Friday, November 20, 2009

Yeovil preview

Bloggers live and die by the number of comments they receive, and my 795th post innocently entitled “MK Dons preview” elicited a record 46 comments thanks to my newly found audience stretching from Tooting to Carshalton.

As readers of the previous 794 posts will know, I rarely seek to antagonize for the sake of it, but equally I am not afraid to express contrarian views or to challenge the status quo. That’s not to say I’m always right of course.

Anyhow as football-based debates go, it was certainly largely done with eloquence and balance for which I’m grateful (no wonder Wimbledon is such a pleasant place).

As a result I resisted the temptation to invent a few former Wimbledon fans who miraculously agreed with me, partly because I couldn’t decide between calling him or her Susan Saran-Don, Don-ald Trump or Monty Don.

Hopefully I won’t antagonize Yeovil fans to the same degree by pointing out that just about the only thing I know about the town, is that it was once the Somerset constituency of former Liberal Democrat leader, Paddy Ashdown.

Tucked roughly into the middle of a quiet triangle formed by Exeter, Bournemouth and Bristol, it is after all hardly a hotbed of English football.

We have never previously met Yeovil in League competition, but bowed out tamely in the Carling Cup last season in a game I had the misfortune of witnessing in the rain.

Our only other encounter was a January 2005 FA Cup tie in which the Addicks scraped through 3-2, with goals from Bryan Hughes, Francis Jeffers (yes, really) and Shaun Bartlett.

For years they were known as giant-killing specialists, as a non-League club reaching the post-War FA Cup third round in each of 1949, 1950, 1958, 1964, 1971, 1980, 1988, 1993, 1999, 2001 and 2004. They were rewarded with ties variously against the likes of Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United for their troubles.

However the possibility of playing League football seemed a pipe dream as recently as 1995, when they were relegated out of the Conference to the Isthmian League.

However they soon bounced back and were finally rewarded with League football in 2003/4 after following up upon 2nd and 3rd place Conference finishes to lift the title, and score 100 goals in the process.

As seems often to be the case, they rapidly consolidated their newly found status with an 8th place finish before following up in 2004/5 with the League Two championship.

Three of their four seasons since saw lower midtable finishes, but they reached the play-off final in 2006/7 famously overturning a 2-0 home defeat to Nottingham Forest to win 5-4 on aggregate. However a defeat to Blackpool at Wembley ruined all their good work.

Bristol City boss Gary Johnson was instrumental in their rise up the divisions from 2001-2005, and he has continued to impress in his role with the Robins.

Meanwhile current gaffer Terry Skiverton is just 34 years old, taking over as player-manager in Feb 2009 after Russell Slade departed for Brighton (from where he has since already been dismissed). With over 300 appearances for the Glovers, he very much bleeds green and white as they say.

Their current season has taken on a certain symmetry, with a home record of W4 D3 L1 mirrored by an away record of W1 D3 L4. Tranmere, Brentford, Carlisle and Southend have gone to Huish Park and left with nothing, whilst only Swindon have emerged with three points.

Charlton will prepare for both encounters full of confidence after a 5-1 thumping of MK Dons, a scoreline which flattered but was desperately needed.

Thanks to the wonders of internet streaming, I was able to watch the game and MK were arguably the better side in the first-half, but Charlton adapted to the gusty conditions and were rampant after the break.

Nicky Bailey was tenacious in central midfield, and reminded fans what the team misses when he is played out left.

Therry Racon was perfectly capable in his stead on the flank, but we continue to be too reliant on Lloyd Sam’s attacking forays down the right.

This is not problematic when he so obviously fancies the challenge (directly involved in goals 2,3 and 4), but this is currently at best a one game in three proposition for the erratic winger.

Upfront David Mooney resembled a traditional target man, and took some of the hold-up play pressure from Deon Burton’s shoulders. With the additional loan acquisition of Akpo Sodje, the Charlton future of Izale McLeod must be in some considerable doubt.

In defence, Fraser Richardson will be missing so a straight swap for another loanee Elliot Omozusi is likely. Further changes are unlikely on the back of such a crushing win.

NY Addick predicts: Yeovil Town 1 (Williams), Charlton 1 (Mooney). Att: 5,012.


At 1:04 PM, Blogger Marco. said...

You are nothing but a Yeovil apologist.
The Dog and Duck had a long and distinguished history before their ground, fans and tea lady were stolen by Yeovil FC.
They even made off with the Dog and Duck's nickname.
Dog and Duck were always known for their love of horse racing. They were called the 'gee gee lovers', usually shortened to 'geelovers'.

Blah, blah,whinge, whinge .......


At 3:36 PM, Blogger ChicagoAddick said...

And how would you know he bleeds green and white? What are you trying to say? We have thin skin, how would you like it if you bled green and white? I would have expected more from a Charlton fan ;-)

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