Yeovil Town 2 Hereford United 1 – Saturday 2nd March 2002

On Saturday 2nd March 2002, Yeovil played Hereford at Huish Park for the first time since the old rivals ended our title hopes against Rushden with an injury-time winner in 2001. As it happens, we’ve had a pretty decent record against the Bulls since their relegation back to the Conference in 1997, and that one devastating moment represents their only league win over us between then and now.

It was Gary Johnson’s first season in charge, and results had been up and down. General away form was good, and with only two defeats all season was the best in the division. Home form was more patchy, with a number of home defeats arguably the result of a deteriorating pitch in dire need of replacement, and a defence that was vulnerable to the counter-attacking tactics that a lot of visiting teams employed.

The fixture came at the business end of the season in between FA Trophy matches away at Doncaster and at home to Canvey Island. With the Glovers unbeaten in 14 league and cup matches and chasing the slim hope of a title shot with Boston yet to visit Huish Park, it was a dramatic game that had almost everything. In the first half, a penalty was awarded to Yeovil for a push, but Chris Giles’ spot-kick was saved by Matt Baker. Shortly after, Hereford’s Paul Parry hit the underside of the bar with a shot that away fans claimed was over the line, but it was not given.

Right on half time Crittenden gave Yeovil the lead, but Parry equalised immediately after the break with a shot past the advancing Weale.

What followed was an exercise in gamesmanship and time-wasting, as the visitors continually feigned injury and wasted time to hold on for a point. In the 73rd minute, former Hereford player Michael McIndoe was sent off for the second time that season for an elbow aimed at John Snape – although the player would admit after the game there was no contact before his dramatic fall to the ground, McIndoe was rightly dismissed for aiming the elbow in the first place. There do tend to be a lot of red cards in these fixtures, as both Terry Skiverton and Gavin Williams were sent off when the two met at Edgar Street in 2000, and not only did Hereford have two sent off in 2003, but Gavin Williams was also substituted by Gary Johnson to prevent him from going the same way after some lively tackles. It was possibly for the best that McIndoe had already been sent off in 2002/03, and was suspended for one game which happened to be the away game at Hereford.

Despite the man advantage, Hereford made no attempt to press forward and instead continued to waste time and feign injury to an almost comical degree. Justice was served then, when in injury time as a result of those constant stoppages, Yeovil pressed forward one last time, ignoring a Hereford player who was rolling around wanting the game to be stopped (as can be seen in the footage). Substitute Carl Alford held the ball up for of all players, Yeovil-born Andy Lindegaard to score a left-footed volley from 20 yards out to give Yeovil the victory. It was some measure of revenge not only for 2001, but also for all of the time-wasting and cheating that had gone on during the game, and gave one of the most satisfying wins over Hereford that I have witnessed. And there have been a lot, as they don’t have a very good record against us in recent years.

Although the 4-0 in 2003 was also a good one…

If you want to read the world’s most biased match report (from a Hereford perspective), it can be found on the Hereford Times website.

Yeovil team that day: Chris Weale, Adam Lockwood, Anthony Tonkin, Terry Skiverton, Tom White (sub. Andy LIndegaard), Roy O’Brien, Olivier Brassart, Nick Crittenden, Michael McIndoe, Chris Giles (sub. Carl Alford), Adam Stansfield. Subs not used: Jon Sheffield, Steve Thompson, Kim Grant

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