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Visionary Glover's Wembley triumph

20 May 2013

By Tony Leighton

A champagne-soaked, ruined suit could not dampen the jubilation of manager Gary Johnson as he celebrated Yeovil Town's historic promotion to the npower Championship through a 2-1 Wembley Play-Off Final win against Brentford.

"It's a fantastic achievement for our football club, for little old Yeovil," said Johnson as he reflected on leading the club - which has one of lowest budgets in League 1 - to what will be its first ever season at Championship level.

"We'll need a whip-round for the Championship," the manager quipped, "but we've got there - that was my vision, I got people to buy into it and I'm pleased to say I'm sat here soaking wet because that means we've achieved the aim."

Johnson, who 10 years ago led the Glovers into The Football League for the first time then two years later got them promoted to League 1, was not the only one with a vision as his team progressed towards the the Play-Off Final.

Leading scorer Paddy Madden - described by Johnson as "the bargain of the century" after signing him for £20,000 from Carlisle United - scored a superb opening goal, his 24th of the season, to set his team up for victory.

And the manager revealed: "Paddy's had this vision for a little while now, that he was going to score at Wembley. The way he took it, a great strike with the outside of his foot, was a sublime piece of ingenuity."

Madden struck after just six minutes and Johnson added: "It was a great time to get that first goal, because at Wembley if you can do that and get the other team chasing while your team's nice and confident, then you've got every chance."

Yeovil had few chances following Madden's goal, but central defender Dan Burn doubled the lead in the 42nd minute. Brentford centre-back Harlee Dean cut the deficit six minutes after half-time, but the Bees could not force an equaliser.

Manager Uwe Rosler, who had seen his team pile on the pressure in vain, said: "We didn't deserve that, especially for our second-half performance. We had them on their knees but couldn't find a cutting edge to get that second goal."

The Wembley defeat meant that the Bees have the unenviable record of failing to clinch promotion on every single occasion - and there have now been seven of them - that they have reached the Play-Offs.

But Rosler was undaunted. "I'm sure we will learn from the massive experiences we've had this season," he said. "Every bad thing in life is a start for good things, and this will make us stronger - next year we will fight again for promotion."

While Rosler's Bees will next term attempt to end their now 20-year absence from the Championship, Johnson's Glovers will be entering new territory as they look to establish themselves in the second tier of English football.

"Yeovil getting to the Championship, it's like our Premier League," said Johnson. "The players will grow in stature after what we've achieved this season, and if we can stay in the Championship for a few years then the club has done a great job."

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