Venue: Huish Park
Sat 24th January 2004, 3pm kick-off.

Conditions: Sunny intervals, but a cold wind
Ground: Good overall, bare in goalmouths

Scorers: Mark Peters (25, 0-1), Gary Alexander (28, 0-2), Nick Crittenden (76, 1-2)

Attendance: 6,299 – including approx 250 O’s supporters

Referee: Mark Warren (W Midlands) – replaced by Mike Mullarkey (72 mins)
Assistant Refs: Mark Scholes (Buckinghamshire) and Andy Williams (Herefordshire)

Yeovil: None
Orient: Billy Jones (36, unsporting behaviour), David Hunt (60, unsporting behaviour)

Line Ups

Yeovil Town : (4-4-2)
1. Chris Weale
24. Paul Terry 2. Adam Lockwood 4. Terry Skiverton 5. Colin Pluck
20. Gavin Williams 6. Darren Way 8. Lee Johnson 22. Lee Elam
9. Kevin Gall 25. Simon Weatherstone

7. Adam Stansfield 10. Nick Crittenden (61, for Elam) 12. Hugo Rodrigues 13. Steven Collis 17. Jake Edwards (65, for Terry)

Leyton Orient:
13. Glenn Morris 2. Matthew Joseph (28) 12. John Mackie 18. Mark Peters 14. Billy Jones 11. Ciaran Toner 19. David Hunt 7. Justin Miller 23. Tom Newey 17. Jabo Ibehre (79) 9. Gary Alexander

1. Lee Harrison 15. Chris Tate 16. Wayne Purser (79, for Ibehre) 20. Donny Barnard (28, for Joseph) 24. Lloyd Sam

Jeremy Gear’s View Of The Game

O no, Yeovil lose again!

The honeymoon period is well and truly over as a disjointed Yeovil lost to a rejuvenated leyton Orient side, who are the first team in football league history to do the double over the Glovers – if that makes you feel any better.

Granted, it was a poor performance by Yeovil, but it certainly did not warrant the chorus of boos that rang out around the ground at full and half time by a number of disgruntled “supporters”. Lets be realistic here, in the past 3 years we’ve had success in the trophy, seen promotion, gained entry into the football league, consolidated, in contention for a play off spot, a terrific cup run culminating with a well earned and money spinning tie at home to Liverpool FC, and then we lose a few games …. Wake up and smell the coffee as they say.

Honeymoons usually last a fortnight, and then its down to the hard bit …married life itself. That requires give and take, team work, dedication and often some tough decision making, when things go wrong you need to work at it and not give up, Gary Johnson, his green and white hoops and the supporters of this club have had a marriage made in heaven,a shame then that certain elements of the crowd were filing for divorce after a few tough weeks!

Its fair to say though that since that infamous draw came out the hat a few weeks before christmas, performances have been indifferent. The hullabaloo surrounding the Liverpool game and the press speculation after it, linking Johnson’s Jnr and Snr to positions in the premiership, Gall to Ipswich, and now the anticipation of Yeovil’s young prospect Chris Weale joining West Ham, surely must play on the minds, and however professional, it must in some way offer distraction to the day job?

Gary Johnson rang the changes on the pitch as well, following last weeks 2-0 defeat against the in-form but basement club Carlisle, Town welcomed back their instrumental playmaker Gavin Williams and defender Adam Lockwood, relegating Hugo Rodrigues and Jake Edwards to the bench. New signing Simon Weatherstone was Kevin Galls partner in crime, as Kirk Jackson was sent to Dagenham with a mission to recapture his goal scoring touch.

Leyton Orient attacked first and after only 3 minutes Justin Miller fired a low cross into the box which evaded all attackers when the slightest of touches would have diverted the ball goal bound. Yeovil’s first attempt came on 9 as Lee Elam shot into the keepers hands. Elam again tried his luck following Colin Pluck’s cross from the left, but again his effort was easily taken by Glenn Morris in the O’s goal. On 19 minutes Chris Weale’s throw released Kevin Gall down the right and his typical run took him away from his opponent but his cross was wasted, to be fair, he had no one to cross too as seems to happen all to often. Two minutes later a great ball from Williams, who was playing down the left, released new man Weatherstone but his cross again found an empty box. Weatherstone again had a chance minutes later but his looping header from a right wing cross beat the keeper but also the crossbar.

Orient took the lead on 26 minutes with a fine goal. A free kick from the right by the impressive Gary Hunt was met with perfect precision by Mark PETERS who left Chris Weale with absolutely no chance. 3 minutes later they doubled their lead. Orient’s secret weapon came from throw-ins rifled in from both flanks, and it worked on this occasion as Gary ALEXANDER met a ball in from the right with aplomb and volleyed home from the edge to give the visitors a 2-0 lead.

Yeovil continued to play neat attractive football in patches, but clever approach work got them nowhere near the danger area. The most likely source of a goal was coming from distance, but you need to make the keeper work, almost every shot seemed to find his midriff and not once in the first half did he dirty his knees!

Half-time: Yeovil Town 0 – 2 Leyton Orient

As the second half started Yeovil began brightly, Gall chased a lost cause down the right and won his side a throw-in in typical Gall fashion. Pluck then sent a super ball with the outside of his left boot down that wing to release his winger, the cross was met on the edge but deflected for a corner of which nothing came.

Johnson, with terrific vision released Elam down the right, Elam did not anticipate the ball from the quick thinking midfielder and he could not quite reach it before it trickled over the touchline for a goal kick. Not long after the winger found himself in a similar position and bearing down on goal, but a mistimed tackle from Hunt saw him go into the book, and Elam finish the game with an ankle injury, eventually deciding to walk off the pitch rather than take the stretcher, which in the end arrived. Nick Crittenden replaced Elam. This allowed Williams to revert to the right, and Critts who looks comfortable down either flank to play on the left. For the first time Yeovil played with balance and a bit more belief.

A tactical substitution saw Yeovil revert to three at the back as Jake Edwards replaced Paul Terry. Within minutes of his introduction Gavin Williams almost pulled a goal back but his shot went just the wrong side of right post and into the side netting. This was not the last of the substitutions, ref Mark Warren made way for the fourth official as he seemed to pull up with a groin strain. He ran off the pitch ok, so it was unusual to see him not take the “numbers” board. He must have been on a promise, lets hope his performance was better than his first 70 minutes when he failed to clamp down on blatant time wasting much to the annoyance of the home supporters.

On 75 minutes Terry Skiverton, who has the best chesting ability ever trapped the ball between his pecs before firing high and hard over the bar. A minute later Weatherstone, who had a promising but uneventful debut combined with Edwards to cross to the far post where sub Nick CRITTENDEN steamed in to score for Yeovil and pull a much needed goal back to half the deficit.

Yeovil continued to pressurise the Londoners but without real danger to their goal, with 10 minutes to go Gall shot from the edge, but again like so many before his effort failed to trouble Morris. All this possession though meant that the suspected contingent from West Ham failed to see Weale at his best, I wonder if we could swap him for Defoe?

As the game drew to a close, Yeovil finally had a chance to equalise, a midfield mix up for Orient saw Weatherstone release Gall, and as he bore down on goal, with just the keeper to beat he finally beat him but dragged his shot wide and the ball bounced back of the left hand post and was cleared to safety, Orient went home with all three points and will no doubt enjoy the evening do!

To continue the wedding theme, Gall is still the best man and Edwards and now Weatherstone are his ushers, but for me, surely its got to be time to introduce the beautiful bridesmaid and give him a decent run out. Has Adam Stansfield’s invitation got lost in the post???

Jeremy Gear

Full-time: Yeovil Town 1 – 2 Leyton Orient

MOTM Vote Result:

Player MOTM Score
Lee Johnson 28 653
Nick Crittenden 8 393
Adam Lockwood 1 114
Terry Skiverton 90
Lee Elam 3 82
Paul Terry 1 65
Colin Pluck 3 63
Kevin Gall 1 41

Overall match rating: 4.2 / 10
Performance: 3.8
Entertainment: 4.6

49 votes received.