Venue: Bootham Crescent
Tues 20th April 2004, 7.45pm kick-off.
Conditions: Cool, initially dry with light rain later
Ground: Fairly good, but with some bare patches in goalmouths and on wings
Scorers: Darren Dunning (8, 1-0), Paul Terry (46, 1-1), Andy Lindegaard (70, 1-2)
Attendance: 2,802 – including 193 Glovers fans
Referee: Graham Laws (Tyne & Wear)
Assistant Refs: Garry Wallace (County Durham); Ken Powell (County Durham)
Yeovil: Lindegaard (32, unsporting behaviour), Skiverton (39, unsporting behaviour)
York: Edmondson (39, unsporting behaviour), Cooper (76, unsporting behaviour)
Yeovil Town : (4-4-2)
13. Steven Collis
16. Andy Lindegaard 4. Terry Skiverton 2. Adam Lockwood 5. Colin Pluck
9. Kevin Gall 24. Paul Terry 8. Lee Johnson 20. Gavin Williams
27. Daniel Rodrigues 17. Jake Edwards
10. Nick Crittenden (90, for D Rodrigues) 12. Hugo Rodrigues (64, for Skiverton) 18. Kirk Jackson (46, for Edwards) 19. Nathan Talbott 32. Ryan Northmore
York City : (3-4-3)
1. Mark Ovendale
12. Stuart Wise 6. Chris Smith 23. Richard Hope
2. Darren Edmondson 7. Chris Brass 15. Leigh Wood 22. Darren Dunning
11. Liam George 9. Lee Nogan 10. Jon Newby
4. Richard Cooper (23, for Nogan) 5. Andy Bell (74, for Wood) 19. Graeme Law 21. Chris Porter 24. Dave Merris (82, for Brass)
Robin Evans’ View Of The Game
“Ladies and gentlemen, make no mistake, this is the biggest game in our history!” Those were the words of the York City PA announcer as the teams ran out onto the pitch. As an attempt to “fire up” both the home side and their supporters this proved a successful ploy, but there was no doubt that this game was of major importance for both sides, and one in which neither team could afford to take less than three points. A home loss and the York fans would almost certainly be looking for directions to Gravesend and Margate for next year; a home win and Yeovil would almost certainly be out of contention for the play-off places.
The suitably inspired Minstermen made the brighter start, and although an Andy Lindegaard run saw him go down in the York area within the first couple of minutes after what appeared to be an unpunished foul, the home side were first to the loose ball and quick to close down on any activity from the visitors. The York front line was fairly fluid with Nogan, Newby and George all prepared to push forward to such an extent that I couldn’t decide whether they were playing with two or three upfront, as both Nogan and George seemed to take turns in “the hole”, but then pop up as the most forward player.
The home crowd were very vocal and soon got behind their team. The visiting Yeovil fans, although supportive, seemed edgy and apprehensive, and this was reflected by some indecisive early play on the field. The official away support of 193 included well wishers from both nearby Scarborough and Rochdale, who – for very different reasons – both sought a victory for the Somerset side.
Five minutes into the game City had a free kick just inside the Yeovil half, but it was the Glovers who broke away through Kevin Gall, and after passes to Dani Rodrigues and then on to Jake Edwards, it was Gall who fired a shot which beat Mark Ovendale but bounced agonisingly out from the inside of the left hand post and across the goal to the grateful custodian. Was it going to be “one of those days”? It seemed that it would be just a couple of minutes later when, following the first corner of the match, York were awarded a free kick just outside the Yeovil box after what seemed to be an unnecessary foul by Colin Pluck. Steve Collis appeared to have the Darren DUNNING effort covered, but a heavy deflection from the Yeovil wall took the ball past him and into the net. 1 – 0.
The goal lifted the spirits of the men in red and, barely sixty seconds later, they again broke away but Lee Nogan shot wide after an excellent cross. It was then the turn of York to appeal for a penalty after a challenge on the lively Nogan, but this was turned down by referee Mr Laws. The first quarter of an hour favoured the home side, with Yeovil seeming to play too may high balls which the York defence handled with ease, and their own midfield and forwards enjoying possession and space with the Glovers looking uncomfortable at the back.
Yeovil had to push forward, and enjoyed a spell of possession with another unsuccessful penalty appeal after Paul Terry seemed to be pushed over in the area, and a string of corners. On twenty minutes a Dani Rodrigues cross was cleared for a throw in. From the Andy Lindegaard throw, a Jake Edwards shot was parried away by Ovendale. The visitors seemed to be upping the tempo, but were still playing below par.
Midway through the first period Mr Laws spoke to Colin Pluck after a foul on the halfway line, but no card was produced. York took the opportunity to replace Nogan, who had presumably suffered a knock, with Richard Cooper. After pushing a York player away it was Lee Johnson who next received a talking to from the referee, but he also escaped caution.
A better period of pressure from Yeovil saw a number of crosses from Lindegaard and Johnson, but all were comfortably taken by Ovendale. Both sides had fleeting chances, and good tackles by Lindegaard at one end and then Stuart Wise, beating Jake Edwards, at the other prevented further score. In keeping with his earlier approach Mr Laws spoke to York player-manager Chris Brass following “afters” with Lee Johnson, but again kept his cards in his pocket.
The game briefly flared into end-to-end stuff, with a Yeovil corner preceding a good York break, and then another Yeovil corner. Andy Lindegaard made another run into the York penalty area, and after beating two or three players was perhaps harshly dealt with by the referee for handball when Mr Laws finally remembered he had brought the yellow card out with him. Normal service was resumed after a Gavin Williams foul, when the official again preferred a quiet word rather than a caution.
A great saving tackle by an otherwise slightly below standard Terry Skiverton was followed by a long shot from Lindegaard, which the York goalkeeper again held comfortably. York substitute Richard Cooper tried to hang onto the ball while on the ground, and three Yeovil players around him attempted to obtain possession. City skipper Darren Edmondson took particular offence, and challenged his opposite number over the matter. As often happens in such circumstances, the situation became ugly with almost all of the outfield players becoming involved in a melee. With neither set of supporters confident of the outcome it was probably a relief when both Edmondson and Skiverton escaped with yellow cards, as either or both could possibly have seen red.
Free kicks from both Lee Johnson and Gavin Williams were easily defended as Yeovil seemed to lack that final punch. In the last few minutes of the first half Yeovil finally seemed to be keeping the ball down and playing to their strengths, but it was York who had the final chance before half time when an excellent tackle from Lee Johnson deep in the Yeovil area avoided further embarrassment to the a stretched defence. The first half had seen Yeovil dominate possession but with little to show for it, and too many incidents of giving the ball away unnecessarily – all in all, a fairly poor half. York, but contrast, were definitely “up for it”, and although their play was a combination of “route one” long balls or more measured counter attacks on the break, they had done what they did pretty well and were worth their lead.
Half-time: York City 1 – 0 Yeovil Town
Yeovil began the second period with Kirk Jackson replacing Jake Edwards. Edwards had not had a great first half, but aside from maybe Lindegaard, Williams, Terry and Johnson, he was not alone.
A good start to the half was needed, and was found when a Kevin Gall cross reached Paul TERRY. His first effort was blocked, but he volleyed home the rebound to open his goalscoring account for the Glovers. 1 – 1. The York side seemed very unhappy about the goal, believing that play should have been stopped for treatment to one of their players. Mr Laws waived away their protests, and the equaliser both lifted the away team and fans whilst upsetting the home team and their support. I was a little disappointed with the home supporters, who having initially got behind their team had later taken to shouting “hand ball” every time the ball was higher than a Yeovil player’s knee, and chanting “cheat, cheat” at various Yeovil players (including Lindy and Skivo after their earlier bookings), and presumably the referee, his assistants, the fourth official, and anyone else who would listen.
The remainder of first fifteen minutes of the second half were fairly even. Skiverton won a lot of defensive headers from York throw-ins on their left flank; a York free kick was blasted over by Brass; a Lindegaard cross was met by Williams, who shot over. The home side were still well in the game, but were looked less composed than in the first period, and their clearances were looking rushed. Their earlier crowding of midfield seemed less of a stranglehold, and Yeovil were finding more space than before.
A Yeovil break saw Dani Rodrigues find Kevin Gall, and his attempted cross was blocked for a corner by Richard Hope. A Gall cross was met by a Lindegaard volley, which drifted wide of goal. With 25 minutes left Gary Johnson sent on Hugo Rodrigues instead of Terry Skiverton. Rodrigues the taller would go on to have an excellent game, which saw him winning everything near him in the air or on the ground, and clearing the Yeovil lines with confidence.
York began a succession of free kicks – I lost count of the number awarded – and for twenty minutes it seemed that every Yeovil challenge would result in a free kick for the home side. Steve Collis comfortably held a 40 yard effort, and the next was cleared by the defence. However, the resulting corner from the right flashed across the face of goal but, fortunately for Yeovil, without a touch from either side. With those in green and white still breathing a sigh of relief a Gavin Williams cross was chested down by Andy LINDEGAARD, who slotted the ball past Ovendale. 1 – 2.
York replaced Leigh Wood with Andy Bell. Their string of free kicks continued, but were punctuated by one in the other direction after a foul on Gavin Williams for which Richard Cooper was booked. Good work from the free kick, involving Rodrigues the shorter, allowed Paul Terry a shot from outside the penalty area, but this went over the bar.
A couple of York free kicks later, they made their final change with David Merris on and Chris Brass off. With less than ten minutes left on the clock it was up to York to try to press for an equaliser, but it was Yeovil who made a loud appeal for a penalty after, rather ironically, a York hand ball. Having heard so many hand ball claims from the home support during the game Mr Laws was no doubt immune to any such claims, and play continued.
Into the last five minutes and a Paul Terry break fed Kevin Gall, but his cross was slightly over hit and, although Lee Johnson collected the ball, York City defended well. A late flurry from the home side was to be expected, but in all honesty they didn’t really create anything of note and never looked the side they had when Lee Nogan and Chris Brass had been on the field. As the ninety minutes ended Gary Johnson took off Dani Rodrigues and brought on Nick Crittenden to waste a little time, although Crittenden was able to get in one or two useful runs in the three minutes added on.
FULL TIME: YORK CITY 1 YEOVIL TOWN 2
This was not a classic Yeovil performance, and we arguably performed better at both Torquay and Boston! However, at this stage of the season points are what counts, and a workmanlike performance yielding a win can look every bit as beautiful as the Brazilian passing game from were I was watching.
York still have Hope – he wears their number 23 shirt. Unfortunately the transfer deadline passed before they could sign Faith and Charity – both of which they will probably need if they are to remain in the Football League next season.
Full-time: York City 1 – 2 Yeovil Town
Hugh Gleave’s view of the game
The slightly eccentric tannoy announcer was overstating matters when he described the match as “The biggest game in our history…….”, but it certainly was a crucial one to each side’s season, with both desperate for a victory. For York City their slide towards the foot of the table had reached crisis proportions – sixteen games without a win before last night. For Yeovil Town only three points would keep hopes of a play-off spot realistically alive. 226 away supporters had made the long mid-week trek: the vast majority of the hooped persuasion; but also five from Rochdale with an obvious interest in a Yeovil win; and a handful from Scarborough – probably wanting an early look at a side who could become their derby next season.
As the teams ran out the tannoy announcer struck again with York keeper Mark Ovendale introduced as “King of Saves”. “Prince of Spawn” seemed more like it as after only five minutes Yeovil cut the home side to ribbons with a wonderful first touch passing move – Gall to Edwards to Rodrigues and back to Gall, who slammed a shot against the inside of the far post. But did it deflect into the net? Nope – poor Gally can’t buy a goal at the moment, and it ricocheted back into the arms of a completely beaten Ovendale. This was the climax of a fast start by the visitors. After only two minutes Andy Lindegaard had driven into the box, only to be brought down. However even from the other end his fall looked exaggerated. It probably was a trip, but there are ways of falling that are convincing, and ways that allow referees to take the easy option. Referee Graham Laws was to demonstrate all night that “Easy Option” was his middle name. A weak official who players and crowd soon worked out was a soft touch.
As seems to have occurred all too often this season a miss at one end was followed almost immediately by Yeovil conceding at the other. Colin Pluck gave away a free kick on the edge of the ‘D’. “Deadly Darren Dunning” (© Tannoy Announcer) hit a shot which Steve Collis had well covered……..until a wicked deflection wrong footed him and the ball went past his left hand side. Eight minutes on the clock – not that they had one I could see – York City 1 Yeovil Town 0.
Two minutes later York had their second, and virtually last, good chance of the game, but could only put it into the side netting. Thereafter their most significant contribution to the history of the game of football was to try and break the World Record for the length of time taken for throw-ins.
After the blow of going behind Yeovil took a few minutes to compose themselves but then began to take control. However control of the ball was not producing much end product. Paul Terry blazed one over on 14 minutes, Kevin Gall put in some good crosses, Jake Edwards was crowded out in the box, and there were a succession of corners, but in fairness the King of Saves had little to do to sustain his handle. York’s assistant player-manager Lee Nogan was replaced by Richard Cooper on 23 minutes, his main contribution having been one of the most pathetic pieces of falling-over-in-the-box seen in many a month.
The game was not being help by Mr. Laws’ rendition of The Whistle Concerto, and lengthy ‘talkings-to’ he gave Colin Pluck, Lee Johnson and the odd York player throughout the remainder of the half. As mentioned previously his weakness had been spotted, and when Lindegaard burst into the penalty area for a second time just after the half hour, and supposedly handled the ball in the process, the referee was surrounded and harangued by most of the York team until he produced a yellow card. Six minutes later the game boiled over into a shoving and pushing session, again occasioned by indecisive refereeing when Laws for once failed to blow up early enough, which resulted in bookings for the Yeovil captain Terry Skiverton and York’s Darren Edmondson.
The first period petered out into two minutes of added on time.
Half-time: York City 1 – 0 Yeovil Town
As is generally customary Yeovil took the field for the second half early, and it was apparent that manager Gary Johnson was as unimpressed by the contribution of Jake Edwards as this spectator. Edwards can be a bit of a curate’s egg, and the first half had been one of his more unconvincing efforts. Kirk Jackson had replaced him, and was to make much more of a nuisance of himself for the remainder of the game. Immediately from the restart Yeovil were pressing and Paul Terry shot on goal. The ball came back off a defender and broke kindly for Terry who crashed his second attempt home into the top right hand corner of the net. 46 minutes – York City 1 Yeovil Town 1.
Could York respond? Would Yeovil go on to win? For the next ten to fifteen minutes it was impossible to tell as the game degenerated into its worst spell of the match. Head tennis was the order of the night with both sets of supporters getting increasingly frustrated. Meanwhile Terry Skiverton limped off with ankle trouble to be replaced by Hugo Rodrigues just after the hour.
It was Yeovil who emerged from this dire period to begin moving the ball around on the floor, and as soon as they did so scored again, Andy Lindegaard capping a fine display by putting the ball into the bottom left hand corner with a slightly miss hit shot. 70 minutes – York City 1 Yeovil Town 2.
York made their second and third substitutions, Andy Bell for Leigh Wood and Dave Merris for player-manager Chris Brass, but Steve Collis stayed a spectator. With a few minutes of normal time remaining a tiring Dani Rodrigues found a bit of space in the penalty area and sent in a shot that was clearly stopped by a defender’s hand tight to the left hand post. Mr Laws might have had the excuse that the hand ball was blind side of him. What the assistant referee’s excuse was we will never know. As the ninety minute mark arrive Dani Rodrigues was replaced by Nick Crittenden. He had worked hard for far longer than most people probably thought he would survive in the match. Not surprisingly there is still a way to go before an understanding between himself and other team members, particularly his forward partners, builds.
Three minutes of time added on was played out uneventfully, and as Mr. Laws blew his whistle for the 120th and final time of the night Yeovil could celebrate having toughed out what may possibly prove to be three of the most valuable points earned in Division Three to date. Players and fans were ecstatic, and one Mr. Gary Johnson was seen jigging on the pitch. With the last rites from the tannoy announcer revealing that play-off rivals Northampton Town had lost Johnson’s jig turned into a full blown dance. He’ll win no medals on Come Dancing and should stay with the day job – being the best manager Yeovil Town has ever had! For York City it was another step towards The Conference.
York gave their Man of the Match to Stuart Wise. Mine was Paul Terry, with Andy Lindegaard a close second.
Full-time: York City 1 – 2 Yeovil Town
MOTM Vote Result:
Overall match rating: 6.5 / 10
16 votes received.