February 2023

Manager Mark Cooper has said the club’s new owners have to get Yeovil Town “back on its feet” after a deal to “taken on the stewardship” of the club was completed.

Speaking after the 1-1 draw with Altrincham on the day a deal with SU Glovers, a company run by Matt Uggla and his mother, Julie Anne, was announced, the boss admitted that it would be difficult to bring in new players as the season reaches its business end.

Substitute Jordan Maguire-Drew converted a second half penalty to cancel out an early goal from James Jones for the in-form visitors, who had won four of their previous five minutes. The result lifted Yeovil out of the National League relegation zone on goal difference.

Asked about the priorities of the new owners, Cooper said: “First and foremost the most important thing is to get this club back on its feet and to give it a bit of love and care it deserves. It has been run down for a long time and then it is to recapture the enthusiasm of the fans because this place can be a fortress.

As regards to players, at this stage of the season it is difficult for people to let you have really good players, because they would not be coming here at this stage of the season. If we are going to do that we have to be really picky or it is going to cost an awful lot of money.

Asked whether he felt he had the support to strengthen his squad, he added: “I am confident in the boys we have in the squad would dig us out of whatever hole we need to get out of at the moment.

Of course we are looking in case this happened and there will be a lot of similar clubs in our position looking to try and improve their squad with this many games to go. It is so difficult because who is going to let you have a really good player at this stage of the season?

Cooper confirmed for England rugby union player Paul Sackey was involved in the new set up, adding: “He understands the foundation that needs to be set. It is no good signing loads of really good players if you can’t prepare them, get them fit, show them analysis and treat them when they are injured. We have to put that in place first and coming from a rugby background I know he will want to sort that out.”

He admitted that getting a physio would be a major priority in the coming days with player Will Dawes presently providing rub downs for the club’s injured players following the departure of previous physio Kai Hepworth at the end of last year.

Asked if he hoped to get that situation sorted, Cooper said: “It is not as easy as you think to come and be full-time in lower league football because they can earn a lot of money in private practice, but I am sure we will.”

The draw moved Yeovil out of the National League relegation places on goal difference with Dorking Wanderers and Torquay United both losing and the other members of the bottom for, Maidstone United and Scunthorpe United, holding each other to a 1-1 draw.

On the performance, Cooper said: “Our performance in the second half was really good, their keeper has made a couple of great saves. First half performance, low on confidence because we had lost the past three games and two of those games we had been brilliant and got nothing for it.

There was no atmosphere in the stadium in the first half which was understandable with what has been going on but it makes it a really difficult place to play especially attacking the away end.

It was a soft goal, a free header from a corner, but once we got in at half-time I thought we were really good in the second half, the commitment and effort was great and we had some goal mouth action.

On goal-scorer Maguire-Drew, he added: “He’s not been in great form and there are reasons for that, but he’s a fantastic player and I never had any doubts he would score. Everyone needs confidence, but he will prove his worth to the football club, I am sure.

Venue: Huish Park
Tuesday 28th February, 7.45pm kick-off

Attendance: 2,106 (39 away supporters)

Scorers: James Jones 22 (0-1), Jordan Maguire-Drew pen 78 (1-1)


Yeovil Town: Lawson D’Ath 32, Edwin Agbaje 90
Altrincham:Max Oyedele 50,

Sendings off:

Altrincham: James Jones 77

Referee: Matthew Russell

Yeovil Town (5-3-2)


Substitutes: Jordan Maguire-Drew (for Josh Owers, 63), Jordan Young (for Seb Palmer-Houlden, 79), Chiori Johnson (for Charlie Cooper, 79), Matt Worthington (not used), Malachi Linton (not used).

Altrincham: Byrne, Jones, Marriott, Osborne, Lundstram, Baines, Hulme, Jones, Oyedele, Linney (for Cashman, 84), Sinclair (for Pringle, 80). Substitutes (not used): Roxburgh, Gould, Bennett.

Match Report

A second half penalty from substitute Jordan Maguire-Drew was enough to halt Yeovil Town’s run of three National League defeats and pull them out of the division’s relegation zone at home to in-form Altrincham.

The visitors, who had won their past three matches, took the lead when centre backi James Jones was gifted an unmarked header inside the box after 22 minutes to give the visitors the lead, but he turned villain on 77 minutes when he handled on the line to give the Glovers a penalty.

Here’s how the game of two halves played out….

First half

Five minutes before team news was announced, the club announced that SU Glovers, a business owned by Matt and Julie-Anne Uggla, had “taken on the stewardship” of Yeovil Football & Athletic Club, which runs the football operations of the club – you can read more about that – here.

The team news saw the Glovers without captain Josh Staunton, who had been playing through the pain barrier for weeks, whilst Matt Worthington and the two Jordans (Maguire-Drew and Young, who both started last weekend against York City) were on the substitutes bench. Edwin Agbaje, Lawson D’Ath and Alex Fisher were all brought in.

It quickly became apparent why the visitors had won four of their previous five league games as they looked the more calm and composed. For the visitors Linney looked dangerous weaving his way past defenders before Sinclair put one over the bar, and at the other end there were half-chances for first Alex Fisher and then Morgan Williams.

The first meaningful effort came on 12 minutes when Linney turned smartly and his effort from the edge of the box was superbly turned around the post by Grant Smith, but on 21 minutes Yeovil fell behind. A corner from James Jones was met by ROBINS who was completely unmarked inside the box to put a free header past Smith. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Linney had an effort cleared off the line by Owen Bevan around the half-hour mark and then put an effort over with six minutes of the half remaining, whereas less clear cut chances from Seb Palmer-Houlden and Charlie Cooper at the other end were the best the home side could muster.

More ‘Ugggh’ than ‘Uggla’ that first half.

Half time: Yeovil Town 0 Altrincham 1

Second half


On 53 minutes, Edwin Agbaje was found by a ball from Ryan Law but the defender could not trouble Ollie Byrne, but the keeper was in action three minutes later when Bevan won a header from Law’s corner to force a fine stop from the visiting keeper.

As Yeovil began to grew in to the game (why does it always take us a half to do that?!), Agbaje and Fisher combined but the striker could not get his effort on target. On 63 minutes, Fisher met a cross from Jamie Reckord to force another stop out of the keeper.

This was better from Yeovil who were looking as composed in the second half as they had looked all at sea in the first.

On 64 minutes, Jordan Maguire-Drew replaced Josh Owers and within three minutes of his arrival the play-maker almost got on the end of an Agbaje cross.

But, on 78 minutes Yeovil drew level. Two minutes earlier, James Jones handled a goal-bound effort on the goal line and, despite his protest, he was quite correctly shown the red card. It took a good while before MAGUIRE-DREW stepped up to coolly put the ball past Byrne to draw his side level.

Sensing the visitors were there for the taking, Glovers’ boss Mark Cooper brought on Jordan Young and Chiori Johnson in place of Palmer-Houlden and Cooper.

Young put one over the bar with six minutes remaining before D’Ath followed suit on 88 minutes and the game rather petered out into a draw.

Given the poor first half and the form the visitors arrived in, a point and pulling out of the bottom four will be considered success.

Full time:  Yeovil Town 1 Altrincham 1

SU Glovers, a business set up by the son of a multi-millionaire and his mother, has confirmed they have “taken on the stewardship” of Yeovil Town.

In a statement made an hour before the National League home match with Altrincham on Tuesday night, a statement was issued confirming what we believe to be the acquisition of a majority shareholding in Yeovil Town Football & Athletic Club, the company which has historically run the club’s football operations.

The company, SU Glovers Limited, has two directors, Matt Uggla and his mother Julie-Anne Uggla, the son and ex-wife of Lance Uggla, a businessman who is understood to have made in excess of £300m when his business IHS Markit was sold in 2020.

The statement makes no reference to any of these parties or former England rugby union star Paul Sackey who is understood to be involved in the takeover as well.

In the statement, the company said: “SU Glovers are thrilled to announce that we have taken on the stewardship of Yeovil Town Football & Athletic Club Ltd and we are committed to working with the community to build a successful and thriving club. We recognise that there have been historical tensions and issues, and we aim to work together with the community to address and fix those issues.

Our vision for Yeovil Town is to create a club that is not only successful on the field, but also plays an integral role in the community. We believe that football has the power to bring people together and create positive change, and we are committed to making a positive impact in the Yeovil community.

We understand that building trust and positive relationships takes time, and we are committed to being patient and persistent in our efforts. We are looking forward to working with the community and our fans to achieve our shared goals. We hope that you will join us on this journey.

Thank you for your support and we can’t wait to see what we can achieve together.

The use of language “taken on the stewardship” is bizarrely ambiguous; only definition of the word stewardship is: ‘the job of supervising or taking care of something, such as an organisation or property’. It does sound like a takeover, but does the absence of the actual word ‘takeover’ mean anything or not? Thoughts?

Notably there is no reference chairman Scott Priestnall who previously held the majority shareholding in Yeovil Football & Athletic Club – we can only hope (assume?) further details will emerge in due course.

However, the fact the acquisition is of Yeovil Football & Athletic Club tells its own story. That business was previously owned by Yeovil Town Holdings Limited, the company which has exclusive rights to develop Huish Park and the land surrounding it, which has one director – you guessed it, Scott Priestnall.

The last time we heard from the Chairman – or at least the person listed as Chairman at the time of writing – was New Year’s Eve 2022 when he confirmed he had “entered in to a period of exclusivity with a preferred party to become a majority shareholder.”

One assumes (and what else can we do other than assume right now?) that the preferred party that statement reference was indeed SU Glovers.

Ugh! Ian speaks to Ben and Dave about their trip to York this weekend and we take your #GCQS.

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A double strike from Mason Alden could not save Yeovil Town Under-18s from a 3-2 defeat at the hands of Mangotsfield United at Alvington on Saturday morning.

The young Glovers, who were missing key players including top scorer Charlie Bateson who has gone out on loan at Tiverton Town, remain in second place in the South West Counties Youth League, five points behind leaders Bridgwater United.

Next weekend, they travel to third-placed Torquay United who picked up a 7-0 win over bottom club Bath City this weekend. The Gulls are managed by former Yeovil defender Ryan Dickson.

Under-18s team: Hamblin, Dyer, Lock, Sutton, Skiverton, Foster, Hunter, Bareham, Stevens, Alden, Haskett. Substitutes: Witcombe, Evans, Westlake, O’Sullivan, Nowak.

In the Junior Premier League, there were wins for the club’s Under-12s over Taunton Town and the Under-14s and Under-16s against Exeter City Regional Talent Centre.

The Under-11s were beaten by FC Wiltshire whilst the Under-13s and Under-15s both drew with Exeter RTC. The other younger age group sides all play as part of the Yeovil Town Community Sports Trust.

It was defeats all round (sounds familiar, eh?!) for Yeovil Town’s on-loan players this weekend.

Striker Ollie Hulbert played the full 90 minutes for Leamington in a 4-1 defeat at home to Scarborough Athletic in the National League North.

In National League South, defender Ollie Haste appeared as a 54th minute substitute but could not prevent Truro City from going down to a 3-2 defeat at Swindon Supermarine.

That defeat means Paul Wotton’s side have gone down to back-to-back defeats and are without a win in three matches, and they now sit five points behind leaders Weston-super-Mare in the Southern League Premier Division South table.

At Sherborne, striker Benjani Junior and midfielder Jake Graziano both started on the bench in the 3-0 defeat against Helston Athletic at Raleigh Grove.

Benjani appeared at the start of the second half with Grazianio being introduced in the 57th minute The defeat means the Zebras now sit third-from-bottom of the Western League Premier Division.

There was no place in the Tiverton Town squad for young striker Charlie Bateson who was watching in the stands at Salisbury as his new side picked up a 1-0 win, and  midfielder Toby Stephens was absent from the Plymouth Parkway squad as they picked up a 2-1 home win over Yate Town.

Finally, Gillingham Town went down 4-1 at home to Oldland Abbotonians. We’re not sure whether goalkeeper Rob Hollard or midfielder Sam Hodges featured in that game – but as soon as we know, we’ll let you know!

Back-to-back defeats in relegation six pointers left Yeovil Town a point and a place below the dreaded dotted line at the bottom of the National League table.

A second half winner from York City striker Lennell John-Lewis earned our relegation rivals (yes, don’t kid yourself this isn’t a relegation scrap) their first win in six matches and meant the Glovers are five without a win.

Here’s how Dave saw it from his position in the West End at the LNER Community Stadium…..


That first half performance was a team destined for relegation
Yes, there are a lot reasons (excuses?) which the players have – no physio, uncertainty over the ownership of the club, a crowded fixture list, too few players, the list goes on.
But, the body language of too many players was at best disinterested and at worst simply evidence they are not good enough.
I lost count of the occasions when Grant Smith got the ball and looked for options to distribute the ball to it, no-one was moving, no-one looked like they wanted the ball.
The biggest insult I can offer to that performance was it had echoes of the team which took us out of the Football League in 2019. Believe me, boys, that is not a comparison you want.

There was more effort in the second half
Whatever Mark Cooper said at half-time it got a response – but why does it always take that for us to get a response?
There was a lot more effort in the second half, we controlled the game and deserved our equaliser no matter how scrappy it was, but the quality where it was needed was missing – again.
It was needed in the putting the ball in the back of the net region, by the way.

What happened to our defensive solidity?
I feel like I have said this before, but if we can conclude we need to be better up front, I can repeat this one. What has happened to us in defence?
Yet again if it wasn’t for Grant Smith and wasteful finishing from the York attack this could have got much worse.
Even with Owen Bevan back there it felt like we were flying by the seat of our pants with us looking a disorganised mess at the back. The first goal was evidence of that.
We are definitely missing the heading ability of Max Hunt back.

Shopping in a bargain basement again
It is not a conclusion to say we are sorely lacking up front. Seb Palmer-Houlden was given a go up front alongside Jordan Maguire-Drew and Jordan Young, but struggled to get the better of a physical York defence.
It was an awful lot to ask an 18-year-old whose previous experience has mostly been in under-23s football to lead the line in such a crucial match.
I totally understand we have to try different things up front, but this combination looked utterly National League South, especially in the first half.
At the other end, our opponents who only recently came from the tier down (North, not South) had an experienced head in Lennell John-Lewis up top. If you are in a relegation scrap (and we are!), the moments of quality he showed are what you need – but we’re shopping in the bargain basement. We all know why that is.
And, whilst we’re on the subject, how bad do we have to begoing forward before Charlie Wakefield gets a go?!

Man of the match? I’ll give you 167 of them.
If there was one positive from our first ever trip to the LNER Community Stadium it was the 167 souls in the away end.
Many of them of them travelled the length of the country to be there despite everything which has been thrown at them by this club.
If ever there was a group of people who had excuses for not bothering it was us and yet for the vast majority of the game there was a tremendous noise to try and inspire the team – even if some of the noise was linked to throwing various toys around.
These are people who have paid hard earned money for the privilege of being there, and they did put a proper shift it.


Before yesterday’s match with York City, local businessman Martin Hellier released a statement saying he is withdrawing his sponsorship with his business Hellier Group at the end of the season.

The company signed a three-year deal as sponsors of the Main Stand at Huish Park last September.

In an incendiary letter addressed to club director Stuart Robins, posted on twitter Hellier said the club had treated them “with a level of contempt beyond our threshold of acceptability.”

Yeovil Town’s goalkeeper Grant Smith said his teammates have to stick together following the defeat at York which saw the Glovers drop into the National League relegation zone.

Speaking to BBC Somerset’s Sheridan Robins, the frustrated gloveman said: “I think we controlled big parts of the game. I think that we were sloppy on some big big decisions that obviously cost us goals. Ultimately, I don’t think were doing enough. I think maybe a draw would have been a fair result today, but when you’re at the bottom those things happen and we’re walking away with nothing.

“I think its one of those where, previously I think as good as we’ve been we’ve also been lucky, we’ve been fortunate. Whether it’s gone the other side of the post rather than on inside the of the post. Sometimes when you’re down in the battle, those things don’t go for you and we’re on the end of those at the moment.”

With Yeovil now five matches without victory, Smith was looking ahead to the visit of Altrincham on Tuesday to ‘fix’ things, but said the squad had to stick together.

“Nobody else is going to come through the building, it’s purely us. Now more than ever its a time where we’ve got to stick together. Fortunately for us, we’ve got a game Tuesday and it’s another team we’ll have to go there and try and beat them. They’ll obviously have a long journey, so it’s down to us to try and fix that and hopefully get three points.”

“It’s down to us to try and pick ourselves up and get ourselves out of what we’ve gotten ourselves into.”

He admitted in the aftermath of the defeat at York, there were some home truths told: “Players have been told that what they’re doing isn’t good enough and things that have happened today that ultimately aren’t good enough. We can’t throw anybody under the bus, because at the end of the day we’re all it together. We won’t get many new bodies through the door so ultimately it’s down to us to try and pick ourselves up and get ourselves out of what we’ve gotten ourselves into.”

Smith thanked the 167 travelling supporters and apologised that the team couldn’t get a result, but urged the Huish Park faithful to come out on Tuesday to support the team.

“When we get that ground in full voice, it gives us almost an extra man, it gives us that confidence to go and play and go an express ourselves and hopefully we can get the win,” he said.