Venue: Huish Park
Tues 24th August 2004, 7.45pm kick-off.
Conditions: Damp, mild
Pitch: Very good
Scorers: Lee Johnson (28, 1-0), Stevie Crawford (30, 1-1), Paul Wotton (42 pen, 1-2), Lee Johnson (69, 2-2), Lee Johnson (109, 3-2)
Attendance: 6,217 (including approx 1,500 Argyle fans)
Referee: Clive Penton (Sussex)
Assistants: Malcolm West (Cornwall), Ron Ganfield (Somerset)
Yeovil: Tarachulski (79, unsporting behaviour), O’Brien (97, foul)
Plymouth: Wotton (101, dissent), Capaldi (103, persistent infringement)
Yeovil Town : (4-4-2)
1 Chris Weale
2 Adam Lockwood, 4 Terry Skiverton (C), 25 Liam Fontaine, 3 Michael Rose
9 Kevin Gall, 8 Lee Johnson, 6 Darren Way, 10 Adrian Caceres
11 Phil Jevons, 18 Bartosz Tarachulski
Subs: 7 Paul Terry (57, for Lockwood), 12 Simon Weatherstone (89, for Tarachulski), 13 Steve Collis, 14 Roy O’Brien (65, for Caceres), 22 Keize Ibe
Plymouth Argyle : (4-4-2)
23. Luke McCormick
2. David Worrell 5. Graham Coughlan 15. Paul Wotton 24. Peter Gilbert
6. Keith Lasley 3. Lee Hodges 20. Steve Adams 14. Tony Capaldi
8. Stevie Crawford 19. Marino Keith
Subs: 13. Mathias Doumbe (85, for Coughlan) 17. Lee Makel 11. Steven Milne (81, for Crawford), 4. David Friio (76, for Hodges), 18. Nathan Lowndes
Badger’s view on the game
With Andy Lindegaard out injured, the only real dilemma for Glovers manager Gary Johnson following Saturday’s valuable win at Notts County was who should fill the vacant right-back slot. In the end Adam Lockwood won the starting position ahead of Paul Terry and Roy O’Brien who both commenced the game on the bench. Otherwise this was a predictable Yeovil line-up as they commenced the game in a 4-4-2 line-up.
The game could have and should have started with a bang. Less than 30 seconds into the match Phil Jevons got in behind the Argyle defence and ran through chasing a bouncing ball. A clear shove in the back just outside the area should have seen one of the earliest red cards ever witnessed for Argyle defender Paul Wotton, but neither linesman nor referee dared set up the game with such an early decision.
Despite that early scare, the Championship side were to have the lions share of the first half an an acute amount of possession. Stevie Crawford sent a ball across the face of the Yeovil area with no-one picking up what would have been an easy finish, and minutes later, another low ball across the face saw the same outcome. Plymouth were giving Yeovil little of the ball to play with, and the Glovers were operating mainly with nine men stuck behind the ball.
Midway through the first half, Yeovil did finally break into the opposition half, winning a corner, and the subsequent header from Bartosz Tarachulski was inches away from stunning Plymouth. Phil Jevons was occasionally breaking past the Argyle back line again, but this time they were being saved by the linesman’s flag, with a couple of those decisions looking dubious to say the least.
What happened 28 minutes into the game though will be talked about at Huish Park for years. Graham Coughlin had just received treatment for the visitors and with the ball having been kicked out of play, Yeovil prepared to do the traditional act of sportsmanship by returning the ball. As the throw-in was taken, Lee JOHNSON belted the ball 50 yards up field towards the opposition goal, only to find that visiting keeper Luke McCormick had inexplicably gone walkabout and was wide on the edge of his area. Almost in slow motion, the ball bobbled into the empty net with McCormick never looking likely to make up the lost ground.
With referee Mr Penton having to award the goal, Lee stood shrugging his shoulders with his hands held open almost saying to those on the field “what do I do now?” – the answer came from a fatherly figure in the dugout, who after exchanging a short conversation with assistant Steve Thompson and opposite number Bobby Williamson, ensured that the ultimate step in sportsmanship was allowed to be executed. Straight from kick-off, Stevie CRAWFORD saw the Yeovil players step aside and wave him through, with goalkeeper Chris Weale turning his back on the ball as Crawford dribbled the ball into the empty net. 1-1 and both sides could get the real game going again.
Plymouth continued to dominate proceedings despite never really creating anything to speak of. That was until three minutes before the break when they got their second charitable gift of the evening. As Marino Keith attempted to hook the ball over his head across the six yard box, referee Mr Penton surprised everyone in the stadium by awarding a penalty to the visitors, with Liam Fontaine presumably being judged as the guilty party. Few after the game could agree as to exactly what offence had been committed though.
Up stepped Paul WOTTON – who could have been off 41 minutes earlier – and he fired to Chris Weale’s right, with the Yeovil keeper standing his ground. Although Argyle probably deserved it on the balance of possession, the manner of the penalty must have made Gary Johnson wonder if his decision to allow Argyle their earlier “gimme” goal was justified.
Half Time: Yeovil Town 1 Plymouth Argyle 2
The second half again saw Yeovil grab the first chance. Adrian Caceres put through Kevin Gall, who raced into the penalty box, but the narrow angle saw his shot hit the side-netting. Gary Johnson though eventually decided a fresh approach was needed to win the game, with Paul Terry coming on in place of Adam Lockwood at right-back, doubtless with the instruction for Terry to pudh up the field as much as possible.
But Argyle continued to hog the ball to a ridiculous extent. Their ground ball passing brought cries of ‘Ole!’ and ‘It’s just like watching Brazil’ from the away supporters but the end product was fairly non-existent, with Keith Lasley’s strike over the bar being a splendid example of Argyle’s ability to do 30 pass build-ups without Chris Weale ever really having to break sweat. It all looked ominous from a territory point of view, but the pretty passing was achieving little. The only question was how Yeovil were ever going to win the ball back to get a chance of clawing the game back. 2-1 seemed the only possible outcome, with Yeovil’s rare moments of possession often resulting in ‘hospital passes’ that gifted the ball straight back to the visitors.
As Yeovil would know to their own cost on occasions, pretty passing does not always win you games though, unless you know where the target is. Gary Johnson decided to stir things up by bringing on Roy O’Brien for Adrian Caceres as they switched to a 3-4-3 formation with Kevin Gall pushing up front and Michael Rose and Paul Terry being given the right to the full length of the wings.
Like Notts County, this was to be the turning point of the game. Four minutes after the formation change, Lee JOHNSON ran through the heart of a bemused looking Argyle midfield that hadn’t quite got to grips with the new shape, and the Yeovil midfielder let fly from 30 yards out – visiting keeper Luke McCormick almost helping the ball into the net with his ‘inside edge’ off his right glove.
The Pilgrims looked dazed as the Huish Park roar lifted the stadium. Lee Johnson was carving up the visitor’s midfield looking like a man possessed, and was shooting on sight at every opportunity. McCormick was forced to palm another Johnson 30 yarder for a corner with just nine minutes of normal time left. Simon Weatherstone replaced Bartosz Tarachulski in the dying minutes, with the Pole barely able to get himself off the field via his tired legs. Somehow the rest of the team were going to have to get through another half hour.
Full Time: Yeovil Town 2 Plymouth Argyle 2
Extra time showed the Glovers well in control with the visitors game of possession now seemingly in tatters. The Pilgrims looked tired, whilst Yeovil continued to skip their way round the field.
Lee JOHNSON continued to run the show, seemingly taking every free kick and corner that was going, and when he stepped up two minutes before the break in extra time, the outcome seemed almost inevitable. Thirty yards out, Johnson stepped up and blasted the ball straight into the top right hand corner with a rising shot that had three-quarters of the ground on their feet and the whole of the Yeovil bench leaping onto the pitch with joy.
Thereafter, there only seemed to be one team that was going to progress to the next ground. Argyle looked finished and they had no response to Yeovil’s energy, with the likes of Kevin Gall still making rapid runs up the channel even on 120 minutes. Once again, another cup scalp had been added to Yeovil Town’s amazing tradition.
Full Time (After Extra Time): Yeovil Town 3 Plymouth Argyle 2
Man of the Match Vote
Overall match rating: 9 / 10
51 votes received.