Venue: Kassam Stadium
Sat 15th Jan 2005, 3pm kick-off.

Conditions: Calm and cool
Pitch: Slightly soft but excellent overall

Scorers: Tommy Mooney (20, 1-0), Craig Davies (57, 2-0), Scott Guyett (82, 2-1)

Attendance: 6,778 (including 1,597 Glovers)

Referee: Steve Dunn (Bristol [Rovers?])
Assistants: Ceri Richards (Carmarthenshire); Andy Garratt (West Midlands)

Yeovil: Andy Lindegaard (36, foul), Adrian Caceres (77, dissent), Terry Skiverton (84, foul)
Oxford: Barry Quinn (11, dissent), Mateo Corbeo (69, foul)

Yeovil Town : (4-4-2)
1. Chris Weale
14. Roy O’Brien 4. Terry Skiverton 17. Scott Guyett 16. Andy Lindegaard
9. Kevin Gall 6. Darren Way 7. Paul Terry 27. Andrejs Stolcers
18. Bartosz Tarachulski 11. Phil Jevons

Subs: 10. Adrian Caceres (66, for Jevons) 13. Steven Collis (GK) 19. Dale Williams 23. Nicolas Mirza 25. Arron Davies (58, for O’Brien)

Oxford United : (4-4-2)
1. Christopher Tardif
2. David Mackay 4. Leo Roget 5. Jon Ashton 15. Mateo Corbo
10. Lee Bradbury 12. Paul Wanless 17. Barry Quinn 3. Matthew Robinson
8. Tommy Mooney 30. Craig Davies

Subs: 6. David Woozley 9. Steve Basham (66, for Davies) 16. Simon Cox (GK) 21. Mark E’Beyer (89, for Mooney) 25. Lee Molyneaux (74, for Wanless)

Jeremy Gear’s View of the Game

Yeovil’s outstanding winning run of 9 games came to an abrupt end at the Kassam Stadium as Oxford deservedly beat the Glovers 2-1 with a couple of super strikes. Suspension and injury made an impact on Yeovil’s starting line up with Roy O’Brien, recalled from Weymouth starting at left back, Andy Lindegaard took the right back spot, and Paul Terry filled Lee Johnsons’ boots in the middle of the park.

Yeovil’s start was indifferent, O’Brien and Stolcers looked uncomfortable down the left under pressure and almost contrived an opening for Oxford straight away, whilst on the other flank Lindegaard looked sharp as he took on Oxford with a sharp pacy run. On 6 minutes the first real clear chance came for Yeovil as Bartosz Tarachulski burst through the Oxford defence, and with the goal looming and only the keeper to beat the Pole shot straight at Tardif when he should really have hit the target.

Stolcers then put Tarachulski through with a superb incisive defence splitting pass and as the big striker crossed, Jevons blasted effort flew well wide. Oxford, in freefall since Ian Atkins left, then began to seize control, embarrassed by their 6-1 mauling at Huish park earlier in the season, and with a new Latin management and world cup winning entourage to impress they were beginning to make their mark. Mateo Corbo, a Uruguayan making his debut cynically brought down Kevin Gall and was lucky to avoid a yellow card. Tommy Mooney, the experienced centre forward was beginning to stretch the Yeovil back four, he showed Skiverton a clean pair of heels leaving the skipper on the floor as he bored down on goal, it was then Craig Davies’ turn as he was put through, Chris Weale was aware of the situation and reacted quickly on the edge of his area and managed to get a foot to the ball and deflect it for a corner…Oxford had three in a row which was testimony to the growing pressure.

It was no surprise that on 20 minutes the U’s opened the scoring with a terrific strike, Tommy MOONEY won’t score many better. Hesitancy and poor passing in midfield led to Stolcers giving away possession, and as Mooney was put clear he unleashed a thunderbolt from 30 yards leaving Weale with absolutely no chance.

By now Yeovil were on the backfoot, Mooney blazed just over again from distance, before Lindegaard was booked for a rash challenge on Davies. Davies himself should have put Oxford two up, when Mooney the provider whipped a terrific low ball into the box but the tall strikers first touch let him down and he ran out of room conceding a goal kick.

Half-time: Oxford United 1 Yeovil Town 0

Over the half time period Yeovil’s 1500 fans were left to debate and try and guess what changes the manager would ring at half time, Stolcers great going forward looked uncomfortable when forced to defend, Roy O’Brien looked rusty, and the forward line, Jevons in particular looked uninspired. Surprising then as the teams entered the fray it was “as you were”…maybe with Yeovil’s pace and recent notable comebacks a proverbial rocket from the gaffer would do the trick.

Instantly the home side conceded a corner which Yeovil wasted, Gall who looked more threatening down the right then crossed well but Guyett couldn’t direct his header goalbound. But then, on 57 minutes came the killer blow when again hesitancy in the midfield, Paul Terry the culprit, gave Craig DAVIES an opportunity to run the length of the Yeovil right hand side before drawing the Yeovil keeper and picking his spot superbly, whipping the ball left footed between Weale and the upright.

The changes now came, Aaron Davies replaced Roy O’Brien. Andy Lindegaard dropped to left back and Terry to right back, but within minutes disaster almost struck when down Yeovil’s left another dangerous low cross was rifled into the box but Barry Quinn could not connect and the town were reprieved. Reprieved and awoken, Yeovil gradually began to wrestle the game back from Oxford. Davies’s pace and his linking with Gall began to unsettle the home defence. Jevons’ last contribution was a blocked shot before he was replaced by Caceres. Gall again teased the opposition and he was dumped to the ground again by Corbo who this time was booked. From the free kick on the right Stolcers cross was flicked just wide by Tarachulski’s head. Yeovil were now stretching Oxford, whose best chances were being restricted to the space the Glovers were leaving as they piled forward.

Caceres was booked for dissent after gesticulating to the linesman he should wear glasses…he had a point. The assistant referee apparently did not see the blatant elbow to his head which was right in front of him. Gall then had a deflected shot, and then Darren Way tried his luck, this too was deflected and from the teasing outswinging corner on 81 minutes , Scott GUYETT met the ball with aplomb and his downward header thundered over the line to give Yeovil a fighting chance.

As the Town pressured, Skiverton seemed to mop up everything at the back, his timing, distribution, and control was immaculate, and Mooney could have run riot if it wasn’t for the skippers influence over him. The only blot on his copybook was an unfortunate booking at the end when three balls hung in the air…waist height.. and Skivo opted to tackle the wrong ones!

So with the 4 minutes of injury time made up mainly from timewasting, for once Yeovil could not force an equaliser and they suffered a defeat. Is it the curse of the cup again?? No, The Glovers faced a rejuvenated Oxford side who will climb the table, 8 or 9 players were not firing on all four cylinders, and the midfield maestro Lee Johnson was not their to orchestrate and pull his usual strings. Johnson has been absent for only a few games for Yeovil and on today’s evidence his influence was greatly missed…remember that when someone says he only plays because he’s the manager’s son!

Jeremy Gear

Full time: Oxford United 2 Yeovil Town 1

MOTM Vote Result:

Player MOTM Score
Darren Way 15 674
Terry Skiverton 6 311
Kevin Gall 3 237
Scott Guyett 1 181
Bartosz Tarachulski 1 111
Adrian Caceres 1 44

Overall match rating: 4.6 / 10
Performance: 4.1
Entertainment: 5.1

27 votes received.