Venue: Brunton Park
Sat 17th January 2004, 3pm kick-off.
Scorers: Paul Simpson (21, 1-0), Craig Farrell (75, 2-0)
Attendance: 5,455 – including approx 250 Glovers
Referee: David Pugh (Merseyside)
Assistant Refs: Richard Hewitt (North Yorkshire), Paul Nicholson (Co Durham)
Yeovil: Skiverton (55, unsporting behaviour), Gall (78, dissent)
Carlisle: Murphy (41, unsporting behaviour), McDonagh (48, unsporting behaviour)
Yeovil Town : (4-4-2)
1. Chris Weale
24. Paul Terry 4. Terry Skiverton 12. Hugo Rodrigues 5. Colin Pluck
22. Lee Elam 6. Darren Way 8. Lee Johnson 15. Steven Reed
9. Kevin Gall 17. Jake Edwards
3. Abdelhalim El Kholti (46, for Reed) 7. Adam Stansfield (74, for El Kholti) 13. Steven Collis 18. Kirk Jackson 23. Jamie Gosling
Carlisle United: (4-4-2)
1. Matthew Glennon 2. Paul Arnison 14. Kevin Gray 12. Lee Andrews
7. Peter Murphy 20. Brendan McGill 8. Chris Billy 13. William McDonagh 26. Paul Simpson
31. Andy Preece 23. Kevin Henderson
5. Brian Shelley 11. Adam Rundle 19. Craig Farrell (65, for Henderson) 22. Peter Keen 28. Paul Gardiner
Badger’s View Of The Game
The mammoth journey to Cumbria saw Gary Johnson’s plans disrupted when winger Nick Crittenden pulled out of the side with a hamstring strain. With fellow wide men Gavin Williams and Adam Lockwood both serving a single match suspension for five bookings, Johnson must have been thankful to be able to recall Colin Pluck and Jake Edwards back into the side. Meanwhile Stephen Reed made his first league start since his sending off at Bury, albeit occupying a left-wing position.
The Glovers got off to an excellent start and could have taken the lead just five minutes into the match. Kevin Gall sprang the home side’s offside trap from the halfway line and raced through towards Carlisle keeper Matthew Glennon. But his shot went agonisingly inches wide across the face of goal as he drew the keeper out off his line.
Carlisle were working hard though, and attempting to close Yeovil’s play down at every attempt. Player-manager Paul Simpson was leading by example, even though he did fade during the second half, and his right wing cross was met by Brendan McGill, only for the shot to clear Chris Weale’s crossbar by about a yard or so.
Midway through the first half though, Paul SIMPSON received a gift that gave Carlisle the lead. Kevin Henderson broke down the right flank and delivered a looping cross. Paul Terry made an uncharacteristic mistake when he totally mistimed his jump for the ball, leaving Simpson with all of the time in the world to control the ball and crash it home on the angle.
The Glovers had plenty of chances though. Kevin Gall had already spurned a second attempt when he fired over the bar and Terry Skiverton repeated that feat when he chested down a ball from a free kick that Hugo Rodrigues had glanced in his direction.
At the other end though, Simpson was being just as wasteful as he missed chances to grab a hat-trick. One attempt looped a foot or so over Chris Weale’s crossbar, whilst another chance saw a shot going across the face of goal. Even then it was a good job that Andy Preece was not ten years younger as he slid in attempting to divert the ball home. Chris Weale stopped the scoreline from being extended when he smothered a Kevin Henderson shot on the half-volley, with a double-ricochet seeing the ball out for a goal kick.
But right on half time, the Glovers should have equalised, with Kevin Gall the culprit for the third time in the half. Breaking on the opposite side to his previous attempt, once again, his shot near took the paintwork off the outside of the opposite post, but in the end close was not good enough, as the Glovers went in a goal down at the break.
Half-time: Carlisle United 1 – 0 Yeovil Town
Gary Johnson made a single change at half time as Stephen Reed, who had struggled to break forward during the half, was replaced by transfer-listed Abdelhalim El Kholti, who should have had a point to prove to his manager.
The second period saw plenty of Yeovil possession and territory but without too much significant suggestions that they were going to break down a Carlisle side who were concentrating on keeping their men behind the ball. Darren Way was a rare example of a Yeovil player getting into the Carlisle penalty box with the ball, as he received a Hugo Rodrigues flick-on of a Lee Johnson corner, but his shot was blazed over the bar.
Carlisle’s raids were rare now, and Paul Simpson’s tired looking effort that went over the bar showed that Carlisle were starting to run out of steam. As if to react to that, Gary Johnson sent Abdelhalim El Kholti back to the bench after 29 minutes that was not likely to change his manager’s mind over his decision to transfer list him.
Adam Stansfield replaced him, but before he could even touch the ball, Carlisle had doubled their lead with barely their second attempt of the half. It’s rare referees get credit, but many an official would have blown for the challenge on Andy Preece as he put a through ball in behind the Yeovil defence. Referee David Pugh held his nerve and unfortunately benefitted Carlisle, as Craig FARRELL was able to draw out Chris Weale and fire home from a narrow angle.
Carlisle nearly repeated their second goal a couple of minutes later, when Andy Preece was the man to get in behind the Yeovil defence. But Chris Weale came out of his goal and did well to hold up Preece so that by the time the ball was put across the face of goal, three Yeovil defenders had got back behind the ball, thus thwarting Henderson’s attempt to push the ball home.
Two more events summed up Yeovil’s afternoon. Firstly Kevin Gall was booked for showing dissent to a linesman’s decision. What Gall said was probably accurate for an official who had a shocker of an afternoon, frequently flagging Glovers players offside when it was clear that they had moved around their Carlisle counterparts. It was certainly a frustrating afternoon for the Welshman.
Secondly Adam Stansfield did everything right four minutes from time when he sent a header from a Lee Johnson corner straight towards the top left hand corner of the Carlisle goal, only for the home side’s full-back to leap high and clip the ball upwards with his head, denying Yeovil something to go home with.
This was very much a case of the good and the bad for Yeovil, with few players having an ‘average’ game. The central defensive and midfield players performed to their usual standard, but out wide and up front, Yeovil looked ineffective, with there being little doubt that Lockwood, Williams and Crittenden should stand a strong chance of being recalled next week – their quality was certainly missed in Cumbria.
Full-time: Carlisle United 2 – 0 Yeovil Town
An alternative view from Tim Lancaster
Yeovil Towns first ever trip to football’s most remote outpost saw them fall flat on their faces against the Football League’s basement side.
Make no mistake about it, Carlisle may be improving but they still looked a very poor side and I would bet on them being relegated as few teams will afford them the generosity we did. Fighting spirit may gain ‘The Cumbrians’ a few points but they looked no better than Leigh RMI!
The day began with an early flight from Bristol, and I was surprised to see so much green and white at the airport for the 0710 flight. There must have been fifteen of so on the Glasgow flight, with about another ten making their way via Edinburgh or Newcastle, the latter of which meant an overnight stay.
An hour later in a frosty Glasgow the first curious glances arrived – but there was no point in explaining. They barely recognise their own beyond the big two, so what was the point. The highlight of the day – in hindsight – was the trip down to Carlisle, stunning scenery with snow capped mountains took the breath away, and there were some interesting signposts to be observed on the way down, places that you only ever here about when the early rounds of The Scottish Cup come around such as Annan (Athletic), and Selkirk (The side that lost 20-0 to Stirling Albion in the late eighties). I can still recall the teleprinter in the bar at the old Huish … Stirling Albion 20 (Twenty) Selkirk 0.
By the time we reached Carlisle the city was just waking up, the hour and a half drive from Glasgow completed in excellent time. Brunton Park stood like a fortress on the edge of the city, it’s truncated floodlights hiding a wonderfully archaic old ground. Blue and white was everywhere, on the gates, the stands, the perimeter walls, barbed wire and broken bottles came with the graffitti – everyone wanted to make their mark that they had been there it would appear.
Far from the hostility of near neighbours and one time opponents Barrow, the Carlisle fans were warm and forthcoming, they seemed to have a genuine respect for the mere fact that you were there. One bloke simply stopped us and began telling us how he had come down to Yeovil and missed the match because of traffic, had a few beers and went home. The older supporters made an effort to speak and all in all I would say they possess an excellent fan base. The ground took time to fill up today, fifteen minutes before kick off the place looked empty, desolate and resigned to their forthcoming fate. By kick off the large bank opposite had swelled with supporters and the stand that we were in was populated by a section of very vocal youngsters, none of which looked above the age of sixteen but who were well up for taunting us at any opportunity, although to be fair they offered very good support to their side, which after all are pretty bad!
Once again the flags were consigned to the seats by over fussy stewards, I hate this as flags should be hung but it is a trend that is more often than not on the agenda. A fine display including ‘Bristol Greens’, Smithy’s Exiles, Northern Greens, Cary Glovers, Goytre Greens, Ciderspace, and the large one lay dormant as their owners sat and pondered the contest.
Carlisles home end is fantastic – almost like three barns stuck together with an old fashioned three pointed roof. The club crest and huge lettering spelling out CARLISLE UNITED adorn it’s fascia. This end was sparse in comparison to the paddock below the main stand. The empty end where Jimmy Glass scored THAT goal made the ground pretty much a three sided affair, similar to Doncaster in design and flanked to it’s right by the large modern stand housing 300+ Glovers in a structure not unlike the away stand at Oxford United. The green and white count was boosted by the Celtic contingent, numbering about 50-60, and a few from St Johnstone who had seen their game called off.
The match was terrible, they were terrible and will be relegated but we lacked any ideas in front of goal and although the approach play was no worse than any of the games seen this season Gally’s early miss let the home side off the hook. The first goal signalled unbridled joy from the home fans and they began a period of non-stop singing and drumming right next to us. The Celtic lad’s were well up for this and far from being patronising in their support (As what they were viewing must have looked like Sunday football in comparison) got behind us with a passion, as did the more vocal among our lot to the back of the stand. Whereas the atmosphere at Oxford in a similar sized stand with more support had been terrible this was great and even drew praise from the home stewards. I have often been critical of our support but the supporters really got behind the team today and the renditions of “Stand up if you love Yeovil” were backed by each and every supporter present.
I can’t deny Carlisle their victory and I hope I get to go back there next season, however I don’t think I will be as they will surely drop down. Preece broke the game up with professional know how, stopping any periods of movement by hitting the deck at every opportunity, but that is where we are at now. A ground well worth going to, give me this over Bolton, Oxford or any of the other lifeless new types anyday.
On the way back the lights were still on at Gretna following their 0-1 defeat by Queens Park, a mixed reception met us at the airport where quite severe verbal abuse was suffered by Rangers fans simply because of the colours. There really is no middle ground. Conversation with a Kilmarnock fan who has not missed a home game in seven years – despite living in Stanstead – restored my faith in people.
There we are then, an hour later and we are back in Bristol, and having set foot in all three mainland countries in a day I returned home very tired. Still another ground, and one that I would have regretted missing. Hopefully Carlisle can continue their revival against ‘The Gasheads’ next week. My theory about our excellent start being down to the ‘Catch them cold’ factor is looking alarmingly correct as we have now only gained three points out of nine on second meetings with teams who may have sussed us out.
MOTM Vote Result:
Overall match rating: 4.8 / 10
19 votes received.