Venue: The Crabble (Dover Athletic FC)
Saturday 22nd March 2003, 3pm kick-off.

Conditions: Dry, slight breeze
Ground: Badly watered, large bare patches, bumpy and rutted.

Nationwide Conference :
Margate 1 Yeovil Town 2

Attendance: 1,083 (approx 600 Glovers)

Referee: Mr S Tomlinson

Yeovil: Mustoe (11, foul), McIndoe (25, foul), Aggrey (42, foul), Crittenden (90, foul)
Margate: Keister (45, foul). Red card: Keister (49, foul, 2nd bookable offence)

Line up : (3-4-1-2)

1. Chris Weale

14. Roy O’Brien

4. Terry Skiverton

5. Colin Pluck

16. Andy Lindegaard

23. Neil Mustoe

8. Lee Johnson

11. Michael McIndoe

24. Abdelhalim El Kholti

25. Kirk Jackson

9. Kevin Gall

Substitutes: 10. Nick Crittenden (27, for Mustoe), 12. Chris Giles (65, for El Kholti), 22. Steven Collis, 26. Jimmy Aggrey (23, for Skiverton)

Margate: 1. Phillip Smith 4. Bill Edwards 21. Sam Sodje 19. Jake Leberl 2. Greg Oates 7. John Keister 15. Terry McFlynn 11. Jay Saunders 25. Adrian Clarke 9. Leon Braithwaite 23. Jean-Michel Sigere (57)
Subs : 5. Lee Shearer 21. Graham Porter (57, for Sigere) 18. Phil Collins 3. Paul Lamb (66, for Clarke) 24. Charlie Mitten

Scorers: Jean-Michel Sigere (11 mins, 1-0), Kirk JACKSON (73 mins, 1-1) (80, 1-2)

This report courtesy of Badger:

Sometimes, it can look like it is going to be “one of those days”. With 65 minutes gone, it sure looked like it could end up being a long journey back from Kent. 1-0 down to Margate, and Doncaster 2-1 up at Woking, the Glovers were having a frustrating day. With Gavin Williams and Adam Lockwood serving suspensions, the last thing they needed was for Darren Way to make a late withdrawl from the side due to a stomach bug, or for Terry Skiverton to leave the field 20 minutes into the game with blood pouring from a five-stitch wound on the side of his head. But Yeovil are very much the comeback kings, and almost seem to take a one or two goal deficit like a red rag to a bull.

They had started off erratically, not helped by one of the poorest referring performance seen at a Yeovil game this season. Neil Mustoe, covering for Darren Way, landed in the book very quickly, and after he’d lost possession in his own half, former Stevenage and Rushden striker Jean-Michel SIGERE made the most of it, advancing and firing an excellent low shot into the corner of the net from 18 yards to give Margate an 11th minute head start.

Two minutes later, Yeovil really should have been level. A Kirk Jackson cross saw Michael McIndoe run from deep and with the left-winger evading the Margate back-line, he slammed the ball into the back of the net from six yards out. Unfortunately, the flag of a linesman was to deny Macca his equaliser – perhaps the most telling indication of the quality of the linesman’s decision was the total surprise from Margate’s players and supporters that McIndoe’s strike had been wiped out. A reporter for a Margate local radio station was still reporting the scoreline as 1-1 for the remainder of the first half, such was her surprise at the decision!

Then came two early Yeovil substitutions although there was a degree of confusion about the first. Jimmy Aggrey seemed to be lined up to replace Neil Mustoe, presumably to allow Roy O’Brien to push into midfield. But at the precise moment of the substitution, Terry Skiverton was injured in a clash of heads and had to rush to the dressing room for stitches. After a lengthy altercation with the fourth official, Mustoe stayed on the field of play, and Skiverton became the man to make way for Aggrey. Not that Mustoe lasted much longer – Nick Crittenden was warmed up and ready to replace the former Gloucester City midfielder just five minutes later.

These two changes, coupled with some baffling decisions being made by referee Steve Tomlinson, had broken up Yeovil’s rhythm badly, and they struggled to gain control of the midfield, with Lee Johnson seemingly on a one-man mission to grab the game back for Yeovil. Margate pressed well, largely through aerial bombardment, but with Aggrey on the field, this was futile, and their most dangerous moves came when they put the ball onto the bumpy pitch and attempted to pass. Other than the goal though, Chris Weale rarely became threatened, with the new-look defence mopping up most of what came their way. At the other end, Yeovil were occasionally reminding Margate of their worth, but Kirk Jackson’s two chances went wide of the mark, whilst Macca’s on target effort was never likely to trouble home keeper Phillip Smith.

Half Time: Margate 1 Yeovil Town 0

Just four minutes into the second half, referee Mr Tomlinson gave Yeovil the best start to the half that they could have hoped for. Whilst John Keister’s first foul on Lee Johnson just before the break warranted a yellow card, his second foul on the same player was a marginal decision. However, like so many recent Yeovil matches, and the recent Chester versus Doncaster match on Sky, Conference referees seem to have been instructed to not be afraid to produce the second yellow, and Mr Tomlinson was certainly not card-shy as Keister was dismissed, leaving Margate down to ten men for the remaining 41 minutes. Compare and constrast Keister’s foul on Johnson, with Leon Braithwaite’s late two-footed tackle on Colin Pluck later in the game – the worst tackle in the game, yet no yellow card – and it was easy to see why both sets of supporters were getting incensed with the official’s increasingly bizarre decisions.

Yeovil took the second half by the scruff of the neck, with Margate now sitting back and defending their 1-0 advantage. Abdelhalim El Kholti smacked a 25 yard drive onto the top of the crossbar, and five minutes later Andy Lindegaard managed a near repeat, albeit from inside the penalty box. As time ticked down, you began to wonder if this was going to be another ‘Burscough’ day.

Mr Tomlinson increased the frustration as Margate managed to waste over two minutes of time over a substitution without a single card being produced. The excuse seemed to be that they didn’t know which player they were taking off the field, and Adrian Clarke’s eventual exit from the field, at a snail’s pace, was greeted by slow hand claps from the away support, with Tomlinson seemingly unwilling to do anything about the situation.

Gary Johnson pressed the gamble button on 65 minutes, replacing El Kholti with Chris Giles, with the striker making his first appearance for the club since his three month loan spell with Gravesend came to a close. With four strikers in the field now, Margate’s penalty area was being peppered with shots, and it was Giles himself who sparked off the panic in the Margate penalty box for the equalising goal.

Giles won a header from a cross-field ball, and as Lee Johnson and Andy Lindegaard both produced shots that provoked a save from Smith and a goal-line clearance, Kirk JACKSON was the first to react to the third chance and he slammed the ball home right in front of the travelling Yeovil fans, who collectively sighed with relief at being back on deserved level terms.

The home side looked rocked, and from there on, it was difficult to imagine any other result than a Yeovil win. Yeovil had two penalty appeals turned down, as Andy Lindegaard was bundled to the floor by Bill Edwards, whilst Colin Pluck appeared to receive a leading elbow as he went up for a header in the area. Predictably, no decision was forthcoming, likewise Jake Leberl’s late foul on the corner of the area that was again worse than the challenge that saw Keister dismissed yet saw no caution.

With just seven minutes left though, Margate’s bubble finally burst. The goal was a near identikit copy of the first. A goalmouth scramble led to seemingly most of the outfield players occupying a single penalty area, and as Andy Lindegaard’s shot was parried by Smith, once again Kirk JACKSON was the first to react, calmly lifting the ball over Smith and into the back of the net.

Lindegaard could have got the goal his performance so richly deserved when he fired a long range drive just wide of the post, but in the end, two goals was all the Glovers needed, with Giles intelligently playing out time around the corner flag and Margate barely creeping into the Glovers half. With Doncaster now tied at 2-2 and Dagenham unable to break Halifax down, not even four minutes of injury time – ironically largely for Margate’s second half timewasting – could break Yeovil’s buoyant mood. Now 14 points clear, and yet another stunning comeback, this was certainly not going to be the long journey home that was feared at 4.30pm. Yeovil now need eight points – seven if you consider their superior goal difference – to make the dreams of 100-plus years come true.


Internet Man of the Match Voting Result:

Player MOTM Score
Lee Johnson 21 742
Kirk Jackson 6 529
Jimmy Aggrey 1 135
Michael McIndoe 2 103
Andy Lindegaard 71
Nick Crittenden 1 6

Overall match rating: 7.2 / 10
Performance: 6.8
Entertainment: 7.6

31 votes received.