Other reports : yeoviltown-mad.co.uk; sports.com; YTFC official website; NVFC official website; Western Daily Press;
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Sat 18th August 2001, 3pm kick-off.
Nationwide Conference :
Yeovil Town 2 - 3 Northwich Victoria
Line up : (4-4-2 / 3-5-2 / 4-4-2 / 3-4-3)
Subs used: Carl Alford (61, for Turner), Chris Giles (82, for Belgrave), Tom White (61, for Ramsay)
Gibson, Knowles, Jones, Talbot, Barnard, Brownrigg, Norris, Devlin, Burke, Blundell, Mike.
Subs used: Bailey(45, for Knowles), Garvey (66, for Brownrigg), Mitchell (87, for Mike)
Michael McINDOE (11, 1-0), Andrew Brownrigg (32, 1-1), Gary Burke (41, 1-2), Greg Blundell (90, 1-3), Chris GILES (90, 2-3)
This report courtesy of Fe7:
One hundred and six years is a long time. But now, Yeovil Town Football Club
enters the finishing straight leading to League status. Improving on last
year's success will ensure this becomes a reality. A larger squad of all
full-time players must mean that, over a complete season, Yeovil will be
better than last season.
However, the start of Yeovil's "year of success" faltered at the first
hurdle. Northwich finished just three points ahead of the relegation trio
last season and expectation was high that three points for Yeovil would be a
formality. This view was underlined by Yeovil's domination in the first
thirty minutes, resulting in the opening goal by MacIndoe. Yeovil continued
their domination but failed to capitalise and poor marking in the box allowed
Northwich to equalised on 31 minutes. Northwich were now inspired and
continued to press for a second goal. This duly arrived on 40 minutes when
Sheffield failed to pick out an innocuous header that bounced past him and
his goal-line defenders. When White failed to clear a through ball on 90
minutes and Sheffield was nowhere, when he might have been supporting his
defender, the Yeovil faithful became the Yeovil unfaithful and hurriedly
scampered for the exit. Most would have failed to see Blundell, the
goal-scorer, collect his second yellow card for "celebrating" his goal, and
being subsequently ordered from the pitch.
This incident signalled the farce that was then to ensue. Almost immediately
from the kick-off Gibson, the Northwich keeper, failed to collect a Giles
header and Alford and Giles scrambled the ball over the line. The goal was
credited to Giles by the public address system. As Alford attempted to
collect the ball from under Gibson's body, lying in the back of the Northwich
goal, everybody joined in - Yeovil midfielders, Northwich defenders and
midfielders, Referee, Yeovil supporters from the Westland Terrace, Uncle Tom
Cobbley and all, to explain to Gibson that the ball should be returned to the
centre-spot. With the crowd baying for blood, anybody's, the referee blew a
rather hasty final whistle shortly after the restart. The Yeovil supporters
who had turned back from the exits had eventually seen what they came to see
a bit of blood and guts. The fight-back was not complete but at least,
eventually, they got sight of the sort of spirit that will win the league.
Back to the game.
Gary Johnson, with all but O'Brien available chose Pluck in preference to
White at the back, and Ramsey in preference to Alford up front. Crittenden
was retained at the contentious right back position.
In contrast to the exiting finale, Yeovil played pretty football in the
opening spell. Before the goal, in the opening minute there was a strong
appeal for a Yeovil penalty as Ramsey appeared to be brought down from behind
when it looked as if scoring would be a formality.
Northwich had their first chance after 6 minutes when Sheffield fumbled the
ball but the Northwich striker was only able to blast the ball over the
Yeovil bar form about eight yards.
On 10 minutes the Yeovil faithful received their expected rewards. A super
cross from the right appeared to be too strong for the lonely McIndoe in the
Northwich box. McIndoe, back-peddling at the far post, managed to get his
head to the ball. Although the header had no pace, its direction was
accurate. While Gibson headed for his near post, McIndoe, wisely, headed the
ball back towards the far post. It bounced once, maybe twice, but had eluded
Gibson. The only danger to Yeovil's joy was an incoming defender who could
only manage to confirm a goal by smashing the ball into the roof of his net in
an attempt to clear it. The ball had already crossed the line for McIndoe to
claim his first, and Yeovil's first, goal of the season.
From then on Northwich seemed unable to cope with the damp conditions, and
any forward play to Mike, deep on the wings, aimlessly flew out of play on
Yeovil continued to dominate with Crittenden particularly creating problems
down the right hand side. Yeovil might have doubled their lead, and killed off
the game, when Turner broke clear into the box but failed to ensure that his
shot cleared Gibson's on-rushing body.
Against the run of play Northwich equalised. Yeovil failed to challenge on
the edge of their own box. Northwich were left plenty of time to measure a
cross to the far post where Brownrigg, unmarked, directed his header back
across Sheffield inside the right hand post.
Northwich, inspired by this goal held the upper hand for the next ten minutes
until a header from the edge of the box eluded Sheffield as the Northwich
strikers littering the box impeded him.
Yeovil responded with one or two chances but the first half tended to fade
away to half time.
Half Time: Yeovil 1 Northwich Victoria 2
Yeovil continued where they finished the first half, having most of the play
but failing to create significant opportunities. Northwich picked up a number
of yellow cards, the most rewarding being that of Jones after a foul on
Halfway through the second half Alford and White replaced Turner and Ramsey.
This returned Yeovil to a more familiar 4-4-2 with White fulfilling the
right-back position, allowing Crittenden to move forward to a more
comfortable right-wing role. But, to be honest while Crittenden looked more
comfortable, Yeovil failed to make much headway in the box. Northwich always
looked capable against the Yeovil strikers, Jones coping well with the speed
of Belgrave. Any shots that managed to get through to Gibson were comfortably
Into the second period of the second half Yeovil turned up the pressure and
made a strong appeal for a penalty when a Tonkin cross hit a Northwich
defender's hand in the box. The referee failed to see this as a penalty.
Yeovil continued with a spell of successive corners and optimism increased.
After 82 minutes Giles replaced Belgrave and was immediately in the thick of
the action, eventually resulting in a yellow card for his youthful exuberance
and failure to adjust to the pace of the game.
On 90 minutes Northwich scored their third goal. The goal-scorer was sent
off. Yeovil scored their second, the goal-mouth melee ensued, crowd spilled
onto the pitch and, it was over. Phew, what a finish.
Final score: Yeovil 2 Northwich Victoria 3
A good team will always be built around a strong defence. The cohesion
between Sheffield and his back three or four was, today, very poor. At times
it appeared as if Sheffield was worried about his recent injury - reluctant
to leave his goal line and support the defence. The mid-field are - I believe -
our strongest asset, MacIndoe again was inspirational - which great manager
snapped him up? However, too frequently, Yeovil failed to make significant
in-roads into the box. Without that, it is difficult to evaluate the
striker's contribution - Belgrave failed to get the better of Jones - and
that isn't good enough. Having said that, Giles and Alford created more
mayhem in eight minutes than had been created before that.
Next May this match will be a dim and distant memory. But, much has to
change. Pitting his team against a fellow Conference side, Gary Johnson now knows how much.
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