Venue: Huish Park
Saturday 22nd Feb 2003, 3.00pm kick-off.
Conditions: Sunny but fresh
Ground: Perfect but bare in goalmouths
FA Trophy Fifth Round :
Yeovil Town 2 Northwich Victoria 1
Referee: Mr T. Kettle
Yeovil: McIndoe (82, unsporting behaviour)
Northwich: Royle (13, foul), Allan (39, foul), Rioch (45, foul), Ingram (88, handball), Teather (89, foul), Norris (90, foul)
Line up : (4-4-2)
1. Chris Weale
2. Adam Lockwood
4. Terry Skiverton
5. Colin Pluck
24. Abdelhalim El Kholti
20. Gavin Williams
6. Darren Way
8. Lee Johnson
11. Michael McIndoe
25. Kirk Jackson
9. Kevin Gall
Substitutes: 14. Roy O’Brien (87, for Pluck), 16. Andy Lindegaard, 18. Kim Grant, 22. Stephen Collis, 23. Steve Reed.
Northwich Victoria: (4-4-2)
Royle, Ingram, Davis, Rioch,
Allan, Devlin, Norris, Garvey,
Subs : Walsh, Quinn, Teather, Penn, Perry
Scorers: Greg Blundell (1-0, 24 mins), Adam LOCKWOOD (1-1, 44 mins), Kevin GALL (2-1, 86 mins)
This report courtesy of Noddy Elms:
YEOVIL LEAVE IT LATE
Yeovil had only five minutes to spare when they took the lead in today’s FA Trophy 5th round tie at Huish Park: new boy Kevin Gall making the decisive strike. The scores were level at half time after Adam Lockwood had cancelled out Greg Blundell’s 23rd minute opener. The game may not have been as exciting as this season’s league encounter, when Jon Sheffield came off the Yeovil bench to save Blundell’s spot kick and keep Yeovil ahead, but it required just as much grit as that performance and Yeovil again succeeded in grinding out an important result.
Throughout the afternoon Yeovil’s grasp on their Trophy had looked decidedly nervous: Intent on ensuring victory on home territory Yeovil often committed numbers forward and Northwich looked menacingly dangerous on numerous second half counter-attacks.
Northwich made their intentions clear early on as they drove forward in the opening minutes, their first shot after three minutes being well taken by Yeovil’s Weale. Yeovil responded positively, winning the first corner of the game, then Jackson won a dangerous free kick on the edge of the Northwich box. After nine minutes the best chance of the game fell to Kevin Gall whose speed took him behind the Northwich defence, but keeper Kelly did well to block his strike.
Yeovil’s McIndoe had a quiet first half, but he nevertheless worried the Northwich defence who seemed intent on nullifying him at any cost: Royle was the first of a number of Northwich players to find themselves in Mr Kettle’s book following a challenge on the young Scotsman.
After fifteen minutes Yeovil gave notice of their superiority when Way took a quick free kick to link with Johnson to set up McIndoe on the edge of the Northwich box, but Macca’s strong shot flew inches over. Five minutes later Yeovil did get the ball in the net after good work by Way and Gall, but Williams was judged offside and the “goal” disallowed.
Northwich had shown good movement and passing in midfield and replied with Allan’s snapshot after 23 minutes, but that flashed outside Weale’s left hand post. Weale’s ensuing free kick reached the half way line but somehow the Yeovil defence managed to set up Gregg BLUNDELL and the Northwich striker surged clear towards Weale’s goal, he beat the Yeovil keeper clinically from the edge of the box. The Yeovil contingent of today’s 4469 crowd was stunned in disbelief. Yeovil 0 Northwich 1. Yeovil were undoubtedly shaken and Garvey was soon to test Weale again, the Yeovil keeper gathering well.
But Yeovil soon regained their composure and Jackson should have done better when he latched onto a long clearance: Jackson’s shot eventually smothered by three converging defenders.
But when Yeovil need to step up a gear there is no-one better than Darren Way to lead by example, today was one such typical day. Man of the match Way single-handedly raised the Yeovil momentum to create today’s equaliser on 43 minutes: chasing another lost cause Dazza won a free kick on the left, halfway inside the Northwich half. Lee Johnson’s inch-perfect free kick found Adam LOCKWOOD, apparently unmarked in the Northwich box, and he glanced his header past the rooted Kelly. Yeovil 1 Northwich 1.
Rioch was next in the referee’s book for a foul on Jackson, and it was Jackson who almost took immediate revenge with his shot, but it was somehow deflected away for a corner. The half time whistle blew before the corner could be taken.
Half Time: Yeovil Town 1 Northwich Victoria 1.
At the start of the second half Yeovil came out at full speed and dominated from the off: Kelly did well to tip over Williams’ shot; Lee Johnson should then have done better but completely missed his kick when in a dangerous position. McIndoe had by now regained his touch and became a constant threat down the Yeovil left. His cross on 48 minutes found Jackson at the back post, but the Yeovil striker decided to play the ball back rather than strike for goal, it was easily cleared by a grateful Northwich defence. Seconds later McIndoe found Jackson again, but this time Jackson shot wide.
Yeovil were passing well and undoubtedly on top and Northwich did well to hold onto the ball for any period of time to reduce some of the pressure.
Northwich introduced Teather for Allan in order to stem the tide. With Yeovil going all out for a winner Northwich were always their most dangerous when breaking on the counter-attack. El Kholti was often the last man and the anxiety in the Yeovil crowd was almost tangible when Northwich did counter. Ironically it was El Kholti who caused the greatest consternation in the Yeovil defence as Weale dived to his left to save a “back pass” from his teammate. However, each time Yeovil did manage to repel the counter and set up their next onslaught.
McIndoe switched sides to link with Way and test Kelly with a dipping shot destined for the far post, but the Northwich keeper did well to pushed the ball away for a corner. From the ensuing corner Yeovil worked the ball into the Northwich area and their defence were called upon to close down Gall’s shot, forcing the Yeovil man to shoot wide.
Adam Lockwood was coming more into the Yeovil attack and was heavily involved on 72 minutes. Starting the move from defence he ended up in the penalty area to head across the Northwich goal, but Gall was unable to beat the Northwich defence when the ball fell to him. As the game ebbed towards ninety minutes Northwich looked increasingly dangerous on the attack, but in all honesty Weale was rarely troubled.
Mr Kettle had been fussy all afternoon and appeared to be doing his best to make sure the Northwich underdogs were given any advantage possible. Northwich had won a free kick on the edge of the Yeovil box for what appeared an innocuous challenge. They proceeded to make a mess of the kick and McIndoe had broken from the wall to put in a fair challenge. However, it appeared that Mr Kettle had failed to see Northwich take the kick and Yeovil’s Scotsman was unfairly booked. Much to Macca’s credit he walked away from the scene and gave himself time to calm down. Northwich failed to take advantage of the second kick and no further damage was done.
Northwich boss Quinn had introduced himself to the game with five minutes to go, replacing McNiven, but Northwich conceded what turned out to be the winning goal. It was that man Way again. Dazza won a crucial corner on the right that McIndoe swung in with his trusty left foot. The ball eventually fell to Way on the edge of the box and he pumped it back into the crowded box. The ball seemed to take a number of touches but it was Kevin GALL who claimed the final touch that took it over the Northwich line. Yeovil 2 Northwich 1.
O’Brien replaced Pluck with five minutes remaining and McIndoe began to play keep-ball down by the leftwing corner flag. Northwich had lost their composure and Teather and Norris were carded for fouls on Macca, both joining Ingram who had been booked seconds earlier for deliberate hand ball as Macca threaten to break behind the Northwich defence. It was all but over.
Final Score: Yeovil Town 2 Northwich Victoria 1.
Not a supreme performance by Yeovil, but it is Yeovil in the draw for Round Six.
Internet Man of the Match Voting Result:
Overall match rating: 6.9 / 10
42 votes received.