FA Cup Round Three

Venue: Huish Park
Sun 4th January 2004, 1pm kick-off.

Conditions: foggy, cold
Ground: Slippery

Scorers: Emile Heskey (70, 0-1), Danny Murphy (77 pen, 0-2)

Attendance: 9,348 – including 1,500 Liverpool supporters

Referee: Neale Barry
Assistant Refs: D Richards, A Garratt

Yeovil: None
Liverpool: Smicer (12, unsporting behaviour), Diouf (40, unsporting behaviour), Le Tallec (88, dissent)

Line Ups

Yeovil Town : (4-4-1-1)
1. Chris Weale
2. Adam Lockwood 4. Terry Skiverton 12. Hugo Rodrigues 5. Colin Pluck
24. Paul Terry 6. Darren Way 8. Lee Johnson 10. Nick Crittenden
20. Gavin Williams
9. Kevin Gall

7. Adam Stansfield 13. Steven Collis 16. Andy Lindegaard (38, for Terry) 18. Kirk Jackson (74, for Pluck) 23. Jamie Gosling (77, for Lindegaard)

Liverpool: (4-4-1-1)
1. Jerzy Dudek
25. Igor Biscan 2. Stephane Henchoz 4. Sami Hyypia 18. John Arne Riise
9. El Hadji Diouf 13. Danny Murphy 16. Dietmar Hamann 11. Vladimir Smicer
7. Harry Kewell
24. Florent Sinama Pongolle

8. Emile Heskey (51, for Pongolle) 20. Anthony Le Tallec (87, Diouf) 21. Djimi Traore 28. Bruno Cheyrou (82, Smicer) 29. Patrice Luzi Bernardi

Jeremy Gear’s View Of The Game

Super Yeovil undone by England Internationals

What an incredibly proud day it is to be a Yeovil Town supporter. For 45 minutes the most famous of FA cup giantkillers had their illustrious opponents, the world famous Liverpool FC well and truly on the back foot and gasping for breath. A superb exhibition of hardworking, fluent passing football made a mockery of the gulf between these two sides. If that overworked Martian had come down from outer space and was asked the perennial question, (as he always is on these occasions) which was the Premiership side he would have replied in a cosmic flash that it was Yeovil.

Liverpool, who have such a history, looked a poor advert for top-flight football, disjointed and lacking penetration. Gary Johnson has always said that his club has the mentality of a second division set up, tonight he can raise his sights, along with his glass of well-earned champagne, even higher!

In the end, the difference between the two sides came in the second period, one piece of clinical finishing from an England centre forward, that and keeping possession when it counted was all that divided the two teams.

When the disappointment ebbs away, today’s game will go down in the memory of all who came, contributing to a record Huish Park crowd of 9348. 1700 or so made the trip from Liverpool, famed for their passionate support, either the undercurrent running through their club, or the Yeovil performance stunned them into a silence, to be honest, they like their team didn’t get going, even when they scored the celebrations were muted, maybe, secretly they wanted this to be the game that could relieve their beleaguered coach Gerard Houllier of his duties.

Talking of coaches, today wasn’t just about the match, for Somerset’s premier club and its followers it was a day to expect, predict, anticipate and most of all remember. Like Christmas the build up, and its almost been four weeks is the best bit. Everyone turned up early to savour the atmosphere and when the 2 black, shiny buses pulled up outside the main entrance hundreds gathered round, rubbernecking style to take a look at the under-fire occupants. By noon, the Westland Stand was full in both fan and voice. Off the pitch, there were just as many famous footballers, Brooking, Aldridge, Hansen, Lawrensen, Claridge, Lineker, Schmichael and for Radio Bristol, Mark Shail! The same Mark Shail who missed the corresponding fixture against Arsenal 11 years ago through suspension.

Yeovil kicked off and attacked the home end, within a minute they made their intentions perfectly clear as Way and Crittenden combined to swing a teasing cross into the box which had Dudek at full strength and requiring the attention of the Liverpool physio.

When Liverpool broke, Pongolle was tracked all the way back by Nick Crittenden who timed his tackle superbly to deny the forward a sight of goal. Darren Way returned to the starting line up, and he was upended by Smicer on twelve minutes, which resulted in the games first yellow card. Paul Terry, December’s player of the month, quite rightly kept his place in the side following Ways return, moving out to the right of midfield. Gavin Williams occupied the “hole” behind Kevin Gall, who played the lone striker role. Kirk Jackson was surprisingly left out, and sat on the bench.

Yeovil’s next shot on goal had Dudek flapping. A Johnson free kick down the left was smacked in hard and the Reds keeper managed to parry the ball away before in nestled in the top corner. At the end of the game Johnson wore Danny Murphy’s shirt. His performance today suggested that he could wear it every Saturday as he dictated the midfield and was the creator of all things good. On 18 minutes Yeovil played some superb one touch passing football, it ended when Darren Way shot into the crowd after the ball wouldn’t come down quick enough. If he’d scored, it would have been replayed for years. Chris Weale then pulled off a fine save from a Smicer cross, taking the ball low when as it curled away from him. Yeovil’s best spell then came. Following successive corners the ball was cleared to the edge of the area and Gavin Williams struck a goal bound shot hard to Dudek’s left and the Pole pulled of a magnificent save to deny Yeovil’ playmaker. Moments later the ball swung over to the far post, and Colin Pluck turned, connected and struck his effort which was gratefully smothered by keeper and defender.

On 32 minutes Paul Terry took an awful knock to his leg, he did well to get back on his feet and play for a further few minutes before he crumpled to the ground. He was immediately replaced by Andy Lindegaard. Terry has been a revelation of late, and no disrespect to Andy Lindegaard his holding presence down the right was missed. Moments later, from that side Diouf, the world cup star from Senegal was rightly booked when he dived in the area to try and gain his side a penalty. Liverpool’s best chance of the half came just before the break, a superb ball from Henchoz down the right found Harry Kewell. His foray into the box saw him pull back to the edge, but Diouf, under pressure from Lockwood snapped his shot wide. Crittenden then shot from distance but his effort lacked power and pace and was easily held by Dudek, and that was the last chance before the half time whistle blew.

Half-time: Yeovil Town 0 – 0 Liverpool

The second half started the way the first had finished, with the rampant Glovers on the attack. A cross from the left found Kevin Gall at the far post, but his shot was blocked by Riise. Gall, who this week has been linked to a move to Ipswich never had the chance to show his pace. For most of the second half, the balls coming from the back were high and often down the middle, meat and drink to Hyypia, Liverpool’s commanding centre half. So often when he won the ball, his neat and precise distribution from the back looked effortless and so casual. They say the best players have so much time on the ball, and Hyypia, without shining was superb.

On 50 minutes, Houllier introduced Emile Heskey, Pongolle making way, a canny substitution. Within minutes he broke and tested Chris Weale who was alert to the danger, smothering well as Heskey bore down on goal. A terrific shot from Diouf flew over the bar, and Riise’s smart driven ball into the box evaded the touch of those in red. Liverpool were now beginning to threaten, they played with width, Kewell constantly hugging the touchline. Rarely, when they had it did they lose possession, and never did they send passes astray, yet they could not turn their territorial advantage into clear goal scoring chances, I wonder what difference Owen and Gerrard would have made. Smicer then drove against the post and Hamann, now dictating the middle started to play with more menace. He played further up the field given the fact that the Liverpool rearguard now defended the half way line.

Half way through the second half a great curling shot from Gavin Williams was sent too close to Dudek, and then 3 minutes later came the killer goal, unfortunately it went to the bright red shirts of Liverpool. Emile HESKEY, hovering on the edge, spun, lost his marker which gave him time and space to shoot and he made no mistake, firing the ball low and hard into the left hand corner of Weale’s net, to break the hearts of the Yeovil faithful, at the same time showing them why he’s highly thought of by Sven Goran Eriksson, it was a class finish.

Colin Pluck made way for Kirk Jackson as Yeovil reverted to three at the back, but within a few minutes the tie was all but over. Hugo Rodrigues, who once again played his heart out was adjudged to have fouled Harry Kewell, who like so many top-flight players, conned the ref and fell to the ground earning his side a penalty. The trouble with Hugo is, his legs are so long that if he doesn’t take the ball cleanly he gives opportunity to players like Kewell to take full advantage of them just being there! Poor Hugo, it wasn’t a penalty and he’s become a cult hero at Huish Park. He’s here apparently to brush up on his English and play a bit of football. Lets hope his stay is as long as his legs, he deservedly got the Vice President’s nomination for Yeovil’s man of the match. Danny MURPHY, another England international stepped up to confidently convert the penalty and send Liverpool 2 nil up and into round 4.

A great shot from Kirk Jackson that Dudek saved again, and a cross from sub Gosling saw Skiverton’s header at the far post go just wide. That was the last throw of the dice for Yeovil, and as the fog came down the whistle blew, and Yeovil’s epic cup adventure was over for another year.

So Houllier lives to fight another day, but my guess is, come the end of the season it will be Yeovil who have more to celebrate. That won’t be the FA Cup, but now the push for Automatic promotion to Division 2 can begin, if we can find that clinical touch in front of goal, after this performance who’s to say we won’t go up as champions. Like today’s fixture, football is all about believing in you your dreams, sometimes they come off, some times they don’t…bring on Rochdale next Saturday and let our next little adventure begin again.

Full-time: Yeovil Town 0 – 2 Liverpool

MOTM Vote Result:

Player MOTM Score
Hugo Rodrigues 34 448
Gavin Williams 43 446
Nick Crittenden 24 266
Lee Johnson 13 195
Chris Weale 7 129
Darren Way 2 98
Kevin Gall 3 71
Terry Skiverton 3 60
Paul Terry 34
Colin Pluck 31
Adam Lockwood 1 14

Overall match rating: 8.7 / 10
Performance: 8.7
Entertainment: 8.7

130 votes received

Highlights via Green and White Goals


Full Match From YTFC

Programme Cover

Ticket Stub (away)