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31 December 2005 : City let off the hook
Yeovil Town squandered numerous chances in the first half as the Glovers had to be content with a solitary point against Bristol City at a rainswept Huish Park today. David Poole put Yeovil into the lead with just three minutes on the clock before Matt Heywood drew the scores level shortly after half time.

Gary Johnson, the manager who brought three major trophies and two promotions to Huish Park in such a short period of time, received an emotional standing ovation from the Yeovil faithful moments before the match. But David Poole, a summer signing by Johnson, showed his former manager what he has left behind at Huish Park when he scored his second league goal minutes into the match. The visitors had keeper Adriano Basso to thank for keeping his side in the game before the break - first Matt Harrold had two consecutive shots superbly blocked before a great reflex save denied Poole his second of the afternoon after a great solo effort.

Gary Johnsonís men were an improved outfit in the second period and five minutes after the break equalised with their first effort on target when a Matt Haywood header levelled matters from a corner. Steve Collis made a cracking save from a Steve Brooker shot to keep the home side in the game. Both Terry Skiverton and Scott Guyett missed clear chances towards the end but neither side looked threatening enough to find a winner. Match precis: George Murray

Jeremy Gear's full match report: Yeovil Town 1 - 1 Bristol City.

Injury news: Colin Miles was taken off just before half-time with a head injury after a clash of heads - he was feeling unwell after the match so has been taken to the hospital as a precaution and is extremely unlikely to be considered for the away match at Doncaster on Monday. There are no other injury worries in the squad (Darren Way apart) with the trio of Efe Sodje, Liam Fontaine and Arron Davies missing today's game for tactical reasons - dropped, in other words.

Today's results leave the Glovers in 18th place on 30 points, 3 ahead of Bristol City in 20th. Tranmere continued their improvement with a 2-0 win at Port Vale to move to 19th on 29. Rotherham scored a last-minute winner at Monday's opponents Doncaster to move up to 26 points in 21st position; 22nd are Blackpool on 25 points, beaten 2-0 at Walsall today. Swindon are off the bottom of the table in 23rd spot with 24 points - they held league leaders Swansea to a goalless draw at the County Ground. Bottom are Franchise FC on 23 points, 3-0 losers at Gillingham.


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31 December 2005 : A Trip Down Memory Lane
No too surprisingly given the club's growth in support in the last six years and also the growth of the internet during that time, one or two people struggled with Thursday's 'FCRM' reference! Thankfully Ciderspace has archives going back seven years, and so this seems an appropriate point to provide a spot of background reading.

FCRM was born on March 11th 2000 and on that very day, two articles appeared on this site. The first was our then weekly Conference review which can be found here, whilst the second piece to appear related to the punchline in a bizarre soap opera that had been running at the club for a couple of months where mixed message after mixed message seemed to be the sign of the times. That article can be found here.

Next move on to June 2000 where Ciderspace deliberated over the issues surrounding the transition to a full time budget. Was it a good idea? OK, so we may not have been quite so spot on in terms of that issue, but you can still read what the shape of the club was like back then by heading here. Wonder if any of our players are still on 95 quid a week? Finally the six month cycle came to it's end on September 30th 2000 when FCRM shuffled off his mortal coil and went to meet a bloke at the seaside. Our in-depth critical analysis (are you sure? - Ed) can be found here.

In case you're wondering where we got all this from, the Ciderspace Archives Section can be found here.


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30 December 2005 : Goodbye To All That
We'd hazard a bet 70% of Yeovil Town supporters wouldn't recognise Jon Goddard-Watts if they passed him on the street. Another 20% would think : that face looks vaguely familiar...... can't quite place it. And 10% might say : Hello Jon (or Mr. Goddard-Watts, depending on their view on acceptable familiarity), probably to be greeted with a very polite but slightly embarrassed smile and 'Um, hello' in return. In this era of self-serving publicity seeking megalomanics buying football clubs for their own aggrandizement Mr. Goddard-Watts was the antithesis of the George Reynolds' of this World. When we looked through our archives we couldn't find a single photograph for this article.

We doubt he ever intended to own a football club when he first became connected to Yeovil Town towards the end of the Nineties. A self made multi-millionaire as the founder of Screwfix, and doubtless mortified at seeing his name in print in anything as uncouth as The Sunday Times Rich List every year, he's a very private man and it's hard to pin down his thoughts, as his public utterances were as rare as Graham Westley's silences. However at one point he did reveal that he wished to give something back to the town of Yeovil, and felt that trying to help the town achieve its century old ambition of having a Football League club would be a suitable gesture.

The first time we can recall noticing Mr. Goddard-Watts on the board of the club was in 1999. He was soon to be part of a revolution at the top that saw the old cumbersome board of fourteen eased out to pasture and The Big Three emerge : chairman John Fry, Norman Hayward and Goddard-Watts. Fry was the front man, Norman the hatchet man and Jon - the quiet man. It was around this point that Goddard-Watts began to buy into the club in a big way with share options and loans.

However much a gentleman, and Mr. Goddard-Watts most surely is, you don't tend to build reputed £50 million empires without some steel in your character. When, in the early days of Gary Johnson's reign, the club announced on September 21st 2001 that Goddard-Watts had resigned there was a bit of concern but not much surprise. A seventy-year-old with not a great deal of interest in football had done his bit and was bowing out. Not so. It's never emerged what was really happening behind the scenes, and probably never will unless one of the three should publish his memoirs, but within two months a coup had taken place. Hayward was out, his entire stake having been bought out by Goddard-Watts, a move that made him owner of the club. He never returned to the board, but there's no doubt little was done at the club without a glance over the shoulder to check there was an approving nod.

As the team moved forward from success to success some Goddard-Watts financial input was still lubricating the wheels, but it was always his intention that the club had to become self-sufficient. No Max Griggs writing blank cheques, he. And a good thing too for the long term future. In April 2005 a major share issue was floated for the purpose of allowing Mr. Goddard-Watts to covert £1.1 million of loans to the club into shares, taking his holding to something around £2.2 million. As this site surmised at the time this was his swan song, as we now know setting things up for his withdrawal from the scene.

In the view of Ciderspace an ideal owner : low profile, sensible, and not one of those peddlers of over-blown fantasy who scarpers when it all inevitably goes pear-shaped. Everyone will have their own ideas on who should take credit for The Glovers realization of our long held ambitions. For what it's worth Ciderspace thinks a whole host of people had to come together in the right place at the right time. Mr. Jon Goddard-Watts was one of them. Thank you.


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30 December 2005 : Yeovil Town v Bristol City match preview
This is the one we've all been waiting for if we're honest, right from when we first got into the football league. Bristol City, at home. The Gas were an appetiser, the prawn cocktail before the steak and chips as it were, but for most Yeovil fans City were the club that we really wanted to see at Huish Park, the local derby to die for, something to relish. And that was before Gary Johnson changed horses midstream...

Ciderspace will welcome Gary back to Huish Park tomorrow and this writer will applaud him if given an opportunity to do so either before or after the match. GJ deserves acknowledgment for where he left this club compared to when he first arrived and I for one hope that the majority of Yeovil fans will rise above the manner of his leaving and the knowledge of where he went to give him the respect he deserves for what he did for Yeovil Town while he was here. Once the game kicks off all bets are off of course and as the opposition manager he's fair game, he'll know that and will expect nothing less.

City come to Huish Park on the back of an unbeaten 4 match run and are expecting to be unchanged for the 4th match in succession, with only a slight doubt over keeper Adriano Basso, who dislocated a finger during City's 3-1 win over Rotherham at Ashton Gate on Wednesday evening. That win was enough to take the Robins out of the relegation zone for the first time in months and they now sit in 20th position, 3 points behind the Glovers and with a slightly inferior goal difference.

Yeovil of course suffered something of a shocker in the midweek at Tranmere, losing 4-1, but Johnson has warned his team to beware of a Glovers backlash: "I'll be warning all our lads about the great team spirit that they've got at Yeovil," he said. "I know that they will come back strong after the defeat at Tranmere on Wednesday and I'll be looking for our lads to match the spirit that they've got. It will be a passionate occasion on and off the field and it will be lively. Whoever performs best under the intensity of the atmosphere will prevail."

The news of David Webb's takeover at Huish Park and the implications thereof has perhaps inevitably meant that the Glovers preparation for the game may have been disrupted somewhat, though the Glovers current boss Steve Thompson welcomed the arrival of Webb, saying: "I only found out about it today and can't really say too much until I speak to Dave tomorrow [Friday]. I'm just carrying on as normal and preparing the team for Saturday's game with Bristol City. The club are in the highest position they've ever been in and we've had a successful few years. Dave has been in football a long time and it will be good to have another person with good football knowledge at the club."

The Glovers will be without midfielder Darren Way tomorrow, otherwise Thommo has a fully fit squad to choose from. Selected betting odds: Yeovil win - 13/10; draw - 11/5; Bristol City win - 9/5. Our recommendation: Our fiver can't go anywhere other than on a home win tomorrow. Er, well, yes it can actually. Our record on picking winning bets hasn't been too good lately, in fact that's an understatement - it's been awful. So, as a change is as good as a rest we're going to split our usual fiver and put £2.50 on a 2-1 Yeovil win at odds of 8/1 and £2.50 on Glovers skipper Terry Skiverton scoring at anytime during the game at 12/1. Desperate, us? Record so far this season: +£8.63p

A reminder to everyone coming to the match tomorrow that the game is all-ticket with none available on the day (it's actually been sold-out for weeks so you already know this) and that the kick off is at 12 noon. The home supporters marquee will be open from 10am and as with the Bournemouth game last week fans are urged to walk or use public transport to get to the gound where possible as the roads will doubtless be congested with a capital C. The police and stewards will again be out in force and supporters are again reminded that they will be refused entry to the ground should they be under the influence of drink. Good luck to Steve Thompson and the lads tomorrow. let's show the Big Club Up The Road exactly how far we've come in the last few years!


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29 December 2005 : Ciderspace Match Report : Tranmere vs Yeovil
The Ciderspace match report for Wednesday night's trip to Tranmere Rovers can be found here.


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29 December 2005 : The Second (And A Bit) Coming
FCRM is back. And if you don't know what 'FCRM' stands for you weren't reading Ciderspace six years ago........ or have a fading memory.

It's not every day a football club gets a new owner, so today was a big day for Yeovil Town F.C. It's not every day that a football club gets a new Chief Executive, so today was a big day for Yeovil Town FC. In this case there's only a single welcome to extend though, as one man has taken over both positions. Ex-manager (2000-er,2000) David Webb became the new owner and Chief Executive of the club.

In a statement from John Fry, who remains Chairman but steps down as Chief Executive, it was revealed that David Webb has "taken up" the entire shareholding of Mr. Jon Goddard-Watts, a shareholding somewhere in excess of £2 million. The reason we have carefully reported the wording chosen is that it leaves so many possibilities open. We hope more will emerge shortly that explains exactly what the new owner's position is. Has he bought the shares personally? Does he represent a wider group of interests? Are they paid for, or taken up against other assets? Even, did they change hands at their nominal value? Depending on the answers to questions like those a lot more questions may then spring to mind.

Whilst the state of Mr. Webb's bank account is a matter for him, his accountant and the taxman, we do wonder if the most simple explanation, that he had £2 million or so in cash to spare that he wished to spend on buying a football club, is in fact what has occurred. We feel that the situation is likely to be somewhat more complex than that.

Football clubs are interesting beasts. They do have owners, be they individuals, consortia, Public Limited Companies or occasionally Supporters' or other sorts of Trusts. But they also have a wider 'ownership' outside the legal and financial world : the emotional 'ownership' invested by fans. Do we care about the details of who owns in what circumstances the local car dealership, cinema or supermarket? Probably not one jot. But do we care about the ownership of 'our' football club? Oh yes, we most certainly do. With the Football Association's Guide to Governance, published in December 2005, encouraging more transparency in the running of football clubs we hope that Mr. Webb and the club will reveal more on the new circumstances of Yeovil Town F.C. in the coming days.

David Webb's previous connection with Yeovil Town is confined to 2000. On January 15th of that year the club announced it was going to appoint a Technical Director of Football within the week to assist then manager Steve Thompson. The man who appeared to have been chosen from a short-list of four was Dave Webb. However as January turned to February the messages began to get more mixed, and eventually on February 4th it was officially confirmed that Webb had been appointed as an "advisor" on a "non-contract consultancy basis". Seven days later the club announced, in a statement of extreme brevity, that Webb had left the club. Move on another eight days, and the club was still insisting it intended to appoint a Technical Director of Football, who wouldn't be Webb, "in the near future".

Fast forward to March 10th, and the fans were now thoroughly confused when David Webb was named as the new manager at Huish Park, with Steve Thompson returning to his earlier role of coach. In an interview on BBC Radio Bristol that evening Webb revealed that his main brief was to take Yeovil Town from part-time to full-time status. In the next days and weeks the club was turned upside down as players came and went, but mostly went. By the end of the season thirteen players (it might have been one or two more - we lost count) and several of the backroom staff had gone. Whether Webb was ever put on a contract wasn't revealed, with the Chairman verging on the huffy when pressed by the media on the issue. Given subsequent events one presumes not.

Twelve games into the 2000-01 season on September 30th, a few hours before the game against Morecambe kicked off, Webb told the chairman and then the players that he was resigning with immediate effect after the match. It subsequently emerged that he had been offered the position of manager at Southend United. In his short time at Huish Park, totalling 24 matches, Webb had a record of W13 D6 L5. Although the board was in a state of shock, particularly Norman Hayward who it appeared was most instrumental in bringing Webb to the club, John Fry had enough composure to say :

I keep a close eye on the stars. It said I was in for a shock and this was one............. He [Webb] has left on good terms and will always be welcome back here as a good friend.

He didn't add 'and as owner and Chief Executive', so perhaps his stars weren't completely accurate in their predictions.


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29 December 2005 : Thommo's Verdict On The Tranmere Game
Glovers boss Steve Thompson believed a tactical switch by Tranmere at half time caused the downfall of his side at Prenton Park last night. A mid-point 1-0 lead turned into a 4-1 defeat in the freezing north-west and Steve answered the following questions after the game:

Qu: Steve, the first half was OK but in the second half it all went a bit wrong didn't it?

ST: Yes, Tranmere changed their gameplan at half time and went a lot more direct and we struggled to cope with that.

Qu: The defence played well in the first half but they got torn from place to place during the second half and Tranmere got in a bit too easily a few times.

ST: I wouldn't blame it just on the defence. You defend as a team and you attack as a team. Tranmere were certainly a lot more direct in the second half and we didn't cope with it as a team.

Qu: It would have been a difficult balancing act for you after the game as well, because obviously confidence is low but you have got a big game coming up in a couple of days time where you want the confidence to be up for that one. So you have to balance that confidence carefully.

ST: Yes, you have to say certain things that you think. You have to bear in mind that there is a game in two days but people have to know where we think it went wrong in the second half. That's why we have had a 20 minute discussion in there about it.

Qu: How were you feeling at half time? You had the lead so you must have been positive at that point?

ST: Yes, I was positive. It was a football game in the first half but in the second half it became a bit of a niggly battle. It was like two different games, wasn't it, and we didn't cope with the second one in the second half.

Qu: What have you said to the players after the game?

ST: I am just saying to you what happened and what I've said to them obviously needs to stay in the changing room. That was my analysis of the two halves and we have got to be better to cope with that aspect in the second half.

Qu: And the team as a whole let themselves down in the defensive display - is that what you're saying?

ST: Yes, I think it was all over the pitch where we were found wanting. Obviously we have brought up individual things in there that led to goals. But Tranmere have had a golden second half. They've had maybe five chances and four of them have gone in, so we have to remember that, but we certainly can't play a half like that.

Qu: That substitution made a big difference and Calvin Zola was a big threat.

ST: Yes, they changed their gameplan as a result, went far more direct in the second half and we failed to cope with that.

Qu: Are you concerned that your defence got turned too easily for a couple of their goals?

ST: Yes, we brought out the individual points in the dressing room. For the first goal the ball was allowed to be fed in too easily into that area but then you have got to defend that one-on-one properly. However you shouldn't be allowing the ball to come into the edge of the box to leave a one-on-one. So there are technical and tactical points for us to work on. We will watch the video on the way back and see where those problems arose. Much as though we already know them, watching them a second time will either reenforce that view or show something slightly different.

Qu: As you look towards the Bristol City game, are there any injuries as you start to prepare for it?

ST: Yes, there are a few little knocks but we will have to look at that and assess it on the Thursday and Friday that we have got before the Saturday game.

Qu: It's a big game coming up at Huish Park and the pressure will be on for that one.

ST: Yes, they are all big games though. This game gets three points just as much as the Bristol City game gets three points. If you lose a game like this though, the next game becomes all the more important.

Qu: It's the perfect game to go into now, particularly with it being a local derby.

ST: Yes if you want any motivation then you can't get much more motivation than Bristol City at home. It's a local derby and there is all the stuff with Gary coming back as well, so it is a massive game. But they are all massive, they are all three points and tonight was no different.

Qu: Finally Steve a word for the fans. It's a long way to come on a freezing cold night and they have come in their numbers and the players made sure they appreciated it at the end.

ST: Yes, I think that is important. I should have gone over there. I was so shell-shocked at the end, but I should have gone over because it is a long way to come and we really appreciate the fans coming that far. It was looking good at half time but unfortunately our second half left a lot to be desired. We have got to put things right in time for Saturday.


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29 December 2005 : The Mersey Beats Us
After a nightmare journey up a semi-stationary M6 for most Glovers we were served up with a nightmare second half as Yeovil Town equalled their worst defeat since gaining Football League status.

On a freezing evening where games in the North-West were falling to postponements like ninepins, it was an anxious set of away supporters who discussed the prospects of the late pitch inspection. In the event Mr. Moss, a late change in referee, decided Prenton Park was playable despite a thin covering of frost. In that he was right. Shame he used up his quota of correct decisions for the night in one go.

The visitors shaded a fairly even first half, and went in at the break with a 0-1 lead over Tranmere Rovers courtesy of a cool as ever Phil Jevons penalty after David Poole was upended in the box.

Manager Brian Little responded with changes to personnel and formation at half-time, and thereafter Yeovil struggled increasingly unsuccessfully to stay in the game. Goals went in at regular intervals as the Glovers could find no answer. By the time Steve Thompson made a triple substitution it was all too late, with the Glovers 3-1 down. Final score :

Tranmere Rovers 4 Yeovil Town 1.

A full match report will be found on Ciderspace here.

Elsewhere in League One the games between A.F.C. Bournemouth v. Barnsley, Blackpool v. Oldham Athletic, Colchester United v. Scunthorpe United, Doncaster Rovers v. Brentford, Milton Keynes Dons v. Nottingham Forest and Swansea City v. Gillingham all fell foul of the weather. Huddersfield Town must have wished their's had too as they went down to a shock 0-3 home defeat to Port Vale, missing their chance to go to the top of the table. Yeovil's next opponents, Bristol City, continued their turn round in form, beating Rotherham United 3-1, whilst bottom club Swindon Town secured an unexpected away point in a 1-1 draw at Chesterfield. The other results were : Bradford City 2-0 Walsall; Hartlepool United 1-2 Southend United.

Yeovil Town go into Saturday's derby clash in 17th place, three points ahead of Bristol City in 20th.


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28 December 2005 : Fontaine returning to Fulham - for now
On-loan defender Liam Fontaine is set to return to parent club Fulham when his loan spell at Huish Park comes to an end after the away match at Doncaster on January 2nd. Glovers boss Steve Thompson is keen for the 19-year-old to remain at Yeovil, either for another loan period or preferably permanently, but with the player's Fulham contract running out at the end of the season Fulham manager Chris Coleman wants to assess Fontaine himself before deciding on his future.

"I have spoken to the people at Fulham and they are not in a rush to make a decision," Thommo told the Western Daily Press today. "Liam is due back after the Doncaster game and I think he will go back, because I think they want to have a look at him after being away for so long. But he could still come back to us and I have already expressed a desire to have him at Yeovil for the rest of the season.

"He is a good player and a good lad, although he's not had the best of times in the last two months because he's had two injuries and a bout of illness. Whichever way we could do it we want Liam here. I have told Fulham I would like to extend his loan or do something more permanent. But they are not sure whether that is going to be possible because they might decide to offer Liam a new contract, because they might see him as a potential Premiership player."



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27 December 2005 : Tranmere Rovers v Yeovil Town match preview
Now here's a first. We've never played Tranmere Rovers before, not once. Not in a cup competition, not in the league, not even in a friendly. Birkenhead is virgin territory for the Glovers, with only those long trips up the coast a bit to Southport (or Scouseport as it was fondly known back then) in days of yore to provide a reference point for those hardy souls (or complete idiots, depending on your point of view) braving the roads over the Christmas week to watch the Glovers make their first visit to Prenton Park tomorrow evening (Wednesday 28th Dec), kick off 7.45pm. It's a ridiculous distance to expect fans to travel 3 days after Christmas and for an evening kick-off at that - does no-one in the Football League ever actually look at the fixture lists or all they all too busy persecuting innocent fan sites for having the temerity to inform supporters of minor bits of useful information, like when and where their team happens to be actually playing their matches... But that's a rant for another day.

Tranmere, managed by the vastly experienced Brian Little, have probably surprised both themselves and their fans this season with their general inconsistency and their current lowly league position - they're 21st on 23 points at the time of writing, 6 points behind the 16th-placed Glovers. Their poor form has certainly surprised most outside commentators including this writer - I, and I suspect most other people, were expecting them to be challenging for automatic promotion at the other end of the table and on paper a few months ago this fixture looked to be one of the most difficult of the season for the Town. However with only 2 wins at Prenton Park so far this season Rovers home record is mediocre at best - only Rotherham have won less points at home - and with the Glovers having had an extra 2 days rest and preparation since last Friday night's draw with Bournemouth (Tranmere drew 0-0 at Port Vale yesterday) then Yeovil will be very hopeful of getting something out of the game.

"Brian Little will be looking at Yeovil as one of the teams he would want to overtake in the league and tomorrow's match will be yet another important match," Glovers boss Steve Thompson told the club's official site today. "For our part we want to extend our unbeaten run beyond three matches. The boys have been training well and everybody is well up for the match. Tranmere are a big club so the challenge is obviously there. It's just a pity it's such a long way for our supporters to travel over the Christmas period."

Injury news: Yeovil are hoping that on-loan defender Liam Fontaine will be fit in time for Wednesday evening. The Fulham player missed training on Boxing Day after the bang on the knee he suffered against Bournemouth hadn't settled down but was hoping to be involved in today's session. Definitely missing is midfield dynamo Darren Way, out until the New Year. For Tranmere first-choice goalkeeper John Achterberg (stomach) is out, as are strikers Calvin Zola (back) and Chris Dagnall (leg). Another forward, Delroy Facey, is doubtful after picking up a knock against Port Vale yesterday.

Selected betting odds: Tranmere win - 6/5; draw - 23/10; Yeovil win - 15/8. Our recommendation: Tranmere's poor home record plus our recent improvement add up to only one possible result - an away win! Erm, or a draw. Or possibly a home win. But our fiver's going on the Yeovil win, we couldn't look at ourselves in the mirror otherwise. Record so far this season: +13.63p.

For those of you travelling oop north tomorrow the Ciderspace guide to all things Tranmere is online here. And barely a mention of hubcaps and stereos! Well done to all concerned.


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26 December 2005 : Johnson To Curb Emotions On Huish Return
The saying 'take one game at a time' is something of a truism, but ex-Yeovil Town manager Gary Johnson is finding it hard not to look ahead to the New Year's Eve derby clash between his former club and his present outfit, Bristol City.

Speaking to the Western Daily Press Johnson said :

It might be emotional in the lead up to it, but at the time you have to be very professional. I can't go round to people hugging them and saying, 'Happy New Year' and 'missing you already'. There are a lot of people there I would like to say hello to, but I am there to do a job and I have got to put all my efforts and my energy into that game. But I want both Bristol City and Yeovil to stay up.

Yeovil have been waiting for this type of game for years and we have to be aware of that and we have to be prepared to work very, very hard in that game. You have got to see where Yeovil have come from - they have done marvellously to be holding their own in this league.


City took the lead today at Priestfield Stadium, but dropped two points as fellow strugglers Gillingham came back to draw 1-1. They have another lower end of the table six-pointer on Wednesday, at home to Rotherham United, before travelling to Huish Park on 31st December. The Glovers have a trip to Prenton Park to meet out of form Tranmere Rovers.


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26 December 2005 : Forum Closure Notice
After much discussion the administrators have decided to end the forum facility that has been attached to the main Ciderspace site since its conception nearly seven years ago. This is one result of an appraisal of the future of Ciderspace and the direction we wish to take the main site.

It seems only fair to give the 1,000+ membership reasonable notice, so the forum under its 'Ciderspace' banner will close by the end of January 2006.

If anyone wishes to take over and run the forum 'as is' we are more than happy to hand it over. The only stipulations would be the removal of the 'Ciderspace' banner, menu links and other references to the 'Ciderspace' name including the current url address. Thereafter it would be entirely at the discretion of the new owner(s) to administer and run the forum in whatever ways they see fit. If someone is interested in taking it on we could make the hand over ahead of the intended closure date, if that is what they wanted.

If there is no interest in taking on this forum we hope that in the coming month someone (or more than one) will set up their own messageboard(s) to serve the needs of the Yeovil Town FC internet community. If we can be of any assistance in that process please don't hesitate to contact us at ytfcciderspace@yahoo.com. Alternatively, if nothing else materialises in the next month, we would point people in the direction of the existing dedicated Yeovil Town forums provided by :

the Rivals franchise YTFC Dynamite.com;

the MAD franchise Yeovil Town Unofficial Glovers;

YTFC Fanzone.


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26 December 2005 : Ciderspace Match Report : Yeovil vs Bournemouth
The match report for Friday night's 1-1 draw with Bournemouth at Huish Park can be found here.


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25 December 2005 : Merry Christmas To One And All
Merry Christmas!
Merry Christmas!
Merry Christmas!
Merry Christmas!
Merry Christmas!

'Tis that time again! We would like to wish all directors, staff, management, players and fans - particularly those who have contributed to and supported Ciderspace by one means or another - the very happiest of Christmas celebrations! Still twenty-four hours to think of that excuse to escape on Boxing Day. What do you mean you haven't mentioned there isn't a game on.........



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25 December 2005 : 27,000 Responses So Far
The Football League reports that over 27,000 fans have completed The Football League Supporters Survey (see Ciderspace News page 8th December) to date.

Whilst the chairman of the Football League and failed Tory politician, Lord Mawhinney, has been pleased with the initial response since the survey was launched on December 8th he is hoping more supporters will complete the questionnaire over the coming weeks. He said :

I am delighted that such a significant number of Football League supporters have already given us their opinions in such a short period of time. I would encourage any supporters who want to have a say on the key issues surrounding the game to log on to the Football League website and complete the survey.

Inspiring words indeed.

Those completing the survey will also give themselves a chance to see a final at the new Wembley Stadium. Five pairs of tickets are on offer, with the winners having the choice of watching a future Coca-Cola Football League Play-off Final, Carling Cup Final or LDV Vans Trophy Final.

The results of the survey, which is being conducted by SportsWise, will be published in the Spring of 2006.

Click on the link above to have your say.


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25 December 2005 : Interview With Liam Fontaine
Liam Fontaine spoke exclusively to Ciderspace and the Western Daily Press about his future at Huish Park after the 1-1 draw at home to Bournemouth on Friday night. The on-loan Fulham defender didnít rule out a permanent move to Somerset but admitted that only if Fulham chose not to renew his current deal then he would be looking for a permanent move elsewhere.

The nineteen-year-old defender said: "My contract is up at the end of the season and I would only consider permanent moves if Fulham were not to renew my deal. But at the end of the day, any player is going to try and stay at the highest possible club."

To read the full interview (transcript by George Murray) with Liam Fontaine head here or alternatively head to the main Ciderspace Interviews Section.


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25 December 2005 : Thommo's Verdict on the Bournemouth Game
Glovers boss Steve Thompson praised his side's workrate in Friday night's 1-1 draw against Bournemouth but admitted that neither side had done enough to deserve three points in a game with very few chances. Steve answered the following questions from the press:

Qu: Steve, how are you feeling after that result at Huish Park tonight?

ST: Drained as usual! It doesn't matter whether you win, lose or draw, you still feel drained! I thought the workrate from the lads, particularly in the second half was fantastic. We weren't fluent tonight, that's for sure. Bournemouth like to pass the ball around and I'll bet that not many teams have come from behind against them. If you get a passing team and they take the lead, then they've got no need to rush the game and they can carry on with their passing game. It would be interesting to see how many teams have come back against Bournemouth. It's a tough job but the lads stuck at it, showed a great workrate and a great enthusiasm to get back into it.

Qu: It's one of those games where they had spells, didn't they, then you had spells. Was that a fair result there in the end?

ST: Yes, I think so. There were very few clear cut chances with probably about three at each end. Obviously two penalties have been the goals. It was a game where there was a lot of midfield play but not loads of action in the box. But having said that, they had a lot of corners in the first half especially in the first 10 minutes and we had a lot of corners during the last 15 or 20 minutes. There was a bit of pressure exerted by both teams but both teams defended well and stoutly at times.

Qu: Two penalties as you say, and the first one went against you. Any problems with the decision there?

ST: Not from where I was. It looked a penalty. I thought that both looked penalties from where I was. One was a push in the back and the other was a flailing leg that made contact. That's what it looked like anyway. Sometimes you see it on video and you see it differently. We're 50 or 60 yards away, but they both looked right to me.

Qu: It's difficult when you are up against a side that likes to play with width to see Liam Fontaine come off and then have to rejig things on that left hand side with Chris Cohen going out there. Was there the supply from the wings that you desire from your team tonight?

ST: No, I thought we got crosses in during the last 25 minutes but if you are taking the game as a whole no we didn't get in enough crosses. In that last 20 to 25 minutes there were some good crosses, but unfortunately some of them kept hitting the first man. That can be down to tiredness, especially if a fullback has had to get there, because sometimes they've had to make a 50 yard run. Sometimes it is just a lack of concentration or technique. That's something that I'll have to look at the video and we will have to work on. But I thought we got into those wide positions during the last 20 to 25 minutes. I suppose Bournemouth made it very difficult for us to get into those wide positions early on. In fact that was one of the things that I said at half time, that I felt that we had to support the front two, that were holding the ball up quite well, a little quicker. That means from wide as well as from central.

Qu: Kevin Amankwaah was kept quiet by their tactics. I think they'd done their homework on him. Everytime he got the ball there were two on him and he couldn't get involved in the game going forward as much as he would like to have.

ST: Yes, he got forward in the last 15 minutes but it was just that last cross that let him down or where he ran out of play. But he made a fantastic tackle in the one time that they did get through in the second half and he (James Hayter) cut inside someone. Kevin came cross from right-back and made a great last ditch tackle. So he has done very well defensively there. As I say to my back four, if you can do very well defensively, anything going forward is a bonus. Kevin has provided us that bonus in other games, but it isn't going to happen in every game.

Qu: Were you pleased with the way your defence handled James Hayter and the pace he has got along with Surman and the strength of Fletcher?

ST: Yes, I thought we kept them down to maybe three chances in the whole game. So I was fairly pleased. I'll watch it again on video because sometimes you see things that you are not too happy with but I was fairly pleased with the way that we limited their chances. Obviously I would have liked us to have created a few more, particularly in the first half. But we always come very strong in the second half. We are a very fit team as you've seen this season.

Qu: If we can turn attention to the Tranmere game. I know it's a few days away but one thing to talk about is Liam Fontaine. Any ideas on how he is and if he is likely to be fit for the Tranmere game?

ST: No, I haven't spoken yet to the physio about the injury yet but I think that it is a direct blow, which is normally not too long. However if it is a bad direct blow then it can be up to a couple of weeks. So it could be anything from him being out for two or three days or up to two weeks. But I don't think it is anything more serious than that.

Qu: With the Tranmere game, you are going to have more of a break than they are in the build-up to that one. Do you think it is going to help your side to be just that little bit more fresh?

ST: I hope so. Myself and Richard O'Kelly, the number two at Bournemouth were talking about that before the game with Sean O'Driscoll and we were saying that we were both happy with having four games in ten days rather than four games in eight days. So I think that has worked out well on the tiredness side of things.

Qu: And as you go up there, their manager Brian Little is under a little bit of pressure so if you can get an early goal and get the crowd on their back that can always turn the game in your favour.

ST: Yes, but there are always a lot of managers under a lot of pressure. You don't go many weeks without facing a manager or someone else who is under pressure. That is the nature of the job. I won't be thinking about Brian Little's job. I will be thinking about the best team to go out and play against Tranmere Rovers.

Qu: Do they now get Christmas Day off?

ST: Yes, I am going to give them Christmas Day off. I have always believed that if you can have Christmas Day off, that you should have it off. It is a time for being with your families. We can because of the way that things have fallen this yeat.

Qu: Are you in tomorrow (Christmas Eve)?

ST: Yes, we are in tomorrow and we are in on Boxing Day. But I am pleased to be able to give everyone Christmas Day off.

Qu: With the amount of games that there are over the Christmas period a lot of managers have come out and said they think there are too many. What are your thoughts about the amount of games that you have got to play in the next ten days?

ST: Ideally there are too many games. But if you are looking to seek an advantage, then you would want as many of your squad to be as fit as possible. I am pleased in that respect. It looks like now as though I have got two injured, but out of 24 I have got 22 available. We all know the situation when the season starts and we all hope that we get to Christmas and New Year and don't find that we have got five suspended and four injured. So I am pleased with that. Obviously I have got two important players that are injured in terms of Darren and Liam but I expect that some teams are in worse positions through injuries and suspensions.

Qu: You're now half way through your season now. What's your half term report on the team?

ST: We've settled in quite well, and we could do quite well if we learn from our mistakes.

Qu: Again you kept faith with Scott Guyett, Collis and Poole and left Skivo on the bench. Were you happy with how they played again?

ST: Yes, I don't think Steve Collis made any mistakes and I think he was solid. I thought Scott Guyett played pretty well. With David Poole I think that all of our attacking players and not just David struggled to create openings. The three were all part of an important team performance to get the point.

Qu: You want those players to come in and take their chances. A few of them are and they are keeping some very good players out.

ST: Yes, it's difficult, because every time you pick a team you have got disappointed people. I don't want to disappoint people but I know I am going to have to every time I pick a team. That's hard but that's part of it. I just want people to go out and make that spot their own. I want people to make it easy for me to pick them, week-in, week-out because of their consistency. The players I really admire are those ones that can produce good performances in six out of ten games and maybe only have one poor game and a couple of average performances. You do get some players and I've played with these players in the past, where you get one great performance and then they go missing for six or seven games and those sort of players do not appeal to me.

Qu: What's the loan situation with Liam Fontaine?

ST: He's on loan until the second of January until after the Doncaster game. I've talked to Fulham and Fulham are in no rush to make the decision. Chris Coleman doesn't want to commit one way or another. He's probably contemplating having Liam back because they come into the FA Cup shortly. However, they may allow him to go out on loan, or they might even look to sell him - I don't know that. Liam is a Fulham player, but he's still with us for the next three games and I have made enquiries about extending that loan. However, Fulham are in no rush to say yes or no to that.

Qu: They are in the same boat as we are as they presumably have around three or four games in eight days so that may be why they are playing a waiting game.

ST: Yes, they may get two or three injuries over the Christmas period.


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24 December 2005 : Programme Monthly Has Its Say
That's the trouble with being a club beginning with 'Y' - down the bottom of lists. In its January edition Programme Monthly has at last gotten around to reviewing the Yeovil Town programme for 2005-06.

This site was very critical of last season's programme. We wanted to be constructive as well, so in response to the request for suggestions, made on the Official Site, forwarded a fairly lengthy document in March 2005 with our suggestions for improvements. Easy to suggest of course, harder to implement. Coincidentally or not, we noticed quite a number of those suggestions had been adopted for this season. A number had not. That's fine; it's the editor's job to take those decisions.

So what does Programme Monthly have to say?

"YEOVIL TOWN - 72 B5 pages (up 8), £2.50, 32 advert pages (up 1).
The Glovers programme was the subject of a great deal of scrutiny in the local media last season, so it is interesting to see what improvements, if any, have been made. The programme is certainly generously proportioned, which is just as well given the huge number of advertising and commercial pages. However the statistics show that there is a net gain of 7 non-advertising pages from last season. The basics are executed well, and there are several opinion-pieces from local commentators. Historical coverage is limited to a two page, unillustrated article (not on facing pages either) and there is a lack of profiles and articles on current players. There are several pages of photographs. It is by no means a bad programme, but it could be a lot better with 72 pages to play with - room for improvement therefore.
(+) No quibbles about value for money.
(-) There are a lot of adverts and photos.
Edited by A. Hopper, printed by Wincanton Print."

For what its worth our opinion is that there has been significant improvement to the programme this season, for which congratulations to all concerned. As Programme Monthly suggests there is room for further development. It won't win any awards, just a quick glance at a number of our rivals productions will confirm that, but it is moving in the right direction. We hope for further improvements in 2006-07.


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24 December 2005 : Cherries pipped* by late Jevo strike
Yeovil Town shared the points with Bournemouth in a 1-1 draw last night at Huish Park, an 80th minute Phil Jevons penalty cancelling out James Hayter's first half spot kick.

It was a game that never really got going in front of an 8,000+ crowd which itself was strangely muted at times. Both teams attempted to play passing football, the visitors with marginally more success, but the game as a whole was scrappy with few clear-cut chances on goal from either side. It was no real surprise that both goals came from penalties: Efe Sodje was adjudged to have fouled Andy Surnam in the box on the 20-minute mark - the 3rd penalty that Efe has conceded in the last 7 games; James Hayter sent Steve Collis the wrong way to put the Cherries into the lead. With the Glovers struggling to create anything of note before the break one felt that another goal from Bournemouth would have been decisive, but Yeovil survived the half without any further real alarms and in the second half worked extremely hard to put the visitors goal under more pressure, albeit without much in the way of end-product until Phil Jevon's late strike after Matty Harrold was bundled over in the box. The point apiece was all either side deserved from the game in the end.

Final score: Yeovil Town 1 - 1 Bournemouth. A full match report will be online later today.

Injury news: Liam Fontaine was carried off just before half-time with a knee injury - it's not thought that there is any ligament damage and he will be assessed again on Boxing Day. The point gained from the match puts Yeovil up to 15th position on 29 points, 7 ahead of the relegation zone and 7 away from the play-off places - though of course that will change on Boxing Day with all other League One teams in action then. In the meantime the squad has been given Christmas Day off to spend with their families before returning to training themselves on Boxing Day, ahead of their next match away to Tranmere on Wednesday 28th December, 7.45pm kick-off.

*Apologies for the appalling headline, I couldn't resist it.


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22 December 2005 : Gulls Testing The Water On Locky
Torquay United appear to be sounding out the possible reaction to a transfer move for Yeovil Town defender Adam Lockwood. Locky, who has recently agreed to a second month on his loan deal at Plainmoor, has been a real hit at basement Torquay and seems to be high on their shopping list for a permanent deal.

On the loan extension Gulls manager Leroy Rosenior said :

I am very pleased. It took some work because Adam is a loyal lad and he's been at Yeovil quite a while. He's ambitious and wants to play at the highest level possible but at the moment it suits Yeovil, Adam and us that he is here playing football. Long may it continue.

He desperately wants to get back into the team at Yeovil and the best way for him to do that is to play for us. He is under 24-hour recall and I hope that Yeovil keep on winning so that we can keep hold of him.


However there were signs of greater ambitions in retaining Lockwood's services :

We have talked to him about a permanent move and we will talk about it again. This is a key time in his career - he is 24 and wants to be playing every week.

The question is do Torquay want to move in January, when a fee could be involved, or wait until the summer when Lockwood will be out of contract and available on a free? Their league position might suggest their need is urgent. Chairman Mike Bateson has a reputation for prudent housekeeping, but Torquay should have a bit of money to spend. Leon Constantine is expected to be got off the wage bill and go to Port Vale in the January transfer window for £20,000. And the Gulls will bank good sums from their F.A. Cup run, including a future £18,000 from BBC Highlights coverage of their Third Round tie against Birmingham City in Round Three.


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22 December 2005 : Donny Tickets
A reminder that those for whom the open terrace at Earth Stadium (Belle Vue) isn't their preferred choice: there are a limited number of Stand seats available. These have to be obtained through Huish Park. With restricted supply, and the ticket office closed from 24th December - 27th December, tomorrow would be a good day to buy if you want them. Prices are £18.00 adults, £12.00 all concessions (including students with proof of full-time status).

For those who intend to brave the terrace it's pay-on-the-day : £15.00 adults, £8.00 all concessions (including students with proof of full-time status).

Disabled fans need to directly contact Doncaster Rovers in advance on 01302 539441.


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22 December 2005 : Ciderspace Guide To Tranmere
For those who regularly make use of the office printer, and are heading off for the Christmas holidays, a reminder to print out your Ciderspace guide to Tranmere Rovers before you leave. The match takes place on December 28th, and is therefore the Glovers next away fixture. You can find the guide by heading here.


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22 December 2005 : Skivo In New Contract Talks
Yeovil Town captain Terry Skiverton has declared his ambition to remain at Huish Park, to which end negotiations on a new contract have begun. Speaking to the Western Daily Press Skivo said :

We have just started to talk about a new contract. Steve Thompson is bringing people in over the next week or so, but it is looking good and hopefully we can sort things out. I have had a great time at Yeovil and I love it here. My fiancee is from around here, and her family is here, and I am looking forward to carrying on working with Steve Thompson and John Fry.

On the the battle to regain his starting place, lost through a suspension, the captain was phlegmatic :

The game [against Barnsley] was a joy to watch because it was a brilliant win for us. It makes you want to try even harder in training, but as a professional I have got a lot of respect for Efe Sodje and Scott Guyett as well as Colin Miles and Liam Fontaine, our other central-defenders.

We have got a lot of competition for places in that position and we are top heavy there compared to other areas, like midfield. You just can't afford to get injured or suspended because you know you could lose your place. But we, as a group, have a great team spirit and we enjoy seeing the team get three points.

We have been working really hard this week in training with the gaffer and his assistant, Kevin Hodges. We have been really enjoying it because we haven't played Bournemouth in the league before and we are all excited about it. Hopefully, it should be close to a full house and we just want to reward the supporters, who have been magnificent all season. Even when we have not been doing well they have stayed behind us. They have been excellent.


Meanwhile another long-standing Glover, Darren Way, is looking closely at the date for his return to action. Since Dazza would probably play with two broken legs if allowed he's hoping for Doncaster Rovers on January 2nd, but perhaps saner medical advice suggests he won't be available for selection until the visit of Hartlepool United on the 7th.


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22 December 2005 : Yeovil Town v Bournemouth match preview
The Glovers entertain Bournemouth tomorrow evening at Huish Park, 7.45pm kick-off, in a game re-arranged from Boxing Day after consultation with the Police. We've fulminated on these pages before on the wisdom or lack of it of re-arranging the match to the evening of the last Friday before Christmas so let's take all that as read and concentrate on the game itself, shall we?

Bournemouth is the closest League One club to Yeovil as the crow flies so this is therefore our local derby. Admittedly it doesn't feel like a derby - or it didn't the only other time they came to Huish Park for a competitive game, in 2003 when the Glovers won 2-0 in an LDV Vans Trophy match - but Bristol City aside, they are this season's Weymouth-in-disguise so we might as well make the most of it. The clubs do have various things in common - both have borrowed the Avenue Stadium at Dorchester in the past when their respective grounds were being worked on; former Yeovil director Norman Hayward was previously on the board at Dean Court and indeed has returned to the Cherries since; and of course there's striker Dani Rodriguez who preferred Bournemouth a couple of seasons ago after being offered the chance to stay at Huish Park where his career had been rescued from oblivion.

The Cherries have been in the news lately after accepting a £3.5 million offer from a firm of property developers for their ground, the Fitness First Stadium or as we prefer to call it, Dean Court. The club, which had debts of £7 million and was threatened by an Inland Revenue winding up order, can continue playing at the stadium for an annual rent of £300,000 and has staved off the immediate threat of administration, or possibly worse. On the pitch the Cherries are currently solidly mid-table in 9th position, with 33 points - 5 ahead of the Glovers. At the time of writing the only casualty is Stephen Cooke who will be absent with a knee injury.

Yeovil manager Steve Thompson is able to pick from an almost fully-fit squad ahead of the crucial Christmas period, with the exception of Darren Way. "Friday is the start of a very important period for us," Thommo told the Western Gazette today. "There is a lot attached to the game because both teams will be looking to keep their winning runs going. During our losing run it was not as though the performances were really bad - it was only the Oldham Athletic game (lost 0-2) where we were disappointing. We don't want to leave our run at two wins, we want to continue from there."

Selected betting odds: Yeovil win - 6/5; draw - 23/10; Bournemouth win - 15/8. Our recommendation: Our self-imposed rule of always betting on a Glovers win if the odds are evens or better when we are at home comes into play, so that's where our fiver's going tomorrow night. Record so far this season: +£18.63p

Supporters are reminded that tomorrow evening's game is ALL-TICKET. No tickets will be on sale on Friday with the ticket office at the club closing at 5pm tonight (Thursday). Although there are a small number of tickets left in various home areas of the ground the away end has sold out and there will be a big crowd at Huish Park tomorrow evening with a great deal of traffic heading towards that area of town. Combined with expected Christmas shopping traffic then the state of the roads in and around Yeovil tomorrow evening can just be imagined, so the message must be that if you can leave your car at home and either walk to the ground or use public transport then you'd be well advised to do so. Otherwise leave plenty of time for your journey. For those of us who like a drink or two in moderation (of course!) before the match note that there'll be an increased police presence around the town and the football club for tomorrow evening's game as well as the New Year's Eve fixture with Bristol City and that supporters who have perhaps over-indulged on the Christmas spirit should take care to moderate their behaviour at the club - anyone obviously having drunk too much will not be permitted access to the stadium.


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21 December 2005 : Inaugural Football League Awards
The Coca-Cola (registered blah blah) Football League has joined forces with FourFourTwo magazine to dish out a sackful of awards. The closing date for entries is Monday 16th January 2006, and the winners will be announced at a gala dinner at the London Hilton in Park Lane on Sunday 5th March 2006.

The chairman of The Football League, failed Tory politician Lord Mawhinney, stated:

Fans are the lifeblood of a football club and will play an important role in The Football League Awards. We look forward to hearing from those who wish to nominate a Fan of the Year or vote for Best Away Ground.

The full list of awards is as follows :

FOOTBALL AWARDS
Championship Player of the Year*
League 1 Player of the Year*
League 2 Player of the Year*
The Football League Young Player of the Year
The Football League Top Apprentice Award (by Division)
Goal of the Year
Most Admired Football League Club

* These awards will be made to the highest ranked player in each division in FourFourTwo's 'Top 50 Football League Players' feature.

INDUSTRY AWARDS
Community Club of the Year
Fan of the Year
Best Club Sponsorship
Best Club Marketing Campaign
Best Kit Design
Match-day Programme of the Year
Best Club Website
Best Ground
Contribution To Football Award

The on-line version of FourFourTwo can be found here. Fans can get involved in the destination of two awards :

The Football League 'Fan Of The Year'.

The winner will be chosen by the FourFourTwo editorial team and, along with the person who nominated him/her, will win an all expenses paid trip to pick up his/her award at The Football League Awards at the London Hilton, Park Lane, on March 5th 2006.

Send your nominations, in no more than one hundred words to fanoftheyear@haynet.com.

Remember to include your nomination's contact details, so they can be contacted if they win, and the name of the club he/she supports.

Best Ground - Voted by Away Fans.

Which, in your opinion, is the best away ground you have travelled to in the past year? No point trying to fix the poll by voting for Huish Park - no one is going to believe that one! The on-line voting form can be found here.


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21 December 2005 : Few Seats Left For Cherries Derby
The Huish Park ticket office reports that sales have been going well, with not many seats left in the stands. There is still space on the Westland Terrace. Home fans have until 5.00 p.m. on Thursday to secure a ticket. The visitors sold out their allocation some days ago.


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21 December 2005 : Site Outage
Apologies to anyone who has had difficulties in accessing the forum between 9.00pm, December 20th and 9.00am, December 21st. This was an unspecified fault with our ISP, which they have yet to explain the reasons for. There have also been intermittent problems with the main site during this period, although these appear to have been less permanent. Please bear with us in case of any further problems that may develop. We will provide any updates via the Ciderspace mailing list.


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20 December 2005 : Bristol City Sell-Out Confirmed
The Huish Park Ticket Office have officially confirmed yesterday's news that the New Years Eve match against Bristol City is now a 100 percent sell-out in all areas of the ground.

Friday's match against Bournemouth still has tickets on sale in all three home areas of the ground, although of course there are no guarantees this will continue to be the case. The away end has sold out.

The absolute deadline for ticket sales for the Bournemouth game will be (subject to availability) Thursday 22nd, 5.00pm. No tickets will be on sale on the day of the match.


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19 December 2005 : Club Respond To Agogo Allegations
Yeovil Town director Stephen Allinson has provided the official response to the allegations made by Bristol Rovers striker Junior Agogo last week relating to racism "from all angles" in the meeting between the two clubs at Huish Park in February 2005. The allegations were made on an HTV sports programme and were allowed to go out unedited despite the slanderous nature of Agogo's comments.

In an interview that is on the subscription-only Glovers World part of the Official Website, Stephen says that the club have revisited both the match referee's report and the stadium's safety officer report and neither make mention of any alleged or witnessed account of racism. He also met with a number of players who were on the pitch with Agogo during the game, and that line of enquiry has also drawn a blank.

Separately, BBC Bristol reporter, Geoff Twentyman, a well known Rovers supporter who was working at the ground that day, has told listeners on his show that he could not recall any such taunts being made. Rovers chairman Geoff Dunford has also confirmed that he has received no complaints from Agogo regarding the matter.

It seems likely that Agogo has either fabricated the incident entirely, or has taken some of the banter coming from the Westland Stand concerning his acquittal from a courtroom trial at Sheffield Crowd Court to be racially motivated, although none of the chanting even remotely contained any such language. The fact that his own Chairman has significantly distanced himself from the allegations and has made it clear that he regards them as Agogo's personal views and not those of Bristol Rovers Football Club says it all.

Stephen has indicated that HTV will be allowing the Glovers air-time at the start of this Thursday night's show to allow Yeovil Town Football Club a proper chance to redress the balance concerning what was aired on last week's programme. HTV have been flooded by messages of complaint following their decision to broadcast the interview, although Stephen claimed that the Glovers had no axe to grind with the show.

Ciderspace hopes that Stephen's interview will be made available to a wider audience so that his excellent and measured response to the situation can reach the same audience that the original allegations reached, thus allowing the (lack of) truth behind the allegations to be firmly established.


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19 December 2005 : Seaside Scummers 0 Glovers XI 0
In what seems to have been a behind-closed-doors friendly today a Yeovil Town XI drew 0-0 with our old friends Weymouth at the Wessex Stadium. Glovers manager Steve Thompson said :

At this time of year there are not many reserve games so it was a chance to give everyone who didn't play on Saturday a run-out. You want to keep all your players match-fit and this match gave us that opportunity.

Apart from the fact that captain Terry Skiverton was one of those given a run we haven't been able to establish the line-ups. If we ever find out we'll let you know........


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19 December 2005 : City Clash Sold Out
Although we haven't seen official confirmation as yet Ciderspace believes that the derby clash with Bristol City is now a complete sell out in all parts of the ground, home and away. Gary Johnson brings his new club to Huish Park on New Year's Eve, Saturday 31st December, kick-off at 12.00 noon.

AFC Bournemouth have sold out their allocation for what should have been the Boxing Day fixture, but moved to Friday 23rd December, kick-off 7.45 p.m., on logic far too nonsensical to waste time demolishing all over again. Tickets are still available for home fans, but make your mind up by Thursday - this is an all-ticket match, with the club stating tickets will not be sold on the Friday.


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19 December 2005 : Interview With Efetobore Sodje
Efetobore Sodje spoke to the awaiting media after scoring the winner and his first goal this season in the important 2-1 victory over in-form Barnsley at Huish Park. Sodje revealed that he was desperate to score before the New Year.

The 33-year-old said: "I was grateful for the goal because for the last two weeks I was thinking am I going to score before the end of the year and thankfully I got my goal today."

To read the full interview (transcript by George Murray) with Efetobore Sodje head here or alternatively head to the main Ciderspace Interviews Section.


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19 December 2005 : Interview With David Poole
David Poole spoke exclusively to George Murray and Martin Baker immediately after scoring his first league goal in the impressive 2-1 victory over high-flying Barnsley at Huish Park. The former Manchester United reserve midfielder admitted that he was surprised to have been in the starting eleven especially after the gaffer left out two influential players - Chris Weale and captain Terry Skiverton.

Poole said: "You have got to keep working 110 percent in training. I was surprised to see myself in the team but you have got to look at it as a positive and take your chance when it comes."

To read the full interview (transcript by George Murray) with David Poole head here or alternatively head to the main Ciderspace Interviews Section.


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18 December 2005 : Thommo's Verdict On The Barnsley Game
Glovers boss Steve Thompson praised his team for a second half turnaround that saw the Glovers fight from a goal down to win 2-1 against Barnsley at Huish Park yesterday. Steve answered the following questions from the press immediately after the game:

Qu: Great spirit shown again Steve.

ST: I think that we've shown that spirit all the way through the poor run that we've had as well. We've now come back in the last three games - from 2-0 down at Brentford, 1-0 down at Rotherham and then today. That shows the spirit of the lads. Even in the games where we were having the losing run I felt our spirit was fine. Things were not quite going for us and we were making individual errors.

Qu: As you say against Oldham you were giving stupid goals away.

ST: We had a spell like that. If you look at the goals against Brentford, the first one was a bit of a freak and the third one was a poor one to give away. In that run we gave away goals from silly errors and it cost us.

Qu: You looked a bit edgy in the first half but in the second half it was a different story.

ST: Edgy was the word I used for our defensive play in the first half. But credit to the lads because they looked anything but edgy in the second half. They took on board what we said to them at half time and came out and we then looked solid at the back and that's how we want to be looking.

Qu: What did you say at half time?

ST: There was a lot said at half time, along with a lot of tactical things. We said that if you are going to clear the ball, then it has got to be a clearance. You either clear or you pass. We were having things that were inbetween. They were hopeful little flick-ons that might be a pass but in the end wasn't either a pass or a clearance. We had to make better contact with the ball when we were clearing our lines. There was the big scramble (just before half time) when we had two or three chances to clear the ball and people only hit it five yards. There's where people have got to take responsibility and all it needs is one good strong clearance. I know it's not tactical stuff but one good strong foot through the ball and the danger is cleared.

Qu: Is that like having a positive attitude to your play?

ST: Yes, it's a positive attitude and it's about taking responsibility as well. It's an "I'm going to get this out of here" responsibility". Instead of this being edgy, you have got to be the one that is proactive instead of reacting to all of the ricochets. You have got to be the one that gets on it and says that is the end of that. It was that sort of attitude. To be fair we were attacking for a good part of the second half so we didn't come under as much pressure. Barnsley might have tired a bit towards the end.

Qu: That was some start to the second half. Your instructions must have been still fresh in the mind of the players, I would imagine.

ST: Yes, a few words were said at half time. We felt we could win the game but we knew we had to come from behind again. But I felt that we could improve a lot on our first half performance and we certainly did that.

Qu: What were you looking for more of in the second half?

ST: As I've just mentioned, being solid at the back and making sure that we were positive with our clearances and positive with our defensive play. But also we needed to go that one step further in attack. We told David Poole at half time, you're threatening to do something but you're not doing something. Of course he came out and he responded to that. Threatening to do something doesn't end up with something on the scoreboard or an assist or a big tackle. You have to actually go through and do it, and to be fair he did that in the first 30 seconds of the second half. It was obviously a wonderful start to have to the second half and it gave us a great boost to go on and get the victory.

Qu: It seemed to change the course of the game at that point by getting such a good start.

ST: Goals are always important. When they come at the start of the half just like that, they might be said to be even more important. It was important that we came back again. Like I've said it was the third time now that we have come back. We've won the last two games from it and even in the game at Brentford we came back with 10 men from 2-0 down and only lost in the last couple of minutes. So that spirit of coming back and that Yeovil spirit of fighting until the end is certainly there. I always feel that we are looking very strong at the end of games and that showed again in the second half today.

Qu: So it's just the start you want to work on now!

ST: Well, believe me we have been working on our starts since I took over in charge! We do feel that we come stronger in games. I think the game gets stretched and we have a very fit team. When games get stretched fitness is probably more important than when the game is not stretched. So that might be a key to it, but we are working desperately hard to try and get our starts better for sure.

Qu: What was the last five minutes like for you? Matt Harrold has had a couple of opportunities to ensure that it was nice and calm around the ground but the keeper has denied him twice which meant that it was a little bit nervy at the end.

ST: I think I have only had one calm moment in three months since I took over and that was when we went 3-0 up against Forest, but when you are only one goal up, you can't have a calm moment. I would love to have seen one of those chances go in. Maybe Matty was a little bit tired but he had two good chances really. He got the second one on target but the keeper actually saved it. I thought he had a good game and he is playing very well for us.

Qu: Is that your preferred partnership now, with those two?

ST: Well it is for the last two games. We've won both games and they've both played well in both games. So I am happy with those two. I think we may have slightly neglected how important it is to have a partnership up front rather than two individuals. A partnership working well together can maybe be greater than the sum of two more talented individuals who are working on their own.

Qu: The team news was a big statement today, leaving out the three players who were suspended last week including your club captain. Do you feel that those who played rewarded you for that selection?

ST: Scott Guyett had another very good game and all three of them played very well. But that's not taking anything away from Terry Skiverton as well who has been magnificent this season for us. It's great to have someone like that on the bench. What an inspiration that must be to see someone like that sat on the bench waiting to come on, or maybe ready to start in the next game or whatever. I think we have a lot of games coming up in December and January over the Christmas and New Year period and it is very important to have as many players fit as possible. We have got a lot of players fit and we only have one injury. I'd love him (Darren Way) fit but unfortunately he is not. So it is good to have all of those players available.

Qu: You left Pablo out today - has he got a knock?

ST: No Pablo has not got a knock. I've chatted to Pablo and I want Pablo to produce more than what he has produced so far. I think that is fair and we have spoken about it.

Qu: Colin Miles - was he injured?

ST: Colin is fine and he is fit. I didn't want to go in at home with two central defenders on the bench. So Colin is fine, ready and raring to go.

Qu: It was great for David Poole to get his first goal today.

ST: We are looking for someone to make that wide position a little more effective. We need a little more effectiveness in the wide roles at times and I thought he had a very good half hour during the second half.

Qu: Do you think it was a bit of a gamble to play him, because obviously he hasn't really been in the first team picture in recent weeks?

ST: I suppose whenever you make a change and bring in someone who hasn't played for three or four months in the first team it is a bit of a gamble. But sometimes you have to take a gamble. What has made it possible for me to play David is that he has looked very sharp in training.


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17 December 2005 : Barnsley Tyke Nothing
Yeovil Town bounced back from a goal down at half-time to record their second victory in as many games after Steve Thompsonís men beat Barnsley 2-1 at Huish Park this afternoon. David Poole weighed in with his first league goal after starting his first match since the opening day of the season before Efe Sodje headed home the winner to move his side up to seventeenth in League One and six points clear of the relegation zone (writes George Murray).

The finger tips of Barnsley keeper Scott Flinders denied Matt Harrold a spectacular opening goal after just eight minutes on the clock. Barnsley took the lead shortly afterwards after Robbie Williams headed the visitors eleventh goal in just three matches. Barnsley really should have doubled their lead moments before half-time when to the amazement of the 5,620 Huish Park crowd, the Glovers managed to survive a goal mouth scramble.

It took Yeovil less than a minute to respond to the managerís halftime team talk when David Poole scored a cracking goal to draw the scores level that left Flinders little chance in the Barnsley goal. Flinders denied Nathan Jones with a world-class save midway through the second half before Efe Sodje grabbed the winner with his head for his first goal of the season.

Final score: Yeovil Town 2-1 Barnsley.

The Man Utd of League One Football (© Alan Tate) hold onto top spot tonight despite losing 2-1 at the rapidly improving Doncaster Rovers. Brentford did the Glovers a favour by thrashing Tranmere Rovers 4-1 at Prenton Park and move up into second place in part due to Huddersfield's 0-0 draw in the big game of the day against Southend United. Colchester United continue their amazing climb up the table and now lie in 4th place in another game that will have gone down well in Huish Park - a 2-0 victory over Franchise FC. That victory meant that Yeovil's opponents today drop one place to 5th.

At the wrong end of the table, The Big Club Up The Road gave themselves a light at the end of the tunnel with a 1-0 win over an injury-ravaged Port Vale side - their second consecutive win. That has left them on 22 points, and although they remain in 23rd place in the table, they are now on level points with Franchise FC, Blackpool, Tranmere and Rotherham United, who were the only other side in the bottom six to win today, beating Bradford City 2-1 at Valley Parade. Bottom club Swindon Town drew 0-0 at the County Ground with Blackpool.

All that leaves the Glovers in 17th place in the table. If your glass is half-empty, they lie just six points off the relegation zone, however if your glass is half-full, the huge pack of mid-table clubs means that Steve Thompson's side are now three points away from 10th placed Nottingham Forest. Next Friday's opponents Bournemouth won 2-1 in Dorset and lie in 9th position after they saw off 18th placed Gillingham.


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16 December 2005 : Rovers Have No Knowledge Of Agogo Complaint
Bristol Rovers chairman Geoff Dunford has indicated tonight that his club have not received any complaint from their striker Junior Agogo concerning the wild allegations he has made against the Glovers concerning racist taunts. Dunford has distanced himself from Agogo's remarks, presumably in an effort to diffuse any tensions between the two clubs.

Speaking on the club's official forum, the Rovers chief said: "We have not received a complaint from Junior regarding any racism and therefore the remarks are his and not BRFC's."

On the BBC Radio Bristol Friday night football phone-in programme Twentyman Talks Back, show host Geoff Twentyman and well known Rovers fan said that he was at the ground that day working for Radio Bristol and he explained that he did not hear any racists remarks and considered the taunts he heard from the Yeovil supporters that were aimed at Agogo to be of a humourous nature.


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16 December 2005 : Barker Could Be Out For Rest Of Season
First year professional Danny Barker faces the rest of the season out on the treatment table according to this morning's Western Morning News. The England schools goalkeeper has not played for six weeks due to a wrist injury, but after attempts to rest it, the 18 year old has discovered that he needs an operation to cure his troubles.

First team Steve Thompson told the paper: ""That is a blow that we have learnt today. He has a wrist injury that needs surgery. It has been ongoing, he's been out for five weeks already and on closer examination, we have found a real problem that needs surgery that will keep him out for most of the season. It's a blow because you need your three goalkeepers for training and what have you. It is also a big blow for Danny as he is only 18 and he's going to miss a lot of the season, probably all of it."

Danny had been the Youth Team's No.1 keeper for the past 18 months, but now Scott Vine will assume a more permanent role. Our best wishes to Danny and hope the lay-off is not as long as is currently feared.


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16 December 2005 : Yeovil Town v Barnsley match preview
The Glovers welcome 4th placed Barnsley to Huish Park tomorrow for the first time in a competitive match, the only previous league match between the clubs being the season opener at Oakwell in August, when the home side beat Yeovil by a single goal from a controversial penalty.

The Tykes will be tough opponents on Saturday. They are currently the form team in the division, are unbeaten in 12 games and have found the back of the net 10 times in their last 2 matches. One of their players to look out for tomorrow is winger Martin Devaney, who supporters may remember pulled out of a move to Huish Park from former club Cheltenham last season at the 11th hour, preferring to remain at Whaddon Road until his contract expired at the end of the season. Devaney then spent a brief period of time at Watford before moving up to Yorkshire and has been a regular in the Barnsley side since. Doubtless he'll receive a warm welcome to Somerset tomorrow. Striker Paul Hayes is another who's been linked with the Glovers - the former Scunthorpe forward was reported to have been offered a contract by former Yeovil boss Gary Johnson at the end of last season but in the event chose to stay in the north of England.

Tykes boss Andy Ritchie has some injury problems to contend with. Devaney has been suffering from a stomach bug this week but is expected to be available. Former Leeds midfielder Seven McPhail is training again but not match-fit after returning from injury and first choice keeper Nick Colgan is sidelined for at least a week with an ankle injury.

The Glovers injury problems are confined to midfielder Darren Way, who won't be available until after Christmas after suffering a stress fracture of the shin. The three suspended players from last week - keeper Chris Weale, captain Terry Skiverton and midfielder Paul Terry - are available again but shouldn't necessarily expect to be brought straight back into what is currently a winning side, as Glovers boss Steve Thompson pointed out: "The win at Rotherham on Saturday was important but Barnsley are a good side and we know we will have to play at our best to beat them," he said. "We had three players missing at Rotherham and the ones who came in certainly staked a claim for a starting place on Saturday."

Selected betting odds: Yeovil win - 6/4; draw - 9/4; Barnsley win - 6/4. Our recommendation: Our self imposed rule is to put our money on a Glovers win whenever we're at home and the odds are evens or better, so that's where our fiver's going this week - even if the 9/4 on offer for the draw looks the sensible bet! Record so far this season: +£11.13p.


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16 December 2005 : Sodje Clan On Football Focus
BBC's Football Focus programme, broadcast on Saturday lunchtimes, will feature Yeovil Town's Efetobore Sodje in a special pre-Christmas feature.

The BBC have managed to get all five of the Nigerian's football-playing family together for a pre-Christmas meet-up where they were able to exchange presents. The popular Yeovil defender is joined by three of his brothers - Sam (Brentford), Akpo (Darlington) and Steve (Hampton and Richmond), plus his nephew Onome (Charlton).

Speaking to today's Western Daily Press, Efetobore explained: "It was great for all of us to get together. It very rarely happens and we took the opportunity to swap Christmas presents - although I haven't opened mine yet!"

The full WDP article can be found here.


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16 December 2005 : Agogo In Yeovil Race Row
Bristol Rovers striker Junior Agogo has accused Yeovil Town supporters of being racist in an astonishing attack upon the club. In an interview with an ITV Sports Programme, Agogo's comments were allowed to go out on air unedited by HTV, thus implying that the television station condoned the striker's accusations. Bristol Rovers own Official Site have also chosen to publish the same comments.

The allegations go back to Yeovil's 4-2 win over Rovers on February 12th 2005, yet Agogo has only brought them to light ten months after the event. After initially responding to a question concerning his court case concerning rape allegations for which Agogo was later cleared, he talked about the taunting he had received from opposition fans concerning the case, admitting: "I got hammered at Yeovil. But it's all fun and games."

However, when later asked about which club he had received the worst racist abuse, the 'fun and games' had apparently gone and Agogo replied "At Yeovil. I was getting it at all angles."

At the time of the match Ciderspace received no indication of any abuse aimed at Agogo that was of a 'racial' nature and heard of no complaint being made after the game. The post-match stadium report centred upon missile throwing by Bristol Rovers fans towards Yeovil Town keeper Chris Weale. It is therefore perplexing that this apparent allegation has only come to light now.

Whilst Ciderspace would strongly condemn all acts of racism and seek maximum punishment for those who are found guilty of such abuse, it is questionable that such allegations could be kept mothballed for 10 months if they had substance to them.

Disappointingly, Yeovil Town have not specifically denied the allegations, but have instead just restated their overall policy concerning racism. The club's response to the Western Daily Press reads: "Yeovil Town have always strived to create a family atmosphere at Huish Park. The club will not tolerate any form of racism or racist comments. In conjunction with the police, any supporters involved in any form of racism will be ejected from the ground and banned for life."

For those who which to complain to ITV about their broadcasting of the show, the email address rowz@itv.com is frequently used when publicising the show. Alternatively there are two other avenues of complaint:

ITV Duty Office

Email: dutyoffice@itv.com

By Post:
Duty Office
ITV
Gas Street
Birmingham B1 2JT

By Phone:
Switchboard: 0121 643 9898
Call Centre: 0870 600 6766
Minicom: 0870 241 6346 *
Fax: 0121 634 4898

ITV West Offices

ITV West
Television Centre
Bath Road
Bristol BS4 3HG

Reception/Switchboard
Phone: 0117 972 2722
Fax: 0117 971 7685
Email: reception@itv.com


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15 December 2005 : Youth Team Beat Newport
Last Saturday's Under 18s match against Newport County's Under 18s side in the Football League Youth Alliance resulted in a 3-0 win for the Glovers on the Huish Park Top Pitch. The Glovers had taken the lead through an Ebenezer Masade goal midway through the first half, but wrapped the game up during the second period thanks to two goals scored by Tom Clarke.

Line-Up: 1. Scott Vine, 2. Craig Alcock, 3. Jake Smeeton 4. Darren Watts, 5. Phil Ormrod 6. Gavin McCallum 7. Jamie Barber 8. Ebenezer Masade 9. Tom Clarke 10. Raphael Akala 11. Ben Wood.

Subs: 14. Danny Thompson (61 mins, for Akala), 15. Shane Adock-Case, 17. Matt Concliffe (61 mins, for Barber).

Goals: Ebenezer Masade (23 mins, 1-0), Tom Clarke (61 mins, 2-0), Tom Clarke (85 mins, 3-0).

As far as we can tell, the Youth Team do not play again until January 7th, as they take their usual Christmas break.


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14 December 2005 : Reserves See Off Exeter
Yeovil Town Reserves beat an Exeter City Reserves side 2-0 this afternoon in an impromptu friendly played at Exeter University. Goalscorers were Gavin McCallum and Luke Oliver.

Apologies for the lack of notification of this fixture - the match was not publicised prior to the event. No further details are at present available on the game.


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14 December 2005 : Thommo starts to talk tough
Glovers boss Steve Thompson has this evening reiterated that despite the claims of agent Wayne Elsey (see news story below), he has had no contact with any other club regarding forward Kevin Gall - and the Yeovil manager has gone on to warn all of his players who are out of contract in the summer that the club will not be held to ransom in contract negotiations.

"There were a couple of teams interested in taking Kevin on loan before the recent deadline but I turned them down because I see him as part of my plans," Thommo told this week's edition of the Western Gazette, adding: "No other club has contacted me about him since then and talks about his contract are ongoing. Nowadays players have the upper hand because they know they can leave on a free at the end of the season so there is only so much talking you can do. After that comes the time for action. This club will not be held to ransom. Contract talks are also ongoing with other players who will already know that leaving it late is not always the best policy."

Strike one name off the rumour mill chalkboard: Salisbury striker Matt Tubbs was linked with the Glovers earlier in the week by various newspapers (see 13th December news story). "I do not even know Matt Tubbs so where that story has come from is a mystery," Thommo told the Gazette this evening.


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14 December 2005 : Alvarez released
Luciano Alvarez.
Cheerio Luciano!.
Photo © 2005 Martin Baker / Ciderspace


Glovers boss Steve Thompson has terminated the contract of forward Luciano Alvarez. The Argentinian joined the club at around the same time as Pablo Bastianini in the summer, initially to act as Pablo's interpreter, but earned a 6-month contract after impressing former Glovers boss Gary Johnson in training and on the back of some decent friendly and reserve team games. Luciano made 5 first team appearances, scoring once, but had found his chances of a first team place under Thommo growing fewer and fewer.

"We have released Luciano because I didn't think he was what was required for League One," Thompson said. "However, his attitude and commitment was first class, he has been a credit to himself and he's been a good lad. We wish him well wherever he decides to play whether that be in Spain, Argentina or even England."

The best of luck in the future to Luciano from us all at Ciderspace.


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14 December 2005 : Thommo: No contact over Gall
Not that most people needed telling, but Glovers boss Steve Thompson has moved quickly to dampen speculation that Yeovil forward Kevin Gall may be moving to another club during the January transfer window - as agent Wayne Elsey claimed yesterday (see 13th December news item below).

"I can honestly say that no one has made any contact with me regarding Kevin Gall, certainly since the loan window ended," Thompson told the Western Morning News today. "There were a couple of enquiries where clubs were keen to loan him, but that was over three weeks ago now. Since that, I've heard nothing."

So, genuine interest in the player from real clubs, or an attempt by a player's agent to stir up something where nothing exists ahead of or during contract talks? You decide....

Thommo meanwhile is continuing to negotiate new contracts with those whose deals end at the end of the season. "The talks are ongoing," the Glovers boss confirmed. "It's something that, until someone signs, you can't make any comment. I have spoken to some players and there are still a few more that I need to talk to."

Looking ahead to the weekend and the League 1 clash v Barnsley at Huish Park Thommo has warned his players that if they lose their place in the team for whatever reason - loss of form, suspension, or injury - they may not find it easy to get back in, as Chris Weale, club captain Terry Skiverton and Paul Terry, all suspended for the 2-1 win at Rotherham last Saturday, may find this weekend.

"I've got three senior players coming back and I know there's tough calls to be made," Thompson told the Western Daily Press this morning. "With the squad that we've got that should be the case every week from now on."

"It is important that when players get the chance that they produce a good performance," the manager continued. "The players that we've got to come into the team are strong enough to take their places. Arron [Davies]'s last game left a little bit to be desired and we've got other people who can play in that wide left position. We've got good competition for every position now and it's vital that players are effective when they are on the pitch if they want to stay in the team. We've got players back from suspension on Saturday, but no one is automatically assured a place in the 16 (player squad). It's just nice that this week it comes after we've had a good win and there is not a pressure there to change the team if I don't want to."


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14 December 2005 : Lockwood still a Gull
League Two outfit Torquay United have successfully extended the loan period of Yeovil defender Adam Lockwood for another month - though the Glovers have the option of an immediate recall should manager Steve Thompson deem it necessary.

The versatile defender has made his mark during his time down on the south coast, being a regular starter in the Gulls side and scoring twice. Speaking on the 8th of December Locky said: "I'm enjoying my time here and would not complain if I were to stay longer - especially bearing in mind the FA Cup match (3rd round v Birmingham City) in January."


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13 December 2005 : Transfer Rumourmill : Part Three
The latest media outlet to leap on the great rumourmill this month is Sky Sports who are predicting that striker/winger Kevin Gall will be the next to leave Huish Park.

On this occasion, the speculation has all the air of a football agent trying to stir things up, no doubt as a bargaining tool when any contract negotiations take place between Gally and those at Yeovil Town.

Sky Sports claim that fellow League One sides Doncaster Rovers, Huddersfield Town, Blackpool and League Two side Carlisle are all queuing up to buy Gally during the transfer window.

How do they know all this? Who knows? After all they could have had this innuendo leaked to them by anyone, but oh look here's Kevin's football agent Wayne Elsey of Platinum One who just happened to be coincidentally walking by at the time: "Kevin is attracting a lot of interest, understandably, but at the moment he is just keeping his options open and we will see what materialises in the New Year."


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13 December 2005 : Transfer Rumourmill : Part Two
In the second of doubtless a lengthy series of round-ups during December and January as the rumourmill builds up in preparation for January's transfer window, we bring you claims of one possible arrival to Huish Park in January.

Both the League Paper (yes them again!) and yesterday's Western Daily Press speculate that Yeovil Town are tracking Salisbury City striker Matt Tubbs.

The 21 year old is relatively familiar with this part of the country, having started his career with AFC Bournemouth before heading off for a few years in the Bolton Wanderers academy. Tubbs then signed up with Dorchester Town before heading to Salisbury City in October 2003.

He's proved to be a bit of a hit in Wiltshire, netting 19 goals in his first season, 10 goals last season and 16 so far in a Southern Premier side that is currently top of their division.

The Wiltshire press have also admitted that "major" non-league sides and a number of League clubs have been scouting at Old Sarum but after signing a recent contract extension, Tubbs seems more keep on forcing his current team into the Conference South division explaning: "I've heard this and that about teams coming in for me. But at the end of the day I've got ambitions and they are ambitions I want to fulfil at Salisbury. In three years I can see us being in the Conference proper."


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13 December 2005 : Ticket Office Christmas Opening
Not too surprisingly the Huish Park Ticket Office is going to be open for a restricted number of hours during late December. The full list of dates/times are as follows:

December 24th : CLOSED
December 25th : CLOSED
December 26th : CLOSED
December 27th : CLOSED
December 28th : 10.00am - 2.00pm (Tranmere away)
December 29th : 9.00am - 5.00pm
December 30th : 9.00am - 5.00pm
December 31st : 9.00am - 12.00 noon (Bristol City home)


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13 December 2005 : Doncaster Ticket News
Yeovil Town's first away match of 2006 involves a trip Belle Vue, home of Doncaster Rovers. This forthcoming match takes place on January 2nd 2006 with a 3.00pm kickoff.

Some limited seating has been made available to the Huish Park Ticket Office priced 18 pounds for adults and 12 pounds for concessions (including full time students). These go on sale to Season Ticket Holders only from Saturday 17th December (up until an hour before the Barnsley kick-off) until Tuesday 20th December, 5.00pm. Any remaining seated tickets will then be available to the general public.

Otherwise all other Yeovil supporters are allocated an uncovered terrace at the far end of the ground with prices set at 15 pounds for adults and 8 pounds for concessions (again including students). These are pay on the day prices - no advance purchases are available.

Disabled supporters are advised to ring 01302-539441 to make bookings.


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13 December 2005 : Tranmere Ticket News
Tickets for Yeovil Town's next away game - a trip to Prenton Park on December 28th to face Tranmere Rovers - will only be on sale at the ground. No advance sales will be made at the Huish Park Ticket Office. The game kicks off at 7.45pm.

Glovers fans are situated in the Cowshed Stand end of the ground, which is a covered, seated stand holding up to 2,500 supporters. Prices for the match are 17 pounds for Adults with Juniors (Under 16s) admitted for 5 pounds.

Seniors (Over 60) and young persons (aged 17-22) can also obtain a discount with admission prices set at 12 pounds for young persons and 9 pounds for seniors. However you must purchase your ticket from Tranmere's Ticket Office, and proof of age using documentation with a photo on it, will be required - e.g. new style driving licences, passports etc.

Disabled supporters should call 0870-460-3332 and ask for Peter O'Brien. Concessionary prices are available and carers are admitted free of charge. The club offer 12 car parking spaces, 28 wheelchair spaces and 56 ambulant disabled spaces throughout the ground.


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12 December 2005 : Reserves Game Called Off
This coming Wednesday's match against Swansea City Reserves in the Pontins Holiday Football Combination has been postponed. Swansea's first team have an LDV Vans Trophy match this week, and that combined with various injuries through their first and youth team squads has left them struggling to raise a side for both nights. The fixture has yet to be rearranged.


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11 December 2005 : Ciderspace Match Report : Rotherham vs Yeovil
The Ciderspace match report for yesterday's 2-1 win against Rotherham United is now online.


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11 December 2005 : Thommo's Verdict On The Rotherham Game
Glovers boss Steve Thompson was pleased to finally break the five game losing run at League One level that his side have been through when they won 2-1 against Rotherham United yesterday. Steve believed that his side hadn't deserved to be on the kind of run they had been on and said his side deserved their victory. Steve answered the following questions from the press after the game:

Qu: Steve, congratulations. What are your feelings immediately after your win this afternoon?

ST: Relief that we have ended that run. I have happiness for the players as well because they haven't deserved that run of defeats. I know the pure stats show all those defeats but as some of your may be aware, the performances have not deserved those defeats. In many of those games we have played very well in parts of the game. But obviously it's all about results. So I'm pleased because their performances did not deserve the kind of run that they have been on.

Qu: Did you deserve today's win?

ST: Yes, I thought we were strong. We didn't do it a pretty way today, but it was always going to be like that to end a run of defeats. We had to do it by being strong and resolute and by defending very well in that last 15 or 20 minutes.

Qu: I know you enjoyed it when that second goal went in because you were punching the air in delight.

ST: Yes, it was the first time that we had gone ahead for a little while. I'm pleased obviously for everyone connected with the club and like I've said, the players efforts didn't deserve the amount of defeats that they've had in the previous five or six games.

Qu: It's been the worst run of defeats since you've taken over. How have the last few weeks been for you?

ST: Very tough and very frustrating. It is a hard game and when you lose games that you could have drawn or could have won it seems even harder.

Qu: Today's game, Rotherham took the lead. What were your thoughts when Deon Burton scored after 18 minutes?

ST: Obviously I thought we needed to get back as soon as possible. To be fair, the players showed great character in coming back at Brentford so that is two comebacks. I know they didn't quite see it out but they came back from 2-0 against Brentford and showed great character to come back and get to 2-2. Today they've come back from 1-0 down up north at Rotherham and they have shown great character to win the game 2-1. It would have been great if we could have drawn that game up at Brentford because the magnitude of the comeback with the ten men didn't deserve that defeat.

Qu: Has Phil Jevons tried to claim the equaliser?

ST: Yes, I think he has. It was a shot on target and it took a deflection so I'm sure Phil Jevons is the goalscorer.

Qu: That's what I like to hear! He was obviously returning up front. Were you pleased with Phil Jevons and also with Matt Harrold as well?

ST: Yes, I thought Matt Harrold and Phil Jevons did well together today. I thought they worked as a pair and they worked for each other as well as for themselves.

Qu: We associate Yeovil as a passing side, but they had to battle today. Efe Sodje and Steve Collis both took some serious knocks today.

ST: Yes, Scott Guyett is bloodied in there along with Efe Sodje and Steve Collis. Chris Cohen has got a load of scars all over his shins through the number of tackles that he has made today. But all of them were fantastic in the way that they battled. I'm really pleased for everyone at the club but especially for the players because they didn't deserve those defeats.

Qu: It's nice to talk after a victory but what now? You're on the up and you don't want to go through another five games like that again.

ST: No, we obviously have to make that the start of an undefeated run if we can. Like I've said to the players, it's asking a bit too much for them to go win-win-win all the time but if we can be a little harder to beat then that has to be an initial aim.

Qu: You're hoping this is the start of something nice, and also your good friend Gary Johnson is back to winning ways at Bristol City, and you must be pleased with that.

ST: Yes, I'm pleased for Gary and he has done it in style against League leaders, so that's great.

Qu: I'm sure you'll have a little word later.

ST: Yes, we might have a bit more to say to each other now than we have in the past week or so! It's been pretty quiet on the phone between us for the last week but we might have a bit more to say to each other now. I'm pleased for Gary, but for Bristol City that is a very big result for them today.

Qu: Matt Harrold has certainly battled away and you've probably given him more opportunities than Gary did. He's really repaid you hasn't he?

ST: Yes he has. Matt would be the first to agree that he is not the finished product yet. We have to keep working on him and working on him. He's a big lad, he's pretty strong and he's quite mobile for a big lad. The other thing he has is that he is a good finisher. So I think there is a lot to work with there.

Qu: It was very similar to the Brentford goal in that he had to strike it first time.

ST: Yes, I think that both the Brentford goal and tonight's were great finishes. They showed what a great finisher he is.

Qu: He's almost got the makings of a partnership with Phil Jevons there.

ST: Yes, I think those two have done really well today and that could be a partnership for us for the foreseeable future. It's up to them to keep playing well and hopefully keep scoring goals. But I was very pleased today with the performance from the two of them.

Qu: Fair play to Scott Guyett, because he hasn't played for quite a while and he came in and looked a bit rusty at first, but towards the end he was a tower of strength wasn't he?

ST: He was, and he is a tower of strength. He is a very courageous footballer. That really showed today. I'd also mention Liam Fontaine because he has only played half a game in six weeks. He has had injury and illness in the past few weeks. He has come in and played 90 minutes today and he is absolutely dead in the dressing room. That took a bit of doing as well. So although I was pleased with everyone, I was particularly pleased with Scott and Liam coming in and everyone that took part, including all of the subs. It was a team effort that got the points today.

Qu: You're obviously trying to renew Chris Cohen's loan?

ST: We have done.

Qu: A word for your substitute goalkeeper, Francisco Ramos, who has just done a two day trip but knew he probably wouldn't get a game.

ST: Yes we obviously had a decision to make and I thought it was far better to have a keeper on the bench than risk it. And after five minutes it looked like he was needed! So it was a much better idea to have a keeper on the bench. Chico knows the situation but I appreciate him coming today. We know Chico anyway because he trained with us last season and he's a friend of the people at the club. He's been a good lad all weekend and he's a good goalkeeper in his own right.

Qu: And was it Bridgwater Town he was playing for?

ST: Yes, he's been playing for Weymouth and Bridgwater Town.

Qu: On the goalkeeping situation, you've now got a decision to make with Chris Weale available for next week.

ST: Yes! But I'm not telling you that decision! I expect the press will speculate on that but it would be wrong of me to state that now I think. All I will say on my goalies is that I have got two very good goalkeepers at the club.


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10 December 2005 : Millers sack manager
Rotherham United have sacked manager Mick Harford following their 2-1 home defeat by Yeovil Town today - the Millers 17th league and cup game in succession without a win.

Rotherham director David Veal commented: "We met with Mick tonight and informed him that we wished to relieve him of his managerial duties. This is a sad time for all concerned but we felt we had no other option to take. The board of directors will be consulting over the weekend regarding a replacement but for the time being the coaching staff will step up and take temporary charge. We would like to place on record our appreciation of Mick's efforts to turn around our playing fortunes and wish him well."


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10 December 2005 : Gritty Glovers grind down Millers
Yeovil Town did enough to take a deserved 3 points at Millmoor this afternoon by beating hosts Rotherham United by 2 goals to 1 - the Glovers first league win since early October and coming after a run of 5 straight defeats.

As a spectacle the game never really took off but Town boss Steve Thompson and his side won't care about that, the 3 points today were of paramount importance and never mind how they were won. All the goals came in the first half and yet again the Glovers got off to a poor start, bad marking in the penalty area allowing Millers striker Deon Burton far too much time to collect a bread-and-butter cross, bring it down and fire past Steve Collis in the Yeovil goal to put the home side 1-0 up after 18 minutes. To their credit the Glovers refused to let their heads drop, drawing level on 32 minutes, albeit with the help of a generous slice of luck - something that's been well and truly missing over the last few weeks - when a Phil Jevons cross/shot was deflected past home keeper Neil Cutler off central defender Colin Murdock for an own-goal. Four minutes later and Yeovil had taken the lead, Matt Harrold netting his 2nd goal in 2 games and his 6th of the season to put the Glovers ahead at the break. And that's how it stayed. Rotherham huffed and puffed throughout the 2nd half but with no wins in 16 games they looked a side desperately short of confidence and Yeovil, defending deeply and looking to play on the break, were never in any trouble even if they didn't really look like adding to their lead themselves. No matter, this was definitely a case of the result being far more important than playing pretty football, and the visitors held on to their lead fairly comfortably to take an absolutely essential 3 points.

Final score: Rotherham United 1 - 2 Yeovil Town.

After the match it emerged that Chris Cohen has had his loan deal at Huish Park extended past the Christmas period - the midfielder was due to return to parent club West Ham next week otherwise. The 18-year-old suffered some fairly extensive bruising around his legs during today's game, but he - along with Scott Guyett and Efe Sodje, who had several cuts to the head area - is expected to be fit by next weekend.

The result moves the Glovers up a place to 18th on 25 points. Tranmere are 19th on 22 after a 1-1 draw with fellow strugglers Blackpool, ahead of 20th placed Franchise FC on goal difference after the Dons were beaten 2-3 at home by Doncaster. Blackpool are 21st on 21 points with Rotherham 22nd on 19. Bristol City grabbed their first points in what seems like and probably is months by beating Huddersfield 2-0 - City go up a place to 23rd on 19. Swindon gained a point with a creditable 2-2 draw at Oldham but still dropped back to the bottom on 18 points thanks to The Big Club Up The Road's shock win.

At the the top the Manchester Utd of League One (© Alan Tate) could only draw 1-1 at home to Colchester but still extended their lead at the top to 3 points after 2nd placed Huddersfield's shock result at The Big Club Up The Road. Brentford remain 3rd after a 1-1 home draw with Chesterfield. Next week's opponents Barnsley thrashed Scunthorpe 5-2 at Oakwell to move up to 4th place on 36 points, 11 ahead of the Glovers.


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9 December 2005 : Ciderspace Match Report : Brentford vs Yeovil Town
The match report for Tuesday night's 3-2 defeat in West London against Brentford can be found here.


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9 December 2005 : Rotherham United v Yeovil Town match preview
If you think we've had it rough lately spare a thought for the fans of tomorrow afternoon's opponents, Rotherham United. This time last season they were an established Championship side looking forward to an on-paper comfortable home FA Cup 3rd round tie against an upstart pub team of former postmen and bricklayers (© Alan Hansen & Mark Lawrenson) who were in only their second season in the football league. Fast forward to now and the not-so-merry Millers haven't won for 16 games, are in the relegation zone of League One after being relegated from the Championship at the end of last season after very nearly going under financially, and that FA Cup game against the pub team? We all remember what happened there!

That was then, this is now. Both teams need a win tomorrow, Rotherham to end their dismal sequence of results without a win and to go level with Yeovil on points; and the Glovers to keep that tiny 2-point gap between themselves and the relegation zone in place, and hopefully to enlarge it. The Millers welcome back midfielder Michael Keane from injury but are without defender Phil Gilchrist (toe) and on-loan striker Barry Conlon (knee), who has been sent back to Barnsley. Defender Scott Minto (achilles) is another non-starter, but striker Will Hoskins is available after recovering from a calf injury.

"I watched Yeovil play at Brentford on Tuesday night when it was the home side who are near the top with Town in the lower regions," manager Mick Harford told his club's official site today. "But in every game you see at this level there is little to choose between the two teams on the day as things are so evenly matched. I thought Yeovil were unlucky to lose as they put in a good performance especially when they were reduced to ten men. After seeing them in action I know we face a tough encounter tomorrow. Our players are going out there and putting in every possible effort of 100 per cent and things will turn, our time will come I can assure you all. If we can get that much needed win tomorrow then hopefully we will turn the corner to set off on a much more successful run."

As has been well documented the Glovers are without 3 suspended players tomorrow, keeper Chris Weale, defender Terry Skiverton and midfielder Paul Terry. In addition midfield dynamo Darren Way (shin) is of course unavailable until after Christmas and defender Colin Miles (dead leg) faces a fitness test before the game. The good news is that on-loan Fulham defender Liam Fontaine is fit again after over a month out and is in the squad for tomorrow's match.

Suspended midfielder Paul Terry, a regular starter under new Glovers boss Steve Thompson after finding a first-team place difficult to come by under former manager Gary Johnson has been explaining how important a good result is in Yorkshire tomorrow, even if it means him losing his place in the team. "I know this sounds stupid but I would rather see us win on Saturday and I lose my place than see us get beaten," the midfielder told the Western Gazette yesterday. "In these types of runs all you can do is stick together and keep working hard. Our performances have not been terrible and we are not doing much wrong - we just need to be more clinical in both penalty areas. It is not just the forwards who are not scoring goals - it is all of us. It is all about collective responsibility. We like to defend from the front and it is up to all of us, particularly the midfielders, to create more going forward. But I am confident that we will turn the situation around. The gaffer [Steve Thompson] has been fantastic over the last few weeks. He is always looking at the positives but he also has a go when the time is right. It is hard for the manager at the moment because apart from scoring we are doing a lot of things right."

Selected betting odds: Rotherham win - 6/5; draw - 12/5; Yeovil win - 9/5. After reaching the dizzy heights of a profit of over £30 over the season a few short weeks ago we are now back down to earth with a bump and a losing bet tomorrow will mean we are in the red, again. Ah well, we always said gambling was a mug's game. The draw is probably the value bet, but our fiver's going on the Yeovil win of course. Record so far this season: +£2.13p. Yikes.

For all those braving the frozen north tomorrow the Ciderspace guide to all things Rotherham is online here. Good luck everybody!


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9 December 2005 : Prodigal Son Lindy Back In The Fold
Home grown utility player Andy Lindegaard has come off the transfer list at Huish Park. The 25 year old has been on the list since former manager Gary Johnson put his name up for offers following his one and only appearance this season for the club against Chesterfield Town. Johnson read the riot act to a number of his players following that defeat and one of the repercussions was that Lindy was transfer listed and made available for both loan and permanent deals.

Now new manager Steve Thompson has challenged Lindy to prove to him that he has made the right decision to bring him back into the fold, following his return from a loan spell at Nationwide Conference side Crawley Town. Lindy made his second appearance of the season at Brentford on Tuesday, and with three players suspended will doubtless be in the squad for tomorrow's trip to Rotherham United.

Boss Steve Thompson told the Western Daily Press: "People forget that Andy played more than 30 games for us last season. I know what he can do and he's an important member of the squad because he can play in a number of positions. I know Lindy was transfer-listed earlier in the season but he's now back in the reckoning. He did well during his loan spell at Crawley and his attitude has always been spot-on. Andy is a fit lad and he's got good pace. When we were down to 10 men on Tuesday I felt we needed those qualities and that's why I put him on. He deserved his place in the squad on Tuesday and is in my plans."


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9 December 2005 : The Rumourmill Starts Here!
With the transfer window re-opening in just over three weeks time, the local and national media are gearing themselves up for a frenzy of using phrases like "understood to be" and "sources indicate that" which they hope will be replaced by "as exclusively revealed" come the actual month itself. Of course that's unless the information doesn't turn out to be true, in which case the previous claims will be quietly shuffled under the carpet, in the hope that no-one can remember what was printed a month ago.

At Ciderspace we currently have no specific predictions to make. However, that shouldn't stop us recording everyone else's predictions so that we can determine which papers are playing "pin the tail on the donkey" and which ones are genuinely the ones "in the know".

Yesterday's Bristol Evening Post kicks things off with the claims that Bristol City manager Gary Johnson is chasing striker Phil Jevons and midfielder Lee Johnson. They don't offer any quotes or hard information on this subject, but also name Rochdale's Grant Holt amongst Johnson's January targets who is apparently also wanted by West Ham United.

The new weekly League Paper (an new off-shoot publication from those behind the Non-League Paper) have made their own prediction that midfielder Paul Terry will be heading to one of Southend United or Luton Town in January. Again the paper does not elaborate on this situation but says that both clubs are chasing a deal with the player.

We will continue to monitor the situation right up to the end of January, so if you spot your local or national paper sticking their neck on the line concerning any players apparently joining or leaving Yeovil, drop us a line at ytfcciderspace@yahoo.com or post a message to the Fans Forum.


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9 December 2005 : Thommo Signs Up Goalkeeping Cover
Glovers boss Steve Thompson has made use of the rules concerning emergency goalkeeper loans to act as cover for Saturday's trip to Rotherham United.

Former Benfica goalkeeper Francisco Ramos has been called upon to be on the bench for the trip to Yorkshire, after both Chris Weale and Danny Barker were ruled out of contention, leaving Yeovil with only Steve Collis available for Saturday's match. Wealey is serving a one match suspension for a red card at Brentford on Tuesday night, whilst Youth Team goalkeeper Danny Barker has not played for a month due to a hand injury.

Ramos is no stranger to Huish Park, having once trialled with the Glovers during the 2004/05 season. He arrived in England during September 2004 and because the then boss Gary Johnson was trialling another former Benfica player through the same agent, Gary agreed to take the goalkeeper on trial for two weeks, during which time Ramos played for Sherborne Town. He spent roughly two weeks training at Huish Park and so is well known to the playing squad.

Upon completion of the trial, Gary then fixed up the goalkeeper with Conference South minnows Weymouth, and since then the keeper has had a spell with Clevedon Town, where he will of course have met the other half of the Glovers management team Kevin Hodges. The 22 year old has also turned out for Forest Green Rovers and Weston-Super-Mare.

It seems likely that Thommo only plans to use the goalkeeper for the single match, although should the January transfer window result in either Collis or Weale being snapped up, then doubtless the Yeovil boss would want to keep a few irons in the fire.


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8 December 2005 : Tis The Season To Go Shopping
The Huish Park Club Shop have reminded us that tonight they will stay open until 7.00pm and will do so over the next two Thursdays in the run up to Christmas. In addition, they will be open between 10.00am and 1.00pm on Saturday for anyone who is not heading up to Rotherham and fancies a bit of Christmas shopping without the hassle of finding somewhere to park. Remember, however, that only the Main Stand car park is open outside match days. Phone 01935-423662 and ask for either the Commercial Department or the Club Shop if you need to check to see if something is in stock before travelling.


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8 December 2005 : Glovers Win FA Cup Shock Poll
Yeovil Town are the country's biggest FA Cup giant-killers, according to the FA's own website. Last week, football's governing body ran a poll to determine the greatest FA Cup shock of all time, and by a resounding margin, the winner was the Glovers legendary 2-1 win over 'Bank of England side' Sunderland in 1949.

That win became the cornerstone of Yeovil's history, with goals from Eric Bryant and Alec Stock and until their FA Trophy win in 2002 and promotion to the Football League in 2003 was regarded as the finest achievement in the club's history. Sunderland finished third in Division One (top flight) that season, and got their tag based on the amount of money spent to assemble their team.

The Glovers polled 46.91 percent of the vote, over double that obtained by Hereford United for their 1972 win over Newcastle United. Full results were as follows:

1st : Yeovil Town vs Sunderland, 1949. 49.91%
2nd : Hereford vs Newcastle, 1972. 22.54%
3rd : Colchester vs Leeds, 1971. 15.85%
4th : Walsall vs Arsenal, 1933. 14.68%


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8 December 2005 : Locky Happy By The Seaside
Yeovil Town defender Adam Lockwood has indicated that he is enjoying his loan spell at Plainmoor which has currently still got nine more days to run before the end of the first month period.

Locky has played in three league matches and one FA Cup match for the Football League basement side, and has scored one goal for Torquay during that time, whilst narrowly missing out on a nomination for the FA Cup's Player Of The Round as part of their Second Round win over Notts County. He has completed 90 minutes in all four matches.

Adam has been asked by the press what his reaction would be if the loan was extended and he answered: "It's really down to the two clubs to sort something out, they both have decisions to make. I'm enjoying my time here and would not complain if I were to stay longer - especially bearing in mind the FA Cup match (Third Round against Birmingham) in January."

If Locky's loan period was extended, Glovers boss Steve Thompson would be able to introduce a "24 hour recall clause" into the loan deal, should the Glovers run into a shortage of defenders over the Christmas period. Any decision between Thommo and Gulls manager Leroy Rosenior must be made by December 17th, which is currently Locky's last scheduled game for the Devon side.


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8 December 2005 : The Football League Survey
Ciderspace would urge all supporters to take the time to complete The Football League Survey.

Nope, we're not going soft. Of course we're as cynical as the next man and woman about such 'consultation' exercises. Those that commission them do so hoping to prove what wonderful people they are, to try and show there is support for things they already intend to do, and ignore any inconvenient results. However the game has traditionally been atrocious at taking any interest in what fans think, and careless of the matchday experience of the 99% not cocooned in the directors' box or executive suites. When such rare opportunities do present themselves we'd argue it's beholden on us to be pro-active and respond. Whilst a few might not care for anything beyond their team winning, or whether their star striker has a cute arse, the vast majority have a deep love for both their club and the game as a whole. If you want to find out the theory of war you listen to a general. If you want to understand what war itself is really like listen to the poor bloody infantry slogging it out on the front line............... so tell 'em!


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7 December 2005 : Thommo's Verdict On The Brentford Game
Glovers boss Steve Thompson blamed his side's nightmare first 20 minutes that saw them go two goals down for last night's 3-2 defeat at Brentford. Facing the press after the game, Steve answered the following questions from BBC Bristol's Ben Orr:

Qu: Steve, it is another defeat, but are there positives to take out of that performance?

ST: Yes there are some positives that you can take out of the performance. But I don't know what to say because I keep on saying the same things over and over again, and I don't want to be saying the same things. I thought we had a terrible first 20 minutes that has in the end cost us the defeat.

Qu: But from there on in, the spirit you showed and the way that you got back into that game, there was some really good play by Yeovil but like you've said, the first 20 minutes let you down.

ST: Yes but that has been the case in terms of the whole run. We've played some good football in every game but we are having one of those spells. I try not to have a go at the referee about anything. I haven't had a go about the referee in the last seven games, but it was a definite penalty in second half.

Qu: The handball (from a Matt Harrold cross) you mean?

ST: Yes. I'm not sure about the sending off. It might have been a sending off but I thought we had players coming round covering and the bloke (Dudley Campbell) had headed wide.

Qu: Have you managed to talk to the referee about it?

ST: Yes, I had my say to him, but so what? I had my say to him but what will that do? I don't think he will lose any sleep over it, will he?

Qu: What have you said to the players. What did you say to them at half time first of all, and then after the game?

ST: Well I said to them that you can't expect to have a first 20 minutes like that and win football matches - amongst other things!

Qu: And that was the same message after the game?

ST: That was what I told them after the game. At half time I was a little bit more personal with people. I was picking out certain people, although that obviously stays between me and the players. In the second half I told them that although there had been a lot of good play during that second half, the first 20 minutes have cost us the game.

Qu: Of course Chris Weale's sending off rules him out of the game on Saturday, Terry Skiverton and Paul Terry are already unavailable, there is some tough planning to be made ahead of that game.

ST: Yes, it's not a good thing to have them out, is it? But it gives someone else an opportunity to come in and be involved in a winning team.

Qu: Where do you go from here Steve? You're obviously bitterly disappointed this evening with the result and the first 20 minutes. What can you do to turn things around?

ST: Where I go from here is I go to bed and I probably don't sleep too well! We've got a Reserve game tomorrow (versus Cardiff, since postponed) and so that's important for me to be able to see players and also with what you've just mentioned in mind as well. We have a situation where our Youth Team keeper (Danny Barker) is injured as well, so there are problems to be dealt with even on the coach on the way home. No-one ever said that football management was easy did they? There is a lot to be dealt with at the moment, obviously.


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7 December 2005 : Reserve Game OFF
Tonight's Football Combination League Cup Group Match between Yeovil Town Reserves and Cardiff City Reserves has been postponed due to a waterlogged pitch. The pitch was deemed unplayable on kick-off tonight.


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7 December 2005 : Wealey Banned For One Game Only
Glovers goalkeeper Chris Weale has had his ban confirmed by the FA as standing at one game only. Given the area of the park in which referee Andy D'Urso dismissed the Yeovil keeper at Brentford last night, there had been fears that perhaps the Essex official did not see the incident as merely a professional foul. Weale's foul appeared to happen whilst Bees striker Dudley Campbell was heading well wide of goal, and so doubts were expressed on D'Urso's decision being made on such grounds.

Wealey will now miss Saturday's trip to Rotherham United with the main question mark being over who manager Steve Thompson will promote to the bench - a hand injury has recently kept England Schoolboys keeper Danny Barker out of Youth Team action, meaning that his able deputy Scott Vine is the more likely to be given the nod, unless Thommo can justify an emergency goalkeeper loan.


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7 December 2005 : Cirencester Youth Game Rearranged
Last Saturday's Youth Team match against Cirencester was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch, and a new date for the game has now been agreed. The match will be played on March 4th 2006 with an 11.00am kick-off.

For those not travelling to the first team game at Rotherham United on Saturday, the Youth Team will be taking on Newport County on the top pitch this coming Saturday 10th December, kick off 11.00am. If anyone would like to submit a match report or even just a paragraph or two detailing what happened, we would be very delighted to publish it - drop us an email at ytfcciderspace@yahoo.com


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7 December 2005 : Glovers stung by late Bees winner*
Yeovil Town went down to their 5th league defeat in a row last night against 3rd-placed Brentford. The Glovers showed terrific character to fight back from conceding 2 early goals and played most of the second half with 10 men after keeper Chris Weale was dismissed for a professional foul, but all to no avail when the Bees Michael Turner rifled home the winner with only 2 minutes left on the clock.

Yeovil got off to the worst possible start, a mix-up between Nathan Jones and Chris Weale after 5 minutes leading to Jones heading a nothing cross past Weale and into an empty net for a soft own-goal. Jay Tabb made it 2-0 from a corner on 12 minutes and with Brentford in full flow things looked grim for the Glovers, however gradually the visitors started to impose themselves on the home side and Matt Harrold got a goal back for the green-and-whites at his old club just before half-time when he got on the end of a blocked Lee Johnson free-kick, Matty's 5th goal of the season, to keep the Glovers in the game at 2-1 at half-time. Yet again this season however a referee's decisions proved crucial after the break. Firstly former Premiership ref Andy D'Urso ruled against the Glovers when Bees defender Michael Turner clearly handled the ball in the penalty box; then the official dismissed Glovers keeper Chris Weale for a professional foul on 60 minutes when Weale brought down Dudley Campbell outside the box, despite Campbell heading towards the corner flag rather than the goal and with two Yeovil defenders covering the goal - a decision which both manager's found harsh. Even down to 10 men the Glovers continued taking the game to their hosts and Lee Johnson deservedly levelled the match on 68 minutes with a trademark booming free-kick to make it 2-2. As the game wore on Brentford inevitably began to put the tiring 10 men under more and more pressure though Yeovil and Kevin Gall in particular still looked dangerous on the break. It looked as if the Glovers had done enough to take a well-earned point back to Somerset but the one thing that we're learning about League One is that the opposition - whoever they are - are relentless in keeping going to the end and sure enough Michael Turner found himself in space in the Glovers penalty area with 2 minutes left on the clock to rifle home the winner, 3-2 to Brentford.

Final score: Brentford 3 - 2 Yeovil Town. A full match report will be online later.

There were no further injury problems to concern Glovers boss Steve Thompson after the match, however Chris Weale's red card obviously means he joins Terry Skiverton and Paul Terry on the sidelines for Saturday's crucial match at fellow strugglers Rotherham, all three players suspended for the game.

Other results in the league last night generally went the Glovers way, with only Gillingham and Franchise FC of the teams around us picking up points, the Gills winning 1-0 at home against Doncaster to move up to 17th on 23 points and the MK Dons drawing 2-2 at home to Huddersfield to go above us on goal difference. Yeovil go down to 19th, still on 22 points, with Tranmere, Blackpool, Rotherham and Swindon all below us and the BIG CLUB up the road Bristol City propping up the table on 16 points after their 9th loss in a row, 0-1 at home to Bradford City. At the other end of the table the Manchester Utd of League One (© Alan Tate) beat Scunthorpe 2-0 at the Liberty Stadium to remain in 1st place on 41 points, with Huddersfield 2nd on 39. Brentford go up 1 place to 3rd, on 36 points. Saturday's opponents Rotherham played on Monday night, losing 0-1 at home to fellow strugglers Swindon.

* © Obvious-Headlines-R-Us


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6 December 2005 : Ciderspace Match Report : Walsall vs Yeovil
Better late than never ... perhaps! The Ciderspace match report for Saturday's 2-0 defeat at Walsall is now on-line, complete with a secondary report from Tim Lancaster. You can find it here.


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6 December 2005 : Brentford v Yeovil Town match preview
The Glovers travel to West London today to meet Brentford in a League One fixture, kick-off 7.45pm this evening. It's the first time Yeovil have played at Griffin Park in a league match though we have gone there twice before in the FA Cup, losing both times as it happens, 2-1 in 1965 and, er, 5-0 in 1991. In between we played them at the old Huish ground in the Cup, beating them 2-1 in 1972 in front of a near 10,000 crowd with goals from Chris Weller and Cliff Myers. Those were the days!

And so are these of course. It's worth pointing out that great players for this club of the likes of the above-mentioned Myers and Weller never got the chance to play for Yeovil Town in even the old fourth division of the football league never mind division three (L1 in new money), something we ought to perhaps bear in mind when criticising the current crop of players wearing the green and white. Having said that there's no doubt that we are in the midst of a very poor run which we need to bring to an end sooner rather than later and on the face of it a visit to a club in 4th place in the league table is not the ideal place to go when you're on a run of 2 draws and 4 losses in your last 6 away games, which Yeovil are. If there's a crumb of comfort to be found it's in Brentford's home form which in itself is none too special - 1 win, 3 draws and 2 losses from their last 6 home games.

The Bees will give a late fitness test to midfielder Paul Brooker, who picked up a knock in their FA Cup draw at Oldham last Saturday. Otherwise manager Martin Allen is expected to name an unchanged team. For the Glovers Colin Miles must be considered doubtful as he struggles to recover from the niggling leg injury that meant he only played 12 minutes against Walsall on Saturday. Darren Way is of course also missing until after Christmas, Chris Cohen is expected to deputise. Defender Liam Fontaine is back at the club now and its hoped he'll be fit to play by the weekend, but tonight's game is probably too soon for him. At the time of writing there's been no news of any other possible injuries.

Selected betting odds: Brentford win - 4/6; draw - 5/2; Yeovil win - 7/2. Our recommendation: This is getting serious now, if we don't pick a winning bet soon we'll be back in the red! We and the team need to get back to basics and for YTFC over the last few seasons that's been simple - win your home games and at least draw away. Accordingly our fiver's going on the draw tonight, but we won't mind losing our money if the boys can turn the corner and grab a win. Record so far this season: +£7.13p

For those travelling to Griffin Park you probably should have left by now if you want to find a parking place. The Ciderspace guide to all things Brentford is online here.


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6 December 2005 : Skivo and Terry face one-match bans
Club captain Terry Skiverton and midfielder Paul Terry have been banned for one match after each player picked up their 5th booking of the season in the 2-0 FA Cup loss at Walsall on Saturday. Both players will miss the league match at Rotherham this coming Saturday.

With Skivo definitely missing next Saturday Glovers boss Steve Thompson will be hoping that on-loan Fulham defender Liam Fontaine will have recovered from the injury and illness that has kept him out of action for over a month now. Thommo is due to start talks with Fontaine and his other on loan player, midfielder Chris Cohen this week, according to the Western Daily Press, in a bid to extend the time the players will be at the club.

"Liam and I are going to be discussing the extension of his loan this week," Thommo told the newspaper. "He has still got a month left but it's something I would like to resolve sooner rather than later. I want Liam to stay and I just need to speak to Liam and to Fulham."

"We would like to extend [Chris Cohen's loan] and we are seeking to do that," the Glovers boss added. "Chris has been good for us and, as we have said to him, although we have lost some games recently that has in no way been down to him. Chris has been one of our better players in recent games." The West Ham United midfielder's initial loan period is currently due to run out next week.


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5 December 2005 : Glovers achievements recognised in BBC awards
Amidst all the doom and gloom prevalent amongst fans lately during the current poor run of results, it's pleasant to be able to report that two of the club's players and the football club as a whole have won three trophies in the BBC regional end-of-year sports personality awards, voted on by listeners to BBC local radio in the region as well as viewers of Spotlight, based in Plymouth, and Points West, based in Bristol.

Striker Phil Jevons picked up the BBC West Footballer of the Year trophy, while midfielder Lee Johnson won the BBC Southwest equivalent. Club captain Terry Skiverton collected the BBC Southwest Team of the Year award on behalf of the club as a whole.

Congratulations to all concerned, and perhaps a salutary reminder to us all that we haven't turned into a poor team with poor players overnight. Keep the faith!


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4 December 2005 : Milesy Did Not Bottle Game
Much of the opposition build-up to Saturday's FA Cup tie seemed to centre on mind-games being played in the Walsall press concerning the horrific, but accidental injury incurred by their long serving player Darren Wrack in the League One match at Huish Park earlier this season.

Despite sources close to the Yeovil playing squad suggesting that the Glovers players had bought a portable DVD player for Wrack shortly after his injury, Walsall's press centred on Wrack's claim that he had received no contact from Glovers defender Colin Miles, whose tackle resulted in Wrack's awkward fall.

At the time, Saddlers manager Paul Merson made it clear that he did not attach any blame to Miles for the injury describing it as an unfortunate accident. However few could have expected Merson's extraordinary outburst in his post-match press conference where he said of the substitution of Miles: "The left back could not wait to get off. I think he bottled it."

As a consequence, Glovers boss Steve Thompson was asked some questions over the situation with the middle two questions having come from the Walsall-based press:

Qu: Was Colin Miles a reoccurence of his dead leg?

ST: Yes, we have been fighting a battle to get Colin fit. I thought that to have him available in this cup game at Walsall was important. He is a strong player and a strong character. We were hoping that he could play. He has trained the last two days in some discomfort, but obviously it's very hard to simulate a match in the conditions and the physical work required. I could see within seven or eight minutes that it wasn't going to work on that side. I could see he wasn't up to match fitness.

Qu: Darren Wrack has expressed some disappointment that Miles has made no attempt to contact him and ask how are you after his leg was broken.

ST: Actually Colin Miles, if I remember rightly, and you have to remember this was about three months ago, came to me and asked what should I do? We said to him that we had taken care of the situation. I know Darren got fantastic treatment down there. The doctor was very quick because it was quite a bad break. Our people acted and our people we very good on that injury and the doctor acted to change the nerves around and the bone around early to minimise any nerve damage. Colin was upset about the incident. I have watched the incident quite a few times on video.

Qu: He's not blaming him, he just feels it would have been nice to write a letter.

ST: I know Colin was full of remorse. And of course the challenge was not a bad one - I'm sure you've looked at the video as well. I accept that point of view but there was no malice in the challenge - that's for sure.

Qu: Paul Merson has just made a rather strange comment by suggesting that Colin had bottled it by coming off.

ST: No, Colin has been fighting a hard battle to get fit all week and it was me that took him off. He didn't ask to come off, I brought him off. I could see that he wasn't up to the level required. In a Second Round FA Cup tie you want strong people and strong characters and he is.


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4 December 2005 : Thommo's Verdict On The Walsall Game
Glovers boss Steve Thompson blamed his side's lack of ability to turn possession into goals for his side's exit from the FA Cup at the hands of Walsall as his side lost 2-0 at the Bescot Stadium. Steve answered the following questions after the game:


Qu: Steve, you got a lot of the ball but not a lot of the luck today.

ST: You said that and not me - I am not going to keep on going on about the 'luck' thing. I am just upset and annoyed that we didn't win the game. The FA Cup is a great competition and I am upset and annoyed that we are not through to the next round or at least still in the draw.

Qu: Do you think that you should be on the basis of the play that you had?

ST: No, you don't win games on possession - you win games on scoring goals. I think maybe we did have more possession, but you win games by scoring goals and we didn't score any. I suppose you could say that we didn't play badly, but we didn't play well enough to win the game.

Qu: Two very good goal-line clearances have kept you out today, but I suppose apart from that the goalkeeper has not had a lot to do?

ST: No, the two goal-line clearances were obviously important for Walsall in the game. But it's frustrating at the moment - very frustrating. It's not as if we are getting outplayed and beaten. It's not happening like that. It's just that the other team is scoring more goals than us. In both boxes that edge is missing. We had another penalty today and that's always annoying when we concede a penalty. Then of course we were pushing up for the equaliser and got done on the counterattack.

Qu: Some of the Yeovil supporters at that end of the ground who had a better view were questioning the validity of the penalty decision. What was your view like?

ST: I'm not sure. I'll have to watch it on video. The ball looped up in the air off Sodje's head and next thing I knew the referee had blown his whistle for a penalty. He says it was for holding back, but I'll have to look at it on the video. I didn't get a definite yes or no from on the day.

Qu: And if it was for holding back, it could have been worse - he could have seen red. Paul Merson said in the press conference that he thinks that Efe should have been off.

ST: I'll have to look at the video, but he wasn't off. What me and Paul Merson think about that incident doesn't really matter. It's the fact that they won 2-0 and that's the only thing that matters.

Qu: Where you've looked at the game and what you got out of it, where would you like to see more from the next game?

ST: I'd like to see the ball hit the back of the net, and I'd like to see us keep a clean sheet!

Qu: Is that because you're not taking your chances and you're having to push more and more forward as the course of the game goes on?

ST: Yes, we are not taking a high enough percentage of our chances, but also we are conceding goals at the moment, so it is a two-way thing. I am still waiting to see if there is a team out there - no team has outplayed us. We just keep losing games in which we are as good. But it is all about results and we have lost today.

Qu: Of your strikers you have tried various different combinations and today it was Phil Jevons and Kevin Gall. They seemed to be getting a lot of chances to get the ball down and run with the ball. You then made the changes, but do you think that improved things?

ST: I felt we carried on in the same mode when we made the two changes. It wasn't until Walsall scored the second goal that when Walsall started to have a bit of joy in going forward as well. Obviously then we were totally committed towards chasing the game at 2-0. I've said it in the papers before, that it's up to the strikers to make those positions their own and at the moment no-one is really doing that.

Qu: It's not like this club to be out of the club before the third round - it's not nice to take?

ST: No, I would use stronger words than not nice. It's certainly a poor situation when you go out of the FA Cup and like you say we are used to going through to the FA Cup Third Round.

Qu: You've got a couple of days to get ready for Brentford and when you're on a sequence like this, that's a tough old game to turn things around.

ST: Yes, I think that any game would be tough now, and Brentford away is obviously tough.

Qu: But you keep sending the players out and they don't look like they are affected by defeats. They are still playing with plenty of energy and penty of enthusiasm.

ST: Yes, I'm sure that Paul (Merson) would agree, it was a very even game today. It could have gone either way, but we keep saying that. It is no good me keeping saying that over and over again. We have got to start picking up results.

Qu: How is Efe Sodje - he seemed to be hobbling as he came off.

ST: I don't know. We've got everyone in tomorrow to assess injuries - there's quite a few knocks in there. Everyone is in because we've got the game on Tuesday so we need to make sure that we prepare properly for that by getting today's game out of our system. We'll also be looking at anyone with knocks of course.


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3 December 2005 : Glovers out of luck - and out of the Cup
Yeovil Town can't buy a goal at the moment and accordingly were dumped out of the FA Cup today by opponents Walsall, 2-0 the final score.

The scoreline doesn't really tell the story of the match with the Glovers keeping the ball for long periods, but once again being unable to make their possession count and then falling to two sucker-punches. Teenage striker Matty Fryat provided the first sucker punch, the 19-year-old going down as if pole-axed in the box after an innocuous-looking Efe Sodje challenge and then putting the resultant spot-kick away on 18 minutes; and Jorge Leitao gave the coup-de-grace, a counter-attack ending with an unstoppable shot from distance with 7 minutes to go. In between it was mostly Yeovil, with shots from Terry Skiverton and Phil Jevons being cleared off the line, but the bald statistics of 4 shots on target and 7 off target tells it's own story - at the moment the Glovers are simply not getting enough efforts in on goal and those that are getting in on target are not of enough quality to beat a determined defence.

Injury news - Colin Miles only made it as far as the twelth minute today before being subbed, his leg injury picked up from last week flaring up once more. Efe Sodje limped off at the end with an as yet undiagnosed knock - he will be assessed tomorrow.

Final score: Walsall 2 - 0 Yeovil Town. A match report will be online later.


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2 December 2005 : Walsall v Yeovil Town FA Cup preview
The Glovers travel to League One rivals Walsall tomorrow in a welcome break from league action as the Glovers try to earn a place in the 3rd round of the FA Cup and a potentially lucrative tie against a Premiership giant.

The teams have already met once this season, Yeovil coming out on top as 2-1 winners at Huish Park in September. They've met twice before in the FA Cup as well, and again the Glovers came out on top - both times playing at the Saddlers home ground, winning 1-0 in 1960 and by the same score in a replay in 1991. History is on the Glovers side then, but current form is something else - Yeovil have lost their last 4 league matches whilst Walsall have won their last 4 home matches.

The Saddlers are currently 12th in the league table on 26 points, 4 points ahead of Yeovil. Much of their recent form has been built on the back of the introduction of two loan players to the side - keeper Joe Murphy from Sunderland and midfielder Eric Skora from Preston - but both have been refused permission by their respective clubs to play in FA Cup games. Regular keeper Andy Oakes is injured so youngster Rene Gilmartin will be drafted in in place of Murphy. Midfield playmaker Mark Kinsella is also considered very doubtful and Saddlers player-manager Paul Merson has only just resumed training following a 9-week layoff and by his own admission needs a couple of practice games before he can consider picking himself for a first team match. "Yeovil have lost four on the trot so won't be full of confidence," the Walsall player-boss said yesterday. "At their place earlier in the season we lost but outplayed them for all but about 10 minutes. I think we are more solid now. If we go in with the right attitude we've got every chance."

The Glovers will be without midfielder Darren Way (stress fracture of the shinbone) and defender Liam Fontaine is not match fit after his recent ankle injury. Left back Colin Miles is fit after recovering from a dead leg sustained last Saturday against Oldham and midfielder Lee Johnson is available after serving a one-match suspension after receiving 2 yellow cards at Swansea a fortnight ago. Fellow midfielder Chris Cohen is also available after being given permission to play in the FA Cup by parent club West Ham United. Rumours persist that the Glovers have extended Cohen's loan to beyond the Christmas period, but this has yet to be confirmed by the club. Not relevant to Yeovil tomorrow but of interest to Glovers fans otherwise is the news that Glovers defender Adam Lockwood, currently on loan at Torquay, has been given permission to play for the Gulls in their FA Cup match at home to Notts County tomorrow - he will therefore be cup-tied should the Glovers progress to the 3rd round of the competition.

"It is a huge match for us," Glovers boss Steve Thompson told the club's official site yesterday. "Firstly because we want to get back to winning ways. Secondly because of the potential for a money spinning 3rd round tie and thirdly because of the tradition of this club in the FA Cup. Make no mistake we are going there to win and with a big Yeovil travelling crowd to cheer us on I have every confidence in the lads to do the job."

Selected betting odds: Walsall win - 5/6; draw - 9/4; Yeovil win - 11/4. We're going to ignore current form and take inspiration from the lessons of history: Our fiver's going on a Yeovil win! Record so far this season: +£12.13p

For those of you travelling to the midlands tomorrow, the Ciderspace guide to all things Walsall - including ticket info - is online here.


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1 December 2005 : Cheltenham Reserves Match Report
A match report for Tuesday night's 2-3 home defeat against Cheltenham Town's Reserve side in the Pontins Holiday Combination League is now on-line here.


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1 December 2005 : We didn't think things were THIS bad!
Yeovil Town chairman John Fry has given what amounts to a vote of confidence to Glovers manager Steve Thompson and his team after the recent poor run that has seen Yeovil lose 4 league games in a row - and has hinted that new players may be brought in during the transfer window in January.

"The recent run we have had was perhaps bound to happen with the recent change of management and the fact we have now entered a higher level of football," Mr Fry told the Western Gazette today. "But overall I think the performances have been extremely encouraging and we all need to be patient while we find that winninmg formula at this level. We have first-class players and first-class management, and I think Terry Skiverton and the rest of the squad should be given a pat on the back and be encouraged as much as possible. They are more than capable of keeping the club in League One and I have no doubts about that at all."

"Steve [Thompson] is as anxious as anyone else at the moment, but a couple of good results and we shall be fine," Fry added. "Everywhere we have been this season other club officials have told me that we are the best team they have played and you only have to look at where the two Bristol clubs are compared to us to see we are not doing too badly - so what is the problem? You can never have anything under full control at a football club because lots can happen, but plans are being made. We know we need to build around the squad we already have by adding a couple of players but that cannot be done until January."

Former trialist Matthew Platt, the ex-Crewe striker who scored twice for the Glovers in their behind-closed-doors 2-1 win over Latvian champions Skonto Riga last week will not be one of those players however - the Gazette reports that the Glovers have ruled out a move for the striker. This week's trialist Sammy Ayorinde has similarly been rejected.

Glovers boss Steve Thompson has said that he wants to see giant centre half Luke Oliver pushing for a first team place at Huish Park following his return from a successful 3-month loan spell at Conference side Woking. "It's a great opportunity for me to look at Luke," Thommo said to the Western Morning News today. "He's on a two-year contract here and he's got a year and a half left on that. He did very well at Woking and he will play in any reserve game we have now and be pushing for the first team. I spoke to Glenn Cockerill and Matt Crossley [manager and assistant manager at Woking] and they both speak very highly of him. He's been a defensive rock for them."


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