Venue: Huish Park
Sat 1st May 2004, 3pm kick-off.

Conditions: overcast, calm
Ground: Good.

Scorers: Stuart Green (pen, 11, 0-1), Hugo Rodrigues (64, 1-1), Ian Ashbee (76, 1-2)

Attendance: 8,760 – including approx 1500 Hull fans

Referee: Lee Cable (Surrey)
Assistant Refs: Simon Hollick (Devon); Malcolm West (Cornwall)

Yeovil: Lee Johnson (51, unsporting behaviour), Terry Skiverton (73, unsporting behaviour), Darren Way (90, unsporting behaviour)
Hull City: Andy Dawson (45, not retreating at set play)

Line Ups

Yeovil Town : (4-4-2)
13. Steven Collis
16. Andy Lindegaard 2. Adam Lockwood 12. Hugo Rodrigues 5. Colin Pluck
9. Kevin Gall 6. Darren Way 8. Lee Johnson 20. Gavin Williams
17. Jake Edwards 27. Daniel Rodrigues

4. Terry Skiverton 10. Nick Crittenden 24. Paul Terry 25. Simon Weatherstone 32. Ryan Northmore

Hull City : (4-4-2)
13. Boaz Myhill
28. Richard Hinds 6. Marc Joseph 16. Damien Delaney 3. Andrew Dawson
29. Ryan France 4. Ian Ashbee 19. Junior Lewis 14. Stuart Green
7. Stuart Elliott 10. Danny Allsopp

12. Paul Musselwhite (GK) 8. Jamie Forrester 2. Alton Thelwell 11. Jonathan Walters 18. Jason Price

Noddy Elms’s View Of The Game

I’m happy to admit I was wrong. Following Yeovil’s dismal performance against Cheltenham there were few who would argue that Yeovil we were still contenders for promotion. In retrospect I should have sat on the fence and suggested that failing a miracle …

Well, since then Gary Johnson has elevated his reputation among the Yeovil faithful to an almost god-like status and despite disappointment at Boston there was the suggestion that Yeovil had turned a corner. Against Bury The Gaffer delivered the Messiah to Huish Park and within minutes Dani Rodrigues conjured up the miracle that resurrected Yeovil’s promotion prospects. The boys have kept up the good work at York and Southend and ensured that, regardless of today’s results, they would be in with a shout on the last Saturday of the season.

Better still if Yeovil could take three points from Hull City. Hull were in need of the one point that would guarantee automatic promotion. A win for Yeovil would almost guarantee them a play-off place. It was that close. But following today’s results Yeovil’s fate is now out of their hands.

In front of a Huish Park crowd of 8760 Yeovil showed they have regained the desire to win. It was full of passion and commitment, and regardless of how good the opposition is that is all supporters can ask for.

But there was a difference between the two sides. Hull, regularly supported by home crowds of over 20,000 deserved their day. No one at Huish Park today would begrudge them their celebrations. Dave Linney’s congratulations over the PA after the game were generously supported by the Yeovil contingent. There was an acceptance that they had met a better team on the day. But only just. Yeovil could see what they need to aspire to.

Yeovil came out with intent and had the better of the opening minutes. Williams and Dani Rodrigues had shots, and there were penalty appeals in the Hull box that seemed to suggest referee Cable was determined to avoid any contentious decisions. So it was a surprise when he awarded a penalty at the other end. Williams and Lockwood seemed to have the ball covered as Allsopp wriggled on the goal line. Allsopp went down and Mr Cable had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Stuart GREEN made no mistake and Yeovil now had the biggest of mountains to climb. Yeovil 0 Hull 1.

Within seconds it could have been much worse. Lockwood struggled to cut out a Hull through-ball and Alsopp should have scored instead of shooting wide of Collis’s far post.

But Yeovil regained their composure and reverted to their game-plan, passing with assurance and control. Hull were continuously pinned in their own half but were resolute in defence. Unfortunately rarely looked like producing that final ball to unlock the Hull defence. Yeovil’s best effort came as a result of tremendous work by Darren Way on the left wing. His determination produced a cross to Gall at the far post whose volley flew high.

While Williams and Johnson controlled the midfield the pacey runs of Andy Lindegaard caused Hull no end of problems. Time and time again Lindy was either fouled to win a free kick on the edge of the Hull box, or Hull would concede a slightly less dangerous corner.

Yeovil’s commitment was epitomised by Colin Pluck who received treatment on three separate occasions. He looked ready to die for Yeovil today and produced the best chance of the first half, smashing a left footer against the Hull cross bar. Following up he charged forward regardless to head the rebound goal-ward. But the Hull defence held like the proverbial brick wall and Pluck’s exertions left him cradling an injured shoulder and Johnson was forced to replace him with Skiverton just before half time.

Half-time: Yeovil Town 0 – 1 Hull City

Yeovil retained their high level of possession in the second half and, surely, it was only a matter of time before they would grab a well-deserved equaliser.

Lindegaard had made another of his surging runs and won yet another free kick. Hull had struggled to defend but were happy to clear desperately off their goal- line. On the counter attack Hull held the advantage of two against one. But Yeovil’s one, Lee Johnson, did superbly well to break up the attack and come away with the ball.

Hull always looked dangerous when in possession, none more so than Stuart Elliott whose mazy run and shot forced Collis to palm the ball away for a corner.

Lindegaard’s next excursion won another free kick. Lee Johnson floated the ball into the box and Hugo RODRIGUES powered his header into goal off the underside of the Hull cross bar. Hugo’s prolonged celebrations gave an idea of what his first goal meant to him. What it meant to Yeovil would be determined in the remaining 27 minutes. Yeovil 1 Hull 1.

Yeovil had been in the driving seat and surely now they would go on to victory. Unfortunately Hull had a different idea. They upped their game and were now pressurising Yeovil in their on box. Paul Terry and Simon Weatherstone had replaced Jake Edwards and Dani Rodrigues. Gall now played up front with Weatherstone and Terry played out wide in midfield. However, it was Hull who now began to run the show.

As if to underline Hull’s superior quality their winning goal was a worthy to a successful season. Yeovil struggled to clear a Hull attack. Lindegaard was last man and headed clear, Terry looked to be impeded as he cleared outside the box. The ball fell for Ian ASHBEE whose right foot shot curled decisively into the top left-hand corner of Steve Collis’s goal. If there is a goal to seal your fate it might as well be one of such quality. Ashbee’s celebrations were equal to those of Rodrigues. Yeovil 1 Hull 2.

Skiverton pushed up to add height to the Yeovil attack but it was Hull who looked the more menacing, breaking quickly and creating the better chances. But three minutes of added time failed to change the score-line and it was evident from the Yeovil player’s body language how disappointed they were. They had given their all, but it wasn’t enough.

Final score: Yeovil Town 1 Hull City 2.

It was pleasing to see the travelling Hull supporters celebrating their success. Let’s hope similar scenes are repeated at Huish Park very quickly. As for next week, the players have to go and do it all again, and keep their fingers crossed. I’m not betting against them.

Noddy Elms

Full-time: Yeovil Town 1 – 2 Hull City

Jeremy Gear’s View Of The Game

Two excellent sides clashed this afternoon, both with ambitions of playing Second Division football next season. The permutations were varied, the stakes were high, but for Hull a point would do, for Yeovil a victory was important, others results pending, a draw would not have been disastrous. But, sadly after ninety minutes of pulsating football it was the Tigers who roared the loudest, a hard fought 2-1 victory cemented their promotion spot, a defeat for Yeovil means they drop back out of the play-offs and the season goes right to the wire.

If promotions were won on supporters passion then these two sides would have gone up at Christmas, the 8760 fans making plenty of noise at Huish Park, a place recently that has had more celebrations than the box has got chocolates, and today it was no exceptions, but this time it wasn’t the Glovers, who though would begrudge Hull using the open Copse end to make merry.

On a damp murky afternoon, more October than May the ball was always going to zip along the lush turf that looks as good today as it did on the opening game against the now relegated Carlisle. Hull, all in black had the first chance of the afternoon but a weak header was easily saved by Collis. Gavin Williams, voted Yeovil’s player of the season then had his first sniff of goal a minute later but his snapshot fell wide of the Hull upright. The referee, Mr Cable from Surrey waved away two Yeovil appeals for penalties, neither to be fair looked clear cut hand balls but occasionally they get given, ironically it was Hull who got one two minutes later. As the ball neared the touchline Yeovil hesitated, the ball should have been hoofed into row 10 and the danger cleared, but it was won by Danny Allsopp who dispossessed Williams, his run into the box was threatening, and Lockwood aware of the danger tugged his shirt and Allsopp took full advantage and fell to the floor, Mr Cable had no hesitation and pointed to the spot, Stuart GREEN stepped up and confidently struck home to give his side a valuable lead.

That lead could have been doubled moments later when Allsopp again raced clear of the Yeovil defence, Collis stood his ground but he was beaten, luckily though the ball hit the post and rebounded to safety. Williams had go from distance and blazed over and then Darren Way, skipper for the day due to Skiverton being rested to the bench, robbed Richard Hinds down the left and sent in a fine cross that found Kevin Gall in a dangerous position. A striker on fire would have relished the opportunity but Gall is not, and he volleyed into the packed Westland Terrace. A free kick on the edge was well struck by Johnson, it took a deflection and Yeovil won a corner, from the corner Colin Pluck took a nasty knock to the ribs, and his season is beginning to end as it started with copious visits to the treatment table.

Danny Allsopp, looking lively and effective showed some great skill, a smart turn and spin saw him make space for a cross which was dealt with…just…by Hugo Rodrigues’ feet before he cleared. Both sides were playing some neat passing football, Hull played with confidence and Yeovil looked best when the played the ball on the ground. Of late we’ve seen the ball knocked route one, too often though this has been meat and drink to bigger defences and today was no exception. Jake Edwards, keeping his place alongside Dani Rodrigues is not a target man, like Kirk Jackson he’s not one to throw his weight around, he looks pedestrian and too often this afternoon he had no appreciation of those around him – unlike Allsopp.

A scare for both sides just before half time, firstly for the hosts when a high ball into the right channel saw Lindegaard covering, but he tried to control the ball when clearing would have been the preferred option – Stuart Elliott snapped up the loose ball and tore into the box, under a challenge he fell and tried to claim a ludicrous penalty, then, at the other end Yeovil almost equalised. Colin Pluck, clearly distressed smacked a thunderous free kick against the underside of bar, the ball bounced down, and following up his own effort Pluck raced into the box to try and win the loose bouncing ball. His aggression got the better of him and the hard man whose battled through the pain barrier so often could carry on no more. He left the pitch a minute before the break, ably assisted by physio Tony Farmer but receiving a standing ovation from the home crowd. He was replaced by Terry Skiverton.

Half-time: Yeovil Town 0 – 1 Hull City

The second half got underway and it was clear that Hull were prepared to sit on their lead, lets be honest, we’d do the same in that situation. This gave Yeovil more possession, Lee Johnson, booked earlier for a late tackle was again beginning to control the midfield, neat and intricate passing though was not enough to break down a resolute Hull defence. Dani Rodrigues had a shot blocked before Gall lost possession allowing the Tigers to break quick, luckily that man Johnson was on hand again to mop up the danger on the edge of his own box. Paul Terry replaced Jake Edwards and Kevin Gall switched to his striking role alongside Dani Rodrigues, and in a 3 minute spell Yeovil carved 3 openings only to be offside on each occasion. Collis then pulled off a great save to deny to deny Stuart Elliot a certain goal, turning his powerful shot around the post.

Then, as their play justified Yeovil equalised from the most unusual source. Lindegaard, who this season has never let his home side down was fouled on the right wing. Lee Johnson whipped a fine free kick in and that man Rodrigues was on hand to score. This time though it was his Portuguese namesake Hugo RODRIGUES, who broke his duck with a powerful header to score his first, and it has said the most eagerly awaited goal of the season. Hugo was quite naturally delighted and so were the fans, for him of course, but also because it was game on. With the tide turning Yeovil sensed they could win the game, Hull too decided to up the tempo. Kevin Gall, with a sloppy pass then gave the ball away and Elliott once again broke, bearing down on goal Skiverton tugged him back and was booked.

Then came the moment that broke Yeovil hearts but melted the Hull ones. The Glovers failed to clear the ball in their own half and Ian ASHBEE, the Tigers captain scored a goal that not only was worthy of the match winner, but was worthy of securing promotion. From distance he struck the ball firmly with his instep and gave Collis absolutely no chance as the ball curled into the postage stamp corner sending the away end delirious. For the statisticians it was the first time Hull had won promotion on a current league venue, the last ones coming at previous grounds Boothferry Park and Anlaby Road, Eastville, Sealand Road, and Fellowes Park (Bristol Rovers, Chester and Walsall respectively)

As the game finished both sides received warm applause. Yeovil fans stayed behind to see the familiar presentations, thankfully kept to a minimum, and Hull stayed to watch too, they did actually wait patiently for their heroes to return. Their heroes temporarily left the field to let Gavin Williams have his moment of well-deserved glory. The league table does not lie, the best three sides are going up, and next weeks away fixture at Lincoln will seal Yeovil’s fate, unfortunately a win is only enough if Northampton drop points at Mansfield- The way this season has gone who’d bet against it, and how odd that it should be the feet against the hands, or rather the Cobblers against the Glovers!

Jeremy Gear

Full-time: Yeovil Town 1 – 2 Hull City