Yeovil Town Story Part 42
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THE YEOVIL TOWN STORY : PART 42

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SEASON 1986-87 PART ONE

The 1984-85 Gola League squad
Yeovil Town F.C. 1986-87 First Team Squad

Back row (L-R): Andy Wallace, Paul Randall, Tom Ritchie, Dave Walter, Paul Thorpe, Steve Rutter, Phil Ferns.
Middle row (L-R): Tony Ricketts, John McGinlay, Steve Ritchie (Reserve Team Manager), Tony Rafferty (Physio), Paul Hillard (Assistant Manager), Gerry Pearson, Ricky Chandler.
Front row (L-R): Richie Horton, Gary Donnellan, Neil Coates, Brian Hall (Manager), Dave Linney, Carl Zachhau, Andy Stone.

Prior to the commencement of the season, shareholders were informed at the AGM that the wage bill for the previous season had risen from £52,447 to £71,403 but to help offset this, gate receipts had risen by £14,710 to £44,690 and that the club had made a small profit of £162. Season Ticket prices for the coming season were set at £28 and £17 for the Stand and £20 and £17.50 for the Ground.

Carl Zachhau signed up from Walthamstow Avenue over the summer
Carl Zachhau signed up from Walthamstow Avenue over the summer.
Photo © 2003 Tim Lancaster
All four new summer signings, Phil Ferns (Aldershot), Don Gillis (Bristol City), Ricky Chandler (Bath City) and Carl Zachhau (for £2,000 from Walthamstow Avenue), were in the opening line-up for the first game of the season against Bromley, which was won 2-1 before a crowd of 1,641, Phil Ferns scoring two penalties.

The first defeat of the season came on 8th October when Farnborough Town won 2-1 at Huish, prior to that Yeovil had played 14 games and had won the Isthmian League Charity Shield by beating Button United, the League Champions, away 5-2, had seen off eventual Champions, Wycombe Wanderers 2-1 at Huish in front of a crowd of 3,169 and were top of the league. Gerry Gow also won the 'Manager of the Month' award.

At Christmas it became apparent that the race for the Championship was again going to be a two horse-race affair. Wycombe had opened up a five-point gap over Yeovil and in turn, third place Farnborough were 13 points behind us. The New Year brought a great shock to Yeovil supporters when, from out of the blue, Gerry Gow resigned as Manager due to personal reasons and the club were ordered to post warning notices around the ground due to crowd trouble at the Bath City FA Cup-tie the month before. Also in a drastic 12 day period, starting on 27th December, Yeovil won only 3 points from a possible 12 and their Championship aspirations had almost disappeared before new manager Brian Hall arrived mid-way through January.

Loan signing Paul Miller arrived from Wimbledon early in February and helped lift morale, so much so that Yeovil went to Wycombe Wanderers and won 1-0 with a goal from Paul Thorpe. During the season the two clubs met each other four times in league and cup competitions, Yeovil winning all four games.

On the field March was a good month, Yeovil winning all five league games without conceding a goal. However, Alan Pardew was transferred to Crystal Palace for £7,000 and Paul Miller sustained an injury in training and returned to Wimbledon. In his nine games for Yeovil he scored eight times and, but for his injury, who knows if Yeovil may have won the Championship? As it was, come the end of the season, Yeovil had amassed a hugh 92 points and again missed promotion for the second successive season and Wycombe Wanderers with 101 points won the League.

Tom Ritchie won the Supporters Player of the Season for 1986-87
Tom Ritchie won the Supporters Player of the Season for 1986-87 and receives his award from Dave Parsons.
The door had at last opened for promotion to the Football League and Scarborough became the first club to gain entry in their own right by winning the Conference.

In cup competitions Yeovil had mixed success. They went out 1-2 at Bath City in the Fourth Qualifying Round and after an excellent 3-2 win at Kettering lost interest in the FA Trophy with a 1-2 defeat in the replay at Runcorn. The GMAC Cup was open to all clubs in the top level of the Pyramid and after 4-1 and 4-3 wins at Wycombe and Slough, Yeovil crashed out 1-5 at Maidstone suffering their worst defeat of the season. Yeovil reached the Semi Final of the AC Delco Cup and lost the first leg at home 0-2 against Hendon. They travelled to North London for the second leg only to find the pitch flooded and returned straight home making the second journey the following day and again lost 0-2.

They also reached the Semi Final of the Somerset Premier Cup and with it a storm of controversy. After the first two legs played on 25th February and 14th April, the scores were level but Bath City made an appeal against the eligibility of Garry Donnellan and Andy Wallace playing for Yeovil in the first game, this appeal was turned down. On Sunday 26th April a third game was played at Bath, Yeovil winning 2-1, Bath lodged yet another appeal, this time it was upheld and the match was ordered to be replayed. By now the season was over and players were out of content so both clubs withdrew from the Competition and the Cup was awarded to the other finalist, Clevedon Town.

Phil Ferns won the Western Gazette Merit Marks award and Tom Ritchie was voted Green & White Supporters' Club Player of the Year. Trevor Vincent was chosen the Bartlett Construction Supporter of the Season.

The Yeovil Town Story : Other Pages

THE YEOVIL TOWN STORY : PART 42

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