Football / Non-League Notebook: Home rule for Yeovil

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WITHOUT doubt the form team in the GM Vauxhall Conference are Yeovil Town, writes Rupert Metcalf. Their 5-2 defeat of Farnborough Town in front of 2,404 at Huish Park on Tuesday extended their unbeaten home run to 13, the Conference's best this season.

The Somerset club have climbed to third place in the table, just two points behind Slough Town, whom they entertain on 17 April. Their last home defeat was by Gateshead on 19 September, since when they have dropped only six home points out of a possible 39. Overall, they have won five successive games to head the 'current form' table.

Steve Rutter, Yeovil's player-manager, admits that they cannot catch the leaders, Wycombe Wanderers, whom they trail by 12 points, but his side had the satisfaction of beating Wycombe 3-0 at home last month.

'Of course we're pleased with the progress we've made,' Rutter said yesterday. 'We have not lost any quality despite essential cuts in wages. The club is now making money on a week-to-week basis, and the way we're playing should boost summer season-ticket sales.'

Yeovil sold their highly rated England semi-professional international defender, Mark Shail, to Bristol City for pounds 45,000 last week. 'He was desperate to play in the League,' Rutter said, 'and we could not stand in his way. Now we need to find more players like him in the local leagues, or via our Youth Training Scheme, as we cannot afford to pay big fees.'

While Yeovil meet lowly Macclesfield in a league fixture tomorrow, it is reunion time in the FA Trophy semi-final first-leg ties. Alan Gane takes his Sutton United side on a daunting trip to Wycombe, the club he managed in their Loakes Park days in the 1980s, while Runcorn welcome their Cheshire rivals, Witton Albion, whose manager, Peter O'Brien, is also returning to his former club.