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Yeovil & Weymouth - We've Met Before....

For a statistical summary of Yeovil v Weymouth results from 1891 to the present day, click here.

And have we met before! This is the BIG one boys and girls. This is a century of rivalry. This is Yeovil versus Why?mouth er........ Weymouth!

Before World War One :

Although the Yeovil egg chasers had found the road to the Dorset coast some years before it took Yeovil's football club several years to understand that this was the enemy. In 1891-92 Yeovil played in a league, the Somerset Senior, for the first time; and that season sees the first recorded match against Weymouth. The friendly (were they ever?) was played on the 19th December, 1891, probably on the old cricket ground which was Yeovil's main venue that season. The score was 0-7.......... and we have been wreaking revenge for that humiliation ever since.

Presumably it had proved a popular fixture because the next season we played three friendlies against the seasiders. Two draws and a loss. This then settled down into a regular schedule of one or two games a season from 1893-94 to 1897-98. Yeovil's first ever victory versus Weymouth came at the start of this period on 23rd December, 1893: 2-0 at home. In the midst of this sequence of friendlies the first competitive match was played between the two sides. On 31st October, 1896 Yeovil Casuals F.C., as we were then known, beat Weymouth 2-0 in the 2nd QR of the Amateur Cup. The honour of scoring the goals in that first match of consequence against Weymouth went to Fred Bond, the captain, and Bob Wyatt. Real blood had been drawn.

In 1898 Yeovil entered the Dorset District League for the first time (whilst still continuing in the Somerset Senior League). This automatically meant two competitive matches a season. In that first season honours were even, both sides winning at home, but Yeovil finished above Weymouth in the league. Second blood to Yeovil.

In 1900 Yeovil were drawn against Weymouth in the F.A. Cup for the first time. The match was played on 3rd November. With the disadvantage of playing away we eventually went down 3-4 in this Qualifying Round. Some revenge was meted out a month later when Yeovil and Weymouth were drawn against each other in the Amateur Cup. This time Yeovil were at home: 3-2 the result. At the end of the season Yeovil pulled out of the Dorset District League and moved to the Wiltshire League. For the next five seasons it was back to playing friendlies.

In 1907-08 Yeovil returned to the (marginally) renamed Dorset & District League. The town of Weymouth had three sides in the league at that time, but against the Weymouth honours were shared - each side winning at home. The following season was very different. Yeovil won the league, with Weymouth runners-up. Having defeated them home and away, the score at Yeovil being 9-1, anything other than finishing above them would have been a travesty. The incomparable Johnny Hayward was in the early stages of his career and scored 5 in what was to remain Yeovil's record victory until a meeting with Bath after the Second World War. Despite losing the years of the Great War in his career Hayward would go on to set records for Yeovil that will never be beaten given the structure of the modern game. The following season Weymouth were in disarray: suspended from Cup matches for financial irregularities; and dropping out of the Dorset & District as their ground sharing arrangements at the Recreation Ground produced fixture clashes.

1912-13 saw Weymouth back with a bang. Yeovil lost 1-7 away, though in mitigation important players were absent on County duty, in November. With a full team out in January revenge was gained 5-0. Weymouth finished the season second, one place above Yeovil. However the title went to Branksome Gas (a Bournemouth side).

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The Inter-War Years :

After the First World War Yeovil started the season in four different leagues in a bid to raise the money to get the club up and running again. We were also looking to negotiate a move to Huish. This threw up a horrendous fixture list. Seventy-two first team fixtures were played that season. Yeovil won the first fixture (away) comfortably. The home game saw the first ever draw between the two sides.

In 1920 Yeovil launched a (semi-)professional side into the Western League but continued to field a second string amateur side in the (again) renamed Dorset League to play the likes of Weymouth. Each side secured a home victory. In the following season, 1921-22, the main thrust for Yeovil and Petters United was the more prestigious Western League (Division 1) which Weymouth had now joined. This meant four matches against the Dorset side that season. We were Western League champions; Weymouth finished second from bottom. There was less interest in the Dorset League which Weymouth took; Yeovil were fourth.

1922 was a big year for Yeovil as we were elected to the Southern League (English Section). A reserve side (stiffened with numbers of first team players on occasion) was entered into the Western League to continue the battle with Weymouth. A second string reserve side maintained a presence in the Dorset League (Division 1). As if that was not enough a team was entered in the Bristol Charity League. Weymouth also created a reserve side for the Dorset League, but concentrated all their first team energies on the Western League. Spreading players across four leagues proved too much as it had a couple of years previously. Yeovil Reserves finished third in the Western League (Weymouth were champions) and the third string were joint top with Weymouth Reserves in the Dorset League. Yeovil had a superior goal difference but this wasn't taken into consideration at that time. The title appeared to have been decided when we were deducted two points.

The next season Yeovil reassessed its strategy. The Southern League had been reorganised into Eastern and Western sections. The club focused on this, and the Western, Dorset and Bristol based leagues were clearly relegated to reserve status. Weymouth, who had previously followed Yeovil into the Western now joined the Southern as well. They had learnt form Yeovil's mistakes the previous year and their continued presence in the Western and Dorset Leagues were reserve affairs right from the start. Matches between the two sides were by now definitely "derby" affairs. Over 4,000 saw the match in January, with hundreds travelling down by train. However the first action of the season had been back in September. Yeovil had successfully appealed the points deduction of the previous season and it was decided that there would be a play-off for the championship. Although both the sides in the Dorset League were now officially reserves both were loaded with first team members for this clash. Yeovil won the game 3-2 at The Rec, and the silverware was theirs. The first team went on to win the Southern League, the club's most significant achievement to that date, with Weymouth ten places and twenty points behind. There was also a cup clash that season - the Weymouth Hospital Charity Cup. Such was the enthusiasm and rivalry building up between the teams and fans of the two towns that over 1,000 Yeovil supporters turned out at Pen Mill to cheer the team home as it arrived with another trophy at Weymouth's expense. Yeovil's first team couldn't maintain the momentum the following season and finished mid-table, a few points behind Weymouth. Both clubs were demonstrating some strength in depth however as their respective reserve sides finished first and second in the Western and Dorset leagues; Yeovil winning the former, Weymouth the latter. 1925-26 saw the return of the first teams to playing in two leagues so once again there were four fixtures. Neither team made much impact, though Yeovil finished above Weymouth in both.

As well as the four league games Yeovil and Weymouth met in the F.A. Cup for a second time the next season. Yeovil lost again. However we gained some revenge during a tremendous backlog of games in April that saw the team play 12 matches in the month. Three of these were versus the local rivals and, with 15 goals for and 2 against, all three occasions saw wins for the Green and Whites. At the end of the 1927-28 season Weymouth reacted to poor performances and falling gates by resigning from the Southern League and the Western League Division 1 and taking over the place of Weymouth Reserves in the second division of the Western League. The following season Yeovil scrapped its Reserves and so in 1929-30 there were no matches between Yeovil and Weymouth at any level for the first time since World War One. Yeovil were to achieve a number of successes - another Southern League title, runners-up in the London Combination League twice, and one Western League championship and two runners-up spots before they met the Dorset side again.

In 1933-34 Yeovil Reserves were resurrected and were entered into the Dorset Senior League where they finished above Weymouth Reserves, who had also been relaunched. However it was not until the next season, after a six year gap, that the first teams played one another again. Yeovil were drawn at home in the F.A. Cup QR4 and 4,300 saw a fine 6-2 victory over Weymouth. Yeovil were on a run that would see us beat Crystal Palace and Exeter, finally going out to Liverpool in R3. Weymouth's long slow climb back to recovery bore some fruit in 1936-37 when they won the Western League Division 2 title. However they decided to remain in that division......... and won the title again the year after.

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Post World War Two :

Part 1: Southern League.

In the years after the Second world War, whilst Yeovil were building towards a purple patch that lead to national and international fame in the great season of 1948-49, Weymouth were nowhere to be seen. Indeed it wasn't until that season that they reappeared in the Western League and reached the status of playing Yeovil Town Reserves. However they did have a good season, finishing third, and for the following campaign went into the Southern League. After a gap of over twenty years serious rivalry was back on the agenda.

Yeovil's second match of the 1949-50 season was at The Rec. Fresh from a 8-0 thrashing of Kidderminster on the opening day we cruised to a 4-1 win. By the time of the return at Huish however Weymouth had come to terms with playing at the higher level and a 2-2 was the result. Yeovil finished third that year and Weymouth in mid-table - a creditable achievement for a first season. In 1950-51 the "derby" status of the fixture received due recognition as the two sides met back to back on Christmas and Boxing Day. Both matches were draws.

The next season saw the rivalry reach new heights. The first meeting was in the league at Huish. 11,000 turned up to see a 2-2 draw. Within a month they were facing each other in the F.A. Cup QR4. This time 13,600 packed into Huish. Another draw. Four days later 9,000 were at The Recreation Ground to watch the replay, and saw Yeovil Town go down 2-1. The same scoreline was repeated in the second league match later in the season. Weymouth were runners-up and Yeovil Town were nowhere. The size of the crowds turning out for these games encouraged the clubs to throw in a friendly as well, so the teams totalled five meetings that season. The next season it was to be six. We were drawn against them for the Southern League Cup Qualifier, played over two legs. Weymouth won 3-0 at home and Yeovil took the tie at Huish 2-1. Weymouth went through as of right but Yeovil also qualified as a 'best loser'. In the next round we were drawn against............. Weymouth again! The match at Huish was a draw so the tie went to a replay. Weymouth nicked it 1-0. In the league that season it was one victory apiece, the home side winning conclusively each time. We had had a poor season, but the next was better with Yeovil clinching third spot in the Southern League. The results versus Weymouth were the rather common ones of a home win for each team.

With a successful platform behind us Yeovil launched a run for the Championship the following season. Weymouth dogged us every step of the way. First blood was in the Southern League Cup Qualifier. 1-3 down after the first leg at the Rec Yeovil produced a tremendous 4-0 comeback at Huish to move on to the next round in a competition we would eventually win in May. As 1954 turned into 1955 Yeovil were top of the league but Weymouth began to put a good run together, and their victory in an epic 3-4 tussle at Huish in March brought them level. Yeovil went into the last match of the season needing a point against third placed Hastings. Hundreds of Weymouth fans travelled up to Huish to cheer the Sussex side on and when the Glovers were still down twenty minutes from time began to believe the championship was destined for the Dorset coastal town. However we snatched an equaliser and Yeovil Town were Champions on goal difference.

Team P W D L F A Pts
1. Yeovil Town 42 23 9 10 105 66 55
2. Weymouth 42 24 7 11 105 84 55

Yeovil finished third the following season, but by the next two (1956-57 and 1957-58) were slipping into the lower reaches and Weymouth were the superior force in those campaigns. 1958-59 was a much better season with the Reserves and Colts winning their leagues and the First Team back up to fourth in a Southern League which had been reorganised slightly as the Southern League South-Eastern Zone. There was also a new mini-league of five teams called the Southern League Inter-Zone. Yeovil won it and Weymouth were runners-up. This was a prelude to a more fundamental restructuring the next year. In cup competitions the two teams met in the fourth round of the Southern League Cup, Yeovil winning 1-0.

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Part 2: The Premiership Years.

The 1959-60 season saw the formation of the Southern League Premier Division, in which Yeovil Town and Weymouth would feature, often prominently, for the next twenty years until Non-league football went nation-wide with the creation of the Alliance in 1979-80. In that first campaign Yeovil had a season of confusion and inconsistency on and off the pitch and ended mid-table. Weymouth secured third place; and a certain club from the northern end of Somerset were champions! The next season Yeovil beat Weymouth in a friendly, a benefit, and mauled them 7-1 in the Southern League Cup (which we went on to win in a replay after the two leg final against Chelmsford City had ended 3-3). The Terras still had the edge in league matches however, winning both fixtures and denying us the runners-up spot as a result. Oxford United were champions, Chelmsford pipped us for second, and Weymouth finished fifth behind Hereford United. In 1961-62, despite rows off the pitch that will seem all familiar to present day fans, Yeovil were up challenging again but could only finish fourth with Weymouth once again two places back. (Oxford were champions again and clearly a cut above the pack. This was recognised by election to the Football League). Knocking the Dorset side out of the Southern League Cup was becoming a regular habit and this was achieved again. Round 4; 2-1 the score.

The winter of 1962-63 was the worst in living memory in the south of England. [Remember it well: didn't return to school after Christmas until February!] Yeovil did not play a single competitive match between Boxing Day and February 16th. The fixture list was in complete chaos and the season became a farce with a match pile-up that made an average Leek run in seem tame. We also had the added disadvantage of playing most of our home games at alternative venues as Huish was being rebuilt. The games against Weymouth were played on 12th and 15th April - with a trip to Merthyr Tydfil in between! Given that three out of four points against the old enemy was commendable stuff.

The manager Basil Hayward was convinced he had the makings of a good side, but not many Yeovil fans agreed and crowds were down. He was to be proved right but did not see the success himself as action (or rather dithering inaction) by the board (another concept familiar to the more modern day fan) meant he resigned mid-season. For once Weymouth knocked us out of the Southern League Cup rather than the other way round but the last laugh was ours. We were already champions when Weymouth came to visit for the last league game of the season. A 3-1 victory was just the icing on the cake as our local rivals had the humiliation of watching the Shield being presented.

The next two seasons are best skirted over however. In both Weymouth were er........champions. 'Nuff said! The second of these (1965-66) saw the first arrival of the Western Counties Floodlight League. Yeovil Town were one of the eight, a combination of League and Non-league teams taking part. We won it by fifteen points with Weymouth nowhere, but it was scant consolation compared to the destination of the major prize. 1966-67 was not much better - but at least the Terras didn't achieve the hat-trick. They could claim a Yeovil manager's scalp though. Joe MacDonald was sacked after we lost 0-2 to Weymouth at home. However in typical board lunacy the "sacking" was deferred to four months notice. Such a situation was clearly untenable and in March he was "sacked" again - this time with immediate effect.

The poor times continued in the first year of replacement Ron Saunders' reign. The team was playing fitfully and the new manager was at logger-heads almost immediately over involvement in the Floodlight League. This and other wrangles marred his short time at the club. Even more serious was the virtual civil war that was being fought out between the Board and the Supporters' Club which would continue with increasing bitterness for three years. The Western Counties Floodlight League was won in 1967-68, but in the Southern League it was a mediocre mid-table performance and we ended two points above Weymouth. Next season saw some marginal improvement to eighth (two points behind our rivals this time). Things had initially looked more promising but Yeovil again lost a manager during the campaign and the season drifted away. Once again the Floodlight League was won; it was to change to a cup competition the following year. Yeovil and Weymouth met in the F.A. Cup too. 5,528 were at the Recreation Ground but it was the home side that went on to a "glamour" tie with Swansea after a 2-1 victory. With the financial situation reaching crisis proportions and the civil war raging on, the Board took two months to sort out a new manager. When he turned out to be a 28 year old Welshman with no experience many thought all he was going to manage was the extinction of the club. Fortunately God had arrived!

With no money, and the rival factions more interested in destroying each other, Mike Hughes had to rely on signing young mostly unproven players for little or nothing: Stuart Housley, Cyril Davies, Ronnie Williams, Paul Lowrie, Tony Clark and John Clancy. Few fans had heard of any of them when they arrived. None would forget the team that was created around them. Cliff Myers was also persuaded to re-sign. The season did not start well as the team tried to bed down and ignore the turmoil going on around them. It was not until the end of September that the campaign began to take off, and then still in fits and starts if the truth be known. Weymouth had been up amongst the leaders throughout the first half of the season but began to falter. By the end of January Yeovil had overtaken them and were briefly top with Wimbledon. On Easter Monday over 4,000 saw the Terras defeated and Yeovil go three points clear in the midst of the run of seven straight wins with which we ended the season. Unfortunately Cambridge United had enough games in hand with which to clinch the title. They made it by a point and were rewarded with a place in the Football League. Weymouth finished fourth.

The 1970-71 season that followed has become folklore. Yeovil reached the third round of the F.A. Cup, where we lost to Arsenal, and the semi-finals of the first ever F.A. Trophy. On the way to that event there was a second round tie against the Dorset rivals to negotiate. We had massive injury and illness problems and, with the Reserve side having been disbanded to save money, a very small squad. The F.A. was asked for a postponement but it was refused. Yeovil took the field at Huish with eight fit players and over 5,000 saw a backs-to-the-wall 0-0 draw. Four days later an equally cobbled together side went to the coast for the replay and snatched a heroic 0-1 win in extra time. The league was tied up with a match to spare. Champions once more. Yeovil Town were the most famous Non-league club in the land once again; and Weymouth were nowhere once again. Yeovil were rewarded by not being elected to the League. At school a pupil was given a detention when he put Mike Hughes at the top of the list for a homework about famous people in British history!

The next season was almost bound to be an anticlimax, but it started well enough. Telford were beaten in the Champions match between the winners of the Southern Premier and the F.A. Trophy. The previous season we had won through to the final of the Western Counties Floodlight Cup but the final was held over until the following term. The opponents? Weymouth, of course. The two leg final saw a 0-0 at Huish but the Terras were turned over at the Rec and it was more silverware for Yeovil Town. We would again beat Weymouth in that season's edition of the same competition at the semi-final stage. There was also another F.A. Trophy semi, but in the league Weymouth and ourselves could only finish sixth and seventh respectively, equal on points. By the end of that season Hughes was gone; the lure of a League club had proved too strong. On the North Bank we were stricken. Only three years, but we loved the man. Some had tears in their eyes.

Still, the life of a football club rolls on and next season we were back challenging for the shield seriously again. Top of the league November and again in January and things seemed set fair. However February was a disastrous month of three losses and ended with Weymouth taking over at the top to rub salt in the wounds. Results picked up for a while but the run-in of three draws out of five was just not good enough and Kettering pushed us into runners-up spot by a point. Weymouth had fallen away feebly and finished sixth.

1973-74 was a dull campaign in the league. Sixth, one point and one place ahead of the enemy. The highlight of the season was a titanic struggle with the Terras in the F.A. Cup Fourth Qualifying Round. The first game at Huish in front of almost 6,000 saw Yeovil take the lead through new boy Tommy Walker. Mike Trebilcock, a Yeovil player only the season before, equalised. The replay four days later still couldn't separate the sides even after extra time; 2-2. Weymouth won the toss of the coin for the right to host the second replay. They also won the game, in considerable controversy. Tony Clark was flattened by Alan Skirton and had to be stretchered off. (He was to be out for several games and so ended an unbroken sequence of 232 games.) Weymouth hit a single goal past Paul Smith who had taken over the gloves.

1974-75 flattered to deceive. Top in October and again in January goal scoring dried up in the back end of the season. Yeovil finished third, but this was not considered good enough and another manager was on his way. At least Weymouth were fifteenth - the worst either club had done since the creation of the Southern League Premier fifteen years previously. Wimbledon were champions, and would continue to win the title until granted League status. In truth the Southern Premier would become a competition to see who would be second until they had gone.

With no Reserve team and the directors insisting the club enter a whole plethora of competitions to squeeze every penny possible out of the much exploited punters a number of key team members were playing over seventy matches a season. Given that, it was amazing that the next campaign saw a runner's-up position in the league. We also won the Western Counties Floodlit League. Meanwhile Weymouth's trough had deepened yet further: seventeenth and beaten by Yeovil in all four of the season's meetings.

For 1976-77 the Reserves were resurrected and this reduced the number of First Team matches scheduled, although the Board used the opportunity to enter yet another competition - the Anglo-Italian Cup. However with more squad flexibility in the lesser competitions the burden on leading players was reduced to a slightly more reasonable fifty or so games. Unfortunately many key team members were ageing together and the season never really kicked in. Yeovil finished seventh. Towards the end of the season Weymouth managed a victory against the Glovers for the first time in three and a half years (a sequence that included six straight wins) but could still do no better than another seventeenth place.

Lean times were coming. In the November of the 1977-78 season Yeovil briefly reached second spot but the writing was on the wall and a series of disasters in Cup competitions and a drift to mid-table led The Western Gazette to run a feature claiming this was the worst season to date since the Second World War. To make matters worse Weymouth had returned to life and secured second spot in a league that was won by Bath! The balance of power had definitely shifted. Weymouth won both league fixtures. We were also drawn together in three different knock-out competitions. The only one that saw Yeovil getting past our rivals was the least important, the Floodlit. It was a different story in the F.A. Trophy and the Southern League Cup.

The 1978-79 season was all about securing a place in the forthcoming Alliance Premier League. Thirteen berths had been allocated to the Southern Premier and those places would be decided by aggregating finishing positions over the last two seasons. Weymouth, having finished second in 1977-78, would have been hard pressed not to qualify but Yeovil with a twelfth against their name couldn't afford a poor league campaign. In the event we both moved on to national football, though neither side had an impressive season. As a small diversion Weymouth were beaten in the Southern League Cup semi-final.

Both Yeovil Town and Weymouth had been amongst the leading lights for the duration of the Southern League Premier Division. Both had finished in the top six for 50% or more of the time and we had two championships and three runners-up spots to our name, whilst the Terras had two championships and one runners-up position to look back on. The teams entered the Alliance full of optimism, but the new structure was to find out the limitations of the West Country sides.

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Part 3: National Football............. some of the time.

Although Yeovil knocked Weymouth out of the F.A. Cup in that first season the south-coast side made a much better start in the new league, finishing second. Flushed with this success, and with the Glovers in the doldrums, the Terras took one of our leading strikers, Trevor Finnigan, to the Rec. Yeovil continued to meander along going nowhere fast the next season; although Weymouth slipped from their bright opening they were still superior enough to thrash us 0-5 at Huish - a game that, along with a humiliating F.A. Cup exit at the hands of Frome ten days later, saw another managerial casualty.

If we had started poorly in the Alliance it was nothing compared to what was on its way over the next four seasons. Overall performances alternated between the abysmal and the truly awful. Managers came and went. Crowds fell to an average of little more than a thousand. The club was close to folding financially. In 1982-83 we finished twentieth, but only Barrow and Stafford Rangers went down as Isthmian Champions Harrow Borough declined to take their place in the Alliance. The following season an almost identical scenario was played out; Yeovil twentieth again, equal on points with Bangor. This time the Welsh side went down along with Trowbridge but as before an Isthmian side declined to come up. Welling eat your heart out! it was almost a relief when in 1984-85 the agony was brought to an end as we ended bottom by eight points and we suffered relegation for the first time in our history. Weymouth were also in decline during this period and by 1983-84 in the lower reaches too. The one bright spot for the Glovers in a season of three managers was the first victories against the Terras since 1980: 1-3 away and 6-3 at Huish.

As Yeovil Town started the 1985-86 season in the Vauxhall-Opel League there would be no fixtures against Weymouth for the first time in thirty-eight years. It took three seasons to escape regional football. In the championship year of 1987-88 there was the first meeting with the rivals since the relegation. We had already got through three rounds when we were drawn away to the Terras in the Fourth Qualifying Round and won 1-3. Another progression to Round Three was on the way.

When promoted back to what had now become the GM Vauxhall Conference old rivalries would not be restored for long. Weymouth had struggled through the intervening seasons but by then were in dire straights. Ex Glovers manager Gerry Gow could not revive their fortunes and the 1988-89 campaign saw them finish last. It was presumed that they would return like Yeovil but the demise continued, and they were to continue the slide until relegated a further step down the pyramid. Now back in the Dr Martens Premier Division, one level below the Nationwide Conference, the F.A. Trophy second round tie in 1999 was the first competitive fixture with us since 02/01/1989. The game at the Wessex saw over 4,000 turn up to watch a tight 0-0 draw that was moved to a Sunday for security reasons. Two days later Yeovil Town resumed the natural order of things winning the replay in front of over 3,000 2-1 at Huish Park.

So, until the next time.........

Huge Huish Hugh

For a statistical summary of Yeovil v Weymouth results from 1891 to the present day, click here.

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This Page Written By Hugh Gleave
©Ciderspace 1999
Last Updated 7th September 2000

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