Venue: Plainmoor
Sat 31st July 2004, 3pm kick-off.


Scorers: Adebayo Akinfenwa (19, 1-0), Bartosz Tarachulski (37, 1-1), Bartosz Tarachulski (39, 1-2), Bartosz Tarachulski (55, 1-3), Tony Bedeau (69, 2-3), Adrian Caceres (84, 2-4)

Attendance: 1,429

Yeovil: None
Torquay: None

Yeovil Town : (4-4-2)
1 Chris Weale
14 Roy O’Brien, 4 Terry Skiverton (C), 5 Colin Pluck, 3 Michael Rose
20 Gavin Williams, 8 Lee Johnson, 6 Darren Way, 10 Adrian Caceres
9 Kevin Gall, 18 Bartosz Tarachulski

Subs: 13 Steve Collis, 2 Adam Lockwood (65, for Pluck), 11 Phil Jevons (59, for Tarachulski), 12 Simon Weatherstone (for Johnson), 15 Steve Reed (83, for Rose), 17 Scott Guyett (59, for Skiverton), 22 Kezie Ibe (76, for Gall), 23 Nicolas Mirza (59, for Way), 24 Yemi Odubade (67, for Williams)

Torquay United : (4-4-2)
1. Bertran Bossu
4. Lee Canoville, 18. Steve Woods, 5. Derek Taylor, 17. Brian McGlinchey
20. Martin Phillips, Russell, 14. Matt Hockley, 11. Kevin Hill
25. Adebayo Akinfenwa, 10. Jo Kuffour

Subs: 1. Arjan van Heusden, Gareth Owen, 3. Matt Villas, 19. Richard Bouton, 9. Martin Gritton, 7. Tony Bedeau, 8. Jason Fowler, Bruno Meirelles

Badger’s view on the game

With the possible exceptions of Paul Terry and Phil Jevons, Glovers manager Gary Johnson appeared to select a candidate first team as a dress rehearsal for next week’s match at Bury as they came up against one of their rivals for promotion from last season. Torquay finished the season seven points ahead of Yeovil last season, and in an automatic promotion position, and with the Gulls having taken four points off Yeovil during that campaign, it was going to be an interesting benchmark to see how close Yeovil were to the Devon side.

The first 25 minutes or so implied they were still a long way off the pace. Torquay started as the far superior side, and the Glovers were failing to get their feet to the ball, with most of the play in the Yeovil half.

Martin Phillips exposed the Yeovil defence when he cut inside Michael Rose, flashing the ball across the face of the box with just seven minutes gone. Ex-Doncaster striker Adebayo Akinfenwa tried his luck from long range but planted the ball wide – an almost identical chance to that presented to Kevin Gall minutes earlier, when the nippy striker had broken away on a 30 yard run, leaving ex-Hayes keeper Bossu stranded with his shot.

But it was no great surprise when the home side took the lead, with Adebayo AKINFENWA scoring an excellent solo goal. He was allowed to cut in from the right wing, and without a challenge coming his way, he shot from the edge of the area, and his curling shot bounced once just in front of Chris Weale and into the corner of the net, giving the Yeovil keeper little chance of keeping it out. The same player went on to force a corner out of Weale a minute later when he used his trickery to get through on the opposite flank.

Perhaps the turning point of the match came when Gavin Williams and Adrian Caceres swapped wings to revert to their more orthodox positions. Yeovil started to carve out chances and Bartosz Tarachulski and Terry Skiverton both were on the end of good crosses into the box, but both attempts went wide. Adrian Caceres forced Bossu into his first real save when he blocked a run from the winger and a Torquay defender hacked the loose ball away.

The Glovers finally got themselves back into the game with a moment of simplicity. Michael Rose had his left-wing run blocked illegally by a Torquay defender, and Lee Johnson’s free-kick was floated in with Bartosz TARACHULSKI planting a simple header past Bossu who kept up his usual reputation for not knowing how to deal with crosses.

Two minutes later, Yeovil had turned a one goal deficit into a one goal advantage. Adrian Caceres again exposed the same flank that Michael Rose had undone earlier, and as he rode three Torquay tackles, including one final reckless and wild attempt to win the ball for the home side, he got to the byline and delivered a low hard cross that left Bossu stranded on his near post and allowed Bartosz TARACHULSKI to scoop the ball into an empty net from just a yard out.

Torquay managed to get one attempt to claw the game back just before the break when little Jo Kuffour beat not so little Colin Pluck, who lost control of the ball under his legs, allowing Kuffour to sneak round the back, but his shot went wide of the post.

Half Time: Torquay United 1-2 Yeovil Town

Torquay made a triple halftime substitution with Tony Bedeau, Jason Fowler and former Glovers trialist Bruno Meirelles coming onto the field of play. Kevin Gall got in the first strike of the half when Gavin Williams put him through but his shot from the edge of the area was well saved by Bossu. At the other end, Wealey had to palm away a dangerous back post cross from his own goal, with Colin Pluck obliging with a hefty whack out of defence of the loose ball.

Ten minutes into the half it was 3-1 when Gavin Williams dispossed Meirelles and his long run saw a through-ball come directly into the path of Bartosz TARACHULSKI who was as cool as a cucumber in converting his hat-trick goal from just 12 yards out.

Gary Johnson chose that moment to save the big striker’s legs as he made one of three substitutions on the hour mark. With both sides making a succession of substitutions, the game became a little messy and incoherent with neither team really getting to grips with the flow of the game. Eventually Yeovil came out the stronger with Gavin Williams firing one just over the crossbar.

It was therefore a bit of a surprise when the home side pulled a goal back with their first real chance of the half. Tony BEDEAU cut in from the right flank and hit a rising shot into the top corner in a move that was rather reminiscient of Torquay’s first goal.

If that goal was meant to rattle Yeovil, it didn’t show. Kevin Gall showed superb understanding with Adrian Caceres, when he laid off a gem of a ball on the right flank, taking out three Torquay midfielders with one simple flick of the boot. Caceres played in Simon Weatherstone and Bossu was forced to parry the ball for a corner. Caceres, who was inspirational for the whole 90 minutes, set up another excellent chance when he fed Phil Jevons who whipped a 25 yard shot with Bossu again forcing a corner.

With six minutes left though, the Glovers restored their two goal advantage, and it was only fitting that Adrian CARERES was able to cap his fine performance with a goal. Kezie Ibe raced down the right flank, Simon Weatherstone received his pass with his back to the goal, and delivered a simple pass straight into the path of Caceres who near dribbled the ball into the back of the net, with Bossu never having time to react to the final nudge into the corner.

Torquay had two very late chances with Chris Weale saving at the feet of Martin Gritton and Bruno Meirelles firing a long-ranger wide, but Yeovil were well on top with Stephen Reed skidding a shot across the face of goal after a fine run, whilst Phil Jevons forced Bossu into a point blank save, even if the match referee saw it as a goal kick.

This was an impressive Yeovil performance although Torquay look to be a shadow of the side they had last season with David Graham having departed for Wigan Athletic over the summer. Whilst Torquay had that marksman last season who was one of the major reasons for that seven point advantage over the Glovers, Yeovil now have their own ‘fox in the box’ as Gary Johnson says, and it seems as though Bartosz Tarachulski is now starting to find a groove in his new side. The season looks as though it is going to start at just the right time for the Glovers.


Full Time: Torquay United 2-4 Yeovil Town