Yeovil Town Story Part 28
The Yeovil Town Story : Other Pages

THE YEOVIL TOWN STORY : PART 28

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SEASON 1967-68 : RON SAUNDERS WIELDS HIS AXE - THEN LIMPS OFF TO OXFORD UNITED

The season opened with a great deal of optimism, Manager Ron Saunders had fired up public interest and his four new signings - Ken Jones, Chris Weller, Kenny Thompson and Trevor Allen - were in the line up for the opening game of the season (2-2) at home to Chelmsford City.

By the end of September, Yeovil were second behind Barnet and had suffered only one defeat, 2-1 at Hereford. The home average 'gate' was 3,050 and membership of the Supporters Club had risen to over the 1,500 mark.

Off the field in September, at the A.G.M., former chairman Stanley Pinder was voted off the Board. Norman Burfield, later to become Chairman and President, topped the poll with 1,067 votes.

After beating Welton Rovers home 2-0 in the F.A. Cup, Yeovil lost in the First Round Proper 3-1 at home to Margate before a crowd of 6,322. By December, Yeovil had slumped to a mid-table position in the League.

The New Year saw a slight improvement in Yeovil's League position and Cliff Myers was signed from Brentford for £666.66 his accrued share of benefit. This was the first transfer fee paid by Yeovil for many many years. On 10th February, Yeovil suffered a humiliating 8-2 defeat at Cheltenham. Shortly after Trevor Allen left the club in a straight swap for Ray Elliott from Poole Town, Elliott being Ron Saunders thirteenth signing.

Clive Burfield was sent off on 3rd February for striking striker Tom Barnett of Romford; he received a 14-day suspension. On 22nd February, Ernie Wilkinson a 21-year-old defender, was signed 'on loan' from Exeter City. However, 18 hours later, they re-called him and he became Yeovil's shortest ever signing!

By the end of the season 'gates' had fallen to the 1,600 mark and Yeovil finished in 12th position with 44 points. Chelmsford City winning the League with 57 points. The Club's only success during the season was to win the Floodlight League. After beating Poole Town, Worcester City and Tonbridge, Yeovil lost 1-0 at Ramsgate in the Semi-final of the Southern League Cup. They also reached the final of the Somerset Professional Cup only to lose 4-0 on aggregate to Bath City.

The Reserves had a disastrous season, finishing bottom with only 20 points from 40 games. The newly-formed Youth team, however, had a much better time, finishing second in the Yeovil Youth League. On 23rd December, 1967 they set a goal scoring record for the club, when they beat Pen Mill Methodists 31-0, Dave Barren scored 13!

On 19th March, 1968, tragedy struck the club when promising Reserve team goalkeeper, Bob Veal was killed in a road accident on his way home from training. On a much happier note, Len Harris made his 500th appearance for the club on 11th May against Guildford City. To mark the occasion he scored his first goal of the season after just 15 minutes.

Late in the season, George Muir and Alan Herrity had Testimonial games against Aston Villa and Torquay United. Also in May the club turned down an offer from Plymouth Argyle for Paul Smith; their offer was a fee of £500 if he was retained after a 3 month trial.

The club lost £3,012 on the season, net proceeds from the Lottery being £8,581; the wage bill was £19,253.

Chris Weller was leading goalscorer with 16, followed by Taylor 13, and Allen 12. Read, Vowles, Bone, Knapman and White were released at the end of the season.

Link: 1967-68 First Team Fixtures And Results.

Link: 1967-68 First Team Scorers.

Season 1967-68 : Southern League Table
Overall
Team P W D L F A Pts GD
1 Chelmsford City 42 25 7 10 85 50 57 +35
2 Wimbledon 42 24 7 11 85 47 55 +38
3 Cambridge United 42 20 13 9 73 42 53 +31
4 Cheltenham Town 42 23 7 12 97 67 53 +30
5 Guildford City 42 18 13 11 56 43 49 +13
6 Romford 42 20 8 14 72 60 48 +12
7 Barnet 42 20 8 14 81 71 48 +10
8 Margate 42 19 8 15 80 71 46 +9
9 Telford United 42 16 13 13 70 66 45 +4
10 Hillingdon Borough 42 18 9 15 53 54 45 -1
11 King's Lynn 42 18 8 16 60 57 44 +3
12 Yeovil Town 42 16 12 14 45 43 44 +2
13 Weymouth 42 17 8 17 65 61 42 +4
14 Hereford United 42 17 7 18 58 62 41 -4
15 Dover Athletic 42 17 6 19 54 56 40 -2
16 Nuneaton Borough 42 13 14 15 62 64 40 -2
17 Poole Town 42 13 10 19 55 74 36 -19
18 Stevenage Town 42 13 9 20 57 75 35 -18
19 Burton Albion 42 14 6 22 51 73 34 -22
20 Corby Town 42 7 13 22 40 77 27 -37
21 Cambridge City 42 10 6 26 50 82 26 -32
22 Hastings United 42 4 8 30 42 94 16 -52


SEASON 1968-69

Only two new signings were made during the summer of 1968, Tony France from Poole Town and Jim Flannagan from Leicester City. Billy Elliott also returned after an absence of ten years.

The season opened with a disappointing home draw (0-0) against Rugby Town and this set the pattern for the opening weeks. Supporters became restless at the lack of success on the field and in October, Dick Plumb was signed from Bristol Rovers for a record fee of £3,000.

November saw the club's entry into the F.A. Cup. Goals from Billy Elliott and Dave Taylor saw Yeovil win against Bath City at Twerton Park before a crowd of 7,140, the best in the 4th Qualifying Round. A week later, Yeovil moved to the top of the League, a Dick Plumb goal being enough to beat Chelmsford City. But in the First Round Proper of the F.A. Cup, Yeovil travelled to Weymouth and lost 2-1. In the same month, George Muir was transferred to Weymouth for £350.

Dick Donovan, who became Yeovil's first ever full-time club secretary
Dick Donovan, who became Yeovil's first ever full-time club secretary.
By the turn of the year, Yeovil had dropped to fourth position in the League, the game against Burton Albion on 14th January, 1969, being only the third at Huish since the end of October. Also in January, the Club took the big step of appointing its first full-time secretary . . . Dick Donovan was the man selected.

On 19th February, Ron Saunders left the Club to become manager of Oxford United, his salary at Oxford more than doubling to £80 per week. Saunders became the first person to move from Non-league soccer to a Second Division Club: He had previously missed becoming manager of Shrewsbury and Brighton. It had always been on the cards that Ron would rise to the top. His will to let nothing stand in his path was best illustrated by the way in which the night before his interview at Oxford, he cut the plaster from his broken foot just in case the fact that his leg was in plaster might have gone against him!

On 14th April, a new era started for the Club, with the appointment of 28-year-old Mike Hughes from Chesterfield as the new Player-Manager. He did not play that season but took stock of the situation at Huish.

By the end of the season, Ron Saunders had put in a bid for Dick Plumb and Cliff Myers, but Yeovil turned the offer down of £4,500 and in return quoted a price of £7,000. During this time Dave Taylor (285 goals from 436 games) left to join Bath City.

Yeovil finished the season in eighth position with 45 points from 42 games. Full-time Cambridge United were Champions with 59 points, followed by Hillingdon Borough, Wimbledon and King's Lynn. In the Southern League Cup, Yeovil were beaten by a John Charles goal at Hereford. Prior to that Barry Town and Trowbridge Town had been beaten.

The Somerset Professional Cup was shared with Frome Town. Yeovil won 3-1 at Badgers Hill - but lost the second leg 2-0 at Huish.

For the third time in four years, the Western Counties Floodlight League was won by Yeovil. The reserves finished bottom of the Western League for the third successive season. The Youth team under the leadership of former goalkeeper, Dave Jones won the Yeovil Youth League.

Dave Taylor topped the first team goalscorers with 22, followed by Ray Elliott 19; Dick Plumb 16; Chris Weller 13 and Cliff Myers 12.

Link: 1968-69 First Team Fixtures And Results.

Link: 1968-69 First Team Scorers.

Season 1968-69 : Southern League Table
Overall
Team P W D L F A Pts GD
1 Cambridge United 42 27 5 10 72 39 59 +33
2 Hillingdon Borough 42 24 10 8 68 47 58 +21
3 Wimbledon 42 21 12 9 66 48 54 +18
4 King's Lynn 42 20 9 13 68 60 49 +8
5 Worcester City 42 19 11 12 53 47 49 +6
6 Romford 42 18 12 12 58 52 48 +6
7 Weymouth 42 16 15 11 52 41 47 +11
8 Yeovil Town 42 16 13 13 52 50 45 +2
9 Kettering Town 42 18 8 16 51 55 44 -4
10 Dover Athletic 42 17 9 16 66 61 43 +5
11 Nuneaton Borough 42 17 7 18 74 58 41 +16
12 Barnet 42 15 10 17 72 66 40 +6
13 Chelmsford City 42 17 6 19 56 58 40 -2
14 Hereford United 42 15 9 18 66 62 39 +4
15 Telford United 42 14 10 18 62 61 38 +1
16 Poole Town 42 16 6 20 75 76 38 -1
17 Burton Albion 42 16 5 21 55 71 37 -16
18 Margate 42 14 7 21 79 90 35 -11
19 Cheltenham Town 42 15 5 22 55 64 35 -9
20 Bedford Town 42 11 12 19 46 63 34 -17
21 Rugby Town 42 10 6 26 38 83 26 -45
22 Guildford City 42 7 11 24 41 73 25 -32


The Yeovil Town Story : Other Pages

THE YEOVIL TOWN STORY : PART 28

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