Venue: Adams Park
Sat 6th Nov 2004, 3pm kick-off.
Conditions: Fine rain throughout
Pitch: Slippery but not too bad considering rugby was played 18 hours previously
Scorers: Bartosz Tarachulski (84, 0-1)
Attendance: 5,453 (including 916 Glovers fans)
Referee: Grant Hegley (Hertfordshire)
Assistants: David Phillips (Sussex); Steve Rubery (Essex)
Yeovil: Phil Jevons (90, timewasting)
Yeovil Town : (4-4-2)
1. Chris Weale
7. Paul Terry 17. Scott Guyett 25. Liam Fontaine 3. Michael Rose
20. Gavin Williams 6. Darren Way 8. Lee Johnson 10. Adrian Caceres
11. Phil Jevons 27. Andrejs Stolcers
Subs: 9. Kevin Gall (71, for Caceres) 13. Steven Collis (GK) 16. Andy Lindegaard 14. Roy O’Brien (57, for Fontaine) 18. Bartosz Tarachulski (60, for Stolcers)
Wycombe Wanderers :
1. Frank Talia 24. Tony Craig 5. Roger Johnson 6. Mike Williamson 16. Gary Silk 7. Danny Senda 14. Matt Bloomfield 10. Ian Stonebridge 23. Russell Martin 27. Zema Abbey 26. Adam Birchall
Subs: 18. Steve Williams (GK, 46, for Talia) 2. Gus Uhlenbeek 19. Stuart Nethercott 4. Keith Ryan (90, for Bloomfield) 9. Nathan Tyson (46, for Abbey)
Badger’s View of the Game
No real surprises in the starting line-up for Yeovil’s first trip to the Causeway Stadium (more commonly known as Adams Park) for 12 years. With the Glovers having seen off Chester City so emphatically, the only decision that Gary Johnson was ever likely to have to make was which of Scott Guyett and Colin Miles should start the game after Guyett had replaced Miles last week midway through the game. That decision was made a formality when Miles was still ruled out following his head injury, but otherwise that was the only starting line-up change.
Right from the offset, it was pretty obvious what sort of tactics Wycombe were employing. Using a 4-5-1 formation, they kept men behind the ball and almost invited Yeovil to attack them, as if the visitors were in fact the home side. Perhaps what they hadn’t allowed for was Yeovil’s own more conservative approach to away games, started at Scunthorpe a fortnight ago. The result was an early stalemate, with the main action to be found in midfield.
Adrian Caceres produced the first action of note, when he raced through on goal. As he attempted to stab home the 50:50 ball, Caceres collided innocently with home goalkeeper Frank Talia leaving the player out cold on the deck. Surprisingly after both team’s physios and the club doctor visited the field, Talia chose to remain on the field, although whether he was truly aware of his surroundings was debatable. Perhaps the only disappointing aspect of this from a Yeovil point of view was that they gave themselves few opportunities to see exactly how alert the keeper really was thereafter.
The first real chance fell to Wycombe but even that only materialised 28 minutes into the game. Tony Craig cut the ball into the Yeovil penalty area, and when the ball rebounded scrappily off the shins of a Yeovil defender, Danny Senda picked up the loose ball but fired it four yards wide of the target. A couple of minutes later, Senda turned provider, getting down the left wing and putting in a low cross, but Ian Stonebridge’s shot was deflected high and wide for a corner.
Just before the break though, the Glovers finally started to find gaps behind the Wycombe defence. Phil Jevons was bodychecked off the ball by a Wycombe defender as he tried to make a run into the box, and Gavin Williams produced a delightful 25 yard free kick towards the top corner. Unfortunately the clearly concussed Telia was still alert enough to turn the ball around the post for a corner.
Right on half time though Yeovil should have been in the lead. Adrian Caceres varied the Glovers attack by switching wings, and as he danced down the Wycombe byline, his short layback was perfect for Phil Jevons but Yeovil’s leading goalscorer spooned his eight yard shot over the bar.
Half-time: Wycombe Wanderers 0 Yeovil Town 0
Unsurprisingly, Wycombe’s club doctor stepped in and ruled that Danny Telia should not appear for the second half and so Steve Williams took over in goal. Nathan Tyson also replaced an anonymous Zema Abbey. A Danny Senda free kick five minutes into the half looked to be dangerously close to the Yeovil back post, but Gavin Williams was deep enough to head the ball clear.
Ten minutes into the half, Liam Fontaine’s loan spell with Yeovil Town was sadly ended 35 minutes early when on the greasy surface, he collided with Wycombe’s Ian Stonebridge. Lying on the six yard line, an extraordinary linesman’s decision saved Yeovil when a ball over the top for Nathan Tyson was flagged as offside despite Fontaine clearly unwittingly keeping the Wycombe striker in an on-side position. Thankfully this allowed the Fulham defender to receive treatment and limp around the edge of the pitch, with Roy O’Brien taking over duties at the back.
The Glovers were getting stronger and stronger as the half went on but that breakthrough refused to come their way. Gavin Williams was tormenting the Wycombe defence with a series of three dazzling runs through the heart of the Wycombe midfield, and after they had witnessed his first run, they seemed to panic at the ease that he was able to dance his way through the centre of the park. Adrian Caceres tried the same, getting in a cross for Phil Jevons that was clearly deflected for a corner but the match referee awarded a goal kick despite being a yard away from the tackle.
Two substitutions were introduced to breathe life into Yeovil’s play. First Bartosz Tarachulski replaced Andrejs Stolcers, then Kevin Gall replaced Adrian Caceres allowing Williams to switch wings. Both players seemed highly charged, with Tarachulski throwing himself into challenges in a fierce manner.
Wycombe were to only trouble the Yeovil back line once during the final 45 minutes of the game as they gradually played deeper and even that chance was due to some uncharacteristically charitable Yeovil defending. A ball played across their own penalty area was presented at the feet of Ian Stonebridge and he in turn fed Danny Senda but mercifully Tyson fired wide.
It was Yeovil though that were doing the threatening. Kevin Gall shot over the bar from 20 yards out, whilst Bartosz Tarachulski brought out an excellent save from substitute keeper Steve Williams after the Polish striker had been fed by Gavin Williams. The ball was blocked by the keepers legs and Wycombe’s defence hacked the ball away.
Just as it seemed that Yeovil were going to have to settle for the point though, a double piece of magic from the two attacking substitutes won them the game. Kevin Gall’s initial run looked to have ended in nothing when he mis-kicked the ball on the right flank. In doing so, he sold his marker a dummy and yet another inch perfect cross from the Welshman was met by the head of Bartosz Tarachulski amidst some flying bodies, and his six yard header hit the back of the net right in front of the thousand-strong travelling army. Six minutes left and that breakthrough was there.
All that remained now was whether the home side could change their 84 minute old tactics and go on the offensive, but it wasn’t to be. The nearest they got was a rather hopeful long range attempt from Adam Birchall, and Yeovil played out time comfortably around the corner flags and not even a dubious booking for Phil Jevons for apparent time-wasting could detract from a fine and valuable Yeovil win where patience had seen their efforts rewarded.
MOTM Vote Result:
Overall match rating: 6.3 / 10
28 votes received.