February 2022

Ben, Dave and Ian are back to chat about the defeat at Chesterfield and discuss if the season is over…

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Isn’t it amazing how just 90 minutes can define a season?

Yeovil Town had yet another ‘all guts, no glory’ performance against Chesterfield and came out on the losing side, with a first half stoppage time worldie changing the game and being the difference.

These conclusions are starting to feel like a broken record, but here are Ben’s five key takeaways from the Technique Stadium.

Ben Barclay
Pic: YTFC YouTube

Ben Barclay ‘gets it’ – he loves defending, he must be a joy to have in the defensive unit.

He’ll put his head in where it hurts and considering we love Luke Wilkinson and Max Hunt for similar traits, he’s quickly becoming a bit of a find for us.

At the time of writing, I’d like to know what his contract status is at Stockport, because if they go up, or deem him not to be in their plans, I’d certainly be looking to bring him in permanently.

Ben Barclay – he loves defending, and he loves defending for us.

At the other end… sometimes, you can’t do much more to score.

It’s no secret we’ve had our attacking problems this season, but at least yesterday it wasn’t for the want of trying.

Tom Knowles could have had a hat-trick, Luke Wilkinson should have had a least one, Adi Yussuf came close, Josh Staunton had a crack.

But sometimes, the fine margins don’t go your way.

On another day, Scott Loach in the Chesterfield goal doesn’t get his hand up, or Knowles’ wonder strike goes in off the bar rather than bounces out.

If the first half ends 3-1 to us, we go on and win the game. 

Those moments haven’t gone for us all season, but on Saturday evening it looked destined to never fall for us.

Striker Adi Yussuf fires a shot in on goal.
Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

… and on that… I’m done with Adi Yussuf.

Sorry, I don’t like calling out individuals, but I’ve gone from giving him the benefit of the doubt to really struggling to understand what he brings to the table.

He gave away free-kicks, he misplaced key passes in attacking areas which would have led to more chances, he managed to somehow not bundle the ball home from a yard out in the second half, he got in the way of others, and he constantly got caught offside.

Reuben Reid needs to be given a run in the side above Yussuf in the pecking order if Olomola isn’t fit. Reid looked brighter in that final 10 minutes.

Sorry Adi, nothing personal.

Lawson D’Ath. Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz

I think, I’m looking forward to a Staunton, Gorman and D’Ath midfield.

Actually, I know I am, I quite excited by it.

Worthington, Barnett, Bradley and Lo-Everton have their place and in a squad environment they’ll all be very very handy, but, Josh Staunton looked he needed his mate, Gorman out there. Like Ant without Dec, Phil without Grant, it just looks a better fit for the team.

And as for D’Ath, he’s genuinely one of the best players in the league. 

He’s that good. It’s all so effortless for him to pick a pass and to have the composure on the ball that so many around him were lacking. 

If we can get those three on the pitch together singing from the same hymn sheet, that’s a bloody good midfield.

Sarll speaks to the media at Chesterfield

And finally, the manager made his clearest statement yet regarding the off-the-field future of Yeovil Town and it needs to be the catalyst for clarity.

Every word he spoke was correct, this is a team worth supporting, getting behind, enhancing, developing and moulding into a squad that can get Yeovil Town promoted.

If, as many now think, this season is over… next season must begin ASAP. That means clarity and plan of how we approach the medium to long term future of the team.

His own position included, either he needs to be told to go and get who he needs because he’s in charge, or told he won’t be allowing a new person to assess the squad. 

That sounds brutal, and harsh and I’m very much ‘Sarll In’ but the time for next season to start is coming… and it’ll be here far sooner than the end of this current campaign.

Luke Wilkinson has said the Yeovil Town midfield and defence has to start finding the net to ease the burden on the Glovers’ forwards.

The skipper missed a glorious first half opportunity to give his side the lead in the 1-0 defeat at high-flying Chesterfield on Saturday and is yet to find the net this season.

In fact, only seven goals have come from non-forward players in all competitions this season with midfielder Dale Gorman leading the way with three, with two of these coming from the penalty spot.

Luke Wilkinson.

Of the defeat in Derbyshire, Wilkinson told BBC Somerset’s Sheridan Robins said: “It’s been the story of our season, but it’s not just the attacking players, we all need to be chipping in and scoring.

I have not scored this season, perhaps (the goal ruled out for a push at Maidenhead in the previous match) was a goal but I should have scored tonight.

So it’s not just the attacking players, it is the collective and once we get that hopefully things will start going our way and I think the fans can see that.”

A stunning strike from Jim Kellerman was the difference between the two sides on Saturday after a throw-in from the hosts was only cleared as far as the edge of the box and the midfielder swept the ball home.

Wilkinson said: “We have switched off from a throw-in and they have worked it out to his feet and, to be fair to him, he’s hit a great shot in to the far corner.

But it is frustrating that close to half-time because (if you go in at 0-0) you can regroup and go again (in the second half).”

Yeovil Town manager Darren Sarll has (again) called for certainty around the future of his team from the club’s hierachy.

Speaking after going down to a 1-0 defeat at second-placed Chesterfield in front of the television cameras on Saturday, the boss said he hoped to get the opportunity to continue working with the squad he has assembled.

But, with the club’s off-the-field situation still dragging on (it’s now 11 weeks since chairman Scott Priestnall’s deadline for the takeover of the club to be finalised passed) and all but defender Morgan Williams out of contract at the end of the season, the uncertainty is spreading to every part of the club.

Darren Sarll talking to Sheridan Robins after the 1-0 defeat at Chesterfield.

Talking to BBC Somerset’s Sheridan Robins, Sarll said: “I have always tried to be professional around this subject, but this is a group of players that are aware of whether their futures are settled or not.

I have seen so many groups of players go another way about it when things are unsettled and not care, and we have seen teams like that at Yeovil coming out of the Football League.

“But, even under those circumstances, this team is not like that, they are still trying to produce. We are working with less than we’ve ever had and these players are giving more than they have ever done.

The manager said he felt “angry and frustrated” for his players after seeing them spurn glorious first half opportunities through defender Luke Wilkinson and forward Tom Knowles only to go behind to a Jim Kellerman goal right on the stroke of half-time.

Sarll said: “I think they are so close. I really hope we are going through these moments now so that we have another 18 months or two-and-a-half years with them.

I think this is a good side and because of their connection with the club and the way they go about their business, this is a team we could grow to be very successful and very proud of.”

Yet another blank in front of goal means Yeovil have now scored 27 goals in 29 matches – the third lowest in the National League with only the bottom two, King’s Lynn and Dover, having scored fewer.

Against Chesterfield, it was another frustrating performance from Adi Yussuf alongside an out-of-sorts looking Charlie Wakefield with the only attacking threat coming from Knowles, who quietened down after taking a ball to the face early in the second half.

Sarll said: “When you miss the chances we missed, it exerts an unbelievable pressure on that back four to be faultless.

“The biggest thing is we don’t take those chances in the first half. Wilkinson had a great chance in the first half which he should be taking, Adi (Yussuf) goes close in the second half, (Tom) Knowles hits the bar, we had a plethora of chances away at second-placed Chesterfield.

“I don’t really want to keep getting on the bus saying ‘you have worked really hard’ and coming away with nothing because they deserve more than that for sheer effort.

“But, that’s why centre forwards get the most money and Chesterfield bought our (top scorer, Joe Quigley) for six figures because they are supposed to score goals.”

Venue: Technique Stadium
Saturday 26 February, 17:20 kick-off

Conditions: A cold breeze
Pitch: Well worn, especially around the edges. Looked atrociously bobbly on the telly

Attendance: 5371 (128 away)

Scorers: Kellerman 45

Bookings: Barclay 31, Kellerman 57,

Referee: Thomas Parsons

Yeovil Town
: (4-3-3)

Grant Smith

Mark Little, Luke Wilkinson, Ben Barclay, Morgan Williams

Matt Worthington (Lawson D’Ath 68) Josh Staunton Jordan Barnett (Lo Everton 77)

Charlie Wakefield, Adi Yussuf (Reuben Reid 82), Tom Knowles

Substitutes: Max Evans, Alex Bradley

Chesterfield: Loach, Miller, Whittle, Maguire, Grimes, King, Kellerman, Whelan, Mandeville, Quigley (Denton), Asante (Khan)

Subs: Williams, Rowley, Kerr

Match Report

Yeovil Town fell to a 1-0 defeat on the road at promotion chasing Chesterfield this evening with a stunning first half goal from James Kellerman settling the game.

The Glovers had the best of the first half, and could have been 2-0 up had efforts from Luke Wilkinson and Tom Knowles been centimetres in different directions.

Two out of form sides cancelled each other out in a largely uneventful and scrappy second half as the Glovers finished the day 14 points away from the playoffs.

Here’s how Ian saw the game, from the comfort of his living room…

First half

It all got a bit hairy at the back for Chesterfield in the 5th minute. Jordan Barnett’s lofted hopeful ball was chased down by Charlie Wakefield who beat Scott Loach to the ball and headed towards goal. The ball didn’t carry, though and was cleared off the line as Tom Knowles bared down on the Spireites defender.

Chesterfield’s first sniff at goal came 5 minutes later, through a left-footed shot from Akwasi Asante. The striker’s effort, from the left side of Yeovil’s penalty box flew wide of Grant Smith’s right hand post.

Luke Wilkinson should have put the Glovers ahead after quarter of an hour. Barnett’s delicious freekick fell to the skipper just outside the six-yard box with the whole goal to aim at, but centre back bobbled his shot into the ground straight at Loach, who got a smidgen of a touch on it to help it over the bar.

Grant Smith was at full stretch minutes later, as Grimes leapt above everyone in the box to head towards the top right corner.

On a bobbly surface, the Glovers certainly tried to play more than their opponents and were unfortunate not to go into the break 1-0 up through a wonderful strike from Tom Knowles that rebounded off of the bar.

In typical Yeovil fashion though, after having the better of the first half, they fell behind in stoppage time at the hands of a brilliant strike from James KELLERMAN. Ben Barclay cleared a Chesterfield cross which landed nicely at the feet of an unmarked Kellerman who seemed to slow time down to unleash an unsaveable effort into the corner of Smith’s goal. 0-1

After a strong first half performance, Yeovil could feel aggrieved to go in behind.

Half time: Chesterfield 0 Yeovil Town 1

Second half

Chesterfield, buoyed by their goal, came out the much stronger of the two sides in the second half applying plenty of pressure to the Glovers.

Yeovil had one of those ‘what could have been’ moments in the 52nd minute, where had Adi Yussuf made the right pass, he could have put Charlie Wakefield in on goal. As it was, the cohesion was totlly lacking and Yussuf conceded possession to Chesterfield.

Yeovil had another opportunity to counter moments later and Wakefield was cynically fouled by Kellerman. Luke Wilkinson lined up the resultant free kick, but could only find the side netting.

Yussuf should have pulled Yeovil level in the 65th minute. Josh Staunton flicked Knowles long throw into the heart of Chesterfield’s 6 yard box and the Yeovil striker’s contact wasn’t good enough to beat Loach, depite the appeals of some Yeovil players.

The quality of the game deteriorated through the second half and Chesterfield kept Yeovil at arms length, without creating anything for themselves, other than a header for Grimes in stoppage time.

Full time: Chesterfield 0 Yeovil Town 1

Yeovil Town have made three changes to the side that drew 1-1 with Maidenhead United on Tuesday night for this evening’s 17:20 kick off against Chesterfield.

Adi Yussuf leads the line in place of the injured Olufela Olomola and Matt Worthington and Jordan Barnett return to the starting line up, replacing Lawson D’Ath and Alex Bradley.

Yeovil Town: Grant Smith, Mark Little, Luke Wilkinson, Ben Barclay, Morgan Williams, Matt Worthington, Josh Staunton, Jordan Barnett, Charlie Wakefield, Tom Knowles, Adi Yussuf.

Subs: Max Evans, Alex Bradley, Lawson D’Ath, Sonny Blu Lo-Everton, Reuben Reid

Former Glovers Joe Quigley, Tom Whelan and Scott Loach line up for the Spireites.

Chesterfield: Loach, Miller, Whittle, Maguire, Grimes, King, Kellerman, Whelan, Mandeville, Quigley, Asante

Subs: Williams, Denton, Khan, Rowley, Kerr

… there’s a bank-based pun in that headline, but I can’t quite figure it out, anway...

Ben Barclay
Pic: YTFC YouTube

Yeovil Town have announced the extension of Ben Barclay’s loan deal from Stockport for an additional month.

His original deal was close to completion but Manager Darren Sarll had made no secret of his desire to keep the defender for longer, saying after the midweek game he was waiting on the ‘big man’ to authorise the deal.

The ‘big man’ has found his clicky pen and signed the documents to keep the centre back at Huish Park for another month.

Prior to the weekend’s game vs Chesterfield, Barclay and his defensive unit have conceded just three goals in the last five games and will be hoping to keep former Glover Joe Quigley and Co quiet in the Saturday tea time kick off.

Yeovil Town manager Darren Sarll believes the return to fitness of playmaker Lawson D’Ath has helped change his side’s attacking mentality as they look to find some scoring form.

The Glovers are now the third-lowest scorers in the National League with just 27 goals in 28 matches with only the division’s bottom two, Dover Athletic (21 goals) and King’s Lynn Town (24), having scored fewer.

D’Ath has shown his quality in his first start of the season at Maidenhead United in midweek where he played 62 minutes, having played 68 minutes in the goalless draw at home to Solihull Moors earlier in the month.

Speaking ahead of the weekend’s trip to Chesterfield, Sarll said: “Lawson has been a breath of fresh air and when I talk about us working on the attacking side more, it’s because of Lawson.

“The fact we could re-sign him meant we had a really good attacking, constructive player and he gives us a different feel. That is what squad depth gives you when you can have it.”

Lawson D’Ath talking to the media ahead of the trip to Chesterfield.

D’Ath also faced the media on Friday morning and described his own performance as “average” saying he could have done more in the attacking third.

But, he said that the responsibility for finding more goals had to be a collective one, saying: “You need that responsibility and you take that on, that’s what we’re paid to do. But it’s not just strikers and midfielders, it’s about all areas of the pitch.

The Maidenhead match was the former Reading youngster’s third appearance, having come off the bench on two previous occasions against W*ymouth and Solihull, and he admits it has been a baptism of fire.

Those minutes were his first for nine months having suffered a knee injury in the final game of last season against Stockport County.

D’Ath said: “I want to play as many minutes as I can, it’s about building them back in to my body. I was training for a month but that is not the same as a pre-season when you do a lot of running and hard graft.

“You can’t replicate that and you can’t replicate the build-up of minutes you get in pre-season, so I have had to come in full throttle. It’s going to take a few games to get back to fitness.

Asked whether he felt the Glovers could still make the play-offs this season, he said: “Of course we can, why not? I got through nine months of not being paid and grafting to get back so anything is achievable!”

On-loan striker Olufela Olomola is expected to miss tomorrow’s trip to high-flying Chesterfield, Yeovil Town manager Darren Sarll has said.

The Hartlepool United man came off after 56 minutes of the 1-1 draw at Maidenhead United after a heavy challenge.

Olufela Olomola. Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

Speaking ahead of the televised trip to the Peak District, the manager said he was trying to build the frontman up having played just over two games worth of football since the start of December.

Sarll said: “Fela has been great. He needs resilience in games and his fitness which was a tell-tale the other night when we had to bring him off.

“I don’t think he’ll make Saturday, but that will be beneficial for the long run in the way we have with Lawson (D’Ath).

“He’s not played (regularly) for three years, he’s not played more than 15 games in the season, so we need him to be resilient and robust to carry on for the rest of the season.

The news is a blow for the Glovers with Olomola having scored his first goal in his third spell at the club in the week, leaving Reuben Reid and Adi Yussuf, who both came off the bench in Berkshire, as attacking options alongside Tom Knowles and Charlie Wakefield.

Sonny Blu Lo-Everton, who was an unused substitute, is the other option.

There were no questions asked in the pre-match ‘presser’ on Friday morning about whether on-loan central defender Ben Barclay would remain beyond his initial loan spell, which is up after the trip to Chesterfield.

Talking after the Maidenhead draw, Sarll said he was waiting on “the big man” to sign off on an extension to the loan – we’ll wait and see on Saturday if anyone asks him about it.

But, the boss did say that he would not be giving undue attention to former Yeovil man Joe Quigley who is likely to be in the opposition squad at the weekend.

Joe Quigley celebrates vs Bournemouth

He said: “There’s ten other players aside from Joe, he’s less than ten per cent of the team. You have to plan for how a team plays, not just Joe.

We obviously know Joe and his attributes, but they may use him in a different way that we used them. Unless you are on the training pitch with the squad he’s in, they might want something completely different from what I wanted.

There’s no acceleration in getting a plan of how they are going to attack because Joe is in there.

Sarll also revealed the club was facing a disciplinary charge after the incident which saw Knowles booked in the goalless draw at Eastleigh following a clash with the hosts’ Ryan Hill.

The incident – watch it again here at 02:22 – appeared to show Hill shove Knowles to the floor in retribution for what he saw as a late challenge on Spitfires’ keeper Joe McDonnell.

Both Hill and Knowles received yellow cards for their part in the scuffle.

Sarll said: “We are talking to the FA now about a punishment to our players because Tom Knowles got thrown to the floor against Eastleigh.

“We went over to the referee to say ‘you can’t do that!’, if he ran up in the street and did that, that’s assault.

“I just can’t work out where they are coming from. I’m 19-1 down to the FA now!”

That response came to a question about the two goals we had ruled out at Maidenhead in midweek with the manager concluding that Reid was offside for a late ‘winner’.

But, he questioned how defender Luke Wilkinson‘s first half header was ruled out for a foul on Magpies’ striker Nathan Blissett.

Sarll said: “The second goal is offside. I have watched Wilkinson’s goal a million times and that was a perfectly good goal.

That is a side of our game that we are improving on in recent weeks, our attacking set plays have got better.


There’s certainly never a dull moment being a Chesterfield (Cashterfield?) supporter this season.

After Chief Executive John Croot predicted the global pandemic and bought an insurance policy which paid the type of finance to bankroll a string of big money signings, the Spireites looked unstoppable for the first half of this season.

Up until a 3-2 defeat at Maidenhead United in mid-January, they had won 13 National League matches, made the third round of the FA Cup and had a striker in Kabongo Tshimanga who literally could not stop scoring.

But, that loss in Berkshire is where things started to go wrong. Having lost that match, then-manager James Rowe signed Yeovil’s top-scorer Joe Quigley (it’s still our fault he left by the way, Glovers’ fans) and he played in a goalless draw at home to Aldershot Town which followed.

Joe Quigley, still our top-scorer with seven goals for Yeovil this season.
Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz,

Poor old Joe, the following Monday, the manager who signed him had been suspended amid allegations of misconduct which led to him being dismissed and former Glovers’ player Danny Webb was placed in charge.

To be fair to Webb, who had a fairly anonymous spell on the Huish Park staff, he picked up two wins and a draw (the latter coming against fellow big spenders, $tockport County) before he was replaced by Paul Cook, a legend in the Peak District having managed the club out of League Two in 2014.

But, in his first game in charge, Tshimanga suffered a horrific leg break down at W*ymouth in a match they drew thanks to a late equaliser and then last weekend midfielder Jak McCourt was stretchered off in the 3-2 home defeat to Solihull Moors and is out for the season.

They followed that up with the defeat at home to Wrexham on Tuesday night, after which, Cook said: “At the minute with suspensions and injuries, it’s horrific but we can’t make excuses, we can’t think we’re not where we want to be.

“That disappointment must be felt and we’re feeling it at the minute, but that’s the thing that drives you on to be more successful.

“We’ve had a really good season to date and won a lot of football games, but at the moment it’s not going for us and we’ve got to take that medicine and get better.”



Speaking after the midweek defeat against fellow big-spenders Wrexham, Chesterfield manager Paul Cook called on the club’s fans to stick with the team:

We’re a little bit of a blip and, when you are going through it like we are, if you don’t take your chances, it will come back to bite you and it did tonight.

“It’s a tough league and at the moment we’re feeling a bit flattened out, my job is to lift the players and make sure we don’t feel the same going in to the next few games.

“Our fans know what we are going through behind-the-scenes, that is obvious, we are going through a bit of pain and we need to stick together to make sure that pain goes away.

In front of the BT Sport cameras, Cook said the weekend’s game gives his side an opportunity to bounce back from a recent run of poor form:

It’s a big opportunity for us in front of the cameras (against Yeovil) and then we have Notts County and Southend, they’re all good games for us.

“If we want to be in that shake up at the end of the season, we must win games so the next game is a big one.



Injuries and suspensions? There’s quite a number at Technique Stadium, Chesterfield. It is probably simplest to list them out…..


Gavin Gunning – missing since the FA Cup third round tie at Chelsea on January 8 with a shin and calf injury, thought to be approaching fitness.
Luke Croll – suffered a knee injury in the draw with Stockport, not expected to return until towards the end of this season.
Haydn Hollis – injured his Achilles and is out for the season.


George Carline – last season’s player of the year suffered a bad injury in October and seems likely to be out for the season.
Manny Oyeleke – looked superb against us at Huish Park but out for four to six weeks with a torn calf.
Jak McCourt – suffered serious ligament damage in last weekend’s home defeat to Solihull Moors, will be unavailable.
Jack Clarke – former Yeovil loanee out for the season with a hamstring injury.
Curtis Weston – suspended for a red card against Solihull


Kabongo Tshimanga – suffered a broken leg and a dislocated ankle in the draw at W*ymouth earlier this month.
Danny Rowe – not featured since October due to an ongoing “health issue”.

But, in better news for our hosts this weekend, right wing-back Jeff King is back after serving his suspension for a red card at Stockport, and striker Tom Denton and midfielder Joe Rowley both impressed Cook having come off the substitutes’ bench in midweek.

Denton scored Chesterfield’s winner in the days before their money at Huish Park last season, whilst Rowley impressed whilst on loan at King’s Lynn Town in their  opening day win over the Glovers.


If a few weeks ago you had asked us to name two ex-players who we were fearful of facing for Chesterfield, midfielder Tom Whelan and (still) our top-scorer Joe Quigley would not have been our first picks.

More likely we’d have gone for free-scoring striker Kabongo Tshimanga, who probably does look back on his time at Huish Park with a great deal of fondness, and one-time loanee Jack Clarke, who was awful in green and white but impressed in the blue of Chesterfield.

The latter two are injured, but the former two seem likely to be among those we face on Saturday. Whelan is facing us for the third time having played against us twice for Eastleigh this season and is undoubtedly a talented playmaker, whilst Quigley has suffered a torrid time since moving north but remains our top-scorer.

Goalkeeper Scott Loach is the other player expected to be in the visitors’ starting XI who has been in both camps is goalkeeper Scott Loach, who played six times during a one-month loan spell at Huish Park in 2015.

In the Yeovil side of the pitch, Glovers’ keeper Grant Smith and striker Adi Yussuf both turned out for the visitors’ last season.

Smith played 18 times after joining Chesterfield in the second half of last season, whilst Yussuf scored twice in a 10-game spell on loan at Chesterfield whilst a Blackpool player last season.

Going back even further, Glovers’ full-back Mark Little had a spell on loan at Chesterfield from Wolves in 2009-10.

Even Chesterfield first-team coach Danny Webb has Yeovil Town connections after following his dad, former Glovers’ manager and owner David, to the club. He played seven times in a couple of years at Huish Park, but failed to score.

As ever, there’s a fair list of players who have done time with both clubs, so we’ve stuck with the ones who will have some involvement this weekend, here’s a few others:

  • Mike Hughes
  • Daniel Johnson
  • Marc Richards
  • Nathan Smith
  • Terrell Forbes
  • Martin Gritton
  • Adam Rooney

There’s probably more, but that’s enough to be getting on with.