Yeovil Town Story Part 20
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THE YEOVIL TOWN STORY : PART 20

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SEASON 1955-56 : NEW SIGNING FRANK FIDLER NETS 49 GOALS

Yeovil Town, as Southern League champions and Cup holders, kicked off the 1955/56 season where they had left off the previous season with a home match against Hastings United.

This was won easily 3-1, the attendance being 6,348. A series of good results followed, the team being second place in the table at the end of October after suffering only two defeats.

The first floodlit match of the season was a friendly against Boston United (then of the Midland League), Yeovil losing 3-2. The return match was played at Boston in March the Lincolnshire side winning again 2-1.

A fine 9-2 win at home against Hereford United set the team up for a 3-0 win at Bideford in the Fourth Qualifying Round of the F.A. Cup, Frank Fidler (a new signing from Bournemouth) getting all three goals.

There then followed a titanic struggle with Aldershot in the First Round of the competition. The first match at Huish ended in a 1-1 draw, the home team being: Singleton; Dominy, Elder; Edwards, Hardy, Topping; Woan, Fraser, Fidler, Reid, McKay.

The replay at Aldershot also ended 1-1. The second replay was played at The Dell, Southampton, Aldershot finally coming out on top with a 3-0 win.

As in the previous season, the two Christmas fixtures were against Kidderminster Harriers - and, again, the results were very odd. Yeovil lost at Kidderminster 4-2 on Boxing Day only to win 10-0 at Huish the following day! Yeovil had finished with only eight men at Aggborough, Mick Reid and Barry Squires (signed from Bradford City) being sent off and full-back Jimmy Stephen (previously with Portsmouth) being carried off. December also saw Yeovil chairman Bill Farthing elected president of the Southern League.

In February Yeovil travelled to play Kettering, who only days before had boldly appointed Tommy Lawton - arguably England's greatest-ever centre-forward - as player manager. The game's highlights were shown on television but Yeovil spoilt the party - winning 2-1 after falling behind in the first minute.

Yeovil Town were to remain in the top three in the Southern League all season, finishing in third place behind Guildford City and Cheltenham Town with 55 points ... in fact, the same number of points that had been enough to win the championship the previous season.

For the first time the Southern League Cup was compulsory for members and wins over Exeter City Reserves, Bath City, Cheltenham Town and Headington United saw the club reach the final for the second season in succession.

Yeovil took a 4-1 first-leg lead against Gloucester City to Horton Road. It looked all over when Fidler scored for Yeovil to make it 5-1 on aggregate after just eight minutes of the second leg but, inspired by player-manager Harry Ferrier, Gloucester stormed back with goals from Jim Rutherford, Jackie Dunbar, Phil Friel and Bob Coldray to level the tie at 5-5. In extra time, Coldray's powerful shot was fumbled by Barney Singleton to complete the most amazing turn-round in the cup's history.

During a season which had also seen the arrival of goalkeeper Bird (from Canterbury City), full-back Jim Elder (Colchester United) and forwards Don Woan (Tranmere Rovers) and Andy Easton (Chippenham), new signing Frank Fidler finished as top goalscorer with 49 to his name, followed by Micky Reid with 33. The team remained undefeated at Huish in the Southern League and rounded off the season with a 4-3 win over Bristol City in the final of the Somerset Professional Cup.

Link: 1955-56 First Team Fixtures And Results.

Link: 1956-57 First Team Scorers.

The Yeovil Town Story : Other Pages

THE YEOVIL TOWN STORY : PART 20

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