Venue: Huish Park
Tues Sept 2004, 7.45pm kick-off.

Conditions: Breezy, cool
Pitch: Very good

Scorers: Julio Cesar (80, 0-1), Henrik Pedersen (87, 0-2)

Attendance: 8.047 (including approx 300 Bolton fans)

Referee: Dermot Gallagher (Oxfordshire)
Assistants: Gary Chapman (Gloucestershire); Roger East (Wiltshire)

Yeovil: Lee Johnson (57, foul)
Bolton: None

Yeovil Town : (4-4-2)
1. Chris Weale
14. Roy O’Brien 4. Terry Skiverton 25. Liam Fontaine 3. Michael Rose
7. Paul Terry 6. Darren Way 8. Lee Johnson 10. Adrian Caceres
11. Phil Jevons 27. Andrejs Stolcers

Subs: 5. Colin Miles 9. Kevin Gall (64, for Way) 13. Steven Collis (GK) 18. Bartosz Tarachulski (81, for Stolcers) 20. Gavin Williams (63, for Caceres)

Bolton Wanderers :
1. Kevin Poole 26. Tal Ben Haim 2. Anthony Barness 3. Julio Cesar 30. Ricky Shakes 4. Kevin Nolan 20. Fernando Hierro 24. Blessing Kaku 21. El-Hadji Diouf 7. Stelios Giannakopoulos 23. Les Ferdinand

Subs: 13. Andy Oakes (GK) 9. Henrik Pedersen (70, for Giannakopoulos) 14. Kevin Davies (64, for Ferdinand) 32. Jason Talbot 33. Joey O’Brien (88, for Hierro)

View of the Game

Early chances in the first couple of minutes saw one a-piece for both home and away teams – Darren Way weaved through the Bolton defence and launched a fierce 25-yarder but unfortunately it was targetted straight at Bolton captain and keeper Kevin Poole.

Les Ferdinand came a little closer, planting a downward header from a corner at the foot of Chris Weale’s right hand post but Wealey was equal to it, pushing the ball round his post for a corner from the opposite side.

Bolton were unsurprisingly slightly dictating possession but Yeovil were doing a good job on restraining them and stopping them from really getting on top. On occasions, the Glovers would surge forward and give something to think about and the only thing that was really lacking at times was that final ball that would see them get behind Bolton’s 18 yard line. Lee Johnson tried to repeat his earlier Carling Cup exploits by attempting a 35 yard free kick and this won Yeovil their first corner when it was deflected off a Bolton defender’s head.

Chris Weale was keeping Bolton at bay at the other end though. Kevin Nolan’s cheeky backheel put through Les Ferdinand in a one-on-one with the Yeovil keeper and Wealey refused to be overawed at finding a former England striker bearing down on him – producing a stunning block to parry the ball out and keep the scoresheet blank.

Ten minutes before the break, Wealey was at it again, putting on a master-class display for the Sky cameras. After a quick break by El-Hadji Diouf saw a left-wing cross, Blessing Kaku blasted one at the target with Weale pushing the fierce shot over the bar.

That’s not to say Yeovil didn’t have their moments. A wonderful one-touch passing move saw Michael Rose, Adrian Caceres and Phil Jevons link up superbly on the left with quick triangles and one-twos resulting in Paul Terry’s shot on the penalty box being blocked by a defender. A minute later Phil Jevons and Liam Fontaine had half chances to convert a Lee Johnson cross with the Bolton defence looking concerned at the amount of room that the Glovers were getting in their box.

Bolton though still had the upper hand and El-Hadji Diouf missed a sitter right before half time when the ball ricocheted to him just eight yards out from goal. Somehow the ex-Liverpool player – at Huish Park only eight months previously – contrived to scuff it three yards wide much to the delight and derision of the Westland Stand supporters watching at close range.

Half-time:  Yeovil Town 0 Bolton Wanderers 0

No changes at half time from either side seemed to result in no real changes to the pattern of play, although it seemed that the Yeovil defence were able to protect Chris Weale a little better than in the first 45 minutes, with Bolton struggling to get the ball in possession inside the Yeovil penalty area.

The Glovers had an appeal for a penalty turned down when a Bolton player appeared to grab hold of Phil Jevons inside the area, stopping him from turning, resulting in Jevons landing on the deck. Whilst the shirt pull was obscured by referee Dermot Gallagher, it should have been clear as daylight to the Yeovil College Stand.

The Yeovil crowd were therefore incensed when Gallagher awarded two free kicks to Bolton within seconds. Whilst the first was justified, the second was a clear dive by Fernando Hierro leaving an angry Darren Way eyeballing his more illustrious opponent who had fallen across Way to win his free kick.

Lee Johnson came within a coat of paint of striking the goalframe when he struck a screamer from 30 yards out, with only the bend on the ball taking it away from a stranded Poole. But in the midst of another Yeovil attack instigated by Darren Way, the Yeovil midfielder, who was having a cracker of a match, turned on his ankle and had to hobble off. Gary Johnson chose to liven up the proceedings by also withdrawing Adrian Caceres – seeing Yeovil’s Welsh duo, Gavin Williams and Kevin Gall take to the field. Bolton also chose to put on Kevin Davies for Les Ferdinand at the same time.

Gall himself nearly had the find of impact he had upon his arrival against Oxford on Saturday when he put in a right wing cross straight onto the boot of Andrejs Stolcers whose first time volley went wide, but gave Bolton a sharp warning as to the threat now at hand. The speed of Gall and Williams was certainly starting to stretch the Bolton back four.

Perhaps with that in mind, Bolton manager Sam Allardyce’s next move was to bring on top scorer Henrik Pedersen into play. His first contribution was to strike the woodwork, somehow deflecting an on-target Fernando Hierro header from a corner away from the target and onto the crossbar. In fairness to the substitute, Weale probably had the initial header covered.

Bolton had looked threatening all night from their set-pieces, something that should have come as no surprise given their side’s ability to even give Premiership champions Arsenal problems from dead-ball situations. You could have therefore staked your house on Bolton’s breakthrough having come from a corner kick or free kick such was Yeovil’s relative comfort with the Premiership side’s open play.

With just ten minutes left, that breakthrough came. El-Hadji Diouf, who had otherwise had a bit of a stinker of a game, put in an excellent near post cross from a corner, allowing Julio CESAR to plant a bullet of a header to the back post, giving Weale no chance of getting to the ball.

The Glovers put on Bartosz Tarachulski for Andrejs Stolcers, and Gavin Williams did his best to restore parity with a marvellous run through five Bolton players with the Welshman winning, then losing, then winning the ball again as he refused to allow Bolton tackles to stop his run.

Bolton though showed their class seven minutes after the first as Yeovil pushed men up. A touch of Route One from the visitors saw Henrik PEDERSEN show his team-mates what they’d been lacking for the first 80 minutes, as he took down the long ball, shrugged off a challenge, and buried the ball in the far corner to double Bolton’s lead and make the game finally safe with three minutes left.

Yeovil harried for a spot of consolation, forcing a number of late corners, but try as they might, their comfort in midfield and in passing the ball about could never quite turn that possession into the hardcore chances they needed to unlock the fourth best side in the country. But to hold Bolton for 80 minutes was a fine achievement indeed in a match that whilst Bolton always looked the superior side, they never were allowed to look the divisions above Yeovil that the football pyramid would suggest that they are.

Full-time: Yeovil Town 0 Bolton Wanderers 0


MOTM Vote Result:

Player MOTM Score
Chris Weale 38 793
Lee Johnson 9 382
Darren Way 7 379
Liam Fontaine 2 81
Terry Skiverton 1 49

Overall match rating: 8.4 / 10
Performance: 8.4
Entertainment: 8.4

57 votes received.

Programme Cover