Venue: Meadow Lane
Sat 21st August 2004, 3pm kick-off.
Conditions: Mainly sunny, slight breeze
Scorers: Gavin Gordon (56, 1-0), Paul Terry (68, 1-1), Phil Jevons (81, 1-2)
Attendance: 5,024 (including approx 800 Glovers)
Referee: Gary Lewis (Cambridgeshire)
Assistants: Geoff Russell (Northants), Alan Sheffield (W Midlands)
Notts County: None
Yeovil Town : (4-4-2)
1 Chris Weale
16 Andy Lindegaard, 4 Terry Skiverton (C), 25 Liam Fontaine, 3 Michael Rose
9 Kevin Gall, 8 Lee Johnson, 6 Darren Way, 10 Adrian Caceres
11 Phil Jevons, 18 Bartosz Tarachulski
Subs: 2 Adam Lockwood (38, for Caceres), 7 Paul Terry (50, for Lindegaard), 12 Simon Weatherstone (83, for Jevons), 13 Steve Collis, 14 Roy O’Brien
Notts County : (3-5-2)
22. Wayne Henderson
3. Ian Richardson 4. Mike Edwards 8. Julien Baudet
17. Robert Ullathorne 2. David Pipe 11. Tony Scully 14. Paul Bolland 7. Mathew Gill
10. Glynn Hurst 9. Gavin Gordon
Subs: 1. Saul Deeney 15. Matthew Williams (85, for Gordon), 18. Shaun Harrad 20. Kelvin Wilson (87, for Scully) 24. Eddie McIntyre
Badger’s view on the game
Following last week’s impressive win against Boston United, it was no surprise when Gary Johnson selected the exact same starting eleven for their first visit to Meadow Lane for over 40 years. The only changes made were on the bench where significantly Adam Lockwood returned to the fold following his three match suspension.
Notts County have started life in League Two in a less than impressive manner, but I think few expected this to be an easy fixture, with County expected to be one of those competing at the right end of the table come the end of the season.
The early part of the game pretty much confirmed this theory. County played a quick impressive game and it didn’t take long for them to establish themselves as the best of the four oppositions Yeovil have experienced so far this season. The only thing that was letting them down was their wayward finishing.
Glynn Hurst got in behind the Glovers defence to create the home side’s first chance but his volleyed attempt flew over the bar. Chris Weale was forced to scramble away another ball that flew dangerously across the face of the box but with no-one from County being able to get on the end of it. Next Gavin Gordon flicked a header wide of the post.
Yeovil were occasionally creating chances, but they were not as clear cut as the home side’s efforts. Adrian Caceres produced a drive across the face of the box that goalkeeper Wayne Henderson had to dive for, but his weak shot was never really likely to find the back of the net. Phil Jevons sent a looping header over the bar when he was left unmarked in the centre of goal, but in reality neither side were actually hitting the target and testing the keepers.
All that changed half an hour into the game when County’s Matthew Gill was allowed to weave his way through the centre of the park and planted a low shot towards the right hand corner of Chris Weale’s goal. But the Glovers keeper brilliantly palmed away Gill’s shot, and then showed superb reactions to get to his feet and block Glynn Hurst’s narrow-angle follow-up and send the ball for a corner.
Perhaps this was the point at which manager Gary Johnson decided that Notts County were getting into Yeovil’s penalty box once too often, and on 39 minutes he made a tactical change, with Adrian Caceres being sacrificed in midfield to allow Adam Lockwood to firm things up in the centre of defence. Andy Lindegaard and Michael Rose operated as fairly deep wing-backs in the new 5-3-2 formation.
County still had one more attempt to break the deadlock though. Matthew Gill put through Glynn Hurst, but like so many of the home side’s previous attempts it was wasted, with Hurst once again volleying the ball over the crossbar.
Half Time: Notts County 0 Yeovil Town 0
Five minutes into the second half, the Glovers suffered a blow when Andy Lindegaard pulled up with a hamstring problem that will keep him out of the Glovers side for the next three or four weeks. Paul Terry replaced him on the right.
Although Yeovil had started the second half as the brighter of the two teams, finally reversing the first half trend, within 11 minutes all of that mattered little as the home side took the lead. Their first corner of the second half reaped dividends as a long throw by Matthew Gill was knocked down by Glynn Hurst, and Gavin GORDON stabbed in a six yard gift into the corner of the net.
The Glovers looked a little shocked and Notts County quickly created two more chances to extend that lead. Tony Scully hit a speculative shot that deflected off a Yeovil defender and over the crossbar. Then Chris Weale had to rush off his line to smother a David Pipe right flank run when he got in behind Michael Rose.
Perhaps this lulled County into a false sense of security because in the 68th minute, Yeovil produced a classic counter-attacking sucker-punch. Clearing the ball from their own six-yard line, the ball was picked up by Kevin Gall who produced a weaving run along the right flank before delivering a gem of a cross-field ball to Michael Rose. Rose beat one man and then delivered a peach of a cross to find Paul TERRY who had made a full 90 yard run to plant a superb header past County keeper Wayne Henderson.
The remainder of the game perhaps showed the root of Notts County’s on the field problems. After 68 minutes worth of noisily backing their team, the home fans fell silent perhaps suspecting the worst, and a few players heads seem to drop. The Glovers were taking full advantage and play was now firmly switched into the Yeovil half.
A Lee Johnson corner was punched out by Henderson, and Johnson’s re-delivered cross back into the box was headed back across the face of goal, but Bartosz Tarachulski couldn’t quite direct his header onto the target. Darren Way had a big appeal for a penalty turned down when he volleyed just inside the area. The ball clearly hit Julien Baudet’s arm but no doubt referee Gary Lewis felt that Way’s volley gave the Notts County man little chance of getting out of the way.
Meanwhile at the other end, Paul Terry almost turned from hero to villain when he gifted Notts County what was becoming increasingly rare chances for the home side. His backpass to Chris Weale was underhit and Gavin Gordon latched onto the loose ball. Attempting to round Chris Weale though, the Yeovil keeper brilliantly got a hand on the ball and cleanly took it out of Gordon’s reach. Terry’s nod towards Weale made it clear how relieved he was to get out of jail there.
Such moments can be the dividing line between success and failure, and within minutes Yeovil had won the game. Phil Jevons had his back to goal and was going nowhere in particular when David Pipe needlessly decided to wrap his foot round the Yeovil striker’s ankle, and when Jevons went down, there were few complaints from the home side’s defence.
Up stepped Phil JEVONS to fire home the penalty, but home keeper Wayne Henderson blocked the attempt that had gone straight down the middle of the goal. Fortunately luck was on Jevons’ side, as the ball rebounded straight back to him, and with the keeper on the floor and the ball three yards out, he was never going to miss. With nine minutes remaining, the Glovers had turned it all around.
Notts County made two late substitutions to try and change the way the game was going, but they had little effect on what was now Yeovil’s game. Bartosz Tarachulski weaved his way down the right wing and teed up a shot for Adam Lockwood that was tipped just over the crossbar for a corner. County’s final attempt to claw the game back came from Julien Baudet, but Chris Weale did well to hold onto the midfielder’s shot, with another County player following in on the rebound.
In the end Yeovil were able to play out three minutes of injury time comfortably in the Notts County half, with the home side’s frustration giving Yeovil a series of free kicks around the corner flag, thus completing a great comeback in which Yeovil looked far from convincing during the first third of the game, but by the final third had over-run their opponents and grabbed what will almost certainly be a valuable three points against an opposition that surely can not stay at the wrong end of the table for long.