Venue: Gigg Lane
Sat 1st November 2003, 3pm kick-off.
Scorers: Jake Edwards (31, 0-1), Paul O’Shaughnessy (35, 1-1), Lee Unsworth (88, 2-1)
Attendance: 3,086 – including 449 Glovers fans
Referee: Michael Jones (Cheshire)
Assistant Refs: Tony McGee (Merseyside), Andrew Smith (W Yorkshire)
Yeovil: Reed (23, foul) Red card: Reed (86, 2nd bookable offence)
Bury: Whelan (16, foul), Garner (24, unsporting behaviour), O’Shaughnessy (52, foul) Seddon (83, foul)
Yeovil Town : (4-4-2)
1. Chris Weale
24. Paul Terry 2. Adam Lockwood 5. Colin Pluck 15. Steven Reed
20. Gavin Williams 6. Darren Way 8. Lee Johnson 3. Abdelhalim El Kholti
9. Kevin Gall 17. Jake Edwards
7. Adam Stansfield (90, for El Kholti) 13. Steven Collis 18. Kirk Jackson (87, for Edwards) 22. Lee Elam (10, for Williams) 23. Jamie Gosling
1. Glyn Garner 4. Danny Swailes 5. Lee Duxbury 27. Philip Gulliver 6. Lee Unsworth 21. Lee Connell 24. Glenn Whelan 14. Paul O’Shaughnessy 22. Harpal Singh 9. David Nugent 19. Gareth Seddon
11. Andy Preece 10. Joe O’Neill (69, for Nugent) 17. Terry Dunfield 3. Colin Woodthorpe 16. Simon Whaley
Badger’s View Of The Game
The last thing Gary Johnson needed on a day when he travelled up to Lancashire was another defensive injury. Hugo Rodrigues was serving his single match suspension, whilst Roy O’Brien and Ronnie Bull were still recovering from their knee injuries. So when club captain Terry Skiverton got a dead leg in training on Thursday, that just compounded Johnson’s problems, and he was forced to select a very different looking defensive line-up for the trip to Bury. Stephen Reed came in to make his Football League debut at left-back whilst Paul Terry started at right-back. Adam Lockwood and Colin Pluck, as Yeovil’s last two experienced first team defenders, occupied the two central slots.
With such a makeshift back-line, the last thing Gary Johnson needed was another injury. Five minutes into the match, he got that, when Adam Lockwood fouled Harpal Singh. The tricky Bury midfielder was sent tumbling and crashed into the on-coming Gavin Williams, leaving both players on the deck. Williams, after lengthy off-the-field treatment, came back on to spend another five minutes limping about the pitch, but unsurprisingly was withdrawn soon afterwards to allow loan-signing Lee Elam to make his Football League debut.
Between the injury and the substitution, Lee Johnson had set up Yeovil’s first chance of the afternoon; a neat through-ball got Kevin Gall behind the Bury defence, but the striker shot perhaps a touch early and home keeper Glyn Garner was able to save relatively comfortably.
The first half was an open one, with attackers very much on top for both sides. Glenn Whelan curled a free kick just wide of Glovers keeper Chris Weale’s right hand post, whilst a poor defensive clearance let Darren Way in at the other end, but his 20 yard shot went wide of the right-hand post.
Chris Weale was seeing plenty of the ball early on, but the communication with his new back line was not always there, and there were several occasions during the first 45 minutes when either he or his team-mates seemed to get in each others way. One such occasion saw a Danny Swailes cross punched out by Weale, but in doing so he collided with one of his own players and was left on the floor. Fortunately, an attempted lob by Glenn Whelan was blocked on the line by Paul Terry. The Yeovil right-back managed two goal-line clearances in quick succession, as he also denied a Gareth Seddon header, with the home side very much on top during the middle section of the first half.
Referee Michael Jones was one of those match officials that wanted to be noticed. Glenn Whelan’s booking for crashing into Abdelhalim El Kholti, and Stephen Reed’s shirt-pulling produced fairly academic bookings, but it was becoming pretty apparent what sort of match official we had out there when home keeper Glyn Garner was carded for taking a goal kick a foot outside the six yard box. Pulling up the keeper for the offence was correct, but Garner was understandably surprised to find Mr Jones sprinting across the field, clutching a yellow card all the way as if he fancied a run as the next Olympic torch carrier.
Bury continued to edge proceedings though and Philip Gulliver was the next home player to try his luck as he flashed a header across the face of goal as he flicked on a corner. It was therefore somewhat of a surprise when the visitors took the lead on 31 minutes. Lee Johnson, who was almost the sole form of creativity for Yeovil during the afternoon, crossed the ball into the box, Adam Lockwood headed the ball down, and Jake EDWARDS drove the ball home through a crowd of players, despite the attempts of a Bury defender to stop the ball going in via his hands.
Only four minutes later though, the home side drew level, with a chaotic equaliser. Bury broke up field, and as they rained in shots on Yeovil’s goal, a succession of blocks by Chris Weale and several Yeovil defence just seemed to continually fall back to other Bury players, who teed up more shots. At about the fourth attempt, Paul O’SHAUGHNESSY landed the ball in the back of the net to level the scores.
Lee Elam, who was having an impressive start to his Yeovil career, almost got on the scoresheet when he stabbed the ball under Glyn Garner almost straight from the kick-off, but Glenn Whelan hacked the ball off the line, just when it seemed Yeovil had gone 2-1 up. A very strange and open first half was ended, and the only surprise was that both sides had only managed to score one each.
Half-time: Bury 1 Yeovil Town 1
The half time team talk seemed to have resulted in a few tactical changes as both teams attempted to tighten up their defences. Yeovil came out far more positively, and Stephen Reed’s surging run up the flank resulted in an excellent save from Glyn Garner.
Referee Mr Jones rather unnecessarily booked Bury goalscorer Paul O’Shaughnessy for barging into Lee Johnson as the two competed for the ball in midfield. Yeovil had the lion’s share of the half, but without creating too many chances. Kevin Gall went close when he anticipated a poor back-header to Garner, but his toe-poke on the ball slipped just past the post.
It was a curious second half. Bury seemed to have lost all ambition to go for three home points, and seemed content just to pack men behind the ball, without even any attempt to force Yeovil on the break, slowing down play whenever they could. The end result was that the Glovers found it difficult to break down. It seemed highly likely that Yeovil’s first draw of the season was on the cards. Lee Elam seemed to tire as the half went on, and again Lee Johnson seemed to be the only Yeovil player likely to unlock the Bury defence.
The game turned though on the actions of referee Mr Jones. The card-happy official had just booked Gareth Seddon for a foul on Adam Lockwood, but when the Bury player made one of the home side’s rare advances into the Yeovil half during the second period, Stephen Reed went shoulder-to-shoulder with Seddon on the left wing, and the Bury player went down in emphatic fashion.
Given that it was only Reed’s second foul of the afternoon, a second yellow card seemed rather harsh, but it was fairly inevitable, based on the match official’s previous use of his cards, what the outcome would be. Stephen Reed became Yeovil’s first red card victim for eight months, since Adam Lockwood’s dismissal at Woking in March, resulting in an unhappy end to a fine debut, where he had done little wrong and had even twice threatened to score, making Tonkinesque forward patrols from his full-back position. The official who had been booed and jeered off by home supporters at half time, had now given their side a definite lift.
Having spent 40 minutes of the second period showing next to no ambition, Bury woke up to the fact that they had an extra man advantage, and finally began to push men forward. They got the winner just two minutes later, as they pushed up the field rapidly, and Lee Connell’s inch perfect cross found Lee UNSWORTH just exactly where Stephen Reed would have been on the back post, and Unsworth’s six yard header gave Weale no chance. It was to be Bury’s only genuine attack of the whole half, as they completed their smash’n’grab raid on the Yeovil goal.
A spirited Yeovil attempt to grab a late equaliser was made, with Adam Stansfield replacing Abdelhalim El Kholti as Yeovil pressed the gamble button, and it nearly paid off in the final minute when Kevin Gall got on the end of a cross, but his first-time volley went wide of the mark. But they were left to rue their earlier chances, that surely would have seen Bury off, if only they had the lead prior to the late sending off. The Glovers should remind themselves that they have played worse this season – against Darlington for example – and grabbed all three points. To come home empty handed was rough justice indeed.
Full-time: Bury 2 Yeovil Town 1
MOTM Vote Result:
Overall match rating: 6 / 10
8 votes received.