For most of the travelling Green Army this was the first time they had seen Yeovil get beyond the third round of the FA Cup. That special day, normally the first weekend in January is one of the most eagerly awaited days the football calendar throws up – Hope and expectation fills the air - This time, for the Glovers that dream turned into reality as an officially counted 4000 green and white’s left the lush green fields behind and made straight for the Valley - for the first time in over 50 years Yeovil Town took part in the fourth round of the FA Cup.
The motorways and its pit stops were awash with Green and White as in excess of 40 coaches snaked the route in convoy fashion and, as in battle the reinforcements arrived at the right time with hordes of warriors leaving the station platforms simultaneously and bringing South East London to a standstill. As the masses spilled out and headed to the ground there stood the Valley…home ofthe Addicks.
In years gone by days like these were meant to be enjoyed, now, under Gary Johnson’s brand of cavalier football - enjoyment is mixed with expectation. One Charlton fan, who stood nervously outside the players entrance shook his head and said “I’m really not looking forward to this” – which is testament to the reputation of the current Yeovil Town. As the teams took to the pitch the battle cry was sounded and it must have sent shivers through Charlton ranks as they fell silent.
The game got underway and Charlton had the first sniff of goal, a free kick was knocked into the box by Danny Murphy, booed by the Yeovil fans, and Shaun Bartlett rose highest but his header cleared the bar. Jerome Thomas, a tricky left winger looked an immediate threat as he attempted to open up Yeovil’s right flank but to no avail.
Yeovil then began to settle, intricate passing released Gall, whose cross following his strong run down the wing missed it’s range. Two corners followed before Jevons blasted wide after a trade mark Tarachulski knock down. Then Charlton attacked, and Franny Jeffers had a great opportunity to open the scoring, fed by Murphy he unleashed a powerful shot that just missed the top right hand corner. Yeovil came right back and were so unlucky not to take the lead when the tenacious Paul Terry ran unchallenged from midfield and shot from 20 yards, his effort beat Kiely in the Charlton goal but not the post and the ball rebounded to safety. Skiverton’s powerful header missed its target and Lindegaard's shot was blocked as Yeovil went on the rampage.
Charlton, unable to escape the shackles gradually got back into the game, and on 26 minutes some good movement down their right saw Murphy spray the ball to Luke Young whose fine low cross should have been converted at the far post by Shaun Bartlett. The same combination again linked, but this time Murphy was the provider, his first time ball into the path of Bryan Hughes was sweetly struck and grazed the top of the bar as it flew into the home end. On 38 minutes Charltons mini spell reaped it’s reward as a long ball from a free kick came into the box and Hreidarsson’s knockdown was met by Bryan HUGHES who stabbed the ball home to give the host’s a rather fortunate lead. Not to be denied though Yeovil kept going, and a tremendous run from Gall set up the equaliser. Picking up the ball in his own half, instead of going wide as he normally does the man from Merthyr ran straight through the heart of Charlton evading and slipping tackles the way he does best. Eventually he was brought to a halt deep in the box but the ball was never cleared, and as it fell to Paul TERRY he picked his spot from 10 yards and sent the travelling fans packed behind that goal wild with just a minute to go until halftime.