Venue: Huish Park
Tues 21st October 2003, 7.45pm kick-off.
Scorers: Terry Skiverton (4, 1-0), Jonathan Stead (42, 1-1), Lee Johnson (51, 2-1)
Referee: Paul Taylor (Hertfordshire)
Assistant Refs: David Phillips (Sussex); Simon Snartt (South Gloucestershire)
Yeovil: El Kholti (85, unsporting behaviour)
Huddersfield: Sodje (35, unsporting behaviour), Worthington (44, unsporting behaviour), Holland (70, unsporting behaviour)
Yeovil Town : (4-4-2)
1. Chris Weale
2. Adam Lockwood 12. Hugo Rodrigues 4. Terry Skiverton 5. Colin Pluck
20. Gavin Williams 8. Lee Johnson 6. Darren Way 3. Abdelhalim El Kholti
9. Kevin Gall 17. Jake Edwards
Subs: 7. Adam Stansfield 10. Nick Crittenden (90, for El Kholti) 13. Steven Collis 18. Kirk Jackson (73, for Edwards) 24. Paul Terry (49, for Skiverton)
1. Ian Gray 16. Efetobore Sodje 15. Nathan Clarke 5. Steve Yates 21. Andy Holdsworth 18. Jonathan Worthington 4. Lee Fowler 8. Anthony Carss 11. Danny Schofield 23. Andy Booth 9. Jonathan Stead
12. Chris Holland (63, for Fowler) 13. Phillip Senior 17. Paul Scott 19. Dwayne Mattis 20. Nat Brown (76, for Yates)
Jeremy Gear’s View Of The Game
Yeovil send the shudders through Hudders!
Yeovil and Huddersfield can both boast proud footballing histories from years gone by, albeit poles apart. Tonight they had something else in common, both sides contributed to a wonderful game of football by producing attacking flair, industrious and creative midfield play, solid defending and excitement that resulted in a terrific advert for division 3. A game that flew by so quickly you didn’t notice until you left the ground that your feet were beginning to turn into blocks of ice!
Yeovil started with the same side that unconvincingly beat Darlington on Saturday, surely tonight couldn’t be as drab? There’s definitely something special about playing under floodlights and no sooner had they began to glow, the stadium was illuminated with a wonderful goal from the home side. After only 4 minutes Gavin Williams curled a superb free kick in from the right and as soon as the ball left his boot it had Terry Skiverton’s name written all over it as the skipper powerfully headed home his first league goal of the season in only his second appearance. The captain barely looks like he’s been away and he must have been devastated to have to leave the field with an injury early in the second half, lets not hope it’s a recurrence of his trouble he endured earlier. Yeovil have not looked ruthless enough in the box from set pieces this season and Skiverton’s return showed just how much he himself had been missed in those situations.
Huddersfield, probably the most glamorous club in the division, played some neat quick passing football and Andy Booth should have done better when he latched onto a left wing cross and headed over without troubling Chris Weale, almost immediately though Lockwood came down the right and slipped the ball to Kevin Gall who crossed to the far post towards Edwards, who couldn’t connect.
Johnson then lost possession in the middle to allow Huddersfield to escape down the left, another cross towards the head of Booth, who this time found the target but Weale made a super point blank save to deny him. The ball going out of play which allowed Skivo the chance to remonstrate with Lee Johnson and to politely tell him, no doubt with a few expletives, to not give the ball away again in that part of the field.
The game was now end to end as Edwards picked the ball up on the halfway line, with his back to goal, he turned and slotted the ball through to Gall, who, with only the keeper to beat let fly but couldn’t find the bottom corner, only Gray’s glove.
That miss proved expensive, Huddersfield’s next attack saw Rodriques harshly pulled up for a foul on the edge of the area, no doubt he got the ball but his legs are so long he cant really help leaving them on the floor, over went the attacker and he got the benefit of the doubt much to the disgust of the raucous home supporters in the Westland Terrace. Like Yeovil’s first goal, Huddersfield practice free kicks as well and a well rehearsed routine saw them equalise 4 minutes before half time. Jon Stead, back from suspension, firing home to give the visitors a goal that would change their half time team talk.
Half-time: Yeovil Town 1 Huddersfield Town 1
5 minutes into the second half and Yeovil’s skipper had to be replaced, Paul Terry came in at right back, allowing Lockwood to move into the centre of defence. Just after the disappointment of that injury and the loss of the skipper, Yeovil had taken the lead, Gall, once again was released down the right and produced a perfect cross into the box which saw little Lee Johnson sneak in behind the defence and place a perfectly executed header smack bang in the corner for his second goal of the season and possibly the first with his head for the club, or any club come to that!
That leads me nicely onto the Kevin Gall debate, is he a right-winger or a centre forward? Galls place in the starting line up should never be in doubt, his energy and work rate is unquestionable, but the chances he creates down both flanks, certainly the right are many in number. He had a huge hand in both goals against Bournemouth last week from that position, many more tonight, and he will continue to produce assists from there week in week out. Trouble is, you want him to be on the end of such tantalizing balls into the box – his pace is so great that, unlike Johnson tonight, the midfield rarely catches up with him when he is in full flight. You wonder if a 4-3-3 formation would suit his style better, but why change a winning formula, and who would you drop from the midfield if you went for a 4-3-3? Whilst the player and his manager will be happy with his all round contribution, Gall will have been disappointed with his finishing tonight and you could see that in his body language when opportunities came his way and went, maybe he just needs the rub of the green, one or two goals and they’ll come flooding back. They say you make your own luck, and that luck comes when preparation meets opportunity. But as a striker opportunities only usually come when you’re in the box! The interesting debate shall continue, do we want him for his goals, his assists, or both…..what a nice problem to have to ponder!
Back to the game, Gall did score but his effort was offside following good work from Darren Way. Super Kev then tore down the left to present an opportunity to Williams, who had too much time and tried to lob the keeper. Moments later following a powerful run deep into the opposition half, Williams was brought down, and Holland was booked for obstruction. The resultant free kick came to nothing but as the ball came out Gall went for the top corner with a delicate chip but just missed.
Huddersfield attacked again and Sodje powered into the box to meet a corner, heading down into the ground text book like, only to see the ball bounce high over the bar, could have been different if we’d had some rain recently!
Forgotten man Kirk Jackson replaced Jake Edwards, and he almost made an instant impact after, Gall, with a tremendous leap beat Sodje to a bouncing ball, he found Jackson who couldn’t quite squeeze the ball under the advancing Gray, who was having a good game. With 8 minutes to go Johnson lost possession but luckily Huddersfield couldn’t capitalize, instead they to, in the shape of Clarke at the back, also gave the ball away but that man Gall again couldn’t take advantage-allowing Gray to mop up. At the other end Weale made a great save amongst many feet down low, the ball spilled out but Colin Pluck dived in where angels fear to tread and kept the ball out, getting hurt in the process, Booth was booked for his part.
Right on 90 minutes Jackson could have made the game safe, (and his position in the starting line up on Saturday) as he was sent clean through, as he advanced towards the keeper with the goal at his mercy it was the latter who held his nerve and saved well down low. 3 minutes of injury time were signalled, and you knew it was going to be the longest 3 minutes ever. A couple of free kicks down the Yeovil right following fouls from El Kholti left beating hearts in mouths, before a nice interchange between Gall, Williams and Way saw the midfielder unleash a piledriver that swerved the wrong way and went beyond the right hand post. Eventually the ref blew, and Yeovil had won a pulsating match. A precious 3 points that moved them up into 5th spot, 5 points behind leaders Hull. If Yeovil can continue this form in the next 3 league games, who would bet against a top of the table clash at the Kingston Communications Stadium on the 22nd of next month. Now there’s a fixture to make your mouth water! Pinch yourselves again, we really are in Division 3!
Full-time: Yeovil Town 2 Huddersfield Town 1
MOTM Vote Result:
Overall match rating: 8.4 / 10
48 votes received.