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30 April 2005 : Spotted : One Fat Lady Asking For Directions To Huish Park
Yeovil Town moved within inches of the finishing line today following a tense, nail-biting encounter at Roots Hall as a late Phil Jevons goal proved to be the only difference between Gary Johnson's side and promotion chasing rivals Southend United.

What was billed as being League Two's 'Match of the Season' never quite turned into the action-packed goalfest that most neutrals must have hoped for, with the game just too important for either side to really push up in numbers. As such chances were kept down to a minimum with Marcus Richardson coming the closest in a tight first half as he saw his 'goal' ruled out due to a linesman's flag. Arron Davies also forced a strong save from Shrimpers keeper Darryl Flahavan with Richardson turning supplier.

Yeovil lost first Bartosz Tarachulski (suspected broken toe) then his replacement Richardson (hamstring) as they were forced to reorganise twice during the first half, but in defence Terry Skiverton and Efe Sodje were adopting a 'none shall pass' attitude to Southend's front line meaning that keeper Steve Collis had little to do of note.

The second half got tighter although Wayne Gray missed a golden opportunity to divide the two sides when he exposed a rare lack of marking by the Yeovil back line, but he headed straight at Collis. But just when it looked as though the game would end goal-less, Phil Jevons took advantage of a ricochet off an Arron Davies shot, and League Two's leading scorer took his overall tally to 28 by firing home the only goal of the game with just seven minutes left.

Midfielder Darren Way, who dropped out of the side today due to a bout of food poisoning, is expected to return to training in the next three or four days although Tarachulski and Richardson are expected to be ruled out for next weekend's sell-out match against Lincoln City at Huish Park.

The win leaves Yeovil at the top of the table having now reached 80 points. Scunthorpe United lie a point behind, whilst Southend United and Swansea City are left sweating with both on 77 points and separated by a single goal difference. Lincoln City's superior goal difference undoubtedly guarantees them a playoff spot on 72 points, however Macclesfield Town (72pts), Northampton Town (69pts) and Darlington (69pts) must scrap it out for the two other playoff spots.

The champagne can not quite yet be unbottled at Huish Park tonight. A defeat for the Glovers in their final match of the season against Lincoln, combined with victories for Scunthorpe, Swansea and Southend by sufficient margins could deny Yeovil promotion, but there is little doubt that they are the team most likely to succeed next weekend. They also have the carrot of the title itself - guaranteed if they can grab all three points against Keith Alexander's side. The Fat Lady may not be singing yet, but she is certainly travelling down the A303 to Somerset tonight.


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28 April 2005 : Reserves Thrash Rovers
Yeovil Town Reserves took apart their Bristol Rovers counterparts at Huish Park tonight in a Pontins Holiday Combination League match. Running out as 8-2 winners, the Glovers were 5-1 up at half time, with two goals from Gavin McCallum and one a-piece from Marvin Brown, Andrejs Stolcers and David Woozley.

There was little let-up in the second half as Youth Team wide-man McCallum completed his hat-trick and Marcus Richardson and David Poole joined in the fun. A late Rovers goal provided very little consolation. Josh Llewellyn and Simon Patterson got the Rovers goals.

Starting Line-up: Danny Barker, Gavin McCallum, Adam Lockwood, David Woozley, Stephen Reed, David Poole, Steve Thompson, Andrejs Stolcers, Dale Williams, Marcus Richardson, Marvin Brown. Richard Cullingford also played the majority of the match after Steve Thompson withdrew after around 15 minutes.


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27 April 2005 : Sky To Broadcast All Play-Offs
Sky Sports and the Football League have pretty much sorted out plans to broadcast all the play-off games this season. The finals have long been fixed - with the League Two Final taking place at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday 28th May with a 3.00 p.m. kick-off - but the semi-final dates have now been narrowed down.

The Football League has stressed that the exact selection of timings will not be confirmed until the play-off line-ups are finalised, but the provisional schedule for League Two is :

First leg
Saturday 14th May (kick-off 5.15 p.m.) and Sunday 15th May (kick-off 5.15 p.m.)

Second leg
Two from Friday 20th May (kick-off 7.45 p.m.), Saturday 21st May (kick-off 12.05 p.m.) or Saturday 21st May (kick-off 6.15 p.m.)


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27 April 2005 : PFA Awards : Why The Famous Five Got Chosen
Following Sunday's news at the PFA Awards that five Yeovil Town players had been chosen in the League Two Team of the Season, the PFA's own website has been providing a little more flesh on those that won the awards and an indication as to why their fellow professionals voted for them. The views on the five Yeovil players chosen were as follows:

Chris Weale - Yeovil

Highly-rated young goalkeeper whose consistent performances in the past couple of seasons have brought him to the attention of several clubs in the higher leagues. It's his second successive PFA nomination.

Michael Rose - Yeovil

A former Manchester United trainee, Michael played for Chester and Hereford before joining Yeovil last summer. Has impressed all onlookers in his first season in the Football League and looks destined for greater things.

Lee Johnson - Yeovil

Son of Glovers boss Gary Johnson, he has played a vital role at Huish Park this season with his driving performances from midfield - and he's grabbed some vital goals too. He is a graduate of Watford's Youth Academy.

Darren Way - Yeovil

Tenacious midfielder who has now been at Yeovil for five years, and he has been a central figure throughout all their recent successes, both in the Conference and the Football League. One of the first names on the team sheet.

Phil Jevons - Yeovil

Made a handful of appearances for Everton before joining Grimsby where his form caught the eye of several clubs. Yeovil stepped in last summer and he has rewarded them with a prolific season in front of goal. Fast-approaching the 30 mark.


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27 April 2005 : Thommo looking for new deal
Glovers assistant manager Steve Thompson is set to follow gaffer Gary Johnson's example by signing a new 3-year contract shortly - according to today's Western Daily Press.

Thommo first signed for the Glovers as a player in 1998, moving from then Conference rivals Woking. He served briefy as manager in his own right between November 1999 and March 2000 and has acted as assistant boss to Dave Webb, Colin Addison and now Gary Johnson. The 42-year old still turns out for the reserve team in the midfield but his first team appearances are now a thing of the past.

"I've been talking to the directors and I'm hopeful of getting something sorted out," Thompson told the WDP today, adding: "It should all be done after the end of the season."

Meanwhile Thommo's been commenting on the success of having 5 of the Yeovil squad in the PFA's League 2 Team of the Year, particularly the Glovers midfield duo of Lee Johnson and Darren Way. "They both deserve a lot of credit," he insisted. "A lot of people said we couldn't be successful with two 5ft 6in players in central midfield. But they've consistently proved the critics wrong and I think they complement each other brilliantly. Lee is the passer and is very creative; Darren gets up and down and has a high work-rate. They are a very good partnership. The way we play helps them. If we played a more direct style it would be harder. But the fact that they were voted into the team of the year says it all.

"They both work hard on their shooting and finishing in training, and it has paid off. It's important to get goals from midfield and we've also got Arron Davies on nine. It takes the pressure off the strikers and has been a major reason why we are the top scorers in the division. Lee strikes the ball very well and is not afraid to shoot. If you were to analyse his 11 goals, I'm sure seven or eight of them are from long range. Some people are frightened of shooting but he isn't and should get credit for that. His goal on Saturday was important as it got us back into the game soon after we went behind."

Striker Phil Jevons has also been commenting on being voted onto the L2 Team of the Year. "It's a great honour and it's great to be recognised by your fellow professionals. It was a good experience to go there and get the award with the lads, but as I say it's nice to be rewarded for the season so far. These things are nice to look back on when you have finished your career. You get a little medal with your name inscribed on it, so it's nice to get that as a little something. I had no idea [of being in the side] and you can never tell.

"There are a lot of good strikers in this League and you don't know until you get told and, when you do find out, it is great because there are so many good strikers in the league. It's also a good tribute to the manager as well to have five of his players in the side - I'm sure he is very proud."


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27 April 2005 : New date/venue for SPC Final
In an unusual outbreak of common-sense following yesterday's farce at the waterlogged Woodspring Park, the Somerset FA have decided to do what both clubs involved wanted to do in the first place - play the Somerset Premier Cup Final at Huish Park. The match, between Yeovil Town and Odd Down (otherwise known as the best team in Bath), has been rearranged for Tuesday 10th May, 7.45pm kick off.


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26 April 2005 : Tony Fry 'Highly Commended'
Tony Fry, who currently has responsibility for the Huish Park pitch, was "highly commended" in the Football League's Groundsmen of the Year Awards.

In the Coca-Cola League Two the top award went to Mike Heather of Cheltenham Town, with Ewan Hunter of Rushden & Diamonds and Tony Fry of Yeovil Town highly commended.

In the Championship Ipswich Town groundsman Alan Ferguson won the award, whilst David Blacknall of Colchester United took the honours in League One.


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26 April 2005 : Match Off
The Somerset Premier Cup Final against Odd Down has been postponed as of around 6.30 p.m. owing to a waterlogged pitch.

No rearrangement news as yet, and in fact there is likely to be a venue problem. Reports from the ground are that Weston-super-Mare are scheduled to play their last match of the season this Thursday, and that the contractors are then booked to move in to relay the pitch on Friday.


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26 April 2005 : SPC Final: Pitch inspection at Weston
Fans planning on travelling to tonight's Somerset Premier Cup Final v Odd Down at Weston-Super-Mare's ground should be aware that following recent heavy rain the Woodspring Stadium has passed one pitch inspection this morning, but with drizzle still falling another inspection is due to take place at 1pm.

Update 2.30pm: Apparently there wasn't a 1.00pm pitch inspection. The sun is currently shining in Weston. There is heavy rain forecast for later but much will depend on if/when it hits Weston as to what effect it has on the game. If any further pitch inspections are reported, this page will provide further updates but for now the game is deemed to be 'ON' with no further pitch inspections planned.


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25 April 2005 : Somerset Premier Cup Final Preview
Yeovil Town, holders on twenty-two occasions of the Somerset Premier (Professional prior to 1975-76) Cup, will meet Odd Down in tomorrow's Final. Odd Down has made one previous Final, losing to Clevedon Town in 2000-01. Providing the Woodspring Park pitch holds up - Saturday's fixture there was postponed - the match kicks off in Weston-super-Mare at 7.45 p.m.

Odd Down, founded in 1901, have had a tough campaign in the Screwfix Direct Western League Premier Division, and it wasn't until last Saturday that they finally banished fears of relegation with a 5-2 home victory over Bridgwater Town. Their appearance in the SPC Final will be Odd Down's highlight of the season, and assistant manager Mike Ford (manager Chris Mountford is away on holiday) was looking forward to it :

I have got a few headaches before the Final. Everyone is back and fit, but we'll take a full squad down there and I'll decide on the night. With it being a prestige match, everyone wants to get a game and there are some awkward decisions. But I'm prepared to make them and it will be a good night for the club.

The only current Yeovil connection we can find is Luke Buckingham, an ex-Youth Team goalkeeper at Huish Park, though unlikely to get a game as after playing earlier in the season he has been bench warming more recently.

For Yeovil Town Gary Johnson has announced a seventeen man squad of :
Chris Weale, Adam Lockwood, Colin Miles, David Woozley, Michael Rose, David Poole, Andrejs Stolcers, Dale Williams, Stephen Reed, Marvin Brown, Marcus Richardson, Andy Lindegaard, Nicolas Mirza, Steve Thompson, Gavin McCallum, Richard Cullingford, Sam Croft.

For those making the trip to Woodspring stadium there is a free car park at the ground. If this gets filled on street parking is plentiful in the vicinity. The club bar is right at the front of the ground. Inside the stadium there is a purpose built area selling hot food and drinks. The East side is seating, around 350 in total. The remainder of the accommodation is terrace, some covered some open.

Directions from the Weston-super-Mare website :

Come off at Junction 21 of the M5 and then follow a path straight ahead on the new dual carriageway heading towards the town centre. Keep going straight across several roundabouts continuing to head towards the town centre. At the 4th roundabout you will see a McDonalds on your left and as you approach the roundabout turn left. Then as you come to a mini roundabout carry on straight across (2nd exit). Carry on over the railway bridge and you will see the new ground on your right hand side.

For anyone arriving by train the walk to the stadium is described as a brisk thirty minutes. You have been warned.

The Weston site also recommends some local pubs under the 'Visitors Info' menu.

The match is pay-on-the-night, with adults at £4.00, concessions £2.00 and under 16's £1.00. A programme will be issued at £1.00.


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25 April 2005 : Season Ticket Applications
Season ticket time will be upon us shortly. Current holders will automatically be sent a renewal application form, but the Ticket Office is also compiling a list of new applicants in advance. Those who wish to have forms mailed out directly prices have been set should drop their name and address in at the office (a stamped addressed envelope is appreciated), or phone 01935 847888 and leave the relevant details, and you will be added to the list.


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25 April 2005 : Woozley Loan Extended
The loan of David Woozley from Oxford United has been extended until the end of the season. Glovers manager Gary Johnson said :

Unfortunately David hasn't had the chance to show himself in first team football, with just a brief appearance at Boston. At this stage of the season it is important to have as many experienced players around the squad as possible. David has agreed to stay with us and we will assess the situation again over the next couple of weeks.

With Oxford having made it clear that Woozley has no future with them and will be available at the end of the season it would seem that Yeovil Town is still keeping its options open on a possible permanent deal at Huish Park.


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24 April 2005 : The Famous Five
Five Yeovil Town players have been voted by their fellow professionals into the PFA League Two Team Of The Year.

Chris Weale, who gains this honour for the second year running, is joined by Phil Jevons, Lee Johnson, Michael Rose and Darren Way.

We are pleased to offer our hearty congratulations to all these players - and if some think this site sees everything through green tinted spectacles, then tough. We take genuine pleasure in lauding our players and club, and make no apology for it.

The full League Two team is :

CHRIS WEALE - Yeovil Town
Sam Ricketts - Swansea City
Adam Barrett - Southend United
Andy Crosby - Scunthorpe United
MICHAEL ROSE - Yeovil Town
LEE JOHNSON - Yeovil Town
DARREN WAY - Yeovil Town
Kevin Maher - Southend United
Peter Beagrie - Scunthorpe United
PHIL JEVONS - Yeovil Town
Lee Trundle - Swansea City

Well done all.

A one and a half hour Sky Sports 1 programme covering the PFA Awards is scheduled for 22.15 on Monday 25th April.


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24 April 2005 : Interview With Kevin Amankwaah
Kevin Amankwaah during the 1-1 draw against Wycombe
Kevin Amankwaah during the 1-1 draw against Wycombe
Photo © 2005 Ciderspace

Kevin Amankwaah spoke to the awaiting media having both started and played his first full ninety minutes for the first team since his hamstring injury during the game against Boston on 26 March. The 22-year-old, who played yesterdays game at right-back, helped his side reclaim their pole position at the top of League Two with a valuable draw at home to Wycombe Wanderers. The former Bristol City defender expressed his confidence going into the top-of-the-table clash with second place Southend United.

Amankwaah explained: "We are going into next weekendís game (against Southend) knowing that if we win, it is probably the title decider. We are looking forward to next Saturday, which we feel we can go there full of confidence and get the three points. Southend are a solid team but they lost today and have not been playing well recently even though they won in midweek."

Read the full interview with Kevin Amankwaah (transcript by George Murray) by heading here or head to the Ciderspace Interviews Section.


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24 April 2005 : Interview With Steve Collis
Steve Collis spoke exclusively to Ciderspace after the shotstopper helped his side regain there position at the top of League Two while strengthening their automatic promotion ambitions with a valuable draw at home to Wycombe Wanderers. The patient 26-year-old who has recently broken into the first team after Gary Johnsonís decision to rest Chris Weale, was quick to acknowledge the number of positives that could be drawn out of yesterdayís game.

Collis explained: "On another day we might have won 4-1. We did create a number of chances, which is a positive thing. I think the crowd went home reasonably happy today with what they saw. Everyone is happy and we go into next weekís game (against Southend) full of confidence."

Read George Murrayís full interview with Steve Collis by heading here or head to the Ciderspace Interviews Section.


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23 April 2005 : Still so tight at the top
Yeovil Town missed a series of second half chances as they were held one apiece at home to Wycombe but still go top of League Two on goal-difference while three points clear of Swansea in fourth. Lee Johnson's spectacular strike cancelled out Clint Easton's opener for the visitors (writes George Murray).

Having had the better of the chances early in the game, John Gorman's men went ahead after 20 minutes. Clint Easton curled his free-kick into the top corner despite Steve Collis managing to get a hand on the shot. The lead was however short lived when Lee Johnson found the net just two minutes after Wycombe grabbed the lead. Johnson Jnr fired an unbelievable strike home from 25 yards after a quickly taken free-kick.
Goal! Another one of those trademark Johnson whacks
Goal! Another one of those trademark Johnson whacks
Photo © 2005 Ciderspace

After the break, despite creating well over triple the chances they made in the first half, the Somerset outfit astonishingly failed to find the back of the net. Kevin Gall and Phil Jevons twice hit the side netting before the latter saw his fine header tipped onto the post after Frank Talia acrobatically denied the divisionís top scorer. Talia, who proved himself a worthy of the man-of-the-match in the Wycombe goal, denied Johnson his second following a thumping strike. Bartosz Tarachulski had a golden opportunity to win all three points five minutes from time but the Pole could only direct the ball outside the post from close range. Wycombe could have snatched an undeserved win in injury time, Steve Collis pushing a close-range shot from Nathan Tyson onto the post and away to safety.

Match precis: George Murray

Final score: Yeovil Town 1 - 1 Wycombe Wanderers.

It's still so tight at the top of League Two following today's results. Yeovil return to the top spot on goal difference after Southend lost 2-1 at Oxford to drop to 2nd, both the Glovers and Shrimpers on 77 points. Scunthorpe drew 0-0 at Grimsby to remain in the final automatic promotion place on 76 points. Swansea lost 2-0 at Bristol Rovers to stay 4th on 74, whilst Macclesfield beat Mansfield 3-1 at Moss Rose to move up a place to 5th with 72. 6th-placed Lincoln lost 1-0 at Northampton to remain on 71, and Darlington currently hold the final play-off place on 68 points after beating Rushden 2-0. 8th-placed Northampton on 66 are still in with a play-off shout; but Wycombe and Rochdale, 9th and 10th respectively and both on 62 points are now relying on a minor miracle to extend their season past the next two matches.

At the wrong end of the table Cambridge United are now confirmed as relegated to the Conference following their goalless home draw with Rochdale. Kidderminster Harriers are certain to follow them down after a 3-0 defeat at Boston, though mathematically they could still pull off an amazing escape should they score a ludicrous amount of goals in their final two games and Rushden fail to get another point - but we all know that's not going to happen. Commiserations to Cambridge and Kiddy fans - we can think of plenty of other clubs we would rather have seen gone down.

Coming up from the Conference next season are Barnet, promoted as champions; and one of Hereford, Carlisle, Aldershot and Stevenage, all of whom go into the play-offs. Can't there just be the one promotion place this time around?


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23 April 2005 : Gary's verdict on the Wycombe game
Arron Davies tries to find a route to goal during Yeovil's second half of pressure on the Wycombe defence
Arron Davies tries to find a route to goal during Yeovil's second half of pressure on the Wycombe defence
Photo © 2005 Ciderspace

Glovers boss Gary Johnson answered the following questions from the press after today's 1-1 draw with Wycombe Wanderers:

Iím at a loss to explain how you didnít win that game really, so many chances - one of those afternoons?

"Iím pleased you said that because the boys didnít start very brightly in my eyes but we hung on in there. We knew that all these games were going to be difficult, Wycombe were fighting to get in the play-offís and we knew that they had to win and that they had to take a few chances. It was a matter of taking our chances when they came along. We knew chances would come because we felt it would open up a little bit certainly towards the end when they were going to go for a win if it was still a draw. We did open them up but we didnít take our chances but we're getting there, slowly but surely, very slowly."

Was it a tactical change in the first-half with Tarachulski coming on and Yeovil going to 4-4-2? It seemed to change the game.

"Yes, it changed the game. We werenít quite getting our football going that warranted 3 little unís up front, we werenít getting Jevvo in the game and I didnít think we were on form enough to not have a big man up there. Bartoz came on and did well, he could have won it for us at the death and it gave us more of a shape. We started creating a few more chances because we hadnít created any up until then and we looked a little bit vulnerable."

How about their goal? A decent free-kick from their lad wasnít it? How about Steve Collis though, do you think he might have done a bit better with it?

"I donít know, people score from free-kicks donít they? John Gorman might be saying that their keeper might have done better with Leeís shot from 30 yards but maybe both keepers couldnít get to either of them."

In the second half there was just chance after chance after chance, Darren Way, Phil Jevons could have had a hattrick, it was unbelievable to watch really.

"It was unbelievable and this will be seen as a very exciting game if we get promotion. If we donít then people will say we might have lost it at that point but I donít think we could give anymore as far as creating chances were concerned so credit to the boys on that one. You can see how much pressure there is at the top of the league with other results. I was desperate really because I was getting the results from other games for our announcer to announce the results of the other teams, I didnít want our supporters going home unhappy and I wanted them to know from us that the other teams were less than successful."

Top of the league again by goal difference?

"We are, more dramas! I told you, weíve all got difficult games to come and Iíve gone in there and Iíve spoken to them and we need to keep positive. A great crowd today and again itís going to be a full house at Southend, thatís a big game and Southend are showing that it was a good result for us now that Macclesfield have won today and Southend have lost. We were upset when Southend beat Macclesfield in the week but it turned out to be a decent result. Weíve got the chance to set Southend back a little bit, who knows? We can all talk a good game but what we have to do is prepare 100%, get the players right, get them feeling comfortable, confident and then send them out at Southend."

Transcription by Richard Gibson


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22 April 2005 : Gary gives his reasons for signing on for another 3 years
Glovers boss Gary Johnson has now signed a new contract with Yeovil Town. The gaffer's new deal runs up until 2008, replacing his old deal which was due to expire at the end of next season.

A relaxed manager told the club's official site this afternoon: "I told all the players officially this morning, they weren't sure what was going on and had heard rumours around Yeovil. The nice thing was it was a nice response [from] some of them. They know they are in my plans anyway but I think it is important that the lads who I have re-signed know that I am going to be their manager for the next couple of seasons and that the boys who are on trial and who I am looking at also know that if they sign that I am going to be their manager for the next few seasons. There may be a couple in the dressing room that realized that I don't fancy them too much and they would have gone 'oh shit!' The majority of them I am pleased to say were very happy.

"Other clubs have made an interest in me and there is no clever way of saying no thank you. This has proved now to everyone that they were more than just words. I have to send the contract to League Managers Association who look it over, they are my union if you like. Other than a few words and maybe a few noughts it didn't have to be changed much!! The time is right and everything was ok with the LMA.

"One of the biggest reasons for signing is the people in this room. The football staff, media staff, commercial staff, ticket office staff, all the staff at YTFC. The local press, with whom I have a good relationship and even though we have our ups and downs, there are more ups than downs.

"I trust the lot of you, I trust the directors, I trust the owner, I trust everybody in this room. The quality of life is coming from your home to training everyday and into a football club where you trust everybody and that is very hard to find. I wanted to make sure that my quality of life is the same as it has been over the past two or three years. I also think the club has the ambition that I have got, that would have been quite difficult if I was more ambitious than the club or visa versa. The support has been fantastic, I'm very pleased and I feel I have to say thank you now rather in three weeks time, there were so many positives that it would have been hard not to sign today.

"We only had the contract this morning, Stephen Allinson was still speaking to the solicitors at the LMA. We were always going to sign it today. Again one of the main reasons was that we had to show a commitment to you before we go up. If we go up people would have said, he has only signed because they have gone up - I want to take this club up and up again - if we keep adding like we are. I don't need to sell our best players, we only sell our best players when we know we can't stand in their way i.e. Gavin Williams. The whole club is going in the right direction and I don't want to leave anywhere that is on the way up."


Director Stephen Allinson added "It's a great day for the club and it shows how ambitious this club is.The board of directors are all very pleased that Gary has committed himself to this club until 2008. Too many clubs chop and change their managers and it's a recipe that won't bring success. I know Gary is very pleased too and I know he wants to continue the success we have had at Yeovil. I think it's testament to Gary and the board that we have been able to agree so easily and that we are doing this today and not in three weeks time."

Regular readers of Ciderspace will already know how we feel about this news. Gary Johnson is in our humble opinion the best manager this club has ever had and is widely regarded in the football world as one of the best up and coming young managers in the game. The fact that he has committed himself to this club for another 3 years is the best possible news we could have and a huge boost ahead of the crucial last 3 games of the season. As Stephen Allinson says above, continuity is an essential element of continuing success, and after years of chopping and changing managers the club has been fortunate enough to settle with a man who has brought this club nothing but unparalleled success since his appointment in 2001. Here's to the next three years!


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22 April 2005 : Youth Match vs Oxford United
Tomorrow morning's Youth Team home match in the Merit League South, Second Division against Oxford United u-18's has been confirmed as taking place on the Top Pitch at Huish Park. All are welcome to attend, admission is free and kick-off is 11.00am.

Meanwhile the Pontins Holidays Combination League match between Plymouth Argyle Reserves and Yeovil Town Reserves originally scheduled for next Tuesday will now be played at Home Park on Thursday 5th May with a 7.00pm. The original date was called off due to the Glovers involvement next week in the County Cup Final on the same night.

Also the Reserve match at Huish Park against Bristol Rovers Reserves has now finally been set for a 7.00pm kick-off on Thursday 28th April.


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22 April 2005 : Three More Years Of Sir Gary
Glovers boss Gary Johnson is strongly believed to have signed a new contract this afternoon that will tie him to Huish Park until the summer of 2008. The news has been broken at the club this afternoon and official confirmation and further details will be detailed shortly.

[Update: 15.30hrs. This news is now confirmed.]

Looking ahead to the remaining three games of the season, Johnson has refused to accept that his promotion rivals have an advantage over his side because their final three games of this campaign are all against promotion-chasing sides whether it being playoff or automatic promotion hopefuls. Johnson told todayís Western Daily Press: "I think you can make a case for it either way. I think you could make a case that Bury had nothing to play for when they went to Wycombe last week and won 2-1. Leyton Orient had nothing to play for and they won at Southend the other Friday night. You are going to get these sort of results because teams are not going to just give up. Notts County and Bury had little to play for when they came to us, and they won. It's what you do over the 46 games that will count."

[Article by George Murray and Martin Baker]


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22 April 2005 : Wycombe Wanderers Match Preview
Yeovil have the advantage over their promotion-hopeful rivals this weekend by being the only potential automation promotion side to play at home. It is not just this weekend which they have the home edge over their rivals but the Somerset outfit are the only likely top three contenders to play twice in front of their own faithful. The Glovers know anything less than all three points on Saturday will leave them with an uphill struggle to clinch promotion to League One when Wycombe Wanders travel to Huish Park for the first time since 1993 (writes George Murray).

It is not just Yeovil, replaced at the top-of-the-table by Southend United earlier this week, who go into this weekendís clash needing maximum points. John Gormanís men currently lie just four points behind Darlington for the play-off spot and require a win if they are to stand any chance of reaching one of the top seven spots meaning that neither side canít afford to slip up at such a critical period in the season. "Hopefully weíll have a good following. It should be a good game because we both like to play football but we're ready to spoil their party just like Bury did to us last weekend," said the Wycombe boss.

Scott Guyett will be the only absentee for Gary Johnsonís side having undergone knee surgery twice this season and is not expected to feature at all during the remaining matches whilst concentrates on strengthening his knee for pre-season. Marcus Richardson and Bartosz Tarachulski will be available for first team selection this weekend.

Away from this weekendís all-important clash, the Yeovil boss quickly slammed down the speculation linking striker Phil Jevons with a summer move to struggling Championship side Cardiff City. Johnson told the official website: "We do not want to lose him and until someone officially approaches me then there is nothing in it. We are hoping that there will not be much between the two sides by the end of the season."

Yeovil can welcome back former left-winger Adrian Caceres for the first time since his winter move away from Huish Park. Caceres will be hoping to leave his former club pointless come Saturday afternoon. "It's funny how that worked out but I'm a true Wycombe Wanderer now and I can't wait to play Yeovil and thrash them," he explained. Meanwhile, Wanderers have no fresh injury worries ahead of this weekends encounter and can welcome back Clint Easton to the squad after the left back sat out the last weeks with a hanstring strain.

Yeovil unsurprisingly go in the game as 8/13 favourites with SkyBet with the draw marked at 12/5 while the play-off hopefuls are priced at 4/1 outsiders. A reminder that tickets for all sides of the ground continue to be available, but the seated areas of the ground are coming close to being a sell-out.


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21 April 2005 : Sir Gary to sign new deal?
Today's edition of the Western Daily Press is suggesting that Glovers boss Gary Johnson is on the verge of signing a new contract with Yeovil Town.

Sir Gary's current deal has another year to run but it's been known that the Glovers boss - who turned down the opportunity to speak to Coventry City earlier in the season - has been negotiating a new contract with the Yeovil board for some time now, and according to the WDP most of the i's have been dotted and the t's crossed with an announcement expected very soon. More news on this story as it happens....

Meanwhile after Sir Gary said some nice things about Wycombe striker Steve Claridge yesterday (see news story below), the former Seaside Scummer reject manager has returned the compliment today. Speaking to the Western Gazette Claridge, who used to play at the highest level, praised Johnson as a manager and said that he fully expected the Glovers to be promoted this season. "This game is bigger than it should have been," Claridge admitted. "We have missed a few opportunities to get into the top six over recent weeks and Yeovil have surprisingly faltered a bit of late. It is well known that certainly up to just recently Yeovil have clearly been the best footballing side in the division but we also like to get it down and play so it should be a great game.

"We have got to win our last three games to get in the play-offs but even that might not be enough," Claridge added. "Yeovil lost top spot on Tuesday and they will be looking to get back on track but I do not think having Southend United and Lincoln City, as well as us, in their run-in is such a bad thing. All three of their opponents need to win those games and going to Southend means everything is in their own hands. Everybody has been a bit surprised with Yeovil's hiccup of late but that is all it probably is. Throughout the season everyone has been praising them and they have a very good manager in Gary Johnson so I think they will be okay."

For his part the Glovers boss is looking forward positively to the last few weeks of the season - and is hoping that the vast majority of Yeovil fans are too. "We could not ask for any more than two home games at this point of the season and three full houses," Johnson said to the Gazette. "I think the lads thrive in big games with big crowds, particularly at home. The whole club has got to try to enjoy the situation. Yes, there are people who tend to get upset when we do not win every week or we are on a poor run but that tells you more about them than us. We are in a fantastic position and people should enjoy the atmosphere - life is too short not to."

Here at Ciderspace we couldn't agree more with that point of view. We are going into the final stage of the season assured of a play-off place and guaranteed to finish in the highest ever league position this club has ever finished. Win, lose or draw in the final 3 matches of the season then that alone is worth remembering and celebrating. It's been a great season already, and with any luck could turn out to be this club's best ever. Roll on Saturday!


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21 April 2005 : Action Photos From Kidderminster vs Yeovil Town
Action photos from last Saturday's match against Kidderminster Harriers are now available in our Action Photo Gallery section. The Glovers drew 1-1 at Aggborough, and you can find 62 photos from the game by going here.


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21 April 2005 : Interview With Efe Sodje
Efe Sodje talked to the awaiting press having played his third game in a green and white shirt after the 1-1 draw against Kidderminster Harriers. The Nigerian helped his side claim a valuable point at the top of League Two in such a critical time in the season and against a side who are struggling for the survival at the wrong end of the table. The 34-year-old veteran revealed how he and the rest of the team will go into the remaining three games of this seasons campaign.

Sodje explained: "We are not going to be thinking about them, we are going to be thinking about our side and how we are going to play and how we are going to go out there and get our three points."

Read the full interview with Efe Sodje (transcript by George Murray) by heading here or head to the Ciderspace Interviews Section.


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20 April 2005 : Lincoln Match Sold Out
Yeovil Town's final match of the Coca Cola League Two campaign against Lincoln City is now a sell-out in all home sections of the ground. The match, which takes place on May 7th, is an All Ticket match for both sets of supporters, but with a promotion and/or a play-off place up for grabs for one or both sides, demand has now outstripped supply and there are currently no more tickets available in home areas. Lincoln are currently rumoured to have sold over 1,000 tickets for the match, producing the possibility of a total sell-out for the game.

Meanwhile tickets for the match against Wycombe Wanderers on Saturday continue to sell well with stand tickets the most likely to sell out before the weekend. All three home sections of the ground are still available, although the stand tickets are confined to just Block A (Main Stand), Block P (Bartlett Stand), and a scattering of front row, low level seats. Westland Stand terrace tickets are still available.

Finally a reminder that the Southend United match was declared a complete sell-out on Monday.


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20 April 2005 : Last gasp goal nets Shrimpers top spot
A brace from Alan McCormack - including a 90th minute winner - was enough for Southend United to beat Macclesfield 2-1 in their game in hand at Moss Rose last night and overtake Yeovil Town at the top of the League 2 table. With 3 games left for all sides to play the positions at the top could hardly be tighter with 5 teams still competing for the 3 automatic promotion places available. The Shrimpers are top on 77 points, the Glovers 2nd on 76, Scunthorpe 3rd on 75, Swansea 4th on 74 and Lincoln 5th on 71.

This weekend's fixtures involving the top 5 are as follows:

Bristol Rovers v Swansea,
Grimsby v Scunthorpe,
Northampton v Lincoln,
Oxford Utd v Southend,
Yeovil v Wycombe

There's no point in making predictions or forecasts at this stage, anything could still happen. What is certain is that with games still to come against Southend and Lincoln after this weekend, the Glovers future is still very much in their own hands. What is also certain is that a win at home against Wycombe on Saturday is absolutely essential if the Glovers wish to retain control of their own destiny. Interesting times!

And talking of Wycombe, our visitors will be coming into Saturday's game knowing that anything other than a win for them will almost certainly mean the end of their play-off hopes - the Chairboys are 4 points away from the final play-off place with 3 games left to play. Leading the forward line at Wycombe is of course former Seaside Scummer boss Steve Claridge - who once played at the highest level you know. He also once played for Cambridge United under Glovers boss Gary Johnson, who told the Western Daily Press today: "He was a terrific lad and a great player for me. His fitness levels were unbelievable - I have never ever seen anyone fitter than him, which is why he is now still playing at 38 or 39. He was always a top professional who did his training and then what he did in his own time was up to him. I'm not surprised to see him playing on because he seems to have that love for the game. He was always towards the back on team runs but he always came through to the front in the last lap. I should think he will be feeling his legs at the moment and he probably has a couple of days off in the week but he will be a threat on Saturday."

Claridge scored 4 goals in 3 games after joining Wycombe in February, but has failed to find the net in 9 outings since. Strike partner Nathan Tyson has been somewhat more prolific this season with 21 goals, 4 behind Yeovil's leading scorer Phil Jevons on 25. "He [Tyson] is a dangerous player and he will be the one that looks to get in behind us, but we have some pace at the back ourselves," Johnson commented.


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19 April 2005 : Dale Williams Gets International Call Up
Dale Williams, Yeovil Town's Youth Team captain, has been called up into the Wales Under 19 squad. He will attend the Wales U19 Football Squad Training Camp at Neath from May 3rd to May 5th 2005 in preparation for two friendlies against Turkey currently scheduled for Tuesday 26th July and Thursday 28th July at venues in West Wales yet to be decided.

The squad will then go on to play in the Group 7 Qualifiers for the UEFA U19 Championship 2005-06 : Monday 24th October 2005, France v Wales; Wednesday 26th October 2005, Austria v Wales; Friday 28th October 2005, San Marino v Wales. All these matches will take place in France. Brian Flynn will be in charge, assisted by Alan Curtis and David Williams.

The full squad is :

Stephen Cann - Derby County
Wayne Hennessy - Wolverhampton Wanderers
Griff Jones - Bristol City
Lloyd Jenkins - Cardiff City
Darcy Blake - Cardiff City
Kyle Critchell - Southampton
Michael Johnston - Tranmere Rovers
Rhys Powell - Bolton Wanderers
Mathew Holt - Everton
Mitchell Booth - Derby County
Shaun Mcdonald - Swansea City
Mark Bradley - Walsall
Lloyd James - Southampton
Robert Davies - West Bromwich Albion
Gregg Coombes - Cardiff City
Jamie Price - Birmingham City
Curtis Mcdonald - Cardiff City
Matthew Thompson - Swansea City
Adam Callan - Bristol Rovers
Chad Bond - Swansea City
David Cotterill - Bristol City
Jamal Easter - Cardiff City
Scott Mccoubrey - Cardiff City
Marc Williams - Wrexham
Adam Davies - Cambridge United
Dale Williams - YEOVIL TOWN

Standby Players (not to travel at present)

Kyle Letheran - Swansea City
Rhys Wiggins - Crystal Palace

Our congratulations to Dale on this well deserved honour.


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18 April 2005 : Yeovil Express Wurzel ticket competition winners
Steve Sowden, sports editor of the Yeovil Express, writes:

CONGRATULATIONS go to the following people who have each won a pair of tickets for the forthcoming Wurzels concert which takes place at Huish Park on Friday.

A competition was held in the Yeovil Express asking people the question: Who was the founder of the Wurzels who tragically died in 1974. The answer was - the one and only Adge Cutler.

The winners are as follows:

Jane Davey, of West Chinnock
Mike Deane, of Yeovil
Jon Morgan, of Yeovil
Sue Pratt, of Yeovil
Pete Vaughan, of Yeovil

May I take this opportunity to thank everyone who took part in the competition and keep our fingers crossed that the weather is kind on Friday night for the concert.

And don't drink too much cider!

Keep the Faith Bruvvers and Sisters!

Steve Sowden
Chief Reporter
Yeovil Express

[Any resemblance between one of the winners and a certain co-editor of Ciderspace is, of course, purely coincidental.]


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18 April 2005 : Southend Sold Out, And Other Ticketing News
The clash between current third placed Southend United and current league leaders Yeovil Town at Roots Hall on April 30th is now completely SOLD OUT. There are no tickets remaining in either away or home areas.

The final game of the regular season at Huish Park on May 7th against Lincoln City is close to a sell out for home fans. There are no longer any seats left. For those still needing tickets less than a couple of hundred standing places remain on the Westland Terrace. Anyone wishing to attend the match is strongly advised to make their purchase as soon as possible - in other words tomorrow; Wednesday is quite likely to be too late.

For next Saturday's fixture against Wycombe Wanderers there are a few seats remaining in Block A of the Yeovil College (Main) Stand, and Block P and a small number of front row seats in the Bartlett Stand. A good number of terrace tickets are still on sale but the Ticket Office reports they have been selling very fast today. Although this match has not been made all-ticket there is no guarantee there will be any left come match day so again supporters are strongly advised to purchase in advance.


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18 April 2005 : Fallon Praised After Loan Spell
Swindon Town striker Rory Fallon has had praise heaped upon him by his boss Andy King after coming back as a better player after his one month loan spell with Yeovil Town. Since returning to Wiltshire, Fallon has grabbed a first team place ahead of former Cardiff City striker Christian Roberts and King has implied that Roberts has got his work cut out if he is to dislodge Fallon from the team.

King told the Western Daily Press: "Rory has taken the shirt and Christian Roberts didn't deserve to come back in today, so he has a challenge to get back in. Rory looked committed. He ran his socks off and worked the line. He has certain failures and I told him he gets offside too much and gives away free-kicks which he shouldn't for a big man. The boy has come back from Yeovil with determination to play in this team and all credit to him. Sometimes that's what a loan does."

Fallon, who was recalled by King, after the month loan ended, has got another year to run on his contract with the League One side.


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17 April 2005 : Gary's Verdict on the Kidderminster Game
Glovers boss Gary Johnson highlighted the reasons why he believed that everyone in the club needed to maintain positive vibes following his side's 1-1 draw at Aggborough against Kidderminster Harriers. Gary answered the following questions after the game:

Qu: Gary it was a very tough afternoon for your side. How do you feel about the result in the end?

GJ: Well we won't know yet will we? I've just had a little go in there. Obviously it would have been nice if we had won because we were 1-0 up but we have got to stay positive at this point. There is no use in throwing cups around and getting mad because we have got three very very important games to come. As we speak after 43 games we are still top of the league with three games left to come. It's going to go to the wire and we knew that last week. It would have been nice to have won it, but at least we didn't lose it. Kidderminster knew the results from other places and knew Rushden were winning. They threw everything forward and we didn't quite cope with it. They took a chance, and their fellow has just spun on it and got his foot to it and managed to get it into the corner to make it 1-1. Having said that, they had two or three chances as we did. So it was a great game and we'll see after 46 games whether that was a point gained or two points lost.

Qu: It was a funny game wasn't it, where there were 80 minutes of cagey stuff and then the last ten minutes was absolute mayhem.

GJ: Well it was but you knew that was going to happen because Kidderminster are going out of the league. They knew that as well so they were obviously going to take every opportunity they had to try and crash it into your box and we just had to be a little bit better. Fortunately Steve Collis had one hell of a last ten minutes and we kept the 1-1 draw. But over 43 games the reason why they are in trouble is because they are 40-odd points behind us.

Qu: What did you think of the incident in the first three or four minutes with the drop ball?

GJ: What happened was that it was their boy who was down injured. If they had kicked it off for us, then of course we would have to give it back. If we had kicked it off for them, then they would have to give it back. But the referee really dictates what you have to do. The referee didn't tell us to pass the ball back because he bounced it and it was up to Kidderminster to win that bounce-up and they didn't. After the event you can't suddenly say hold on he should have kicked it back to the goalie because everybody was in there trying to win the bounce-up.

Qu: For Arron Davies and his goal, it was very good work by Terry Skiverton in the middle of the park and a very well taken goal by Arron.

GJ: Yes it was well taken and it was a good finish and he was at that sort of point on the field at the end of his long run against Mansfield. We didn't create as many chances as I would have liked but sometimes you have got to give credit to the opposition. When we did create one or two chances towards the end we didn't quite get onto them. But there is nothing we can do about that now. We know that we are in a final league of three games to play with probably five teams and we have got to be in the top three of that five.

Qu: You did cement a playoff place today. I don't know what that means to you given that you're going for the championship and automatic promotion.

GJ: Well the reason why we have all got to stay positive, is just in case a rainy day does come and we end up in the playoffs. I don't want anyone telling me that I am going back on whether we're going to get promoted or not - I'm not. But at this stage everyone has got to be buzzing. We have got to go for the automatic promotion slot and we've got to go for the championship of this league. But we have also got to be ready just in case we actually go through the playoffs. We're still one of the favourites to get automatic promotion but it is tight. There are dramas and there is still more yet to come.

Qu: Your defence was resolute today and just the one slip to let their lad in for their goal, but one slip paid for them.

GJ: Yes, it did. But to be fair to them they did get the ball in the penalty area quite often late on. They had lots of free kicks and corners and we had to defend doggedly and we did for most of the time. But the substitute has come on, spun and caught it just right when all the other shots he had went over the stand. We needed to play better in the first half. Unfortunately it took us until the second half to get going a bit.

Qu: Lee Johnson had a couple of chances right at the very end. He stumbled over one and another one went through his legs.

GJ: That was it. People had chances. He got himself up there to try and get the chance. Unfortunately he missed a couple of chances but so did others at both ends. But if you look around at that pitch out there you can see why there were so many bobbles all over the place out there. It certainly wasn't looked after this week, I'm sure. I've said to all of these teams where their pitches are not good, it doesn't help them. Look at the position they are in, and that hasn't helped them today.

Qu: How are the team in the dressing room after that game?

GJ: Well they have come in very disappointed and very down but I have picked them up straight away. That's what we have got to do. We can't be shrinking violets now. We can't be down. We've got to be up and we've got to be up for it. There are three games to go and if we end up having a party after 46 games then this will have been a point gained.

Qu: A quick word for the fans there because you had 1,600 there today.

GJ: Fantastic. They were brilliant. We said to our away support that there would be ups and downs all season. That's what this league is all about. Just when you think you're five minutes away from winning a game, you let a goal in. But if we do go up, those people who turn up week-in, week-out for our away games deserve it and we will do all we can for them.


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16 April 2005 : So tight at the top
Yeovil Town drew 1-1 at Kidderminster today, a 61st minute Arron Davies strike being cancelled out by Mark Rawle's effort with just over 5 minutes left on the clock. Both sides had the chances to win the game in a grandstand finish to the match, but in the end both teams were forced to accept a point apiece - something that will please neither team in the final analysis, though the old adage of 'an away point is a good point' ought to be borne in mind by Glovers fans.

Gary Johnson kept faith with the team that performed so well in the second half against Mansfield last weekend. A strong wind and a poor pitch ensured that the match was never going to be a classic, nevertheless it was hard to understand the Glovers first half insistence on using the long-ball up to the relatively diminutive Yeovil front line of Gall, Jevons and Davies, with the inevitable result of the tall Harriers backline winning the ball in the air on most occasions and in relative comfort. The second half saw an improvement in the Glovers passing game with more chances being created before Arron Davies put Yeovil one-up on 61 minutes after some good work from Terry Skiverton. As the game wore on the increasingly desperate Harriers piled the pressure on the Glovers goal until Mark Rawle volleyed over Steve Collis to equalise on 83 minutes. Rawle had the chance to put the hosts in front a minute later but incredibly ballooned the ball over the empty net from close range with Collis helpless. At the other end Lee Johnson could have made himself the Glovers hero with three good opportunities to score, but the midfielder left his shooting boots at home today and the chances were wasted.

Final score: Kidderminster Harriers 1 - 1 Yeovil Town.

The Glovers remain top of the league after today's results, on 76 points from 43 games played - and are now guaranteed a play-off place, so with three games left to play are already assured of a more successful season than last year. Southend unexpectedly lost 0-1 at home to Leyton Orient last night (no easy games in this league!) and with Scunthorpe beating hapless Cambridge 4-0 at Glanford Park today the Iron return to 2nd spot on 75 points. Southend drop to 3rd on 74 but have a game in hand on the top two. 4th-placed Swansea beat Oxford 1-0 on Friday night, the Swans are also on 74 points. Lincoln continued their run of good form, beating Macclesfield 2-0 at Sincil Bank to leapfrog the Silkmen into 5th place on 71 points, Macclesfield dropping to 6th on 69, though they too have a game in hand. Darlington drew 1-1 at Mansfield to remain in the final play-off spot, on 65 points.

At the bottom of the table Cambridge United are now 9 points away from safety with only 3 games left to play - the fat lady is now trilling away for the U's. The point for Kidderminster today was not really enough to help them either, with 22nd-placed Rushden winning 4-2 at home to Boston to go to 44 points, 23rd placed Harriers on 38 are now 6 points behind the Annies with 3 games left to play and are in deep, deep trouble.


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15 April 2005 : That Fixtures List Moment
One of the key moments of the year for football fans, the release of the fixture list, will take place at 10.00 a.m. on Thursday 23rd June. The Football League will be sending out the list to clubs two hours earlier, but it remains under embargo until 10.00 a.m. - though often odd highlights seem to leak out that little bit sooner.

The Football League has also now officially confirmed what was already presumed : its 2005-06 season will run from Saturday 6th August 2005 to Saturday 6th May 2006.


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15 April 2005 : Ticketing Update
Yeovil Town have so far sold 1,489 tickets for tomorrow's trip to Kidderminster Harriers. With the Aggborough club having originally supplied something in the region of 2,000 tickets, the remainder have now been packaged up and sent back to Aggborough and so there will be in the region of 500 tickets on sale from Aggborough before the game. Both seating and terracing will be available - obviously on a first come, first served basis.

Tickets for the Southend United match are now close to a sell-out with 1,455 tickets sold as of the end of Friday, leaving less than 150 tickets available for sale, mainly in restricted viewing areas where the posts on Southend's North Stand slightly obscure views. Tickets for the obscured viewing seats are one pound cheaper.

Tickets for the final match of the season against Lincoln City are now rapidly disappearing and seating is now down to singular spaces within the Yeovil College Stand and Bartlett Stand. Only around 500 terrace spaces remain for the match, which will undoubtedly be a home sell-out.

Finally tickets for the Wycombe Wanderers match next Saturday are in slightly greater supply with all parts of the ground still available. However, the club are expecting a significant rise in enquiries for tickets for the match to begin on Monday morning and so an early purchase is recommended.

The Huish Park Ticket Office re-opens at 9.00am on Monday morning.


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14 April 2005 : Bluebirds Look For Jevons Poach
Cardiff have become the latest club to try and lure Phil Jevons away from Huish Park through the press. Earlier in the season Chester chairman Stephen Vaughan revealed their interest for the striker through the Chester Evening Leader but Yeovil boss Gary Johnson quickly slammed the reports.

Cardiff City boss Lennie Lawrence has strongly indicated that he would be interested in signing the Yeovil frontman in the coming months. Lawrence worked with Jevons at Grimsby Town and he admits he is tempted to bring the hot shot to Ninian Park. "In the summer we've got to be realistic," Lawrence told the club's official website. "Thereís lots of strikers out there that are out of contract at the end of the season. Jevons is the top scorer in that league and he's at Yeovil. I had him at Grimsby so I know all about him. It depends on who comes in for Jevons. If a Sunderland or a West Ham do then we would struggle to compete for him but I don't think that would be the factor, itís the transfer fee as well. With the player I just described then the transfer fee is the factor, whereas if you were taking someone who'd been freed by a bigger club then the salary is the factor but it's going to be difficult to find a striker."

Last month Johnson was forced yet again to dismiss reports that top scorer Phil Jevons has been the subject of a bid from Championship outfit Cardiff. "There is no substance to that whatsoever," assured Johnson, speaking to the Western Daily Press.

Furthermore, it is increasingly unlikely that the South Wales club could afford the highly rated striker having revealed a debt of over £29.6m in March of this year. Even if they could manage to find the large sum for the 25-year-old, it is even more doubtful that the Welsh side could sustain his wage. Cardiff were forced to offload captain Graham Kavanagh to Wigan in order to relieve their mounting wage bill just five weeks ago after struggling to meet the obligations of their payroll. The Bluebirds have also recently come under fire from other Championship clubs after controversially being given a 750k loan from the PFA to cover players wages until the end of the season.

[Article by George Murray.]


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14 April 2005 : Kidderminster vs Yeovil Match Preview
On paper it appears to be comfortable day out for the Somerset outfit but there is just as much at stake for both promotion hopefuls Yeovil Town and relegation battlers Kidderminster Harriers when these two outfits clash at Aggborough this Saturday. Gary Johnsonís men will be aiming to consolidate on their recent success having ended their recent run of disappointing results with a win against Mansfield Town last weekend. Kidderminster, meanwhile, are currently fighting for their survival in the Football League and lie second from bottom, four points short of safety behind Rushden. A defeat on Saturday would surely end their survival in League Two (writes George Murray).

Yeovil boss Gary Johnson insists his side will not underestimate struggling Harriers come Saturday afternoon. "Just because we are at the top and Kidderminster are down the bottom doesn't mean we are going to underestimate them in any way. We have still got to go there and get the result and we know they will be fighting for their lives. We want three points for different reasons, to edge nearer promotion, but both teams on Saturday desperately want those three points," said Johnson (Teamtalk).

The League Two leaders will be boosted by the return of defender Kevin Amankwaah in the travelling squad after recovering from a hamstring strain. Amankwaah could start his first match in two weeks having proved his fitness in the reserves 0-0 draw with his former club. Bartosz Tarachulski has returned to training today after being ruled out match action whilst suffering from chicken pox. The Polish striker is expected to play a part in the trip to Kidderminster. Speaking to the Western Gazette Johnson said: "We hope to have Bartosz back in contention but it's a match everyone wants to play in." The Glovers also have the option of bring into contention fellow striker Marcus Richardson who missed the match against Mansfield with a hamstring strain, but has been also passed fit today.

Kidderminster were hit with a severe flu bug this week with nine players unable to train this week and Harriers boss Stuart Watkiss was forced to abandon yesterdayís training session and give the squad the day off. Watkiss has confessed his side will have to produce something ďspecialĒ if they are to avoid playing Conference football next season. Watkiss said: "We're right down to the wire now, and it would be a special kind of escape. We've got Yeovil next who had a big win on Saturday which moved them back to the top." Watkiss believes the Glovers defeat at third-bottom Rushden earlier this month means the Harriers have a good reason to be positive going into Saturdayís clash. "Yeovil have been the best team in the league - you don't get to be top after 42 games by default, you're where you deserve to be. We'll show them the respect they deserve, and they do deserve it, but we have to think that if Rushden beat them then so can we. We've only lost two of our last nine games, so our recent record is as good as theirs and we'll be going out to beat them," said Watkiss.

Yeovil go into the League Two clash at 10/11 favourites with SkyBet with the draw at 9/4 while Kidderminster are priced at 5/2.


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14 April 2005 : Johnno bites back!
Glovers midfielder Lee Johnson has rounded on critics of the players and management at the club, particularly those who've been insinuating that the Glovers squad are less than united in their determination to win promotion for the second time in three seasons.

"A lot of people have questioned us recently and we know who they are," Lee told today's Western Gazette, adding: "It is those who have stuck by us who we want to win the league for. As for those who think they are standing by us when really they are not, I hope we will win the league and then be able to shove two fingers up at them. It would be nice to get it both ways."

"The things that have been said have made us feel hurt and angry. Look at how far this club has come. Some seem to think that we have a divine right to beat teams like Notts County at home but three years ago we would have been 10/1 against to do that. We are all ambitious, but we are never going to get an easy ride."

"It's only the minority who make these comments and we do know that. For every dodgy one there are 50 supporters who are genuinely behind us. Even the dodgy ones say what they do because they are passionate about it but they have to realise that ometimes their comments have a negative effect."

Lee admitted that last week's 4-day break away from the game was badly needed by himself in particular, saying: "Before the break, my game was getting a bit tired and one-paced. I have played 180-odd games in three years. However on Saturday I felt I had my sharpness back and I felt I got stronger as the game went on. I hope people saw our spirit against Mansfield. It was a great win but our last four games are all going to be individual and very different. Kidderminster are fighting for their lives and all we can do is go there and try to impose our game on them."

In other news the Gazette reports that Bartosz Tarachulski is expected to retun to training today after recovering from chicken pox and could be available for Saturday's crucial game at Kidderminster. "Bartosz is well out of the illness now but we will just have to see how fit he is with regards to his immune system," Glovers boss Gary Johnson said, before going on to have a swipe at rumours that the Polish striker was going to leave the club this week. "Whether he is part of our long-term plans or short-term plans is neither here nor there because he is part of our plans at the moment."

The Gazette also reports that striker Marcus Richardson's recovery from a hamstring strain is going well and he could also be fit for Saturday's game. Finally, two of the triallists who featured in the reserve team's 0-0 draw against Bristol City on Tuesday night will be seen around Huish Park for a while longer yet: The 20-year-old former Manchester United forward David Poole will train with the Glovers next week, while former West Ham left-winger Sosthene Yao will return for an extended trial in the summer.


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13 April 2005 : Reserves held by City
Yeovil Town Reserves were held to a 0-0 draw by their Bristol City counterparts in a Pontins Holidays Combination League match at Huish Park last night. The Glovers dominated possession against a young City side, but chances in the match were few and far between.

Former City man Kevin Amankwaah made his first start since recovering from a hamstring injury sutained against Boston a fortnight ago in a Glovers line-up that included three triallists: Former Manchester United forward David Poole and midfielders Sosthene Yao, who played in the reserve's 3-2 win against Swindon and David Shaw, both from West Ham United. Of the three it was David Poole who made the biggest impression on those watching, being described by one fan as "Two footed and easily the best player on show tonight. Good skill, good pace and not afraid to run with the ball. Also tackled when needed and used both feet."

The Yeovil line-up was: Chris Weale, Andy Lindegaard, David Woozley, Kevin Amankwaah, Colin Miles, Steve Reed, David Poole, David Shaw, Marvin Brown, Andrejs Stolcers, Sosthene Yao. Subs: Nic Mirza, Dan Barker, Gavin McCallum, Richard Cullingford.

Final score: Yeovil Town Reserves 0 - 0 Bristol City Reserves.



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12 April 2005 : Bartosz Back In Business
Polish striker Bartosz Tarachulski is expected to return to training on Thursday as he fights for a place in Saturday's squad to travel to Kidderminster Harriers. The big target man managed only half an hour at Rushden and Diamonds ten days ago before being substituted and was diagnosed a day later as having caught chicken pox.

Now, according to today's Western Daily Press, he is hoping to have sufficiently recovered from the virus enough to return to training. It is unlikely that Glovers boss Gary Johnson would change the team that thrashed Mansfield Town 5-2 on the weekend, but Bartosz could sneak a place on the bench. Fellow target man Marcus Richardson is not expected to travel to Aggborough - his injury has been diagnosed as a hamstring strain and he is not expected to train this week.

Gary told the Teamtalk website: "We hope to have Bartosz back in contention but it's a match everyone wants to play in. We were back to our old selves against Mansfield and we need to keep that momentum - and form - going now until the end of the season."


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12 April 2005 : Southend Ticketing Reminder
A reminder that tickets for the penultimate match of the league campaign went on general sale yesterday. The match against Southend United on April 30th is already a sell-out for home fans and the away allocation is also expected to sell out as the current top two clash in a match that could well decide promotion and/or the championship for one or both sides.

Away fans are housed in the all-seated and covered North Stand. Adults: £16.50; Students £7.00; Over 65s £7.50; Under 16s £5.00.

The ticket office is open tonight until 7.00pm prior to the Reserve Team match against Bristol City and they can also be reached on the phone on 01935-847888.

Tickets are also available for the matches against Kidderminster Harriers, Wycombe Wanderers and Lincoln City. All four of these matches run the risk of being sell-outs, so if you have not bought your ticket yet, then don't put it off and do it today!


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12 April 2005 : Bartosz T-shirt On Sale
Buy your Bartosz T-shirt now!
Buy your Bartosz T-shirt now!
Photo © 2005 Ciderspace/Seb White



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11 April 2005 : Interview With Paul Terry
Paul Terry spoke to the awaiting media having aided his side reclaim their form which they have been lacking in recent weeks while regaining their lead at the top of League Two. The 26-year-old revealed just how important the four-day break was for the squad to recharge their batteries.

Terry explained: "I personally forgot about football for a few days and cleared my mind and spent time with my family, which is what I needed. You need to get away from it sometimes. Good decision by the captain as he keeps telling me it was his idea to have four days off!"

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


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11 April 2005 : What A Difference A Win Makes
The Ticket Office reports that tickets for the final two home games of the regular season, against Wycombe Wanderers on Saturday April 23rd and Lincoln City on May 7th, are closing in on sell-outs for the home areas of the stadium. Those wishing to attend these games are warned that they should purchase as soon as possible.

A reminder that the Lincoln tie has already been designated an all-ticket match.


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11 April 2005 : SPC Final Date And Venue
The date and venue of the Somerset Premier Cup Final between Yeovil Town Reserves and Odd Down has been announced as Tuesday April 26th at Woodspring Park, home of Weston-super-Mare, and not Hand Stadium as previously suggested.

Kick-off will be 7.45 p.m., with tickets at £4.00 for adults, £2.00 concessions and £1.00 for under 16's. A match programme will be issued at £1.00.

The Pontins Holidays Combination League match between Plymouth Argyle Reserves and Yeovil Town Reserves at Home Park previously scheduled for that date will now be rearranged.


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11 April 2005 : Reserves Match versus Bristol City
The Yeovil Town Reserves match against Bristol City at Huish Park has been brought forward by 24 hours at the request of the visitors. It will now take place on Tuesday 12th April, 7.00pm kick-off, and not on the previously announced Wednesday. All are welcome to attend with Adults admitted to the Yeovil College (Main) Stand for 4 pounds, whilst concessions are available at 2 pounds.

Yeovil's squad for the game are expected to include Chris Weale, Andy Lindegaard, David Woozley, Colin Miles, Stephen Reed, Andrejs Stolcers, Marvin Brown, Nicolas Mirza, Gavin McCallum and Richard Cullingford. Although not named, it would not be a surprise if Kevin Amankwaah, Steve Thompson and Sam Croft were other names under consideration.


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10 April 2005 : Interview With Terry Skiverton
Club captain Terry Skiverton spoke to the press after helping his side reclaim their place at the top of League Two after a disappointing recent run. The influential and indispensable skipper revealed the motivation that a fan/photographer gave the team before kick-off.

Skiverton explained: "Today just before the game a photographer called Mike Kunz brought in the lads some photographs of everybody winning headers and making tackles. I would like to give that man a bit of credit as he has inspired the squad and the team. With the little bit of negative stuff that has been coming, it was nice for one of our supporters to come through and take a leadership role."

Read the full interview with Terry Skiverton (transcript by George Murray) by heading here or head to the Ciderspace Interviews Section.
Skivo believes there is no problem with team spirit at Huish Park
Skivo believes there is no problem with team spirit at Huish Park
Photo © 2005 Ciderspace



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9 April 2005 : Gary's verdict on the Mansfield game
Glovers boss Gary Johnson made the following comments to the press after today's 5-2 win over Mansfield at Huish Park

Gary not too many asking for their money back today I suspect. How important was that win?

"Well I said to you earlier that the next 3 points are going to be massive and thereís a way of putting it across to the boys - they more or less know which games are big games or not. I tried not to put them under pressure and we tried to relax and play our game. We started off very well, got the early goal that we wanted and needed. Unfortunately they got their goal pretty soon after, after Steve Collis had made a pretty good save for the penalty so thatís picked us all up again.
A great start - Arron Davies scores the opening goal
A great start - Arron Davies scores the opening goal
Photo © 2005 Ciderspace

"But thereís going to be up's and down's and I did say to you all, check your notes, that thereís going to be drama's and there will be and still might be; but what weíve got to do is hang on in there and everyoneís got to keep believing and keep believing in what weíve done so far. You look at the table today and itís got a different complexion to that of yesterday so we just have to keep going, we have to help certain players get through it because they got us to where we are now and we have got to have that total belief in the people around and in the football club."

It seemed to be a lot about character today, your team responding from going a goal down and once your team got in front for the second time it seemed to break them a little bit?

"Well it did, because at that point you could see all the confidence flooding back. We were playing our passing game and opening them up for fun at certain points and itís a long time since thereís been a game I wanted to go on and on and I felt we could have got more goals. But Iím proud of the boys today because weíve come through a sticky patch. Weíre not there yet because there is still a long way to go and we wonít be resting on our laurels, but that was one of the biggest 3 points of the season."
Phil Jevons puts Yeovil 4-2 up
Phil Jevons puts Yeovil 4-2 up
Photo © 2005 Ciderspace

Some milestones as well today I guess in Michael Rose getting his first goal and a good all round performance with it, Phil Jevons has got his first in open play for a couple of months and Darren Way's got a brace today, lots for you to be positive about?

"Thereís loads of positives, as you said I think the biggest positive is the character that came through in the end - to get a penalty we were a bit disappointed with given against us and to go 2-1 down pretty soon after half-time then you have got to have a particular spirit and character to come back and score 4 more goals. We did that and to the lads' credit we did that with a bit of quality."

Do you know what the (2nd) penalty was given for?

"I asked the linesman and he said that the attacker got pulled down just after Steveís block. I didnít see that and I didnít see a handball either, but it wasnít handball he said it was a tug. As it turned out it was good for them to get that goal because it upset us and brought us out of our shells, but I wish Iíd have known that was going to happen at the time!"
A vital goal - Mansfield can't stop Darren Way's shot from crossing the line to make it 2-2
A vital goal - Mansfield can't stop Darren Way's shot from crossing the line to make it 2-2
Photo © 2005 Ciderspace

Kevin Gall went off with a with a standing ovation - he supplied a couple of those second half goals, when he sprinted 20 yards across the field to nick the ball before crossing.

"If Kev's on form heís very difficult to pick up, we had a few boys that put in an above average effort today and they needed to to get this result and Kevin Gall was one of them, he was dangerous all day. You can chase him for 60 runs but if he makes 100 runs you might struggle for the next 40 and I thought that was how Gally played today. He ran them into the ground and so did Arron Davies and so did Phil Jevons.

"We tried a new system a little bit, we felt we needed to put Paul Terry in a little bit of a deeper position to pick up all of the little bits. That worked for us and the three up front worked for us as well and all three of them were a credit to the club."

A brilliant first goal, the run, Arron Davies just kept finding another gear didnít he?

"Exactly, if you have to chase Jevvo, Arron and Gally, especially with the pace of Arron and Gally and you know that Jevvoís going to be in the dangerous areas, that was the idea about having those three up front. We took a bit of a chance with no big man up there, but weíd already made the decision when Marcus Richardson got a slight pull on Friday afternoon that that was going to be the team, and weíve come through it. You can only make decisions as a manager that you stand and fall by and weíre top of the league so weíre making more good decisions than bad."
Celebrations as Darren Way puts Yeovil 5-2 up
Celebrations as Darren Way puts Yeovil 5-2 up
Photo © 2005 Ciderspace

Another 4 days off then this week is that the plan?

"Well, that was what the players wanted, that was the first shout! They were all wondering who was going to mention it but no, weíve been there, done that, we will probably give them a little bit off - so rather than coming in at 11am on Monday they can be in at 2pm on Monday, another 3 hours off!"

Transcription by Richard Gibson


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9 April 2005 : Stags dehorned as Glovers get back on track
Yeovil Town got their promotion push back on track with a 5-2 win over Mansfield at Huish Park this afternoon. The Glovers were 2-1 down shortly after the break but a Darren Way brace and goals from Arron Davies, Phil Jevons and a fine struck freekick from Michael Rose gave Gary Johnsonís men all three points and a return to winning ways.

The Glovers got off to a flying start when Arron Davies gave Yeovil the lead inside five minutes having carried the ball almost the full-length of the pitch before thumping home a power strike on the edge of the box. Mansfield had a great chance to pull the scores level when Efe Sodje brought down Fraser McLachlan inside the box but Steve Collis denied Richard Barker the equaliser with a fine save. The Stags werenít to be denied their equaliser for long however, Adam Rundle levelling the scores on 32 minutes.

Mansfield snatched the lead moments into the second half when Fraser McLachlan won his second penalty of the game. This time Rhys Day took responsibility and made no mistake from the spot. The lead was short lived as Darrren Way bundled a Lee Johnson corner off the bar past Kevin Pilkington. Michael Rose then fired Yeovil into the lead with his first goal for the club having thumped his freekick low and hard into the back of the net. Phil Jevons struck his 25th goal of the season to make it 4-2 on 72 minutes and the win was sealed nine minutes from time when Darren Way knocked in his second of the game.

George Murray




Final score: Yeovil Town 5 - 2 Mansfield Town.

After the match it was revealed that striker Marcus Richardson had pulled a muscle in training on Friday, hence his absence from the bench. He's expected to be fit in time for Yeovil's trip to Kidderminster next weekend. Bartosz Tarachuski's chicken pox and Scott Guyett's knee aside, the rest of the squad are fit and healthy after today's game.

Today's excellent result means that we're all happy bunnies again! It also means that the Glovers are back on top of the league on 75 points from 42 games played. 2nd-placed Southend, who play Wrexham in the LDV Vans Trophy Final tomorrow, have 74 points and a game in hand. Scunthorpe turned around their recent poor form with a fine 2-1 win at play-off contenders Northampton to go to 3rd on 72. Cobblers? I'm afraid it's true. Swansea drop a place to 4th on 71 after losing 1-0 at Lincoln and Macclesfield, whose game against Southend today was postponed, are 5th on 69 with a game in hand on all except the Blues. Lincoln are 6th on 68 with Darlington in the final play-off spot on 64 points. Northampton (63), Wycombe (61) and Rochdale (60) are now the only teams in the chasing pack who can realistically challenge for that final play-off spot.

At the other end of the table bottom club Cambridge kept their season alive with a fine 3-1 win over Darlington to go to 35 points, 2 behind 23rd placed Kidderminster on 37. Kiddie drew 2-2 at home to Bury to gain a point on Rushden in 22nd, the Annies losing 3-0 at Bristol Rovers to remain in trouble on 41 points.


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8 April 2005 : Action Photos From Rushden vs Yeovil Town
Action photos from last Saturday's match against Rushden and Diamonds are now available in our Action Photo Gallery section. The Glovers may have lost 2-0 at Nene Park, but there was some football played, mainly in the first half, and you can find 71 photos from the game by going here.


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8 April 2005 : Yeovil v Mansfield preview
Yeovil Town entertain Mansfield at Huish Park tomorrow in what is probably the Glovers most important match of the season after the recent horror run of one win in five league matches played - so no pressure there then! A convincing win against the Stags would put Yeovil's season back on track and make automatic promotion that much more attainable, a loss and the pressure on both players, management and supporters will be greater than ever... But let's not consider that until and unless it actually happens!

The Glovers welcome back from injury defenders Colin Miles and new signing Kevin Amankwaah - a target for Mansfield until he signed permanently for Yeovil just before the recent transfer deadline. Bartosz Tarachulski (chicken pox) and Scott Guyett (knee) are currently the only members of the squad unavailable for tomorrow's game. Mansfield will be without midfielder Tom Curtis and defender (and former Glovers triallist) David Artell, both players struggling with ankle injuries. Highly rated striker Colin Larkin is also out after falling out with manager Carlton Palmer, who himself is sure to receive a warm welcome from Yeovil fans after poaching Anthony Tonkin from Yeovil 3 years ago when manager of Stockport; and then after having a frank exchange of views with Yeovil fans on the same subject on the set of Sky TV's Soccer AM programme some 12 months later.

Mansfield are currently 11th in the table on 56 points, 8 away from a play-off spot. After a disappointing season by their recent standards the Stags have found some form of late and are unbeaten in their last 4 matches, winning 2 and drawing 2. "Yeovil have had a pretty good season," Palmer said yesterday. "But right now they have hit a slippy patch like every team does during a season. It's all a question of how quickly you can get out of it. We have been having a pretty successful time recently and been quite consistent. They need a win so the game could be quite open and entertaining."

The Glovers returned to training yesterday after being given time off by Gary Johnson to recharge ther batteries, something appreciated by club captain Terry Skiverton: "We are waiting to turn the corner and none of us wants to miss that and that is what is driving us all on," Skivo told the Western Gazette yesterday. "We are all highly-tuned and the training has been excellent but there has been a few players who have played 200 games in the space of two-and-a-half years. Lee Johnson is one and even Phil Jevons has played 47 games already this season, so maybe we have had a little bit of tiredness. But now we have had this period of rest everyone is raring to go.

"We are all looking forward to getting back out there and trying to put on a show for our fans. This is the first time this season that we have been on a run that has been this bad and the supporters are entitled to their say. But what people have to remember is that we get as frustrated on the pitch as they do in the stands. When you are living and breathing it every day it can get hard. Do not get me wrong, the pressure of going for promotion is good but it is still pressure. We all want it so badly that it might have got to us for a bit. Everyone lives in the area and it is part of our everyday lives and that
is why the gaffer thought that it would be good if some of the lads got away from it for a while."


Skivo went on to rubbish rumours flying around about various problems and bad blood between players in the squad, saying: "No-one can ever doubt the players' work-rate and ethic at this club. At other sides there are bad apples but everybody here is going for one goal and that is trying to win the league. Everyone wishes everybody the best and that goes for the lads who are out of the side or injured as well - there is no whingeing. We have now just got to go out and focus on winning the next game without worrying about the three that we have got to win to guarantee promotion. When we won the Nationwide Conference we could still beat teams with a few players having off days but it is not the same at this standard. Everyone has to start winning their individual battles - if we do that then we will usually come out on top."

Glovers boss Gary Johnson is also upbeat before tomorrow's game. "I'm pleased that the boys have come back refreshed and ready to go and at this moment in time it looks like having those four days off was the right thing to do, especially as we now know that there is a chicken pox virus floating about the place," he said to the official site. "As you know Bartosz has had that in his system so the sooner he gets rid of that and back to his old self the better and we wish him well in that.

"Training went very well today and I could feel the boys were looking forward to their training and were pleased to be getting back into the swing of things. None of us need to be told how important the next games are but we have to keep reminding ourselves that we are in a position where our destiny lies in our own hands not other team's hands. We have to produce our game and do better than the teams around us. During the season there will always be ups and downs, as I said about ten games ago, and at this point it's all about picking the right eleven. Which players are on form, which players suit the tactics you are playing but it's about them when they cross that line and their ability in the important games, and we know how important the next five games are."


A vital game tomorrow then and with current league leaders Southend absent from league action this weekend and concentrating on Sunday's LDV Vans Trophy Final against Wrexham, a win against Mansfield will put the Glovers back on top of League Two. Exciting times for all who love the Glovers and we've all got our part to play tomorrow, fans and players alike. Altogether now! 'We all follow the Yeovil, over land and sea.....'


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8 April 2005 : Of Breweries, Bars And Busts
Many thanks to Blue Stew of the YTISA for supplying us with his minutes of the Customer Charter Meeting held at Huish Park on Monday April 4th.

MINUTES OF THE CUSTOMER CHARTER MEETING HELD AT HUISH PARK ON MONDAY 4th APRIL 2005.

Those Present:
John Fry - Chairman YTFC
Adrian Hopper - Press Office and Chairman of the Customer Charter Group
Sara Bradley - YTFC
James Hillier - Huish Park Stadium Manager
Rod Hallett - VPís
Ali King - G&WSC
Roy Toogood - G&WSC
Sharon Swain - DSA
Hazel Ford - DSA
Mark Kelly - YTISA
Stewart Bratherton - YTISA
Adrian Gleave - YTISA

MINUTES OF THE LAST TWO MEETINGS

The Chairman of the meeting Adrian [Hopper] opened the meeting by welcoming all present. The meeting reviewed the minutes of the previous two meetings, as this was not done at the meeting held on Mon 7th Feb 05. [These minutes are available for review here under 17th Feb 2005, and here under 15th Dec 2004 on the archived Ciderspace News pages.] The following outstanding matters were discussed:

Adrian informed those present that the Police Liaison Officer, who attended the last meeting, had still failed to reply to the questions put to him at the meeting. All present felt that this was unacceptable, and that even a courtesy letter to say that they were looking into our concerns would have been better than nothing.

John [Fry] explained to the meeting that new laws were being introduced and current laws changed, and that the police licensing department are responsible for implementation of these new laws. He also stated that this was being discussed at regional level. Though this maybe the case all present believed that Yeovil for whatever reason was being treated differently other football clubs not just in the County but in the Country.

Roy [Toogood] emphasised the point that all supporters groups felt that since we have been promoted into the Football League we have been treated differently. John replied that due to the size of the bars, and the number of home supporters, the Licensing Authority are adamant that they are not willing to change the policy.

James [Hillier] was asked to invite Ms Jackie King to the next Customer Charter Meeting.

Action: James to formally invite Ms King.

Adrian had not put an article advertising for match day staff into the local press, as he had not been given the details of what the requirement was. James informed the meeting that we had recruited more staff since the last meeting, and though they are always looking for more volunteers (paid), they felt there was no further need to advertise, other than in the local colleges which they have been doing successfully.

Adrian informed the meeting that the club website had now moved onto PTV, though the club shop was still being designed, and therefore was not accessible at this moment in time, though he hoped that this would be available very soon. John confirmed that the board had agreed that on-line ticketing facilities would also be available and therefore the design of this function would now go ahead.

All other actions are complete, other than the board are still in discussions with the proposal to consider putting a Bookmakers on the site.

STADIUM DEVELOPMENT

John said that a grant bid submitted to the Football Foundation had been approved, though only 50% of the initial bid, and it was now up to the club to prioritise what they needed to do to make the club more proficient and accessible for the supporters, whether it is the advertising, internet, or the club shop.

Supporters Bar

James started by informing those present that since the last Customer Charter Meeting a further meeting with the planning and building regulators had seen slight amendments to the design. [The latest set of plans we have available can be viewed here on the Ciderspace News page under March 25th.] The lift and toilets will now be on the outside of the buildings, though undercover. This is a result of fire regulations that would reduce the capacity of the building immensely if they were to be on the inside. They had also had to put an additional steel staircase on the outside for emergency evacuation, and the stairways had to be increased in size to 3 metres wide.

The new plans show the ground floor will offer a catering facility serving fast food; there will be no kitchens within the complex; the first floor will be able to accommodate approximately 500-600 people, with bars and big screen, and will adopt the theme of a Sportsmanís Bar. Consultants have been contacted regarding skittle alleys and other things that keep supporters happy seven nights a week. There will also have a viewing window down to the floor; however the floodlight will remain in its current position as it would cost just as much to move the floodlight as it will to build the bar.

The bar will be big enough to accommodate those that may require a drink during the half-time interval, as the opening of bars at half-time is something that is coming in, in the not too distant future.

The floor will be washable and could be hired or used for private functions, parties and discos. There will also be a mini stage, which could also double up as a viewing platform for the disabled if needed.

The plans have been submitted and the unofficial view is that the club believes that they will not have a problem obtaining planning permission; this is expected in mid-April. John said that the building was a rather complicated construction with a steel structure, which fully complies with the DDA.

The club had met with local builders who are awaiting exact specifications before they can submit their prices for tender. It is hoped that these bids would be received in the next four weeks, which would then enable them to be submitted to the board for approval. Providing that steel is available, and the power supply is rectified [see below], then it is felt that the bar could be built by the end October 2005 subject to there being adequate funding in place.

John clarified that the club, after listening to the views of all the supporters, has put the Supporters Bar as the No. 1 priority. To this end the Marquee will remain until the new bar is opened.

Away Supporters

John acknowledged that the club was not adequately meeting the needs of the away supporters, with regards to toilet, catering and bar facilities. This was hoped to be addressed in the near future and this requirement is to be presented to the next board meeting.

Though it had not been put to the board yet it was Johnís proposal as a contingency plan, that if the licensing authority will not allow away supporters in the home bars to put a small Marquee up in the away compound. This would at least offer away supporters the facility to have a drink, and hopefully keep them on the Huish Park site generating extra income to the club as well as keeping them off the nearby housing estate. There would also be a need for more toilets and a burger van like we currently have behind the home terrace.

Huish Park Site

John brought to the attention of the meeting the club's concern about the amount of energy needed to use all the facilities at Huish Park, with the main problem being that the site is at its peak with the current available electricity supply. We will be able to get away with the requirement for the new bar providing gas is used for cooking on site. The club have had a quote to install a new transformer on the site which came in at £300,000. To that end they have asked the local gas company for a quote to put in a gas supply to the main stadium complex. This will be needed to support all the catering areas and heating for the stadium, as it is the club's long term plan to have all four corners built in with bars or shops.

John went on to say that people may have read in the local news that the club intended to tarmac over where the Astroturf pitch is. Though this is correct it is not while the Astroturf is still usable. The club had recently had a risk assessment carried out on the Astroturf and they need to spend £3,000 to repair it. To renew it will cost in the region of £178,000. He stated that it would be cheaper to move the Astroturf pitch to another area of the site, which would also hopefully reduce the amount of energy used by the main site.

John informed the meeting, that people may have heard that he is trying to negotiate with a partner in the town to put up Yeovil Town Development Centres not only in this town but across the two counties in order to accommodated the youth, out of school community work, and the school work that the club currently does, as well as a Football Academy. Unfortunately it is felt that the current Huish Park site is not suitable for this project as it has limited facilities.

Carrying on, on a similar subject John stated that they are currently negotiating a training ground elsewhere in the county, as again it is felt that for a professional football club the Huish Park site is not big enough.

Supporters Club Fund Raising Committee

John informed the meeting that he had approached a brewery about possible sponsorship of the Bar and Bartlett Stand. The initial feedback looks positive and therefore he asked that the supporters groups put together plans to raise £100,000. He emphasised that this was not required before the build could commence. He also asked that the supporters groups redirect their funds into this project rather than some of the other areas that they usually donate to.

Stewart [Bratherton] asked whether the club had discussed with the Commercial Department whether they had any objections to what methods could be used to raise this money, as he felt that they may feel that supporters groups could be stepping on their toes. All agreed that the Fund Raising Committee should be given a free rein on any new fund raising initiatives, otherwise they felt it was a waste of the time trying to do so. John asked that a meeting should be held with those nominated to act on the committee and the Commercial Department, with any fund raising ideas brought to this meeting. Adrian was asked to organise a meeting between the committee and club officials and this has been arranged for Thursday April 14th.

Action: Adrian to arrange meeting between Committee, Commercial Department and Chairman.

Both YTISA and the G&WSC have already nominated two representatives each to sit on the committee, and the DSA and the VPís were asked to put a volunteer forward to join the committee.

Action: VP and DSA Representatives required for the Fund Raising Committee.

Rod [Hallett] asked John what the proposed £400,000 profit made last season was being used for, as he felt that the supporters maybe be sceptical of once again putting the hard work in to raise this money, when the club is just about to announce record profits. John replied that the club budgeting was for a forecasted £300,000 loss and therefore the money made would be used to offset running costs, as well as any additional costs that have been incurred during the current period progressing the club to higher standards.

John said that the club shop is currently selling wristbands with all proceeds going towards the new Supporters Club Bar. Stewart asked that rather than the carte blanche statement of all proceeds going towards the bar, that the exact figure be made known, as he felt this would make supporters aware of exactly how much their purchase had donated to the fund.

John announced that an account for the supporters fund raising would be opened within the club accounts so that they could be assured that all money raised was being utilised and committed to the project that it has been raised for.

FORTHCOMING EVENTS

Wurzels Concert Ė 22 April 2005

Adrian informed the meeting that any profits made on the appearance of The Wurzels would be put into the Supporters Club Fund. Obviously this figure can not be pre-determined as it is all dependent on the number of people that attend. He confirmed that we had currently sold about 300 tickets, but hoped to have in the region of 2,000 on the evening of the event. John suggested that a package deal be looked at for those buying tickets for both The Wurzels concert and the Wycombe Wanderers game.

Action: John to discuss with the Ticket Office.

Adrian asked if he could have volunteers to hand out leaflets advertising the concert to the fans that entered the stadium on Saturday. Hazel [Ford] suggested that this task be given to the stewards, as they were stood by the turnstiles anyway. James confirmed that this task could be done by the stewards.

Action: James to ensure leaflets are handed out to supporters by the stewards on Saturday.

Adrian had already spoken to some of the groups with regards to volunteers to help on the evening. It was decided that twelve volunteers would be required to assist on the gates. Both the G&WSC and YTISA were asked to provide six volunteers from each supporters group.

Action: G&WSC and YTISA to liaise with Adrian and identify six volunteers from their respective supporters groups.

Fun Day

At this present time a suitable date has not yet been identified with the manager [Gary Johnson] for a Fun Day, and obviously until the dates of the pre-season tour and pre-season friendlies is confirmed this can not be done. All were in agreement that once the date is known that it should be advertised accordingly as supporters may well be holding back on other arrangements to ensure that they do not clash with the Fun Day.

Sara [Bradley] informed the meeting that they had been advised that Swansea City had organised a successful Fun Day on a Sunday at the beginning of September, and that she was trying to speak to them to get some of the ideas of how they made it such a success. Stewart pointed out that this could be the way forward as it would mean that hopefully most supporters would have taken their holidays, and it would not interfere with the teams pre-season programme, but we would have to wait until the fixtures for next season were published as it would need to be a Sunday after the club had played at home.

John asked Sara to speak to Swansea and report back for the next meeting.

Action: Sara/Dave Linney to speak to Swansea and report back to the next meeting.

Though without a date no firm plans could be made all groups were asked to start thinking of what they would like to see and do on a Fun Day. Once a date was confirmed a committee would be established to ensure that it was more of a success than last year.

ANY OTHER BUSINESS

Mark [Kelly] asked whether we charged away coaches to park in the compound as at Rushden the various supporters groups were charged £10.00 per coach to park on the side of the road. If other clubs are charging for coaches then surely we should? John said he would review the charging of coaches.

John asked that if anyone had any ideas of events that could be held at the stadium that would generate extra income then to put the ideas forward either to the Supporters Representatives or direct to the Football Club. He stated as the pitch can be covered that we have the use of the whole stadium which can attract an audience in the region of 9,000 people.

John informed the meeting that the new trophy cabinets had now been built, that this had been partly paid for by a sponsor, and that the VPís had offered to pay the residue. He also stated that the club was in the process of creating a Yeovil Town Legends commemorative area within the main complex.

Stewart brought to the attention of the meeting that he had openly asked both the YTISA members and other supporters to e-mail him with anything that they would want to see discussed at this meeting, and therefore the following were the suggestions of the supporters and not necessarily his own :

He stated he had a few e-mail about the lack of response from the Media Department with regard to the despatch of the Glovers News to exiles that had enquired about the paper being sent to them. All were willing to pay for the postage, but the club were failing to return either e-mail or calls on the subject. He stressed the point that we should not advertise the service if we are not going to fulfil it. Adrian informed the meeting that he will put a note in the next edition with details of costs for any Yeovil supporter that would wish editions to be sent to them.

Action: Adrian to put information in next issue of Glovers News.

Stewart informed the meeting that there was once again concern about the car parking and also the time being taken to vacate these car parks after game. Many believed that if we are to continue to be charged £2.00 then more assistance from stewards is necessary for easier dispersal from the site.

Rod highlighted the point that his members pay a seasonís fee to park in the VPís Car Park, and are being told on match days that the car park is full. After lengthy discussions those present came to the conclusion that this was mainly caused by supporters arriving at the ground before the stewards start and therefore are parking their cars without either paying the £2.00 charge and/or parking in areas that are not designated for them.

James heeded the concerns of the meeting and would take the concerns away to brief the stewards who are responsible for stewarding both entry to the car parks and also assist with the dispersal of fans.

Action: James to ensure that all stewards are briefed on their roles regarding the stewarding of the car parks.

Stewart again brought up the idea of a membership scheme, that mainly exiles and non- season ticket holders would be willing to join. The main reason for being in the scheme is that those participating would be entitled to purchase tickets for big games after season ticket holders. He went on to say that this could be again extra income for the Football Club, with only minimal administration need to implement. Some supporters have indicated that they would be willing to pay between £20-30 a season to join this scheme. John said that he would look into the idea and it would be discussed again at the next meeting.

Action: John to give some consideration to introducing a Membership Scheme and brief accordingly at the next meeting.

Stewart asked whether the club had given any consideration to following Oxford United's lead in having their Man of The Match decided by the supporters texting the player's name to the club? This again could bring in extra income to the club. Adrian stated that the club were currently working on this proposal as this was all part of PTV.

Stewart asked the Chairman what had happen with the Memorial to Alec Stock, as he had received numerous e-mails on the subject. He informed the meeting that a fellow supporter had found out through the Internet that it had been made and despatched.

John briefed the meeting that all the money raised from the Alec Stock Testimonial was used to place him into suitable warden assisted accommodation for his final years, something that was greatly appreciated by both Alec and his family. He went onto say that an individual suggested that Alec Stock should be honoured and recognised as a legend within our Football Club. However behind the scenes an individual associated as a journalist with Fulham Football Club set up a committee to raise money to have a bronze bust made of the great man. The individual commissioned the making of the bust without at the time having sufficient funds to pay for it. Both Fulham and the family wanted the bust to be placed in Somerset as that is where Alec was from and he loved our football club. However the fund was £1,600 short and the sculptor took out a law suit against the individual that had formed the committee. That individual had now disappeared.

The bust, which was delivered to the family, has been taken back by the sculptor who is demanding the outstanding balance that he is owed. All present stated that all supporters would like to see the bronze bust in its rightful place at Huish Park, and John was asked whether the various groups could donate the £1,600 to finish this saga once and for all.

Action: John to contact the sculptor to clarify the legal aspects of ownership of the bronze bust so that the supporters groups can donate the funds required.

Stewart asked that Shirt Watch was once again used on the Official Site, as many supporters liked to be in the same shirt as that of the team. He also stated that many supporters believed that the club were not using the away shirt as much as was first indicated. He felt this could have a detrimental effect to sales of any future second strip.

Adrian stated that he would ensure that the details of which strip the team was playing would be advertised on the Official Site.

Action: Adrian to ensure that Shirt Watch is issued prior to every away game.

John finished by informing Rod that the VPís seats may be changed. He also stated that he has asked for a meeting with the local Council to discuss a Park and Ride for matchdays. He also stated that the club would be remaining with the current strip manufacturer. And finally he stated that the prices for next year would be discussed by the board at the next meeting, though they would continue with their policy of being in the middle range for entrance fees. It was hoped that an announcement may be made by the end of the month.

The date for the next meeting will be Tuesday 31st May 2005.


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7 April 2005 : Gary's Call To Be Positive
The Yeovil Town players were back in training this morning after being given a break after a run of poor performances. Manager Gary Johnson, speaking to the Yeovil Express said :

The players have been away from the place the past few days. I thought that perhaps they just needed to get away from the Huish Park environment. But they will be back on Thursday for training and looking ahead to this Saturday's match with Mansfield. Some of the players have played virtually all of the games this season and I thought some of them looked rather jaded and devoid of ideas at Rushden last weekend.

As is often the case when form deserts the rumour mills has been working overtime to come up with reasons for the slump, ranging from the mundane through the physical, mental and tactical, to the fanciful. Those who like conspiracy theories have been citing dressing room unrest, coincidentally no doubt the type of speculation which last got a major airing when form stalled in the 2003-04 campaign.

Johnson tried to dampen the rumours :

There is no unrest. It is a great dressing room and there are some very strong characters in there and I'm really pleased with that. The camaraderie is still there and the will to succeed is still there. They are desperately trying to turn things around. Perhaps one or two individuals are trying too hard. We have been in a pressure situation for a long time now and the nervous energy is beginning to show a bit. But we've got to come through this and we've got five very important games to go.

I know we have got the character and the quality to do it in the important days to come. We have got to remember what we are all upset about the fact that we've been knocked off top spot with five games to go. We have got to stay positive.

I can understand the supporters being frustrated and it's difficult to try and be happy when you see your side go 2-0 down. I was disappointed with the defeat at Rushden just as anyone else. And it really does matter to the players.

We are looking forward to the game
[against Mansfield Town], although a bit of quality would be handy. We need to up the tempo in our effort. We have got the game that can beat Mansfield, as long we are on our game.


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6 April 2005 : Bart Spotted At The Doctor's
Bartosz Tarachulski, whose removal after thirty-one minutes as a substitute at Nene Park provoked a public display of disapproval from many fans, has been diagnosed as having varicella, chickenpox to you and me.

On the Yeovil Town Official Site, which we shan't provide our usual link to for fear of earning m'learned friends another fat wedge for more letter writing, manager Gary Johnson stated :

Unfortunately Bartosz Tarachulski has been struck down with the chickenpox virus. He only realised on Sunday when the spots were coming out that he needed to see a doctor. Unfortunately it has been in his system for a couple of weeks and it hasn't helped him train or play. Hopefully given a little rest period he will come back as strong as before. We wish him a speedy recovery. Fortunately, touch wood, it doesn't seem as if any of the boys have caught the virus.

Gary also confirmed what had become common knowledge, that the team has been given a break to try and recharge batteries ahead of the final crucial five league games of the season :

I thought this week was a good time to give the boys a few days off to recharge their batteries. Hopefully they will all come back fine and raring to go for Saturday's match.

In other injury news : Colin Miles, out for nearly two months, came through last night's Somerset Premier Cup victory over Weston-super-Mare with no repercussions; Kevin Amankwaah is close to a return after his hamstring tweak against Boston United, but Saturday's match may come just too soon for him; Scott Guyett remains two to three weeks away.


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6 April 2005 : Odd Down Showdown
Odd Down boss Chris Mountford sees his side's forthcoming clash with Yeovil Town in the Somerset Premier Cup Final as the highlight of their season. After booking their place last night with a 1-0 win over fellow Screwfix Western League Premier Division side Brislington he said he saw the tie as a motivation in their relegation battle :

We're in a Cup Final but we're also in the bottom four and that's alarming for me. I've got a squad of 20 players and they were all there last night, but I want them all available every week if they want to play against Yeovil.

And what a game that will be for Odd Down. They are the biggest club in the West Country and I know their manager will treat the Final professionally.


The match is expected to be at Hand Stadium, home of Clevedon, and the venue of Yeovil's last SPC Final appearance, a 2-1 defeat by Taunton Town in 2003. The date is yet to be announced.


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6 April 2005 : Glovers Through To County Final
Yeovil Town reached the final of the Somerset Premier Cup last night after a convincing 3-1 win over Conference South side Weston-super-Mare. Despite having cut their first team involvement in the match down to it's bare bones, the strength of the Glovers youth players was still enough to see them dominate the match and come out as deserved victors.

Youth team winger Richard Cullingford sparked things off by sticking in a 12th minute cross that Marcus Richardson was the first to react to and his flick-on found Marvin Brown who looped the ball over former Yeovil loan keeper Ryan Northmore for a great early start.

Despite the Glovers dominating the match, it was Weston that managed to get the ball in the back of the net through a familiar face. Former Glovers trialist Steve Cowe, who almost signed for Yeovil under Steve Thompson netted a 28th minute equaliser with a header.

Yeovil continued to force Northmore into save after save but they broke the deadlock twice in four minutes after the break to secure the win. Colin Miles rifled home a 64th minute 25-yard free kick that Northmore could do nothing about, after a Dale Williams run had been illegally stopped and then four minutes later another Miles free kick was flicked on by Nicolas Mirza who put the ball into the path of Marvin Brown for an easy finish.

Final Score: Yeovil Town 3-1 Weston-super-Mare

Yeovil: Chris Weale, Gavin McCallum, Stephen Reed, Sam Croft, Colin Miles (capt), David Woozley, Richard Cullingford, Nicolas Mirza, Marcus Richardson, Marvin Brown, Dale Williams.

Weston: 1. Northmore 2. Hogg 3. Thorne 4. Robertson 5. Wotton 6. Thomas 7. French (capt) 8. Cowe 9. Rawlins 10. McGregor 11. McKeever. Subs: Pocock, Hodge, Hayward, Mehew, Mings.

Attendance: 403

The final will be played against Odd Down at a venue and date yet to be decided after they defeated Brislington 1-0 in the other semi-final. A full match report from Robin Evans will follow on the site soon.


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5 April 2005 : SPC Semi-Final
With the club struggling to find form in the main event, the chase for promotion out of League Two, and the players given a spell of R&R to try and recharge the batteries for the final push, it's a very scratch side expected for tonight's Semi-Final in the Somerset Premier Cup against Weston-super-Mare despite protestations from assistant manager Steve Thompson as to the seriousnesss with which the club is approaching the match.

We have taken the competition seriously all along, which is why we are in the Semi-Final. A win can give us a boost - getting to any Final can give a club a boost. Obviously we have got five very important league games to play still.

Although Weston are mid-table in the the Football Conference South they may still feel they have an outside chance of a play-off slot, and manager Frank Gregan could have had that in mind when he conceded :

It's a great pity we will not be at full strength to match ourselves against them.

However he does have problems with suspensions, with central defenders Lee Jarman and Steve Jenkins and midfielder Matt Rose all out. Another central back, Billy Clark, suffered a rib injury in Saturday's 3-2 defeat at Hornchurch, and will have a late fitness test but is rated doubtful. Winger Mark McKeever, who missed the Hornchurch game with a tight hamstring, should be fit to return, whilst defenders Wayne Thorne and Gary Wotton are both eligible for the game after signing for The Seagulls last week.

Yeovil Town will have Chris Weale in goal, with Stephen Reed, Dale Williams, back after a broken finger, and Steve Thompson himself set to feature. Marcus Richardson will play some part as he looks to get in some more competitive time on the pitch. Colin Miles is set to return after several weeks out with a knee problem, and is likely to be partnered in central defence by David Woozley on loan from Oxford United. Nicolas Mirza is in the squad, with the rest made up of Youth Teams faces. With first choice Youth Team goalkeeper Danny Barker away in the Isle of Wight on English College duty back-up Tim Pearse could have hoped for a bench spot, but it appears the decision has been made to go in with one keeper.

Yeovil Town (from): Chris Weale, Colin Miles, David Woozley, Stephen Reed, Nicolas Mirza, Steve Thompson, Dale Williams, Sean Smith, Jamie Underwood, Sam Croft, Marcus Richardson, Gavin McCallum, Greg Squibb, Richard Cullingford, Andy Holmes, Jake Reid.

Weston-super-Mare (from): Northmore, Hogg, Thorne, Robertson, Wotton, French, Cowe, Rawlins, McGregor, McKeever, Thomas, Clark, Mehew, Pocock, Hodge, Mings, Haywood.

Kick-off is 7.45 p.m. at Huish Park. The winner will play either Odd Down or Brislington, both of the Screwfix League Premier Division, who meet at Combe Hay Lane tonight.


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4 April 2005 : Youth Team Draw Against Pompey
The Youth team played out a commendable draw on the Top Pitch on Saturday morning against Portsmouth. Hit by an early goal, a 25 yard drive that gave keeper Tim Pearse no chance Yeovil responded well creating a couple of chances for themselves before Sam Croft rose to head the equaliser. In fairness the visitors had the balance of play in the first half but struggled to adjust to the breeze and slope with many through balls finding their way to the car park.

Things got even better in the second half when Jamie Barber put the home team ahead much to the disgust of the Portsmouth players who complained bitterly that he was offside. Tempers got somewhat frayed at this point as some of the tackling became rather tasty. Portsmouth eventually equalised through a penalty as James Keene was caught as he turned in the box. All in all a good gutsy performance and a very entertaining game.

Final Score: Yeovil Town U18s 2-2 Portsmouth U18s

Line-up:

Tim Pearse
James Ansell, Jamie Underwood, Sam Croft, Andy Martin
Gavin McCallum, Sean Smith, Richard Cullingford, Dale Williams (capt)
Andy Holmes, Jamie Barber

Subs: Ben Wood, Bradley Bryant, Danny Barker (GK)

[Report by Steve Cox. Line-up by Swansglover.]


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4 April 2005 : Achieve By Unity Wristbands
YTFC wristband
Achieve By Unity Wristband
Photo © 2005 YTFC


The new Achieve By Unity wristbands are available from the club shop. Coloured in green and white as above, they are priced at £2.00. All profits go towards the new Supporters Club Bar.


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3 April 2005 : O2V Issue 15 Out On Saturday
O2V
© 2005 O2V


Edition 15 of On To Victory will be on sale at Huish Park for the visit of Mansfield Town on Saturday April 9th. In this edition we have caught up with a couple of old Yeovil favourites from the past. You will be able to see how our old friend Tony Pennock is getting on in life back in his native Wales, along with a great servant of the club who will be remembered by some of our olders supporters: Tony Cottle.

We have a look at the Glove making in old Yeovil, Miss O2V, Centre Circle looking at local youth football, plus lots more from the regular contributors.

So dont miss out, buy On To Victory on Saturday, 48 pages for just £1.00.

James and Jeremy.


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3 April 2005 : Gary's Verdict on the Rushden Game
Glovers boss Gary Johnson spoke to the press after two late goals had seen his team lose 2-0 at Nene Park against former Conference rivals Rushden and Diamonds. Gary answered the following questions after the match:

Gary, Rushden appeared to play a lot better than their league position suggests but that must be a really disappointing defeat for you.

GJ: Yes of course it is. When you are playing a team that is also under pressure, but to stay in the league, it is a different type of pressure. But they took their game right to the very end and in the last 15 minutes they were the better side.

Qu: You had chances in the game to win it, with a couple in the first half and a couple in the second. Do you think you created enough to win it?

GJ: No, nowhere near enough and that was the problem wasn't it? We got our passing game going a little bit better, but it got less and less effective as the game went on. Locky had a volley that he put wide, Sodje had a couple of headers one of which he hit the target and got cleared off the line. At those points you need those shots to go in for the confidence of your team. But when they didn't, Rushden started to show a bit of quality and then we weren't showing any quality.

Qu: You probably made the sort of start that you wanted with a couple of shots in the first half.

GJ: Yes, we did. We got in a couple of shots and we got our passing going. Rushden's two front men were quite lively but without getting in any shots or any dangerous efforts. But as the game went on the lads got gradually less effective instead of more effective. In most of our games we have been gradually more effective over time and have scored most of our goals at the end. Today we seemed to get less and less confident.

Qu: Why do think the chances were not created?

GJ: A lack of quality on the day, although that goes a little bit in hand with confidence as well. We've got players who have got quality but today it didn't come out, not from any of the 14 players we used on the pitch.

Qu: You tried to change things and you took Phil Jevons off. What was the thinking behind that decision?

GJ: He wasn't creating anything. We had to give somebody else a chance. Strikers have to create their own opportunities every now and again with clever runs and clever little dribbles and one-two's but unfortunately it wasn't happening for him and so you make a change.

Qu: Are you frustrated with the players at the moment? You've said before that you've tried to put your arm around them and you've tried to shout at them and yet you haven't got a reaction.

GJ: There is nothing more that I can do. We've done everything they can and it is just a matter of individuals bringing their game back. That is what we have got to do. We've got another week to sort ourselves out and we've got a massive home game now against Mansfield on Saturday and that really is a massive game.

Qu: You brought on Bartosz and took him off again. I take it he wasn't having the impact that you wanted?

GJ: It wasn't so much that. When I brought him on it was 0-0, but then he got booked. I said to them that if people got yellow cards then I would have to have a look at it. At 0-0 we can't afford to have somebody sent off and be playing with ten men. I said that before the game. He hadn't really affected the game anyway. At the point where Gally was ready to come on, Rushden scored their goal. I had already made the decision before they scored their goal. It was a yellow card with 20 minutes to go and if Bartosz gets a yellow card he can't then put himself about, and so I made the change.

Qu: You tried four or five different people up front but is the problem necessarily up front?

GJ: No, it's everywhere. It's our lack of width, it's our midfield, it's our defence and it's our forwards. No one section can pull it through themselves. The whole team need to pull it through. It's down to the quality of individuals. Today there wasn't a lot of good dribbling, good crossing, good passing or good tackling.

Qu: I don't think you got behind them once.

GJ: I don't think we did - no. That is why in the end we wanted to put Stolc on and Gally in the hope of getting that ball that gets in behind somebody. The only way you would do it with the team I started with was to play football. That's what we tried to do but without success over the 90 minutes.

Qu: I get the impression that you are not panicking. You're still second and you're still in a great position.

GJ: No, we are definitely not panicking. We are disappointed and disturbed that we have got as low as we have in our play. But we need a little bit of luck, a little bit of workrate and a little bit of legs. We need to nick a goal and see where we are when we are 1-0 up in a game. Then I think we will see the confidence come back. The next three points we get will be vital, whenever we get that. We need to get it early. I can throw things about and I can drop everybody, but with five games to go, even though we are still where we were this morning, that is not good enough for us at the moment. We've enjoyed being top, but all we can do is to keep working and that's what we do. People will go home and have a little moan and that's what I'll be doing. I'll kick the cat and kick the dog, but all you can really do is to keep going.

Qu: Efe Sodje made his debut today. What did you make of his performance?

GJ: He did OK. He won his headers and he made some good tackles and I thought he was unlucky to get booked at that point. He had a steady and solid game for his first game.

Qu: Steve Collis didn't have a chance with either of the two goals.

GJ: He made a fantastic save just before the first goal. Neither of them were his fault and that save shows what a great keeper he is. But obviously he couldn't do anything about the two goals.

Qu: You defended well, so you've got a platform to build on, it's just going forward that needs sorting out.

GJ: No, I've got a few things to do in terms of defending. There are one or two that are not defending quite right. We're certainly not creating and we are certainly not scoring. So there wasn't really too many in the dressing room that had the right to talk about anyone else's performance and nobody did to be fair. They have got to get their own individual games going and then hope that the others will follow.


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2 April 2005 : Crisis of confidence deepens as Diamonds sparkle
Oh dear! Yeovil Town's current blip continues to grow into something altogether more serious as the Glovers lost their 4th league game out of the last 5 today, relegation-haunted Rushden & Diamonds winning 2-0 at Nene Park to ease their own fears and at the same time plunge fresh doubts about automatic promotion into the minds of both Yeovil players and fans alike.

The Glovers started the match brightly enough and made enough chances throughout the first 70 minutes to win the game, however after finding goals so easy to come by for the majority of the season, now, at the business end, the goal supply has dried up. Phil Jevons, Terry Skiverton, Adam Lockwood and Efe Sodje all failed to hit the target when in good positions and when a second-half Arron Davies shot that was on target was brilliantly saved by keeper Scott Shearer the fear was that the Glovers would pay for not taking their chances. Sure enough Rushden began looking more and more dangerous as the second half wore on and it was no real surprise when they eventually forced an opening goal through Stuart Gray on 82 minutes. What was a surprise and a disappointment was how quickly Yeovil heads dropped after the opening goal. Glovers boss Gary Johnson said during the week that rather too many players were low on confidence and lacking mental toughness - unfortunately here was proof of that statement again. The home side added a second through Billy Sharp in the time remaining.

Final score: Rushden & Diamonds 2 - 0 Yeovil Town.

Southend continued their marvelous run with a 2-0 win over Bristol Rovers on Friday night to go top of the league on 74 points from 41 games played. Yeovil drop to 2nd on 72, with Swansea, 3-0 winners today over Cambridge coming back up to 3rd on 71. Scunthorpe played out a 0-0 draw with Macclesfield, both sides 4th and 5th in the table respectively on 69 and 68 points, Macc still with a game in hand on the top 4. Lincoln suffered a setback, losing 1-0 at Notts County to remain 6th on 65, with Darlington taking the final play-off spot on 64 points, though Northampton and Wycombe are still within striking distance.

At the bottom Cambridge are now surely doomed following their 3-0 defeat at Swansea, while Kidderminster did themselves no favours by also losing 3-0, in their case to Wycombe. Cambridge are last on 32 points with Kiddy 23rd on 36. Rushden aren't out of the woods yet in 22nd on 41 points, but Chester and Shrewsbury, 21st and 20th and both on 45 points should now more-or-less have enough to survive.

As for the Glovers, automatic promotion, if not the championship title itself, is still in our own hands. But the team desperately needs a win to calm ragged nerves both on and off the pitch and at the moment it's difficult to see where one is coming from. Somehow the team has to get back to playing the kind of football they were playing only a few short weeks ago, get back to the crisp passing game with movement off the ball that we all know they're capable of and that was proving so irresistable. The squad have done magnificently throughout the season to get themselves in this position, they would be devastated to let it slip at the death. Come on you Glovers, we believe in you. Mansfield at home next Saturday is now a huge game, a game we can and must win. Keep the faith!


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1 April 2005 : Southend United Ticketing Information
Tickets for Yeovil Town's final away match of the season go on sale on Monday to season ticket holders only. The match could well be a title or promotion decider for one or both clubs and so tickets are expected to be snapped up extremely fast at both ends of the ground.

Ticket office opening times for season ticket holders only are:

Monday 4th April : 9.00am - 5.00pm
Tuesday 5th April : 9.00am - 7.45pm
Wednesday 6th April : 9.00am - 5.00pm
Thursday 7th April : 9.00am - 5.00pm
Friday 8th April : 9.00am - 5.00pm
Saturday 9th April : 9.00am - 2.00pm and 4.45pm - 5.30pm.

Any remaining tickets then go on general sale on Monday 11th April.

The club have not provided any details of pricing or location for the tickets, but Ciderspace believes that away fans are housed in the all-seated and covered North Stand. Adults: £16.50; Juniors and Students £7.00; other concessions: £7.50.

Again, no indication of capacity is stated, however Roots Hall holds 12,392 spectators overall, and the opinion of various Shrimpers fans is that the North Stand is capable of housing up to 3,000 supporters. Whether the Glovers would be given full use of that stand, or whether there is the means for split segregation is not clear. As more details are known, we will publicise them here.

Regarding the Glovers trip to Kidderminster Harriers, second hand reports via the Ciderspace forum suggest we have been allocated 1,500 terrace tickets and 500 tickets in the stand. These are already on general sale from the Huish Park Ticket Office.


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1 April 2005 : Rushden vs Yeovil Match Preview
Yeovil Town travel up to Nene Park tomorrow to revisit former rivals Rushden and Diamonds for the first time since the two clubs clashed during the 2000/01 season for the right to enter the Football League. Although Diamonds won the battle and gained promotion that season, the (Dr Martens) boot is now very much on the other foot, with Yeovil seeking to gain promotion to League One, whilst on current form the Annies are in grave danger of losing a League status that they have kept for under four years.

To ensure that both clubs current fortunes continue in the same vein though, the Glovers need to arrest a blip of form that has seen them lose three out of their last four league matches and Diamonds are unlikely to roll over and die with the Football League trap door opening beneath their feet.

Rushden's three wins since the end of October and a run of 14 games without a win on their own travels tells it's own story although they did briefly prove in March that they can turn it on in style on occasions with a shock 3-2 win over neighbours Northampton Town.

Team-wise Rushden only have Andy Burgess and Gary Mills on their books from their time in the Nationwide Conference, and few Yeovil fans will recall two players that were largely contributing bit-part appearances as youngsters back in those days.

Two players return for them this weekend - midfielder Mark Williams and goalkeeper Lee Worgan have returned from International duty with Northern Ireland and Wales respectively. Whilst Williams is likely to slot straight back in, Worgan is more likely to sit it out in favour of Scott Shearer. On loan Charlton Athletic midfielder Neil McCafferty stays at the club after extending his loan period but there will be no sign of midfielder David Bell, who is sidelined with an ankle injury. Former Kidderminster Harriers striker Drewe Broughton, who Yeovil once tried to sign on loan, serves the second instalment of a three-match ban for his red card against Lincoln City.

Rushden manager Barry Hunter played just one man up front during last week's match at Grimsby Town, but like many managers recently plans to alter his tactics against the Glovers.

Hunter told the Northants Evening Telegraph: "I'm going to change the formation again. We have worked on a couple of variations because we are playing against arguably the best team in the league. I have seen them a few times and they are exciting to watch. Yeovil play good football but they can also mix it up and it's not all about being pretty. They are strong at the back and up front with lots of energy in midfield. They are the best team we have seen so it will be a good test for us. We have played a lot of the top-six sides recently and more than matched them on every occasion so it's going to be tough for Yeovil. They must come here thinking that we are fighting for our lives. But they are going through a little wobble in the championship race so let's give them a difficult day. We are aware of the history between the clubs and hopefully our supporters will get right behind us again. I'm sure they will bring plenty of fans."

Glovers boss Gary Johnson is able to add two additional names to his squad in the form of winger Arron Davies and central defender Efe Sodje. Davies has just completed two games with the Wales Under 21 side, whilst Sodje is now clear of a suspension for a sending off incurred during his final game for Huddersfield Town. It would be no great surprise if both went straight into Saturday's line-up. Kevin Amankwaah (hamstring), Colin Miles (knee) and Scott Guyett (knee) all remain on the treatment table with Miles having suffered a minor setback in his plans to return to full training this week.

Johnson told the Glovers Official Site: "No one needs to tell us that it was poor performance against Notts County, we know that ourselves. Wealey and the rest of the lads had one of those days. Our form is not so good at the moment so character and determination comes into it. We have two extra lads available for our game against Rushden in Efe Sodje and Arron Davies and they will add strength to the squad. We have had a no holds barred talk on Wednesday and I can tell you that the squad is as disappointed as everyone - but I can promise you that we will be doing all we can humanly do to turn it round.

"We will go back to our ABC of football, which is ABILITY - BELIEF and CHARACTER and I want people to remember we are top of League 2 after 40 games because we have got the most points - a great achievement by our club. So with six more games to go we are now in a mini league of eight teams and we need to be in the top three so we can get automatic promotion. Let's achieve that first and then worry about the Championship.

"So as of today here we are league leaders, one point in front of second place, four points in front of third and fourth place and 11 points ahead of eighth! Feeling any better? Nothing is won yet and nothing is lost yet, but what a great position to be in. Thanks for your support against Notts County, your are doing your job as fans and your continued support through thick and thin will be a major factor for our remaining games. As I have said previously there will be drama - just try to enjoy it!
"


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1 April 2005 : Youth Team versus Portsmouth
Yeovil Town's Youth Team are at home tomorrow in a Youth Merit League match against a Portsmouth Under 18s side. The venue for the match is the Huish Park Top Pitch and kick-off is 11.00am. Admission to the game is free, so if you are not travelling to Rushden and Diamonds tomorrow, head off to Huish Park instead and cheer on Stuart Housley's team.


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1 April 2005 : Chairman Praises Loyalty
Speaking to Goala!, the Football League's on-line weekly news letter, Yeovil Town chairman John Fry has praised the loyalty of players and staff at the club, and attributed much of the team's recent success to that stability.

At most other clubs players are coming and going every five minutes. A number of our squad are into triple figures for appearances Ė that shows tremendous loyalty. The manager has been here for four years. Most of our backroom staff have been here since I joined the board in 1993.

Gary
[Johnson] has turned down the chance to manage two other clubs this season. That says a lot for what he thinks of Yeovil. We have a strategy of keeping a small squad and reserve team. Gary made it clear from day one that he didnít want to rotate players. The clever bit is signing players who are naturally fit enough to play a high number of games every season.

When I look at what is wrong with football a lot stems from the hire and fire culture in the game. I firmly believe that you canít achieve anything at a club overnight. Even if we donít get promotion this season we wonít be abandoning our long-term plans. We certainly wonít be making throw-of-the-dice decisions that could hurt this club.

We all have bad days but our players are very responsive. They listen, work out where they went wrong and then put things right. We are a bit nervous at the moment. We have six games left but I think weíll be OK.


Club captain Terry Skiverton added :

If you look around the club there is evidence of continuity. Iíve had plenty of dodgy games in my six years here. But Gary has always given me the chance to prove myself again.


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1 April 2005 : Skivo Related to Boston Boss Shocker!
Club captain Terry Skiverton rocked the footballing world this week when he revealed he had footballing relatives in the camp of one of Yeovil's fierce rivals. And you could have knocked Ciderspace down with a feather when Skivo revealed that his blood relation was none other than Chief Cheat Boston United manager Steve Evans, or "Uncle Steve" as we prefer to call him at Ciderspace Towers.

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


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1 April 2005 : Bring me Sunshine - Fry to step down for a year
Yeovil Town chairman John Fry is to step down from his boadroom role temporarily at the end of the season, Ciderspace can exclusively reveal this evening. We understand that Mr Fry, the driving force behind Yeovil's development from a non-league outfit into a fully-fledged football league club, is to take a year long sabbatical to recharge his batteries after an exhausting decade in the Huish Park hot seat.

Speaking exclusively to Ciderspace, a friend of the chairman who asked to remain anonymous, said: "John's knackered, plain and simple. He's had years of heartache, stress and worry and that was just when Graham Roberts was manager. Now he can't wait to get to the end of the season to go to lie on a beach somewhere and work on his tan and not think at all about football, contracts or where the new club bar is going. He's had enough, so he's going to be a lotus eater for a year. He'll probably rent a place somewhere in Marbella where they've got Sky installed. After a year off he'll come back with his batteries recharged and will resume the chairmanship of the club. The lucky old sod!"

Ciderspace wishes Mr Fry all the best for his break, he certainly deserves it. We understand that former Yeovil Town director Andy Rossiter will be appointed acting chairman in Mr Fry's absence. More on this story later today, including an interview with Mr Rossiter who plans to improve communications between club and supporters by continuing to post regularly under his username 'Sunshine' on the forum during his year as acting chairman.


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1 April 2005 : Club Reveal New Terrace Scheme
In another example of listening to the fans Yeovil Town are set to introduce a new scheme for standing spaces on the Westland Terrace from next season. With much discontent about late comers squeezing in and fans not getting their regular spots, and also concerns about the capacity being reduced again, a grid will be painted across the terrace steps, with each square numbered.

The scheme will be launched to coincide when next year's season tickets go on sale in May/June. Applicants will be able to select their spot as they purchase. The grid will be available for viewing in the Yeovil College Stand foyer and at the ticket office, and it is hoped an on-line version can be put in place to allow supporters to instantly see which spaces are still available. Those wishing to organise blocks so they can stand next to their friends are advised to purchase their season tickets as early as possible.

With the club's computerised system pay-on-the-day fans will also be able to select from any spaces not previously allocated to STH's providing they purchase more than two hours before kick-off. Time constraints in the last two hours mean the ticket office will simply allocate places itself as tickets are sold to fill in spaces.

All tickets, season and for individual games, will have the relevant grid number printed on them, and although the club doesn't envisage anything more than early teething problems as supporters get used to the idea, standing fans are reminded that the same stadium rules will apply as for seating, and anyone taking the space allocated to another fan will be moved by the stewards.

For cup games, and for future seasons, there will be a short period designated at the start of ticket sales for supporters to retain their normal place on the grid.

A club spokesperson from the ticket office stated :

"It is time the terrace fans received the same service as those in the stands get. We have the technology to allocate everyone an individual space in advance, so why not use it. We expect this to be a popular move, with supporters now able to protect their precious favoured spot."


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