Venue: Huish Park
Sat 21st December 2002, 3pm kick-off.

Conditions: Damp – drizzle turning to rain.
Ground: Perfect – bare in goalmouths.

Nationwide Conference :
Yeovil Town 2 – 1 Stevenage Borough

Att: 4,940

Referee: Mr R East (Wilton)

Yeovil: Weale (49, foul)
Stevenage: McMahon (23, foul), Bell (45, foul), Fraser (82, foul). Red card: McMahon (76, 2nd bookable offence)

Line up : (4-4-2)

1. Chris Weale

2. Adam Lockwood

4. Terry Skiverton

14. Roy O’Brien

5. Colin Pluck

10. Nick Crittenden

6. Darren Way

8. Lee Johnson

11. Michael McIndoe

25. Kirk Jackson

20. Gavin Williams

Substitutes: 16. Andy Lindegaard, 18. Kim Grant, 22. Steven Collis, 24. Abdelhalim El Kholti (64, for O’Brien), 26. Jimmy Aggrey (28, for Skiverton)

Stevenage: (4-4-2) 1. Mark Westhead, 16. Jamie Campbell, 17. Jude Stirling, 28. Gary MacDonald, 2. Simon Travis, 3. Stuart Fraser, 8. Sam McMahon, 27. Richard Scott, 26. Leon Bell, 9. Justin Richards, 14. Martin Williams
Subs : 5. Jason Goodliffe (69, for MacDonald), 13. Philip Wilson, 18. DJ Campbell (83, for Stirling), 20. Jack Midson, 24. Michael Blackwood (76, for Bell)

Scorers: Kirk JACKSON (26, 1-0), Martin Williams (43, 1-1), Colin PLUCK (45, 2-1)

This report courtesy of Noddy Elms:


Yeovil Town eased six points clear at the top of the Conference despite this disappointing performance. As the game drew to its conclusion there was only ever one team in it, the imminent result reflected the gulf between the league positions of the two teams. But Yeovil performed well below their best and disappointed the 4940 crowd who might have expected a demolition of a Stevenage side who are currently struggling at the foot of the Conference table and beset with injury woes.

To add insult to injury it was Stevenage old-boy Kirk Jackson who opened the scoring after 25 minutes. Jackson turned on the Stevenage six-yard line to fire past Mark Westhead after Michael MacIndoe had performed a miracle to control Williams’ cross at the far post. Yeovil 1 Stevenage 0. The ensuing celebrations were from current chart hit “Cheeky Girls”. Colin Pluck’s celebrations after his winning goal just before half time were more in keeping with accepted celebrations. But in between, Stevenage shocked Yeovil by grabbing an equaliser that they never really looked capable of.

Jackson was the proverbial thorn in Stevenage’s side from the first minute, picking up a loose ball to run at the Stevenage defence to fire inches past Westhead’s far post. Gary Johnson kept with the 4-4-2 formation that had taken three points at Northwich, the returning Williams played alongside Jackson up front. However, past performances have shown that “Gav” is not an “out-and-out-striker”. This view was underlined as Williams’ contributed as provider during the opening ten minutes.

After four minutes Williams sent in a teasing cross to the far post, but Jackson and MacIndoe were unable to find a finishing touch. Two minutes later Jackson had two shots blocked when Johnson and Williams combined on the right wing. Jackson was on the end of a good cross on eight minutes but Westhead collected well. After twelve minutes Williams’ cross from the left was touched on by Jackson but this drifted wide of the far post.

Yeovil held the majority of possession but when Stevenage attacked the Yeovil defence were always in control. Stevenage’s first strike on goal came from a free kick, Scott blasting well over Weale’s goal and out of the ground over the Copse Road terrace. Stevenage’s main contribution so far was one of frustration, Stirling continued to annoy the Huish Park Main Stand by wasting time whenever taking his side’s throw-ins.

As the first half moved towards the half way mark Stevenage came more into the game. McMahon battled for Stevenage in midfield, but his challenge on Way only landed him in trouble with referee Mr East. The challenge was undoubtedly crude and dangerous and, coupled with a repeat offence on Yeovil substitute El Kholti in the second half eventually led to his early departure. On 25 minutes Kirk JACKSON grabbed the opener and the faithful at Huish Park began to believe that they now support a team who are capable of “doing the business” when it matters, guaranteeing maximum points against lowly opposition.

That feeling of euphoria evaporated a minute later when captain Skiverton stayed down after a headed clearance from mid-field. It soon became apparent that Skivvo would play now further part in the game. Jimmy Aggrey stepped up from the subs bench to make his Huish Park debut, his first contribution was a strong midfield challenge that set McIndoe down the left wing.

For those of a nervous disposition Stevenage appeared dangerous. But, despite much good approach play attacks often fizzled out when the final ball went astray. Stevenage managed to put it all together on 42 minutes. They managed to work the ball into the Yeovil box to Martin WILLIAMS. Williams’ persistence took him to the edge of the six-yard box where he beat Weale to the ball and hooked the ball back across the goal. Pluck could only look on as Williams’ shot dribbled into the far side of the goal in front of him. Yeovil 1 Stevenage 1.

If watching Yeovil over the years teaches you anything, it teaches you not to miss a minute of the action. Don’t join the queue at the Bovril bar before the half time whistle blows: else you will miss many goals through a season. Today was one such day. As the Stevenage supporter’s celebrations began to die away at Huish Park Campbell conceded a free kick just outside his penalty box, winning himself a yellow card in the process. McIndoe’s free kick was floated temptingly into the Stevenage box and eventually dropped in front of Colin PLUCK, the Yeovil defender. Pluck, who had hit the woodwork twice at Northwich a week earlier, stooped low and headed past Westhead. He rose from the ground and wheeled away to celebrate in front of the Huish Park Main Stand. Yeovil 2 Stevenage 1.

Half Time: Yeovil Town 2 Stevenage Borough 1.

The first half could hardly be described as thrilling, but at least there were a number of goalmouth incidences, the second half got even worse.

The first incidence of the second half saw Yeovil keeper Weale slicing a back pass, conceding a foul and receiving a yellow card in the process. Stevenage won a couple of corners from which they looked dangerous, playing the ball into the near post. First Sterling, then Jamie Campbell, fired over.

Stevenage enjoyed their best period of the game after the break. Instead of time wasting they tried to play football and, as they had performed at Broadhall Way in September, looked a decent team. But that all fell apart when McMahon received his marching orders after 75 minutes. El Kholti had replaced O’Brien after 63 minutes when Yeovil switched to a 3-5-2 formation and they now swamped the midfield. Against ten men they dominated a defeated Stevenage side and there was little opportunity for a Stevenage comeback.

Although Weale was called upon to collect dangerous looking through balls, Yeovil were always in control. In fact, as the game had started, Kirk Jackson who came back into the game. The first of two right-wing crosses was headed closely wide; the later forced a good save from Westhead. Despite three minutes of added time Yeovil were always in control.

Final Score: Yeovil Town 2 Stevenage Borough 1.

It may not have been pretty, but it is effective. Three points in the bag, six points clear at the top of the Conference. While other clubs are now losing, Yeovil continue to be winners.

Noddy Elms

Internet Man of the Match Voting Result:

Player MOTM Score
Kirk Jackson 14 447
Jimmy Aggrey 3 251
Colin Pluck 5 231
Lee Johnson 4 169
Adam Lockwood 5 159
Michael McIndoe 2 138
Nick Crittenden 3 133
Darren Way 2 118
Gavin Williams 1 36

Overall match rating: 6.1 / 10
Performance: 6.1
Entertainment: 6.1

39 votes received.

Programme Cover