September 2021

Yeovil Town Under-18s’ hopes of FA Youth Cup success ended with a 3-1 defeat at Cheltenham Saracens in the second qualifying round on Thursday night.

The home side went ahead through a 12th minute penalty before Daniel Onakoya doubled the advantage three minutes after the break.

Midfielder Ollie Haste pulled a goal back for Yeovil four minutes later when his free-kick was deflected on, before Cheltenham added a third in the final minute.

The home side’s under-18s, who play in the Gloucestershire Floodlit League, will travel to either Poole Town or Gosport B in the next round.

Yeovil Town Under-18s: Smalley, Deemer, Haste, Borges, Lye, Alden, Stephens, Benjani Junior, McAlastair, Andrews, Graziano. Subs: Hollard, Hunter, Sutton, Dyer, A.Skiverton, Hodges, John.

Exeter’s Ben Seymour

Striker Ben Seymour and defender Jordan Dyer have joined on month-long loan deals from Exeter City to boost Yeovil Town’s depleted squad.

The pair both played as trialists in a midweek friendly at Newport County and are expected to be available for next Tuesday’s home match with Maidenhead United in the National League.

Seymour, 22, has made six appearances for Exeter City this season having had prolific loan spells in the lower levels of non-League scoring 14 in 26 games at Dorchester Town in 2018-19.

He was also the first Exeter player to wear their number nine shirt since the passing of Adam Stansfield, a legend at both Huish and St James’ Park

Speaking about the young forward following a  pre-season match against Taunton, Exeter manager Matty Taylor said

“He’s sharp in his movement and quick to the ball and he was trying to speed up one or two of the more senior ones. I could hear his voice on the pitch, which I was absolutely delighted with.

“I have made a real statement by not bringing in another loan centre forward because that position is Ben’s at the moment and  he is improving on a daily basis the more he trains with us. And he scores goals.”

Exeter’s Jordan Dyer

Dyer, 21, has made two first team appearances, both in cup competitions, this season and has also had loan spells at Tiverton Town and Bideford in recent years.

He is described as being able to play “across the backline and midfield” offering useful options to Glovers’ boss Darren Sarll.

Speaking to Taylor said of the deals; “Both players need the opportunity and the game time and this a good opportunity for them. We wish them all the best and we’re really pleased we’ve been able to secure a loan for them. It’s such a strong league so it’ll be a fantastic chance for them.”

With an already thin squad, the boss has been hit by the loss of captain and central defender Luke Wilkinson through injury and striker Adi Yussuf for his red card in the defeat at Boreham Wood last weekend.


Sonpue speaking to the BBC after his goal vs Altrincham

Former Yeovil Town midfielder, Emmanuel Sonupe has signed for National League South Side, Dartford Town.

The former Spurs youngster spent time at Stevenage before joining Yeovil in November 2020.

He played 15 times in toal, scoring twice.

He’s goals came in games against King’s Lynn and Altrincham late in his spell at Huish Park.

He made his debut for his new side in the London Senior Cup this midweek, scoring twice and will hope to make his next appearance in the FA Cup alongside another former Glover in Kieran Murtagh who now all plys his trade at Princes Park.

Hat Tip to our friends at WeLoveYouYTFC for spotting this ‘where ar they now’?

Yeovil Town 4 Southend United 0 – Saturday 15th November 2003

After Yeovil were promoted in 2002/03, many of the Conference-winning team would retain their places in the side in the following seasons and go on to win League Two in 2005 – Chris Weale, Adam Lockwood, Terry Skiverton, Colin Miles, Lee Johnson, Darren Way, Gavin Williams, Andy Lindegaard and Kevin Gall would all be part of the League Two winning squad, with Roy O’Brien, Kirk Jackson, Nick Crittenden and Adam Stansfield all making a significant number of appearances in League Two.

The heart of the team throughout the Conference, League Two and even into League One was the midfield partnership of Darren Way and Lee Johnson, who between them would make almost 300 appearances across three seasons between 2002 and 2005, being virtually ever present in the side. In fact, even though they would miss the occasional match through injury or suspension, both would play exactly the same number of games in 2002/03 (48) and 2004/05 (52).

Barely 20 when he first joined Yeovil in 2001, Lee Johnson was one of the players most quickly able to adapt to his new level and became a key player in 03/04 and 04/05. Not only did he adapt well to League Two, but he was able to make the step up to League One and then the Championship, in which he played over 130 games. He arguably played some of his best football for the Glovers in that short period when he was relieved from the pressure of being the manager’s son in 2005.

Lee’s big contributions were in his passing and assists. Still not formally recorded even now, certainly at the time assists were not always recognised even though almost every goal needs one. It’s open to interpretation but an assist is generally given to the player who last touches the ball before a team-mate scores. Usually that will be a pass, but a saved shot or deflected cross also count. Even if an opponent touches it in between, it still counts unless it’s a mistake of Wes Morgan proportions in which case there is no assist. A review of all of the footage available from Lee’s time (not for every goal, unfortunately) suggests he was top of the assist charts for most of the seasons he was with Yeovil, with 12 in 2001/2 (1st), 16 in 2002/03 (2nd behind McIndoe), 20 in 2003/04 (1st), and 17 in 2004/05 (1st). He would have been an invaluable Fantasy Football player, especially in 04/05 when he also chipped in with 11 goals. Not bad for a player who some still thought was only in the team because he was the manager’s son.

Overall Lee contributed around 80 assists in just over four years, by far the most of any player there are available records for. Other notable assist-makers have been Ed Upson with 18 in 2012/13, Chris Cohen with 13 in 2006/07, Sam Foley with 13 in 2014/15, Andy Welsh with 12 in 2010/11, Kevin Gall with 14 in 2003/04, and Michael McIndoe with 22 in 2002/03.

This footage of the game against Southend in 2003/04 shows just how integral Lee was to the team in those years of continued success. 3-0 up at half time, Yeovil comfortably won 4-0. Lee created the first, delivering a corner from which Lee Elam eventually scored. For the second, he bypassed the entire defence with a delightful chip to set up Way to score. For the third, he scored direct from a free kick following a foul on Jake Edwards, and for the final goal he won a penalty which he then converted, giving him a total of two goals and three assists in a 4-0 win.

The midfield partnership between Johnson and Way would eventually be broken up after Gary Johnson’s departure in 2005 when Darren sustained a lengthy injury, which would necessitate the loan signing of 18-year old Chris Cohen from West Ham to take his place. He was then sold to Swansea for £150,000 while still recovering from injury. The pair would leave the club within days of each other mid-season, as during the same transfer window Lee was also sold, to Hearts for £50,000. He made a handful of appearances for the Edinburgh club before returning to England to play once again for Gary Johnson, this time at Bristol City as he helped them secure promotion to the Championship in 2006/07 (scoring against Yeovil in the process), and going on to play over 130 times in the Championship as the Robins chased a play-off place. His playing career ended in 2013 at the age of 31 before moving into management at Oldham, Barnsley, Bristol City and currently Sunderland, who at the time of writing are top of League One.

Darren and Lee played two final games together in late 2005, before Darren succumbed to his second injury absence of the season. Interestingly in one of those the both scored, in a 4-0 FA Cup win over Macclesfield. In their final game together, Lee was sent off for the fourth time in his Yeovil career – against Swansea, the team Darren would sign for only a few weeks later.

Team that day: Chris Weale, Paul Terry (sub. Adam Stansfield 83), Colin Miles, Adam Lockwood, Terry Skiverton, Darren Way, Lee Johnson, Nick Crittenden, Lee Elam (sub. Jamie Gosling 71), Jake Edwards (sub. Kirk Jackson 77), Kevin Gall

The Glovers’ Trust has appointed three new board members.

Ben Wood, Mark Kelly and Mike Hudson has joined the board, replacing Adam Skinner, John Oakes and Steve Seaby, who have all stepped down.

In an update to members, the Trust said:  “Nominations for the board closed last Monday and we can confirm that there is no need for an election process this year.

“As per our constitution, half of the standing board must put themselves up for reelection if they wish to continue on the board.

“Three members of the board have opted not to stand for reelection, two have stood again and we have had three members apply to join.

“This brings us up to ten board members and means there will be no vote.”

Barrie David and Vernon Edmunds will remain on the Board.

The Trust will hold its Annual General Meeting on Monday, October 18, starting at 7pm.

Tom Knowles  was on the scoresheet twice as Yeovil Town played out a 3-3 draw against League Two side Newport County in a friendly on Tuesday afternoon.

The Glovers fielded two unnamed trialists in the match at the South Wales club’s training ground at Dragon Park which appeared to line up in the centre of defence and in attack, two positions where the squad is lacking in options.

Newport went ahead after seven minutes before left-back Jordan Barnett pulled the visitors level after 22 minutes having broken in to the box and fired in to the bottom corner.

Knowles put Yeovil ahead ten minutes from half-time and added his second of the match two minutes before the break to send Darren Sarll’s side in ahead at the interval.

Newport pulled a goal back soon after the restart before both sides made a number of changes with loanee Lewis Simper, who has not featured since pre-season having suffered from COVID-19, one of those coming off the bench.

Striker Adi Yussuf also appeared in one of the pictures posted on the club’s Twitter channel along with new signing midfielder, Mitchell Rose.

Yeovil Town: Smith, Bradley, Robinson, Trialist, Barnett, Worthington, Stephens, Knowles, Wakefield, Lo-Everton, Trialist.

Two unnamed trialists feature in the Yeovil Town team which face League Two outfit Newport County in a friendly match at the Welsh club’s Dragon Park training facility on Tuesday afternoon.

The fixture was arranged by the Glovers to make up for the lack of a league fixture following the cancellation of this weekend’s trip to Chesterfield.

Manager Darren Sarll appears to be using the match to look at a couple of new faces who appear to be lining up in defence and up front.

The land which sits around Yeovil Town’s Huish Park stadium has never really been anything which has probably bothered many supporters.

However, the land is now the centre of attention with speculation around a takeover of the club by one of two unidentified consortiums, according to a statement from the Glovers’ Trust – see here.

It was back in 2010 that then-chairman John Fry and owner Norman Hayward created Yeovil Town Holdings Limited, a company which the pair then transferred the freehold of the land which borders the stadium in to.

That land covers the astroturf, small car park and land where the club’s marquee stands at the front of the stadium, along with the top pitches, a good chunk of the main car park and the area behind the Thatcher’s Gold terrace.

Land owned by Yeovil Town Holdings Limited is bordered in red – except the bit in mint green which is owned by Yeovil Athletic & Football Club Limited.

A slice of land which includes part of the car park and borders Western Avenue is owned by South Somerset District Council.

Today, Yeovil Town Holdings Limited  has two directors, Glovers’ chairman Scott Priestnall and his fellow director Glenn Collis, following the takeover led by Priestnall and is (now former) business partner Errol Pope in 2019.

The land which the stadium sits upon is owned by another company, Yeovil Football & Athletic Club Limited, whose directors are also Priestnall and Collis.

The division of land has been this way since John Fry and Norman Hayward asked the club’s shareholders to vote in favour of the decision to divide the assets and won the vote – unsurprisingly given the pair held 92% of the shares.

The restructuring was sold as a way to enable the development of the land for the benefit of the club and the former owners tried – and failed – to get developments through. Who can forget the proposal with Chris Dawson, the owner of The Range, which promised a 3,500-seater stand where the away end now is back in 2011?

And who would disagree with that principle? The idea of developing land around the stadium to make it generate income seven days a week – as opposed to between midday and 6pm on a Saturday matchday – should be actively encouraged.

The question comes down to who benefits from the sale/development of the land.

Scott Priestnall has spoken of a desire to develop the land around the stadium and he told Somerset Live in December 2019 that he would only make decisions on development which were “right for the football club.”

However, within just a few months of making this statement, the COVID-19 pandemic struck with the jigsaw pieces going up in the air.

The next we heard of plans for ownership of the land was the sale and lease back deal offered by SSDC – if you need reminding about that, see here.

But with that deal seemingly off the table, what do we now about who owns of the land around Huish Park and the land the stadium itself is built on?

The simple answer is somewhat unsurprisingly – Scott Priestnall and Glenn Collis as the directors of the two companies which own the different parcels of land.

The Land Registry documents which confirm the ownership of both pieces of land both include a charge from MSP Capital, a Poole-based property finance firm, which the chairman raised money from at the time of his takeover.

In the recent accounts of CV Leisure, the company set up by Priestnall and his former partner Errol Pope to complete the takeover from Fry and Hayward in 2019, the loan facility from MSP Capital is worth £1.35m.

Back in 2019, Somerset Live described the charges as “effectively mortgaging” Huish Park and its land to complete the deal.

The same article explained that no development of the land can take place without the say so of MSP Capital and that the lender had the right to take control of the land in the event it did not get its money back.

In the article, Priestnall was quoted as saying: “Those charges may well change. They may well come off over the next couple of months depending on what we decide to do.

The presence of the charges more than two years on would suggest that what the chairman decided to do did not involve removing the charges from the club.

In summary, what we know both the land which Huish Park sits on and the land around it are in the ownership of Scott Priestnall and, at least in name, Glenn Collis.

This is where the unanswered questions lie. If there is a takeover, will the deal be the assets held by both companies – Yeovil Town Holdings and Yeovil Athletic & Football Club, in case we’ve lost you by now.

One assumes that such a detail will only become public if and when any takeover is completed and presently the silence on that is deafening.

The visit of Altrincham to Huish Park has been rescheduled for Tuesday, October 12, 7.45pm kick-off.

The National League fixture had been due to be played earlier this month but was postponed due to cases of COVID-19 in the visitors’ squad.

The club has confirmed tickets will be on sale for the rearranged fixture from tomorrow.