Venue: Williamson Motors Stadium
Sat 12th March 2005, 3pm kick-off.


Scorers: Clyde Wijnhard (13, 1-0), Alun Armstrong (61, 2-0), Darren Way (81, 2-1)

Attendance: 4,121

Referee: Eddie Evans (Greater Manchester)
Assistants: Bob Roberts (Lancashire); Bob Lockhart (Tyne & Wear).

Yeovil: Andrejs Stolcers (84, unsporting behaviour)
Darlington: Matt Appleby (22, unsporting behaviour), Brian Close (88, dissent), Craig Russell (90, foul). Red card: Clyde Wijnhard (87, violent conduct)

Yeovil Town : (4-4-2)
1. Chris Weale
16. Andy Lindegaard 4. Terry Skiverton 12. Kevin Amankwaah 3. Michael Rose
7. Paul Terry 8. Lee Johnson 6. Darren Way 11. Phil Jevons
10. Rory Fallon 25. Arron Davies

Subs: 2. Adam Lockwood 9. Kevin Gall (55, for Rose) 13. Steven Collis (GK) 18. Bartosz Tarachulski (62, for Fallon) 27. Andrejs Stolcers (76, for Jevons)

Darlington :
23. Sam Russell 15. David McGurk 27. Brian Close 5. Matthew Clarke 2. Ryan Valentine 11. Mark Convery 33. Matthew Appleby 31. Jonjo Dickman 30. Bobby Petta 19. Alun Armstrong 3. Clyde Wijnhard

Subs: 26. Curtis Fleming 7. Neil Wainwright (60, for Petta) 28. Adrian Webster (66, for Convery) 21. Craig Hignett 14. Craig Russell (83, for Armstrong)

A View of the Game

Yeovil Town made their longest journey of the campaign for the second time this season as they returned to playoff contenders Darlington, this time in a League Two fixture. Glovers boss Gary Johnson made one change to last week’s side fielding Rory Fallon ahead of Bartosz Tarachulski as he continued to ration the Pole’s football following the reoccurance of his hip problems. They came up against a Darlington side featuring Matt Appleby, signed the previous day from Oldham Athletic, as he joined one of the biggest playing squads in League Two, currently numbering an incredible 32 players. Not bad for a club that were in danger of going under this time last season.

Some rather sloppy Darlington defending almost gave Yeovil an early lead. A chest-down on the penalty spot saw the ball break loose to Lee Johnson but his two attempts to force the ball into the goal from a narrow angle were both blocked.

But if that was sloppy defending, the Yeovil defence collectively managed to eclipse all that from a 14th minute Darlington goal. Chris Weale uncharacteristically fumbled the ball as it came across, and as the loose ball bobbled around the area, Andy Lindegaard, Terry Skiverton and probably several others dithered in terms of how to deal with the hot potato in the penalty box, Wealey came for it a second time on his hands and knees, but then Clyde WIJNHARD – once a 1.5 million pound signing for Leeds United – netted his ninth goal of the season by scrambling the ball into the far corner from close range. Not exactly the highlight of Yeovil’s defensive season so far with far too little support for Wealey once the initial spill had happened.

Rory Fallon was getting very little protection from referee Eddie Evans as Darlington’s defence bashed him about, with Matt Clarke frequently delivering a shove or two in the back to thwart Fallon’s attempts. The Yeovil target man did manage one good layback for Arron Davies though, but the 20 yard strike went just wide of the post.

Matt Appleby blotted his copybook on his return to Darlington by throwing the ball away to delay a Yeovil free kick and 11 minutes later was extremely lucky not to be going down the tunnel when he committed a thigh high tackle on Darren Way. Referee Evans sought to merely give Appleby a final warning, resulting in a torrent of abuse from a justifiably furious Way.

Darlington largely had the edge of this half though without really creating too much to justify extending their lead. Yeovil were sat about 10 yards deeper than they really needed to be allowing Darlington to come onto them, and the home side had two opportunities to increase their lead as the game ran towards the break. Jonjo Dickman ran down the left flank and shot from a narrow angle forcing Wealey to beat out the ball. In came Matt Appleby like a steam train and hit the rebound from just inside the box, but Weale again anticipated well and blocked the second attempt.

Yeovil had penalty appeals waved away when Alun Armstrong appeared to hold the arm of Kevin Amankwaah as he sought to meet a backpost cross but the referee was unimpressed, and a group of Darlington players decided to intimidate Amankwaah as he got to his feet. But in fairness, Yeovil didn’t deserve a lot from this half, and went into the break trailing by a single goal.

Half-time:  Darlington 1 Yeovil Town 0

The Glovers started the half as if they’d had the proverbial rocket given to them at half time, but they still nearly came unstuck early into the half. Darlington broke straight from a Yeovil corner with Matt Appleby setting up Mark Convery in an end-to-end move that finished with Chris Weale diving low to his left to save the breakaway chance.

But the Glovers were having their most positive spell of the game by this point. Phil Jevons cut down the right wing and squared the ball, and Paul Terry flashed a shot over the bar after it had been laid back to him on the edge of the box. Next Fallon laid on Jevons and his volley was sweetly struck from the edge of the box, but home keeper Sam Russell made a comfortable save.

Gary Johnson made an ambitious substitution when he replaced Michael Rose – who had a fairly steady game – with Kevin Gall, in a clear case of attempting to attack Darlington for the vital equaliser. Paul Terry slotted in as a rather unusual looking left-back.

But with an hour gone, any attempts for Yeovil to force their way back into the game were foiled by a breakaway move that had more than a touch of good fortune with the way it materialised. Kevin Amankwaah’s clearance ricocheted off a Darlington player, who unwittingly managed a defence-splitting ‘one-two’ through to Alun ARMSTRONG. Whether the striker started his run inside his own half is a point worth debating as otherwise he was yards offside, but with 50 yards of clear space to run at, he went straight for goal and slotted the ball into the corner to make it 2-0.

As Johnson replaced Rory Fallon with Bartosz Tarachulski, Darlington thought they’d gone 3-0 up with a near replica of their second. Armstrong broke away behind the Yeovil back line, and had he gone all the way it would have surely counted. But his pass through to Matt Appleby was the move’s undoing with his team-mate in an offside position, and so the ball hitting the back of the net didn’t mean a thing.

With Gall and Tarachulski on the field, Yeovil finally began to pressurise their hosts though, and finally got the goal their second half play had deserved with just 10 minutes remaining. Kevin Gall chipped in a cross from the by-line, Bartosz Tarachulski nodded the ball down, and Darren WAY was on hand to hook the ball into the net from five yards out. Finally – game on!

Darlington seemed badly rattled by the goal and perhaps mindful of having lost a two goal lead in the FA Cup encounter here seemed to lose their composure, resorting to a series of petty off-the-ball incidents. Andrejs Stolcers got booked for getting involved in one such off the ball skirmish. But with the clock ticking out, Clyde Wijnhard turned from hero to villain when he let a personal vendetta with Darren Way go too far. Having several times lashed out at Darren Way off the ball during the game, Wijnhard’s elbow whilst a free kick was being lined up was spotted by a linesman and Darlington were down to ten men. Brian Close was booked for voicing his displeasure at the decision and the free kick was marched 10 yards forward but to no avail. Craig Russell left his boot in on Andy Lindegaard as he joined the growing numbers in the book in a bad-tempered ending to the game, whilst Matt Clarke could also have walked if the referee had spotted him putting his hands in Kevin Amankwaah’s face.

All of the argy-bargy going on saw referee Evans add on five minutes of injury time which later turned into eight as further attempts by Darlington to disrupt the game partially succeeded. But in the end the home side held out with Yeovil not really doing enough to threaten a late equaliser. Had the game been 10 minutes longer, you felt that Yeovil could have come home with something with Darlington clearly rattled by the late finish. But in the end Yeovil could only have themselves to blame for starting the match so slowly once again.


Full time:  Darlington 2 Yeovil Town 1 

MOTM Vote Result:

Player MOTM Score
Darren Way 9 785
Andy Lindegaard 1 231
Chris Weale 2 215
Lee Johnson 200
Arron Davies 1 138
Terry Skiverton 123

Overall match rating: 5 / 10
Performance: 4.4
Entertainment: 5.4

13 votes received.