Yeovil Town will be out for revenge when they entertain Burton Albion in tomorrow's first leg of their FA Umbro Trophy semi-final contest at Huish Park.
Last season the Somerset side, who were chasing the twin prizes of the Trophy and the Nationwide Conference title, were beaten 2-1 by Burton in a fifth-round tie at Eton Park, and they ended the season with nothing to show for their entertaining football as Rushden & Diamonds won the league.
This term the Trophy represents Yeovil's only realistic chance of glory. They have slipped to fourth place in the Conference, 13 points adrift of the leaders Boston United, who have played one less game. But Burton will once again be formidable opponents, especially on their own ground for the second leg on Sunday week.
Burton have beaten three Conference clubs – Chester, Woking and Farnborough – in their run to the last four, and they lead the UniBond League by 18 points. "The game can't come round quick enough and the boys are really up for it," Gary Johnson, the Yeovil manager, said. "It should be a cracking football match. Burton are a strong side and we've got to respect them."
The other semi-final is between two Conference clubs, Morecambe and Stevenage Borough, with the first leg in the Lancashire seaside resort tomorrow. The Hertfordshire side have strengthened their squad with four signings in the last week, bringing in the striker Liam George and defender Stuart Fraser from Luton Town, the former Luton midfielder Sean Evers from Plymouth Argyle, and the defender Richard Howell from Crystal Palace.
In the Conference, Dagenham & Redbridge can cut Boston's lead to two points if they win their game in hand at Northwich Victoria tomorrow. The Pilgrims are next in action on Monday, when they entertain Stevenage. The Daggers are also playing on Monday, at home to Stalybridge Celtic, after the Conference decided to re-arrange all fixtures scheduled for Tuesday, the day of the Queen Mother's funeral.
All three clubs in the Conference relegation zone have made managerial appointments within the last week. Stalybridge have recruited Leigh RMI's assistant manager Dave Miller to take charge at Bower Fold following last week's dismissal of Paul Futcher. Hayes have put their No 2, Will Wordsworth, in control after Terry Brown's defection to Aldershot Town; while the bottom club Dover Athletic have this week confirmed Clive Walker, the former Northampton Town manager, as the successor to Neville Southall.