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31 December 2008 : Rodgers Talks Still Yet To Begin
Yeovil Town Chief Executive Martyn Starnes has said that the club will finally sit down and discuss the way forward for striker Luke Rodgers on 'Thursday or Friday'. Speaking to the Western Daily Press, Starnes confirmed that talks had yet to commence and told the paper that as a first step he needed to talk to manager Russell Slade about what his own wishes were:

"We are going to have discussions about Luke with the manager (Russell Slade) on Thursday or Friday. No doubt that will involve Luke's agent and we will see what happens from there. Luke has done very well. At the end of the day it is down to the manager and I'm pretty sure he would want to keep him but it's his call. We then need to make sure the financial arrangements are correct for the club."

Certainly Slade has made his own feelings about Rodgers clear to the press over the games in December, saying after Sunday's match at Millwall that "I want Luke to stay and I'll leave that to the powers that be" hence it is somewhat concerning that time will pass from Sunday until what is realistically likely to be Friday before that direction is confirmed.

Starnes points out to the WDP that financial terms have yet to be discussed with Rodgers and his agent. The Stoke Sentinel believes that Rodgers is after a two and a half year deal - the length of deal that caused contract talks with defender Gareth Owen to collapse. On the plus side, Starnes confirmed that there was no need for talks with Luke's parent club Port Vale:

"As far as ourselves and Port Vale are concerned there was something agreed so there shouldn't be any need to go back on that situation. But terms will still have to be agreed with Luke. The length of contract is something we will have to discuss with Russell and Luke and his agent and we will have to see what they are proposing. Luke has given us some energy up front and got the goals in the last two games and everybody has been impressed with his performances and how he has improved since he began his loan spell suffering from illness."

Fingers crossed that something can be sorted out between all parties by the time Scunthorpe United visit Huish Park on January 6th.


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30 December 2008 : Seats For Bristol Rovers Sold Out
Further to our December 5th article, tickets for the seated areas of the Memorial Stadium have now sold out. Yeovil Town travel to play Bristol Rovers on January 10th 2009, in what is an ALL TICKET match.

Tickets for the terraced area are still available from the Huish Park Ticket Office. However, clearly these will start to sell that little bit more quickly as the tie draws nearer. Tickets will be available until 5.00p.m. on Thursday 8th January. There will be NO tickets available from the Memorial Stadium on the day of the game. For full ticketing information, head to our December 5th article.


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30 December 2008 : Webb Jnr Back At Huish Park
Former Yeovil Town striker Daniel Webb has made a return to Huish Park - as a coach in the club's Community Trust scheme. The son of former club owner David Webb will be involved in a series of Development Centre trials to be held during January 2009.

Since leaving Yeovil in the summer of 2007, Webb Jnr has continued his fairly nomadic footballing career, turning out for Maltese champions Marsaxlokk, AFC Wimbledon, Chelmsford City, Sutton United, Havant & Waterlooville and as of early December, Conference National side Salisbury City. By our calculations (although we may have missed one or two) Salisbury represents his 17th club. Presumably his return to the area has allowed him to take up a position at the club.

The current Community Trust coaching roster includes Roy O'Brien, Dave Gudge, Danny Thompson, Tony Pounder, Paul Thorpe and Tony Rich. Former players Nick Crittenden and Adrian Foster have been involved in the Community Trust at some point in the past, but both have quietly dropped off the club's list of coaches.


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30 December 2008 : Away Travel To Bristol Rovers
The Away Travel Club will be running a coach for the away match at Bristol Rovers on Saturday 10th January. The coach will depart at 10.30a.m. from the away end of the ground.

The cost of travel is just £5.00 per person. Each coach will call at a pub on the way up but will come straight back after the match. To book your seat please phone Roger on the following mobile number: 07960687075.


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30 December 2008 : Cheltenham Town Man Of The Match Result
Boxing Day's match against Cheltenham Town saw the Glovers gain a 1-1 draw against their relegation rivals at Huish Park. The Robins saw their opening goal cancelled out by a Luke Rodgers header - his first for the club. Luke featured heavily in the voting, finishing in the runners up slot.

However, it was right-back Craig Alcock who won the vote by a significant margin, taking more outright MOTM votes than the rest of the votes put together, and therefore he is the deserved winner by a significant margin. The full results are shown below, with outright MOTM votes shown in brackets:

1 Craig Alcock 410 (36)
2 Luke Rodgers 214 (7)
3 Danny Schofield 106 (4)
4 Lee Peltier 62 (2)
5 Andy Welsh 54 (1)
6 Nathan Smith 44 (0)
7 Terrell Forbes 38 (3)
8 Gary Roberts 32 (2)
9 Terry Skiverton 14 (0)
10 Paul Warne 12 (0)
11 Nathan Jones 2 (0)
11 Gavin Tomlin 2 (0)


OVERALL MATCH RATING: 5.53

Performance: 5.60
Entertainment: 5.45

VOTES RECEIVED: 55


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30 December 2008 : Russell Still Chasing A Target Man
Yeovil Town manager Russell Slade has said that he ideally would like to bring two strikers during the January transfer window. One of those is well known to be Luke Rodgers, and Russell has told the powers-that-be at Huish Park that he wants the Port Vale man to make his stay in Somerset a permanent one, although admits that this has yet to be agreed.

Russell's other target is a tall striker. Again this comes as no surprise given his recent use of Peterborough United striker Scott Rendell and Millwall target man Gifton Noel-Williams. Whilst neither are expected to be on his January shopping list, Russell has told the Western Morning News that he is after a player in that sort of mould and added that a shortlist of targets has already been passed through to the Yeovil Town board:

"I want Luke to stay and I'll leave that to the powers that be. I'll discuss that with the directors when we talk about our gameplan for the second half of the season. I think we need a target man as well. You look at our side today and apart from Skivo [Terry Skiverton] we had team of garden gnomes. We're not a big side at the moment and we could do with a bit more stature. A bit more presence could be important. I have given the names of my targets to the directors but other players could also become available in January as clubs re-shape their squads."

The WMN also repeat Russell's thoughts on the possibility that key players may have to leave Huish Park to make way for incoming targets, so that the appropriate funds can be raised:

"We know we've had a lot of scouts looking at our players but we'll have to wait and see what happens. We might have to sell one of them to raise funds. We'll have to wheel and deal and may have to get a couple out to get people in. And if we get the right offer for one of our highly rated young players we will have to seriously consider it."

The only question is - what is "the right offer" and who will decide when that offer is right?


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29 December 2008 : Swindon Town Man Of The Match Result
The final pre-Christmas match saw Yeovil Town grab a 3-2 win over relegation rivals Swindon Town at the County Ground. Two players scored their debut Glovers goals on the day, with Lee Peltier and Craig Alcock demonstrating why they can both fit into the same side at present. They both featured heavily in the Man of the Match voting, finishing 2nd and 3rd overall.

However, the overall winner was a player who had yet to score his first Yeovil Town goal, so perhaps the December 20th match was an indication that Luke Rodgers was starting to stamp his authority on the Glovers front line, even if he'd need a further six days to grab his debut goal.

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

1 Luke Rodgers 126 (8)
2 Craig Alcock 94 (5)
3 Lee Peltier 80 (5)
4 Terry Skiverton 72 (5)
5 Gary Roberts 32 (1)
6 Danny Schofield 26 (1)
7 Terrell Forbes 14 (0)
8 Paul Warne 6 (0)


OVERALL MATCH RATING: 8.35

Performance: 8.08
Entertainment: 8.62

VOTES RECEIVED: 25


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29 December 2008 : Club Cancel New Year's Eve Party
Yeovil Town have today cancelled their New Year's Eve party. The cancellation has been blamed on a lack of ticket sales for the event, which was due to take place in the Alec Stock Lounge.

We'd suggest that if you have bought tickets for the event that you apply to the Huish Park Ticket Office for a full refund.


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29 December 2008 : January Sales Start Soon?
Yeovil Town manager Russell Slade has warned the Western Daily Press that some of his key players may have to be sold off in the January transfer window. The Glovers are already operating on a painfully thin squad, and Slade is anxious to strengthen his striking options next month.

However, that may have to come at a cost, with the paper referring to the obvious trio of Lee Peltier, Nathan Smith and Gary Roberts although inevitably Slade said it depends on what lands on the table during January:

"We might have to sell off one of them to bring in players. If we get the right offer we are going to have to consider it seriously. I know there has been interest but I haven't had a direct offer for Smith or Peltier or Roberts. But we know there have been bags of scouts watching."

It's true to say that every player has his price - both in terms of the financial gain the Football Club would have if the right offer was made, but also considering the moral obligation to allow players the ability to further their career. However, in this site's opinion, the club also need to consider another 'cost' - that of failing to keep the club in this division. That will have a finite value set against it, based on the drop in revenue that going into League Two would bring.

Quite clearly the club have more chance of maintaining League One football with those players mentioned above in the squad than without them. If such a player sale were to allow Slade the chance to bring in two or three replacements, such as striker Luke Rodgers, then it may add some value to the squad. However, if the end result is what has happened in previous League One seasons in that the relevant manager has had to dive into the loan market to a significant extent to try and plug gaps, then that may leave the club in a weaker position coming out of the transfer window than it will going in. The club's decision-making in January needs to be made with that in mind.


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28 December 2008 : Russell's Verdict On the Millwall Game
Yeovil Town manager Russell Slade gave his usual post-match views to BBC local radio following today's 1-1 draw with Millwall. Speaking to reporter Pete Simson following the game, Russell's thoughts are available via the transcription below.

Link: Russell's Verdict On the Millwall Game.


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28 December 2008 : Glovers Enjoy A Spot Of Lion-Taming
Yeovil Town claimed a share of the points today at the New Den with an impressive display against a promotion-chasing Millwall side. Despite the worst possible start, that saw David Martin's corner flicked home by Paul Robinson with just three minutes gone, the Glovers gradually worked their way back from a difficult opening period. By the time Luke Rodgers produced an outstanding finish eight minutes from the break, Yeovil were well on top, with Rodgers having landed the ball in the net earlier only to be denied by a linesman's flag. After the break Yeovil were just as impressive, but couldn't quite come home with the three points they so richly deserved.

The Glovers went into the match suffering a pre-match blow in that not only had Paul Warne not recovered from his Christmas illness, midfielder Gary Roberts had come down with the same, and with Darren Way and Marc Bircham representng long term midfield absentees, the Glovers overloaded their midfield with a trio of attacking players, with the notion that Lee Peltier would provide the sole anchor position.

The start was not what they needed though. Millwall forced a series of early corners, and from a third consecutive attempt, David Martin's ball into the box was met by the faintest of flicks by Paul Robinson, with Glovers keeper Josh Wagenaar having over-committed himself for the ball.

The first 20 minutes were difficult to say the least, with Millwall attacking in waves, and the Glovers looking tentative and with a tendency to stand off the ball and let the Lions come at them. A difficult afternoon seemed inevitable with shots from Nadjim Abdou, Neil Harris and Gary Alexander all keeping Yeovil on the back foot, with Alexander's shot producing an excellent save from Wagenaar.

Yeovil took until almost the midway point of the first half to have their first shot, and even that was a wild off-target effort from Aidan Downes. But it served to settle the players down and the pendulum gradually swung the other way. A sublime passing move involving Danny Schofield, saw Gavin Tomlin put through on goal, and as his shot squeezed under keeper David Forde, it looked like an equalising goal, particularly when Luke Rodgers bundled the ball over the line as a Millwall defender charged in to try and hack the ball clear. Unfortunately a linesman's flag went up at the far end to the travelling Yeovil contingent, silencing the celebrations. Rodgers got the ball in the net a second time within five minutes, lobbing Forde on this occasion, although in fairness to the Millwall keeper, he seemed to be as aware as Rodgers was that another offside flag would chalk it off.

With eight minutes before the break though, there was absolutely no doubt about Yeovil's equalising goal. A throw-in from the right-flank was taken by Craig Alcock into the path of Lee Peltier. His near post pass to Luke Rodgers produced an emphatic finish - a turn-and-shoot move that cut across the face of Forde's goal and into the bottom far corner for an outstanding goal.

The second period saw Millwall briefly threaten when Adam Bolder's effort clipped the top of Yeovil's crossbar. But the Glovers were matching them, with Gavin Tomlin producing an angled cross-cum-shot that deceived Forde in the Millwall goal, as it struck the back post, struck a Millwall defender and narrowly ricocheted back just wide of the goal post.

Millwall were finding it increasingly difficult to cope with Yeovil's passing and movement, with the front five players all interchanging fluently, occasionally joined by Terry Skiverton at set pieces, and by surges from left-back Nathan Smith. The former Potters Bar left-back's positional sense whilst defending may often look raw, but his forward surges are Arsenalesque at times, and at one point the only way they could stop him was through a dreadful tackle by Paul Robinson - deservedly one of four Lions bookings on the day.

Andy Welsh's looping header landed on top of the goal frame, Luke Rodgers had a shot blocked by Forde's legs as he twisted between two Millwall defenders. As the game reached its conclusion, Gavin Tomlin's stretching header almost won it, but if anything the direction was too good, landing in the grateful arms of David Forde. The Glovers deserved all three points, but they couldn't quite get them.

Millwall's occasional surges made for some jangled nerves in injury time, but if they had grabbed a late winner it would have been daylight robbery. This was Yeovil at their spirited best, with some great passing and movement once they had shrugged off the nightmarish start and the opening pressure from the home side. The lack of a target man meant Yeovil still looked a little lightweight up front, but Gavin Tomlin's best game for several weeks ensured that Gifton Noel-Williams wasn't missed too much, and the overall effort and endeavour of the side shows how much the players want to climb clear of the relegation slots. More performances like this afternoon, and they need not fear visits from Scunthorpe and Leicester that are coming their way in January.

Final Score: Millwall 1 Yeovil Town 1.

Scorers: Paul Robinson (3 mins, 1-0), Luke Rodgers (37 mins, 1-1)

Millwall: (4-4-2)
1. David Forde
7. Alan Dunne 6. Zak Whitbread 5. Paul Robinson 26. Nadjim Abdou
12. Chris Hackett 8. Gary Alexander 32. Adam Bolder 21. David Martin
9. Neil Harris 16. Scott Barron

Substitutes:
40. Lenny Pidgeley (GK) 17. Tresor Kandol (70 mins for Neil Harris) 19. Ashley Grimes (53 mins for Chris Hackett) 22. Ali Fuseini 24. Marc Laird (82 mins for David Martin)

Yeovil Town: (4-1-3-2)
13. Josh Wagenaar
12. Craig Alcock 6. Terrell Forbes 4. Terry Skiverton 28. Nathan Smith
27. Lee Peltier
17. Aidan Downes 11. Danny Schofield 9. Andrew Welsh
15. Luke Rodgers 10. Gavin Tomlin

Substitutes:
3. Nathan Jones 18. Kieran Murtagh 19. Andre McCollin (90 mins for Gavin Tomlin) 22. Jordan Street 23. Aaron Brown

Millwall Bookings: Adam Bolder (57 mins, foul), Scott Barron (66 mins, dissent), David Forde (74 mins, dissent), Paul Robinson (74 mins, foul)
Yeovil Bookings: Lee Peltier (34 mins, foul)

Referee: James Linington (Isle of Wight). Assistants: John Busby (Oxfordshire) and Mike George (Norfolk). Fourth Official: Ian Bentley (Kent).

Attendance: 9,042 (including approx 350 Yeovil fans)


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28 December 2008 : Peltier Hit With Two Match Ban
Yeovil Town right-back and midfielder Lee Peltier will have to sit out the next two matches after he picked up his 10th booking of the season today. Pelts was booked for a first half foul on Millwall's David Martin and thus will miss the home match against Scunthorpe United on January 6th, as well as the trip to Bristol Rovers on January 10th.

Striker/winger Paul Warne and midfielder Gary Roberts missed today's match at the New Den through illness.


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28 December 2008 : Man of the Match Voting For The Millwall Match
For those who witnessed Yeovil Town's 1-1 draw against Millwall this afternoon at the New Den, a reminder that your Man of the Match votes are now due. Choose your top three players, plus entertainment and performance ranking, along with any additional comments you wish to make, via the form below.

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


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27 December 2008 : It's Thordarson At Gresty Road
Basement club Crewe Alexandra has appointed Gudjon Thordarson as the new manager to move them off the foot of the table and save their League One status. The Icelander, who has previously managed Stoke City, Barnsley and Notts County in the English game, will take formal charge at the start of next week with Dario Gradi continuing to hold the reins for tomorrow's fixture at Hartlepool United.


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27 December 2008 : Legends Match Prices
Prices for the 60th Anniversary match to commemorate the victory of then Non-league Yeovil Town over then First Division Sunderland in the Fourth Round of the F.A. Cup have been set at :

adults £5.00; children* £1.00

(* age has not been specified, but we'd presume what is the usual Yeovil Town policy and Under 16 is meant)

The match is scheduled for Thursday 29th January, with a 7.45 p.m. kick-off at Huish Park.

Since our item on 26th October further names have been added to the list of players it is hoped will be involved. For Yeovil Town Legends: Jimmy Aggrey, Carl Alford, Terry Cotton, Nick Crittenden, Howard Forinton, Adrian Foster, Jerry Gill, Kim Grant, Gary Johnson, Roy O'Brien, Warren Patmore, Tony Pennock, Owen Pickard, David Piper, Micky Spencer, Marcus Stewart (who may appear for both sides), Steve Thompson, Paul Thorpe, Tom White and Guy Whittingham. For Sunderland Legends: Gary Bennett, Barry Dunn, Micky Horswill, Lee Howey, Richard Ord and Gary Owers.


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27 December 2008 : Millwall vs Yeovil Town Match Preview
Yeovil Town make the rather difficult trip to third-placed Millwall tomorrow hoping to come back with something positive from a side that has the joint-best home record in the division. Only three sides have come back with anything this season from The Den. Their 43 point total is almost double Yeovil's 23 and realistically any points the Glovers come home with will be good points.

On the plus side, the Lions have only gained one point from their last two games, with basement side Crewe Alexandra proving that it is possible to get something from South-East London, with a 0-0 draw just before Christmas. Millwall also lost their Boxing Day match against Peterborough United, with a 1-0 scoreline at London Road leaving them two games without a goal. There will therefore be pressure on them to get a win to avoid losing ground on the automatic promotion slots.

Millwall go into the game with two players suspended for the match. Winger Lewis Grabban was already known about, having picked up his fifth yellow card of the season a week ago. However defender Tony Craig was red carded during Boxing Day's match against Peterborough, leaving the Lions with just under an hour to play with 10 men. Millwall manager Kenny Jackett said after the game that he saw it as a clash of heads with Posh player Chris Whelpdale and said that if video evidence supported it that he would appeal, however with no word of that having been submitted yet, it would appear that the match official's view that a leading elbow was used has been accepted. The matters though may be complicated by the Christmas holidays which make up to date information hard to come by.

Craig's likely absence means that Millwall will be hoping that Andy Frampton has recovered from the concussion that ruled him out of the Boxing Day match, as he will provide a direct swap for the left-back. However, they will definitely be without Danny Spiller (hip), Marcus Bignot (knee) and Danny Senda (knee). Chris Hackett will need a fitness test on an ankle injury to see if he is able to replace Grabban.

For the Glovers, they are definitely without Marc Bircham (ankle), Darren Way (car crash) and Gifton Noel-Williams who has concluded his loan at Huish Park and returned to Millwall. They also have a concern over Paul Warne, who was withdrawn from Boxing Day's match early in the second half due to an illness. There are no other obvious injuries or illnesses, but with only 48 hours between the two fixtures, even a minor knock could force the odd player to drop out of the squad. The team left for London this afternoon, and given the size of Yeovil's first team squad, there is little doubt that every player will have travelled.

Past results between the two clubs do not give out too much hope for Yeovil. In eight meetings so far, the best Yeovil have managed is three draws, and the Lions did the double over their opponents last season, with James Walker the Yeovil scorer in a 2-1 defeat in November 2007's last match at The Den.

One man to watch at tomorrow's game is Lions striker Neil Harris. If he nets tomorrow, don't be too surprised if the celebrations are a little bit over the top. Harris needs just one goal to beat Teddy Sheringham's club goal scoring record for the Lions, netting the goal that equalled the 111 strike record on December 13th at Walsall.

Tickets are available on the day of the game from Millwall's North Stand Ticket Office. For full details of prices and everything else you need to know about tomorrow's opponents, use the Ciderspace guide, via the link below.

Link: Ciderspace Guide To Millwall.


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27 December 2008 : Officials For The Millwall Match
Tomorrow's League One match against Millwall will be looked after by James Linington (Isle of Wight). James has been a regular at Huish Park over the seasons, but has never been the man in the middle. Up until this summer, he was coming to Somerset as an assistant referee, but this summer he was promoted to the Football League's referees list and we had him for the first time as the man in the middle back in October.

Crewe Alexandra were our opponents, and there's little doubt that the 3-2 scoreline and the thrilling way the game ebbed and flowed will have influenced our thoughts on the referee, but bar a grumble that he didn't get out his cards for one theatrical Crewe dive, our recollection is one of general happiness with his performance on the night in what was his first ever match at League One level.

Mr Linington will be assisted by John Busby (Oxfordshire) and Mike George (Norfolk). The Fourth Official will be Ian Bentley (Kent).

Link: October 2008 : Yeovil Town 3 Crewe Alexandra 2.


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27 December 2008 : Birth Of The Giant-Killers
As part of its commemoration of the Fourth Round F.A. Cup victory over Sunderland sixty years ago (come 29th January 2009), Yeovil Town has published a book, Birth of the Giant-killers. Subtitled 'A tribute to Yeovil Town Football Club's historic achievements in the 1948/49 FA Cup', it is available at £6.99 through the club shop or from the Yeovil branch of WH Smith.

The Ciderspace review can be read here :

Link: 'Birth of the Giant-killers' - a review


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27 December 2008 : Swindon Appoint Danny Wilson
League One rivals Swindon Town have appointed the experienced Danny Wilson as their new manager. Wilson was officially named by the Robins an hour before yesterday's kick-off at Leyton Orient, and although he played no direct part in the match, the response to his arrival in the Directors Box at Brisbane Road was rather positive - a goal after 42 seconds as Swindon beat their relegation rivals 2-1. Wilson replaces Maurice Malpas, who was fired on November 14th.

Wilson has only just been fired by another League One side Hartlepool, with still no obvious reason as to why the North-East club decided to give their man the shove. Although based in Chesterfield, Wilson has a strong connection with the West Country, having previously managed Bristol City for 226 games. Wilson has also enjoyed spells with Barnsley, Sheffield Wednesday and Milton Keynes Dons.

Wilson's career highlights including getting Barnsley into the Premiership in 1997, winning the LDV Vans Trophy with Bristol City in 2003 and getting Hartlepool into League One. Swindon have yet to announce his contract length. He is expected to work with the existing Swindon backroom team for the immediate future and will take charge of his first match at the County Ground in another relegation six-pointer as 18th placed Swindon play host to 21st placed Brighton and Hove Albion.


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27 December 2008 : Russell's Verdict On The Cheltenham Game
Yeovil Town manager Russell Slade spoke to BBC Radio Bristol following yesterday's 1-1 home draw with Cheltenham Town. With questions posed by reporter Jon Bennett, the full transcript of Russell's interview can be viewed via the link below.

Link: Russell's Verdict On The Cheltenham Game.


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27 December 2008 : Way Moved To Frenchay Hospital
Yeovil Town manager Russell Slade has confirmed that injured midfielder Darren Way has moved out of Dorchester Hospital. In what appears to be a sign of Darren being on the mend, he has now been rehoused in Frenchay Hospital in Bristol where he will have a number of further operations following his involvement in a car accident just over a week ago.

Russell told BBC Somerset that he was in regular contact with Darren and gave the latest on his situation:

"I spoke to him this morning (Friday) and they've moved him to a hospital (Frenchay) in Bristol. There's going to be a bit more work done and a few more operations ahead of him with his hip and maybe one or two other alterations. But he is in good shape, and he'll take each day as it comes obviously. He'll work very hard and do his very best to get back and be as fit as he possibly can again."


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27 December 2008 : Gifton Return Unlikely
Yeovil Town manager Russell Slade has said that he is unlikely to try and bring striker Gifton Noel-Williams back to Huish Park for a second spell. Gifton, who returns to his parent club Millwall today, made eight appearances for the club, but failed to find the back of the net. Russell was asked by BBC Somerset if a return was possible once the transfer window opened:

"I think that would be unlikely. Gifton has done OK for us. He hasn't provided us with the necessary goals. We may have to look in another direction."

When the transfer window opens in January, Russell admitted though that looking at what strikers he could afford would be at the top of his list of priorities:

"I think so. We need to resolve that area of the pitch, for sure."


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26 December 2008 : Possession Fails To Gain Glovers Advantage
Yeovil Town had to settle for a home draw this afternoon against Cheltenham Town despite enjoying the lion's share of the possession. The Robins scored with their only shot on target in the first half as Ashley Vincent caught them on the break. But a Luke Rodgers near post header just 16 minutes from time gave them just reward for their efforts, even if for all their possession, chances in the second period were at a premium.

The Glovers went into the match without striker Gifton Noel-Williams, who has been suffering with some kind of tonsil-related ailment over the past fortnight, meaning that he missed the final loan match of his loan spell before returning to Millwall. Yeovil are not expected to continue their interest in the player. Added to that, long term injury victims Marc Bircham and Darren Way continued to be unavailable.

An early flurry from Cheltenham that saw them create a couple of half chances in the opening five minutes of the match didn't really establish what was to be the main pattern of the first period. That was for Yeovil to dominate possession to an extreme, passing the ball around well, and stretching the Robins on a pitch that was certainly playable but was cutting up badly as the half wore on.

The amount of possession though deserved more chances. Without a target man in their side, Gavin Tomlin was asked to perform the 'collect and hold' role and he never looked wholly comfortable with the task. Better outlets came from the wing play, with Danny Schofield producing one shot that Scott Brown did well to save, whilst a volley just over the bar from Luke Rodgers after Schofield fed him deserved an opening for the Glovers. Another chance for Rodgers was semi-blocked by a Cheltenham defender, spinning just wide of the post for a corner.

Apart from that opening two or three minutes, Cheltenham had barely seen Yeovil's goal mouth all half. It was therefore very frustrating when after a Glovers attack the Robins cleared with a 60 yard punt up field. Barry Hayles flicked it into the path of the pacey Ashley Vincent, and the Glovers back line backed off far too much, as Vincent was allowed to move into a more square position and plant the ball across the face of Josh Wagenaar. After so much possession - the BBC statistics for half time gave the Glovers a staggering 76 percent of the ball - Huish Park was stunned and you could hear a pin drop as the teams headed off for half time.

The second period appeared to extend that stunned feeling a bit further. With Cheltenham no doubt having used the break to see how they could come back home with a 1-0 win, they restricted themselves entirely to trying to play on the break. The concerning thing was how easily they succeeded in turning a semi-firing Yeovil attack into one that didn't seem to be firing at all. The Glovers did manage to get the ball in the back of the net as Luke Rodgers fired home from a narrow angle as Gavin Tomlin headed into his path, but Rodgers was getting rank luck from the two linesmen and his 'goal' was ruled offside.

Russell Slade pressed the gamble button by introducing Aaron Brown as a make-shift centre forward for the second week running, whilst Andy Welsh also proved to be a good influence on Yeovil's second half play as he replaced Paul Warne. But despite that it was a game with 0-1 written all over it. That was until 15 minutes from time, when Welsh's left wing cross was met like a bolt out of the blue by Luke Rodgers, who raced to the near post and got in front of his marker to plant a header past Scott Brown.

Yeovil turned up the noise off the field, and the attacks on the field, but couldn't force a winner, although Danny Schofield clipped the crossbar with a cross-cum-shot. In fact the game could have got ugly, with Lee Ridley's kick on Luke Rodgers' calf being met by a less than subtle retaliation by Rodgers around 10 seconds later. Other niggles and skirmishes occupied a feisty final 15 minutes. Whilst referee Steven Cook didn't have the best of games (although he was surpassed by a country mile by the Main Stand linesman) he thankfully kept a lid on things and all 22 players stayed on the field.

Not a bad point for the Glovers, particularly when taken in context with last week's win at Swindon. Four points out of six against relegation rivals is a good haul, and that's why the Glovers now lie three points clear of the drop zone. However, the weakness in the side is painfully obvious to see. For all of the possession in the world, Yeovil looked lost without a Rendell or a Noel-Williams to hold the ball up for them in the final third. The likes of Tomlin and Rodgers aren't built for that kind of play, and whilst Rendell and Noel-Williams have not set Huish Park alight during their loan spells, they did provide a benefit to the team as a whole, and it is when that asset is taken away that it becomes that little bit more obvious.

Final Score : Yeovil Town 1 Cheltenham Town 1.

Scorers: Ashley Vincent (0-1, 42 mins), Luke Rodgers (1-1, 75 mins).

Yeovil Town (4-4-2):
13. Josh Wagenaar
12. Craig Alcock 4. Terry Skiverton 6. Terrell Forbes 28. Nathan Smith
11. Danny Schofield 16. Gary Roberts (85) 27. Lee Peltier 14. Paul Warne (50)
10. Gavin Tomlin (65) 15. Luke Rodgers

Substitutes:
3. Nathan Jones 9. Andy Welsh (50 mins for Paul Warne) 17. Aidan Downes (85 mins for Gary Roberts) 18. Keiran Murtagh 23. Aaron Brown (65 mins for Gavin Tomlin)

Cheltenham Town:
12. Scott P Brown
17. Andy Lindegaard 35. Darren Kenton 20. Andy Gallinagh 19. Lee Ridley
8. John Finnigan 16. Alex Russell 38. Ian Westlake 18. Ashley Vincent
24. Barry Hayles 39. Elvis Hammond

Substitutes:
3. Alan Wright (46 mins for John Finnigan) 5. Gavin Caines 21. Will Puddy (GK) 23. Jonathan Hayes (73 mins for Darren Kenton) 27. Lloyd Owusu (59 mins for Barry Hayles)

Yeovil Bookings: Lee Peltier (44 mins, foul), Luke Rodgers (80 mins, foul)
Cheltenham Bookings: Andy Lindegaard (85 mins, foul)

Referee: Steven Cook (Surrey). Assistants: Ron Ganfield (Somerset) and Brendan Malone (Wiltshire). Fourth Official: Andrew Sainsbury (Wiltshire).

Attendance: 4,989 (including 368 Cheltenham fans).


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26 December 2008 : Ciderspace Guide To Millwall
For those wanting to plan their travelling for Sunday's match against Millwall, a reminder that the Ciderspace guide is available. Featuring directions, club history, ticket pricing and everything else you should know about heading to South Bermondsey, the guide can be found via the link below.

Link: Ciderspace Guide To Millwall.


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26 December 2008 : Man of the Match Voting For The Cheltenham Town Match
For those who were at Huish Park this afternoon for Yeovil Town's home match against Cheltenham Town, don't forget to cast your Man of the Match votes as quickly as possible. With the Glovers in action again on Sunday, you will need to make your vote count before the away match against Millwall kicks off.

Choose your top three players, plus entertainment and performance ratings along with any additional comments you want to make on the game, via the form below.

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


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25 December 2008 : Yeovil Town vs Cheltenham Town Match Preview
Yeovil Town take on Cheltenham Town tomorrow (Boxing Day) in a League One fixture at Huish Park. Like last week's game against Swindon Town, this match is another six-pointer, where the winners will gain a huge advantage over their rivals. Cheltenham lie in 22nd place in the League One table, three points behind the Glovers, who climbed up to 18th on the back of last weekend's 3-2 away win. Yeovil's superior goal difference though means that the Robins would need to record a five goal win to be able to climb above their hosts.

The Glovers go into the match with more or less the same squad to choose from as on last weekend. Long term injury victims Marc Bircham and Darren Way may not kick a ball again this season, and the only question mark is over striker/winger Aidan Downes who was an early withdrawl from the home match against Stockport County and did not make the sixteen against Swindon Town. His status is currently unknown, with the club having provided little information ahead of tomorrow's fixture. Tomorrow will be the last match for striker Gifton Noel-Williams before he returns to his parent club Millwall, and most likely becomes a free agent on January 1st.

Cheltenham will bring two former Yeovil players down for the match, but in the case of utility player Andy Lindegaard, it's likely that the most he will be doing on Boxing Day is catching up with his family and friends whilst he is back in his home town. Lindy has been rather brutally frozen out at Whaddon Road since manager Martin Allen's arrival, making just one substitute appearance in all competitions since October 21st. It would be a major surprise if he didn't find himself another club during the January transfer window.

Striker Lloyd Owusu will probably make the sixteen but is faring little better. He has not entered the field of play since November 25th, despite Allen employing a 4-3-3 formation during recent matches. Much of that has been down to the arrival of Barry Hayles on loan from Leicester City for his second loan spell with the club.

Cheltenham have a mammoth-sized squad of around 30 players, ignited by a stream of loans that Allen has brought in since his arrival at the club. Initially those arrivals had little effect upon their fortunes, but three wins and two draws in their last five matches have rejuvinated the Gloucestershire side, and the Glovers will have to be wary of paying too much attention to Cheltenham's league position.

Allen will have to make do without Drissa Diallo (knee) and Damien Spencer, whilst he also has doubts about David Bird (shin). Midfielder Josh Payne has returned to West Ham United following the competition of a loan spell. However with Ashley Vincent back from a one match suspension and Shane Duff having completed a training match following an achilles problem, Allen's problems will still be about who to leave out rather than who to put in.

Allen puts his side's recent form down to the the recapture of Barry Hayles, who has scored one goal since his return to Whaddon Road, but has yet to be on the losing side. Allen said that the quality of his incoming players, particularly Hayles, had made all the difference:

"The players have more belief and they have been boosted with Barry Hayles coming in, who is a good player. We also have Elvis Hammond returning to fitness and he is a good player, and John Finnigan is getting back to full fitness, too. You can be the best coach and the best manager, with the best fans, but without good players you won't win anything. The supporters must have been wondering at times what the hell I have been doing, with so many changes. I am probably the most impatient person in the world, but the changes had to be made, players are coming back from injuries and you can now see how it's evolving."

For those that like omens, Cheltenham's record in away matches at Yeovil is not good. Since 1959 they've only won twice in League matches - in 1988 and more recently in 2006. The last time the two sides met on a Boxing Day, in 2004, the Glovers won 4-1 with goals from Kevin Gall, Phil Jevons, Aaron Davies and Paul Terry. The linesman that day, Brendan Malone, is also running the line on Boxing Day.

Tomorrow's match kicks off at 3.00p.m. and tickets for the match are available from the Huish Park Ticket Office right up until kick-off, subject to the usual match-day tariffs.


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25 December 2008 : Merry Christmas!
Ho Ho Ho! Merry Christmas!
Ho Ho Ho! Merry Christmas!

A very Merry Christmas to everyone who has enjoyed reading Ciderspace during 2008, in particular to the many of you who have supplied us with information over the year. Eat, drink and be merry today - unless you're one of the sixteen running around on the pitch against Cheltenham Town tomorrow afternoon, in which case portions of Christmas Pud are off the menu! Hopefully we will see many of you at tomorrow's match.

Link: Clipart Mountain Website (if we'd attempted the above it wouldn't have looked like that!)


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24 December 2008 : Skivo Aware Of Massive Challenge
Yeovil Town club captain Terry Skiverton has said that the Glovers are up against a massive challenge to compete against many of the teams in League One. Skivo told BBC Somerset as the season moves into its traditional halfway point, that the bigger budgets that the Glovers are competing against mean that retaining their divisional status would be an impressive achievement:

"There are a lot of big clubs that have come down that have got absolutely massive budgets and we're trying to compete against those people. So I think the fans are under no illusion of what we're up against. It's been a difficult slog. But it's no less of a challenge for us to strive to stay in this league, because we don't want to go backwards as a club. I think the supporters are right behind the players and the players are right behind the management team. We've got to kick on and we've got to break our necks to try and stay in this league."

The local media have consistently reported this season that the Glovers are operating on one of the smallest playing budgets at League One level this season - with Hereford United sometimes cited as the single exception. Clearly obtaining significant outside investment would change that situation, but Skivo explained that clubs that are run in that manner often lose their community roots as a result of that:

"In an ideal world, everyone would get an Abramovich come in and take over the club. But the supporters here probably like the way it is run now, which is as a family-run club. If someone with millions and millions did come in, then it would change Yeovil forever. It wouldn't be the family club that it is now. We know we've got to stick through this financial climate and see it out and hopefully do something for the future."


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23 December 2008 : Blackpool Threaten Legal Action Over Leeds Appointment
Some clubs are able to do things differently. Whilst Crewe Alexandra remain managerless since November 18th as they attempt to find someone willing to take on a side rooted to the bottom of League One, and Swindon Town appear to be back to square one in their managerial hunt after parting with Maurice Malpas on November 14th, League One side Leeds United have needed just two days to appoint their new boss, running roughshod over a club in the division above them.

With Gary McAllister fired on Sunday, on Monday they approached Blackpool for permission to speak to their manager Simon Grayson. The Tangerines refused the approach, and so Leeds waved their chequebook at the Blackpool boss. Grayson resigned his position at 8.30a.m. this morning, which again Blackpool's Board of Directors refused to accept. Grayson was then unveiled as Leeds United manager this morning, sparking fury from the Lancashire club.

Blackpool have issued a statement saying they are now considering legal action against both Grayson and Leeds United. Grayson was under contract at Bloomfield Road until the summer of 2010, and there seems little doubt that Blackpool's claims will be for breach of contract against Grayson. Meanwhile it would seem likely that Blackpool will report Leeds to the FA for an illegal approach, given that in their eyes Grayson is still on the Blackpool payroll.

Grayson has been at Blackpool for six years, including three as a player, and was manager when Blackpool beat Yeovil Town at Wembley in the League One play-off final. Having kept his side in the Championship fairly successfully, despite limited resources, he has become a highly respected manager in the game, and Blackpool will now push for hefty compensation, given the circumstances.

Both the Leeds and Blackpool press believe that Grayson's backroom pair of Steve Thompson (no not ours!) and Tony Parkes will be given offers of employment at Elland Road - again moves that the Championship side are bound to resist. Leeds have yet to reveal Grayson's contact length, but the arrogant way that they have ignored Blackpool's wishes, and FA regulations is set to ensure that this one occupies a large number of column inches over the Christmas holidays.


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23 December 2008 : Rodgers Agent Waits On Contract Talks
Football agent Mark Cartwright has confirmed that Yeovil Town have yet to commence negotiations with striker Luke Rodgers over a deal to join the Glovers permanently. The Port Vale player is currently on loan at Huish Park until January 5th, at which point the Glovers have the option of drawing up a permanent contract at Huish Park.

Cartwright, who also represents Glovers midfielder Gary Roberts has told The Sentinel that although things are going well at Huish Park on the field, that no talks have been held:

"Luke is enjoying his time at Yeovil, but we have yet to start negotiations over a deal. They will start after Christmas. It will all depend on what Yeovil offers him. I know what sort of deals they can offer players down there, but it also depends on their finances and budget. Luke is doing well and the report I got from Saturday's game was excellent. He played a part in two goals. The manager, Russell Slade, is happy with him."

Yeovil have already agreed a £30,000 transfer fee with Port Vale, should they want to take up the agreed option, but that would still need to be sanctioned by the Huish Park board, and personal terms tied up with the player. Cartwright will doubtless have been using The Sentinel in the hope of providing some leverage in the situation. However, he may find that his attempt to put pressure on the Yeovil Town board may fall on deaf ears. Past experience suggests that Chairman John Fry doesn't appreciate negotiations being conducted through the media.

Cartwright recognised that it was quite possible that his player may return to Vale Park after the match against Millwall on December 28th - his last scheduled appearance in a green and white shirt:

"If Luke comes back he would have to fight for his place and score goals. And he hopes that what happened before, in terms of his frustration at not playing, would be put under the carpet. If Luke comes back he is a Vale player and we would have to address the situation as it arises."

The Sentinel claim that Rodgers is looking for a 2.5 year deal at Huish Park - the same length that was baulked on by the Yeovil Town board for defender Gareth Owen. On November 27th, Glovers Chief Executive Martyn Starnes implied that all January activity would depend upon the overall comings and goings at Huish Park suggesting that events may not move too quickly come the start of 2009 unless some exits from the club can also be negotiated. However, once Noel-Williams and Rodgers depart, then assuming that midfield pair Marc Bircham and Darren Way will not kick a ball again this season, the Glovers will be down to a squad of 16 recognised first team players, meaning that any delays could be damaging. January certainly needs to be a busy month.


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22 December 2008 : Ladies Switch Fixtures
The Yeovil Town Ladies home match with Forest Green Rovers that was due to be played on Sunday 4th January 2008 will now take place at a later date (to be announced), due to the Gloucestershire side's continuing involvement in the FA Cup.

Yeovil will now play Chesham United at home on Sunday 4th January, a fixture moved from Sunday 15th February.


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22 December 2008 : George Muir : 1937 - 2008
Former Yeovil Town midfielder George Muir has died today, aged 71, following a short illness. George played for the club almost throughout the entire 1960s, clocking up over 300 appearances along the way.

George was one of a string of Scottish players to descent upon Yeovil, arriving from Hibernian. Whilst many of those who arrived from north of the border did so via friendships with other existing players, George's was more through the hand of fate. He was doing his National Service during the 1960-61 season and had been placed at Houndstone Camp, and so his decision to join the club was a matter of simple convenience.

He scored his debut goal on December 2nd 1961 against Tonbridge AFC but after briefly returning to Hibernian, he only really became a regular for the Glovers on his return for the start the 1963-64 season - a year that saw the Glovers win the Southern League title.

He reached his peak in the 1965-66 by scoring 23 goals in a single season. That figure is made all the more remarkable by the fact that George was dropped into the Dorset Combination side midway through the season, causing friction between him and manager Joe McDonald that saw him transfer-listed. Whether clever man-management by McDonald, or poor evaluation of a gifted player, his recall certainly did the trick - Muir scored in six consecutive matches and it was a long time before he was sent off to the Reserves again.

Along with Alan Herrity, he was given testimonial matches in May 1968, with Aston Villa and Torquay United the two sides to visit Huish. George ended his Yeovil Town career midway through the 1968-69 season. He had been ruled out through a domestic injury - requiring stitches after cutting himself on a glass plate - and during that autumn under manager Ron Saunders, he couldn't force his way back into the side, eventually being transferred to Weymouth. He later went on to coach Westland Sports Under 16s.

Despite his Scottish roots, he stayed living in the area, and his son Paul Muir went on to also play for the Glovers as well. Sadly Paul did not out-live his father, losing his life in January 2000, five months after being attacked in West Croydon.

George's 317 appearances for the club put him as the 17th highest post-war appearance maker for the club. It's therefore sad to report that another player with terrific heritage and service to the club has now passed on. To his wife, family and friends we send our sincere condolences.


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22 December 2008 : Yeovil Town Christmas Opening Hours
A reminder that with Christmas coming up this week, the Club Shop and Ticket Office have got restricted opening hours towards the end of the week.

The Huish Park Ticket Office will be open for the following hours this week:

Dec 22nd: 9.00a.m. - 4.00p.m.
Dec 23rd: 9.00a.m. - 4.00p.m.
Dec 24th: 9.00a.m. - 12.00 noon.
Dec 25th: CLOSED
Dec 26th: 10.00a.m. - 3.00p.m.
Dec 27th: CLOSED
Dec 28th: CLOSED

The Huish Park Club Shop will be open for the following hours this week:

Dec 22nd: 10.00a.m. - 5.00p.m.
Dec 23rd: 10.00a.m. - 5.00p.m.
Dec 24th: 9.00a.m. - 12.00 noon.
Dec 25th: CLOSED
Dec 26th: 10.00a.m. - 3.00p.m.
Dec 27th: CLOSED
Dec 28th: CLOSED

For those wanting to order Cheltenham Town tickets at the pre-match rate, that means you need to have paid for your tickets by mid-day on Christmas Eve. However, tickets for this match can be purchased on the day, subject to the usual match day rates.

For those wanting to order Millwall tickets in advance of the game, your deadline will be 2.00p.m. on Boxing Day. However, if you've not bought your ticket prior to the day of the trip to the New Den, don't panic as they can be purchased for the same price from Millwall's Away Ticket Office.


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21 December 2008 : Stockport League Man Of The Match Result
Last Saturday's home match against Stockport County saw a 2-4 defeat inflicted as the Hatters got the better of Yeovil Town for the second time this season. With so many goals conceded but with two goals scored, it was probably no surprise to find that three attacking players dominated the Man of the Match votes.

Striker Luke Rodgers impressed on his home debut, whilst the consistent Gary Roberts continued to produce a significant share of the vote. However, it was Danny Schofield, who also was the Match Sponsor's Man of the Match, who got the top vote by a sizeable margin.

Full results, with outright Man of the Match votes shown in brackets, are as follows:

1 Danny Schofield 166 (12)
2 Gary Roberts 108 (7)
3 Luke Rodgers 62 (3)
4 Nathan Smith 56 (4)
5 Andy Welsh 48 (2)
6 Terry Skiverton 30 (1)
7 Paul Warne 30 (0)
8 Josh Wagenaar 12 (0)
9 Lee Peltier 8 (0)


OVERALL MATCH RATING: 6.67

Performance: 5.93
Entertainment: 7.40

VOTES RECEIVED: 29

Don't forget to cast your votes from Saturday's match at Swindon Town using the form below. The poll will close before Boxing Day's match kicks off, so get those votes in as soon as possible.

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


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21 December 2008 : Officials For Yeovil Town vs Cheltenham Town
Boxing Day's League One match between Yeovil Town and Cheltenham Town at Huish Park will be looked after by referee Steven Cook (Surrey). After a long spell of having Mr Cook as an assistant referee, he was promoted to the national list for the 2007-08 season, and we've since had him on two occasions.

First up was the 0-0 draw against Hereford United in October 2007 when the Glovers needed a penalty shoot-out to get through to the next round of the JPT. Perhaps we can consider some cause for optimism that the match official awarded Yeovil five penalties that night! We had nothing particularly bad to say about him on the night, although a JPT match rarely causes much of a ripple.

Again last season, in March 2008, we had Mr Cook again and like the Boxing Day fixture, it was Cheltenham Town coming down to Huish Park. We had no recorded issues with his performance on the day. Let's hope he makes it three out of three on Friday.

Mr Cook will be assisted by Ron Ganfield (Somerset) and Brendan Malone (Wiltshire). The Fourth Official will be Andrew Sainsbury (Wiltshire).

Link: October 2007 : Hereford United 0 Yeovil Town 0 (Yeovil win 4-2 on penalties).

Link: March 2008 : Yeovil Town 2 Cheltenham Town 1.


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21 December 2008 : Latest League One Sacking
It's not quite yet Christmas, and the eighth League One manager has bitten the dust this season. One of football's 'nice guys', Gary McAllister, in charge for less than a year, is the latest to suffer the current trend of impatience and demand for instant success. In his case that, married to the arrogant Leeds United being firmly convinced that they have a divine right to be far above the slums of the lower reaches of the Football League, meant anything below an automatic promotion place would be deemed failure.

Their recent run, which sees them 21st in the League One form table, and slipping to 9th in the table, as well as suffering the embarrassment of being knocked out of the F.A. Cup live on television by Non-league Histon, saw McAllister coming under increasing pressure from fans, so it's perhaps little surprise the Leeds board has made its move, citing wanting a new man in ahead of January's transfer window opening. However we have noticed an increasing trend for managers to last barely one year. Whatever the cases that can be made in individual circumstances, an industry that is dismissing managers so swiftly should also be looking at itself.

This season in League One reads :

Stan Ternent - 6 months
Maurice Malpas - 10 months
Gary McAllister - 11 months
Keith Downing - 11 months
John Ward - 13 months
Steve Holland - 19 months
Geraint Williams - 26 months
Danny Wilson - 30 months

Little sign of those higher up taking any responsibility, mind. One might think to see resignations at boardroom level for appointing a turkey, if a manager is deemed to be so poor that he has to be dismissed in around a year or less. More chance of turkeys voting for Christmas than those types voting themselves out for making a hash of it of course.


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20 December 2008 : Russell's Verdict On the Swindon Game
Yeovil Town manager Russell Slade spoke to the BBC following this afternoon's 3-2 win over Swindon Town. Reporter Rob Scanlon posed the questions, and the full transcript of the radio interview can be found via the link below.

Link: Russell's Verdict On the Swindon Game.


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20 December 2008 : Man Of The Match Voting For Swindon
For those who witnessed the 3-2 win at the County Ground against Swindon Town, don't forget to place your Man of the Match votes. Choose your top three players, plus performance and entertainment rankings, along with any other post-match comments you want to make, via the form below. Don't forget to cast your votes before Boxing Day when the vote will auto-close.

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


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20 December 2008 : Glovers Put Horrible Week Behind Them
Yeovil Town gained a priceless three points at the County Ground this afternoon after they beat Swindon Town 3-2 on their own patch, to lift themselves out of the relegation zone and leapfrog their hosts. Goals from the unlikely sources of Craig Alcock and Lee Peltier saw the Glovers gain a two goal lead, only for the Robins to roar back with two goals on either side of half time. An end-to-end second half saw the Glovers have the last laugh though, with Gavin Tomlin's shot being turned past his own keeper by Jerel Ifil to win the match for Yeovil.

An emotional finish saw four Yeovil players reveal messages under their shirts for Darren Way and Bruce James on the final whistle, with a result that was greeted with extreme passion by manager Russell Slade and his players, who at least were able to raise a smile on the back of a rotten week.

The Glovers went into the match making two changes as Gifton Noel-Williams returned from tonsilitus and Craig Alcock came back from an ankle injury. Gavin Tomlin was displaced to the bench, whilst Aidan Downes failed to make the sixteen, possibly due to an injury sustained last weekend. The Glovers got off to a timid stuttering start, immediately under the cosh, and with it not being clear how they would respond to the midweek shock news of Darren Way's car crash injury, the worry was that psychologically the green-and-whites might cave in. But sometimes teams can get dramatic and welcome lifts and that came for Yeovil 10 minutes into the game through their first attack.

A Danny Schofield corner was met by a great header by Craig Alcock, ghosting in late and planting a six yard shot that went in off the underside of the bar for his first ever first team goal. The strike saw the whole Yeovil side lift their game up several notches as the Robins reacted with shock to conceding such an early goal.

By the time Yeovil got 28 minutes into the first half, they were well on top. Danny Schofield's clever flick into the path of Lee Peltier beat the Swindon offside trap by a whisker and the midfielder swept the ball home to double Yeovil's lead. Peltier's celebration revealed a message under his shirt for Darren Way, but referee Graham Salisbury decided to be the Christmas Scrooge by booking Peltier for that 'offence'. Sometimes the letter of the law that officials have to stick to can be an arse.

A 2-0 half time lead seemed to be on the cards. However, right on the final kick of the first period, Swindon got themselves a route back into the game. Two minutes into injury time, Terrell Forbes fouled five yards outside the area, and Michael Timlin produced maximum punishment as he evaded Josh Wagenaar's outstretched arm to score direct and bring matters back to a more balanced 1-2 half time scoreline.

Two minutes after the break, Swindon's comeback was complete, and for the second time, Josh Wagenaar was left wanting. A cross into the box saw the Yeovil keeper come out to punch, but his failure to make serious contact saw the ball fall into the path of Jon-Paul McGovern who had the easiest of chances to fire the ball into a gaping net.

Michael Timlin could have put Swindon in front as Yeovil stumbled onto the ropes, reeling backwards at having lost the two goal lead so quickly, but thankfully Timlin fired over the bar. Then Terrell Forbes produced a wonderful block from a Craig Easton chance to deny Swindon again. The game eventually switched to an utterly frenetic match, running from end-to-end at the pace of a tornado, with Swindon applying the pressure, but Yeovil looking dangerous on the break.

With 18 minutes remaining, Terry Skiverton showed the touch of a masterclass midfield playmaker as he chipped the ball into the path of Gavin Tomlin, who had come on for a tiring Gifton Noel-Williams. Tomlin chested the ball down and fired in on goal, with Jerel Ifil getting the last touch and turning the ball past his own keeper.

With now Yeovil holding the upper hand at 3-2, Swindon immediately introduced Barry Corr as a substitute, going into a 4-3-3 formation, and manager Russell Slade also responded by getting Lee Peltier to perform a man-to-man marking job on the tall Irishman. Terrell Forbes produced his second stunning block on a Swindon striker, stopping Simon Cox in his tracks as he aimed to pull the trigger.

As the clock ticked down, Simon Cox almost got a late equaliser, when Paul Warne's sloppy pass to Craig Alcock was intercepted, but their top scorer didn't have his shooting boots on and skewed wide from just 12 yards out. Cox almost got the ball again from a set piece after Josh Wagenaar failed to come for the ball from close range but again the Glovers escaped. The game could have been all over right on the 90 minutes mark at the other end when Luke Rodgers broke through clean on goal, but his audacious chip went wide of the goal frame. Then Danny Schofield broke clear on goal, only for Phil Smith to save his shot on goal.

The game by now could have been 3-3 or 5-2 such was the end-to-end nature of it, with neither sides defences having an easy ride across the 90 minutes. However, whilst last week's match against Stockport went against Yeovil, this week's game went for them, with three minutes of injury time being eased out in a professional manner. The final whistle understandably was greeted like a cup final victory - not so much for the result itself, but for the emotions that the club has been put through during the week. Sometimes there can be a happy ending, and as broad grins broke out on and off the field, let's hope two people in Yeovil and Dorchester Hospitals were also able to raise a smile.

Final Score: Swindon Town 2 Yeovil Town 3.

Scorers: Craig Alcock (0-1, 10 mins), Lee Peltier (0-2, 28 mins), Michael Timlin (1-2, 45 mins), Jon-Paul McGovern (2-2, 47 mins), Jerel Ifil (2-3, own goal, 72 mins)

Swindon Town: (4-4-2)
1. Phil Smith
2. Jack Smith 5. Jerel Ifil 6. Hasney Aljofree 30. Callum Kennedy
10. Jon-Paul McGovern 8. Craig Easton 4. Michael Timlin 11. Anthony McNamee
31. Simon Cox 32. Lee Peacock

Substitutes:
12. Peter Brezovan (GK) 9. Barry Corr (74 mins for Anthony McNamee) 19. Michael Pook 21. Blair Sturrock (83 mins for Callum Kennedy) 25. Sean Morrison (20 mins for Hasney Aljofree)

Yeovil Town: (4-4-2)
13. Josh Wagenaar
12. Craig Alcock 4. Terry Skiverton 6. Terrell Forbes 28. Nathan Smith
14. Paul Warne 16. Gary Roberts 27. Lee Peltier 11. Danny Schofield
15. Luke Rodgers 25. Gifton Noel-Williams

Substitutes:
3. Nathan Jones 9. Andy Welsh 10. Gavin Tomlin (65 mins for Gifton Noel-Williams) 18. Keiran Murtagh 23. Aaron Brown

Swindon Bookings: None.
Yeovil Bookings: Lee Peltier (revealing message under shirt, 30 mins), Terrell Forbes (foul, 45 mins), Gary Roberts (kicking ball away, 68 mins), Gavin Tomlin (blocking off goalkeeper, 90 mins)

Referee: Graham Salisbury (Lancashire). Assistants: Richard Kendall (Bedfordshire) and Richard Smith (West Midlands). Fourth Official: James Cox (Worcestershire).

Attendance: 7,072

Link: 2008-09 Latest League One Table.


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20 December 2008 : Darren Has Further Operation
Yeovil Town manager Russell Slade has today said that midfielder Darren Way has had a further operation as Dorchester Hospital look to sort out injuries sustained in a car crash. The 29 year old had an operation on his elbow last night, and Russell gave BBC Somerset brief details ahead of today's match against Swindon Town:

"Darren has had a further operation last night on his arm and elbow. Terry (Skiverton) knows a little bit more about it than me. Obviously this morning is not the time to go into detail, but we obviously wish the little man all the best, and we'll be playing out there with 12 men today."


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19 December 2008 : Swindon Town vs Yeovil Town Match Preview
Yeovil Town make the relatively short trip to the County Ground tomorrow for a League One match against Swindon Town. The day will be an emotional one for everyone associated with the Glovers, with it being the first football match they will play following the serious road traffic accident that midfielder Darren Way was involved in on Wednesday afternoon.

In terms of Darren, there have been no updates today on his condition, with all press and media reports relating to Thursday lunchtime's press conference. For those who have been out of the loop somewhat in the last day or so, Russell's thoughts on Darren's condition are recorded in our news item from yesterday whilst the more news-driven report on Darren's condition is also covered by another article from yesterday.

Whilst inevitably the talk at the County Ground tomorrow will centre on Darren's injury, the Glovers have to compose themselves and play a football match. Midfielder Marc Bircham remains out for the long term and continues to consider his retirement options, however manager Russell Slade had better news for Craig Alcock (ankle) and Gifton Noel-Williams (virus) when he spoke to BBC Somerset yesterday:

"Craig has trained, and Gifton has trained (on Thursday morning). He's still on antibiotics for another week, but he has given it a go this morning. So hopefully he will come through that, and there's nothing to say that he can't, even though he's not feeling 100 percent."

Swindon Town had been planning to announce a new first team manager this week, but it would appear that they have had at least one - possibly two rebuttals in their attempts to name a successor for Maurice Malpas, who was fired over a month ago. Caretaker David Byrne will therefore continue to hold the fort, even though it has been widely acknowledged that he is not being considered for the job on a permanent basis. The stumbling block appears to be that they have been unable to agree compensation terms with the would-be manager's current club, with it being widely assumed that their target was Newcastle United academy director Richard Money, who was a significant success with Walsall before heading North-East. It would appear that a compensation deal for Money, and possibly one other short listed target, has broken down and that Swindon will have to go back to Square One. The Swindon Town board of directors plan to consider their options over the weekend, but it seems pretty obvious now that Byrne will get one more game at the very least.

Swindon's team selection should be relatively simple. Although they have lost striker Billy Paynter to the first game in a three match suspension, fellow front man Barry Corr has just recovered from a calf injury. It would appear that a one-in, one-out decision will be made. Caretaker David Byrne has also hinted that 17 year old winger Lloyd Macklin could get a taste of first team football, with the academy product being drafted into the first team's training schedules.

The Robins are on a poor run of form, with the exit of Malpas having accelerated their decline towards the bottom four places. Their last win of any consequence was back in October - a run of nine games without a win, albeit with five draws having just about kept them above the relegation zone. Last weekend's 1-0 defeat at the hands of basement side Crewe Alexandra leaves them in 19th place, two places and one point above the Glovers. There is little doubt that a win for either side tomorrow would make a huge difference in their respective fortunes going into the run of Christmas holiday games.

Tickets are available on the day of the match, and full details of pricing, plus travel and pub information can be found in our guide below.

Link: Ciderspace Guide To Swindon.


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18 December 2008 : Santa Doesn't Always Deliver
That's the trouble with the run up to the festive season: Santa doesn't always come up with the Christmas presents over-enthusiastically promised in a flurry of good will. Small children's tears when the hoped for pony turns out to be a rather more realistic hamster soon come back to haunt us in the New Year.

Speaking to the Western Gazette, Chief Executive Martyn Starnes clearly would like to spread a bit of Christmas cheer to a set of Yeovil supporters perhaps somewhat depressed by the current state of affairs at Huish Park :

"I would hope that we can do some business in the transfer window but that is down to the manager to comment on. We want to regroup and look at what we want to do for the remaining part of the season – and look further beyond that. We are thinking about what opportunities we have got and are preparing our plans accordingly. It is always the manager’s call to decide on playing personnel."

Hard to see, from our current position, much beyond STAYING UP as the goal for the club in the remaining part of the season in all honesty. However the caveat one has come to expect was naturally then added :

"The manager will come to me or come to the board and we will determine whether we can fund it or not. Sometimes you will do that with a bit of moving out before you can bring someone in."

So, before we get too excited about prospects for the January transfer window, let's cast our minds back to pre-Christmas 2007, when the club also chose to cheer fans with thoughts of funds in the window. Andy Kirk did come in, and Lee Peltier's position was made permanent, but this was more than offset by the loss of Gary Dempsey and Justin Cochrane, and James Walker and Darren Way returning to their parent clubs. The rest of the comings and goings in that window were bit part loans.


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18 December 2008 : Russell Speaks About Way Injury
Yeovil Town manager Russell Slade has given his reaction to yesterday's shock news concerning serious injuries to midfielder Darren Way. The 29 year old was injured in a car accident and was taken to Dorchester Hospital yesterday (see our various earlier news stories for full details). The Yeovil boss went to see Darren last night, and told BBC Somerset that current information on his exact condition was still fairly sketchy:

"There are going to be no early assessments. We know he has broken bones. We know there are one or two little complications. But we know he is in the best hands and I'm sure they will be able to sort it out. It's difficult at the minute to assess anything. He probably wonders what has happened to his life right now. We need to get engaged to that and take each day as it comes."

Russell paid tribute to the midfielder's influence on and off the pitch at the club, pointing out that yesterday's news had stunned the whole club:

"He is a great influence in the changing room and a great influence on the pitch. He was just getting back (from injury) and was going to train this week with a view to being selected for Swindon. So it came as a big shock and a big blow for all of us, including the players and the staff. He is so well-liked, and we just wish him well really. I'm going to pop along this afternoon to see how he is getting along. The skipper is there already, as he is his best mate and he has been there this morning, so hopefully we can help him get through it."

The BBC suggested that getting the team prepared for a full day's training today would have been a difficult and emotional situation given that this was the first time the playing squad had got together since the accident. BBC Somerset asked whether a game of football really mattered on the scale of things given the circumstances. Russell agreed it felt that way today:

"No it doesn't. As I've said to the players, it could have happened to any one of us. You just never know do you? It happened to be Darren. But we went up there and we trained, and we trained well. I was pleased with them, considering the situation and the news that they received today. It is very hard of course. He is such a character around the place for us. We're going to miss him for a few weeks for sure, and maybe a few months - who knows? But he is a positive lad. He is stubborn, and that desire that he's got will be good and will be put to good use during the coming weeks as he starts his recovery."

A number of media reports have suggested that the injuries Darren has sustained could be career-threatening. Whilst Russell admitted that was a possibility, he didn't want to make any predictions at this stage:

"It could possibly be - we don't know. We're leaving him with the professionals. He's in good hands of course. I'm sure that along with Darren they will make a considered opinion as time goes by, but it's too early for that."


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18 December 2008 : Home Grown Rule Brought In
Today's Football League EGM, held at Pride Park, has passed a 'home grown players' rule which will come into effect from the start of the 2009-10 season.

Despite a lot of flannel from Football League chairman Lord Mawhinney as to the import of this move, the path chosen is in fact so limited as to be of almost complete irrelevance - thankfully. Home grown players will be defined as any player who has been on the books of any domestic club for a minimum of three years prior to their twenty-first birthday. Each club must name a minimum of four such qualified players in their matchday squad.

It is difficult to see how it will make much difference to any one, although it might put clubs off late entrants to the game and put a little more pressure on children (and their parents) to follow the formal route through Centres of Excellence and Academies. Not that it will apply in the Premier League anyway, but as clubs seen as being dominated by 'foreign' players, like for example Arsenal, bring in many of their foreign signings at the age of sixteen or seventeen these would become classified as home grown players throughout their careers whether they remain at the Premier outfits or move elsewhere. What it would appear to us to be is a simple political move to spike the guns of FIFA, whose alternative plan is very dubious under EU law anyway, by adopting UEFA's proposals.


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18 December 2008 : League Cup Sponsors Renew
The League Cup will continue to be sponsored by Carling, a brand name and some sort of lager owned by Coors Brewers Limited. Coors originated in Colorado, USA, before becoming one of the biggest international conglomerates in the brewing sector by buying up an extensive portfolio of companies around the world. The deal is for a further three years, taking the sponsorship of the League Cup through to 2012.

As part of the agreement the League Cup will be covered through the three years by Sky Sports and the BBC. There will be two live matches per round from Rounds One to Five on Sky Sports, with the BBC showing the highlights of each Round. Each broadcaster will cover two live matches from the Semi-Finals, and both will show the Final.


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18 December 2008 : Darren Way Thursday Morning Update (Updated 4.45pm)
Yeovil Town midfielder Darren Way is decribed as 'as comfortable as can be expected' by the club as he remains in Dorchester Hospital following a car crash yesterday. His injuries are serious, but are not life-threatening, and the 29 year old underwent surgery last night in what is likely to be one of a number of operations required.

Darren has multiple broken bones as well as deep lacerations on his leg, and although the club have not commented as such yet, our understanding is that they are serious enough to at minimum rule Darren out of playing football for the remainder of this season, possibly longer.

Stadium technician Bruce James, who was in the same car, has sustained hip and shoulder injuries and is currently in Yeovil General Hospital. Again his injuries are not serious enough to be life-threatening.

Swansea City manager Roberto Martinez, who was both Darren's midfield teammate as well as ultimately becoming his manager, was clearly shocked at the news and told the South Wales Evening Post that it had affected the Swansea playing camp as well:

"It was shocking news and we are very concerned about Darren. Darren had a lot of bad luck when he came to Swansea City. He was enjoying his football at Yeovil and this unfortunate incident happens. It puts everything into perspective. He is a special character. He always had a positive attitude despite the injuries. Everyone has been trying to ring Darren and his family to send him their best wishes. But Darren is a huge fighter and a winner. And, on behalf the club, I'd like to send our best wishes to Darren from everyone at Swansea City."

Anyone who wishes to pass on their messages to Darren and Bruce can do so by emailing the club at supporter.link@ytfc.net - the club plan to publish the full list of messages, so bear that in mind when sending your get well messages through.

Please do not contact either hospital directly - we'd suggest that if you do have a private reason for needing to get in touch with Darren or Bruce, that you contact Sara Bradley via the email address above or by phoning 01935-423662. All updates to Darren and Bruce's condition will be posted on this website, and on the club's official website.

Update: 3.30pm Swansea City's official site reports that Darren has broken both arms and both legs in the accident (later withdrawn from their article - see below). In addition, Swansea report that Darren was taken out of the intensive care ward this morning - at least some good news to report.

Update: 4.45pm The Yeovil official site disputes the Swansea official site's findings! The latest reports indicate injuries to one arm and one leg, with no specific mention of broken bones (although the Glovers official site has previously mentioned as such). For what it's worth BBC Somerset are reporting "a shattered knee, broken bones and deep cuts to his leg". They report that the club has refused to report on speculation that his injuries may be career-threatening.


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17 December 2008 : Centre of Excellence vs Torquay Wipe-Out
To our knowledge, last weekend's Centre of Excellence matches against Torquay United suffered a wipe-out caused by the bad weather. We've checked around the various age groups and it looks as though all of the matches were postponed, meaning that from a competitive match point of view the boys now go into their Christmas break, with the next set of matches - against Bristol Rovers - now not due until the weekend of January 17th/18th.

There should be a few low-key trialist matches taking place during the forthcoming month, with many Centre of Excellences and Academies using the mid-season break as an opportunity to reassess their squads and consider players for apprentice contracts. That inevitably means that a few additional players may become available to other CoE set-ups and any that filter down to Yeovil Town's level will then be looked at.

If you are aware of any age groups playing against Torquay last weekend, then drop a line to ytfcbadger@ntlworld.com - a big thank you to all of those who have passed results and information to us so far this season.


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17 December 2008 : ABUFP Meeting Postponed
Tonight's Achieve By Unity Fans Partnership meeting has been postponed. No reason has been given, however putting two and two together, our guess would be that key club personnel have more pressing issues afoot, given this afternoon's Road Traffic Accident (see news below).


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17 December 2008 : Darren Way In Traffic Accident (Updated 6.00p.m.)
Yeovil Town midfielder Darren Way has been involved in a serious road accident today. The crash, which also involved Yeovil Town stadium maintenance technician Bruce James occurred on the A3088 between Montacute and Cartgate at just before 1.00p.m. today, and resulted in the closure of the road.

To our knowledge the injuries to Darren and Bruce are not life-threatening. A third person, believed to be in the other vehicle involved in the accident, was also injured. Two of those involved have been sent to Yeovil District Hospital for assessment, whilst a third person has travelled to Dorchester Hospital. Both fire and ambulance crews had to attend the incident due to at least one person being trapped in their vehicle. Police have kept the road closed whilst they carry out post-crash investigations.

Obviously our very best wishes go out to Darren and Bruce and their families - hopefully the injuries are not too serious. If we get any further information, we'll publish it as soon as we can.

Update: 6.00p.m. Various club officials have visited Darren and Bruce in hospital, including Chairman John Fry, Chief Executive Martyn Starnes and Stadium manager James Hillier with manager Russell Slade due to arrive this evening. Darren is still being assessed by hospital staff, whilst Bruce is known to have shoulder and leg injuries. Neither are believed to have life-threatening injuries. Please do not phone the hospital or the club - use this news page and the club's official website for news of any developments.


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17 December 2008 : Bircham End Inches Closer
The future of Yeovil Town midfielder Marc Bircham now hinges on the views of a single specialist. The 30 year old has nerve damage in his ankle and is likely to have kicked his last ball for the Glovers, with the alternative to retirement being an operation that could keep him out for the rest of the season.

Bircham was a guest on Sky Sports this week where he suggested that since he initially suggested retirement was an option that matters had gone one step further. The Western Daily Press concur with that view, quoting Marc as saying:

"The retirement is nearing. I have probably got to see one more specialist. They all keep telling me the same thing. I am just hoping one will turn round and tell me something else. It's not looking good."

Marc is already adopting a Plan B, and wants to set up his own Soccer School over the summer, but has admitted that if an offer of employment came up in coaching or management that he'd probably consider that as well:

"There are so many managers out of work that if you are offered a job you have to take it."


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16 December 2008 : ABUFP Meeting No. 7 Agenda
Supporters Liaison Officer Sara Bradley has published the Agenda for tomorrow's committee-only ABUFP meeting. The agenda for the 7th meeting of the Fans Partnership reads as follows:

Achieve By Unity Fans Partnership
17th December 2008, Alec Stock Lounge, 5.45pm


Agenda:

1. Apologies
2. Approval of Minutes
3. Action Points from previous meeting
4. Membership Scheme Update
5. Supporters Questions
6. AOB


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16 December 2008 : Owen's Not For Turning
Stockport County defender Gareth Owen has said that he will not be discussing terms with any club other than League Two side Port Vale when the transfer window opens in January. The 26 year old is currently on loan at Vale Park, despite having earlier spent a highly successful month with the Glovers just before that.

Yeovil Town boss Russell Slade had hoped to extend Owen's stay at Huish Park and was impressed enough to want to look at getting him in on a permanent basis. However, Chief Executive Martyn Starnes and the Yeovil Town board refused to sanction a loan extension on the basis that they wanted to wait until the January transfer window opened before agreeing any permanent deals.

The snag was that Owen wanted the security of a permanent deal to be placed on the table up front, and when Port Vale jumped in with the offer of a two and a half year contract, the central defender agreed to team up with the League Two side. Owen has today told local paper The Sentinel that even if the Glovers come back in for him in the New Year, he will not be changing his decision to head to the Staffordshire club, even though league rules entitle him to do so:

"I don't like breaking my word. I spoke to the Vale chairman Bill Bratt and a deal has been agreed in principle. That was one of the main reasons for me joining on loan, because the club were very good to me in putting an offer on the table. So when my loan spell runs out, on January 5, everything should be in place as long as that deal is still in place. If it is, I don't see any problems. All that matters to me is playing week in, week out. There's not a lot of difference between League One and Two, so that isn't a big factor."

One of the problems that Slade faces as the re-opening of the transfer window looms ever closer is that many such deals are often tied up verbally between clubs and agents weeks before the paperwork can be handed over to the footballing authorities. Hence if he is not able to make any such promises in advance of the window opening then he risks the chances of other such targets moving elsewhere.


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16 December 2008 : Ciderspace Guide To Swindon Town
For those making the trip to the County Ground, the latest version of our guide to Swindon Town has been uploaded. Complete with club information, ticketing, directions and a detailed pub guide, you should find everything you need to know about Saturday's opponents all on a single page.

Link: Ciderspace Guide To Swindon Town.


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15 December 2008 : Reserves Mown Down At Lawn
Yeovil Town Reserves lost this evening's Combination Wales and West Division fixture at the New Lawn 3-2. The visitors went into the break a goal up from Andre McCollin, but Forest Green Rovers hit three, a brace from Kaid Mohamed and one from Marcus Palmer, in the second half to one further goal from the Glovers, again from Andre McCollin.

Final score: Forest Green Rovers Reserves 3 Yeovil Town Reserves 2

Yeovil Town Reserves: 1. Lloyd Irish 2. Tom Scott 3. Jordan Street 4. Rob Fitzgerald (Capt) 5. Aaron Brown 6. Harry Nodwell 7. Rico Wilson 8. Keiran Murtagh 9. Evangelino Valentim 10. Andre McCollin 11. Aidan Downes.

Subs: 12. Danny Thompson (67 mins for Tom Scott) 14. Kai Fellows (45 mins for Harry Nodwell) 15. S Farthing (74 mins for Aaron Brown)

Bookings: Tom Scott.

Referee: Wayne Barratt. Assistants: Kevin Morris and Mark Pottage. Fourth Official: Alan Berrow.

Attendance: 71.


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15 December 2008 : Officials For The Swindon Town Match
Saturday's League One match between Swindon Town and Yeovil Town will be looked after by referee Mike Russell (Hertfordshire). He is a familiar face for Glovers matches since we entered the Football League with numerous visits to the home ground.

We had him three times during the 2005-06 season. The first saw some worryingly unimpressive refereeing in the Carling Cup Second Round 1-2 loss to Millwall back in September 2005, with The Lions credited a doubtful goal and Liam Fontaine sent off. The second was a much less eccentric ninety minutes of work in the victory over Barnsley on December 17th. He then took charge of the rather snowy trip to Chesterfield that resulted in a 3-0 win for the Glovers. Anthony Barry will remember that match horribly well - leaving the field on a stretcher after falling badly on the icy pitch, but not too many would blame the official for that.

Onto the 2006-07 season and Mr Russell turned up twice. The first was the 0-1 defeat against Nottingham Forest whilst the second was the 3-1 win over Huddersfield Town. We barely give him a mention in either match. Ditto this season's 0-2 home defeat against Walsall. Despite difficult weather conditions, he ensured he was not the main focus of the game, and that is to his credit.

Finally Mr Russell took charge of last season's match at the Liberty Stadium that saw the Glovers secure League One football at the same time as Swansea also secured the League One title. Once again Mr Russell doesn't get a single mention on what was obviously an important day for both clubs.

On the scale of referees, six anonymous performances out of seven is pretty good going.

Mr Russell will be assisted by Richard Kendall (Bedfordshire) and Richard Smith (West Midlands). The Fourth Official will be James Cox (Worcestershire).

Link: September 2005 : Yeovil Town 1 Millwall 2.

Link: December 2005 : Yeovil Town 2 Barnsley 1.

Link: February 2006 : Chesterfield Town 0 Yeovil Town 3.

Link: September 2006 : Yeovil Town 0 Nottingham Forest 1.

Link: January 2007 : Yeovil Town 3 Huddersfield Town 1.

Link: January 2008 : Yeovil Town 0 Walsall 2.

Link: April 2008 : Swansea City 1 Yeovil Town 2.


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15 December 2008 : Danny Wilson Leaves Hartlepool
League One side Hartlepool United have relieved manager Danny Wilson of his duties today. The North-East club lie in 13th place in the table on 29 points, and drew 1-1 at Hereford United despite a recent injury crisis at the club.

In the briefest of brief statements, their official site merely says he has "left" the club, presumably suggesting that a pay-off has yet to be agreed. Director of Sport Chris Turner has been put in temporary charge of proceedings.

Hartlepool are on a slightly ropey run of form, having not won in six league matches, but prior to that had won four games in a row. The Hartlepool Mail clearly weren't expecting this one, as they admit they don't have an explanation for the departure, and confirm that Wilson took charge of Hartlepool's morning training session before heading off to a meeting at the club, which either had a pre-arranged agenda that Wilson wasn't aware of, or developed into a situation that wasn't expected.


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15 December 2008 : Reserves At Forest Green Reminder
A reminder that Forest Green Rovers Reserves are playing host to Yeovil Town Reserves tonight in a Football Combination Wales and West Division match. The game takes place at The New Lawn with a 7.00 p.m. kick-off.

If anyone is going and can supply line-ups and/or updates, drop an email to ytfcbadger@ntlworld.com - in addition we'd recommend that you check before travelling that the game is still taking place. We're not aware of any current issues, but the weather in Gloucestershire has not been good over the weekend. The number to call in case of any enquiries is 01453-834860.


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14 December 2008 : Russell's Verdict On The Stockport League Game
Following yesterday's 2-4 home against Stockport County, Yeovil Town manager Russell Slade spoke to the BBC about the game. Read the full transcript of Russell's interview with reporter Pete Simson, via the link below.

Link: Russell's Verdict On The Stockport League Game.


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14 December 2008 : ABUFP Submissions Deadline
A reminder to all supporters that the December ABUFP meeting takes place this coming Wednesday. The meeting is a committee-only one this week, but agenda items are welcomed. Send your submissions to Yeovil Town's Supporter Liaison Officer Sara Bradley at supporter.link@ytfc.net by tomorrow (Monday) at 5.00p.m. or send your request to one of the Supporter Representatives.


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13 December 2008 : Ladies Match Postponed
Yeovil Town Ladies have had their Sunday fixture postponed, due to the current weather conditions. The Ladies had been due to play Weston St John on the Somerton pitch, but with Saturday's Youth Team game also falling victim to the weather, it wasn't the greatest surprise that the same venue will still not be ready for football tomorrow (Sunday) afternoon.


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13 December 2008 : Man of the Match Voting For The Stockport County Match
For those who were at this afternoon's 2-4 home defeat against Stockport County, a reminder that the Man of the Match voting form is available for you to record your top three players. Choose the trio you were most impressed with on the day, plus entertainment and performance ratings, along with any other comments that you want to make, via the form below.

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


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13 December 2008 : Defensive Lapses Cost Glovers
Yeovil Town lost 4-2 to Stockport County at a rain-sodden Huish Park this afternoon, in a topsy-turvy entertaining match. The scoreline flattered the Hatters somewhat, with the Glovers committing defensive suicide twice during first half injury time, as a 2-1 lead through wonderful strikes from Nathan Smith and Paul Warne turned into a 2-3 reversal at half time. The Glovers battled to break down Stockport in an equally open second period, but the sucker punch came at the tail end of the second half when Carl Baker put the icing on Stockport's cake.

The preparation for the game wasn't the best. Gifton Noel-Williams had to pull out of the match due to illness, meaning that Gavin Tomlin was drafted into the side. A slightly more measured change was for Lee Peltier to replace the injured Craig Alcock at right back which made Gary Roberts a natural return from suspension into the centre of the park.

Referee Phil Crossley somehow didn't seem to be aware of the plans for a minute's applause for former goalkeeper Dickie Dyke and the direct kick-off seemed to confuse the Yeovil players and crowd who had been preparing to pay tribute to their 1949 hero. That didn't happen, and instead a second attempt will be now made on Boxing Day to get it right.

After a fairly strong start by Yeovil, they conceded with Stockport's first strike on target with a fairly soft goal. Stockport had looked at their most dangerous when they were swinging balls in from the wings, and had already connected with a few headers, but Stockport captain Johnny Mullins was inspired by being given the armband for the day, scoring his first ever goal for the club, when he received a Dominic Blizzard ball across the face of the box. No-one in the Yeovil defence looked to close him down and Mullins was able to place his 15 yard shot into the far corner to stun the Glovers.

Some superb flowing moves as the Glovers broke forward almost got themselves early goals. Gavin Tomlin had a one-on-one blocked by the Stockport keeper, with Luke Rodgers desperately scrambling to get to the loose ball on the rebound. Some of the interplay was superb, with Danny Schofield and Gary Roberts combining to set Schofield up for a rasping drive that visiting keeper Williams struggled to palm away. With the pressure increasing, Yeovil could feel justified in scoring a spectacular equaliser just two minutes after the opening goal. Nathan Smith picked up the ball inside the Stockport half, moved into a central position and unleashed an outstanding curling strike that landed in the top left hand corner for his first ever Yeovil Town goal.

More of the same was to come three minutes before the break. Paul Warne picked the ball up from the left side of midfield, and his switch from the opposite wing appeared to open up a gap, and he fired a superb strike from the edge of the box and into the far corner. All seemed to now be going to plan with Yeovil now well on top.

However, the Glovers shot themselves in the foot with some bafflingly naive defending as the game approached the half time break. Right on 45 minutes, Tommy Rowe received the ball inside the Yeovil box on his left foot. Both Lee Peltier and Terrell Forbes closed him down together, and with both over-committing themselves, Rowe was able to side-step the two defenders in one easy sidestep and fire across the face of Josh Wagenaar's goal, with a deflection off Forbes probably not helping matters.

Three minutes into injury time, matters went from bad to worse, when Nathan Smith left Johnny Mullins in 10 yards of space as the Yeovil left-back occupied a far too central position allowing Mullins a chance to repeat his opener and give the Glovers the worst possible end to the half.

The second period saw Stockport unsurprisingly adopt a slightly more cautious approach, and Yeovil struggled to create as many chances as they had in the first period, not helped by a pitch that was cut to ribbons and a match referee who seemed to be taking a random course to many of his decisions on the day. Former Glover Michael Rose could consider himself lucky to last the distance when a two-footed tackle on Gary Roberts was followed up by Rose appearing to use his hands in Roberts' face. Somehow Crossley didn't see either offence as worthy of a red card.

Russell Slade threw on Aaron Brown as an unorthodox striker, with a fairly ineffective Gavin Tomlin displaced, in an attempt to create the 'big target man' that was lost when Noel-Williams dropped out of the squad. A few goalmouth scrambles were inches away from the boot of Luke Rodgers, with his impressive performance not quite being capped with a ball dropping where he needed it to be. In the final three minutes, Yeovil switched to a 4-3-3 with Andre McCollin introduced, but they were done by a sucker-punch as Carl Baker's header a minute from time caught the Glovers short at the back.

It was a curates egg of a game to watch. Some strong attacking football was let down by some awful defending as three minutes of madness cost them the game. Those watching certainly got their entertainment value, but ultimately it was the wrong sort of entertainment, and no-one in the Yeovil camp will be happy about that.

Final Score: Yeovil Town 2 Stockport County 4.

Scorers: Johnny Mullins (24 mins, 0-1), Nathan Smith (26 mins, 1-1), Paul Warne (43 mins, 2-1), Tommy Rowe (45 mins, 2-2), Johnny Mullins (45 mins, 2-3), Carl Baker (89 mins, 2-4).

Yeovil Town: (4-4-2)
13. Josh Wagenaar
27. Lee Peltier 4. Terry Skiverton 6. Terrell Forbes 28. Nathan Smith
17. Aidan Downes 11. Danny Schofield 16. Gary Roberts 14. Paul Warne
10. Gavin Tomlin 15. Luke Rodgers

Substitutes:
3. Nathan Jones 9. Andy Welsh (32 mins for Aidan Downes) 18. Keiran Murtagh 19. Andre McCollin (87 mins for Paul Warne) 23. Aaron Brown (72 mins for Gavin Tomlin)

Stockport County:
1. Owain fon Williams 2. Johnny Mullins 6. Jim McNulty 16. James Tunnicliffe 3. Michael Rose 17. Stephen Gleeson (46) 4. Dominic Blizzard 7. Anthony Pilkington (89) 14. Jason Taylor 11. Tommy Rowe 35. Craig Davies (84)

Substitutes:
9. Peter Thompson 10. Carl Baker (46 mins for Stephen Gleeson) 18. Paul Turnbull (84 mins for Craig Davies) 28. James Vincent 34. Oli Johnson (89 mins for Anthony Pilkington)

Yeovil Bookings: Terrell Forbes (76 mins, foul)
Stockport Bookings: Michael Rose (74 mins, foul), Carl Baker (89 mins, excessive celebration)

Referee: Phil Crossley. Assistants: David Belbin (Middlesex) and Lee Swabey (Devon). Fourth Official: Stephen Robbins (Gloucestershire).

Attendance: 3,687 (including approx 250 Stockport fans).


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13 December 2008 : Russell Given Knuckle Rap
Yeovil Town manager Russell Slade has been 'warned as to his future conduct' after he was found guilty at an FA hearing yesterday regarding an Improper Conduct charge incurred following a home match in October.

Russell was charged with improper conduct following an altercation with match referee Keith Hill over his decision to red card Danny Schofield in the home match against Southend United. Slade labelled the referee as 'arrogant' after he refused to review the match video. Despite the FA agreeing with Slade that Hill had got the red card decision wrong, overturning Schofield's red card, they still charged him and Slade consequently requested a personal hearing to discuss the case.

Perhaps mindful that Russell's outburst was at least partially justified, the FA have merely warned him as to his future conduct and ordered him to pay the costs of the hearing, which the Western Daily Press state was held in Ashton Gate yesterday. However, there will be no touchline ban as part of the punishment. Russell's previously clean record at Huish Park will also doubtless have helped him - this was his first FA call-up in 2.5 years as Yeovil Town manager.


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12 December 2008 : Youth Game Off
Saturday's Youth Alliance South West Conference Youth match against Hereford United U18 at Somerton Sports Ground is OFF, with the weather conditions rendering the pitch unsuitable for play. The fixture will be rearranged to a later date.


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12 December 2008 : A Minute's Applause For Dickie
Tomorrow's home match against Stockport County will be preceded by a minute's applause for former Glovers goalkeeper Dickie Dyke. The last surviving hero of the world-famous 1949 side that defeated 'Bank of England' side Sunderland passed away on November 23rd at the age of 84.

Dickie's funeral will take place on December 23rd at 2.45p.m. at Bournemouth Crematorium, Cemetery Lodge, Strouden Av, Bournemouth, BH8 9HX.



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12 December 2008 : Yeovil Town vs Stockport County Match Preview
Yeovil Town play host to Stockport County tomorrow afternoon at Huish Park, in a League One match that sees the two sides come together for the third time this season. Having already met twice in the FA Cup in recent weeks, attention now turns to the league programme, with the Glovers anxious to record their first win over the Hatters.

Much of the pre-match focus across the media will doubtless feature the word "revenge". Not only did Stockport dump Yeovil out of the FA Cup, but they did so through a 5-0 thrashing at Edgeley Park, sparked by an early red card for Aaron Brown that saw the Glovers have to play with 10 men for 75 minutes. Manager Russell Slade told BBC Somerset that wanting to put matters right would inevitably act as a motivating factor:

"It will be a tough one. Of course they turned us over and we know that. It wasn't nice, and it wasn't easy being down to 10 players as well. It shouldn't take too much motivation. We're hoping that we play with a little bit of an edge and that we can get three vital points."

The Glovers go into the match with two players significantly struggling to be fit for the match. Aside from the long term injury sustained by midfielder Marc Bircham (ankle), the Glovers have problems with right-back Craig Alcock (knee) and midfielder Darren Way (groin). Russell explained the situation with Alcock:

"He's still working under our physio Wayne Jones. Unfortunately the weather conditions today have not allowed him to make further progress really. We'll have to wait until tomorrow (Friday) and that may be the first time that he kicks a ball. So we're going to have to wait and see, right up until the last minute."

The situation with Darren Way was equally doubtful. Way has been out for several weeks after sustaining a groin injury in training and with him still yet to return to full training, it would be a major surprise if he started tomorrow's match. Russell explained his status:

"He's going OK and again making progress. The next step will be to be kicking a ball. He is obviously still doubtful for Saturday, although he is not very far away."

Stockport have a couple of issues in the lead-up to the match, with two key players likely to be missing the trip down to Somerset. Skipper Michael Raynes is definitely out with a hamstring strain, which the 21 year old sustained in midweek. Ironically, Raynes had been moved up front to cover for the missing Matty McNeil who had pulled out of their match with a back injury. McNeil has had an MRI scan but is not expected to be fit to travel down.

Stockport suffered a major blow in midweek, missing out on a major payday as both television money and a lucrative home tie against Aston Villa went down the tubes when they lost their FA Cup Second Round replay against League Two side Gillingham. Manager Jim Gannon told the Manchester Evening News that losing out on such a prestige tie was a major blow, and that he'd have his work cut out to lift the whole club out of the doldrums:

"I think I'm in for a lot more than lifting the players. It will be a really tough month's work. I have to lift not just the players, but probably also the board and the club and try and bring some spirit back. I've got a really tough job, there's a lot of work to do off the pitch and on the training ground. Both financially and tactically there's a lot of work to be done. It's going to be my toughest month at this club in the last three years."

Saturday's match kicks off at 3.00p.m. and tickets are available from the Huish Park Ticket Office right up until kick-off, subject to the usual matchday rates. For those who want to take advantage of the pre-match prices, the ticket office is open until 6.00p.m. tonight.

For those travelling to Saturday's match, don't forget two important offers that the club are running. Firstly, there is a special 'Friends and Family' ticketing deal in place for the match. Secondly tomorrow marks the last day of the Club Shop pre-Christmas sale. Follow the links below for more details on both offers.

Link: Huish Park Club Shop : 20 Percent Discount Sale.

Link: Stockport County Friends and Family Ticketing Offer.

Link: Stockport Weatherwatch.


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11 December 2008 : Stockport Weatherwatch
Saturday's match against Stockport County may require a bit of careful planning by the club's groundstaff to ensure that the game is not beaten by the elements. Hard frost this week, and heavy rain that is likely to turn wintry are all likely to affect when covers should and shouldn't go on the pitch.

Those who are travelling significant distances for the game should keep an eye out for any pitch inspections planned. The main issue at present is that the goalmouth around the home terrace is frozen, due to a series of heavy overnight frosts in the area. Manager Russell Slade told BBC Somerset today that this was causing him some concern, but that he had hopes that the situation could be managed:

"We played the Reserve game (on Wednesday) and the pitch held up pretty well. There were a few divots and things that needed attending to. Our biggest problem is just at the one end, where it is still frosty. The forecast tonight is pretty good, although on the Friday night I think it is about minus three and so we'll need to cover that end and make sure that we do everything that we can to ensure that the game goes ahead. On Saturday we've got rain, but if the pitch is OK then there shouldn't be a problem. We just need to manage it the best way that we can and hopefully we can get the game on."

Going by what the various weather websites say, we think Russell has probably got his weather forecast the wrong way round. Tonight it is more heavy frost that is the problem in the Yeovil area, whilst on Friday night things should largely thaw out, but heavy overnight rain will then become the issue. The Metcheck website forecasts around 5cm worth of rain to fall in Yeovil across the first 12 hours of Saturday. If the underlying turf has thawed out then the Huish Park drainage system should cope with that, but if there is still hard ground lurking beneath the surface, then that could cause some problems. To make matters worse, by late morning, the conditions are likely to turn more wintry.

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


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11 December 2008 : Yeovil Can Afford To Ignore £24K?
There might be no such thing as a free lunch, but when someone is offering £24,000 it could be worth making the effort to lay the table and put out the mat saying 'Welcome'.

Over the last week or so a whole series of clubs have been trumpeting receiving the Football League Trust's Bronze Award for Community Work, and the £24,000 of additional grant monies that comes with it. The total of Championship clubs to meet the requirements for the award is now 21, with 19 League One clubs, 17 League Two clubs and one Non-league club (Mansfield Town) also having passed the assessment, which the Trust's regional representatives have been carrying out since 22nd September 2008. Seven clubs initially failed but, having taken on board and rectified the points on which they missed out, have now been passed after a second assessment: Doncaster Rovers, Coventry City, Northampton Town, Oldham Athletic, Peterborough United, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Port Vale.

As, amidst this flurry of clubs rightly congratulating themselves, there has been no word from Yeovil Town we contacted the Football League to find out whether the club had been successful or not. The good news is we didn't fail; the bad news is that's because we haven't been scrutinised and assessed. Our understanding is that this assessment period runs out in December, which given Christmas probably means next week at the latest.

The sort of criteria the Trust is looking at before handing over the award (and the money) are things like: coach to child ratios; a suitable standard of coaching qualifications (minimum Level 2); a published business plan including Key Performance Indicators; the delivery to a suitable standard of at least one of the Trust's main themes of Health, Education, Social Inclusion/Community Cohesion, Sports Participation; the working partnerships that are in place with agencies external to the football club.

We trust (no pun intended) that the club has put its name forward for scrutiny and is simply waiting for an assessor to show up, and will soon be announcing the successful gaining of the Bronze Award and the arrival of £24,000 into the kitty for its community work.


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11 December 2008 : Late Night Shopping Tonight
A reminder that Yeovil Town's Huish Park Club Shop is opening for extended hours tonight. They will stay open until 7.00p.m. hence if you have any Christmas shopping to do that involves Glovers merchandise then tonight is one of the perfect times to do it.

The club have got a 20 percent discount sale on all stock this week, provided it has not already been discounted by alternative promotions. The discount offer also excludes the purchase of gift vouchers. All other items though will be on offer with a 20 percent reduction against the original price. This offer will end after Saturday's match against Stockport County, when the Club Shop will be open from 10.00a.m. until kick-off and then for half an hour after the game.


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11 December 2008 : Three More Years Of Paint
The Football League Trophy has had its sponsorship deal with Johnstone's Paint extended until the summer of 2012. The present deal was due to run out next summer, but it will continue to be known as the Johnstone's Paint Trophy for an additional three seasons.

The Football League claim that during the first two years of the new sponsorship, crowds went up by 69 percent. This is claimed to be due to competition changes such as the scrapping of extra time, increased regionalisation of earlier rounds, special ticketing offers for junior supporters and a number of clubs scheduling slightly earlier kick-offs. In addition, guidelines have been introduced for clubs to field teams of a particular strength.


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11 December 2008 : Clark Appointed To Terriers Post
League One side Huddersfield Town have appointed former Newcastle United player Lee Clark as their new manager. The 36 year old has been given a 3.5 year contract at the Galpharm Stadium, despite this being his first senior position in football.

Clark has been assistant manager at Norwich City and has appointed two assistants as part of his management team. Both have Newcastle backgrounds, with Derek Fazackerley acting as First Team Coach and Steve Black acting as their fitness coach. Huddersfield have had to pay an undisclosed compensation payment to the Canaries to release Clark from his contract at Carrow Road.

Yeovil Town boss Russell Slade's name had been on the rumourmill in connection with the Huddersfield post, but it is questionable as to whether he had any involvement. Certainly Slade himself stated that he had not heard anything from Huddersfield or the Yeovil board to suggest they held a tangible interest.

Looking around the other numerous vacancies at League One level, Carlisle United have filled theirs from within, with caretaker Greg Abbott quietly being shuffled in on an 18 month contract at Brunton Park.

Swindon Town and Crewe Alexandra are both still running on caretaker management, with Dave Byrne and Dario Gradi still clutching the reins, although neither are expected to assume the posts on a permanent basis. Crewe are currently 11 points from safety and Gradi's involvement has done little to turn around their fortunes so far.

Meanwhile Byrne probably isn't looking for a long stay as manager in the County Ground, calling his own supporters "idiots" and "doughnuts" for criticism regarding one of his substitutions, pointing out that the player concerned had gone down with cramp. Again, Swindon's sacking of former manager Maurice Malpas has done little for their fortunes so far, with the Wiltshire side currently merely a point above the relegation zone, and therefore also a point above the Glovers.

Link: 2008-09 Latest League One Table.


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10 December 2008 : Reserves Claim Three Goal Win
Yeovil Town Reserves saw off Swansea City Reserves this afternoon by a 3-0 scoreline that probably didn't describe how competitive a game the Glovers were involved in. Swansea's penalty that was saved by Lloyd Irish could have seen them leave with a 1-1 draw, after Rico Wilson's opener, but late goals for Keiran Murtagh and Andre McCollin sent the Jacks home having been comfortably defeated - but only in the final two minutes of the match.

The Glovers included three trialists in their line-up, all of which had played in the last Reserves game. However the 6'7" player formerly known as "Joe Tyler-Butcher" had become Evangelino Valentim - a Nigerian 23 year old striker who has played for Maidenhead united, Nigerian side Shooting Stars and Scottish league side Clyde.

Swansea got off to the better start with Lloyd Irish having to deal with two one-on-ones in the first five minutes, with Andrea Orlandi going close for the visitors.

However, a midfield battle ensued with neither side really getting the breaks - that was until Rico Wilson netted in the 36th minute from an Andy Welsh cross. Swansea's keeper and Valentim got in a tangle and took each other out as they both missed the ball, allowing Rico to head home almost apologetically on the back post.

The further the half went on, the more Yeovil dominated, with Gavin Tomlin and Keiran Murtagh getting a good combination going in the centre of midfield and pushing Swansea back on their heels. By the time the half time whistle blew, it was a good-value lead after a sluggish start.

Swansea made a couple of half time substitutions, with the experienced Kristian O'Leary being withdrawn. Jordan Street also limped off six minutes into the half, with Nathan Jones having to find out how to play as a centre-back as Tom Scott occupied his slot.

Evangelino Valentim also failed to last the distance, limping off with a foot injury that he appeared to have been carrying for part of the game. He managed to land the ball in the back of the net just before he was withdrawn - denied by a dubious linesman's flag, but never looked as sharp as he had in previous Reserves fixture.

Swansea also had reasons to be hacked off with the officials as they were denied a strong penalty shout, with one of their players looking as though he was brought down inside the box early in the second period. Seven minutes from time though, they did get their chance with a spot kick, only for Lloyd Irish, who had an impressive game throughout, to tip the ball onto the post and keep Swansea out of luck.

The Jacks were to find that miss costly as Yeovil grabbed two goals in the last two minutes to seal an impressive and deserved victory. A free kick on the corner of the area that looked as though it should have been a spot kick anyway, was curled in by Andy Welsh and Keiran Murtagh capped a fine match in the centre of the park by volleying home to make the game safe.

However, three minutes into injury time, and with pretty much the last kick of the game, Swansea got into a muddle in their back line, with both goalkeeper and a defender failing to call for a bouncing ball on the edge of the box. Andre McCollin took advantage of their indecision and nipped in behind to score an easy final goal.

For the home side this was a performance that grew and grew after a little too much of the first half ended up as a midfield battle. Keiran Murtagh, Andre McCollin, Andy Welsh and Lloyd Irish were the stand-out players on the day. The excitment of four-goal Evangelino Valentim never really reappeared today, although in fairness to him an early knock appeared to set him back somewhat, which eventually led to his withdrawl. All in all though, a good work-out for the players.

Final Score: Yeovil Town Reserves 3 Swansea City Reserves 0.

Scorers: Rico Wilson (1-0, 36 mins), Keiran Murtagh (2-0, 89 mins), Andre McCollin (3-0, 90 mins).

Yeovil Town (4-4-2):
1.Lloyd Irish
2.Harry Nodwell 5.Jordan Street 4.Rob Fitzgerald (Capt) 3.Nathan Jones
8.Rico Wilson 7.Gavin Tomlin 6.Keiran Murtagh 9.Andy Welsh
10.Evangelino Valentim 11.Andre McCollin

Substitutes:
12. Kai Fellers (66 mins for Evangelino Valentim) 14. Tom Scott (51 mins for Jordan Street) 15. Josh Robinson (75 mins for Rico Wilson).

Swansea City Reserves:
Artur Krysiak; Matty Collins (Capt), Daniel Alfei, Albert Serran, Daniel Sheehan, Kristian O'Leary, Shaun MacDonald, Oliver Hewitt-Fisher, Andrea Orlandi, Chris Jones, Chad Bond.

Substitutes:
Jazz Richards, Keiran Howard, Ben Adelsbury, Steven Berry, Casey Thomas.


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10 December 2008 : Reserves vs Swansea City Reminder
A reminder that Yeovil Town Reserves take to the field this afternoon at Huish Park in a Football Combination match against Swansea City Reserves. Kick-off is 2.00p.m. and admission is £2.00 for Adults and £1.00 for Concessions, with Season Ticket Holders admitted free of charge. Just the Main Stand is open this afternoon.

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

This afternoon's Yeovil line-up (with a slight question mark over which of the four strikers will occupy midfield/wing slots, is as follows:

1.Lloyd Irish
2.Harry Nodwell 4.Rob Fitzgerald 5.Jordan Street 3.Nathan Jones
7.Gavin Tomlin 6.Keiran Murtagh 9.Andy Welsh 11.Andre McCollin
10.Evangelino Valentim 8.Rico Wilson

Substitutes:
12. Kai Fellers 14. Tom Scott 15. Josh Robinson

Evangelino Valentim is a Nigerian 23 year old striker who has played for Maidenhead United, Nigerian side Shooting Stars and Scottish league side Clyde. He stands at a mere 6'7" tall.


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9 December 2008 : Scholars Get Given Six Of The Best
Yeovil Town Ladies thrashed AFC Team Bath Ladies by a 6-1 scoreline on Sunday in a match that cements firmly their second place in the Womens South West Conference table. The Glovers lie four points behind leaders Queens Park Rangers on 24 points, whilst their thumping of the University side dents the hopes of the 4th place side from clawing back what is now an 11 point advantage, albeit with AFC Team Bath having four games in hand.

Jemma Tewkesbury and Anusia Rourke did the damage, with both scoring hat-tricks on the day to inflict Bath's first league defeat of the season. Remarkably they did so despite five of their squad receiving County level call-ups. The going was not quite so easy in the first period. Despite a myriad of chances, all they had to show was a single goal at half time from Tewkesbury, and with chances having gone begging, Bath equalised just before the break to give a 1-1 half time score.

However, the Glovers ran riot in the second period with the pick of the bunch being Yeovil's sixth - a 50 yard lob from Anusia Rourke, who decided to mark her hat-trick in superb style.

Final Score: Yeovil Town Ladies 6 AFC Team Bath Ladies 1.

Scorers: Jemma Tewkesbury (3 goals), Anusia Rourke (3 goals).


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9 December 2008 : Which Way Should Yeovil Vote?
One of the items on the agendum of the Emergency General Meeting being held by the Football League next week is a proposal to introduce a 'home-grown' player rule. There appears to be some confusion as to what a 'home grown' player is. The BBC reported that it will be a player registered with any club affiliated to the English or Welsh Football Associations for 36 months or more prior to his 21st birthday - though it's not made clear whether that has to be the same club continuously, or whether the 36 months can be put together from spells at different clubs. However one club chairman seems to be under the impression it means having come through the club's own Academy or Centre of Excellence. The proposed rule is that a minimum of four home grown players must be named in each matchday squad.

As, by our calculations, Yeovil Town would only have one player, Craig Alcock, currently on its books who would fit the second scenario of qualification, while only one, Josh Wagenaar, would fail to qualify under the first scenario, the exact details of what is being proposed are rather crucial.

If players can qualify through connections to any English or Welsh club the plan appears to us to be mere political window dressing. What is the point? Are there really enough Football League clubs playing teams almost entirely created from players who have come up through Scottish, Irish and other foreign clubs to make creating a special rule worthwile? Or if it is to create an internal vertical progression up from a club's Centre of Excellence or Academy, through its Youth Team and into the First Team, a significantly lengthy time frame for introduction seems essential to make it remotely practical.

Generally this site has always been suspicious of artificial controls and regulations being imposed on football clubs and how they run themselves. They rarely do what they are introduced to do, however good the intentions, and the unexpected side effects are often more problematic than the ills they were supposed to cure. In this case anything that attempts to interfere in team selection just seems to play further into the hands of the haves over the have nots. It enhances the advantage of those who can already afford big squads over those who can't, with the former having the flexibility and likely range of quality available to cope, while the latter just face more constraints on how they juggle to get a sixteen (or maybe eighteen) onto the pitch within the rules.


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9 December 2008 : Stockport Friends And Family Reminder
A reminder of our October 7th news that Season Ticket Holders, Vice Presidents and GWSC members can take advantage of a Family Ticket offer for Saturday's match against Stockport County.

The cheaper tickets, for up to two adults and two juniors, can be bought from the Huish Park Ticket Office right up to the day of the game.

Link: Stockport County Friends and Family Ticketing Offer.


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9 December 2008 : Monty Goes East
Former Yeovil Town trialist Graeme Montgomery has signed for League Two side Dagenham and Redbridge. The 20 year old winger has signed a 2.5 year contract at Victoria Road after going on trial with the Daggers, and will formally join them in January.

Montgomery played two matches for Yeovil Town Reserves earlier this season, but the Glovers declined to offer him a contract. At one division lower though, Dagenham believe he can succeed and Stones manager Gordon Bartlett has highlighted Leeds United star Jermaine Beckford, who started his career with Wealdstone, as an example of what his club have produced in the past:

"I'm absolutely delighted for him. He deserves his chance and I hope he can prove to be just as successful in the Football League as Jermaine Beckford."


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8 December 2008 : Centre of Excellence vs Oxford United
Yeovil Town's Centre of Excellence sides took on a set of Oxford United sides over the weekend, with all age groups competing across the two days. The Under 15s side managed to get a superb 5-1 win on the day, running the game from start to end.

Straight from the first whistle, Yeovil took the game to Oxford and scored within five minutes as Alex Pathy used his blistering pace to good effect to get in front of the keeper and direct the ball in. From the restart Oxford equalised. Despite that, throughout the entire game Yeovil took the initiative and put constant pressure on their opponents, and it was no surprise when they then took the lead, via a Sonny Lovett corner from the left, the Oxford keeper fortuitously dropped it at the feet of Danny Williams to side foot home, to leave the score at 2-1 to Yeovil at the first break.

In the second period Yeovil continued to press but it wasn't until the final minute that a speeding Alex Pathy was put through for his second and Yeovil's third. In the third period Yeovil further underlined their supremacy when a Max Harrington volley thundered a fourth off the underside of the bar to leave the hapless keeper stranded yet again. By this time the boys were really enjoying the game, and some of the passing football was a joy to watch as the game became somewhat one sided. The scoring was completed by Lewis Morgan in the fourth quarter as he sidefooted calmly past the on-rushing keeper to make the final score 5-1 to Yeovil.

Final Score: Yeovil Town U15s 5 Oxford United U15s 1.

Alex Henderson
Lewis Voizey, Ben Bicknell, Henry Bond, Ben Williamson
Sonny Lovett, Max Harrington, Aidan ?, Brad Hansford
Danny Williams, Alex Pathy

Subs: Mike Fordon, Lewis Morgan, Tom Salter, Tom Hopkins, Luke Vivash.

We've picked up on the following other scores. If anyone has any extra ones they can send us then drop a line to ytfcbadger@ntlworld.com - last week we managed to get a full set of results (full list here which was very much appreciated - thanks to those who mailed in.

Yeovil Town U16s: Won 3-2
Yeovil Town U15s: Won 5-1
Yeovil Town U14s: Won 4-1
Yeovil Town U10s: Lost 3-4
Yeovil Town U9s: Lost 0-3

A number of other matches were lost to the weather which we think accounts for the missing results. If anyone knows differently, please drop us a line.


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8 December 2008 : Under 18s See Off Cheltenham
Yeovil Town's Under 18s gained a 1-0 away win over Cheltenham Town on Saturday. The result was a significant one, in that it widened the gap between themselves and the Robins at the lower end of the league table, keeping the Glovers in 8th place, but ensuring that a four point gap opened up between themselves and Torquay United and Cheltenham in 9th and 10th respectively.

Saturday's match is a home match against Hereford United that will take place at Somerton's Sports Ground. If you're wanting a double-header before the first team take on Stockport County, then kick-off is 11.00a.m. with the ground situated in Gassons Lane. Admission is free and all are welcome to attend.


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8 December 2008 : Officials For Saturday
Phil Crossley (Kent) has been selected to referee Saturday's fixture against Stockport County. Crossley took up the whistle in 1990 and progressed through the local leagues before being promoted to the Panel list in 1998 and then the National list in 2000. We think the first visit Mr Crossley made to Huish Park as a referee was 15th December 2001. We last saw him at the opening match of this campaign on 9th August. He has been in the centre for 17 matches so far this season, issuing 36 yellow and 2 red cards.

In between we had him for two Atkins related matches: first against Oxford United in February 2004; and then the infamous game against Bristol Rovers where he had the strength to send off two Pirates on the night in front of the usual baying coin and lighter chuckers of the Memorial Stadium, and report Atkins to the Football Association for, amongst other things, chucking a cup of tea at Gary Johnson - 19th October, 2004.

The assistant referees are David Belbin (Middlesex) and Lee Swabey (Devon), the fourth official Stephen Robbins (Gloucestershire).


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8 December 2008 : McCollin Sees Grays Loan Expire
Yeovil Town striker Andre McCollin has returned to Huish Park after his one month loan at Conference National side Grays Athletic completed. The Grays official site doesn't state whether Grays returned him or whether Yeovil refused a loan extension - they merely state that the loan deal "expired".

Andre played five times for the Essex side during his month with them, including Saturday's 1-0 win over York City where he played a full 90 minutes. However, he failed to find the back of the net during his time at the New Recreation Ground.


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8 December 2008 : Thirteen Not Unlucky
Yeovil Town Ladies Reserves extended their unbeaten start to the season to thirteen matches, twelve wins and a draw, on Sunday with a tight 1-0 victory away at Street. The Glovers lead at the top of the Somerset County League has now stretched to thirteen points.

The First Team received a bye in the Ambassador League Cup, the first round of which was due to be played yesterday.


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8 December 2008 : Gifton Gets Boxing Day Extension
On loan striker Gifton Noel-Williams has had his loan spell at Huish Park extended up to and including Boxing Day. Gifton would not be allowed to face his parent club Millwall and is out of contract at the New Den on January 1st, hence the cut off date on the loan deal.

Millwall are not expected to renew Gifton's contract, having largely signed him up as a panic measure when they lost several strikers to injuy and suspension during the same week. Thus the former Watford striker is likely to become a free agent in the New Year. Whether the Glovers stand a chance of signing him or not will largely come down to the constraints of manager Russell Slade's playing budget. However speaking to the Western Daily Press before the news of the loan extension reached him, club captain Terry Skiverton was keen to emphasise the importance of Gifton's presence in the squad:

"He has done very well for us. He has been a good targetman and now we have got Luke Rodgers they have started to link up and have an understanding. So it will be important to keep him and fingers crossed on that one because we need all hands on deck at the moment. It is vital we have as many as possible to help lift us up the league."


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8 December 2008 : November 2008 Player Of The Month
With November now over, all of the Man of the Match votes have been accumulated, allowing the overall Player of the Month for November to be accumulated. Right back Craig Alcock has continued to get strong mentions in the vote since his arrival in the side as cover for Lee Peltier, giving an idea as to why Craig has kept his place in the side since Lee's return. Club captain Terry Skiverton has also had a good month, scoring the winning goal in Yeovil's last home match. However, midfielder Gary Roberts has been a revelation since his arrival from Crewe Alexandra, gradually improving and becoming a key player in the centre of the park, and it is the 21 year old who came out on top across the whole month.

The full top 10, with percentage of the vote cast in brackets, are shown below:

1 Gary Roberts 18.6
2 Terry Skiverton 14.3
3 Craig Alcock 14.0
4 Danny Schofield 10.6
5 Lee Peltier 8.0
6 Gareth Owen 6.3
7 Josh Wagenaar 6.1
8 Paul Warne 5.1
9 Darren Way 4.0
10 Gifton Noel-Williams 3.2


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7 December 2008 : Man Of The Match Result For Colchester
Yeovil Town's recent away game against Colchester United took place on a bitterly cold November night with only a small handful of Glovers braving the elements in Essex. The game was lost 1-0 in a match of few chances, and for the second time this season the Man of the Match poll brought a tie between the top two players.

Winger Danny Schofield featured well, but it was Lee Peltier, playing as a defensive midfielder and goalkeeper Josh Wagenaar who tied for the top spot with identical records. The full results are shown below with outright MOTM in brackets:

1 Josh Wagenaar 26 (2)
1 Lee Peltier 26 (2)
3 Danny Schofield 22 (1)
4 Craig Alcock 12 (1)
5 Gary Roberts 10 (1)
6 Nathan Smith 4 (0)
7 Nathan Jones 2 (0)
7 Terrell Forbes 2 (0)
7 Gifton Noel-Williams 2 (0)


OVERALL MATCH RATING: 4.29

Performance: 5.14
Entertainment: 3.43

VOTES RECEIVED: 7


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7 December 2008 : Club Shop Launches Pre-Christmas One Week Sale
For those who may be currently suffering the stress and dilemma of Christmas shopping at present, you may be pleased to know that this week sees a special promotional week at the Huish Park Club Shop.

During the coming week, right up and including Saturday, the club shop is offering a 20 percent discount on all stock (provided it is not already discounted through other offers and doesn't include gift vouchers). That means that if you're going to do any Christmas shopping at Yeovil Town, this week is the week to pick.

Even better is that this week also sees the first of the shop's late night opening sessions. Normal opening hours for the Huish Park Club Shop are 10.00a.m. until 4.00p.m. on week days, but this coming Thursday the shop will open until 7.00p.m. hence if you find it difficult to get to the club on weekdays this should give you another opportunity to get there.

In addition, on the day of the home match against Stockport County on December 13th, and also the last day of the promotional sale, the Club Shop will be open from 10.00a.m. until kick-off. They will also be open for half an hour after the game, which will be your last chance to take advantage of the special discount.

If you need to reserve anything or enquire about any stock item before setting out, then phone the shop on 01935-847877. The offer is also available via the Online Club Shop for those who can't get down to Huish Park before Christmas.


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7 December 2008 : Tranmere Rovers Man Of The Match Result
Yeovil Town's last home match saw a 1-0 win over Tranmere Rovers. The match was won via an unexpected long range strike from captain Terry Skiverton, and with the back four also keeping a very comfortable clean sheet it was little surprise to find who came out on top on the day in the Man of the Match poll.

There were strong showings from Danny Schofield and right-back Craig Alcock, but Skivo got the nod by a relatively comfortable margin. The full results with outright MOTM votes in brackets, are as follows:

1 Terry Skiverton 266 (18)
2 Danny Schofield 188 (14)
3 Craig Alcock 180 (11)
4 Gary Roberts 92 (3)
5 Paul Warne 46 (2)
6 Gifton Noel-Williams 44 (0)
7 Nathan Smith 28 (2)
8 Aidan Downes 26 (0)
9 Terrell Forbes 18 (0)
10 Gavin Tomlin 4 (0)


OVERALL MATCH RATING: 8.36

Performance: 8.28
Entertainment: 8.44

VOTES RECEIVED: 50


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7 December 2008 : Man Of The Match Voting For The Hartlepool Game
Were you one of the 83 that managed to watch yesterday's draw against Hartlepool United yesterday? If so, then we need your Man of the Match votes.

Given how few made the journey, all votes will count significantly, so get them in as soon as you can, by chosing your top three players, plus entertainment and performance ratings and any additional comments you want to make on the game, via the form below.

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


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7 December 2008 : Russell's Verdict On The Hartlepool Game
Yeovil Town manager Russell Slade spoke to the BBC following yesterday's 0-0 draw with Hartlepool United. The full transcript of that interview with reporter Rob Scanlon can be found now, via the link below.

Link: Russell's Verdict On The Hartlepool Game.


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6 December 2008 : Reserves Continue Unbeaten Run
Yeovil Town Ladies Reserves are still unbeaten in the Somerset County League since the start of the season, the run extended to twelve games with a 4-0 victory over Bridgwater Town. The Glovers remain ten points clear of closest chasers Nailsea United, though have played two games more, and travel to fourth placed Street on Sunday (7th December). Nailsea are away at third placed Ilminster Town.


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6 December 2008 : Glovers v Royals Photo Gallery
The gallery of photographs from last Sunday's 4-0 victory by Yeovil Town Ladies over Reading Royals in the South West Combination is now on line:

Link: Yeovil Town Ladies v Reading Royals Photo Gallery

Link: Yeovil Town 4 Reading Royals 0 Match Summary

Our thanks to Sophie Elbourn for the photos.

The Ladies are scheduled to meet AFC Team Bath in back-to-back league fixtures, at home in Somerton this Sunday, 7th December, and away on Sunday 14th December. However five of the Glovers first team, including captain Sarah Lawler, have been selected to be involved for Somerset in the South West Counties Women’s Championship match with Hampshire tomorrow, so we're unsure whether the South West Combination game will take place or not. If it isn't postponed Yeovil, without five of their best players, will face a major test against a Team Bath side yet to be defeated in the league this season.

The Glovers remain second in the table, 7 points behind Queens Park Rangers but with a game in hand.


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6 December 2008 : Stalemate Gives Glovers A Point Boost
Yeovil Town managed to grab a useful away point from their 630 mile round trip against Hartlepool United this afternoon. The scoreline finished 0-0, but it was an end-to-end encounter with largely the final ball for the Glovers the only thing they lacked to stop them coming home with maximum points. Lee Peltier, playing as a defensive midfielder, created the game's best chance - striking the crossbar in the first half, whilst Luke Rodgers, who was making his full debut for the club, was denied in a one-on-one. Pools had the better of the second half, particularly as the game drew to a close, but it would have been harsh if Yeovil hadn't come home with something.

The Glovers were forced to reorganise their midfield with central trio Darren Way (groin), Gary Roberts (suspended) and Marc Bircham (ankle) all missing. A very attacking trio of Aidan Downes, Danny Schofield and Paul Warne sat in front of Lee Peltier. In effect all of the sixteen available senior players were selected for the squad that travelled.

With Hartlepool playing a 4-3-3 that meant that both sides were participating in an end-to-end attacking match. Aidan Downes fired a long range shot just wide of the post, with a nervous home keeper Jan Budtz well beaten. Then Luke Rodgers latched onto a poor defensive back header that left him with a one-on-one, but Budtz restored a bit of confidence by getting a palm on the ball as Rodgers tried to round him.

The best chance of the half came through Lee Peltier, who hit a rocket from 20 yards out that crashed against the crossbar, although Hartlepool also went close with Gary Liddle's cross-cum-shot almost turning into one that deceived Josh Wagenaar as it hit the outside frame of the goal. But largely Wagenaar only had to deal with routine stuff with the Glovers comfortable and the home side's fans getting restless.

The only down side to the first period was right-back Craig Alcock's knee injury which forced him off, with Aaron Brown getting another early appearance as a substitute. Russell Slade must have held his breath when Brown himself needed lengthy treatment on a knock barely 10 minutes later, spending the remainder of the half hobbling badly. Thankfully he was able to complete the game.

Hartlepool imposed themselves on the game a little better after the break, although Wagenaar was never too stretched. The home fans were back with their hackles up when top scorer Joel Porter was substituted as manager Danny Wilson tried to bring some kind of a spark to his three-pronged attack.

But the Glovers held firm, even when psychologically they began to sit back a little in the final five or 10 minutes of the match. Aaron Brown could have won it if only he hadn't headed a close range chance from a Peltier free kick straight at Budtz, when any kind of misdirection would have left the keeper struggling. But deadlock it was, and three minutes of second half injury time wasn't going to change that.

The 83 Glovers fans who made it all the way up to the North-East came home with the reward they deserved. Those hardy souls were also rewarded by the club, with Chairman John Fry and Chief Executive Martyn Starnes putting their PR hats on by handing out five pound club shop vouchers for those who travelled to spend on their Christmas shopping when they finally get their way back to South Somerset. That and the away point will doubtless have made the long journey that little bit more worthwhile.

Final Score: Hartlepool United 0 Yeovil Town 0.

Scorers: None.

Hartlepool United: (4-3-3)
1. Jan Budtz
15. Antony Sweeney 5. Michael Nelson 6. Sam Collins 3. Ritchie Humphreys
8. Ritchie Jones 7. Gary Liddle 19. Matty Robson
18. Michael Mackay 34. Kevin Kyle 10. Joel Porter

Substitutes:
30. Mark Cook (GK) 11. Andy Monkhouse 16. Alan Power 17. David Foley (57 mins for Joel Porter) 22. Jonny Rowell

Yeovil Town: (4-1-2-1-2)
13. Josh Wagenaar
12. Craig Alcock 4. Terry Skiverton 6. Terrell Forbes 28. Nathan Smith
27. Lee Peltier
17. Aidan Downes 14. Paul Warne
11. Danny Schofield
15. Luke Rodgers 25. Gifton Noel-Williams

Substitutes:
3. Nathan Jones 23. Aaron Brown (30 mins for Craig Alcock) 9. Andy Welsh (79 mins for Aidan Downes 18. Keiran Murtagh 10. Gavin Tomlin (85 mins for Luke Rodgers)

Hartlepool Bookings: Matty Robson (27 mins, foul), Ritchie Jones (62 mins, foul)
Yeovil Bookings: Aidan Downes (19 mins, foul)

Referee: Kevin Friend (Leicestershire). Assistants: Andy Madley (West Yorkshire) and David Unsworth (Greater Manchester). Fourth Official: Peter Quinn (Cleveland).

Attendance: 3,393 (including 83 Yeovil supporters)

Link: 2008-09 Latest League One Table.


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5 December 2008 : Gifton Heading For Final Bow
Yeovil Town manager Russell Slade has said that he plans to meet with Chief Executive Martyn Starnes to discuss the future of on loan striker Gifton Noel-Williams. The Millwall player will step out for the last match in his one month loan at Huish Park having played six times for the Glovers, and with no new loans allowable until January, Gifton is Russell's only option in terms of retaining present numbers within his squad until after the Christmas break is over.

Speaking to BBC Somerset, Russell said his first step was to talk to Martyn Starnes to see if there was any provision to extend the target man's stay in Somerset for at least until the end of the month:

"I'll be in touch with Chief Executive Martyn Starnes. I'll have a chat and we'll see what we can do. I think he gives us a focus, doesn't he? He's a player that gets hold of the ball for us and I think you saw against Tranmere in particular that we were able to make runs off the fact that he was setting up play and getting hold of the ball for us. He has qualities of course. What he is missing is a goal. And as much as that is a concern, what is another concern is that we've not got too many bodies in the camp."


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5 December 2008 : Ticketing For The Bristol Rovers Match
Tickets for Yeovil Town's away match against Bristol Rovers, which takes place on Saturday 10th January 2009, are now on sale from the Huish Park Ticket Office. This match is an ALL TICKET match which means there will be no tickets on sale on the day of the match.

You have a choice of two areas in the ground to consider. The Visitors Terrace is a small paddock situated on the left side of the main stand. It is open terracing and the experience of many is that it does not offer great views unless you get there early or happen to be taller than most on the terrace. The other option is the South Stand, which is a 'temporary' seated area, with a rather odd marquee-style roof, situated behind one of the goals. Prices are as follows:

Terracing: Adults: £15.00; Concessions: £8.00.
South Stand: Adults: £17.50; Concessions: £9.50.

Junior season ticket holders can gain admittance free of charge with a full paying adult, provided they are amongst the first 50 people taking advantage of the offer. This same limited offer will be applied to visiting fans for the home match against Bristol Rovers later in the season.

Concessions are defined as Under 16s, 65 and over and NUS Students carrying a valid membership card.

Both wheelchair disabled and ambulant disabled supporters are admitted for £8.00 with an assistant admitted free of charge.

For all bookings, call the Huish Park Ticket Office on 01935-847888 or pop round in person during normal office hours.

Link: Ticketing For The Hartlepool United Match.

Link: Ticketing For The Swindon Town Match.

Link: Ticketing For The Millwall Match.


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5 December 2008 : Scunthorpe Date Reset
Further to our November 29th news, the home match against Scunthorpe United will now take place on Tuesday 6th January 2009. Kick-off will be 7.45p.m. at Huish Park.

The original fixture had been postponed due to Scunthorpe's participation in the FA Cup Third Round stage.


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5 December 2008 : Hartlepool Weather Report
The Hartlepool United official site has described the complex steps that ground staff at Victoria Park are going to in order to keep tomorrow's game on. With first heavy frost, and then snowfall earlier in the week, some concerns have been raised about the game going ahead.

However, pitch covers were put in place on Tuesday to protect against the frost, whilst these covers also were used when snow fell on Wednesday night. The ground staff - including Hartlepool's Youth Team - have been sweeping away the water from the covers with the plan to remove those covers today.

Weather reports suggest that the temperature in Hartlepool should hold steady at around 4-5 degrees celcius with cloud cover and minimal rain. This means that at present the Victoria Park staff are confident that tomorrow afternoon's game will take place as scheduled.

Link: Metcheck.com : Hartlepool Local Weather Forecast.


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5 December 2008 : Hartlepool United vs Yeovil Town Match Preview
Yeovil Town make the extra-long trip to Hartlepool United tomorrow as they resume their League One campaign following an unexpected mid-season break of 10 days, caused by a blank weekend last Saturday. The break has been a welcome one in that it has allowed a number of players carrying minor niggles to rest their limbs and get back to full fitness.

The end result is that manager Russell Slade's selection options are fairly well defined for once, with three players set to miss the trip up to the North-East. The snag is that all three are central midfielders, with long term injury victim Marc Bircham (ankle) plus Darren Way (groin) added to by the suspension of Gary Roberts for picking up five yellow cards. This means that youngsters Lee Peltier and Keiran Murtagh are by default likely to be the midfield pairing, with the possibility of Danny Schofield being used as an attacking outlet in front of them. Paul Warne's midweek knock in the Reserves is not believed to be causing him a problem.

For Hartlepool, they have James Brown and Willie Boland out with knee injuries, whilst goalkeeper Arran Lee-Barrett has been given a three match ban by the FA for an off the ball incident in last weekend's FA Cup match against Fleetwood Town, receiving his punishment based on video evidence. He will be replaced by Jan Budtz, who played in the corresponding fixture last season.

One player who is expected to be fit for Hartlepool is midfielder Ritchie Jones. He missed last weekend's FA Cup game with a hamstring problem but is likely to face the club that he played on loan for last season, having had a four month spell at Huish Park that somewhat fizzled out towards the end. He signed permanently for Pools over the summer. So far he has made 17 appearances for Hartlepool, scoring one goal. Another link between the two clubs, of sorts, is that their on loan striker Kevin Kyle was a transfer target for Russell Slade, but the Glovers couldn't cough up the share of the wages that Saturday's hosts could. Kyle is currently into the second month of his loan spell at Victoria Park, with 10 appearances and three goals so far for the former Scotland international.

Hartlepool lie in 12th position in the table, six points and nine places above the Glovers. As with recent seasons, Pools are very strong at home with their away form letting them down somewhat. Certainly they are good value for money on home turf, with matches at Victoria Park seeing 39 goals scored across nine league matches. Their 22 goals scored at home make them top of the league in that department, although with Brown out for the rest of the season they will have problems in keeping the goals flying in. The right-winger is being covered by Antony Sweeney. Striker Joel Porter will be Hartlepool's main goal threat with seven goals so far. With this week's AGM at Victoria Park providing gloomy financial figures, Pools manager Danny Wilson is likely to have to make do with what he has already got in January.

Last season's match at Victoria Park saw an inexperienced, paper-thin Glovers squad lose out 2-0 to goals from Porter and Brown, although Yeovil won the home match 3-1 with goals from Terry Skiverton, Marcus Stewart and Lloyd Owusu. The Easter Monday reverse was Yeovil's first defeat against Hartlepool, having won all three of the other encounters.

The match kicks off at 3.00p.m. on Saturday, with tickets available on the day of the game from Victoria Park. For details of that and everything else you didn't want to know about Hartlepool, see our guide below.

Link: Ciderspace Guide To Hartlepool.


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4 December 2008 : Guide To Hartlepool
For those brave, hardy and possibly slightly mad souls heading up to Hartlepool this Saturday the Ciderspace guide to things monkey hanging can be found here:

Link: Guide to Hartlepool United


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4 December 2008 : Programme Sponsorship Available For Stockport County Game
Yeovil Town Commercial Manager Dave Linney has advised that due to unforeseen circumstances there is an unexpected vacancy for programme sponsorship available for the home match against Stockport County that takes place on December 13th.

If you're thinking of giving some friends or work colleagues an early Christmas treat, then the benefits of being a Programme Sponsor at Huish Park include the following for a minimum of eight guests:

· 3 Course Meal in your own section in the Glovers Restaurant
· Your Table overlooking the Stadium
· Question & Answer session with the manager.
· Entrance into the players lounge after the game.
· Reserved Car Parking
· Complementary Match Programmes
· Complementary Team Sheets
· Memento of the occasion presented on the pitch at half time.
· Half Page Advert in the Programme
· Acknowledgments on the scoreboard and over the PA system.
· Editorial acknowledgment in the Match Programme.

For more information contact Dave Linney on 01935 847872 or email him on dlinney@ytfc.net as soon as possible.


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4 December 2008 : Russell Recognises Bircham Dilemma
Yeovil Town manager Russell Slade has said that he is fully aware of midfielder Marc Bircham's deliberations over his playing future. Yesterday Bircham announced that he was considering retiring from the game, and Russell has told BBC Somerset that he recognised it was a difficult time for the 30 year old:

"He is very disillusioned at the minute and understandably so. He has been fighting to get back and obviously his ankle problem has caused him a lot of stress, and I think it might be a decision time for him."

Bircham said in yesterday's news that he is likely to make a decision whether to risk an ankle operation prior to the Christmas break. Should Bircham retire then Russell will need to recruit a replacement during the January transfer window, and the Yeovil boss added that Marc was fully aware of the need to make a decision:

"To be fair to Birch, he understands that well, and we've sat down and we've had a chat. He's looking at what steps he needs to make, and he's made steps already with regards to retiring from football. He knows that frees up money for me and he knows I'm aware of that and hopefully it can come to a conclusion sooner rather than later. But you have to understand that it is out of my hands and the club's hands and it is down to medical people and for them to make the final decisions."


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4 December 2008 : YTFC 2006-07 Accounts Issued To Shareholders
Yeovil Town have now formally published their 2006-07 accounts to the club's shareholders. The accounts, under their formal name of the Yeovil Football And Athletic Club Limited, which take the club's financial position up to June 30th 2007, have been available from Company House for a couple of months, but have now been published to all shareholders. If you are a shareholder and have not received a letter from the club, then we'd recommend that you get in touch with the football club to ensure they have your correct postal address.

The bottom line is that the Glovers made a profit of £112,764 during the 2006-07 season. All of the main financial figures are roughly in line with the preceding season, which showed a profit of £123,543. In fact with the club making a £13K profit during the 2004-05 season and a £405K profit in the 2003-04 season, the club has come out in the black during every season since it joined the Football League, with an accumulative profit of 605K across the last four seasons.

Turnover is roughly flat against the preceding season, with just a slight drop-off down to £3.90m. The club has a small borrowing of £26K, down from the preceding year's £39K, but overall is firmly in the black with the accounts reporting a figure of £1.1 million recorded as either cash in the bank or in hand.

The club's overall wage bill has increased slightly above the rate of inflation, rising from £2.2m in 2005-06 to a total of £2,391,431. The club's accounts recognise an average number of 81 employees on the Huish Park payroll, with 32 allocated to playing staff, 19 as management and administrative, 11 as stadium and maintanance whilst 19 are listed as catering staff. The club don't break down their wage bill to separate the playing budget from the backroom wage costs.

The club also detail that director(s) were paid £32,000 in wages during the 2006-07 season, with an additional £10,000 allocated to a pension fund. The name(s) of those receiving a salary are not revealed, however past understanding is that this is the salary that has been allocated to the club's Chief Executive, which would have been Chairman John Fry during that period. This week's Western Gazette lists six directors, including Fry, as being in receipt of that accumulated sum, however our reading of the accounts is that the distribution of that amount is non-specific, and thus some of those directors named by the Gazette are likely to have not received a salary, particularly as most act in a non-executive capacity.

The accounts also declare Directors' interests, where a club director is also employed by an external firm that provides a service to the Football Club. These firms are listed as accountants Albert Goodman, who were paid £1,200, solicitors Clarke Willmott who were paid £11,000 and insurers Budden Smales Insurance, who were paid £3,430. Directors Paul Sargent, Stephen Allinson and Ron Budden were partners of these firms during the accounting period, although Mr Allinson has since left his post with Clarke Willmott.

The accounts presented do not include the transfer of Chris Cohen and Arron Davies to Nottingham Forest. However, a footnote to the accounts reveals that in July 2007 "the company concluded a transfer deal for the sale of two players, realising a net surplus of £686,375, receivable over a period of two years".

Despite what the accounts say, Chief Executive Martyn Starnes states that Forest paid up the whole amount during last season, and reiterated his previous position to the Gazette that the money had already been spent:

"Certainly in the 2007-8 accounts the budget that was provided to the football team was increased because of that transfer income. But it was only increased when we had that transfer income to play with. Once it is spent, it is spent. The budget for this year, 2008-9, does not have that supplement that was provided in last year’s budget."

The club are not holding a Shareholders' AGM this season, and the plan is for a more informal shareholders meeting to be held in early 2009. The view of the club is that this delay will allow them the chance to distribute to shareholders an early copy of the 2007-08 accounts, allowing both years to be discussed at the meeting. Starnes explained to the paper:

"We are no longer required to hold an annual meeting and a letter has gone out to shareholders explaining that to them and letting them have a copy of the accounts for 2007. We have had them ready for a while but they are overdue for submission to the shareholders. We are getting the 2008 accounts ready now and the auditors will be in from the beginning of next week. We will be holding a shareholders’ meeting at a date early next year where the 2008 accounts will be submitted."

The club are clearly still trying to operate on an even keel, with no "sugar daddy" available to subsidise operations or provide loans to act as investments. A useful comparison can be made with Saturday's opponents Hartlepool United, who with average crowds of 4,507 last season and currently 3,874 this season ought to be one of Yeovil Town's peers in League One.

Conveniently, Hartlepool have also published their own accounts for 2007, and the situation couldn't be more different. Whilst the Glovers have made a profit across the last four seasons, Hartlepool have announced an operating loss of £1.6m, with owners Increased Oil Recovery Limited pumping £1.8m of loans into the club. Hartlepool now owe over £9 million to the company. Hartlepool lease Victoria Park from their local council and are attempting to purchase the lease from the council but have so far been unable to do so.

Whilst the Glovers recorded a turnover of £3.9m for their 2007 accounts, Hartlepool could only manage a £2.7m turnover figure. Despite that, Hartlepool's football wage bill alone rose 24 percent to £2.12m - almost the level of the entire wage bill at Huish Park for both on and off the field, giving an idea of how much extra money even Yeovil's peers are spending at present - money they clearly can't afford in the long run. Hartlepool have admitted that they are 17 percent over the Football League's salary capping guidelines and recently took striker Kevin Kyle on loan from Coventry City - a player Glovers boss Russell Slade had tried to bring in, but couldn't match the proportion of the reported £6,000 a week wages that Kyle was claimed to be on at Coventry.

To be fair, Hartlepool are far from unique and that there is a long list of Football League clubs that are living beyond their means. The recent problems experienced by Rotherham United, Luton Town and AFC Bournemouth are clear evidence of that, and the Football League have called an EGM for December 18th where the issue of salary capping will be back on the agenda again. However, the authorities are likely to receive significant opposition from certain clubs, particularly those at Championship level who are trying to compete with clubs recently relegated from the Premier League carrying parachute payments. We suspect that once again any proposals to bring in a firm salary cap will be thrown out again. What the Football League should be doing instead is to ensure that rules are put in place to force clubs to pay common debtors (for example HMRC, St John's Ambulance, football creditors) within a set period of time, and to make the penalties for breaching those rules, or falling into administration significantly punishing to act as a clear deterrent to those clubs who refuse to act on an even keel.


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4 December 2008 : Ticketing For The Swindon Match
Advance tickets for Yeovil Town's away trip against Swindon Town are now on sale from the Huish Park Ticket Office. Glovers fans have been allocated a section in the Arkells North Stand, which is a covered seated area of the ground, side-on to the pitch. Away fans usually get the end two blocks closest to the Stratton Bank End in a total allocation of around 1,200 seats.

The match takes place on Saturday 20th December with a 3.00p.m. kick-off. Admission prices are as follows:

Adults: £20.00; Seniors/Students: £15.00; Juniors (15 and under): £9.00.

Junior season ticket holders can get in free of charge when accompanied by a full paying adult. Note that this offer is limited to the first 50 applicants. The offer will be repeated for Swindon fans when they visit Huish Park later in the season.

Students must carry a valid NUS card and must purchase tickets in advance, otherwise they will pay the full adult rate.

Other than the above two exceptions, prices on the day of the match are the same as the above.

Disabled supporters should phone 0871-2232300 to prebook tickets, with prices set at £10.00 with an assistant admitted free of charge. There is a separate Away Disabled Enclosure in the Arkells Stand, and Swindon will accept purchases on the day, provided they've not run out of bays in the enclosure.

Note that parking at the County Ground is not particularly cheap - coaches are charged £20.00 whilst cars are charged £10.00.

For all other enquiries or to purchase tickets in advance, phone the Huish Park Ticket Office on 01935-847888.

Link: Ticketing For The Hartlepool United Match.

Link: Ticketing For The Millwall Match.


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3 December 2008 : Bircham Considers Quitting Playing Career
Yeovil Town midfielder Marc Bircham's career hangs in the balance today. The 30 year old has yet to recover from an ankle injury sustained on the training ground and the Western Daily Press reports that one option that he has is to retire from the professional game.

Marc's specialist has told him that he should either consider retiring from the game, or go for an operation that has only a 50:50 chance of being successful and may keep him out of the game for the rest of the season. Marc has nerve damage in his ankle that a series of injections has failed to cure, and he has told the WDP that this could result in him hanging up his boots:

"I went to see the specialist about a week ago and he said I should consider retiring, so I am giving it a good think over the next week or two and giving my decision then. I had my back and hamstring before and got over them but I can't get over this. I have had about six injections in my ankle and it is not really working. With this injury I can run, I can't sprint – but I could never sprint, and I can play a game but I can't use my left foot – which isn't a problem normally but it is for controlling the ball and sidefooting it. I get the pain and I can't carry on."

If Marc decides to carry on in professional football, it is unlikely to be with Yeovil Town. The alternative is for him to have the operation, but when he comes back from that, his contract at Huish Park will be nearly up, meaning that whichever route he takes the Glovers must now plan their season without him:

"The specialist is saying I could have this operation but it is 50-50 whether it will work. I have got nerve damage in there. Do I really want to go down the operation route when I will be out for four or five months not knowing whether I will come back or do I call it a day?"

The WDP point out that if Bircham retires then he will be able to cash in on an insurance payout, and that if he is released from his Yeovil Town contract that this may open up some budget for the Glovers to sign a replacement in January. Bircham says that any decision he makes is likely to be before Christmas. However any chance of him adding to the 18 appearances he has made for the club across 18 injury ravaged months for the former Queen's Park Rangers favourite, look now to be over.

Whilst Bircham has considered retiring from the game before - during last season when hamstring problems plagued him - this one appears to be more stark in the choice that Marc faces. He appears to have already begun thinking about a Plan B as well - with plans to set up a soccer school in Cyprus combined with completion of his UEFA A coaching licence courses all planned for next summer.


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3 December 2008 : Pools Keeper Banned
Saturday's opponents Hartlepool United will be short of their first choice goalkeeper after Arran Lee-Barrett was given a retrospective red card by the FA, for violent conduct during last weekend's FA Cup match against Fleetwood Town.

Lee-Barrett, who has been ever-present this season, swung a punch at Fleetwood substitute Lee Hunt, but was only yellow carded in the subsequent fracas. When referee Clive Olivier admitted that he would have red carded the keeper had he seen what the cameras picked up, the FA decided to act and have given him a three match ban for violent conduct which will start on Saturday.

Former Doncaster Rovers keeper Jan Budtz will get his chance between the sticks on Saturday. Hartlepool will also be without top scorer James Brown, who has suffered a cruciate knee ligament injury and is out for the rest of the season.


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2 December 2008 : Centre Of Excellence vs Bournemouth
Yeovil Town's Centre of Excellence sides took on a number of AFC Bournemouth sides over the weekend. If it was entertainment you wanted then the Under 15s was the place to be, with the Glovers losing 4-5, despite 'scoring' seven of the nine goals!

Danny Williams got two in the right end, whilst Alex Pathy got another (we're not sure who got Yeovil's fourth), but three of Bournemouth's five goals were own goals with Ben Bicknell (with two) and Henry Bond probably wishing they'd stayed in bed in what was one of those days.

Full results that we've been able to get hold of are as follows:

Yeovil Town Under 16s : Won 1-0
Yeovil Town Under 15s : Lost 4-5
Yeovil Town Under 14s : Won 1-0
Yeovil Town Under 13s : Won 2-1
Yeovil Town Under 12s : Lost 2-5
Yeovil Town Under 11s : Drew 4-4
Yeovil Town Under 10s : Lost 2-9
Yeovil Town Under 9s : Lost 1-6

If anyone has any other details they want us to add in, drop an email to ytfcbadger@ntlworld.com


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1 December 2008 : Youth Team Lose To Oxford
Yeovil Town's Under 18s side continued their inconsistent season with a 0-1 home defeat against Oxford United in a Youth Alliance League fixture.

The result means that Yeovil currently lie in 8th position in the South-West division. Next weekend they face a trip to 10th placed Cheltenham Town.


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1 December 2008 : Officials For Hartlepool United vs Yeovil Town
Saturday's match between Hartlepool United and Yeovil Town will be looked after by referee Kevin Friend (Leicestershire). Despite being on the National List of Referees since 2003, we can only recall getting him as the man in the middle on one occasion - the home match against Darlington over four years ago.

That match report made no mention of Mr Friend, although he does carry a reputation around the leagues for being rather card-happy - particularly when it comes to raising the red variety. So far, 57 yellows and 3 reds have been raised across 18 matches according to Soccerbase. His 100 yellows and 11 reds across 41 games last season are certainly at the top end of what most officials accrue. His last match was the League Two game between Darlington and Chester City.

Mr Friend will be assisted by Andy Madley (West Yorkshire) and David Unsworth (Greater Manchester). The Fourth Official will be Peter Quinn (Cleveland).

Link: August 2004 : Yeovil Town 1 Darlington 1.


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1 December 2008 : Robins Thrashed By Five-Star Glovers
Yeovil Town Reserves thrashed Cheltenham Town Reserves 5-1 at Huish Park this afternoon in a match that turned into a one-sided rout after The Robins were reduced to 10 men for a dangerous tackle on Paul Warne, who was taken off as a precaution immediately afterwards.

The Glovers fielded three trialists, with two strikers and a left winger taking their places in a 4-4-2 formation. Of those, Joe Tyler-Butcher was easily the pick of the bunch, netting the first of his four goals during the afternoon, when he bundled the ball in on the far post from an Aaron Brown right wing cross.

Yeovil were good value for the lead, controlling possession well throughout the half, leaving Cheltenham struggling to create their own chances. However, they had to settle for the single goal half time lead, with the visitors performing a rearguard action on a bitterly cold day.

Andy Welsh and Kai Feller switched wings at half time with Welsh moving back to his favoured left-wing slot. Five minutes into the second half, the very impressive Joe Tyler-Butcher received the ball with his back to goal, turned and rifled in a powerful drive into the top corner to double Yeovil's lead.

Three minutes later though, Alex Russell pulled one back as Cheltenham got themselves a very dubious looking free kick from what looked like a dive. Russell's free kick went through the Yeovil wall and squirmed into the back of the net.

Just past the hour mark, Yeovil made a double substitution with Warne and Brown withdrawn for Harry Nodwell and Danny Mobsby. Warne's last contribution was to be on the end of a dangerous two-footed tackle from a Cheltenham player, who was deservedly red carded. Warne's expletives could be heard clearly throughout the ground as he hit the deck, and he was taken off immediately afterwards, although probably would have been withdrawn around that point anyway, with the Hartlepool United trip coming up on the weekend. Thankfully he seemed no worse for the heavy tackle.

The extra man meant that Keiran Murtagh was getting more and more space in the middle of the park as time went on and the former Fisher youngster set up Yeovil's third goal with 10 minutes remaining. Murtagh slotted the ball sideways to Andy Welsh who finished from close range. Murtagh could have got in on the goal action himself on two occasions on either side of that move, with one glorious move right through the centre of the park that almost brought him a solo goal, whilst the other saw Tyler-Butcher feed him, with his shot beating the Cheltenham keeper, but also his goal post.

Four minutes later though the lead was extended once more, with Cheltenham falling apart badly. Welsh cut down the left flank, and squared the ball for Joe Tyler-Butcher to finish from close range and grab his hat-trick. Joe Tyler-Butcher got his fourth and Yeovil's fifth just minutes later, thanks to another another cross from the left and despite the striker looking out on his feet in the dying minutes, he was there - right-place, right-time - to finish the move and fire home. The trialist even had a chance to get a fifth goal in between those last two, but it would be churlish to criticise his close range miss, given that despite not looking fully fit, he had put in a highly impressive performance, albeit against a Cheltenham side that went to pieces somewhat following the sending off.

Final Score: Yeovil Town Reserves 5 Cheltenham Town Reserves 1.

Scorers: Joe Tyler-Butcher (1-0, 21 mins), Joe Tyler-Butcher (2-0, 50 mins), Alex Russell (2-1, 53 mins), Andy Welsh (3-1, 80 mins), Joe Tyler-Butcher (4-1, 84 mins), Joe Tyler-Butcher (5-1, 87 mins)

Yeovil Town Reserves: (4-4-2)
1. Lloyd Irish
2. Jordan Street 5. Aaron Brown 4. Rob Fitzgerald 3. Nathan Jones
11. Andy Welsh 8. Paul Warne 6. Keiran Murtagh 7. Kai Feller
9. Joe Tyler-Butcher 10. Rico Wilson

Substitutes: 12. Harry Nodwell (61 mins for Paul Warne) 14. Danny Thompson 15. Josh Robinson (74 mins for Kai Feller) 16. Danny Mobsby (61 mins for Aaron Brown)


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1 December 2008 : Reserves vs Cheltenham Reminder
A reminder that Yeovil Town have a Football Combination home match this afternoon as the Reserves take on Cheltenham Town at Huish Park. Kick-off is 2.00p.m. and admission is £2.00 for adults and £1.00 for concessions, with season ticket holders gaining free admission.

If anyone is going this afternoon and can supply updates, please drop an email to ytfcbadger@ntlworld.com with a mobile number.


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