Yeovil Town
Huish Park

Ground No. 124
Visited - Saturday 21st April 2007
Result - Yeovil Town 1-0 Rotherham United
Competition - Coca Cola League 1
Attendance - 5878

Founded in 1890, for most of their history Yeovil have been a non-league side, yet despite that they forged a reputation for themselves as a strong cup team, dating all the way back to 1949 when they knocked Sunderland out before going on to play Man Utd in front of 81,000 at Maine Road. The less said about the resulting 8-0 loss, the better! But that result aside, they have had many successes down the years and it seemed almost overdue when they finally won promotion to the Football League in 2003 after winning the Conference title. They had applied for years under the old election system, but rarely got more than a few votes, except in 1976 when they came closest, losing out to Workington who were re-elected by 21 votes to 18, but once they did eventually make it into the league then they quickly made up for lost time, winning the League 2 title in their second season, before eventually finding their feet in League 1. This was where I found them when I went to visit in 2006/07, chasing a play-off place, and what would turn out to be their highest ever finish, with an appearance at Wembley to boot, albeit an unsuccessful one, losing 2-0 to Blackpool.

Situated in Somerset, it had been one of the grounds I was least looking forward to visiting, with no direct trains or cheap tickets, but if you’re seriously committed to completing the 92, then you soon come to realise that these are the sort of trips you have to make, so I’d set off early, changing in Bristol with the journey down going surprisingly well, the leg from Temple Meads down to Yeovil being particularly scenic on what had turned out to be a beautiful early summers day.

The town itself is a pleasant place, with an unusual walk from the station to the centre through a wooded path making for a nice change, although it did strike me that I probably wouldn’t have thought as much if it had been the middle of winter! It was just a little bit beyond here, on the opposite side of the town centre that the clubs old ground ‘Huish’ (which you can see some pictures of here) had been, but sadly it’s the typical story with the site now occupied by Tesco, and the club playing several miles away on the edge of town, so after having had a look round, then it was a bus journey required before finally arriving at the similarly named Huish Park.

Opened in 1990 with a game against Newcastle the ground is situated in the middle of a retail/industrial park, yet with some landscaping and the nice weather then it seemed pleasant enough, the Main Stand in particular standing out with its entrance. From the inside, then it is a little more generic. The Main Stand and Cowlin Stand are more or less identical, bar a row of executive boxes at the rear of the former. Both are single tiers and all seated, whilst the two ends are terraces. The Westland Stand (since renamed Blackthorn Terrace) was originally open like the Copse Rd End opposite, but this has since had a cover added, while the Copse Road End remains open, albeit with a rather intriguing rear, where you can see the steel supports for the terracing jutting out at the back. Apparently it’s so it can be easily extended, although when/if this will happen remains to be seen. I had been planning on standing here, but with the sun shining directly at the few hundred who had come down from Rotherham, then I changed my mind and headed for the shade of the home end instead.

Rotherham had been relegated the week previously, but their fans seemed to be in a jubilant mood, in contrast to the spirits of the Yeovil supporters whose collective nerves seemed to be showing, the club not having confirmed themselves a play-off place just yet. Predictably, it was the home side doing most of the early attacking. Adam Rooney forced a save from the Millers’ goalkeeper early on, and Yeovil could have taken the lead soon after, this time after Aaron Davies had gone close with his volleyed effort going just over the bar. Rotherham were offering little, and it looked like only a matter of time before they would concede when veteran striker Marcus Stewart headed against the post after a free-kick from the right, but it took the home side the entire first half before they finally went in front, with the Chris Cohen/Marcus Stewart free-kick routine paying off this time, when the former Ipswich star found his header sneak into the corner of the net right on half-time.

The second half was played out at a slower pace in the searing heat, although Yeovil could have made it 2-0 shortly after the break when Rooney hit the post on 50 minutes, but despite a couple of breaks from the visitors, the result was never really in doubt, and when the referee blew his whistle for full time the home fans went home happy, the three points just about being enough to confirm a play-off place putting them 5 points ahead of 7th placed Swansea with two games left to play.

After leaving the ground, I made my way back to town, although had to walk half the way after struggling to find where the bus stopped, but I made it eventually, and caught the train home as planned, glad to have made the long journey. 

Overall, it had been a good day out. The ground itself perhaps isn’t the best or most interesting in the world, but the town seemed a nice place and on a warm, sunny summers day as it was then certainly one of the more pleasant away days in the league, even if it is miles away, no matter where you come from!

Main Entrance/Club Shop

Rear of the Main Stand

Rear of the Copse Road End

Rear of the Cowlin Stand

Rear of the Westland Stand

The Memorial Garden

The Westland Stand

The Main Stand

The Copse Road End

The Cowlin Stand

The Cowlin Stand

The Copse Road End

The Main Stand

Huish Park Panoramic 1

Huish Park Panoramic 2

No comments:

Post a Comment