Venue: Huish Park
Tues 22nd Feb 2005, 7.45pm kick-off.

Conditions: Very cold, occasional snow flurries
Pitch: Very good

Scorers: Bartosz Tarachulski (16, 1-0), Paul Hayes (36, 1-1), Andy Butler (45, 1-2), Lee Johnson (47, 2-2), Rory Fallon (82, 3-2), Arron Davies (86, 4-2), Paul Hayes (90, 4-3)

Attendance: 7,598 (including approx 150 Iron fans)

Referee: K Stroud
Assistants: Martin Cassidy (Somerset); Ian Harris (Cornwall)

Yeovil: Terry Skiverton (30, foul), Bartosz Tarachulski (66, foul), Scott Guyett (90, foul)
Scunthorpe: Matthew Sparrow (26, foul), Cleveland Taylor (50, foul), Paul Musselwhite (83, dissent), Cliff Byrne (83, dissent)

Yeovil Town : (4-4-2)
1. Chris Weale
16. Andy Lindegaard 4. Terry Skiverton 17. Scott Guyett 3. Michael Rose
9. Kevin Gall 6. Darren Way 8. Lee Johnson 25. Arron Davies
11. Phil Jevons 18. Bartosz Tarachulski

Subs: 7. Paul Terry 12. Kevin Amankwaah (79, for Stolcers) 13. Steven Collis (GK) 27. Andrejs Stolcers (45, for Gall) 10. Rory Fallon (70, for Tarachulski)

Scunthorpe United :
23. Paul Musselwhite 28. Stevland Angus 18. Andy Butler 4. Andy Crosby (51) 12. Lee Ridley 15. Cleveland Taylor 7. Matthew Sparrow 11. Ian Baraclough (58) 5. Wayne Corden (85) 9. Paul Hayes 10. Steve Torpey

Subs: 27. Andrew Keogh (85, for Corden) 6. Cliff Byrne (51, for Crosby) 25. Marcus Williams (58, for Baraclough) 29. Michael Rankine 1. Tom Evans (GK)

Badger’s View of the Game

With Colin Miles ruled out with knee ligament trouble and club captain Terry Skiverton returning after a single match suspension, Glovers manager Gary Johnson won’t have needed to spend too much time deliberating what side should line up against second placed Scunthorpe United. The predictable one-in, one-out was the answer and the only surprise in the line-up was the inclusion of Swindon Town centre-forward Rory Fallon, signed on-loan only 4.5 hours previously, with the New Zealander only getting his first sight of Huish Park just as Gary Johnson told him to get his boots on.

Scunthorpe are spending the whole week in Devon with tough games against the Glovers and Swansea City to prepare for, and Brian Laws produced no surprises whatsoever, with the Iron manager having near named his team on Scunthorpe’s official site the day before. Leading scorer Paul Hayes – the subject of much speculation linking him to the Glovers in the local press – started, with Saturday’s match winner Andy Keogh sitting on the bench.

The make-up of supporters in the ground was not unlike that of a famous Isthmian League game in March 1997, when the Glovers took on Enfield in another top two clash. Like that night, this was not a fixture to favour the away supporter, with Scunny managing barely more than 150 travelling fans, to try and compete with three sides of jam-packed green’n’whites.

The match commenced with both sides having their fair share of possession but with the ball largely remaining in the middle third. In fact it was difficult to recall either side having a chance of note until the 16th minute. Then the match was opened right up with a goal out of the blue. Bartosz TARACHULSKI seemed to be stood in a pretty harmless position on the pitch outside the box with his back to goal when he received a Michael Rose throw-in. But just one swift turn of his body, a yard of space created and a shot was fired into the corner of the goal, off the inside the post with visiting keeper Paul Musselwhite somewhat taken aback by the shot and late to go down for the ball.

This goal settled down Yeovil nicely and they began to dominate the game slightly, without pulling up any trees along the way. Phil Jevons looped a shot over the bar, whilst Matthew Sparrow and Terry Skiverton became the first two to land in the book for fouls on Lee Johnson and Cleveland Taylor respectively.

Neither really warranted their bookings in a good-spirited first half hour interrupted by referee Keith Stroud exercising his whistle a little too much. A couple of incidents saw what was going to come. Firstly Terry Skiverton had to clear a Paul Hayes shot off the line with 32 minutes gone – Scunthorpe’s first real attack – then a Scunthorpe ‘corner’ degenerated into farce when referee Stroud persistently ignored his linesman who refused to drop his claims for an earlier offside decision.

When Bartosz Tarachulski was clearly having his shirt pulled by the dugouts four minutes later, up went the linesman’s flag indicating a free kick to Yeovil with Stevland Angus the offender. Referee Stroud refused to acknowledge his linesman decision and left the Huish Park crowd dumbfounded when 20 yards from the ball, he overruled his linesman who was stood a yard away and gave Scunthorpe a free kick. Andy Crosby sent in the dead ball, Steve Torpey flicked it on, and Paul HAYES fired into the back of the net from close range, leaving the home crowd furious with the referee.

In all honesty, the controversial decision seemed to affect the mindset of the Yeovil players after dominating most of the half. Arron Davies made room for himself on the edge of the box and shot just wide, whilst Kevin Gall lobbed a shot-cum-cross over the bar, but Scunthorpe were the team growing in stature as the game neared half time.

Right on the break, Scunthorpe grabbed the lead again from a set piece. Ian Baraclough’s corner was sent to the near post, and for some reason Darren Way was the only player that moved for the ball and although he managed to get a touch on it, Andy BUTLER was still able to react to head the ball into the back of the net. Despite a reasonably strong first half for the Glovers, the final 15 minutes had been poor and Scunthorpe had got themselves back in it.

Half-time:  Yeovil Town 1 Scunthorpe United 2

Kevin Gall was replaced by Andrejs Stolcers at half time and it didn’t take too long for Scunthorpe’s lead to be wiped out as Yeovil attacked the Westland end. Bartosz Tarachulski was fouled by Scunny captain Andy Crosby on the edge of the box, and up stepped Lee JOHNSON to drive the ball low and hard and via a slight deflection into the back of the net for his 10th goal of the season.

Andy Crosby tried to break the world record for the slowest departure from a football pitch when he was replaced by Cliff Byrne and that attitude was surprising as Scunthorpe had shown that they were clearly good enough to go for all three points. After Phil Jevons had blasted a shot over the bar, new arrival Byrne was given too much space at the other end to get in his own shot as Scunthorpe attempted to take a strangehold on the match.

The game was by this time taking on a curious shape. Scunthorpe had most of the possession, most of the territory and were building up pass-after-pass, frustrating the Huish Park crowd who were witnessing the sort of midfield play normally associated with their own team. Fortunately, the end product was lacking a touch, occasionally allowing the Glovers to break up field. Although the Yeovil attacks were rarer, they were more incisive, and Phil Jevons three times had chances to put Yeovil ahead – a flicked header wide, another header straight into Musselwhite’s arms from six yards, and a scuffed shot that went wide.

Bartosz Tarachulski was yellow-carded for getting physical with Scunthorpe’s Lee Ridley in an aerial challenge, and three minutes later Andy Butler went down clutching his face claiming Bartosz had elbowed him. The shameful thing was that there was clear daylight between the two players, and thankfully despite referee Stroud continuing to have a stinker of a game, he wasn’t fooled by the Scunthorpe defender. For all those who accuse Yeovil of “going down too easily” – I wonder how much oxygen you’ll give to a bit of attempted deception that could have cost Yeovil dear? Not a lot I fear!

Gary Johnson seemed to be already warming up Rory Fallon for his debut in the lead-up to that and Bartosz was swiftly replaced. Scunthorpe were still the side with the edge though and Michael Rose became the second Yeovil defender to clear his own goal-line, ending up in the back of the net as he headed the ball clear.

One last roll of the dice, as Sir Gary bravely switched formations with 10 minutes to go. Substituting the substitute is hardly the done thing, but Andrejs Stolcers was sacrificed as Kevin Amankwaah came on with Yeovil changing to a 3-4-3 formation that was to alter the face of the game as Johnson went for the jugular – Arron Davies moving into a forward position.

Phil Jevons tangled with a Scunthorpe defender on the edge of the penalty box and ended up in a heap on the floor appealing for a penalty as a throughball bounced through. There were only two decisions possible – a goal kick or a penalty. Mr Stroud continued to follow his own path by signalling for a corner, and when Lee Johnson’s set piece was sent in towards the near post, Rory FALLON came running in like a steam train for what can only be described as a “get the hell out of my way header” to belt the ball into the back of the net. Had any Scunthorpe player tried to get in his way they would have ended up in the back of the net with the ball, and Scunthorpe’s players ran out towards both linesman and referee, furious with the decision to award the goal. Laws was later to claim that Fallon had made a “blatant push on (the) goalkeeper” but Fallon’s header came before he connected with Musselwhite’s body. Perhaps a better argument would have been for the corner to have never been given in the first place …

Four minutes later, and the game was over. Fallon turned provider and set away Arron DAVIES. Now playing in a more advanced role, he grabbed the ball inside his own half, cut away from a Scunthorpe defender, then unleashed an unstoppable 30 yard screamer that Musselwhite could only watch in disbelief, holding his head in his hands as he realised just how quickly Scunthorpe’s grip on the match had been lost. Does the Yeovil Town Goal of the Season debate need to be taken any further than the strike by Davies?

Scunthorpe surged forward in desperation more than in hope, but after Paul HAYES had put wide one chance to reduce the arrears, five minutes into injury time, the striker grabbed his second of the night, converting from close range from another set-piece after Scott Guyett had fouled on the edge of the box.

Another minute later – where did Stroud get all that time added on from? – and two more 60 yard punts to Yeovil’s back post, the final whistle blew, and Yeovil had won an astonishing match at Huish Park. Scunthorpe truly played their part, and based on the two matches between the two sides this season, they surely deserve to stay in the position they are in the table. For the Glovers though, the “comfort zone” Gary Johnson told his players to go out and get is building up nicely, and with Scunthorpe travelling to Swansea on Saturday they could make that gap bigger by coming back from Grimsby with a win this coming Saturday.


Full time:  Yeovil Town 4 Scunthorpe United 3

MOTM Vote Result:

Player MOTM Score
Arron Davies 43 844
Bartosz Tarachulski 6 271
Lee Johnson 3 139
Darren Way 2 125
Andy Lindegaard 2 125
Michael Rose 2 112

Overall match rating: 8.2 / 10
Performance: 7.4
Entertainment: 9

59 votes received.