Venue: Huish Park
Tues 29th March 2005, 7.45pm kick-off.

Pitch: Very good

Scorers: Stefan Oakes (6, 0-1), Glynn Hurst (25, 0-2), Mark Stallard (58, 0-3), Phil Jevons (86, pen, 1-3)

Attendance: 7,221 (including approx 250 County fans)

Referee: Mark Warren (West Midlands)
Assistants: Wendy Toms (Dorset); Andrew Turner (Devon)

Yeovil: Bartosz Tarachulski (20, foul), Paul Terry (65, unsporting behaviour)
Notts County: Ruben Zadkovich (11, foul), Kelvin Wilson (19, foul), Mark Stallard (58, unsporting behaviour), Robert Ullathorne (65, unsporting behaviour)

Yeovil Town : (4-4-2)
1. Chris Weale
7. Paul Terry 2. Adam Lockwood 4. Terry Skiverton 16. Andy Lindegaard
9. Kevin Gall 6. Darren Way 8. Lee Johnson 27. Andrejs Stolcers
11. Phil Jevons 18. Bartosz Tarachulski

Subs: 13. Steven Collis (GK) 3. Michael Rose (45, for Gall) 10. Marcus Richardson (45, for Tarachulski) 26. David Woozley 28. Marvin Brown (71, for Terry)

Notts County :
1. Saul Deeney 14. Paul Bolland 8. Julien Baudet 20. Kelvin Wilson 17. Robert Ullathorne 7. Matthew Gill 6. Stefan Oakes 29. Ruben Zadkovich 12. Chris Palmer 10. Glynn Hurst 25. Mark Stallard

Subs: 21. Robert Elliot (GK) 11. Tony Scully 16. Steve Scoffham (89, for Stallard) 19. Emmet Friars 23. Shane McFaul (90, for Palmer)

A View of the Game

Yeovil’s dream of becoming 2nd division champions let alone gaining automatic promotion took a serious tumble tonight against the league’s oldest side Notts County. After a somewhat erratic March, the corner, so to speak was assumed turned at York Street, Boston on Saturday after a gritty victory saw The Glovers cling to top spot at the same time as burying some of the demons that have so often raised their heads in Lincolnshire. Tonight was surely about not only getting back to winning ways at Huish but doing so with the swagger and poise seen so much this season, that even our sternest critics have agreed that this Yeovil side is without doubt the best in the league and worthy of becoming champions.

Writing match reports and supporting your team is not easy, sometimes you write through green tinted specs, sometimes you don’t criticise for fear of offending, sometimes you don’t give the opposition credit when credits due, therefore – most of the time – you toe the party political line, well…tonight my gloves are coming off…and that was simply not good enough!

After the poor Bury game I had a conspiracy theory, Gary Johnson had told his players that he was being linked with the Watford job (that was announced was up for grabs the following Monday) and his players were so deflated it affected their performance. Tonight, post Boston and with Watford announcing Adrian Boothroyd as manager, and with nearest rivals Scunthorpe and Macclesfield slipping up 24 hours earlier, I believed that we were in for a goal feast, a bonanza, more goals than my kids have got Easter eggs. I was wrong…the promotion train is not quite off the tracks but it’s sure running out of coal fast and there is only six stations left to refuel, starting at Rushden and Diamonds this Saturday.

Against Bury, the pitch was watered – to suit our game I suppose, no need for that treatment tonight as the heavens did that for us. In fact it was too wet, and seemed to suit County more than it did us. Michael Rose, ineffective of late was dropped to the bench, replaced by Lindegaard. Paul Terry played at right back, with Skiverton and Lockwood, who looked eager, composed and back to his best alongside the captain. The midfield was made up of Way, Johnson, Gall and Stolcers and quite frankly this is where we appeared to lose it. Seconds after Gall and Jevons teed up Tarachulski, who should have got his shot on target at least, Notts County broke, and a completely unchallenged Stefan OAKES, leaving Johnson in his wake saw Weale off his line, and from just inside the Yeovil half lobbed powerfully to see his spectacular effort bounce in off the post and give his side a shock 1-0 lead.

Lee Johnson has so often received from me glowing tributes, the Architect of all things good, but recently he has hit such a poor vein of form at such the wrong time. Where has his vision gone, where has his threaded through balls gone, where has his movement gone, for the first time in their Yeovil careers Way and Johnson are not performing as a unit. I’ll stand up and be counted here too, but for all Way’s industry where has the end product gone, as for Stolcers who had a glorious chance to claw a goal back before half time, where’s his creativity gone…as for Gall…did he leave his pace at Charlton!! With the midfield being bypassed that left Tarachulski and Jevons up front to add to the goal tally of 35 plus between them, but to see them play tonight you’d think they’d never have played together once. I don’t like saying it but I’m going to…something is amiss. You don’t lose your bottle or nerve overnight, you don’t lose your flair and confidence when your top of the league by a country mile, you don’t stutter at the final hurdle when you’ve got so close to reaching the end unscathed, you may do if your not battle hardened, but we are, we’ve won leagues, cups and come close to promotion in our first season in the football league, we’ve done it and proudly wear the t-shirts to prove it…so if we don’t sort this blip out now- I may begin to believe the odd rumour that there is disharmony in the ranks!

Back to the game, after Yeovil dominated possession in the first 20 odd minutes, the Magpies came back. Undone down the Yeovil left, Lindegaard was wrong footed, unable to deal with the tricky Ruben Radkovich and his strong accurate cross found the head of Glynn HURST who made no mistake with a clinical powerful header leaving Weale with absolutely no chance. Notts County, unlike Bury were not content to sit on their lead, and to their credit it was they who put Yeovil under mounting pressure. So often the back four’s only option was to lay the ball back to Weale, who actually coped with his kicking well until, on a couple of occasions he very nearly gifted a couple of goals with sliced clearances, chances that fortunately went begging. Weale again was also caught off guard as another long distance lob had him scrambling back goalwards, but again his and his midfield’s blushes were saved – once bitten twice shy you’d think.

On 40 minutes Yeovil’s most clear cut chance of the half came as Stolcers with only the keeper to beat, and time and space to pick his spot, fired straight at Deeney in the County goal. As the ref blew for half time boos rang out from the Westland Terrace, call me a cynic but only seconds earlier the same section sang “Yeovil till I die” and “Loyal Supporters”. Disappointing yes, but booing……!

Half-time:  Yeovil Town 0 Notts County 2

Gary Johnson rang the changes at half time, Michael Rose was introduced back into his left back position, Lindegaard swapped sides to replace the ineffective Gall on the right side of midfield. Tarachulski, who picked up a booking was swapped like for like with Marcus Richardson, making his home debut following his recent transfer from Lincoln. The half time “talk” from the gaffer seemed to do its bit straight away as Lindegaard made an instant raid down the right, and his powerful shot come cross was deflected for a corner, but, like so many of Yeovil’s set pieces, this one bore no fruit.

The killer blow came on 58 minutes, when once again Yeovil failed to defend a high ball, this time Skiverton could not clear his lines and the ball fell kindly to Mark STALLARD, who again from distance expertly lobbed Chris Weale. Poor Weale scrambled back in vain, but to his torture the ball sneaked in and the Yeovil keeper threw himself into the net in horror. Cruel on Weale who got his place back on Saturday after being kept on his toes week earlier when Collis played against Bury. What price Collis playing at Rushden? Weale will be made scapegoat for this, but Yeovil’s outfield players could and should have dealt with each of the goals in turn, what price Efe Sodje making his debut at Rushden too.

On 72 minutes, not long after being booked Paul Terry was replaced by another new signing Marvin Brown and his pace and movement certainly livened things up, a Stolcers cross from the right found the head of Brown but his effort was deflected for a corner. Jevons almost clawed a goal back but was denied by an excellent save from Deeney who just managed to acrobatically tip the Scousers close range flick over the bar, Brown then came close as his chipped shot beat the on-rushing keeper but also the upright.

But with 5 minutes to go Yeovil salvaged some hope, Richardson, a handful in the box was bundled to the ground and won a penalty, Phil JEVONS stepped up, not once but twice to finally score and make the scoreline a little less embarrassing. However, that is the way it stayed, and with 5 minutes of injury time played out the result, deservedly went to County. The oldest team in the league gave the newest something to think about, and on my long wet, cold trek home across Yeovil I thought too….we’ve just been beaten by Notts County….in the league…and I’m disappointed…shows just how far we’ve come. Maybe – just maybe I expect too much, too often!

Full time:  Yeovil Town 1 Notts County 3

Jeremy Gear

MOTM Vote Result:

Player MOTM Score
Adam Lockwood 7 505
Andy Lindegaard 3 263
Terry Skiverton 2 232
Darren Way 1 189
Paul Terry 2 147
Marvin Brown 1 100
Phil Jevons 1 95

Overall match rating: 3.7 / 10
Performance: 3.1
Entertainment: 4.4

19 votes received.