Yeovil Town make their first ever Football League trip to Home Park tomorrow, as they start the year of 2011 with a New Year's Day localish derby against Plymouth Argyle. The Pilgrims are the last of the major West Country teams that the Glovers have yet to play in the League - the nearest they came to parity before that was two 1965-66 Western Counties Floodlit League matches that were officially badged as first team games, but where Football League sides tended to put out fringe sides.
There have been three previous cup meetings though - a 1928-29 FA Cup First Round match that saw Yeovil beaten 1-4 at the old Huish ground, whilst in 1972-73, Argyle triumphed again by a 0-2 scoreline, with 10,577 turning up in South Somerset for the Second Round tie. More recently though, the Glovers achieved an amazing 3-2 win in the Carling Cup at the start of the 2004-05 season, as three legendary Lee Johnson goals - including one scored by mistake - saw the home side go through, and Johnson's first goal screened regularly on national television, along with Plymouth's bizarre equaliser.
Now the two teams meet on an even footing. The Pilgrims go into the match in 15th place in the current League One table, ten points ahead of the Glovers who remain in 24th place and six adrift of safety. However, more recently all of the noise coming out from Home Park has been about what's been happening off the field of play. Left winger Craig Noone has completed his move to Brighton and Hove Albion, and that is believed to have brought in around £250,000 to pay off their tax bills. His place in the side should be taken by Yannick Bolasie.
Argyle have also admitted that they have received an offer for one of their strikers - they've not named names, but the rumourmill suggests that Sheffield Wednesday are after Rory Fallon, although Argyle's official site oddly speculates itself by pointing out that George Donnelly is currently on loan with League Two side Stockport County. They have insisted it is not top scorer Bradley Wright-Phillips, whose transfer away from Home Park would easily clear their tax debts on his own.
For the Glovers, since they played their last match up at Hartlepool United in mid-December, winger Ivan Sproule has returned to Bristol City, but today they have recruited goalkeeper Richard Martin (details), QPR midfielder Max Ehmer (details) and perhaps most intriguingly Paul Wotton (details) who will make his début against his home town club. Winger Ivan Sproule has gone back to Bristol City, whilst benchwarmer-coach Ben Roberts has left for Charlton Athletic.
In terms of those that haven't arrived or left since the last match, left-back Nathan Smith returns after his one match suspension, whilst one of the small benefits of a near blank December is that Stefan Stam (hamstring), Paul Huntington (ribs) and Adam Virgo (knee) should all be available. Virgo was the only borderline case when Yeovil were due to play on Boxing Day - we've not heard of any fresh injuries but hopefully that extra week will have turned Virgo into a certainty to be available. In theory that would make the whole first team squad available for selection.
Tomorrow's match kicks off at 3.00p.m. and for those of you who get down to Home Park, the Ciderspace guide linked below is your friend, with tickets available on the day. For those of you who are nursing hangovers too bad to cope with the journey, take two aspirin, and make sure you're following either our Twitter account or BBC Somerset on 95.5FM for live commentary.
Link: Ciderspace Guide To Plymouth Argyle.
Link: GWSC Travel To Plymouth Argyle.
Link: Devon and Dorset Greens Travel To Plymouth Argyle.
Link: Officials For Plymouth Argyle vs Yeovil Town.
Link: High Noone For Argyle.
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