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30 March 2003 : Johnson Praises His 'Brave' Players
Yeovil Town manager Gary Johnson gave his views on Friday night's 1-0 win over Scarborough that took the Glovers to a tantalisingly close position in their aims of finally achieving promotion to the Football League.

Despite that, Gary expressed his disappointment at the entertainment served up as part of the game, as the visitors stuck ten men behind the ball for the first 75 minutes of the game.

"It was a bit disappointing because I still felt that Scarborough had a chance of the playoffs, as they are ten points away," explained Johnson. "Whether it's what we have been doing recently that makes people worried about us, I don't know, but in front of 7,000 people, you just want a bit more of a football match. If we had drawn 2-2, lost 3-2 or won 3-2 it would have been much better. I just wasn't happy with the way that they wanted to play, and the way they wasted time, even from early on. If they had come here with nothing at stake, then fair enough, but I felt they had something to play for - they needed to win the game. Anyway, thank God we did - we just would have liked a more exciting game."

Despite Scarborough's ultra-defensive tactics, Johnson was pleased at the manner in which his team overcame their problems, with some lessons clearly having been learnt from the recent FA Trophy exit at the hands of Burscough.

"I thought we were not only patient, we also didn't leave any holes or gaps," explained Johnson. "Against Burscough, they got in a couple of times. Today I thought our back three, or back four after Locky came on looked so solid and I don't think Chris Weale had a single save to make."

"I thought they were very bold and brave in their decision making, added Johnson. "They didn't just kick it, they were looking for people, bringing the ball down and they were trying to play. I think that when the goal came we thoroughly deserved it, as in that 15 or 20 minute period we had quite a few corners, quite a few free kicks and a couple of chances. Though how we didn't score a couple of goals in the first half, I will never know!"

"But the boys kept going and I've commended them for their bravery, not just for putting their head in at the ball, which Jacko did there, but bravery when they were on the ball and there was that sea of people in front of them. We learnt from the Burscough game. You've still got to try and pick people out. You've still got to have movement. You've got to wait for a mistake, and you've got to make them make a mistake. So I was very pleased with their bravery."

The game ended on a sour note when Kirk Jackson suffered a serious injury that resulted in a lengthy delay and six minutes of second half injury time. The situation got worse when Scarborough's Bimbo Fatokun staggeringly accused Jackson of play-acting, resulting in a scuffle that led to Kevin Gall being red-carded for what match referee Mr Mullarkey has interpreted as being 'violent conduct'.

"It unfortunately got a bit silly towards the end, which was a tactic that was being used," said Johnson. "I think they got so disappointed that their gameplan didn't work. It looks like Kirk has got a bad injury - he's probably broken his cheekbone. That's the initial verdict on it."

Later unofficial reports suggest that Jackson's injury may be a hairline fracture of the cheekbone and he is being rushed to a specialist on Monday morning. However, with the Conference title race nearing it's conclusion, it is still possible that Jackson may not appear this season. He will be joined on the sidelines by Kevin Gall, whose three match ban - if confirmed - will commence at Doncaster.

"Kevin Gall is very disappointed," said Johnson. "The referee has said he will look at it. I don't know what happened, because there were so many people there, so we'll have to have a look at it. So I can't really comment on it at the moment - I'm going to get the video to have a look. If it is wrong, we will appeal. If it's not, then he's been a silly boy."

"Gally was upset because their fellow was standing over Jacko giving him a bit of stick, even though his eye had just come up and they were worried about whether he'd swallowed his tongue," added Johnson. "That was why they all suddenly got involved. You can see when somebody is hurt or not and no players like to see other teams players standing over them giving them stick for an injury when you could see straight away that his eye had come up and his cheekbone was depressed. But it didn't need to get to that stage. The referee should have moved the boy that was having a go at him straight away and then nothing would have happened."

The win left Yeovil needing just four points from their last five games, and with Dagenham and Redbridge losing 2-0 at Stevenage Borough on Saturday, any dropped points by Doncaster Rovers or Chester City over the next seven days could see the Glovers needing a win against Telford United next weekend to secure the title.

"I'm not too sure how many more points we are going to need now but that was a fantastic three points for us," said Johnson. "Yes, we've lost two of our strikers and it might mean that we have to win one and draw one, but we've got a good squad here and I'm sure it will come off for us."

"We've got a big game on Saturday which obviously Gally can play in," he added. "Jacko is looking like he's out for the rest of the season which is a bit disappointing the day after deadline day. But he's played his part and let's hope he gets back as soon as possible because he has had a fantastic season for us and tonight he's got his 20th goal. A couple of the other lands will get their chance for a start in the first team. We've got Kim Grant, Gilesy, Lindy who all play up there. If we'd been on 60 points with 15 games to go, we would have been panicking a bit, but they have both already done a job to get us here. We haven't done it yet, but that jack-in-the-box will very soon be leaping out of it's box and screaming that we've done it."

Friday night's crowd was a seasonal record for the Nationwide Conference of 7,008, and Johnson had high praise for those who had created the four-sided atmosphere at the ground.

"I'm just pleased for everyone that we got the three points because that really is demoralising for the other two teams," he said. "That is a wonderful result. They will be gutted, and they won't be enjoying their tea tonight. I wanted that result for the 7,000 who turned up. They kept going. I've sent personal letters to all those people who wrote to me after the Burscough game. They restored my faith, and we passed them around the dressing room. Those people, along with those that came along today and especially those who went to Margate must take some credit for our two wins. They were two massive wins at this stage of the season."

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28 March 2003 : Jacko's joy turns to pain
Yeovil Town took another giant step towards securing automatic promotion to the Football League with a 1-0 win over Scarborough at Huish Park this evening. But the celebrations at the end of the game were overshadowed by the news that goalscorer Kirk Jackson, stretchered off after 88 minutes after a clash of heads, was taken to hospital after the game with a suspected fractured cheekbone. If the injury is confirmed then the 20-goal striker will miss the rest of the season. To add to that, striking partner Kevin Gall was shown a straight red card, apparently for violent conduct, in the melee that followed the injury to Jackson, and unless Yeovil decide to appeal against the decision will be suspended for the matches against Doncaster, Burton and Dagenham.

The largest Conference crowd of the season so far, 7,008, watched as Yeovil dominated the match against a disappointingly negative Scarborough side, peppering the visitors goal with wave after wave of attacks. After many near-misses the breakthrough eventually came in the 75th minute, Jackson pouncing to head in a rebound following a Kevin Gall effort. The visitors belatedly tried to play some football but for them it was a case of too little, too late.

With 5 matches left to play the result leaves the Glovers 14 points clear at the top of the table ahead of 2nd-placed Doncaster Rovers, who have a game in hand; and 17 points clear of 3rd-placed Dagenham & Redbridge who have 2 games in hand. Yeovil's next match is at home to Telford, next Saturday 5th April. Assuming the nearest challengers win their games in hand, the Glovers now need 5 points from their remaining 5 games to be assured of promotion.

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28 March 2003 : A Chairman Makes History?
The usual scenario when a football chairman lavishes praise on his club's manager is that speculation is immediate as to who the next manager will be - the dreaded vote of confidence strikes. However on this occasion we at Ciderspace reckon Gary Johnson's job may be safe for a few games yet!
John Fry has seen six managers in his time as Yeovil's chairman since 1996, but Gary is the man, he asserts in a wide ranging interview in the Western Gazette.

It takes a few years to get things moving towards where you want them to go and Gary is doing the job in the right way. He has to be the closest match that we have had to the ideal way that we want the job to be done. The chemistry is right between all the factions within the club and the results are looking good from the level of the crowds to our position in the league.

Gary has needed time to work with his squad - it does take three or four years to build a championship-winning side. I feel that if we do get in to the League then the club will fare a lot better because you have got the better facilities. We have got the right people running the club, managing the club and playing for the club - and a lot of that is down to the current manager.
Gary is not inexperienced but he is not someone who is in the twilight of his managerial career either. He is at the right age and the job came at the right time for him and the club. He has got the right critera - we wanted a person who could work with a young team and his experience as an academy manager at Watford showed us he was more than capable.

He is a qualified coach, he has got contacts and he knows about the game on the world stage. His preparation is perfection, he makes everyone feel involved and he is always available to help people. He also likes to play football in an entertaining way.

The chairman also cautiously looked ahead to next season, though careful to avoid giving the impression anything is being taken for granted.

The crowds are fantastic and the players feed off that on the pitch. If we go up I am sure that the crowds will increase. The thing we have got to do next season is change the crash barriers at the away end. But the problem we have is that if we get into the League and cover it, we also have to make it an all-seater. We have not got any plans to develop that end yet.
We get a lot of fans coming in now from the surrounding areas like Bournemouth, not only to see the good football that we play but to also witness the great atmosphere that is produced in the Westland Stand. The steel at the back and the design of it catches all the sound and it really does create a fantastic feeling all around the ground. Anyone who has not stood in it during a match ought to because it is fantastic.

If we do go up it would obviously be nice if teams such as Bristol Rovers, Exeter City and Torquay United stay in the League because it would mean some big local games which would not only be entertaining but also provide good revenue. If that happens then we might have 50 per cent of our matches all-ticket, especially if the likes of Cheltenham Town and AFC Bournemouth also end up in Division Three. That may be the point when we look at ways to accommodate all our fans.

Adjustments in ticket prices will have to be made if we go up - that is only natural. Most clubs in the League are now beginning to work to a performance - related capping or restriction based on turnover. That will be mandatory from the start of the 2003-4 season.

For the Football League and Football Foundation to help struggling clubs we will all have to follow certain criteria because what they are worried about is that some of these clubs are out of their depth. However, the fact of the matter is that you cannot make huge changes jumping from one league to another because people will not pay them.

The quality of the entertainment has an impact but the directors will very shortly put forward adjustments to the prices throughout the club, that is whether we are in the Conference or in Division Three. The fact of life is that matchday costs will go up.

In the League the cost of policing will go up because half of the games will require their presence. We will also need more stewards and things like that have to be paid for. Whether that comes from gate receipts or other means is something the board has to discuss.

The club has to balance its books. A big investment has been made by the major shareholder (Jon Goddard-Watts) and we have got to get financial viability. Our main mission is to get into the Football League - once that is achieved then the next step will be to stay there and get financial viability.

If we do not get financial viability then we will end up going out of business whatever happens. Figures are being worked out at the moment to see what our budget will be in the Conference, if we stay there, and in Division Three because anything can happen in football. We need to take the worst possible scenario and get a contingency plan ready.

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27 March 2003 : Away end open to home fans for Scarborough game
The 'away' terrace will be made available to home supporters tomorrow evening (Friday) in the Glovers home game against Scarborough, according to an article in today's Western Daily Press. Chairman John Fry said: "If we get a record crowd we could have problems outside so we have freed up more space." Scarborough fans making the long trip down to Somerset will be accomodated in a segregated part of the Bartlett Stand.

The club are expecting a large crowd tomorrow night and have announced that gates will be open from 6.30pm ahead of the 7.45pm kick-off. Dedicated turnstiles 2,5 and 12 will be open for season ticket holders only - supporters are urged to arrive early.

In team news, Yeovil will again be without midfielder Gavin Williams who is suspended. Adam Lockwood is available again after completing a one-match ban and midfield pair Darren Way and Lee Johnson are expected to be fit following stomach complaints. Skipper Terry Skiverton may be a doubt however after receiving stitches in his head during last weekends win at Margate. The Glovers have still to hear from the Welsh FA as to whether or not Kevin Gall will be released from the Wales under-21 side to play Azerbaijan.

The club's official website has announced that Yeovil have been allocated 1,200 terrace tickets for their match at Dagenham & Redbridge on Easter Monday (21st April, 3pm kick-off). Tickets will initially be made available to season ticket holders on a one per season ticket basis on Sunday 6th April from 10am-2pm at the ticket office at Huish Park. The match has been made all-ticket for Glovers fans.

In other news from the official website it's been announced that following the untimely death of previous Company Secretary George Smith, club secretary Jean Cotton has been appointed onto the Glovers board as joint Company Secretary with Stephen Allinson, and will take on the responsibility for all director's board administration. And in a second move, Paul Sargent, a partner with Albert Goodman, Chartered Accountants and a life-long Yeovil Town supporter, has joined the board as non-executive Financial Director.

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26 March 2003 : Weale features in England stalemate
The National Game XI drew 0-0 with their Dutch counterparts last night at Sportpark t'Heereind in Beek en Donk (and try saying that when you've had a few). Glovers Terry Skiverton and Darren Way had withdrawn from the squad prior to making the journey to Holland, but team-mates Chris Weale and Lee Johnson both made the trip, despite Johnno suffering from the same stomach bug that had caused Darren Way's withdrawal from the squad.

Both Yeovil players were second half substitutes, Weale replacing Chester's Wayne Brown on 60 minutes and Johnson getting a brief taste of the action 10 minutes from the end.

National Game XI manager Paul Fairclough said: "I am disappointed with the result, but delighted with the performance. Holland had one shot on target all game, and could have won had it not been for a fantastic save by Chris Weale. The only player who struggled was Lee Johnson, and after he had been ill with a stomach complaint for 2 days, we decided to only give him a few minutes late in the game, when we would all have wished for him to have had longer."

No news as yet on whether Kevin Gall has been able to get permission to be released from the Welsh under-21 squad, due to play Azerbaijan on Friday in a European Championship qualifer, the same day the Glovers play Scarborough in a crucial Conference match. "Kevin's going to join up with Wales for their training camp and discuss the situation with their manager, Jimmy Shoulder, and they will see how many of their strikers are fit." Glovers boss Gary Johnson said. "He's going to request that he plays for us on Friday as it looks like the under-21 squad are going to struggle to qualify."

Meanwhile 2nd-placed Doncaster Rovers played their game in hand over the Glovers last night, beating Margate 3-1 at Belle Vue to go 11 points behind Yeovil from 36 games played at the top of the table. The run-in for all the Championship contenders is online here.

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25 March 2003 : Jacko's Double Delight At The Seaside
Two goal hero Kirk Jackson has hailed Saturday's victory as one of the key moments in Yeovil Town's season. Speaking to Phil Tottle of BBC Radio Bristol, Kirk admitted that the day's outcome could have been very different. With 25 minutes to go, title rivals Doncaster Rovers were leading 2-1 at Woking whilst at Dover Athletic's Crabble home, the Glovers were still trailing to a Jean-Michel Sigere goal for Margate.

"That's probably one of the biggest results of our season so far," said Jackson. "We were fortunate to come back from being 1-0 down at half time. But we have been averaging two goals a game, so we know we are capable of getting them. Fortunately, they were down to ten men and that gave us a little bit of an advantage."

Kirk was asked if he thought the sending off of John Keister was a turning point in the game and he said emphatically: "Most definitely. I've just been speaking to the guy who got sent off. Personally, I thought it was a little bit harsh, but I'll take that! I reckon that we would have probably have come away with a point, although in the last 15 minutes they did start to tire, so you never know. But we're just delighted. Everyone in the dressing room is saying now, because of the way the results have gone today, that this is the biggest result for our season. I just hope we can carry on now."

Jackson has now scored a staggering 15 goals in 21 appearances since arriving before Christmas from Stevenage Borough but he modestly claimed his success was down to his team-mates, pointing out: "I am very lucky to be playing with the players that I am. I seem to be getting a little bit of the bounce now, but to be honest, I don't care. As long as we win the game I don't care who scores and let's hope it keeps going."

With 14 of those goals having come in the Conference, and five more Conference goals having been scored at Stevenage, Jackson is now just one goal behind Conference top goalscorer Paul Barnes (Doncaster), whilst Junior Agogo (Barnet) and Gregg Blundell (Northwich) share Jackson's tally. So does Jackson fancy claiming the Conference 'Golden Boot'?

"Not really - but I hope the Doncaster result was 0-0, or that Paul Barnes didn't play!" he joked. "No, to be honest, I don't care. The lads are talking about it, the gaffer has had a little word about it and he has set me on a little bit of a challenge. I'm not that bothered and I don't really want to say I am going to come out with it, but if that was to happen that would be fantastic. But there is only one thing I want to do, and that's to go up - pure and simple."

Jackson's goal tally is made all the more extraordinary by his slow start to his Glovers career that saw him net just twice in his first six appearances. But 13 goals in just 15 appearances during 2003 have seen him hit top form.

"Yes, I went through a bad spell," admitted Jackson. "Maybe not that bad but I was trying to catch my fitness up. I'm not making any excuses though. To be honest, after the Barnet game, I can remember the gaffer saying to me after the Barnet game, 'I know I brought you in Jacko, but I don't mind dropping you'. That gave me a kick up the backside and luckily after that game, I went on a bit of a scoring spree."

"It's just that gap when you go from training two times a week, to training four times," explained Jackson. "I was coming in on my day off and doing a little bit here and there and working on my finishing. One or two of the lads helped and got me up there."

Both of Jackson's goals at Margate showed the striker's all-round game as he went from target man to goal-poacher, with two well hit close range strikes in a crowded Margate penalty area.

"I can't really remember the build up to the goals because they happened that quickly," he admitted. "There had been a couple of shots, the keeper had made some saves, somebody blocked it on the line, and it came back to me and I volleyed it back into the net. From there on, I was asking the referee how long there was to go, and I just felt that we could get another goal. Fortunately the ball broke for me again. What we do on the pitch isn't just off the cuff. We work hard in training and this week the gaffer has had the strikers, midfielders and wingers working hard on shooting because he's been a little disappointed in our shooting just lately. We've worked hard on it, and what we've done today has really paid off because that's what we've been working on in training all week. So that's superb."

Despite Yeovil needing just eight points to mathematically guarantee the Conference title, Jackson was cautious about over-playing Yeovil's situation.

"I'm not going to say anything because dafter things have happened," he said. "Once it is mathematically certain, then I'll be saying that. There were three great results for us today and we are absolutely delighted and looking forward to a good trip back."

"The promotion word has not been banned, because at the end of the day that is what we are all striving for," added Jackson. "It's like a reality check for us every day - we want promotion! The thing that we don't say is 'we've done it' because until it's mathematically impossible, no celebrating is going to take place. But we definitely know what we've got to do."

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24 March 2003 : Gary's career-changing game
Yeovil boss Gary Johnson talked to Phil Tottle of BBC Radio Bristol following Saturday's 2-1 win against Margate.

Commenting on the effect that the dismissal of Margate's John Keister for a second bookable offence had on the match, Gary admitted: "Games do change on those sort of things. I was just a bit disappointed at half time because good players have to be able to adapt to all pitches. Sometimes you can play the short game but other times you have to play the long game. But it doesn't matter whether it's a short ball or a long ball, your quality has got to be the same. Our quality in the first half was not good enough."

"Margate had their chance and took it. But we hit the crossbar a couple of times and the boys showed great athleticism and fitness towards the end. I know Margate were down to ten men, but that's the way games go. Someone has got sent off because he has lunged in on a couple of tackles."

Asked to comment specifically on the referee's performance in the match Gary made the following points: "There wasn't a bad tackle in the game, and it seemed a bit strange. The referee's have got to know how important these games are, and when these teams are wasting time and in particular who is wasting time and for what reason. Don't add it all on when we are 2-1 up when we are wanting the game to finish, given those were the minutes they were trying to waste."

"Margate were wasting time, and the last minutes of the game were because they were wasting time in the first part of the half. So really that should have been our time and not theirs!"

"But credit to the lads, those are the sort of games where if you are going to win the league, you have to come back from those. Their fellow has made two fouls, and that's why I took Muzzie off because I couldn't afford him mistiming a tackle. So unfortunately for him, I had to take him off. But we rallied round, there was a lot of screaming and shouting and we had to get angry on the line because we had to up it a little. The players had to get aggressive out there without getting angry and to be fair, they did that and we had two great goals from Jacko."

"I think what you've seen out there is a group of lads who are desperate to get to where we want to be. With all due respect, we don't want to come back to places like this. We want to go up a division. We feel we are good enough and today we showed that if we go a goal down, we still have the spirit. I am very proud of them."

"Jimmy Aggrey did a good job. Their two forwards looked very lively. Sigere and Braithwaite are both quick and good on the ball. But overall we just about had enough quality on the pitch to go out and win the game. That was fantastic for our supporters again who have turned out in force, even thought it feels like a million miles away from home. They've been magnificent and I'm so pleased we have rewarded them with two goals at their end."

"I've always got faith in the players, and I always felt we had at least a goal in us and that if we did get that one that we would lay siege on their penalty box, because Margate's spirit would be gone. That's exactly what happened."

"It was a career changing game. I said that before the game, and I really did feel that about today. We needed to win that game so desperately, and the result may change a few peoples careers."

Speaking about the tactical substitution of Neil Mustoe, Gary said: "He'd given a few balls away at the time and I didn't feel it was quite happening. I've got good players on the bench and I don't need to keep players on there for whom it's not happening. More to the point, I couldn't afford a sending off. We had to win the game. It was so important to us and I couldn't take any chances."

Gary played down the seriousness of the injury to Terry Skiverton, saying, " He has five stitches, but Skivo is OK. Any injuries to his head and he is OK! Once I saw blood coming out of his head I knew it was a bad cut. They were just about to plant a free kick into our penalty area, and at 2-0 we would have lost the game. If I haven't got the kind of players who are capable of replacing the players who are out there on the pitch, then I just as well not put them on the bench. When Jimmy came on I knew he would do a good job, and he did it."

Kirk Jackson was praised by Johnson for the quality of the goals scored: "Two great finishes. The lads will tell you that we've been working hard on our finishing all week. Not just kicking it but guiding the ball in there into the net. I felt both finishes were guided into the back of the net which was lovely. They were two great finishes just when we needed them."

"Kirk's going for the Golden Boot. He wants it and I'm happy for him to think that way because they means he'll get in on everything in the penalty area and pick up little bits whether they are deflections or rebounds."

Finally Gary paid tribute to substitute Chris Giles, playing his first game since his return from a loan spell at Gravesend: "We knew on that pitch we had to go a little bit longer and Gilesy is the sort of boy to come in and get his head on things. I thought he did very well. He kept the ball in the penalty area a couple of times for us and I'm really pleased with him."

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24 March 2003 : Skivo and Darren Withdraw From England Squad
As expected, Darren Way and Terry Skiverton have withdrawn from tomorrow night's England squad as both use the time off in a battle to be fit for Friday night's home game against Scarborough.

The Football Association have confirmed the withdrawl of both players, which now leaves Chris Weale and Lee Johnson as the Glovers two representatives that will travel to Holland.

Darren Way did not travel to Kent to play in the Glovers 2-1 win over Margate on Saturday due to a stomach bug with manager Gary Johnson explaining before the game: "Darren has not eaten for two days and we felt it best to leave him at home to recover."

Club captain Terry Skiverton came back from Margate with five stitches in his head following a first half collision, and so equally was not going to be risked.

Overall, England National Game XI manager Paul Fairclough has had to make three changes to his squad for tomorrow nightís international against Holland in Beek en Donk on the outskirts of Eindhoven, with Dagenham withdrawing striker Junior McDougald from the squad.

The first of the three replacements is Gravesend & Northfleetís experienced midfielder Jimmy Jackson. Jackson is the ĎFleetísí longest serving player, having made over 400 appearances after joining his hometown club from Charlton Athletic in 1994.

Lee Johnson has also been now formally added to the squad after being on stand-by prior to the weekend. Johnson captained England in their 3-2 defeat against Italy last November.

The third change is up front, where Junior McDougaldís withdrawal gives Aldershotís top-scorer Roscoe díSane another chance to add to his growing reputation.

DíSane scored Englandís goal in last months defeat to the Belgium Under-20 side in Ostend, and constantly troubled the Belgian defence after entering the fray in the second half.

He will put pressure on Barnetís Junior Agogo and Northwich Victoriaís Gregg Blundell who have both hit 19 goals each this season for a place in the starting XI.

Tomorrow nightís game kicks off at the home ground of BV Sparta 25 at 7.30pm

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23 March 2003 : Women, Children And Relegation Candidates First......
The Conference is seriously split over the proposal put forward by Stevenage Borough chairman Phil Wallace to expand the division to 24 clubs, and thus see only one team relegated this season.
Accusations have been levelled that the proposal was bounced on the meeting of Conference chairmen last week with no warning, and pushed to a show of hands after ten minutes discussion.
The figures put forward by Mr Wallace to present this move as something other than a shoddy attempt by clubs near the foot of the table to save their own skins are simply laughable. "The extra two home games will generate an average £30,000 for each club......". A couple of seconds work with a pocket calculator shows this assertion to be absolute piffle. Only a couple of clubs in the Conference generate crowds that bring in anything close to that in income per game. And the old cry of "meaningless games", and the low crowds they attract, can only be increased with two extra clubs.
The voting is still not absolutely clear, but it seems likely that Barnet, Chester City, Dagenham & Redbridge, Doncaster Rovers, Hereford United, Margate, Scarborough and Yeovil Town voted against, and Burton Albion and Farnborough Town abstained.
With agreement on Conference Two in 2004-05 seemingly a formality we can see no reason why the expansion of Conference One shouldn't take place at the same time, and it's suddenly so important that it takes place immediately. Hold that - we can see one reason, and it has nothing to do with the greater good of football.

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23 March 2003 : Jacko opens the 'Gate
Two second half goals from striker Kirk Jackson helped Yeovil Town overcome a first half deficit to beat Margate 2-1 at Dover's Crabble Stadium yesterday, in the process helping the Glovers take a massive step towards securing this season's Conference championship title and automatic promotion to the Football League.

Yes, this result was as important as that! With most of our main rivals either losing or drawing yesterday the Glovers are now 14 points clear at the top of the table and with 6 games left to play need only 8 points from the remaining fixtures to be mathematically impossible to catch. The fat lady hasn't entered the stage and began to sing yet, but she's beginning her warm-up routine in the dressing-room. The run-in to the end of the season for the leading contenders is online here.

Nothing should be taken for granted yet however - and yesterday's opponents Margate made Gary Johnson's men sweat when Jean-Michel Sigere put the home side into an 11th minute lead. The Glovers cause was helped by the second half dismissal of Margate's John Keister for a second bookable offence, though the inconsistent and fussy official Mr Tomlinson was exasperating both sets of fans with his idiosyncratic approach to the laws of the game. However Yeovil took full advantage of their extra numbers with that man Kirk Jackson popping up in the 73rd and 80th minutes to take his goal tally to 19 Conference goals this season and to push the Glovers that little bit closer to the holy grail of the Football League.

Match report: Margate 1 Yeovil Town 2

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21 March 2003 : YTISA Brantano Offer Correction
Further to our article yesterday, Brantano have been in contact to correct the dates for the offer for YTISA members to take advantage of the 25 percent discount at their Yeovil store.

Manager Paul Weston has clarified that the offer dates are from 3.00pm to 8.00pm on Wednesday 26th, Thursday 27th and Friday 28th of March and not from the Friday to Sunday as was stated in our article yesterday.

Apologies for an confusion caused. For all other details of the offer, see yesterday's news item.

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21 March 2003 : FA Issue Statement On League Restructuring
The Football Association have issued the following statement with respect to the restructuring of the Nationwide Conference:


After several recent meetings between The Football Association, The Football Conference and the three Feeder Leagues, a number of agreements have been made with regard to the future structure of the National Leagues System.

On the 13th March, a major breakthrough was achieved when all four competitions Ė Nationwide Football Conference, Ryman Isthmian League, Dr Martens Southern League and UniBond Northern Premier League - agreed to the formation of a new Football Alliance that will operate as an extension of the Nationwide Football Conference.

The new Alliance will be formed by each of the four competitions, taking a 25% stakeholder position in decision making, with two members of each competition forming a new eight-man board.

During recent meetings, there has been a significant acknowledgement by both Football Conference and Feeder League clubs to extend the Football Conference by creating two feeder leagues into the Football Conference.

The FAís proposal for restructuring has always maintained that a 2 Feeder plus 4 Feeder system was the best structure for the future (known as proposal C). The FA National Leagues System Committee today reviewed the Football Conferenceís request to extend its competition and supported the creation of a structure that is in line with The FAís original proposal.

As a result, the creation of a new Conference North and Conference South Division, feeding into The Football Conference will commence from the beginning of season 2004/05, subject to ratification by FA Council in May 2003.

FA National Game Director Steve Parkin said:

ďDuring the past two and a half years, one of The FAís key objectives has been to make the National Leagues System more competitive, exciting and consistent.

ďThis agreement has been achieved through teamwork between The FA and all Leagues down to Level 4; they should be commended for their positive cooperation in helping to shape the future of football at this level.

ďThe FA will now work with the Football Conference, Isthmian League, Southern League, Northern Premier League and Level 3 and Level 4 clubs to finalise all details and establish selection criteria for entry into the two Feeder Leagues, ensuring that all clubs have this information before the start of season 2003/04.Ē

In addition, The Football Conference today invoked an existing Football Conference regulation, requesting permission from The FA to increase its membership for season 2003/04 from 22 clubs to 24 clubs.

This proposal has today been sent to the 3 Feeder Leagues for their consideration and consultation, prior to a FA National Leagues Sanctions Committee meeting before the end of the current season.

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21 March 2003 : Railway Engineering Works This Weekend
Supporters travelling to tomorrow's match at Dover Athletic's Crabble ground to see Margate take on Yeovil Town in the Nationwide Conference may want to plan carefully if they are coming by train.

The following is taken from the South-West Trains Website and is relevant to Saturday 22nd March:


Engineering work at Salisbury will prevent South West Trains services operating between Andover and Tisbury. A reduced Wessex Trains service will run through Salisbury.

∑ The West of England service will only operate between Basingstoke and Andover and between Tisbury and Exeter St Davids. Passengers will need to change at Basingstoke or Exeter St Davids for alternative train services. Train times will be revised and passengers should obtain times before setting out.

∑ Bus services for local journeys will operate between Andover and Salisbury or between Basingstoke and Salisbury. Buses will also replace SWT services between Salisbury and Southampton.

∑ Long-distance passengers should use the bus service between Basingstoke and Tisbury. Alternatively, bus connections will be provided between Gillingham and Westbury for Great Western services into London Paddington and SWT tickets will be accepted on this route.

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20 March 2003 : Conference Makes It Up As It Goes Along - No. 263
Once again the shambles that is the Conference seems determined to make itself a laughing stock in football. The administration of the Conference gets more bizarre by the week. The latest idea to hit the streets is to expand the Conference to 24 clubs. So what, you might think? Bit stupid to create yet more fixture congestion, but no major big deal.

However looking a little deeper this one is a real gem. The expansion is proposed for next season, meaning only one club would be relegated this. And who proposed this change, five weeks from the end of the regular season? Why, Mr. Phil Wallace, chairman of the club currently in 21st place and six points adrift from 19th. And no surprise if a number of other clubs saw this as an easy way out of their predicament.

When starting out in a competition one expects to know the rules. Strategy and tactics throughout the season takes them into account. Changing those rules during the campaign is just not acceptable.

Nothing for or against the clubs involved, but let's look at one set of circumstances. On March 8th Yeovil went to a Woking in a relegation scrap. Woking battle out of their skins against the league leaders and take a precious point in their struggle to survive. The possibility of changing the rules is then mooted, and Woking don't know exactly where they stand when Doncaster visit this coming weekend. Does this effect their concentration and performance? Who can tell, but it might. By the time Dagenham and Redbridge visit Woking on April 19th who knows what the situation will be? You can't change rules mid-season, because you will be moving the goalposts for someone.

Continuing the theme of dubious practice, Doncaster Rovers have arranged a County Cup match for March 31st, the day before an important league derby against Scarborough. Odd? The Doncaster Newsletter reveals all:

Note: Dave Morley & Jason Blunt will both be suspended for this game, but will be available for selection for the Scarborough league game on the next day!

Nothing against Doncaster trying it on - who wouldn't? But trying it on they are, with rule 7(k) of the disciplinary code stating:

A Commission shall have discretionary power to rule that a match shall not count towards the completion of a suspension if it is satisfied that the game has been arranged by the Club with a view to enabling the player to complete his suspension and thus qualify him to play in a specific match.

Anyone think Doncaster just might have arranged the tie against Maltby Main with another specific match in mind?

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20 March 2003 : Cary Glovers Travel News
Cary Glovers report that they still have six seats available for their supporters bus that is travelling to that game against Margate on Saturday, in a match that will be played at Dover Athletic's Crabble ground.

Their coach will leave Castle Cary at 9.00am and pass through Wincanton at 9.15am. The price of the coach travel will be £12.00.

Cary Glovers are also hoping to run a coach to Doncaster Rovers on Saturday 12th April (kick-off 5.35pm) that will be leaving Castle Cary at 11.00am, with prices now set at £15.00. They also plan to run a coach to Dagenham and Redbridge on Easter Monday, with prices and times to be confirmed.

For booking and further information please telephone Keith on 01963 351560.

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20 March 2003 : Wilder Up On FA Charge
Halifax Town manager Chris Wilder has been charged by the FA for bringing the game into disrepute following remarks he made to match referee Gary Mellor following his side's 3-2 home defeat at the hands of Yeovil Town.

Wilder allegedly used foul and abusive language towards Mellor at the end of a match that saw a sensational last minute Kevin Gall hat-trick winner.

Wilder was apparently incensed by a decision that led to Halifax Town player Mark Monington being sent off five minutes before the end of the game. The manager at The Shay also claims that Mellor turned down a penalty appeal when striker Brian Quailey took a tumble under pressure from Chris Weale. Bizarrely, Wilder plans to use an inconclusive still photograph of the penalty appeal from the Halifax Evening Courier as mitigation for his charges, to which he will plead guilty.

"The inconsistencies throughout the season have been frustrating," Wilder told the Courier. "And against Yeovil not only did we lose, but we had Mark Monington sent off and that means we will lose an influential player for one match."

The Shaymen currently have the worst disciplinary record in the whole of the Conference, having received no less than ten red cards in the Nationwide Conference this season. That includes Lee Butler's extraordinary dismissal against the Glovers at The Avenue, Dorchester, as part of Yeovil's 3-0 September win over Halifax that saw the goalkeeper start a punch-up AFTER he had been dismissed for a professional foul. That alone brought the keeper a six match ban for his actions.

The Shaymen are likely to face a further rap from the FA once the season is over, as they already have a suspended fine hanging over them for their indiscipline as part of the 2001/02 season.

However, Wilder need not worry just yet. The FA have still yet to deal with Stevenage Borough manager Graham Westley, then manager of Farnborough Town for his disgraceful behaviour after getting his marching orders during a 2-1 win for the Glovers at The Avenue. Despite the match taking place on September 3rd 2002, the hearing for Westley has still not taken place.

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20 March 2003 : Johnson: Support Us For Our Football Future!
Yeovil Town manager Gary Johnson has issued a rallying call for the Glovers last seven Nationwide Conference matches of the 2002/03 season, as his team aim to grab the 12 points they need to guarantee them the prize of the Conference title and automatic promotion.

Following a week that saw the Glovers lose their dream of the double as they lost to Unibond League side Burscough Johnson told the Yeovil Express that he had received several letters of support from fans.

"I've had about 12 letters of support this week with comments that put a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes," Johnson told the Express. "They spoke of their support of what we had done and what we are trying to achieve. Those letters restored my faith in human nature."

Those letters arrived after Johnson astonishingly had to put up with barracking of himself and his players during their FA Trophy match, despite holding a 12 point lead at the top of the Conference, and being until then the current FA Trophy holders.

"Supporters have got to support us through thick and thin," added Johnson. "Not just for one game but for our football future. Ninety per cent of them do that, but I was very disappointed at some of the things I heard from the ten per cent. The players we've got are committed to this football club and not one of them would give less than 100 per cent, so I was angry when I heard some supporters claiming they weren't trying."

Express Sports Editor Steve Sowden did not mince his words in his editorial this week and he gave a stark warning to the boo-boys describing the events as the "sorts of things which can make managers walk out on clubs" whilst telling them to "wake up and smell the coffee."

Sowden rounded on those who preferred to barrack the players describing them as 'hypocrites' as he added: "I for one am pretty certain that those critics from Saturday will be dancing with delight if Yeovil do actually go on and clinch the Nationwide Conference title during the next few weeks. And that would make them, in my opinion, plain hypocrites."

Ciderspace believes that now is the time for all Yeovil Town supporters to stand up and be counted. When athletes and horse-jockeys cross the finish line of races, they do so by the adrenalin surge they get as the crowd push them on that extra inch that can be the gap between success and failure. Yeovil Town's supporters can make that extra difference, but only if they get behind the whole of the team, and not just their selected favourites. If a player is playing badly, encourage him and lift his spirits. If a striker misses a goal-chance, applaud him for getting into that position. There will be plenty of time for any post-mortems necessary in May. Back the team as a whole, create a wall of sound, keep the pressure off the players, and let's see what tomorrow may bring.

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20 March 2003 : Get Your Flags Out For The Lads!
Yeovil Town supporters, and past Ciderspace contributors, Tim Lancaster and Will Ranner, have called on all supporters to dust off their Yeovil Town flags for the trips to Margate this weekend (or to be precise, Dover's Crabble ground) and the Easter Monday trip to Dagenham and Redbridge's Victoria Road ground.

Their ambition is to deck the away ends of both grounds in a sea of Yeovil Town flags, to give Gary Johnson's team a major boost when they come out for the two vital games. Both grounds have excellent points in the ground to hang flags, and the result could be a colourful sight if a large number are taken to the two games.

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20 March 2003 : YTISA Give Supporters The Boot!
Yeovil Town's Independent Supporters Association are giving their members the chance to get kitted out in new shoes next weekend.

The Glovers play Scarborough on Friday 28th March at Huish Park, leaving the weekend open for a spot of shopping and Retail store Brantano, situated at the Babylon Hill Retail Park are offering YTISA members the chance to get 25 percent off their shoes over the weekend.

On Friday 26th, Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th March, between 3.00pm and 8.00pm, supporters showing their YTISA Membership Cards at the cash tills can obtain their discounts.

You can find full details of their store opening hours and location here.

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18 March 2003 : Chester's Wright result for the Glovers
Yeovil's automatic promotion hopes were given a boost last night after play-off contenders Chester City beat 2nd-placed Doncaster Rovers 1-0 at the Deva Stadium, the game being shown live on Sky TV. In a poor match which will have done nothing to enhance the Conference's reputation as a haven for good football the visitors cause wasn't helped with the dismissal of David Morley for a second bookable offence on the stroke of half-time; incredibly followed by another red card, this time for former Glovers loanee Jason Blunt, again for a second bookable offence on 47 minutes.

Chester made hard work of their two man advantage, but eventually the pressure on Doncaster's goal told with Michael Twiss forcing the winner home on 61 minutes. Chester boss Mark Wright was dismissed to the stands just before the end of the game after becoming involved in a pushing match with a Doncaster player, a suitably tawdry end to what was in all honesty a dreadful game.

Still, Yeovil should worry! The result leaves the Glovers still 12 points clear at the top of the table on 76 points. Doncaster remain second on 64 points with a game in hand, followed by Dagenham & Redbridge in third, also on 64 points and with a game in hand. Regardless of what other teams now do, if Yeovil take 12 points from their remaining 7 games they will ensure winning the Conference title and gaining automatic promotion to the Football League - the run-in for all leading contenders for the play-offs and top spot is online here.

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16 March 2003 : Johnson's Banana Skin
Yeovil Town manager Gary Johnson expressed his disappointment at Saturday's post-match Press Conference, straight after seeing his side crash out in a 0-2 home defeat against Unibond League side Burscough.

"We are really disappointed," he admitted. "It's no use saying we didnít want to win this competition because we did and the players did and they are sitting in the changing rooms disappointed. But I did say that at 5pm we would forget whether we have won, lost or drawn this competition and concentrate on the league. So I had from 4:55pm to 5pm to tell them how disappointed I was about this game. We have to pick their heads up quickly because we have seven major games now instead of ten. We have to get results in and in the wider picture we have to win and are determined to win this league. What more can you say? It is one of those banana skin games where you have all the pressure, but because they sit in their penalty area and we werenít quite clever enough to break them down on the day, or get lucky enough you get done by a couple of quick breaks in ninety minutes. But thatís the way it goes sometimes."

"I am disappointed for the supporters because I know how much they enjoyed it," added Johnson. "But we enjoyed it as well so we are disappointed just the same. We have to see whether our club is strong now because thatís gone now and we have to rally around for the major competition. You look up sometimes and you just see a sea of shirts in front of you and anyone who has played in that situation knows you have to get a goal early however because they got the goal early it gave them more power to the elbow to get even more players behind the ball. But to be fair to them they came with a tactic and it worked for them on the day. How many times did they get in to our half? We werenít dynamic enough, we didnít run at people and we werenít playing quick, clever one-twoís. Sometimes you have to give credit to their people in the box because they blocked, stopped and got in the way of everything. We arenít the first team to slip on a banana skin and we certainly wonít be the last."

Attention now turns to Yeovil Town's seven remaining Nationwide Conference league fixtures, and Johnson added: "We have to learn as a club. I have to make decisions down on the line and make the decisions for the right reasons. Behind the goal and most of the ground is very supportive. I wouldnít say all sections are supportive, some are very quick to get on your back and they are generally behind me so I hear them. They are the ones who love you when you're winning and hate you when you're losing. The ones who are there for you when you need them are the ones you die for. Weíve got 80 percent of those people at this club, and its them we are doing this for."

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16 March 2003 : Glovers Go Dutch For England
Yeovil Town have had four players called up for next week's National Game XI squad (aka the England Semi-Pro side) who will travel to play Holland on March 25th. Manager Paul Fairclough has chosen a full-age squad as opposed to the two previously selected Under-23 squads.

Darren Way, Terry Skiverton and Chris Weale have been included in the main party, whilst Lee Johnson is listed as one of the stand-by party in case of injury. Main title rivals Doncaster Rovers have not had any players selected for the game.

The full squad for the game is as follows: Wayne Brown (Chester City), Chris Weale (Yeovil Town), John Kennedy (Canvey Island), Scott Guyett and Danny Collins (both Chester City), Michael Rose (Hereford United), Terry Skiverton and Darren Way (both Yeovil Town), Mark Janney and Junior McDougald (both Dagenham and Redbridge), Stewart Drummond, Lee Elam, Adriano Rigoglioso (all Morecambe), Richard Norris and Gregg Blundell (both Northwich Victoria), Junior Agogo (Barnet).

The reserve list is as follows: Matt Baker (Hereford United), Greg Heald (Barnet), Jimmy Jackson (Gravesend and Northfleet), Lee Johnson (Yeovil Town), Anthony Riviere (Welling United), Rosco D'Sane (Aldershot Town)

Yeovil Town Chairman John Fry was rather nonplussed by the situation that leaves Yeovil having to release potentially four players for a Tuesday night game, to play in an overseas match just 72 hours before a vital home league game against Scarborough on the Friday night.

Fry said: "We don't want to get into a club v country, but we are being put in an impossible situation. Our final decision will be down to what my manager, Gary Johnson, wants, but we are compliant and don't break rules. Most of our players are international standard and we don't want to stop them playing for their countries. But it is down to the governing bodies to sort this out. Isn't there any commonsense left?"

Ciderspace understands that on this occasion there is unlikely to be any form of compromise by Fairclough or the Football Association, with Fairclough likely to insist on the players being released for the game, thus seeing Doncaster Rovers gain a clear advantage over their rivals Yeovil, Chester City, Dagenham and Redbridge and Morecambe all of whom have at least three players selected. Yeovil Town may already lose Kevin Gall for the Scarborough game due to his selection for the Welsh Under-21 side. It seems that you get punished for building up a good international quality team round these parts.

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14 March 2003 : Johnson: We want our Trophy back!
Yeovil Town put to one side their bid for league status this weekend as they concentrate on defending their FA Trophy crown when they entertain Northern Premier League side Burscough at Huish Park on Saturday. The Glovers are likely to pick from the same squad that beat Leigh RMI 3-1 on Tuesday night, including winger Nick Crittenden who came on as a late sub against Leigh after missing the last 7 games with a groin injury. "We want to keep everyone involved and Nick is ready," Glovers boss Gary Johnson commented. "We just gave him a little taster against Leigh to remind him what he has missed and it is great to have his quality, alongside the likes of Andy Lindegaard and Roy O'Brien, on the bench. We took Kirk Jackson and Gavin Williams off as a precaution and I am sure they will be fit for Saturday. We want to win the FA Trophy. We want to win it for those fantastic fans out there and for ourselves - we want a big end to the season but there is still a long way to go."

Burscough are currently 18th in the Northern Premier League but have recently improved form, winning their last 2 NPL games. Manager Shaun Teale - familiar to Glovers fans as a former Seaside Scummer, as well as from his time at Southport - is looking forward to Saturday's match: "We will be coming down on Friday and we will relax in our hotel and prepare for the game," he said. "It is the club's biggest match for 30 years so we have to be professional. We have done our homework and targeted a couple of areas - we know we will have to defend well and that suits us because we have only conceded 30 goals in 31 (Unibond League Premier Division) matches this season. In league games we have struggled to score but in the Trophy we have not. We only have 27 goals in 31 league games but cannot stop scoring in the cup competitions and that tells its own story. If we had scored ten more goals in the league we would be halfway up the table. We have been without our top-scorer, Gary Martindale, who has been injured for 15 games this season and that had an effect on our scoring-rate. Gary is fit now and he will be involved on Saturday. He might not start the game but he will be involved at some point. We have no other real injuries, a couple of niggles but nothing serious."

Former Telford and Notts County striker Martindale is not expected to start the match tomorrow, but should feature on the subs bench. For an in-depth preview of tomorrow's game, courtesy of Andrew Foot, click here.

In other news Glovers boss Johnson has asked striker Kevin Gall to forfeit his place in the Welsh under-21 side to play Azerbaijan on Friday 28th March - the same day that Yeovil entertain Scarborough in a crucial Conference match. Gall has also been picked in the Welsh squad to face Serbia-Montenegro three days later on Tuesday 1st April, the date pencilled in for the re-arranged match v Telford, should Yeovil beat Burscough in the FA Trophy tomorrow.

"I've spoken to Kevin and he wants to play for us if he can," said Gary Johnson. "He knows how important the games are for us and is going to ask to be released. He's going to speak to Jimmy Shoulder [Wales under-21 manager] on a personal level and if he agrees then I will speak to the Welsh FA. Kevin is enjoying himself here and is committed to the club."

[Quotes sourced from the Western Gazette and the Western Daily Press]

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13 March 2003 : Chester vs Doncaster : Live At Huish Park!
Next Monday's (17th March) crunch match between Chester City and Doncaster Rovers is being shown live on Sky Sports with an 8.05pm kick-off, as both teams battle to close the 12 point gap on the Glovers at the top of the Conference.

The Huish Park Executive Lounge will be showing the live match on their big screen and the bar will be open from 7.00pm. All supporters are welcome to come and watch the game.

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13 March 2003 : Cary Glovers Travel and Cabaret
The Cary Glovers Supporters Club have announced a series of social and travel functions for the coming weeks.

Off the field of play, the day after the Nationwide Conference league match against Scarborough will see a Cabaret evening at the Consti Club in Castle Cary. The event takes place on Saturday 29th March and tickets will cost £7.00, which includes a Ploughman's Supper. Tickets are available from Keith or Sally Hartnell. Telephone 01963-351560 for further details.

Cary Glovers are also running a bus to two of Yeovil's remaining away games. Tickets for the trip to Margate (or Dover to be pedantic) are £12.00 although get your bookings in quick as there are only five seats left.

They will also run a bus to Dagenham on Easter Monday. At present, no ticket price has been confirmed, but is expected to be around £11.00.

For further details or to make your booking, ring Keith or Sally on 01963 351560.

The next meeting of the Cary Glovers takes place on Tuesday 18th March and will be held at the Consti Club in Castle Cary, starting at 8.00pm. New members are welcome to attend and membership is priced at £2.50 for adults and £1.00 for juniors (16 and under) and students.

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13 March 2003 : Independent Supporters Association news updates
Issue 15 of Independent Barmy Army, the fanzine of the Yeovil Town Independent Supporters Association is now on sale and will be available to purchase at this Saturday's FA Trophy game v Burscough.

The fanzine contains the usual mix of articles ranging from the serious to comical, and this month includes contributions from supporters of all of the Glovers promotion rivals as well as a match report on the YTISA's recent friendly match v Morecambe supporters from legendary (so he says) Shrimper Sean O'Connor. Issue 15 is easily the biggest edition of the fanzine so far produced by the YTISA and at £1 is excellent value and a good read - thoroughly recommended by us at Ciderspace.

If you wish to purchase the fanzine but can't get to the Burscough game on Saturday, email editor Stew Bratherton at and he'll reserve you a copy.

YTISA press officer Steve Sowden writes:

The former chairman of Yeovil Town FC, Bryan Moore, has officially accepted the invitation to become the first-ever Honorary President of the Yeovil Town Independent Supporters' Association.

It was announced on Tuesday in the YTISA's fanzine, Barmy Army, that Mr Moore had agreed to accept the role.

YTISA chairman Mark Kelly said: "His acceptance of his position as Honorary President of the YTISA will bring a wealth of experience and guidance to the organisation and I'm sure that all of our members will welcome an old friend into the fold."

Mr Moore served as club chairman from 1991 until present day supremo John Fry took over in the 1995-96 season.

But Mr Moore's relationship with Yeovil Town extends back over more than 50 years and as a 12-year-old boy he was among the crowd at the old sloping pitch of Huish to watch the Glovers' beat Sunderland 2-1 in that infamous FA Cup Fourth Round match.

Since those days he has been heavily involved with the club, and now does a lot of work for the Football Association and is currently chairman of the FA Trophy Competition Committee.

His support of the Glovers, however, is without question and he boasts a proud record of having watched between 1969 and 1990 a total of 1,308 consecutive matches involving Yeovil in the league, FA Cup, FA Trophy and county cup games.

Finally, it is now possible to buy YTISA merchandise in Yeovil town centre. A selection of different items such as scarves, hats and flags are now on sale at the Key Stores newsagents in Princes Street, Yeovil. See the YTISA's merchandise page for an idea of what is available to purchase.

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13 March 2003 : Another Triple For Lindy
Winger turned striker Andy Lindegaard gave Yeovil manager Gary Johnson a reminder of his value to the Glovers squad with a hat-trick against Frome Town in a friendly last night at Badgers Hill.

In a game that featured a blend of bench-warmers, youth teamers and trialists, Lindegaard grabbed all the goals in a 3-0 win as Johnson gave those who didn't start in Tuesday's 3-1 win over Leigh RMI a chance to stretch their legs.

Lindy got his first on 30 minutes when he intercepted a poor cross-field defensive pass and ran through the middle of the Frome defence. His second was scored two minutes after the break when he thumped the ball home from a narrow angle following a corner, whilst his hat-trick came after he brought down a Jimmy Aggrey long ball, beat two defenders and slotted the ball home with just an hour gone. The match ended with Aggrey playing as a striker, Chris Giles playing as a defender, and Nick Crittenden playing as a central midfielder!

Crittenden was able to build up his fitness as he looks to return following a groin operation, whilst there were also two trialists on view. Lee Mudd is a Belfast-born 21 year old midfielder who has played for Glentoran, Stockport County, Bolton Wanderers, Newry Town, and Crusaders. Mudd has also gained international honours with Northern Ireland's Under 16 and Under 18 sides. Nothing is known of the other trialist, who went under the name of Jay Smith - though this is believed to be a pseudonym, with Johnson preferring to keep the player's real identity under wraps for the moment.

Yeovil Town XI: (3-5-2) Stephen Collis; Jimmy Aggrey, Roy O'Brien, Stephen Reed; Steve Thompson, Neil Mustoe, Nick Crittenden, Jay Smith, Lee Mudd; Chris Giles, Andy Lindegaard. Subs: (all used) Ian Patchett, Nick Jacobs, Sam Vine, Gary Nash.

Frome Town: James Smith, Leon Kelly, Aaron Blacker, Steve French, Lee Ashton, Paul Thorpe, Tony Pounder, Matt Peters, Matt Fricker, Lance Spencer, Keiron White. Subs: Chris Bone, Damien Preece, Richard Lindegaard, Rob Trapnell.

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12 March 2003 : Gall Gets Welsh Call-Up Again
Yeovil Town striker Kevin Gall has once again been selected for the Wales Under 21 squad. Kevin is the only player selected outside the Premiership and Nationwide Leagues for a match that will take place on Friday 28th March against Azerbaijan - the night that Yeovil Town take on Scarborough in the Nationwide Conference.

Manager Jimmy Shoulder has selected an 18 man squad as follows:

Jason Brown (Gillingham), Paul Whitfield (Wrexham), Rhys Day (Mansfield Town), Michael Price (Unattached), Darren Moss (Shrewsbury Town), Shaun Pejic (Wrexham), Rob Edwards (Aston Villa), Ryan Valentine (Darlington), Jamie Tolley (Shrewsbury Town), Matthew Williams (Manchester United), Andy Mumford (Swansea City), Michael Brough (Notts County), Lee Fowler (Coventry City), David Pipe (Coventry City), David Vaughan (Crewe Alexandra), Kevin Gall (Yeovil Town), James Collins (Cardiff City), Gareth Williams (Crystal Palace)

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12 March 2003 : Frome Friendly Tonight
A Yeovil Town XI will take on Screwfix Direct League side Frome Town in a friendly match tonight at Frome's Badgers Hill ground.

The match will almost certainly be used as an opportunity for Nick Crittenden to build up his fitness following his comeback from injury in last night's game. Stephen Collis, Kim Grant, Roy O'Brien and Neil Mustoe would also seem likely to feature alongside the cream of the current Youth Team crop.

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11 March 2003 : Glovers go twelve points clear at the top
Yeovil Town extended their lead on top of the Conference table tonight with a 3-1 victory over Leigh RMI, a scoreline which didn't do justice to the Glovers complete domination of the match. Kirk Jackson opened the scoring on 19 minutes and then doubled Yeovil's advantage 2 minutes later, with Kevin Gall making it 3-0 0n 36 minutes. Keith Scott pulled one back for the vistors just before the break.

"We played some great football, especially all through the first 30 minutes I thought," Yeovil boss Gary Johnson enthused. "You know sometimes we all go home after the game and watch highlights of the Premier League games on Match Of The Day and sometimes you think that all games are like the highlights when they only show you 7 or 8 minutes and you see loads of great goals - It doesnít always happen like that when your watching 90 minutes, you have to control a game and we controlled that today. We upped it when we needed to get the three goals and it was a cosmic spell. They stopped us in our tracks by scoring their goal which was good because it meant we werenít going to be complacent, but we dictated the game, and I think the only save Chris Weale had to make was from Darren Way."

"I thought they were all magnificent today - this was a big game, 5,300 people watching and under pressure to get a result and Leigh RMI under pressure to stay out of the relegation zone so in my opinion that was a fantastic performance."

"I think the boys showed they couldnít wait to get back out there. The whole night had the smell of Woking about it when we played them at home - that was our last Tuesday game but funnily enough the start was delayed that night by 15 minutes so the whole day had the smell of Woking. We did put in the boys minds that 4-0 win which was the first game we had here after playing in Dorchester and how much we enjoyed that night. We told the boys to shut their eyes and think back to that day and how they felt and we came through with flying colours because make no mistake there was pressure on the game tonight but the boys showed their fitness, ability and commitment."

"All we have to keep doing is picking up our three points. This was a big one today and because we got the 5,500 people they knew it was a big one today as well. Donny are going to Chester next Monday thatís not an easy game for them - they would be gutted if they were watching teletext today to see us beating Leigh 3 Ė 1 especially as Leigh are quite high up in the form table, they were dangerous but in our cosmic spell we demoralised them."

"We want to keep all the lads involved and its fantastic to give Nick Crittenden a taste of what heís missed and when you can bring people on of the quality of Lindy, Roy OíBrien and Critts. They are three players who are going to strengthen any side."

Yeovil go to 76 points on top of the Conference table, 12 clear of 2nd placed Doncaster on 64 points, who now have 2 games in hand on the Glovers. Morecambe go into 3rd place on 61 points following their 3-0 win over Margate. None of the other contenders played this evening.

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11 March 2003 : Macca : Saturday Could Be a Blessing in Disguise
Left winger Michael McIndoe talked to BBC Radio Bristol following Saturday's 1-1 draw at Woking.

Macca expressed his annoyance not only in the result, but in the manner that the Glovers played, admitting: "It was a very big disappointment, and we didn't play very well at all. We didn't get out of the blocks early on, we gave them a lot of chances and to be honest with you, I think we did well to get the draw. The other night at Halifax we created a lot of chances and deserved to win the game. But here we didn't create a lot of chances, and we barely deserved to get a draw. Compaared to our usual standards that we've set for ourselves, that was nowhere near our best. Individual performances were just not good enough."

The Glovers conceded their goal at Kingfield to a set-piece and Macca added: "Recently we've been giving a lot more set plays away. I don't know why that is, but we're going to have to put a stop to it straight away. We're a little bit disappointed with the draw, as we go out to win every game. But we're more disappointed at the level of chances we've created today as we normally create 20 or 30 chances every game. Today we must have created five at the most. We did well with ten men, but we don't want to be going down to ten men. Our indiscipline has cost us a bit today. Adam has apologised to the boys - he's good as gold over things like that. I've done it myself, so I know how he feels."

With the Glovers still undefeated during 2003, McIndoe still believed that the team could right things against Leigh RMI (tonight) and said: "But we'll bounce back from this, believe me. We did well and worked hard with ten men, and were even looking to score with ten men. We want to score goals and it's disappointing when you only score one. I'm looking forward to Tuesday night. We've got a lot of people to prove wrong, as there have been a lot of fans that have travelled today and they've seen a disappointing performance. I don't think you'd even see that number of supporters travelling with a Second or Third Division club, especially as it is a couple of hours to get there, and that after Tuesday night when there were a large number there as well. As far as I am concerned I can't wait to get round to Tuesday night's game to put a disappointing performance behind us. It could be a blessing in disguise - a little kick up the arse for us for ourselves - we'll bounce back on Tuesday."

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9 March 2003 : Misconceptions And Clarifications
It has been brought to our attention at Ciderspace that a number of misconceptions are doing the rounds in a variety of very different quarters. In hope of clarifying matters can we emphasise that:

1) Although we provide space for the Yeovil Town Independent Supporters Association to advertise themselves and promote their merchandise on this site neither YTISA nor any of its committee members as individuals has any input to the Ciderspace site other than through pages specified as being connected to that Association.

Ciderspace is an independent website under the editorial control of its three administrators, none of whom are committee members of any supporters organisation.

2) The forum that Ciderspace provides for the use of fans of Yeovil Town and rival clubs as a separate addition to this main site is an open forum. This means anyone of the millions with Internet access can post anything they want, and are liable for their own postings. We trust that the vast majority of posters use this facility responsibly (and they do), but as moderators of that forum we at Ciderspace occasionally feel that certain items should be removed for a variety of reasons. If a justified complaint about an item is received, or we ourselves feel it is unacceptable, then it is deleted as soon as practically possible. However we are not on-line 24 hours a day - despite appearances!

We have received suggestions that the forum should be changed to registration only. However people can still register with fake details and anonymous e-mail accounts on that type of forum if they are minded, and thus registration is not a complete answer to undesirable or unwise postings - a forum relies on people acting sensibly and responsibly. We at Ciderspace have been discussing for some time whether the disadvantages of a registration only forum continue to outweigh the benefits. Sadly, as is perhaps inevitable when a greater and greater volume of postings is being attracted, the amount of dross has been increasing; but for the moment our opinion is that it will continue as an open forum. This will be reviewed again over the close season.

3) The couple of potentially serious issues raised about a single figure number of postings (out of the tens of thousands made) on the forum over the past months have all reached us second and third hand. By the time they reach us the misconceptions about who might have written what is generally out of all proportion to the original posting(s). Again just as posters should act responsibly, so any who feel they have a justified complaint should be responsible enough to contact the administrators at Ciderspace directly.

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9 March 2003 : Johnson: "You can't have the Lord Mayor's Show every week"
Manager Gary Johnson gave his reaction to yesterday's 1-1 draw at Woking as part of his post-match interview with BBC Radio Bristol and admitted: "We've certainly had better days. We've just talked quietly in there, because at the end of the day, as our fans keep on reminding us, we are still top of the league."

"Some players dug in and the end, and so I'm pleased with that," he added. "But overall we didn't play well today. That's the first time for a little while, that we can say that we didn't play well. We had chances but Woking had a couple of chances as well and they hit the crossbar. We've come out of it with a point. When you have a man sent off, it can put you on the back foot. Even then we were still creating chances, so I suppose that's a positive that I can take from it."

"We didn't give our supporters and ourselves enough to get behind today," admitted Johnson. "Individuals were not firing on all cylinders today. We've talked in the dressing room about what those reasons might be, whether it was training, mentality, preparation or whatever. We've all agreed that we were mentally and physically prepared, but it was one of those days where too many people were off their game. We didn't get our game going. There were a couple of times when we did - once was the goal, and the other was Gally's chance where he maybe should have hit it first time, but the keeper made a good save after he'd had a touch. But overall it was a bad day at the office and we owe our supporters the next one."

Adam Lockwood was given his marching orders for two bookable offences, leaving Yeovil down to ten men for much of the second half, but Johnson had few complaints about the decision: "Locky has done fantastic for us all season, but at the end of the day they were two silly tackles. It's cost us, because when you don't have eleven men, you're chasing the game. He knows the rules, he knows what he can and can't do, but they were a couple of moments of madness when you don't need to make the challenges in the areas he made them in. Gavin slipped and his touch probably stopped their lad from getting onto goal and you can half accept that because he'd slipped over. But Locky is more disappointed than anyone else. He will earn from it and it will obviously cost him in his pocket as well."

Surprisingly, Yeovil were still not content to play for the point, and continued to attack their hosts, although without much success. Johnson explained: "We know we're fit enough to play with ten men. All you need is to have those ten men add an extra ten percent to their game and we'd have our extra man back again. So I don't feel that they outpassed us, and we were still going for the game. Our mentality is always that if we are going to lose a game, let's lose it whilst trying to win it. We're in a position where we can do that. We're nine points clear and we can afford to go for the result. The difference between one point and no points is not a great deal. You need to go for the win."

Johnson admitted he was disappointed at falling behind to a Woking set-piece, scored by Jon Boardman: "People have their players, so we know exactly who should have been marking him. We will chastise him and make sure it doesn't happen again. But it happened and we got the goal back at a good time and it gave us an hour to get the winner, which we thought we were on for, with a good wind behind us and our crowd behind us. But we haven't lost, and we've kept our run going. The boys are a bit down, but I'll pick them up by Tuesday. It's unbelievable that we've come away to Woking, who are fighting for their lives, and look how miserable we are after only getting one point. Maybe we've had it too good!"

"You can't have the Lord Mayor's Show every week, he added. "Today we had to dig in due to circumstances - such as players not playing well and the sending off. The supporters helped the ten men, helped the score stay one-all, and nearly helped us get a result when we had a couple of chances. But the supporters know we're proud of them, and they won't give up on us just yet!."

Yeovil entertain Leigh RMI on Tuesday, leaving the Glovers with little time to reflect upon two dropped points, but Johnson insisted: "We'll welcome it - I'd like another game in a minute! We want to get us back and going straight away. The boys have said in there that they can't wait for Tuesday to come around. It's a big game for us on Tuesday against Leigh RMI. It's going to be very similar in that they are fighting for their lives as well and they need to get a result."

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9 March 2003 : Cards keep Glovers feet on the ground
An estimated 1,800 travelling supporters in a crowd of 3,332 watched as ten-man Yeovil struggled to contain a rejuvenated Woking at the Kingfield Stadium in Surrey yesterday, 1-1 the final score.

After crowd congestion delayed the kick-off by a few minutes it was the home team that settled first in the difficult conditions, Woking taking the lead through a Jon Boardman header on 17 minutes. Yeovil's equaliser followed before the break, Kirk Jackson converting Michael McIndoe's cross on 36 minutes. Woking's cause wasn't helped when former Glovers hero Warren Patmore was stretchered off just before half-time after a clash of heads with Adam Lockwood, Wazza receiving stitches in a nasty head wound; and the Glovers didn't help themselves after the break when Lockwood was dismissed by idiosyncratic referee Trevor Kettle for a second bookable offence, Yeovil being forced to play most of the final period with only ten men. Both sides had chances to win the game from then on and both sides had efforts disallowed but in the circumstances of the match perhaps both sides in the end were relatively content with a point apiece.

Match report: Woking 1 Yeovil Town 1

The result leaves the Glovers on 73 points at the top of the Conference table, 9 ahead of 2nd-placed Doncaster on 64 points, who beat Gravesend 4-1 at Belle Vue yesterday. Form team Dagenham move up to 3rd position on 61 points following their 3-0 home win over Margate.

In other news it emerged yesterday that Glovers defender Tom White will be out for the remainder of the season after having surgery on the troublesome knee injury that has restricted the former Bristol Rovers defender to just 2 first-team outings this season, plus a further 2 games on loan at Woking. "They had to tidy things up in Tom's knee again and he will be out for
a couple of months,"
said Glovers boss Gary Johnson. "He won't play again this season, but Tom is only 27 and has plenty of his career left in front of him. It's a setback for him but he's got to make sure he recovers properly and is fit for pre-season training in the summer."

There was good news concerning winger Nick Crittenden however: Critts confirmed yesterday that he is now back in training following his recent operation on a groin injury and may be fit enough to be considered for selection for next Saturday's FA Trophy 6th round match against Burscough - this Tuesday's Conference clash vs Leigh RMI has probably come just too early in the player's recovery.

[Quotes sourced from the Western Daily Press]

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6 March 2003 : Gall's Triple Joy At The Shay
Striker Kevin Gall spoke to BBC Radio Bristol immediately following his hat-trick at The Shay. Kevin described the night as "A brilliant result for Yeovil Town. It's taken us eleven points clear, I think. This is a dream come true for me here - everything has been brilliant."

Scoring in the 51st, 56th and 90th minute, Kevin recalled his goals as follows: "The first one came for me on the back post. The second one goal was just good play in that the ball went to the front, then got played back, then I got put through. The third goal just ended it for Halifax. It was a great team performance in the second half. The gaffer had given us a bit of a roasting at half time and deservedly so because we didn't play particularly well in the first half. It's one of those things where you've just got to knuckle down and try and get on with the game."

"From the first five minutes of the second half we had them on the back foot and they only looked dangerous from corners and free kicks," he added. "Fair play to them in the first half - they played well. But we got back into it during the second half and we showed what we can do."

With games coming thick and fast, Yeovil will have a good opportunity to extend that lead at the top even further, with main rivals Doncaster Rovers not having a midweek game next week. Kevin added: "If we win at Woking on Saturday and Leigh RMI on Tuesday, then who knows what is going to happen. But I know that this team is not going to throw away this league now, because there is so much heart in this team, it's unbelievable."

Kevin also gave his verdict to the travelling supporters who have welcomed him into the club and described them as "Brilliant - they are a credit to Yeovil Town. The way they've turned up, going all this way to Halifax on a five hour trip is just brilliant. I just want to thank them and tell them to keep supporting the boys!"

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6 March 2003 : Johnson: A Fantastic Victory
Yeovil Town manager Gary Johnson has hailed Tuesday's last gasp 3-2 win over Halifax Town as "a fantastic victory."

Speaking immediately after the win, Johnson admitted the match had been far from plain sailing: "They had a couple of chances in the first half. Halifax are a dangerous team because they get the ball forward quickly and lump it in the box. They had a couple of lively centre-forwards who managed to get their heads to things and we didn't quite cope with it in the first 20 minutes. Having said that we had the first few chances."

Two Simon Parke first half goals seemed to have left Yeovil dead and buried, but Gary had other ideas when he did his half time team talk: "At 2-0 down at half time, I've got the choice of kicking boots at people or throwing cups of tea. But they felt a little bit sorry for themselves and I had to just pick them up and say to them that if we are going to go further in football and go into the next league then we might be 2-0 down at Bournemouth and we've got to be able to learn how to come back."

"I gave a few home truths," admitted Johnson. "I felt a few individuals needed to up their games by about 10 percent at half time and I told them so. We needed a little bit more running and a little bit more tackling. We did that and in the second half there was really only one team in it."

"We know we can score two goals in every game, and then it's just a matter of whether we could get a third one," added Johnson. "That was really how we went out. To be fair, I threw the carrot to the boys and they took it. They have got the passion and the quality to take any carrot I leave them in the dressing room. The last thing I said to them was that we average two goals in every game. Let's get our two, and see whether we can get to three. They are now cock-a-hoop and they feel like champions, even though we are not champions yet."

Despite Yeovil getting a goal back through Kevin Gall the match could still have been killed off, were it not for a stunning second half save from Chris Weale. Johnson said of his keeper: "He's doing is job, and that's what he gets paid for. I'd cut his money if he wasn't making saves! What we do know about Wealey is that when it comes down to it he makes that save when you need it the most. He has become a high quality goalkeeper and that's why he makes vital saves at vital times. If you look at all of the goalkeepers in the top teams, they all make vital saves at vital times. He then has to have a team in front of him that can produce the goods at the other end."

Rivalling Weale for the man of the match was hat-trick hero Kevin Gall, who has now netted six goals in six games since his arrival from Bristol Rovers. Gall scored three second half goals and Johnson said: "It was a fantastic hat-trick. He was bright, he was lively and there was a lot of movement from all of our boys. Fortunately Gally got on the end of three of them. We've been working on his runs and we've been working on his finishing in training, along with all the other strikers. He feels ten feet tall at the moment - what a fantastic hat-trick and what a fantastic time to get it."

Johnson felt that Halifax ran out of steam in the second half and that it was the Glovers fitness that won them the game: "Halifax were a really big side and I don't think I've ever known a side that big - seven of them were what I would call big. So they were going to lump it forward and hope that their two front boys were going to be fit and lively and cause problems, which they did. But they weren't going to last 90 minutes playing the way they play, because they are not fit enough to last 90 minutes playing that way. They weren't today because they were starting to fade towards the end. We came very strong again at the end, and once again we've come up against another full time side and come strong."

Yeovil's cause was boosted by an away following of over 250, the majority of whom travelled over 400 miles on the day to see the game and Johnson had special praise for their attitude: "At 2-0 down, they were still singing - and still singing very strongly. They've got a belief that we can come back into games. They saw the opening 15 minutes and they saw that we were creating chances. They know they have got a team that never gives up. It was a little bit reminiscient of Doncaster in the FA Trophy when we came from behind. It's been a long time since we've been 2-0 down, but we've learnt from it and we know we can come back from that. We've shown the passion and the quality to do that and I'm very proud of all of them, including the supporters. We show our appreciation to them and we really mean it. We really appreciate them travelling all this way and we love them all."

Johnson's thoughts were also with those who couldn't get to the game: "I'm sure there were a lot of Yeovil supporters watching the game on Teletext - my wife included - wondering what the hell was going on. I hope she watched it until the end and hasn't gone to bed thinking it was 2-2! Tonight does send out a message. We've gone 11 points clear now. They've got a game in hand, but we knew this was a massive game and we've come through with flying colours."

With Woking and Leigh RMI coming up in quick succession and both opponents fighting at the wrong end of the table, Johnson knows that now is not the time for complacency though, adding: "We'll all have to come down to earth. I've just had a go at a few of them for limping in there! I don't want them limping because we've still got some big games to come. We've kept our run going and we've added another string to our bow because the boys now know that they haven't got to panic if we go a goal down. Today we didn't even have to panic when we went 2-0 down."

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5 March 2003 : Gall Hat-Trick Stuns The Shaymen
Who needs Roy of the Rovers when we've got Gall of the Glovers?! Yeovil Town stunned play-off contenders Halifax Town at The Shay Stadium last night, coming back from 2-0 down at half-time to win 2-3, a Kevin Gall hat-trick sending the 250 travelling fans on their way home in raptures. Glovers fan at the match Goatboy writes:

What a fantastic match at the Shay tonight. Halifax 2-0 up after 15 minutes and without a doubt the toughest opponents we have faced this season. We didn't play badly in the first half but we did play into their hands, we looked nervous whenever they were in possession and were resorting to lumping it upfield. Their tactics were similar to Chester's when we played them - pack the midfield, three men charge after the man with the ball and play it upfield for the front men to run after. They had big centre forwards, big centre halves, and we were struggling to contain them. As with Chester, we let them dictate the first half. As with Chester, it was a completely different story in the second half.

Within 10 minutes of the restart Yeovil were level with two goals from Gall, to the delirium of the 250 or so travelling fans. The first was a tap in from a Colin Pluck shot across the box, the second an excellently taken one-on-one with the keeper.

There then followed probably the most end to end 30 minutes or so I have ever seen. As the match progressed Halifax were visibly tiring and their long balls forward became optimistic rather than dangerous. Simon Parke had been a real handful all night, so it was something of a relief when he was taken off. Yeovil were gaining some control by spreading long passes around the enormous pitch to Williams, McIndoe and El Kholti, but there were several goal mouth scrambles and either team look equally capable of nicking a winner.

Halifax were obviously playing for the whistle with two substitutions in injury time but it was not enough as Kevin Gall latched onto a dodgy back pass and beat the keeper at the second attempt to complete his hat-trick.

A bit harsh on Halifax as they had provided our toughest opposition this year, but a fantastic match from a Yeovil point of view, and probably one which those there will always remember, like the 5-4 at Doncaster last year or the 4-3 at Kingstonian the year before.

It's nights like this that make following your football team worthwhile.

The Glovers are now a massive 11 points clear at the top of the Conference table on 72 points from 33 games played, 2nd placed Doncaster are on 61 points but with a game in hand. Of the chasing pack only Dagenham & Redbridge played last night, the Daggers also coming back from 2 goals down to beat relegation-haunted Stevenage 3-2 and moving up to 4th in the table on 58 points as a consequence.

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1 March 2003 : Four Star Glovers Smash Sad Bulls
Yeovil Town beat Hereford United 4-0 in a passionately contested game at Huish Park today. Yeovil took the lead from an Adam Lockwood header which proved to be the only goal of the first half.

"The lads did us proud today" said a delighted Gary Johnson, "Except for a 20 minute period at the start of the second half when the ten men caused us a few problems. We rallied and got our just rewards in the end, I thought we played with great passion, right from the start we got two or three corners in the first five or ten minutes and there was some great football played out there."

Hereford had been reduced to ten men when John Grant was sent off with a straight red after a flare up which eventually involved most of the outfield players from both teams. Grant was sent off after extended deliberations from the referee and his assistants. Terry Skiverton was booked in the same incident.

"Unfortunately there was one melee when one lad got sent off which spoils the game a bit. There were a lot of people in it so how anyone else can tell I donít know but it was a scuffle , the referee has obviously consulted with his linesmen and unfortunately one of their lads has been sent off. Itís not something as a manager that you want but what happens is what happened. Ten men rally round and we got a little complacent but we recovered and unfortunately they got another one sent off at the end."

Yeovil put the game beyond Hereford with two goals in a minute, first from Kevin Gall and then from Kirk Jackson following a Gall cross.

"It was a fantastic result for us and a very important one as well. I was pleased with our bright start when the keeper made a couple of good saves and one or two were cleared off the line , but we can only keep going in these situations. We know we are going to create chances , we know we can score more than two a game so you just have to keep patient and keep doing what we know works for us."

The second sending off was deep into injury time when Tony James was dismissed for a professional foul on Kim Grant. Michael McIndoe scored from the resulting penalty.

"We knew it was going to be a passionate affair and it was important that we didnít get anyone sent off ourselves. If our boys only got a booking in that melee then it shows the referee knows that we werenít the instigators. I wasnít happy with how things were going and made two substitutions in the second half but Iím not sure either lad was involved in the two goals we got immediately after we brought them on. We gave the crowd a great end to the afternoon. There were some great games out there from certain individuals, if I had told you my team on Thursday then it was nowhere near the team that played today. Gavin Williams wife had his baby on his day off which was nice because we thought that might go on longer and he might not have played today. Jacko we had to take off because heís been ill and not trained all week. Maccaís not trained all week, Pluckyís not trained all week, Abdel El-Kholti wasnít playing yesterday but he recovered overnight , up until this morning we were struggling. 6000 people here today but itís not just the numbers. I've been at grounds with 6000 and thereís no atmosphere but thatís not the case here. Credit to Hereford for helping with their following but no-one can beat our following."

Yeovil carry on this season's campaign at Halifax on Tuesday evening in what is an important month.

"We havenít been beaten in 2003 , we have played ten league games and won nine and drawn one and if you want to stay at the top thatís the sort of run you have to make. They are showing that they have the mental toughness. We havenít gained anything today with good results from Chester and Donny but itís what we do, and every game that we win is another game that they canít catch up on."

Yeovil remain on top of the Conference table on 69 points, 8 points clear of Doncaster in 2nd place, 4-0 winners at Southport today. Chester remain 3rd, 11 points behind the Glovers after their 2-0 home win over play-off rivals Halifax. Morecambe and Dagenham enter the play-off zone at the expense of Halifax and Hereford after wins over Northwich and Kettering respectively. Click here to view the run-in to the end of the season for the main contenders for the title.

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