Ah, Christmas. The same god-awful songs are back in the charts, the shops are absolutely rammed and there’s even the stress of trying to organise cards and gifts for everybody. Thank god we have football to take our minds off it.
In fact, the festive fixtures can sometimes be the highlight of the football season. Despite everybody being a bit sick of it, the seasonal spirit always ensures a merry mood and, if nothing else, supporters have the chance to pull the “Oh what fun it is to see the Yeovil win away” chant out.
Unfortunately, the only away trip the Glovers have during December 2016 is against Carlisle United, and only the hardiest of souls would like the idea of visiting Cumbria in the middle of winter. Therefore, it seems like a good idea to look back on some of Yeovil’s previous Christmas away days.
Boxing Day matches are a completely different matter and could probably make up a list of their own, so we’re limiting our choices to games played away from home prior to Christmas.
Oldham Athletic 0 – 4 Yeovil Town (13th December 2014)
Smack bang in the middle of an awful season for the Glovers which eventually saw them relegated from League One, this result was as unexpected as they come. Despite Yeovil being in the drop zone and Oldham pushing for promotion, the Lactics were smashed on their own turf.
The game pitted then-manager Gary Johnson against his son Lee for only the second time, and it was Johnson Senior’s side who took the lead when Stephen Arthurworrey followed up on a header that had bounced back off the bar.
Midfielder Simon Gillet doubled the lead, before out-of-form Sam Hoskins finished well to put Yeovil 3 – 0 up before half time. The 111 travelling supporters had another goal to cheer in second half stoppage time thanks to a fantastic strike from Kieffer Moore.
An early Christmas miracle! Those who braved the long journey from Somerset were jubilant, but there may have been a bit a tension in the Johnson household that Christmas…
Swindon Town 2 – 3 Yeovil Town (20th December 2008)
Sometimes, certain events can remind you that football isn’t the most important thing in the world. That was certainly the case when Darren Way was involved in a car accident just three days before a match away to Swindon Town.
The former midfielder and current manager was still in hospital recovering from his injuries while the game was being played, but hopefully the performance and result managed to put a smile back on his face.
The Glovers took the lead thanks to a Craig Alcock header, before Lee Peltier made it 2 – 0. Peltier celebrated his goal by revealing a message under his shirt showing support for Way.
Swindon managed to claw themselves back on level terms with two goals either side of half time, but three points were secured for the Somerset side after Jerel Ifil headed into his own net.
Doncaster Rovers 1 – 2 Yeovil Town (16th December 2007)
Russell Slade’s Yeovil suffered a bit of a Wembley hangover during the 2007/08 season; after reaching the Play-Off final the year before, they stuttered somewhat throughout the following campaign.
However, a memorable result came against old friends Doncaster Rovers, and it was also a happier festive period for Darren Way. His first Yeovil goal for over two years put the Glovers 1 – 0 up at the Keepmoat Stadium.
Marcus Stewart scored the away side’s second goal, but there was some late tension when the striker was sent off for a second bookable offence and Terry Skiverton netted an unfortunate own-goal.
Thankfully there was no late drama and the 247 Yeovil supporters were left singing two classic terrace favourites in celebration: both Jingle Bells and “We won the league at Doncaster!”
Bristol Rovers 0 – 1 Yeovil Town (13th December 2003)
Bristol Rovers may not be our fiercest rivals, but it’s still nice to get one over on the Gasheads from time to time. The 1 – 0 win at the Memorial Stadium in December 2003 was therefore one to savour.
It was fan’s favourite Nick Crittenden who got the winner on this occasion with a 20-yard effort that goalkeeper Kevin Miller got a hand to but couldn’t keep out.
Like at Doncaster Rovers, Yeovil were forced to play the end of the match with a numerical disadvantage. This time it was substitute Jake Edwards who was given his marching orders after kicking out at Ijah Anderson.
However, the Glovers were able to see the game out comfortably and deserved their three points, which served as a nice early Christmas present for their fans.
Carlisle United vs Yeovil Town (17th December 2016)
A 676 mile round trip to Cumbria probably wasn’t on many Yeovil supporters’ letters to Santa this year, but that’s exactly what they’ve got.
The Glovers’ form at Brunton Park has been less than impressive with two wins, two draws and six defeats from their ten visits, but the plus side is that many of the matches have been goal fests.
The highest scoring Yeovil victory away to Carlisle came during the 2006/07 season when they won 4 – 1 thanks to Wayne Gray’s opener, a brace from Leon Best and a Chris Cohen goal. However, they also lost by the same scoreline in 2008.
An FA Cup encounter and the most recent away meeting between the two sides was played at Blackpool’s Bloomfield Road. This was due to the fact that heavy flooding had led to half of Cumbria being underwater at the time.
A Shaun Jeffers 90th minute equaliser sent the Yeovil fans home happy on the day, but there’s no need to mention what happened in the replay…
For those of you making the arduous journey to Carlisle: good luck! Make sure to wear your best green and white Santa hat, sing Jingle Bells as loudly as possible and, most importantly of all, bring home three points!