January 2023

Yeovil Town goalkeeper Grant Smith has praised the side’s reaction to being reduced to 10 men as the Glovers picked up a point against Wealdstone.

Speaking to BBC Somerset’s Sheridan Robins after the game, the stopper was happy with yet another clean sheet.

“The lads dug in well and we had chances to nick it at the end, but it was a good clean sheet and a good point.
We work on it daily, whoever it is we look solid, obviously Ben (Richards-Everton) stepped in today and a lot of the clean sheets are down to (the defenders).”

The goalless draw was not just a 13th stalemate of the league season but also represented a 12th clean sheet for Smith and the Glovers side, something which he says comes from hard work under Mark Cooper’s stewardship, with a focus on possession and being more involved in the middle of the pitch.

“He’s (Cooper) changed a few players and we have had a few weeks to work on (our style of play) with no games, we have changed little things slightly and I am enjoying it.
You can see we gain much more possession and momentum, when we are playing it short we have more bodies around so whenever we give it away we can press, whereas when we are going longer there is a lot more spaces between defence and midfield which makes it harder to gain control of the ball.”

Grant Smith gets down to make a save in the goalless draw with Taunton Town. Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

With just 26 goals conceded in the league, the Glovers boast the joint-third best defencive record, but remain the lowest scorers in the division with just 23, Wealdstone has their chances to pick up the win, but Smith and his defence stood firm.

“Today they (Wealdstone) tried to play as well and it was two teams trying to play in the right way, but unfortunately we could not get that goal.
The fans sometimes don’t like the slow play sometimes, but we are doing it for a reason we are doing it.”

The former Chesterfield keeper is approaching the total number of clean sheets he achieved in the whole of last season already and said that his performances have been enjoyable, and consistent throughout the course of the season.

“For me, I am most happy with my consistency, keepers are always going to make saves when they are called upon but for me it is more about consistently playing well rather than being a 9/10 and then 4/10 rather than just a six or seven consistently.” (We need to talk about your rating scale, Grant…)
“Now it’s just about trying to get a clean sheet in the next game and try and get some wins so we are pulling the right way up the table.”

Here’s to “Cleano” number 13 on Saturday!

Mark Cooper said his Yeovil Town side would settle for a point after playing with ten men for the final 35 minutes of the goalless draw with Wealdstone.

The Glovers’ boss described his team as “immense” after a controlled first half performance saw them boss a visiting side seven points above them in the National League table, before holding out following the dismissal of defender Owen Bevan on 54 minutes.

But, once against they struggled in front of goal and failed to land a shot on target in the 90 minutes with forwards Jordan Maguire-Drew and Andrew Oluwabori both spurning good opportunities.

Speaking to BBC Somerset’s Sheridan Robins after the match, the boss said: “You could clearly see what we were trying to do. We controlled possession, we were patient and created some really good chances. I thought we looked a really good football team even with ten men.

But, if we are going to play like we did in the first half, we have to make good decisions once we get in the last third and the boys up front have to decide whether they shoot, cross, pull back or whatever it is. That is where they make their money, making those decisions and I thought that was the only thing missing tonight.

Bevan, who is on loan from Premier League AFC Bournemouth, saw red after lunging in to try and reach an overhit pass, but Cooper was clearly agitated by the decision by referee Scott Jackson.

He said: “I would rather not talk about it. The referee was telling everybody he is not one that gives fouls and stops the game and the first tackle we make it is a red card, but you are never going to get it rescinded.

I would rather not waste my energy on talking about referees and decisions, I would rather compliment our players tonight because they were outstanding even down to ten men.

The draw meant Yeovil missed the opportunity to move from 18th place in the National League table with a number of the teams around them not having midweek fixtures.

But, Cooper added that he was starting to see his side deliver what he had been looking for since taking the job.

He added: “I want to play with a bit of control, not defending our box for 90 minutes as we were when I came in. We have brought in some technical players that can help us control games for longer periods and have less defending to do.

Midweek Loan Watch fans, rejoice!

It was a fairly quiet Tuesday night for the Glovers out on loan, Sherborne, Leamington and Truro didn’t have games, but some did get some match action.

As the headline suggests we start in Gillingham where both midfielder Sam Hodges and goalkeeper Rob Hollard were praised for their performances in a 1-1 draw with Odd Down AFC.

Hollard in particular pulled off a number of important saves for his side… including this one, handily caught on social media.

Another side who drew 1-1 were Plymouth Parkway who took on Beaconsfield, Toby Stephens started on the bench and was brought on for the final few minutes to help sure things up in midfield.

As for our friends over the border in W*ymouth, they won 2-1 (boooo!), Will Dawes came off the bench with 15 minutes to go to in the fixture against Hampton and Richmond Borough.

Venue: Huish Park
Tuesday 31st January, 7.45pm kick-off

Conditions: Dry and cold
Pitch: Heavily sanded in front of the Thatcher’s End

Attendance: 1,996 (84 away supporters)



Yeovil Town: Edwin Agbaje 77
Wealdstone: Dom Hutchinson 90+1

Sendings off:

Yeovil Town: Owen Bevan, 54

Referee: Scott Jackson

Substitutes: Alex Fisher (for Jordan Young, 50), Ben Richards-Everton (for Jordan Maguire-Drew, 65), Charlie Wakefield (for Charlie Cooper, 72), Chiori Johnson, Jack Clarke.

Wealdstone: Howes, Cook, Freckleton, Allarakhia, Ferguson, Andrews, Obiero, Dyer, Ilunga, Barker, Habergham. Substitutes (not used): Hutchinson (for Habergham, 39), Kretzschmar (for Obiero, 72), Olomola (for Allarakhia, 82) Charles, Barrett.

Match Report

Yeovil Town recorded their third goalless draw against Wealdstone as on loan defender Owen Bevan was sent off on a cold night at Huish Park.

The on-loan AFC Bournemouth player saw red after 54 minutes having lunged in to try and win an overhit ball which derailed the Glovers’ hopes of going for the win after an impressive first half performance.

Here’s how it happened….

First half

After an end-to-end start, the first real chance fell to the visitors as a fast-flowing move down the right caught Morgan Williams out at left-back as Brooklyn Ilunga found Tarryn Allarkhia breaking in to the box and forced a fine save out of Grant Smith…..thought everyone except for the match officials who did not give Wealdstone the corner they obviously deserved.

Ilunga was involved again on 14 minutes putting a ball in towards striker Corrie Andrews, but Yeovil captain Josh Staunton was just in time to get in ahead of him.

If there was one thing noticeable about the opening attacks for Yeovil it was the state of the Huish Park pitch which was heavily sanded (to put it mildly) in front of the Thatcher’s Stand, and one at least two occasions it led to the home players losing their footing.

Despite the visitors having the better chances, it was the home side who had the lion’s share of possession and pressure and their best chance fell to Andrew Oluwabori. A fantastic ball through from Edwin Agbaje put the Peterborough United loanee in on goal, but he dallied too long allowed the Wealdstone to nick in and clear.

One thing which was evident was the quality in the middle of the park with Jordan Maguire-Drew, Charlie Cooper, Lawson D’Ath and Jordan Young all looking exceptionally comfortable on the ball. What was missing was the finish….perhaps not surprising from the National League’s lowest scorers.

Two chances fell to Maguire-Drew, scuffing one and then putting another high and not so handsome, then with three minutes of the first half remaining Oluwabori cut inside and smashed a shot……..high over the bar.

In terms of possession and intent, that was Yeovil’s half – such a difference to the last match at home to Torquay United on New Year’s Day. But the missing element was a goal – how many times have we said that this season?

Half time:  Yeovil Town 0 Wealdstone 0


Second half

Wealdstone started the second half brighter – as they had done in the opening 45 minutes – and with just five minutes played, Mark Cooper introduced Alex Fisher in to the fray in place of Jordan Young.

Young is definitely not an out-and-out centre forward, preferring to drop deeper and link up with his team-mates, notably Maguire-Drew, but in Fisher Cooper introduced more of a focal point.

But on 54 minutes, the game changed when Owen Bevan went bursting forward and appeared to overhit his touch and lunged in to try and win it back. It took a little while but the inevitable red card soon came from referee Scott Jackson.


Owen Bevan flies in…..
…..and sees red from referee Scott Jackson.

On the hour mark, a rare Yeovil break saw Fisher and Maguire-Drew bursting forward and the play-maker spotted Howes off his line but lofted his effort over.

Two minutes later, great vision from Matt Worthington saw him pick out Maguire-Drew coming in from the left-hand side but his blazed his effort over.

Then it was Wealdstone’s chance to have a go, midfielder Alex Dyer broke in to the box and his effort looked like it was heading for the bottom corner before an outstretched hand from Grant Smith turned it away.

On 67 minutes, Oluwabori fired a ball across the face of goal with Fisher closing in…..just throw yourself at it, Alex! He didn’t and the game remained goalless.

Grant Smith was called in to action with ten minutes of the match remaining when defender Charlie Barker forced a fine stop out of Yeovil’s number one and then as the game ticked in to 90 minutes substitute Dom Hutchinson pulled one wide.

Full time: Yeovil Town 0 Wealdstone 0

AN AWAY WIN! Dave is back with Ian and Ben to tell us all about Dagenham and we look ahead to Tuesday night against Wealdstone.

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A hat-trick from prolific striker Charlie Bateson was enough to earn Yeovil Town Under-18s a 3-2 win in a friendly match over Sherborne School Sixth Form on Saturday.

Having gone behind after just seven minutes, Bateson broke through to get his first nine minutes later and added a second ten minutes before half-time. The hosts pulled level a minute after the equaliser before Bateson completed his hat-trick after 76 minutes.

However, the young Glovers also lost top spot in the South West Counties Youth League as Bridgwater United picked up a 3-1 win at Mangotsfield United to return to the top of the table.

There were three wins and two defeats for the club’s other age group teams in the Junior Premier League at the weekend.

The Under-12s won against Paulton Rovers while the Under-15s and Under-16s were winners over Mid-Somerset Regional Talent Centre. The Under-13s and Under-14s teams, who all play as part of the Yeovil Town Community Sports Trust, were defeated by their opponents from Mid-Somerset RTC.

Yeovil Town became the last National League side to pick up a win away from home as they saw off ten-man Dagenham on Saturday.

The win keeps the Glovers five points clear of the relegation zone with many of the division’s struggling sides picking up wins, but also means there are ‘just’ nine points between them and the play-off places.

Here’s what Coatesie thought of his most recent visit to the Chigwell Construction Stadium……

An away win, and what an away win.
It would be easy to point to the fact Dagenham played for an hour with ten men, but let’s not forget they were in the play-offs at the start of the game and we had not won an away match all season. Far from the rusty display we saw after a period of not playing last time out against Bromley, we were at it from the off. We stepped off the gas after half-time which allowed Dagenham to create some good chances, but we were more than worth the win – plus two goals and a clean sheet.

The new boys made a difference. In the first half, the combination of Jordan Young’s hard work, the quality of Jack Clarke, Jordan Maguire-Drew and Andrew Oluwabori caused Dagenham all kinds of problems. We pressed them and, for players who are presumably still getting to know each other, there was enough to think we could have a way to improve our goals scored rally. Further back, I did not really notice Charlie Cooper much and that is to his credit. In a defensive midfield position, he was neat and tidy and seemed to do what he needed to do.

We finished enough chances, but still plenty to do. We scored goals – two of them! A coolly taken penalty from Maguire-Drew and then an absolute beauty from outside the box from Matt Worthington. But, if I am being greedy (and I am), it really could and should have been more. As he did at Bromley two weeks prior, Oluwabori had a great chance to add another. His pace causes problems and he gets in a lot of the right positions, if he could add finishing to his game he’d be almost complete. Then, right at the death, Alex Fisher will have been disappointed not to have added another to his tally.

Stay where you are, Josh. Josh Staunton back in defence alongside Owen Bevan brought that solid feel back to us which was sadly lacking at Bromley. It is early days, but if Cooper proves a good anchorman in midfield, I would be quite happy to see Staunton stay back for the foreseeable. Equally, Morgan Williams on the right and Jamie Reckord on the left coped well against a lively Dagenham forward line. I’d be quite happy to keep that defence…….what’s that about Reckord being banned?!

Now we need to follow it up. An away win on the board, three points, two goals – mission accomplished. But we need to follow this up with a win at home to Wealdstone on Tuesday night. Looking at our games throughout February it feels like we should be going in to next weekend’s home game with bottom club Maidstone United and the trips to Maidenhead, York to get three points. If we can do that, the taller tasks of a trip to Wrexham and a visit from Notts County can be free hits.

Mother Nature has finally relented in her quest for an unofficial winter break in the British football calendar and that means it’s time for another Loan Watch.

Sadly, results didn’t go quite to plan for the cohort of Yeovil Town players plying their trade elsewhere.

Let’s start with the two that didn’t play:

Ollie Haste was an unused substitute as his Truro City side won 1-0 a huge top-of- the-table clash in the Southern League Premier Division South at leaders Weston-super-Mare, who included a certain Reuben Reid in their line-up. That result moves Paul Wootton’s side to within one point of the table toppers.

In the same division midfielder Toby Stephens also had a watching brief as Plymouth Parkway pulled off a shock with a 4-0 home win over fifth-placed Poole Town. Despite the win, Stephens’ loan club remain in the relegation zone.

On to to those who did get some game time, striker Ollie Hulbert made his long-awaited Leamington debut, having joined the National League North side a fortnight ago – but sadly his side were on the wrong end of the result against second-placed King’s Lynn Town.

Hulbert had chances to find the net, but an inspired goalkeeper in the Linnets net kept him and his side at bay.

Onto our seaside ‘friends’, who also lost, W*ymouth were 2-0 down before they brought on Will Dawes at half-time against second placed Oxford City. The game ended with a 3-1 defeat for the seagull botherers who remain second-from-bottom of the table.

To North Dorset, where there was finally some match action for young goalkeeper Rob Hollard as well as Sam Hodges having arrived at Western League Division One side Gillingham Town. Hollard started in goal, Hodges was used from bench. The Gills went down 3-1 against Bishops Lydeard.

Finally, at Sherborne where the Zebras were on the wrong end of a 90th minute penalty, Barnstaple Town winning 1-0.
Both Benjani Junior and Jake Graziano were in the Sherborne starting line up.

Let’s hope for some better results… as well as more match time for the Glovers’ loanees in midweek.

Yeovil Town manager Mark Cooper said he believes his side will continue to improve after seeing them pick up their first away win of the season with a 2-0 victory at Dagenham & Redbridge on Saturday.

A first half penalty from Jordan Maguire-Drew and a stunning second from Matt Worthington was enough to earn the Glovers the points against a home side who played more than an hour with ten men after defender Harry Phipps was sent off for giving away the spot kick.

Cooper said he believed his side could have done more to press home their one man advantage, but he was confident that “the process” he has started with the squad would bring that.

He told BBC Somerset’s Sheridan Robins: “I’m pleased the fact we’ve got three points we played some really good football at times. We didn’t control the game as much as I’d like when we had a numerical advantage, but that will come we’ve just started the process.

We got that little bit of luck (with the penalty and sending off), we scored the penalty, it’s key when you get the penalty and they’re down to ten men that you score it.

“That then makes it a difficult spell for Dagenham and then I thought we controlled the game in the first half, after that we we didn’t let them get near our goal and we probably could have killed the game off.”

Having gone in at the break a goal to the good, the home side, who remain in the National League play-off places even after the loss, came back in to it in the second half with substitute Paul McCallum causing problems for the visitors’ defence.

Cooper added: “I was pleased with a lot of aspects of the game, I think you could see that we worked on the control and trying to pass the ball a lot more and our positional play that was really good.

In the second half, (it was) a little bit end to end for my liking, we had a great chance to straight after half time, Andrew (Oluwabori) should score really to make it 2-0 but while it’s one nil there’s always a chance for the opposition. But we we’re, quite comfortable.

The manager handed starts to recent signings striker Jordan Young and midfielder Charlie Cooper along with on loan Chesterfield winger Jack Clarke and all three impressed in a more potent attacking display in the first have.

The manager added: “I though they were all good I thought you could see that they’ve improved us. Jordan Young looked sharp, electric, in the first, Clarkey was silky and Charlie showed he could control large parts of the game with his
with his passing. So I thought they all added to the group.