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Friday, May 01, 2020

A Look Back To May 1st 2001 - Bulls Dent Glovers Promotion Hopes

It's back to a Tuesday evening in May 2001 for this archive article and a last minute winner for Hereford at Yeovil.

May 1st:


YEOVIL Town were robbed of the chance to play in the Football League when Ian Rodgerson's last minute effort meant the Nationwide Conference Championship going to Rushden & Diamonds. The Somerset side needed at least a point to keep their chances of promotion going, but Hereford United were victorious.

Having drawn their previous four games and not lost in their last five, Hereford can't have been too confident of victory. United did Yeovil a favour a few weeks back when the beat table-topping Rushden & Diamonds 3-1 at Edgar Street, but Yeovil had to gain something from tonight's match to even have a chance of overtaking the Northamptonshire side. Rushden were three points ahead having played a game more, and with one game left to play.

Yeovil's Marcus Jones missed out with a calf injury and James Bent was on the bench. Warren Patmore also wasn't fully fit, again taking a position on the bench, but Barrington Belgrave returned from suspension. Hereford also welcomed back a suspended player, Matt Clarke playing at right-back. Jimmy Quiggin dropped to the bench as Hereford reverted to a 4-4-2 formation.

The Huish Park pitch was in fairly good condition, but the Hereford faithful were uncovered and praying that there was no downpour. It turned out that there wasn't, but there was the threat of one after a wet day in Somerset.

On the pitch, Hereford started well, attacking the home goal, but within ten minutes Yeovil had gained control of the match, something which they didn't lose until the final minute. Scott Cooksey made a good save from Terry Skiverton as Yeovil piled on the pressure.

In fact, they took eleven minutes to take the lead. After four consecutive corners, the ball was cleared after efforts from Belgrave and Darren Way, but when it fell to Nick Crittenden, Cooksey could only watch as the ball sailed into the corner. The twelve yard shot deflected off Phil Robinson. The home fans were delighted, and really got behind their side but just two minutes later, Hereford spoiled the party.

Rob Elmes popped up at the other end to equalise in front of the Yeovil fans. It was poor defending by the home side as Paul Sturgess provided a long throw on the left for Elmes, who had found space, to head high into the net.

For the remainder of the half, Yeovil were by far the superior side. Hereford made a couple of attacks, but Scott Cooksey was the busier of the two goalkeepers. Gavin Williams and Rob Elmes had weak attempts saved by former Bull Tony Pennock, but it was Yeovil who pressurised. A Michael McIndoe freekick was deflected wide following a shot from Way, and Cooksey just got the better of Barrington Belgrave to save.

With the first half drawing to a close, Yeovil should have gone 2-1 up. A McIndoe pass was picked up by Belgrave, but Scott Cooksey blocked well on the near post to keep the scores level.

The second period continued in a similar vein, but Hereford went into a shock lead after just five minutes. A Matt Clarke cross was badly cleared by Terry Skiverton, and John Snape was on hand to control well before sending a superb superb lob over several defenders to nestle in Tony Pennock's right corner. Hereford piled on the pressure, with a run of corners and a Parry header that just missed the target.

However, the Glovers fought back. Dave Piper hit back for Yeovil with thirty two minutes left. Simon Betts made a good run on the left hand side for Piper to head a low ball into the corner of Cooksey's net, who was helpless to save. The final half hour was sure to be pulsating, and resulted in a Yeovil ambush on the Hereford goal with few counter attacks. Belgrave forced a superb save from Cooksey, as did Darren Way.

With fifteen minutes left, Colin Addison sent on Warren Patmore to liven up the front line. However, it was to no avail, as Scott Cooksey played a blinder in the Hereford goal to save everything that the home side could throw at him. Patmore attempted to beat Cooksey, but failed. Belgrave also had two efforts in succession saved by the former Shrewsbury 'keeper.

In the last minute, Ian Rodgerson hit from close range to deny Yeovil any chance of Football League action next season. Rob Elmes headed goalwards from a free kick initially which was well saved by Pennock, and unmarked Rodgerson was close by to net a rebound past the helpless 'keeper. Seconds later, there were claims for a penalty for Yeovil after a foul on McIndoe, but the referee just waved them away.

Referee Mr. D. Spicer of Totten made no bookings in the game, although on several occasions he couldn't have been far off! An attendance of 4,639 turned out, including a couple of hundred from Hereford.

Yeovil must feel extremely disappointed that not only that they didn't get a point, but they didn't win. Hereford defended sturdily, although desperately at times, and managed to find enough breaks to end the championship race. Although the mathematics reveal that Yeovil can still be champions, Rushden need to avoid a defeat against Chester City on Saturday to make sure.

Despite Hereford earning £5,000 from the McIndoe transfer had Yeovil been promoted, it was a much more rewarding night for their fans. The home side will be playing Conference football next season but must be title favourites if things stay as they are.

Hereford - Cooksey, Clarke, Robinson, James, Sturgess, Parry, Rodgerson, Shirley, Snape, Williams, Elmes
Substitutions - none.

Man of the Match - John Snape.