Venue: Abbey Stadium
Sat 25th October 2003, 3pm kick-off.


Scorers: Jake Edwards (16, 0-1), Dave Kitson (44, 1-1), Jake Edwards (59, 1-2), Kevin Gall (61, 1-3), Darren Way (87, 1-4)

Attendance: 4,072 – including 541 Yeovil supporters

Referee: Paul Danson (Leicestershire)
Assistant Refs: Simon Beck (Essex); Fred Graham (Essex)


Yeovil Town : (4-4-2)
1. Chris Weale
2. Adam Lockwood 4. Terry Skiverton 12. Hugo Rodrigues 5. Colin Pluck
20. Gavin Williams 6. Darren Way 8. Lee Johnson 3. Abdelhalim El Kholti
9. Kevin Gall 17. Jake Edwards

Subs: 7. Adam Stansfield (72, for Gall) 10. Nick Crittenden (81, for El Kholti) 13. Steven Collis 18. Kirk Jackson (76, for Edwards) 24. Paul Terry

Cambridge United:
1. Shaun Marshall 6. Stevland Angus 4. Andy Duncan 21. Mark Venus 22. Stuart Bimson 10. Shane Tudor 8. Terry Fleming 11. Justin Walker 14. Luke Guttridge 9. Dave Kitson 40. John Taylor

13. Martin Brennan 3. Fred Murray 5. Adam Tann (31, for Angus) 15. John Turner (62, for Taylor) 18. David Bridges (73, for Tudor)

Badger’s View Of The Game

For the fourth match running, Gary Johnson was able to select the same squad of players as he made his first trip back to Cambridge since 1995 and Yeovil’s first since an FA Cup match in 1987. Both Terry Skiverton and Kevin Gall made it through late fitness tests and the Glovers were able to opt for stability.

Yeovil got off to the sharper start and were to dominate the majority of the first period. Cambridge seemed to be happy to allow their visitors plenty of space in midfield and attempted to defend their patch from deep. Cambridge manager John Taylor had suggested in the pre-match press that he would be looking to catch Yeovil on the counter-attack but there was little sign of that during the early moves.

It was Yeovil who struck first blood and it was all so clinical. Abdelhalim El Kholti exchanged passes with Kevin Gall on the left wing, and Gall squared a pass to Jake EDWARDS who was given all the time in the world to calmly slot the ball home from 10 yards out and just 16 minutes played.

Cambridge’s first sight on goal came four minutes later when Hugo Rodrigues had to head off his own goal-line, following a Cambridge corner but overall it was the Glovers in command. Colin Pluck saw his 25 yard drive shot saved on the second attempt by home keeper Shaun Marshall.

The home crowd were growing impatient with their side’s inability to gain possession back from the Glovers and one of Yeovil’s moves up the field was greeted by a loud sarcastic cat-call from a single Cambridge fan of “well a tackle might be nice!” – although humourous, it said a lot for how difficult it was for the home side to track the runs of a Yeovil side that were playing with plenty of passing and movement.

All of that made Cambridge’s unexpected equalising goal all the more sickening; it came outrageously against the run of play. United top scorer Dave KITSON latched onto a through-ball from Luke Guttridge, Chris Weale came off his line too fast, and too early, and Kitson side-stepped the keepers advances and fired into an empty net for a goal just 60 seconds before the half time break. The equaliser clearly had Yeovil rattled and perhaps it was just as well that after another Cambridge attack, the half time whistle was blown and Gary Johnson was able to regroup his troops.

Half-time: Cambridge United 1 Yeovil Town 1

Cambridge were to enjoy their brightest spell of the game in the opening period of the second half, with Yeovil barely coming out of their shell in the first ten minutes. It seemed that they were still reeling from that equaliser, and Cambridge managed Luke Gutteridge and Dave Kitson exchanged passes to set up Terry Fleming who was causing a problem or two down the wings, but the final shot from Gutteridge was wasted over the crossbar.

The half turned though in an instance, when Cambridge captain Stuart Bimson dithered in his own half, and Kevin Gall charged down his attempt to meander his way up the field. Gall ran off with the ball, and put a simple through ball to Jake EDWARDS, who was left in a one-on-one with keeper Shaun Marshall, who he rounded with ease to restore advantage to the Glovers. It was somewhat against the run of play and out of context with the Glovers sluggish start to the half, but few of the 541 travellers were likely to complain.

Now back in the lead, Yeovil took the game by the scruff of the neck and added another goal within two minutes. Gavin Williams ran through the (lack of a) Cambridge midfield, Lee Johnson took the ball on and thread an excellent pass to Kevin GALL, who slotted the ball home from 12 yards on a slight angle. 3-1 with an hour gone and this was game over.

Gavin Williams had a penalty appeal turned down when he went chasing a through-ball from Kevin Gall. Home keeper Shaun Marshall slid in to collect the ball, and upended Williams in getting his hands wrapped around the ball, but in fairness the referee probably got the decision right.

Cambridge’s Shane Tudor then also tried his luck with the referee in the penalty box when he appealed for a spot kick after being felled, but like the Williams decision minutes earlier, the referee ruled that a defender had got to the ball first. Tudor was hurt in the incident and ultimately left the field.

Gary Johnson replaced his forward line of Kevin Gall and Jake Edwards with Adam Stansfield and Kirk Jackson. Gall had been a doubt before the match, but one goal and two assists was a fine return for a player carrying an injury, and with the game now won, Johnson was able to ration his striker. Jake Edwards is gradually coming up to full match fitness, but was still struggling for pace once the Glovers got beyond the hour mark. His two goals hopefully show the sign of things to come.

Hugo Rodrigues, who had yet another emphatic, dominant match, took a volleyed shot straight in the face from Cambridge substitute John Turner as the home side tried in vain to breath new life into their game. Johnson made his final substitution when he replaced Abdelhalim El Kholti with Nick Crittenden, and this was an opportunity for Williams and Crittenden to swap wings as Critts took the right flank.

Once again, Hugo was responsible for breaking up another Cambridge attack as he intercepted Justin Walker’s run with an excellent stretching tackle, and the game was now very firmly one of Cambridge trying to press, largely unsuccessfully, and Yeovil breaking in waves and threatening to extend their lead as the home side pushed their players forward.

Terry Fleming spooned a shot over the bar as the game reached the final ten minutes, though there would have been fury in the Yeovil camp if the goal was allowed to stand. Darren Way had clearly been fouled, but referee Paul Dansom attempted to play an advantage that was never there, but with Way still on the deck, Fleming chose the car park rather than the net from 10 yards out. Dave Kitson got a rare sight of goal when he sent a ball flashing across the face of the penalty box a minute later, but neither of his incoming team-mates could get a boot on the ball.

Cambridge looked fragile though every time Yeovil broke out of their defence, and they were exposed when Gavin Williams picked up the ball around his own penalty box and ran straight through the huge void that should have been the Cambridge midfield. Just when it seemed inevitable that Williams would be taking the ball on for the full length of the field for a possible wonder-goal, he slotted a short pass to Darren WAY who slotted home off the inside of a post from 10 yards to give Yeovil an emphatic and deserved 4-1 margin.

The home fans saw this as the signal to desert the ground in their hundreds, and so many missed a series of late shots by the home side, with John Turner volleying over the crossbar and David Bridges putting a long-ranger wide of the target. But Yeovil always seemed in control, and passed the game out with near total ease for their most one-sided win since their promotion to the Football League.


Full-time: Cambridge United 1 Yeovil Town 4

MOTM Vote Result:

Player MOTM Score
Jake Edwards 10 520
Kevin Gall 8 480
Hugo Rodrigues 7 327
Abdelhalim El Kholti 1 100
Colin Pluck 2 87
Gavin Williams 1 87

Overall match rating: 8.7 / 10
Performance: 8.6
Entertainment: 8.8

30 votes received.