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31 December 2003 : Yeovil Town v Liverpool commemorative enamel lapel badges
Glovers supporter Tim Lancaster writes:

To all people who have reserved badges please note that I will make myself available from 11.00am until 11.30am on Sunday for you to collect your orders under the club crest on the main stand. I will be there for the full half-hour.

There are also still a limited number available for general sale, although not very many.

Any queries to tim.daff@btopenworld.com


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31 December 2003 : 'Up The Glovers!' to include the queues
Peter Quince Theatre Company’s new play about Yeovil Town Football Club includes literally all of the Glovers’ season thus far.

Following the story of Penny and Yandle, two die hard Town fans, the play pits their relationship against Yeovil’s first season in the football league. Penny falls in love with Hugo Rodrigues, Yandle wants to be Nick Crittenden, but will either of them forsake Gary Johnson for each other?

The events of the season on and off the field have been unexpectedly inspirational for the writing of the play, as Nick White explains:

“Picture this. I say to the club can I write a play about you? They say Yes and Gary Johnson goes out of his way to help. Yeovil record wins, a couple of defeats, and (so far) only one draw, against the then leaders. Then we play in the FA Cup and after thrashing good opposition we get to play Liverpool. Then there’s a fire. Then the fans ignore wretched Christmas results to queue throughout the night, in the pouring rain on a cold night in December, to show their love of Yeovil, and determination to get a golden ticket. I am amazed every time I read the Western Gazette. I know that Somerset Sound will keep me up to date with this amazing season. The Glovers never fail to inspire.”

The play, which is still looking for a title and is currently called “Up The Glovers!”, will receive a WORLD EXCLUSIVE reading on BBC Somerset Sound (1566AM) on Friday 2nd January 2004 at 10 am. The full premiere of the play will be at a charity performance at the Octagon Theatre, Yeovil on the 23rd July.

PQTC will be releasing an extract of the play for the press in March. To be sure of receiving it, get in touch with Nick White (details below)

PQTC are also producing another new play, “The Second Spaceship” by Will Gore, to be toured across the region in the spring.

For more information visit the website www.pqtc.org.uk or contact Nick White on 01460 241123.

quince@pqtc.org.uk
www.pqtc.org.uk


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31 December 2003 : It's A Sell-out!
The FA Cup Third Round match against Liverpool on Sunday, kick-off 1.00pm, is now a sell-out according to the Huish Park Ticket Office. No more tickets will be available. The game will be broadcast live on BBC1 in the UK and Fox Sports World in the USA.


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30 December 2003 : Latest Ticket News
As of the ticket office closing at 5.00 p.m. this evening there are approximately 250 tickets left for the Yeovil Town v Liverpool F.A. Cup tie, mostly for the Westland Terrace.

As previously announced these will now go on general sale at Huish Park from 9.00 a.m. tomorrow, on a first come first served basis. Each individual can purchase a maximum of two tickets.

The news that the club has obtained permission for the marquee bar to be open from 11.30 a.m. on Sunday 4th is now confirmed. Access is restricted to adult home supporters on production of a valid match day ticket. The ban on Under-18 access remains in force.



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30 December 2003 : Glovers back on Soccer AM this Saturday
It seems that Sky TV has learnt nothing since last season when seven members of the Yeovil Town Independent Supporters Association appeared on the popular Saturday morning football show, Soccer Am (see 19th May 2003 news item): Another group of not-so-magnificent seven YTISA members have been invited to sit in the Luther Blisset Stand on the programme this Saturday January 3rd for an FA Cup edition of the programme.

The seven representing Glovers supporters everywhere are: Col Turner, Andy Bicknell, Mark Burlinson, Brian Harwood, Rocco, Andy Brazil and Ian Goldsmith. Does Sky know what they've let themselves in for, we ask? Celebrity guests include former Hereford coach Steve Bull (give him plenty of stick lads!) and Somerset and England cricketer Marcus Trescothick. We understand that Carlton Palmer was last seen heading for the airport. The programme can be found on Sky Sports 1, this Saturday, 9.00am kick-off.


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30 December 2003 : Gary's Comments: Lend Us A Shirt Mate
Yeovil Town manager Gary Johnson saw Sunday's defeat as something of a curate's egg performance, overrun in the first half, but fighting back well in the second.

I'm disappointed of course, that we lost a football match, but at least the second half showed that we could be part of a football match. In the first half it was men against boys. At half time we had to give a few more home truths, which we can't keep doing. Having said that, the boys did come out during the second half and produced a more mentally tough performance. That was important. It would have been nice to have stayed at 2-2, but you know the nature of our beast. We are always looking for a win and I can't scream and shout at people to stay back in that atmosphere because they are not going to hear me. Unfortunately we let the goal in, and so we lost a point, although in the second half we didn't lose our pride. If we'd played like we did in the first half we would have lost our pride as well.

When asked about what had been learnt from the match Gary replied:

I'm looking at a bit of both; I'll tell you positives and negatives. The first half was poor but the second half was good and was mentally tough. All I want is for the lads to be mentally tough in these kind of atmospheres. We're a young and inexperienced side at this sort of level and when you come to what is an intimidating place they have to come with it and a lot of them will have learnt a lot today. I learnt a lot about them and with some it look them 45 minutes before they realised.

I went over to Brian Flynn and we both agreed it was a great football match and both clubs were part of it.


On particular incidents he said:

1-0: He (Williams) didn't feel it was a penalty and he's very disappointed. Trundle was probably the difference between the two sides on the day.

3-2: It was our free kick and we were going for the win. Hugo got half a head to it and then they cleared it. Unfortunately Gally found himself back there and headed it the wrong way and ended up heading it straight into Maylett's path and he hit the ball across and Trundle could have hit it anywhere but he's put it in the stanchion. He does that so often that it's obviously not a fluke.


He then looked forward to Yeovil's next match against Liverpool:

We now have a break from the League and we can get into a different mentality. The Liverpool scout, who was at our hotel, will have said that if we play like we did in the first half Liverpool will win by ten, but if they play like they did in the second half, we might have a game on our hands.

We've got to be positive. We've lost three games in our last eleven and picked up 22 points. So if you take a group of games like that it's not a disaster. Hopefully we'll be like we were in the second half today for the whole of the game next week.


The slightly surprise return of mid-field dynamo and Vice-captain Darren Way, out for the last month with a stress fracture, saw Johnson in best raconteur mode:

I'm pleased that Darren is around because his natural mentality helps. He didn't necessarily get on the ball a lot, but with his workrate, other players around him start getting more on the ball and we just did a lot better with him around. It's nice to have him available for selection.

It caught us all out to be fair. We travelled, and our kit was already packed, and he wasn't going to be playing. He was still a few days away. I had a chat with the physio and then told Darren to go back and get his boots just in case. But we forgot to tell the kit man to put his shirt in! This was when we left yesterday (Saturday) to go to the hotel, and poor old Tony Trott wasn't told. I went to the crowd to ask them if any of them had a Darren Way shirt that we could borrow, which one of them did. So I'd come out of the crowd onto the pitch, rolling the shirt up. Meanwhile I've suddenly got ten stewards running towards me. Fortunately someone told them who I was before they hauled me out! It's a supporter who has travelled all over the world with us - he went to Latvia and Belgium - and so I'll ask him to wear eleven shirts to every away game so I can ask him whenever we forget one!



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29 December 2003 : Ticket Office Update
12 noon: The queue for Liverpool tickets has now completely disappeared and … there are still tickets on sale! A small number are still available, so if you couldn’t face the queues but are holding a Kidderminster/Scunthorpe ticket stub pair, then get down there as soon as possible, as obviously these last batch of tickets will eventually disappear.

5:00pm: The Ticket Office is now shut. There are approximately 200-300 tickets still available for the Liverpool game and these will be on sale from 9.00am tomorrow. Please note that sales are still limited to Scunthorpe/Kidderminster stub holders only. If there are still tickets available at the end of Tuesday, then these remaining tickets will go on general sale with a limit of two per person.


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28 December 2003 : Good Luck Everyone ... and Wrap Up Warm!
The scramble for the last remaining tickets for Sunday's FA Cup Third Round match against Liverpool began tonight as queues began 17 hours before the Huish Park Ticket Office was due to open.

Tickets go on sale to Kidderminster and Scunthorpe ticket stub holders at 9.00am on Monday (tomorrow) morning and queuing started at around 4.00pm on Sunday, whilst around 1,000 Glovers were up at the Vetch, supporting the team against Swansea City. By around 10.30pm tonight, there were around 300-350 people queuing at Huish Park.

The temperature is forecast to drop to minus 5 centigrade tonight, so those queuing are strongly advised to bring sleeping bags, duvets or blankets as well as thick clothing and hot drinks.

Richard Gibson has surveyed the scene and has supplied a report, including photos here.


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28 December 2003 : Last gasp Trundle makes the difference
Yeovil Town ended a holiday period to forget with a second consecutive loss, this time at the hands of Swansea City at a packed Vetch Field, Lee Trundle breaking the Glovers hearts with a 90th minute winner after the visitors had fought back magnificently from a 2-goal deficit.

It was Trundle who opened the scoring in the 29th minute, the former Southport striker converting a hotly disputed penalty after Gavin Williams was ajudged to have tripped Andy Robinson by referee Lee Cable, though contact appeared minimal as well as outside the area. Whatever, The Glovers weren't at the races in the first half and went into the break 1-0 down.

Darren Way made a welcome return to first team action after the interval and helped inspire a much improved second half performance from the visitors. However it was the Swans who appeared to have made the game safe in the 67th minute, a Karl Connolly shot making it 2-0. The Glovers weren't about to lie down though, and Gavin Williams beat Swans keeper Roger Freestone from inside the box on 73 minutes to make it 2-1. Yeovil dominated the remainder of the game and got the equaliser their efforts deserved with a minute left through a Kevin Gall header. That wasn't the end of it however, and the Glovers were caught out by Lee Trundle's injury-time winner.

Final score: Swansea City 3 - 2 Yeovil Town.

Gavin Williams and Adam Lockwood were both shown their fifth yellow cards of the season during the game and are now suspended for one match, currently the league match at Carlisle, or, if they're very unlucky, any possible FA Cup replay at Anfield.

The Glovers remain in 5th place in the league table on 43 points. Swansea move up 1 place to 6th on 39 points, with Lincoln dropping to 7th place on 38 points after being held to a 2-2 home draw by Cambridge Utd. Oxford are back on top with 51 points following a hard-fought 1-0 win at struggling Southend, and previous leaders Doncaster drop to 2nd spot on 49 points after going down 3-1 at 3rd placed Hull City, who are now on 47 points but have played a game more than their rivals in the top 7. Mansfield drop a place to 4th on 46 points after being held to a 1-1 draw by Macclesfield, 3 points ahead of the 5th placed Glovers.


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27 December 2003 : Johnson: We've got to be cleverer and braver!
Glovers boss Gary Johnson answered questions from the press following yesterday's 2-1 home defeat to Kidderminster Harriers:

Gary a disappointing afternoon for you, do you feel it was a case of events conspiring against you or that your team has let you down today?

"I’d never say my team has let me down because they never go out with those thoughts and they have done very very well this year. I can’t get too upset on one poor performance, but that’s what it was it was - a poor performance under those conditions. We needed to play a different game today, especially in the first half when the weather was unbelievable, and when we came out in the second half the ball wouldn’t roll so it had to be a different game. It took our boys too long and I thought they were cleverer than that, took them too long to decide that we had to play a longer ball and that we had to go and compete in the opponents penalty area and I didn’t really feel with the amount of balls that we got into that box that we got ourselves on the end of it enough. We needed a few more people being a bit braver and more clinical and throwing themselves at something. We got the ball in there enough and we got some big 'uns there and what I thought was a big team on the pitch, but we didn’t get on the end of enough of it in the box, we didn’t change our game sufficiently well to win the game."

Was it a case of Kidderminster adapting to the conditions a bit better than you did?

"Maybe, I didn’t think they played that well to be fair, it was a poor football match. Credit to them, they've got two goals on the break, one was a rash challenge which Plucky’s got to learn to steer clear of - he keeps doing that on the edge of the penalty area - and the other one was a break if you like. How many opportunities did they have in the game, two, three? It’s one of them and seven out of our nine defeats have been from teams that don’t necessarily play great football. We’ve said that before and we don’t think it’s a major problem but it's happened again today. We couldn’t play our football today, we had to play a foreign style if you like and we didn’t quite see it through."

The first half was amazing with that wind, Chris Weale's goal kicks were barely reaching the half-way line, but in the second half when the wind should have been at your back it seemed to die away completely?

"We didn’t have a lot of luck with the elements as it were, but at the same time the players that are out there have to deal with the change in weather. It’s England for heaven's sake, you know there’s going to be rain, sunshine and snow in 90 minutes and you have to pick the right ball at the right time. Gavin, who is a great player, has hit a diabolical ball across the field which lead to Plucky’s rash challenge which lead to the goal, so its two normal stalwarts that normally do a job for us have made two bad mistakes. It was more than that, we’ve got big Hugo who wins everything in our penalty box but he’s got to start winning things in the opposing penalty box and stop moaning when people pull his shirt. I’ve tore into a few of them in there because we weren’t man enough on the day to play the game that was needed and be brave and strong in the opposing penalty area."

You had your chances though, Kevin Gall got the one and could have had the other when it trapped under his body, and Lee Johnson had a couple of really good freekicks that the keeper has done well with?

"Yes we did, and when you have that many chances you want to get two or three more goals, and that’s where I want to see people getting in where it hurts. They're going to have to get a cut eye, they're going to have to get a whack on the shin or the nose to sometimes get a ball in the back of the net and I just want to see a bit more of that when its really needed."

Transcription by Richard Gibson.


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26 December 2003 : Swansea Now Pay On The Day
According to the Swansea City Official Site, Sunday's match has now been changed to being a "pay on the day" fixture. Swansea had originally set the match as being an all-ticket game, but a news item for December 23rd on their site claims that "the match is pay on the day and Yeovil fans will be housed on the West terrace".

As this goes against all the pre-match publicity, it is recommended that any Yeovil fans travelling without tickets call Swansea on 01792-633425 or 01792-633400 prior to travelling. If we get any further details, then this news item will be updated.


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26 December 2003 : Got them Boxing Day blues again
Yeovil Town’s poor Boxing Day form continued and their four game unbeaten record came to an end at a drenched Huish Park when they were beaten 2-1 by struggling Kidderminster Harriers in a game which was ruined by a combination of atrocious refereeing and atrocious weather. High winds and torrential rain throughout the first half left the pitch waterlogged throughout the second period and made passing the ball a lottery.

Gary Johnson recalled Gavin Williams, Adam Lockwood, Lee Johnson and Kirk Jackson to a strong starting XI. Andy Lindegaard missed the game with a groin strain.

Early on, Kirk Jackson had a great opportunity to finish off a great Yeovil move but he was unable to direct his header on target from Lee Johnson’s cross. In the action again, Lee Johnson’s quick free kick pass meet Kirk Jackson whose first time shot narrowly missed the goal. Totally against the run of play, Matthew Gadsby’s cross from the flank was neatly slotted by John Williams for Kidderminster’s first of the afternoon.

As the two teams emerged from the tunnel for the start of the second half, they were confronted with a waterlogged Huish Park which made the game extremely difficult for both sides. Kidderminster’s first half goal was cancelled out when Paul Terry’s long pass met Kevin Gall who chipped Brock to draw the scores level. The stalemate lasted only fifteen minutes when the visitors were awarded a free kick just outside the box after Colin Pluck’s lunge on Graham Ward. Wayne Hatswell’s strike fell to Sean Parrish who blasted the travelling team ahead much to the frustration of the home support. At the death the Harriers keeper managed to parry Lee Johnson’s dangerous free kick onto the bar, and away to safety.

Glovers boss Johnson was unhappy with his side's performance, saying: "We did not play the right sort of game in those conditions and I would have liked some of my lads to have been a bit braver and thrown themselves into things in the box."

Full time: Yeovil Town 1 - 2 Kidderminster Harriers.

The result means the Glovers drop 2 places to 5th place in the league table on 43 points, 6 points ahead of 6th placed Lincoln City who beat Boston 1-0 at York Street today. Sunday's opponents Swansea City drop to 7th after a goalless draw at 8th placed Torquay, both teams on 36 points. Doncaster beat Scunthorpe by a single goal at Belle Vue to stay top on 49 points, while a 2-1 win at home to Leyton Orient meant Oxford remained in 2nd place on 48 points. Mansfield moved up to 3rd on 45 points after a 1-0 home win over Rochdale and Hull City won 2-0 at York to regain 4th spot, on 44 points.

Colin Pluck's booking is his fifth caution in league and non-county cup competitions and that means he is now scheduled to miss the home match with Rochdale on January 10th, as he will now serve a one match suspension.

With thanks to George Murray


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25 December 2003 : Yeovil Town vs Kidderminster Harriers Match Preview
Yeovil Town take on Kidderminster Harriers tomorrow (Boxing Day) at Huish Park, kick-off 3.00pm. The club have advised that all tickets for the three home sections are now sold out, and therefore there will be NO CASH ADMISSIONS for home supporters. Visiting Harriers supporters can still pay cash at the Copse Road turnstiles.

Glovers manager Gary Johnson should welcome back midfielder Lee Johnson who served a one match suspension for five bookings last Saturday. Adam Lockwood and Gavin Williams will also be recalled to tomorrow's squad, leaving Gary with a rather pleasant team selection problem as he considers whether to keep faith with Andy Lindegaard and Lee Elam who were both involved in the winning goal against Scunthorpe United.

Kidderminster Harriers manager Jan Molby looks set to reorganise his midfield tomorrow in the wake of Sunday's 1-0 defeat at York City. Molby has since returned on-loan midfielder Steve Burton to Hull City, and has hinted that the trio of substitutes at York - Bo Henriksen, Scott Rickards and John Williams will be involved in the game at Huish Park. A fourth substitute, midfielder Lee Jenkins, was unused due to a slight knee injury and he is also expected to be involved.

Molby told the Worcester Evening News: "You look at people like Henriksen, Williams and Rickards and I just felt it was going to be one of those games at York with a heavy pitch and difficult conditions. I also felt the ball was always going to be up in the air quite a bit so it was probably not the right game to play them. But obviously Yeovil will be different. It's a beautiful playing surface and the game will be played differently than the one at York, so it might just be an opportunity for them to come into the side. When you look at a game like Yeovil we will have to play better than what we have played in the ten games since I've been back and they will probably have to have a slight off day. I feel that's how good they are. If they get on top of you and you don't fight back they are capable of hurting you. They win three or four nil regularly at home, so it's going to be a tricky game."

On Sunday, the Glovers travel to Swansea City. That match is an ALL-TICKET match and your last chance to buy tickets for this game is tomorrow when the Huish Park Ticket Office will be open between 10.00am and 3.00pm. The Ticket Office will not be selling any tickets for the Liverpool game, so don't ask!


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24 December 2003 : Seasons Greetings
Merry Christmas!
Merry Christmas!
Merry Christmas!
Merry Christmas!
Merry Christmas!
As if being in Division Three in a Top Three position with an FA Cup Third Round tie against Liverpool coming round the corner wasn't enough, Ciderspace was informed today that "Tis the season to be jolly". Having thought about it, we have come to the conclusion that the 2003-04 Season really is the season to be jolly.

We would therefore like to wish all directors, management, players and supporters - particularly those who have contributed to and supported Ciderspace by one means or another - the very happiest of Christmas celebrations!


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24 December 2003 : Laws Gives A Tired Excuse
Scunthorpe United manager Brian Laws has blamed tiredness on his side coming home emptyhanded as the Glovers won 2-1 at Huish Park on Saturday. The Lincolnshire side had won an FA Cup Second Round replay at Sheffield Wednesday during the midweek after extra time and Laws cited this as the reason for their comeuppance.

Speaking to the Scunthorpe local press Laws explained: "Saturday's game proved one too far at the end of what has been a magnificent run for us. I felt sorry for the players because they just ran out of legs. If I had been able to have 10 outfield substitutes I would have used them all. When they came off at the end they were absolutely shattered. It did not help when we had to bring defender Cliff Byrne off so early in the game because of illness really. He was feeling very weak and had the shakes, so obviously we had to bring him off."

"Then at half-time Peter Beagrie couldn't go on anymore," Laws added. "He was starting to get cramp in the hamstring and I couldn't afford to take any more chances. But to be fair, the lads who went out there on Saturday gave everything they had got. They got in front before half-time with a penalty and that gave us hope that we could stretch our unbeaten run to 15 games. But they tired in the second half and unfortunately could not hold out. We were lunging into tackles in desperation more than anything else, and fitness just caught them up - end of story."

Scunthorpe's players repeatedly went to the bench as early as the 15th minute to take on water and did so throughout the game and Laws added: "I thought we did well to keep the crowd quiet in the first half and we in fact finished the stronger. But they freshened things up again in the second half, bringing some quick players on up front and got their rewards through it. I have no complaints about the defeat, I am just disappointed for the players because they didn't deserve that. It will be interesting to see what happens when we play Yeovil at our place later in the season and we have 11 properly fit players."

The Scunthorpe manager's account of the game neglects to consider that the Glovers also had their own team selection problems and in fact beat Scunthorpe without five first team regulars being present. Defenders Roy O'Brien and Adam Lockwood and midfielders Darren Way, Lee Johnson and Gavin Williams were all absent for Saturday's match whilst Jamie Gosling played through illness for 60 minutes leaving Andy Lindegaard playing a defensive role for the first time as a first-team player. Playing Scunthorpe with a fully fit first team will indeed be interesting.


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24 December 2003 : Welcome to the future
Sam Croft, Shaun Smith, Charlie Welch and Dale Williams will train full time with the club for the rest of the season
Sam Croft, Shaun Smith, Charlie Welch and Dale Williams will train full time with the club for the rest of the season
Photo © 2003 Ciderspace/Richard Gibson

Four of Yeovil Town's under-17 squad have been identified as having the potential to develop into first team players of the future, and will train on a full-time basis with the first team squad for the rest of the season, according to the Western Daily Press. The players - defender Sam Croft, midfielder Shaun Smith, left winger Charlie Welsh and striker Dale Williams - will have the chance to earn professional contracts for next season, providing they impress Glovers boss Gary Johnson over the next few months.

"They have all done very well in the youth team and also in the reserves," Johnson explained to the Western Daily Press. "We haven't got a youth policy as such, but the club has always produced players and we hope one or two of these will come through like Steve Reed, Chris Weale, Chris Giles and Andy Lindegaard. We want to keep that youth conveyor belt of localish boys coming through."

"All four of them have a chance and I want to work with them for the next four or five months and then we will decide whether we take them on into next season. We are giving them the opportunity and now they have to take it. We have given them the opportunity because (a): We think they are good enough and (b): We think they have the right character and the greatest thing is they will train every day with the first team. It's not like every other club where youth players don't train with the first team.

"(Youth team manager) Stuart Housley recommended them to me and I've watched the youth games and the reserve games and they did very well and they were worthy of the opportunity. A couple of them were going to college and they have stopped doing that to take this opportunity. You can always go back to college, so they don't want to miss this opportunity."


Johnson has a track record of bringing on and improving promising young players at his previous clubs: "There were people like Jody Craddock, Danny Granville, Micah Hyde, Gary Rowett - people who went for quite a lot of money at the time," he said. "It saves you money at the end of the day and I also like working with players and bringing them through."

Despite being boss of Watford's Youth Academy during his time at Vicarage Road, Johnson doesn't want to see the Glovers set up their own version at Huish Park, saying: "You spend millions on an academy for one kid to come through. We want to identify what we have got and if they are good enough we'll move them on. I've never been a lover of academies, even though I was an academy director at Watford. Many produce five-a-side players, not
11-a-side players."


The best of luck to the quartet from us all at Ciderspace, knock 'em dead lads. Well, not literally, but you know what we mean!


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23 December 2003 : Swansea Ticket Sale Extension
The Huish Park Ticket Office have announced an extension for ticket sales for the match against Swansea City on December 28th. The original deadline for sales was 12 noon today, but has been extended to include both today and Boxing Day.

Tickets for the Swansea game are now on sale until 5.00pm today (Tuesday 23rd Dec) and also from 10.00am until 3.00pm on Boxing Day, prior to the match against Kidderminster Harriers. The Swansea game is ALL-TICKET and all supporters travelling must pre-purchase a ticket before travelling.


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23 December 2003 : Westley a winner at last
As regular readers of Ciderspace will be aware, this website has long recorded our utter disdain and total disregard for the 'achievements' of Stevenage Borough manager Graham Westley. We dislike his cheap sloganising ("Destiny will take over", "Attitude is more important than ability"), his methods and the way his teams play football, and after the disgraceful way he behaved the last time a team of his played against Yeovil we dislike his personal behaviour too. Indeed, when he was appointed manager at Broadhall Way it seemed as if he had found his natural home! What we didn't realise was quite how much he was despised by a lot of other football fans as well....

Ever year The Observer sunday newspaper runs a poll on it's sports pages to find the Sports Poisonality of the Year - an anti-hero of sport, the exact opposite of the Sports Personality of the Year polls more usually run at this time of the year; someone who makes a mockery of what sport is supposed to be about. It was widely assumed that this Christmas Charles Koppel, the much villified chairman of Wimbledon FC, or Franchise FC as they are more widely known, would be a shoe-in for the vote, and a suitably unworthy winner he would have been as well; but that didn't take into account the Westley-factor. The Observer's article, printed in last Sunday's paper, reads as follows:

Mr Poisonality 2003, with 89 per cent of a huge vote: Graham Westley.

The year in poison:

1) Quits Farnborough three days after switching the club's F.A. Cup tie to Highbury; they lost 5-1 but made £600,000.

2) Joins Stevenage, taking seven Farnborough players with him on frees.

3) Farnborough - which Westley tried to merge, move 25 miles away and rename FTFC (Fitness, Team, Form, Commitment) - were left with 13 players, a transfer embargo, a debt, and now face relegation. Any regrets? "I don't do regrets," says Westley. "I'm living in the future".

A football manager once observed that fans only remember the second half, such is the significance of the endgame rather than the overture. So it is when it comes to awards - voters are usually swayed by the most recent events. Not so with Observer Sport's much coveted Sports Poisonality of the Year award, however. Though a recent verbal spat with Swansea manager Brian Flynn, who refused to shake his hand after an F.A. Cup tie, may have had a bearing, readers here have longer memories. Thus does the title go to Graham Westley, beneficiary of a co-ordinated campaign on various club websites to earn him the accolade.

Westley, it may be recalled, was the David Brent-alike - his company was called AIMITA (attitude is more important than ability) - who decamped from Farnborough just days after their F.A. Cup tie against Arsenal in January. The owner and manager, instrumental in getting the tie switched to Highbury, decided that Hampshire could contain his ambition no longer and opted for Hertfordshire and the manager's job at Stevenage Borough. It cannot be long, surely, before the hurricane hits Hertfordshire.

Westley had gone into the year with a cloud hanging over him, having been escorted by the police from the stadium during a Conference fixture against Yeovil Town. If Sepp Blatter thought that Joe Cole's and Rio Ferdinand's cases took too long, it was as well he hadn't heard of Westley. In October - 13 months after the event - the FA fined Westley £500 for improper conduct and abusive language.

After he took two coaches and seven players with him to Stevenage, Farnborough were left in a serious state, the ramifications of which see them now in the relegation zone. How can this be, having received £600,000 from the Highbury tie? Westley had indeed pumped considerable sums into Farnborough, but as loans, and in team rather than club, having recruited players on high wages and long contracts. When he departed he recalled his loans, the switch to Highbury having offered the perfect opportunity to recoup his money. Farnborough's debts remain, with £2000 a month being paid under a Creditor's Voluntary Agreement. Now a quirk of the fixture computer sends Stevenage to Farnborough on Boxing Day. Many fans are likely to turn up just for the opportunity of conveying their point of wiew to Westley in person. "Stevenage Borough will be welcome here," says the man picking up the Farnborough pieces, their chairman Vic Searle. "I am sure Mr. Westley will receive some verbal comments from the fans, but it is my job as chairman to make sure there is no aggravation". Good luck Mr. Searle.


© The Observer 2003


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23 December 2003 : Cobblers game rearranged. No, it's true ...
The Northampton Town v Yeovil Town division three fixture originally set for Saturday 3rd January has been rearranged for Tuesday 3rd February, 7:45pm kick off at the Sixfields Stadium.

The match has been re-arranged because both teams have FA Cup matches to play on the original weekend date, the Cobblers entertaining 1st division Rotherham while the Glovers host the representatives of a small town near Manchester....


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22 December 2003 : Gary Sees The Squad Game Pay Off
Glovers manager Gary Johnson had good reason to praise some of the 'squad' members of his side on Saturday, after he saw Yeovil beat Scunthorpe United 2-1 at Huish Park. Speaking to the press immediately after the game, Gary answered the following questions:

It didn’t look like it was going to be a good news day for a little while there, but it all turned out alright in the end didn’t it?

GJ: "You’ve seen us for long enough now. You mustn’t give up so early! We’ve got a squad of players and some of them need to catch up in their mentality. We had a few new lads in our squad today and it was a nice learning curve for them. The boys that were lucky enough to join us while we were a league club have just got to catch up a bit and it was a great opportunity to give them that chance, and towards the end there they showed the reasons why I brought them to the club. In the first half some of them didn’t. I want to take that squad as far as we can go and 5/6 of them have learnt a bit more today."

You did create chances in the first half though. You had a 20 minute spell where you played some really good football?

GJ: "We did but we didn’t take our chances and when you don’t take your chances a team like Scunthorpe can catch you. A bit of clever play in the box and suddenly Beagrie has got a penalty. But we had a poor spell for about 10-15 minutes after the goal. We seemed to lose a bit of confidence and we had to keep going, but it was nothing a goal wouldn’t have put right. We just had to get the first one. Obviously I had to change the shape a couple of times, change the personnel 2/3 times and credit to them they got the game back."

Andy Lindegaard got the man of the match award from the Vice Presidents and my vote as well if that counts for anything he was great for you today wasn’t he?

GJ: "The most important person is me and I gave him the MOTM as well. He had a fantastic game and again it's only what we know he can do. He did a great job on Peter Beagrie which is why I brought him in. I didn’t want Adam Lockwood or Gavin Williams thinking about their game in two weeks time. They were one booking away from missing that game so I didn’t think they would be in my best XI with that mentality. I told them, they understood, even though they both wanted to play, but if you haven’t got people to take their place in the squad then you're better off not having them in the team. If you pay wages to people you have to use them and everyone who is on a wage has been proving themselves."

Lindegaard created the first goal and scored the winner of course?

GJ: "That was the point when we moved him up. Beagrie had gone off so we moved Lindy in to a more forward position to use his pace. He had the confidence from a good hour. He is very much a confidence player and then all of a sudden two bits of brilliance and were 2-1 winners."

You had to change the shape a couple of times but all paid off in the end and the fans went home with a few free balls as well!

GJ: "That was nice. The way our passing was in the first half if we’d have kicked the balls in the stand nobody would have gone home with a ball! Thank God we brought it round in the second half. It's nice to be able to give the balls out. We wouldn’t have given them out if we’d have lost; we’d have waited until the Kidderminster game. But I'm very proud of the boys because they turned it round. They took a bit of stick off me at half time because I needed to liven a few up and they responded and that’s what I like."

A busy schedule over the Christmas period the games come thick and fast, have you got any knocks or injury problems to report?

GJ: "We’ve all got sniffles but we had a full bill of health other than the ones who were suspended or Darren Way and Roy O’Brien. There was nothing wrong with Locky and Gavin, I just decided to rest them this week. I could have come unstuck with that decision but in the end the decision was right but as I say I thought that was the team to win the game and even though I had to manoeuvre it and twist it round and change it a bit we got the game back. Jamie Gosling was unlucky today because he was looking forward to another first team game in the middle. Unfortunately he had been ill for 2/3 days and lost his legs quite early but he will be back and he is a major part of our squad and people haven’t seen the best of him yet either."

What is the plan over Christmas? Are you going to get a bit of Christmas lunch in or are you not allowing that?

GJ: "Everything in moderation is no problem. But they know there are some big games coming up and a certain game on January 4th that is quite a big game for us as well. But we wanted to be in the top three by the time we played Liverpool and I think were there at the moment which is nice. So we’ve got to do another job against Kiddy, and then Swansea a few days later and we know we’ve got the squad to do it now which is great."

[Transcription by Richard Gibson.]


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20 December 2003 : Iron's fist smothered by velvet Glovers
Yeovil Town came back from a goal down to beat Scunthorpe 2-1 at Huish Park this afternoon in front of an, er, ‘sell out’ crowd of 5,714, with second half goals from Kirk Jackson and recalled winger Andy Lindegaard in reply to Peter Beagrie's first half penalty.

Yeovil boss Gary Johnson surprised some in the crowd by resting regulars Gavin Williams and Adam Lockwood, both of whom could have been banned from the Liverpool FA Cup game if either had collected a yellow card today. Lee Johnson was missing, serving a one-match suspension, with midfield partner Darren Way also out, recovering from a stress fracture.

Despite the absentees The Glovers had a number of opportunities to take the lead in the first half, but Jake Edwards’ header and Terry Skiverton’s shot both sailed over the bar into the home terrace. Minutes before the break, Hugo Rodrigues’ foul on Richard Kell inside the box enabled veteran Peter Beagrie to place the visitors ahead from the spot.

After the break, Paul Terry and Nick Crittenden pressurised the Scunthorpe defense but they both saw their long shots blast wide. However the Glovers looked to be running out of steam when - not for the first time this season - some inspired substitutions turned the game around. Yeovil’s first goal came in the 72nd minute when Lindegaard’s cross met substitute Kirk Jackson who placed his header into the back of the net to draw the scores level at one apiece. Both teams where pushing for all three points when Kevin Gall’s cross from the left channel found man of the match and local hero Andy Lindegaard, who volleyed home Yeovil’s second of the afternoon to secure an invaluable three points, and perhaps just as importantly to prove to some doubters that the first team SQUAD has real strength in depth.

Final score: Yeovil Town 2 - 1 Scunthorpe United.

The result moves the Glovers up one place to 3rd in the league table and the automatic promotion spots. Fellow pub team Doncaster Rovers go top after their 3-1 win over Swansea City last night at Belle Vue, while a 1-1 draw at Huddersfield this afternoon means Oxford United drop to 2nd on 45 points. Yeovil are 3rd on 43 points and Mansfield leap-frog Hull City into 4th on 42 points after a fine 0-1 win at the KC Stadium this afternoon. The Tigers drop to 5th on 41 points and for the first time this season a bit of a gap is starting to appear between the top 5 and the rest of the division with Swansea and Torquay United - who surprisingly lost 2-0 at bottom club Carlisle today - filling the remaining play-off places on 35 points each.

With thanks to George Murray.


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20 December 2003 : Early bird Liverpool badges available
Glovers supporter Tim Lancaster writes:

Three different versions of the attractive Yeovil Town vs Liverpool enamel lapel badge will be available at today's game with Scunthorpe United. A shield design featuring all match details and crests. Regulars 1.30pm under the main stand crest.


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19 December 2003 : Yeovil Town vs Scunthorpe United Match Preview
Yeovil Town play host to Scunthorpe United tomorrow (Saturday) in a Nationwide League Division Three match that kicks off at 3.00pm. The three home sections of the ground are entirely sold out and therefore no admittance to home sections will be possible without a ticket.

Glovers manager Gary Johnson goes into the match with only long term injury victims Darren Way and Roy O'Brien missing through injury whilst Lee Johnson sits out a one match ban for picking up five bookings.

Darren has had some good news this week as he has been given the all-clear to resume training following a stress fracture and he told the Western Daily Press: "The X-ray was very encouraging and showed that I'm well on schedule. I'll have to monitor it day-by-day, but hopefully I'll be able to start running on Monday. My fitness levels haven't dropped much because I've been able to do cardiovascular work in the gym. I'd have targeted early January to be playing again anyway, although I'm sure people will think that's just because I want to play against Liverpool. But I'm going to make sure the leg is fully healed as I don't want to risk further injury."

Gary is able to call on Andy Lindegaard for the first time since his heel injury put him out for the majority of this season. Lindy has spent most of this season out injured, but in the last four weeks has been regaining full match fitness at Dr Martens League minnows Weymouth. This week the utility player has returned and he may sneak a place in the squad.

Lindegaard told the Dorset Echo: "The loan spell was all about me improving my match fitness after a knee injury and I've done that. My manager Gary Johnson has watched me play and seems happy enough with the way things have gone. I don't think there was ever a chance I was going to join Weymouth permanently and my hope is to get back into the Yeovil side on a permanent basis."

Gary has once again praised his side's commitment to their league programme despite the town buzzing with talk of next month's FA Cup tie against Liverpool. Johnson told the Teamtalk website: "The lads have been excellent in training and in matches, as you saw at Bristol Rovers last week. Now they are concentrating on the Kidderminster game. Obviously the Liverpool game is massive and looms large over everything we do at the moment. Everyone you meet outside of here is talking about it - friends, family and in the town - but the lads are showing their professionalism and their approach to Saturday's game has been excellent. They know that is the priority at the moment."

Scunthorpe United have had a gruelling but successful week after knocking out Sheffield Wednesday on penalties to reach the Third Round of the FA Cup in midweek. Manager Brian Laws will assess his weary troops by giving late fitness tests to Wayne Graves and Steve Torpey, who both have hamstring problems.

Nathan Stanton (knee) is expected to be included in the squad after showing no reaction during his comeback as a substitute in midweek, but Mark Jackson (ankle) will definitely not travel to Somerset.

Saturday's match will be refereed by Mark Cooper (West Midlands) and he will be assisted by Steve Habgood (Wiltshire) and Andy Sainsbury (Wiltshire).


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19 December 2003 : Disabled Supporters Association news
Irvin Morris of the Disabled Supporters Association writes:

It is with thanks and appreciation for sponsorship from On To Victory fanzine that we are pleased to be able to announce our first away trip for registered disabled members on Saturday 7th February, 2004 at Kidderminster Harriers.

We have a volunteer driver and have provisionally hired a 17 Seater minibus with tail-lift for wheelchairs from South Somerset Community Services. As spaces are limited you are advised to reserve them as soon as possible through Irvin Morris, Hon. Disabled Liaison Officer either by telephone on 01458-250897 or by E-Mail at Irvincb1@btinternet.com.

Cost per head will be dependent on numbers booking, but will be kept as low as possible. Some information on disabled facilities at Aggborough Stadium is available on Ciderspace's Kidderminster profile, more details, such as ticket prices and availability as we get them.

The Social Evening planned for Saturday 17th January, 2004 has been postponed temporarily. It is hoped to hold an informal get-together for registered disabled supporters, carers, friends and supporters representatives in the near future. It is hoped that the attendance of Gary Johnson and some of his squad of players can be made part of the event, but this has yet to be confirmed. Suggestions as to format of the evening and a suitable venue are welcomed. Contact Irvin Morris, Hon. Disabled Liaison Officer either by telephone on 01458-250897 or by E-Mail at Irvincb1@btinternet.com.


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18 December 2003 : Ticket Office Christmas Opening Times
Huish Park Ticket Office opening times over Christmas and New Year have been confirmed along with the following notes and deadlines:

Friday 19th Dec : 9.00am - 5.00pm
Sat 20th Dec : 9.00am - 3.00pm, 5.00pm - 7.00pm
Sun 21st Dec : CLOSED
Mon 22nd Dec : 9.00am - 5.00pm : Season Ticket Holders, Half-Season Ticket Holders, Vice-Presidents and Patrons must claim their Liverpool tickets by 5.00pm.
Tues 23rd Dec : 9.00am - 12 noon : Provisional times at present. 12 noon is the current deadline for those wishing to purchase Swansea City tickets. No Liverpool tickets on sale whatsoever.
Wed 24th Dec: CLOSED
Thurs 25th Dec: CLOSED
Fri 26th Dec: 10.00am - 3.00pm. No Liverpool tickets on sale whatsoever.
Sat 27th Dec: CLOSED
Sun 28th Dec: CLOSED
Mon 29th Dec: 9.00am - 5.00pm. First chance for Kidderminster/Scunthorpe ticket stub holders to claim their Liverpool ticket.


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18 December 2003 : YTISA coach travel to Swansea
Anybody wishing to back the Glovers at Swansea City on December 28 in their Nationwide League Division Three clash can travel with the Yeovil Town
Independent Supporters' Association
.

Coaches will be leaving Huish Park at 10.30am and cost is £10 for members and £12 for non-members.

For more details phone the YTISA booking hotline on 07800 837810.

The match with Swansea is all-ticket, with tickets are available from Yeovil's Huish Park ground.

Prices are £11 for adults and £6 for concessions. For more details phone Huish Park on 01935-423662.


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18 December 2003 : Scunthorpe and Kidderminster games 'SOLD OUT'
In the last few minutes the club have announced that tickets in all home areas of Huish Park for the forthcoming division 3 games against Scunthorpe United and Kidderminster Harriers on the 20th and 26th December respectively, have now completely sold out.


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18 December 2003 : Only a 'handful' of tickets left for Scunthorpe and Kiddy
The club's official site is this morning reporting that only 'a handful' of terrace tickets are left to purchase in the home areas of Huish Park for the forthcoming division 3 matches against Scunthorpe United and Kidderminster Harriers, on the 20th and 26th December respectively. Tickets for the Bartlett and Main Stands for both games have sold out.

The club have warned Yeovil supporters not to attempt to gain entry to the away end for either of the forthcoming games in a bid to gain ticket stubs. A statement on the official site says: "The Club also would wish to make it clear that no Yeovil supporters are able to enter the ground via the away terrace on either of these matches and anybody trying to do so will be stopped . As away tickets are coloured differently to home tickets there can be no reason for any attempt to ignore
this clear rule which must be enforced for safety reasons."


In other news, defender Roy O'Brien has had an operation to cure the medial knee ligament injury which has put him out for the rest of the season. Speaking to the Western Daily Press, Glovers boss Gary Johnson said: "The operation went well and he's on crutches, but all is well at the moment. He has got to let it heal and then start his rehab."

Yeovil's other long-term injury doubt could be back in action in time for the Liverpool game however - midfielder Darren Way has been sidelined since mid-November with a stress fracture of a bone in his lower leg, but goes for an x-ray today to see if he can step up his training and recovery regime. "He's chirpy and he's comfortable with the way it's going," Johnson said. "The New Year was about the time we would be looking at. That's the time everyone gave before the Liverpool tie (on January 4) came out. But there's a lot more we have to make sure about before then. Everything has got to be right."


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18 December 2003 : Edwards appeal fails
Jake Edwards appeal against his dismissal for 'violent conduct' in last Saturday's 1-0 win at Bristol Rovers has failed. The FA Video Advisory Panel decided against rescinding the straight red card given to the Yeovil striker by referee Clive Penton, to the bemusement of Glovers manager Gary Johnson.

"I am absolutely gutted that the panel have come up with this decision," Johnson told the club's official site. "As far as I can tell the video was not sent to the referee for him to view and when you have a case where both the opposition defender involved and then our player insist there was no intent and Jake didn't go in with his elbows it seems very unfair for the committee to come back with this decision. It's not a case of the money although it did cost us £300 but I have spoken to the referee who said he would have a look at the video and that doesn't appear to have happened.

"I'd like to know what goes on in these video advisory panel meetings, because clearly in this case they have made the wrong decision. It's not just a case of the losing the player for important games but the fact is their decision is wrong and my player is innocent."

Regardless, there is no further appeal possible for Jake who will now be banned for 3 games - Ciderspace thinks the forthcoming Swansea, Liverpool and Rochdale matches, though this has yet to be confirmed.


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16 December 2003 : Latest From The Ticket Office
The Official Site has publicised the latest situation regarding ticketing for the games over the Christmas period. The latest news is quoted as being accurate as of 5.00pm today.

The statement says that "Only terrace tickets are left for the Scunthorpe and Kidderminster matches. Liverpool tickets are still available for Season ticket holders only and can be collected until 5.00 p.m. on Monday 22nd. December. After that date all unclaimed season tickets will be made available to non-season ticket holders in possession of Scunthorpe and Kidderminster tickets on a first come first served basis, subject to availability."

Although the statement is not explicit, the Monday December 29th, 9.00am time for Scunthorpe and Kidderminster stubholders is thought to still hold, with the ticket office staff getting a breather for the Christmas week.

The statement also indicates that stubholders will be able to claim up to four Liverpool tickets provided they are carrying the appropriate number of ticket stub pairs. This has presumably been put in place to avoid whole families having to turn up at the club and all queue.

The club have suspended all half-season ticket sales until further notice.


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16 December 2003 : Jake Keeps Fingers Crossed On Appeal
Yeovil Town striker Jake Edwards will be holding his breath this week after it was confirmed that the Glovers will be appealing against his sending off at Bristol Rovers.

The appeal has been launched after the revelation that match official Clive Penton did not send off Edwards for raising his leg towards Rovers full-back Ijah Anderson, who had provoked Edwards by stamping on his leg - an incident that Mr Penton and his linesman somehow failed to see. Following the match, the Sussex official has now claimed that the red card was for an elbow on Rovers centre-back Adam Barrett; a claim that will no doubt totally bemuse the 9,800 supporters who saw the challenge that preceded Anderson's stamp.

It now transpires that the match official chose to send Edwards off following a flag from the Hill Hammond Stand linesman, yet video evidence shows that Mr Penton did not consult his colleague as to the severity of the offence prior to brandishing the red card.

Speaking to the Western Daily Press Glovers manager Gary Johnson said: "We know there was no intent when Jake went up for the ball. Many fans think Jake was sent off for retaliation after Anderson trod on his leg. That's not the case according to the referee. A red card is harsh."

Anderson himself was left with the impression that Edwards had been sent off for retaliation, which makes you wonder what the referee told both players. Anderson told the WDP: "I think the referee made too much of it. It was nothing really. But I think because of the occasion and with the fans voicing their opinions, the referee got a bit carried away."

Sky Sports presenter Chris Kamara also assumed the red card was for retaliation and has called on referee Clive Penton to reverse his decision. With Penton now claiming that the decision was made for an alleged earlier elbow, that red card now seems all the more unreasonable, particularly given Penton's failure to spot Anderson's later stamp.


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14 December 2003 : Disabled Supporters Association Dinner and Social Evening
Irvin Morris, Disabilty Liaison Officer for the YTFC Disabled Supporters Forum, writes:

YEOVIL TOWN F.C. DISABLED SUPPORTERS ASSOCIATION

The Disabled Supporters Association is holding it’s first Dinner & Social Evening in The Marquee Bar on Saturday 17th January, 2004 7.30pm for 8.00pm Dinner.

ALL FUNDS RAISED WILL GO TOWARDS LIFT IN MAIN STAND.

All supporters and members of Vice-Presidents, The Green & White Supporters Club, The Independent Supporters Club, The Cary Glovers and On To Victory will be made most welcome to join us. Local businesses and organisations who wish to be associated and show their support will also be welcomed.

Dress: Informal (Lounge Suits) - £12.00 registered disabled members, £15.00 Guests.

RSVP - Reservations required from: Irvin Morris Hon.DLO by Telephone on 01458-250897 or E-Mail at Irvincb1@btinternet.com.


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14 December 2003 : Minibus drivers required for Disabled Supporters Travel Club
Irvin Morris, Disabilty Liaison Officer for the YTFC Disabled Supporters Forum, writes:

YEOVIL TOWN F.C. DISABLED SUPPORTERS ASSOCIATION TRAVEL CLUB

Drivers required with suitable licence to drive mini-bus(es) for the Disabled Supporters Travel Club.

Providing we can get the drivers it is planned to organise the first Disabled Travel Club trip on Saturday 7th February, 2004 to the match v Kidderminster Harriers AWAY. This has been made possible by the On To Victory fanzine based in Manchester who have given sponsorship towards this new venture. We thank them most sincerely for their generous contribution which is sincerely appreciated.

Suitably qualified drivers and registered disabled supporters interested in going on this trip are asked to please submit your reservation(s) by name to Irvin Morris, Hon. DLO, 8, Stanchester Way, Curry Rivel, LANGPORT, SOMERSET. TA10 0PS or by telephone on 01458-250897 or by e-mail at Irvincb1@btinternet.com.


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14 December 2003 : Rovers Win Leaves Gary Speechless
Yeovil Town manager Gary Johnson is traditionally one for coming out to the press after the game sounding a little hoarse after 90 minutes of shouting from the dugouts. But yesterday, a throat infection combined with the intense 1-0 win at Bristol Rovers yesterday saw his voicebox give up the ghost, leaving Assistant Manager Steve Thompson to pick up the reins.

Thommo explained: "Gary is just struggling to talk a bit, so he thought it was better that I spoke today. I'm sure he'll be fine soon. I don't think it's anything too serious but his voice has definitely been affected. It might have been hard getting the words out of him today. He shouted quite loud in that second half and I think that might have been the telling factor, with the pressure we had on our lead at times, so he's struggling to talk in there."

Steve admitted the winning goal was very much the highlight of the match with a Nick Crittenden 30-yarder proving to be the difference between the two sides: "Critts has got such a good shot. He's got one of the best shots at the club. We keep telling him that in training and when he cuts in, he can do that sort of thing. He did it with a fantastic curling effort into the top corner - a great goal."

That said, Thommo still believed there was room for improvement in the Glovers own play: "The three points is the main thing, but if you don't play well and you play like that then you are going to come unstuck at times. Thankfully today the defence were magnificent in the second half and I think we restricted them to one half-chance when Adam Lockwood cleared a deflected shot off for a corner. We were pleased with the points and pleased with the defensive performance but Gary and myself aren't quite so pleased with the creative aspect of today. But we'll take the three points as it keeps us going nicely in the league. Hopefully we're climbing the table."

Steve agreed that one positive aspect was that the team had shown grit and determination to ensure all three points were taken home: "I think we've shown that quite often this season. There have been times when we have been able to get it down and play good football, like last week against Barnet in the FA Cup. But we've had to grind out some results this season like Mansfield away and Doncaster away where we weren't really at our best but got a 1-0. I think a team that is going to win leagues, be successful and get promotions has to know how to win more than one way. I feel we have shown that we can win in different ways this season."

Finally Steve admitted that he didn't have a great view of what had caused the sending off of striker Jake Edwards but said of the player: "He's obviously very disappointed because he misses three games with that, but we're going to look at the video and see what the referee says. Until myself and Gary see the video we can't really comment on that. It's very disappointing because if that decision is right then he will miss the Liverpool game as well as two other games. I think he is going to be even more disappointed, so it may be a bad day for Jake. But at least we still got the three points. He's been a good part of our squad over the last couple of months and it's important for him to bounce back from that."

Video evidence shows that Edwards did react to an incident, but also makes it clear that referee Clive Penton misjudged the incident badly by failing to notice a deliberate stamp by Rovers defender Ijah Anderson. Had the match official spotted what had sparked off Edwards' reaction, then there seems little doubt that Rovers would have been down to ten men. Sky Sports presenter Chris Kamara has appealed for referee Mr Penton to rescind the red card, as part of their Goals On Sunday review programme.


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13 December 2003 : Sleeping Gas fail to trouble ten man Town
A stunning Nick Crittenden strike just before half-time was enough to give Yeovil Town all 3 points in the West Country derby against Bristol Rovers at the Memorial Stadium this afternoon.

The Glovers had the edge throughout an entertaining first half, with Crittenden's 43rd minute 30 yard effort the highlight of several opportunities for the visitors. Rovers came back into it in the second half, dominating possession especially after Yeovil substitute Jake Edwards had been sent off for retaliation following a crude challenge on him; but efforts on goal from The Gas were few and far between and Chris Weale in the Yeovil goal was never seriously troubled as the Glovers 10 men hung on in relative comfort to take all 3 points.

Final score: Bristol Rovers 0 - 1 Yeovil Town

A very welcome 3 points then, but it wasn't all good news - Jake Edwards dismissal for violent conduct means an automatic 3 match ban which will mean the striker misses the upcoming Swansea, Liverpool and Rochdale matches. The club will be looking at the video of the game to see if there is any possibility of a succesful appeal.

The result means the Glovers move up 1 place in the league table to 4th, on 40 points from 21 games played. Oxford remain top on 44 points after beating doomed Carlisle 2-1 at the Kassam Stadium; while a 3-1 win at Cheltenham moves Doncaster up to 2nd on 43 points. Hull City drop a position to 3rd on 41 points after being held to a 1-1 draw at Scunthorpe. Yeovil are 4th, with Mansfield dropping to 5th place on 39 ponts after losing 2-1 at home to Lincoln City. Swansea City and Torquay United make up the other play-off places in 6th and 7th respectively, both on 35 points.


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13 December 2003 : In praise of the ticket office staff
Every now and then there comes along a post on the Ciderspace forum which makes one stop and say, "I wish I'd said that." Such was the reaction to the following post from Greenman, which is worth keeping here for posterity:

"Nice to see people praise for a change for very hard working people working under very difficult conditions.

"Perhaps the moaners and others who complain should know the ticket office staff plus extra helpers have been getting in at 6 o'clock in the morning and working through to 10 -10.30 each night in order to be able to open the doors again at 9.00 the next morning.

"In addition of putting up with the fire rendering parts of the normal system unuseable, they have been training others at the same time in order to help with the very high levels of demands/enquiries for mini season tickets and Scunthorpe and Kidderminster tickets.

"They have had to deal with about 2,500 mini season ticket applications, sale Scunthorpe & Kiddy tickets , Brizzle Rover ticket enquiries and collection, sale Rochdale and other League games as people want to ensure they can still obtain seats for these, answer god knows how many telephone enquiries, start selling Liverpool tickets to season ticket holders and set up a temporary ticket office all in the space of 5 days.

"I know the staff and helpers are truely exhausted, but they will keep going just to try and meet the demand of those supporters.

"So if you go along to the ticket office and have to wait an hour or so before reaching the girls, be pleasant and say thank you, don't be abusive like some of those impatient individuals.

"Remember without this sort of dedication the club wouldn't be as successful and benefiting financially so well done everyone. Brillant job and like the club motto, achieved by unity."



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12 December 2003 : Ticketing update (12 noon)
The club's official website has recently updated it's latest information regarding ticket sales. The statement reads as follows:

Ticket News as at 12 Noon Friday 12th. December

"The club have announced that they will stop selling Mini Season Tickets at 5.00 p.m. today (Friday 12th.December). These tickets are only for the Westland Terrace standing area.

"Season ticket holders can collect their tickets for the Liverpool match up until 5.00 p.m. on the 22nd. December. After that time any unclaimed tickets will be put on general sale on the 29th. December to supporters in possession of tickets from the Scunthorpe and Kidderminster games.

"NO tickets for the Scunthorpe and Kidderminster games will be on sale until Tuesday 16th. December at 9.00 a.m. when a limited number of tickets both stand and terrace will be on sale on a first come first served basis.

"The Ticket office will be open until 7.00 p.m. on Tuesday 16th. December but will otherwise be operating from 9.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. except it will be open from 5.00 p.m. to 7.00 p.m. after the Scunthorpe game for the collection of Liverpool tickets by Season Ticket holders."


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12 December 2003 : On To Victory - Special Liverpool Edition
Seb White, co-editor of Glovers fanzine On To Victory, writes:

"Its not every day that the club draws one of the most boring, overated, full of bloody fancy dan foreigners Premiership outfit, so we at OTV are going to be bringing out a special issue for the game.

"What with Christmas and all that, the printers/parcelforce are taking a bit of a holiday. As a result the fanzine must be at the printers by the 22nd December. This leaves us with not much time - this is where hopefully you can all come in. Bascially we are looking for anything (obviously after passing OTVs high quality control team) no matter how big or small to put in the fanzine about the game. We have got a few areas which our regular contributors have thought of:

- Where were you when you heard the draw? Obviously the more interesting/different the better - One of contributors was in bloody Weymouth when he found out!

- What are your good/bad FA Cup memories? Again the more interesting/unique/humorous the better from any of our FA Cup games.

- Tickets - The length you have gone to get yours?
- What do you think of the Club's policy?

- Exiles, if your not going to be able to make it to the game where will you watch it?

- Also as we anticipate selling a few more than normal does anyone have any ideas how we can use the profit?

- And absolutely anything else you can think of even if its just an idea we can find someone to write it.

"Any contributions/help/ideas would be greatfully received to mail@ontovictory.co.uk by December 20th.

"Thanks

"Seb White
Co-Editor of 'On To Victory'"

www.ontovictory.co.uk/


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11 December 2003 : Ticketing update (2.30pm)
The club's official site has released more information regarding the latest ticketing news. The bulletin reads:

"Mini season tickets are now only available for the Westland Terrace until further notice. There are still no tickets available for the Scunthorpe and Kidderminster game but the club will be making a further announcement later today with another update."


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11 December 2003 : Ticketing update (12.45pm)
The club's official website has recently updated it's latest information regarding ticket sales. The statement reads as follows:

The Very Latest Ticket News

"No Kidderminster or Scunthorpe tickets can be sold today. Please await further Press statements on availability.

"Mini Season ticket applicants WITH PHOTOS and COMPLETED Forms can still queue to drop off their forms with payment but no guarantee can be given on location or availability.
Existing season ticket holders together with those that submitted their Mini Season Ticket applications forms yesterday (10th. December) can queue for Liverpool tickets today (11th. December).

"No Scunthorpe or Kidderminster ticket holders can purchase Liverpool tickets today. They will be made available on Monday 29th. December as previously announced. The ticket office will NOT be open this weekend 13th. & 14th. But will reopen on 15th. December at 9.00 a.m.

"Supporters are strongly recommended to keep checking the Yeovil Town website www.ytfc.net for further information on an ever changing situation."


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11 December 2003 : Reserves rout red-faced Robins
A Yeovil Town Reserves side made up of a mixture of first team squad members and youth team players kept up their challenge at the top of the Wales & West Division of the Pontins Holiday Combination League with a fine 5-1 win over Cheltenham Town Reserves at Huish Park last night.

The game was in some doubt at first with thick fog obscuring the view for spectators from the Main Stand, however the conditions improved to eventually clear completely as the game went on. Youth team centre-half Sean Smith opened the scoring for the Glovers on 24 minutes with a close-range header from a corner. The score remained 1-0 at half-time, but after the break the home side really went to town, The Robins second-string having no answer to Yeovil's pace, industry and inventiveness. Jake Edwards, Abdelhalim El Kholti with a brace, and Adam Stansfield notched Yeovil's goals; with Luke Corbett scoring the visitors consolation with 6 minutes left.

Final score: Yeovil Town Reserves 5 - 1 Cheltenham Town Reserves.


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11 December 2003 : Coggen out
Controversial figure George Coggen has resigned from his role as chairman of the Green & White Supporters Club, according to a brief statement in today's Western Gazette. The former chairman apparently stepped down from the post at a committee meeting last Thursday, though no mention of his action was reported at the time, nor - at the time of writing - is there any reference to him leaving on the G&WSC website. "Officially I resigned because of personal commitments but really I had just had enough," Coggen told the Gazette.


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10 December 2003 : Ticket Office Gradually Returns To Normal
Yeovil Town Football Club has seen one of it's busiest days of trading today in the wake of an early morning fire that gutted the Stadium Manager's office and partially damaged the club's ticket office.

The fire has been reported on BBC Somerset Sound as being caused by a faulty electrical cable, and not by arson as was first suspected. Reports suggest that the Fire Brigade arrived whilst just one of the portacabins was ablaze and that whilst they attempted to put the fire under control, the contents of the ticket office was salvaged. It is believed that all computer equipment and records from the ticket office were successfully retrieved. The Stadium Manager's office was not so fortunate.

By 8.15am, the club had set up wooden tables out in freezing foggy conditions and were selling tickets barely yards from the destroyed portacabin. Queues at the club for Kidderminster Harriers and Scunthorpe United home games have been constant the whole day and the club were forced to turn away many people towards the end of the day with the queues continuing unabated.

The club made the following statement via their official website: "The club would like to thank everybody for their tolerance and offers of help during this difficult time. Every effort is being made to process ticket requests but we are working under severe difficulty due to the aftermath of the fire. Once again we would like to thank everybody from staff to volunteers for their amazing help today. Particular thanks to the Western Gazette and P.C. World for their timely intervention. Tomorrow is another day and we hope things will go a bit more smoothly."

Rumours suggest that over 2,000 half-season tickets have been purchased at the club in the last 72 hours and the club are now purposefully winding down sales of these tickets. If true, then this alone could have netted the club up to 200,000 pounds.

Unconfirmed reports suggest that the Kidderminster and Scunthorpe games are close to sell-out in the home sections of the ground. The ticket office re-opens tomorrow, where the club plan to inevitably shift the last of the remaining tickets for the two league games. They will also begin sales of tickets for the Liverpool match, with sales limited to Season Ticket Holders, Vice Presidents, Patrons and Half-Season Ticket Holders and limited to one per person. The club will only accept personal applications for these tickets; no telephone orders are permitted in this instance.


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10 December 2003 : Ticket Office Damaged By Fire
Yeovil Town Football Club's Ticket Office has been partly destroyed by fire. Fire crews were called to the ticket office at 2.30am this morning.

The cause of the blaze is currently unknown. Obviously currently ticket arrangements are up in the air somewhat, with tickets for the Liverpool match due to go on sale tomorrow. We will therefore update/add further news as it becomes available.

Update (9.45am): The damage appears to be mainly to the club's Media Office with the Ticket Office suffering 50 percent damage. The main stadium is apparently not affected. We will try and confirm that tonight's Reserve Team match against Cheltenham Town is still taking place. Please do not ring the football club asking to buy tickets at this stage!

Update (10.30am): The club have released the following statement on their official website:

Yeovil Fire - Business as normal

"Despite the fire to part of the Yeovil Town outbuildings the intention of
the staff is that tickets for the Liverpool F.A.Cup match will still be on
sale to season ticket holders, Mini Season Ticket holders, Vice Presidents
and Patrons as originally announced, commencing tomorrow.

"In addition tickets for the Scunthorpe and Kidderminster matches will also
be sold as usual from Mid-day today. Obviously as the ticket office was
close to the area of the fire a temporary selling area has been created and
any supporters will be directed to that. We are sure all supporters will
bear with us as we deal with this situation but we are confident that the
Yeovil Town spirit will win through."

Update 12:00 (noon): Tonight's Reserve Team game is unaffected by the problems. It will go ahead as planned. The club are currently confident that there has been no data loss from the fire. They are still reinstalling alot of stuff onto new PCs so at the moment ticket sales are still a two-stage manual process. Tickets are being sold from the original supporters bar on the first floor (disabled supporters take note!) - remarkably the club were selling tickets from wooden tables outside in sub-zero temperatures at 8.15am this morning barely yards from the burnt out portakabin - there's nothing like a little bit of "war spirit"!

The club's phone system is semi-operational - not all lines are up at present, so you may find it very hard to get through any telephone orders today. The ticket office will remain open today until 7.00pm - the kick-off time for tonight's game.


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9 December 2003 : Important Notice : Half Season Ticket Applications
Supporters wanting to take advantage of the offer to get priority on tickets for the Liverpool FA Cup Third Round tie, MUST put in their application by 5.00pm tomorrow! This is because the processing of the applications, the production of the cards, and the allocation of any seating on the club's computer takes time to be implemented and with the rush on for tickets the club are currently overloaded.

Ciderspace hopes to receive an application form, but if this doesn't arrive in time, then we suggest you send the club your application on a sheet of paper containing the following:

Name:
Address:
Contact Telephone:
Number of Half-Season Tickets Required:
Adult/Child/OAP status:
Section of ground required:
Preferred block in ground (if Main/Bartlett):
Credit Card details (Name on Card, Card number, Expiry Date) or a Cheque for payment.
A 'passport' photograph.


Prices of half-season tickets are on an earlier news item from today.

The club will still accept half-season ticket applications beyond tomorrow, but can't guarantee that they can process them in time to take advantage of the Liverpool game if received beyond tomorrow.

Note: The ticket office is open until kick-off tomorrow - the Reserve team game against Cheltenham kicks off at 7.00pm.


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9 December 2003 : Yeovil Town v Liverpool commemorative enamel lapel badges
Glovers supporter Tim Lancaster will be producing a special high quality enamel lapel badge to commemorate Yeovil Town's FA Cup fixture with Liverpool.

Tim will be taking advance orders via e-mail to tim.daff@btopenworld.com, with sales on the day. The badges will cost £3.00 and will feature all the match details.

Cheques to Tim Lancaster, 45, Goytre Road, Goytre, Port Talbot, West Glamorgan, SA13 2YN. Add 50p to cover P&P.


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9 December 2003 : Never was the name of a fanzine more apt ...
The new issue of On To Victory - The Yeovil fanzine from the Northern Greens will be on sale at the Bristol Rovers game on Saturday and the forthcoming home games against Scunthorpe and Kidderminster. Here are 5 reasons why you should spend a pound...

1 - All the profit from OTV is given to YTFC or its supporters, and this month we shall be donating profits to subsidise the Disabled Supporters Forum's first ever away trip v Kidderminster 07/02/03

2 - Find out how OTV's very own Michael West made it to watch England in their match in Turkey.

3 - An exclusive extract from the opening sequence and the latest news from the Yeovil Town play.

4 - A superb and original front cover involving Colin Pluck and a Turkey - you'll have to buy to see what we are talking about.

5 - Will Ranner, Robin Evans, Tim Hawker and saving the best to last; Steve Sowden make their OTV debuts!

52 pages for just one pound.

Its still 2 weeks to Liverpool, you need something to distract you from counting down the days - for an hour at least!

www.ontovictory.co.uk/


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9 December 2003 : The Idiots Guide To Getting A Liverpool Ticket
The club have announced details of ticket sales for January 4th's FA Cup Third Round match against Premiership giants Liverpool. Details are as follows:

Ticket Prices

Vice Presidents : £30.00
Adults : £20.00 Main Stand and Bartlett Stand seats
Adults : £15.00 Westland Terrace (Away Terrace prices are also identical)
OAP's : £15.00 All Areas including Away Terrace
Children Under 16 : £5.00 All Areas Including Away Terrace

No other concessions will be in force for this match including Junior Glovers Discount.

If You Are A Season Ticket Holder

Sit back, relax, look smug and pat yourself on the back for your wise decision in making your purchase in the summer. You have from 9.00am on Thursday 11th December until 5.00pm on Monday 22nd December to walk into the Huish Park Ticket Office and claim your ticket. After this date, your ticket will be reallocated, so do not forget! Tickets are limited to one per person, and the only downside is that you MUST attend in person with your season ticket card - i.e. no postal or telephone applications may be accepted.

Note this policy applies to Season Ticket Holders, Half-Season Ticket Holders, Vice Presidents and Patrons.

If You Would Like To Be A Half-Season Ticket Holder

Buy one now! The half season will cover all home Division Three games (excluding any play-off fixtures) from Rochdale on January 10th to the end of the regular season: Rochdale, Leyton Orient, Macclesfield Town, Oxford United, Cambridge United, Bristol Rovers, Doncaster Rovers, Mansfield Town, Cheltenham Town, Bury and Hull City.

The following prices will apply for half season tickets:

Main Stand
Adults - £120
Senior Citizens and Students - £99
Juniors - £40

Bartlett Stand
Adults £109
Senior Citizens and Students - £79
Juniors - £40

Westland Terrace
Adults £109
Senior Citizens and Students - £70
Juniors - £40

The half-season ticket will confer the same rights as full season tickets, including priority for all pay matches and any discounts available on renewal of season tickets next year. Purchasers will need to obtain an application form from the club, and provide a passport style photograph for inclusion on the ticket.

Buying a Half-Season Ticket now WILL give you full priority on purchasing a ticket for the Liverpool game and is the only sure-fire way to get yourself one if you are not a current Season Ticket Holder. As soon as you've purchased your half-season ticket, you can use it to buy your Liverpool ticket. Note that the club have requested all applications for this to be made by 10th December 5.00pm - see our other news item from today.

If You Can't Afford To Buy A Season Ticket

Buy tickets for the home games against Kidderminster Harriers and Scunthorpe United now! Tickets for these games (on December 20th and 26th) are on sale now from the Huish Park Ticket Office. You MUST keep your ticket stubs from these games.

On Monday 29th December, you will need one sleeping bag, one slice of Kendal Mint Cake, a thermos flask and a good long book to read as at 9.00am, the Huish Park Ticket Office will be opening to sell tickets to those clutching both Kidderminster and Scunthorpe ticket stubs. Tickets, again will be limited to one per person.

Note that although this method should give you a fighting chance of claiming your Liverpool ticket, there is no guarantee that all supporters holding stubs will get tickets.

If You Can't Afford To Buy Kidderminster and Scunthorpe Tickets

Your chances of getting a ticket for the Liverpool game are - let's not beat about the bush here - small, minute, tiny, infinitesimal. Just think of the chances of Barf City winning the Dr Martens League this season and divide that figure by about one million.

For those that are wishing to play Russian Roulette with their chances of getting a Liverpool ticket, however, any remaining selection of tickets will be put on sale on Wednesday 31st December, at 9.00am. In this scenario don't just bring the sleeping bag, thermos and mint cake - bring a tent. In this instance, should there be more than one ticket left when you get to the Ticket Office booth, you may purchase two tickets each.

If You Want To Buy A Ticket On The Day

Prepare to be laughed out of town by anyone and everyone who you might plead, grovel and beg to along the way. Retire red-faced, and console yourself that at least good ole Auntie Beeb has got it on the box.


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9 December 2003 : Gilesy and Gareeeee Make Their Escape
Striker/defender Chris Giles and left-sided utility player Abdelhalim El Kholti have managed to escape the evil clutches of the evil empire known to all as Broadhall Way. Our fearless duo had been captured by arch-villain Graham Westley who threatened to give them a form of slow torture in forcing our heroes to play for The DCBs Stevenage Borough in the Nationwide Conference for the period of a whole month. Yikes!

However, reports have reached us through the Bristol Evening Post that Gareeee bamboozled the Broadhall Way guards with some weaving trickery, whilst Gilesy grabbed the car keys, and they fled at top speed back to Somerset as fast as their borrowed Mystery Machine would take them.

Glovers manager Gary Johnson said of the move: "I wanted Abdel and Chris to get some first-team football and they had an opportunity to go to Stevenage for a month. But now we've drawn Liverpool, they want to be a part of things here. It's a massive game for the club and I want all of my players to be involved in the build-up and the day itself. This could be a once-in-a lifetime opportunity for my boys and that's why Chris and Abdel are staying put for now."

No-one at Broadhall Way was directly available for comment, however when Ciderspace approached a suspicious looking old caretaker, wearing a badge with the sign of secret undercover organisation AIMITA, all he would say was "If it wasn't for those pesky kids, I would've gotten away with it!"


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8 December 2003 : WE'RE IN THE MONEY!!!
The F.A. Cup Third Round tie between Yeovil Town and Liverpool will be broadcast live on BBC 1 on Sunday January 4 2004. The game at Huish Park will kick off at 1 p.m.

Fees payable for a Third Round F.A. Cup tie are £265,000, with the money deposited with the clubs within seven days of the broadcast.

Yeovil's record in live televised matches is excellent, with the club only ever having lost once - 2-1 away to Burton Albion - in a "dead" second leg of an F.A. Trophy Semi-Final, with The Glovers leading 4-0 from the first leg.


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8 December 2003 : Johnson: For now we concentrate on The Gas
The following is a transcript of Glovers boss Gary Johnson, striker Kevin Gall and midfielder Gavin Williams press conference following the 5-1 win against Barnet in the 2nd round of the FA Cup at Huish Park on Saturday:

GARY JOHNSON:

Congratulations Gary, is that one of the most resounding victories of the season?

"Yes, I suppose it is really. It was a cup game and I think I said before the game that set plays would be very important today, defending from them and scoring from them and indeed the first two goals were set plays. We knew Barnet were going to try and be competitive but once you get two, three, four goals it demoralises the opposition and you can win it in the first half. I thought we demoralised them quite early but credit to Barnet, they went right to the end but our fitness and our play was very sharp today and very positive."

Were you pleased with the way the team reacted to the equaliser given that it came in the same minute as Colin Plucks goal?

"It was a good goal, we’d spent a little while saying we mustn’t leave Beadle or Grazioli in the box on their own because one's good in the air and one's good around his feet, but I will allow one lapse in concentration as we scored five."

How about Nick Crittenden getting his first goal of the season?

"He had a couple of chances before he scored, but it was a great goal and I was pleased with him because he kept getting in there and he kept getting in behind them and we showed a lot of pace and passion to get in goal scoring opportunities. Its nice to see that when you're three or four up that players are still working hard to score another goal."

And as ever Kevin Gall was frightening them with his pace.

"Yes, he must have created three or four chances and if he’s not scoring them then he’s making them. He’s doing his job and I was pleased with what he did."

His partnership with Kirk Jackson seems to be working again?

"Let’s be honest we have four strikers who are desperate to play. Jake was only on a minute once again - and it was a magnificent substitution by the manager, I cant keep being lucky can I?! - Jake came on and scored his goal which was great, strikers don’t mind coming off the bench for 10-12 minutes if they score goals. Adam's been doing that and Jake did it again today so all four are flying at the moment and really I could toss a coin up and see what comes down, but as you know I do it systematically and most players know when I'm going to pick them and when they have to be on the bench."

It's going to be a massive game against Bristol Rovers this Saturday?

"Yes it is, as you say after this chat we have in here our league hats go back on. It’s a big game for our fans. They’ve had some fun today, so let them enjoy it this weekend and on Monday we start concentrating on the Bristol Rovers game."

KEVIN GALL:

Was that one of your best performances of the season do you think?

"Probably up there, it’s just good to be in a winning side and get to the 3rd Round. Its only my second time ever in the F.A Cup - I got to the 4th round and now I’m in the 3rd Round so it’s great. It’s good for the club because its money for the club and it was a good game today."

Do you mind not scoring as you set-up about 4 of the goals?

"I don’t mind not scoring but obviously I want to score every week if possible. At the end of the day if we're winning and I don’t score it doesn’t really matter but like I said I’ve got 9 this year so that's not too bad. Obviously I want to get into double figures, but I just want to keep going and it was good to get a 5-1 win today."

Barnet looked like quite a physical side at the back, were they hard to deal with?

"No, they weren’t a bad side but we were just too good for them at the end of the day. They’ve had a lot of hype all week, saying 'we're going to do this and we're going to do that', 'Yeovil aren’t that good' and its all right talking about it but you’ve got to do it out on the pitch. We proved today that we are worthy winners so it's very pleasing for us."

The pick of the goals was the third one with Gavin sliding in?

"Yeah, it was great! I was kicking myself not to have taken it round the keeper and put it in myself but I took to big a touch. But you know, it's all right, just cross it in and Gav’s there to tap it in. If he wasn’t there I would have been a bit more worried about it, but we’ve got the goal so it was pretty good. With the last goal I probably should have shot myself, but the defenders were coming across towards me and I saw Jake running in at the back post and put it back in for him - and same thing with Critts' goal really."

Kirk Jackson was back upfront with you today, how do you find that partnership?

"As you can see if I play upfront with Stanno, Jake or Jacko it all works because they are good players. Jacko didn’t have his best few games and he got left out the team, but he’s come back in and he’s proved to the gaffer he can play. When Jake's played he’s proved he can play, and when Stanno’s come on Stanno’s scored and proved he can play. I’ve got to keep doing it myself so there’s good competition for me and I’ve got to keep playing well to keep myself in the team."

GAVIN WILLIAMS:

A resounding victory there?

"Yes it was, it was a good personal performance. It was important that we started well which we did with Plucky’s header, they got the goal back and we responded well from that. The most important thing was to go in at half-time 3-1 up."

Set pieces are important and the first goal came from one - your cross for Colin Pluck to score?

"Yes, we practise a lot on set pieces on the Friday. It was a great header from Colin really, because the ball was a little bit behind him and he managed to put it in the top far corner."

You stepped up to take the second penalty as well?

"I wasn’t playing the last time we had one so Lee took it - I don’t think anyone wanted to take it this time really so I stepped up. I was confident I’d score and I put it away thankfully."

I couldn’t believe Kevin gall could get to the byline and cross it in for the third goal?

"He did brilliantly really - I was following him and he went round the keeper and I was praying he would go down for a pound, but with Kevin’s pace you always think he’s going to get there and he managed to. It was a great pull back and I nicked it in just before the keeper got there."

Transcription by Richard Gibson.


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7 December 2003 : Who Are Ya?!
Little to report today. Yeovil Town got drawn at home against some northern outfit called Liverpool F.C. in the Third Round of the F.A. Cup. Whilst we were hoping for a big club, that's the unpredictability of the competition. Oh well, maybe we'll draw someone famous in Round 4. We'll try and find something more about them in the next few days, although with three Liverpool Senior Cups to their name (only Marine from the Unibond has a better record) we're not expecting them to be complete pushovers.

Yeovil Town defender Adam Lockwood seemed to have heard of Liverpool, probably because he's from oop North originally himself, as when asked for his comments on the draw he said:

We wanted a big club in the next round and that's what we've got. It's good to be part of a game like that. It's good to be testing yourself against the best.
They've got quite a lot of good players really. It'll be a game just to enjoy, just play and see what happens. You never know what will happen in football. You've got a 50-50 chance. You could go all through the team and name players like Kewell and Gerrard and Owen. We've got a great squad and we've a great team spirit. We work together as a team. If we play well and if we catch them on an off day, anyone could be a hero on the day.


The tie will be played over the weekend of January 3rd/4th, 2004. Ticketing news will be available on this site as soon as we have it........ should anybody be remotely interested.


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6 December 2003 : Dodgy Barnet hair today gone tomorrow
Yeovil Town cruised through to the 3rd round of the FA Cup having scored five impressive goals in front of a crowd of 5,953 to beat visitors Barnet 5-1 at Huish Park today.

The Glovers first goal came in the 9th minute when a Gavin Williams wide free kick found Colin Pluck who precisely headed home for his second consecutive goal in two matches. Yeovil were still celebrating when Peter Beadle's header gave Chris Weale no chance and drew the scores level less than a minute later. The stalemate didn’t last long, and 8 minutes later Yeovil were awarded a penalty from a handball by Danny Maddix. Up stepped Gavin Williams who comfortably slotted his first of the afternoon. On 27 minutes Kevin Gall used his pace to knock the ball round Bees keeper Shane Gore and somehow managed to screw the ball back from the byline to team-mate Gavin Williams who slid in for the home side's third.

Soon after the break, Barnet’s best chance came from a Ben Strevens free kick which Weale saved comfortably. Nick Crittenden continued to test the Bees defence and on the 74th minute the winger buried Gall's cross with a great half-volley for the Glovers fourth goal. Two minutes later substitute Jake Edwards finished off a neat Yeovil move and rounded off a great team performance.

Final score: Yeovil Town 5 - 1 Barnet.

The draw for the 3rd Round will take place live on BBC1 following the end of the televised Burton Albion v Hartlepool game tomorrow (Sunday) afternoon.

Lee Johnson picked up his 5th booking of the season during today's game and will now be suspended for the home game v Scunthorpe on December 20th. Chris Giles and Abdel El Kholti are back at Huish Park having spent 2 days at Broadhall Way training with non-league minnows Stevenage Borough - Glovers boss Gary Johnson will discuss their immediate future with Boro manager Graham Westley tomorrow.

Match precis by George Murray.


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5 December 2003 : Christmas shopping with YTFC
Christmas is coming and the geese are getting fat, please put a penny in the poor man's hat.... But once you've spared a few coppers for the Bath City Survival Fund then thoughts turn to one's nearest and dearest, and what better to buy as gifts than some genuine Yeovil Town Football Club merchandise?

As last Christmas, the club will have a caravan based in the Quedam Shopping Centre in Yeovil selling all those items that can normally be found in the club shop to the festive crowds. The caravan will be operating from 5.30 p.m. to 8.00 p.m. on Thursday 11th December and Thursday 18th December; and on Sunday 21st December from 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. for all those last minute Christmas gift ideas. Go on, you know you want to....


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5 December 2003 : Who needs Fergie or Wenger? We've got Gary Johnson!
Glovers boss Gary Johnson has risen to 12th place overall in the latest version of the Tissot Manager's Performance League, though his performance in the current form table, taking account of his team's results over the second quarter of the season only, is even more striking: Here the gaffer lies in 3rd place, ahead of such famous names as Claudio Ranieri, Alex Ferguson, Arsene Wenger and somebody called Paul Sturrock; with only Brian Laws of Scunthorpe United and Joe Royle of Ipswich Town ahead of the Glovers boss.

"It's nice to hear that," Johnson told the Western Daily Press, "Because to get a good position in that table you have to be winning games and scoring goals. To get recognition alongside managers of that calibre is brilliant and a reflection of how well everyone at the club has adapted to the Football League."


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4 December 2003 : Lee Johnson is November's Internet Player of the Month
Midfielder Lee Johnson is November's Internet Player of the Month. Lee was an ever-present in all 6 qualifying games during November, his creativity and consistency ensuring that he featured heavily in the voting throughout the month, culminating in him winning the MOTM award following the 4-0 win against Southend. Lee also featured twice in the Nationwide Division Three Team of the Week during the month, the fourth time in all he's been honoured as such this season. The full results are as follows:

262 points - Lee Johnson

251 points - Gavin Williams

249 points - Darren Way

233 points - Paul Terry

219 points - Chris Weale

204 points - Kevin Gall

202 points - Jake Edwards

151 points - Colin Pluck

094 points - Adam Lockwood


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3 December 2003 : YTISA AGM
The Annual General Meeting of the Yeovil Town Independent Supporters' Association will take place at Huish Park at 7.00 p.m. on Thursday 8th January, 2004.

Calling notices have been despatched to all members by e-mail or post. If you do not receive yours within the next few days contact Stew Bratherton by e-mail, or by writing to :

Stewart Bratherton
91, Combe Park,
Yeovil,
Somerset,
BA21 3BE.

The recently launched YTISA web site can be found here. Membership is extremely buoyant. Ciderspace's (completely unofficial) quick bit of maths suggests that membership grew by over 175 in the past twelve months. A life membership form can be accessed on the YTISA site.


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3 December 2003 : The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
A mixed bag of news about players today. First the good news:

Yeovil Town has agreed an undisclosed fee with Halifax Town for the transfer of Lee Elam to the club. Elam, who has been on a month's loan at Huish Park, is expected to complete the signing formalities in the next few days.

Manager Gary Johnson, speaking to the club's Official Site, said :

I'm very happy to report that we have secured the services of Lee Elam. I have been very impressed with his ability and attitude since he has been here. He is 100% he wants to be a Yeovil Town player. He sees it as a great opportunity to join a club that he thinks is going to be successful. The club have agreed a deal with Halifax; it's an undisclosed fee. Given that Lee was under quite a bit of pressure to perform in Saturday's game he had a lot of nerves so didn't last the 90 minutes. I know from the training and the practice games we have had that Lee is a fantastic addition to our squad.

The bad news is that Roy O'Brien will be out for the remainder of the season. Gary disclosed :

Roy O'Brien will be out for the rest of the season he has got to have an operation on his knee. Talk about luck of the Irish, but Roy doesn't seem to have any luck. He won't be back till April time and will be having his operation next week.

The surgery involved is to remedy medial ligament damage in his knee. Wishing you the best of luck and a full recovery, Roy.

And finally the ugly :

Following the announcement last Friday that Abdelhalim El Kholti was available for transfer or loan and Chris Giles for loan, comes the news that both will be training for the next two days at Broadhall Way with a view to possible loan moves.

Gary Johnson commented :

Abdou El Kholti and Chris Giles will be travelling to Stevenage on Thursday and Friday to train and have talks with Graham Westley about a possible loan deal for the both of them. Privately, Graham rang me a couple of months ago and apologised for his antics at the match down at Dorchester last season. You can't hold grudges in football, he apologised so everything goes back to normal and I won't hinder the boys because of something that happened a year and a half ago. By Monday one or both of them maybe on loan at Stevenage.

Oh well, at least it's not Hereford.............


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2 December 2003 : Avon and Somerset Police Issue Statement
Avon and Somerset Police have issued the following statement on their website following Saturday's match against Lincoln City:

Police and Yeovil Town Football Club Work Together

Avon and Somerset Police have been working closely with Yeovil Town Football Club to make their transition to the nationwide league run smoothly.

At the end of last season Yeovil Town Football Club was promoted to the third division, which means they are now covered by Football Association league rules and can expect larger crowds at their matches.

Prior to the start of the season the police met with the club chairman, safety officer and stadium manager to discuss policing arrangements.

It was agreed the police would be in attendance at a number of matches during the season.

This decision was based on intelligence but it was also agreed for police to attend matches at the start of the season to assist the club with its transition from a conference to league club.

The promotion meant The Glovers had additional responsibilities as a designated ground and had employed a new safety officer and a number of new stewards.

Police have also appointed a football liaison officer, James Hoggett, who works with the club on issues such as health and safety.

He also works closely with the Football Intelligence Officer and other football clubs to identify potential trouble-makers.

The police also form part of the Safety Advisory Group who advise the club about health and safety.

The police also discuss public order and general safety issues with the club such as whether a match should be all ticket because a near capacity attendance is expected.

Chief Superintendent James Shearer said: “The club is responsible for all decisions relating to ticketing arrangements.

“We offer advise to the club regarding whether we see potential public disorder problems in relation to the size of crowds or such like, however we have not requested any match to be all ticket this season and it is not a recognised police tactic to do this to prevent public disorder.

“We support the club in ensuring the safety of their spectators and we will continue to work with them to establish Huish Park as a safe venue for members of the public to visit.

“As the club establishes itself as a nationwide league team we aim to reduce the number of matches where police are in attendance, however we will continue to fully support the club on all issues of public safety and disorder.”


The police statement follows one issued by the club, which can also be read below.


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2 December 2003 : Reserve Match Postponed
Tomorrow's Reserve Team match against AFC Bournemouth has been postponed due to a waterlogged pitch at Fawcetts Field, New Milton. No new date has been set for this fixture at present.

Update 08/12/03 :

The new date has been set as Wednesday 31st March 2004, with a 2.00 p.m. kick-off.



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