Venue: Huish Park
Sat 18th Sept 2004, 3pm kick-off.

Conditions: Mild, breezy
Pitch: Very good

Scorers: Andrejs Stolcers (38, 1-0), Andrejs Stolcers (49, 2-0), Phil Jevons (59, 3-0), Phil Jevons (69, 4-0), Mark E’Beyer (73, 4-1), Kevin Gall (75, 5-1), Phil Jevons (79, 6-1)

Attendance: 5,467 (including approx 400 Oxford fans)

Referee: Paul Melin (Surrey)
Assistants: Danny McDermid (Hampshire); Simon Snartt ( S Glocestershire)

Yeovil: None
Oxford: Leo Roget (34, foul), Lee Molyneaux (55, foul), Lee Bradbury (74, foul)

Yeovil Town : (4-4-2)
1. Chris Weale
14. Roy O’Brien 4. Terry Skiverton 25. Liam Fontaine 3. Michael Rose
7. Paul Terry 6. Darren Way 8. Lee Johnson 10. Adrian Caceres
11. Phil Jevons 27. Andrejs Stolcers

Subs: 5. Colin Miles 9. Kevin Gall (66, for Terry) 13. Steven Collis (GK) 18. Bartosz Tarachulski (70, for Stolcers) 23. Nicolas Mirza (76, for Caceres)

Oxford United :
1. Christopher Tardif 2. David Mackay 4. Leo Roget 5. Jon Ashton (46) 18. Terry Parker 9. Steve Basham 14. Robert Wolleaston (70) 29. Jamie Hand 3. Matthew Robinson (58) 8. Tommy Mooney 10. Lee Bradbury

Subs: 16. Simon Cox (GK) 15. Julian Alsop (70, for Wolleaston) 19. Daniel Brown 21. Mark E’Beyer (58, for Robinson) 25. Lee Molyneaux (46, for Ashton)

Badger’s View of the Game

Gavin Williams and Michael Rose were both lined up for pre-match fitness tests following knocks received at Cheltenham last week. Whilst Rose passed, Super Gav failed, and that meant the recall of Adrian Caceres to Gary Johnson’s side as they continued to use Andrejs Stolcers’ pairing with top scorer Phil Jevons.

Coming up against any side that is mean enough to have only conceded three goals in eight games, and built it’s bedrock last season on defence rather than attack was presumably going to lead to a tight game. Therefore it would have come no surprise to all when the first 25 minutes represented a tight game of football, although it seems incredible in hindsight that Oxford had the best share of the early chances that materialised during that period.

Gary Johnson will have no doubt warned his players about what to expect from former Watford striker Tommy Mooney, who spent seven years at the North London club. He was responsible for creating or attempting to finish several early Oxford attacks, heading over a David Mackay cross as early as the third minute.

The Glovers did the same via the head of Liam Fontaine when a misdirected Adrian Caceres ‘shot’ found Lee Johnson on the left wing. The Yeovil midfielder’s excellent cross was just an inch too high for Fontaine to properly get power on his flicked header.

But the majority of those early chances were coming from the visitors. Mooney forced Chris Weale into one of two superb saves when his dipping shot was forced round the post for a corner by the Yeovil keeper. On the quarter hour it was Weale to the rescue again after Robert Wolleaston dispossessed Lee Johnson on the left wing and thread through Mooney once again. But Wealey palmed the ball away for another Oxford corner.

Oxford had harried and hassled the Yeovil players during that early period, sometimes robbing the Glovers of possession, sometimes being the first in the tackle, but you always had that sense that they could never keep up such a ferocious workrate for the whole game. Midway through the first half, either the Glovers got to the pace of Oxford’s game, or the visitors found they couldn’t keep up their efforts for 45 minutes, let alone 90.

In what was at that point a rare breakaway, but with hindsight was a massive warning shot for Oxford, Lee Johnson broke away up field, put in Andrejs Stolcers who turned and cut inside two Oxford defenders, with keeper Christopher Tardif doing well to save at the second attempt.

On their next attempt, after the game had radically evened up, the Glovers took the lead and although it carried an element of fortune to the finish, the build-up was classic Yeovil. Latching onto a through ball up the left flank, Andrejs STOLCERS retraced the same steps he’d taken 13 minutes previously, cutting inside two defenders, and as Leo Roget stuck out a boot, the Latvian’s shot kindly took a deflection that looped over Tardif and into the back of the net.

Former Glovers trialist Jon Ashton, and Terry Parker were getting cut to ribbons on that flank by now with Adrian Caceres, Phil Jevons and Andrejs Stolcers taking it in turns to produce moves down what was a clear Oxford weakness. Stolcers replicated his goal move for a third time during the half, and again Oxford couldn’t stop him, with the eventual shot going just wide of the target. From being under the cosh a bit during the early part of the game, the Glovers were going in at half time well on top.

Half-time:  Yeovil Town 1 Oxford United 0

Oxford manager Graham Rix made the decision to change his weak-looking defence by swapping Jon Ashton for Lee Molyneaux during the break. But the Glovers started like they meant business when Michael Rose targetted the weak link in the Oxford defence, by steaming down the left flank and firing a shot just wide of goal with just 30 seconds on the clock.

Four minutes into the half though, that flank was once again exposed badly when Adrian Caceres got room to charge up the flank and thread a ball to Andrejs STOLCERS. The Latvian shimmied his way through, left Leo Roget not knowing which way to turn, then fooled Christopher Tardiff when he calmly passed the ball into the far corner of the net from the edge of the area to double the Yeovil lead.

This was becoming nothing short of one-way traffic now and Tardif had to rescue Oxford when Darren Way ran through the gaping hole that was the Oxford back line, with the goalkeeper’s outstretched hand just stopping Way from rounding him when he was clean through. Stolcers and Paul Terry combined with the latter blasting a shot just wide of the target.

On the hour mark though, Oxford were breached again, and just for a change it came from the right. Lee Johnson put through Phil JEVONS who cut inside and drilled the ball into the far corner of the net from 15 yards to make it 3-0.

Oxford’s chances in the other half of the field were to say the least rare now, although Chris Weale was reminded why he was still on the pitch when Tommy Mooney broke away, with his powerful shot being superbly held by Weale, low to his left at the first attempt.

But most of the action was at the other end, and after Darren Way had another go at getting on the scoresheet – Tardif once again denying him – Gary Johnson made his first change of the afternoon with Paul Terry making way for Kevin Gall. Gally needed just three minutes to put his influence onto the game. After one right-wing move that didn’t quite come off, his second attempt at a cross was a real peach, looping behind Tardif and straight to an unmarked Phil JEVONS who grabbed his second of the afternoon with a low header from close range.

Oxford hadn’t quite given up at this stage and they pulled a goal back with a somewhat scrappy effort from a Yeovil defensive point of view. A game of pinball in the Glovers penalty area following a Mooney free kick, saw a loose ball fall to Mark E’BEYER (although other reports say that Jamie Hand got the final touch) and the ball landed in the net from eight yards out.

Oxford’s mini-revival lasted all of two minutes though, as Oxford were undone with the goal of the game. Phil Jevons turned provider when he put Kevin GALL in over the top on the right flank, and if there is ever a good way to break a nine month league goal drought, this was it, as Gall took the ball on the volley and smashed home a looping shot from 25 yards out to send the whole of Huish Park to their feet. This was an emotional moment indeed, and it certainly shows the affection that Gally his held at this club with the substitutes invading the pitch to join in with the celebrations and seemingly three sides of the ground chanting his name.

One man though was going to take any headlines away from Gall, and that was Phil JEVONS. Four minutes later it was 6-1 when Darren Way continued his role as unsung hero by beavering his way through the Oxford penalty box and ultimately teeing the ball up on a plate for Jevons to score the easiest of his three goals from six yards out and become the second Yeovil player to net a hat-trick this season.

Incredibly, it could have been seven when Bartosz Tarachulski – on as a substitute – ripped through a totally demoralised Oxford defence, striking the inside of the post, and somehow evading an incoming Phil Jevons, who only needed to touch the rebound to claim his fourth. But it would have been greedy to have hoped for more – even if that was what the Westland Stand were asking for! – and with the home support begging the question “are you watching Allardyce?” in reference to Tuesday’s clash against Premiership Bolton, Huish Park had seen yet another classic game that will live in the memory for many years to come.

Full-time: Yeovil Town 6 Oxford United 1


MOTM Vote Result:

Player MOTM Score
Phil Jevons 27 705
Andrejs Stolcers 15 515
Chris Weale 5 159
Terry Skiverton 5 108
Adrian Caceres 2 81
Darren Way 3 64
Kevin Gall 1 47
Liam Fontaine 1 37

Overall match rating: 9.4 / 10
Performance: 9
Entertainment: 9.8

58 votes received.