Venue: McAlpine Stadium
Tues 2nd March 2004, 7.45pm kick-off.
Scorers: Pawel Abbott (40, 1-0), Danny Schofield (46, 2-0), Danny Schofield (60, 3-0), Darren Way (78, 3-1)
Attendance: 9,395 – including 347 Glovers supporters
Referee: Eddie Evans (Greater Manchester)
Assistant Refs: Tony McGee (Merseyside), Gary Stott (Greater Manchester)
Yeovil: Way (63, dissent), Jackson (66, unsporting behaviour)
Huddersfield: Worthington (8, unsporting behaviour), Clarke (90, unsporting behaviour)
Yeovil Town : (4-4-2)
1. Chris Weale
24. Paul Terry 2. Adam Lockwood 5. Colin Pluck 3. Abdelhalim El Kholti
25. Simon Weatherstone 8. Lee Johnson 6. Darren Way 20. Gavin Williams
7. Adam Stansfield 26. Andy Bishop
9. Kevin Gall 12. Hugo Rodrigues (12, for Pluck) 13. Steven Collis 16. Andy Lindegaard (48, for Terry) 18. Kirk Jackson (50, for Bishop)
Huddersfield : (3-5-2)
13. Phillip Senior
16. Efetobore Sodje 15. Nathan Clarke 5. Steve Yates
24. Anthony Lloyd 11. Danny Schofield 18. Jonathan Worthington 19. Dwayne Mattis 21. Andy Holdsworth
25. Pawel Abbott 23. Andy Booth
29. Paul Rachubka 3. Rob Edwards (65, for Mattis) 27. David Mirfin 10. Jon Newby 4. Lee Fowler (90, for Worthington)
Jeremy Gear’s View Of The Game
Williams Shines Brightly but fails to thaw the Yorkshire Men’s Grip
One year ago, almost to the very day, and in the same part of Yorkshire, Yeovil pulled off a Houdini act by beating Halifax 3-2, a Kevin Gall hat-trick securing all three points that went a very long way to securing the coveted conference title. Tonight, one goal down at the break and with the Welshman on the bench, the Glovers could not overcome their hosts, and despite a rallying last twenty minutes or so, never looked likely to!
If only Andy Bishop could have finished a gilt edged chance, laid on a plate by Adam Stansfield, things could have been so very different. He had time, probably too much of it, to pick his spot, he even had enough time to change his mind and ponder which corner of Senior’s net to billow. Alas, he shot meekly and straight into the grateful keeper’s hands, a fine opportunity had gone to silence the partisan crowd and to take control of a game, for which in most parts the Glovers had looked second best. To add insult to injury within seconds a long ball had been pumped forward by the Terriers defence, was allowed to bounce in the box around the 6 yard line and with an instinctive swing of his boot, Pawel ABBOTT on loan from Preston did enough to beat Weale at the far post with soft goal to put his side ahead. It was cruel on Bishop who, realising how different things could have been, seemed to hang his head in his hands until the half time whistle blew.
Whatever Gary Johnson had said during his half time team talk, all went to pot within seconds of the restart as this time Abbott crossed for Danny Schofield who put his side two up with a speculative lob over Weale’s head. This time there was to be no coming back.
On a night when this game was lucky to survive the cold spell, all thanks to the underground heating installed within the terrific Alfred Mcalpine Stadium, you knew that it may not be Yeovil’s night when Captain Skiverton was forced to miss the game with what could only be a recurrence of his knee injury. Worse was to follow as Colin Pluck, carrying a similar knock, was forced to withdraw after only sixteen minutes, being replaced by Hugo Rodrigues. Paul Terry came into the side following his paternity leave break, and slipped into the right back role, left vacant by Adam Lockwood’s move sideways into the centre half spot. Adam Stansfield kept his spot upfront to partner Bishop, and the one surprise was the inclusion of Kirk Jackson on the bench, following his short loan spell at Dagenham.
Before Huddersfield took the lead Chris Weale had kept his side in it with some important stops, doing well to save a good header from Andy Booth, and doing even better when diving full stretch to pluck the ball out of the cold sky to prevent a certain goal following a mix up near the corner flag by Way and El Kholti. Then came that killer first goal on 40 minutes. A minute later Abbott could have doubled his team’s lead, Paul Terry, not his usual self slipped and lost possession on the halfway line, a desperate Lockwood block on the edge as he lined up his shot kept the ball out. Seconds later Weale saved well again, this time being first to a low ball swung in wickedly to the far post.
Half-time: Huddersfield Town 1 – 0 Yeovil Town
As the second half got underway, and well before the 347 travelling away fans had time to consume the magnificent meat and potato pies, Huddersfield had gone ahead again through Danny SCHOFIELD. Whatever the best-laid plans were, it was back to the drawing board. It really was a killer blow, and Yeovil were caught cold. A similar thing happened at Cheltenham back in October. It was time to ring the changes, and within minutes Paul Terry had been replaced by Andy Lindegaard, Bishop made way for Jackson. Johnson going for strength presumably, rather than Gall’s pace. Efe Sodje, at the back for the Terriers, to be honest could have coped with either, such was his hold on the Yeovil attack. It was Sodje who created the third goal, a tremendous block on Gavin Williams allowed Abbott to pick up the loose ball and Yeovil, stretched and out of shape did not pick up the run from Danny SCHOFIELD who finished calmly for his second and the Yorkshiremen’s third 60 minutes into the game.
Credit to Yeovil though, at one stage it looked they would suffer the seasons heaviest defeat but they picked themselves up, regained composure and showed why they have been tagged as the best footballing side in the league. Darren Way, who had earlier incensed the home crowd following an incident down by the near touchline, seemed spurred on, and his shot from distance narrowly missed the upright. Hugo was playing well up the field and his header across the face of goal found Stansfield who headed over from close range, Gavin Williams, superb all night, skinned Sodje and left him for dead before pulling back a great cross from the by-line, Stansfields volley was goal bound but somehow was deflected off the line for a corner.
Darren WAY finally found the net on 78 minutes, a decoy run from Stansfield opened a gap and Way shot low, this time the right side of the same post to pull a goal back. 3 minutes later he tried the same again but he went for the opposite corner and his effort sailed high and wide. Weatherstone should have scored when again Hugo well forward, found Stansfield, and his ball into the box surprised the new man who hesitated thinking he was offside and failed to trouble the goal. Lockwood then rose well and connected superbly with an El Kholti cross but Phil Senior was more than equal to the header and pulled off a super save to deny Yeovil’s own Yorkshireman. El Kholti also hit the target from distance but a lack of power in his strike failed to trouble the Terriers keeper, who by now was having to work for his supper.
If the game had gone on a little longer Yeovil would have scored again, but unfortunately 3 minutes of injury time was not enough. On the night Huddersfield were stronger, and their impressive run of form will surely make them contenders for an automatic spot should Oxford, Hull or Doncaster wobble. Leapfrogging the Glovers into fourth spot, Yeovil need to pick themselves up again to keep their own promotion dream on track. If it does not happen, then that wonderful night in Halifax a year ago gave rise to coming to Huddersfield tonight. To be here, and be on the receiving end of a good going over by a sleeping giant, in a stadium that’s built for the Premiership ain’t that bad for our first season in Division 3. It’s a learning curve and this evening was a steep one. Gary Johnson will have learnt a bit more about his players tonight too.
Full-time: Huddersfield Town 3 – 1 Yeovil Town
MOTM Vote Result:
Overall match rating: 4.8 / 10
11 votes received.