Venue: The Hand Stadium
Tues 29th April 2003, 7.30pm kick-off.

Conditions: Gradually deteriorating into steady rain.
Ground: Reasonably firm but very threadbare and slippery.

Somerset Premier Cup Final: Taunton Town 2 Yeovil Town 1

Attendance: 914 ( including approx 800 Yeovil supporters )

Referee: Mr M Gooding. Assisted by : Mr M Blatchford and Mr R Gillard.

Yeovil: None
Taunton: Robbie Herrera ( 45 mins, foul ), Tom Kelly ( 51 mins, foul ), Antony Lynch ( 61 mins, blocking a free kick ), Shane Powell ( 64 mins, kicking ball at downed player ), Chris Myers ( 73 mins, foul ).

Line up : Steve Collis, Roy O’Brien, Jimmy Aggrey, Steve Reed, Nick Crittenden, Andy Lindegaard, Neil Mustoe, Steve Thompson, Abdelhalim El Kholti, Chris Giles, Kim Grant.

Substitutes: Ian Patchett ( for Chris Giles, 73 mins ), Ian Linney ( for Abdel El Kholti, 81 mins ), Chris Weale, Nick Jacobs.

Taunton: Ryan Draper, Shane Powell, Robbie Herrera, Danny Harris, Craig Russell, Tom Kelly, Derek Fields, Ian Bastow, Gary Fisher, Chris Myers ( capt ), Antony Lynch.
Subs : Lee Groves ( for Ian Bastow, 73 mins ), Luke Dawkins ( for Antony Lynch, 84 mins ), Jeff McLean, Justin Yates.

Scorers: Gary Fisher ( 44 mins, 1-0 ), Gary Fisher again ( 76 mins, 2-0 ), Jimmy AGGREY ( 84 mins, 2-1 ).


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Photos courtesy of Martyn Lucas

This report courtesy of Tony Elbourn:

Yeovil kicked out of Final – literally !

Tony Farmer will be a busy man for the next day or two, patching up the injuries caused by a cynical display of physical football and a complete loss of control by the men in black. The Taunton players will no doubt be proud to show off their yellow cards along with their winners’ medals.

The nature of this game was clear from the outset – Taunton intended to kick lumps out of anyone who got past them. Control of the game was lost by the men in black within the first ten minutes, allowing the most blatant and appalling offences to go unpunished and encouraging Taunton to lower their game even further as time went on. A pity, really, because in the odd moments when the Peacocks did try to play football they provided some exciting moves.

Despite the physical pressure Yeovil tried their best to play creative, attacking soccer. Crittenden, Lindegaard and El Kholti all proved that they could run rings round the Taunton defence, but the final ball somehow was missing. A number of times a goal seemed inevitable, the closest being an excellent save by Draper on 10 minutes from a point-blank header by Giles. The Glovers looked confident and competent, though they tended to rely more on the long ball as time progressed and also looked increasingly nervous of being scythed down by an opponent who appeared determined to win at all costs.

Most of this period was spent in Taunton’s half, but on a couple of occasions Fisher looked dangerous on the quick break. It was one such quick break, against the run of play, that sent the Peacocks in at half time in the lead. A long period of Yeovil pressure brought yet another corner. The hoofed clearance bounced awkwardly over two Yeovil defenders and Gary FISHER made no mistake with the opportunity, slotting the ball nicely past a stretched Collis with almost the last kick of the half. The last kick belonged to Herrera, who aimed it at Lindegaard and earned the first of many yellow cards for his team.

Half Time : Taunton Town 1 Yeovil Town 0.

The second half started in the same way that the first had ended. Yeovil ran the Peacocks ragged, and were floored for doing so. Kelly earned the next yellow card for pulling Giles to the ground with an arm around his neck, a professional foul that should have seen him red-carded. Young Chris stuck to the adage of getting even rather than mad, and his half-volley from a free kick a few minutes later required another excellent save from Draper to retain Taunton’s lead.

A trio of yellow cards followed over the next ten minutes or so, for increasingly brutal fouls, culminating in Myers’ truly appalling challenge that left El Kholti sprawling and should have earned him an early shower. This series of assaults clearly rattled the less-experienced players, and with Giles limping off the field just after the hour but not being immediately replaced, Taunton came forward and scored on a fast break again through Gary FISHER with a well-taken opportunity. Yeovil responded by moving Aggrey to centre forward. After a few close calls, including what should have been a penalty for handball, Jimmy AGGREY found the back of the net in the 84th minute after a scramble in the goalmouth.

Time seemed to slow down for Taunton after that, whereas Yeovil went into fast forward. Goal attempts came frequently, the closest being Grant’s header just before the end of normal time. When the fourth official indicated 6 minutes of added time, the groans from the Taunton players and the expletives from their manager were clearly audible round the ground. Alas, Yeovil could not get the final ball in, and in the last moments Taunton came close to getting their third with another breakaway.

Thus ended the bloodbath in Clevedon, and good riddance to this level of football and officials.

Full Time : Taunton Town 2 Yeovil Town 1.

Tony Elbourn