Football: Forster plans a culture shock

Click to follow
The Independent Online
Yeovil Town 2

W Patmore 39, Smith 90

West Auckland Town 2

Milroy 9, Adamson 35

Attendance: 3,203

WEST AUCKLAND won the unofficial world club championship in 1911, beating Juventus, but the side from County Durham have had few moments since to equal that victory over Italy's Old Lady. Yet they came within a fraction of surpassing that achievement, and reaching the FA Cup second round for the first time in their history, before the defender with the unlikely name of Al-James Hannigan popped up with the clock showing 90 minutes and drove home the equaliser.

The manager of West Auckland, Graham Forster, is a doctor in metallurgy and was due yesterday afternoon in Brazil, of all places, to speak at a conference. Instead he was in southern Somerset and watching as his side gradually saw their two-goal lead eroded. But he said afterwards: "I should have been in Brazil but I am just as happy to be in Yeovil. I told the lads before the game that a win would be wonderful but a draw would be a result for us as well."

And Forster will fancy his chances of still getting West Auckland through to the second round as Yeovil, former owners of a sloping pitch themselves, now face a replay on West Auckland's slope. Forster added: "It's going to be a culture shock for the Yeovil players up at our place."

West Auckland came within moments of snatching victory at the first attempt as they, or rather goalkeeper Andrew Sams, defended the one goal lead they took into the second half. Rather than poor finishing, it was inspired goalkeeping by Sams which kept Yeovil at bay. On no fewer than five occasions Sams stopped Yeovil - 63 league places above West Auckland - getting an earlier equaliser than they eventually managed, and which surely prevented a deluge of Yeovil goals.

West Auckland had taken a surprise, yet deserved lead after only eight minutes when Jonathon Milroy tapped in after a poor goalkick by Tony Pennock. Paul Adamson doubled that lead shortly before half-time with a header, although Warren Patmore pulled one back a minute later. Forster later acknowledged that failing to take their two-goal lead into half-time cost them victory.

Given the one-way traffic in the second half, Forster accepted the inevitable second goal with good grace, but the man who promised "to dance a samba on the coach back home" believes the former world champions can do it.