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Season 2005-2006 : Yeovil Town v Port Vale : Saturday 24th September 2005
Football League One : Yeovil Town 1 - 0 Port Vale

Venue: Huish Park
Sat 24th Sept 2005, 3pm kick-off.

Conditions: Breezy, mild
Pitch: Good, but cutting up slightly

Scorers: Matt Harrold (85, 1-0)

Attendance: 5,901 (including approx 350 Port Vale fans)

Referee: Trevor Parkes (West Midlands)
Assistants: Ron James (Buckinghamshire); Danny McDermid (Hampshire)
Fourth official: Ron Ganfield (Somerset)

Bookings:
Yeovil: Phil Jevons (61, foul). Red card: Alejandrio Melono (59, serious foul play)
Port Vale: Tony Dinning (33, foul), Danny Sonner (88, foul)

Team Line-Ups

Yeovil Town : (4-4-2)
1. Chris Weale
12. Kevin Amankwaah 4. Terry Skiverton 16. Efetobore Sodje 28. Alejandrio Melono
25. Arron Davies 6. Darren Way 8. Lee Johnson 11. Nathan Jones
10. Phil Jevons 22. Pablo Bastianini

Subs: 2. Adam Lockwood 7. Paul Terry (86, for Jevons) 13. Steven Collis (GK) 20. Matt Harrold (65, for Bastianini) 26. Luciano Alvarez

Port Vale :
1. Mark Goodlad 15. George Abbey 2. George Pilkington 6. Sam Collins 16. Steve Rowland 4. Danny Sonner 8. Michael Cummins 12. Tony Dinning 9. Nathan Lowndes 10. Billy Paynter 17. Christopher Birchall

Subs: 24. Jonny Brain (GK) 19. Gary Mulligan (77, for Lowndes) 27. Chris Cornes (85, Rowland) 18. Mark Innes (74, for Dinning) 21. Joe Cardle

Jeremy Gear's Match Report

When 3 equals 6

Without doubt these 3 points secured following the Glovers one nil win over Port Vale will mentally count for double that. For 85 minutes preceding Matt Harrold ‘s winner the Huish Park atmosphere, like most of the crowd was subdued…for obvious reasons, and then with the game heading for a seemingly inevitable goalless draw, a little bit of divine inspiration firstly from Lee Johnson and then Kevin Amankwaah not only closed the chapter but completed the book on a glorious five years. Now, at Southend on Tuesday night, the new author Steve Thompson will write the introduction in the next Yeovil Town novel in buoyant and confident mood…whether he writes the rest of the book remains to be seen!

A turbulent 24 hours left most of the Town numb, how vital it was to get a winning start or else the rot could well have started to set in. It was hard to describe the first few minutes. Looking across to the dugout was like looking at Ground Zero after the Twin Towers fell, something massive had gone, a huge void had changed the touchline landscape forever. It will never look or sound the same again…time though, I’m told, is a great healer.

Two enforced changes to the side were made following Tuesday's narrow defeat against Millwall, Efe Sodje replaced the suspended Liam Fontaine in the heart of defence, and Arron Davies came in for hamstring victim Kevin Gall. It was the Valiants who made the brighter start, firstly forcing Chris Weale into making a great save following a long range low shot to his right, and then following a right wing cross they headed against the bar before the ball was cleared to safety.

Yeovil adopted their usual pattern of neat intricate passing football, Nathan Jones who was having a fine match was at the heart of most of it, but as caretaker boss Thompson admitted after the game, “it wasn’t the most entertaining of matches we’ve seen this season” as Port Vale came without too much attacking flair. Arron Davies shot over following a Jevons knockdown, and then skipper Skiverton tried to add to his goal tally but his trademark header from a corner beat the keeper but went the wrong side of his upright. Weale had to be alert again as a terrific swerving shot from George Abbey was pushed away for a corner. It was then a tale of the two goalines as firstly a Vale header from a corner was cleared of the line by Sodje, and then in the 40th minute Jevons attempt at goal was hacked away by skipper Sam Collins.

Half-time: Yeovil Town 0 - 0 Port Vale

The first half ended goalless, and this was Thommo’s moment. The team looked flat, not lacking effort, but just looking flat. Would his half time rally re-kindle the flame? There was little to suggest after the restart that whatever went on behind closed doors had worked. Davies shot over, and Pablo who has yet to hit the heights expected shot tamely at Mark Goodlad in the visitor’s goal.

On 58 minutes the dependable Amankwaah made a great tackle in his own half, this inspired a Yeovil attack and Jevons’ shot at the end of it was again well saved by Goodlad... and then the game changed. For the second time in a week Yeovil were down to ten men, with Alejandro Melono being dismissed for foul on Nathan Lowndes which Thompson later claimed was harsh, worthy of a yellow yes, but not a red.

Port Vale then threatened to take the game away from Yeovil as their possession percentage increased, but as Lee Johnson said afterwards, “it was a hard ten minute spell, and we did give the ball away a few times but that happens when you're chasing the game, but the spirit was obvious and even before the game, the atmosphere in the dressing room was positive. We wanted to do it for Thommo and for each other and we really worked hard...all the lads did”

Seconds after Melono’s sending off, Jevons was fortunate to get away with a yellow following an out of character challenge that to be fair, looked worse than the Uruguayan's.

On 65 minutes Thompson introduced his first sub, and it was Matt Harrold who replaced Bastianini. The Argentine looks comfortable on the ball, but his early season promise of pace and power has yet to materialise, strong on his left but weak on his right, capable of the spectacular but still not the finished product. Matt HARROLD is also not the finished article, but whereas he may not produce the spectacular he was, as he proved, effective in the box. With the game climaxing into a stalemate, and with all teams below us winning, including one in Bristol, that moment of inspiration came with five minutes to go. Lee Johnson clipped a wonderful ball down the right channel and fed Amankwaah with precision, the kind of ball he thrives on, Amankwaah, who throughout the second half looked tired stormed down the right and squared the ball to Harold who fired home to send the home crowd wild. “I was knackered” the right back later admitted “but Lee supplied the perfect pass and as I looked up I could see Matty on his own and I just crossed it to him and he did the rest”

Although the Yeovil goal never looked to be under too much threat, Sodje and Skiverton made successive blocks to keep the sheet clean and send the 5901 crowd home feeling a damn sight better than they did when they arrived.

The relief on the pitch at the final whistle was palpable, and the players and staff were united and delighted, none more so than Skiverton, a defeat could have been calamitous, a draw unhelpful, but a win was just what the doctor ordered…he can, for now put the Prozac back into his medical bag!

Jeremy Gear

MOTM Vote Result:

Player MOTM Score
Kevin Amankwaah 53 907
Lee Johnson 3 223
Efe Sodje - 207
Nathan Jones 1 127
Terry Skiverton 2 120

Overall match rating: 6.8 / 10
Performance: 7.3
Entertainment: 6.3

60 votes received.

Any comments/questions please email yeo.motm@ntlworld.com

Full-time: Yeovil Town 1 - 0 Port Vale
Match reports are welcomed by Ciderspace for publication - they can be as long or short as you like, humourous or serious as you prefer; and we welcome more than one viewpoint - the more the merrier! Send them to us as soon as possible after the game to ytfcciderspace@yahoo.com, or simply post them to the Ciderspace Mailing-List or Fans Forum and we will pick them up from there.

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Last Updated : 24th September 2005
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