Venue: Huish Park
Sun 26th Dec 2004, 3pm kick-off.
Conditions: Dry, very cold
Scorers: Martin Devaney (17, 0-1), Kevin Gall (30, 1-1), Phil Jevons (44, 2-1), Arron Davies (80, 3-1), Paul Terry (86, 4-1)
Attendance: 7,320 (including 517 Cheltenham fans)
Referee: Mick Russell (Hertfordshire)
Assistants: Ian Harris (Cornwall), Brendan Malone (Wiltshire)
Yeovil: Colin Miles (8, foul)
Cheltenham: Shane Duff (56, foul)
Yeovil Town : (4-4-2)
1. Chris Weale
7. Paul Terry 4. Terry Skiverton 5. Colin Miles 3. Michael Rose
9. Kevin Gall 6. Darren Way 8. Lee Johnson 27. Andrejs Stolcers
11. Phil Jevons 18. Bartosz Tarachulski
Subs: 10. Adrian Caceres 13. Steven Collis (GK) 16. Andy Lindegaard (80, for Stolcers) 17. Scott Guyett (88, for Tarachulski) 25. Arron Davies (68, for Jevons)
Cheltenham : (4-5-1)
1. Shane Higgs
15. Jeremy Gill 4. Shane Duff 23. Gavin Caines 3. Jamie Victory
2. Brian Wilson 8. John Finnigan 11. Grant McCann 22. John Melligan 7. Martin Devaney
9. Stephen Guinan
Subs: 10. Damian Spencer (63, for Guinan) 12. Scott Brown (GK) 14. David Bird 17. Kayode Odejayi (81, for Wilson) 18. Ashley Vincent (64, for Melligan)
Deborah Hayes’ View of the Game
A large crowd filled Huish Park, anticipating a typically competitive derby game between these two strong sides. Cheltenham, having only conceded 16 goals in the previous 22 games, held the best defensive record in the league. However, Yeovil have built up a reputation as a very strong attacking side, so it was not really any surprise that they had Cheltenham on the back foot right from the start. After just five minutes, a Phil Jevons shot beat the goalkeeper and dribbled along the goal line, yet somehow it didn’t find the back of the net.
Despite Yeovil’s promising start, Cheltenham were creating chances of their own. On 15 minutes, Martin DEVANY created space for himself and his hopeful shot took a major deflection off a Yeovil player and slipped pass Chris Weale in the Yeovil goal, giving Cheltenham a somewhat undeserved lead.
Yeovil, however didn’t panic and continued to attack, with Tarachulski and Skiverton both coming close. This pressure finally paid off with an equaliser on 30 minutes. However, the circumstances leading up to this goal were most extraordinary; an attempted clearance from Cheltenham ‘keeper Shane Higgs rebounded off Bartosz Tarachulski, who kept the ball in play. His cross reached Kevin GALL, whose powerful shot gave Higgs no chance.
The game was now more evenly balanced, with Gall and Terry working well together on the right wing. Devany and Finnigan were also creating decent openings for Cheltenham, forcing several good saves out of Weale. On the stroke of half-time, an Andrejs Stolcers cross found Phil JEVONS, who rose above everyone else to head home, ensuring that Yeovil held the lead at the break.
Half-time: Yeovil Town 2 Cheltenham Town 1
The second half roughly followed the same pattern as the first, with both sides creating decent chances. Yeovil missed some excellent opportunities, and it looked as though they may be made to pay when an excellent shot from Finnigan rattled the cross bar, the Yeovil contingent of the ground sighed a collective sigh of relief. More solid defending from the Somerset outfit kept the score at 2-1.
On 68 minutes, new signing Arron DAVIES was introduced to the game. His power and pace added an extra spark to the Yeovil attack. His well taken shot from the edge of the area extended his team’s lead to 3-1.
Yeovil continued to create chance after chance and they eventually grabbed their fourth on 86 minutes, courtesy of an outstanding finish by the impressive Paul TERRY.
Cheltenham fought right to the end, but they couldn’t deny Yeovil a well-deserved victory, after a highly entertaining and well fought game.
Full time: Yeovil Town 4 Cheltenham Town 1
MOTM Vote Result:
Overall match rating: 8.8 / 10
35 votes received.