Venue: Huish Park
Sat 7th May 2005, 3pm kick-off.

Conditions: Breezy, sunny periods
Pitch: Very good

Scorers: Efe Sodje (45, 1-0) , Phil Jevons (pen 54, 2-0), Efe Sodje (78, 3-0)

Attendance: 8,855 (including 1,100 Lincoln fans)

Referee: Iain Williamson (Berkshire)
Assistants: Simon Hollick (Devon) and Roger Vaughan (Somerset)

Yeovil: None
Lincoln: None

Yeovil Town :
13. Steven Collis 12. Kevin Amankwaah 4. Terry Skiverton 14. Efetobore Sodje 5. Colin Miles 9. Kevin Gall 6. Darren Way 8. Lee Johnson 7. Paul Terry 11. Phil Jevons 25. Arron Davies

Subs: 1. Chris Weale (GK) (84, for Collis) 2. Adam Lockwood 3. Michael Rose (81, for Miles) 16. Andy Lindegaard (81, for Gall) 27. Andrejs Stolcers

Lincoln City :
1. Alan Marriott 17. Gareth McAuley 23. Jamie McCombe 5. Paul Morgan 4. Ben Futcher 2. Lee Beevers 8. Richard Butcher 15. Ritchie Hanlon (72) 11. Peter Gain (64) 27. Gary Taylor-Fletcher 18. Derek Asamoah (60)

Subs: 29. Lee Frecklington (72, for Hanlon) 14. Matthew Bloomer 3. Kevin Sandwith (64, for Gain) 10. Martin Carruthers 31. Oliver Ryan (60, for Asamoah)

A View of the Game

Carnival time arrived in Somerset on Saturday afternoon in suitably summery weather as Yeovil Town planned their promotion party with Keith Alexander’s Lincoln City visiting in the form of the potential party-poopers, hoping to go into the playoffs on the back of a big result, and in doing so play their part in doing the unthinkable and denying Yeovil Town promotion.

Gary Johnson made two reshuffles to his side with Darren Way welcomes back after his food poisoning, whilst Arron Davies was pushed up front and Kevin Gall was drafted onto the right wing. Bartosz Tarachulski (toe) and Marcus Richardson (hamstring) dropped out of the sixteen altogether whilst Andy Lindegaard withdrew to the bench.

The ground was packed to the rafters with travellers from Lincolnshire doing their part, and in the sunshine the result was a mass of colour and a mass of noise as those from Somerset willed the party to begin on the right note.

Lincoln’s Derek Asamoah, who scored against Yeovil earlier in the season as a Mansfield player, reminded Yeovil of Lincoln’s danger when he shot at goal in the 4th minute from a narrow angle. Steve Collis beat the ball out and Terry Skiverton hacked the ball away. At the other end, Phil Jevons rather improbably won a header whilst being challenged by Lincoln’s giant defender Ben Futcher, and the knockdown saw Arron Davies fire over. As the game switched from end to end, Asamoah got another chance to put the visitors ahead when he collected a ricochet off a Terry Skiverton block, the striker who has yet to net for his new club fired wide of the upright.

Half of the Bartlett Stand thought the deadlock had been broken halfway through the first half when Arron Davies collected a Kevin Gall cross after a corner had only been partially cleared by Lincoln. The shot from Davies flashed into the netting but those in the Yeovil College Stand knew that the ball had hit the outside of the net. At the other end Gary Taylor-Fletcher forced Steve Collis into a strong save but as the rebound came out, Peter Gain wasted an opportunity by ballooning the ball into the Westland Stand.

As the half wore on though, Yeovil began to get the measure of the strong wind that was in their faces, and an excellent free kick nearly gave them the lead ten minutes before the break. Colin Miles surprised Lincoln who had been expecting a Lee Johnson piledriver, with a chipped effort over the wall that cannoned off the crossbar, with a Lincoln defender having to head the ball out for a corner. From that set piece, Arron Davies picked up the ball in space and shot at goal but Alan Marriott was equal to the attempt.

Just as it seemed as though the half was going to end up goal-less, Yeovil Town got given a priceless goal. Despite Lincoln having the wind in their favour, they seemed to have the biggest problems in dealing with it and after another corner swirled up in the wind, repeated attempts to clear the ball failed and Phil Jevons hooked the ball towards the back post allowing Efe SODJE to ghost in and stab the ball home from close range to send a giant roar round Huish Park. 1-0 up with the final kick of the half, and with Scunthorpe only drawing in their match, things were definitely going the way of the West Country.

Half-time: Yeovil Town 1 Lincoln City 0

With Yeovil now attacking their favoured Westland Stand end and the wind at their backs, you almost sensed an early second half surge would take place and they didn’t disappoint. Just 45 seconds into the half, Terry Skiverton’s headed attempt from an Arron Davies corner was cleared off the line, but in the resulting melee, referee Ian Williamson pulled up play for some kind of a random offence somewhere.

Nine minutes into the half though and the Glovers were kicking off their party in a big way. With a through ball heading back to Alan Marriott, Lincoln defender Gareth McAuley rather unnecessarily chose to deliberately block off Darren Way’s attempt to get to the loose ball and as he barged Way to the floor, referee Williamson pointed to the spot. You know what happens next – Phil JEVONS cool as a cucumber, pointless delaying tactics by the opposition, Jevons stepping up to the penalty spot, the keeper going the wrong way, and the ball being rolled into the opposite corner. 2-0 up now, and not only was the promotion party now fully in swing, but surely the title was on it’s way to Huish Park along with the golden boot for Phil Jevons.

Yeovil really began to turn the screw on Lincoln. Lee Johnson produced a free kick that he fired into the Lincoln wall and then collected the rebound which fired narrowly over the bar. Phil Jevons and Arron Davies combined on the break as massive gaps started to show in the Lincoln backline with Yeovil having started the second half with three up front. Davies drew out Marriott and rounded him but was sent too wide to shoot. When he teed up Paul Terry who was racing in, his header whacked against the crossbar and Lincoln survived again. Next Arron Davies dropped his shoulder to slip past a Lincoln defender on a typical run but the final shot went straight into Marriott’s arms.

Keith Alexander rang the changes bringing on three substitutes in 12 minutes, also changing formations in the process. That brought the visitors some progress as Yeovil attempted to readjust to the new tactics and Kevin Sandwith sent a free kick over the bar after Ben Futcher had been fouled on the edge of the area.

Lincoln’s mini-period of pressure did not last long though without further damage being done at the other end. Lee Johnson’s corner with 11 minutes to go was met by an incoming Efe Sodje who powered his header into the roof of the net from 10 yards out to send the whole ground to it’s feet in delight.

“Stand up for the Champions” roared it’s way round the ground as all three home areas of the ground revelled in the realisation that not even the improbable could stand in their way. Kevin Gall and Colin Miles both left the field to standing ovations with Michael Rose and Andy Lindegaard deservedly getting their moments in the spotlight after the parts they had played in Yeovil’s season. Then there was a special moment as goalkeeper Steve Collis was substituted allowing Weale and Collis to congratulate each other in the middle of the pitch and the crowd to appreciate equally two excellent keepers.

The last few minutes seemed to stretch out infinitely. Not because there was any danger of the end result being altered, but because referee Williamson’s insistence on playing three minutes worth of injury time was delaying the festivities. The Lincoln bench graciously threw in the towel as the clock hit the 90 minute mark by moving over to the Yeovil bench and dishing out their congratulations even as the game continued, but after seemingly an eternity, Williamson finally put the whistle to his lips and sent Yeovil Town into Coca Cola League One as Champions!

After wrapping up the Conference title a month early, waiting for the silverware to come Yeovil’s way this season has been an entirely different experience, but it is just as rewarding and the feeling is just as good. Two seasons ago Forest Green was on Yeovil’s fixture lists – now they look forward to Nottingham Forest – can anything really get better than that? Tune in and find out next season!


Full time: Yeovil Town 3 Lincoln City 0

MOTM Vote Result:

Player MOTM Score
Efe Sodje 51 874
Kevin Amankwaah 4 265
Terry Skiverton 5 145
Phil Jevons 1 145
Darren Way 1 68
Lee Johnson 1 62
Colin Miles 2 58

Overall match rating: 9.6 / 10
Performance: 9.4
Entertainment: 9.8

65 votes received.