Yeovil Town 3 Scunthorpe 0 – Saturday 16th February 2013

Gary Johnson’s second spell at Yeovil was surely more successful than anyone could have expected. The Glovers had among the lowest playing budgets in League One, and for every season after the play-offs of 2006/07 avoiding relegation was an achievement and some years it was tighter than others. In 2011/12, Yeovil had been bottom in November before the arrival of Johnson in January turned the team’s fortunes around, as they ended the season in 17th.

A good start had seen the Glovers go top early in the 2012/13 season, but after that followed a horrific run of six defeats in a row. This was was halted by the arrival of a relatively unknown young Irish striker on loan from Carlisle. Paddy Madden was 22 at the time he signed, having been unable to make much impact at his first English club after moving from Ireland, scoring no goals in 14 appearances for the Cumbrians in 2011/12. But there was something about Gary Johnson that was able to bring out the best in Madden as he made an immediate impact, scoring twice on his debut against Colchester, and scoring six goals in his first seven starts. Yeovil’s form stabilised with Madden in the team, as he formed a productive partnership with James Hayter.

One game that Madden didn’t score in was the impressive 2-1 win away at Portsmouth at the end of December. This began a remarkable run of eight consecutive wins, which would lift the Glovers from 12th up to 3rd in the League One table, and in a position to challenge for the play-offs.

The goals were flowing during this period, with comfortable wins 3-0 over Leyton Orient, 3-0 over Brentford, 3-1 over Preston and 4-1 over Oldham. The Glovers brushed aside Scunthorpe 3-0 on 16th February, with goals from Webster in the first half, and two towards the end from Hayter and Madden. There was some controversy, as the visitors had an appeal for a penalty turned down for a challenge from behind from Webster on Sodje, and may have felt that the later penalty awarded for a foul on Foley after a marauding run into the box was also somewhat harsh.

Madden was particularly on fire at this time, scoring in eight consecutive games after Portsmouth. His final goal in that incredible run was in the 1-1 draw at promotion-chasing Doncaster which complete a spell of 11 goals in 8 games, a run that Messi would be proud of. His loan was converted to a permanent transfer in January, for an undisclosed fee thought to be around £50,000. With the addition of that extremely elusive 20-goal a season striker, the first at the club since Phil Jevons in 2004/05, Yeovil were able to push on. Madden scored 23 goals in 39 games, ending the season as League One’s top scorer. He actually had a dry spell of six games without a goal at the end of the season and didn’t score in either of the play-off games against Sheffield United, but did provide the assist for Ed Upson’s winning goal at Huish Park. He ended his run of blanks in spectacular fashion win an incredible goal in the opening minutes against Brentford at Wembley which set Yeovil on their way to a 2-1 win and Championship football for the first time in their history, just ten years after promotion from the Conference.

Paddy found life in the Championship somewhat harder and he did not score in the 2013/14 season, although to be fair he was handed very few starts, starting the first three Championship games before being dropped, and after that he struggled to get back into the team. He was surprisingly transfer-listed by Gary Johnson in November, and sold to Scunthorpe for a reported £300,000 in January, even though he still had a year and a half left on his contract. While Gary Johnson suggested that he might not be ‘Championship standard’, that seemed like a strange statement to make given that not many of the squad were, and surely Madden was at least good enough for League One, where Yeovil seemed to be heading.

Despite dropping to League Two his new club Scunthorpe were promoted that season, following which Madden proved he was indeed League One standard, where he spent the next seven seasons. He scored 17 and 23 goals in his first two seasons, and after a lean 2016/17, was sold to fellow League One outfit Fleetwood for around £150,000 where he scored 19 goals in 2018/19 and 19 again in 2019/20. He contracted Covid in 2021, and after recovering made the surprise drop from League One to the National League. High-spending Stockport splashed out an estimated £150,000 for the now 31-year old on a 3.5 year contract. At the point he left Fleetwood he was their all-time Football League top goalscorer, in addition to being the 10th highest ever scorer at Scunthorpe, having scored almost 200 goals in his career from Bohemians in lreland 14 years ago, to the National League with Stockport today.

Team that day: Marek Stech, Luke Ayling, Jamie McAllister (sub. Nathan Ralph 83), Byron Webster, Dan Burn, Joe Edwards, Ed Upson, Kevin Dawson, Sam Foley (sub. Lewis Young 82), James Hayter (sub. Kwesi Appiah 82), Paddy Madden. Subs not used: Gareth Stewart, Richard Hinds, Dominic Blizzard, Gavin Williams.

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