Gloversblog

A point at home to bottom-of-the-table Dover Athletic was what Yeovil Town deserved, according to manager Darren Sarll.

But, the boss and midfielder Dale Gorman were also quick to point out that even two dropped points meant the Glovers had picked up seven points from a possible nine in the past week.

We asked supporter Adam Barrington to give the Gloverscast his view from his vantage point at Huish Park on Saturday – here are his five conclusions.

Wind was a major influence in the game. Both teams struggled to deal with it and within before the second minute was on the clock Dover scored from a cross assisted by whatever remained from Storm Arwen, Smith tried to claw the cross out but with no avail.
In the first half, we just never really got going and when you try long ball into the wind you never going to successful.
Second half with the wind behind us we didn’t really use it to our advantage kept over hitting the ball and only time we took advantage was with the goal which was cross from Jordan Barnett and Adi Yussuf (potentially) claiming the goal.

We need more options going forward. With the news of Quigley out until Christmas, Adi Yussuf is our only fit striker. Both Tom Knowles and Charlie Wakefield are midfield players and Sonny Blu

Adi Yussuf in action against Altrincham.
Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

Lo-Everton is not an out an out striker.Against Dover, Yussuf struggled to have an influence but with no other option Sarll had to keep him on. I know Reuben Reid back in training, but he hasn’t played since pre-season and it will be a while until he match fit. There is no question need a new striker in as soon as possible but, with an apparently limited budget, Sarll may have to  beg, borrow or steal.

Can we sign Dan Moss and Jordan Barnett  for the next 10 years? These two are another level, always driving forward but don’t forget there defensive duties. Moss in the first half while 1-0 down made a

Dan Moss in action vs Grimsby. Pic Credit @leeblease

last ditch challenge to stop Dover from doubling their lead.
Barnett is always a threat down the left and never shies away from a challenge. He thoroughly deserved his man of the match award.

Is it time to panic after not beating a team bottom of the table? No, I don’t think so, this was just bad day at the office. We never dealt with the wind and having picked up wins against two of the league’s top teams in Dagenham and Bromley, I think there may have been a little complacency. But, we have got a point, we’re still unbeaten in our last eight first team matches and move on to Wrexham on Tuesday night. Perhaps we prefer being the underdog?

Was it a bad choice picking a Diet Coke rather than a hot drink? I know you thinking ‘hang a minute’, but seriously when is it too cold for a cold drink? Yes, this is probably not football related but this game was one to forget and this last conclusion is only thing left to say.

Bring on the Wrexham!

Yeovil Town recorded their second away win in 72 hours and stretched their unbeaten run to seven with a 2-1 victory over Bromley on Tuesday, on co-commentary duty for the BBC was Marcus Duncomb who penned a few thoughts for us here at the Gloverscast

This Yeovil team is special. In terms of mentality and fight, they could not be further away from what we’ve had to get used to from Yeovil for the past eight or so years. In years gone by if we’ve taken the lead and then concede an equaliser it seems to have always led to a collapse – and that is unfortunately what Yeovil fans have grown to expect. But not this team. We conceded a soft penalty right before half time away at a team on an 11-match unbeaten run. Charlie Wakefield’s response? Instantly go down the other end bang one into the top corner against his former side. I can get behind that.

Darren Sarll said in pre-season that he was doing things differently this season. The manager said that he had been focussing on making sure they had a solid defensive base before anything else. I think it’s clear to see that this coaching has been effective. The whole team looks so structured and everyone knows their role defensively. Even when Sarll changed things up for the final 20 minutes as he subbed Morgan Williams on, it did not disrupt the team’s cohesion and understanding. It’s not just the structure of the defending which is promising, but it’s also their attitude towards it. These players will do anything to make sure that ball doesn’t end up in the back of the net.

Adi Yussuf scores v Weymouth
Credit: Weymouth Flickr

Adi Yussuf was so good at what he needed to do yesterday. Coatesie mentioned in his Dagenham conclusions that Yussuf is a back to goal striker and he did exactly that against Bromley. It was not an easy job for him. The whole Yeovil team spent much of the second half in and around their own penalty box with Yussuf being the only one staying on the halfway line. Every time Yeovil cleared it, Yussuf would somehow find a way to get onto the ball and keep it for as long as he could. The Bromley fans around me were getting frustrated with how often Yussuf was winning headers and keeping the ball for Yeovil which says it all.

As the players were celebrating jubilantly with the fans at the end (and I wished I was there and not in the press box…) a bitter Bromley fan saw my Yeovil scarf and said to me “Does this win mean a lot to you then? It’s like a cup final celebration!”. I explained to him that we celebrate every win like this and that it doesn’t matter who we’ve beaten. Where would the fun be if after winning a game there was a quick round of applause and then everyone popped home? We’re not going to win every game (sorry), so enjoy these moments and remember them when things aren’t going as well. This squad is down to its bare bones – just look at yesterday’s bench – and is performing ridiculously well considering.

Can we play at Hayes Lane every week? Since relegation from the EFL, Yeovil have enjoyed some great outings to Bromley. A Rhys Murphy 90+7th minute equaliser, a 120+2nd minute winner in the FA Cup, *finally* getting a first league win in December 2020 and now ending their 11-match unbeaten run through a thoroughly professional performance. I’m already looking forward to Luke Wilkinson’s 90+4th minute free kick winner in the FA Trophy semi-final at Hayes Lane in April…

 

An own goal at the end of the first half was enough to earn Yeovil Town a 1-0 win at Dagenham & Redbridge on Saturday, but scoreline was only part of the story with a performance which had quality and battling qualities written through it. Here’s Coatesie’s conclusions on the win….

We are now unbeaten in six (yes, including Yate and Larkhall!), only one goal conceded in 540 minutes, but perhaps more importantly we beat another team above us in the table. And, let’s not make any mistake, a very good Dagenham side who will likely to be in the play-off places by the end of the season. Last season we spoke a lot about how we could beat those around us and below us, but not those above us. Well, we did it against Eastleigh last weekend and we’ve done it again. Two of our next three opponents are also above us….

It is hardly a conclusion to say we looked solid defensively again, that has become to be expected from this Yeovil Town side. So, I will say – get me Millwall on the phone and name their terms to keep Dan Moss for the season – and possibly the next one! It takes something to pip another great display by Jordan Barnett for most impressive, but Moss did it – just. The loanee was a involved in a lot of what was good about us going forward in the first half and defensively solid in the second. He typified the battling qualities we needed to see the match out, a player older than his years.

It is equally not a conclusion to say we lack a killer touch in front of goal, but I think I have figured out what Adi Yussuf is – see Ben’s Five Conclusions v Woking and v Solihull Moors. He’s is there to soften up the defence, hold up play, yes, Adi Yussuf is a back to goal striker. His finish the previous weekend shows he can be a clinical finisher at times, but the instinctive fox in the box we thought we were getting is not him – well, not yet anyway. Only thing is “the best back to goal striker in this division” (D.Sarll, 2021) is back in training on Monday, so how will they work together? Will they work together? Interesting one.

If I can be allowed to use a conclusion on something other than Yeovil, why did Dagenham wait until half-time to bring on Myles Weston? The winger caused all sorts of problems down the right side in the second half and his duel with Jordan Barnett brought out the best in the Glovers’ left-back who was excellent again. I am advised by Daggers’ fans that Weston, at the age of 33, is “getting on a bit” (checks birth certificate) but had he had that threat with 11 men. Who knows?

But, the final conclusion is a simple one. Darren Sarll doesn’t want to call it an identity or a philosophy – but this is a team fights for each other and they really do it. Even when they were pressing forward and looking more free flowing in the first half, they scrapped and battled in the way we are going to need to to get places at this level. In the second half with the home side on top of them for long parts of the half, there was no inch given by this team.

So, next up Bromley on Tuesday night, another team above us in table – do what we did against Dagenham (especially in the first half) and we have nothing to fear.

 

Two wonderful strikes from Tom Knowles and Adi Yussuf saw Yeovil Town grind out a 2-1 win at home to Eastleigh.

The win moves the Glovers up to 13th in the National League table, eight points off the play-off places and the relegation zone.

Here are BBC Radio Somerset correspondent Sheridan Robins‘ five conclusions from the victory.

We have been told not to fall in love with footballers, but that ship may have sailed with Tom Knowles looking back to his best. Not only was his opening goal a superb finish from distance, but his hard work off the ball to win it back in midfield showed his character and desire to get the ball and run with it. In the difficult run of form, Knowles wasn’t given the freedom he needs to create these moments of brilliance but in recent weeks he and Wakefield have created space and subsequently look dangerous in every attack.

Luke Wilkinson is the difference between a successful season and a not so successful one. I don’t think his impact on the pitch (and I have no doubt off it as well) should ever be understated. He provides leadership, never misses a header, and provides stability midfielders need to be able to push higher up the pitch and attack. His injury frustrations are hopefully now over, and I don’t think it is any coincidence that we came back so strongly from being pegged back to 1-1, with him back on the pitch leading the defence.

Jordan Barnett will provide a huge amount of assists this season. He seems set for a sustained spell in defence, following the news Jack Robinson will be on the sidelines for 4-6 weeks with an ankle injury, and while Barnett has thrived in a midfield three in recent weeks, his crosses from full back yesterday were fantastic. He is becoming a real fans favourite with his passion but his left-sided balla from set pieces and open play will cause teams problems and, especially with Wilko back in the frame, I expect us to start scoring more from corners and free kicks.

Darren Sarll has created a similar team spirit to the 19/20 season. Much has been said about how young this side is, but their attitude is beyond their years. The work-rate is second to none and for top scorer Joe Quigley to be dropped to the bench for a sustained amount of time, whilst not reacting badly, is credit to Sarll’s man management. Quigley’s appearance for the last 20 minutes was game-changing, and his flick on for Yussuf’s goal was excellent centre forward play.

Huish Park felt like a fortress again. There are clearly still off-the-field issues to be sorted and nothing should distract from that. However, the performance on-the-pitch against Eastleigh spurred the crowd on and the support from the stands was second to none. Huish Park felt like it did before the pandemic – full of optimism and appreciation for the desire of the players. Yeovil are now unbeaten in their past four home matches and need to build on that to look up the table rather than down it.

The dream of the Quadruple remains a mathematic possibility for Yeovil Town after progressing through to the third round of the Somerset Premier Cup with a 2-0 win at Larkhall Athletic.

There were not a huge number of travelling supporters at the tie but one of them was Jake Farrant, a member of the Green & White Supporters’ Club, and here are this five conclusions…..

Finding the ground is a total mystery. I’ve heard reports before that getting to Larkhall’s ground is a bit difficult – but even so I still didn’t imagine it being that much of a problem to find. Famous last words I suppose – even though we were using a sat-nav we ended up going round in circles on some quiet, steep, narrow sub-urban roads in Bath and then ended up on a newly built housing estate down a dead end street as the sat-nav didn’t appear to know where it was either! Eventually we managed to find our way there and had plenty of time for a pre-match pint! The ground is in a very remote location and it reminded me of Forest Green Rovers whereby you drive down a single track country road and all of a sudden it just appears in front of you. If we ever draw them again in the Somerset Cup I would recommend leaving with plenty of time to spare, use a sat-nav and take somebody with you to try and understand where the sat-nav is trying to take you!

Sonny Blu Lo-Everton continues to impress. I personally have liked Lo-Everton since he came here. It took him a while to settle down and find his feet but in more recent games he has looked very sharp, created chances and just generally looks like one of our more lively players. During the match it was the same story whereby his ability to run forward and provide Yeovil with opportunities was good to see. It was also nice to see him grab another goal as well even if it was a tap in from a free kick as any goal that he can score will hopefully increase his confidence levels and potentially raise his game even further.

Max Evans looked solid. Evans has been a regular on the teamsheet all season and with him being reserve keeper we naturally haven’t seen that much of him of late. Maybe it’s just me but I always like to have a backup keeper on the bench in every match we play in just in case Smith gets injured. It doesn’t happen very often but I do like to have comfort in the knowledge that there is another keeper we can call upon. Seeing Max make some excellent saves during the game and looking like a more experienced keeper than he currently is gave me even more confidence that he would be able to be first choice keeper if we needed him to be. He came to Yeovil’s rescue a few times in the match and it was nice that he kept a clean sheet and had something to show for his efforts.

Yussuf’s needless bookings continue. Whether you like Adi Yussuf’s presence on the pitch or not – I think there is something we can all agree on – and that is that he often picks up yellow cards for needless challenges and niggly fouls. The second yellow at Boreham Wood is a classic example of this and even getting booked at Yate Town when we were well ahead in the game also springs to mind. It was a similar story at Larkhall and it often prevented him from creating potential goalscoring chances as there were a few occasions where he had got himself into a good position but ended up giving away a foul or ended up trying to look for a free kick rather than taking the player on. It would be interesting to see how much his game improves if he manages to overcome this as he may be able to create a lot more chances for us going forward.

David Coates needs to hang his head in shame. I’ve known David for a good few years now and I was lead to believe that he was a die hard Yeovil Town supporter who would follow his club to the ends of the earth. Unfortunately that doesn’t include Larkhall Athletic! I looked everywhere for him at the game and after a while I had to come to the simply shocking conclusion that David simply wasn’t there! The Somerset Cup is a prestigious tournament – and the game at Larkhall last night was the biggest game in Yeovil’s season so far. I therefore don’t think that it is too much to ask for Mr Coates to make the trip from his home in Preston to Larkhall for a mid-week Somerset Cup tie – unbelievable!

It was a game that Yeovil Town couldn’t really win. A defeat at Yate Town on Saturday and the headlines would’ve been of the heroic giant-killers who’d felled their hapless higher division opponents.

A win and the story is about the plucky minnows who tried their hardest and did ever so well to get to the first round.

So, an emphatic victory, a clean sheet and a place in the draw for the second round will have to do it. Here’s David Coates‘ Five Conclusions from his trip to Lodge Road….

Let’s start with the most obvious thing; that was exactly the kind of ruthless and professional display we needed. An early goal (whoever it was ended up scoring it) silenced a home crowd which never really got the chance to show it if could be hostile or not, and then two more in quick succession kicked the stuffing out of tie. Yes, we were playing against a team of HGV drivers and probate lawyers, but how many times has an FA Cup shock been produced by such professions? No, postmen in the Yate side, mind you. But, we needed to put them to the sword in the first half and we did that. Darren Sarll asked for us to be “ruthless and professional”  before the match and he certainly got both those things.

When we signed up a kid who’d been released by Bromley and had a history of injuries, I have to say I was not feeling inspired about what he could bring. But, I think I may be falling a little in love with Charlie Wakefield – in the Gloverscast spirit of falling in love with footballers, I mean. That boy never seems to tire of picking up the ball and running at defenders, and I don’t just mean at Yate although he displayed all the athleticism his manager has spoken so much about. No, I saw this for Charlie (not sure I can bring myself call him ‘Chaz’) the first time I saw him at Aldershot and every time I have seen him, he’s impressed me.

That said, Matt Worthington is starting to look the part. Now whether him playing alongside his fellow flame-haired midfielder Dale Gorman gives the impression of there being two of him or not, I don’t know. But, yesterday Worthington looked composed on the ball, was bursting forward in a way I don’t recall seeing him doing so and even if he didn’t score (or did he?!), he impressed me in his 67 minutes. Yes, yes, part-time time, lower league, minnows opponents and blah, blah….. but this looked like the Matt Worthington we spoke about wanting to see more of in the summer and I am all for it.

For a club with one of the smallest squads in the division and injuries to a couple of key players, our substitutes’ bench looks decent. We were only able to name six of the allowed seven substitutes, but to be able to bring on Luke Wilkinson, Joe Quigley, Alex Bradley and Sonny Blu Lo-Everton is a good position to be in. It was good to see Morgan Williams back in action, he was not really too troubled by the Yate forward line in his time on the pitch, but did most things well and hopefully we’ll see more of him in the weeks to come.

Finally, £22,629 is not a myth. That is the prize money for winning a first round tie. The manager suggested before the match that the financial benefits of progressing in the FA Cup were “a bit of a myth” – and in the context he meant of seeing it in his playing budget, he’s probably quite right. But, add the prize money for a first round win together with the fourth qualifying round prize money and you’re already over £32,000, and that is before you add in half the gate receipts for those ties. Glenn Collis, the director we are led to believe is part of one of two consortiums looking to buy the club, was clearly visible at Lodge Road on Saturday – which is more than can be said for his AWOL fellow director, club chairman Scott Priestnall. There’s been a suggestion that progress in the FA Cup – and the lure of prize money and gate receipts that comes with it – has led to those in charge of the club to not make decisions in the past. Let’s hope it is a myth that the current custodians, who have always claimed to want what is best for our club, are not motivated by prize money.

Look, I managed all that without mentioning that we look great at the back (which we do, incidentally) or that we struggle to score which is probably difficult to back up after a 5-0 win.

The quadruple dream lives on – bring on the Larkhall!

 

 

If you listened to our latest podcast, you will have heard us talk about Jordan Dyer joining a cast of thousands who have played just once for Yeovil Town – and if you didn’t listen, you can do – here.

Well, we promised you we’d list as many as we can from the YTFC Player Archive, salvaged from Ciderspace and available to you here, so here they are:

  1. Devon Arnold
  2. Zoumana Bakayogo
  3. Martin Barlow
  4. Flavien Belson
  5. Dale Bennett
  6. Jason Blunt
  7. Raphael Burke
  8. Tom Clarke
  9. Les Cleevely
  10. Billy Clifford
  11. Jordan Cook
  12. Kyle Copp
  13. Tommy Doherty
  14. Jordan Dyer
  15. Craig Eastmond
  16. Josh Ezewele
  17. Wayne Farnell-Jack
  18. Wes Fletcher
  19. Martin Gardener
  20. Andy Harris
  21. Keith Harvey
  22. Sam Johnstone
  23. Joey Jones
  24. Danny Maguire
  25. Faisal Mali
  26. Gavin McCallum
  27. Geoff Merrick
  28. Stuart Milne
  29. Archange Nkumu
  30. David Norris
  31. Colin Omogebehin
  32. Caleb Richards – came off at half-time in an FA Trophy defeat at home to Notts County.
  33. Ben Roberts
  34. Kevin Roberts
  35. Ben Rowe
  36. Nestor Shako
  37. Simon Spencer
  38. Jack Storer
  39. Nathan Talbott
  40. Bradley Thomas
  41. Clive Whitehead
  42. Dale Williams
  43. David Woozley
  44. Adam Wratten
  45. Kelly Youga

Are there any others you can think of? If so, drop us a tweet at @Gloverscast or message us on Facebook and we’ll add to the list.

The Glovercast’s Ben Barrett took up residence in the Thatcher’s Stand to see Yeovil Town pick up their first victory in eight matches with a much-improved performance and a 2-0 win over Woking.

Here’s his Five Conclusions on what he saw….

First thing is first, you’ll have to let me have one for myself, but it was really nice being a supporter again.

That sounds stupid, but I’ve only watched on streams, or on TV, or had my professional hat on as part of the media.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m VERY lucky to do occasional bits for the BBC and I’ll never turn those chances down. But to stand in what used to be something of my usual spot, just behind the left hand post in the home terrace with my Dad, a cup of coffee and a few familiar faces (hi, Foxy!) felt fantastic.

It’s been a while since I’ve had that feeling and whilst the overall ‘match day experience’ still leaves a lot to be desired, but being told by a steward ‘don’t worry about that, it’s only Woking’ as I held my arms aloft expecting a pat down, to Max Evans saying ‘evening’ with a little nod as we crossed eyes whilst I waited for Dad to go through the turnstile reminded me, that it’s not ALL bad at Huish Park.

Onto the football then and this is my first experience of the 4-3-3 formation and for me it has one main benefit and one major flaw.

We’ll start with the benefit, because you know… #BeMoreBarrett and all that.

Knowles and Wakefield are seriously dangerous attacking options in the front line.

Catching Woking on the break, quick one touch passing through midfield and either a ball whipped down the line or sprayed out wide was the order of the day and it worked nearly every single time.

That man Tom Knowles (#DFILWF) back in the goals – and we love to see it.

Having one of those split the full back and the central defender meant they didn’t really know how to defend against us, afraid to push their full backs on for fear of being caught and defenders being pulled out of their regimented shape.

Wrap these two up in cotton wool, protect them at all costs… and it’s absolutely fine to fall in love with footballers.

However, the Yin to that Yang is that I’m not quite sure where it leaves our midfield.

Jordan Barnett on the left of three is fine when in full attacking flow, but he did occasionally fall out of position as possession fell to Woking.

Matt Worthington continues to work his backside off, but he isn’t a right sided player, almost opposite to Barnett he DOES look fairly well placed when we don’t have the ball, save for a few uncontrolled hooked clearances, he wasn’t quite the attacking driver that Barnett was on the other side.

Dale Gorman was combative and all hustle and bustle, but at times in the 2nd half, I wanted a controller, someone to dictate the play and he isn’t quite that.

When I knew I was going to do these conclusions, I really hoped to have something concrete (and ideally positive) to say about whoever led the line up front.

But… after an hour of seeing him from the start… I just don’t know what to think about Adi Yussuf.

I think I enjoyed his first half performance, I think he was reasonable at the back-to-goal stuff, I think we played less hoof-ball that we seem to revert to for Joe Quigley, and I think he put himself about and ruffled a few feathers… but I don’t KNOW any of these things… you know?

He was pretty anonymous in the second half and I wasn’t surprised to see him come off after a pretty stale 15 minutes in the second period, I don’t know that we missed him, but I don’t know if there might be more in there.

I think I want to see him have a bit of a run in the side, I think I want him to have a bit more of a chance to impose his game on our style of play, but I don’t KNOW any of these things… you know? No? Sorry.

Finally, I’ve been thinking about what happens now we’ve ended the winless run.

After the 3-0 win against Stockport, we were crying out for a performance to back it up, to probe it wasn’t a one-off.

Now, I think we desperately need to back that performance up.

We can talk about ‘runs of one’ and resetting after the previous result, regardless of a win, a loss or a draw, but there isn’t a Yeovil fan out there who is desperate to see a bit of a streak of results.

Another three points on Saturday away at Solihull would lead us nicely into another big couple of weeks, with a prime opportunity against Yate Town in the FA Cup and then a couple tests with Eastleigh and Dagenham on the horizon in the league.

The Gaffer giving it the big ‘un after a much-improved performance. He’ll be wanting more like that from his side going forward.

That was a solid 2-0 win, about a solid of a win as you can ask for, there is an extra gear to find, a gear that will determine if we’re a side with ambitions of glancing up and thinking… ‘maybe’… or a side glancing over our shoulders thinking… ‘oh, maybe’.

Shall we do it again on Saturday? Yeah, go on then.

 

 

 

Yeovil Town went down to a 2-0 defeat at National League table-toppers Grimsby Town yesterday, stretching their run without a win to eight matches. 

Marcus Duncomb, who was on co-commentary duties for BBC Somerset at Blundell Park, gives us his Five Conclusions from the match……

Being 1-0 down away at the league leaders at half time isn’t terrible. But it was clear that change was needed in the Yeovil team. We never looked like creating any chances (which I’ll get onto later…) and with Simper, Knowles and Yussuf all on the bench, I think Darren Sarll needed to look to his bench earlier than he did. This has happened in a few games now and while I understand that we don’t have much squad depth at the moment, there were at least three players on the bench who could have influenced the game.

We were actually quite solid at the back and retained possession nicely in midfield. Yes, we conceded two goals, but one of them was a penalty and the other was in the 90th minute when we’d lumped Max Hunt up front to go all out for an equaliser. As much as Yeovil couldn’t get forward much, the team did very well to limit the chances that Grimsby created. We kept the league leaders quiet for the majority of the match which is a positive.

We never looked like scoring. I don’t know what our attacking plan is or, indeed, if there is one but we never threatened Grimsby’s defence. We had a lot of the ball in midfield but the final ball was just non-existent. We’re missing that Lawson D’Ath-esque playmaker in midfield and also midfielders who make runs into the box like Jimmy Smith and Albi Skendi. I’m aware I’m just listing previous players who we could do with now, but we really are crying out for goals and creativity from midfield.

Get him some tequila because Dale Gorman bloody loves a shot. Any time he gets the ball with in 40 yards of the goal and with some space ahead of him, the Irishman will be lining up to thump one from range. Don’t get me wrong, we need goals so please try anything! Sometimes however, we’ve worked the ball into a decent position deep in the opponent’s box and could create a clear-cut chance but he just gifts the opponent a goal kick from a pot shot.

As Sheridan said in the Five Conclusions from the W*ymouth replay – Sonny Blu Lo-Everton is a very talented footballer. He’s got great skill and frightening technique, but some games just don’t fit his style or maybe he doesn’t suit Yeovil’s style. I really want him to succeed, and I know he can, but unfortunately he got pushed off the ball a few too many times and the game just passed him by leaving him somewhat invisible.

Magic of the FA Cup? Maybe. Just maybe it could be ‘our year’ for a cup run after a rollercoaster match with fierce rivals Weymouth.  

Here are Sheridan Robins’ five conclusions from that 1-1 (2-1) penalty shoot-out win.  

The W*ymouth, Yeovil derby has been merely something which happened in our history for me, aged 30, and while no one wanted to be at the same level as them again, it is clear the bite of the tie has not been lost. The past two games have had atmospheres which have not been seen in at least five years, following relegation battles and the lack of away fans at National League level. I may be saying this because they have not beaten us in the past four matches against them – but I very much enjoy the fire in the fixture.  

Sonny Blu Lo-Everton is a supremely talented footballer – and wise beyond his years. I thought this was his finest performance in green and white with relentless running combined with wonderful skill which Weymouth’s back line could not handle. He also presented himself brilliantly in his post-match interview, seeming far older than his 19 years, but also with a lovely sense of joy that he just enjoyed playing for his club out there.  

Penalty shoot-outs can be low quality and exciting. It was probably a decider with one of the lowest numbers of decent penalties in history – yet it was edge of your seat stuff. Those you expected to score didn’t (Sean Shields, Tom Knowles) – and perhaps not your first choices dispatched it perfectly (Adi Yusseff, Dale Gorman). With Joe Quigley having missed in the dying seconds of extra time, too, the fact the Glovers managed to win that is quite something. I had thought we had seen the last of our penalty woes…but that is a worry for another day.  

We need to watch our opponents’ substitutes. A slightly more serious one – with both of W*ymouth’s goals coming from changes from the bench through Bearwish and McQuoid respectively. There is of course the question of slight naivety from our young side to concede goals so late, but our opponents did manage to change it up both times and affect us. Substitute Yussuf – of course – won the penalty late on, but other teams in our division seem to have stronger squads to affect change – but with Lewis Simper now back in contention, that may well change in the next few weeks. 

Terry Skiverton bleeds green and white. Ok, this is a cheat conclusion, as everyone knows this, but what a sight to behold to see a true Yeovil legend joining (and starting) in all the best chants with a host of young players he is helping to mould. He has been through so much with us and maybe doesn’t always get the credit he deserves. I have no doubt that Sir Terry Skiverton had a lot to do with the desire we saw on the pitch last night. 

Four games in the spin at Huish Park and things couldn’t be much worse. Here are my five conclusions from the dire draw against Weymouth.

I stick up for Joe Quigley, quite a lot. After Tuesday I thought we needed to change it up and take him out of firing line, and his performance against Weymouth validated that view. He was given a torrid afternoon by Josef Yarney. The defender physically dominated Quigley. He was sharper. Quicker to the ball and had the nous to earn free-kick after free-kick at the expense of Quigley. Our top scorer’s awful afternoon was compounded when he failed to retain possession from a corner in the 90th minute when trying to wind the clock down which allowed Weymouth to get the ball up the pitch and find an equaliser.

We stuck with a 4-3-3 with Charlie Wakefield up front and it worked nicely in the first 45 minutes. Wakefield took his goal nicely and caused problems for the Weymouth defence. As we dropped deeper in the second half we struggled to get Wakefield on the ball and couldn’t utilise his energy. Wakefield is becoming a bright spark in what has been a dark couple of weeks for the Glovers.

As the second half wore on, the eventual equaliser was as obvious as Phil Jevons putting away a penalty. Grant Smith was taking time on his goal kicks in the first half and in the second we were in no hurry to chase a second goal. Weymouth made tactical changes, brought on fresh legs up front and we dropped deeper and deeper. We made Omar Mussa look like Xabi Alonso in midfield, giving him time and space to dictate proceedings. Our changes saw us bring on a left back for Tom Knowles and move a left back into his position. We were about bring on Lewis Simper to kill some minutes but we never got him on the pitch. Our tactics in the second half invited Weymouth onto us and we paid the price. The resilience and robustness we lauded at the start of the season has been replaced by fragility and fear

There were the most vocal chants against our absentee owner who, once again, couldn’t find his way to Huish Park. As the silence continues, the vociferousness of opinion will only continue to grow and he only has himself to blame for that. It was time for someone to stick their head out before the Altrincham game. The longer this goes on, the more toxic the football club is going to become. We’ve talked about the need for total change on the podcast and it could not be clearer now. One of those at the table was at the game today, he has to know the supporters don’t want him running the club. 

We need change in the dugout. Darren Sarll’s race is run in my view. He exited down the tunnel rather than face the fans and I think the signing of Mitch Rose and his comments in the aftermath have caused irreparable damage to the relationship with some supporters. The quality of football is down there with his predecessor’s. Once we’re on the pitch, we can’t change shape or system effectively. I think he’s a manager who has got his hands tied behind his back by his boss, but his cosiness with the “custodian” who is letting the football club die is irreversible. He’s not the man to unite the fans and turn the tide in my view. With anyone else in charge at the club, I think we’d see Terry Skiverton managing on Tuesday and I actually wouldn’t mind it. Sadly, while Scott Priestnall’s at the helm, I don’t see any change happening and that’s why we need a takeover to be completed as soon as possible.

It started with one supporter inspired by the off-the-field turmoil surrounding the takeover of Yeovil Town  to post his feelings about what the club meant to him.

That with the addition of a hashtag – #YTFCMeansToMe – quickly spread across social media with supporters posting what the club meant to them.

Here are a selection of just a few of the posts, starting with the first one from Glovers’ fan Eliott Watts…..

…..if you are feeling inspired to read some more – especially if you are someone with a control over the club which means so much to these people and so many others – search #YTFCMeansToMe on Twitter or Facebook.

It’s the worst kept secret in South Somerset and yet it still appears to be a secret.

The two consortiums bidding for the ownership of Yeovil Town are led by current club director Glenn Collis and another group led by Julian Jenkins, an ex-Cardiff City commercial director and CEO at Swiss side Servette for a spell.

The Huish Park rumour mill is fired on one side by a bizarre string of online articles and now YouTube broadcasts claiming to have knowledge on the Jenkins offer, and the other seemingly from conversations being had between Collis and supporters at matches.

A YouTube “banter broadcast” from earlier this week where it was claimed Julian Jenkins is in the running to buy the club.

As a result, on Tuesday the Supporters’ Alliance Group, which represents the club’s main fan groups including the Green & White Supporters’ Club and Glovers’ Trust, issued a public demand to owner Scott Priestnall to act.

The chairman and owner who bought the club from in the summer of 2019 has consistent in promising to do what is best for the club.

What he has been less consistent at is keeping to his commitments.

When we last heard from our AWOL owner, he promised improvements in the matchday experience, strengthening of the squad for a tilt at the play-offs and regular communication to with supporters.

To that end, we have seen a burger van appear behind the Thatchers’ End which was selling warm cans of beer, a squad filled up with young loan players in place of the experienced heads which departed in the summer, and a owner who no-one has seen or heard from in months.

The last public statement from owner Scott Priestnall from a video posted on the club’s YouTube channel in July.

On the pitch, manager Darren Sarll is under increasing pressure after less than convincing performances in the past three matches and a massive FA Cup tie with local rivals Weymouth coming up at the weekend.

In fairness to the boss, he has made mistakes tactically this season, but with the options he has he is doing his job with his hands tied behind his back.

And you can say that about just about every part of the club which feels both rudderless and taking on water, combination puts us in serious danger.

When it comes to  the owner’s promise of communication, this week supporters seem to be finding out more about/completely guessing at what is happening at the club from filings on Companies House.

With the club purchased with a loan secured against its own asset, and now seemingly being propped up by a Sport England loan (we’ve had no evidence of the contrary so how can we know?) it appears there’s a genuine possibility of a total catastrophe if a deal doesn’t get over the line.

The final line of the Alliance statement reads: “As a group of united supporters, we believe the time is now for genuine change and only one group at the table offers that hope for the future of Yeovil Town FC.

It doesn’t take a genius to read between the lines and understand who the Supporters Alliance Group are in favour of.

The most galling thing of all is the sheer contempt which Yeovil Town supporters having to publicly call on those in charge of the club to have the decency to communicate with their supporters and their customers.

All those who put their hands in their own pockets to raise more than £50,000 for the club this summer, can rightly feel this complete lack of action from those who claim to be in charge is a slap in the face.

The voice of Alliance echoes that of supporters from all corners of the fan base – do what you’ve said you’ll do, Mr Priestnall, and do the right thing by OUR club.

Yeovil were held to a 1-1 draw by Altrincham at home last night and here are our five conclusions…

We did play better(ish!). We had a lot more shots than Saturday and we did cause Altrincham problems in the open stages. The movement of Yussuf and Seymour did cause problems until the injury to Altrincham ‘keeper Tony Thompson at which point they shored up. It was damning that we struggled to test Connor Hampson, a left back, who came on from the bench to have a go in goal. Eventually, it became apparent that couldn’t catch anything in the second

Joe Quigley opens the scoring against Altrincham.
Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

half, which led to Quigley’s opener. But, inevitably, we let it slip, allowing our former player Ajay Leitch-Smith to equalise. Once again we were left lacking creativity, ideas and failed to break down a side that had been protecting their not-goalkeeper for more than 70 minutes. Although the players felt aggrieved not to have had a winner through Josh Staunton, we really should have been able to do more than rely on a decision from an official to find a winner. Beforehand,  I would have taken a draw against part-time Altrincham (such is our decline) but there is no doubt that we should have got more than that in the context of the match

Don’t fall in love with footballers. Tom Knowles, the shining light at the end of last season. The player who many have pinned our hopes on for this season. What’s happened? Where’s that spark gone? He was playing in a different role during the last campaign. Is he a bit shackled with our new defensive focus? He was withdrawn at half time on Saturday and the first off last night. Something’s not quite clicking in this system for Knowles and we need to get it right. When Knowles is confident, and playing well, we’re going to be a better team. Personally, I want him through the middle as close to the goal as possible.

Joe Quigley had another one of those games which make you question what we’re doing. I like Quigley, I think he’s scored more goals than we thought he would and I think he’s a better player than many give him credit for. However, we’re not playing to his strengths. He struggled to win any headers last night, yet we continue to lump it forward to him. We need his goals (no one else is scoring) but we need to try and switch up how we use him. Maybe he needs to come out of the firing line for a game or two and we give Yussuf and Seymour a go together. I thought Quigley and Yussuf sort of got in eachother’s way a bit in a 4-3-3 last night.

The pressure is on. Three disappointing results in a row at home and W*ymouth come to Huish Park on Saturday, in front of fans, for the first time since November 1999. The off-field uncertainty x growing unrest amongst supporters is not the most ambitious crossover event in history and it’s made Saturday feel like a must-win for Darren Sarll. Even if we win, it may not be enough.

The Supporters Alliance Group are united. On a night when our gate was 1640, with Scott Priestnall absent (again) and Glenn Collis in the Directors’ Box the timing of the SAG statement has made it abundantly clear for those in charge and those at the table. The supporters of Yeovil Town FC want total change. The supporters groups of Yeovil Town haven’t always agreed on things, but at this critical moment in the club’s history they are working for the same cause. We want change, we need change and it can’t come soon enough. Obviously, it’s the owners prerogative who he does a deal with, but with momentum and a united voice, supporters should feel empowered to make their feelings clear.

 

Dion Pereira showed glimpses of his quality. Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

It was a difficult afternoon at Huish Park for Yeovil Town as they fell to a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Notts County. Here are our Five Conclusions from the game.

Once again it was another game with a lack of creativity. Two centre midfielders who play it safe, an out of form Tom Knowles and a new loan signing in Dion Pereira adjusting to his new surroundings struggled to create anything. Pereira showed glimpses of quality but the overall performance made it near impossible for him to make an impact. Charlie Wakefield looks better on the right hand side than the left, and looked a threat after his half time introduction, but Joe Quigley is looking increasingly isolated. I know it’s easy to say, but we need an Ed Upson. 

I think there’s a decision to be made about Sonny Blu Lo-Everton. The youngster is struggling to adapt to the physicality of the National League. He was withdrawn early against Chesterfield having made little impact. He came on against Maidenhead United when they were down to ten men and couldn’t unlock them. And yesterday he didn’t get a sniff out of Notts County. I’m sure Sonny has a very bright future in the game but right now his contribution in a Yeovil shirt is negligible. We’re on the verge of crisis territory and it’s unfair to put a young loanee in that environment because with every stray pass, every lost challenge the supporters’ frustration grows. 

For the second consecutive game Josh Staunton was voted the sponsors Man of the Match. It was another strong performance from the stand-in skipper and he’s proving what a smart signing it was last season. However, when your centre back is getting man of the match awards, it’s a damning indictment of the shape of things. Well done Josh, you’re becoming a leader and standard bearer, but I’d love a striker or a winger to be Man of the Match on Tuesday after scoring three and setting up two.

Minus King’s Lynn, we started well this season. A solid and dependable XI that we weren’t forced to change. The loss of Luke Wilkinson through injury has created a ripple effect through the side. With Staunton having to move back (mainly because of Morgan Williams’ injury) we’ve had to shuffle the pack a bit, including breaking up Staunton and Gorman. But are we changing things too much now? Three changes against Maidenhead United, after an alright (given the circumstances) performance against Boreham Wood in our last outing. Another three changes yesterday, and I’m not sure why. Jordan Barnett has been one of our better performers and was left out of the team yesterday for loanee Jack Robinson. Mitch Rose, regardless of the overwhelming negativity, started on Tuesday but was dropped for Notts County. History tells us that chopping and changing for every match doesn’t bode well, and now we can expect more on Tuesday.

Darren Sarll’s final substitution at 1-0 down yesterday was to remove Dale Gorman, the slightly more forward thinking of our central midfielders, for a defensive midfielder in Mitch Rose. We had an experienced striker in Adi Yussuf on the bench. I think with 20 minutes left at 1-0, we should have brought on another striker, tried something different and at least gone down swinging. That change was essentially us forfeiting the game in my view. Our rigidity is our strength in certain moments, but it is a weakness when we’re trying to do the same thing over and over again and failing to achieve anything. I know we’ve heard about ‘doing Plan A better’ in previous seasons but in the space of two weeks, the team appear to have been totally sapped of confidence and are barely carrying out Plan A. 

Last night, the Glovers drew 0-0 with Maidenhead United at Huish Park, here are our five conclusions.

We’re not creating enough going forward is the blindingly obvious one. Darren Sarll reiterated a need for patience from the fans for the likes of Sonny Blu Lo-Everton, and the young players in the squad but for the final 20 minutes, Yeovil were up against ten-men. (Not that that changes games of course…) Against a semi-professional side who had not won since the 28th of August, we should have created more. Our system is robust and we didn’t give away a lot of chances, but I think it’s fair to expect more from a team who haven’t had a competitive fixture in 10 days.

Ben ‘don’t call me Tom’ Seymour showed signs of a spark. He’s got the pressing and chasing mentality that Gary Johnson’s strikers tended to have. He looked pacy and sharp and I think we can expect some good things from him if he’s served right. His low-effort at the end of the first half was his effort on goal but he worked hard and that’s a good sign.

Jordan Barnett who came on as a second half substitute in the goalless draw with Maidenhead United.
Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

What has Jordan Barnett done? I think Barnett has started well for us. Dedicated, decent defensively and happy to push forward too. I thought it was an odd circumstance to bring in Jack Robinson for his first game and leave out Barnett who had started every game. Robinson didn’t set the world alight and I think Barnett can feel hard done by to lose his place.

Last night Darren Sarll was asked about the signing of Mitch Rose for the first time since the midfielder signed for the Glovers. Rose, as has been widely reported, is serving a suspended sentence. When asked about the circumstances surrounding the midfielder, Darren Sarll said: “People should understand and know the full extent of any situation before we start beating people down. Mitch is an ex-youth team player of mine, I have known him years and if something untoward has happened in his life I have certainly not got any details about it.” It feels disingenuous to say you’ve signed a player without this information, especially when the player himself indicated the opposite. I would imagine the only reason we’ve signed this player is because of the ‘untoward’ circumstances. The manager had plenty of time to think about how this signing could be communicated in a positive and almost redemptive way, and he chose to plead ignorance. 

Another match where our absentee owner was nowhere to be seen. We’ve not heard any communication from Scott Priestnall since the Glovers Trust informed members that they were aware of two bidders for club. No denial, no acknowledgement. Nothing. In July 2019, when Priestnall met with supporters and the media ahead of his own takeover completion, he said: “I’m not going to put the club in danger, so I want to bring a fresh viewpoint on how the club moves forward.” At the end of the match last night, there were a few boos. I think they were aimed at the performance and the tactics and it seems there is a bubbling frustration amongst supporters, albeit a minority, which stems from the over-promising of the summer. If as an owner of a football club, when you insist that you’re building a squad for promotion and you fail to beat a ten-man semi-professional outfit, fans are well within their rights to vocalise their feelings on the state of affairs.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yeovil Town suffered a 2-1 defeat on the road to Boreham Wood yesterday. Here are five conclusions from the match.

Adi Yussuf let his team-mates down with his sending off. Two moments of stupidity in the space of five minutes cost Yeovil yesterday. The first was a needless push as the ball was running out of play and the second was another needless foul. Yussuf jumped in for a 50-50 giving the referee no choice. The team gave it their all in the second half with ten-men but it was an entirely avoidable situation to be in. Yussuf has since apologised to fans, recognising it was careless on his part.

Yussuf’s sending off laid bare the lack of game-changing attacking depth we have at our disposal. With only Sonny Blu Lo Everton to bring on we couldn’t change much. Neither Matt Worthington nor Dale Gorman were particularly inclined to get the ball going forward and it’s left to Charlie Wakefield, Tom Knowles and Joe Quigley to produce. Which is challenging when you have ten men.

Knowles came to life in the second half and created a couple of good opportunities, but we need more from him. He was our talisman last season and he hasn’t quite grown on those impressive performances. If we’re to reach the play offs this season, the nearly misses have to turn into goals and assists. We need him to be a killer in the box.


I probably won’t go to Boreham Wood again. Parking’s good, the facilities are nice and an okay cheeseburger. The atmosphere: non-existent. A good travelling contingent
in Green and White made an atmosphere, but the Boreham Wood faithful barely made a peep throughout the 90 minutes.

Yesterday we signed Mitchell Rose, a midfielder with a criminal conviction for an assault on a man and a woman, that left the woman with a fractured cheekbone. It’s a decision that cannot go unquestioned. Months after endorsing the #HerGameToo movement, we’ve signed a player with a questionable past. After the match, Darren Sarll praised Rose’s character. After talking about the quality of player we’re able to recruit, we have to question what pool we’re dipping our toes in if we’re pulling out this type of “character”.

Yeovil Town were downed 2-0 by a very impressive Chesterfield at Huish Park on Saturday. In a new feature for the Gloverscast, here are our Five Conclusions from the National League encounter.

Luke Wilkinson.
Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

The loss of Luke Wilkinson hit us hard. It’s never easy to lose your captain, but when your captain is your most experienced defender who is surrounded by younger players it’s a big blow. With Mark Little and Reuben Reid out until Christmas, Adi Yussuf is the next most senior player at 29 and still new to the group. We saw that lack of experience exposed for Chesterfield’s second goal after Kabongo Tshimanga capitalised on soft defending from Max Hunt and Wilkinson’s replacement, Morgan Williams. One long ball over the top should be handled comfortably but there was a real lack of conviction in the defending in that moment.  Speaking after the match, Darren Sarll said: “I think that is a hamstring tear, so we will have to dig deep in to the reserves or recruit.” 

Sonny Blu Lo-Everton really struggled to influence the game in the first half. Chesterfield’s back line, Gavin Gunning in particular, were powerful, imposing and dominant. The 19-year-old couldn’t find the pockets of space that $tockport County allowed and it was noticeable. His half time substitution suggest that the manager felt the same and his replacement Yussuf made more of an impact, although Chesterfield with Gunning-less in the second half.

Against Halifax and $tockport, Josh Staunton and Dale Gorman were impressive in containing their attacking players. They didn’t give Matt Warburton or John Rooney a chance to pull strings. Defensively, they are as safe as you can ask in the position and they had little chance to influence the goals that were conceded yesterday. During pre season I felt there was need for us to have centre midfielder who could break lines and make an impact further up the pitch and I felt yesterday was a good example of that. But for a speculative effort from distance by Staunton, the influence they have inside the opponents half isn’t creating clear cut chances. The absence of Lewis Simper is one we could do with an answer on, as a forward thinking midfielder he could have made a difference in the latter stages.

For all of our effort in the second half, it felt like Chesterfield were holding us at arms length. Our half time change of Yussuf for Lo-Everton made a difference but not game-changing. As a squad, we still seem short. Chasing the game at 2-0 and we didn’t feel that bringing on Alex Bradley would make a difference our other outfield option was Jack Robinson. If I’m Darren Sarll, I’m knocking on Scott Priestnall’s door (he was in attendance to see it unfold) and asking if I can have another option in midfield as well as another central defender.

Let’s not discount Chesterfield here. They are an expensively assembled side that fell in the quarter finals of the play offs last season. They’ve got Football League level players in their squad and have spend six-figures on a striker. That level of money in the National League is not uncommon this season with the likes of Wrexham and $tockport. They have Danny Rowe, Jack Clarke and Akwasi Asante to return from injury and if you listened to Friday’s Gloverscast, their fans are pining for seven substitutes. Right now, we are in a different league in terms of competing off the pitch.

I’ve adhered to Gloverscast Rule #2 and ‘slept on it.’
 
A late Tom Knowles (or was it Charlie Wakefield?) goal saw us pick up a 1-0 friendly win at the Cygnet Healthcare Stadium against Taunton Town last night.
 
I don’t think we learned much more than we did on Saturday against Forest Green Rovers. We defended resolutely and weathered a storm at the start of the second half. There was a clear focus on us maintaining a narrow shape without the ball and sticking to a tight defensive unit. With Josh Staunton in front of the back four, we look like we’ll be difficult to break down. Staunton got 90 minutes under his belt for the first time in a long time last night, and Monday’s Gloverscast guest is really looking the part already.
 
The first half was largely forgettable. We tried to keep the ball at points but we we’re lacklustre in the final third and didn’t really create much. There was a lot of passing around the back line before the fullbacks crossed to the Taunton keeper from deep. The trialist, who we are fairly sure is Zeli Ismael, showed glimpses but didn’t stand out.
 
We were set up differently than Saturday’s game, with Lewis Simper in behind Reuben Reid given a bit of license to roam. We looked like we were still trying to figure out this system and learning how to play together, which is normal when you’ve gone through a rebuild.
 
 
We looked better in the second half when Tom Knowles, Joe Quigley and Dale Gorman came on and we reverted to the 4-4-2 shape. We saw more of Jordan Barnett and  Alex Bradley trying to get forward and eventually our pressure and tired Taunton legs saw us get the winner.
 
My key takeaways from last night:
  • We didn’t create a lot
  • We didn’t allow Taunton to create a lot
  • Taunton had a very good left back and their Number 9 gave Luke Wilkinson a battle too
  • We look very fit
  • We’re taking the Sports Science stuff seriously
  • It was nice to be around humans at football again
  • Don’t fall in love with footballers