David Coates

Full-back Mark Little is playing through the pain barrier as he makes his way in to the Yeovil Town team.

The ex-Bristol City player has been missing for the past four months after rupturing the ligaments in his foot in pre-season.

Talking to the Gloverscast‘s Ben Barrett ahead of the weekend’s visit from big-spending Wrexham, the 33-year-old said that he had originally been told the injury may not be serious.

He explained: “The first two sets of people said just ice it and it will be fine, so I went to see a specialist and it needed surgery and there’s a plate to hold my foot together.

“The surgeon is happy it’s stronger than it was before, but I need to teach my foot to play football now. I know the more I play, the better it will be.

“This surgeon is saying ‘go and do what you want to do’, normally if you feel pain you will come out of training, but I have been encouraged to play through it.

Little made his playing return in last weekend’s FA Trophy exit at the hands of lower division Needham Market and was one of four players to miss from the spot in a penalty shoot-out.

He praised the work of manager Darren Sarll for lifting the team after the defeat and the departure of assistant manager Terry Skiverton at the start of the week.

He said: “It was not great over the weekend which was sombre before the (Needham Market) game which led to the performance maybe, but we have had a full week this week.

“The manager is so good at this. He is upset and frustrated as much as we are, but he gets the mood in the camp better.

“We had two tough days Monday, Tuesday, rest day Wednesday and then two good days and we’ve had a perfect week leading up to up a match.”

Sarll said Little was “in contention” for a start against Wrexham at Huish Park this weekend.

He said: “We need to be a bit more progressive with Mark, I’m not sure he can do 90 minutes but he will certainly be in contention for a start.

“He gets closer every day, but he is a true professional and you can see why he’s played in the Championship for as long as he did.”

Yeovil Town striker Joe Quigley has joined National League title-chasers Chesterfield for an undisclosed fee.

The 25-year-old, who is joint top scorer with Adi Yussuf having found the net seven times this season, was one of only two players who was signed on a contract beyond the end of the season and therefore commanded a fee.

Joe Quigley has scored seven times for Yeovil this season.
Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz,

In a statement issued tonight, club chairman Scott Priestnall said the sale was necessary to “improve cash resources” due to lower attendances, pointing to speculation about the takeover of the club as the reason for dwindling numbers.

He said: “The decision to accept the offer for Joe is one that helps improve our cash resources at a time when our average attendances are much lower than expected and, as a result, we have a shortfall in our budget for the season.

“The ongoing speculation surrounding a takeover is certainly not helping the club recover from the lost revenues of playing behind closed doors and, with the exception of the Bournemouth game, attendances have not met pre-pandemic numbers.

The owner, who has only been seen once at Huish Park in recent months, said that no party was in a position to complete a takeover of the club.

Earlier this week, Julian Jenkins, the former Cardiff City director behind the Simul Sports Group, issued a statement to say his group was “in the final stages” of buying Yeovil Football & Athletic Club, which owns the football operations and Huish Park stadium.

Priestnall added: “I can tell you that no party up to this point has been in a position or is yet in a position to complete a takeover.

“Although discussions have continued, the club are looking at alternative sources of funding and investment. I shall update you further in due course.

In a statement on December 5, the owner said, in the event a buyer for the club was not found he would “go back to my plans for building a better Yeovil Town, utilising our infrastructure to be better on and off the field.

Asked about whether there had been any offers for players at his press conference today (Friday), manager Darren Sarll told confirmed that offers for his players had been received.

But asked whether they had been rejected, he said: “So far. It’s not been necessarily in January, we have it all through the year. The financial outlay in this division shocks me.” It appears the appetite to reject bids lasted less than 11 hours.

Earlier the boss had spoken about looking to build a strong foundation with the young players in his squad, which presumably included Quigley, not exactly a veteran at 25.

The manager said: “In an ideal world it would be great to start forging a foundation that sees a lot of these players have another year with us next year.

“That would be in my ideal world because the good work we are doing with them and the experience they are getting is unrivalled.


“These are the instances when we should be starting to think about building those foundations with these young players.

Quigley joined in October 2020 on a free transfer from Dagenham & Redbridge and scored 19 times in 61 appearances.

His last appearance came in the 2-1 defeat at Southend United having missed the FA Trophy exit to Needham Market due to illness.

His last goal came against AFC Bournemouth, the club he began his career with, in the FA Cup third round.

Darren Sarll has said he know “less than anyone” about the ongoing talks of takeover surrounding the ownership of Yeovil Town.

However, the manager said that discussions around the possible sale by current owner Scott Priestnall to the Simul Sports Group, led by former Cardiff director Julian Jenkins.

This week, Jenkins confirmed his group were “fully engaged in the final stages of due diligence” to buy Yeovil Football & Athletic Club, the company which owns the club’s football operations and Huish Park stadium.

Yeovil Town manager Darren Sarll.
Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

Speaking about the discussions ahead of the weekend’s match with Wrexham, Sarll said: “My job is not to worry about who’s coming in or may be coming in, all I know is there’s been a lot of rumours for a long time and we are where we are.

“The players are behind me, I’m behind the players, that is the only support we need in our dressing room, all the rest is just noise and we need to learn to block that out.

“Does it get difficult at times? Of course, it does because very few of these players have been through this.

“But we have to make sure we go down the tunnel because, by hook or by crook, whether we play well or not, if we lose games we get criticised, whoever the owner is.

“We have to concentrate on performances on the pitch and that is our focus, to keep punching above our weight – that’s all we can do.

However, Sarll insisted that he did not feel he needed to know every detail of discussions which have been ongoing for months – and confirmed he is a listener to the Gloverscast!

He told our man Ben Barrett: “I can put things in the back of my head, I’m an employee of an organisation like everyone else, I don’t feel I have the right to demand x and y to the people that have paid my mortgage for the last two-and-a-half years.

“All the other things you get as a football manager, if you don’t like them, don’t do the job! I get criticised all the time, I get criticised on your podcast – maybe I add?! But that’s okay.

“I don’t feel a righteousness that I deserve to be told every five minutes that who owns the football club, I’m sure if there’s someone coming in they will introduce themselves to me and which way they are going with Darren Sarll.

“They will know which way they want to go anyway, so I have a contract until the end of June and I’ll keep working inside that contract.

Experienced full-back Mark Little also told Ben that the club’s players had not been told anything more about the possible deal.

He was a player at Bolton Wanderers when they narrowly avoided relegation from the Championship on the final day of the 2017/18 amid huge financial problems which led to players not being paid.

But, the former Bristol City man said this is a very different situation: “At Bolton because we hadn’t been paid for three months, that was probably the most important news I needed to know.

“It’s very different here because anything below the owner, everything is running smoothly, everyone is here and training and games are coming thick and fast – that’s our department, that’s what we concentrate on.

“We are not getting information, I don’t think the manager is either, it’s way above our pay grade and I could not tell you if it’s a good thing or not if we get taken over or not.

“We have got games to win and that’s the thing we have to do, whether we have this owner or another owner.”

Sonny Blu Lo-Everton‘s loan at Yeovil Town has been extended until the end of the season, manager Darren Sarll has confirmed to the Gloverscast.

Sonny Blu Lo-Everton in action for Yeovil Town.
Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

The 19-year-old has made 22 appearances since arriving at Huish Park from his parent club, Premier League Watford, in the summer, but his original loan expired last weekend.

Speaking to Ben Barrett at his press conference ahead of tomorrow’s visit by Wrexham, the manager confirmed he is staying until the end of the campaign.

He said: “Sonny is done which is great for us.

“With players like Sonny, you see the best part of their season in that second half once they have adapted to the senior game and to our game.

“If we are in line to see an even better version of Sonny then we have got an absolute gem of our player.

The manager also confirmed that on-loan goalkeeper Dillon Barnes, who played two games during the suspension of Grant Smith over the Christmas and New Year period, and full-back Jaheim Headley have returned to their parent clubs QPR and Huddersfield Town.

In other news at the club’s weekly press conference, the manager said…..

  • Captain Luke Wilkinson was unlikely to feature against Wrexham but said he hoped to have him back for next weekend’s trip to Woking.
    He said: “We have to be careful with him, he’s going to train today (Friday) but I doubt we’ll risk him tomorrow.
    “But he should be good for next week which when he came off at Southend that scared the life out of me, so for him to only miss a couple of weeks has been the last part of the past two weeks.
  • Winger Charlie Wakefield has not had a full week of training having been out of the squad for last weekend’s exit from the FA Trophy against Needham Market.
    The manager said: “He’s had a problem with his back. Charlie has played more games for Yeovil than his other four clubs combined and he’s feeling the effects of it.
    “We have been careful with him this week, I do expect him to be available but I am not sure whether he’ll start or come off the bench.”
    The manager is not far off with Wakefield having made 24 appearances already this season – he managed one fewer for Wealdstone and Bromley last season, but managed just 13 appearances for Chelsea Under-23s in 2016/17 and Coventry City in 2018/19 and 2019/20.
  • Asked about any incomings, Sarll said he was trying to bring players in and suggested these were more likely to come in through the loan market than permanent signings.
    He said: “My job is always to ask for more and I do that repeatedly. We are trying to negotiate with players and clubs all the time.
    “It needs refreshing now, that’s why there’s a window in January because clubs need that extra to spike it at this point in the season.
    “This is the least amount of loans I have used in my time at Yeovil, so we have plenty of room to loan players in which is probably going to be our only source of acquisition.
    “There’s some really good players available this window and if we can get them, we will get them.
    Asked if he had contacted former assistant Terry Skiverton, who took over as a first-team coach at Charlton Athletic on Monday, the manager laughed: “I did ask for one but he can’t get me him, so I started swearing and hung up!

Wrexham are arriving in South Somerset this weekend still smarting from Yeovil Town inflicting their only home defeat of the season.

Goals from Josh Staunton and Sonny Blu Lo-Everton earned the Glovers a 2-0 win in North Wales at the end of November.

The North Wales media still refer to the sending off of midfielder Liam McAlinden as “controversial” despite the fact an appeal was dismissed after an appeal by the Reds.

Striker Jordan Ponticelli also said that – despite losing by two clear goals – the big-spending side did not deserve to lose at the Racecourse Ground two months ago.

He told the North Wales Leader: “I thought we were the better side when they came here and we went down to 10 men so it will be a good game.

“Hopefully we can go there and put it right what happened. It’s our only home defeat and I thought we didn’t deserve that so hopefully we can go and get three points.

The match is the first National League action Wrexham have had since a 3-1 defeat at Notts County in their last outing on January 2.

But, whilst Yeovil suffered an FA Trophy exit at the hands of lower division opposition last weekend, the Welsh side dispatched Isthmian League side Folkestone Invicta with a 5-1 victory.

That game was played behind-closed-doors and live-streamed (remember that?) due to COVID-19 restrictions covering Wales, but saw manager Phil Parkinson put out a strong team including Ponticelli, who scored twice.

Having ‘only’ splashed out the best part of £1m on players this season, there are rumblings of discontent at the lack of activity in the January transfer window – something that exists for clubs from Wales, less so for the rest of us in the National League.

A striker to fill the void left by an injury to Jake Hyde seems to be where manager Phil Parkinson is looking to splash the cash with reports of a £180,000 bid for AFC Wimbledon striker Ollie Palmer last weekend, and non-League hot-shots Kabongo Tshimanga from title rivals Chesterfield and Solihull Moors’ Joe Sbarra among other names linked.

 


FROM THE MANAGER

Wrexham manager Phil Parkinson has backed his side’s mentality to prove their defeat at Notts County last time out in the National League was just a blip.

Speaking to the North Wales Leader ahead of the weekend, he said: “We have got a strong mentality in the group and we want to keep that because it is so important.

“The leadership qualities in the group are really important to us, and strength of character and mentality with the way we approach games is important, allied with the quality we have shown.

“But it is digging in sometimes away from home and when decisions go against you, it seems to happen away from home and you have just got to be ready to be resilient as a group.

“That is the kind of attitude that we need to take down to Yeovil.


TEAM NEWS

Star striker Paul Mullin appears set to return to the starting line-up having had a three-week rest with a hamstring injury.

The frontman, one of several big money additions at the Racecourse in the summer, sat out last weekend’s FA Trophy match but seems likely to return to the forward line probably alongside Jordan Ponticelli or Kwame Thomas.

Definitely out is frontman Jake Hyde who will be missing for at least another six weeks with a calf injury.

Defender Harry Lennon, who was sent off after just nine minutes of the 3-1 loss at Notts County last time out in the league, has served his suspension although has been carrying a back injury in recent weeks.


FOOT IN BOTH CAMPS

Two players with a foot in both camps could find themselves facing off against each other for a second time this season.

Adi Yussuf. Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

Yeovil Town striker Adi Yussuf scored six times in 16 appearances for Wrexham whilst on loan last season, whilst Ben Tozer played 26 times for Yeovil in the 2015-16 season.

It was the Glovers’ man who came out on top when they last faced off, of course.

Top scorer Joe Quigley, recently back after an injury which kept him out of the win at the Racecourse in November, spent four matches on loan at Wrexham in 2015 whilst an AFC Bournemouth player, scoring a late equaliser in a match against Tranmere Rovers in October that year.

Other players with a foot in both camps include:

  • Gold Omotayo (Yeovil Town – 2019-2020, Wrexham – 2021)
  • Iffy Allen (Yeovil Town – 2015-2016, Wrexham – 2017)
  • Mark Beck (Yeovil Town – 2015-16, Wrexham – loan – 2016)
  • Izale McLeod (Yeovil Town – 2015-16, Wrexham – 2017)
  • Chris Dunn (Yeovil Town – 2013-14, Wrexham 2016-18)
  • Daniel Alfei (Wrexham – 2012/2013, Yeovil Town 2017-2018)
  • Andy Bishop (Yeovil Town – loan – 2004, Wrexham – 2013-15)
  • Kevin Gall (Yeovil Town – 2003-2006, Wrexham – 2010-2011)

Every week (well, every time we don’t forget!), the Gloverscast pens a column for the Western Gazette giving our views on ongoings at Huish Park, here’s the one which appeared in the edition on January 20:

As we come towards the end of what might be one of the most tumultuous weeks in Yeovil Town’s 125 year history, it has almost gone under the radar that the Glovers have a league game this weekend… a pretty big one at that.

How we’ll all remember Skivo – in a green-and-white shirt.

You’ll have read the tributes to the departing Terry Skiverton this week, you’ll have taken in the fall our to the dramatic and disappointing FA Trophy exit at the hands of Needham Market, but much like what’s left of the Glovers’ management team, the focus had to once again turn to Saturday.

The show, as they say, must go on.

I won’t disagree that the form since Boxing Day has been nothing short of terrible, and the context around the double defeat to Torquay, the losses against Southend, Bournemouth and of course Needham Market need no repeating.

Do you think Darren Sarll has spent the week sulking? Nope, me neither, then maybe we shouldn’t either.
The mind is cast back to the magical win over Wrexham back in November, a result which looks more and more incredible with each subsequent passing game.

I am reminded that on that day, much like now, the build up has been less than perfect. There were only four subs named that night, of which only one was really an option.

Luke Wilkinson wasn’t really available (despite making a cameo late on when he really shouldn’t have done) and much like now, Wrexham were coming off the back of a brilliant run of form.

A week is a long time in football, but you can bet Sarll and his players will be working their hardest to turn our run of form around.

It’s been tough on us all, and the best way to move on, is to send the Huish Park home with a performance to be proud of and three all important points.

An exit from the FA Trophy at the hands of Needham Market, a team two divisions below us in the football pyramid, had Yeovil Town supporters with their heads in their hands.

Couple this with the exit of Terry Skiverton, whose legendary status needs no further introduction, and the seemingly never-ending wait for a final answer over the club’s off-the-field situation, and you could be left asking – has it ever been this bad?

I’d offer up the suggestion it has and to be exact as to when it was – Tuesday, October 25, 1994.

Three days earlier Yeovil Town had gone out of the FA Cup in the fourth qualifying round at the hands of Walton & Hersham, the ninth consecutive game they had failed to pick up a win.

The infamous fixture which saw Yeovil Town dumped out of the FA Cup at Walton & Hersham. Picture courtesy of Tim Lancaster.

Their opponents that day were actually only a division below them, but such was the significance of the competition to the Glovers, it felt wounded.

Andy Wallace and Neil Cordice were on target that day but a 3-2 defeat saw them go out of the competition, and there were angry exchanges between manager Brian Hall and his players and travelling fans.

Then-chairman Bryan Moore, a former chairman of the Green & White Supporters’ Club and Yeovil Town to the core, described that day as “one of the worst days of my entire life.”

In the midweek fixture that followed, GM Vauxhall Conference relegation rivals Merthyr Tydfil beat Yeovil 3-1 and the atmosphere was beyond toxic.

Fans who had vented their anger at the Cup exit the weekend before gathered outside Huish Park calling for the dismissal of Hall, to the extent that mounted police were called in to disperse the crowd at around 11pm with Chairman Moore ‘speaking’ to them via a megaphone from the Board Room.

As the club’s history, Hendford to Huish Park, recalls: “A beleaguered board stated that they would happily hand over should a consortium with money come along.

“They could not afford to sack Brian Hall but conversely, they could ill afford to see the situation continue.

“There were soon a number of faces mentioned with regards to take over the running of the club, among them Brian Hillier, formerly in charge at Swindon Town.

“John Fry who was already on the board and had recently sold his business interests would be available almost full-time and (former chairman) Gerry Lock who had continued to follow the fortunes of his former club from afar had hot a consortium together who expressed an interest but nothing further was heard from them.

There were a couple of wins in the weeks which followed, but plenty of defeats including a 5-0 thrashing at Stevenage Borough with the history books reporting that ex-Tottenham player Graham Robertsran the show” for them.

Having been told his budget would be cut further, Hall lasted until the first week of 1995 when he was sacked and, after a few games with players Tiv Lowe and Paul Wilson in temporary charge, his replacement would be none other than Roberts, who also counted Chelsea, Rangers and (say it quietly) W*ymouth among his former clubs.

Off the pitch things were changing as well with John Fry coming in as Chief Executive and despite the fact relegation was almost a certainty, there was a sense of optimism about Huish Park not felt in years.

Roberts’ team took it to the final game of the season which ended in a 4-4 draw with Northwich Victoria when their fate was sealed.

But rather than spilling on to the pitch to get angry, Yeovil supporters chanted “we’ll support you ever more” and they did.

In 1997, Graham Roberts led Yeovil Town to promotion to the Conference after two seasons. Picture courtesy of Tim Lancaster.

Two seasons at their lowest ebb, the ICIS League, saw the Glovers challenging for promotion whilst off-the-pitch Fry and his fellow directors, notably Fred Lewis, got things back on to an even keel.

More than a quarter-of-a-century has passed since then, we’re a full-time team now, we’ve had 15 years as a Football League club, and the debts the club is saddled remain a millstone round the club’s neck which (for his many faults) John Fry would never have allowed to happen.

But, we’ve undoubtedly got a more competitive team that back in the mid-1990s, we just all hope that off-the-field there are people willing to put in the hours and the finance.

There’s some similarities between then and now but my point is, the darkest hour is often before the dawn.

As a wiser man than me once said – Keep the faith, bruvvers!

Julian Jenkins, the former Cardiff City director behind a group seeking to takeover Yeovil Town, has confirmed they are “engaged in the final stage of due diligence” to complete the deal.

Julian Jenkins

In a statement issued on his Twitter feed on Tuesday night, the businessman behind the Simul Sports Group thanked people for their patience waiting for the long-awaited deal to buy Yeovil Football & Athletic Club from owner Scott Priestnall.

The statement in full read: “I can confirm that our legal and financial teams are fully engaged in the final stages of due diligence with the sole aim to complete the purchase of Yeovil Football & Athletic Club.

“This process takes time, and on behalf of our group, I would like to thank everyone personally for their patience and support during this period.

“Further information will be released in due course.

The statement is the first we have heard from any party since December 6 when Jenkins confirmed his group was in talks to buy Yeovil Athletic & Football Club, the company which owns the club’s football operations and Huish Park stadium.

The specific reference to this in the most recent statement makes it clear that Yeovil Town Holdings, which owns the land around the stadium which it appears is not on Simul’s shopping list. Read more about this on our Gloversblog: The ground on which we stand.

Jenkins is listed as the only officer of the Simul Sports Group Limited but others involved with the group set up in April are:

  • Marc Bircham – a former midfielder who will be a familiar face to Yeovil Town fans made 16 appearances for the club in an injury-hit spell at the club between 2007-2008. He did make more than 250 appearances in the League though, mostly with QPR and Millwall, and was manager at Irish League side Waterford before his departure last month, claiming he would not pick the owner’s son.
  • Darren Delandro – an investment specialist listed as a person with significant control in Simul, who works in private equity and with  “high net worth individuals.” His football connections appear limited to a playing role in the lower leagues and a role as assistant manager at Isthmian League side Tooting & Mitcham.

The worst kept secret in South Somerset football is out – Terry Skiverton has been appointed first-team coach at League One Charlton Athletic.

The Yeovil Town captain, player-manager, manager, assi….. let’s just go for ‘legend’ was formerly announced by the South London club on Tuesday morning.

Having taken his first training session on Monday, Skivo spoke to the Addicks’ website about the “exciting opportunity” working with manager Johnnie Jackson, who he knows from his football training days, and fellow coach, Jason Euell.

Terry Skiverton talks to Charlton’s website after taking his first training session on Monday.

He said: “I’ve been very loyal to Yeovil Town, but I felt the time was right and it’s an exciting challenge, especially where the club are and where the manager has taken them from, it’s a real chance for me to help support him and Jason [Euell] in trying to get up this league and make sure we’re competing.

“Speaking with the manager and the owner and the vision they’ve got for the football club, it really hit home to me how good an opportunity this is and one that you can’t turn down.

“I’ve learned my trade at Yeovil in every division apart from the Premier League, so I’m excited to come to such a prestigious football club.

Jackson, who was named caretaker manager after the sacking of Nigel Adkins in October and then permanently last month, said his new coach had been someone he’d been considering for some time.

It has initially be suggested Skiverton would be taking the assistant manager’s job at The Valley, but Jackson confirmed he will be joint first-team coach alongside Euell.

Speaking to the club’s Twitter, Jackson said: “We’ve come across each other on courses and we know a lot of people who know each other and I have played against Terry’s (Yeovil) teams when he has been a manager.

“Our paths have crossed down the years, so he was someone who has been in my thoughts when thinking about who is going to come in and help.

He added: “I’m quite aware that I want to save my voice for the right moments rather than the lads hearing one voice as it’s been in recent weeks.

“It’s another person who will see things that I don’t and Jason doesn’t, another opinion and these are important things when thinking about how you go about things.


Thank You Skivo – check out the picture gallery of some of Skivo’s greatest moments – here.

Matt Percival has “taken the reins” as the new head coach for Yeovil Town Under-18s, according to the club

The Yeovil College student was previously assistant to Mark Challen, who left the job in December, and was reported to have taken the team for their 4-1 win over Wimborne Town in the South West Counties Youth League at the weekend.

The victory was the young Glovers’ first match in South West Counties Youth League for more than a month and the first under the new coach.

Matt Percival. Picture courtesy of Yeovil College.

Joshua John opened the scoring for the young Glovers after 12 minutes before Ollie Haste’s header doubled the advantage on 40 minutes.

Their opponents pulled a goal back just before the break, before goals from Sam Hodges and a second from John sealed the win.

Speaking to the club’s official website, Percival said: “We’re at the half way point of the season, having now won 5 and lost 4 in the league so it’s about looking to kick on to finish the season strongly.

I thought at times today we looked really good and we’ve been working hard in training at different ways to break teams down depending on how they set-up and whether they’re pressing high or looking to drop off.

Their next game sees the Under-18s travel to Truro & Penwith College in the College Cup tournament on Wednesday followed by a league fixture against Torquay United Under-18s on Saturday.

Terry Skiverton has said the time was right to make the “gut-wrenching” decision to leave Yeovil Town after almost 23 years with the club.

It was announced yesterday that the former captain, manager, assistant manager and coach had left the club and it is understood he is heading to League One Charlton Athletic.

In an interview with journalist Chris Hull, he said he had been “overwhelmed” by the messages which had poured in from supporters, players and managers alike since the announcement.

Terry Skiverton talks to Chris Hull about his departure from Yeovil Town.

He said: “Sometimes you feel the time was right. I tried to leave before but I got dragged back in by the then-Chairman John Fry, this time I knew the time was right.

“I need to move on with my career, I have got all my qualifications – my B, A and my Pro Licence – and with all of those things, I really want to give this a crack and it’s time to move away from Yeovil.”

The 46-year-old described Glovers’ boss Darren Sarll as “a true friend who will be a friend for the rest of my life” and spoke of his sadness at having to leave him behind.

Skivo said: “He brought me back in to the club and he gave me my passion for coaching and managing.

“The first year we had the play-offs, the second we have tragedy with the death of our captain Lee Collins, and to pick the club up with the most limited resources we have had in my time at the club, to get to where we are in the league is

“The football club is in a position where we need to kick on and we can’t quite do that at the moment and I am sad to be leaving him because he’s a great manager, an unbelievable coach and a real true friend.”

It is understood he will be appointed as Charlton’s assistant manager, alongside current boss Johnnie Jackson, and in the interview it was mentioned that agreement was still 48 hours from completion.

Of the move, Skiverton added: “I think I have earned my stripes. I got in to management a bit too early, I went from being a player one day to a manager the next, I had to learn on my feet.

“Now I would like to see if I can progress myself and see how far I can go as a coach and an assistant manager, moving forward with my career.

“I’ve given so much to Yeovil but sometimes you have to look after yourself and if you have an aim in life you have got to get after it.

“After the years and learning I have done, I really want to push on now.”

You can watch the interview in full with Skivo, here…..

Sarll watches on

Yeovil Town manager Darren Sarll struck a visibly frustrated figure when speaking to Sheridan Robins following the Glovers’ shock FA Trophy exit at the hands of Needham Market.

He said that his side had done enough to progress, but that ultimately too many errors and too many wasted moments led to his side’s exit.

“I thought we did enough to win it. I know Grant (Smith) makes a brilliant save at the end and his was our best player including the penalties – but we should never have allowed it to get to penalties.”

“I want to give great respect and credit to Needham and Kevin (Horlock, the manager), I thought they conducted themselves unbelievably well, I thought technically at times they looked better than us.”

“Physically was the only thing we edged, which we should being a full-time team, and it was a very poor performance…It was personality-less and that is a worrying trait whether you are young or old.”

“The first half was pretty controlled. We are not a great team when we have to have the ball, quality is at a premium and technically we were awful – we allowed that game to get to penalties, even in that penalty shoot-out we had four chances to win it in our ground with our fans, so we well and truly got what we deserved today.”

Sarll made a number of enforced changes, but still played what he called his ‘strongest eleven”, and admitted his hands were tied with just four subs named.

“We know when Luke (Wilkinson) is back he is a massive player, I think when we don’t have Staunton in midfield we lose control, Dale (Gorman) does a brilliant job but around him we have a lot of athleticism but we don’t have a lot of control and composure, Jordan (Barnett) and Matthew (Worthington) run so hard but there are times when we need to breathe.”

The Glovers host Hollywood’s Wrexham next Saturday a match which Sarll said would be “nice and easy” with his tongue firmly pressed into his cheek.

Yeovil Town legend Terry Skiverton has left Huish Park ending more than two decades with the club and is believed to be on his way to League One Charlton Athletic.

The club confirmed the exit in a statement following after a  penalty shoot-out defeat against Needham Market in the FA Trophy at Huish Park on Saturday and manager Darren Sarll spoke about his now former (*sob*) assistant in his post-match interview.

The statement said the former defensive giant, captain, player-manager, manager, assistant manager, Academy manager was departing to take up “a new role in the Football League” – but did not name a club.

We understand that Skiverton is on his way to The Valley who have had former striker Jason Euell as caretaker assistant manager to boss Johnnie Jackson since the end of last season.

It would appear Skivo and Jackson may have taken their coaching badges together at the same time.

If the move is confirmed, it would mean the 46-year-old follows in the footsteps of fellow former Glovers Nathan Jones and Ben Roberts who have both held coaching roles.

There’s a lot you can read between the lines of what Darren Sarll said in his post-match interview, where he repeatedly talks about wanting “to retain some kind of professionalism.

Speaking to BBC Somerset’s Sheridan Robins, Darren Sarll said: “Terry has left the club and decided to take up an opportunity in the EFL which is very sad.

As his friend, I will miss him greatly. Professionally he is excellent, he’s done so well for me, he’s a brilliant character and a very good coach.

“All the other stuff of why and where are for him to speak about, he’s a grown man and he needs to answer those questions himself.

“I want to retain some kind of professionalism and dignity out of a pretty crappy day.”

The club’s statement included a quote from Chairman Scott Priestnall – who made a rare visit to Huish Park for last week’s televised FA Cup defeat to AFC Bournemouth – saying: “I’d like to thank Terry for everything he has done for Yeovil Town. He is undoubtedly a club legend, both for his service on and off the pitch. He will always be welcome at Huish Park.

The statement went on to add: “Skiverton, departs as he moves into a new role in the Football League. All at Yeovil Town would like to extend our gratitude to Terry for his stellar service to the football club, and wish him all the best in his new role. “

Skiverton’s joined Yeovil Town in the summer of 1999 when he was signed from Welling United in the Football Conference by then-manager Colin Lippiatt, as part of a trio of signings alongside strikers Adrian Foster and Jason Eaton and midfielder Dave Norton.

His debut came in far from memorable circumstances with a 5-0 thrashing at Scarborough on the opening day of the 1999-2000 season, but the career which followed was memorable in just about every way.

Under Lippiatt, David Webb and Colin Addison he was a rock in the heart of defence, but it was the arrival of Gary Johnson in 2001 that truly elevated Skivo to legend status.

He lifted the FA Trophy as captain in Gary’s first season, skippered us to the end of 108 years of non-League football with the Conference title in the second season, and then the League Two championship in 2004-05.

In 2007 he was named in the League One Team of the Year having been at the heart of Yeovil’s charge to the play-off final.

Following the sacking of Russell Slade midway through the 2008-09 season, Skiverton answered the call of his club to take over as player-manager and guided us to safety in League One, calling an end to his playing days at the end of season. His final appearance saw him last just 36 minutes of a goalless draw at home to MK Dons – but we at least kept a clean sheet.

Having kept us up for the 2009-10 campaign in League One, his loyalty reached new levels when with the side struggling in early 2011, he stepped aside for the return of Gary Johnson becoming his number two.

Skivo then became a key part of the coaching staff which guided the club to its highest-ever level with promotion to the Championship in 2013, and even had a further spell in caretaker charge between the sacking of Johnson in February 2015 and the appointment of Paul Sturrock two months later, returning to the coaching staff.

Since then he’s been a coach, run the club’s Academy, been assistant manager and even got one of his sons, striker Finlay, playing for the club’s Under-18s.

Quite simply, he is Mr Yeovil. Skivo – thanks for everything, we’ll miss you!

Venue: Huish Park
Saturday, January 15th, 3pm kick-off

Conditions: Cold and cloudy
Pitch: Okay, getting a bit bobbly in areas.

Attendance: 1649 (58 away)

Scorers: Williams 29, Fowkes 45.

Referee: James Durkin

Bookings:
Yeovil Town: Bradley 85
Needham Market: Some! 



Yeovil Town
: (4-3-3)

Grant Smith
Morgan Williams, Josh Staunton, Max Hunt (Little 79), Jack Robinson
Dale Gorman,
Matt Worthington (Bradley, 70), Jordan Barnett
Sonny Blu Lo-Everton
Adi Yussuf (Knowles 63), Reuben Reid

Substitutes: Max Evans

Needham Market: Garnham, Dye, Sayer, Hammond, K. Morphew, D. Morphew, Page, Collard, Ingram, Clark (Marshall Miranda), Fowkes

Substitutes: Mpongo, Cullum, Sturgess, Santa De La Paz, Northwood, Fitzgerald


Match Report

Yeovil Town were knocked out of the FA Trophy on penalties at the hands of Needham Market in a disappointing affair at Huish Park.

The Southern League side more than held their own against an out of form Yeovil team who never stretched their opponents.

Morgan Williams opened the scoring after half an hour but poor defending before the break allowed Needham Market to go in on level terms.

It took penalty shootout drama to decide the match and the part-timers clinched it with Marcus Garnham the hero, saving Morgan Williams sudden death penalty and launching scenes of jubilation amongst their 58 travelling supporters.

Here’s how Ian saw the game…

First half

What a difference seven days makes in football. The electric atmosphere generated by 8,000 supporters for the FA Cup tie against Bournemouth was replaced by a rather muted atmosphere of 1649 at Huish Park for the visit of Needham Market in the FA Trophy.

Diamonds aren’t forever, but Darren Sarll returned to most-used formation since becoming manager in 2019, with Adi Yussuf partnering Reuben Reid up front and Sonny Blu Lo-Everton in the hole, as they say. Josh Staunton dropped to back line in place of the injured Luke Wilkinson with Matt Worthington returning to midfield and Jack Robinson and Morgan Williams at fullback.

The subdued atmosphere contributed to an equally subdued start by the Glovers and the Needham Market had the first half-opening through their left-winger Ben Fowkes, who cut inside had his shot deflected over Grant Smith’s goal.

The towering Max Hunt could have opened the scoring in the 11th minute when he met Dale Gorman’s corner emphatically. He glanced his header wide of the left post after out-jumping the entire defence.

As Glovers adjusted to their new shape, they didn’t keep hold of the ball as well as the gulf might suggest they should.  Lo-Everton had a sight of goal from distance and attempted a speculative lob over Garnham which went wide.

As the half wore on, Yeovil held onto possession more comfortably and started pressuring Needham Market into mistakes, with the goalkeeper looking particularly uncomfortable with the ball at his feet.

Adi Yussuf had a decent, if not awkward, chance to put Yeovil in front in the 26th minute. The striker found a chunk of space in the 18 yard box as the ball looped over his head, he swung his left foot at it but his connection wasn’t on point.

Just before the half an hour mark, the club’s music man got his moment to bring some samba music to the ‘masses’ as MORGAN WILLIAMS found himself in the unusual position of the opponents penalty box. The fullback strode onto Yussuf’s drilled cross and put past the keeper to open the scoring. 1-0

Seemingly content with 1-0, Yeovil took their foot off the pedal and allowed their opponents to have a bit of the ball. Just before half time, Yussuf had a good opportunity to double the Glovers’ lead but he dragged his left-footed shot wide.

The tie was evened up in first half stoppage time, after some dismal defending from a set piece and a couple of fortunate ricochets, BEN FOWKES smashed the ball past Smith. 1-1

Half time: Yeovil Town 1 Needham Market 1

Second half

The Glovers came out with more of a purpose in the second half, with Dale Gorman determined to get the shots in early.

Needham Market had a great opportunity to take the lead in the 52nd minute, but were denied by a determined, last ditch tackle from Josh Staunton.

And it was last-ditch defending at the other end of the pitch moments later. Barnett’s out-swinging corner was headed towards goal but blocked by Yussuf in front of the keeper who scrambled to clear the ball away from goal.

Needham Market had penalty appeals turned down by the referee on the hour, as their striker Luke Ingram went down with Josh Staunton nearby.

To liven up the attack, Sarll withdrew Yussuf for Tom Knowles, prompting a change of shape to the more familiar 4-3-3 with Reuben Reid the central striker.

The Glovers opponents weren’t fazed by the arrival of Knowles (#DWILWF) and carved out a good chance through Callum Page cutting inside from the right. His Bergkamp-esque effort wasn’t Bergkamp-esque in execution and it glided high and wide.

Buoyed by Yeovil’s lack of impetus and the increase in unforced errors, the Southern League side grew into the half and had Ingram’s header been a bit lower they would have been in-front. The striker beat Max Hunt to the ball and his attempt had green tinted supporters holding their breath.

As the clock ticked closer towards the 90th minute and a potential penalty shootout, Sarll urged his players forward and introduced our marquee summer signing, Mark Little, for his first competitive appearance in a Yeovil shirt.

There was a handful of hopeful crosses, but truthfully, Yeovil didn’t stretch their part time opponents who defended resolutely and nearly nicked it in stoppage time but for Smith’s heroics in goal. Fowkes, who was lively all game caused havoc in the box before his charged down shot rebounded to Ingram who should have clinched the tie.

In normal time, it finished 1-1 and the game went straight to a penalty shootout.

Full time: Yeovil Town 1 Needham Market 1

Penalties:

Needham Market:
Ingramscored
Hammond – scored
Marshall-Miranda – saved
Page – scored
Fowkes – saved
Collard – scored
K. Morphew – scored
Dye – scored
D. Morphew – scored
Sayer – Saved
Garnham – scored

Yeovil Town:
Barnet – scored

Reid – saved
Gorman – scored
Bradley – scored
Lo-Everton – saved
Knowles – scored
Robinson – scored
Staunton – scored
Smith – scored
Little – saved
Williams – saved

Yeovil Town have named just four substitutes for the FA Trophy tie at home to Needham Market (3pm kick-off).

However, defender Mark Little, a summer signing who has not played since picking up an injury in pre-season, is among those on the bench alongside back-up goalkeeper Max Evans, forward Tom Knowles and Alex Bradley, who presumably needs to pick six numbers, two lucky stars and own a field of four-leaf clovers to get a start.

It is centre half-turned-full back Morgan Williams who appears to be plugging the gap left by the departure of Dan Moss on the right side, with Josh Staunton pushed back out of midfield to replace injured captain Luke Wilkinson alongside Max Hunt in the centre of defence. Jack Robinson comes in on the left.

Matt Worthington returns to midfield after missing the midweek defeat at Southend United with Sonny Blu Lo-Everton and Reuben Reid promoted to the starting line-up having been on the bench in the last match.

There is no place in the squad for forwards Charlie Wakefield or Joe Quigley with the club reporting he is missing through illness, while boss Darren Sarll said yesterday that Wakefield had not trained this week.

Yeovil Town (4-3-1-2): Grant Smith, Morgan Williams, Max Hunt, Josh Staunton, Jack Robinson, Dale Gorman, Matt Worthington, Jordan Barnett, Sonny Blu Lo-Everton, Reuben Reid, Adi Yussuf. Substitutes:  Max Evans, Mark Little, Alex Bradley, Tom Knowles.

Needham Market: Garnham, Dye, Sayer, Hammond, K. Morphew, D.Morphew, Page, Collard, Ingram, Clark, Fowles. Substitutes: Mpongo, Cullum, Sturgess, Marshall-Miranda, Santa, Northwood, Fitzgerald.

Yeovil Town Under-18s are back in South West Counties Youth League action with a home fixture against Wimborne Town.

The match at the Alvington Playing Fields is the young Glovers’ first action since their 3-1 defeat at Bridgwater United in the Gary Else League Cup on December 11.

In that competition, Yeovil have been drawn to face Torquay United Under-18s at the semi-final stage with matches scheduled for March 6.

Darren Sarll is not looking at tomorrow’s FA Trophy tie with Needham Market as an opportunity to give players who have been out of his Yeovil Town squad game time – he just wants to win.

The manager has a number of players including defender/midfielder Alex Bradley and number two goalkeeper Max Evans who have had limited match minutes this season, while defender Mark Little is heading towards returning from long-term injury.

Yeovil Town manager Darren Sarll.
Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

Despite their opponents at Huish Park being two steps below them in the football pyramid, Sarll is not expecting to make changes simply to give players game time.

However, the loss of captain Luke Wilkinson through injury and full-back Dan Moss, whose loan spell has been ended early, means the manager will have to make at least two changes from the midweek defeat at Southend United.

He also revealed winger Charlie Wakefield had not trained this week, but said midfielder Matt Worthington should be available having missed the last match through illness.

Speaking ahead of the fourth round tie, the manager said: “We need to get back to winning ways and experience winning again. It doesn’t always get easier because you are playing a (lower division) team, but we need to put out a team that gives us the best chance of winning the game.

“There might still be a couple of changes, we know (Luke) Wilkinson hobbled off the other night, Josh Staunton is always a player I always worry about not having, especially when Wilkinson is not about, and Mark Little needs to experience the game either from the start or off the bench.

“So there might be a few changes here and there, but I want to make sure I don’t go in to it and assume (any team) can win the game.

Asked in particular about whether stand-in ‘keeper Evans would get a start having played the third round tie with Woking last month, Sarll said: “I will be considering that overnight, but this is not participation football. In an ideal world we would get those players who need game time (playing games) but we haven’t won in four and my job is to win matches.

During the press conference on Friday, the manager also said:

  • He was “95% sure” that on-loan Watford forward Sonny Blu Lo-Everton would be staying until the end of the season with his loan stay due to expire after Saturday.
    The boss said he was “delighted” that defender Jack Robinson will be with the club until May after extending his stay and thanked his parent club, Middlesbrough, and Millwall, who loaned us the impressive Dan Moss.
    Sarll said: “The financial outlay of his stay was next to nothing for a player like (Dan Moss), and Millwall along with Middlesbrough are the best club I have ever dealt with for young players and loans.
    “Their understanding of a lack of resources and young players and been incredible.
  • The manager was full of praise for Moss whose loan stay was cut short to enable him to join League Two side Leyton Orient last week.
    Sarll said: “Dan Moss was exceptional and it was a heart-breaking moment when he told me he was going to go.
    “The loan move was perfect for all parties, the only bit that was missing was the extension (of his stay) with Yeovil.
    “(The move) was Dan’s choice, not Millwall’s choice, it’s his choice to go and put himself in to the EFL and we can’t begrudge him that.
    “He was an outstanding performer us, the most low maintenance player, a brilliant guy.”
  • Sarll questioned the decision to rule out a ‘goal’ from defender Max Hunt for handball in the closing stages of the defeat at Southend, saying: “(Max) was not even looking at the ball, how can that be handball?
    He also described suggestions from the Southend camp that they had put in a great performance to earn the 2-1 win as “nonsense” saying: “They weren’t great and we weren’t great.”

Needham Market are not coming to Huish Park for their FA Trophy fourth round with a plan to lie down for Yeovil Town.

The Marketmen, who lie in 13th place in the Southern League Premier Central Division, two steps below their hosts in the  pyramid, put out National League side Wealdstone in the last round with a 2-1 win on their own patch last month.

That result came about due to them taking the game to their higher division rivals, winning the ball high up the pitch rather than sitting back and hitting them on the break.

Manager and former Manchester City and Swindon Town midfielder Kevin Horlock said: “If we can we are a team that needs to be on the front foot. We’ve got some very good attacking players so you have to use them.

“I’m not one for sitting back too much because if you concede – especially early on – where do you go from there?

“I don’t want to give away too much, but we’ll be looking to play in a similar way to the Wealdstone game.

“I don’t want us to just sit there, play for the draw and penalties. That’s not in me and it’s not in my players either.”

You have to go back to the start of December to find this weekend’s visitors last defeat when they lost 3-1 at home to Stourbridge.

Since then they have picked up three wins and two draws in their following five matches including coming from 2-0 down at half-time to beat fifth-placed Alvechurch on Tuesday night.

Before disposing of Wealdstone in Round Three, Needham Market has made it through a qualifying round and then beaten Margate and Welwyn Garden City to progress to this stage of the competition.

However, the only game they played away from home was the qualifying round tie at St Ives Town.

You can hear more about what to expect from Needham Market – including why their players may be on a sugar high at Huish Park – in the chat with YouTuber and fan, Leo Fraser-Bell, in the latest edition of our podcast – listen here.


FROM THE MANAGER

Needham Market manager Kevin Horlock is coming up to his second anniversary in the top job having spent eight months in charge of the club’s academy before that.

The ex-Northern Ireland international is hoping that some of the products of the academy can show what they are capable of – as they did against Wealdstone in the last round.

He said: “We got the positive result against Wealdstone and that is bound to have done a lot for belief.

“I said as soon as I came back to Needham that we’ve got a lot of players that can play at that level (National League), I’m sure of it.

“Some could do it now, others will be able to do it at a later date as they progress and get more experience. That’s not me feeding them rubbish, I really believe these lads are good enough.

“You’ve got to shoot for the stars. We sold the likes of (midfielder) Callum Page to Ipswich recently so the young lads know there is a pathway here.

“They showed what they’ve got against Wealdstone and there’s another opportunity for them to show it again.

“Yes it’s away from home this time and the journey makes it a bit tougher, but we won’t be looking for or making excuses. It’s a big game and one we’re really looking forward to.


TEAM NEWS

Needham Market will give late fitness tests to left-back Callum Sturgess (calf) and defender Kyle Hammond (ankle) before the match.

Boss Horlock is hopeful central midfielder Tom Fitzgerald will have recovered from a groin strain to feature, but winger Tom Maycock is cup tied having featured for AFC Sudbury in the competition already.


FOOT IN BOTH CAMPS

Unsurprisingly, there’s not many player connections between us and Needham Market – in fact, we can only find one.

Simon Betts, not a player who will go down in Yeovil Town legend for anything particularly positive, was signed by Colin Addison midway through the 2000-2001 season and left midway through the following campaign after some below par performances, to put it mildly.

In 2005-06 he went on to play for Needham Market and went on to be a manager in the local leagues in East Anglia.

 

As expected following the early end of his loan spell, Dan Moss has headed straight back out on loan joining League Two Leyton Orient.

The Millwall full-back had been due to remain at Huish Park until the end of the month, only be recalled by his parent club on Wednesday.

He joins Orient on a deal until the end of the season.

Highlights of the 2-1 defeat at Southend United are now available on the club’s website.

If you want to know where the Yeovil Town highlights are, skip to:

  • 02:15 – the ‘handball’ incident involving Max Hunt.
  • 02:36 – Reuben Reid‘s opening goal, just don’t look at Luke Wilkinson in the build up to the goal, you’ll only upset yourself.

We can’t really recommend much of the rest, I am afraid.