Adam’s Biography – Yeovil Town
Having joined Yeovil Town Adam top scored for the Glovers in his first season at Huish Park. The following is one Yeovil fans view of Adam’s time at Yeovil.
Initially it took a while for Adam to adjust to life three leagues higher and to professional football. Gary Johnson joked that when he signed him, he was striking the ball as if he had a wet kipper on the end of his leg, and set him up at the away end of the stadium after everyone had gone home, firing footballs at the stadium wall to improve his technique. Gradually though, it all began to come good, and after Adam opened his account in December against Northwich, the turn of the year began to see him come into his own, and the spark for that was the FA Trophy. Adam was starting to form a strong partnership with Carl Alford, in a classic “big man and little man” combination. On his return to his hometown, he scored twice against Tiverton Town in the FA Trophy setting him on a run of five goals in four games in January. Although Carl Alford is rightly credited as having been the inspiration for one of Yeovil’s greatest ever comebacks in football, it was Adam’s two goals in the 5-4 win over Doncaster Rovers that brought the game to 3-3 and then 4-3 in Yeovil’s favour. He scored in every FA Trophy round during 2001-02, except for the semi-final stage, and was on his way to becoming Yeovil Town’s leading goal scorer for the season, with 16 goals, despite having only arrived halfway through the season. Adam’s finest Yeovil Town moment undeniably happened at Villa Park in the FA Trophy Final, Yeovil Town’s first ever-major cup final. With Carl Alford already having netted in front of the Stevenage Borough fans, Adam’s role in a man-of-the-match performance was to be put clean through on goal by his strike partner towards Villa’s Holte End. As the Stevenage keeper advanced, Adam coolly slotted the ball home to send the Glovers fans crazy, and Stansfield ran directly into them, disappearing into a sea of green. Speaking after the game to BBC Somerset, Adam admitted he was glad he got his goal at that end:
“I just wanted to get in with the fans and celebrate with them because they’ve been so good all season in how they’ve welcomed me with open arms. They’ve been brilliant so I just wanted to celebrate with them. That was the end that I’d been visualising. I wouldn’t have minded doing that in front of the Stevenage end, but to do it in front of them meant a lot.”
After the game he also immortalised himself in other ways – the decision of Sky Sports to stick a live microphone under his nose upon the final whistle got them not quite the interview they expected: “I’ve come f***ing miles for this!” he said, as he beamed at the cameras, totally oblivious to the fact that he’d just sworn live on national television. But rather than cause controversy, his expletive seemed only to endear himself further to the Yeovil faithful – he had captured the emotion of what the fans were all feeling at the time. It had been a long wait for a club that had fallen at the semi-final hurdle twice in the early 1970s.
Unfortunately if the 2001-02 season had been his finest hour, the 2002-03 season was a horrible one. Gravesend and Northfleet keeper Paul Wilkerson – the very keeper he had beaten at Villa Park whilst in a Stevenage shirt – collided with him on the opening day of the season in a 50-50 ball, and after a six minute delay, Adam’s season was cruelly ended on a stretcher down in Dorchester. He had broken his leg in two places. By the time he next appeared in a testimonial match for David Laws in May 2003 at the tail end of that season, he had missed Yeovil Town’s promotion season and their rise into the Football League. Appropriately enough though, he netted the final goal in that match at Weymouth, giving him hope for the following season.
Not surprisingly, with the Glovers having stepped up a gear and a league since that moment down in Dorchester, Adam was playing catch-up, but his comeback was complete in September 2003, when he got himself another milestone – his first Football League goal, against Swansea City, provoking an emotional response from Gary Johnson after the game:
“You people don’t see him. I see him every day and I saw him all last year and all this year and how hard he works. It puts a tear in your eye to be honest, when you see him, when he’s wondering if there’s any light at the end of the tunnel. He had a fantastic season two years ago, but then he wasn’t involved in the celebrations last year, so there was certainly a lump in my throat when he scored the goal and I’m sure in 6,500 other people. Credit to him, because he’s worked so hard to come back.”
It was harder going though for Adam to get a consistent run in Yeovil’s new Football League side. New strikers had come in during his absence, and he tended to be used as an impact substitute during the season. The 12-month absence had not helped him, and he needed more regular football to get into his stride.
The Glovers offered him a chance to attend the 2004-05 pre-season to try and earn a new contract with the club, but on June 14th 2004, Adam’s three year career with Yeovil Town came to an end, signing for Hereford United, at that time playing in the Conference.