wheelchair-bound, meaning that a few adaptations have been made to the family home to help him get around, but there is little doubt that tomorrow will be a landmark moment in Darren's recovery from December's car accident.


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22 January 2009 : Membership Scheme Decision Still Pending
Yeovil Town Chief Executive Martyn Starnes has given his latest reaction to the club's plans to launch a Membership Scheme. This is a long running saga that dates back many years, having been raised at the club's Customer Charter Meeting (the pre-runner to the Achieve By Unity Fans Partnership) back in 2005, although calls for one go back even further than that.

During Autumn 2008, the club put out a consultation request, asking supporters to write in and tell the club if they would support a Membership Scheme. This was due for a response from the club at the December ABUFP meeting, which due to a postponement has now been rearranged for tonight at Huish Park.

Starnes has told the Western Gazette that feedback from the consultation was positive and that Glovers fans are in favour of such a scheme, but he has also told the paper that it might not go ahead because not enough people wrote into the club:

"The consultation response has been very positive in terms of those in favour but the volume of responses has been quite small so it does not exactly convince us to go ahead. What we have got to determine now is whether we do go ahead on a contingency basis, ie if we make a membership scheme available people can indicate specifically by signing up to it. If we get enough people signing up to it we will go ahead with it – if we do not we probably will not."

Starnes has told the paper that the start-up costs of such a scheme may make it impractical to run on limited numbers. The club have adopted a fairly grandoise looking scheme involving local retailers, and it would appear that is a factor in the costs of such a scheme:

"The proposal was for a membership/loyalty scheme so we would be looking to do it with a loyalty card which would enable people to generate points from their purchases not just at the stadium but outside in the community. We would set up arrangements with retailers and service providers which would earn people loyalty points which they could then redeem at the football club. That is something that we are thinking about and we would very much like to do it. But there is no point in doing it unless there is a ground-swell of support because it is expensive to set up."

Unfortunately, the club's consultation request did not attempt to seek out numbers who would be in favour of the scheme, and so if that was what they were after, that needed to have been made clear. The consultation requested views and suggestions to be submitted on the content of the scheme, many of which were provided collectively through Green Room members and through the Capital Glovers organisation. It would appear that what the club received clearly backed the scheme, but it sounds as though ABUFP Committee Members will still face a battle in persuading the club to take the plunge.


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22 January 2009 : Team News From Roots Hall
Saturday's opponents Southend United are finding their team plans disrupted by a series of significant injuries. Their latest blow came in the 1-1 draw against Leyton Orient at Brisbane Road on Tuesday night, when striker Alex Revell was stretchered off. The 25 year old's injury has been diagnosed as a broken leg that will keep him out of football for six months.

To add to their woes, they suffered two more injuries in the same match with striker Dougie Freedman lasting just 21 minutes, whilst a second half knock for Anthony Grant also saw him replaced. Freedman suffered a thigh injury and is not expected to be fit for Saturday, although Grant, who was winded following a blow to the throat, should make it into their sixteen against the Glovers.

Ironically, the enforced changes at Brisbane Road allowed Glovers target James Walker the chance to get his first taste of football since Boxing Day, and there was further fortune when the six minutes of added time for Southend's injuries gave Walker time to score a stunning equalising goal. With Francis Laurent also absent for the Shrimpers with a fractured ankle, Walker is now likely to remain at Roots Hall and will probably start against his former loan club.

Southend have seen winger Junior Stanislas return to West Ham united this week following the completion of his loan spell. Centre-back Peter Clarke will also miss the game as he is in the middle of a three match suspension for a red card. Midfielder Alan McCormack missed the Leyton Orient match with a groin injury.

The combination of injuries has meant that another former Glovers loan player Kevin Betsy was able to take advantage by coming in on the wing. Other very familiar faces that should start on Saturday include goalkeeper Steve Mildenhall and former Portsmouth midfielder Jean-Francois Christophe, who has signed permanently for the Essex side.

Despite Southend's significant list of absentees, the fact that they have been able to leave a striker of Walker's calibre twiddling his thumbs for the best part of a month shows that they have significant strength in depth. However, boss Steve Tilson believes that the constantly changing side he has had to deal with has not helped his cause. Speaking to BBC Essex he explained:

"We've had injuries to key players, not just for two or four weeks out but they've been out for 10 weeks. We've had no continuity and that's a major problem. We've had loan players coming in and then going. We've had Jean-Francois Christophe coming in and then not playing for six weeks. The youngsters are going to give you everything, but they're a little bit naïve and they're going to be inconsistent and I'm not sure that's what we need at the moment."

Saturday's game at Roots Hall kicks off at 3.00p.m. with tickets available on the day of the match, subject to a matchday surcharge, or if you move quickly they should still be available from the Huish Park Ticket Office (thought bear in mind that they have more recently started to return tickets back to the home club early).


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21 January 2009 : Striker Signing Hoped For Saturday
The Western Daily Press is reporting that manager Russell Slade is hoping to tie up a loan deal with a Championship striker in the next 48 hours.

There are no names, and no hints as to the player's identity, although it would seem likely that he will be either a tall target-man, or at least a player with a bustling presence in the penalty box, with the aim of recruiting a ball-winner to pair up with the instinctive poaching skills of Luke Rodgers. The hope is that the player will be in place in time for Saturday's trip to Southend United.

The WDP also report that new loan signing Lee Cox will not cost the club a penny. Slade went to the same college as Foxes boss Nigel Pearson and so it would appear that the Yeovil boss has called in a favour in return for giving Cox his first taste of first team football. Certainly a big thumbs up is due to Leicester City - a club that seemed to win a few friends in Somerset on Monday night when they visited Huish Park.

Whilst on the subject of good sportsmanship and links with other clubs, Glovers midfielder Darren Way has had the latest of his operations up in London. The WDP don't state it, but our understanding is that the reason why the operation took place in London was to allow Chelsea's club doctor the chance to oversee the work, and that England captain John Terry was influential in getting the Stamford Bridge medical team involved.

There is hope that Darren will be able to go home soon, to continue his recovery there. Club employee Bruce James, who was also involved in the same car accident returned home last week, having been discharged from Yeovil General Hospital, and it is obviously pleasing to see both making such good recoveries.

The paper also reports that Glovers Chief Executive Martyn Starnes believes he is close to agreeing a severance deal with midfielder Marc Bircham. Marc was believed to have travelled down for a meeting on Monday night scheduled to take in the live match as well. Let's hope something can be sorted out as quickly as possible.


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21 January 2009 : Reserves Lose Out To Cherries
Yeovil Town Reserves lost out to a late Bournemouth goal this afternoon, as an end to end match at Huish Park saw a strong Glovers line-up come out with nothing to show from the match. A plus point was that Gavin Tomlin netted twice, bringing Yeovil from a goal down on both occasions.

The Glovers as usual fielded a series of trialists, plus new loan signing Lee Cox, who lined up in the centre of midfield, perhaps giving an idea of where Yeovil are most likely to use him.

The visitors took the lead midway through the first half, when Marlon Jackson converted a close range attempt from a left wing cross. However, trialist Willy Fondja, who last season was playing for FC Rot-Weiß Erfurt in the third tier of German football, fed Gavin Tomlin after half an hour to provide the equalising goal, with Tomlin chipping the advancing keeper.

The second half appeared to be heading for a 1-1 draw, until a series of substitutions unsettled the deadlock, and Cherries substitute Dan Annetts took advantage of a long ball, beating a Glovers trialist keeper by chipping the ball over his head and into the net.

Yeovil equalised almost immediately, with again Willy Fondja the provider and Gavin Tomlin the scorer from close range. But a Josh McQuoid free kick from just outside the box sealed the game for Bournemouth with just a minute to go, meaning that this time there was no chance of Tomlin and Co to create a third equalising goal.

Final Score: Yeovil Town Reserves 2 AFC Bournemouth Reserves 3.

Scorers: Marlon Jackson (21 mins, 0-1), Gavin Tomlin (30 mins, 1-1), Dan Annetts (75 mins, 1-2), Gavin Tomlin (76 mins, 2-2), Josh McQuoid (89 mins, 2-3)

Yeovil Town Reserves: 1. Dan Mobsby 2. Jordan Street 3. Nathan Jones 4. Rob Fitzgerald (c) 5. Thomas Magnuson 6. Lee Peltier 7. Lee Cox 8. Ryan Vickery 9. Andre McCollin 10. Gavin Tomlin 11. Willy Fondja

Subs: 12. Rico Wilson (60 mins for Lee Peltier) 14. Adam Wakely 15. Harry Nodwell 16. Josh Robinson


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21 January 2009 : Cox Signs On Loan From Foxes
Yeovil Town have signed 18 year old defender/midfielder Lee Cox from Leicester City on a month's loan today.

The academy player, who has been on the Foxes books for five years, turned professional last summer, and has yet to make a first team appearance. He has signed a one year contract at the Walkers Stadium that is due to run out this summer.

Cox tends to be used by Leicester as a right-back, although can also play as a defensive midfielder. With Gary Roberts expected to be missing over the next month, it would appear that the motive is to provide the Glovers with some cover, whilst from Leicester's point of view they will hope he gains some first team experience along the way.

Cox has already made his debut in midfield this afternoon, lining up against AFC Bournemouth Reserves at Huish Park.

Yeovil Town Reserves: 1. Dan Mobsby 2. Jordan Street 3. Nathan Jones 4. Rob Fitzgerald (c) 5. Thomas Magnuson 6. Lee Peltier 7. Lee Cox 8. Ryan Vickery 9. Andre McCollin 10. Gavin Tomlin 11. Willy Fondja

Subs: 12. Rico Wilson 14. Adam Wakely 15. Harry Nodwell 16. Josh Robinson


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21 January 2009 : Centre Of Excellence vs Plymouth (Part Two)
Further to our brief mention of Yeovil Town's Under 16s side, in the other Centre of Excellence matches, the Under 14s side played Plymouth Argyle at the Saltmill artificial pitch at Saltash and lost 3-2. This was an encouraging result as the Yeovil team included three players from the Under 13 team drafted in for the experience of 'playing up a year'. Jack Morton, Luke Jackson and Henry Hawke were the trio to get the nod.

Perhaps in part because they'd lost three of their team-mates to the higher age group, the Under 13s played on the Sherborne pitch and lost 7-2.

Centre of Excellence Results:

Yeovil Town Under 16s: Won 4-1
Yeovil Town Under 15s: Result TBA
Yeovil Town under 14s: Lost 2-3
Yeovil Town Under 13s: Lost 2-7
Yeovil Town Under 12s: Result TBA
Yeovil Town Under 11s: lost 1-2
Yeovil Town Under 10s: Won 9-1
Yeovil Town Under 9s: Lost 2-4

If you can fill in any gaps or provide any additional information on the games played, drop an email to ytfcbadger@ntlworld.com and we'll add in the additional details.


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21 January 2009 : Ticketing For Peterborough United
Ticket prices for Yeovil Town's trip to Peterborough United have been set. The match takes place at London Road on Saturday 14th February, with a 3.00p.m. kick-off.

There are no advance sales from the Huish Park Ticket Office. There are two choices available to you. The cheaper option is a rare chance to stand on an away terrace at League One level, with the Moyes End Terrace given to away supporters. Alternatively, Block A of the Main North Stand provides seated facilities. Prices are as follows:

Moyes End Terrace (Standing):
Adults: £15.00; Concessions: £12.00; Under 16s: £9.00.

Main North Stand (Seated):
Adults: £20.00; Concessions: £12.00; Under 16s: £9.00.

Concessions are available for Over 60s, Students and Disabled supporters. Wheelchair users must book in advance by phoning 01733-563947. Assistants are free of charge for disabled supporters.

Link: Southend United Away Ticketing Information.

Link: Leyton Orient Away Ticketing Information.

Link: Crewe Alexandra Away Ticketing Information.


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21 January 2009 : Ticketing For Crewe Alexandra
Ticket prices for Yeovil Town's trip to Crewe Alexandra have been set. The match takes place at Gresty Road on Tuesday 3rd February, with a 7.45p.m. kick-off.

There are no advance sales from the Huish Park Ticket Office. Simply turn up on the day and pay the following prices:

Adults: £18.60; Aged 60 and Over: £14.70; Aged 12-16: £8.30; Aged Under 11: £4.40; Wheelchair Users: £14.70 with an assistant free of charge.

Be aware that it is not pay at the turnstiles - you have to queue at a small ticket office which can be found near the Supporters Clubhouse.

For any further enquiries, such as disabled parking or any other special arrangements, Crewe can be contacted on 01270 213014.

Link: Southend United Away Ticketing Information.

Link: Leyton Orient Away Ticketing Information.


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21 January 2009 : Reserves vs Bournemouth Reminder
A reminder that a Football Combination Wales and West Division match takes place this afternoon between Yeovil Town Reserves and AFC Bournemouth Reserves. The game is at Huish Park and kick-off is 2.00 p.m.

Kick-off is 2.00p.m. and admission is £2.00 for Adults and £1.00 for Concessions, with Season Ticket Holders admitted free of charge. Just the Main Stand is open this afternoon.

If anyone is going and can supply updates, then please drop an email to ytfcbadger@ntlworld.com


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20 January 2009 : Russell's Verdict On The Leicester Game
Following yesterday's 0-2 home deft at the hands of league leaders Leicester City, manager Russell Slade gave his usual post-match views to the BBC. Speaking to reporter Rob Scanlon, Russell's thoughts are captured via the transcript below.

Link: Russell's Verdict On The Leicester Game.


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20 January 2009 : Centre of Excellence vs Plymouth
Yeovil Town's Under 16 side won 4-1 over the weekend against a Plymouth Argyle side. The match was one of a series of Centre of Excellence games being played against Argyle.

Unfortunately at present that is the only scoreline we've picked up on from last weekend. If anyone has any other scores, let us know and we'll append them to this news item - email ytfcbadger@ntlworld.com with any details you can get your hands on.


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20 January 2009 : Ladies Close To Within A Point
Yeovil Town Ladies have cut the lead of Queens Park Rangers in the South West Combination to a single point, though the London club do have a game in hand. The Glovers picked their campaign up after the Christmas break and several postponements because of the weather with a 5-0 demolition of Swindon Town yesterday away at Elm Recreation Ground. Anusia Rourke scored a hat-trick.

Meanwhile, for the Reserves who had a blank weekend, their lead in the Somerset County Women's League has been cut to four points as chasing Nailsea United picked up three points from a 4-1 victory over Shepton Mallet.


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20 January 2009 : Ladies Get Home Quarter-Final Draw
The Quarter Final Draw for the "Ambassador" League Cup has been made, and Yeovil Town Ladies have been drawn at home to Forest Green Rovers.

The match will take place at the Somerton Sports Club on Sunday 1st February 2009. Kick-off is 2.00p.m.


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20 January 2009 : Walsall Appoint New Management Team
League One side Walsall have appointed a new management team to replace Jimmy Mullins, who was fired earlier this month. In his place steps Chris Hutchings, a 51 year old who has spent most of his career in backroom roles. He has made his name as Paul Jewell's assistant manager at Bradford City, Wigan Athletic and Derby County, having also had some Youth coaching experience at Rotherham United.

Hutchings only has limited experience as a front line manager, with a 21 game spell at Bradford back in 2000 being followed by an even briefer 13 game tenure at Wigan after Jewell quit the club, with Hutchings also leaving after Wigan secured just two wins under his stewardship. He was also catetaker manager at Derby over the new year, taking charge of a single game after Jewell was given his cards. Hutchings is a former Walsall player, having been part of their 1990-91 squad, having also played for Chelsea, Brighton and Hove Albion and Rotherham United.

Hutchings will be assisted by Martin O'Connor, another former Walsall player, who enjoyed two spells with them in 1994-96 and then in 2002-03. He has been a coach at Birmingham City's Academy, as well as previously being manager of Halesowen Town.

Both have signed deals to keep them at the Bescot Stadium until the summer of 2010.


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20 January 2009 : No Deal For Walker
Further to yesterday's news, Yeovil Town manager Russell Slade has confirmed that he does hold an interest in Southend United striker James Walker. However, it would appear unlikely at present that he will be arriving at Huish Park in the near future.

This morning's Western Daily Press states that Slade tried to bring in Walker on loan in advance of yesterday's match against Leicester City. However, the two clubs were unable to agree a deal.

There's no word on whether this is now a dead duck, although with the Glovers travelling to Southend this weekend, nothing was likely to happen this week anyway. With Gary Roberts now out for 4-6 weeks with ankle ligament damage, Slade's list of priorities may need to be rewritten after last night's game.


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20 January 2009 : Paupers 0 Princes 2
Yeovil Town lost out 0-2 at home in front of the Sky Sports cameras as league leaders Leicester City proved the stronger team on the night. Two second half goals did the damage, with a Steve Howard strike being deflected in by Nathan Smith, whilst the game was wrapped up two minutes from time by substitute Joe Mattock. The Glovers put in a fine battling performance, but the lack of a strong target man to stick the ball to in the Foxes penalty box, and an early injury to midfielder Gary Roberts didn't help matters, and the end result was no surprise.

The Glovers went into the match making one enforced change and one tactical switch. Aaron Brown replaced the suspended Terry Skiverton, meaning that Terrell Forbes got the captain's armband. Up front, there was little surprise as Luke Rodgers made his permanent debut for the club, with Gavin Tomlin shuffling out to the bench. Jordan Street was preferred on the bench to Lloyd Irish, suggesting that Josh Wagenaar's shoulder injury had sorted itself.

Although Yeovil came out of the traps quickly, it was Leicester who immediately imposed their class on the game. The Foxes are on a hot streak of form, unbeaten in the league since October, and chances fell to Matty Fryatt, who forced a parried save by Wagenaar, and to Matt Oakley, who sliced the loose ball wide with the goal gaping.

The Glovers suffered a serious blow just 11 minutes into the match when Gary Roberts had to leave the field after falling awkwardly, having trodden on a loose ball. He suffered ankle ligament damage and is expected to be out for 4-6 weeks - just what the Glovers can't afford with two other central midfielders out for the season.

Leicester midfielder Mark Davies was capitalising on Yeovil's lack of a midfield blocker, proving to be a real thorn in Yeovil's side, and he too forced Wagenaar into a fingertip save. Steve Howard clipped the top of the crossbar from close range and Yeovil seemed to be hanging on a touch.

When they broke forward though, the Glovers much more impressive, even if predictably the final ball was still a concern for them. Andy Welsh and Danny Schofield were combining well, with the latter being put through on goal, only to find that he struck the side netting on keeper David Martin's near post. Nathan Smith acrobatically hooked the ball just over the bar, and along with Aidan Downes shot over the bar a second time. The further the half went on, the more comfortable Yeovil looked, even if despite Luke Rodgers looking dangerous, it was difficult to work out how they would turn that play into goals.

The second period showed more of the same, with Leicester on the backfoot slightly, albeit without being put under too much pressure. It was therefore all the more frustrating when the visitors took the lead. The Foxes grabbed a corner when certainly the television replays looked as though one of their own players had headed the ball out for a goal kick. From that set piece, Yeovil couldn't get the ball cleared, and when Steve Howard shot through a crowd of players, Nathan Smith turned the ball into his own net. All of the press agencies have generously given Howard the nod, although there's no doubt that Smith's touch was crucial.

The Glovers responded well to the setback and certainly gave Leicester a run for their money. The work ethic is superb, and there's little doubt that the players are putting in maximum effort in these games. It's rare in any match to see heads go down and that will be priceless in any battle against the drop. However, the final ball into the box did what it has often done this season and with a side of Leicester's obvious class, they mopped up with ease. It is painfully obvious why Russell Slade is looking for a target man, or at the very least a striker with some physical presence inside the box. Rodgers looked a threat, but he is a poacher and not a ball winner, and without that, teams of Leicester's standard are always going to keep goals out of reach.

As it happens, the Foxes cruelly finished matters off two minutes from time. This time there were no complaints, and no deflections, as substitute Joe Mattock cut inside his marker and finished into the far corner from the edge of the box. 2-0 and game over.

Whilst the result ensured two home defeats in a row, which never looks good on paper, the Glovers need to get those two games out of their heads as quickly as possible. The likes of Scunthorpe and Leicester are undoubtedly a class above. What matters more is how Yeovil perform in forthcoming matches against relegation rivals Leyton Orient and Crewe Alexandra, and 'beatable' teams in midtable such as Northampton, Huddersfield and Bristol Rovers. Those will be the sort of matches that determine their path during the final four months of the season.

Final Score: Yeovil Town 0 Leicester City 2.

Scorers: Steve Howard (57 mins, 0-1), Joe Mattock (88 mins, 1-1).

Yeovil Town: (4-4-2)
13. Josh Wagenaar
12. Craig Alcock 6. Terrell Forbes 23. Aaron Brown 28. Nathan Smith
17. Aidan Downes 11. Danny Schofield 16. Gary Roberts 9. Andy Welsh
14. Paul Warne 15. Luke Rodgers

Substitutes:
3. Nathan Jones (87 mins for Aidan Downes) 10. Gavin Tomlin 18. Keiran Murtagh (11 mins for Gary Roberts) 19. Andre McCollin (75 mins for Paul Warne) 22. Jordan Street

Leicester City:
26. David Martin
4. Kerrea Gilbert 25. Jack Hobbs 15. Michael Morrison 31. Bruno Berner
8. Matt Oakley 33. Mark Davies 24. Andy King 11. Lloyd Dyer
9. Steve Howard 12. Matt Fryatt

Substitutes:
35. Carl Pentney (GK) 7. Tom Cleverley (85 mins for Matt Fryatt) 21. Ashley Chambers 23. Joe Mattock (66 mins for Lloyd Dyer) 27. Paul Dickov

Yeovil Bookings: None.
Leicester Bookings: None.

Referee: Iain Williamson (Berkshire). Assistants: James Cox (Worcestershire) and Brendan Malone (Wiltshire). Fourth Official: Roger East (Wiltshire).

Attendance: 4,569.

Link: Yeovil Town vs Leicester City : Man of the Match Voting Form.


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20 January 2009 : Roberts Facing Month Lay-Off
Yeovil Town midfielder Gary Roberts is likely to face a month's lay-off after an injury sustained in last night's home match against Leicester City. Roberts only lasted 10 minutes in the 0-2 home defeat before he trod on the ball, falling awkwardly on the Huish Park turf.

Thankfully, despite early reports suggesting that he had broken his right fibula, this turned out not to be true and speaking to BBC Somerset, manager Russell Slade explained the damage:

"It's ankle ligaments. It's not broken, as he went for an x-ray straight away. With ankle ligaments, I suspect he could be out for four to six weeks I suspect. It doesn't help does it? We know that injuries and suspensions don't help us, but we just have to take it on the chin sometimes and get on with it."

The situation means that the Glovers now have three central midfielders out injured, with Darren Way and Marc Bircham not expected to play again this season. Thankfully Lee Peltier will return to the squad for Saturday's trip to Southend United, but it stretches that paper-thin squad that little bit further.


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19 January 2009 : Man Of The Match Voting For The Leicester City Match
A reminder for those who have forgotten, that for televised matches, we do things slightly differently for the Man of the Match voting. In addition to those who attend the match at Huish Park, we will also welcome votes from those in their armchairs (or down the pub!) for the Sky Sports match against Leicester City.

Simply choose your top three players when the game finishes, plus your entertainment and performance ratings and then add in any additional comments you want to make on the game. The latter gets posted to the Ciderspace Mailing List. Use the form below which is available automatically as soon as tonight's match ends.

Link: Yeovil Town vs Leicester City : Man of the Match Voting Form.


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19 January 2009 : December 2008 Player Of The Month
December 2008's matches saw two players dominate the Man of the Match voting. Both have their own story to tell for that month. For right-back Craig Alcock, this has become his first sustained run in the first team, sparked by a groin injury to Lee Peltier. After Pelts had his operation, the natural course of events would have been for Craig to make way, but instead manager Russell Slade has found a way of playing both in the side, using Pelts as a defensive blocker in midfield, protecting the back four. Craig hasn't let the side down during that period, and there's little doubt that the right-back slot is the most fiercely contested part of the Glovers First XI, with Lee also in fine form.

The other strong contender for the December player of the month is striker Luke Rodgers. At the time he was brought in on loan from Port Vale, and he made a strong impact during the time he was at Huish Park, scoring twice and with his energetic displays making him so popular that there was a definite surge of feeling amongst supporters for Luke to sign up permanently. That has now finally gone through, and so Luke will make his 'permanent' debut for the club in tonight's match against Leicester City.

The winner for the December 2008 poll in the end though, was Craig Alcock. Other worthy contenders aside from Luke Rodgers, were Danny Schofield and Lee Peltier in what was, bar a home defeat against Stockport County, a reasonably good month for the Glovers. The top 10 players in the poll are shown below, with the percentage of the vote cast also shown against each name.

1 Craig Alcock 22.6
2 Luke Rodgers 20.3
3 Danny Schofield 15.6
4 Lee Peltier 10.4
5 Gary Roberts 7.0
6 Nathan Smith 5.5
7 Andy Welsh 5.2
8 Terry Skiverton 5.1
9 Josh Wagenaar 2.4
10 Terrell Forbes 2.1


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19 January 2009 : Millwall Man Of The Match Result
The final match of 2008 saw Yeovil travel to South-East London where they took on Millwall in the New Den. After a tentative start, the match saw Yeovil Town eventually dominate their more illustrious rivals, and could feel hard done by that a linesman's flag denied them what looked to be a Luke Rodgers goal. Luke also scored one that wasn't chalked off, and had the ball in the net a third time, and so it's little surprise to find him at the top of the poll once the Man of the Match votes had come in.

He was pushed well though by Danny Schofield who actually gained more outright MOTM votes, meaning that once again those second and third placed votes proved crucial. The full results, with the outright MOTM figures in brackets, are shown below:

1 Luke Rodgers 84 (5)
2 Danny Schofield 74 (7)
3 Craig Alcock 50 (2)
4 Lee Peltier 38 (2)
5 Andy Welsh 26 (1)
6 Nathan Smith 20 (0)
7 Gavin Tomlin 18 (1)
8 Josh Wagenaar 4 (0)
9 Aidan Downes 2 (0)

OVERALL MATCH RATING: 7.83

Performance: 7.78
Entertainment: 7.89

VOTES RECEIVED: 18


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19 January 2009 : Hartlepool Man Of The Match Result
Somehow, this was the Man of the Match result that got away. Back in December, the Glovers made the impossibly long trip to Hartlepool United and carved out a 0-0 draw at Victoria Park.

Unsurprisingly, given the 630 mile round trip, we didn't get too many people voting, but those who got there strongly favoured Josh Wagenaar's performance, which gave him the runners up spot, even though he only picked up one outright vote, showing the value of those second and third place votes.

However, winner on the day was Lee Peltier, playing a defensive midfield role. Lee also came the closest to separating the two sides - striking the crossbar from distance. The full results, with outright MOTM votes shown in brackets, are as follows:

1 Lee Peltier 68 (6)
2 Josh Wagenaar 44 (1)
3 Gifton Noel-Williams 14 (0)
3 Nathan Smith 14 (0)
5 Danny Schofield 12 (1)
5 Luke Rodgers 12 (1)
7 Terry Skiverton 10 (1)
8 Aaron Brown 6 (0)

OVERALL MATCH RATING: 7.70

Performance: 8.20
Entertainment: 7.20

VOTES RECEIVED: 10


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19 January 2009 : Owen To Sign For Port Vale
Former Yeovil Town loan player Gareth Owen has agreed terms on a two and a half year contract with League Two side Port Vale. The central defender has agreed terms to sever his contract at Stockport County and so joins Vale as a free agent. He is expected to sign his contract either later today or tomorrow morning.

In leaving Stockport, Owen has indicated that there was an offer on the table from League One side Crewe Alexandra, but he has not mentioned any interest from the Glovers. Owen has been in limbo for the past two weeks, after he was recalled by Stockport, but with boss Jim Gannon still refusing to allow Owen to train with the first team squad, the 26 year old has blamed the situation on a "power struggle" between Stockport's Chief Executive and First Team Manager, rather than any suggestion that there may have been other clubs involved.


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19 January 2009 : Walker Linked With Huish Park Return
Today's Southend Echo has suggested that Southend United striker James Walker could be leaving Roots Hall. They also claim that Yeovil Town are interested in buying him, with the 21 year old having steadily dropped down the pecking order of manager Steve Tilson's side.

Walker didn't even make the bench for their match on Saturday at Stockport County, and has not stepped out in a Southend shirt since Boxing Day, having made just seven league starts this season.

All of this is a far cry from the £200,000 transfer from Charlton Athletic that Walker was involved in when Southend nicked him from under the noses of the Glovers almost exactly 12 months ago whilst he was on loan at Huish Park. That transfer initially collapsed due to a heart condition picked up as part of his medical at Roots Hall, and so despite joining them on loan a few weeks later, his permanent transfer from The Valley only concluded over the summer. He has so far scored seven goals in 35 games, but has looked less and less likely to add to that total.

Unless Southend are willing to give Walker to Yeovil on a free transfer, it's difficult to imagine that the Glovers would be able to afford anything other than a loan deal. The Southend Echo doesn't quote any sources for this information, so we've no idea how seriously to take this news, although it would not be a surprise if some enquiries had been made by manager Russell Slade for a player that he was hugely disappointed to lose 12 months ago. Certainly although this is sketchy, this is the first printed transfer rumour we've seen involving Yeovil Town, and with us now 19 days into the transfer window, this has been an unusually quiet month so far.

Either way, with Yeovil Town playing Southend at Roots Hall on Saturday, it's pretty safe to say that nothing will be happening this side of the weekend.


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18 January 2009 : Capital Glovers Meet-Up For Leicester Match
Those who are trapped in London or the South East for tomorrow night's match may like to know that the Capital Glovers are having their own outing for those who can't get down to Somerset in person for the match against Leicester City.

They plan to meet up in the Cos Bar, which is situated close to Blackfriars BR and Tube Station. It is also handy from all of City Thameslink, St Pauls, Mansion House, Cannon Street and Bank - all of these are 0.6 miles or less from the bar.

This is the same venue that they used for the two play-off semi-final matches against Nottingham Forest and the home match against Huddersfield Town during the 2006-07 season, so if you believe in good omens, this one has them!

Link: Beer In The Evening Website : The Cos Bar

Address: 148 Queen Victoria St, London, London, EC4V 4BY. Telephone: 0871-917-0007.

They have reserved the mezzanine floor for the event. Even if you're not a regular Capital Glover and just happen to be working or visiting London, feel free to join them for the evening and introduce yourself.

Regarding television coverage of tomorrow night's match, Sky Sports One will commence coverage from 7.30p.m. The programme is due to end at 10.00p.m. For those wanting to set their video recorders, bear in mind that on the preceding programme Big League Weekend 2, they usually drop into a short preview of the evening's live match as part of the tail end of their Football League highlights coverage, so look out for that as well. Big League Weekend 2 commences at 6.00p.m. on the same channel.

Note however, that there is no overnight repeat showing of tomorrow night's game. Usually there are condensed versions of the 'live' matches repeated overnight, but on this occasion you have just one chance to get your video recording sorted out.


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18 January 2009 : Yeovil Town vs Leicester City Match Preview
Yeovil Town play host to Leicester City tomorrow evening in a League One match that will also be broadcast live on Sky Sports. They will come up against a Foxes side that are still top of the division by 4 points, despite not having played yet this weekend. With the Glovers 18 places and 30 points below them, there is little doubt who the bookies are going to make favourites for this one, particularly with the Foxes believed to be managing a playing budget around eight times that of Yeovil's. Still, the Glovers usually perform well on the big stage, and so hopefully 'giantkillings' extend to the league as well as the cup competitions.

The Glovers go into the match finally able to add the talents of striker Luke Rodgers into their squad on a permanent basis. That will at least cushion the blow of the suspension of club captain Terry Skiverton, starting his three match ban for a red card incurred in the match against Scunthorpe United. Skivo is joined by Lee Peltier, who will complete his two match suspension tomorrow night. With midfielders Darren Way and Marc Bircham out indefinitely, that means manager Russell Slade will again be selecting from just 15 senior players for this match, with one of goalkeeper Lloyd Irish and defender Jordan Street likely to make up the final place on the bench. Aaron Brown will grab an extended stay in the side, as he covers for Skivo, and with Rodgers almost certain to start, the main selection dilemma will be who ends up partnering him up front.

Leicester suffered an injury blow in their midweek FA Cup defeat against Crystal Palace. Defender Aleksander Tunchev will be out for the rest of the season after injuring his knee in a collision during the match. Michael Morrison is expected to replace him, having come on as a substitute in that match. Despite the defensive set-back, boss Nigel Pearson will be able to add four players to his squad for tomorrow night's match. Midfielders Mark Davies and Lloyd Dyer, plus Matty Fryatt were all rested due to a midweek illness, and they will also be able to select Manchester United midfielder Thomas Cleverley after he was brought in on a half season loan last week.

As already mentioned, this is going to be a tough one. Leicester's record shows that they have dropped points in only eight matches this season, with just two defeats to their name. Their last reversal was all the way back on October 28th and since then they have won 9 out of 11 games, with 7 of those wins coming in the last 8 games. Only a last minute equaliser against Leeds United denied them a straight eight. In striker Matty Fryatt, they have the division's leading goalscorer, with 23 strikes to his name - as many as Yeovil's players have scored in the league collectively all season. Not surprisingly they are red hot favourites to return to the Championship at the first time of asking - at present there is little doubt that they are the most dominant side in League One that we've seen since Yeovil climbed up to this level, and this is very much David and Goliath territory, even if both clubs do notionally occupy the same space in the Football Pyramid. This fact was not lost on Glovers boss Russell Slade when he spoke to BBC Somerset:

"You've got to ask questions as to why they are in this league, haven't you? You have to say that they shouldn't be in this league. They're a Premier League outfit to be honest, and they'll be disappointed if they don't get out of this division this season, that's for sure. They're at the top of the league, they're flying high. They've got a good depth of squad and they are my favourites to go up."

Many websites will tell you that this is Leicester's first visit to South Somerset for a match against a Yeovil side. Actually that's not quite true. On September 18th 1933, the Foxes played Yeovil and Petters United in a friendly match arranged as part of the transfer of Idris Miles from Huish to Filbert Street. Miles had moved up to the Midlands in October 1932, having only just signed for the Glovers during that summer. The 21 year old Swansea-born lad's stay in Somerset though was a fruitful one after arriving from Cardiff City - it brought Yeovil their record outgoing transfer fee at the time of £1,000, plus the gate receipts from the friendly.

Miles had scored nine goals from a right-wing position in his 20 appearances for Yeovil, although his step up the ladder was not quite as fruitful. He made just seven appearances for the Foxes, scoring one goal on his debut against Everton. By the time the friendly match came round, Miles had already moved on from Leicester. The Foxes won the game 1-0 with a goal from Danny Liddle.

Tickets for tomorrow night's match are still available from the Huish Park Ticket Office. The only restriction we're aware of is that you can not purchase tickets over the internet for the match. Otherwise the usual match-day surcharge applies and the Ticket Office will be open right up until kick-off on 01935-847888 or in person.


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18 January 2009 : Bircham In No Hurry
Professional players are a long time retired from football, so one has some sympathy when they find it hard to make the decision that their playing days are indeed realistically over. However, as a supporter, if it's your own club paying the bills for someone who isn't going to feature on the pitch again that sympathy does begin to wear thin after a while.

Despite intimating over the last few weeks on various media outlets like Sky's Big League and Radio Five Live that his playing career was effectively finished, Marc Bircham seems reluctant to let go. On his Official Website, under the title 'I'm still hoping for a Yeovil return', Bircham's most recent piece states :

"I just want to make it clear that contrary to reports I haven´t retired yet! I´ve got another avenue that I´m looking into at the moment so hopefully I can play on.

My ankle is the main problem. I went to see the top ankle specialist in the country and he told me I needed surgery. The problem is if I get it done there´s a chance I won´t be able to come back and play at the same level I´m at now. I´ve got some nerve damage as well, which complicates things as it can´t be operated on.

But as long as there´s still hope I´ll keep trying to play. If I am forced to retire I couldn´t call it a day on football completely. My brother´s got a Sunday side and I´d love to turn out for them, even if it´s only in goal. I feel fit and can run about but my left ankle can´t keep up. I can´t pass or even control the ball with it as things stand. Every time I touch the ball with my left foot it feels like I´m turning my ankle.

It´s really frustrating. I´ve tried to come back three or four times now and the rehab doesn´t get any easier. But if I think there´s a good chance of me getting back to full fitness I´m happy to put the work in.

I´ll be making a decision on what to do in the next couple of weeks so I´ll be back soon with more news one way or another…
"

So the headline has little relation to the content. That Bircham isn't going to play for the Glovers again seems crystal clear from his own account of his injury situation. He has a contract to the end of the season and is, of course, perfectly (and legally) within his rights to sit it out if he so decides. The club can, and may already, have made him an offer to terminate the contract early in the light of his fitness.

Clarity and a speedy decision would be welcome. If the player is prepared to accept a mutually agreeable severance then it would be beneficial if it were done before the transfer window closes on 1st February so the club knows what, if any, money it has in the budget to make a move for a replacement. On the other hand if Bircham doesn't intend to accept some sort of pay off, and has decided to run his contract through to the end, that information would also be important to the club as it makes its calculations as to what it can afford in its bid to retain League One status.

We may just have a game of brinkmanship going on here, with Bircham, understandably from his point of view, looking to get the best deal he can, and hoping the closer it gets to deadline day the greater his leverage. However he should recognise the reaction of many Yeovil Town fans will be harsh in those circumstances. To quote Oliver Cromwell :

"Depart I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!"


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18 January 2009 : Rodgers Optimistic For Leicester Match
New Yeovil Town striker Luke Rodgers says he believes the Glovers have a good chance against tomorrow's opponents Leicester City of stealing an unexpected win. The 19th placed Glovers take on the league leaders at Huish Park in front of the Sky Sports cameras, but Rodgers thinks that Yeovil have enough quality players to spring a surprise, and points to some reasonable recent form as evidence of that. Speaking to BBC Somerset he explained:

"I think there are some players in this team who are Championship players. I feel as if we've got better in the last few games and there's no reason why we can't. Tuesday was a blip with Skivo getting sent off, so you can't really look too much at that. It will be a big game on Monday and I think we can beat Leicester."

The worry for the Glovers is undoubtedly their squad size. With midfield pair Marc Bircham and Darren Way out for the rest of the season, and two suspensions in the form of Terry Skiverton and Lee Peltier to deal with tomorrow, once again selection will be from just 15 'recognised' first teamers, but Rodgers claimed that the players that were left should still give Leicester a go for their money:

"We've still got great players here. We've lost Birch and Darren Way is not in the team. But we've got Gary Roberts and Pelts who is class as well. Don't get me wrong, it is nice to have strength in depth, but I feel that we have still got good players in our team who can still do a job. I feel as if whoever plays, that we can win on Monday."

Rodgers will finally make his 'second debut' for the club, 23 days after his loan spell at Huish Park ended, and the 27 year old said he was desperate to get out there and perform, adding that he found the delays frustrating:

"It was disappointing because I wanted to get it done before then, but it was taking its time. But I'm just pleased to get everything signed. I just can't wait to contribute and help keep the team up now, which I think we can easily do."


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18 January 2009 : Officials For Yeovil Town vs Leicester City
Tomorrow night's match between Yeovil Town and Leicester City will be looked after by referee Iain Williamson (Berkshire). Thankfully although Mr Williamson has a reputation in the Football League for being rather card-happy, our experiences of him have not been too bad at Football League level.

Our last meeting was for the home game against Rotherham United back in April 2007, and prior to that an away game against Barnsley along with earlier home matches against Lincoln City and Torquay United. The Lincoln match is significant in that it was our final game at League Two level.

This season, his reputation for being free with his cards has continued - a total of 84 yellows and 4 red cards have been dished out in 18 games so far. Thankfully all four dismissals were during his first four games of the season - since then it looks as though he's calmed down a bit. His last game was the FA Cup match between Leyton Orient and Sheffield United on January 13th that saw a mere four yellows produced.

Mr Williamson will be assisted by James Cox (Worcestershire) and Brendan Malone (Wiltshire). The Fourth Official will be Roger East (Wiltshire).

Link: April 2007 : Yeovil Town 1 Rotherham United 1.

Link: August 2005 : Barnsley 1 Yeovil Town 0.

Link: May 2005 : Yeovil Town 3 Lincoln City 0.

Link: Sept 2003 : Yeovil Town 0 Torquay United 2.


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18 January 2009 : Departures Reach Double Figures
Leyton Orient, currently in 21st position in the table, today became the tenth League One club to terminate the contract of its manager this season. Martin Ling departs, along with Assistant Manager Dean Smith.

O's chairman Barry Hearn, who took the club over in April 1995, got a reputation for impatience in his first eighteen months with a number of comings and goings in that time, but since November 1996 Orient has been one of the more stable clubs, with only three different managers in the Brisbane Road office. Ling got the post initially as caretaker in September 2003, and it was made permanent at the start of 2004, making him the 6th longest serving manager in the top four divisions until today. He led Leyton Orient to promotion from League Two in third spot in 2005-06.


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17 January 2009 : Swans Youth Grab Late Winner
The view from the dugout area in the weekend Youth match against Swansea City
The view from the dugout area in the weekend Youth match against Swansea City

Yeovil Town's Under 18s side narrowly lost out by a 2-3 scoreline this morning against Swansea City. In a Youth Alliance League match played at Somerton, the Welsh side, managed by former Glovers keeper Tony Pennock grabbed a 2-0 half time lead in a fairly one-sided 45 minutes.

However, the Glovers were much improved in the second period, and clawed their way back into the match, thanks to two goals from Josh Robinson, to leave the game balanced at 2-2. However, with just a couple of minutes to go, Swansea got their third of the morning, to steal all three points, leaing Yeovil with no time for another comeback.

Final Score: Yeovil Town Under 18s 2 Swansea City Under 18s 3.
Swansea City's Youth Team manager and former Glovers goalkeeper Tony Pennock
Swansea City's Youth Team manager and former Glovers goalkeeper Tony Pennock



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16 January 2009 : Starnes Considers Season Ticket Concerns
Yeovil Town Chief Executive Martyn Starnes believes his club are 'concerned' about the likely uptake of season tickets at Huish Park for next season - but believes it to be a nationwide problem caused by the 'credit crunch'. Speaking in this week's Western Gazette, Starnes says that most clubs are protected this season from economic problems by their season ticket take-up, but predicts that matters will get far worse this coming summer:

"It is a concern to the club and it is a concern to football. Due to the nature of the game many of the clubs have been insulated to the credit crunch to a certain extent because of their season-ticket position. Many clubs are beginning that phase of determining season-ticket prices for next season and determining their offer packages and no doubt they are very concerned about what return they will be getting from it. We are no different – of course we are concerned."

What will matter of course, is what the club intend to do about those concerns. Next Thursday, there is a committee-only ABUFP meeting where one of the major agenda items is to discuss ticket prices for next season. If you have got any ideas in that area, then either contact one of the Supporters Representatives or drop Sara an email at the club at supporter.link@ytfc.net before the day of the meeting. At present we believe the club has something in the region of 2,500 season ticket holders. When that is pitched against Tuesday night's crowd of 3,275 - Yeovil's lowest Football League crowd - it gives an idea of why the club need to devote a lot of time and thought to next season's package.

The Gazette quote a Virgin Money survey suggesting that 25 percent of football supporters nationwide are considering not renewing their season tickets next season, citing television coverage of games as a significant factor in this. Although the club should not be complacent, we'd tend not to panic too much at such a figure. Firstly only Premier League clubs get substantial coverage of their team on television, but secondly football supporters are notoriously pessimistic creatures around this time of the season - about the point when the penny drops that for the majority they aren't going to win all the trophies they hoped to land. A fair chunk of those will consider not renewing their season tickets, but many still will, provided their club provides them with some sort of a carrot to do so - be it a new striker, a bit of clever PR or a nice discounted offer. It's those clubs that don't manage that situation well that will suffer.

Starnes adds that football is a difficult business to manage saying that the nature of the fixed term contracts that players have made it difficult to assess whether a football club had the revenue to cover those contractual commitments as time went on:

"In football you have to commit a substantial amount of your expenditure in fixed-term contracts. Those contracts can last until the end of the season and indeed a year or two beyond. We always have difficulty in determining what our revenues are going to be covering those costs over the ensuing years because you never know, however good a team you have got, how they are going to perform. You do not know what the economic situation is going to be and you therefore do not know what the impact is going to be on your income. It makes football a difficult business to manage from an economic point of view."


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15 January 2009 : Rodgers Wanted To Work With Yeovil Boss Again
New Yeovil Town signing Luke Rodgers has said that his decision to choose the Glovers over other clubs believed to be chasing the striker, came down to his experience of working with manager Russell Slade.

The 27 year old was believed to have had interest from Northampton Town and Leyton Orient but told BBC Somerset that his liking for the Glovers boss swung things in that direction. Luke also added that he would be willing to extend his stay in Somerset if allowed to, suggesting that it was not him that was looking for the short term deal:

"We talked about it, but they just said to sign until the end of the season and we'll see how you're doing. I feel as if I've got a lot to offer to the team. I like it down here. The main reason why I came down here is because I think the gaffer is really good. I think he's a good type and a good gaffer. All the lads are brilliant and the training is good. I'd already come down here on loan, I knew what the club was about, and so I came back. I wouldn't come back to this team if I didn't think they could stay up, because I certainly don't want to go down."

Slade himself added that he was pleased to see a deal with Luke finally land on the table today, and to get him back out and training with his new team-mates:

"I am really really pleased that he has arrived here. Just to see him in training with that enthusiasm that he's got. That natural enthusiasm was good to see this morning. It's subject to a medical, but we've got our man. We're really really pleased because his last couple of performances for us were excellent. There were two goals in there and we felt that we were getting him really close to full fitness, and that was showing in his performances."

Luke will commence his second spell with the Glovers in front of the Sky Sports cameras, when Yeovil Town take on League One leaders Leicester City on Monday 19th January, with a 7.45p.m. kick-off.


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15 January 2009 : At Last! Luke Rodgers Signs!
Yeovil Town have officially completed the signing of striker Luke Rodgers, subject to a medical. Luke has signed up with the club until June 30th 2009.

The news brings to an end the long-running saga that has seen 19 days go past since Luke's last game for Yeovil as part of a loan spell from League Two side Port Vale. Having since severed his contract with the Valiants, he arrives at Huish Park on a free transfer.

The very best of luck to Luke over the next six months, and we hope you can increase your stay at the club thereafter.


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14 January 2009 : Ticketing For The Leyton Orient Match
Ticketing for Yeovil Town's trip to Leyton Orient has been announced. The Glovers travel to Brisbane Road on Saturday 31st January, for what is likely to be a relegation zone 'six pointer'.

As far as we can tell, advance tickets will not be on sale from Huish Park, and therefore this will be a pay on the day game. If we hear any different, we'll republicise the ticketing arrangements. Prices are as follows:

Adult: £20; Juniors: £13; Aged 60 and over: £13; Students (with ID): £13.

Ticketing for our trip to Southend United is available in our earlier article. The Essex side lost their FA Cup Third Round Replay against Chelsea by a 1-4 scoreline at Roots Hall tonight, meaning that this match will definitely be scheduled for the original Saturday 24th January date. Tickets are on sale from the Huish Park Ticket Office now. See the earlier article for details of pricing.


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14 January 2009 : Swans Plucked
A Reserve team displaying a few First Teamers, some Youths and three trialists beat Swansea City Reserves 3-1 this evening.

In goal was Albin Kajtezovic, a 22 year old Austrian currently on a short-term contract with League One rivals Walsall. Swedish defender Thomas Magnusson, 29 years old, most recently playing for IFK Norrköping until released in the autumn, who had an unsuccessful trial with Motherwell in November, and forward Rico Wilson, who was on the Youth books of AFC Bournemouth but was now playing his third trial for the Glovers, made up the trio of trialists.

The visitors at GenQuip Stadium were three goals up at the break, as strikes from Andre McCollin (28 and 31 minutes) and Rob Fitzgerald (45 minutes) put Yeovil into a comfortable position. The second period saw no more scoring until, in the last minute of the game, Swansea's Chris Jones was allegedly brought down in the box for a penalty the Glovers hotly contested. Swans captain Chad Bond converted from the spot.

Final score: Swansea City Reserves 1 Yeovil Town Reserves 3

Swansea City : Rhys Wilson, Daniel Alfei, Steven Berry, Joe Walsh, Ben Adelsbury, Jazz Richards, Kieran Howard (Matthew Wright, 46 mins), Oliver Hewitt-Fisher (Lee Lucas, 46 minutes), Casey Thomas, Chris Jones, Chad Bond.

Substitutes not used: Adam Orme, Joe Harris, Anthony Finselbach.

Yeovil Town : Albin Kajtezovic, Jason Sangha, Jordan Street, Rob Fitzgerald, Thomas Magnusson, Harry Nodwell, Josh Robinson, Keiran Murtagh, Rico Wilson, Andre McCollin, Ashley Clark.

Substitutes: Danny Mobsby, Steve Thompson, Adam Wakeley.


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14 January 2009 : Man of the Match Voting For The Scunthorpe Match
For those who were at last night's match at Huish Park, a reminder that you can vote for your top three players against Scunthorpe United via the link below. Choose your top three, plus performance and entertainment ratings, along with any additional comments you want to make.

Link: Yeovil Town vs Scunthorpe United : Man of the Match Voting Form.


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14 January 2009 : Russell's Verdict On the Scunthorpe Game
Following last night's 1-2 home defeat against Scunthorpe United, manager Russell Slade gave his usual post-match views on the game. Speaking to BBC Somerset reporter Pete Simson, the transcript of his interview can be read via the link below.

Link: Russell's Verdict On the Scunthorpe Game.


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14 January 2009 : Reserves vs Swansea Reminder
A reminder that Yeovil Town Reserves play in the Combination Wales and West Division tonight. They take on Swansea City Reserves at the GenQuip Stadium in Port Talbot. Kick-off is 7.00 p.m.

Given that of the first team squad regulars, only Keiran Murtagh didn't get any minutes on the pitch last night, we'd suspect that there won't be too many "names" on tonight's teamsheet. Central defensive pair Jordan Street and Rob Fitzgerald will hopefully be selected along with keeper Lloyd Irish, but otherwise the rest will almost certainly be made up of youth players and trialists.

If anyone is in South Wales tonight, any updates would be appreciated - drop an email to ytfcbadger@ntlworld.com as usual.

Update: 3.30p.m. The club have released the following line-up for tonight's match:

Yeovil Town Reserves:
1. Albin Kajtezovic 2. Jason Sangha 3. Jordan Street 4. Rob Fitzgerald 5. Thomas Magnusson 6. Harry Nodwell 7. Josh Robinson 8. Keiran Murtagh 9. Rico Wilson 10. Andre McCollin 11. Ashley Clark

Subs: 13. Danny Mobsby 14. Steve Thompson 15. Adam Wakeley


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14 January 2009 : Rodgers Deal Is Imminent ... Again!
The Western Gazette website is suggesting that striker Luke Rodgers could be a Yeovil Town player tomorrow. The long drawn-out negotiations have yet to produce a firm deal, despite it now being almost three weeks since the 27 year old last kicked a football. The Gazette quote manager Russell Slade as saying:

"I am hoping he is coming down tonight with a view to signing tomorrow."

Naturally we hope the Gazette and Russell are right, although the number of false dawns on the attempts to get a contract drawn up for the former Port Vale player means that we won't be holding our breath!

Update: 3.30p.m. The club have officially echoed the Gazette's comments. Possibly this time it's for real?


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13 January 2009 : Iron Grab The Points As Skivo Sees Red
Yeovil Town lost out by a 2-1 scoreline at Huish Park tonight as two first half goals from Scunthorpe United and a red card killed the game off early. Referee Dean Whitestone once again caused controversy with the sending off of club captain Terry Skiverton for an alleged elbow 34 minutes into the game. That decision happened midway between Scunny's two goals - a Sam Togwell tap-in, and Gary Hooper's one-on-one right on the stroke of half time when he sprung the offside trap.

A spirited second half display from the ten men saw Yeovil match the play-off chasing side, and they got just rewards for their efforts in the 90th minute when substitute Andre McCollin headed home from a Nathan Jones corner. But despite a brief panic from the Iron as Yeovil threatened an equaliser, it was too late to grab an improbable point.

The Glovers went into the match with a patched up squad. Having only 15 players of any significance to choose from, and with the long-running saga over the signing of striker Luke Rodgers endlessly drifting into another day, three players that were not fully fit were sent out to perform, with goalkeeper Josh Wagenaar (shoulder), Craig Alcock (virus) and Danny Schofield (achilles/heel) all suffering somewhat. On the bench, youngster Lloyd Irish who is spending his Saturdays playing for Taunton Town filled the role of a second keeper in case Wagenaar's shoulder gave out.

Yeovil gave their usual spirited start to the game, but with all the usual flaws that many have seen for most of the season. Good possession, good build-up play, good approach, but a lack of conviction inside the penalty box. Scunny had threatened once when Gary Hooper flashed wide of the target, but otherwise held an even hand on the game. That all changed 24 minutes into the half when Hooper's interchange of passes with Garry Thompson saw the Glovers left flank exposed and when the ball was put into the centre, midfielder Sam Togwell - the player Yeovil Town were inches away from signing over the summer - prodded the ball into the back of the net from close range to open the scoring.

Togwell was proving himself a true box-to-box midfielder at the other end of the park - blocking a goal-bound shot from Aidan Downes midway through the half as Yeovil pressed for an equaliser. But their hopes of getting a foothold in the match were dealt a savage blow 10 minutes before the break when Terry Skiverton got into a tangle with Scunthorpe's Andrew Wright, and referee Dean Whitestone deemed Skivo to have made use of his elbow to shrug off the attentions of the defender. Trying to beat Scunthorpe with 11 men is hard enough, but with 10 and their talisman captain off the field, it was going to be even harder.

As the home crowd were left stunned, and Huish Park descended into near silence, matters got worse right on the half time break when Gary Hooper sprung the offside trap via a ball over the top, and slotted past Wagenaar to double the lead. With Wags going down injured - presumably on his injured shoulder - there were certainly fears that this could turn into another Stockport match, where everything that could go wrong, would.

Thankfully Wagenaar appeared for the second period, and so did Yeovil's spirit and workrate. Even if the odds are often stacked against the Glovers this season, there have been few occasions where the spark has gone out of the side, and to their credit they refused to let what appeared to be a near impossible situation get them down. Danny Schofield was denied early in the second period by a flying save from Joe Murphy, after Paul Warne's cross deceived the Scunthorpe defence. At the other end Paul Hayes found his shot blocked brilliantly by Gary Roberts for a corner.

It was a frenetic end-to-end opening period - the Glovers pushing up despite playing a man short, and Scunny's quick counterattack threatening more goals at the other end. Midway through the second period, Sam Togwell produced a superb threaded ball that undid the Yeovil back line, letting Gary Hooper clean through on goal - thankfully this time Hooper wasn't so clinical with his one-on-one and Josh Wagenaar produced a strong save.

The final ball for Yeovil though, generally let them down, particularly from their corner kicks where their set pieces might have counted for something. However, with all three substitutes introduced, it took two of them to point out how a corner kick should be delivered and executed. In the 90th minute, Nathan Jones swung in the ball, and Andre McCollin grabbed his first ever Yeovil Town goal, to at least send the players and supporters home with something to show for their efforts. A brief panic from Scunthorpe during injury time almost threatened an improbable collapse by the visitors, but despite Wagenaar even venturing up field to cause problems in his opposite box, the Iron held on for points that on the balance of the 90 minutes they probably deserved, but if Yeovil had been able to select Luke Rodgers and keep 11 players on the pitch for the home game, it might not have been quite so comfortable for Scunny - who completed their 5th consecutive victory over Yeovil, including a double for this season.

Final Score: Yeovil Town 1 Scunthorpe United 2.

Scorers: Sam Togwell (25 mins, 0-1), Gary Hooper (45 mins, 0-2), Andre McCollin (90 mins, 1-2)

Yeovil Town: (4-1-3-2)
13. Josh Wagenaar
12. Craig Alcock 4. Terry Skiverton 6. Terrell Forbes 28. Nathan Smith
16. Gary Roberts
17. Aidan Downes 11. Danny Schofield 9. Andy Welsh
10. Gavin Tomlin (36) 14. Paul Warne

Substitutes:
3. Nathan Jones (80 mins for Andy Welsh) 18. Keiran Murtagh 23. Aaron Brown (36 mins for Gavin Tomlin) 19. Andre McCollin (76 mins for Paul Warne) 31. Lloyd Irish

Scunthorpe United:
1. Joe Murphy
24. Andrew Wright 26. Krystian Pearce 15. David Mirfin 3. Marcus Williams
8. Garry Thompson 18. Sam Togwell 17. Grant McCann 16. Martyn Woolford
9. Paul Hayes 10. Gary Hooper

Substitutes:
22. Josh Lillis (GK) 7. Matthew Sparrow 4. Andy Crosby 23. Kevan Hurst (66 mins for Martyn Woolford) 30. Ben May (74 mins for Paul Hayes)

Yeovil Bookings: Nathan Smith (78 mins, foul) Red Cards: Terry Skiverton (34 mins, serious foul play)
Scunthorpe Bookings:

Referee: Dean Whitestone (Northamptonshire). Assistants: Mark Philpott (Cornwall) and Roger Vaughan (North Somerset). Fourth Official: Stephen Phipps (Oxfordshire).

Attendance: 3,275


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13 January 2009 : Team News For Scunthorpe
Yeovil Town manager Russell Slade has explained that three of his players were borderline in the lead-up to tonight's match against Scunthorpe United. The Glovers had hinted that they had injury concerns about a number of their squad in the lead up to tonight's match, and speaking to BBC Somerset, Russell has explained what they are:

"We got Craig (Alcock) fit. He's trained for the last day and a half after being out with a virus. We also had a bit of a problem with Josh (Wagenaar) our keeper as well, but he is OK. Gary Roberts is back in midfield, so he will fill the place left by Lee Peltier who is serving a two match ban now. Alongside him will be (Aidan) Downes and (Danny) Schofield, who is also carrying an injury. You'll find that he has got a big slit down the back of his boot to try and relieve the pressure on his heel and his achilles. We're hoping that works and that his boot doesn't go flying off every five minutes! On the side, Welshy retains his place after his performance at Millwall, whilst up front it will be Gavin and Warney."

As a result of Josh Wagenaar's shoulder injury, youngster Lloyd Irish is on the bench for the game.


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13 January 2009 : Bristol Rovers Match Gets New Date
Yeovil Town's trip to the Memorial Stadium to play Bristol Rovers now has a new fixture date. The game will be played on Tuesday 17th February with a 7.45p.m. kick-off.

All tickets purchased for the postponed match will remain valid for the rearranged fixture. What isn't absolutely clear yet is what options Glovers fans have if they purchased tickets for the original fixture, but are unable to travel to Bristol for the rearranged match. As soon as we find out, we'll let you know.

Update 11.00a.m. : People who have purchased tickets for the original fixture, but are unable to get to the rearranged match can obtain refunds from the Huish Park Ticket Office from tomorrow (Wednesday) morning. We'd recommend that you put in your claim for a refund as soon as possible, particularly if you bought a stand (seated) ticket as the club will want to resell the tickets to other Glovers fans who are able to make the midweek date.


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13 January 2009 : Yeovil Town vs Scunthorpe United Match Preview
Yeovil Town take on Scunthorpe United tonight in a League One match at Huish Park. The game will be Yeovil's first match of 2009, following the postponement of two matches due to icy conditions. The weather is mild tonight, and so there is no danger of this game becoming a third.

The visitors arrive at Huish Park tonight in 6th place, and therefore 12 places higher than Yeovil in the league table. Like Yeovil, they've not played in the league since December 28th, although they did manage to complete their FA Cup Third Round fixture on January 3rd without problems.

The two sides met back in September at Glanford Park, with a 2-0 win seeing Yeovil comfortably outplayed, particularly during the first period. An Izzy Iriekpen header was added to by a Terrell Forbes own goal on the day, and assistant manager Steve Thompson told BBC Somerset felt that first half was a lesson in football:

"I was saying to the players when we had our meeting this morning that we've been competitive all season, home and away, but the one time that I think we weren't and we were over-run, was in the first half at Scunthorpe, when we lost the game 2-0. But that's the one time this season that I've felt that we were not competitive and were completely over-run. If that's not a warning, then nothing is. They came out of the traps first thing, and I think they'll try and do the same again and we're going to have to try and match them."

The Glovers go into the game without midfielders Marc Bircham and Darren Way, who will not play again this season, whilst another midfielder, Lee Peltier starts a two match ban. Thommo told the Western Daily Press that there were a couple of other problems caused by the club having to move onto astroturf pitches, but he didn't want to say who they were:

"Due to training on astro-turf or indoors all week it did cause us a few niggles. I am not going to say we haven't got a few niggles even now but I will not divulge who because that would play into Scunthorpe's hands."

Even if all of the injury concerns Thommo mentions recover in time for the game, the Glovers have only 15 recognised first team players available, with striker Luke Rodgers not expected to feature even if he does complete his protracted transfer negotiations today. The bench will be filled by youngster Jordan Street, with Thommo himself and Rob Fitzgerald padding out the subs list if necessary. The Glovers also have one other person on the treatment table - manager Russell Slade! The Yeovil boss is currently ill, with Thommo taking control of the majority of training matters, although it would be a surprise if Russell did not take up his position in the dugout tonight.

Scunthorpe will go into the match without club captain Cliff Byrne who is suspended, whilst Ian Morris (knee ligaments) is a long term absentee. Otherwise their only other concern is Ben May, who has had both flu and injury concerns recently.

The last four meetings between the two clubs have not been good ones from Yeovil's point of view. Four defeats, all without scoring a goal have seen the Iron gain superiority, although few will forget the two 4-3 wins the Glovers gained during 2005 across two seasons. The first of those was a home match played in late winter, so a repeat of that scenario would go down nicely!

The match kicks off at 7.45p.m. with tickets available for purchase on the night, subject to the usual matchday tariffs.


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13 January 2009 : Welsh Hoping For Rodgers Return
Yeovil Town winger Andy Welsh has said he is hoping that striker Luke Rodgers will put pen to paper soon. Rodgers has yet to sign for the club and is not expected to be available for Tuesday night's match against Scunthorpe United at Huish Park.

However Welsh, who supplied the assist for the equalising goal against Cheltenham Town that got Luke his debut goal, told BBC Somerset that he was impressed with what the striker had to offer:

"Luke has come in whilst he was on loan and he has got in behind and proved that he is a threat. Also he got a couple of vital goals for us. But at the moment, the more numbers that we can get the better, but obviously he is a good player and he has done well for us in the past month that he was on loan."

Welsh pointed out that Rodgers had arrived at the club only days after being admitted to hospital with a virus, having not played for Port Vale for several weeks, and said that the 27 year old had got better as the month progressed:

"I think it was a bit of a stop-start month for him as well because he didn't really get going at first. So I think it will be a big thing for him to try and get going as soon as possible."


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12 January 2009 : Reserves Clash Falls To The Weather
Not much surprise that Sunday's top of the table clash between Yeovil Town Ladies Reserves and Nailsea United was yet another victim of the freezing weather. The Glovers, with a 13-1-0 record, and Nailsea, with an 11-0-1 record, are so far ahead of the rest of the division the title is already a two horse race. With the away fixture for Yeovil against their rivals earlier in the season also postponed the two teams still have to play each other twice, and the outcomes of these meetings seem likely to go a long way to determining the destination of the title. With the Glovers holding an advantage of a seven point lead, though from two games more played, anything except defeats by Nailsea should see them consolidating their hold on the top spot when the matches are eventually played.


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12 January 2009 : Thommo Says Rodgers Deal 'Very Close'
Yeovil Town assistant manager Steve Thompson remains confident that the club can still sign striker Luke Rodgers, despite the long-running saga running into its third week since Rodgers played his last game for the club.

League One side Northampton Town have today declared their interest in the player (see our earlier news story), whilst Leyton Orient are rumoured to hold an interest, but speaking to BBC Somerset, Thommo said the deal with Rodgers was almost complete:

"I think it's very close. Very, very close. I'm expecting it to happen today or tomorrow."

Any signing will almost certainly come too late for tomorrow night's match against Scunthorpe United, with the Football League having deadlines set for signings made before matches. Thommo admitted that he was going to clarify the rules with Glovers Club Secretary Jean Cotton to find out what the deadline for the Tuesday night game would be:

"Yes, we're very close to that (deadline). I'm actually going to go down and see Jean (Cotton, Club Secretary) and find out when the deadline is. Obviously I am not involved directly in the talks. But hopefully something can still be done and ready for tomorrow night. If not, then obviously we'd be ready for the next game."


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12 January 2009 : Cobblers Take An Interest In Rodgers
League One side Northampton Town look to be preparing a bid for former Port Vale striker Luke Rodgers. On Saturday, the Cobblers Chairman denied they had an interest in the player, but clearly manager Stuart Gray isn't reading from the same script.

Gray told BBC Radio Northamptonshire that he did have a keen interest in the player, and that he would be looking to add numbers to his squad during the coming week:

"I remember when I first came to this football club, Luke caused us problems while he was playing for Crewe. We have a shortage of bodies now, and I'll be looking to strengthen the squad this week."

Fellow League One rivals Leyton Orient, who are currently just below the Glovers and in the relegation zone, are the other club believed to be chasing the 27 year old.

The facts of the matter are that despite 14 days having passed since Rodgers played the last game of his one month loan spell with the Glovers, they have still yet to agree terms with the player and his agent. It would therefore not be surprising if with Rodgers now a free agent, he chooses to opt for a club that may be able to provide more speedy negotiations.


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12 January 2009 : Revised Officials List For Yeovil Town vs Scunthorpe United
Tomorrow night's match against Scunthorpe United will see the majority of the officials planned for the January 6th fixture retained for the rearranged match.

The one change is that of Fourth Official Stephen Phipps (Oxfordshire), who comes in for tomorrow night's match. Otherwise Dean Whitestone (Northamptonshire) remains the match referee, assisted by Mark Philpott (Cornwall) and Roger Vaughan (North Somerset).

For a profile of Mr Whitestone, see our original January 2nd article.


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12 January 2009 : Contract Talks Likely To Wait Until The Summer
Yeovil Town Chief Executive Martyn Starnes has said that there are no current plans to look at the contractual situation of the current playing squad. Today's Western Daily Press suggests that existing contracts will only be looked at after League One survival is guaranteed.

Starnes doesn't explicitly state this, although it was clearly last year's policy, with players such as Steve Mildenhall, Marcus Stewart and Terry Skiverton being allowed to run out of contract before talks were held. Starnes told the WDP that this caution was based upon the unpredictability of income in football, citing the current economic conditions as another factor in the club's thinking:

"You have to work 18 months or even two-and-a-half-years ahead when you are looking at committing players to contracts. You have to bear in mind what your income will be, because as soon as you sign a contract you have a fixed cost and any club will be cautious to its commitments in normal circumstances, let alone when you have a global economic downturn. It's a time to exercise a certain amount of caution."

The list of players out of contract in the summer are believed to be Terry Skiverton, Nathan Jones, Craig Alcock, Terrell Forbes, Josh Wagenaar, Andy Welsh, Paul Warne, Jordan Street, Rob Fitzgerald, Andre McCollin and of course Marc Bircham, who should exit the Huish Park payroll before then, though retirement. Left-back Nathan Smith's contract also runs out in the summer, but the club have an option to extend it for another year, whilst Aaron Brown remains on a week to week contract despite being at Huish Park now for half a season.

Of the players who are under lengthier contracts, there has previously been suggestions that the club may sell someone to balance the books or free up additional playing budget, but as yet Starnes said that there was nothing happening at present:

"We are very comfortable with the contract situation of our young players. We have had no firm bids at the moment. The manager (Russell Slade) may have had enquiries but nothing has come through on an official level."

At present the Glovers have just 16 fit and available "recognised" players in their First Team squad for the remainder of this season. Lee Peltier's two match suspension means that number will drop down to 15 for tomorrow night's match against Scunthorpe United and the Sky Sports live match against Leicester City. With the WDP reporting that there has been no tangible progress in the efforts to sign striker Luke Rodgers it would appear that those are the numbers that will need to be worked with for the foreseeable future.


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11 January 2009 : Glovers Keep Fresh Minds During January Break
Yeovil Town assistant manager Steve Thompson has said that staying clear-headed is important for the management and players whilst they cope with an unexpected mid-season break so far this year.

Only four matches have been played in League One this year, and most clubs including Yeovil, are without a game since December 28th, following a prolonged spell of cold weather, that has frozen pitches on a national level.

The Glovers should be confident of finally playing their first match of 2009 on Tuesday night when they take on Scunthorpe United at Huish Park, but in the meantime Thommo told BBC Somerset that variety in training was important to keep the players' minds sharp:

"I don't think you can afford to get too frustrated because it affects everyone, doesn't it? What you have to do is to be quite able to improvise and to do other things. I think we've done that. We're trying to keep people fresh in their minds."

Thommo added that with the club at the halfway stage of the season, that he was pleased at the work ethic that existed throughout the playing squad as they attempt to improve upon their current 18th place position:

"You've seen from the games that the players and the staff are putting in a real hard amount of work to try and get results every Saturday, because that is what it is all about at the end of the day. You work your week to try and get a result on a Saturday or a Tuesday. I know how hard the staff and the players are working to make that happen."


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10 January 2009 : Rodgers Confirms Glover Bust Up
Luke Rodgers has blamed a dressing room bust up with manager Dean Glover for his falling out with Port Vale which saw his contract terminated by mutual consent (9th January). Speaking to The Sentinel, Rodgers claimed to have been frozen out from Vale Park after the falling out back in November :

"I had an argument with Dean in the dressing room, and I think he took it to heart and said he wouldn't play me again. I didn't think it was worth being there, taking my money and just sitting at home. I didn't want to do that to the club especially with the difficult financial situation they're in."

Glover was unavailable for comment on the allegations from Rodgers.

Although there are no direct quotes from Rodgers to confirm it, the article gives a time frame to the comment from Huish Park Chief Executive Martyn Starnes that the striker is only looking for a short-term deal in the first instance (10th January, below), suggesting a contract through to summer 2009 is being sought.


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10 January 2009 : Ninth League One Manager Goes This Season
The lack of much football for several weeks doesn't seem to have halted the revolving managerial doors of League One. Walsall, sat fairly comfortably in mid-table, and despite not having played for a fortnight and with their game today postponed, have rather oddly chosen this moment to sack Jimmy Mullen with immediate effect. Mullen had been in charge at Bescot Crescent for eight months and 31 games.

First-team coach John Schofield will be in temporary charge of the Saddlers in a caretaker capacity.

The full list of League One managers to depart this season before today, which also highlights the increasingly ridiculous short amount of time they are being given, can be seen here (21st December, 2008).


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10 January 2009 : Bristol Rovers Game Is OFF
Yeovil Town's match against Bristol Rovers at the Memorial Stadium has been postponed due to a frozen pitch. The pitch failed to pass the 9.15a.m. pitch inspection.


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10 January 2009 : Rodgers Gets Interest From Other Clubs
Yeovil Town Chief Executive Martyn Starnes has confirmed that striker Luke Rodgers will not be playing today, if the match at the Memorial Stadium goes ahead. The Glovers have yet to tie up a permanent contract with the 27 year old, despite him having his contract terminated by Port Vale yesterday.

The fly in the ointment appears to be that at least one other club have an interest in signing him, with the Western Daily Press claiming Northampton Town and Leyton Orient as being the most likely interested parties.

The other factor that may influence Rogers is that he has a young daughter at his current Birmingham home, and so any club commutable from his current house may be of greater interest to him. Starnes has also told the paper that Rodgers is unusually looking for a short term deal at Huish Park:

"It leaves us in a situation where we are still trying to negotiate personal terms with Luke and his agent and that is ongoing. We are discussing the whole package – length of contract is an issue but not in the way you might think. He is asking for a short-term deal rather than a longer one. There probably is another club interested which is probably why negotiation has been more difficult than we first anticipated."

Cobblers Chairman David Cardoza has denied that his club have put in a bid for Rodgers though, pointing out that the speculation exists due to a failed bid for the player a year ago, when Port Vale turned down a £60,000 offer:

"At the moment it is just speculation. I think people have just seen that we have bid for him last time and assume we are interested again."

Starnes has also separately indicated that negotiations with midfielder Marc Bircham to sever his contract are also going slower than planned. An offer has been made to Bircham, and the hope is that he will respond to the club on Monday.


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9 January 2009 : Bristol Rovers vs Yeovil Town Match Preview
Yeovil Town make the short trip up the A37 tomorrow where they will take on Bristol Rovers at the Memorial Stadium in a League One match. The match is heavily dependent upon a pitch inspection that is scheduled to take place at 9.15a.m. tomorrow morning and so those planning to travel are strongly advised to wait for the outcome of that before heading off for the game. In addition the match is an ALL TICKET game and so there will be no tickets available on the day of the match.

Both clubs are starved of football currently, with neither having played a match since December 28th. The Glovers lie two points and two places behind Rovers, and so a win for the away side would see them leapfrog their Bristol hosts. Rovers are not in great form at present, with just one win in their last 10 matches - a 2-0 victory over Tranmere Rovers on December 13th. Conversely the Glovers got through December with only one defeat, and signs that they are capable of turning the large amount of possession they often have in games into goals.

Much of that 'spark' has come from striker Luke Rodgers, and so it is a blow that (allowing for absent press releases) the Glovers have been unable to firm up a contract with the player, who was released from his stay with Port Vale this morning (see earlier news) and so is currently a free agent. His absence means that manager Russell Slade will only be able to select from 15 recognised first team players for tomorrow's match. Defender Jordan Street will doubtless fill the final vacant bench position, whilst the only selection dilemma for Slade will be how to structure his forward line without Rodgers in the side.

Midfield pair Marc Bircham and Darren Way are out for the rest of the season, whilst a third midfielder Lee Peltier begins the first of a two match suspension for picking up 10 yellow cards. Thankfully a fourth midfielder Gary Roberts is believed to have returned to training following a recent family bereavement.

Bristol Rovers go into the match with just one player absent through injury. Danny Coles is a long-term absentee, whilst Andy Williams is currently turning out for Hereford United having been shipped out on loan. Their extended break has helped defender Steve Elliott recover from flu. Speaking to BBC Bristol, Elliott is expecting a passionate encounter

"Games with Yeovil always seem to be tight encounters and obviously it's a local derby so the fans are very passionate and come out for it. Hopefully, if it's all ready on Saturday it will be another good game. We want to play, we don't want to be stuck on the training ground for too long, you want to play games. We just want to get the games going and not let them build up too much but it's the same for everybody, we'll just have to see what happens."

Much has been made pre-match in the media and pre-match interviews that Rovers have yet to beat Yeovil in a league match. Three wins and four draws represent Yeovil's record so far, although all three of the most recent meetings have ended in a draw. The last of those was the 2-2 draw at Huish Park in September 2008, with goals from Terry Skiverton and Gary Roberts being cancelled out by strikes from Rovers' front line duo of Rickie Lambert and Jo Kuffour.

The game kicks off at 3.00p.m. but don't forget that pitch inspection, or the game's all-ticket status before setting out on the road to Bristol. For everything else about the Memorial Stadium and that corner of Bristol, see our guide below.

Link: Ciderspace Guide To Bristol Rovers.


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9 January 2009 : Gifton Becomes A Texan
Former Yeovil Town loan striker Gifton Noel-Williams has headed across the Atlantic for the next step in his footballing career. Gifton's contract with Millwall ran out at the end of December, and the Glovers were not expected to move for him, despite him being a free agent.

Gifton has now joined American side Austin Aztex, signing a two year contract. He will team up with them for pre-season training in February, working under Head Coach Adrian Heath, formerly of Everton and Stoke City. Aztex are owned by Phil Rawlins, who also has shares and a director's position at Stoke, one of Gifton's former clubs.

The Aztex are a brand new club, set up in 2008, who will have their inaugural season in the USL First Division during 2009.


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9 January 2009 : Roberts Is A Yeovil Player
In all the flurry of negotiations and speculation about negotiations on other players we missed Gary Roberts formally becoming a permanent Yeovil Town player. In our defence neither Official Site seems to have confirmed that the pre-agreement between Crewe Alexandra and the Glovers has now been formally ratified, but on the 7th January the Western Daily Press did carry an item stating that Roberts has completed his move, signing a contract that takes him through to June 2011. Welcome news indeed.


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9 January 2009 : Youth Team Gets Frozen Out
No prizes for guessing - news of another postponement. Yeovil Town's Under 18s side have had their match against AFC Bournemouth called off. The match which was scheduled to take place tomorrow morning in Bournemouth, is the latest to fall victim to a frozen pitch.

Don't forget that tomorrow's first team match is subject to a pitch inspection at the Memorial Stadium which will take place at 9.15a.m. The result of the inspection will be posted on here as soon as we get it.


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9 January 2009 : Rodgers Gets Contract Ripped Up By Vale
League Two side Port Vale have terminated the contract of striker Luke Rodgers by mutual consent. The news suggests that Rodgers is close to agreeing to sign for Yeovil Town, after the Glovers have spent much of this week in negotiations with Rodgers and his agent Mark Cartwright.

The decision for Vale to terminate the 27 year old's contract is a surprise one though, and means that Rodgers will have received a payoff from the Valiants to tear up his contract at Vale Park. Moreover, it means that Yeovil will now be able to sign Rodgers as a free agent on a free transfer.

In doing so, Vale have effectively waived the £30,000 price tag they had put on the striker back in November - a decision that probably won't be greeted too kindly by Vale's fans. As a result, their club's official website has put out the briefest of brief statements, stating that there would be no further comment made on the subject by any Port Vale officials.


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8 January 2009 : Jones Finding Benchwarming A Frustration
Left-back Nathan Jones admits that he is growing frustrated at being stuck on the bench at Huish Park. The 35 year old has played 147 times for Yeovil Town but is probably one of the more unlucky members of the Glovers squad - frozen out by the excellent form of Nathan Smith, who despite being many years younger than his namesake has grabbed a first team slot, and made it his own.

With Jones one of the fittest players in the Yeovil Town squad, but not getting any younger, he has said that he would be willing to consider leaving the Glovers temporarily or permanently, if only to get more games. Speaking to BBC Somerset he explained:

"Basically I can't continue to sit on the bench. I'm not the kind of player that can just sit there and pick up my money. Sooner or later I'll have to get games, wherever it may be. I speak to the manager on a regular basis, and so it won't be a shock to anyone to know that. There's no way that I could sit out for the next four or five months sitting on the bench. I'm not that type of character. I want to play, I want to train and I want to train as hard as I can, play as hard as I can and play as many times as I can. That's the type of character that I am. So if we come to a situation here where I'm not playing for a bit longer then the situation will need to be reviewed."

Jones has appeared 17 times for Yeovil this season, but has not featured in a Glovers first team match since November 22nd and even that was as a substitute for the last two minutes of the match. His last full game was the FA Cup defeat at Stockport County, meaning that he is coming up to two months without a meaningful first team game.

Certainly it would be a loss for the Glovers if Jones was to depart permanently. Despite his age, he looks to be able to last at least another 18 months at this level, and with Smith being watched by bigger clubs it is quite possible that Jones may find himself back as the No.1 left-back before long. Perhaps a short term loan deal may be the best option for himself and Yeovil.


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8 January 2009 : Rodgers Talks Still Ongoing
Yeovil Town assistant manager Steve Thompson has said today that negotiations with striker Luke Rodgers are still going to plan. The Glovers are looking to bring Luke back to Huish Park for a second spell after his month's loan deal with the club expired on Monday.

There's been no firm shift in developments today, but Thommo told BBC Somerset that matters were still in hand through Chief Executive Martyn Starnes, and that he and Russell Slade were playing very little active part in proceedings:

"I think it's still all going along. It's in their hands but hopefully we'll have him here before Saturday. There's nothing that I can control there. Myself and Russell have stated our desire to have him. He gives us that player that plays off peoples shoulders and looks to get in behind and I don't think we've got anyone else like that in our squad really."

Thommo said that Luke's goalscoring record towards the end of his spell with the Glovers had proved its worth, and pointed out that if a linesman's flag had not denied him at Millwall that he would have had more than the two he ended up with:

"He's scored two, and in fact he's scored three in the last two games. I've watched that one (at Millwall) five or six times and it is so onside it's untrue! But he's got two that have counted in the last two games and they have really counted because each time they have earned us a point."


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8 January 2009 : Rovers Cover The Pitch
Bristol Rovers have now made the decision to put frost covers onto the Memorial Stadium pitch. Due to today's temperatures in Bristol being at their mildest (relatively speaking!) all week, Yeovil's Saturday opponents have made the decision after detecting some give in the pitch this afternoon.

For most of this week, Rovers groundstaff have not even been able to drive pegs into the rock hard pitch, but with a significant improvement shown today, Rovers boss Paul Trollope said he was more confident of the match being on:

"We are hopeful. It's definitely warmer today, so that is a bonus. At one stage the forecast was pretty grim, but it has improved, so yes we're hopeful that it is going to go ahead. We want to play. We've done a lot of physical work and a lot of technical work, but not too much tactical work out there on the pitch, but the lads are up for it."

Rovers have requested for eight volunteer fans to help remove the covers on Saturday morning at their ground in time for the 9.15a.m. pitch inspection. What the chances are of the game being on is anyone's guess. The various weather-related websites are giving huge variations in their predictions for the critical Friday night forecast, with the cold snap expected to end around Saturday night.


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8 January 2009 : Memorial Stadium Saturday Pitch Inspection
Bristol Rovers will be holding a pitch inspection at the Memorial Stadium for Saturday's match against Yeovil Town. The inspection will take place at 9.15a.m. on Saturday to determine whether the match can be played or not.

Rovers have made the decision not to use frost covers, as the prolonged nature of the 'big freeze' this week means that the frost has already got into the soil at the ground.

We'll bring you the outcome of that pitch inspection on this news page as soon as it is known.


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8 January 2009 : Owen Likely To Be Released From Stockport
Former Yeovil Town loan defender Gareth Owen still looks set to leave Stockport County, despite being recalled from his loan period with Port Vale earlier this week. Owen had been expected to agree a 2.5 year contract at Vale Park, until the Hatters stepped in and dragged him back to Edgeley Park.

Owen himself has said he played no part in that decision, telling the Stoke Sentinel that his only interest is in sorting out his future for good:

"It is out of my hands. Stockport are not willing to let me go at the minute. They want to assess things before giving me the green light. I am a bit disappointed because I wanted to get my future sorted. The deal was done in principle between myself and Vale, so this decision came from Stockport, not me. I would have no hesitation in coming back to Vale."

Port Vale manager Dean Glover is unsurprisingly nervous at seeing the player return to his parent club, believing that it now opens things up for other clubs to make moves for the player. Crewe Alexandra are believed to hold an interest in the 26 year old and Glover has expressed his disappointment in the current developments:

"Gareth's loan was up on Monday and we were hoping he would be signing to become our player. For one reason or another Stockport have pulled that for a few more weeks. We haven't given up hope, but this delays it and gives other teams a chance to come in for him."

Curiously, Stockport have yet to acknowledge Owen's return on their website or in their local press. Even more odd is that the Sentinel quote a Stockport spokesman as saying that County plan to make Owen a free agent by releasing him from his contract:

"Gareth returned to the club to negotiate his release, although an agreement has yet to be reached. We haven't had any inquiries about him, but we don't expect Gareth to be here be beyond January."

The Sentinel believe that Vale's major worry would be if another club put in a bid for Owen prior to the release from his Stockport contract, although presumably this is just as likely when Owen becomes a free agent. It would be interesting to know what Glovers boss Russell Slade's thoughts on that would be.


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8 January 2009 : Starnes : No Rush To Sell Players
Yeovil Town Chief Executive Martyn Starnes has said that the club are not in a hurry to sell off any of the club's key players. Despite some suggestions over the past month that some players might need to leave Huish Park to raise funds for the playing budget, Starnes has told today's Western Daily Press that if any players leave then it will only happen if the price is right:

"We're trying to build a young, capable squad that can do the business in this division. At some stage we may have to realise the value of one of the young players, but we're not looking to rush into it and we are not looking to get anything less than the proper value if we do."

The comments from Mr Starnes over the past 48 hours suggest a welcome shift in the club's thinking towards incoming and outgoing transfers. Before this week commenced, it appeared that key players might have to be sold during January to pay for any new arrivals. Now there seems to have been a subtle change in direction, with negotiations involving striker Luke Rodgers believed to be now going smoothly, and less pressure on manager Russell Slade to sell off the 'crown jewels' of his side. That doesn't mean that the month of January will go 100 percent smoothly, but certainly things are looking a lot more positive.


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8 January 2009 : Final Day For Bristol Rovers Tickets
A reminder that today is the final day for supporters to purchase tickets for Saturday's match against Bristol Rovers. The match takes place on Saturday 10th January at the Memorial Stadium with a 3.00p.m. kick-off.

Tickets are available from the Huish Park Ticket Office, until just 5.00p.m. today. Call the Ticket Office on 01935-847888 to make your purchase, or for ticket prices, see our December 5th article below. Note that Yeovil's seated allocation at the match is now sold out and only terrace tickets remain.

Link: Ticketing Details For Bristol Rovers.


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7 January 2009 : Ticketing Information For Southend United Trip
Tickets for Yeovil Town's trip to Roots Hall on Saturday 24th January are now available from the Huish Park Ticket Office. The match against Southend United has prices set as follows:

Adults: £19.60; Aged 60 and Over: £12.70; Students: £11.45; Aged 17-20: £11.75; Aged 9-16: £9.80; Aged 8 and Under: £4.90.

Students and those aged 17-20 years old are required to show ID as proof of age or occupation.

Southend will also admit one adult and one child for £19.60 (which effectively means the child gains free admission) provided they are seated in Block NF of the Connexions Stand. It's not clear, but we assume this is a sponsored form of Southend's North Stand, although not even Southend's official site acknowledge the existence of this sponsorship!

Disabled supporters are admitted for £12.70 and where supporters have the higher rate of mobility allowance, an assistant can be admitted free of charge.

There is no explicit mention of a matchday surcharge, however Huddersfield Town fans visiting Roots Hall in December were charged two pounds extra on the day, with the exception of Under 16s who were charged one pound extra. Hence bear in mind that this surcharge may still exist.

Finally don't forget that you have until tomorrow only to buy your ticket for Saturday's match at Bristol Rovers. There will be no tickets available from either club on Friday or Saturday.

Update: Those of a cautious persuasion may want to wait until after Southend's FA Cup replay against Chelsea before buying their ticket for the Glovers match at Roots Hall. The Southend league match takes place on FA Cup Fourth Round day, meaning that if Southend get through then the league match against Yeovil would be moved to a midweek date. Southend's Third Round replay is due to take place on Wednesday 14th January, and will be live on ITV, with an 8.10p.m. kick-off.


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7 January 2009 : ABUFP January 2009 Agenda
December 2008's postponed ABUFP meeting now has a new date. The meeting will be held on Thursday 22nd January at Huish Park. This will be a committee-only meeting. Supporters questions were already compiled for the December meeting and these will be answered at the January meeting.

The agenda planned is as follows:

Achieve By Unity Fans Partnership
22nd January 2009, Alec Stock Lounge, 5.45pm

AGENDA
1. Apologies
2. Approval of Minutes
3. Action Points from previous meeting
4. Ticket Prices for next Season
5. Membership Scheme Update
6. Supporters Questions
7. AOB


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6 January 2009 : Starnes Optimistic On Rodgers Talks
Yeovil Town Chief Executive Martyn Starnes has said that he is 'hopeful' regarding the possibility of signing striker Luke Rodgers from League Two side Port Vale. The Western Daily Press report the CEO in optimistic mood, implying that the current thinking is that Rodgers will sign a contract, rather than a new loan deal at Huish Park:

"I am hopeful of the prospects. I have had a conversation with his agent and, touch wood, we will hopefully be able to get something done. It's looking as though he may well come on contract. I'm hoping we'll get something done by the end of the week."

The WDP also round-up 101 other things along the way. Starnes confirms he is in talks with midfielder Marc Bircham and his agent, but the WDP report Starnes as saying that Bircham's exit and the potential of Rodgers signing are not dependent upon each other. They also suggest that manager Russell Slade is working off a list of 20 strikers that will doubtless be targetted as a potential partner for Rodgers. After a day or two of mixed messages between Slade and Starnes, this looks to be far more optimistic in terms of the chances of new arrivals coming in and the way things now seem to be moving forward.

The paper doesn't think at this stage that central defender Gareth Owen's surprise return to Stockport County (see our earlier story) is connected with anything that might involve the Glovers.

Bristol Rovers head coach Paul Trollope has concerns about the state of the Memorial Stadium pitch, following the big January freeze that saw every Football League match scheduled for Tuesday night being called off. With sub-zero temperatures expected right up until Saturday, Trollope says that Rovers have yet to put any frost covers on their pitch, and with the pitch currently frozen he has concerns. The forecast for Saturday is for the temperatures to finally rise above freezing. Whether that is enough to thaw out the pitch in time is questionable, but we'll keep an eye on things nearer the day of the match.

Finally, Glovers midfielder Gary Roberts has been given a short spell of compassionate leave by the club after one of his close relatives passed away a few days ago. Russell is currently waiting to find out if Roberts will be ready to return for training prior to Saturday's match.


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6 January 2009 : Owen Gets Surprise Stockport Recall
League Two side Port Vale appear to have missed out on the chance to sign central defender Gareth Owen from Stockport County. The Valiants had been preparing to turn Owen's loan stay at Vale Park into a permanent transfer yet have been left stunned by the surprise decision by Stockport to recall their former captain to Edgeley Park.

Owen had a well-publicised bust-up with Hatters boss Jim Gannon and has not played for them since he reacted badly to being substituted in a League match last year at Whaddon Road against Cheltenham Town. Hence it would be a surprise if Stockport were recalling him to bolster their playing squad, particularly as their match tonight has already been called off due to the weather.

Logic would therefore suggest that Owen is being recalled to be sold to another club. Owen had a highly successful loan spell at Huish Park last year, and manager Russell Slade made it quite clear that he would love to sign the 26 year old permanently. However, the Glovers missed out when the Yeovil Town board refused to sanction a permanent move for the player prior to the transfer window opening. Whether that position would change now, isn't clear.

Stockport have yet to divulge their motives for recalling Owen from his stay in Staffordshire, but doubtless all will become clear soon. A clearly annoyed Port Vale manager Dean Glover, who this site seems to have a daily diary for these days, told his club's official site:

"It is very frustrating to say the least. Gareth is just the type of player we need in order to improve the team. He adds some much needed experience, but unfortunately there is very little we can do about it when a situation like this occurs, but it is so frustrating."


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6 January 2009 : Former Groundsman Explains Pitch Problems
Former Yeovil Town groundsman Rod Pippard has given his views on why tonight's match against Scunthorpe United would have been so difficult to keep on. Rod, who left the club to work for South Somerset District Council, not long after winning the Conference Groundsman of the Year Award in 2003, has explained that ironically some improvements to the stadium made the job of the groundsman harder at Huish Park.

Speaking to BBC Somerset, Rod - who is now the district council's Greenkeeping lead hand, looking after their vast array of rugby, golf and football pitches - explained that the covering of the home terrace at Huish Park had some side effects on the pitch:

"Before the new home end was built, the pitch would have given out quite well over the weekend because the sun would have got onto it. But as soon as the new stand was built for the home terrace, the sunlight gets blocked, and with the sun at its lowest level during the year right now, even at midday the sun doesn't get into all of the shady spots, and the referee would have taken this into account when he did the pitch inspection."

Rod explained the factors that football league referees consider when inspecting the pitch, and why even covering the worst affected areas may not have kept the match on:

"The referee wouldn't have taken a dim view of it. He would have looked at the pitch on safety grounds as well. You're talking about 24 hours before (the kick-off) but that is quite a common thing in this kind of league football. The priority is the condition of the pitch, the safety of the players and also the safety of spectators. With the frost as it is now, it's just a general overall headache. You could bring in frost sheets, but you're talking for 72 hours maximum, and with the frost already in the ground over the weekend, that would have been a non-entity."

Whilst Rod will not have been inside the stadium to see the exact state of the pitch, he felt the decision to call the game off early would have been a sensible one for a multitude of reasons:

"In the long run yes, and financially as well, because Yeovil would have had to have paid for the travelling team if they had come down and it was called off, which would have included travelling and hotel expenses as well, so that was a good decision. It will also be good for the pitch, because it will take a long time to give out. It's not just going to do that over night. It's going to give out over days."


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6 January 2009 : Verbal Interest In Glovers Players
Yeovil Town manager Russell Slade has said that he has had verbal interest in some of his players since the January transfer window opened. That interest has yet to develop into a formal written offer, but it shows that certainly some clubs are sniffing around at present.

Speaking to BBC Somerset this morning, Russell explained that there would be no decisions made on the nature of those talks until interested clubs put down what they were after in print:

"There is interest in some of my players, certainly for one or two to go on loan and maybe even permanently. But we shall have to wait and see who puts something in writing before deciding which way to move."

Russell also reiterated last night's news concerning striker Luke Rodgers, confirming that talks had started over the Port Vale goalscorer, and that he was waiting to see what direction that took:

"We're in dialogue with Port Vale and that is ongoing at this moment in time. Hopefully we'll have some positive news before long."

The key question was whether a conclusion to the talks could be concluded before the weekend match against Bristol Rovers. Russell hedged his bets by joking: "Well it would be nice!"


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6 January 2009 : GWSC Travel To Bristol Rovers
For those wanting to travel to the Memorial Stadium on Saturday, the following travel arrangements have been made by the GWSC. The away match against Bristol Rovers will see coaches depart Yeovil Bus Station at 11.15a.m. and then from Huish Park at 11.30a.m.

The cost of travel for this match for GWSC members will be £9.00. Non-members are welcomed and will be charged two pounds more.

To place your booking, phone Paul Hadlow on 07736-044570 or Rich Rendell 01935-427072 (Evenings Only).

The Away Travel Club are also running coaches to Saturday's game. For full travel information see our December 30th article.


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6 January 2009 : Bristol Rovers Ticketing Reminder
A reminder that Saturday's match against Bristol Rovers is an ALL TICKET game. There will be no tickets on sale on the day of the game, which takes place on Saturday 10th January at the Memorial Stadium with a 3.00p.m. kick-off.

Tickets are available from the Huish Park Ticket Office, although make sure that you make your arrangements by the end of Thursday as tickets are not expected to be on sale on Friday, due to the need to return unsold tickets to the Memorial Stadium. Call the Ticket Office on 01935-847888 for any further advice, or for ticket prices, see our December 5th article below. Note that Yeovil's seated allocation at the match is now sold out and only terrace tickets remain.

Link: Ticketing Details For Bristol Rovers.


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5 January 2009 : Bircham Awaits Severance Deal
Yeovil Town midfielder Marc Bircham is still awaiting the final arrangements that would enable him to be released from his contract at Huish Park. As reported on this site on Saturday, Bircham has made a decision to retire from the game, knowing that whichever way he went he would have kicked his last ball for Yeovil Town.

The Western Daily Press indicate that Bircham's contractual ties have yet to be sorted out with the Glovers, and so for the time being, he remains on the Huish Park payroll. Bircham explained to the WDP:

"I have still not agreed it with Yeovil. I am waiting for Yeovil to get back to me and I am hoping it will be done by the end of the week."

Bircham's arrangements will no doubt include the medical certification to satisfy an insurance payout that would be triggered as part of his retirement. However, it may also indicate that he is seeking some kind of a severance payment prior to his final exit from Somerset.


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5 January 2009 : Slade Waits On Rodgers Talks Outcome
Yeovil Town manager Russell Slade says that negotiations are still ongoing with all parties involved in the attempt to bring striker Luke Rodgers back to Huish Park. It would seem that if tomorrow night's match with Scunthorpe United had not been postponed that Rodgers would not have been able to play, as his one month loan spell at Huish Park has now expired.

The Western Daily Press suggests that the club are looking into two possible deals with his parent club Port Vale - an immediate permanent transfer of the player, or a new loan deal. Not surprisingly Vale will prefer the permanent deal that would net them £30,000 for a player who will be out of contract in the summer.

The Glovers would no doubt prefer to avoid that fee, but with the WDP reporting that Cheltenham Town and Northampton Town have an interest in the 27 year old, that if there is too much dithering over the terms, then they risk losing him to another club. It would appear that Yeovil's gamble is to hope that no other club comes in with a firm bid for the goalpoacher. Slade is keeping his fingers crossed that he can get something done one way or the other by Saturday:

"Both clubs are in dialogue and Luke's agent is in dialogue with Port Vale. A lot depends on his situation with Port Vale, but I am hopeful of having him back before Saturday one way or the other."

The WDP also indicate that Russell is after another striker, currently with a Championship side - presumably a Rendell/Noel-Williams style target man, although this is not stated. Again, Russell's words imply that the Glovers are going to play a waiting game, hoping to grab that player on loan rather than have to fork out on a transfer fee:

"Sometimes the January transfer market doesn't settle down until towards the end of the month. Clubs first want to sell players and then they think about loaning them if that doesn't happen."

The risk of this approach is that the Glovers may have to play a number of games in January with a heavily thinned out playing squad - Saturday's match will see just 15 recognised first teamers available for the trip to the Memorial Stadium unless additions are made this week. They also run the risk that first choice targets may end up slipping through the net, sending the club back to square one. Hopefully Russell is right and we will know one way or another by the weekend.


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5 January 2009 : Russell Backs Scunny Postponement
Yeovil Town manager Russell Slade has given his reaction to the postponement of tomorrow night's league match against Scunthorpe United. Already without a game for eight days during the latter half of the Christmas holidays, the Glovers had hoped to pencil the Scunthorpe game in quickly after it was moved from Saturday due to their involvement in the FA Cup. It now shifts a second time to Tuesday January 13th.

Speaking to BBC Somerset, Russell admitted that he would rather have been playing the game tomorrow evening:

"Yes we are (disappointed) but I think that's true for a lot of clubs up and down the country at the moment. I think it's the first game ever postponed at Yeovil (since entering the Football League). So we're slightly disappointed that it's off. We'll have to wait and get organised for Bristol Rovers."

That said, Russell admitted he had no hesitation in backing the referee's decision to call the game off at lunchtime today, saying that the pitch was entirely unplayable:

"It's rock hard. It's like concrete. Obviously the temperature this evening is going to drop even further. Really it wasn't a difficult decision for the referee to make."

This week's freezing temperatures have also caused Russell a headache in terms of trying to find suitable training facilities. With their own pitches frozen, the first team squad have been forced to go out on the road to locations to conduct their training sessions this week:

"We're certainly touring Somerset at the moment, in an effort to find some suitable facilities. People are helping us out as well, and we're at Taunton today on astroturf."


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5 January 2009 : And Now The Rezzies Game Is Off
Wednesday's Football Combination Wales and West Division game has now also fallen victim to the weather. The match between Yeovil Town Reserves and Plymouth Argyle Reserves has been postponed and will need a new date set. This comes as no surprise given that it was scheduled to take place less than a day after the first team's match against Scunthorpe United.


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5 January 2009 : Officials For The Mem
With Tuesday 6th January's game against Scunthorpe United now off and rearranged to 13th January (see below) our next scheduled first team match is against Bristol Rovers on the 10th.

Peter Walton (Northamptonshire) has been given the match. Mr Walton became a Football League referee in 1998 and reached the Select List in 2003. We saw him as recently as 11th November 2008 (link) when he was the man in the middle for our first visit to the Walkers Stadium. Prior to that we had only had him on two occasions, in matches versus Swindon Town in 2005 and Swansea City in 2007. It may be better not to look for omens in this appointment as we have lost all three games in which he has refereed.

Running the line as Assistants will be Andy Williams (Herefordshire) and Martin Yerby (Kent). The Fourth Official is Roger East (Wiltshire).

Link: August 2005: Swindon Town 4 Yeovil Town 2

Link: October 2007: Yeovil Town 1 Swansea City 2

Link: November 2008: Leicester City 1 Yeovil Town 0


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5 January 2009 : New Date For Scunny
The postponed home match against Scunthorpe United has had a new date set. It will now be played on Tuesday 13th January at Huish Park with a 7.45p.m. kick-off.

For further information regarding ticketing arrangements, see our earlier news item.


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5 January 2009 : Glover Wants To Speak To Glovers
Port Vale manager Dean Glover says he plans to speak to Yeovil Town about the future of Valiants striker Luke Rodgers. The 27 year old has completed a one month loan period at Huish Park, but as yet the Glovers have yet to confirm whether they want to extend that loan or exercise their right to purchase the player for a £30,000 fee.

Speaking to the Stoke Sentinel, Glover explained that he was going to put a call through to Huish Park to find out what was going on today:

"I'll be speaking to Russell Slade today. Luke's loan spell has finished and I think they want to take it further. It's all down to what they want to do. He's had a great finish in scoring in his last two games."

Thankfully with tomorrow night's match being postponed, the Glovers have a few more days breathing space to determine whether a move for the striker will be sanctioned by the Huish Park board.


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5 January 2009 : Scunthorpe Match Is OFF
Tomorrow night's League One match against Scunthorpe United has been postponed. In a pitch inspection carried out at lunchtime today, the pitch was deemed to be too frozen to play, and with temperatures not expected to get above freezing in the next 24/36 hours, the postponement was the only likely outcome.

Update: Supporters Liaison Officer Sara Bradley has provided the following information regarding ticketing that will be relevant once the game has been rearranged:

1) If supporters are able to attend the rearranged fixture, the tickets they have purchased for tomorrows match can be used for the rearranged fixture.

2) Supporters who are unable to attend the rearranged fixture can exchange their ticket for any forthcoming home match at Huish Park.

We'll post the date of the rearranged game as soon as it is known. As a point of trivia, this is the first weather-related postponement at Huish Park for a First Team match since the pitch was relaid in the summer of 2002, which gives an indication of how well the investment in the pitch six years ago has paid off for the club.


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5 January 2009 : Scunthorpe Match Pitch Inspection Planned Today
The Scunthorpe United official site is reporting that there will be a lunchtime pitch inspection for tomorrow night's match at Huish Park. Yeovil Town are in theory meant to be playing the Iron in a League One match on Tuesday night at 7.45p.m. However, with sub-zero temperatures around the country expected over the next few days, the match looks extremely doubtful.

There are no pitch covers at Huish Park (not that the forecasted temperatures would even make that a method of keeping the game on) and with Scunny due to travel south today, a lunchtime pitch inspection has been planned at the ground prior to their team bus leaving Glanford Park.

There is a frost on the pitch, and the current weather forecast is for the temperature to not reach above freezing tomorrow. As a result, even if the game survives today's inspection we'd recommend that you check before travelling to the game.

Link: Metcheck.com : Weather Forecast For Yeovil Area.


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4 January 2009 : Ladies Game Off
Owing to a frozen pitch, the match between Yeovil Town Ladies and Chesham United that was due to be held at the Somerton Sports Ground today, Sunday the 4th January 2009, had been postponed.

A revised date for the match will be announced by the South West Combination Women's Football League in the near future.


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3 January 2009 : Bircham Hangs Up His Boots
Yeovil Town midfielder Marc Bircham has announced his decision to retire from the game. The 30 year old has been out since the start of September with an ankle injury, and this has been the final nail in the coffin in an injury-ravaged spell at Huish Park.

The former Queens Park Rangers hero appeared on BBC Radio 5Live this morning, and explained that although back and hamstring problems had caused him problems last year at Yeovil, that it was the ankle injury that finally finished him off:

"The last one and the final straw was my ankle injury. I've been struggling with my back and ankle for a couple of years, but in September I turned my ankle in a tackle and had a bad ankle injury with ligament and nerve damage. I had about six injections. The final straw was that I would have had to have an operation that would have kept me out for five or six months and even then it was 50-50 as to whether it would have worked. So I've called it a day."

Bircham made just 18 appearances in the 18 months he was with Yeovil Town. Ironically this season's five appearances had shown signs of him becoming the asset that his footballing CV suggested he could be to the Glovers, and he scored his one and only goal in a green and white shirt at Brentford in what was to be his penultimate match. His last game came against MK Dons on September 6th 2008.

The club have yet to announce details of any contract severance, however, the BBC suggested that the decision was taken a couple of days ago. Marc now plans to launch a soccer school in Cyprus this summer and to complete his UEFA A coaching licence as he attempts to commence a career in coaching or management. Despite his Yeovil Town career being a disappointing one for all concerned, we naturally wish him the best of luck with establishing a new career direction.


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2 January 2009 : Darren Way Gets Back In Front Of The Cameras
This evening's Sky Sports News coverage has brought the welcome pictures of midfielder Darren Way as he continues his recovery following his involvement in a car accident just prior to Christmas. The news bulletin reported severe injuries to Darren's arms, legs and hip following the accident and state that so far he has gone through an astonishing eight operations since he was brought into Dorchester Hospital on December 17th, following a road traffic accident on the A3088 just outside Yeovil.

Way was moved to Frenchay Hospital just before Christmas so that further operations could be conducted, and the Sky coverage pictured Darren out of bed for the first time, albeit via the help of a Frenchay nurse and a wheelchair. Darren told the station that he was intending to fight fully for his footballing career:

"My spirit to fight has been really strong. I did feel really close to death, so be sat up now and living to tell the tale is really positive for me. First and foremost, I am used to dedicating my whole life to football, and with me, my life and my spirit, I've not given up (playing football again) by a long shot. Don't be surprised to see me wearing a green and white shirt again soon."

Sky also spoke to Dr Anthony Ward, a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at Frenchay Hospital, and although he said that Darren would need several months for the bones to heal, that he also supported Darren's aims of achieving a full recovery:

"At this stage he has had injuries to several bones and those are going to take some months to heal. He'll have the rehabilitation and exercises to go through. So it's too early to say what the long term outcome will be. But hopefully he'll make a very good recovery."

Some very welcome news to start the year with for sure, and it was a genuine pleasure to see Darren out of bed and on the road to recovery.


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2 January 2009 : Yeovil Town vs Scunthorpe United Match Officials
Next Tuesday night at Huish Park, Yeovil Town are due to take on Scunthorpe United in a League One match. Note that this match does not take place tomorrow, on the original fixture date, due to Scunthorpe's involvement in the FA Cup this weekend. It will be played on Tuesday 6th January with a 7.45p.m. kick-off, although keep an eye on the weather for early next week as an extreme cold spell is expected over this weekend and into the early part of next week.

The match will be looked after by referee Dean Whitestone (Northamptonshire). Our last two experiences of Mr Whitestone have not been particularly brilliant ones, although to be fair in our last meeting he gave Yeovil their first penalty decision for 17 months!

That penalty decision, which came in August's home match against Leeds United, was controversial even with green-tinted spectacles on, although it was about time that we had one. However, despite us being particularly grateful for any small gifts that might come our way, the rest of his performance wasn't too clever, clocking up eight bookings in the match, but subsequently bottling several opportunities to produce second yellow cards for a number of Leeds players. Whilst that left us displeased, Leeds were just as miffed, calling Whitestone 'embarrassing'. Probably the one criticism that both camps would agree on was that Whitestone failed to be firm in his early decisions, and thus created a rod for his own back.

Prior to that, we last had the dubious pleasure of Mr Whitestone back on New Year's Day 2008 when he took part in the 1-0 defeat at Kenilworth Road. Whilst the 1-0 scoreline flattered the Glovers, who were outplayed from start to finish by a Luton side about to be broken up after going into administration, the performance of Whitestone left a nasty taste in the mouth. Card-happy and inclined to be influenced heavily by what the crowd told him to do, he red-carded Paul Warne late on in the game for a trivial second bookable offence when far worse tackles from the home side had gone unpunished.

Thankfully his two other appearances in Yeovil Town Football League games are more anonymous, in September 2007 at home to Leyton Orient, where he was quite free with the yellow cards, and back in September 2006 when Crewe Alexandra were the visitors.

Mr Whitestone will be assisted by Mark Philpott (Cornwall) and Roger Vaughan (North Somerset). The Fourth Official will be Neil Radford (Worcestershire).

Link: August 2008 : Yeovil Town 1 Leeds United 1.

Link: January 2008 : Luton Town 1 Yeovil Town 0.

Link:September 2007 : Yeovil Town 0 Leyton Orient 1.

Link: September 2006 : Yeovil Town 2 Crewe Alexandra 0.


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1 January 2009 : Club Consider January Finances
Further to yesterday's article, concerning striker Luke Rodgers, Glovers Chief Executive Martyn Starnes has claimed that manager Russell Slade is responsible for the financing of such deals.

Speaking to the Western Gazette in today's edition, Mr Starnes has given his views on the potential of any new arrivals during the January transfer window:

"It is up to the manager to present his wish-list to the board. He has got to come in and make a case for the players he wants to bring in as well as make a case as to how the club will be able to finance it. He has to work within budgetary constraints like in any other business."

Speaking immediately after Sunday's match at Millwall, Russell said that the wish-list had already been supplied, telling the WMN, "I have given the names of my targets to the directors" hence as with yesterday's articles it is concerning that both Manager and Chief Executive do not appear to be singing from the same hymn-sheet at a time when movement in the transfer market is needed to allow the squad to be strengthened.

The other concern is the suggestion that Slade is responsible for determining "how the club will be able to finance" any future transfer deals. If the issue is that the playing budget is on its limit, then the club must balance out the decision of whether it is more damaging for that budget to be exceeded than it is for the club to go into January with a size of squad that may not be fit for purpose. That isn't a decision that can be taken by the first team manager because it may require knowledge of other company department budgets and needs, as well as the club's own strategic direction. It is the finances of the club as a whole that are at stake here, and this has to be a decision made at Chief Executive or board level.


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