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Friday, November 19, 2010

Yeovil Town Preview

To believe or not to believe that is the question. For, although Parky and his players may not have been overly surprised by Saturdays 5-1 result, the fans certainly were. To be honest we just can't get used to all the discrepancies in our home and away form and perhaps its time to get a bit of counselling because with this Jekyll and Hyde stuff we just don't know whether we're coming or going. Thank you then to the Guardian who supplied us with a timely and storming report on Monday morning helping to quell our doubts and hinting, only hinting, at possible good times to come.
It harkened back to our last 5 goal away haul, eleven years ago at Grimsby in 1999, a promotion year, and went on to award the Addicks with several choice phases unknown around these parts for a few years. "Steely new mentality" was one that I really liked and the "zippy, slippy play" of our front two, Martin and Benson, seemed to roll off the tongue like sweet nectar at an oasis. "Acute promptings" was liberally applied to our midfield while the central defensive duo of Dailly and Doherty was labelled with the reliable tag of "67 years of experience".

So, with such superb eulogies, what are we worried about? Well, the details are hidden away further down in an attempt to conceal the truth but the crux of the problem is a distinct sense of confusion. Because, forgetting our away form where we manage an average of 2.22 goals per game, it has to be said that our players don't seem to like the Valley too much. In the nine home games so far played in League and Cup competitions only nine goals have been scored and 6 of the 9 have been 1-0 victories. We'll take the victories, of course, but can we have just a couple of goals to help us enjoy it a bit more please. Starting with Yeovil.

In optimistic fashion we have to present the plus side to raise the mood and we now have nine clean sheets in our total of 22 games and are now 4th in League goals scored in Tier Three and nobody can better our number of wins (5) against the top half of the table. And we're back where we were a year ago at second place in the table, ( although back then we did have 4 points more) and 4 wins in a row, and a 4 week surge from a lowly 14th up to automatic promotion, something that seemed a dream after that defeat on October 16th. Its not the first time that the Posh have let in 5 of course, Bournemouth enjoyed themselves too at their expense, but can we convert our Acute Promptings into Home Goals starting with Stingy Yeovil.

The Boss
Its tempting to wonder what managers talk about in the bar after games. Perhaps they avoid each other but its clearly an opportunity to find out a thing or two not least how other teams

are faring. So, just perhaps, would Parky have asked Peterborough boss Gary Johnson how his old Yeovil captain is making out down at Huish Park. Johnson was in charge at Yeovil and Terry Skiverton (left) the centre-half and captain when Yeovil won the Conference in 2003 and were promoted to the Football League for the first time. Perhaps Parky showed concern about Terry's future as Yeovil fortunes sink, hoping that Gary, not thinking clearly after the days events, would maybe spill a few beans, not knowing that Yeovil would be next up for the Addicks. Unlikely, of course, but you can't blame Parky for trying.


Yeovil are 23nd in the table with only 4 wins and 15 points in 16 games and with only a single point in a 3-3 home draw with Swindon in the last 5 games. Away from Somerset this season its 2 wins (at Walsall and Rochdale) and a goalless draw at Oldham and only MK Dons and the Daggers have suffered more than their 5 away defeats.

And after taking 4 points away from neighbours Exeter last season the Glover fans are certainly not happy after two defeats already this season in the League and JPT and to rub salt in the wound they've also lost to another local rival, Bristol Rovers.

But its best not to underestimate anyone in any League particularly in a League where we are perceived to be one of the Big Boys which sometimes tends to up the stakes just a bit in our opponents favour as they seek to prove a point. And although this weekend we face a team down there in 23rd it should be pointed out that a 1-0 away win is becoming one of their little specialities and although they have lost both their most recent away League games at Brighton 0-2 and MK Dons 2-3 before that they beat Walsall and Rochdale 1-0 ( Rochdale's first defeat in 7) on their own ground and last weekend dispatched Rushden and Diamonds in the FA Cup by the very same score with all three goals coming late on in the game.

Who Are Yeh?

Unlike the Peterborough defence last week, Yeovil will arrive with a more experenced back line containing the following three good players. Twenty three year old Paul Huntington started his career at Newcastle and during the winter of 2006/07 started eleven times in the Premier all before his 20th birthday. During the summer next year he moved to Leeds and played a major role in their central defence during their first season in League One under Gary McAllister. But after serious hernia and groin injuries and the arrival of Simon Grayson, chances at Leeds Road disappeared and Huntingdon now finds himself at Huish Park on a 2 year contract. He's played 15 and scored once.

Another player with Premier League experience is Andy Welsh who played for Sunderland in 2005 during the Black Cats dismal campaign. Number 19 is ex-Brighton Adam Virgo and is another that has experienced life at the top spending three years at Celtic. He plays central defence but has already scored 4 times.
And they also have internationals in the obvious Welshman Owain Tudur Jones in midfield.


Top scorer last season with 10 in his first season with the Glovers even with three months out with injury, number 10 is the 24 year old ex-Ipswich Dean Bowditch. He's managed 6 already this season and Parky, has to be watched.

Only one this week, goalie Ben Roberts who played just once for the Addicks back in May 2003 when he came on against Fulham in our last game of the season when we finished a glorious 12th in the Premiership. We lost 0-1 and Roberts didn't save the penalty, the concession of which had had Kiely sent off. And he's only played once this season and is now the same age as his manager.

What Are They Saying?

Lee Martin on his having to wait his turn, "The main thing is for me to go out there and enjoy myself and the three points were massive for the boys because they've put us in a good position and confidence is sky-high right now"

And Parky, reflecting on tomorrows game, "It is important our supporters do not turn up just expecting an easy win. They have a big part to play on the day in creating an atmosphere and I’m sure they will do that.”

Whats Their Secret?

Unlike our last opponents, Peterborough, who fare so well against top half teams, poor old Yeovil have not won a single game against the cream in 7 games.

They are listed 21st in goalscoring in Tier Three and only last weeks Peterborough have conceded more, both of which mean that their goal difference of minus 13 is the worst in the Division. But beware Parky, there are 6 teams with worst away records than Yeovil and they have only conceded one more goal away from home than we have.

Meanwhile, facing the Glovers will be a team showing distinct Jekyll and Hyde tendencies. Because the Addicks are the Divisions highest away scorers with 20 goals, seven more than anybody else in Tier Three and in fact the highest in the country. However, you all know whats coming next because, our home form, and although our points are split equally, 12 home, 12 away, is not nearly so convincing. In fact, a paltry seven League goals have been scored, the lowest in the Division along with the likes of Sheffield Wednesday and Bristol Rovers. Four 1-0 wins and draws against Oldham 1-1 and the 2-2 against the Daggers and we still haven't scored more than once in 90 minutes in eight home games so far (including the Cup win over the Daggers) as it took 91 minutes to score twice against Dagenham in the League.


History or is it nostaglia? Just four games played, all in the last five years. We won the first 3-2 at the Valley, an FA Cup fourth round game in January 2005 when Yeovil were 4 Divisions lower than the Addicks, with goals from that controversial trio of Hughes, Jeffers and Bartlett in an otherwise forgettable season in which we finished an average (sic) 11th best in the country. Dumped out of the Premiership the year before and on the slipperly slope to Tier Three in August 2008 we lost the next game, again a Cup affair this time a 1st Round home League Cup tie, at the Valley by 0-1 with present boss Terry Skiverton in defence. Only 6,000 hardy souls attended and perhaps they hadn't been told what everyone already knew because they witnessed the first defeat in a dismal season that would see a further 24 defeats before the seasons end.

So after being 4 Leagues apart in our first game against them 4 years and 10 months ago we somehow achieved parity last season and met Yeovil in the League for the first time. The first encounter was a 1-1 draw and we won the return in February this year 2-0.

The Team
In a strange week that saw the Football League team of the week include three Orient players and two from the Daggers the Addicks performance was rewarded with another duo from the Addicks, this time two goal Johnnie Jackson and Therry Racon.

The Addicks League form of 5 wins and a draw and top scoring with 17 goals over the last 8 games make us 2nd best form team in Tier Three being equal to Southampton and only behind leaders Brighton. A settled team is taking shape and this week there's really only the question of who will partner Benson up front, 2 goal Lee Martin from last week or Joe Anyinsah.

Elliot; Jackson, Dailly, Doherty, Fry; Wagstaff, Semedo, Racon, Jackson; Martin, Benson.

After 4 straight wins over teams currently lying in 4th, 8th, 9th and 13th positions how can we possibly fear a team slipping down to 23rd? Well, its quite possible that Yeovil will perform more like Barnet than Peterborough and will remind themselves that before the 4 wins we failed to beat such lowly teams as Tranmere, Dagenham and Brentford in a 2 week span back in September, suffering one defeat and scraping two draws.
Skiverton's first ever game at the Valley with Yeovil was a 1-0 cup win just over 2 years ago and he'll be trying to do the same on Saturday.
However, Yeovils favorite scoreline this season is also mine ie 2-0, or in Yeovils case 0-2, and what better result could there be than that.

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