Venue: Huish Park
Sat 31st January 2004, 3pm kick-off.
Conditions: Overcast with persistent light drizzle – dominated by swirling blustery winds.
Ground: Perfect, but bare in goalmouth.
Scorers: Matthew Tipton (pen 20, 0-1), Jake Edwards (30, 1-1), Martin Carruthers (39, 1-2), Darren Way (60, 2-2)
Attendance: 5,257 – including approx 50 Macclesfield supporters
Referee: Joe Ross (London)
Assistant Refs: Martin Cassidy (Somerset); Steve Tomlinson (Hampshire)
Macclesfield: Beswetherick (60, dissent), Widdrington (90, unsporting behaviour)
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 25. Simon Weatherstone
9. Kevin Gall 17. Jake Edwards
7. Adam Stansfield 12. Hugo Rodrigues (46, for Weatherstone) 13. Steven Collis 16. Andy Lindegaard (46, for Pluck) 19. Chris Giles (78, for Gall)
Macclesfield Town: (4-4-2)
13. Steve Wilson
23. Matthew Carragher 5. Karl Munroe 6. Steve Macauley 21. Jon Beswetherick
12. Danny Whitaker 8. Chris Priest 11. Tommy Widdrington 18. Colin Little
9. Matthew Tipton 14. Martin Carruthers
1. David Miskelly 10. John Miles 15. Michael Welch 26. Steve Brackenridge 27. Michael Carr (none used)
Noddy Elms’ View Of The Game
Gary Johnson will be happy that this was not another home defeat, but he will be disappointed that his team didn’t take all three points.
Macclesfield can argue they did enough on the pitch to deserve their point – but in reality Yeovil gifted them that. At both ends of the team Yeovil did or didn’t do enough to ensure Macclesfield left Huish Park with one point. In defence Colin Pluck made two horrendous errors to gift Macclesfield their two goals. At the other end both Yeovil first-choice strikers missed clear-cut chances. That should heave ensured Macclesfield went home empty handed. But these were not the only examples of how Yeovil made it so difficult for themselves. The conditions: a swirling blustering wind tormented both sides and made it impossible for Yeovil to play their preferred flowing, passing football. So against such conditions the Yeovil team – almost to a man – often attempted passes that would be regarded as outrageously optimistic even in perfect conditions. If points were awarded for conceding possession, Yeovil would already be promoted.
The game began positively enough: Gall and Weatherstone broke past the Macclesfield defence. The latter move finding Williams at the far post, but his shot was well blocked by Wilson in the Macclesfield goal.
Macclesfield were well drilled and moved the ball well – although, to be honest, no better than the average team that has visited Huish Park this season. They showed the occasional flash of danger, Priest’s eighth minute shot flashed outside Weale’s left hand post being their first. But a minute later Yeovil should have taken the lead.
Williams broke into the Macclesfield half and released Edwards. Edwards skilfully rounded Wilson but had been delayed and Wilson’s defence recovered to clear Edwards’s shot off the line. We knew it was going to be one of those days.
The wind was undoubtedly affecting the game. Both teams had decided to play the long ball – relying on the odd defensive slip-up, it was Yeovil who provided the first error, that came after nineteen minutes. Colin Pluck seemed to have a long ball well covered but decided to duck and allow the ball to run out of play. Unfortunately, the ball held up in the wind and Macclesfield’s Tipton latched onto it and surged into the box. Pluck recovered enough to bring Tipton down on the goal line. Matthew TIPTON, himself, made no mistake from the penalty spot. Yeovil 0 Macclesfield 1.
That spurred Yeovil on and they were unlucky not to equalise when Gall’s lob eluded all his team mates after 21 minutes. Seconds later Johnson’s corner found Edwards outside the six-yard box, but his difficult volley flew well over the Macclesfield bar. Yeovil were on top and found that crucial breakthrough on 29 minutes. This time it was a Macclesfield error, Beswetherwick over committed himself and Williams fired the ball in towards the near post. It looked as if the ball would never find the back of the Maccleasfield net as Wilson and five or six defenders threw themselves at the ball. But, for once Yeovil’s luck was in and the ball fell kindly for Jake EDWARDS who smashed it into the roof of the net. Yeovil 1 Macclesfield 1.
That seemed to give Edwards improved confidence, and his cocky back-hell minutes later set Gall away, but the Macclesfield defence recovered and cleared for a corner. Yeovil continued to push forward and Skiverton should have hit the target when on the end of Terry’s free kick.
At the other end Skiverton seemed to be well in control, shepparding a Macclesfield attack away to the left hand touchline. But the ball was pulled back and Pluck appeared to slip as, quick as a flash Whitaker was surging along the edge of the Yeovil penalty box. His ball found Martin CARRUTHERS whose shot took a slight deflection and finished inside Weale’s far post. Yeovil 1 Macclesfield 2.
For the following eight minutes until half time Yeovil pressed throughout. But the ball wouldn’t fall kindly and the move finished with a good Way shot that was well taken.
Half-time: Yeovil Town 1 – 2 Macclesfield Town
This was the typical game of two halves. The first half was at least full of intent and purpose, if not skill, the second seemed devoid of almost any excitement what-so-ever. Maybe it was the anticipation of another poor result by the home crowd. Maybe the players just tired. Maybe the game suffered as Macclesfield sat back and defended their lead, and latterly a point. Maybe it was the pernickety Mr Ross who often blew when advantage was demanding to be played, or insisting that free kicks be taken on exactly the right spot.
Lindegaard and Rodrigues replaced the tormented Pluck and the almost anonymous Weatherstone. Lockwood now played on the right as Rodrigues filled the centre. Lindegaard added paced down the left and often got the better of his opposite number. But surprisingly, with fresh legs on the left, Yeovil seemed intent to play down the right whenever possible.
Yeovil continued to push forward but created few clear-cut chances. In fact it was the Yeovil defence that looked most vulnerable. Weale sliced a kick that almost let Macclesfield in. Minutes later, Carruthers broke through the Yeovil offside trap, but skied his shot as he aimed for the top corner.
Yeovil did eventually equalised after 59 minutes. Wilson punched a Yeovil cross but the ball fell to Darren WAY. Way did well to control his first-time shot and although his shot was headed away Mr Ross decided it had crossed the line and Yeovil were back on terms. Yeovil 2 Macclesfield 2.
Within a minute Yeovil should have been in front. Gall was set clear on goal, but his indecision allowed the Macclesfield defence to recover and his shot was pushed away for a corner.
It was good to see Christopher Giles making his league debut. Replacing Gall, Giles is a completely different handful, tall, rangy, powerful, and with a long throw that adds an extra string to the Johnson bow.
The game was held up as it appeared Rodrigues took an elbow in the face. Mr Ross consulted with his assistant and fourth official but concluded a chat all round was all that was required. Perhaps that blow affected him on 79 minutes as he seemed to lose sight of the ball as it fell through the floodlights, he just stopped as a Macclesfield striker charged after the ball. Fortunately no damage was done.
The game ebbed away and so did a large contingent of the 5257 crowd before the final whistle blew.
Final score: Yeovil Town 2 Macclesfield Town 2.
The score might suggest there were no winners. The Yeovil crowd were disappointed with a relatively poor performance. Today, there was only one winner, and that was the weather. Roll on summer.
Full-time: Yeovil Town 2 – 2 Macclesfield Town
MOTM Vote Result:
Overall match rating: 4.5 / 10
47 votes received.