Yeovil Town Story Part 35
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THE YEOVIL TOWN STORY : PART 35

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SEASON 1978-79 : ANOTHER MANAGERIAL CHANGE

At the end of the 1977/78 season Player Manager Stan Harland was offered only a further six month's contract. Finances were still a big problem, the Club losing £14,832 the previous season, but Harland spent a busy summer paying £4,000 for Dave Platt from Grantham, signing Clive Green from Portsmouth and 'Keeper Bob Baird from Frome Town and offering contracts to local players Bob Russell, Alan Sturgess and Steve Hayward.

Clive Green was injured in the first pre-season friendly against Torquay United and did not play again until Boxing Day. Yeovil's other major close season signing, Dave Platt, was also injured in the run up to the start of the season and did not make his debut until 28th October.

Barry Lloyd, who was appointed manager on August 21st
Barry Lloyd, who was appointed manager on August 21st.
On 6th August Stan Harland was released from his contract to join Portsmouth as assistant manager - the fourteenth Yeovil Town manager to move to the Football League. On 21st August Barry Lloyd was named the Club's new manager, saying that Yeovil Town was the only non-League club he would have joined. Lloyd's first move was to re-sign Terry Cotton from Salisbury, other signings he made later in the season being Norman Piper (in October), Trevor Finnigan (in January for a £2,000 fee from Bournemouth) and local boys Malcolm Gold and Gary Turner.

In the F.A. Cup a 4-0 win over Andover in the First Qualifying Round brought a visit to Hungerford Town. Yeovil were losing 4-2 with two minutes to go, but managed to force a replay which they won 3-0. The next two rounds brought 2-1 victories, at home to Dorchester Town and away to Cheltenham Town. In the First Round Proper, Barking came to Huish and won 1-0.

Meanwhile, the Southern League Cup campaign, which had begun so promisingly against Trowbridge, continued with wins over Dorchester Town, Barry Town, Worcester City and Weymouth. Their opponents in the final were Bath City, who won 1-0 on aggregate. 3,111 fans attended the Huish leg, making a total of 10,966 for Yeovil's six home matches in the competition.

Yeovil Town looked as if they could go all the way in the F.A. Trophy. Merthyr Tydfil were beaten 8-1 at Huish in the Third Qualifying Round, the half-time score being 1-0, Falmouth Town came to Huish to lose 3-0 in the First Round and Barrow travelled down from Lancashire to lose 5-0 in the Second. Yeovil were drawn away to Leatherhead in the Third Round, a Dave Platt goal putting Town into the quarter-finals. Drawn away to Dagenham, Yeovil crashed out of the competition beaten 2-0.

Half way through the Southern League season, interest was high regarding the Alliance Premier League which was due to start the following season. At that time Yeovil were in an average position (the previous season's placing also having to be taken into account) of ninth and well set for a place in the new league.

December brought an offer of £2,000 from Portsmouth for defender Brian Thompson and a month later Hereford United agreed a fee of £18,000 for Dave Platt. There was jubilation amongst the Huish fans when the Board turned down the move. However, Barry Dominey was transferred to Dorchester for £600 and Alan Sturgess and Steve Flay went to Salisbury on loan.

19th March marked the debut of local boy Malcolm Gold against Weymouth in the semi-finals of the Southern League Cup. Yeovil finally ended the season in ninth place and with Worcester, Nuneaton Borough, Kettering, A.P. Leamington, Gravesend & Northfleet, Maidstone United, Barnet, Weymouth, Bath City, Telford, Redditch United and Wealdstone qualified from the Southern League to join the A.P.L. They also won the Somerset Premier Cup beating Minehead in the final.

Terry Cotton made 70 out of a possible 73 appearances and was leading scorer with 26 goals, the same as Dave Platt.

When the final whistle blew at the end of the game against Hastings United on Monday, 9th May, 1979, it signalled the end of an era for Yeovil Town Football Club: They had played their last game in the Southern League having won a place in the Alliance Premier League due to start the following season.

Since joining the Southern League in season 1922/23, Yeovil played 1,902 matches and gained 2,137 points. 842 games were won, 453 drawn and 607 lost. They scored 3,566 goals and conceded 2,862. In that first season, Yeovil & Petters United (as they were then known) came seventeenth. Bristol City Reserves were champions and in all there were fifteen reserve teams of Football League clubs in the competition along with Yeovil, Torquay United, Bath City and Guildford City.

Apart from the war years, there was only one season when Yeovil's name was missing from the Southern League list. This was in 1930/31, when they joined Division Two of the Football Combination, finishing runners-up before returning to win the Western Section of the Southern League the following season. The three seasons from 1933/34 onwards were unusual in that Yeovil fielded teams in both the Western and Central Sections of the Southern League at a time when it was split into three regional divisions.

In 1963/64 Yeovil gained 63 points, a total unsurpassed in a 42-match season (two points being awarded for a win), although they collected 65 points from 46 games in 1949/50. There were four seasons when Yeovil topped 100 goals, 1946/47 (110), 1949/50 (104), 1954/55 (105) and 1960/61 (109); Only once did they concede a three figure total in their first season when they let in 104.

The twenty managers of the Club during its Southern League days were: Jack Gregory, Tommy Lowes, Dave Pratt, Louis Page, Dave Halliday, Billy Kingdom, Alec Stock, George Patterson, Harry Lowe, Ike Clarke, Norman Dodgin, Jimmy Baldwin, Basil Hayward, Glyn Davies, Joe McDonald, Ron Saunders, Mike Hughes, Cecil Irwin, Stan Harland and Barry Lloyd.

Yeovil were Southern League Champions three times - in 1954/55, 1963/64 and 1970/71. They also won the Championship match (Champions v League Cup winners) twice - in 1964/65 (defeating Burton Albion 4-1) and in 1971/72 (2-1 v Telford United). They also won the Western Section three times (1923/24, 1931/32 and 1935/36), only to lose the play-off for the Championship.

Yeovil won the Southern League Cup a record four times, in 1948/49 (v. Colchester United), 1954/55 (Tonbridge), 1960/61 (Chelmsford City) and in 1965/66 (Guildford City).

Only once did Yeovil finish in bottom place in the Southern League. This was in 1935/36 when they were in the Central Section. During this time they reached the Fifth Round of the F.A. Cup once and the Third Round nine times, and the Semi-Finals of the F.A.Trophy twice.

Directors of the Club to serve the Southern League were: Mr G.E. Templeman (President and Management Committee); Mr W.H. Farthing (Chairman and Management Committee); Mr I.B. Rendall (Vice-President) and Mr B.W. Moore (Vice-President and Management Committee).

Top twenty post-war goalscorers: Dave Taylor (1960-69) 285, Dick Plumb (1968-78) 150, Terry Foley (1961-67) 114, Chris Weller (1967-73) 102, Eric Bryant (1948-50) 86, Cliff Myers (1967-73) 84, Micky Reid (1953-56) and Terry Cotton (1971-79) 83, John Clancy (1969-79) 77, Ken Brown (1974-77) 75, Frank Fiddler (1955-57) 70, Dennis Coughlin (1959-63) and Ken Thompson (1952-56) 59, Stuart Housley (1969-76) 57, Ray Wright (1948-50) 53, Ernie Ash (1960-66) 50, and Malcolm Hirst (1961-66) 49.

Top twenty post-war appearances: Len Harris (691), Alan Herrity (523), Ken Thompson (517), John Clancy (472), Dave Taylor (436), Terry Cotton (412), Bill Albury (392), Paul Smith (385), Tony Clark (379), Dave Jones and Stuart Housley (362), Dick Plumb (337), Johnny McKay (329), Cliff Myers (328), George Muir (322), Mike Harrison (304), Tony Pounder snr. (295), Brian Thompson (294), Tony Cottle and Terry Foley (286).

Season 1978-79 : Southern League Table
Overall
Team P W D L F A Pts GD
1 Worcester City 42 27 11 4 92 33 65 +59
2 Kettering Town 42 27 7 8 109 43 61 +66
3 Telford United 42 22 10 10 60 39 54 +21
4 Maidstone United 42 18 18 6 55 35 54 +20
5 Bath City 42 17 19 6 59 41 53 +18
6 Weymouth 42 18 15 9 71 51 51 +20
7 AP Leamington 42 19 11 12 65 53 49 +12
8 Redditch United 42 19 10 13 70 57 48 +13
9 Yeovil Town 42 15 16 11 59 49 46 +10
10 Witney Town 42 17 10 15 53 52 44 +1
11 Nuneaton Borough 42 13 17 12 59 50 43 +9
12 Gravesend and Northfleet 42 15 12 15 56 55 42 +1
13 Barnet 42 16 10 16 52 64 42 -12
14 Hillingdon Borough 42 12 16 14 50 41 40 +9
15 Wealdstone 42 12 12 18 51 59 36 -8
16 Atherstone Town 42 9 17 16 46 65 35 -19
17 Dartford 42 10 14 18 40 56 34 -16
18 Cheltenham Town 42 11 10 21 38 72 32 -34
19 Margate 42 10 9 23 44 75 29 -31
20 Dorchester Town 42 7 11 24 46 86 25 -40
21 Hastings United 42 5 13 24 37 85 23 -48
22 Bridgend Town 42 6 6 30 39 90 18 -51

The Yeovil Town Story : Other Pages

THE YEOVIL TOWN STORY : PART 35

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