Venue: Edgar Street
Tues 17th September 2002, 7.45pm kick-off.
Conditions: Dry, pleasant evening becoming colder later on
Ground: Good grass covering including goalmouths
Nationwide Conference :
Hereford United 0 – 0 Yeovil Town
Att: 2,282 (of which ‘officially’ 206 were Yeovil supporters, although both myself and another fan separately and independently counted approx. 250-300)
Referee: Mr LW Probert
Assistants: Mr O McGuinness, Mr S Batt
Fourth Official: Mr S Moggs
Yeovil: Way (89, foul)
Hereford: Wright (53, foul), D.Williams (65, foul), Rose (75, foul)
Line up : Variously, (3-4-1-2) (3-5-2) (4-4-2)
1. Chris Weale
2. Adam Lockwood
4. Terry Skiverton
5. Colin Pluck
10. Nick Crittenden
6. Darren Way
8. Lee Johnson
3. Anthony Tonkin
20. Gavin Williams
23. Howard Forinton
19. Abdoulai Demba
Substitutes: 9. Carl Alford (72, for Demba), 12. John Sheffield, 14. Roy O’Brien, 16. Andy Lindegaard (76, for Tonkin), 15. Steve Reed
Hereford: (4-4-2) 1. Mathew Baker, 2. Matthew Clarke, 5. Ian Wright, 6. Tony James, 4. Andrew Tretton, 3. Michael Rose, 7. Jamie Pitman, 12. Daniel Williams, 16. Robert Sawyers, 10. John Grant, 18. Stephen Guinan
Subs : 9. Scott Voice, 14. Kenny Griffiths, 22. James Fox, 17. Robert Purdey (85, for Sawyers), 15. Richard Teesdale
This report courtesy of Robin Evans:
One has to be impressed by such a modern, attractive and well designed building. However, across the street from the construction in question is Hereford United’s Edgar Street stadium – a ground which takes the concept “basic” to new levels of mediocrity. Once inside the prison-like structure cheeseburgers without cheese (“we haven’t got any”) and toilets more suited to rural France than near-Wales provide a less than warm welcome for the unfortunate visiting fan.
On the field Yeovil made one enforced change from Saturday’s game at Stevenage, with the suspended McIndoe being replaced by Demba and Gavin Williams returning to midfield. Like Saturday’s game the Glovers started with a 4-4-2 formation, or maybe a 3-5-2, or even 3-4-1-2. Once again Anthony Tonkin was the “floating” player, and whilst he seemed to have a clearer idea of his role (i.e. back four when they attack; midfield five when we do) he still seemed a little uneasy.
A rare second minute error by the usually near-faultless Terry Skiverton, giving the ball away to ex-Yeovil man Jamie Pitman, was an exception as Yeovil had the better of the early exchanges. The visitors forced four corners in the first 11 minutes – a full five minutes before Hereford gained their first.
Lee Johnson made a good break into the Hereford penalty area after 5 minutes, but his shot was blocked by the crowd of four defenders who had amassed around him. Three minutes later Gavin Williams fed a good ball to Abdoulai Demba, but he was unable to get sufficient power behind his shot.
Another good ball in from Williams was headed out for a corner by Hereford captain Ian Wright, but his clearance looked uncomfortably close to the Hereford goal for the home supporters.
Tonkin made several good forward runs in the first 45 minutes. His crosses were not met by Yeovil players, but Hereford defenders were put under pressure and he earned a couple of corners with his efforts.
A long shot by Demba after 13 minutes went just wide of the Hereford goal. At this stage Yeovil had the better of the game, with Nick Crittenden and Demba combining well on a couple of moves. Lee Johnson started promisingly and seemed to be winning the midfield battle, with able support from Way, Williams and Crittenden.
Almost against the run of play a quickly taken free kick by Pitman found Rose wide on the left, and his flick on gave John Grant a chance but he did not make good contact. After this chance Hereford seemed to come into the game more for a while, and most of their better moves seemed to involve Grant and Danny Williams.
Midway through the first half good work by Nick Crittenden on the right wing was followed by an excellent cross, which Howard Forinton headed just outside the right hand upright. A couple of minutes later Demba beat the Hereford goalkeeper to the ball just outside the penalty area on the left, but his low cross was not followed up by a green shirt. Hereford retaliated immediately and a timely intervention by Colin Pluck avoided a dangerous situation.
A 33rd minute free kick from just outside the area was fired straight at the Yeovil wall by Grant, but the goalmouth scramble which followed had Yeovil fans nervously on the edge of their seats.
Hereford exerted some pressure for a short time, and a save from Williams by Chris Weale was followed soon after by another Hereford corner. A good run by Tonkin took the attack to the other end, but the home side came forward again and Wright headed just wide after a free kick from Williams.
Yeovil pressed again and after 41 minutes Crittenden had a shot parried by keeper Baker. However, he then lost the ball following a throw-in and Grant made good ground for Hereford before shooting wide after beating Skiverton.
The Yeovil captain almost made amends straight away by flicking the ball over the Hereford defence for Demba, but one of the home side narrowly beat him to the ball to clear for a corner. A weak shot from Danny Williams was held comfortably by Weale as the first half ended goalless.
Half time: Hereford United 0 Yeovil Town 0
Once again the Glovers re-emerged several minutes before either their opposition or the officials. On kick-off they again started brightly with a good effort from Tonkin after some excellent work by Gavin Williams in the 47th minute. Just a minute later Guinan tripped Adam Lockwood, and the resulting free kick found Terry Skiverton who had a good shot pushed around the post.
Two good moves involving Demba followed; firstly, his header on for Forinton, who was dubiously judged to be offside, and secondly when his lobbed shot fell just wide.
Hereford were not content to sit back, and in the 51st minute a very fine long shot from Rose was tipped over the bar superbly by Weale. The corner earned was headed high in the air, and well claimed by the confident Yeovil keeper.
By this stage Yeovil appeared to have settled on a 3-4-1-2 formation, and once again this meant that Gavin Williams was coming into the game more than from his earlier wider position. In the 52nd minute Rob Sawyers challenged him heavily, and was booked.
A quieter passage of play followed, with neither side pressing as convincingly as before, although a nonchalant header from Pluck back to Weale over a Hereford forward, and a low shot from Forinton which was held by Baker kept the game ticking along.
On 65 minutes Lee Johnson attempted to take a free kick quickly, but Danny Williams obstructed him and then kicked the ball away. Although this may have given the home defence more time to prepare, it also earned Williams a caution.
Hereford again enjoyed a better spell, and seemed to find space down the left hand side. After 72 minutes Gary Johnson replaced Demba with Carl Alford in a straightforward change. Within a minute the lively Guinan turned Skiverton and shot from 45 yards, but the effort went harmlessly over the bar. As Yeovil pressed back Rose brought down Gavin Williams and became the third Hereford player to have his name taken.
A 77th minute substitution saw Anthony Tonkin replaced by Andy Lindegaard. Hereford had the next effort, with Grant shooting over, but Lindegaard was soon in action when good play by Lee Johnson allowed Colin Pluck to lift a ball over the Hereford defence, but Lindegaard’s shot – like most of the efforts by both sides this evening – went over the bar.
Hereford made their only substitution after 86 minutes when Sawyers was withdrawn and replaced by Rob Purdie.
With only a minute of normal time remaining Darren Way was booked for a harsh challenge on Matthew Clarke. Surprisingly, no card was shown to the Hereford man for his retaliation, which in similar incidents has resulted in a caution or even a sending off.
After a Crittenden shot had been deflected, a 90th minute corner found it’s way to Terry Skiverton. Memories of his recent last minute winner at Kettering were sadly not revived as his header sailed past the right hand post.
After three minutes of stoppage time the referee blew his whistle to end the encounter. A workmanlike performance from Hereford, with some added flair from Williams and Grant, had succeeding in restraining Yeovil.
Final score: Hereford United 0 Yeovil Town 0
While leaving the ground I heard many positive comments from the Yeovil support, and one fan told me that she thought that the team had played better tonight than against Stevenage on Saturday. I imagine that both sides will be pleased to have avoided defeat in what turned out to be a fairly close and entertaining game in which they both had chances.
Internet Man of the Match Voting Results:
Overall match rating: 5.9/10
9 votes received.