Yeovil Town v Chester City
Nationwide Conference


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Venue: Huish Park
Saturday 5th April 2003, 3pm kick-off.

Conditions: Overcast, sunny at first followed by torrential rain.
Ground: Perfect, but bare in goalmouths.

Nationwide Conference :
Yeovil Town 1 Chester City 1

Attendance: 8,111

Referee: Mr A Marriner

Bookings:
Yeovil: None
Chester: Carden (49, foul), Twiss (55, foul), Bolland (74, foul). Red card: Brady (69, serious foul play)

Line up : (3-4-1-2)

1. Chris Weale

2. Adam Lockwood

4. Terry Skiverton

14. Roy O'Brien

10. Nick Crittenden

6. Darren Way

8. Lee Johnson

11. Michael McIndoe

20. Gavin Williams

25. Kirk Jackson

9. Kevin Gall

Substitutes: 5. Colin Pluck (73, for Lockwood), 12. Chris Giles , 16. Andy Lindegaard (86, for Williams) 22. Steven Collis, 24. Abdelhalim El Kholti (73, for Crittenden)

Chester: (4-5-1): Brown,
Woodyatt, Bolland, Hatswell, Joy,
Brady, Blackburn, Kelly, Carden, Twiss,
Cameron
Subs : McIntyre (81, for Twiss), Beesley, Sugden (74, for Cameron), Worsnop, Davies (77, for Carden).

Scorers: Kevin GALL (8, 1-0), Kevin McIntyre (85, 1-1)


This report courtesy of Noddy Elms:

YEOVIL CHAMPIONS: BYE-BYE NON-LEAGUE: HELLO LEAGUE FOOTBALL

The level of expectation at Huish Park is testament to the quality of Yeovil performances this season. Regardless of opposition, a goal fest is expected at every game. There looked to be "more-of-the-same" on the cards when Gavin Williams powered forward and found Kevin GALL in the Chester penalty box. Gall didn't hesitate and smashed the ball past the helpless Brown to open the scoring after eight minutes. Yeovil 1 Chester 0.

The thought from then on seemed to be to help Kirk Jackson secure the golden boot. Jackson picked up Way's pass after 10 minutes but produced a weak shot when Gall appeared to be better placed. Two minutes later Gall played provider for Jackson, squaring after good work by McIndoe. But Jackson's shot was again weak and poorly directed, Brown gathered comfortably.

Yeovil had undoubtedly started the brighter and might well have been two or three goals to the good. But from then on they seemed to lose that cutting edge, crosses fell comfortably for Brown and his goal was rarely troubled. Chester came more into the game and won a dubious free kick on the edge of the Yeovil box. Chris Weale produced a top quality left hand save to palm the ball around his post. The following corners lead to desperate clearances from the Yeovil box, Way eventually clearing off the line. The long lost nervousness of previous seasons seemed to have returned. Yeovil defended deep and were subject to the type of intense pressure that they are usually imposing.

Both midfields were busy but it was the defences who dominated. Errors crept into Yeovil's game and they often conceded possession.

Yeovil occasionally gained brief respite as half time approached, McIndoe seemed to be always instrumental in Yeovil attacks. His 33rd minute free kick flew closely over Brown's bar. His strong run before half time found Williams in the box, but, off-balance, the Welshman shot high. Moments later he made yet another surge down the left, but this time it was Jackson who failed to convert.

Half Time: Yeovil Town 1 Chester City 0.

Mr Mariner had been lenient and played advantage well through the first half. At times he might have been more forceful in dealing with the physical, and sometimes late, Chester challenges. However, there was no such let off when Carden brought down Johnson on 48 minutes. Minutes later Twiss followed his team-mate in the referee's book. Brady was red-carded for a challenge on O'Brien after 69 minutes. That seemed to be a sign for Yeovil to turn the pressure up. Gavin Williams broke in from the left but his right-foot shot flew wide of the far post.

But in the main Yeovil were struggling to regain the performance of previous weeks. Too often they conceded ground and were forced to defend in numbers. Chester, for their part looked fairly impressive in build up but impotent when actually striking on goal.

Both teams made the obligatory substitutions: El Kholti and Pluck replaced Lockwood and Crittenden for Yeovil, Sugden replaced Cameron and shortly Davies and McIntyre replaced Carden and Twiss. El Kholti was soon into action, but his shot drifted wide.

Pluck took time to settle into the centre of defence and tangled with Skiverton to set Sugden away. Fortunately Pluck recovered well to deny Sugden.

Kevin Gall had the best chance to double Yeovil's lead when he broke past the Chester defence, but the defence recovered and did well to prevent his strike. At the other end there were strong appeals for a Chester penalty as Williams challenged in his own box, but the appeals were ignored.

Chester salvaged what was probably a deserved equaliser on 85 minutes. A left wing corner was played deep to the edge of the box where Kevin McINTYRE headed powerfully for goal. Somehow the ball snuck between Weale and Way guarding the right hand post. Yeovil 1 Chester 1.

Lindegaard immediately replaced Williams and soon sent in a cross from the right that McIndoe volleyed speculatively from wide.

Final Score: Yeovil Town 1 Chester City 1.

On reflection, perhaps a fair result. Yeovil initially appeared in full control, opening the scoring early on, and creating further chances. But Chester weathered the storm and made an impressive contribution to the game. Yeovil failed to capitalise on their one-man advantage and Chester grabbed a well-earned point.

The result, in the main though, was academic. Yeovil, by avoiding defeat, would ensure more entries in the record books.

In a season where so much has been achieved any criticism today would be petty. Today was a day to remember as the day Yeovil Town lifted the Conference Trophy, little else seemed to matter. The Yeovil contingent of the 8111 crowd came to celebrate a season's achievement. At the end of the game presentations were made, medals were collected, and the celebrations will go on long into the night. But to my mind today was great but I will always remember the journey itself. The most memorable stops along the way being: Nuneaton at Dorchester, Woking at home, Southport home, Telford away, Gravesend away, Burton at home.

Thank you Jon Goddard-Watts. Thank you John Fry. Thank you Gary Johnson. Thank you lads. Thank you to the other thousands of fellow supporters who made up the twelfth man.

Roll on next season. Another journey.

Noddy Elms




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Last Updated 22nd March 2003


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