Somerset Shambles

Yeovil Town

Yeovil Town

Wilson (8, 42), Anderson o.g. (23), Fry (35), Batty (37), McDermott (58, p), Conning (61)
Slough Town

Slough Town

Sissons (45), Thompson (67)
League Attendance: 2311 Trevor Bunting
A ludicrous 90 minutes down in Somerset saw Slough shamed in hurricane like conditions during a game that resembled a pantomime rather than a football match.

As the wind bent corner flags double and Huish Park resembled a wind tunnel with torrential rain thrown in, the Rebels comedy of errors served to aid Yeovil on their way to a resounding victory when help wasn't needed. The game should never have taken place. the pitch was soaked before kick off and the weather hostile and conditions were deteriorating.

It should also have been abandoned when the referee lost his markings in the mud and the ball refused to roll in the water that covered the pitch. Slough boss Alan Davies said: "It was absolutely the worst conditions I have seen in all my time in football. It was a farce. Even Exeter's game just up the road was called off."

The Rebels are on a run that could well see them relegated this season after so much hard work, and they met Yeovil who were playing their first game under caretaker manager Steve Rutter after picking up maximum points to themselves move clear of trouble in the last two matches.

Ultimately though, it was Yeovil who put far more intelligence into their play to cope with the conditions more capably than Slough. They also had so much opportunity handed to them on a plate they surely couldn't have believed it at Conference level.

The most incredible piece of opportunism was handed to them before the ball had even been kicked. Having won the toss, with the wind hurtling down the pitch, Tommy Langley decided to kick into the wind. From then on the game was over.

Manager Davies was left saying: "You tell me why we kicked that way." "The whole thing was a lottery, obviously everything you say sounds like sour grapes, but the second half advantage went with the pitch full of puddles,"- he added. "You couldn't run or kick the ball and it stopped us from doing what they had done in the first half."
If Slough couldn't have got much worse than Cheltenham on Bank Holiday Monday, they came up trumps in Somerset. It was a thoroughly entertaining game of football, but the stakes were high and with the match proving important in the relegation struggle it should have been called off.

Saying that conditions were the same for both sides would be foolish, for Yeovil were at an obvious advantage from the kick off with the wind at their backs. But saying that they were more professional and adapted with more ease would be fair, especially as they still remained superior in the second half, kicking into the wind and with water all over the pitch.

Slough gave away too much room in defence, missed a penalty, conceded a goal to Yeovil's goalkeeper and totally failed to dominate in the air at the back. The Rebels hardly kept their shape in the face of wave after wave of home attack and just didn't clear the ball properly.

After five minutes Trevor Bunting made a brilliant save from ex-Slough schoolboy and Arsenal player Brian McDermott and then Darren Anderson, who had a disastrous first half, saw the ball flick off his head and against the post.

But the landslide soon began. McDermott's cross from the right found Paul Wilson unchallenged on the edge of the six yard box. to control and fire home. Anderson was left in the wake of Robbie Carroll, who missed with only Bunting to beat. It was all Yeovil, Slough had no answer to the conditions and with 23 minutes gone it was further disaster for Anderson when he headed a cross into his own net.

All credit to Yeovil keeper David Fry who was actually involved in the game on 35 minutes when he realised the dream of many of his fellowmen in the game. His drop kick caught the wind, bounced in the heart of the Slough defence and then over the oncoming Bunting and into the net.

Two minutes later the Slough followers were left squirming in their seats as Paul Batty turned in a near post pass with ease. Batty then missed another open goal as the Rebels were ransacked by the home club.

Three minutes before half time it was 5-0 when Bunting's low goal kick went straight to Wilson, who shrugged off How's challenge to slot home. The Rebels first real venture into Yeovil's box proved fruitful when Steve Thompson curled in a free kick which Jon Sissons stooped to head home on the stroke of half time.

Barry. Rake replaced How at half time but Slough were well matched by Yeovil in every department. Anderson was booked for a bad challenge with Carroll but as expectancy of some sort of comeback with the rain and wind in their favour rose, the pitch just slipped into a quagmire.

The ball skidded, stopped and looked as though it was made of lead as twenty two soaked players slid around vainly trying to do the best they could. Now was the time to abandon it, but with a possible outcry with the scoreline as it was, on the game went. The referee then booked Phil Stacey for dissent but Slough were still under fire from Yeovil.

Tony Knight conceded a penalty on 58 minutes when he pushed over Carroll in the box and McDermott made it six from the spot. Three minutes later Peter Conning made it seven with a superb goal, curling the ball over Bunting from the edge of the area.

Mark Turkington replaced the inactive Junior Wilson and with 67 minutes gone, his volley after Langley's near post flick from a corner was controlled and banged home by Thompson in the box. Why Mark Shail remained on the pitch after 75 minutes is a mystery, after Rake and keeper Fry challenged for a loose ball, it ran to Thompson who shot goalwards, only for the central defender to tip it wide with a flying save only getting a booking. But Thompson missed the spot kick and a total injustice was committed.

With Yeovil looking for eight, their supporters crowing for ten and the ball floating around in puddles — the disaster was complete. Bunting pulled off a magnificent save from point blank from Wilson, who had another chance and hit the post and then the Slough keeper repeated the feat to deny Carroll.

After the game the Yeovil tannoy expressed its thanks to the referee who let the game go on in difficult conditions, Slough will have other ideas.

Yeovil Town Lineup


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