Match Details: 31/08/2002
Kettering Town 0-1 Yeovil Town
Yeovil Goals: Terry Skiverton (90)
Yeovil Line-Up: 1. Chris Weale, 2. Adam Lockwood, 3. Anthony Tonkin, 4. Terry Skiverton, 6. Darren Way, 8. Lee Johnson, 9. Carl Alford, 10. Nick Crittenden, 11. Michael McIndoe, 19. Abdoulai Demba, 20. Gavin Williams,
Subs: 5. Colin Miles, 12. Jon Sheffield, 14. Roy O'Brien, 18. Kim Grant, 23. Howard Forinton
Substitutes Used: Howard Forinton for Abdoulai Demba (46 mins), Colin Miles for Nick Crittenden (62 mins), Kim Grant for Carl Alford (75 mins)
Bookings: Adam Lockwood (Foul, 61)
Gary Johnson has said in the past that the easiest job in football is which players to select when your team is winning. It therefore came as no surprise when the same eleven players lined up in the same formation for the third game running as Yeovil came up against the Dr Marten's League champions, Kettering Town, at Rockingham Road today. Johnson's one concession, as he came up against his former club, was to include Kim Grant on the bench at the expense of Andy Lindegaard, with Grant having now recovered from a series of pre-season knocks.
Yeovil started by controlling the game, taking possession of the ball to an extreme. Lee Johnson blasted a back-heeled Darren Way free kick through a crowd of players and referee Mr Yerby set his stall out by giving the first of several strange decisions by awarding a goal kick, despite Johnson's strike clearly taking a deflection off a Poppies defender.
The Glovers possession was counting for little early on, with a Kettering offside trap perpetually breaking up play. It was a half largely devoid of chances, with Kettering taking 30 minutes to muster any form of an attack - Scott Goodwin's cross seeing a looping header from Bryan Small clear the crossbar.
Goodwin himself was guilty of miss of the half minutes later. Having just been booked for refusing to give Michael McIndoe the ball at a Yeovil free kick, Goodwin broke behind the Yeovil back line, looking yards offside. Almost apologetically, Goodwin paused and as Chris Weale advanced, the Kettering player sliced his tame attempt well wide of the mark to hoots of derision from the 200 strong travelling Glovers, who had by then been expecting to start the second half a goal behind.
At the other end, Yeovil finished the half by coming inches away from several great chances, as Michael McIndoe, Darren Way and Gavin Williams all put in crosses that danced across the Kettering six yard line with Alford and Demba inches away from the incoming balls. But this was as close as either side went in terms of breaking the duck, and 0-0 was a rather accurate reflection of the game as it stood at the break.
Half Time: Kettering Town 0 Yeovil Town 0
Abdoulai Demba had largely been struggling to get into the game, with Kettering defending in numbers, and it was no great surprise when he was substituted for Howard Forinton at half time.
Kettering started a little more positively and Chris Weale had to make three significant saves to keep the home side at bay. First he scrambled the ball away for a corner at the feet of Niall Inman as the former Peterborough midfielder advanced inside the Yeovil penalty area. Then Richard Butcher gave Weale little problems when he provided a long range strike straight at Weale. Finally he saved from former Telford striker Gez Murphy who seemed to have fouled Terry Skiverton on his way to goal, but found Weale equal to a fairly weak final attempt on goal.
Kettering gradually reduced into their shells though, and began to rely more on breakaway chances as the Glovers pressed for all three points, with the home side attempting to slow the game down as much as they could get away with. Despite being the home side, it was clear that they were becoming more and more comfortable with the idea of getting a point out of the game. Not so with the Glovers - even if the application wasn't always there today, the willingness to win the game still was.
Yeovil once again switched to a 4-4-2 midway through the second half as Gavin Williams switched out to the right and Colin Pluck came on as a substitute for Nick Crittenden. Mr Yerby was still breaking up play badly, and he showed huge inconsistency when he booked Lockwood for a shirt tug on Murphy yet let a similar infringement on Howard Forinton by Martin Matthews go without a similar card.
Yet this paled into insignificance as the match official denied Yeovil two cast iron penalties as firstly Craig Norman made a move on Howard Forinton that hand more in common with WWF than football. Then Wayne Diuk attempted to have a piece of Forinton's shirt, and on both occasions insult was added to injury with Mr Yerby awarding free kicks to Kettering at the precise moment when Forinton's frustration led to him deciding that giving the same back was the only response. When the match official finally blew up for Kettering's persistent shirt tugging, sods law dictated that it was for a foul on Michael McIndoe two inches outside the area, with McIndoe perhaps ambitiously claiming that he was inside.
Still, all this served to up the tempo and the temperature of the game, and with the away support now working up a passion, it was inevitable that Yeovil would benefit. Forinton put through McIndoe, but the angle defeated him and he shot into the side-netting. Then Kim Grant was also fed by Forinton on the opposite side of the area, and with the ball hitting the back of the goal support, many Yeovil fans thought that Grant had grabbed the winner, but only the outside of the net had been struck as Grant's attempt also hit the side-netting.
Just when it seemed it wasn't going to happen, once again a 90th minute goal between the two sides settled the tie. Two seasons ago, it was heartache for Yeovil as a Dale Watkins goal won the game - this time round it was deep joy as a perfect Lee Johnson cross was met by a diving Terry SKIVERTON header to seal the game. Astonishingly, it was Skiverton's third goal in his last three visits to Rockingham Road, and it was to prove to be the last real action of the game, with five minutes worth of added time not showing any great action to worry the scoreline. For Yeovil, this was a gutsy win achieved whilst not playing at the heights achieved against Morecambe or Nuneaton, but three points nonetheless. But for Kettering, unless they can solve what looks to be a rather inert forward line and an apparent lack of confidence within their side, a hard winter awaits them.
Final Score: Kettering Town 0 Yeovil Town 1
Sat 31st August 2002
Match Report: Martin Baker
Pitch: Firm but uneven and bumpy
Weather: Cloudy with slight breeze
Scorers: Terry SKIVERTON (0-1, 90 mins).
Referee: M.Yerby (Ashford)
Assistants : A.Rayner, E.Mitchell.
Yeovil Town Line-Up : (3-4-1-2)
1. Chris Weale,
2. Adam Lockwood, 4. Terry Skiverton, 3. Anthony Tonkin,
10. Nick Crittenden, 6. Darren Way, 8. Lee Johnson, 11. Michael McIndoe,
20. Gavin Williams,
9. Carl Alford, 19. Abdoulai Demba.
Substitutes : 5. Colin Pluck (sub 62 mins for Crittenden), 13. Jon Sheffield, 14. Roy O'Brien, 18. Kim Grant (sub 75 mins for Alford), 23. Howard Forinton (sub 46 mins for Demba).
Bookings: Adam Lockwood (61 mins, foul).
Kettering : (3-5-2)
1. Ian Bowling 2. Martin Matthews 17. Bryan Small 4. Mark Haran 16. Garry Hughes 6. Craig Norman (Capt) 18. Scott Goodwin 14. Niall Inman 20. David Town 11. Richard Butcher 9. Gez Murphy
Substitutes : 13. Simon Ward 8. Shaun Murray 15. Wayne Diuk 10 Dale Watkins 12. Chris Perkins.
Bookings: Goodwin (37 mins, unsporting behaviour), Craig Norman (84 mins, foul).