Venue: Huish Park
Sat 30th November 2002, 3pm kick-off.

Conditions: Overcast and damp.
Pitch: Near perfect, thinning in goalmouths

Nationwide Conference :
Yeovil Town 2 – 1 Margate

Att: 4,147

Referee: Mr S Tomlinson (Farnham)

Yeovil: Pluck (44, foul), Williams (67, foul)
Margate: Porter (67, foul), Shearer (90, foul),

Line up : (3-4-1-2)

1. Chris Weale

2. Adam Lockwood

4. Terry Skiverton

5. Colin Pluck

10. Nick Crittenden

6. Darren Way

8. Lee Johnson

11. Michael McIndoe

20. Gavin Williams

25. Kirk Jackson

24. Abdelhalim El Kholti

Substitutes: 12. Chris Giles, 14. Roy O’Brien (83, for El Kholti), 16. Andy Lindegaard, 18. Kim Grant, 22. Steven Collis

Margate: 24. Charlie Mitten, 6. Graham Porter, 4. Bill Edwards, 5. Lee Shearer, 2. Greg Oates, 3. Paul Lamb, 15. Terry McFlynn, 11. Jay Saunders, 21. Sam Sodje, 7. John Keister, 18. Phil Collins
Subs : 1. Phillip Smith, 10. Simon Beard, 12. Mark Munday (82, for Sodje), 25. Adrian Clarke (80, for Lamb), 26. Leroy Griffiths (89, for Saunders)

Scorers: Abdelhalim EL KHOLTI (21, 1-0), Lee Shearer (45, 1-1), Nick CRITTENDEN pen (73, 2-1)

This report courtesy of Noddy Elms:


Yeovil came out on top of this encounter with a gritty, if not convincing, win against a gallant Margate side in front of the Conference’s best crowd of the day of 4147. Margate had, over the previous seven days, risen from the depths of humiliation against title chasers Chester to become FA Cup killers with that win over Leyton Orient. Despite taking a twentieth minute lead Yeovil knew it was going to be a “hard day at the office” when Margate’s Shearer grabbed an equaliser on the stroke of half time. Both teams should have flown out of the blocks for the second half believing victory could go either way, Margate had certainly showed enough ability in the first half to pose further difficulties for Yeovil. But, whether by intention or necessity, Margate defended deep and Yeovil dominated throughout the second half, going on to snatched the winner through a Crittenden penalty.

The game was played in a somewhat subdued atmosphere. In the depths of winter with the season not yet half complete, perhaps players and spectators realise how far there is to go. Realistically Margate have little chance of league success and may have been more focused on their Cup exploits. Either way neither team seemed fully committed.

Yeovil’s Lockwood was the first player with any significant contribution, clearing within his six-yard box. Yeovil, in general, had the better of the opening minutes but took time to get their passes together. Williams was most successful down the right wing. His seventh minute cross was too long, but five minutes later he sent in a better cross that was cleared by a Margate head. At the other end Collins won a free kick on the edge of the Yeovil box, but McFlynn’s shot was far too high. Yeovil began to take control. Way and Johnson working doggedly in midfield but Yeovil’s passing was still poor. El Kholti had a good opportunity to play Williams in behind the Margate defence but took too long and Williams drifted offside.

If Yeovil were let down by their passing, the opening goal after twenty minutes showed what they are capable of. El Kholti’s pace and determination allowed him to keep the ball in play by the right hand goal line. Johnson first won a throw-in then sent in an inch-perfect cross into a crowded Margate box. With three green and white shirts challenging EL KHOLTI produced the most accurate of headers and the ball drifted just inside Mitten’s right hand post. Yeovil 1 Margate 0.

That spurred Margate on and Keister tried his luck from twenty yards. His first attempt flew just wide of Weale’s right hand post. Minutes later he forced Weale to make a good save, again from distance. Kirk Jackson, making his Yeovil debut, won the ball in the Margate box on 21 minutes. But he was unable to pick out a fellow striker with his subsequent cross. After 27 minutes Jackson had an opportunity to crown his debut with a goal. Again El Kholti did well to win the ball on the left, McIndoe’s cross found him at the far post but he seemed to time his jump too early, and he was unable to hit the target with his header.

I cannot fail to comment how the Yeovil new boy reminds me, in physique and play, of Carl Alford. Whether that’s good or bad is another argument.

As the game ticked towards half time Margate enjoyed their best spell. Three consecutive corners were eventually concluded when Weale gathered comfortably. Minutes later Keister seemed to have broken through the Yeovil defence, but inexplicably passed when a shot for goal seemed an obvious choice. Margate had rarely troubled the Yeovil defence through open play and it was to be a dead ball situation that produced the equaliser. Keister and Lockwood had battled all afternoon and there may have been a continuous degree of generosity in favour of the little fellow. Just as it looked as if Yeovil would manage to hobble in at half time with their 1-0 lead Keister won one free kick too many. Lamb’s ensuing cross found SHEARER’S head and the big Margate defender was only too pleased to help it into the Yeovil goal. Yeovil 1 Margate 1.

Half Time: Yeovil Town 1 Margate 1.

It may be stretching the truth to suggest that Yeovil raised their game after the break, in truth Margate failed to compete as they had in the first. But Yeovil started the brighter. Good work by Williams and El Kholti set up Crittenden in the Margate box. But Critt’s shot cleared the Copse Road terrace and only troubled the ball boy who had to fetch it. A minute later McIndoe’s corner flew across the Margate goal face; the slightest touch would have been enough. Jackson then deflected a header onto the Margate post. Johnson’s shot was then well saved.

Margate’s Collins was forced to leave the game after suffering a head wound when clashing with Skiverton, he returned to the game after an absence of nine minutes. In that time Mitten had collected a good McIndoe cross, a Crittenden shot was blocked, El Kholti’s shot was tipped over, and Way’s shot was palmed away. It seemed it might be “one of those games”. But today the Man in Black would come to Yeovil’s rescue. The Yeovil magicians: Crittenden and McIndoe had been weaving magic down the right wing since half time. Critts had forced his way into the Margate box but his first shot was well blocked. As he chased the skied ball he seemed to be blocked as well. As he hit the ground Mr Barnard had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. CRITTENDEN made no mistake with the spot kick. Yeovil 2 Margate 1.

Yeovil were soon looking to extend their lead. Jackson’s back-heel played in Williams who set up El Kholti. His cross / shot eluded Crittenden at the far post.

Yeovil had the game in their pocket and Gary Johnson was not about to let a slender lead slip for a second time. Introducing O’Brien for El Kholti to strengthen a “back four”. But, to be honest, the game continued to be played in the Margate half. Williams, McIndoe, et al played keep ball in the corner until the clock ran down.

Full Time: Yeovil Town 2 Margate 1.

Football can be a funny game, but more often than not a good team will beat a poor team, that sums up today’s encounter. It may not have been enthralling entertainment but the record books will show three points to Yeovil; we are still top of the league. Chester win but Daryl Clare is sent off. Things can only get better.

Noddy Elms

Internet Man of the Match Voting Result:

Player MOTM Score
Abdehalim El Kholti 9 317
Nick Crittenden 7 291
Gavin Williams 7 235
Darren Way 5 204
Lee Johnson 5 187
Michael McIndoe 5 170
Terry Skiverton 2 161
Colin Pluck 6 157

Overall match rating: 6 / 10
Performance: 6
Entertainment: 6

46 votes received.

Programme Cover