Venue: Aggborough
Sat 16th April 2005, 3pm kick-off.

Conditions: Blustery but stayed dry
Pitch: Poor, heavy and bumpy

Scorers: Arron Davies (61, 0-1), Mark Rawle (83, 1-1)

Attendance: 4,014 (including an official 1,572 Glovers)

Referee: Richard Beeby
Assistants: Mark John (Surrey) and Glyn Mellor (Derbyshire)

Yeovil: Efe Sodje (43, foul), Darren Way (55, foul)
Harriers: John McGrath (5, unsporting behaviour), Tom Bennett (51, foul), Bertrand Cozic (73, foul)

Yeovil Town : (4-3-3)
13. Steven Collis
2. Adam Lockwood 14. Efetobore Sodje 4. Terry Skiverton 3. Michael Rose
7. Paul Terry
6. Darren Way 8. Lee Johnson
9. Kevin Gall 11. Phil Jevons 25. Arron Davies

Subs: 1. Chris Weale (GK) 12. Kevin Amankwaah (58, for Lockwood) 16. Andy Lindegaard 18. Bartosz Tarachulski (76, for Jevons) 27. Andrejs Stolcers (87, for Gall)

Kidderminster Harriers :
15. John Danby 8. Simon Weaver 6. Johnny Mullins 28. Mark Jackson 14. Billy Jones 24. Tom Bennett 21. Bertrand Cozic 11. Dean Keates 23. John McGrath 7. Chris Beardsley 12. Blair Sturrock

Subs: 2. Lee Jenkins 5. Abdou Sall 19. Simon Russell (75, for McGrath) 22. Wayne Hatswell (32, for Mullins) 29. Mark Rawle (68, for Beardsley)

A View of the Game

1500 Yeovil fans piled out of Aggborough yesterday and drove back down the M5 with no finger nails, increased heart beat and in a confused state of mind! Was that a point gained or two lost?

Personally, on the first 83 minutes showing, all three points should have been wrapped up as Yeovil pretty much dominated a dour match and made the real clear-cut chances. Kidderminster though, once they had equalised could so easily have taken all three points with some glorious chances towards the end, and Yeovil have Steve Collis to thank for some wonderful keeping at the death to keep the scores level. Yeovil too had the chances to win, but with their best finisher off the pitch those chances went begging! Lets look at it pragmatically though, as a point away from home extended Yeovil’s lead at the top, but did little to stop Kiddy going down from whence they came a few years ago. How vital that one point could be!

This game was crucial for both teams, and boiled over right at the start, an injury to a Kidderminster defender saw Yeovil retain possession from the drop ball to the disliking of the Harriers players, cue the scuffle with most players involved in the melee whether acting as peacemaker or villain. “Fight, fight wherever you may be, we are the boys from the west country” came the customary call from the Yeovil faithful at this kind of incident as the atmosphere inside the ground hotted up.

Yeovils’ first scent of goal came on 7 minutes when the rejuvenated Darren Way was fouled on the edge. The resultant free kick was well worked with a training ground technique but missed the intended target by some distance. Yeovil looked calm, sometimes too calm, in most cases the passing was crisp and accurate, but sometimes too longwinded. What was required was someone to get hold of the ball and go for the jugular, a little less phaffing and a little more killer instinct up front perhaps. Whilst at the back, Sodje was superb, solid and so composed. They say the mark of a good player is one who appears to have time on the ball. Sodje seems to have it in bucket loads. He’s graceful, well balanced and reads the game so well. He even looks good in a bandana- which does not hinder his terrific heading ability! Terry Skiverton and he look good together in the middle. Paul Terry resumed his new position as the “minder”, picking up the scraps between midfield and defence. Lee Johnson, beginning to recapture his form worked tirelessly, which in turn gave Darren Way a bit more attacking freedom over the park. Darren Way was certainly back to his best.

Yeovils’ best chance came midway through the first half, I can’t tell you what minute because the stadium clock was out of sight on the roof of the away end…more of that later! Lee Johnson swept a cross to the far post where Sodje rose but arrowed his header a foot or two over the bar. At the other end Skiverton was adjudged to have handled the ball when merely protecting his golden locks. The free kick on the edge was ballooned high into the Yeovil fans. As the half drew to a close it was Kidderminster who had the better chances, a weak header from Weaver, and a decent shot from Keates saw Steve Collis dive low to his right to keep the score all square just before the break.

Half-time:  Kidderminster Harriers 0 Yeovil Town 0

With Southend losing at home the previous night, Kidderminster looking beatable and The Glovers now attacking the end which housed the away support, there was no better incentive than to go out and give their host’s a footballing lesson, but the second half started as the first finished, no one was taking the game by the scruff of the neck. Darren Way was harshly booked (like Sodje in the first half) for an innocuous tackle, and from the free kick Collis saved well from Jones. Way himself was then fouled on the edge by Cozic but the free kick offered little.

Then came the turning point from Yeovils’ perspective. Adam Lockwood was replaced by Kevin Amankwaah at right back and straight away he made his presence felt with a powerful run down the right hand side. His low hard cross into the box was turned away for a corner when it could so easily have been turned into his own net by the defender.

Subsequently, on 61 minutes came the first goal of the game, and the first bit of quality from Yeovil. Terry Skiverton intercepted the ball midway inside the Kiddy half and his fine throughball dissected the defence and gave Gall and Aaron DAVIES the chance to jockey for position, Davies took responsibility and carried the ball forward at pace into the box, he drew Danby in goal and calmly slotted the ball into the far corner of the net to put the visitors one up. Surely now the floodgates would open!

Amankwaah, strong again down the right released Gall, but his cross to the far post was easily taken by Danby under no pressure. That signalled the second substitution for Yeovil, and on came the current cult hero Bartosz Tarachulski who replaced Phil Jevons. Jevons worked hard all game but was unfortunate not to get a great deal of service. Jevons needs chances on a plate sometimes…if we knew what was coming he would have got them…hindsight is a wonderful thing!

The faithful trumpeter found some new notes on his well-used instrument and the tempo was rising, Bartosz held the ball up and laid it to Davies, whose clever flick released Kevin Gall. Gall did well to get in front of the defender but rued the chance to finish…if only it fell to Jevo! Then Darren Way, Rooneyesque squirmed his way from the corner flag down the touchline and evaded lunging challenges as he bore down on goal, just as he was about to pull the trigger he was tackled one last time and the defender had the last laugh. Amankwaah, on fire again freed Gall, but his cross to the far post went begging….Jevo?

Rose attacked down the left flank and got in a decent cross, only to be fouled late by Cozic. Booked before you have to say he was lucky….lucky the ref bottled his decision to send him off. Rose was incensed and told the official what he thought.

And then came the killer blow! From nowhere Kidderminster pulled themselves back into the game with a stunning equaliser, the ball was never cleared from the Yeovil box and as it looped back in again, Mark RAWLE, just on as a sub volleyed in and over Collis with just seven minutes left. By now, if the Harriers fans had had a trumpet they would have found an orchestra to go with it as they threw caution to the wind. Untroubled for much of the game, Yeovil’s certain three points looked like going down the plughole. Rawle with the open goal at his mercy blazed over! The match began to take on that of a heavyweight boxing match with both fighters ready to slug it out in the final round before the bell. Amankwaah, again down the right crossed low, and Johnson only needed the slightest of touches to direct the ball goalward…if only it fell to Jevo! Rawle then burst through again and Collis saved…

Stolcers completed the substitution card for Gary Johnson, he replaced Gall with a few minutes to go, immediately Johnson had another opportunity, picking up the loose ball on the edge he had time to pick his spot, he opted for power and drove across the ball and just the wrong side of the post, moments later, surely now it would be – but again, bursting through the right channel he hesitated and as he shot the last defender nicked the ball away to safety and out for a corner. At this point the stewards as usual took up the touchline positions signalling almost, that the end of the game was nigh. Facing the crowd and the clock, one dayglo clad nice man signalled, when requested that time was up, the clock read 90 minutes! Unfortunately one of his colleagues, who looked more like the fat controller acted like a complete plonker, and refused to allow Lee Johnson to get the ball and take the corner. That man probably should not have even have been there, and quite frankly with emotions running high he could have caused a major incident, putting not only himself, but his colleagues and the junior glovers along the front row at huge risk. His decision not to leave the pitchside when asked by his own men was foolhardy and quite bluntly he should be sacked. Credit to the stewards and the Yeovil fans for keeping a lid on it!

Time was nearly out and it was Kidderminster who could have taken the spoils, twice denied by Steve Collis who made two excellent saves, first his tip over from a long range shot, and then from the corner he saved well with his legs to deny the Harriers a last gasp win.

And that’s how it ended, a pulsating finish to a drab game before it. Was it a point gained or two lost? We’ll only know in a week or two! On next is our other conference rivals, Wycombe Wanderers. Gary Johnson and Steve Thompson will have plenty to ponder for that match. I wonder who will be the unfortunate one to miss out as surely Amankwaah proved he is worthy of a start…does he play right back or right wing??…time to earn your money Mr J!

Jeremy Gear

Half-time:  Kidderminster Harriers 1 Yeovil Town 1

MOTM Vote Result:

Player MOTM Score
Efe Sodje 19 539
Steve Collis 14 496
Darren Way 5 209
Arron Davies 2 157
Terry Skiverton 4 130
Kevin Amankwaah 1 90
Michael Rose 60
Phil Jevons 1 48

Overall match rating: 5.9 / 10
Performance: 5.6
Entertainment: 6.2

46 votes received.