Venue: Huish Park
Fri 26th December 2003, 3pm kick-off.

Conditions: Very wet, blustery
Ground: Saturated

Scorers: John Williams (45, 0-1), Kevin Gall (58, 1-1), Sean Parrish (73, 1-1)

Attendance: 5,640 – including an estimated 200 Harriers supporters

Referee: Grant Hegley (Hertfordshire)
Assistant Refs: Mike Mullarkey (Devon); Andrew Turner (Devon)

Yeovil: Gall (15, dissent), Pluck (72, foul), Rodrigues (90, unsporting behaviour)
Kidderminster: Hinton (15, off the ball incident)

Line Ups

Yeovil Town : (4-4-2)
1. Chris Weale
2. Adam Lockwood 4. Terry Skiverton (Capt) 12. Hugo Rodrigues 5. Colin Pluck
20. Gavin Williams 8. Lee Johnson 24. Paul Terry 10. Nick Crittenden
9. Kevin Gall 18. Kirk Jackson

13. Steven Collis 7. Adam Stansfield (79, for Jackson) 17. Jake Edwards (46, for Lockwood) 22. Lee Elam (74, for Crittenden) 15. Stephen Reed

Kidderminster Harriers:
1. Stuart Brock 2. Adie Smith 3. Scott Stamps 4. Danny Williams 5. Craig Hinton 8. Lee Jenkins 7. Dean Bennett 9. John Williams 14. Sean Parrish 20. Graham Ward 22. Wayne Hatswell (Capt).

6. Matt Gadsby (35 mins for Smith) 12. Bo Henriksen 15. John Danby 16. Scott Rickards 25. Andy White (90 mins for Williams).

Jeremy Gear’s View Of The Game

Yeovil Towns Boxing day jinx struck yet again! Today’s 2-1 defeat at the hands of Jan Molby’s Kidderminster meant that the town’s record of 1 victory from the last 15 of these Christmas fixtures wasn’t improved upon as the Glovers suffered their first league defeat since the loss at Bury back on the 1st day of November.

Writing match reports for Yeovil has been easy over the last year or so, victories, glorious football, tremendous effort, discipline and tactical awareness shown both on the pitch with the players, and off it with the manager and his coaching staff. The odd occasional constructive comment always thrown in, but never, due to the above attributes has there been any reason to publicly criticise the team or an individual player – all good things come to an end!

Kidderminster’s winning goal came from a free kick, conceded on the edge of the box after a reckless challenge from Colin Pluck, which cost the tough defender a yellow card, but which once again could easily have been a red, the biggest punishment though was the decisive strike coming from the free kick which ultimately punished the team, the manager and the sodden supporters.

Following Saturday’s similar situation against Scunthorpe, those of you who cast an eye over the forum attached to this website may have read “Dorset Phil’s” posting, if you didn’t his comments were, and I quote:

Was I the only one, as he was applauded off, who was unhappy? I’d hate to think GJ would need to make subs due to a player’s attitude. As we were behind and Colin is a defender it could have cost us dearly. Thank god our squad is so strong but Plucky needs to keep his cool or one day it will cost us a game!

That game came today! Gary Johnson, who left the pitch at the final whistle without his usual show of appreciation to the fans, was no doubt waiting in the changing rooms and my guess is he didn’t mince his words when Pluck came in. Don’t read this wrong, I’m a huge admirer of the defender, he’s been superb all season, terrific passer, reads the game well, but its just that damned red mist…it needs to get sorted for his own sake as much as anyone else’s.

So, to the match, as the game kicked off the heavens opened and the first 45 minutes were played in a torrential rainstorm and gusting wind, not conducive to good football. The first real action came on 14 minutes, Boxing Day by name and by nature, as Harriers Hinton appeared to kick out and push Kevin Gall to the deck. Players from both sides “bundled” on the centre circle, one exception was captain Terry Skiverton who stayed back, possibly remembering his participation against Halifax last season when he was dismissed for getting involved under similar circumstances. Plucky, take a leaf! Hinton was booked, for some reason so was Gall, who no doubt said something other than happy Christmas as the ball was moved on ten yards and the free kick given to the visitors.

Yeovil then strung together possibly the best move of the match, Williams and Gall linked up, the ball was quickly moved out to Johnson on the right, who crossed well, but Kirk Jackson, starting from the off today, couldn’t direct his header goal bound.

Kidderminster’s best chance came moments after their substitution, Ward picked up a clearance from Chris Weale that was well and truly held up in the wind, his searching cross just evading the head of a Harriers striker. A quick and trademark free kick on the half way line from Yeovil found Kirk Jackson who’d anticipated well, but he couldn’t quite get his foot round the ball to knock it home. Then came the first goal, Substitute Gadsby knocked an inviting low ball towards the far post from the right and it was tapped home from close range by John WILLIAMS.

Half-time: Yeovil Town 0 – 1 Kidderminster Harriers

Déjà vu Saturday’s game against Scunthorpe, starting the second half one-nil down, and the feeling was that the home side had enough quality to turn the game around again. Lockwood, who returned to the line up following his “rest” made way for Jake Edwards, no doubt to take advantage of the strong wind which should have meant the ball staying in the Kidderminster half for the next 45 minutes, sods law then that the skies cleared and the wind dropped which scuppered that plan altogether, the other problem was that the surface water, and there was plenty, made passing and quick moving football impossible. 6 minutes into the half came Yeovil’s first chance. Gall’s shot from the edge deflected for a corner, and from Gavin Williams high ball in Hugo Rodrigues seemed to be held down, but his appeal for a penalty fell on deaf ears.

The equaliser came on 59 minutes. Paul Terry, who had another fine game, put Kevin GALL away down the middle from just inside his own half, and the Welshman’s pace took him away from the last defender and he managed to put away his 9th goal of the season comfortably beating Brock, the Kidderminster Keeper. Game on then, or so we thought. Johnson’s surging run down the right led to a teasing cross which was punched clear, a few minutes later, from the same side Paul Terry then delivered a similar ball, the keeper flapped but did enough.

Both side went looking for the winner, and with Yeovil pushing up; the opportunities for Kiddy to break were obvious. Two identical moves down the Yeovil left ended up with low crosses flashing across the face of goal, the second though stopped dead in its tracks in front of goal, but Chris Weale managed to smother the ball before contact was made. 3 minutes later though on 73 minutes came the eventual winner. The free kick following Pluck’s challenge was struck hard but was deflected, the ball was drilled in low from the right and Sean PARRISH scored.

Lee Johnson, who coped best with the poor conditions continued to try and play his football. He was brought down several times outside the box, and from one of the free kicks Jake Edwards headed into the keepers hands. Kiddy broke again, this time though, Weale was alert to a Williams break and he pulled off a good save to give Yeovil a fighting chance of salvaging a point. With time running out, Stansfield who had replaced Jackson, got into a great position, he pushed the ball into the path of Galls run, but this time his strike lacked direction and power and the chance had gone. Another free kick from Johnson almost snatched a point, when from 20 yards out he smashed a great effort against the bar, with Brock just doing enough to keep it out. Just as Johnson stepped up to take the kick, the linesman and the ref conferred and Rodrigues was booked for an off the ball incident.

So the game finished and Boxing Day was fruitless once again. Yeovil go to the Vetch Field on Sunday when 3 points will help to keep the team within the play-off zone. The last 3 games have seen Yeovil get six points out of a possible nine without playing well, and at times riding their luck, today the luck ran out, so to get back to winning ways in style on Sunday will be the perfect appetiser to that forthcoming game with Liverpool 7 days later.

Jeremy Gear

Full-time: Yeovil Town 1 – 2 Kidderminster Harriers

MOTM Vote Result:

Player MOTM Score
Paul Terry 10 610
Kevin Gall 8 590
Lee Johnson 1 120
Hugo Rodrigues 1 120

Overall match rating: 4.6 / 10
Performance: 4.6
Entertainment: 4.6

20 votes received.