Venue: Plainmoor
Sat 3rd April 2004, 3pm kick-off.


Scorers: Darren Way (17, 0-1), Jake Edwards (27, 0-2), Craig Taylor (44, 1-2), Steve Woods (54, 2-2)

Attendance: 6, 156 – including an official 1,600 Glovers fans

Referee: Rob Styles (Hampshire)
Assistant Refs: Bernard Baker (Hampshire) & Tony Green (Leics)

Yeovil: Williams (53, unsporting behaviour), Terry (61, persistent infringement). Red card: Williams (88, second bookable offence)
Torquay: Gritton (61, unsporting behaviour), Hockley (71, unsporting behaviour), Woods (80, unsporting behaviour), Graham (81, dissent)

Yeovil Town : (4-4-2)
13. Steven Collis
24. Paul Terry 4. Terry Skiverton 5. Colin Pluck 3. Abdelhalim El Kholti
20. Gavin Williams 6. Darren Way 8. Lee Johnson 10. Nick Crittenden
11. Lee Matthews 17. Jake Edwards

7. Adam Stansfield (78, for Edwards) 9. Kevin Gall (68, for Crittenden) 19. Nathan Talbott 25. Simon Weatherstone 32. Ryan Northmore

Torquay United : (4-4-2)
21. Kevin Dearden
4. Lee Canoville 18. Steve Woods 5. Craig Taylor 17. Brian McGlinchey
7. Tony Bedeau 14. Matthew Hockley 6. Alex Russell 11. Kevin Hill
9. Martin Gritton 10. David Graham

1. Arjan Van Heusden 20. Liam Rosenior (29, for Hill) 12. Jo Kuffour (29, for Bedeau) 25. Daryl McMahon (78, for Gritton) 2. Reuben Hazell

Jeremy Gear’s View Of The Game

Draws are a little bit like London buses as far as Yeovil Town are concerned, you don’t see any for ages and then two come along in quick succession. A draw though probably wasn’t in either manager’s minds at 3 o’clock as both sides needed to win to keep within sight of the chasing pack for both automatic and play-off positions respectively.

It certainly was not the Glovers game plan at least, right from the start Jake Edwards, recalled following his groin operation, clearly signalled his intentions when he burst through in the first minute and fired a decent effort just wide of goal from the edge of the area. Moments later Lee Johnson floated a superb cross into the box, which wind assisted beat the diminutive Torquay keeper Kevin Dearden and found Lee Matthews at the back post. Matthews, slow to respond spurned the chance and the danger cleared for the under pressure Gulls. Torquay rallied and won themselves a corner after five minutes, a near post flick found Martin Gritton in front of goal, he should have put the home side ahead but poor finishing and good defending kept the scores level.

The game was enthralling by now, a terrific atmosphere helped on by a vociferous west country capacity crowd played in greasy conditions, in probably the most basic of 3rd division grounds, nostalgic though for the Yeovil contingent. Yeovil won a corner in front of their own supporters, then won three more in quick succession but could not convert the pressure into a goal, finally Torquay cleared and a crunching tackle from Paul Terry thwarted a quick break by Tony Bedeau, deep in Yeovil territory. Gritton, a handful throughout narrowly missed with a good header, glancing the upright before going wide.

Then it was Yeovil’s turn to attack, 18 minutes gone and Abdul El Kholti and Williams played a one-two and the former drilled a powerful shot towards goal, some how it was deflected onto the angle of the bar and the post with Dearden well beaten, but Darren WAY was on hand to mop up the rebound and slotted the loose ball home calmly to send the 1600 away fans wild. More was to follow, Edwards went close with a good header from another Johnson cross, but 10 minutes later Yeovil doubled their lead. Gavin Williams, taunted by certain sections of the home ground early on, jinked and danced his way through the left hand side of the box before crossing low and into the path of Jake EDWARDS who slammed home from close range.

Yeovil were by now rampant and were arguably playing the best football, a mix of power and passing, that we’d seen for some time. Unfortunately Torquay’s manager Leroy Rosenior, who’s no mug, thought the same and he bravely made a double substitution on the half hour mark to stem the flow and try to salvage something from a game that looked beyond them. It worked a treat for the home side as Jo Kuffour and Liam Rosenior -the managers son – gave width and pace and something for Yeovil to think about. It was no surprise when they pulled a goal back just before half time when from a harshly awarded free kick against Skiverton, Craig TAYLOR’S shot found its way through the wall and into the back of the net. Collis was beaten but a full back on the post could have kept the ball out.

Half-time: Torquay United 1 – 2 Yeovil Town

The 44th minute is not a good time to concede a goal, and as the second half got underway it was the Gulls who had got their tails up. Gritton beat the offside trap and should have equalised but a fine save from Collis kept his side ahead. Yeovil then won a free kick, and from a central position Lee Johnson quickly found Skiverton unmarked and his glancing header went agonisingly wide. Torquay then broke instantly and a long ball down the right hand channel seemed to be harmless enough and Paul Terry thought the same, a lack of concentration on his part in truth gifted Torquay their equaliser. The ball stayed in play and the alert Gritton sneaked in on the blind side to cross to the far post where El Kholti and David Graham tangled. Graham the opportunist fell to the ground comedy style, and quite how referee Rob Styles fell for that beggar’s belief! Yeovil were on the receiving end of a poor penalty decision last week, but this time it looked as if justice had been done when Steve Collis, Yeovil’s man of the match, saved well low to his right, but he could not hold onto the ball and Steve WOODS followed up his own spot kick to level the match and spark a near riot with his foolish celebrations in front of the Yeovil fans.

David Graham should have then put his side ahead on 60 minutes when he broke through with only the keeper to beat, thankfully this time he clipped his effort just wide. He had a second chance moments later, but this time Colin Pluck was alert to the danger and got in his tackle just in time. The game continued at a ferocious and exciting pace with both sides having opportunities to win the game, Way and Torquay’s McGlinchey went close with long-range efforts but at one stage though the Glovers fans had their hearts in their mouth. Gavin Williams, defending a long ball into his own penalty area punched the ball away with his hand. The home crowd roared and the ref blew his whistle to their obvious delight. Unfortunately for them he gave a free kick to Yeovil and their momentary glee turned to permanent disappointment.

Yeovil’s final chance game in the last few minutes, Lee Matthews was clean through and bearing down on goal but his shirt was almost taken off his back, with Yeovil fans anticipating a red card, the Torquay player got away with a yellow and a defeat as the away side could not conjure up any magic to give them the three points all those in green and white craved for.

The earlier Torquay player got away with a booking, but sadly for Gavin Williams he didn’t. Booked earlier for unsporting behaviour he was given a second yellow and sent off for a rash high tackle when the ball had gone. Williams, gifted and the architect of Yeovil’s creativity often gets himself into silly situations and accumulates unnecessary bookings – this time he got punished for losing his discipline, and how Yeovil could do without missing him through suspension at this, the most important stage of the season. No doubt his manager told him the same at full time.

Final score: Torquay United 2 – 2 Yeovil Town

In conclusion, Yeovil’s season was epitomised in this game, a stunning first half an hour, followed by a spell which allowed the opposition back into the game following a loss of concentration. Yeovil’s policy is to defend from the front, but at 2-0 up maybe that’s time to shut up shop. The other observation I would make is that today we saw a new striking partnership in Matthews and Edwards, together they played well but at this stage of the season Gary Johnson still has to experiment, that suggests to me, with the strikers at his disposal, he still doesn’t know where the goals are going to come from. Concentration and discipline he can work on, scoring goals is a natural phenomenon!

Jeremy Gear

Final score: Torquay United 2 – 2 Yeovil Town

George Murray’s view of the game

Torquay came back from two goals down to rescue a point at Plainmoor after Darren Way and Jake Edwards put the Glovers two-up within thirty minutes.

Both sides began to pressurize each others defence early on. Jake Edwards’ shot sailed just wide and a clearance off the line denied Torquay the chance to break the deadlock. Yeovil continued to threaten and eventually broke the stalemate. Lee Matthews headed Lee Johnson’s cross on onto the bar and the ball fell to Darren Way who netted his fifth of the season. Moment’s later the Glovers doubled their lead. Gavin Williams drew the Torquay keeper and unselfishly squared the ball to Jake Edwards, who tapped in from close range. Just before the break, Craig Taylor put Torquay back in the game with a powerful long range strike to halve the deficit. The goal eventually proved to be the turning point in the game.

After the break, the Torquay equalizer began to look inevitable, but the superb keeping of Steve Collis kept Yeovil ahead. Terry Skiverton could have put the game beyond doubt but his header hit the post from Johnson’s cross.

In the 56th minute, Yeovil were extremely hard done by after Rob Styles pointed to the spot, having adjudged Gulls striker David Graham to have been brought down by El Kholti. Stephen Woods eventually stepped up. Collis saved the initial penalty kick only for Woods to convert the rebound. Torquay continued to pile on the pressure with both Graham and Hockley firing wide in a frantic finish to the game before Gavin Williams was sent off for his second bookable offence.

George Murray

MOTM Vote Result:

Player MOTM Score
Steven Collis 27 795
Jake Edwards 2 251
Paul Terry 2 169
Darren Way 2 133
Lee Johnson 3 128
Abdel El Kholti 2 113
Gavin Williams 1 67

Overall match rating: 7.8 / 10
Performance: 6.8
Entertainment: 8.8

39 votes received.