Venue: Huish Park
Tuesday 29th July 2003, 7.45pm kick-off.
Conditions: Wet, rainy
Scorers: Own Goal (42 mins, 1-0), Kevin Gall (62 mins, 2-0), Alex Rae (88 mins, 2-1)
Line up : (3-4-1-2)
Adam Lockwood, Hugo Rodrigues, Roy O’Brien,
Gavin Williams, Darren Way, Jamie Gosling, Lee Johnson, Nick Crittenden
Kevin Gall, Kirk Jackson
Subs: Andy Lindegaard (46 mins, for Gavin Williams) Adam Stansfield (55 mins, for Kirk Jackson), Chris Weale (55 mins, for Stephen Collis), Stephen Reed (63 mins, for Hugo Rodrigues), Abdelhalim El Kholti (69 mins, for Nick Crittenden), Jake Edwards (69 mins, for Kevin Gall), Ian Patchett (80 mins, for Jamie Gosling)
Wolves: Murray (Oakes 45), Irwin, Naylor, Ince, Ingimarsson, Butler (Clyde 84), Melligan (Gobern 72), Rae, Proudlock (Vincent 74), Cameron, Cooper.
Unused Subs: Andrews, Clingan, Watson, McGrane, Jones, Townsend.
Tim Lancaster’s View Of The Game
This glittering display from Gary Johnsons side bought back memories of the halycon days of April when the football played by Yeovil Town took the team to consecutive four goal victories at Doncaster Rovers and Dagenham & Redbridge.
Victory in this very competitive friendly showed all present exactly what the players at Huish Park are capable of – Wolves paraded eight first team regulars – with numerous household names such as Paul Ince and Denis Irwin. Ince was immaculate, he did not put a foot wrong all night and became increasingly frustrated with his team mates who lost most of their individual battles against their Yeovil counterparts. One such contest saw Alex Rea (Formerly of Millwall and Sunderland) run into the man mountain that is the cultured figure of Hugo Rodrigues, the Portugese cutting out the Wolves man to his continued annoyance. Matt Murray – a vast figure in the visitors goal – was last seen at Huish Park limping around for Kingstonian in an ill fated Nationwide Conference clash that saw him play on despite injury when the long forgotten ‘Ks’ had no replacement goalkeeper. Murray will go on to play at the very top but stood no chance when Kevin Galls teasing cross forced a cruel own goal to the delight of The Westland Stand.
Nine times out of ten Wolves would probably beat Yeovil, but this was our night, all be it in pre-season, and pre-season is a strange time ( I have seen us lose at Saltash United not so long ago). However the fashion in which Yeovil play indicates that whoever the opposition the team will always take the game to their opponents whatever their status – I don’t think we would know how to play any other way. Gall was like lightning, tormenting his marker, and with Roy O’Brian and Adam Lockwood the pictures of composure Yeovil were never seriously troubled all night before Rea’s brilliantly executed 88th minute header. The rising star was Jamie Gosling, it seems amazing that he was so recently displaying his skills at Twerton Park, and with fitness his game will only get better, Gosling has certainly become ‘One of us’ as Gary says’, and fitted in so well in this battle. Kevin Gall buried the killer goal early in the second half and it was no more than Yeovil deserved for their excellent display. It was the sort of performance that had the home fans purring and the visitors having to admit that they were second best.
The crowd had witnessed some champagne football by Yeovil, an excellent turnout by Wolves, some 700 – 800 made the attendance figure slightly laughable, but these games are all about preparing for the real thing, and I am sure even our Premiership visitors could not fail to have been impressed.
Robin Edwards’ View Of The Game
The Football League new boys meet the Premier League new boys. After suffering a 6 – 1 thrashing at Morecambe on Saturday one might expect Wolves to be looking for a good win to salvage some pride.
With the home side missing Terry Skiverton and Colin Pluck through injury, Hugo Rodrigues started in central defence alongside Adam Lockwood and Roy O’Brien. Unusually Nick Crittenden was played on the left wing, with a returning Gavin Williams taking Nick’s usual place on the right wing. The free role between the midfield and the forwards usually occupied by Gavin was given to Jamie Gosling.
Wolves made the brighter start, pressing forward and forcing Yeovil to play the first few minutes in their own half and earning an early corner. The Yeovil players seemed to spend the early minutes rather in awe of their higher ranked opponents. With seven minutes gone the home side made their best chance so far with good work from Kevin Gall following a cross from Nicky Crittenden. A pass back found Lee Johnson in space, but his longish shot went wide.
A confident Hugo Rodrigues got a foot in to deny an Adam Proudlock attack, conceding a corner in the process. Nothing came of the corner, and from the break Gavin Williams made ground before passing to Gall who ran into the opposing area before stumbing under a challenge. A slightly weak Rodrigues back pass chased by Proudlock saw Steve Collis play the ball around the Wolves attacker like a central defender before clearing.
Good work from Jamie Gosling put Kevin Gall through on the left, but his low cross failed to be met. Wolves retaliated with a snap shot from Kevin Cooper which Collis held well.
After the first quarter of an hour Yeovil began to press more with Gall seeing a lot of the ball. Crittenden found Gosling free on the right of the penalty area, but the new signing saw his shot pass the post.
A Crittenden interception gave Gall another chance to attack. He found Gavin Williams, who followed a 1 – 2 with Lee Johnson into the penalty area before being muscled aside by a defender. Midway through the first half words were passed between Johnson and Proudlock, and an ensuing minor scuffle saw the referee speak to the Yeovil midfielder.
Another run from Williams saw him beat 2 or 3 defenders before being tackled in the Wolves box. Although the “star names” all featured in the away side it was Williams and Gosling who were stars of the show for the opening 25 minutes.
Kevin Gall received a pass from Lee Johnson, but when a rebound from a defender found its way back to Johnson his shot powered over the bar.
Wolves followed this with a good spell for a few minutes, and a couple of good tackles and an interception by Adam Lockwood kept the visitors at bay and put the right back in contention as Yeovil’s man of the first thirty minutes.
The Glovers pressed forward again and Jackson and Gall both had shots but failed to beat Murray in the Wolves goal. Ince put a through ball for Proudlock to shoot, but he steered his effort wide of the Yeovil goal.
In the 42nd minute a shot/cross from Gavin Williams was met by Paul BUTLER who headed past a helpless Murray into his own net to give Yeovil a deserved lead. A minute later a move by Darren Way and Nick Crittenden was ended by an offside flag, and just seconds afterwards it was Kirk Jackson running on to a through ball who was halted by an offside decision. Protests from the team and crowd alike showed the opinion on this decision, and the Westland Stand were prompted to serenade Mr Armstrong with a chant of “Are you Kettle in disguise?”
Half Time: Yeovil 1-0 Wolves
For the second half Yeovil started with Andy Lindegaard replacing the impressive Gavin Williams on the right wing. Wolves replaced goalkeeper Matthew Murray with Michael Oakes.
Wolves again began well, and again forced an early corner. Replacement keeper Oakes was soon tested, firstly coming well out of his area to clear after beating Kevin Gall to the ball, and then claiming well from a Gosling cross.
Wolves hopes were raised by a good 53rd minute shot from Paul Ince, which was well parried and then held by Steve Collis. A minute later Gosling was very well tackled in the penalty area by Kevin Cooper after running through the Wolves defence in an excellent attack.
Gary Johnson replaced Collis and Jackson with Chris Weale and Adam Stansfield respectively. Darren Way had a low shot held by Oakes after Kevin Gall had chested the ball down to him. Chris Weale came into action quickly firstly claiming a cross from Melligan, and then making a point blank save from Alex Rae after Ince had cleverly chipped over the Yeovil back line.
Gosling continued his fine game with an excellent through ball for Adam Stansfield, but the attempted cross was cut out. Yeovil continued to attack, with a longish Gosling shot comfortably held by Oakes. The Yeovil defence continued to look both comfortable and fairly solid, with Roy O’Brien continuing his fine form from last season.
A 62nd minute break by Stansfield saw him feed the ball out to Crittenden on the right wing. His cross cleared a jumping Darren Way in the centre of the goalmouth, but Kevin GALL slotted the ball home with a left foot shot to double the Yeovil lead.
Steve Reed came on instead of Hugo Rodrigues, and Wolves tried to come back into the game with Weale saving well from Proudlock after Ince had again provided a telling pass. A quick Lee Johnson free kick failed to stay in play for Nick Crittenden, and Rae again shot wide of goal for the Premiership side.
With nearly 70 minutes gone a Steve Reed free kick came back off of Oates and was narrowly missed by Adam Lockwood. A few moments of panic in the Wolves area saw the ball ricochet from defender to attacker before dropping again at the feet of Lockwood who shot wide of the goal.
El Kholti and trialist Jake Edwards replaced Crittenden and Gall before Lee Johnson took a free kick which saw a slight touch from the head of Lockwood but drifted wide of the goal. Wolves then substituted Lewis Gobern for JJ Melligan, and a few minutes later brought on Ashley Vincent for the disappointing Proudlock.
A powerful 35 yard shot from Lee Naylor failed to find the target for Wolves. Yeovil made their last change with Ian Patchett playing for the last ten minutes instead of the excellent Jamie Gosling.
For the last ten minutes fairly heavy rain poured steadily and it was no surprise that several of the Wolves fans in the open end decided they had seen enough and left early. They missed the introduction of Mark Clyde for Paul Butler for the final five minutes and a late consolation goal for their side.
Yeovil continued to look the better side with more possession, and seemed the more likely to score against a Wolves team who were quite frankly poor and did not really seem to trouble the Yeovil goal too much in the latter stages. It was therefore perhaps a little surprising when with two minutes of normal time remaining Alex RAE rose to head home from a cross. A final minute goal line clearance then prevented Wolves from gaining an equaliser which their performance would not really have deserved.
For Gary and the boys it was a very good day at the office. In all honestly I believe that the 2–1 scoreline was actually rather flattering to Wolves. I wish the team well in the Premiership, but fear that after their trips to Christie Park and Huish Park then their forthcoming visits to such grounds as Highbury or Old Trafford will see them less as wolves and more as lambs to the slaughter.
Full Time: Yeovil 2-1 Wolves