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A FOOT IN BOTH CAMPS - STEVE MILDENHALL - BRISTOL ROVERS

14 August 2015


Yeovil Town can name some fantastic names among the list of goalkeepers to tend the net at Huish Park over recent years.

These include Welsh international Wayne Hennessey, Alex McCarthy of QPR and Asmir Begovic, who now plies his trade with the Champions of England, Chelsea, to name just three.

But during the first successful League One campaign of the Russell Slade era one man often skips under the radar when Glovers fans discuss the best glovesmen to represent the club.



Steve Mildenhall joined Yeovil from Grimsby in the summer of 2006 just after he, along with another former Yeovil player JP Kalala and gaffer Russell Slade moved from the coast to Somerset.

The 2006/07 season caught many Yeovil fans off guard as not only did Yeovil qualify for the play offs, but made it all the way to the final losing out to Blackpool in the Wembley showpiece.

Fans will always remember the semi-final win over Nottingham Forest, specifically what is referred to as ‘that night in Nottingham’ when a 2-0 win for the Reds at Huish Park was dramatically overturned with a 5-2 score line on the night.

Mildenhall was key to that season’ success playing no fewer than 52 times that season keeping 17 clean sheets in the process.



Having an ‘ever present’ in goal was vital to the success of the small squad, with a regular spine in front of him and a defence with the likes of Nathan Jones and Terry Skiverton guarding the front line he was always bound for success.

That season’s headlines were of course dominated by Marcus Stewart and Leon Best, but it was Mildenhall who was named BBC South West Footballer of the Year that summer.

Yeovil as a team were awarded the ‘Sporting Moment’ award from BBC Points West.

In total, Mildenhall played 85 times for Yeovil before departing for Southend in 2008.

It would five more years before Mildy would find his way to the Memorial Ground.

In May 2013, as Yeovil were reaching Wembley for a second time, Mildenhall signed a two-year deal with Rovers after a successful loan spell the season prior.

He is still a mainstay of the Rovers side, playing over 30 times in their successful promotion back to the Football League last summer.

But, the headlines were this time all about Mildy, he played in the Wembley final against his former club, Grimsby but only for the final minute of extra time.



In a stunt that replicated Louis Van Gaal in the World Cup, Bristol Rovers’ Manager Darrell Clarke replaced the starting ‘keeper was hauled off in favour of Mildenhall for the penalty kicks.

Mildenhall got his hands to two of the spot kicks and his side prevailed through not only winning promotion but also the right to face local rivals Yeovil this season.

Steve is one of the most reliable men to wear the gloves for either side and he has certainly been involved in some fascinating matches and campaigns. He will be welcomed back to Huish Park this Saturday as a returning hero.

You can be there this Saturday, not just for Mildy’s return but also for the renewal of one of the South West’s oldest rivalries.



Tickets can be purchased by clicking HERE or by calling 01935 847888 and speaking to a member of the ticket office staff.

In the build up to the York game next Tuesday we’ll profile a central defender who began his career in North Yorkshire and became a hero in South Somerset.


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