Venue: Broadhall Way
Sat 13th September 2002, 3pm kick-off.
Nationwide Conference :
Stevenage Borough 2 – 2 Yeovil Town
Att: 1,879 (est 450 Glovers)
Referee: Mr S Rubery (Ilford)
Assistants: Mr P McCaul, Mr S Feerick
Yeovil: McIndoe (57, foul), Demba (71, foul)
Stevenage: McMahon (63, foul), Fisher (82, foul)
Starting line up and formation : (4-4-2-ish)
1. Chris Weale
2. Adam Lockwood
4. Terry Skiverton
5. Colin Pluck
3. Anthony Tonkin
10. Nick Crittenden
6. Darren Way
8. Lee Johnson
11. Michael McIndoe
20. Gavin Williams
23. Howard Forinton
Substitutes: 9. Carl Alford (68, for Forinton), 12. Jon Sheffield, 14. Roy O’Brien, 16. Andy Lindegaard, 19. Abdoulai Demba (46, for Tonkin)
Stevenage: (4-4-2) 1. Mark Westhead, 2. Simon Travis, 5. Jason Goodliffe, 6. Robin Trott, 4. Matt Fisher, 8. Sam McMahon, 16. Jamie Campbell, 24. Michael Blackwood, 14. Martin Williams, 9. Kirk Jackson, 25. Charlie MacDonald
Subs : 10. Jean-Michel Sigere, 11. Adrian Clarke, 13. Philip Wilson (69, for Westhead), 21. Neil Smith (90, for MacDonald), 22. Graeme Tomlinson
Scorers: Kirk Jackson (44, 1-0), Terry SKIVERTON (58, 1-1), Kirk Jackson (59, 2-1), Abdoulai DEMBA (65, 2-2)
This report courtesy of Robin Evans:
The first meeting between these sides since the FA Trophy Final in May finds many changes to both teams. Yeovil fielded three players signed since last season (Williams, the returning Forinton, and sub Demba), whilst the Stevenage line-up featured many new names, including two players signed this week and making their first team debuts (Blackwood and McDonald).
Both teams began with 4 – 4 – 2 formations. The first few minutes saw attacks at both ends, with Chris Weale making a couple of early catches, and Darren Way blasting a rebound over the bar after a McIndoe free kick, but clear cut chances were absent.
On 11 minutes Gavin Williams fed a ball through to McIndoe, who rounded the Stevenage keeper and fired a low cross but this was cleared for a corner. The home side fought back, and just a minute later Skiverton was headed behind to give them a corner. Stevenage had a good spell for a couple of minutes, and Nick Crittenden made a timely tackle to prevent a clear chance in the Yeovil box.
Yeovil then had a better spell, and a free kick for a challenge on Forinton just outside the Stevenage box on 21 minutes was well taken by Michael McIndoe and tipped over the bar by a stretching Westhead.
A fairly quiet period followed. Terry Skiverton and Colin Pluck looked solid in the heart of the Yeovil defence, Darren Way was winning many headers in midfield, and Nick Crittenden made some good moves on the right wing, but too many Yeovil passes were going astray and neither side were making much of their possession.
Stevenage tried to create something from a free kick on 33 minutes, but McDonald shot wide from 10 yards out. A minute later Gavin Williams hooked a shot well over and onto the stand roof. Stevenage pressed back, but Adam Lockwood made a fine tackle on Blackwood when he was charging toward the Yeovil goal.
Both sides were awarded free kicks in attacking positions, but made nothing of them. Coming into the last few minutes of the first half it looked as if neither side would break the deadlock, but after 43 minutes sloppy play just outside the Yeovil box allowed McDonald to flick the ball onto Kirk JACKSON who had got behind the defence and lifted the ball over the advancing Weale to give Stevenage the lead.
Yeovil tried to respond immediately, with McIndoe having an attempt stopped by Westhead, and then a Lee Johnson pass putting Forinton through on the left wing, but his low cross was collected by the goalkeeper.
Half time: Stevenage Borough 1 Yeovil Town 0
For the second half Yeovil started with Abdoulai Demba replacing Anthony Tonkin, and a change to a 3 – 4 – 1 – 2 formation, with Gavin Williams tucking in behind Demba and Forinton.
This change seemed to suit Gavin Williams, and the Glovers came flying out of the blocks at the start of the second period with a good period of pressure, punctuated by one Stevenage corner. Forinton had won a corner within a minute of the restart, and McIndoe, Forinton and Williams all had efforts blocked by defenders or held by Westhead.
Stevenage goalkeeper Mark Westhead had appeared to pick up an injury of some kind, although the cause was not apparent, but treatment from the home trainer was required. After 51 minutes a clever back heel from Way allowed Williams to cross, and Demba challenged the keeper for the ball, with the result that Westhead went down heavily. The referee spoke to Demba, but no card was shown.
Stevenage again attacked, and McDonald won a free kick on the edge of the Yeovil penalty area. A good effort from Jamie Campbell missed the left hand post. Soon after McMahon tried a shot, but was well wide.
Yeovil won successive corners and applied some pressure, but as Stevenage broke away McIndoe went in with a late tackle, and was booked in the 57th minute.
A long clearance from Weale was put through to Demba by the increasingly dominant Gavin Williams, and the keeper blocked Demba’s effort. Williams took the resulting 58th minute corner, and he found Terry SKIVERTON, who seemed to have acres of space as he guided his header into the back of the net. One all.
The goal celebrations had barely ceased when Stevenage found space on the right hand side, and after further poor defending a scramble in front of the Yeovil goal found Kirk JACKSON with room to push the ball past Weale, restoring the home side’s lead just a minute after the scores were levelled.
The visiting team put pressure on immediately, and Stevenage found themselves having to defend. Darren Way continued to battle in midfield, and on 63 minutes a frustrated Sam McMahon was booked for bringing him down.
Yeovil continued to press, and Demba fed a ball through to Lee Johnson, but his shot was blocked. The roles were then reversed on 65 minutes, with Johnson the provider as Abdoulai DEMBA headed his cross into the goal to level the scores once more. Since his introduction Demba had been a constant source of problems to the Stevenage defence, who seemed to struggle with his pace and size.
The home side were still trying to win all three points on offer, and on 68 minutes a corner taken by Martin Williams went across the face of the Yeovil goal, but no contact was made. Yeovil made a second substitution with Carl Alford replacing the tiring Forinton. A minute later Stevenage brought on their reserve goalkeeper, Phil Wilson, for the injured Westhead.
On 71 minutes Demba and Stevenage right back Simon Travis both challenged for a cross, but the referee considered the Yeovil man to have fouled and produced a yellow card. Demba almost got his revenge just a minute later when a Williams pass found him clear, but he was judged to be offside. At the other end, good work from Blackwood found Martin Williams, but he shot well over.
Both sides tried to make chances, but the next serious attempt was an excellent 80th minute shot from McMahon which beat Chris Weale, but crashed against the Yeovil crossbar. On 82 minutes McIndoe was challenged from behind by Matt Fisher, who earned a booking for the foul. From the resulting free kick there were loud appeals for a penalty as Carl Alford appeared to be floored in the area, but the referee waved the claims away.
Stevenage pressed forward again, and Williams shot wide after the Yeovil defence failed to clear. Yeovil attacked, and a Crittenden cross was snatched virtually off of Demba’s head by Wilson. Leading scorer Skiverton had his header rebound from a defender, and his follow up shot was just wide of the left hand post.
On 89 minutes Martin Williams, announced as the Stevenage man of the match, found Blackwood in space but he shot just wide. In the last minute of normal time a McIndoe cross found Carl Alford at the back post, but the referee had already blown for a foul as Alford used a Stevenage defender to lean on as he crashed his header into the roof of the net.
The period of added time was all Yeovil attack, and two minutes in there was a loud penalty claim as Carl Alford was once again floored, but the appeals were once again rejected. The home side were clearly the most eager to hear the final whistle, as admitted by the action of Wayne Turner when he substituted McDonald with Neil Smith three minutes into the four added. Why make a substitution at this stage other than to waste a few more seconds?
The final action was a Yeovil corner, which Colin Pluck reached but could only head over the bar. The Glovers were probably disappointed not to snatch a late winner, but I feel that both sides were reasonably happy with the outcome.
Final score: Stevenage Borough 2 Yeovil Town 2
Internet Man of the Match Voting Results:
Overall match rating: 7.1/10
21 votes received.