Tuesday 24th August 2004 – A crazy cup game!
As Yeovil Town signed former Plymouth Argyle midfielder Connor Smith yesterday, we decided to look back on a dramatic Carling Cup game against the Pilgrims from the 2004/05 season.
Lee Johnson scored a hat-trick to secure an impressive 3 – 2 win for the Glovers at Huish Park, but it was his first goal that is most memorable.
After the away side kicked the ball out of play so that Graham Coughlan could receive treatment for an injury, Johnson attempted to return the ball to goalkeeper Luke McCormick, instead finding the back of the net!
As the home fans were unsure whether or not to celebrate, both sets of players looked around in confusion.
Eventually, then-gaffer Gary Johnson decided to do the rightful thing and allow Steve Crawford to walk through and equalise, essentially giving the Pilgrims a free goal.
Alongside the media attention the incident garnered, the Glovers received widespread praise for what was seen as a fantastic example of sportsmanship.
Manager Johnson later admitted: “I’m not sure what we would have done if he’d have missed – I don’t think I’d have given him a second chance!”
On the night, Johnson Jr restored the lead with a less controversial goal, a scorcher from outside the area. He then completed his hat-trick with a net-busting free kick to get his side into the second round.
Bizarrely, Yeovil were involved in a very similar incident against Birmingham City years later, but that’s a story for another Thursday…