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31 May 2003 : Ticketing Details For 2003-04
Since they have fallen well down the page, and some matters have now been clarified, here are the latest details on ticketing next season from the club.

From Jean Cotton, Football and Match Secretary:

The seats in the stadium will obviously be at a premium this year and already there has been a huge demand, however existing season ticket holders will benefit as their present reserved seats will be secure until the 30th June. After this date the seat will go on general sale. There will be a discount for existing season ticket holders whose applications are received by 13th June.

Greenfly ticket holders from last season, although classed as new season ticket holders, will have their existing seat held until 30th June.

Due to the increased volume of supporters it has becoame impractical to control the sale of multiple tickets so this season we have decided not to issue Family tickets but to reduce the price of under 16's to £4 anywhere in the stadium (other than the VP area). There will also be a discounted Junior Glover Match Day Pass of £2 for the under 11's. All Junior Glovers will be able to purchase a Season Ticket at the under 16's rate of £83. You can join their club by either contacting the Green & Whites Supporters Club or by picking up a membership form from the ticket office.

As in the past it will be much much easier for our staff if you can either post your form with a photo and remittance along with a stamped addressed envelope or deliver it to the office and then let us post the season ticket to you as quickly as possible.

The pre season friendlies and those in season will be excluded from the price of the ticket, as will all cup games, but your seat will be reserved for you providing you purchase the match ticket. The deadline for this will be published in the media nearer the time. Most of our friendlies are "shared gate" so we will fixing prices depending on the opposition and details of these will be given on the web site and in the local press and media.

In the new season we are hoping to embark upon a new concept of season tickets. This comprises of an admittance card which will include a photograph of yourself. These cards will admit you into the stadium quickly through special designated gates. When sending your application form please include a passport size photograph or if calling into the office in person we can a photograph of you ourselves. The card is the same size as a normal credit card so can easily be carried in a wallet or purse, but remember, as always, season tickets are non-transferable.

If there is anything further you need to know do not hesitate to contact me and I look forward to welcoming you back to Huish park in the new season.

Application for concession prices will require proof of identity and eligibility i.e. passport, pension book, birth certificate etc.

Student concessions will be allowed if registered for a student pass. Proof from College or University will be required.

Juniors must be under 16 as at 1st August 2003.
Disabled supporters should be registered disabled with the local authority.

Season Ticket & Admission Prices 2003/2004:

Main Stand: purchases made on or before June 13th by current season ticket holders are £235 for adults, £195 for senior citizens/students and £78 for Under 16's.

Purchases made after June 13th and by all non-season ticket holders will be £250 for adults, £207 for senior citizens/students and £83 for Under 16's.

Day admission will be £12 for adults, £10 for senior citizens/students and £4 for Under 16's.

Bartlett Stand: purchases made on or before June 13th by current season ticket holders are £215 for adults, £155 for senior citizens/students and £78 for Under 16's.

Purchases made after June 13th and by all non-season ticket holders will be £227 for adults, £165 for senior citizens/students and £83 for Under 16's.

Day admission will be £11 for adults, £8 for senior citizens/students and £4 for Under 16's.

Westland Stand (Terrace): purchases made on or before June 13th by current season ticket holders are £215 for adults, £137 for senior citizens/students and £78 for Under 16's.

Purchases made after June 13th and by all non-season ticket holders will be £227 for adults, £145 for senior citizens/students and £83 for Under 16's.

Day admission will be £11 for adults, £7 for senior citizens/students and £4 for Under 16's.

The above prices are not applicable to Vice Presidents who have their own tariffs. For information on Vice Presidents' packages please contact Sue Parsons on (01935) 423662 extension 200.

Smoking Policy:

There will be a non-smoking policy within all buildings and certain designated areas of the stadium.
The areas which will be designated smoking zones are: blocks AA and GG at the ends of the Main Stand; blocks HH and PP at the ends of the Bartlett Stand; the Westland Terrace; the Copse Road Terrace.

The above information supercedes any previous details released.

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31 May 2003 : Glovers to sign radio deal with Beeb
Yeovil Town are set to sign a deal with BBC Bristol and BBC Somerset Sound for radio commentary rights for their first season in Division Three, according to the BBC's own Ceefax news service.

BBC Director-General Greg Dyke is to visit Huish Park next Friday to sign the deal with club. After the official signing, manager Gary Johnson will show Dyke around the club.

The BBC also report that Glovers groundsman Rod Pippard has been nominated in the national section of the FA Groundsmen of the Year Awards, and very well-deserved the nomination is too. The winners will be announced in Spetember.

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29 May 2003 : How To Pass Those Slow Summer Months

Those wondering how to get through the month of June with no footballing matters to occupy themselves need fear no more. Saturday sees the release of a new book entitled Yeovil ’til I die! A Ciderspace Odyssey.

Behind the book is supporter Brendon Owen, who although not part of the Ciderspace team (yet!) is a regular visitor to the site and it's Forum.

Priced at £7.99, the book is being launched at Ottaker's in Yeovil this coming Saturday 31st May at 11.00am. The club shop at Huish Park and W.H.Smiths will also have copies on sale.

The book is a 176 page paperback edition acting as an informal diary of the 2002/03 season which of course brought Yeovil Town promotion to the Football League.

Brendon says: "Friends and colleagues often ask why I support Yeovil. Why bother with them when it is far easier to sit in front of Sky TV and watch the Premiership games live? Cheaper too. Fancy paying £10 to watch non-League. Those who ask have no understanding of the game. TV is fine. I enjoy sitting with a can of beer and watching the prima donnas strut their stuff, but I want the total package."

Brendon describes the total package as "The feel, the sound, the smell, the mud, frozen feet, icy rain in the face, the sense of belonging to a big extended family who share the same hopes and desires. The wafting smell of coffee and hot-dogs at half time, especially when you haven’t brought the money for any. Bumpy old coach trips to God-forsaken places for a 0-0 draw. I want to sing and shout, scream and swear. I want to let myself go. I need the adrenaline rush of the goals. To jump and bounce in total ecstasy, going light-headed and in danger of tumbling over the row of seats in front. To stand up because I love Yeovil when people behind are shouting sit down. To wear my shirt with pride as I walk to the ground. To shiver all the way back again. Live football is wonderful. Non-league football is wonderful, and sometimes everything comes together, and watching Yeovil Town can be one of life’s greatest pleasures."

Can't argue with that! Particularly the bit that talks about trips to "God-forsaken places for a 0-0 draw." When was Yeovil Town's last 0-0 away draw? Once you work that one out you'll know why Ciderspace would back Brendon's prose all the way!

If you can't make it into Ottaker's on Saturday morning, then drop into the Huish Park club shop, or contact Yeovil Town Commercial Manager to reserve your copy.

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25 May 2003 : More End Of Season Awards
Last week's Yeovil Express has rounded up the annual awards that were presented at the club's Annual Dinner and Dance.

Left-back Stephen Reed picked up the Bobby Hamilton Trophy for the Young Player of the Season Award. Ian Hamilton, who is the son of the late Bobby Hamilton, who played for the Glovers in the famous 2-1 FA Cup victory over Sunderland in 1949, presented the award.

Youth team manager Stuart Housley told the Express: "It has been great to watch the massive improvement in 17-year-old Steve Reed. Gary Johnson trusted our judgement and under his guidance and training methods Steve has developed into one hell of a prospect. I am sure Steve has got a great future ahead of him if he continues to learn and listen."

Mike Stone presented the Andy Stone Memorial Trophy for top goalscorer to Kirk Jackson, while Norman Margerson presented Ian Linney with the Youth Team Player of the Year Award, and also gave the Youth Team Players' Player of the Year Award to Sam Vine.

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25 May 2003 : Lane Chooses Shrimps
Southport defender Chris Lane has turned down the chance to play Nationwide League Third Division Football, in favour of staying in the Nationwide Conference.

The full-back, who can also play as a central defender, had featured in the 5-1 friendly win over Weymouth, and manager Gary Johnson had given strong signals that he would be prepared to offer Lane a contract in July.

However, the former Everton trainee has now - according to the Official Morecambe Website - decided to sign for the Lancashire side for the 2003/04 season.

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25 May 2003 : England Win Four Nations Tournament
Yeovil's famous five hold the Four Nations trophy
Yeovil's famous five hold the Four Nations trophy
Photo © 2003 Ciderspace

England's National Game XI side yesterday clinched the 2003 Four Nations Tournament at Camarthen Town's Bridge Meadow ground, but could only manage a lack-lustre 1-1 draw against Scotland, thus denying Paul Fairclough's side of a clean sweep in the tournament.

Fairclough chose to rest four out of the five Yeovil Town stars who had contributed so heavily to the side's success against Republic of Ireland (4-0) and Wales (2-0) leaving only Lee Johnson in the starting line-up for the final match. Whilst Terry Skiverton and Darren Way were carrying slight knocks, Kirk Jackson and Chris Weale were frustratingly dropped, and the result was a disjointed erratic performance from England.

In reality, Weale should have been on the field of play as early as 15 minutes into the match. Chester City's Scott Guyett was caught napping in defence, and when Scotland's Ian Murray robbed him of the ball, Hereford keeper Matt Baker sent Murray sprawling in the box for a cast iron penalty. Only an extremely charitable match referee saved the Hereford player from a red card, but Murray still made Baker pay, by slotting home the spot kick.

England equalised in the 59th minute, after completing a rare flowing move. Junior Agogo fed Rosco D'Sane and the Aldershot striker produced a strong low drive into the corner of the net.

Yeovil's Kirk Jackson finally was let loose with 20 minutes to go, and he almost played a part in winning the game for England, when his excellent cross was met by the head of Doncaster's Tristan Whitman who put the glacing header wide from six yards. That would have been rough justice though on the Scots, who almost grabbed their own winner in injury time, only for keeper Baker to partially redeem himself with a good blocking save.

The result meant that England did not have to wait for the result of the Wales versus Republic of Ireland match, and so lifted the Four Nations trophy. As it happens, they didn't need to worry - Wales fell to a shock defeat against wooden-spoonists Ireland, with Cork striker Jamie Nolan grabbing both goals in a 2-0 win.

The results left England as clear winners of the tournament, with Scotland taking the runners-up spot. Wales just about pipped the Republic of Ireland by virtue of their better goal difference.

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23 May 2003 : SPC Draw
The first announcement of fixtures for next season has been made..... in the mighty Somerset Premier Cup. Yeovil Town has been drawn at home for the first two rounds - in Round 1 against Bristol City; and, if victorious, in Round 2 against the winners of Taunton Town v Paulton Rovers.

Round 1 ties are scheduled for the week of 6th October, and Round 2 ties for the week of 17th November.

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23 May 2003 : Way Puts England In Control
England's National Game XI side last night put themselves on the bring of winning the 2003 Four Nations Tournament when they defeated holders Wales at Merthyr Tydfil in front of 711 supporters.

Glovers midfielder Darren Way ensured that they got off to a flying start, when he struck home a 20-yarder with barely more than 15 minutes on the clock. Aldershot's Rosco D'Sane got the second when he converted a penalty after a foul in the box.

Once again, the Glovers had all five of their contigent in the starting line-up and Chris Weale, Lee Johnson and Kirk Jackson completed a full 90 minutes.

Three second half changes saw two Yeovil players withdrawn with Chester's Wayne Hatswell replacing Terry Skiverton on the hour mark, whilst Dagenham's Mark Janney replaced Darren Way on 75 mins. Lee Elam was also replaced by Doncaster's Tristan Whitman.

The England party now travel to the home of Camarthen Town, where on Saturday they will take on Scotland (kick-off 1.00pm) who defeated Ireland 4-3 last night. England need a draw to secure a win in the mini-competition. However, thanks to their superior goal difference, even a defeat could see them win the competition, unless one of Scotland or Wales - who meet the Republic of Ireland at Haverford West - go goal crazy in the final matches.

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22 May 2003 : Fry counts the cost of success
Yeovil chairman John Fry has been explaining the rationale behind the club's decision to raise ticket prices for the club's first season in Division Three by an average of around £2 per seat.

"We have done the ticket prices before we know what the full cost of the safety requirements is going to be because of a delay in the criteria for the stadium," the chairman explained to the Western Gazette. "From a revenue point of view we have worked out a ticket price which we think is acceptable to the fans. We think it is a reasonable set of proposals and I think it will surprise some people that we have not increased the prices further. What it amounts to is that on average every seat around the place has had its price increased by £2."

"We need to work out, on a longer-term basis, what is required on the site with regards to the fans. That includes car-parking, traffic, ticketing and the general safety within the stadium. Another big problem is that we are required by the Football League to comply with certain criteria which includes us handing them a percentage of our gate receipts. That means we have to be spot on with the recording of people coming in and out of the stadium."

Mr Fry confirmed rumours that a new plastic season-ticket bearing the holder's photo will come into use for next season. "The tickets are going to be run on a credit card-type system from now on," he said. "It is a non-transferable and fool-proof system that will get people through the turnstiles quickly. We will be able to record on a computer exactly who is coming into the stadium and that will provide a more accurate system as regards the filling up of seats. We are going to have a new booking-office manager and a new ticket office which will help in getting people in and out quickly."

"There are lots of things that have to be taken into account and when we looked at the ticket prices I was looking for extra revenue not just for the football side, which will go up anyway, but also extra revenue to pay for the policing and safety side of things. We want to provide extra services for the fans and there will be some casualties because there are certain things that we cannot now do because we are in the Football League. We are hoping that people can just bear with us for now. I have got to close the deficit which has been incurred due to going full-time and therefore we have to look to provide these extra services in order to make us close that gap. Our theory is to get the seats filled - we want to get the full utilisation of the stadium rather than increase the price of the seats too far. We are looking to get a certain number of season-ticket holders and a certain number of cash payers in order to get bums on seats for the full 23 home games."

The chairman also confirmed that maintenance work on the pitch was now taking place after a short delay due to the poor weather. "The final work on the perimeter of the pitch and the reseeding has been concluded and I understand it is doing well," he said. "It is a week behind at the moment due to the cold but it will be ready for the first of the pre-season friendlies. We are a week ahead of schedule in terms of its construction but a week behind as regards it growing."

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22 May 2003 : Fairclough Names Unchanged Team
The FA report that National Game XI (the England Semi Pro side) manager Paul Fairclough has named an unchanged side for tonight's match against Wales at Merthyr Tydfil, kickoff 7.30pm.

The news means that all five Yeovil Town representatives will start tonight's match once again, in a match that sees Tuesday night's victors go head-to-head.

England: 1 Weale (Yeovil Town), 2 Kennedy (Canvey Island), 3 Guyett (Chester City), 4 Skiverton (Yeovil Town), 7 Rose (Hereford Utd), 9 Johnson (Yeovil Town), 10 Way (Yeovil Town), 11 Drummond (Morecambe), 14 Elam (Halifax Town), 15 Jackson (Yeovil Town) and 16 D'Sane (Aldershot Town)

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20 May 2003 : Jacko Grabs England Hat-Trick
Yeovil Town striker Kirk Jackson personally bulldozed a Republic of Ireland side in tonight's opening Four Nations Tournament match at Merthyr Tydfil.

The England National Game XI, featuring five Yeovil Town players in the starting line-up, raced to a 4-0 lead in the first 49 minutes with Jackson almost single-handedly stealing the show. Although Aldershot's Rosco D'Sane was credited with the 19th minute opener, many in the ground felt that Jackson's eight yard drive was already over the line when D'Sane poked the ball home whilst standing right under the crossbar.

But ten minutes later, there was little doubt about Jackson's conversion of a Darren Way cross. Jackson made it 3-0 when he picked up a ball through the centre, then four minutes after the break he grabbed his hat-trick from eight yards out.

The 322 supporters at the game, including around 30 Yeovil supporters, saw Chris Weale and Darren Way clock up 90 minutes worth of football, whilst Kirk Jackson (65 mins), Lee Johnson (70 minutes) and Terry Skiverton (75 minutes) were all substituted as England gave the rest of their squad a run-out during the second half.

In the other match tonight, defending champions Wales beat Scotland by a 2-1 scoreline. England will take on Wales on Thursday night, whilst tonight's two losers will look to pick up points when they play each other on the same night.

ENGLAND: Chris Weale (Yeovil) John Kennedy (Canvey), Scott Guyett (Chester City), Terry Skiverton (Yeovil), Michael Rose (Hereford United), Stewart Drummond (Morcambe), Darren Way (Yeovil), Lee Johnson (Yeovil), Lee Elam (Halifax), Kirk Jackson (Yeovil), Roscoe D'Sane (Aldershot)

IRELAND: Mark McNulty (Cork City), Stephen Murtagh (Shelbourne), Gerard Downey (Derry City), Ben Savage (UCD), John Andrews (Cork City), Mark O?Brien (Shamrock Rovers), Alan Martin (Shamrock Rovers), Alan Mulcahy (Dublin City), Dermot Fitzpatrick (Bray Wanderers), Alan Kinsella (Shelbourne), Martin Cramer (Shamrock Rovers)

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20 May 2003 : Commemorative Medals Now On Sale
A limited edition of 250 commemorative medals are now available for purchase by supporters, to celebrate promotion to the Nationwide Football League.

The medals are housed in a leather-bound box and measure approximately 7cm in diameter.

Cost is 20 pounds each on a first come, first served basis. All interested parties should contact Dave Linney in the Commercial Department at Huish Park on 01935-423662.

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20 May 2003 : Cary Glovers race night
Cary Glovers have informed us that they are holding a fund raising race night on Saturday 31st May at the Castle Cary Constitutional Club.

Doors open at 7.30pm with first race at 8.00pm. Tickets are £2.50 to include a ploughmans style supper. Please telephone Brian White on 01963 240478 for more infomation.

Next Cary Glovers meeting is tonight, Tuesday 20th may 8.00pm at Castle Cary Constitutional Club. All welcome.

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20 May 2003 : For Evans sake
The final chapter in the tawdry story that was Boston United's tainted promotion to the Football League was played out yesterday when former manager Steve Evans appeal against his 20-month suspension and £8,000 fine for allegedly impeding and misleading the FA's inquiry into financial irregularities at Boston during their promotion season was finally rejected.

The FA's statement reads:

On 19 May 2003, an Appeal Board convened by The Football Association sat to hear appeals against both conviction and sentence in the case of Steve Evans...

As to the appeals against conviction, these were dismissed in their entirety.

As to the appeal against penalties, the decisions were as follows: the total
period of suspension imposed, which was 20 months, was not reduced at all
but the date from which it was to commence was put back from 3 March 2003
to 4 July 2002, the date upon which Mr Evans was suspended by Boston United
Football Club; the appeal against the fines imposed was dismissed.

Additionally, Mr Evans was ordered to pay a proportion of the Appeal Board's costs.

Boston themselves were were fined £100,000 and deducted four points for contract irregularities last July, but crucially the points deduction was enforced from the following season and not the season when the offences were committed, thus depriving 2nd-placed club Dagenham and Redbridge from taking what should have been their rightful place in Division 3. Evans himself will now be free to resume his management career in 2004 when his suspension has been served.

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19 May 2003 : The Magnificent Seven
As Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, Brad Dexter, Robert Vaughn, Charles Bronson, James Coburn and Horst Buchholz burst onto our screens.........

Oh well, in fact we had to put up with Mark Kelly, Nick Burton, Roger Brimble, Steve Sowden, Stewart Bratherton, Andy Blackmore and Damian Brooks, but you could hardly tell the difference as shots hit their target with deadly accuracy.......... Iron Curtain 0 Magnificent Seven 7.

The final shoot-out
The Magnificent Seven take the stand
Hoops it is!
Thumbs up for the new Yeovil Town kit from Helen Chamberlain and Chris Kamara.

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19 May 2003 : The silence of the Lambs
The Glovers finally handed back the FA Trophy for good yesterday, but green and white ribbons remained the order of the day after Unibond League side Burscough defeated overwhelming pre-match favourites Tamworth 2-1 at Villa Park, former Telford and Notts County striker Gary Martindale scoring both of the Linnets goals. Mark Cooper notched the Lambs consolation.

Burscough of course were the team that knocked Yeovil out of this season's competition at the quarter-final stage, and manager Shaun Teale used that upset as a motivational tool in the final. "I told my players that if they did not win today, they would have wasted a fantastic result at Yeovil," he said.

Many congratulations to Burscough - as 100/1 outsiders at the start of the competition they've certainly done it the hard way. And for those nostalgics amongst you, click here for a reminder of last season's great day out when the Glovers finally brought the Trophy back to Somerset.

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16 May 2003 : Season Ticket Prices For 2003/04
Yeovil Town Football Club have announced Season Ticket prices for their first ever season in Nationwide League Division Three for 2003/04.

Prices are as usual offered against a discount for those renewing early, and the closure date for discounted applications is Friday 13th June.

Prices are as follows:

Main Stand: (purchases made on or before June 13th) are £235 for adults, £195 for senior citizens and £78 for Under 16s.

Purchases made after June 13th will be £250 for adults, £207 for senior citizens and £83 for Under 16s.

Day admission will be £12 for adults, £10 for senior citizens and £4 for Under 16s.

Bartlett Stand: (purchases made on or before June 13th) are £215 for adults, £155 for senior citizens and £78 for Under 16s.

Purchases made after June 13th will be £227 for adults, £165 for senior citizens and £83 for Under 16s.

Day admission will be £11 for adults, £8 for senior citizens and £4 for Under 16s.

Westland Stand (terrace): (purchases made on or before June 13th) are £215 for adults, £137 for senior citizens and £78 for Under 16s.

Purchases made after June 13th will be £227 for adults, £145 for senior citizens and £83 for Under 16s.

Day admission will be £11 for adults, £7 for senior citizens and £4 for Under 16s.

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14 May 2003 : Critts Out Of England Squad
Winger Nick Crittenden has withdrawn from the National Game XI squad according to the FA, for unspecified reasons.

England National Game XI Manager Paul Fairclough has seen a total of three players withdraw with Chester City's Wayne Brown and Danny Collins also withdrawing from the squad.

Goalkeeper Matt Baker of Hereford United, and central defender Jason Goodliffe of Stevenage Borough represent two of the replacements, whilst the replacement for Crittenden is expected to be announced later this week.

Meanwhile, Republic of Ireland manager Tony Cousins has announced a squad composed entirely of players from the eircom Under 21 League. The squad is as follows:

Goalkeepers: Jonathan Douglas (Bohemians), Mark McNulty (Cork City).

Defenders: Derek Dunne (Shelbourne), Gerard Downey (Derry City), Alan Martin (Shamrock Rovers), Alan Kane (Mervue United), John Andrews (Cork City), Paddy Hickey (Bray Wanderers).

Midfielders: Jimmy Fullam (Shamrock Rovers), Martin Cramer (Shamrock Rovers), Paul Caffrey (Shamrock Rovers), Philip Byrne (Shelbourne), Alan Kinsella (Shelbourne) Pat McWalter (UCD)

Forwards: Gerard Rowe (Shelbourne), Liam George (St Patrick’s Athletic) Dave Smith (Bray Wanderers).

Selection for the Four Nations Tournament is completed by the Scotland squad, managed by Jim Sinclair and Tommy Wilson. Their side is exclusively selected from the Highland League and the East of Scotland League and reads as follows:

Goalkeepers: Scott Cantley (Whitehill Welfare) EAST OF SCOTLAND, Andy Shearer (Keith) HIGHLAND

Defenders: Ross Archibald (Whitehill Welfare) EAST OF SCOTLAND, Scott Anderson (Deveronvale) HIGHLAND, Steve Dolan (Deveronvale) HIGHLAND, Trevor Fleming (Fraserburgh) HIGHLAND, Derek Milne (Fraserburgh) HIGHLAND, Paul McGinley (Threave Rovers) EAST OF SCOTLAND

Midfielders: Mark Smith (Cove Rangers) HIGHLAND, Darren Still (Keith) HIGHLAND, Mike Stephen (Fraserburgh) HIGHLAND, Phil Johnson (Spartans) EAST OF SCOTLAND, Bobby John Fairhurst (Wigtown & Bladnoch) SOUTH OF SCOTLAND

Forwards: Phil O'Neill (Lothian Thistle) EAST OF SCOTLAND, Mike McKenzie (Deveronvale) HIGHLAND, Steven Main (Fraserburgh) HIGHLAND, Ian Murray (Deveronvale) HIGHLAND, Shawn Scott (Lossiemouth) HIGHLAND

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14 May 2003 : Hoops Get The Vote
Yeovil Town have announced that they have chosen the shirt that will be worn by the players during the 2003/04 Season. The shirt chosen has been the 'hooped' design as worn by Kirk Jackson.

The club have collected data from three different sources, through Ciderspace, the Official Site and the Yeovil Express and whilst one survey showed those worn by Kirk Jackson and Colin Pluck to be standing at almost dead level pegging, the other two have shown a swing towards the hooped design. Hence with the players, management and staff at Yeovil Town also favouring the hooped design, it has been decided to push ahead with that as the favoured design.

Full results of our poll on Ciderspace will hopefully appear in the next couple of days. Whilst the new designs certainly provoked some strong opinions in all directions, hopefully with the decision being announced quickly, all supporters will be able to look to the future and support the new design.

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14 May 2003 : Sky Get Their Soccer Seven
As revealed last Saturday, seven Yeovil Town supporters will be appearing on the Skysports programme Soccer am next Saturday, and selection of those who will appear on the show has now been confirmed.

The result will be some familiar names and faces on your screen. Nick Burton, who many will recognise from the Supporters Bar, organised the proceedings, and he will be joined by YTISA committee members Mark Kelly, Stewart Bratherton and Roger Brimble. Completing the illustrious star-studded cast will be Yeovil Express Sports Editor Steve Sowden supported by long-serving fans Damian Brooks and Andy "Choppy" Blackmore.

Coverage of the programme is from 10.00am until 1.00pm and is on the Skysports One channel.

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14 May 2003 : Commemorative Medals Coming Soon
A limited edition of 250 commemorative medals will be made available by Yeovil Town Football Club within the next couple of weeks to celebrate promotion to the Nationwide Football League.

The medals will be housed in a leather-bound box and will measure approximately 7cm in diameter.

Cost will be 20 pounds each on a first come, first served basis. All interested parties should contact Dave Linney in the Commercial Department at Huish Park on 01935-423662.

Meanwhile, it appears you have to move fast round these parts! Our earlier news item describing framed teamsheets was taken up faster than the proverbial hot-cakes. All 20 have now been sold, and Dave Linney thanks all those who took such a keen interest in the limited souvenirs.

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14 May 2003 : Pre-season friendlies announced
Yeovil Town's initial list of pre-season friendlies have been finalised. The highlights include visits to Huish Park from Division One play-off contenders Wolverhampton Wanderers and fellow Division One outfit Preston North End; along with Division Two sides Brighton and Brentford. As usual the Glovers will also play selected local sides in the run up to the start of the Football League season on August 9th, and were reported in the Non League Paper last weekend to be considering undertaking a short overseas tour either to Holland or Belgium, though this has yet to be confirmed by the club.

Speaking to the Western Daily Press, Glovers boss Gary Johnson commented: "It's a terrific programme of pre-season friendlies. I've got a good relationship with Dave Jones (Wolves manager) and I hope they get promoted to the Premiership. The games with Preston, Brentford and Brighton will give us the opportunity to show if we can cope with teams from that level."

Those friendly dates so far confirmed:

Mon July 14 - Chippenham Town (away).
Wed July 16 - Chard Town (away).
Sat July 19 - Brentford (home).
Tue July 22 - Preston (home).
Thu July 24 - Dorchester (away).
Tue July 29 - Wolves (home).
Fri August 1 - Brighton (home).
Mon August 4 - Tiverton (away).
Sat August 9 - Start of Football League season.

Update: 15/05/03 The club have pointed out that four of the above eight pre-season fixtures have yet to be rubber-stamped. The fixtures against Tiverton, Dorchester, Brighton and Wolves are at present just provisional dates and exact details may vary at some point in the future.

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14 May 2003 : Collectors Teamsheets On Sale
A souvenir from Yeovil Town's last ever Nationwide Conference league game against Chester City is now on sale from the club.

Twenty final-day teamsheets were embossed, signed by the full first team and framed to mark the end of an era in Yeovil Town's history and these are now available to supporters.

Of those twenty, eleven have already been sold, leaving just nine available for those who want a souvenir of the landmark game. The framed items are priced at 50 pounds, and for further enquiries or to make your purchase, contact Dave Linney at Yeovil Town on 01935-423662.

Meanwhile, don't forget that there is still time to make a bid on any of the 24 Yeovil Town home shirts as worn by the players during the 2002/03 season.

All shirts are named and numbered and will be signed by the individual player. To place your bid, send it in a sealed envelope, including your name, address and daytime contact telephone number, to Dave Linney, Commercial Manager, Yeovil Town Football Club, Huish Park, Lufton Way, Yeovil, Somerset, BA22 8YE.

All bids must be received at Huish Park by May 31st 2003.

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13 May 2003 : Somerset boys best in the West
The Somerset FA under 18's side, featuring 5 Yeovil Town youth team players, have won the South West Counties under 18 Trophy after beating The Army 4-2 in the final, held at Aldershot last Saturday. Many thanks to Bob Buckingham, who sent us the following report:

South West Counties under 18 Final

Army FA 2 V Somerset FA 4

Saturday 10th May 2003
Military Stadium - Aldershot

Somerset FA under 18’s secured their first outright win in this competition for 20 years with an exhilarating performance at the home of Army football in Aldershot.

Facing a team drawn from regiments across the country, the Army started as favourites but were soon under extreme pressure from fast starting Somerset. As early as the second minute a sweeping Somerset attack started from the back by the Somerset Captain, Ben Murray ( Clevedon Town) and carried on by Nick Trevett (Yeovil Town) and Danny Boys ( Radstock Town) caused mayhem in the Army defence and James Lee (NailseaUtd) smashed the ball home from 15 yards.

After this early shock the Army midfield began to gain some control and a long ball into the box was misjudged by the Somerset central defence giving the lively Army striker, Junior Brown the chance to level the scores after only 6 minutes. 1-1.

Despite this setback, Somerset were quickly back on the attack, with the strong running Dean Ritchie (Yeovil Town) and Liam Fussell (Bishops Sutton) causing the Army defenders into a number of desperate clearances. It came as no surprise when, from an excellent ball by Andy Gooding ( Clevedon Town), Fussell beat two defenders and slammed the ball past the ‘keeper to restore Somerset’s lead after 12 minutes.

Somerset were now well on top and looking to add to their lead and after good work by Paul Henbest (Yeovil Town) Ian Linney (Yeovil Town) and Jamie Vincent (Portishead) several more chances were created but the Army defence just held out.

Somerset continued to dominate midfield and it came as no surprise when, after 23 minutes Lee collected his second and Somerset’s third.

At this point it started look a question of how many Somerset would score, but with strong encouragement from their coaching team, the Army began to come back into the game. After 30 minutes with little to do, Luke Buckingham (Yeovil Town ) was called into action making 3 excellent saves in quick succession to deny the increasingly confident Army strikers and to ensure that the Somerset lead was maintained through to half time.

With the elements in their favour, the Army were clearly determined to get back into the game and the Somerset defence came under heavy pressure from many long balls into their box. Despite all the pressure the Somerset defence of Buckingham, Linney, Vincent, Henbest and the outstanding Murray held firm.

Somerset chances were much fewer now, but after missing a couple of half chances, and with 70 minutes gone, Dean Ritchie made no mistake with a sharp header from 8 yards.

At 4-1 Somerset now looked secure but the Army strikers continued to press and were unfortunate when a snap shot hit the crossbar and was cleared off the line in some desperation.

With time running out, a through ball to the edge of the box found O’Neill who, despite appearing to foul the Somerset ‘keeper slotted the ball home.
Protests were waved away by the referee and after, lengthy treatment, Buckingham was able to continue.

At 4-2, the Army clearly believed that they could get back into the game and continued to press hard for goals. Fresh legs were needed and Alex Davies (Clevedon Town) replaced the injured Andy Gooding and Sam Jarman (Yeovil Town) came on for Danny Boys. Jarman’s speed soon started to cause panic in the Army defence and though 7 additional minutes were added by the referee, they were unable to make further inroads into the Somerset lead.

This was a comprehensive and well deserved victory for a talented and well organised Somerset side who ended their season unbeaten and champions of the South West.

Somerset :

1.Luke Buckingham (Yeovil Town)
2.Ian Linney (Yeovil Town)

5.Ben Murray Capt ( Clevedon Town)
4.Paul Henbest (Yeovil Town)
3.Jamie Vincent (Portishead)
7.Liam Fussell (Bishops Sutton)
6.Nick Trevett ( Yeovil Town)
11.Danny Boys ( Radstock Town)
10.James Lee ( Nailsea Utd)
9.Dean Ritchie ( Yeovil Town)

Subs: used
Sam Jarman (Yeovil Town) ( for Boys)85mins
Alex Davies (Clevedon Town) (for Gooding) 75mins

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10 May 2003 : Glovers To Appear On Soccer AM
Skysports Saturday morning programme Soccer AM have put out a call for seven Yeovil Town supporters to volunteer to appear on next Saturday's Soccer AM show.

The lucky seven participants will sit in the Luther Blissett Stand (capacity eight!) on next Saturday's show, which is screened live from London.

Interested individuals or groups should send an email to to stake their claim.

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10 May 2003 : Donny Go Up With The Glovers
Doncaster Rovers have become the first Nationwide Conference side to be promoted to the Football League via the playoffs.

They won a thrilling Playoff final over Dagenham and Redbridge this afternoon by a 3-2 scoreline with Francis Tierney going into Doncaster folklore as he scored the winning 'golden goal' in Extra Time.

In front of 13,092 supporters, Rovers went two goals up through Paul Green and David Morley only for Mark Stein and Tarkan Mustafa to pull two second half goals back for Daggers. Then came Tierney's 110th minute goal that stopped the game, ensuring Doncaster's passage back into the Football League after a five year hiatus.

Spare a thought though for Dagenham, who for the second year running will have to pick themselves up and begin another season in the Nationwide Conference once again.

Doncaster are the 21st club to confirm their membership of Nationwide League Division Three next season. The other clubs are Boston United, Bristol Rovers, Cambridge United, Carlisle United, Cheltenham Town, Darlington, Huddersfield Town, Hull City, Kidderminster Harriers, Leyton Orient, Macclesfield Town, Mansfield Town, Northampton Town, Oxford United, Rochdale, Southend United, Swansea City, Torquay United, York City and of course Yeovil Town!

In the Third Division playoffs, Bury had to settle for a 0-0 draw with AFC Bournemouth at Gigg Lane, whilst at Sincil Bank, Lincoln City beat Scunthorpe United 5-3. The second legs of the ties take place on Tuesday May 13th and Wednesday May 14th respectively. The final will be played on Saturday May 24th at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff.

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9 May 2003 : On The Move
With the 2002/03 Season now slipping quickly over the horizon, it comes as no surprise that a number of ex-Yeovil players are heading for pastures new or hanging up their boots.

Yeovil came up against former striker Guy Whittingham on Tuesday night when they defeated Weymouth 5-1 at the Wessex Stadium. Whittingham has recently been turning out for Newport IOW but has taken up the management position at Wessex League side AFC Newbury.

Whittingham, 38, will double up the part-time Newbury job with his role as south-west of England regional coach for the Professional Footballers' Association. His impressive list of coaching badges includes a UEFA 'A' Licence and a Coach Educator's Certificate.

Whittingham said: "This is a nice job to get my teeth into. Newbury seem very organised and ambitious off the pitch and it's up to me to match that on the park."

If Glovers fans thought they were going to come up against two former players next season, they may be disappointed. Barrington Belgrave, who netted the Glovers £40,000 in September 2001 when he transferred to Southend United now finds himself a free agent after just under two seasons at Roots Hall. New boss Steve Wignall has released Belgrave at the end of his contract.

Full-back Simon Betts appears to also be on his way from Darlington after turning down a contract offer there. Betts claims that the Quakers have offered him a 33 percent pay-cut against his current contract - a move that automatically makes Betts a free agent.

The 30 year old defender said of the offer: "Apart from being a big disappointment I don't think the offer the chairman made me was fair. If I was earning big money and he asked me to take a cut then that would make it a bit more easier to take but I'm not. I have done my job to the best of my ability, played in just as many games as anyone else in the last two seasons and the club turns around and offers me less. Where is the sense in that?"

French midfielder Olivier Brassart will also be on the look-out for a new job this summer. The 25 year old, who joined Scarborough last August is on his way after just one season at the McCain Stadium.

Former loan signing Joe Broad could be out of Home Park for the coming season, although that could be only on a temporary basis. Plymouth Argyle manager Paul Sturrock is offering Broad up on a season length loan to any interested Nationwide League Division Three clubs.

Sturrock explained the unusual move to Plymouth's Official Website: "Joe's a special case. I feel that Plymouth Argyle could be to the detriment of Joe Broad. It would be very easy for me to sign Joe and finish him off by keeping him as a reserve player. I've offered the Joe the opportunity, if he can find, with our help, a loan club in the third division for next season. If he can find that club, we would give him a two-year deal. Then, he would be stepping up from reserve team football to third division football, which is an easier step than reserve team football to second division football. If we can't find that, our budget will not allow somebody to play reserve football on a regular occurrence. We have to have players that are going to be real squad players. I'm very hopeful Joe can find that club."

Finally, former central defender Mark Shail is hanging up his boots and turning his luck to journalism, joining the Western Daily Press as a sports tipster.

The 36 year old had returned to Worcester City in January 2002 after dropping out of League football after spending over seven years with Bristol City, where he once captained the side, along with an 18 month spell at Kidderminster Harriers. He had made 206 appearances for the Glovers between 1989 and 1993 before being sold to the Robins for £45,000.

Shail said of his new appointment: "I have been playing non-league football but I have decided to concentrate on my journalism. And I'm really looking forward to writing for the Daily Press."

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9 May 2003 : Express Souvenir Magazine On Sale
The Yeovil Express have produced a 20 page souvenir magazine summarising Yeovil Town's most successful ever league season.

The magazine, entitled Glovers Glory contains colour photographs from the 2002-03 campaign and is available in local newsagents and the Express offices at 46 Princes Street, Yeovil. The magazine is priced at just one pound for those who pick the magazine up from Yeovil outlets.

Yeovil Exiles within the United Kingdom wanting to get their hands on a copy should write to the Yeovil Express, 46 Princes Street, Yeovil, Somerset BA20 1EQ and enclose a cheque for £1.50 made payable to Newsquest.

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9 May 2003 : Put Your Shirt On Yeovil!
If you have not yet voted in our Ciderspace survey to give your opinion on which of the shirt designs you like the best, there is still time to do so. Our survey will close at 11.00pm on Wednesday night, with results hopefully revealed shortly afterwards.

Speaking to the Yeovil Express, manager Gary Johnson said of the radical 'hoops' design: "When we were talking with the supplier about kits we asked if they had anything different so when they said about the hoops we asked if we could look at it. And I must admit I quite like it and so do the players, but we want to know what the supporters think."

Johnson added: "The kit is important because players have to feel comfortable wearing it. It is all about confidence and if they like the kit they'll feel better and hopefully perform better."

To make your vote count, enter our survey here. A statistical summarisation of the voting will be passed to the club on Thursday morning.

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8 May 2003 : English and Welsh squads announced for 4 Nations
The English and Welsh squads have been announced for the forthcoming Four Nations non-league tournament, due to take place in Wales later this month. As previously stated, England manager Paul Fairclough has picked six Yeovil players for his squad, by far the largest representation from any one side.

England Squad:

1 - Wayne Brown (GK) - Chester City
2 - John Kennedy - Canvey Island
3 - Scott Guyett - Chester City
4 - Terry Skiverton - Yeovil Town
5 - Danny Collins - Chester City
6 - Wayne Hatswell - Chester City
7 - Michael Rose - Hereford United
8 - Nick Crittenden - Yeovil Town
9 - Lee Johnson - Yeovil Town
10 - Darren Way - Yeovil Town

11 - Stewart Drummond - Morecambe
12 - Paul Terry - Dagenham & Redbridge
13 - Chris Weale (GK) - Yeovil Town
14 - Lee Elam - Morecambe
15 - Kirk Jackson - Yeovil Town
16 - Roscoe d' Sane - Aldershot
17 - Junior Agogo - Barnet
18 - Scott Rickards - Tamworth

Wales boss Tommi Morgan has also announced his squad but has been forced to do without the Glovers Welsh duo Gavin Williams and Kevin Gall, both of whom are recovering from minor operations and will miss the tournament. There is still a Yeovil connection in the squad however, with former Glovers keeper Tony Pennock being included in the 18.

Wales squad:

Tony Pennock (GK) - Farnborough T
Tony Roberts (GK) - Dagenham & Redbridge
Lee Jarman - Barry T
Gary Lloyd - Barry T
Kevin Evans - Merthyr Tydfil
Ben Davies - Chester C
Lee Woodyatt - Chester C
Nathan Davies - Newport Co
Gary Shephard - Newport Co
Andrew Thomas - Newport Co
Simon Davies - Bangor C
Ricky Evans - Bangor C
Graham Evans - Caersws
Steve Evans - TNS
Tony James - Hereford Utd
Paul Parry - Hereford Utd
Peter Smith - Telford Utd
Mark Dodds - Port Talbot T

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8 May 2003 : Oh we do like to be beside the seaside
Yeovil Town signed off the season in style at old rivals Weymouth's Wessex Stadium last night, beating a Weymouth XI 5-1 in Terras striker David Laws testimonial match. A crowd of 1,248 watched the game, the highest gate of the season at the Wessex.

The Glovers dominated proceedings against a side that featured current Millwall striker Steve Claridge and former Glover frontman Guy Whittingham, as well as ex-Southampton and Wales international midfielder David Hughes. Goals from Nick Crittenden, Michael McIndoe and Lee Johnson put the visitors 3-0 up at half-time, Steve Thompson and Adam Stansfield - making a succesful return from the broken leg injury which ruined his season - finishing the rout off in the second half. David Laws himself - surprise surprise! - scored Weymouth's consolation.

Match report: Weymouth XI 1 Yeovil Town 5.

Two triallists featured in the Glovers line-up: 23 year-old former Everton, Hereford and Southport wing-back Chris Lane, a free agent, played the full 90 minutes; and Molesey winger Mazin Ahmad, an 18-year-old Iraqi, came on as a second half substitute.

"I am going to talk to Chris Lane and I'm looking at him to possibly join us," Glovers boss Gary Johnson said afterwards. "But he has only trained with us for two days so far. He has a good pedigree with Everton and he has shown himself to be a fit boy even though Southport are only part-time.". Johnson also confirmed that winger Ahmad would be invited back to Huish Park for pre-season training after the summer break.

Johnson was delighted with the contribution striker Adam Stansfield made to the game after coming on as a second half substitute in his first appearance since breaking his leg in the opening game of the season against Gravesend. "That was fantastic!" Johnson enthused. "He had a good half hour and hit the crossbar and scored a good goal - that will take him through the summer now."

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7 May 2003 : More congratulations..... and commiserations
More promotion/relegation issues affecting the Glovers next season were decided following the final Saturday of the Football League programme last weekend.

In Division Three, congratulations to our friends from Ru$hden who were crowned champions, with Hartlepool 2nd and Wrexham in 3rd spot. All 3 teams are automatically promoted; Bournemouth, Scunthorpe, Lincoln and Bury contest the 4th promotion spot via the play-offs, beginning this coming weekend.

Shrewsbury and Exeter City finished 24th and 23rd respectively and are both relegated to the Conference. Commiserations to them, and also to Cheltenham, who along with Huddersfield, Northampton and Mansfield have been relegated from the Second Division to Division Three.

In the semi-finals of the Conference play-offs on Monday, Doncaster Rovers and Dagenham & Redbridge went through to next Saturday's final, beating Chester City and Morecambe respectively. Neither team won through easily, both relying on the lottery of penalty shoot-outs to win the chance to join the Glovers in Division 3 next season after their respective legs finished level on aggregate. The play-off final is to be held at Stoke City's Britannia Stadium this Saturday 10th May, 2.30pm kick-off; and is being shown live on Sky TV. Commiserations to Morecambe and Chester, who stay in the Conference - and particular sympathy to Blues striker Daryl Clare, who went to Chester City and won [that'll do! -ed].

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7 May 2003 : New Shirt Designs Launched By Club
Yeovil Town's Official Site has published pictures of three possible shirt designs for the start of the 2003/04 season. The three candidate designs are being circulated by the club in order to gauge reaction to the proposed designs.

To help this along, Ciderspace has launched another survey to allow supporters to easily vote on the three designs. So head here to take part in the survey and cast your vote. Voting will close in a weeks time on May 14th 2003 and a summary of the votes will be published and made available to the football club.

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7 May 2003 : Stars Turn Out For Laws Testimonial
Yeovil Town travel to the Wessex Stadium tonight (kick-off 7.45pm) where they will taken on a Weymouth XI that will only partially resemble the Dr Martens League's usual side.

The match is a testimonial for long-serving Terra David Laws who has recently returned to the Wessex Stadium, but was still owed a testimonial from his first spell at the seaside. Laws has netted 209 times in 361 Weymouth appearances.

The Dorset Echo reports that the Laws Select XI will include sprinter and Olympic silver medallist Darren Campbell, ex-Portsmouth player-boss and former Terra Steve Claridge and former Southampton and Wales international David Hughes.

Also expected to play in the side is former Glovers striker Guy Whittingham, who went on to play for Portsmouth and Aston Villa.

Aside from the more traditional looking Weymouth first team squad, former Terras such as Andy Mason, Darren Powell, Steve Tate and Paul Myers are also expected to make appearances.

Laws told the Dorset Echo: "There's some top names there and the only one missing will be Matt Le Tissier who is away on business. I'd like to thank all those lads and Yeovil Town for giving up their time to come and help me celebrate."

Glovers boss Gary Johnson, said of the fixture: "When Geoff Butler asked us if we'd provide the opposition, I was delighted to say yes. David Laws is one of the best and most loyal strikers I've come across in the non-League game and he deserves every success tonight. I'll be bringing my full first team squad plus a couple of players I want to have a look at before next season and we're all looking forward to. The Conference trophy will also be on the bus and if David wants us to parade it, we'll do so."

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7 May 2003 : Critts Gives England Six Appeal
Right-winger Nick Crittenden has become the latest Yeovil Town player to be given the call-up for the National Game XI squad for the forthcoming Home Nations Tournament in Wales.

The Official Site reports that Critts has joined team-mates Chris Weale, Lee Johnson, Darren Way, Terry Skiverton and Kirk Jackson for the tournament that will take place in late May.

Transport for the game against Scotland on Saturday May 24th is being organised. For further details, see our story below or email Tim Lancaster for further information.

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6 May 2003 : Better Late Than Never For Stansfield
Striker Adam Stansfield could be back playing football just as the 2002/03 season draws to a close. The former Elmore striker played just the first 20 minutes of this season, before a horrific leg-break saw him stretchered off against Gravesend and Northfleet.

Now it seems he could be in line to play the last 20 minutes of this season on Tuesday night, when the Glovers travel to Weymouth to take part in a testimonial match for David Laws at the Wessex Stadium.

According to the Western Daily Press, manager Gary Johnson just needs to rubber-stamp Stansfield's selection with the experts, explaining: "There is a good chance Adam will appear against Weymouth. He has trained well and I will check with our medical staff, but he should get a run out."

Johnson also hopes to put two new players on show for tomorrow night's match. Two unnamed trialists have been invited to play in the match, with Johnson on the lookout for new talent following the release of four of his squad late last month.

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5 May 2003 : England V Scotland
A message from Tim Lancaster:

Anyone interested in travelling to support the five Yeovil Town players and The England team (v Scotland) in The Four Nations Tournament at Carmarthen Town on Saturday May 24th please contact Tim Lancaster at or telephone 01935 873221. Kick off at Carmarthen Town is 1.00pm.

Having been to the ground in the summer when on holiday I can inform supporters that there are excellent social facilities at the town centre ground, home of League of Wales outfit Carmarthen Town. The ground is up to UEFA standards as the club entered The Inter-Toto Cup in 2001, losing to A.I.K Stockholm. If enough support is forthcoming I hope to run a mini-bus to the game.

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3 May 2003 : Some Dates For The Diary
Has anyone mentioned we'll be a League club next season?!

Nationwide League and Premiership fixtures will be released on THURSDAY 19th JUNE.

The 2003-2004 Nationwide League season kicks off on SATURDAY 9th AUGUST.

The League Cup First Round will be in the week commencing 11th AUGUST, and the Second Round in the week commencing 22nd SEPTEMBER.

The LDV Vans First Round is in the week commencing 13th OCTOBER.

FA Cup cups dates are: First Round (proper) - weekend of 8th/9th NOVEMBER; Second Round - weekend of 6th/7th DECEMBER; Third Round - weekend of 3rd/4th JANUARY.

The order of the Play-off Finals will be reversed next season, with Division 1 played on Sat 29th May, Division 2 on Sunday 30th May and Division 3 on MONDAY 31st MAY.

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2 May 2003 : Now Gilesy Signs Up
Youth team graduate Chris Giles has become the latest player to sign on the dotted line for the Glovers according to today's Western Daily Press.

Giles becomes the fifth player to put pen to paper this week, and the 16th overall. Andy Lindegaard is reported by the paper as being expected to add to that list today.

The same paper also claims that a 17th - Adam Stansfield - signed up earlier this week. However, there is some confusion over this, with the Yeovil Express claiming that the former Elmore striker's contract situation had been deferred, pending medical reports.

Meanwhile striker Kevin Gall has been awarded the Nationwide Conference Goalscorer of the Month award - just a month after teammate Kirk Jackson got the same. Gall scored six goals during April, including four in one match against Burton Albion.

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1 May 2003 : Johnson Shares Manager of the Month
Yeovil Town manager Gary Johnson has won the Nationwide Conference Manager of the Month award for the third time this season. The award for April 2003 has been shared with Jim Harvey of second placed Morecambe after both sides clocked up identical records during April.

The Glovers actually edged out the Shrimps by increasing their goal difference by 16 during the month, whilst Morecambe increased theirs by nine. However, the Nationwide Conference made the decision to make the award to both managers, with both sides having managed four wins and one draw in a month that saw both sides go unbeaten.

Gary Johnson's other awards came in September 2002 and March 2003, and he seems likely to pick up the annual award, after the Glovers won the Nationwide Conference by a margin of 17 points; a Conference league record.

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30 April 2003 : Internet Player Of The Season
This season 1,700 votes were cast by fans. Voting took place over more than 50 eligible matches.

To work out the overall player of the season as fairly as possible the following formula is applied:

After every match each 1-2-3 choice scores players 10, 6 or 2 points respectively. The player's scores for a particular match are added together, and divided by the number of voters for that match. Added to these scores are appearance points, and this total goes to make up the player's total score for all matches during the season. This is then divided by the number of games he has played. So each player's total score is an average of points per voter per match.

After nine months, and all that mathematics, the final result is....... a TIE!

The Internet Players of the Season for 2002-03 are:

Michael McIndoe and Darren Way

with 480 points each.

Congratulations to both. As is usual the trophy will be presented at one of the pre-season fixtures....... or if we have as much trouble prizing it from the grasp of current holder Adam Stansfield as we did from the previous winner - maybe after the start of the next campaign!

The full list of previous winners is:
Warren Patmore (1998-1999)
Jamie Pitman (1999-2000)
Nick Crittenden (2000-2001)
Adam Stansfield (2001-2002)

Our grateful thanks goes to Paul Chesterman, who continues to run the poll and deal with all the post match comments submitted by voters with much patience and good humour. We can think of no better person to continue next year - hint, hint!

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30 April 2003 : Internet Player Of The Month For April
Kevin Gall continued his storming performances through April to head the voting in the match by match poll. In the season long battle to stay on top of the leader board Michael McIndoe clawed points back on Darren Way.

Kevin Gall 369

Lee Johnson 319

Kirk Jackson 226

Michael McIndoe 208

Roy O'Brien 163

Gavin Williams 145

Chris Weale 130

Darren Way 117

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30 April 2003 : Taunton Defeat Brings Little Value For Money
It has been rare for Yeovil Town to taste disappointment this season, but they completed their competitive season with more or a whimper than a bang last night as Dr Martens League side Taunton Town claimed the Somerset Premier Cup, defeating a Glovers 'squad' side by a 2-1 scoreline.

Boss Gary Johnson found it a poor way to bow out of the season and said: "I'm always disappointed when we lose. I'm even more disappointed when we let the fans down. I'm disappointed when we don't give our fans value for money. I thought that team would be good enough to win it, and they should have been good enough to win. Unfortunately, they proved not to be good enough on the day."

Only two players who started Saturday's game against Chester City also started against the Peacocks and Johnson said of the Tuesday night side: "We know the strengths and weaknesses of that team. Unfortunately the weaknesses all came out today. I'm just disappointed with the ability and the quality of people. With all due respect to Taunton, who have done very well and competed very well, some of our boys should be able to prove that they are above that level. We weren't just unlucky; we didn't have a lot of chances or a lot of possession. Two or three of our boys have done well, and they have proved that they will make the grade in the Third Division and be a strong part of our squad. But some have proved that they wouldn't make the grade."

Johnson revealed that several of those out there would not be at Huish Park next season and he added: "On the day it meant more to Taunton than it did to some of us. They wanted it more and they were flying in with tackles. But it's always difficult when you are talking at the end of the season to people who might not be with you. Some players will be moving on and they already know that. But I thought that some might have done a little more on their way out but that wasn't to be the case and Taunton got their result."

"Our quality was poor and it doesn't matter what sort of a pitch it is or what sort of a night it is, at the end of the day a pass is a pass," added Johnson. "We just didn't show enough quality and we didn't have enough chances. It was a miserable night all round and I apologise to the fans. Thank God I've won the Championship because otherwise I would have been very low tonight! The fans have come and hour up the road, and so have I and I want to see my team play decent football. There were several factors, but the only one I'm going to mention is my team not playing football."

The four exiting Huish Park, as revealed in yesterday's story, are Kim Grant, Neil Mustoe, Jon Sheffield and Jimmy Aggrey.

Gary also explained why he had yet to make up his mind over central defender Tom White saying: "I've got to see the medical report and talk to Tom. As far as Tom is concerned there is nothing on the table one way or the other just yet. We've got to let him get over his knee injury first. He will be rehabilitating throughout the summer as his contract goes until June 30th. That way he has got May and June to work on his rehabilitation whilst he is under contract."

Striker Kevin Gall was one of four players to sign on the dotted line before the trip up to Clevedon, with Abdelhalim El Kholti, Stephen Reed and Roy O'Brien all tying up one year deals.

Johnson said of Gall's signature: "I think that's been a major thing that's happened today. Kevin Gall has secured his contract for the 2003-2004 season, which is terrific and he comes in line with all of the other boys who have already signed up. He has always pledged his allegiance to us. There has been interest from other clubs in him, but he has shown great loyalty and wants to stay with this group of successful people."

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29 April 2003 : Contract news: Four out, four in and four pending
The end of the Conference season has seen Glovers boss Gary Johnson finalise his plans for next term as far as this season's squad of players are concerned.

Four players have been released. They are forward Kim Grant, defender Jimmy Aggrey, midfielder Neil Mustoe and goalkeeper Jon Sheffield. The very best of luck in the future to all four wherever their future careers take them from us all at Ciderspace, they are assured of a warm welcome whenever they return to Huish Park.

Four players have signed new contracts: Striker Kevin Gall, midfielder Abdelhalim El Kholti and defenders Roy O'Brien and Steven Reed have all put pen to paper, more details on the contracts themselves to come later. Excellent news all round!

Three other players have been offered new deals and are expected to sign shortly: Forwards Adam Stansfield, Andy Lindegaard and Chris Giles have reportedly verbally agreed terms but have yet to formally sign. Last but not least, defender Tom White, currently recovering from a knee injury and now coming out of contract has been offered a rehabilitation programme at Huish Park to take him over the summer and into pre-season training when his situation will be re-assessed.

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29 April 2003 : Threedom Of Yeovil
At the Civic Reception at Westland Sports and Social Club last night the owner, Jon Goddard-Watts, chairman, John Fry, and manager Gary Johnson were all awarded the Freedom of the Borough of Yeovil for their roles in taking Yeovil Town into the Nationwide Football League.

At Hand Stadium, Clevedon this evening Yeovil Town were presented a special commemorative award by Somerset F.A., in recognition of the club's achievement in becoming the county's first ever representative in the Football League.

However the bigger prize on the night went to Taunton Town, who won the Somerset Premier Cup for the first time, on their ninth Final appearance, 2-1.
Gary Johnson rewarded the squad, reserve and youth team players who had taken Yeovil this far in the competition by sticking with them for the Final. Two goals by Gary Fisher on 45 and 77 minutes had pretty much settled matters by the time Jimmy Aggrey, in possibly his last game for Yeovil Town, pulled one back six minutes before the end. A crowd of 914 watched the game.

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28 April 2003 : Congratulations.... and commiserations
Amidst all the euphoria of winning the Conference title by a record points margin, other issues were also decided last weekend on the final full Saturday of the season:

Congratulations go to the four teams to qualify for the play-offs: In the first legs of the play-off semi-finals this Thursday 1st May Doncaster entertain Chester at Belle Vue live on Sky TV, while Morecambe travel to Dagenham & Redbridge, the second legs taking place on Monday 5th May; with the final at Stoke City's Britannia Stadium on Saturday 10th May - good luck to all [except Chester! -ed] and may the best team win!

Congratulations also go to Burton, Gravesend, Leigh and Woking for surviving the relegation battle. Burton and Gravesend, last season's promoted clubs, found their first season in the Conference something of a struggle but will be pleased to have finished 16th and 17th respectively and will now hope to go on and consolidate their positions next season. Leigh RMI deserve huge credit for surviving another season on comparitively tiny gates and subsequent lack of income; and Woking pulled yet another final day rabbit out of the hat by finishing one place off the relegation spots for the second year running - surely a club the size of the Cards will finally start punching their Conference weight next season?

Congratulations as well to the three promoted clubs: Accrington Stanley from the Northern League, Tamworth United from the Southern League and, last but not least, Aldershot from the Isthmian League - good luck to all three sides next season.

Finally commiserations to the relegated clubs: Kettering return to the Southern League after one season in the Conference and Nuneaton will join the Poppies there after flirting with the bottom three for a great part of the season. The real surprise is the demise of Southport, who after a great start to the season just faded away gradually until they entered the relegation zone for the first time this season at the final whistle on Saturday - bad timing to say the least. The best of luck to all the relegated clubs - hope you bounce back soon.

Final Conference Table 2002-03.

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27 April 2003 : Chester draw fails to spoil the party atmosphere
Yeovil Town confirmed their place in history yesterday by winning the Conference Championship title with a best-ever total of 95 points after their 1-1 draw with Chester City, beating the previous record of 94 points. Kevin Gall's 8th minute strike ensured the Glovers attained the 100 league goals target set by the players themselves, and the 17 point gap between the top spot and 2nd-placed Morecambe is a new Conference record, beating the existing 15 point margin set by Wycombe in the '92-'93 season. By avoiding defeat yesterday the club also set a new record by only losing 3 matches throughout the season, beating the previous best of 4 defeats held by Colchester; and the Glovers goal difference of +63 is again a new record, beating the previous best of +58, again set by Colchester.

The fans themselves created new records: Yesterday's crowd of 8,111 was the highest throughout the league this season and ensured that the Glovers average attendance of 4,741 beat the previous highest average attendance of 4,602 set by Wycombe during the 92-93 season; a total attendance throughout the season of 99,561 - and that when the first 5 matches were played 20-odd miles away in Dorchester!

But it's not just about breaking records - yesterday was a day of celebration, the day when the Glovers finally became a Football League club in all but name. Credit to Chester - resting several key players ahead of the forthcoming play-offs (and how pleased are we at Ciderspace that we are not involved in them?!), they took the game to their hosts after Gall's 8th minute opener and despite the 69th minute red card for elbowing for Jon Brady, thoroughly deserved their 85th minute equaliser from Kevin McIntyre, the 1-1 scoreline being a fair reflection of the 90 minutes.

Final score: Yeovil Town 1 Chester City 1.

Speaking after the game Glovers boss Gary Johnson praised the visitors, saying: "There were a few big tackles early on and Gavin Williams rode three of them for the first goal! They wanted to close us down and stop us playing football and to be fair to them they did just that. They stopped us playing our best football - on the day we needed that second goal so you have to give them credit. They’ve come here and not just joined our party, they’ve made sure they were going to give us a good game and I suppose that’s the professionalism of them and the professionalism of us - we were still competing in all those challenges and it made it a good game, but I'd still like to have won it."

The scenes at the end of the match when the Championship Trophy was presented to club captain Terry Skiverton will live on in the memory for years to come. "Great celebrations," Gary agreed. "I said to the boys in the tunnel - it wasn’t about today, it's about what they’ve done all season, and that’s why they’ve deserved what happened at the end of the game. I had to pick them up in the tunnel as you know they don’t like not winning and for Chester to get the goal to make it a draw disappointed all of us really. But we knew we had to go back out that tunnel with smiles and obviously the crowd started cheering us and we got presented with the Trophy, and then the realism suddenly came upon us and we realised what we’d done and celebrated accordingly!"

Asked to comment on Kirk Jackson coming second in the overall Conference goal-scoring stakes to Doncaster's Paul Barnes Gary said: "I was disappointed for Kirk but as far as I'm concerned he’s been the top goal scorer in the league for me because he’s only played half a season for us and still got 19 goals. He wont mind, he’s our Golden Boot man and thank god we found somebody like him to come into our squad and get the goals that were so important at that time. He is a good player and I'm very pleased to have him on board."

Darren Way swept the board in the various player of the season awards and was described as "a little terrier" in the press conference after the match. Gary agreed, saying: "And he finished the season like it as well didn’t he? But we say well done to him and I say well done to everyone in the squad. They all have ability and they all have certain strengths and the way they marry it together with their commitment and their passion is why you have a championship winning football team. They’ve done that all season and I'm proud of them all."

"We have the Somerset Cup on Tuesday which is the next game we all have to look forward to, and we're here until May 11th - that’s our official function and up until then the boys will want to train. Five of our boys have been selected for the non-league international tournament at the end of May so credit to them and they will need to keep training and keep fit, so their seasons by no means over, but this group of boys just want to go on playing."

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27 April 2003 : Five Alive For England
Yeovil Town have had five of their squad selected for this summer's Four Nation International Tournament.

The matches will take place between the 20th - 24th May 2003, as revealed in our April 17th news report and will represent the last chance for Yeovil Town's players to turn out for the National Game XI, formerly known as the England Semi-Professional side.

All five have received England caps before, although striker Kirk Jackson will hopefully receive his first cap as a Yeovil Town player. The other four selected are goalkeeper Chris Weale, midfielders Lee Johnson and Darren Way along with central defender Terry Skiverton.

The games will be played at Carmarthen Town, Methyr Tydfil and Haverfordwest County. See our April 17th article for the full schedule. Admission prices for all games will be £4.00 for adults and £2.00 for concessions.

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25 April 2003 : Glovers Post 400K Loss At AGM
Yeovil Town Football Club's Annual Shareholders Meeting, held on Wednesday evening, reported an operating loss of £404,271 for the 2001/02 season, according to this week's Yeovil Express.

The published accounts, which contained figures up to June 30th 2002, showed an income of around £1.2 million, but expenditure of £1.6 million. The majority of the expenditure fell under the category of salaries and wages and accounted for £1.1 million.

Much of Yeovil Town's 400K loss can be attributed to the costs of laying down a brand new state-of-the-art pitch, which local press reports have put at around 200K. Although part of that would have been off-set by FA Trophy gate receipts, the club fell at the first hurdle in the FA Cup during the 2001/02 season, and this would have also have contributed to the situation.

The Shareholders Report paid tribute to former director George Smith who died earlier this year. The report also recognised the huge contribution that club owner Jon Goddard-Watts had made in providing the necessary investment for the club to succeed.

Whilst the club's second successive six figure loss may raise a few eyebrows amongst supporters, there can be little doubt that the club's gamble at investing for success has paid off this month with promotion to the Football League.

As a comparison with other Conference clubs, the Glovers have managed their finances quite astutely. Woking could be relegated from the Conference by 5.00pm tomorrow, yet they have recorded losses of £230,617 (July 2001) and £475,314 (May 2002) and predict another £500,000 loss in what could be a relegation season. At Woking's AGM, Chairman Chris Ingram claimed that Doncaster Rovers are losing £750,000 a season which makes Yeovil Town's impending Nationwide Conference Championship shield seem a positive bargain by comparison!

The financial input of Jon Goddard-Watts should also not be under-estimated. Woking's local press claim that Ingram has pumped in over one million pounds of his own personal money during his short stay at Kingfield, whilst Chester City Chairman Stephen Vaughan boasted last week that he had put £1.5 million pounds into the Cheshire club.

Whilst Goddard-Watts tends to keep a low profile at Huish Park, and Chairman John Fry keeps his cards close to his chest, speculation about the size of Goddard-Watts' financial input into the club is an impossible task. However, the values touted against Ingram and Vaughan certainly give an indication of the level of gratitude Yeovil Town fans may owe Jon Goddard-Watts. Just how much, we may never know.

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25 April 2003 : New Contract For Gilesy
The Bristol Evening Post is reporting that Chris Giles, striker and more recently centre-back, will be offered a new contract at Yeovil Town.

A three month loan spell at Gravesend & Northfleet, where he was getting regular starts under his belt, really seems to have brought Giles' game on, and he has been very impressive in his appearances since his return to Huish Park. Manager Gary Johnson has clearly decided his future remains with Yeovil Town.

Conference rules (Yeovil technically remains a Conference club until June 5th) say that all players out of contract must be offered terms of re-engagment by the end of the season, or they become free agents 28 days later. It is expected that Kevin Gall, Roy O'Brien, Andy Lindegaard and Abdelhalim El Kholti will have new contracts by the weekend. We presume the newspaper simply forgot about Adam Stansfield, whose contract is also up at the end of this season.

Which, if any, of the remaining players currently on the books - Jimmy Aggrey, Kim Grant, Neil Mustoe, Stephen Reed, Jon Sheffield, and Tom White - Johnson will be offering new contracts to is still under consideration.

Ciderspace offers its congratulations to Chris, and any other players whose names are confirmed over the next day or so, and our thanks and best wishes for the future to those whose careers are moving on to pastures new.

Postscript: The Official Site has confirmed the above names, including Adam Stansfield and also thrown in the name of Stephen Reed, the Glovers latest Youth Team graduate who made his Conference debut at the age of 17, on Monday.

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24 April 2003 : The Good, The Indifferent, And The Ugly
As reported recently on this page the Nationwide League chairman were engaged in a full meeting at Leicester today. Three major new 'reforms' have emerged. Numbers 2 and 3 detailed below will go before the AGM on June 5th for ratification or rejection, and number 1 to an EGM at an unspecified date. Why the difference? Not a clue.

1) The Good.
Clubs that go into administration could receive a sliding scale of penalties on the field as a deterent - a 6 point deduction, a 12 point deduction, automatic relegation if the administration lasts a whole season, and expulsion from the league for two administrations inside three years.

Whilst uncertain that in practice these sort of sanctions wouldn't prove so draconian that they'd never be enforced - at least on big clubs with muscle! - Ciderspace certain applauds any move that tries to stop clubs gaining an unfair advantage over their more prudent rivals by blowing huge sums on new facilities and playing squads, and then simply writing off the majority of their debts by diving for the protection from their creditors administration affords.

2) The Indifferent.
A new format for play-offs. As we detailed in an item on April 17 the proposals are that the number of clubs in each division involved in the play-offs increases from four to six. The clubs finishing 5th and 8th, and 6th and 7th, would play each other in one-off games, with the team finishing higher having home advantage. The winners then go forward to play at the grounds of the 3rd and 4th placed teams. The winners of those two matches then progress to a Final at a neutral ground. (In Division Three all placings drop one, as three clubs are promoted automatically.)

In our opinion this change probably has slightly more advantages than disadvantages. Play-offs, by their nature, undermine the basic principle of a league system, and so a structure that rewards, or at least disadvantages less, those that finish higher in the regular season has our approval. However pushing play-off entry as low as ninth (in Division 3) does seem to be over-rewarding what can only be termed mediocrity. Won't be complaining if we are in 9th place next season mind!

3) The Ugly.
Wage caps to be introduced, starting with Division 3 next season (so they can see what a total mess it creates, but only screw up smaller clubs, so why worry!) and extending to Divisions 1 and 2 in 2004-05 (unless it hasn't worked of course, in which case it can be rapidly abandoned before it damages anybody really important). The cap will be based on a percentage of annual turnover.
As far as we know the voting structure in the the Nationwide League means this reform could be pushed through whatever the opinions of the Division 3 clubs it immediately effects.

One of those ideas that seems so full of good intentions and a good thing - until one actually starts to think about it. What we at Ciderspace call A Wallace.
First - what is "turnover"? Gate money? Gate money plus commercial activities? If so, which commercial activities - how wide is that net spread? Broadcasting money? Are the gifts and donations of supporters' clubs included? Loans or gifts from directors?
Next - when is the "turnover" calculated. As with all businesses accounts run well behind the current situation. For example would Yeovil Town have to operate in Division 3 next season under a cap based on turnover whilst it was in the Conference - because where else are they going to get any figures from?
And - how is each player's wage to be calculated against this salary cap? Does it include his sign-on fees, various bonuses, club or sponsored car, any subsidised housing, promotion/cup win bonuses?
And - what if a club's circumstances change during a season? Someone comes in and takes their excellent young striker off to the Premiership for a few million quid. But they can't use that money to bring in better players, because better players demand higher wages, and they are already right at the top of their wage cap, and their wage cap is based on turnover from one or even two seasons before.
And........ the list goes on. We could fill pages.

What wage caps boil down to is 'bigger' clubs gaining yet another advantage over 'smaller' clubs, as if they didn't have advantage enough already. It should be up to clubs to decide what they want to spend, and on what. They may or may not use that freedom wisely, many haven't, but a set of rules that say for example Macclesfield Town can only offer a quarter the wages that Hull City is allowed to spend just makes the playing field even more unlevel. It may be that financial reality means Macclesfield already pay their players a quarter of what they could earn at Hull, but that is their decision, and so it should remain.

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24 April 2003 : Tickets And Tours
The club have confirmed that there are still tickets available in the Copse Road End for this Saturday's final home match of the season against Chester City, kick-off 17.35. The ticket office will be open from 10.00-16.00 today and tomorrow, and again Saturday between 12.00 and 14.00. All tickets must be purchased in advance; there is no pay-on-the-gate facility for this match.

Gates open at 16.00, and there will be awards and presentations made prior to kick-off. After the game the Nationwide Conference Championship Trophy will be formally presented to Yeovil Town Football Club.

Details of the Open Top Bus Tour around Yeovil on Monday 28th April are as follows:

The bus will leave Huish Park at 10.10, before visiting several local schools. (For obvious reasons members of the general public are not allowed on school property without prior permission of the school concerned.)

The bus will then head for Park Road, arriving at approximately 12.50, before making its way down Princes Street and into The Borough, where the road will be closed for the duration of the visit.

The players and officials will be met by the Mayor, Julian Freke, and civic dignatories, before moving off at approximately 13.50 to visit more schools. Arrival back at Huish Park is expected around 15.00.

The bus will also be taking the players to a Civic Reception at Westland Sports and Social Club, leaving Huish Park at 18.20. The team will travel around Copse Road, down Western Avenue, into and down Preston Road and Preston Grove and into Westland Sports and Social Club for the Civic Reception at 19.00.

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24 April 2003 : Dagenham Show True Sporting Colours
Easter Monday's 4-0 win at Victoria Road was preceeded by two great shows of sportsmanship by the Glovers' hosts Dagenham and Redbridge.

Daggers manager Garry Hill and his players formed a 'guard of honour' to welcome the Nationwide Conference Champions onto the pitch, shaking each Yeovil player by the hand as they entered the field of play.

Meanwhile, Yeovil Town Chairman John Fry was presented with a commemorative plaque by Dagenham Chairman David Andrews to recognise the match as being Yeovil Town's final away league match before promotion to the Football League - a fine gesture from a club that deserved to be in the Football League 12 months before the Glovers own ascension. Dagenham still have their own chance to join Yeovil though; they are one of a quartet of clubs competing in next week's playoff semi-finals.

Yeovil Town Chairman John Fry receives a memento from Daggers Chairman David Andrews
Yeovil Town Chairman John Fry receives a memento from Daggers Chairman David Andrews
Photo © 2003 Ciderspace

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23 April 2003 : Glovers make a friendly gesture
Conference champions Yeovil Town have agreed to provide the opposition in a testimonial match for old rivals Weymouth striker David Laws at the Wessex Stadium on Wednesday 7th May, 7.45 kick off.

"We approached a few sides looking for a fixture," Laws told the Dorset Echo, "but Yeovil were the ones I really wanted. Not only are they Weymouth's biggest rivals, they are probably the biggest team in the region right now. They've done fantastically well to win promotion to the Football League and they're going to be one of the best supported sides in Division Three next season."

"I'm sure they'll bring a good following down with them on the night and I'm very grateful to their manager Gary Johnson for agreeing to help me out and to our boss Geoff Butler for sorting it in the first place."

The Glovers will be doing their bit to create harmony and understanding in a rough old world by taking their Conference championship trophy with them to show off to trophy-starved Terras fans on the night.

"They've got a big celebration do in Yeovil a few days later," said Laws, "and so this will be a bit of a dress rehearsal for them. I know it will be hard for Terras fans to see the enemy bathed in all that glory, but there's no reason why it can't be Weymouth in a few years time." At Ciderspace we think we can see the odd few dozen reasons why it most emphatically won't be Weymouth in a few years time, but let us not be uncharitable: There but for the grace of god.......

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23 April 2003 : Jacko Sets Up Golden Boot Finale
Yeovil Town striker Kirk Jackson nearly didn't get to Dagenham on Monday for the Glovers' 4-0 win at Victoria Road. Having limped off before half time during the Saturday 6-1 win over Burton Albion, Jackson had been more or less ruled out for the rest of the season. But for the second time this season, Jacko defied the odds, slotting home a hat-trick of goals against the Nationwide Conference playoff participants. Jacko explained his recovery to BBC Radio Bristol's Phil Tottle.

"I took a knock against Burton and I got a little twist and the inside of my knee swelled straight away," explained Jackson. "So I thought it was best to just come off. It's a team game and I didn't want to let the boys down, so we got a fresh pair of legs on."

"Over the last 48 hours, I've had constant compression and ice on it," he added. "This morning at 8.00am, I had a little fitness test just to ensure that the outside of my knee was strong enough to cope with jumping, twisting and turning. It was fine and Tony Farmer has done wonders for me."

With Jackson's second comeback having taken place over the Easter break, it was inevitable that his team-mates would lampoon his recovery. Jackson admitted: "I got a bit of stick on the bus. They were calling me Jesus Jackson and then JJ. But we've got goals in us, and fortunately I've got three of them today."

Jackson's partnership with Kevin Gall has seen the deadly duo net 22 goals between them during March and April, and Jackson paid tribute to Gall's unselfishness on the day: "If you look at mine and Gally's record whilst we've been playing together, it is second to none. He does want me to get this Golden Boot; all of the lads want me to and they keep telling me I'm going to get it. I'm level now, so it's going to be interesting going into the last game. I'm just keeping my feet on the floor and I will see how it goes. We've got one game to go and hopefully I can get it."

"But credit to Kevin Gall and I hope I can do the same for him in the same situation," added Jackson. "When you've got the electric pace that he has got, it is very easy to play with him. Anything you touch on, you know that he is going to be there or thereabouts."

Four goals at Dagenham left Yeovil just one league goal short of the magical 100 target and Jackson said: "The boys are going for that, and that's what they want. They've set targets in their head. Michael McIndoe has got his own targets that he wants to achieve, and Macca is the one who keeps telling us about all these records that we want to break. He drives us on for these successes."

That final game takes place next week at what is likely to be a capacity Huish Park and Jacko said of the game: "The boys will be really up for a win next week because it's been an unbelievable record that we've got so far. We don't really want to spoil things. We know that it's not going to be an easy game against Chester, but the way that we are playing at the moment, I don't think anyone would fancy playing us, especially at our place."

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23 April 2003 : Weale Meet Again
To hear fans on the terrace at Victoria Road one expected Yeovil Town's young star goalkeeper Chris Weale to come out for the warm-up with all-sports already emblazoned across his chest, such was the conviction in the rumours that he was on his way to Premiership Charlton Athletic. The fact that Steve Collis made his first league start of the season only added to speculation.

Manager Gary Johnson has moved to dampen down the rumour mill, in a statement very similar to that issued over Michael McIndoe much earlier in the season, when many supporters became convinced his departure to Southampton was imminent. Johnson insisted the Glovers have not yet been contacted by anyone associated with the South London club.

All the players here know that I will inform them if a club from a higher level come in for them. That has not happened with Chris Weale, although it is possible that clubs have been watching him and a number of our players because we have been successful this season.

Given Yeovil's huge success and remarkable form this season it would indeed be extraordinary if a multitude of scouts had not been giving the club's players the once over. However one scout, or even 92, does not a summer transfer make.

Johnson added that Weale will return against Chester at Huish Park on Saturday.

Steve hadn't played a Conference game this season and I felt he deserved a chance. But is was already decided that Chris would play in the Chester game.

The absence of Gavin Williams against Dagenham & Redbridge was down to an ankle injury, but it is hoped he will have recovered to make the team next Saturday. Colin Pluck was not started because of his bookings situation.

The rumour concerning Weale's departure seemed to be tied in with suggestions that former Glover Tony Pennock might be making a return to Huish Park next season. The Swansea-based player is out of contract at the end of the season, and could leave cash-strapped Farnborough Town over the summer. However, sources close to Pennock maintained that the player had received no contact from Huish Park personnel.

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22 April 2003 : Quartet Rewarded For Italian Job
Prior to Easter Saturday's 4-0 win over Burton Albion, Yeovil Town's a quartet of their young stars were presented with England caps for their role in the National Game XI's game against Italy in November 2002.

Presenting the caps to the players was former club Chairman Bryan Moore, representing the National Game XI committee as part of his role with the Football Association. Until that match, Yeovil Town had never had four players featuring in the same England game, and receiving their caps were goalkeeper Chris Weale, midfielders Lee Johnson (who captained the side) and Darren Way and defender Adam Lockwood.

Yeovil's National Game XI Quartet receive their England caps
Yeovil's National Game XI Quartet receive their England caps
Photo © 2003 Ciderspace

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22 April 2003 : Competition Time (Or How To Get A Free Site Redesign!)
Calling all budding web-site designers! With Yeovil Town's promotion to the Nationwide Football League now secure, the main downside for us at Ciderspace is that we will have to do, at minimum, some tweaks to the site to bring it up to scratch for the 2003/04 season.

With us having about the same amount of creative ambition as a Barnet side visiting Huish Park, we feel it far more appropriate to hand the task over to the experts.

At the very least, we'd be interested in hearing from anyone who fancies producing a new top page banner to replace the current one containing the Nationwide Conference banner. However, it is likely that we will be replacing the buttons and background image around the same time, and so if your artistic enthusiasm (and spare time) extends that far then we would be more than interested to hear from you. But it is the top page banner that we are really laying down the gauntlet for people to produce their own design for. Access to our photographic library will of course be available. We would ideally want any draft designs to be available by May 31st to give us adequate time to get the revised design up and running before the pre-season friendlies kick in.

Finally, as always we are keen to hear from people who are interested in getting involved in the site on an occasional or regular basis. Whether it's writing one-off articles, or whether it's writing fully-fledged HTML or ASP scripts, we'd love to hear from you.

All interested parties should email us at where we can supply more information.

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22 April 2003 : Ninety-Nine Not Out
Yeovil manager Gary Johnson saluted his players following Monday's 4-0 win over Dagenham and Redbridge. Speaking immediately after the game, Gary said: "To come here and demoralise a team who are in a good play-off position and who had that run of 11 games undefeated is a fantastic effort and it shows you how far we have come. It's nice to get a result and an absolutely resounding victory."

"We've got 14 wins now in 2003 and two draws," he added. "That's a fantastic achievement because you can be unlucky on a couple of occasions and lose a couple. They've just gone on this wave of quality play and just kept it going and that's very pleasing for a manager and his staff."

Johnson started at Dagenham with only seven of the players who had started against Burton Albion on Saturday but he said that the changes were not forced.

"There were no injuries; these were just changes," he explained. "Everyone wants to be involved and I am trying to get everybody involved as best as I can, as that's important, I think for next year. Plus everyone would like to go to our end of season party having been involved. Steve Collis had a super game considering that was his first Conference start this year. He's got that under his belt, and so I'm pleased for him."

Stephen Reed became the latest Glovers player to rise through the Youth ranks, when the 17 year old came on as a 64th minute substitute and Johnson believed Reed's selection to be justified.

"I don't do anything for sympathy," he explained. "You come unstuck if you do anything for sympathy. Stephen Reed has earnt his place this year. He has been an ever-present in the second team and he has played well and he has been one of our top two or three players in every Reserve game. So he has deserved that chance and I certainly wouldn't have put anything at risk just because he's young and it would have given him a bit of experience. I did it because I knew he could do a job and he's done a job against a very experienced player there. I know Tarkan Mustapha because I brought him out of Sunday football and took him to Kettering. Steve did a great job and I knew he would."

Kirk Jackson became the second Yeovil player over the course of the weekend to take home the match ball after he scored his first hat-trick for the Glovers. Not bad for a striker who has been written off for the rest of the reason twice with injuries.

Johnson said of Jackson and his partner Kevin Gall who grabbed the other goal: "That's a great partnership isn't it? Jacko has made Kevin a couple of goals recently. Yes, they are both clinical, but if somebody else is in a better spot then they will find them because they are footballers. It's not only that; they work hard to get the ball back. We've got two strikers who are flying at the moment. I'm very pleased that they are but you've also got to have nine other players behind them, who are finding them or making runs. From our defensive play, our midfield play to our forward play, we are far far above this level of football now."

"Gilesy played well on Saturday and he was unlucky today really because right up until this morning Gilesy would have played," explained Johnson. "But Lazarus, as they call him; Kirk Jackson, who has come from the dead twice has managed to make it again!"

Those four goals took Yeovil to 99 league goals for the season and Johnson admitted: "I didn't realise that until Thommo mentioned it. That's nice because it sets the Chester game up nicely for that next goal. We played some great football. People weren't greedy and they were setting up goals for other people and that's the sign of a great team. You know they are actually playing for the team. They could shoot themselves but instead they are creating easy goals for other people. It shows you the movement that we've got."

"We never thought we'd get to 100 goals," he added. "It looked like a far cry about a month ago, but we've been getting the fours and sixes and suddenly it's upon us. We have now got a chance, but I'm sure that Chester aren't going to be turning up to watch us score goals. They've got the best defensive record in the league, including ourselves because we are second. But it would be nice to break them down a couple of times."

The four goal cushion allowed Yeovil the chance to use all three substitutes, and Johnson said of the changes: "Getting Plucky on was a bonus, as I've left him out because I didn't want him to get booked. So I left it as late as possible so that I could give him his little bit of glory. He deserves to be out there really, given the way he has played this year. Critts hasn't played very many 90 minute games recently, and he was only 10 minutes off a 90 minute game and had played very well. So that's another one we've got buzzing, which is nice."

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22 April 2003 : The Records They Come A'Tumblin'
Yesterday's 4-0 win at Victoria Road ensured that Gary Johnson's Yeovil Town side will have their place in the record books come the end of the season, as they swept aside play-off participants Dagenham and Redbridge with extraordinary ease.

The match ensured that the Glovers would win the Conference by the highest ever points difference. With Doncaster Rovers and Morecambe sharing out a 1-1 draw, Yeovil stretched their lead at the top to a staggering 19 points. Even if the Glovers lose to Chester City next Saturday, they will keep a 16 point margin - one more than the 15 point margin set by Wycombe Wanderers in the 1992/93 season.

Yeovil's win yesterday was their seventh consecutive Conference league win, and this is a club record.

Johnson's side have also guaranteed that they will at least equal Colchester United's record for the fewest defeats in a Conference season. The Essex side lost four games during the 1991-92 Season and if the Glovers avoid defeat on Saturday, they will take that record.

Avoiding defeat on Saturday will also give the Glovers the all-time Conference points record - held jointly by Colchester United and Wycombe Wanderers - again during the 1991-92 Season. The same season also saw Colchester establish the greatest winning goal difference of 58 goals. As Yeovil have a current goal difference of 63, only a five goal defeat against Chester City could see Colchester's record stand firm.

One goal on Saturday will give Yeovil a staggering 100 goals in Conference football, with the Glovers sat currently on a tantalising 99 goals. A somewhat harder target would be to overhaul Barnet's 103 goals during the 1990-91 Season, which stands as the current goals record. The Glovers have so far scored 120 goals in all competitions this season, with one league game and one County Cup final remaining.

Kirk Jackson will also be gunning for a goal or two on Saturday. His hat-trick yesterday took him to 24 Conference goals this season, tying him with Doncaster Rovers' Paul Barnes for the Conference Golden Boot. Jackson's record is made all the more remarkable by the fact that 19 of his goals have come during the 22 Conference appearances he has made for Yeovil Town - the striker had only five goals for struggling Stevenage Borough when he signed for the Glovers at the end of November.

Yeovil Town's supporters are also likely to take another record. 91,450 spectators have gone through the turnstiles at home games this season, and this means that a crowd of just 5,189 spectators are needed at Saturday's home game against Chester City to beat Wycombe Wanderers' 1992-93 Attendance Record. Reports from the club suggest that record is already guaranteed, through pre-match ticket sales. Another possible target could be a crowd of 8,550 which would take the Glovers through the 100,000 mark for the season - remarkable for a season that saw the Glovers first five home games take place at the Avenue Stadium, Dorchester.

Finally, Gary Johnson still stands a great chance of picking up a second consecutive manager of the month award. Provided the Glovers match or better the results of Morecambe and Scarborough next week, Johnson will receive the award for the third time this season.

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20 April 2003 : Four More For Gall
Yeovil Town striker Kevin Gall was the main force behind the Glovers' 6-1 thrashing of Burton Albion on Easter Saturday, and he gave his views on the game as he spoke to BBC Radio Bristol's Phil Tottle straight after the game. So had Kevin scored four goals in a single match before?

"Not in the league, no," Kevin admitted. "That's the most I've scored. It's unbelievable - it's been another good day again and that just shows the commitment of the boys. Even though we've won the league we've still scored ten goals in two games. I probably should have scored a few more. I had two good chances right the beginning when I was offside and I had two more after that. But I got four, so I'm happy!"

"Burton are not a bad side," he added. "They've got Nigel Clough in there who is a legend in football. To be fair, they did try, particularly in the 20 minutes when they got the goal back but once we got our passing and movement going they couldn't really handle us."

Fellow striker Kirk Jackson missed out on the goalfeast as he limped out just before half-time with a knee injury, and Kevin sympathised: "Jacko has been unlucky today as he could have been on the end of a hatful of goals, and then Barnes has gone and scored again."

Kevin felt that Yeovil's clinching of the title had given the team more freedom to play with style: "I think the pressure came off right at the start of the Doncaster game. Chester only got a draw, and as it's shown on Sky we went out there and totally annihiliated Doncaster."

And he explained that much of the team's motivation at present centred on claiming Conference league records. But it was not just the record points target of 95 that was in their sights: "We want to get 100 goals as well, and I think we've got 95 now. That means we've got to get two and three, and I know that sounds hard but I feel we can do it, as we've shown today."

Finally, Kevin was asked if he wanted to be part of the Glovers assault on the Third Division next season: "Definitely. I've spoken to the gaffer and I'm just waiting for him to come back now. I've told him I'm going to sign and he wants me to sign, so I hope I'll be here next year."

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20 April 2003 : Reminder: Daggers Is Pay-On-The-Day
Owing to printing deadlines Saturday's programme still had tomorrow's game against Dagenham & Redbridge at Victoria Road billed as all ticket for Yeovil fans. This is no longer the case, as reported on this page on April 17th, and Yeovil fans can pay-on-the-day.

It is reported that Yeovil has sold around 700 tickets, so plenty of space is still available in the Pondfield End, which has a capacity of 1,200. Those making a late decision to attend the match can buy tickets at gates 9, 10 and 11.

The game is fully segregated, and only the Pondfield End is available to visiting fans.

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20 April 2003 : Telford Video Now On Sale
The Telford 3-0 video - available on both DVD and VHS
The Telford 3-0 video - available on both DVD and VHS
Yeovil Town supporters can get themselves a copy of this month's 3-0 win over Telford United on either VHS video format or DVD format.

The full length recording of the match is available from the Club Shop priced £15.00 on DVD or £12.00 on VHS format.

Also available in recent weeks is a double-feature containing the 4-0 win over Kettering Town combined with the 2-1 FA Trophy win over Northwich Victoria. These recordings are available on VHS format, priced £12.00.

All previous video releases, or those that are out of stock, can be back-ordered at the Club Shop or by calling Commercial Manager Dave Linney on 01935-423662. Stocks in the shop are going like hot cakes, so you are advised to get your orders in quickly.

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20 April 2003 : Flag Appeal
Yeovil Town Football Club are asking for the temporary return of their Nationwide Conference Champions flag.

The flag was thrown into the Westland Stand at the end of the celebrations against Burton Albion and a lucky supporter managed to grab it as a souvenir.

However, the club are asking it to be loaned back for next Saturday's match and the following Monday's open top bus tour. The current owner of the flag WILL be able to keep the flag following it's tour round the town next weekend.

If you are the proud owner of that flag, or if you know the person who is holding it, can you please get in touch with either Adrian Hopper (aka Fat Harry) on 07768 174005 or by e mail to or Martin Baker (aka Badger) at before next Saturday's game against Chester City.

The club will sincerely appreciate any help in getting the flag back for the duration of next weekend's celebrations.

Have you seen this flag? If so please contact us!
Have you seen this flag? If so please contact us!
Photo © 2003 Ciderspace

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20 April 2003 : It Was Frank Wot Dun It
Somewhat understandably Yeovil chairman and chief executive John Fry, usually a man bearing the demeanour of General George Custer on 25th June 1876, has been like a cat sitting next to a particularly large bowl of extra thick double cream the last few weeks. Face wreathed in constant smiles, he was even seen performing something remarkably like a little jig on the terrace at Crabble as the second from Kirk Jackson hit the back of the net.

And it is manager Gary Johnson who has brought so much sunshine into John's life:
Gary is the best investment I have ever made in this club........... the best choice of manager I could have made.

So how did Mr Fry, a chairman not timid at bringing in new faces to the Yeovil Town managerial hot-seat, arrive at Gary Johnson, a man one suspects he'd scarcely heard of two years ago. The story starts with the departure of Colin Addison :

It was a difficult decision that had to be made because Colin had done a good job here. But Colin knew from the start that there was going to be no future position or new contract for him if we didn't win the championship that year, so he decided to resign.

We had a number of applications on the table when my chief scout, Frank Leworthy, gave me this video of Gary's work in Latvia to watch. I said to Frank, "It's not another one of those video salemen is it?" but he persuaded me to view it, saying "He's your perfect manager, chairman." So that night, when my wife went off to bed early to read a book, I put the video on, and realised straight away why Gary had made himself a hero in Latvia. And when we first met a few days later, I realised just how much he wanted the job and that our philosophy on how the game should be played was the same. I feel very fortunate that, after 108 years of history, I found the right manager to take us into the Football League and now I feel Yeovil Town has a vast future ahead of it.

We've had some good managers in my time, but signing Gary was a masterstroke - a first-class choice because his ambitions were the same as mine. Everything was in place for the right manager, and Gary, who is the consummate professional, fitted in perfectly to what was needed to take Yeovil own from the Conference to the Third Division.

There is a feeling in the town that he is already a legend. He's not quite there yet, but I know the fans love him.

I can see Gary being here for at least the next three years, and he has already indicated to me what he wants. With Mr Goddard-Watts' backing we have the perfect partnership to take this club beyond the Third Division. With careful investment and stage by stage development, we can take Yeovil Town into the First Division of the Nationwide League.

[Extracts from an interview conducted with Graham Nickless.]

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20 April 2003 : Six-y football
Conference champions Yeovil Town stay 17 points ahead of 2nd placed Morecambe with 2 games left to play after a stunning 6-1 win over struggling Burton Albion at Huish Park yesterday afternoon. Already on a total of 91 points at the top of the table, the Glovers are still on track to beat Wycombe Wanderer's and Colchester United's record total of 94 points from the 1992/93 season; and having scored 95 goals are also optimistically still aiming at beating Barnet's total of 103 goals scored during the 1990/91 season.

This was an outstanding team display by the Glovers against an admittedly depleted Burton outfit, manager Nigel Clough happy to rest key players for Monday's crucial relegation batle against Kettering and fielding a relatively inexperienced team. Striker Kevin Gall came away with the match ball after knocking 4 past Burton keeper Matt Duke; Gavin Williams and Chris Giles were Town's other goalscorers.

Match report: Yeovil Town 6 Burton Albion 1.

Yeovil boss Gary Johnson was delighted by the way his team approached the game: "None of these games are cakewalks are they," he said after the match. "You have to make them easy if you like by working hard and showing your ability as I said before the game and credit to the boys - they 100% showed their ability and their passion and that their seasons not over. I said that before the game - they are showing me that passion in training and in team meetings and to you in games. To score six goals, we did say in all due respect to Burton you're looking to leave these teams behind now and try and go up the gears, up a level and what we’ve got here is a lot of ability about the side, certainly a lot of pace and fitness which they showed again today."

"We’ve been playing well under pressure and I think that’s very good and that’s been a trait of our football team and they can play to the best of their ability under pressure. Yes it's nice when they can play without the pressure but with all due respect you wouldn’t be able to put that performance on out there without the pressure either. You have to have the ability and they have shown that week in week out whether there's pressure or not."

"I don’t know if you heard me on the touchline but I'd like to have gone have gone for 7 or 8 but the boys have set themselves a target of 100-odd goals and a target of 94 points to beat. You cant ask for anymore than to get six goals against a team that are mid table in the conference and who still need a point or so to stay up, which I hope they do because Nigel [Clough] plays it the right way or tries to play it the right way - but today we were on another level."

Speaking about Kevin Gall's outstanding contribution to the game, Johnson said: "Fantastic finishing! Again we’ve scored 95 goals this year and without good finishers you aren’t going to score those goals. Fantastic today and he’s dangerous. Kevin's not just a goal scorer, he and Kirk Jackson work very hard to win the ball back themselves so they are every manager's dream if you like - people that can put the ball in the back of the net and also win the ball back for you, and we have a team like that at the moment."

"Kirk came off because of a knee problem. The lad's studs went in to his knee and maybe put it out of line slightly and is quite heavily bruised at the moment. We'll let it have some ice and let it settle down and then we will know the extent of it. Sad really, one of our other records is for him to get the Golden Boot but maybe Gally will get it now!"

Johnson finished his remarks by saying: "We're in training again tomorrow [Easter Sunday] - there’s no Easter for us, we're not resting on our laurels. We will do a few stretches, touch up on a few of our free-kicks and corners and things, and prepare for Dagenham. It could be we go up with Dagenham or with Chester and you just want to win the games to have a bit of oneupmanship ready for next season."

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20 April 2003 : Players Shirts Up For Auction
Yeovil Town fans can get their hands on signed Yeovil Town players shirts, as worn by the Glovers throughout the 2002/03 season.

The shirts are being put up for auction by Commercial Manager Dave Linney at the end of the season, and he said of the auction: "All 24 are on offer. I'm hoping to get about £500 for Michael McIndoe's."

All shirts are named and numbered and will be signed by the individual player. To place your bid, send it in a sealed envelope, including your name, address and daytime contact telephone number, to Dave Linney, Commercial Manager, Yeovil Town Football Club, Huish Park, Lufton Way, Yeovil, Somerset, BA22 8YE.

All bids must be received at Huish Park by May 31st 2003.

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20 April 2003 : Cheap At Half The Price
The Non-League Footy web site reports that Yeovil Town's promotion to the Football League has cost the club £5,000.

The sum of money is going to Hereford United as part of the deal that saw Michael McIndoe sign for Yeovil in March 2001. The deal, brokered by former manager Colin Addison, meant that the Glovers had to fork out the additional transfer fee if McIndoe was ever part of any promotion-winning Glovers side.

As McIndoe is currently the Glovers' second top goalscorer for the current season, Ciderspace rather suspects that Chairman John Fry will consider the £5,000 to be money well spent!

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18 April 2003 : More Good News For Tom
Following the joy brought into the lives of Tom White and his partner Louise last weekend with the birth of a son, now named Zachary, Tom has received good news on his future footballing career too.

Tom has only managed two starts for Yeovil Town this season, and had an operation on his knee back in the autumn. A loan spell at Woking in the New Year, to try and help him back to match fitness, lasted only two games and ended prematurely when he broke down again. A second operation followed.

Tom feared his career, certainly in full-time football, was in the balance. However a meeting with a specialist this week has given the 27-year-old hope that he will make a full recovery.

I've been given the go-ahead to do light exercises and the specialist is confident that the knee is alright now. He hasn't put a timescale on my comeback, but I'm aiming to be back for pre-season. I was worried about it after having two operations, but this time they seem to have sorted it out.

Tom's current contract with Yeovil expires at the end of this season, and he will be waiting to see if he features in Gary Johnson's long term plans.

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17 April 2003 : It Wouldn't Be The Same Without Play-Offs In The News
Ciderspace seems to have been reporting on play-offs and promotion issues continuously for about the last four years, as the Conference battled and initially failed to get fairer treatment, cocked up its first play-off scheme dramatically, and finally secured two up / two down.
We thought, with Yeovil Town moving up to Division Three, we might be able to have a rest from all that for a while. But no. The very first issue that is brought to our attention in the Nationwide League Bulletin is........ play-offs.

Next Thursday, April 24th, all 72 Nationwide League clubs gather at Leicester for their final meeting of the 2002-03 season ahead of June's AGM. And top of the agenda is the proposal from Crystal Palace Chief Executive Phil Alexander to shake up the play-off system.

Already heavily trailed in the media, the proposals are that the number of clubs in each division involved in the play-offs increases from four to six. The clubs finishing 5th and 8th, and 6th and 7th, would play each other in one-off games, with the team finishing higher having home advantage. The winners then go forward to play at the grounds of the 3rd and 4th placed teams. The winners of those two matches then progress to a Final at a neutral ground. (In Division Three all placings drop one, as three clubs are promoted automatically.)

If the reaction to these proposals is favourable on the 24th then a formal motion will be tabled for the League to alter its constitution at the AGM in June.

However, prior to that motion being discussed, the first item on the agenda on June 5th will be that of formally ending the membership of the League of the two relegated clubs from Division Three, and the admission of the play-off winners from the Conference, and the Champions - Yeovil Town.

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17 April 2003 : No Billy Big-Time But Plenty Of Sheep
Success mean interviews, planning for the future, and more interviews. Yeovil manager Gary Johnson has been doing plenty of both this week.

With Yeovil clinching the Championship Gary began to lay out his thoughts in an interview with Tony Incenzo.

I feel like a Third Division manager right now! And we feel like a Third Division football team! I have just shaken hands with a Third Division chairman, a Third Division secretary and Third Division staff. So everyone here is buzzing at the moment. It has been a lovely day to wake up to.

We had a three year plan to get into the League when I first took over. Sometimes you need three years to bring in the players you want, move out the players who were on existing contracts and then look for the jigsaw pieces that fit your puzzle. It looks like we have fitted the pieces a lot earlier than we had planned, which is nice. It gives me a year in credit if you like.

The FA Trophy Final success last year made us winners. It set us on a bit of a roll with that positive mental feeling that we were winners. We have carried it on into this season. Certainly since Christmas, we have not lost any Conference games - winning 12 and drawing two. So we've had a mental toughness where if any other team put a run of wins together then we were also on a similar run. We repelled all challengers really.

When asked about media speculation that bigger clubs might be looking at him, Gary will have brought relieved smiles to all Yeovil Town fans:

I've still got another year left on my contract. The board have been great here and I am not going to be moving anywhere. This is where I want to be. So long as the club's ambitions are the same as mine, then we can get those ambitions together and Yeovil Town can go as far as we all want it to go. We will be sitting down soon to work out a new two to three year plan for the club and included in that will be the next step of my own future here.

I am sure we can do well in the Third Division. But we won't get complacent and become 'Billy Big-Time'. It is the next division up and there will be a lot more closely contested games. So we will once again keep our feet on the ground. But we will also have the confidence to realise that there is not a lot of difference between the top teams in the Conference and the leading sides in Division Three.

I have been watching a lot of Third Division games over the past month or so and I plan to watch plenty more before the end of the season. From what I have seen so far, I feel our boys will fare very admirably.

You can't go too mad and look too far ahead because you will wish your life away! We can only take it one step at a time. The next step moving on to the Second Division. Hopefully that won't take another 108 years, because it if does I am probably not going to be around! But it is nice for the club that everyone is ambitious. And the next ambition is obviously to get to the next level in Division Two.

The crowds have been tremendous and the supporters get as much publicity as we do on the pitch. And rightly so. Everything we have achieved has been for them. The football club is here for the supporters. Our fans deserve the title win and we are very proud to have them as part of our set-up. We look forward to them roaring us on in the Third Division next season.

Elsewhere Gary commented again on some of the same themes:

I am ambitious, but I can fulfil all my ambitions here. I'm flattered by talk of big clubs but there is no reason for me to leave. I want to see how far I can take these players. My goal for next year is the same as everybody else's - promotion. Yeovil fans don't want to hear their manager saying we are going to consolidate for another 108 years.

We knew at the start of the year that these players could compete in the Third Division. There's no need for wholesale changes, but one or two players may come in.

I am happy here, and would be happy to sign a new deal. I have been told I have the 'Freedom of the Town', which probably means I can walk sheep down the road or something.

It's been wonderful here this year. The Doncaster game was the pinnacle in what has been our best ever season.

Correct - best ever season...... and absolutely bl**dy WONDERFUL! Thanks, Gary.

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17 April 2003 : 22 Into 24 Won't Go
We'll probably never know whether it was yet another of Stevenage chairman Phil Wallace's ill thought out schemes, or whether he was just the mouthpiece. Whatever. The bizarre notion that it would be perfectly all right to alter the rules everyone had been playing under for the other three-quarters of the season, and only relegate one club, seems to have been firmly kicked into touch.

The Football Association issued the following press statement today:

The FA's Sanctions and Registrations committee (formerly League Sanctions Committee) met this week on the 14th April and rejected the Nationwide Conference's request to expand their membership from 22 clubs to 24 clubs for season 2003/04.

The Nationwide Conference's request was referred to The FA's Sanctions and Registrations committee who sought the views of the 3 Feeder Leagues - The Ryman Isthmian League, The Dr Martens Southern League and UniBond Northern Premier League.

Following written submissions to The Football Association from the 3 Feeder Leagues, the Nationwide Conference's request was this week debated at the FA Sanctions and Registrations committee, and the decision of the committee was to reject the Nationwide Conference's request to expand their membership for season 2003/04.

The decision of The FA Sanctions and Registrations committee is subject to ratification by The FA Council on 21st June 2003.

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17 April 2003 : Football League Welcome The Glovers
The Nationwide Football League have issued a formal welcome to Nationwide Conference Champions Yeovil Town today. Although the Glovers will not formally become members of the Football League until the League AGM in June, Yeovil's championship win - the first side in English national football to clinch promotion - has already been acknowledged by the League's officials.

John Nagle, Head of Communications at the Football League said of Yeovil's success: "Yeovil Town have been a Football League club in the making for many years and to have now secured promotion is a great achievement by the club. Their membership of the League will bring Football League action to a quite considerable new catchment area. I am certain that Yeovil will be highly competitive next season and extremely well supported."

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17 April 2003 : Further Chester Ticket Allocation Released
With tickets for the three 'home' portions of Huish Park having sold out inside four days for the final Nationwide Conference match against Chester City, the club have been able to reallocate the Copse Road terrace for home supporters.

Tickets for what is normally the 'away' terrace will go on sale from Saturday at 11.00am on a first come, first served basis. Prices are £9.00 for adults and £5.00 for concessions.

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17 April 2003 : Four Nations International Tournament
The following press release has been issued by the Welsh FA:

The Football Association of Wales will host this season's Four Nation International Tournament.

The matches will take place between the 20th - 24th May 2003.

The countries comprise Wales, England, Scotland and the Republic of Ireland.

Wales will be defending the title, won last year with wins over Scotland and Ireland as well as a draw with England.

The match schedule will be as follows:

Tuesday 20th May 2003.
Wales v Scotland at Carmarthen Town. 19.30hrs.
England v Rep.Ireland at Merthyr Tydfil. 19.30hrs.

Thursday 22nd May 2003.
Wales v England at Merthyr Tydfil. 19.30hrs.
Rep.Ireland v Scotland at Haverfordwest County. 19.30hrs.

Saturday 24th May 2003.
Scotland v England at Carmarthen Town. 13.00hrs.
Wales v Rep.Ireland at Haverfordwest County. 15.30hrs.

The tournament represents probably the last time that Yeovil Town players will appear for their countries at non-league level. Last season Gavin Williams was a member of the victorious Wales squad, and Kevin Gall may also find himself in contention after being a regular in the Wales under-21 side this season; whilst Chris Weale, Adam Lockwood, Darren Way, Lee Johnson and Terry Skiverton have all been picked for the England National Game squad this season.

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17 April 2003 : Daggers Tickets Available On The Day
Yeovil Town fans who have not yet purchased their tickets for the trip to Dagenham and Redbridge on Easter Monday may still do so on the day of the match, subject to availability.

Any unsold tickets following Saturday's game against Burton Albion will be returned to Victoria Road and will be available from the turnstiles. However, you are still advised to purchase your ticket in advance if at all possible, as this will reduce queuing time, as well as guaranteeing a place in the ground.

Yeovil Town supporters must enter the ground using Turnstiles 9 - 14 at Victoria Road.

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16 April 2003 : County Cup Final Venue Switched
Yeovil Town's match against Taunton Town in the Somerset Premier Cup Final has been switched to an alternative venue.

The match was originally scheduled to take place at Bridgwater Town's ground, but fears over capacity issues have forced the game to be switched to Clevedon Town's Hand Stadium.

The Glovers should find the venue a familiar one, having already defeated Clevedon Town 4-0 at the same venue at the Semi-Final stage. The game will be played on Tuesday 29th April.

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16 April 2003 : Latest From The Ticket Office
Ticket sales at Huish Park for the last three remaining Nationwide Conference league games are still going at a brisk pace, with supporters strongly advised to make their claim for tickets now, to avoid disappointment.

As suspected yesterday, tickets for the Chester City game are nearly sold out, with the Westland Stand now completely full, whilst only small pockets of seats are left for the Bartlett Stand and the Main Stand. There is no guarantee of any additional tickets being made available, and so this fixture is expected to sell out shortly.

Tickets for this Saturday's match against Burton Albion are still available in all three 'home' portions of the ground, although these are also selling very well.

Tickets for the Easter monday trip to Dagenham and Redbridge are also still available.

The Huish Park Ticket Office is open between 9.00am and 5.00pm today (Wednesday) and tomorrow (Thursday). However, it will be CLOSED on Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday. Hence supporters requiring tickets for the Burton Albion and Dagenham games are strongly advised to collect them by Thursday 5.00pm.

The ticket office will be open from 11.00am until kick-off on Saturday prior to the game against Burton Albion, and tickets for all three games will (subject to availability) be on sale. Hence it will be possible to buy a ticket for the Burton Albion game on the day. However, with tickets running out fast, and the ticket office likely to be extremely busy, you are strongly advised to turn up early to avoid excessive queuing or the possibility of being locked out.

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15 April 2003 : Chester Game Nearing Sell-Out
Tickets for the Westland Stand for the forthcoming Nationwide Conference match against Chester City are now believed to have sold out. Furthermore, spaces for the Bartlett Stand and the Main Stand are now down to small pockets of ones and twos with those expected to sell out in the next few days.

The club are believed to be attempting to secure the away terrace for home supporters, but this will be dependent on them being able to move the Chester City supporters who have purchased tickets for the away terrace, and also gain the agreement of local safety experts. A response is not expected from the relevant parties until the Thursday night.

Tickets for Saturday's all-ticket match against Burton Albion continue to be available in all three home portions of the ground.

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15 April 2003 : Glovers Go On The Bus Again
Yeovil Town's first team squad will be making another open top bus tour to celebrate their position as Nationwide Conference Champions.

According to reports on BBC Television, the Glovers will be doing a tour on Monday 28th April; two days after their final league fixture of the season.

Last season saw them parade the FA Trophy through the town centre, visiting local schools and colleges to put the silverware on display, and saw Yeovil town centre brought to a complete stand-still over the lunchtime period. The day was completed with a Civic Reception at the Town Hall.

Currently there is no set timetable for the bus tour, but more details will doubtless be announced over the next week or two.

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14 April 2003 : Players Give Their Verdict On Historic Day
Saturday, it could be argued, will go down as the most famous day in Yeovil Town’s 108 year history. How beautiful it was that the day Yeovil Town won promotion to the Football League was captured live on national television, and that the team then went on to pulverise their main title contenders, Doncaster Rovers, in a thrilling 4-0 win.

Goalkeeper Chris Weale said of the day: “For me personally, for the whole team and for the whole crowd it's been a great day. Everything has gone perfectly, nothing has gone wrong and it's just been a great day for all of us. When you know so many of the crowd, it's really good to see them all so happy and the buzz around town has been brilliant.

We had a job to do and we did the job,” he added. “That's been our focus throughout the whole year - to get promotion. Now we're focussed on Division Three. We know we've got a big job to do but hopefully today we've proved that we can do a job. Doncaster could do well in Division Three if they went up."

Wealey seems to hold back his big saves for national television, and in addition to two stunning second half saves, he kept out a 90th minute Paul Barnes penalty. Team-mate Andy Lindegaard explained: “I was on the bench at the time, and Jon Sheffield said that Chris has never saved a penalty - he's not saved a penalty all season, then bang, Wealey goes and saves it. The whole bench were cheering, Wealey was giving us the thumbs up and that's the whole team spirit amongst the side. It was a great save.

To come away to Doncaster, who were second in the league, and to beat them 4-0 is great,” said Lindy. “We wanted to do it the right way and today we've done it in style. I've supported the club all my life. To go into Division Three has been our aim ever since the manager came here. Chris, Gilesy and myself have been here three seasons now. We've come the highest position the club has got to in every year. Today we've topped it off by getting promoted. That's a dream come true.

Midfielder Lee Johnson was the Skysports man of the match and he added: “We set our stall out at the start of the season to win the league and I think we've done it in style. All credit to everyone involved in the club. They've worked tirelessly, day-in, day-out. Everyone has lived right, prepared right and entered into a commitment and it's come up trumps and I think we've fully deserved our place in the Third Division.

Some might have expected Yeovil to take the foot off the gas a little, having won the title, but if anything, the players’ celebration party started on the pitch and lasted the whole 90 minutes.

I think that proves just how much this bunch of lads want to win,” Lee explained. “We've nearly all been released from league clubs and we're all desperate to get back to where we've once been. We had a little taste and we wanted to make sure we got back there. We've now taken the first step on the ladder, we've got into that Third Division and our next step will be the Second Division. And who says we can't? We're looking at the next three games to be preparation for next year. We're going to come up against teams that are full time, like we did today. We're going to make sure we keep grinding out results and wins and get good workrate from the lads.

Lee also had praise for the large travelling green army that had made the trip up to Yorkshire: “They were class today. It was a big day for us because we wanted to win. We didn't want to go out having lost 2-0 and ending up looking over-confident or cocky. We got right into them early on and the fans got right behind us as they have done all season. They've been great and I think we've given them a little show to be proud of today.

Lee put the team’s success down to their terrific team spirit: “We're all good mates. If I was going to get married, I wouldn't know which one of them to choose as my best man! We all go out for meals off our own backs and that just shows the camaraderie is there and I think that wins you championships, when you are willing to back up your mate whatever happens.

Finally, he paid tribute to his father Gary adding: “It was a hard job for him to come into. Yeovil had 108 years and never won the league, but he's taken the challenge and he's come through and he's done a good job. He's got the right blend of players and the right attitude and full credit to him that he's done the job that he was asked to do. I'm sure we will have a little celebration tonight. I'm not sure how heavy. But we definitely want to celebrate because times like this don't happen often in your career. It's been a great day and I don't think I can describe the feeling inside. When you are in it and you've worked hard all season, the feeling inside is just brilliant.

Gavin Williams was asked if his reasons for leaving Hereford were influenced by Yeovil’s title ambitions and he said: “Obviously that’s why I came to the club. I knew what kind of a squad we had and knew that we would be challenging. We had a bad start in the first two games but I know the quality of the side would come through. When we had that bad start nobody panicked. We just knew that we'd come through in the end. I couldn't wish for anything better than to come in on my first season and win the league. It's been a great first season for me.

Gavin was also asked what factors influenced Yeovil’s success: “It's all sorts of things. It's the togetherness, it's the fitness of the lads, the team spirit and the quality we have got on the ball. Today we knew that we'd already won the league beforehand but such was the lads’ determination that we wanted to win the game anyway. Now we want to go on and win the league by as many points as we can. That's how focussed the lads are - we just had to wait 90 minutes and celebrate later. I think that in the first half we absolutely battered them! We eased off a bit in the second half but it was all over by then. We're starting now for next season, and I think we've started well! It will be an unknown to a lot of the players but hopefully we can go in there and do well.

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14 April 2003 : New Deal For Gary
Not surprisingly given the dramatic success Gary Johnson has brought to Yeovil Town, a F.A. Trophy now surpassed by a Championship, both are keen to maintain the relationship. Gary had made it clear he would leave any negotiations until after the title was clinched. With that taking place on Saturday the Western Daily Press is reporting that the manager is set to sign a new two year deal.
The board have made it clear for several weeks now that they are happy to talk about a new contract, but it was agreed everything should be put on hold until we got promotion. I know the club's ambitions are the same as mine, said Johnson.
Gary has one year to run on his current contract.

The paper also claims that there is a possibility the Somerset Premier Cup Final could be moved to Huish Park. Officials are concerned about possible safety issues should The Glovers bring a large travelling contingent. The final is currently scheduled for Fairfax Park, Bridgwater, which has only 150 seats, and a capacity of 2,500. The opponents on April 29th are Taunton Town.

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12 April 2003 : Champions put Donny to the sword
Yeovil Town are CHAMPIONS!
Yeovil Town are CHAMPIONS!
Photo © 2003 Ciderspace

Yeovil Town went into this evening's televised fixture at Doncaster Rovers already knowing that they were this season's Conference champions, and proceeded to put in a champagne performance in beating this morning's 2nd-placed club 4-0 at a packed Belle Vue Stadium.

The Glovers tore their hosts apart with a superb display of passing football and showed the nationwide TV audience exactly why they are so far ahead of the pack at the top of the table. Darren Way got the faintest of touches on a Kevin Gall through ball to open the scoring with his first goal of the season on 23 minutes, and Michael McIndoe made it 2-0 from the penalty spot 10 minutes later after Gavin Williams had been brought down in the box. It was 3-0 just before the break when a smart bit of opportunistic thinking from Gall taking a quick free-kick while the Donny defence dithered left Lee Johnson to tap into an empty net from 2 yards. The Glovers wrapped it up after the break with the move of the match, a long passing sequence culminating in McIndoe's through ball being drilled past Rovers keeper Mark Warrington by Kevin Gall. The icing on the cake came in the dying minutes of the match when Yeovil keeper Chris Weale saved an attempted Paul Barnes penalty.

Match report: Doncaster Rovers 0 Yeovil Town 4.

The win takes the Glovers up to 88 points at the top of the table, 17 points ahead of 2nd-placed Morecambe on 71 points and uncatchable by any other side with 3 games left to play. The play-off teams were also decided today - Morecambe, Doncaster, Dagenham and Chester will contest the final promotion spot at the end of the season.

Yeovil now entertain 14th-placed Burton Albion next Saturday in an all-ticket match. Tickets will be on sale at the Huish Park Ticket Office from Sunday 13th April between 10.00am and 1.00pm and thereafter during normal office hours.

Ticket prices will be £10.00 in the Main Stand (£8.00 concessions), £9.00 for the Bartlett Stand (£6.00 concessions) and £9.00 for the Westland Stand (£5.00 concessions).

Tickets can be ordered by post by sending a cheque made payable to "Yeovil Town Football Club" to Huish Park Ticket Office, Yeovil Town Football Club, Lufton Way, Yeovil, Somerset, BA22 8YF. Please enclose a Stamped Addressed Envelope. Season Ticket holders and Greenfly Ticket holders should only apply if they require additional tickets for either match.

Cheers Gary! You deserve a small drink!
Cheers Gary! You deserve a small drink!
Photo © 2003 Ciderspace

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12 April 2003 : Champions!!!
It doesn't get any better than this. Yeovil Town became the 2003 Conference Champions this afternoon following Chester's 2-2 draw at home to Woking, the Blues scoring twice in the last 3 minutes to come back from the brink of defeat against the relegation-threatened Cards. The point gained wasn't enough for Chester however - The Glovers are now uncatchable at the top of the table and are automatically promoted to Division Three of the Football League next season.

Congratulations to all concerned at Yeovil Town Football Club from us all at Ciderspace. This is a proud, proud day to be a Yeovil supporter. Achieve by unity!

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12 April 2003 : It's a boy!
YTFC supporters have another good reason to get the champagne out: Tom White's partner Louise last night gave birth to a 9lb 6oz baby boy, as yet unnamed. Both mother and son are said to be doing well - many congratulations to the proud parents from all of us at Ciderspace!

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11 April 2003 : Chester Sign Up Iraqi Information Minister
Rumours have reached Ciderspace that Iraqi Information Minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf has signed for Chester City until the end of the season to act as the Information Minister at the Deva Stadium.

With the minister not having been seen in Iraq since the day of the fall of Baghdad, English intelligence sources are at a loss as to his current location, but Ciderspace have tracked him down to the Deva Stadium, where he has already been fine-tuning press output from Chester employees.

Only this week, Chester manager Mark Wright proudly announced to journalists: "We've got the best goal difference in the Conference by a mile and that's a credit to everyone in the squad." - a statistic that Yeovil Town and Morecambe supporters may have an alternative opinion of.

Chester chairman Stephen Vaughan built on Wright's statement - describing Yeovil's 15 point advantage over the Cheshire side to be "lucky", expressing belief that his side could still catch the Glovers.

The chairman, famed for his "catch us if you can" newspaper headline last September explained: "Yeovil are just lucky to have the points in the bag, but if they lose on Saturday at Doncaster in front of a bumper gate they may start to panic."

To overhaul the Glovers, Chester need to win all their remaining games, whilst hoping that Gary Johnson's side lose all of theirs. Even then, the Cheshire side need to overhaul a 21 goal difference advantage, currently held by Yeovil. A source close to the Deva Information Minister told Ciderspace that "the Yeovil infidels are quaking in their boots".

Chester City play Woking tomorrow at 3.00pm, meaning that if the Cards can obtain a result, then Yeovil Town would become champions before their televised game against Doncaster Rovers even kicks off. Former Glovers striker Warren Patmore could be the one to steal the headlines in such circumstances although the 140-goal hero is currently occupying a central-defensive position.

"It could be an unbelievable situation because we could find out we've won the league title in the warm-up!" Gary Johnson told the Yeovil Express. "But the players are focussed and relaxed and want to win the game. The lads have been very professional about it all and they know they can't celebrate just yet and they won't be getting any medals or trophies just yet. But one win or a draw will see us home. The exuberance and excitement is still on ice."

Both Yeovil and Doncaster are expected to go into the game with no new injury worries. Adam Stansfield and Tom White are of course absent for the Glovers, whilst Doncaster will be without former Rushden striker Justin Jackson and former Farnborough defender Barry Miller, who are both out for the rest of the season. However Doncaster are expected to add to their squad new signings Greg Blundell and Tyrone Thompson both of whom signed up just prior to the transfer deadline.

Johnson said of the team selection: ""We came through the Telford game and the midweek Somerset Cup semi-final win over Clevedon unscathed, which is good news. Everyone is available and fit and I will be taking the full squad up to Doncaster."

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11 April 2003 : County Cup Final Date Set
The Somerset Premier Cup Final between Yeovil Town and Taunton Town will be played at Bridgwater Town Football Club on Tuesday 29th April, according to the Official Site.

The fixture will give the Glovers one more 'encore' performance following their final Nationwide Conference league fixture of the season. The Glovers last won the competition during the 1997/98 season when they defeated Clevedon Town 1-0 in a game held at Twerton Park, Bath.

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11 April 2003 : Chester Game Live On Sky
Yeovil Town's final Nationwide Conference game of the season, and quite possibly the last game in their non-league history, will be shown live on Sky Sports TV. Their match against Chester City, scheduled for Saturday 26th April, will now kick-off at 5.30pm, according to the Official Site.

Yeovil Town's game against Doncaster Rovers tomorrow is also live on Sky Sports TV, with a 5.35pm kickoff. Supporters not travelling to tomorrow's game can watch it in the Huish Park Executive Lounge with the bar opening at 4.30pm. All supporters are welcome.

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10 April 2003 : Chester Get Away Terrace
Chester City have surprisingly been given the away terrace for the final league game of the season, according to tonight's Chester Evening Leader. They report that the play-off contenders, technically the only side who can deny Yeovil of the Nationwide Conference title, have been given terrace tickets, but no stand tickets for the game taking place on Saturday 26th April.

However, it seems that Chester will still get seats in the stands, because the paper states that "Yeovil will try to accommodate City fans who can’t stand with seat tickets alongside Yeovil supporters."

This gives Chester City an overly generous allocation of 1,850 terrace tickets along with any additionally requested stand tickets.

Based on the capacity quoted recently in the local press for the match against Telford United of 9,120, this implies that just 7,270 Yeovil supporters will be able to obtain tickets for what is likely to see - barring disasters of huge proportions - Yeovil Town receive their Nationwide Conference silverware. Given that 7,558 supporters (including around 50 Telford fans) watched last Saturday's match, a sell-out crowd - at the Yeovil end at least - seems a near certainty.

Tickets go on sale for the Yeovil Town parts of the ground on Sunday 13th April.

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10 April 2003 : YTISA Player of the Season
A reminder to all YTFC supporters that the Yeovil Town Independent Supporters Association are now seeking votes for their Player of the Season Award, won last year by Michael McIndoe.

The voting is open to all Yeovil Town supporters, you do not have to be a member of the YTISA to take part. Send the names of your first and second choice of players to chairman Mark Kelly at to arrive no later than Saturday 19th April (the day of the home match v Burton Albion).

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10 April 2003 : Johnson: No change at Huish Park
In the wake of rumours that Yeovil players have been targeted by Football League clubs, Glovers boss Gary Johnson has gone public to reassure fans that if he has anything to do with it then neither he nor any of his players will be leaving Huish Park at the end of the most succesful season in Yeovil Town's history. "Any player would be stupid to walk away from this group of people at the moment and I'm sure they know where their future and enjoyment lies," Johnson said. "You cannot stop someone going into the first division or to a Premier League club but I am not too sure whether there is a lot of difference between us and any other third or second division club."

"Sixteen of the boys have signed new contracts and there are two or three who we are discussing new contracts with at the moment. However I have altready told them that they are part of my plans for next year so there is not a need for any rush on that. Everybody knows near enough what the situation is."

Speaking specifically about Kevin Gall, who is out of contract at the end of the season, Johnson said: "Because Kevin has only been with us a couple of months we both agreed that we would see this season out, get promoted then talk again. But I would be disappointed if anybody would not want to stay here because we are on a good thing at the moment and everybody is enjoying it."

Johnson himself is coming to the end of the second year of a three-year contract and will be holding talks with the board at the end of the season. "I have got another year to go on my contract," he confirmed. "It was a three-year deal when I took over and a lot of clubs do not like leaving talks until the last year because anything could happen in that time. But it is also right that discussions are not necessarily made before you achieve what you have been paid to achieve in your current contract. We have said that when we get promotion, the board and I will sit down and discuss things. Once we know for sure that we are up we will talk about next year and the future just like we did two years ago - we have achieved everything that came from that meeting and a little bit more. We have just got to talk about the board's next aim and that is obviously the second division. The main thing is that it has got to be a whole picture - you cannot have the manager on a long-term contract when the board or the players are only short-term because that leads to fragmentation."

Yeovil travel to Doncaster on Saturday looking for the point they need to clinch the Conference championship with a full squad to choose from, long-term absentees Tom White and Adam Stansfield excepted. Their hosts will definitely be without record signing Justin Jackson who has been ruled out for the rest of the season with a groin injury. The match kicks-off at 5.35pm and is being shown live on Sky Sports 1.

In other news, Halifax boss Chris Wilder has been has been banned from the touchline for three games and fined £250 following remarks made to the referee after the Glovers 3-2 win at The Shay last month. Quite remarkably, current Stevenage boss Graham Westley has still to come before an FA disciplinary panel after he was initially sent to the stands from the touchline and then ejected from the ground by police following a scuffle with stewards during Yeovil's 2-0 win over Farnborough way back in September, when Westley was still boss at Cherrywood Road. One rule for one...... Finally, supporters are reminded that tickets go on sale for the final home games of the season against Burton and Chester from 10am Sunday - both matches are all-ticket, though obviously existing season-ticket and Greenfly ticket holders need not apply.

[Quotes sourced from the Western Gazette]

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10 April 2003 : First come first served at Donny
A statement on the Doncaster Rovers official website has confirmed that only a limited number of spaces will be available for Yeovil supporters at Saturday's match at Belle Vue - the game that could confirm the Glovers as Conference champions.

The statement reads:

Yeovil Town Game
This is not an all ticket game. Prices are Standing £9 Adult £6 Conc £3 Under 16. Seating £11 Adult £7 Conc £6 Under 16. Please arrive early at the ground because a large crowd is expected especially with many travelling from Yeovil. Yeovil fans will only be allowed in the Rossington End of the ground and A Block of the Main Stand.

We understand the Rossington End terrace holds approximately 1,200 supporters with the A Block of the Main Stand catering for another 200 fans. Doncaster are obviously confident that given that the match is being televised live on Sky Sports, added to the sheer distance Donny is from Somerset will be enough to keep the numbers of Yeovil supporters attending down below the 1,400 mark. Against that is the fact that Yeovil supporters do turn out in force for big games and aren't put off by long distances as the numbers at grounds like Blackpool, Bolton and Northwich amongst others in recent years testify - and games do not come any bigger than the match which could confirm the Glovers elevation to the Football League after so many years of trying. Our advice is if you're going, then get there early. Let's hope Doncaster are right and the numbers travelling from Somerset are limited. It would be a disgrace if any Glovers fans were refused entry to Belle Vue simply because the home club couldn't apply a little forethought and issue advance tickets to what was always going to be a very important game.

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9 April 2003 : Critts Double Puts Glovers In County Final
Two early goals by Nick Crittenden ensured that Yeovil Town had an easy ride last night at the Hand Stadium in the Somerset Premier Cup Semi-Final match against Dr Martens League side Clevedon Town.

Critts struck in the 11th and 14th minute and Chris Giles added a near post diving header in the 26th minute. Kim Grant completed the route with a 59th minute tap-in as 283 people saw the Glovers run out 4-0 victors.

The Glovers will face Taunton Town in the final of the competition, as they defeated a young Bristol City side 2-1 at Ashton Gate last night.

Line-up: Stephen Collis, Ian Linney, Jimmy Aggrey, Stephen Reed, Steve Thompson, Adam Lockwood (Capt), Nick Crittenden, Neil Mustoe, Chris Giles, Kim Grant, Abdelhalim El Kholti.

Subs: James Turner (for Ian Linney, 24 mins), Tom Jacobs (for Adam Lockwood, 46 mins), Ian Patchett (for Steve Thompson, 67 mins), Nick Jacobs (not used).

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7 April 2003 : Johnson Proud Of His 24 Sons
Yeovil Town manager Gary Johnson got a taste of things to come when he gave his usual post-match verdict to the press. This time, surrounded by two television crews and over 20 journalists, he started of in the April sunshine, still lapping up the atmosphere on the Huish Park pitch.

"We scored three goals of absolute quality that would be fantastic in any division, including the Premiership," said Johnson. "It was a great performance. Players were very bold in getting on the ball. They were trying to pick out runners well. Sometimes you give the ball away in trying to pick out that hard ball, but sometimes you make it. We've just got players like that who are very brave on the ball. When you've got a support like ours now, the boys feel comfortable that mistakes now are not going to be shouted at. They've proved themselves and I think everyone can see what kind of quality players they are."

"We know we've got to go to Doncaster and still get a point, but the boys will be relaxed," he added. "I think that they showed today how they can be relaxed and still play good football and score some wonderful goals. It could have been better with Chester not scoring, but that's the way it is. But they have got more than a mountain to climb to overtake us. We know heart-of-hearts that we are there. And we've got a group of very focussed lads who will want to go now and win every game between now and the end of the season. There has never been a situation in sport yet where somebody in our position has not achieved what were trying to achieve. But I'm not drinking champagne yet!"

"We know how to celebrate without taking alcohol in," he added. "We are more than 'almost there' now - we've cracked it. It would take something really stupid now not to do it. That's why it was so important to get the result today, just to make sure."

Left-winger Michael McIndoe scored two out of the Glovers three goals and perhaps surprise of the day was that one of them was scored with his right foot!

"Don't tell him that, he will get upset," joked Johnson. "To be fair he works quite a lot on his right foot, he has been doing quite a lot over the past few weeks so good luck to him. Macca has been fantastic and he has scored two great goals and he has been a good player all season. He is very passionate and he is a major part of our group of people and our philosophy. He is a good player and they all have that focus, passion and best of all they all have that bit of quality."

Macca's two goals were overshadowed though by a stunning team goal, polished off by a Kirk Jackson bullet header - not bad for a striker that had been more or less ruled out for the rest of the season just a week previously!

"He is a big part of our jigsaw," said Johnson. "Today he was fantastic, he has basically been a mobile target man which all teams need. I'm pleased we have got him fit because he was part-time before but he has his 21 goals and has done a fantastic job as they all have in their own way. That's the type of players weve got, they dont want to be out the side, when I brought the three subs on they were champing at the bit to get on. The lads don't like coming off and I'm trying to keep everyone happy but if your man management is OK then people accept you're doing what your doing because it's being done for the right reasons. Some of the boys may have been dissapointed that Jacko did come back because a couple might have earnt their place. Having said that there is such a good spirit in there. Everyone wants everyone else to do well, so they don't only want success for themselves but for everyone around them."

Sponsor's man of the match though, was Lee Johnson who provided two assists for the three goals. His father Gary admitted: "Lee had a very good game. The lads that are local know that I don't tend to pick out individuals unless people ask me about it but they are all my sons and I've said it before that I treat them all exactly the same and certainly on days like today you're proud to be the dad of 24 of your squad players."

Yeovil now go on play their three former rivals for the title and Johnson added: "We have some great games left, and we were hoping that the next game would be the start of our pre-season but it wasnt quite the case and we still had to do a job and win and we did it magnificently. We wanted to enjoy today, because we knew it was going to be a big day and now we want to enjoy the next ones. We tend not to think too far ahead, although people are talking about records. But the boys enjoy playing football so much, they can't wait for the next one to come round."

Johnson also had good words for the Telford United supporters who had paraded a flag at half time around the ground wishing Yeovil good luck in Division Three. Johnson's reaction was: "Brilliant! That was very nice, and these are the sort of nice things that can happen on those occasions. Sorry we beat their team but it was very nice of them to think about that."

He was also impressed with the 7,500 Glovers fans that turned out for the match adding: "That was very humbling out there again - a fantastic support. It was wonderful to see all the national papers coming down. We've all had a great day. Unfortunately it wasn't the 100 percent perfect day that we wanted but it was 95 percent.

Gary was asked if he thought that the squad would need changing in order to compete in Division Three and he replied: "Time will tell. There will always be additions naturally. It will be fine tuning or adding to the squad. We've got a fine squad, and we haven't got any 35 year olds at end of their careers. They are all young lads who are self-motivated and they work very hard every day. I love coming in and working with these boys every day because their concentration level and focus is miraculous."

"You're proud of the people around you," he added. "I'm proud of the Board of Directors who took a chance by bringing me here. I'm proud of my decision making in terms of which players we've brought in here and I'm proud of the players because they've performed and that allows me to back my judgement."

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7 April 2003 : Thommo Sets Yeovil's Targets
Yeovil Town assistant manager Steve Thompson has still insisted that the players have plenty to play for over the next four games, despite the Nationwide Conference title having been all but wrapped up for the Glovers as part of this weekend's 3-0 win over Telford United.

Speaking immediately after Saturday's win, Thommo said: "The number of points we've got this year is magnificent, and we've still got things to go for. We'd like to beat the points record, and perhaps have a go at the points difference record although I think that will be harder. But there are still things to go for and of course officially we haven't won it yet. That said, it feels like we've won it today."

Thommo will know all about the Conference points record. He was in the Wycombe Wanderers side that tied on 94 points with Colchester United at the end of the 1991-92 Season, with Wanderers losing out on the title on goal difference. Fortunately the following season saw him pick up a Conference championship medal, putting him in a good position to judge what promotion can mean to a football club.

"This is what we have been striving for, certainly in the five years that I have been here," he explained. "This is the ultimate. It's nice to win a cup, but this is real progress for the club in every sort of manner. It's terrific for us all. We've got the best team I've seen in the Conference during the five years I have been here. Also Gary is a superb manager and the combination of those two things has resulted in us winning the league, and quite comfortably as well. We're not going up to then struggle. We see ourselves as a team that want to be challenging for promotion or a play-off spot."

Winger Michael McIndoe echoed Thommo's thoughts adding: "We want to be the team that scores the most goals in English football this season, and we want to establish a record for the most points in the Conference. We can still get 97 points."

"I think you know how high a standard we've reached by the game today," he added. "There was a 20 minute spell in the second half when we took our foot off the gas a little bit. A few of the lads geed us up a bit and we pushed on to get the third goal. But we were 2-0 up at home, we had 8,000 fans out there who knew we'd already won the league, yet they still wanted us to go out there and play football properly. I think the fans out there wanted us to keep playing. But it was hot out there and it was hard to keep the tempo going at that rate for the whole time. The crowd got a little bit impatient because they want to see us scoring seven or eight goals in every game! But that's how high our standards are, and if we take that into next year I am sure we will do well."

McIndoe's double goal strike on Saturday won the Glovers the game, and he scotsman said of the goals: "I'm more than happy, especially with the second one being a right-footer. I think that's the first right-footed goal I've scored in 18 months. I was just pleased with how easily we did it today. We were in total control of the game throughout the whole 95 minutes."

Macca also revealed that the players were already looking at how to tackle their new task of competing at Third Division level.

"We plan ahead," Macca explained. "The players plan ahead and the coaching team plan ahead. We've got some things fixed for next season already. What we want to do is to take the next four games and learn off them, because we're playing three of the league's best teams over the next four games. To play them over the next four weeks will be good, purely because we can take those games into next season and we can test ourselves against the better teams in this league, who are the teams that I believe could do quite well in the Third Division."

Macca added: "We're looking to go straight up again - no doubt about that. We're realistic, but we're very confident and we're looking forward to taking on Division Three teams."

Club captain Terry Skiverton paid tribute to manager Gary Johnson and his backroom coaching staff, and said they should take the credit for the club's success.

"He's a very clever manager and he's very good at man-management," said Skiverton. "He is very good at motivation, and along with Steve Thompson and Mark Layder, they have done fantastic for the players in getting the best out of us without having to do it military-style. You hear about managers out there who run people from Monday to Friday. Our manager is a bit more clever than that. He's not someone who comes in and screams and shouts. He knows what individuals need to do and how to get the best out of people. I respect him for that, because I have had managers in the past who have done it military-style and in those circumstances you get half the team on your side, but you end up with the rest of the team not wanting to be there. The players who have come into this set-up can't believe the togetherness of the squad. Everyone wants to win it and you haven't got anyone looking to get away, because everyone wants to be part of a winning team when there is such a good atmosphere around the training camp."

Technically speaking, the Glovers still need a solitary point from their remaining games to guarantee the title, and they could achieve that next weekend when they visit Belle Vue, home of Doncaster Rovers in a match that is live on Skysports TV.

"It would be good to do it in front of the cameras," admitted Skiverton. "We've always performed well in front of the cameras. We've got nothing to worry about now. We know now we only have to pick up one point. If it is at Doncaster then so be it, but it might even be against Burton. We know we've still got a job to do and we've got points to gain. We've got things like win bonuses which do help! And whether it's over or not, the players in our team won't want to let our standards slip."

Spare a thought though for goalkeeper Chris Weale. The Yeovil born and bred youth team graduate used to stand on the terraces at Huish Park. In the last two matches, Weale could have been forgiven if he had decided to join the supporters in the Westland Stand, with the keeper only having to make one save in the last two matches. Weale said: "I know a lot of the fans personally and it's so nice to see the buzz around the town."

"A lot of the time at home I've not had much to do but then I've had to make the odd save or two," he explained. "It's a totally different game from being busy all the time. Sometimes it's nice to be busy, but you just have to remain focussed and keep talking out loud to help your players. Paul Edwards had loads to do. The keepers who have come here have been pulling off some great saves and yet we've still been scoring. But that's because we create so many chances."

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6 April 2003 : Gary Johnson Receives Manager of the Month Award
Yeovil Town manager Gary Johnson received his Nationwide Conference Manager of the Month award for March 2003 prior to Saturday's match against Telford United.

A representative from the Nationwide Building Society presented Gary with the award, and they are pictured with the backroom coaching staff.

Gary Johnson is presented with the March 2003 Manager of the Month award
Gary Johnson is presented with the March 2003 Manager of the Month award
Photo © 2003 Ciderspace

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6 April 2003 : Kevin Gall Receives International Cap
Yeovil Town striker Kevin Gall received his Wales Under-20 international cap for his game against Azerbaijan prior to Saturday's game against Telford United.

Presenting the cap was fellow compatriot and newly appointed director Jean Cotton.
Kevin Gall receives his Welsh Under-20 Cap from Joint Company Secretary Jean Cotton
Kevin Gall receives his Welsh Under-20 Cap from Joint Company Secretary Jean Cotton
Photo © 2003 Ciderspace

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6 April 2003 : YTISA Championship Shirts On Sale
The back of the new YTISA T-shirt.
The back of the new YTISA T-shirt.
The Yeovil Town Independent Supporters Association have produced the first of their 2003 Nationwide Conference champions merchandise. With only a major landslide likely to deny the Glovers of promotion to the Football League, the YTISA have produced a T-shirt for supporters to wear at future matches.

Priced at £7.00, early prints of the shirt have already gone like the proverbial hot-cakes, so place your orders now! Just email your details to YTISA Chairman Mark Kelly at stating the number required and shirt size.

Non-members are welcome to apply. YTISA profits are used to provide new facilities and equipment for Yeovil Town Football Club, and thus by buying a shirt, you are not only getting a great souvenir item, but are also benefiting the football club.

This badge appears on the front of the t-shirt
This badge appears on the front of the t-shirt
Photo © 2003 Ciderspace

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6 April 2003 : Almost There
Yeovil Town closed to within a point of securing the Conference title in a convincing 3-0 win over Telford United on Saturday.
There were no signs of nerves as Yeovil controlled the game from start to finish. Two excellent goals from Michael McIndoe and Kirk Jackson in the first half allowed Yeovil to pretty much stroll through the Spring sunshine in the second, before McIndoe added his second and the team's third close to the end.
Yeovil are now on 85 points with four matches to play. Only Chester City can still reach that total. Yeovil's goal difference is so superior that the Championship is as good as won, but one point is needed to clinch it mathematically.
Yeovil now go to Belle Vue next Saturday, hoping to take the title live on Sky TV. However with the game against Doncaster Rovers not kicking off until 5.35 pm Chester must beat Woking at home in the afternoon to keep the race theoretically alive.

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4 April 2003 : Burton and Chester games Ticketed
Yeovil Town have announced that their last two home games of the season will be ticketed. Tickets for the Easter Saturday game against Burton Albion and the April 26th game against Chester City - widely expected to be the moment the Glovers will receive any silverware owed to them - will go on general sale to all supporters in a weeks time.

Tickets will be available from Sunday 13th April between 10.00am and 1.00pm from the Huish Park ticket office, and thereafter during normal office hours.

Tickets will cost £10.00 in the Main Stand (£8.00 concessions), £9.00 for the Bartlett Stand (£6.00 concessions) and £9.00 for the Westland Stand (£5.00 concessions).

To order tickets by post, send a cheque payable to "Yeovil Town Football Club" to Huish Park Ticket Office, Yeovil Town Football Club, Lufton Way, Yeovil, Somerset, BA22 8YF. Please enclose a Stamped Addressed Envelope to aid a speedy dispatch of your tickets.

Season Ticket holders and Greenfly Ticket holders obviously should not apply, unless they require additional tickets for the day.

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4 April 2003 : YTISA Player of the Season
A reminder to all YTFC supporters that the Yeovil Town Independent Supporters Association are now seeking votes for their Player of the Season Award, won last year by Michael McIndoe.

The voting is open to all Yeovil Town supporters, you do not have to be a member of the YTISA to take part. Send the names of your first and second choice of players to chairman Mark Kelly at to arrive no later than Saturday 19th April (the day of the home match v Burton Albion).

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3 April 2003 : Gall Clearance Gives Glovers Weekend Boost
Yeovil Town striker Kevin Gall has been given a major boost today with the news that his sending off in last Friday's match against Scarborough has been rescinded.

Referee Mike Mullarkey of Exeter has reviewed the Carlton TV footage of the incident, where it was claimed that Gall had struck Scarborough striker Bimbo Fatokun, and as a result of the viewing has revised his report of the game. Gall will now no longer serve a ban.

Yeovil Town manager Gary Johnson said: "This is wonderful news for Kevin. We'd like to thank Mike Mullarkey for offering to review the video and for recognising that the situation had been misinterpreted."

Johnson has also received another boost, with fellow striker Kirk Jackson declaring himself fit for selection. Jackson had been feared to be out for the rest of the season, but has offered himself up to Johnson to play in Saturday's crunch match against Telford United.

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3 April 2003 : Johnson calls for 'professionalism'
With Yeovil Town on the brink of promotion to the Football League for the first time in their illustrious 108-year history, Glovers boss Gary Johnson has called for his players to be "ultra-professional" in the home match v Telford United this Saturday.

Attacking midfielder Gavin Williams returns to the squad following a 2-match ban, and striker Kirk Jackson may also be fit to play, despite suffering a hairline fracture of the cheekbone. "Jacko's been training this week but he hasn't been heading the ball, which will come in a matter of days, not weeks," Johnson said. "It's a possibility that he may make Saturday's game but there is no doubt that he will feature at some stage in the run in. We are happy that we have not lost him for the rest of the season."

Speaking about Saturday's game Johnson said: "This match is the biggest game in the club's history. People do not want to miss it because it is more than possible if we win on Saturday we will be crowned champions depending on how Chester get on at Gravesend. This is it, this could be the match that gets us into the League. If people want to be a part of the history then they need to be here. We are expecting a bumper crowd."

"If Chester win then we will not win the league on Saturday because of goal difference but would have got the required number of points to do so, so it is a very big occasion. We are now at the stage that we have to lose everything and Chester have to win everything."

"We have to be ultra-professional now. All the players are all still very disciplined and realise the fact that we still have not won the league yet. Saying that we all know how close we are to winning it - and who knows, we might have already done it because it is a tall order for the sides below us to get 82 points."

Finally Johnson appealed for supporters to behave with restraint on Saturday should the championship be won and in particular to stay off the Huish Park pitch: "The one thing the club is asking on Saturday, if we do win the league, is that people stay off the pitch because we will need it for next year. A lot of money has been spent on it and 8,000 people walking on it may put as back another year. Whatever happens we will be out there for as long as the fans want us to be but we would appreciate it if they could stay off our billiard table."

Fans are urged to arrive early at Huish Park on Saturday as a very large crowd is expected. The away terrace will again be opened to home supporters and turnstiles throughout the ground will open at 1.30pm ahead of the 3pm kick-off. Season-ticket and Greenfly ticket holders are asked to use gates 2, 5 and 12 in the Main, Westland and Bartlett Stands respectively; and the club advising that if you can get to the ground without taking your car then you would be sensible to do so - traffic congestion is expected to be pretty horrendous on Saturday.

[Quotes sourced from the Western Gazette]

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2 April 2003 : Donny Defeat Leaves Glovers On The Brink
What a difference a few days can make! Last Friday, Scarborough subjected Yeovil Town fans to one of the most boring, negative, ten-men-behind-the-ball tactics that Huish Park has witnessed this season. Had Yeovil Town fans been at Belle Vue, home of Doncaster Rovers last night, they would have probably described Scarborough's performance as gritty and determined, as Scarborough's rearguard tactics this time brought them a 1-0 win over Yeovil's title rivals drawing the Glovers ever closer to a Nationwide Conference league title.

The difference between last Friday's match at Huish Park and last night's match at Belle Vue was that Scarborough actually managed a shot on target. Just the one mind, but that was enough to make Mohammed Sillah - the player who caused Kirk Jackson's injury on Friday - turn from villain to hero in the eyes of Glovers fans as his 53rd minute goal sealed the Seadogs 1-0 win.

Scarborough's win simplifies matters in terms of the League Table. It means that Yeovil go into this Saturday's game against Telford United knowing that victory will as good as hand them the title. If all three points were claimed, then the only side who could catch them would be Chester City, who travel to Gravesend and Northfleet - and even Yeovil's massive goal difference advantage would make that task extremely unlikely. If Chester drop points, then a Yeovil win would absolutely guarantee an outbreak of mass delirium in South Somerset.

What that should tell even the most casual Yeovil supporter is that a full house at Huish Park could be very much on the cards. Only Season Ticket holders and Greenfly Ticket holders will have a place reserved in the ground and so the message to all is very much a case of "turn up early to avoid disappointment". As more details on the Saturday game become clear, they will of course appear here later in the week.

Meanwhile last night saw a Yeovil Town Reserve XI lose 2-0 at Huish Park to a Torquay United XI. Scorers for the Gulls were David Graham and Jimmy Benefield in the 50th and 60th minutes respectively.

Finally, what was your opinion on yesterday's new Yeovil Town shirts? Did you check yesterday's date before you burst a blood vessel over the outlandish design? Did you then feel a little foolish? Do let us know, although try not to get too shirty with us!

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1 April 2003 : YTISA Player of the Season
It's that time of year again: Members of the Yeovil Town Independent Supporters Association are being asked to vote for their top two YTFC players of the season, an honour won last season by Michael McIndoe with Colin Pluck as runner-up (see picture).

Send your votes via email to YTISA chairman Mark Kelly at to arrive no later than Saturday 19th April (the day of the home match v Burton Albion).

Michael McIndoe and Colin Pluck - photo courtesy Stew Bratherton
Michael McIndoe (left) and Colin Pluck (right) with YTISA stalwarts Mark Kelly and Sara Brimble.

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1 April 2003 : Jacko On The Mend
Yeovil Town striker Kirk Jackson is still hoping to play a part in the remainder of the Glovers season. Despite leaving the field after Friday's game against Scarborough with a badly bruised eye, the target man has only suffered a minor fracture, and could be back as soon as the trip to Belle Vue, when Yeovil will play Doncaster Rovers.

Manager Gary Johnson told the Western Daily Press: "It's not as bad as we thought. There is a fracture, but it is only tiny. The final decision will be down to Kirk, but he should certainly be able to play again before the end of the season. It's good news for us and also means Kirk should be back to try to claim the Conference golden boot."

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1 April 2003 : Having The Gall To Appeal
Yeovil Town have confirmed that they will be appealing against the sending off of Kevin Gall during the final minutes of the Nationwide Conference match against Scarborough.

They have sent a video of the incident through the appeals process, and referee Mike Mullarkey of Exeter has indicated that he is prepared to review a decision that was made in consultation with his linesman.

It seems likely that the match referee did not see the whole incident, that surely should have seen Scarborough striker Bimbo Fatokun walk down the tunnel instead of Gall, in an incident started when Fatokun accused Kirk Jackson - who was later taken to hospital in an ambulance - of playacting.

Gall told the Western Daily Press: "Their lad pushed me in the face, so I pushed his hand away. The linesman then told the referee that I hit him round the head. It's very frustrating because I've not done anything wrong."

Glovers boss Gary Johnson has watched both a club video and local television coverage of the incident and added: "Kevin definitely didn't hit Fatokun and I don't think the referee saw what happened. When he sees the video I think he's got to quash it."

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1 April 2003 : Johnson Wins Manager of the Month
Yeovil Town manager Gary Johnson has been named as the Nationwide Conference manager of the month for March.

The Glovers picked up five wins and one draw in the league over the course of the month, with their only blip being their FA Trophy exit at the hands of Burscough. Johnson's side are unbeaten in the league since Boxing Day.

His nearest challenger for the honour was Mark Wright of Chester City whose side had picked up four wins and one defeat during the same period.

It is the second time this season that Johnson has picked up such an award - another unbeaten run during September 2002 also secured him an award, and with his side currently 14 points clear at the top of the Nationwide Conference, he stands a great chance of picking up the seasonal award.

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1 April 2003 : New League, New Image
As Yeovil Town prepare for a new stage in the history of the football club, with the Nationwide League beckoning, a brand new image is on the horizon. Although the proposed changes to the club crest were not greeted with enthusiasm by fans, and have been dropped, it's felt by the club that some rebranding is necessary to mark the transition to the League.
A club spokesperson told Ciderspace:
A vibrant future awaits us. Vibrant colours should reflect that. We have looked at research on how colour makes a statement, and also drives sales. Some traditionalists might not be happy to begin with, but these days no one can afford to fly in the face of commercial realities. The shirt design symbolises Yeovil's drive through sunshine along the road to success.

Like the Club Crest issue, supporters are likely to have a range of opinions on the subject of the new club shirt. Ciderspace will not, at present, comment on the new design but will instead offer up another survey in the next day or so, in an effort to gauge supporters' early reaction to the new direction from the club.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The third change is up front, where Junior McDougald’s withdrawal gives Aldershot’s top-scorer Roscoe d’Sane another chance to add to his growing reputation.

D’Sane scored England’s goal in last months defeat to the Belgium Under-20 side in Ostend, and constantly troubled the Belgian defence after entering the fray in the second half.

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

Tomorrow night’s game kicks off at the home ground of BV Sparta 25 at 7.30pm

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

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

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

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

Match report: Margate 1 Yeovil Town 2

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

FA National Game Director Steve Parkin said:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"We are really disappointed," he admitted. "It's no use saying we didn’t want to win this competition because we did and the players did and they are sitting in the changing rooms disappointed. But I did say that at 5pm we would forget whether we have won, lost or drawn this competition and concentrate on the league. So I had from 4:55pm to 5pm to tell them how disappointed I was about this game. We have to pick their heads up quickly because we have seven major games now instead of ten. We have to get results in and in the wider picture we have to win and are determined to win this league. What more can you say? It is one of those banana skin games where you have all the pressure, but because they sit in their penalty area and we weren’t quite clever enough to break them down on the day, or get lucky enough you get done by a couple of quick breaks in ninety minutes. But that’s the way it goes sometimes."

"I am disappointed for the supporters because I know how much they enjoyed it," added Johnson. "But we enjoyed it as well so we are disappointed just the same. We have to see whether our club is strong now because that’s gone now and we have to rally around for the major competition. You look up sometimes and you just see a sea of shirts in front of you and anyone who has played in that situation knows you have to get a goal early however because they got the goal early it gave them more power to the elbow to get even more players behind the ball. But to be fair to them they came with a tactic and it worked for them on the day. How many times did they get in to our half? We weren’t dynamic enough, we didn’t run at people and we weren’t playing quick, clever one-two’s. Sometimes you have to give credit to their people in the box because they blocked, stopped and got in the way of everything. We aren’t the first team to slip on a banana skin and we certainly won’t be the last."

Attention now turns to Yeovil Town's seven remaining Nationwide Conference league fixtures, and Johnson added: "We have to learn as a club. I have to make decisions down on the line and make the decisions for the right reasons. Behind the goal and most of the ground is very supportive. I wouldn’t say all sections are supportive, some are very quick to get on your back and they are generally behind me so I hear them. They are the ones who love you when you're winning and hate you when you're losing. The ones who are there for you when you need them are the ones you die for. We’ve got 80 percent of those people at this club, and its them we are doing this for."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

YTISA press officer Steve Sowden writes:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"We played some great football, especially all through the first 30 minutes I thought," Yeovil boss Gary Johnson enthused. "You know sometimes we all go home after the game and watch highlights of the Premier League games on Match Of The Day and sometimes you think that all games are like the highlights when they only show you 7 or 8 minutes and you see loads of great goals - It doesn’t always happen like that when your watching 90 minutes, you have to control a game and we controlled that today. We upped it when we needed to get the three goals and it was a cosmic spell. They stopped us in our tracks by scoring their goal which was good because it meant we weren’t going to be complacent, but we dictated the game, and I think the only save Chris Weale had to make was from Darren Way."

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

"I think the boys showed they couldn’t wait to get back out there. The whole night had the smell of Woking about it when we played them at home - that was our last Tuesday game but funnily enough the start was delayed that night by 15 minutes so the whole day had the smell of Woking. We did put in the boys minds that 4-0 win which was the first game we had here after playing in Dorchester and how much we enjoyed that night. We told the boys to shut their eyes and think back to that day and how they felt and we came through with flying colours because make no mistake there was pressure on the game tonight but the boys showed their fitness, ability and commitment."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Match report: Woking 1 Yeovil Town 1

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

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

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

[Quotes sourced from the Western Daily Press]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"We haven’t been beaten in 2003 , we have played ten league games and won nine and drawn one and if you want to stay at the top that’s the sort of run you have to make. They are showing that they have the mental toughness. We haven’t gained anything today with good results from Chester and Donny but it’s what we do, and every game that we win is another game that they can’t catch up on."

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

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27 February 2003 : On To Victory Issued On Saturday
The On To Victory team report that the next edition of their paper-based fanzine will be on sale before Saturday's game against Hereford United.

Their main feature in this month's issue is an exclusive, in-depth interview with Adam Lockwood. Other features covered include Conference records and statistics, the recent proposals to change the club crest, overseas views from Japan, Australia and Ireland and a nostaligia trip as OTV revisits the FA Cup trip to Blackpool. Last and probably least, one particular member of this parish gives the lowdown on what he'd do if he was Chairman of the club. Just be thankful that it's just a fictional account!

Copies will also be sold at the forthcoming away matches at Halifax Town and Woking. If you want to reserve a copy, then contact editor Seb at

All profits from OTV are put back into the club. The issue will cost you just one pound, for 48 pages. Bargain!

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27 February 2003 : Join the fun at the end-of-season dinner and dance
Yeovil Town FC will be holding its 18th annual dinner and dance at Westland Leisure Complex in Yeovil on Sunday, May 11, from 7pm for 7.30pm.

Entertainment will be provided by top comedian and impressionist Steve Tandy and dancing to the sounds of Manhattan.

Tickets are priced £30 per person and further information can be obtained from Dave Linney at Yeovil Town FC on 01935-423662 (ext 202).

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26 February 2003 : Grant Tames The Gulls
A goal from Kim Grant saw a Yeovil Town reserve side draw 1-1 against Torquay United at Plainmoor yesterday afternoon, in a practice match.

Grant's goal was a cross-cum-shot that he smashed into the penalty box, and the ball took a deflection off a Torquay defender and into the back of the net.

Other players in Yeovil's team for the game included Jon Sheffield, Jimmy Aggrey and Roy O'Brien.

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26 February 2003 : County Cup Semi-Final Draw
The moment you've all been waiting for - Yeovil Town's Somerset Premier Cup run has taken them to the semi-finals now, and the draw for the next round of the competition sees them travel to Clevedon Town. The tie has already been pencilled in for Tuesday 8th April with a 7.30pm kick-off.

The full draw is as follows:

Clevedon Town v Yeovil Town
Taunton Town or Paulton Rovers v Weston SM or Bristol City

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26 February 2003 : That's the Way to do it
Lee Johnson and an unnamed fan congratulate Darren Way on hearing the news that Way has been voted Internet Player of the Month for February
Lee Johnson and an unnamed fan congratulate Darren Way on hearing the news that Way has been voted Internet Player of the Month for February
Photo © 2003 Ciderspace

Internet Man of the Match vote coordinator Paul Chesterman writes:

Thanks for the continued support of the MOTM competition, 50/60 regular voters keep it alive with their after match comments and from the mailings I've received personally, there is a definite wish for it to continue.

Darren Way is our Internet Player of the Month, having been voted Man of the Match three times during February.

This also sees Darren take over at the top of the Player of the Season leader board, from Michael McIndoe who had been top since November.

Keep 'em coming.

Cheers all,

Paul Chesterman

Player Score
Darren Way 449
Kevin Gall 333
Lee Johnson 289
Kirk Jackson 263
Colin Pluck 261
Abdelhalim El Kholti 224

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25 February 2003 : No Sitting Bull, Chief
The unofficial Hereford United web site at is reporting that the Bulls will receive no seating entitlement for Saturday's Nationwide Conference league match.

The site claims that "as segregation is in place, no seats can be safely cordoned off for Bulls supporters" and this will instead give Hereford a more than adequate allocation of 1,850 terrace places.

The move will also allow the club to house up to 7,500 Glovers fans. Although no sell-out is anticipated on Saturday, a large crowd is expected for the Top Five clash.

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25 February 2003 : Farnborough Strengthen the Glovers Position
Yeovil Town made another inch-worth of progress in their aim for Nationwide Conference glory tonight, and did so with the help of a player who left the club two seasons ago! Farnborough Town keeper Tony Pennock kept a clean sheet against the Glovers main title rivals Doncaster Rovers and therefore ensured that Yeovil's lead at the top of the table was only cut by one point - with all their rivals having now used up their games in hand.

The latest league table is here.

Meanwhile Southport became the latest Conference side to crash out of the Trophy, leaving just three Conference clubs left in the competition. They lost 3-1 to Gloucester City, whilst Aylesbury United got through 5-4 on penalties when their replay against Windsor and Eton ended in stalemate. The Quarter-Final draw now looks as follows:

Farnborough Town v Tamworth
Aylesbury United v Gloucester City
Forest Green Rovers v Havant & Waterlooville
Yeovil Town v Burscough

Ties will be played on Saturday 15th March.

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25 February 2003 : Leigh RMI Fixture Rearranged
Following yesterday's FA Trophy Quarter-Final draw against Unibond League Premier Division side Burscough, Yeovil Town's Nationwide Conference league fixture with Leigh RMI has now been brought forward.

The Leigh RMI fixture will now be played at Huish Park on Tuesday 11th March with a 7.45pm kick-off.

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25 February 2003 : Players Sign Up For 2003/04 Season
Yeovil Town's Official Site has announced a major boost for the club's future plans in reporting the signatures of eight key players in their squad that will tie them to the club until May 2004.

The eight who have been targetted by manager Gary Johnson will come as no surprise, with goalkeepers Chris Weale and Stephen Collis, defenders Terry Skiverton and Colin Pluck and midfielders Darren Way, Lee Johnson, Michael McIndoe and Nick Crittenden all committing themselves to the club for a further 18 months.

They join defender Adam Lockwood, midfielder Gavin Williams and striker Kirk Jackson whose contracts were already extended beyond this season. Gary Johnson has said that he is in talks with other unnamed squad members emphasising: "Negotiations are currently on going with the remainder of the squad."

Johnson added: "These players signed their new contracts at Christmas time showing their long term commitment to this football club. They are all quality young players and have played a major part in our success story to date. The signings also show the long term ambitions of Yeovil Town Football Club and the desire of the board of directors to maintain the progress this club has made over the last two years."

The news means that for the second season running, the key players in Gary Johnson's squad can focus on their football. Two seasons ago, Yeovil's race for the title was disrupted by protracted contract negotiations being carried out in the media - this time it seems that the Glovers can go into the final games with their minds firmly concentrated on the field of play.

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24 February 2003 : FA Trophy Quarter Final Draw
The Glovers have been drawn at home to Unibond Premier League side Burscough in the 6th Round of the FA Trophy, the match to be played on Saturday 15th March.

Burscough, managed by former Southport defender Shaun Teale, are currently 18th in the Unibond Premier. They reached the Trophy quarter-finals by disposing of Wakefield & Emley 5-0 last Saturday, though their current league form hasn't been quite so spectacular, losing 4 games in a row by 1-0 margins. Apart from Shaun Teale himself, familiar names amongst the Burscough squad include former Morecambe striker John Norman, ex-Southport forward Lee Furlong and former Telford players Gary Martindale and Carl MaCauley.

The full draw is as follows (Conference teams in bold):

Farnborough Town v Tamworth
Aylesbury United or Windsor & Eton v Gloucester City or Southport
Forest Green Rovers v Havant & Waterlooville
Yeovil Town v Burscough

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23 February 2003 : Johnson: Team Spirit Got Us Through
Yeovil Town moved into the quarter finals of the FA Trophy with a battling performance against a gutsy Northwich Victoria side.

"Our team spirit got us through" Gary Johnson said afterwards, "as it wasn’t one of our most fluent performances. But having said that , the boys have a tremendous team spirit and it would have been a travesty if we hadn’t won after peppering their goal in the second half. We didn’t quite have the quality to get a couple of goals earlier in the half and had to wait until late on."

Kevin Gall scored the winner deep into the second half. "I felt it was only going to be us and it would be a dodgy free kick or half chance that they created rather than them putting us under pressure. None of these games are going to be easy, For Northwich , this is their competition and they want to stay in the only competition that they are still in other than the league but they can’t go up and can’t go down. I’m just pleased that we kept going and going and eventually we grind these teams down."

The countries leading goal scorers again added to their tally. "We know we have been averaging two goals a game so OK they scored one, lets go and score two and we can only keep doing that."

"You can expect the workrate week in week out, that’s what our boys give and like all football matches , sometimes everything comes off for you and sometimes it doesn’t. Today was one of those days when individuals didn’t quite get on their game and as a team we didn’t quite get our patterns going, at least not as often as I would like, but when we did we opened them up, got our two goals and that’s all we’re worried about."

Greg Blundell put Northwich in front in the first half but Yeovil equalised just before half time when a quickly taken free kick by Lee Johnson gave Adam Lockwood a free header from close range. "I was screaming from the dugout, the free kick just before that we gave them time to set up and a nod and a wink and they were out catching us offside, so I was screaming take it quick, call it what you like, parental mind works but Lee put a great ball in and Locky did well to get his head on it. That’s what got us back in the game."

"I didn’t say too much at half time, I just wanted them to bring the best out of each other. Some of our flair players and passer’s weren’t quite getting their game together but work rate means so much nowadays and our boys will always give 100% and if you do that but you’re not quite on your game then you will still win football matches."

With Yeovil occupied in Trophy action teams pushing them at the top of the Conference played vital league games. Chester lost at Dagenham whilst Doncaster beat Burton Albion at home. "We had one eye on those results" said Johnson, "But really it’s what we do and when we get our result then we will look at what others have done. It’s a long time since we lost a football match so we can go into future games with confidence."

Northwich Victoria were the third Conference side Yeovil have beaten in this years trophy campaign. "And the law of averages says that we will get another conference club in Monday's draw. It would be nice to get one of the smaller teams but then again, it would be a big day for them and if they have got through to the quarter final then they must be a good knockout team. Northwich have been a fantastic league side for us because they have beaten Chester, Doncaster, Halifax and Hereford so you can see what we have been up against today. They get the ball up front quickly and play with flair but we’ve beaten them today and I’m pleased."

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23 February 2003 : Vics Prove Tricky Opponents
Yeovil Town moved into the quarter-final stages of the FA Trophy yesterday with a hard-fought 2-1 win over Conference rivals Northwich Victoria at Huish Park. The Glovers were made to fight all the way by the Cheshire side, the Vics taking the lead through a Greg Blundell effort in the 24th minute. Defender Adam Lockwood equalised for the home side on the stroke of half-time, and the Glovers had to wait until the 86th minute before booking their passage into the 6th round, Kevin Gall popping up with a typical goal-poacher's effort from close-range to send the vast majority of the 4,469 crowd home happy.

Match report: Yeovil Town 2 Northwich Victoria 1.

The full 5th Round FA Trophy results are as follows (Conference teams in bold):

Yeovil Town 2 v 1 Northwich Victoria
Margate 0 v 2 Tamworth
Farnborough Town 2 v 0 Halifax Town
Burscough 5 v 0 Wakefield & Emley
Aylesbury United 2 v 2 Windsor & Eton
Gloucester City 1 v 1 Southport
Havant & Waterlooville 3 v 0 Hayes
Dover Athletic 0 v 3 Forest Green Rovers

The draw for the quarter-finals will take place at 11am tomorrow (Monday) morning, matches due to be played on Saturday 15th March, which means that the Glovers home Conference match v Leigh RMI, scheduled to be played on the same date, will now have to be rearranged.

Yeovil's FA Trophy game yesterday gave our rivals for the Conference title the chance to make some inroads into our 11 point lead at the top of the table before the start of yesterday's games. Doncaster Rovers took all 3 points with a 1-0 home win over struggling Burton to move within 9 points of the Glovers in 2nd place and still with a game in hand. Big-spending Chester City stumbled at in-form Dagenham & Redbridge, the Daggers winning 1-0 and improving their play-off chances at the same time. Chester stay 3rd, 11 points behind the Glovers and on the same number of games played. Perennial under-achievers Hereford also stumbled, drawing 2-2 at home to relegation candidates Stevenage Borough. Click here to see the final run-in for all the contenders involved in the title-race.

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21 February 2003 : All Aboard for the Conference Merry-go-round
The Glovers go into tomorrow's FA Trophy 5th round tie at home to Northwich Victoria without long-term injured Adam Stansfield, Nick Crittenden and Tom White. Of the new signing's it's thought that midfielder Neil Mustoe is cup-tied for the game following an appearance for former club Gloucester City earlier in the competition but former Bristol Rovers striker Kevin Gall is expected to be included in the squad.

Visitors Northwich are hoping to welcome back experienced trio Greg Rioch, Mark Devlin and Richard Morris who all missed last weekend's creditable 2-2 draw at Hereford. Manager Jimmy Quinn is confident that the Vics can get something out of the match tomorrow: "We are not going to Huish Park in trepidation," he confirmed. "I really do believe that we can win. We've won at Doncaster and we performed well last week against Hereford when we were without several key players. We've played all the top teams and for my money Yeovil are the best side in the league. It's a tough game for us, there's no doubt about that. But we're not bad away from home and I'm sure they're aware of that. We're both in good form and it's a one off so I've said to the lads that we are going down there to try and win it. We are the type of team that is better going forward. We are the second highest scorers in the Conference and when we sit back we cause ourselves problems. I'll be disappointed if we go down there and don't play to our
potential. We're on a good run and the lads are pretty confident."

Despite Yeovil having already taken 6 points off the Vics this season Glovers boss Gary Johnson is prepared for a difficult game at Huish Park on Saturday. "I always respect Jimmy Quinn's teams," Johnson affirmed yesterday. "He has said some nice things about us but I will never forgive him for beating me 3-2 in my first game at Yeovil 18 months ago. We seem to have something over Northwich at the moment - we have beaten them twice in the league and we obviously beat them in the Trophy last year. It is unbelievable we are meeting again in the early rounds of the competition but we are on our home patch and we are totally focused on winning the game."

Glovers fans alarmed at the news that the club were considering changing the design of the club badge can breathe easily again. According to the official site the board have decided - after considerable feedback from supporters including a Ciderspace survey answered by over 250 people (results coming soon!) - that the designs being considered were unsuitable . Instead a new version of the existing badge will be re-drawn with "some very minor details changed."

In other news from around the Conference Chester City manager Mark Wright's mission to sign up every striker in the known universe received a boost yesterday when transfer-listed Nuneaton marksman Mark Quayle finally succumbed to persuasion (or perhaps a big signing-on fee) to join the cast of thousands at the play-off challengers, initially on loan until the end of the season depending on whether Chester stay down or go up when both sides will review the position. Former Scarborough and Swansea City forward Steve Brodie is the makeweight in the deal, joining Nuneaton initially until May.

The news that Quayle has gone to the Deva Stadium will disappoint Stevenage fans and their popular, go-ahead and ambitious young manager Graham Westley in particular. The relegation-threatened Hertfordshire club had an undisclosed bid for Quayle accepted by Nuneaton this week only for the deal to go sour when the striker couldn't agree personal terms with Westley. In a surprise development the same thing happened when Stevenage turned their attention to Farnborough striker Rocky Baptiste, the marksman turning down former Farnborough fuhrer Westley to stay at Cherrywood Road after again being unable to agree personal terms. Once is happenstance, twice coincidence, but three times? Leigh RMI hitman Dino Maamria became the third Conference striker to just say "no" to the man whose motto is "attitude is more important than ability" when he also spurned Stevenage's initial offer earlier in the week, but this time it seems that Westley was determined to get his man: Maamria has now accepted a renewed offer from Stevenage and the possibilty of Rymans League football next season, Scarborough's out-of-favour Keith Scott replacing Dino at Hilton Park. In the meantime Stevenage's former Reading forward Martin Williams has decided that he wants to play in the Conference next season after all and so has jumped ship to Woking. Hmm......

[Quotes sourced from the BBC, Western Gazette and Northwich Guardian]

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20 February 2003 : Yeovil on Channel 5 Tonight
There is a feature about Yeovil Town on Jonathan Pearce's Football show tonight at midnight or thereabouts on Channel Five. Gary Johnson, Terry Skiverton and (gulp!) Fat Harry are interviewed.

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19 February 2003 : Tom White Heads Back To The Treatment Table
Central defender Tom White looks to be heading back to the treatment table for the rest of the season after his loan deal with fellow Conference side Woking was cut short due to injury.

According to the Official Woking Website, they claim that: "Unfortunately Tom White, who joined us on loan from Yeovil Town a couple of weeks ago, has had to return to his club in order that he can have an operation on his injured knee. Tom played twice for us and everyone at Woking wishes to thank him for his efforts and wish him all the very best for the future."

The news caps a wretched season for Tom, as his loan period at Woking had been intended to allow him the chance to regain his full fitness after an initial knee operation had seen him restricted to just two first team fixtures back at the start of the season. Now it seems that if a further operation is necessary, his hopes of playing again this season must be in serious doubt.

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19 February 2003 : The Treble's Still On
A scratch Yeovil side entertained Screwfix Premier Division outfit Odd Down at a freezing Huish Park last night in the 3rd Round of the Somerset Premier Cup, the Glovers coming out on top against the best team in the Bath area with a 2-0 win, both goals scored in the second half by striker Kim Grant.

Speaking after the match, Glovers manager Gary Johnson had nothing but praise for our Screwfix League opponents. "Odd Down passed the ball around well, especially in the first half," he said. "They kept trying to play football, and they didn't moan about the icy surface - they came out of it with a lot of credit."

"We worked as hard as we could against a quality side," Odd Down manager Chris Mountford concurred. "I thought Nick Wilson could have got us at least one goal in the first half with the two chances, but having said that, when Yeovil opened up they were awesome. Fitness told in the end. Endeavour and enthusiasm can only last you so long unless you have that extra bit of quality. We probably have it in our league but not against these boys."

The Glovers now go forward to the semi-final of the Somerset Premier Cup, date and draw yet to be decided.

Match report: Yeovil Town 2 Odd Down 0.

Quotes sourced from the Bath Chronicle.

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16 February 2003 : Farnborough Put On The Spot
A controversial penalty helped kick-start another Yeovil Town goal-feast yesterday, with Farnborough Town being the latest victims of the Glovers' firepower. For the second time in eight days, Gary Johnson's men scored four goals, although they will have doubtless shook the hand of the main stand linesman on the way out of Cherrywood Road. The official flagged for a spot-kick when the scores were at 1-1, and thereafter Yeovil never looked back.

Manager Gary Johnson was honest enough to admit that he had his doubts about the decision, which came when Farnborough's Darren Annon appeared to produce a clean sliding-tackle on Kirk Jackson: "They are the sort of things that happen. Penalties go for you when you are top of the league."

Asked whether he thought it was a penalty, Gary replied: "Not from where I was. I thought it was harsh, but the linesman was in a better position than I was. Our boys started enjoying themselves after that. Farnborough lost their passion after the penalty and the third goal killed it."

Even Kirk Jackson, who was felled by Annon, had sympathy for the Farnborough players admitting: "I didn't know what was going on. I decided to let the ball run away for the corner because I knew the tackle was coming in. So yes, I was very surprised. But decisions like that will go against us as well as for us. I just got up and walked away and tried to keep Macca focussed."

Michael McIndoe stepped up and following a lengthy delay caused by repeated protests from the home players, he took his first penalty since his penalty shoot-out miss against Bristol Rovers in the LDV Vans Trophy last season, and that gave Yeovil a valuable 2-1 lead.

Yeovil changed from a 3-4-1-2 to a 4-4-2 very early on in the game and Johnson said of the switch: "We changed the shape quickly because we weren't getting on the ball." Minutes later, a Lee Johnson shot through a crowd of players gave Yeovil the lead, although it was later cancelled out by a Gary Butterworth 25-yarder, leaving the game finely poised at half time.

But following the penalty, the Glovers went on to dominate the game. Gary Johnson explained: "I was a bit disappointed at half time because I didn't think that we were enjoying our football. Our fitness and mobility won the second half. The team created lots of opportunities and if you create that many chances, you are going to score goals."

Johnson had special praise for Kirk Jackson, who has now scored nine goals in the last 12 games and netted the final two Yeovil goals at Cherrywood Road: "Jacko is getting into good positions for his goals. But I'm pleased with the commitment of the whole team over the 90 minutes."

A late Joff Vansittart header made little difference to the end result, that leaves Yeovil an astonishing eleven points clear at the top of the table. That was thanks to Chester City dropping two more points as they conceded a 90th minute equaliser at Morecambe, leaving the second placed side having picked up only 12 points from their last 27.

Chester's poor form has allowed Halifax Town, Hereford United and Doncaster Rovers to all close within a point of Mark Wright's side. Whilst Hereford could only draw at Northwich, wins for Doncaster and Halifax at Kettering and Scarborough respectively have left Yeovil's challengers in a tight group of their own, although they surely will be looking over their shoulders at the form of Dagenham and Redbridge whose sixth consecutive win means that they can break into a play-off position if they win their two games in hand. Morecambe can not as yet be ruled out either.

For Yeovil, it leaves Doncaster Rovers as their most likely challengers now - the Belle Vue side can close the gap to six points if they win both of their games in hand. The full league table can be viewed here.

But with the Glovers firmly in the driving seat, Gary Johnson had a few words of caution saying: "We don't want to be known as the best team in this league, but not win it. We've got to stay focussed. It's a nice position to be in but the boys have got to enjoy being in that position and enjoy their football."

Kirk Jackson echoed Johnson's comments, adding: "We don't want to get carried away. Time is running out for the other sides, but we've got to keep our feet on the ground."

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14 February 2003 : Neil Mustoe Signs Up
The Yeovil Town Official Site reports that Gary Johnson has moved quickly to sign up former Gloucester City midfielder Neil Mustoe from fellow Conference side Stevenage Borough.

Mustoe, who was born in Gloucester on November 5th 1976, had only just arrived at Broadhall Way, having been signed up by their caretaker manager John Dreyer. But the arrival of Graham Westley at Broadhall Way, quickly followed by seven defenders and midfielders, has left Mustoe out in the cold, barely before he had got his feet under the table, and with Jason Blunt's departure to Doncaster Rovers (via Scarborough) leaving Johnson a man short, the Yeovil manager moved quickly for Mustoe.

The midfielder, who can play anywhere across the line, will need no introductions to the Yeovil squad, having spent the previous three months training at Huish Park. He started his career as a Manchester United trainee, but later moved onto Wigan Athletic and Cambridge United where he made 99 Football League appearances. A loan spell at Cambridge City was followed by a permanent move to Gloucester City, with whom he has played for the majority of the 2002/03 season.

Manager Gary Johnson said of the transfer: "I'm pleased to have been able to sign Neil so quickly and he will be in our squad on Saturday at Farnborough."

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14 February 2003 : Farnborough Match Preview
Yeovil Town manager Gary Johnson must make at least two changes to his squad that thrashed Kettering Town 4-0 last weekend. Central defender Colin Pluck begins the first of a two match suspension, whilst on-loan midfielder Jason Blunt has been recalled by Scarborough and is believed to have made a permanent move to Doncaster Rovers.

The sudden U-turn by Blunt has been explained down to family circumstances. With his wife working at Doncaster prison and children at school close-by, the interest from Rovers suited Blunt far more than a potential house-move to the West Country.

Speaking to the Official Site, manager Gary Johnson said: "We wish Jason all the best and look forward to meeting him when we visit Doncaster later in the season."

Ironically, Johnson had only just told the Western Daily Press that he would not be making a bid for Brighton and Hove Albion midfielder Dave Lee saying: "I can't take on everybody I am interested in - I have to make sure each move is made at the right time for the right reasons."

It is believed though, that Johnson was impressed by Lee's performance in a friendly game played at Dorchester last week, but did not believe that he could offer Lee anything within his wage budget. However, the possibility of Johnson picking up the phone to Brighton in the light of Blunt's surprise exit can not now be ruled out.

Nick Crittenden is reported to have had a successful groin operation during the week, although he is unlikely to feature for another four to six weeks.

Yeovil's selection problems pale into insignificance when compared to the plight of this weekend's hosts Farnborough Town. With the owner/chairman/madman Graham Westley having flown the nest, seven of his players, mainly from defence and midfield, have departed with all heading controversially to his new club Stevenage Borough. As if that wasn't enough, Farnborough have Chris Piper and Christian Lee both suspended for the game and Dean Green rated as an injury worry. With only 18 players left in their squad, and a transfer embargo imposed on their club, Boro are down to their bare bones.

That said, what's left still looks impressive on paper, with former Kingstonian duo Geoff Pitcher and Gary Patterson reunited at Cherrywood Road in midfield, and the experience of Ken Charlery and the speed of Rocky Baptiste available as strikers. Lenny Piper, brother of the suspended Chris, also regularly weighs in with goals from midfield. Last but most certainly not least, the Glovers will have to find their way past former hero Tony Pennock who will no doubt get his usual rapturous welcome from what is likely to be a 1,000+ support travelling up from Somerset.

Farnborough Town report that segregation will be in force, and that they have made provision for additional space within the ground should travelling numbers threaten to exceed capacity. Yeovil supporters are welcome in the Farnborough clubhouse, although the Hampshire club will be monitoring the clubhouse's safety capacity, and so warn that access to the bar will be on a first-come, first-served basis. If the bar reaches capacity, Ciderspace recommends the Thatched Cottage in Prospect Road. For directions and details of more pubs head to our Farnborough guide here.

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13 February 2003 : Ciderspace In The Western Gazette
The following article appears on Page 95 of today's Western Gazette, with reference to a story that was published in last week's paper:

Words not on website

THE action taken by George Coggen, chairman of the Glovers' Green and White Supporters' Club against two fans, exclusively reported in last week's Western Gazette, was not in respect of anything that appeared on a website. Solicitor's letters were sent to the fans following alleged remarks made at Huish Park. But Coggen says the report was accurate in stating the action was taken because of fears he had that fans might repeat the remarks on a public message board administered by unofficial Yeovil Town website, Ciderspace, to which the fans had posted in the past.

Martin Baker, one of the site's three administrators, said he has received no warnings from the football club about comments posted on the website, although he and club chairman John Fry had held constructive discussions. Baker said: "We have a very good relationship with the club which the website exists to promote. We even helped the club, in the past, with its official website. We have had no communication from Mr Coggen whatsoever with respect to this matter."

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12 February 2003 : Rubbing Shoulders With The Big Boys
What do the teams Manchester United, Aston Villa, Southampton, Coventry City, Crystal Palace, Birmingham City, Milwall and Gillingham (Kent, not Dorset!) have in common with Yeovil Town?

Rather a lot last night as Glovers new boy Kevin Gall took the field to represent the Wales Under 20 side at Ninian Park last night. Whilst the majority of the squad that faced South Korea was drawn from Premiership and First Division sides, Gall's inclusion in the starting line-up as the only player from outside the Premiership and Football League was very much the exception to the rule.

In a game that finished 0-0, Gall came close when he picked up on a right-wing cross from Michael Brough, but despite heavy Welsh domination, the deadlock could not be broken.

Although Gall turned 21 on the day he signed for Yeovil, he remains eligible for the Welsh Under 20 squad for the remainder of this season. The former Bristol Rovers player is already settling into his new side at Huish Park and has found that task easier thanks to his friendship with fellow Merthyr lad Gavin Williams. Gall told the Western Daily Press: "Gav's from Merthyr like me and I am good friends with him. He is a good lad and a good player, as they all are at Yeovil."

Wales Under-20: J Brown (Gillingham), R Edwards (Aston Villa), M Price (unattached), S Pejic (Wrexham), R Day (capt, Mansfield), M Brough (Notts County), D Pipe (Coventry), L Fowler (Coventry), K Gall (Yeovil), M Williams (Man Utd), D Vaughan (Crewe)
Subs: M Rees (Milwall), R Evans (Birmingham), A Davies (Southampton), G Williams (C Palace), J Collins (Cardiff), P Whitfield (Wrexham).

South Korea Under-20: Kwang-Kim, Hwan Lim, Kyu Kim, Yoon Cho, Seok Oh, Woo Kim, Hoon Lee, Woong Han, Gook Jung, Kuk Chol, Hun Kim.
Subs: Il Sung, Jin Yeo, Lee, Bum Kim, Hoon Baek, Jong Lee, Chul Kim.

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12 February 2003 : Junior Glovers Mini-Season Ticket Details
Further to Monday's announcement regarding the Greenfly Mini-Season Tickets, details for Junior Glovers members are now available.

Youngsters who are already Junior Glovers members can purchase the special Greenfly Tickets for 10 pounds each, to cover the final five Nationwide Conference home league games.

Tickets bought for the Main Stand and Bartlett Stand will be given a seat number with the ticket book, that must be used for all games. Hence if you have any special seating requirements, such as being sat with a Parent or Guardian who is already a season ticket holder, then ensure you quote their seat number and make it clear that you would like to be sat with that person.

It should be noted that at the final five home games of the season, supporters will be expected to enter the ground into the area specified on their season ticket book. This applies to all season ticket holders - not just the new Greenfly ticket books.

Previously, the club have turned a blind eye to ticket holders for the two side stands occasionally choosing to stand on the terraces. However, with the remaining games likely to push the three sides of the ground towards their full capacity, supporters will be asked to use the area of the ground specified on their ticket books (and seat number if relevant) to avoid any possibility of over-subscription to a particular area of the ground.

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10 February 2003 : Club Announce Mini-Season Ticket
The Official Site has announced details of a 'mini season ticket' for the last five home games of the 2002/03 season to help supporters guarantee themselves admission to Huish Park as the drama behind Yeovil's championship chase starts to reach fever pitch.

We are proud to say that the idea has come straight off the Ciderspace Fans Forum with the club crediting poster Greenfly for the idea - even going as far as to name the five-match ticket bundle as the Greenfly Mini-Season Ticket.

Supporters purchasing the tickets get admission to the Nationwide Conference League games against Leigh RMI, Scarborough, Telford United, Burton Albion and Chester City. The latter game - on the final day of the season - is widely tipped to be an all-ticket sell-out, so the ticket offer represents the best chance for supporters to guarantee admission to those games. Six seasons ago, in March 1997, over 2,000 Glovers were left disappointed when they were locked out of an Isthmian League 'title decider' against their main rivals Enfield as over 10,000 supporters tried to make the journey to Huish Park.

Costs for the Mini-Season Ticket are as follows:

Bartlett Stand : £45.00, Concessions : £30.00
Main Stand : £50.00, Concessions : £40.00
Westland Stand : £45.00, Concessions : £25.00

Supporters interested in purchasing tickets can apply from Monday 24th February, either in person at the Huish Park Ticket Office, or by post to Yeovil Town Football Club, Huish Park Stadium, Yeovil, Somerset BA22 8YF. Remember to enclose a stamped, addressed envelope to help the club speed up your application. To pay by Credit or Debit Card, telephone 01935 423662 Ext.200.

As a side-benefit to purchasing the Mini-Season Ticket, supporters will also gain the rights to first call on purchasing tickets for any 'all pay' games this season that may require ticketing, such as any future rounds of the FA Trophy, or any play-off matches that Yeovil may be involved in.

Given that Yeovil Town's attendances at Huish Park this season have now hit the 4,700 mark, interest in the club is growing weekly, and Ciderspace strongly advises all committed supporters to start raiding their piggy banks now, to avoid future disappointment!

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9 February 2003 : Dream Weekend For Glovers
If at the start of the weekend, you had asked for Yeovil Town to thrash basement boys Kettering Town in a one-sided walkover, and then asked for Chester City, Doncaster Rovers and Halifax Town to all lose home matches against comparatively easy opposition, we would have probably have pulled you up and told you to stop being so greedy! Yet that is precisely what the hand of fate delivered for all Glovers fans as they romped to a 4-0 victory, and their three main rivals all fell to Forest Green, Northwich and Barnet respectively, leaving the Glovers nine (yes NINE!) points clear at the top - albeit with a game extra played.

"Its been a great day," said manager Gary Johnson. "It's why you're in football - for these days. It was a great atmosphere right from the off and the crowd kept it going even with us being only 1-0 up for most of the time despite us having over 30 chances. The goalkeeper was unbelievable - not just unbelievable but lucky as well as having a good game. Our football and work rate was just terrific, and we deserved our 4-0 win and we deserved to have all the other teams beaten. On that spec its been a great day."

Despite peppering the Kettering goal, the Glovers only had a single goal to count at the break, with a Colin Pluck header from a Lee Johnson corner dividing the sides - the same scenario as in Yeovil's recent match against Nuneaton Borough. Johnson probably wished he hadn't been the corner taker - that meant that he was the furthest player from the centre circle as the players indulged in a bizarre celebration that involved them all running into the centre circle. The last man in had to do ten press-ups - Johnson as corner-kicker had little chance!

"We talked about Nuneaton at half-time," admitted Johnson Snr. "Going in 1-0 up having had all those chances, we just told them to make sure you do something different to what you did there. If you didn’t stretch then, stretch now - whatever you need to do to not go out like you did at Nuneaton in the second half. The boys are learning all the time. They are only a young group as you know and they are learning from every game and we have some great characters in our setup."

But the game swung Yeovil's way, when Gary brought on new signing Kevin Gall and he needed just four minutes to make a Roy-of-the-Rovers style entrance to his Huish Park career - being the first to react to a Kirk Jackson shot being tipped onto the crossbar.

"Gally’s first touch was terrible but his second touch was unbelievable - it was a header and I think it's what he will do very well at," said Johnson. "He is a poacher and his pace gets him in to other areas more often than other people like Lindy. He got himself on a header and what a way to start your Huish Park career - getting a goal within four minutes! They all played their part. We mustn’t forget that Lindy has played his part. He has scored five or six goals in as many games, Jackos getting his goals, and they are being well supported by the boys all over the field."

"Some of the football we played today was cosmic, it’s the only word I can think of. People were shouting out behind me that it's like watching Brazil - I felt like we could beat Brazil!" joked Johnson.

Johnson eventually saw Kirk Jackson and Michael McIndoe complete the rout, with Kettering forced to end the game with ten men after a substitute was sent off for a foul on Jackson, and in the end it was only a question of how many goals Yeovil could get.

"The quality and the build up of the goals were good as well," he added. "We have lots of people that can pick people out. It's not going to come off every time but if you have 30 chances then you will score four goals. Other teams have got to do very well - teams can score one against us but they don’t often get to two and today I thought we looked so solid at the back. They only had three shots and they were off-target - 90 minutes against another Conference side is a very good stat for us."

The win ensured that Yeovil's unbeaten run was stretched to eight games, including six wins, with the Glovers only failing to win once in 2003.

"We want to get our unbeaten run up to 12 or 14," said Johnson. "Then it will be the really important games for us. This is the time to get behind the team, these are also big games now. When all the others lose, but we win its worth six points to us. If the crowd keep on supporting us as they did today then as a club we can go as far as we want to. It's not just about the numbers it's about the vocal support and they have been brilliant all season. As I've said in the dressing room the important thing is that it's only us who can lose it now."

But Johnson warned of the danger of getting sucked into anything off the field that might distract from the task in hand, adding: "There will be all sorts of little things coming out in newspapers because they can't beat us on the field. They may try to beat us off it and we have to be very professional and focused on where we want to be."

Next week sees Yeovil make one of their shortest trips of the season when they head to Hampshire to take on Farnborough Town at Cherrywood Road.

"Farnborough is a big game for us again," said Johnson. "That's because we then go in to the Trophy game and other teams get the chance to get points on the games they have to catch up with. It was a big day today because of that. We can now afford a big run in the Trophy knowing that we are a few points clear. We have been in pole position since September and the boys have the courage and spirit to remain there."

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6 February 2003 : Club Crest Survey Launched
As threatened, Ciderspace has produced a more detailed survey for Yeovil Town's supporters regarding the club's proposals for a new club crest. Our instinct is that the club will want to do a crest, even if it is not one of the initially proposed designs. Hence please try and answer ALL questions - even the hard ones - and do your best to make your suggestions constructive. The early indications from the simple survey indicates that the club need to go back to the drawing board. This survey will hopefully help them establish a direction.

The entry form for the survey can be found here.

NOTE: The survey uses a 'generic' survey template that has just been developed for Ciderspace to allow us to do surveys on a more regular basis. As all the code for it is new, please let us know if you find any mistakes! More functionality will be added to it soon!

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6 February 2003 : Yeovil Quartet Withdraw From England Squad
After a week's worth of protracted negotiations, the Nationwide Conference appear to have won their battle with the Football Association over their right to withdraw their players from next week's friendly non-league international in Belgium.

The new developments mean that Chris Weale, Adam Lockwood, Darren Way and Lee Johnson will not be able to represent England as part of the National Game XI next week. Whilst we share in their disappointment at not being able to wear England colours once again, the issue of losing four talented players at this stage of the season - more than any other Conference side - was no doubt a concern for Glovers manager Gary Johnson.

All sixteen Conference players have withdrawn, but the match will still go ahead with a team selected from the three feeder leagues. FA National Game Director Steve Parkin explained: “The FA have long arranged with the Belgium FA to play an international fixture in Ostend, and we were determined to honour this agreement. It is a sad day for those Conference players who have been stopped from representing their country in Belgium next week, however, the disappointment of these players will contrast with the delight of those players that have been called into Paul Fairclough’s squad today.

The squad is now no longer an U23 squad with a full age range chosen. Manager Paul Fairclough said of the new squad: “The players now have a fantastic opportunity to not only represent their country and wear the 3 Lions, but also potentially put themselves in the frame for the Four Nations Tournament which last year attracted many league scouts. Myself and The FA are extremely grateful to the three Feeder Leagues and all the clubs that have agreed to allow their players to take part in this fixture.

The game in Belgium kicks off at 7pm, and a full match report will be available on The FA Website on Wednesday morning.

Full Squad:

Lance Key – Kingstonian (GK)
Nickki Bull – Aldershot (GK)
Steve Ward – Canvey Island
Mike Tomlinson – Runcorn FC Halton
Marc Pullan – Crawley Town
Adam Wilde – Worcester City
Ian Craney – Altrincham
Anthony Rivierre – Welling United
Tim Sills – Kingstonian
Chris Duffy – Canvey Island
Jeff Minton – Canvey Island
Fiston Manuella – Aylesbury United
Roscoe D’Sane – Aldershot
Craig McAllister – Basingstoke Town
Scott Rickards - Tamworth

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6 February 2003 : Locky Interviewed In On To Victory
The On To Victory fanzine are interviewing defender Adam Lockwood tomorrow (Friday) afternoon and they would like supporters to suggest questions to ask Locky.

To get your questions in, simply email Seb at and if you are lucky, your question to Adam may land in the next edition of the paper-based fanzine.

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6 February 2003 : Critts Out For Five Weeks
Right winger Nick Crittenden looks likely to be ruled out until the end of March as he heads to the operating table to deal with an on-going groin injury. The injury is likely to keep Crittenden out for around four to five weeks.

Speaking to the Yeovil Express Gary Johnson revealed that the injury has been causing Critts problems for some time.

"Nick hasn't been 100 per cent fit for a while now and so he needs this operation," said Johnson. "It will mean him being out for four to five weeks. It is unfortunate because he's been virtually an ever-present since he first came to the club. At the moment he is about 70 per cent fit, so it's sensible for him to have the operation now so he can return for the closing weeks of the season 100 per cent fit."

Johnson used new loan signing Jason Blunt in a wide-right position against Dorchester Town on Tuesday, and with hindsight was clearly considering Blunt's capabilities in that position for Saturday's game against Kettering Town. Other options open to Johnson involve Abdelhalim El Kholti, Gavin Williams or Andy Lindegaard - all of whom have successfully played in that position before.

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5 February 2003 : Conference Back-Peddle In England Row
The threat from Conference chairmen to withdraw all their players from National Game XI fixtures appears to be receding.
Chief executive John Moules appeared to be back peddling from what looked destined to be a head on clash between the Conference and the F.A. after the meeting of chairmen at Derby last week:
It is about welfare, security, liability covering players and compensation to clubs should anything untoward happen to these players. We are concerned not about them representing their country but about the welfare and well-being of the players.

The FA also appears to be trying to pour oil on troubled waters. Spokesman Alex Stone said:
We hope that the issues outstanding can be resolved and that the fixture against Belgium, the first of its kind, will be able to take place. All players will be covered with the same schedule of benefits as all England squads. They will have exactly the same insurance as David Beckham and Michael Owen. In the event of an injury to a player, clubs will be fully compensated by the FA depending on the number of games they miss. Every possible safety net is in place for clubs.

Moules also raised the issue of players' security in the current political climate. Given Belgium's reputation as one of the World's most dangerous trouble hotspots - of the 192 existing countries we'd put it at about 190th - we are faintly surprised the FA aren't still splitting their sides at that one. Instead they chose the bland response:
On a trip like this we would make sure there are adequate arrangements. On all trips, the safety and welfare of the players is of paramount importance.

However whilst one conflict with the FA wanes Moules appears to be cranking up the battle over Conference 2. Leters will be sent to the 61 clubs in the Dr Martens, Ryman and Unibond Leagues, who have shown their support for the initiative.
The national leagues system committee said they don't oppose our proposals for increasing our membership but, like the sanctions committee, they have a problem with the timescale. We responded by telling them categorically that we don't accept that and that we're going to push ahead with our plans for next season. Over the next few days, we will be contacting all the clubs who have applied to join Conference 2 and explaining where we go from here. There are rules and regulations which govern football but the Conference is a private limited company and we've got every right to invite clubs to be part of our membership. We intend to pursue our legal rights and we're determined this will still happen in August of this year.
All I would say about the FA is that they've had two years to restructure and have spent football's money on surveys and questionnaires but they've done nothing and football deserves more than that. Including those in the Conference already, there's something like 85 clubs saying they want something to happen and we owe it to them to pursue it.

There was even a threat that the Conference could break away from the FA altogether. Madness, in the opinion of Ciderspace, and almost bound to have those feeder clubs currently positive about Conference 2 beating a hasty retreat at the thought of being excluded from all FA sponsored competitions. In any head on battle with the FA the Conference simple does not carry enough clout, and would lose.

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5 February 2003 : Halifax Game Rearranged
Yeovil Town's postponed fixture at The Shay, home of Halifax Town, has now been rearranged for Tuesday 4th March, kick-off 7.45pm.

The fixture has been moved due to both clubs involvement in the FA Trophy Fifth Round. Halifax travel to Farnborough, whilst Yeovil entertain Northwich Victoria at Huish Park, in a match set to take place on Saturday 22nd February.

A number of Fourth Round ties were resolved last night, with Woking and Dagenham and Redbridge the latest Conference sides to fall by the wayside. The revised Fifth Round draw looks like this:

Scarborough/Dover Athletic v Forest Green Rovers
Margate v Tamworth
Farnborough Town v Halifax Town
YEOVIL TOWN v Northwich Victoria
Aylesbury Utd v Windsor & Eton/Vauxhall Motors
Gloucester City v Southport
Burscough v Wakefield & Emley
Havant & Waterlooville v Worksop Town/Hayes

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4 February 2003 : Double Strike Seals Dorchester Win
A goal in either half was enough for a 'reserve' Yeovil Town side to defeat Dorchester Town in a friendly at The Avenue tonight. Trialist Dave Lee did his chances of an extended stay at Huish Park no harm at all, as he scored one and set up the other in a good display by Yeovil.

Lee opened up the scoring when Kim Grant pushed in a through-ball, and the Brighton player pushed the ball past a defender before sliding the ball under the keeper from six yards out to give Yeovil a half time lead.

The second half saw Jason Blunt make an early exit after getting a minor knock on an ankle, as he was replaced by Youth player Ian Patchett. By the end the Glovers had used all four of the young substitutes, and it was Sam Jarman who netted Yeovil's second, after Lee intercepted a poor Dorchester throw and squared the ball for the local striker to score.

Line-Up: Stephen Collis, Roy O'Brien, Tom White, Dave Lee, Jimmy Aggrey, Steve Thompson, Jason Blunt, Kevin Gall, Kim Grant, Nick Crittenden, Steve Reed. Subs: Nick Jacobs (for Grant), Shaun Smith (for Crittenden), Ian Patchett (for Blunt), Sam Jarman (for Thompson).

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4 February 2003 : Gall and Blunt Sign Up
Further to yesterday's story, Yeovil Town Football Club have confirmed that Kevin Gall and Jason Blunt signed up this afternoon. Gall is likely to be used as a striker, although he played as a winger for Bristol Rovers. Blunt, who is here on an initial month's loan, is a central midfielder who is capable of being used in a wide-right position.

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4 February 2003 : Dorchester Friendly Tonight
Yeovil Town have arranged a short-notice friendly at The Avenue, home of Dorchester Town for tonight. Kick-off is 7.45pm and spectators are welcome to attend. The match will be Glovers fans first chance to set their eyes on Kevin Gall who is expected to sign at a press conference this afternoon along with Jason Blunt. Trialist Dave Lee is also expected to take place in tonight's game.

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3 February 2003 : Live On Sky - Maybe?
The Doncaster Rovers Official Site reports that the April 12th fixture at Belle Vue v Yeovil Town has been chosen by Sky as a live game. Kick off has been put back from 3.00pm to 5.35pm.

However April 12th is also the scheduled day for the second legs of the F.A. Trophy semi-finals. The general rule is that F.A. competitions take priority in fixture clashes, so it may not become clear for some time whether Yeovil's trip to Doncaster is going to happen on the 12th at all.

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3 February 2003 : Players Tribute To Duo
Yeovil's players hold up their banner after Kirk Jackson put Yeovil a goal up
Yeovil's players hold up their banner after Kirk Jackson put Yeovil a goal up
Photo © 2003 Western Daily Press/Steve Roberts

The Glovers opening goal against Morecambe on Saturday produced a special tribute from the Yeovil players which many people may have missed. Thanks to the Western Daily Press the full message can be seen 'For George and Brian' as the players dedicated Yeovil's opening goal to the memory of George Smith and Brian Kynaston.

Winger Michael McIndoe had the banner hidden under his main Yeovil shirt, and he explained: "We were thinking this week of the two fans that passed away last week - George and Brian - and we thought it would be a nice touch to celebrate the goal and dedicate the game to both of them and to any of their families who might have been at the game. We thought they would appreciate something on behalf of the players, because we are all sorry for the loss of both men."

"It was a T-shirt that I was wearing underneath," Macca explained. "We couldn't get both names down the shirt vertically, so we had to put it on sideways. So I needed to take the top off. We got the idea from when Thierry Henry did it for a young kid who had passed away from cancer. We wanted to do it for both families and that's why we turned to the Main Stand and the Westland Stand."

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3 February 2003 : In, Out, Shake It All About
Yeovil manager Gary Johnson has moved to freshen up the Yeovil Town squad as the club moves forward on two fronts (we'll ignore the mighty SPC for the moment), chasing a place in the Nationwide League and a second consecutive F.A. Trophy.
Kevin Gall should sign from Bristol Rovers tomorrow, and go straight into a match against Dorchester the same evening. Gall has played up front and in midfield for The Gas, and is also a Wales Under-21 International. He scored the only goal in Welsh win over Azerbaijan in November, and has been named in the next squad. At Huish Park on trial last week Gall scored a hat-trick against Torquay, and it may have been this that caused a delay in the transfer negotiations with Rovers, as they assessed whether they should release him. He is expected to sign up until the end of the season.

The second player expected to join the club tomorrow is Jason Blunt. It has been an open secret that Blunt has been one of the players Johnson has been looking at hard. However with Doncaster also interested, and rather more on Scarborough's doorstep than Somerset, supporters had rather ignored his name in the endless gossip all fans indulge in about possible signings for their club. Blunt's origins are in Cornwall, but his football career has been in the North, with time on the books at Leeds United, Raith Rovers (loan) and Blackpool. Blunt is a hard tackling midfielder who arrives on a month's loan, with the possibility of both sides looking at a more permanent deal.

Gary said: I am very pleased to have signed Kevin. He is a quick striker who will add extra strength to our squad. Neither player is Cup tied for the Trophy and both have got terrific pedigrees.

Yeovil centre-back Tom White goes out on loan to Woking. After a long injury lay-off Tom is lacking match fitness and finding it difficult to get back into contention in a Yeovil side undefeated in 2003.

Midfielder/forward Dave Lee, also with Bristol Rovers connections having had a loan spell there earlier in the season, is with the club on trial this week, and Gary will be having a look at him in action on Tuesday night.

Finally interest in ex-Ipswich Steve Burton, on trial last week, is not being pursued by the club. He has moved on, and reports suggest may have taken up a short-term deal with Doncaster Rovers.

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3 February 2003 : Club Crest Redesign Proposed
Yeovil Town's Official Site News Page reports that the club are considering five separate designs from two different designers for a new Club Crest. Four of the designs are now available for viewing, and the club are looking for feedback on such a proposal.

Whilst you can e-mail the Official Site directly, or alternatively state your views on our Mailing List, we have set up a quick poll on our Fans Forum to get an early reaction to the proposals. You can find the poll here. The club will have sight of the end poll results, so this is a good opportunity for you to have your say. Now the club has published the majority of the designs, a more specific poll will appear later.

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3 February 2003 : Glovers Get Vics Again
Yeovil Town have been drawn at home to Northwich Victoria in the Fifth Round of the FA Trophy, in a tie due to be played on February 22nd. The two sides met at the Quarter-Final stage of the competition last season, with Yeovil triumphing 2-0 at the Drill Field, with goals from Adam Stansfield and Carl Alford. The tie represents Yeovil's third consecutive draw against Conference level opposition, following victories over Hereford United and Morecambe in earlier rounds.

The full draw for the Fifth Round, with Conference teams in bold, is:

Scarborough/Dover Athletic v Forest Green Rovers
Margate v Tamworth
Farnborough Town v Halifax Town
YEOVIL TOWN v Northwich Victoria
Aylesbury Utd v Windsor & Eton/Vauxhall Motors
Gloucester City/Woking v Dagenham & Redbridge/Southport
Alfreton Town/Burscough v Wakefield & Emley/Hendon
Havant & Waterlooville v Worksop Town/Hayes

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2 February 2003 : YTISA Travel To Farnborough
The Yeovil Town Independent Supporters Association (YTISA) will be running a coach to Farnborough in two weeks time. To book your place on their coaches, phone Mark Kelly on 01935-412236 or 07939-618275. The cost will be £10.

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2 February 2003 : Skivo Seals Shrimps Fate
Yeovil Town captain Terry Skiverton's header five minutes from time yesterday saw the Glovers make a deserved journey into the fifth round of the FA Trophy, as league play-off chasers Morecambe were sent home with nothing to show for their efforts for the second time in three weeks.

"Skiverton is a goal threat," said manager Gary Johnsom after the game. "He’s got nine goals now this season and you know that if the right ball is delivered, Terry will be there or there about and has a good chance of knocking it in."

Until that point, Morecambe had looked like they were going to drag the Glovers back up to the North-West on Tuesday night for an unwanted replay. Despite Yeovil having had the lion's share of the game, a Ryan Zico Black equaliser mid-way through the second half had made nonsense of the Glovers dominance and had given Morecambe a chance of revenge for the six points the Glovers had taken off them in the league.

"I was very relieved because I didn’t fancy the trip to Morecambe on Tuesday night," admitted Johnson. "The boys showed they didn’t fancy it either, we had a spirit about us in the last ten minutes, and we were a little bit frustrated that we were 3-0 up after the first half. You run the risk of a good bit of play by them and they get back in to it but we’ve got through it."

Kirk Jackson had ensured the Glovers went into the break with their tails up when he converted a Colin Pluck cross to give him his sixth goal in 12 games. The celebrations saw Michael McIndoe reveal a message under his shirt "for George and Brian" - dedicating the goal to director George Smith and supporter Brian Kynaston who both died last week. A minute's silence was also held at the start of the game in respect of the two dedicated individuals.

Despite the goal advantage, the second strike would not come and Johnson added: "When its only 1-0 or 0-0 or 1-1, the other teams are always in it. I agree we had to work hard, but you have to work hard against teams like Morecambe in any competition. We worked very hard and I thought we worked well enough as far as chances were concerned to have scored four or five. But if we get two then we rarely concede more than one."

Gary was asked by the press if he was concerned that the Glovers had failed to turn their dominance against Nuneaton and Morecambe into comfortable victories, but Johnson responded: "If that happens in the next five matches then yes I will say there is a bit of a concern. But when it's only one or two games and we are top of the league by 6 points and in the last 16 of the trophy its probably not the right time to say it."

"Lindy was unlucky today, he got into many dangerous positions but needs a bit more experience with his final third finishing and his passing technique. However, he moves people around all game and that allowed Jacko to be free in the box for the first goal. It was a great cross from Colin Pluck, before that we had easier chances than that. It’s nice that Jacko’s getting his goals and not only is he getting goals he is playing an all-round good game."

The result means that Yeovil's Conference league game against Halifax Town will now need to be rearranged - almost certainly for a mid-week date. But despite the potential of a crowded end to the season, Johnson made it clear that he still had a firm interest in both competitions.

"If we get knocked out of this competition people will end up saying to me, you didn’t want to play in this competition anyway, he explained. "But we do want to play in the trophy. We’ve got a big picture up in the dressing room of our trophy win which you may never have seen and it's 8ft by 6ft. Just in case they weren't sure, I brought in my FA Trophy medal, which reminded them how much fun we had. I told them I need one to go the other end of my mantelpiece to make it symmetrical!"

The end result is that Yeovil remain unbeaten during 2003, with five wins and a draw to their name in all competitions since the turn of the year and Johnson added: "At the moment it's seven undefeated and it doesn’t matter what competition, you just have to make sure you win the game and seven on the trot after a defeat is the starting of another good run."

The only downside to the game was Colin Pluck's 10th booking of the season - he is likely to be suspended now for the trip to Farnborough in two weeks time and also the County Cup tie against Odd Down.

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2 February 2003 : Conference Play-Off 'Pool' Confirmed
Conference chief executive John Moules has given details of how the pool system will work for the play-offs that make their debut at the end of this season.
In the four 'semi-finals' an unspecified percentage of the gate money generated will be paid into a pool. This will be topped up with 50% of the gate money from the final at the Britannia Stadium on May 10th. All five games will be televised live by Sky.
Moules claimed that: "We believe each of the clubs not involved in the play-offs will receive between £15,000 and £20,000 each."

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2 February 2003 : Moules Keeps Up Pressure for 'Conference 2'
The Conference has taken little notice of the F.A. National Leagues System Committee's rejection of the proposals for a dramatic expansion of the Conference (see Ciderspace news item on January 30th).
At the mid-season meeting of Conference chairmen chief executive John Moules was asked to write to the sixty-three clubs from the three feeder leagues who have expressed an interest in switching to an enlarged Conference. The letter will ask the clubs to put up a £ 1,000 bond, returnable if their application is ultimately unsuccessful, to demonstrate the seriousness of their intention. Moules stated : "We owe it to our 22 member clubs and the 63 clubs that have committed to the increased membership to push on."
On the same day the Conference presented its arguments to the F.A. a joint Ryman / Dr Martens delegation were supposed to be presenting their plans for a reorganisation of the boundaries between the two leagues for the 2004-05 season, with up to fifty teams swapping leagues. However the Ryman secretary Nick Robinson announced that the F.A. never considered the scheme in the meetings held on the 29th.
"We are very disappointed they did not even look over our documentation. I can't understand it, especially considering the National Leagues Manager, Greg Fee, had been chasing us for the information before the meeting. We've not been formally notified about what happened at the meeting. We are still waiting for an explanation as to why our documents were not even considered."

As the F.A.'s preferred optioned for Non-league reorganisation closely ressembled the proposals from the Conference it looks as if Moules maybe pushing at a half open door, with the timing of the expansion of the Conference more of an issue than the plans themselves.

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2 February 2003 : National Game XI Thrown Into Chaos
The same day new manager Paul Fairclough announced his first squad for the trip to Albertparkstadion in Ostend, to take on Belgium on Tuesday 11th February, the Under-23 match and maybe the whole future of a National Game XI was thrown up in the air.
At their mid-season meeting at Derby last Thursday the Conference chairmen unanimously agreed to pull all their players from the fixture, and not allow them to participate in any International games during the season. This would also effect the full International against Holland scheduled in March, and a proposed tour of the USA that month. With the whole of Fairclough's squad drawn from the Conference and less than a fortnight to go the match against Belgium must be in severe doubt.
The Conference did declare its support for Internationals played in the close season. Slow progress is being made on a Four Nations Tournament in May. Wales, who won the tournament last year, are scheduled to be the hosts but have been struggling to find the finances. The Football Association of Wales announced last week that dates for the matches had been pencilled in, but that venues were still under negotiation.

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31 January 2003 : Police Arrest Six In Dawn Raid
Six people have been arrested by Exeter police in dawn raids in Yeovil this morning. All were arrested in connection with problems occurring outside a pub in the Heavitree area of Exeter on January 11th. A total of 28 officers were used in the operation that saw the six taken in for questioning at 7.00am this morning.

The incident was reported in the Exeter Express and Echo as being caused by individuals travelling as Yeovil Town 'supporters' and the football club have been involved in the identification of the individuals, along with Yeovil CID by use of Exeter CCTV footage. The six arrested are reported as being aged between early 20s and early 50s.

Chief Inspector Allan Edgcumbe, head of operations for Exeter police, said of the raid: "I am delighted that our operation has been so successful, and am grateful to Yeovil police for their help and support. We have been working on this operation very closely since the incident happened nearly three weeks ago, gathering evidence. Although no arrests were made at the time because we wanted to get the coach out of the city as quickly as possible to diffuse the situation, we have been fully committed to conducting a thorough investigation and arresting the people involved."

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30 January 2003 : More Caps For Glovers
F.A. press release:

"Just a week into his new job as England National Game XI Manager, and Paul Fairclough has named his first squad to face Belgium in an U-23 International Friendly.

England will travel to the Albertparkstadion in Ostend to take on Belgium on Tuesday 11th February in a first international fixture between the two countries at this level, and Paul admitted that he is looking forward to working with some of the youngest talent currently playing below The Football League.

“The game against Belgium and the open-age international against Holland in March give me the perfect opportunity to have a look at a range of players, and see how some players perform at the highest level”, said Paul.
“Winning games is always important but the next two friendlies are more about performance, letting the players know how I like to play and what I expect from them.
“With Wales hoping to stage the second Four Nations Tournament in May, we have a goal to work towards, and in Ostend, the players will come up against some of the most promising young players in Belgium; a great learning experience.”

Steve Avory - Caretaker Manager for the U-23 International against Italy last November – will continue as Assistant Manager, and has played a key role in the selection of the squad to face Belgium.

“The spine of the squad played against Italy for Steve, but I also wanted to take a look at some other promising players who have not yet had a chance to play at this level”, said Paul.

Most notable call-up to the squad is Barnet hot-shot Junior Agogo who has hit the net 16 times for Barnet this season, topping the goalscoring charts alongside Daryl Clare.

Describing the striker who again hit the target in the 5-1 defeat by Dagenham & Redbridge this week, Paul said:
“Junior is young, raw and vibrant but to score 16 times this season shows he is in great form, and I am looking forward to working with him.”

Agogo earns his first call-up alongside one of his tormentors earlier this week Paul Terry, who caps a great couple of weeks with his first international call-up. In recent weeks Terry has been one of the stars of the Daggers’ FA Cup run, often pictured in the national press alongside his brother, Chelsea Centre-Back John.

“Paul seems to have been around for a long time,” said Manager Fairclough, “yet he is still young and could go on to have a great future in the game. He has built up a wealth of experience at Conference level , and thoroughly deserves his call-up.”

For the four Yeovil players in the squad, it may give them a chance to bump into former Glovers striker Abdoulai Demba who recently returned to KV Ostend from Yeovil after failing to settle in the West Country."

The full squad is:

Craig Mawson - Morecambe
Chris Weale - Yeovil Town
Greg Oates - Margate
Adam Lockwood - Yeovil Town
Jonathon Boardman - Woking
Martin Lancaster - Leigh RMI
Michael Rose - Hereford United
Lee Johnson - Yeovil Town
Darren Way - Yeovil Town
Paul Terry - Dagenham & Redbridge
Wayne Purser - Barnet
David Pounder - Scarborough
Ian Fitzpatrick - Halifax Town
Ryan Sugden - Chester City
Robert Gill - Doncaster Rovers
Junior Agogo - Barnet

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30 January 2003 : Glovers Feeling Very Much At Home
Tuesday night's FA Premiership match between Middlesborough and Aston Villa may not seem at first sight worthy of mention within the confines of Huish Park. Yet Villa's 5-2 away win at the Riverside Stadium will have raised a smile from Glovers manager Gary Johnson.

The result was Boro's first home defeat, leaving the Glovers as the only club in the English national league system undefeated on their home turf.

Speaking to the Western Daily Press Gary said: "Myself and Thommo were coming back from a game in London last night and we both said that at the same time when we heard the result. It's something to be very proud of especially as we are 29 games into the season and we have out-lasted 92 league clubs and 21 in the Conference."

The situation is a far cry from that of last season. At this stage after 14 home games, Yeovil's record at Huish Park was W4 D4 L5 and they went on to win just six games on a boggy, sandy mess of a pitch where Gary Johnson's sleek passing game was a near impossibility.

Now with a six-figure sum spent on a new pitch base, and state of the art technology, the Glovers boast a record of W10 D4 L0. Johnson said of the transformation: "It confirms that the club did the right thing spending the money on the pitch."

Johnson's travels took place as he attempts to bolster his squad for the remainder of the season, with a striker and a central midfielder seemingly the most likely targets. Trialists Kevin Gall and Steve Burton are likely to still be in his thoughts, but Johnson revealed that he is casting his net wider afield explaining: "Myself and Steve have been up and down the motorway along with our scouts and we have followed up our top ten people."

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30 January 2003 : Grant Aiming For Crawley Job
Yeovil Town striker Kim Grant is strongly believed to be one of the applicants for the vacant managerial position at Crawley Town.

The Dr Martens Premier League side lie currently 9th in their division and are operating under caretaker management. Grant, who has scored just once in 17 appearances this season - albeit most coming from the bench - seems to be frozen out at Yeovil, and looks to be fancying the move in order to kick-start a career in management.

His connection with Crawley Town goes back to his arrival at Yeovil in October 2001. At the time when he was snapped up by Gary Johnson, Crawley were attempting to obtain his services as a player, but Grant chose a move to the West Country. However, it would be a major surprise if Grant was offered a contract at Huish Park beyond the end of this season. Given that Grant is believed to still have business interests in the Brighton area, the move would seem to make good sense for all concerned.

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30 January 2003 : FA Confirm Cheats Punishment
The Football Association have confirmed the punishment handed out to Boston United's chief cheats Steve Evans and Pat Malkinson. The punishments predicted by BBC Radio Lincolnshire have been proved accurate, with the exception of Malkinson's fine which has been set at £5,250 and not the £7,000 reported yesterday. In addition to the recorded fines, the infamous duo will also have to pay towards the costs of the FA Commission.

Both officials will commence their bans on 3rd March 2003, which has been set to allow the duo time to appeal. The lawyers representing Evans claimed in last Sunday's NLP that they intended to appeal, even though the size of the punishment had not at this stage been identified.

The FA's website explains that "the charges referred specifically to Evans facilitating a payment of £8,000 to a witness to attempt to mislead, impede and frustrate the enquiry, and making efforts for another witness to similarly mislead the enquiry by telling untruths to the investigation, although on that occasion no money was involved. As part of the same hearing, Malkinson was also found guilty of facilitating the £8,000 payment described above, and of a further charge relating to contract irregularities. "

The statement from the FA concludes by indicating that "the Football Association will not make any further comment in relation to these proceedings at this stage."

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30 January 2003 : FA Reject Conference Expansion ... For Now
The Football Association's National League Systems Committee have rejected the Football Conference's membership extension proposals - but have not entirely closed the door.

In a statement issued today by the Football Association, they claim that the FA "has always supported the move to create a regional two Feeder League structure into The Football Conference, hence The FA's own proposal sent to clubs and leagues at the beginning of 2002."

However, the FA has made it clear that the Conference's proposals were too rushed pointing out that it was "essential that clubs have a considerable say in their own destiny" and so have turned down the Conference's request to commence the new structure for the start of the 2003-04 season.

The door is not entirely closed though, and Ciderspace believes that the Conference's main failing was to not allow enough time for consultation and refinement of the rules that govern such plans.

In the FA's own blueprint document, published in full on Ciderspace here, the FA recommended that "every club would know the full requirements at least a season before any implementation occurred". This has clearly not been considered by the Football Conference, and so Ciderspace expects this matter to be reopened, probably in time for the start of the 2004-05 season.

The FA have recommended that further investigations are carried out in relation to the Conference's proposals, saying that: "Given 63 out of the 69 Premier League clubs from the three current Feeder Leagues have indicated their interest to join a regional two Feeder League structure administered by The Football Conference (as indicated by answers to a Football Conference questionnaire), The FA National League System committee will be asking The Football Conference to provide a more detailed proposal that can be further considered by both The FA, and the clubs."

The Football Conference have, as yet, not issued a statement in response to the FA's decision.

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29 January 2003 : Blunt Looks For Scarborough Switch
Yeovil Town have been connected with Scarborough midfielder Jason Blunt. The midfielder, who played a full 90 minutes against Yeovil at Seamer Road in December is believed to want to leave Scarborough, according to reports in the Scarborough Evening News. The paper claims that Gary Johnson has made "enquiries" about his availability but does not go as far as to state that a firm offer has been made.

Blunt is out of contract at the end of this season, and Seadogs manager Russell Slade has admitted: "We don't want to keep a player here who is unhappy and we expect some activity."

The Glovers, however, are not favourites to sign the Penzance born player, with title rivals Doncaster Rovers being earmarked by the paper as the likely winners as the paper claims that Blunt would prefer to stay in the North.

Blunt started his career as a Leeds United trainee, and has done service with Raith Rovers and Blackpool as well as a spell on Italian soil and signed for Scarborough in March 2001.

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29 January 2003 : Cheat Banned From Football - unconfirmed
Today was the day Steve Evans faced the F.A. for sentencing. The first, still unconfirmed, report from Radio Lincolnshire reads as follows:

The FA hearing to decide the punishment of the former Boston United manager Steve Evans has ended. It marks the end of an eight month investigation into contract irregularities at the club. It's yet to be confirmed by the FA, but BBC Radio Lincolnshire believe Evans has been banned from football for 20 months and fined £8,000. The Former Chairman, Pat Malkinson is thought to to have been fined around £7,000 and banned for 13 months from the game. The three man FA panel have so far refused to comment, along with Evans and the former Chairman Pat Malkinson, who've now left the hearing in Birmingham.

This marks the end of an eight month investigation into events at Boston United, which began shortly after they won promotion to the Football League.

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29 January 2003 : Way Out Westley
The most speculated about move in the Conference for minutes finally happened yesterday as Graham Westley, owner, chairman and manager of Farnborough Town stopped being owner, chairman and manager of Farnborough Town and went to Stevenage Borough.
Westley has spent the last few weeks demonstrating to the entire Nation that he is the self-publicising egocentric motor-mouth the Conference has known and disliked for ages. What should have been Farnborough's finest hour in the spotlight was turned into a tawdry wrangle about switching the match to Highbury. Westley seemed to take every opportunity to denigrate what was, at that time, HIS club - publicly criticising his staff, his players, the facilities, the fans and anyone and anything else he could think of. The message: Farnborough Town just isn't good enough for ME!
To pursue his vaulting and oft repeated ambition of leading a club in the Premiership inside ten years (eight remain) Westley has cut a deal to move to Stevenage Borough, major Conference under-achievers in recent years, and currently 21st in the table, on a three year contract. Two disingenuous press releases, one from each club, with Westley's finger prints all over both, lauded this union of the dismal with the dishonourable.
Is Phil Wallace, Stevenage chairman, a man out of his depth desperately scrabbling around for a life raft? We think so. A succession of disasterous managerial appointments since he took over has left Boro staring relegation in the face. After promising a big name man with Conference success at the highest level on his CV Wallace has delivered - Westley, a man with no discernable Conference success on his.
So why Westley? Ciderspace predicts:
For the money. We simply don't believe there is a deal which won't involve Westley buying some sort of stake in Stevenage Borough. The man's entire career in football management is based around Vanity Purchase.
For the players. Westley will asset strip whatever he can get from Farnborough Town.
For an escape route. Wallace now has a ready made purchaser for his interest in Stevenage Borough when he loses it.
Whether Stevenage go down this season or not we confidently assert: the Two W's will not be working together at Broadhall Way at the end of this three year 'contract'. A Dream Team? One of them will have been pushed out of bed long before that.

Mr Graham Westley's long awaited F.A. hearing to face charges over his behaviour at The Avenue, Dorchester, on September 3rd 2002 is now scheduled to take place next month.

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28 January 2003 : Glovers Thrash Gulls
A Yeovil Town XI thrashed a Torquay United XI in a one-sided practice match at Huish Park this afternoon. In a match held behind closed doors, the Glovers took a two goal half time lead before rattling in four more second half goals for the game to finish 6-0. Yeovil's scorers were Steve Burton with two, Youth Teamer Stephen Reed with one and finally Kevin Gall who grabbed three.

Kevin Gall is down for a week's trial from Bristol Rovers and is a 5'9" striker born in Merthyr on 4th February 1982. He has made 11 first team appearances this season, with no goals scored, although has netted five times for Rovers. He has also played for the Wales U21 side, most recently versus Azerbaijan in November, where he scored the only goal of the game. He started his career as a trainee with Newcastle United.

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28 January 2003 : Brian Kynaston and George Smith
Further to our sad news from Sunday, the funeral of Brian Kynaston will take place on Tuesday 4th February, 3.30pm at Yeovil Crematorium. The family has requested either flowers or donations be made to the Alzheimer's Disease Society.

On an equally sad note, Yeovil Town's Official Site have announced the death of director George Smith after a long battle against cancer. George had been ill for some time, but had continued to work at the club as Company Secretary on the current board.

George died peacefully on Friday night, aged 58, and leaves a wife and two daughters. We wish his family, and all who knew him at YTFC, our deepest sympathy in what must be a very difficult time.

George Smith's funeral will be on Friday (Jan 31) at 2.30pm at St Peter and St Paul's Parish Church in South Petherton. Family flowers only please, donations can be made to the Royal Marsden Hospital or St Margaret's Yeovil Hospice Appeal.

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27 January 2003 : Gary Gone For A Burton?
Yeovil Town manager Gary Johnson has confirmed that he is taking a look at 19 year old Ipswich Town striker Steve Burton. The 6'1" striker was born on 9th October 1983 in Doncaster and is spending the week at Huish Park on trial. Gary will get his first look at Burton when he will take part in a practice match against Torquay United tomorrow.

Burton, who played in the Ipswich Town Youth side that reached the FA Youth Cup Semi-Finals in 2001, has not played any first team games for the Portman Road side, but did have a two month loan spell at Boston United earlier this season, scoring against Bristol Rovers in the competition.

Manager Gary Johnson said: "I've not seen him play before. He was recommended to me by his agent, and so he has travelled down from Ipswich so that we can have two or three days looking at him. He will turn out for us in a practice match tomorrow against Torquay."

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26 January 2003 : Tragic Accident Of Glovers Supporter
Brian Kynaston, RIP. 1954-2003.
Brian Kynaston, RIP. 1954-2003.
Ciderspace is saddened to learn of the sudden death of one of Yeovil Town's most charismatic and regular supporters. Regular home and away supporter Brian Kynaston, aged 48, who lived in Cann, near Shaftesbury, Dorset, is believed to have fallen into the River Yeo around Tuesday 6.00pm, whilst waiting for a lift home from Yeovil.

Brian, who was originally from Corton Denham, had supported Yeovil since the early 1970s and was a mainstay at both home and away matches throughout his life. Even when he spent many years living and working in Guildford during the 1990's, Brian continued to travel to the majority of the Glovers matches around the country and was an enthusiastic supporter who would usually be found in the 'core' of the Yeovil terrace.

He established many friends at Huish Park - players, officials and supporters alike - Brian's presence will be deeply missed by many in Somerset in the years to come. We wish his family and his many friends our deepest sympathy in their time of sorrow.

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26 January 2003 : Frustration For Glovers At The Manor
Yeovil Town came within a whisker of completing a run of straight wins throughout January when they drew 1-1 at Nuneaton Borough's Manor Park ground yesterday. Despite taking the lead through an Andy Lindegaard header, the Glovers were pegged back through a Sam Ricketts goal just after the break.

That only two goals were scored on the day was down to two disallowed Nuneaton goals, three strikes of the woodwork and some outstanding goalkeeping by home custodian Chris MacKenzie, whose game was capped by an astonishing reflex save from a Terry Skiverton volley during second half injury time that was tipped onto the crossbar and judged not to have crossed the line by the main stand linesman.

"It's unbelievable how the opposition keepers are always the man of the match against us," said manager Gary Johnson. "But I don't think you could have asked any more from our lads. There was Roy's header. Macca hit the post and I don't know how he kept out Skivo's one right at the end that hit the bar. That was his third unbelievable save. Then right at the end from a corner he tipped round a chance from Jacko."

Yeovil had started brightly and dominated the first half to an extreme, with Johnson remarking: "In the first half we played very very well, and we really needed that second goal - particularly when Jacko got put through and their keeper made a great save. If that had been 2-0 it would have been different, but at 1-0 it was going to be tight. Nuneaton are fighting for their lives and so we knew they were going to make it dangerous and they went for it."

The Glovers went 1-0 up after just 12 minutes and Johnson said of the breakthrough: "It was a super goal. It was a great cross by Michael McIndoe, and Lindy did very well. It was a great striker's header, right across the face of the keeper and right into the corner of the net. It could have been so different - we could have been 3-1 winners or 4-1 winners. We're all disappointed in there, but we're six points clear, top of the league. Being disappointed with drawing away from home tells you just how far we've come."

But Yeovil came out surprisingly sluggish at the start of the second half, and paid the price when the home team equalised through Ricketts' solo goal.

"For 15 minutes we were nowhere," admitted Johnson. "We weren't near Nuneaton and we weren't tracking runners. But they were bound to bash it forward and take a chance. We're always disappointed when one player gets involved in a one-to-one and has a little shimmy and gets in. But he did well, he's a decent player and it was a good goal from their point of view. From our point of view we needed to stand up a bit longer and defend better."

The game was played on possibly the worst pitch the Glovers have had to endure this season - not helped by Nuneaton training on the pitch earlier in the day and by heavy wheel ruts creating tramlines throughout the pitch.

"We wanted to play a footballing game on there, but on that pitch, we weren't going to get that, said Johnson. "But I think we did well to create as many chances as we did on that pitch. It was a heavy pitch, and if you go out there now, you can see how many divots there are on there and how uneven it is. I know we are going to have to play all sorts of teams at all sorts of grounds. But I think it was a big leveller. The ball was always bobbling up and bouncing up, and you have to take longer to hit your cross."

Nick Crittenden, who had only come back from injury yesterday did not last the whole 90 minutes, but Johnson explained: "It was just tactical. He'd only had two days training, and it was a bit heavy out there. We needed to change our shape, but I also needed to get fresh legs on."

In the end, the game could have gone either way. Having had an earlier goal disallowed due to the ball going out of play, Nuneaton had a second goal chalked off when Richard Lavery was caught in an offside position. Nuneaton's players and supporters failed to notice the linesman's flag and bizarrely the public address system even announced the second 'goal' a minute later as play headed up the other end.

"I just wish we'd taken the free kick a little bit quicker whilst seven of them of them were off in the corner celebrating, admitted Johnson. "I thought we could have realised that it wasn't a goal a bit quicker and that if we had, we might have caught them."

Then came MacKenzie's one man goalkeeping show and in the end, Glovers fans had to settle for a single point to take home, whilst rivals Chester City were clawing back two points by winning at Scarborough leaving the Glovers six points clear at the top.

"At this point in time in the league, we are obviously going to be disappointed when we don't get three points," said Johnson. "We're not going to win all of the games between now and the end of the season. We'll strive for it, but we won't do that. Now we've got to go back and put another run of two or three wins together. I'd rather have another league game on Tuesday, but now we focus on the Trophy game. We want to win that, and then we'll have the big home game against Kettering. Kettering will be the same - these two league games may turn out to be the hardest games we'll play this year because they all go into survival mode."

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24 January 2003 : Glovers Wait On El Kholti
Utility player Abdelhalim El Kholti appears to be the only injury concern for Gary Johnson ahead of tomorrow's trip to Nuneaton Borough in the Nationwide Conference. The recent signing will need to prove to Johnson that he has overcome an injury sustained in a shocking tackle last weekend that saw El Kholti need four stitches in his abdomen.

Right winger Nick Crittenden who El Kholti stood in for last weekend, seems the most likely replacement with Critts having recovered from a minor ankle knock that saw him withdraw last weekend. Colin Pluck is also fit, despite being substituted with a shin bruise last Saturday.

The Glovers will come up against FA Trophy Final hero Carl Alford for the first time since his transfer to the Warwickshire club, and Alford said of the match: "I am still very good friends with the lads and I still live in the area. Skivo is just around the corner from my place."

Alford will almost certainly be partnered by Mark Quayle whose high-profile sale to Chester City seems to have collapsed with Nuneaton accusing Chester manager Mark Wright of "moving the goalposts" on the deal.

Meanwhile, it seems that the two 'unknown' trialists who turned out for Yeovil in a friendly against Bristol Rovers on Wednesday have been uncovered, with the Bristol Rovers Official Website not being supplied with accurate names. Jimmy Densham appears to be Jamie Densham - a striker currently playing for Bideford in the Screwfix Direct Premier Division, who was signed from Exmouth Town.

Finally the name of Obidele Okneka seems more likely to be a Nigerian called Obidele Emeka who has recently had a trial for Livingstone and is sat on a deal with Scottish Second Division side Dumbarton. He has also had trials with Ayr United, Airdrie United and Cowdenbeath and is believed to be holding out for an offer of full-time football.

The rumourmill suggests, however, that the majority of the five trialists who turned out in the Bristol Rovers game have already been sent packing by Johnson as he faces the task of improving what is already an impressive squad of players.

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24 January 2003 : Fairclough Lands England Job
Former Stevenage Borough manager Paul Fairclough has landed the job of manager for the England Semi-Pro team - officially dubbed the 'England National Game XI'.

Fairclough replaces John Owens as manager and will start the job in anger on the 11th February at KV Ostend, in the U-23 international in Belgium.

FA representative Greg Fee said of the appointment: "Paul brings a wealth of experience to the role of National Game XI manager from both the professional and national game, and I am immensely looking forward to working with him. Paul has a proven track record of success at this level of the game, winning four Championships in ten years with Stevenage Borough. As well as converting to the UEFA ‘A’ Coaching Award, Paul has also gained a wealth of coaching experience from around the world and from Arsene Wenger, where Paul is currently also working as a Club Scout. We look forward to him bringing all of this experience to the job of England National Game XI Manager."

Fairclough, who will continue his scouting duties for Arsenal whilst managing the England side said of his appointment: "I am very honoured and delighted to be asked by The FA to take this role, and cannot wait to get started. There are some fantastic young players currently in the Conference who I will be looking at ahead of the U-23 international in Belgium, before the open-age international in March against Holland."

Yeovil Town have had a multitude of players selected for England Internationals in recent seasons, and Chris Weale, Lee Johnson, Darren Way and Adam Lockwood all played in the last U23 International in Italy. However, within Yeovil's current squad, Terry Skiverton, Adam Stansfield, Nick Crittenden and Kirk Jackson were all part of last season's 'open age' squad and the performances of Colin Pluck this season can not have gone un-noticed.

However, Fairclough admitted he would consult managers before selecting his squad, explaining: "Being selected for your country is the biggest honour you can receive in the game, and I know the players enjoy the kudos of being selected, but as a former Conference Manager I will be sensitive to the needs of Managers when there will inevitably be promotion and relegation issues to address."

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22 January 2003 : GWSC EGM Date Correction
The forthcoming Extraordinary General Meeting of the Green and White Supporters Club will take place on Thursday 30th January at Huish Park, 7.30pm and not the 28th as stated in other publications.

The GWSC Supporters Club page in last Saturday's match day programme stated that the EGM would be held on Tuesday 28th, but Ciderspace understands that not to be the case.

The EGM has been called to discuss the group's possible incorporation and therefore a major change in the organisation's constitution.

Several options are open to the organisation as to how this could be achieved, however Chairman George Coggen has been quoted by the Western Gazette as saying: "It will be recommended by the committee that we go down the limited company route."

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22 January 2003 : Rovers Keep Yeovil XI in stalemate
A Yeovil Town XI drew 0-0 this afternoon in a practice match against a mixed Bristol Rovers side. However, Rovers keeper Ryan Clarke was the busiest man on the field as he was forced to make a string of excellent saves to deny a Yeovil side featuring numerous trialists.

The Official Bristol Rovers Website reveals that three of the Yeovil trialists were playing under the names of Richard Ball, Obidele Okneka and Jimmy Densham. However, a good trawl around the Internet reveals no known players under the latter two names, so it is more than likely that they were playing under pseudonyms to allow Johnson to keep a low profile on the trialists.

More, however, is known about Richard Ball - he is a 22 year old striker currently playing for Dr Martens League Western Division side Stourport Swifts. He started the season with Racing Club Warwick and last season captained Oldbury United. He has netted ten league goals across the Warwick and Stourport sides this season.

Some more familiar Yeovil names were in the side, with Stephen Collis, Terry Skiverton, Kim Grant and Paul Henbest amongst the Glovers. Former Yeovil striker Guiliano Grazioli was in the Third Division side's line-up.

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21 January 2003 : Cary Glovers Travel To Nuneaton
Cary Glovers are running coach to Nuneaton Borough this coming Saturday, departing Yeovil at 9.00am and Castle Cary at 9.30am. They will also be picking up supporters at Marston, Mudford, Sparkford etc on route. Cost is £12.00. For booking telephone Keith on 01963 351560.

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21 January 2003 : Giles Scores For Gravesend
Chris Giles scored for Gravesend and Northfleet tonight as he continued his second loan spell with the struggling Kent side. Although his loan side lost 1-2 at home to Margate, Giles, who has been playing as a central defender at Stonebridge Road, netted his second goal for the club in the 29th minute. Like the first, it was a header direct from a Gravesend corner.

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21 January 2003 : No Admission For Bristol Rovers Match
Yeovil Town have pointed out that tomorrow's match at Huish Park against Bristol Rovers is merely a training ground exercise and not a friendly. As such, it will be played behind closed doors, and supporters are advised NOT to turn up.

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19 January 2003 : Glovers Stretch The Lead At The Top
Yeovil Town stretched their lead at the top of the Nationwide Conference yesterday with an excellent 2-0 win over play-off hopefuls Morecambe. With the exception of a 20 minute spell in the middle of the second half, the Glovers dominated the game, leaving Chris Weale largely unoccupied, whilst visiting keeper Craig Mawson was forced to pull off several excellent first half saves from Andy Lindegaard and Kirk Jackson.

"It was a great result and I thought we could have had four or five goals in the first half," said Yeovil manager Gary Johnson. "We got at them and we had four one on ones with the goalkeeper and I thought it was never going to come to be honest. I thought we had very good chances and I am so pleased that Lindy and Jacko got their goals in the second half I would have given them a roasting otherwise. The team stuck in there, we played a very good team in Morecambe. They had lots of forwards on the pitch and we knew that on the break they were going to be dangerous but we knew that we would have chances, and it was just a matter of taking the chances. That was frustrating as I knew we would have good opportunities but we weren't taking them. Thankfully we took them in the second half."

"While its 1-0 or 0-0 Morecambe are a dangerous team, they have some quality players. That's why I think they will be in the play-offs. I always enjoy beating them because they have a good club, good manager and a good setup. They are good with kids, they have a good academy setup and every time you beat them its a 'well done' because they go along the same lines as us and very professional."

The Glovers' patience was rewarded in the second half with two well worked goals. Lee Johnson took advantage of a lack of concentration by the Morecambe defence, when his quickly taken free-kick threaded through to Terry Skiverton, whose one-touch pass found Andy Lindegaard who netted off a goalpost.

But Johnson admitted that the free-kick surprised him as much as it surprised Morecambe: "We have that free kick and we have versions of it - we call it the weasal. We have four different versions of it - three that we practice, and the one that we did out there today! But the boys were switched on and it was a great touch by Terry Skiverton - all week he's been claiming that he's a midfield player and he had the touch of a midfield player that led to Lindy putting the ball in the net."

As the Shrimps pushed up for an equaliser, it was Lee Johnson again who provided the last minute move that gave Kirk Jackson an easy tap-in to seal the points for Yeovil and dent Morecambe's play-off ambitions.

Gary Johnson paid tribute to his two strikers saying: "They are a bit like a Toshack-Keegan partnership. They both have got good pace, good athleticism and it is working at the moment. We are scoring an average of two a game, but that is credit to everyone that we are creating that number of opportunities. It was a great little team move that led to Jackson's goal right at the end. I want my strikers scoring goals - they've got to be there and they have been today."

The joy of sealing all three points against one of the more dangerous league opponents was heightened by news from Belle Vue where Doncaster Rovers were succumbing to their first home defeat of the season - a shock 3-1 defeat against an injury-ravaged Telford United side that could only name two out-field substitutes yesterday.

"It's been a great day at the office," admitted Johnson. "The crowd kept us informed of the Telford result which was lovely of them and that's always nice. It does perk people up and I think that we got the goal pretty much straight after the crowd sung that that it was Telford 2 Doncaster 0. When it went to 3-0, we were ecstatic."

The result was Yeovil's fourth consecutive win and their fifth without defeat, and Johnson added: "We always said if you are going to win leagues, but you draw one or lose one, you have to put another run together. We have a group of players that have got the character and ability to do that. That's what happens when you're top of the league - you are a team that can achieve that and we want to keep going. We know that every win we get now is one that we dont have to get later because the end of our season looks a bit precarious. But we will take every game very professionally because they are all the teams in our league are dangerous teams in our league."

The only downside to Yeovil's day were the enforced substitutions of Colin Pluck and Abdelhalim El Kholti. Johnson explained: "Both Abdel and Plucky's substitutions were injuries. Abdel has gone to casualty because he has got two quite large holes in his abdomen where a couple of studs when in. Plucky nearly didn't come out in the second half because he took a big crack down his shin. Both I hope are just bruising that might take four or five days to recover. But I thought that we might need the cavalry, and Terry Skiverton and Jimmy Aggrey were ready to come on and do the job."

El Kholti's injury was softened by the announcement that he had won the sponsor's Man of the Match, and Johnson said of him: "He's going to be a superstar - I've got no doubt. He just needs to learn the game. His passing was a bit more crisp today, and not so casual, and he was unlucky that he got injured because I think the crowd would have liked to have seen a bit more of him today. He looked like he was going past players for fun."

Yeovil Town's day just got better by the time the night had drawn in. Chester City found Barnet too tough a nut to crack and came away with only a 1-1 draw at the Deva Stadium - leaving Mark Wright's big spenders with only one win from their last five home games. That left Chester and Doncaster tied on 51 points, with the Glovers now with breathing space on 59 points, albeit with an extra game played.

Despite that, Gary Johnson admitted that he was still interested in strengthening his squad: "Of course we are. We need a striker probably a little more than we need a defender at the moment. It's the same in midfield in that we didn't really have a midfielder on the bench, although Critts was injured today. We are looking, but I've got to look to the next 18 months because that's how long people will want to sign for. They are not going to sign for us just until the end of the season. So if we do go up - and obviously there is still a long way to go - the players that I sign now have got to be good enough for the Third Division. If I start blocking positions up with too many players on contracts, it might take away my options in the summer. In any case, the boys who were out there today deserve their place in the team anyway."

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17 January 2003 : New Twist In Reorganisation Saga
Confusion reigns over the Football Conference's proposals to expand their league to three divisions for the start of the 2003/04 season. On December 22nd, Ciderspace reported on a proposed Non-League Revolution by the Football Conference, but all this seemed to be in doubt when the Ryman League claimed that the Conference plans had been thwarted by the FA.

Now it seems the Football Conference are hitting back and today's Daily Telegraph reports that league representatives held a meeting with the Football Foundation, the Football League, the FA and the Football Licensing Authority.

Conference Chief Executive John Moules flied in the face of the Ryman League's claims saying: "We are absolutely on schedule for next season. Sixty one of the 69 clubs we invited to join have said they are keen."

The Nationwide Conference Website quotes Moules as saying: "This is an overwhelming declaration by the clubs themselves that they regard change as necessary and they want it now. Our preference is to have two semi-national divisions, feeding into the current Nationwide Conference of 22 member clubs. We propose to continue to operate promotion of three clubs from the feeder leagues Premier Divisions and introduce play-offs between the three Conference Divisions while increasing promotion with play-offs with the three feeder leagues and the two semi-national divisions. We have already commenced discussions on new sponsorship and we are progressing the task of selecting the 44 clubs who would form the two new semi-national divisions."

Who is painting the real picture here? A meeting of the FA's national league systems committee on January 29th should hopefully clarify the situation. As yet, no-one from the FA has commented on the increasingly confusing situation.

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16 January 2003 : No Cheltenham Switch For Gary
Yeovil Town manager Gary Johnson has played down rumours apparently linking him with the current managerial vacancy at Cheltenham Town. Johnson has been linked with the struggling Second Division side in both today's Yeovil Express and Western Daily Press but denies he has applied for the position.

"I still have 18 months on my contract at Yeovil and I am sure the club would let me know if there was an official approach," explained Johnson. "I am very much enjoying my time at Yeovil and now wouldn't be the time to leave. It's flattering to be linked with clubs and this sort of thing was always going to happen and has happened before. But when you look at it, I have got a good board and a good group of players and a great set of supporters here. At this time there's a big job to do at Yeovil."

Cheltenham report that they have received more than 40 applications for the vacancy to succeed former Kidderminster manager Graham Allner but have remained tight-lipped on who might be in the frame. However, it would be unusual for a club to try and poach another club's manager when so many have applied for the position. With the Robins deep in the relegation zone of Division Two, Gary Johnson may find his ambitions better fulfilled by setting his sights on playing against the former Conference champions next season, as league opponents.

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16 January 2003 : Aggrey Set For Longer Stay
Today's Yeovil Express reports that central defender Jimmy Aggrey has been given a position at the club until at least the end of this season. The former Torquay United defender was at the club on a 'rolling month' basis, but recent fill-ins for injured or suspended players have impressed manager Gary Johnson enough to keep Aggrey at Huish Park for the rest of this season.

Speaking to the Western Daily Press Johnson said of Aggrey: "He just gives us another option in his size and he will be a very important part of the squad."

Aggrey did not feature in Tuesday's 2-1 win over Hereford United as he had already played for another club in an earlier round of the FA Trophy.

Meanwhile although club captain Terry Skiverton is expected to return for this Saturday's visit of Morecambe, the Express reports that the Glovers are likely to lose the services of right-winger Nick Crittenden for that game. Crittenden was substituted at half time on Tuesday night, and it has been revealed that he was suffering from an ankle injury. Abdelhalim El Kholti is the most likely beneficiary of Crittenden's absence.

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15 January 2003 : Revised FA Trophy Fourth Round Draw
Chester City's shock exit from this season's FA Trophy competition at the hands of Unibond League side Worksop Town tonight more or less finalises the draw for the Fourth Round, after all of the mid-week rearrangements were able to take place tonight and last night leaving just three ties requiring replays.

Several Conference sides crashed out during the Third Round stage, including Burton Albion, Nuneaton Borough, Chester City, Doncaster Rovers, Barnet, Leigh RMI, Gravesend & Northfleet and Hereford United giving those remaining a strong chance of progressing to the latter stages. The revised draw is as follows:

Colwyn Bay v Havant & Waterlooville
Scarborough v Dover Athletic
Halifax Town v Grays Athletic
Windsor & Eton v Vauxhall Motors
Northwich Victoria v Canvey Island
Kettering Town/Altrincham v Aylesbury Utd
Worksop T v Hayes
YEOVIL TOWN v Morecambe
Alfreton Town v Burscough
Farsley Celtic/Gainsborough Trinity v Forest Green Rovers
Worcester City v Margate
Dagenham & Redbridge v Southport
Gloucester City v Woking
Wakefield & Emley v Heybridge Swifts/Hendon
Tamworth v Stevenage Borough
Telford Utd v Farnborough Town

All ties are scheduled to be played on Saturday 1st February.

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15 January 2003 : Mustoe Heads For Stevenage
Gloucester City midfielder Neil Mustoe who has been training full time with Yeovil Town recently, has now departed the West Country in favour of struggling Conference side Stevenage Borough. The once Manchester United player was continuing to play for Gloucester whilst training at Yeovil, but was not offered a contract at Huish Park.

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15 January 2003 : Demba Returns To KV Oostende
Abdoulai Demba has today signed a contract until the end of the season with Belgian League side KV Oostende, according to a KV Oostende Web Site. His move back to his former club - predicted on Ciderspace on January 9th - will reunited him with a Belgian League Second Division club in which he was top scorer last season.

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15 January 2003 : Quick Fire Glovers Hit The Bulls Eye
Yeovil Town have a reputation for being strong finishers in games these days, but last night at Edgar Street, they needed just 3.5 minutes to finish off Conference rivals Hereford United and move into the FA Trophy Fourth Round. There they will face a home tie against Morecambe, who progressed thanks to a solitary Lee Elam goal against Lancaster City.

Colin Pluck sent the Glovers on their way when he headed home a Michael McIndoe corner after just 67 seconds, and Adam Lockwood doubled the lead with not even four minutes gone when he was the first to react to a rebound when a Kirk Jackson shot hit the crossbar. Hopefully none of Yeovil's 250ish travelling support arrived late for the game!

Manager Gary Johnson said to the Western Daily Press of the start: "I did say before they left the dressing room to get straight into them, but that's taking it to the limit! But we were in this morning practising our set-plays so that shows the importance of that. Plucky said to me 'if they put the ball in this area I'll get there'. "It was a great start, a fantastic start."

Thereafter, things calmed down somewhat, and former Glover Ben Smith reduced the arrears when he headed home after 20 minutes, but with the Glovers dominating the second half Hereford had little in the way of chances, although Chris Weale deserves mention for two excellent saves at the end of both halves that sent the majority of the disappointing 2,425 supporters home, feeling rather sorry for themselves. Johnson added: "We knew with our closing down in the second half that it was going to be very difficult for them to create chances."

Yeovil will know rather a lot about their next round opponents by the time the Fourth Round takes place - Morecambe are Yeovil's next Nationwide Conference league opponents this coming Saturday 18th January. The Shrimps will have to do the long journey all over again two weeks later on Saturday 1st February for the FA Trophy Fourth Round Tie.

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14 January 2003 : Westley Hearing Still On Hold
Four months on, and Farnborough Town manager Graham Westley has still not had his misconduct charge heard by the Football Association. The charge was brought after Westley was sent-off in the Nationwide Conference league fixture against Yeovil Town in September 2002, at the Avenue Stadium, Dorchester.

Not only was Westley accused of using foul and abusive language against an assistant referee - he was also ejected from the ground by Dorset Police after getting involved in a scuffle in the main stand after refusing to adhere to ground safety regulations.

Yet despite the FA having charged Westley with misconduct following the incident, the case has still yet to be heard, and late last week FA spokesman Andrin Cooper admitted that the proceedings had been delayed further, saying: "He was charged at the end of last year with improper conduct and we are now working to set a date for a hearing which will now be after the Arsenal match."

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13 January 2003 : Club Slam Violence In Exeter
Yeovil Town Football Club have distanced themselves from problems that occurred in Heavitree, a suburb of Exeter, on Saturday afternoon. Local radio reports and Devon newspaper articles connected the club's name with an estimated 50 people caught up in disturbances outside a pub.

However, in an official press release, a club spokesman said of the matter: "Our match on Saturday was postponed and there were NO official or unofficial supporters coaches running. These hooligans are NOT Yeovil Town Supporters. They are just mindless thugs that the club has no first hand knowledge of."

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13 January 2003 : FA Trophy Fourth Round Draw
Yeovil Town will play an FA Trophy Fourth Round tie at home, if they see off Hereford United at Edgar Street tomorrow evening (kick-off 7.45pm). But they seem likely to face another tough tie, with the visitors being one of Unibond League Lancaster City or more likely high flying Morecambe, who Yeovil entertain this coming Saturday.

If Yeovil get through to the next round, their match will be played on Saturday, February 1st 2003. Any necessary replay for their Third Round tie has been pencilled in for Tuesday 21st January, 7.45pm at Huish Park.

The full draw, with Conference teams in bold, is as follows:

Colwyn Bay v Havant & Waterlooville
Stalybridge Celtic/Scarborough v Dover Ath/Gravesend
Halifax Town/Doncaster Rovers v Purfleet/Grays Ath
Windsor & Eton v Leigh RMI/Vauxhall Motors
Northwich Victoria/Barrow v Canvey Island
Kettering Town/Altrincham v Aylesbury Utd/Kingstonian
Chester City/Worksop T v Hayes/Crawley T
Hereford Utd/YEOVIL TOWN v Lancaster City/Morecambe
Alfreton T v Ilkeston T/Burscough
Farsley Celtic/Gainsborough Trinity v Forest Green Rovers/Barnet
Worcester C/Newport Co v Margate
Dagenham & Redbridge v Leek T/Southport
Gloucester C/Lewes v Woking/Chesham Utd
Wakefield & Emley v Heybridge Swifts/Hendon
Tamworth v Stevenage Borough/Oxford City
Rugby Utd/Telford Utd v Farnborough Town

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12 January 2003 : GWSC Travel To Tuesday Hereford Game
The Green and White Supporters Club are running away travel to the rearranged trip to Edgar Street, home of Hereford United, on Tuesday night, for the FA Trophy match.

The coach leaves the bus station at 4.30pm, Huish Park at 4.45pm. Cost is £12 adults and £10 concessions for everyone.

PLEASE NOTE - if you booked a seat on Saturday's coach and wish to travel on Tuesday you must still phone George Coggen on 01935 423662 extension 229 to reserve a seat.

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11 January 2003 : THE MATCH IS OFF
After a second tour of the pitch the referee has called today's Hereford United v Yeovil Town F.A. Trophy match off. About a third of the ground is still frozen, and he decided that there was no chance of it thawing sufficiently by 3.00 pm.

The fixture has been rearranged for the evening of Tuesday 14th January. We presume a 7.45 pm kick-off, but that hasn't been confirmed.

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10 January 2003 : Hereford Pitch Inspection
Following this week's wintry weather, Hereford United's Edgar Street ground will undergo a pitch inspection at 9.00am tomorrow (Saturday) morning. The pitch inspection is one of a large number taking place in tomorrow's FA Trophy ties.

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10 January 2003 : Road To Villa Park Re-Opens
Yeovil Town's defence of their FA Trophy begins tomorrow with a tough trip to Hereford United tomorrow, in arguably the Third Round's most interesting tie.

With the exception of Adam Stansfield, Yeovil have just one injury worry in the form of Club Captain Terry Skiverton, who is rated 50-50 for the match after having stitches in his knee removed today. Fellow defender Colin Pluck is believed to be ready for selection after also having stitches removed from a cut on his forehead.

If Skiverton does not recover, Saturday's skipper will be former Hereford winger Michael McIndoe, who will represent a trio of former Bulls making a return to Edgar Street. Gavin Williams and Tom White are the other two looking to knock out their former club.

McIndoe's presence will be watched by both sets of supporters. The Scotsman sat out the 0-0 draw in the League at Edgar Street earlier this season due to suspension and managed to get a red card in last season's game at Huish Park. With McIndoe getting more-or-less hacked off the pitch by his former team-mates last season, he is hoping for a less eventful game on the disciplinary front and says: "I want to make an impact for the right reasons with my play. I think I have become a much steadier player this season."

The trio of former Bulls will come up against a duo of former Glovers, with Ben Smith making his first appearance against a Yeovil side since he left the club 18 months ago for Third Division side Southend United. Meanwhile Jamie Pitman - in his second spell at Edgar Street will partner Smith in midfield, with the 'Milky Bar Kid' having already come up against the Glovers earlier in the season. Hereford are expected to be without talented full-back Matt Clarke due to a knee injury.

If the match is drawn, the replay will be at Huish Park, on Tuesday 14th, January, kick-off 7.45pm.

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10 January 2003 : Conference Thwarted On Reorganisation Plans
The Nationwide Conference have had their plans for expansion put on hold by the FA, according to circulars distributed by the Ryman League to their member clubs. The Ryman League claim that the FA have considered the proposals to "not to be in the best interests of football" - this despite the Conference's plans being based on one of the options within a proposal drafted by the FA themselves!

The Ryman League claim that: "At a meeting of the Football Association Sanction and Registrations Committee held in London on 7th January the proposed amendments to Article 3 and Rule 2 of the Football Conference were considered. I am delighted to tell you that it was decided that the proposed amendments for season 2003/2004 could not be accepted as the proposal was considered not to be in the best interests of football for this season."

"However it was decided the proposals would be referred to the National League System Committee with a recommendation that the Football Conference and the National League System Committee work together in order that the best interests of the game can be upheld. It would be normal practice for the various Leagues to be invited to give their views to the Committee. Any decisions would then be referred to Council for confirmation or otherwise."

The Ryman League - who have consistently opposed the restructuring of non-league football, advise their members not to complete the forms required to resign from their league and add to their claims that "Both the Southern Football League and ourselves are in unison on this matter and are working together for the future."

The letter goes on to make a hefty side-swipe at the Conference league ending the letter by remarking: "The actions of the Conference are considered to be disruptive for reasons best known to themselves."

No official comment from the Football Conference or the Football Association has been made at the time of writing.

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10 January 2003 : Demba Departs
As revealed on Ciderspace yesterday, Abdoulai Demba has left Yeovil Town Football Club today to return to Belgian League football.

Despite achieving an excellent goals-per-game scoring record, Demba's personal life was the cause of his wish to return home, with KV Oostende still looking to be the most likely beneficiaries of his departure from Somerset.

The departure has now been confirmed on the Yeovil Town Official Site and manager Gary Johnson said of the departure:

"When we brought Demba over to Yeovil he was a bright, enthusiastic, intelligent person who was looking forward to a new life in England with his pregnant wife and family. He didn't quite reach the form the he should have done in the lead up to the birth of his son Abdoulai Jnr. because of the worries of childbirth and was a player that was only able to show his best form when he was only thinking about football."

"We were a little bit worried about this but we got over the problem and his wife gave birth to a lovely bouncing baby boy - Abdouali Jnr. Every was delighted for him and his wife Ruth and over the next couple of weeks Abdoulai was able to show the sort of form we all knew he was capable of culminating in his hat-trick against Southport. Unfortunately his wife got very homesick, as young mothers do with young babies, and she wanted to be near her family who were still in Belgium."

"She decided with Demba that she would return to Belgium but unfortunately that affected Demba in that he now could not see his young family. So I gave him a couple of weeks grace to sort himself out, as it was the transfer window, and he has now signed for a second division Belgium club that is situated only twenty minutes from his Belgium home and he can now settle down to be a father to his son and daughter."

"I wish him, his wife and family all the best for the future as he was a lovely person and they are a lovely family and I am sure I will be visiting him if I go to Belgium and he will be popping in to see me if he is ever back in England."

Demba scored 10 goals for Yeovil Town in just 15 starts and 22 appearances. His last goals for Yeovil Town were on November 19th 2002 in a County Cup game against Mangotsfield. His last appearance for the club was four days later at Southport in a Nationwide Conference league match. Hopefully on home turf, he can show KV Oostende and the Belgian League the kind of form that made him so popular, so quickly on English soil.

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9 January 2003 : Demba On His Way?
Yeovil Town striker Abdoulai Demba looks to be on his way out of Huish Park at last. The player has not been seen at a Yeovil Town match since December 21st, and manager Gary Johnson admitted last week that Demba was over in Belgium staying with his family.

Now rumours are abound that Demba is likely to return to KV Oostende, the Belgian League side that he played for, prior to his arrival in Somerset. The long-running speculation is that his family have had difficulty in settling in Somerset and this, coupled with the birth of his second child in Autumn last year, has contributed to his off-the-field problems.

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7 January 2003 : Hereford Could Lose Clarke For Trophy Clash
Influential Hereford United full-back Matt Clarke seems likely to miss Saturday's FA Trophy match with Yeovil Town this coming Saturday. The former West Brom youth player limped out of the Bulls 2-0 win over Telford United on New Years Day and seems likely to require an operation to cure his ills.

Hereford United boss Graham Turner seemed to be delaying his decision to put Clarke under the knife for an on-going knee problem, claiming prior to the turn of the year that it "we will lose him in the next few weeks for surgery"

But following the New Years Day game, Turner seems to have brought forward Clarke's operation admitting, "Matt Clarke will need knee surgery and probably be out for two or three weeks. Richard Teesdale who replaced Matt Clarke is a good young player. He's got plenty of composure. Probably not his best position but he will do for the moment."

Bulls skipper and central defender Ian Wright missed the New Years Day game due to flu, but is expected to be part of Saturday's home team squad.

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7 January 2003 : Plucky Back In Training
For most players, landing half a dozen stitches in your forehead would be enough to land them out of the game for a week or two. Not so, central defender Colin Pluck. The big man shrugged off his head injury at Gravesend and went straight into training on Monday and looks to be laying claim for a place in the side that will travel to Hereford United on Saturday.

"He'll be fine," said manager Gary Johnson yesterday. "He trained with a bandage and a bobble hat on his head."

Striker turned central-defender Chris Giles could also be in the squad that travels to Edgar Street. With the Glovers refusing to allow him to become cup-tied for Gravesend and Northfleet, the player has been temporarily recalled, although a further loan deal has not yet been ruled out.

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6 January 2003 : YTISA Throw In The Towels
YTISA Treasurer Stewart Bratherton writes:

"Yeovil Town Independent Supporters Association (YTISA) have been approached in the last couple of days with a request to supply towels to replace the ones that we kindly donated to the playing staff last year.

"It has always been our aim to make suitable donations to Yeovil Town Football Club that the Committee on behalf of its members felt worthy, the association has therefore today purchased 20 towels and handed them to the club for the use of the playing staff at YTFC.

"We would like to thank all our members as well as those supporters that purchase our merchandise or support our fund raising who have enabled us to make this kind donation.

"We will endeavour to keep you all informed of any donations handed over to the club either here on Ciderspace, In the Association Fanzine or in the Local Press."

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6 January 2003 : YTISA Travel To Hereford
Anyone wishing to travel with the YTISA to Hereford United this forthcoming Saturday 11th January for the FA Trophy Third Round tie can phone Mark Kelly on 01935-412236 for further details.

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6 January 2003 : Play-Off Final Heads For The Potteries
The first ever Nationwide Conference play-off final will be held at the Britannia Stadium - home of Stoke City. The 28,000 capacity modern stadium, on the junction of the A50 and A500 on the outskirts of the north Midlands town will decide the second club to be promoted to the Nationwide League on Saturday 10th May. The top Nationwide Conference club will of course receive automatic promotion.

Conference Chief Executive John Moules says of the final: "We are expecting a crowd of 20,000 plus for the final, even more if two of the big three teams like Yeovil, Doncaster or Chester are involved. The game is bigger than the FA Trophy final because there is a place in the Football League at stake. We are holding it on a day when people can comfortably travel and will be sticking to our pledge of fair ticket pricing. All 22 Conference clubs will share in the income from the play-offs."

The latter comment from Moules will surely raise a few eyebrows. Unless Mr Moules is referring to television rights, Ciderspace can think of no other scenario where football clubs have to share out their gate receipts with their rivals.

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5 January 2003 : Lindy Hat-Trick Sinks The Fleet
The Glovers clocked up their first four goal haul since mid-October on Saturday, when they defeated Gravesend and Northfleet 4-2 at Stonebridge Road. In an action packed game that saw three more disallowed goals, Andy Lindegaard stole the show, scoring his first ever competitive professional hat-trick.

Gravesend woke the Glovers up early with a goal after 55 seconds from Jimmy Jackson but that only lasted 12 minutes when Kirk Jackson netted his fourth goal in six games with a looping header. Then Lindy stole the show with a series of three excellent team goals, and despite Kevin Natch making things nervy when he pulled the scores back to 3-2, Lindegaard's last minute strike gave him the match ball and a happy trip back from Kent. At times Gravesend looked like they might snatch an equaliser, but Yeovil were pulsating on the break making for an excellent, but nailbiting, end-to-end game.

"If you want an easy game, you'll have to join another league, joked manager Gary Johnson after the game. "This is a difficult league. It could have been 8-4 today, but if you score four goals away from home you're going to win football matches and you are going to win leagues. I thought we created a lot of chances. To be fair to Gravesend, I thought they were dead at the end of the first half, but for the whole of the second half they refused to lay down and die and even at 3-1 they kept coming at us. But teams that are 3-1 down can be quite dangerous because they can throw caution to the wind because they've got nothing to lose, and Gravesend put the ball in the box several times and got onto it once to make it 3-2. Then until Lindy got his hat-trick and the last goal, it was tight. But games can be rollercoasters and in the end when it's 4-2, you wonder what you were worried about."

"If you are going to go 1-0 down, do it in the first minute because it gives you 89 minutes to get the goals back! But credit to the boys for getting back to 2-1 before half time. When you go a goal down, you have got to pick your heads up. At 2-1 down, I felt Gravesend's heads went down a little bit, but at half time their manager has obviously given them a bit of a roasting, they've made a change and stuck more people up front and looked quite dangerous, but in the end we coped with it."

"I'm pleased for both Lindy and Kirk when they are scoring goals. I thought they worked hard and it's nice to get four goals. It's great for Lindy - he's always going to be a threat in behind with his pace. Jacko has hit some form in these last few games and they have looked dangerous. But the whole team has got to feed them and there were some great balls put through for both of them and some good quality from the set plays - our first goal was from a set play, we work hard on them, and so I'm pleased for everybody."

The Glovers' attempts to win the game were not helped by the loss of Colin Pluck with half an hour remaining, due to a head injury. Abdelhalim El Kholti replaced him and proved his worth when he created the final goal.

"We seem to have a lot of stitches at the moment" said Johnson. "Plucky got a few stitches in a head wound today. We've got seven days before our next game so we'll have to see. Knowing Plucky his chances are very good, but we'll have to wait and see. Seven days might be too early for an injury like the one he got. He's got stitches right on the front. Skivo has got a chance for next week, although it's only just possible. He's also got a badly bruised knee, so the bruising may be more of a problem than the actual stitches."

"I didn't want to upset the apple-cart, so I brought El Kholti into a left-back position. I wanted to keep it was a good solid 4-4-2, like we tend to do when we are seeing out a game. I also wanted a bit of pace and El Kholti gives you that. He also gets forward, because I don't want to be sitting back. I knew he could play left-back a bit like the way Tonkin did when he was here, where he made forward runs at the right time. Plucky was having stitches at the time and I couldn't wait for him to come back because there was only 20 minutes to go and I didn't want to play 10 minutes with 10 men when the game was this important and I had good players on the touchline. Roy is not a left-back - he's a centre-back, and that's why when we stuck Roy on, he won four or five headers at exactly the right time. We knew they would bomb it in there and he won his headers and did his job."

The win saw Yeovil continue their five point gap at the top of the table, with rivals Chester City and Doncaster Rovers both winning their games against Kettering Town and Barnet respectively.

"We've had five games in a short space of time over Christmas," said Johnson. "The boys have done great and we're still top of the league. I don't know how the other teams got on today, but they are running out of games. The more games we keep winning, the more they are going to have to chase us."

Hereford United mark the next opponents for Yeovil Town as they begin their defence of the FA Trophy next weekend at Edgar Street and they have to wait until January 18th until their next league fixture against Morecambe.

"We've got two weeks now where we don't have to worry about the league," added Johnson. "But you know how we feel about the FA Trophy. We'd like to retain it as we liked the big dizzy heights we went to last year. There's no doubt that we want to win the Trophy again. We want to win the league, obviously, but we'd like to win the Trophy as well. The boys are desperate to retain it, but it's a difficult game up there, Hereford are an in-form side at the moment and it's one to look forward to."

"This was a great advert today for Conference football. I thought it was a terrific game. Gravesend made it a great game; they couldn't sit behind the ball as they needed the three points. We are going to get games like that now. Whereas last year, there were a lot of teams who were not playing for anything, teams sold players because they couldn't go up and couldn't go down and so they got rid of their players in preparation for the following year. This year, nearly everyone is involved, trying to get a play-off position or in a relegation fight. So every game is going to be big - not just for us, but for the Chesters and the Doncasters."

The Ciderspace Match Report can be found here.

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