Gloversblog (Page 2)

Reuben Reid. Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

Two goals and a win at Huish Park. We don’t see that very often. Honourable mentions to Lawson D’Ath for his first goal since returning from his injury and for Josh Staunton for quite obviously playing through the pain barrier. We try not to get too high with the highs, but after the last few outings at Huish Park, there’s some positivity in Ian’s conclusions from last night’s 2-1 win over Bromley…

This was some turnaround from the last time I was at Huish Park. It was important that we got going early and didn’t repeat the mistakes of the Dagenham and Grimsby games and we couldn’t have started any differently. Lawson D’Ath’s 10th minute opener got us going, but we’d had two or three shots before we’d scored. We had 14 shots at Bromley’s goal last night, which has to be a high for this season. Tom Knowles, Charlie Wakefield, Reuben Reid and D’Ath were all purring when we were on the front foot. Recent standards haven’t been high at Huish Park, but last night we saw a determined team who left everything out there to get past Bromley.

Where did that Reuben Reid performance come from? We’ve not even seen hints of that quality since Reid re-joined the Glovers in January 2021. Had he scored, and he deserved to, it would have topped off his most complete performance in this spell. He held the ball up, had plenty of efforts at goal and Bromley’s defence struggled to handle him. It was the display of an experienced-pro, the likes of which need to become the rule, not the exception.

Ted Cann had a rollercoaster game. Our new loanee keeper made a routine first stop but somehow let the ball through his grasp to gift Bromley their equaliser. His save before half time was huge, though. A save with his legs after making himself has big as possible for the oncoming George Alexander. He had a couple of shaky moments with the ball at his feet but on this night the game was won. Hopefully he’ll grow off the back of this and as those relationships build with the defence we’ll see a more composed, comfortable keeper.

Tom Knowles in action for Yeovil Town.
Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

It was great to see Josh Neufville back at Huish Park. Our star of last season returned to great effect last night. He’s a totally fearless footballer who plays like a kid who’s having fun when he’s on a football pitch. He’s so direct with the ball at his feet and his celebration in front of the Thatchers Stand showed how much it meant to him to set up Tom Knowles for the match winner. It’s too late to make a miraculous dash for the playoffs (isn’t it?) but I feel like were going to get a let of joy watching Neufville tangle up defenders for the rest of the season.

Tom Knowles looks to be back on form. We saw the version of Knowles that was full of running and getting shots away with his right foot and his left. He left Bromley’s left back for dead and delivered a great cross for D’Ath’s opener. He can’t go through a match without a couple of whacks where you think that’s his match over, but his resilience is impressive. His match-winner rounded off a great performance which makes you hope the necessary work is being done on renewing that man’s contract.

After 810 National League minutes, Yeovil Town picked up three points again! Goals from on loan defender Ben Barclay and a free-kick from Dale Gorman secured a 2-0 win at Dover Athletic which in turn relegated our hosts. Supporter Ed Turnbull give us his conclusions from his spot in the away end in Kent…..

First things first: we won (first time in league since Woking away on January 29) and we scored more than one goal (first time in league since Wrexham away on November 30)! And,mid we scored from a set piece (first time in league since Dagenham on November 20, I think)! It was great to see Barclay tuck away a calm finish after coming close to scoring a couple times since he joined, and to see a Gorman free-kick that found the back of the net rather than the middle-man of the wall or the keeper’s midriff [or the car park – Ed!].

Charlie Wakefield

It’s a good job we did profit from set pieces because again our attackers failed to score. As usual Tom Knowles and Charlie Wakefield showed plenty of promise driving towards the box from the wings, but it didn’t lead to many clear-cut chances. I don’t think  Adi Yussuf had his worst game, but that really isn’t saying much, and, as always, he gave away countless silly fouls. Olufela Olomola had a good chance at the death – the sort of chance you could argue he needs to take if we’re to pick up a good number of points between now and the end of the season.

Ted Cann who has joined on loan from West Brom. Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

It was fantastic to see Josh Neufville back after his horrible injury, but for me Ted Cann was the most impressive debutant. His distribution was generally excellent, with long and accurate kicks off the ground. One particular moment stood out when he came out of his area and instantly controlled a high ball before pinging an inch-perfect pass out to Knowles far-forward on the right. He did have one heart-in-mouth moment when he was beaten to the ball by Michael Gyasi, leaving the Dover attacker to pass the ball into an empty net, but Cann’s blushes were saved by the offside flag. Ted didn’t have much to do in the way of shot-stopping, so he couldn’t be judged too much on that.

The atmosphere at Crabble was very subdued. Maybe it was the sunny weather that resembled mid-May more than mid-March, but the match had a very end-of-season feel to it. This wasn’t at all echoed in the effort the two teams put in, but it was as though both sets of fans had given up on the season, with Dover relegated by virtue of the fact they didn’t win on the day, and Yeovil stranded firmly in mid-table. Nothing but respect to the hardy fans that travelled to southeast Kent, but I don’t know the last time Yeovil fans have celebrated a win with less enthusiasm.

However, I hope that this win can be a catalyst for a positive end to the season. You can only beat what’s in

Oh for a win which brings that celebration again.

front of you, and we did that quite comfortably. I think this is a group of young players who perform better when they have a buoyant crowd behind them, so hopefully this win will install confidence in both the players and fans that we can achieve similar results against teams higher up the table so that our season doesn’t completely peter out. Let’s get another win against Bromley.

In the latest Western Gazette column for the Gloverscast, Ben decided to open the briefcase of stats once more to try and crunch the numbers surrounding our lack of goals this season…

So, read on if you dare, the numbers are not great…


Yeovil players celebrate Charlie Wakefield’s FA Cup winner in Round 2

To quote to the great striker, Thierry Henry… “sometimes in football, you have to score goals”.

He’s not wrong, and he certainly knew how to find the back of the net and whilst that quote might be taken slightly tongue in cheek on it’s matter-of-fact stance, it actually comes in quite handy for the Glovers.

Our lack of prowess in front of goal has been well documented but it’s only once you break down the numbers do you realise just how poor our strike force have been.

So, if you’re sitting comfortably, here are those all too gruesome numbers.

Adi Yussuf fires a shot in on goal.
📸Mike Kunz.

28 goals this season is the second lowest in the league, only already relegated (and Yeovil’s next opponents) Dover have scored less.

28 is a full nine fewer than Barnet managed as the lowest scorers last season (37) can the Glovers score 10 in the last 12 games to at least break that barrier?

Of those 28, only 12 have come at home.

12 goals in front of your home supporters, that’s a pretty expensive season ticket if you go by the tried and tested goals-per-pound method.

Of those 12 home goals, 5 have come before the 15 minute mark… don’t turn up late to Huish Park.

We’ve scored 57% of our goals away from home this season, a divisional high.

Some light relief for those who travel away from home.

We’ve not scored twice in the league since the amazing win at Wrexham… in November, we’ve not scored at home in three.

We’ve only got two points from losing positions all season… let’s hope we don’t go behind.

Joe Quigley, still our top-scorer (7)
📸 Mike Kunz,

28 is at least seven less than Aleksander Mitrovic has this season, whilst at our level, its just four more than Kabongo Tshimanga has… and he’s not played since just before Valentines day.

Add together Paddy Madden’s 13 with Angelo Balanta’s eight and seven from Rhys Murphy and you’ve got a former YTFC strike force that matches Yeovil’s squad this season.

And here’s the cherry on top. When we crashed out the EFL we scored 41 goals in 46 games… that’s 0.89 goals per game.

Our current ratio is 0.88

It all makes for rather depressing reading. 

Goals win games… goals sell tickets… goals keep the season alive.

I don’t have the answers, we all know the context which surrounds our club right now, but with the season drifting to an end, the least the fans deserve are a few moments to savour.

Channel your inner Thierry Henry, lads, sometimes, you have to score goals.


Don’t forget to read our column in the Western Gazette every week, available in all good local outlets (and the rubbish ones as well)

 

It was another tough afternoon for the Glovers on home soil, with Yeovil falling to a 2-0 defeat against play-off pushing Grimsby Town. Here are BBC Somerset’s Sheridan Robins‘ conclusions from the match.
It has been glaringly obvious the issues for the Glovers but the pressure on not being able to score means defensive errors are creeping in. When you know your strength isn’t up top, there is only so long you can be so impressive defensively. The defenders this season have certainly earnt their money and have done more defending than most teams – and eventually something has to give with the reliance on a strong back four becoming too much. Both goals were avoidable, with the second the most disappointing from a corner. There is no doubt if the team were able to find the back of the net, the defensive line would be a lot more comfortable – it is a team game after all.
The players are putting their bodies on the line. Reminiscent of last season when Lawson D’Ath played a full 90 when he really shouldn’t have, players are entering the business end of the season with a whole heap of minutes behind them and bodies which could do with a rest. Charlie Wakefield – for example – has racked up considerably more minutes than his last few seasons combined but must play every week. It cannot be an excuse, of course, but Grimsby were able to make five changes and keep their usual system – this is not possible for Yeovil and the manager knows they are putting everything in when their bodies are screaming at them. That commitment doesn’t equal points, but it explains why fans are still so fond of this team, despite the form.
Lawson D’Ath. Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

I think it is fair to say there are few midfielders better with the ball to feet in the National League than Lawson D’Ath and it was a masterstroke to keep him around the club and support his recovery. His delivery from corners was just what Yeovil had been missing and his ball retention is unbelievable. Another 60 minutes in the tank yesterday and I hope we continue to see him shine in the next few weeks. There may be little to play for now, but for the purists watching him play is a joy – his anger at referees et al.

Yeovil are now solidly midtable and so Darren Sarll can and will mix it up. I liked the impact of the diamond early on and the back three was something we haven’t seen since the opening day. It might be something that can impact us and as the manager said after the match, if you keep things the same, the same things could keep happening. I will – of course – be at the games for the rest of the season and I would like to see us go for it, take games to teams and impact other team’s seasons. We had more possession than so many games this season against Grimsby and I enjoyed seeing Yeovil with the ball – but the key is punishing teams when we do. I expect a raft of changes over the next few weeks (within the constraints of the small squad of course).
Lastly, Huish Park has such potential but needs more. The Her Game Too dedicated fixture meant a lot to me personally and the players embraced what it meant, while young girls’ teams took to the pitch before kick-off and at half time. This is something the club need to do more of as it is so important – but the place needs some love. The staff are working as hard as they can, but they can’t do it all. As Geoff Twentyman said yesterday, BBC Bristol/Somerset are trying to talk to the hierarchy but to no avail. Certainty is needed for future fans, current fans and the players, manager, and staff. But, I am so proud the club has embraced the Her Game Too campaign so brilliantly – there are so many amazing women at the club working so hard and they deserve to be celebrated. I am sure I echo everyone’s views when I say seeing Pat Custard being on the front of the programme was a joy.

It was another disappointing night at Huish Park as Yeovil Town collapsed to a 3-0 defeat against Dagenham & Redbridge to leave them third from bottom of the home form table over the last six National League games.

Ian was on BBC Somerset co-commentary duty for the evening and here’s how he saw it…

We were masters of our own downfall. The positive of our season so far has our security at the back and the strength of our defence. We let an in-form Paul McCallum have freedom of the six yard box and didn’t close down the cross with any determination after just 6 minutes of the match. That’s not a character-trait of this side so it was unusual. To then concede a 2nd goal and in such ridiculously poor circumstances quarter of an hour later meant the game was over before half time. We know we have issues in the final third, and we haven’t scored two goals in a game since November. We shot ourselves in the foot and it felt like the players on the pitch knew the game was gone.

Striker Olufela Olomola.
Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

We struggled going forward again. We welcomed Olufela Olomola back to the starting line-up, but it was that familiar story of a lack of service. Conceding so early meant we were chasing the game but we never seemed to have cohesion going forward. Charlie Wakefield and Tom Knowles seemed out of sync (and totally exhausted), the midfield trio of Josh Staunton, Dale Gorman and Alex Bradley looked like the new combination that it is and never really clicked. We brought Lawson D’Ath on at 2-0 to bridge that gap between the midfield and the attack and attempt to claw back the deficit. Unfortunately, three minutes later we’re asleep on a quick throw and Dagenham put the game beyond doubt, although it was already.

Dagenham & Redbridge nailed it tactically. From kick off they applied pressure to our defenders whenever we had the ball. It took us quite a few goal kicks to cotton on to the fact that they weren’t going to let us play out from the back. Every time Josh Staunton picked up the ball from a defender there we two red-shirts on him looking to force the mistake, and they did repeatedly. At 2-0 they knew their work was done and when we did have the ball in their half, they let us keep it, perhaps knowing that we’d struggle to break their solid back line down. All in all, it was a comfortable night for Dagenham.

I’m not sure where we go from here. The last three results have cemented that we’re definitely mid-table and any run on the playoffs would need a miraculous set of circumstances. A couple of weeks ago Darren Sarll said his side’s seasons don’t peter out, last night was the epitome of a team petering out though. Unfortunately it’s entirely understandable. This squad is slap bang in the middle, most of them are out of contract at the end of the season and the vision from the boss at the top of the club is non-existent. 

I’m not sure if we ever totally freed ourselves from it, but apathy has set in again. The early goal sucked any life the supporters at Huish Park might have had, but there was a real flatness last night. Like the players, the crowd never got going and were given very little to get going about. We slept walk out of the Football League, and if we don’t drastically improve in front of the home fans on Saturday against Grimsby, there will be a perception that we’re sleepwalking to the end of the season and after that who knows what? A statement in ‘due course’ means nothing. Seven day deadlines mean nothing. If the plan to be so distant and become so unaccountable that supporters just give up, we could be close to that point. We’ll continue to clamour for clarity and at this point we need it either way.

The curse of the old boy struck again as former Yeovil defender Alex Lacey headed home an equaliser four minutes in to second half stoppage time to rescue a point for Notts County on Saturday.

Glovers’ boss Darren Sarll said his side were “magnificent”, Tom Knowles said we deserved the three points, but the history books will show we had to settle for one at Meadow Lane.

Here’s Coatesie’s conclusions from his spot in the away end…

Darren Sarll wasn’t gutted at what can only be described as two points dropped, but admitted his players were. I have to say I am siding with the players.

This was  another hard luck story for this Yeovil side.

Despite my disappointment, I found myself standing, applauding and cheering this team at the final whistle.

It is just impossible not to be impressed and heartened by the sheer tenacity of them, they just never stop working.

As the game ticked past the 90th minute, Charlie Wakefield appeared in the left back position to win a ball back and clear it. Yes, our winger-turned-striker Charlie Wakefield who has played so many minutes this season, he was tracking back and helping out his team-mates.

How can you do anything but admire that spirit? And be so, so frustrated that it was not rewarded with three points. I know, again. Ugh.

The disappointment stings more because this was another good performance against one of the National League’s top teams.

I’d have taken a point before kick-off, especially when I saw there was no Olufela Olomola in the squad. How we missed him.

This was a Notts County which “has not scrimped” on its budget, according to Magpies’ fan Paul Mace who we spoke to pre-match, with a team we were told would control the game with easy-on-the-eye football.

It didn’t happen and it didn’t happen because Yeovil Town did not let it happen. We hassled, we harried, we disrupted the rhythm of a team with quality and experience in abundance. If you saw the win at Stockport County earlier this season, this had a similar feel. We showed Notts County no respect, the difference between this and Stockport was players feeling the rigours of a season – and no-one in any kind of scoring form.

It did not make for a game of great quality, but with our team which is all about effort, that speaks more for our efforts.

On that point, my thoughts on last season’s Reuben Reid were clear.

This season, I was willing to give him a chance and take fully in to account the fact he had an interrupted start of the campaign to put it mildly.

But, Reuben’s mistake at the end of this match was simply not acceptable. A burst forward by Lawson D’Ath, fed the ball through to our experienced striker who we are told has incredibly high standards, and he allows the ball to run under his foot and away to safety.

This was moments after the Notts equaliser and was a golden opportunity to get a shot in on goal. Yes, it is one mistake for a player who was on the pitch for less than 15 minutes, but he is paid to get that shot away. If his standards are as high as we are told – and I have no reason to doubt they are – he will be equally infuriated at his mistake.

The fact we played three midfield players – one of whom, Jordan Barnett, started the season as a left back – tells you all you need to know about our scoring options.

Alex Bradley. Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

So, it was pleasing to see a goal of great quality from Alex Bradley.

We’re told he sees himself as a midfield player rather than the right-back we thought we signed and if he carries on performing like he did here, he very well could be.

There was nice passes, quality runs forward, strong tackles. There was a lot to like about Alex Bradley’s performance.

Finally, it was pleasing to hear Sarll and Tom Knowles praising the travelling fans at Meadow Lane.

Even when we weren’t winning, they were making a noise in an otherwise quiet Meadow Lane.

Every one of those 223 people in that away end were magnificent – well, let’s say 222, it’s a bit big-headed to call myself ‘magnificent’! We are supporting a team which in reality has nothing left to play for with promotion out of our reach and relegation almost a mathematic impossibility, yet we still turn up and make a racket. At the final whistle, the vast majority stood to applaud the players’ efforts and chant the manager’s name. There’s a huge effort going in on the pitch, but it is being matched in the stands.

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

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

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

Ben Barclay
Pic: YTFC YouTube

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sorry Adi, nothing personal.

Lawson D’Ath. Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sarll speaks to the media at Chesterfield

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

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

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

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

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

A point gained or two more dropped? Whatever your opinion, Yeovil Town’s draw at a Maidenhead United side with an impressive record on home turf fixes us even more firmly in to mid-table in the National League.

Here are Coatesie’s conclusions from the game in Berkshire from the away end….

For the first half Yeovil Town carried a threat going forward and, for the first time I can recall, it was not all built around Charlie Wakefield and Tom Knowles. It became obvious when both departed that we lost our attacking threat with the loss of Olufela Olomola and Lawson D’Ath. Neither player is obviously fully match fit as they both find their way back after a lack of regular football for different reasons. On the positive, we have two players capable of making a real difference going forward, but on the negative D’Ath tired after the break and was sensibly replaced and Fela took heavy challenge which he seemed to still be feeling after the game.

The more worrying thing was that despite our bench looking strong on paper none of our substitutions made much of an impression. Reuben Reid showed some good touches and looked like he got the winner (see next Conclusion), but otherwise did not carry the same scoring threat as Fela. Jordan Barnett didn’t have much of an impact, though on numerous occasions I had wished it had been him accelerating down the pitch from left-back instead of Morgan Williams. No real criticism of Morgan’s performance, but I just am still not convinced he is full-back.

Now I know referee’s are off the agenda (Rule 1 and all that) but what about assistant’s? Okay, I am biased but I saw little wrong with either goal that

Reuben Reid. Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

was ruled out. In the first half, Luke Wilkinson did exactly what his manager had been calling for and got himself on the end of a great ball in to the box to head home, he jumped, but he was looked simply more committed than the Maidenhead player he was competing against. Even on a replay I don’t put it beyond ‘seen them given’. Then the injury time ‘winner’ from Reid, well, my angle behind the goal was not the best to judge, the linesman had his flag up early but the fact the ref checked with his assistant suggested even the man in the middle was unsure of the decision.

We saw the best and the worst of Grant Smith. The Yeovil keeper kept us in the game particularly in the second half when we couldn’t seem to keep Maidenhead away. He was involved in a one-on-one battle with the hosts’ Dan Sparkes with some brilliant saves, but sadly his error for the equaliser was even more telling. From the away end it was difficult to see exactly what happened, but it looked pretty inexplicable from what I could make of it.

Sadly, it was another performance which made me convinced we are every inch a mid-table side and unless we can magic up a fully fit D’Ath, get Fela firing or get Wakefield and Knowles back to their unplayable best, it hard to see how it is going to change. But let’s end on a positive, Charlie Lee is going to be an entertaining watch in the technical area. At the start, Darren Sarll shouted to supporters waiting to see which end we were shooting towards that his assistant was nailed on for a yellow card. Invading the pitch for the ‘winner’ from Reid. If there’s nothing to play for other than the pride this season, his antics could be worth a watch.

Another week at Huish Park passes us by and that means another Western Gazette column has been published.

For those of you who haven’t had chance to pick up the paper just yet, here is another chance to read our thoughts on how two key players could help us even out the form against the bottom sides to when we play the best teams in the National League.


Lawson D’Ath. Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz

Yeovil Town’s season so far makes no sense.

If you told me there was a team that had beaten Wrexham, Bromley and Stockport away, dispatched Halifax on the TV and picked up a pair of draws against Solihull, I’d assume they were set for promotion.

Tell me there’s a team that has failed to beat King’s Lynn, Dover, W*ymouth, Maidenhead, Wealdstone and Altrincham you’d have a fair guess they’d be struggling towards the bottom.

But the Glovers fit both these categories and as a result sit slap bang in the middle of the National League.

We asked both Luke Wilkinson and Darren Sarll to try and explain our peculiar record and neither could quite nail it on the head.

It could be potentially a mental thing, against lower sides we have to enforce the pace and tempo of the play as sides sit back and invite pressure, whilst we do exactly the same to those above us with all the promotion pressure that the big spenders have.

But, at time of writing,just nine points separate the Glovers from the play off spots, it’s hard not to look at those results against the relegation fodder and dream of what might of been.

Quite how we overcome this hurdle is a tough question, but it may well boil down to two things; someone to unlock the defensive lines of those who shut up shop and someone to find the back of the net.

Lawson D’ath has the quality to unlock those pockets of space, and find the final quality ball we’ve so desperately missed, and if Fela Olomola can add the final touch then maybe some of the drab draws or dreadful defeats can be turned into wins and the momentum can build from there.

Those two have the ability to take the pressure off of the likes of Wakefield, Knowles, Yussuf and Reid who have had the focus firmly placed on them for the lack of goals in the side.

The Glovers have drawn 7 games this season, a stat only beaten by Chesterfield with 10, it feels like the holy grail isn’t all that far away, but if the Glovers are to make a late surge – much like Luke Wilkinson said they could – they need to find a way through quickly and definitely have to beat W*ymouth next time, too!

After a disappointing defeat in midweek, Yeovil Town picked up a point with a goalless draw away at Eastleigh yesterday.

Boss Darren Sarll said his side were “dominant” for 80 minutes of the match, whilst on-loan defender Ben Barclay was pleased to secure another clean sheet – but the lack of goals were (yet again) the main talking point.

Here’s what Coatesie thought from the away end on the South Coast….

Yeovil players after the 0-0 draw with Solihull

Now this wasn’t vintage, free-flowing, exciting Yeovil Town, but it was an improvement from the defeat at Wealdstone where even the players questioned their own character.

This looked more like two teams determined not to lose, only coming to life when they thought they could win, before reverting back to trying not to lose.

There were long spells, particularly in the first half, where all the possession was with the visitors, but the same old problems exist going forward.

Yesterday we could not turn our possession in to clear-cut opportunities and it always felt as if there needed to be a mistake or a moment of brilliance to break the deadlock.

Sadly, the latter never looked likely to happen, though the former almost did at the end when Eastleigh striker Tyrone Barnett passed up a glorious opportunity to win it at the death.

Olomola chats to Sam Collard
📸 @YTFC

The man all those who travelled to the Silverlake Stadium was hoping could be the difference was new boy Olufela Olomola, back for his third loan spell at Huish Park.

It did not quite click straight away, but there was enough there from Fela to make you think it could.

He has had two appearances for his parent club, Hartlepool United, in the past month, playing less than 90 minutes in total in those matches, so it’s going to take him a bit of time to get up to speed.

There were some signs of a link with Tom Knowles and Charlie Wakefield forming, and his chance at the end of the first half suggests there is more to come.

Fela didn’t affect the game as we’d hoped, but give him a full week of training and let’s see how he looks against Dagenham next weekend.

Ben Barclay
Pic: YTFC YouTube


But defensively Yeovil looked sound again after some errors in midweek and Ben Barclay is looking a very shrewd signing on loan from Stockport County.

It was the centre half who actually came closest to breaking the deadlock when his header came off the crossbar following a header from his defensive partner Luke Wilkinson.

Wilko spoke before the game about the need for the Glovers’ backline to chip in with goals, and on another day that corner routine could have done just that.

The fact the absence of Max Hunt, one of our top performers this season, has gone pretty much unnoticed says everything you need to know about Barclay’s performances since his arrival.

This one could be a little controversial, but I do think Tom Knowles was lucky only to only see a yellow card at the end there.

And, yes, before you start swearing at your mobile/laptop/tablet, Eastleigh’s Ryan Hill was even more fortunate to remain on the pitch!

I held my breath when Knowles went in late on keeper Joe McDonnell the action which incensed Hill to shove his opponent to the ground.

Both McDonnell and Knowles were more than a little theatrical in their responses to the fouls.

Knowles went down for treatment, giving the referee a lot of time to confer with his assistants, and the result was a yellow card apiece.

Had the ref decided to go for red, there was every chance a National League ref (*Rule 1 invoked*) could have tried to keep the numbers level.

In summary, it was either a yellow card apiece or a red one apiece.

Charlie Lee rises highest
📸 Mike Kunz

Finally, it was lovely to see Charlie Lee waiting outside the player’s entrance after the game.

Since retiring from football at Billericay Town a couple of months ago, I imagine he has his Saturday afternoon’s spare.

I wonder if he got inside in time to hear Darren Sarll refer to the assistant he plans to appoint next week as “a super intelligent chap” in his post-match interview.

Yeovil Line Up vs Weymouth

Yeovil Town have the fourth worst goal scoring record in the National League this season. Not one of our 26 matches so far this season has seen more than three goals scored.

As of Wednesday, February 9, our record against the current bottom six, reads: Played 6, Won 0, Drawn 4, Lost 2.

We need some goals. So if Glovers manager Darren Sarll has quite a lot on his plate taking on multiple roles, I thought I’d step up to the scouting department and do my bit.

Following the 2-1 defeat to Wealdstone Sarll said he would ‘ask the question’ to try and get a ‘spike’ or a ‘character’ onto the pitch.

So I got out the notepad and pen, headed off to the ‘Free Agent’ section of Transfermarkt, set the filters to ‘has boots, will travel, play for little, has hit cows arse with banjo at least once’ and had a scroll…

It wasn’t all 45 year old washed up nobodies, there were even some names I’d heard of.

I’ve tried to be realistic, assume we have a maybe a couple quid and an out of date bovril to pay a player from the Joe Quigley sale and here’s who I have found.

We will start with former Tottenham, Morecambe and YEOVIL TOWN striker, Shayon Harrison.

Shayon Harrison in one of the 15 appearances he made in 2017. Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

Remember him? His one contribution as a very young loanee from Spurs was one of the goals in *that* 3-3 draw with Exeter back in 2017 (shudders)

He was released from his Morecambe contract at the end of last month having only played a few games for them and you’d assume would be open to offers on a short term basis.

He at least knows the area, knows what to expect and can probably take a short term deal knowing he wouldn’t be confined to deepest, darkest Somerset forever.

Next up a young lad by the name of Brandon Barker, a one time Man City youth prospect who spent a short stint on loan at Oxford from SPL champions Rangers last season and did score a few goals.

He has represented England at youth levels and has been let go of his deal from Rangers on the final day of January presumably to allow easier access to other deals either North or South of the border.

Yes, Yeovil is a LONG way from Glasgow, but how about it for 3 months, make a name for yourself and alert a few EFL clubs for the new season?

Ok, this next one is very much pie in the sky, but you know, I’m straw clutching.

Remember Jerome Sinclair? All the talent in the world as a youngster at Liverpool and Watford and was meant to be destined for greatness.

But, unless ‘Greatness’ is a small suburban area just outside of the Bulgarian city of Sofia where he was last seen on loan in 2021, it never really happened.

Of course, at just 25, he’s probably setting his sights much higher than the middle of the National League, but he and Sarll would have crossed paths at Watford as he bounced around between the first team and reserves… fancy doing your old gaffer a favour, Jerome?

Hylton and Yussuf 📸 TomKingPhotography

And finally, Jermaine Hylton is on the list, only 28, plenty of games (and not a shabby amount of goals) at the likes of Motherwell, Ross County and Solihull Moors

He was released from his deal at Newport earlier this year and needs a new club.

Rewind back to 2018/19 he and a certain Adi Yussuf scored nearly 30 goals between them for Solihull as they finished in the National League play-offs, have a word Adi, get the band back together!

There are forwards out there, and of course I know it seems the money has run dry and the questions the Manager refers to seemingly never get answered the way he’d like, but I enjoyed the process of seeing what is out there, even if nothing really comes of it.

…and don’t worry Darren, I don’t charge scouting fees.

 

Yeovil Town slumped to a 2-1 defeat to Wealdstone on Tuesday night. Darren Sarll said he was ‘angry and frustrated’, Josh Staunton said the team had ‘let everyone down’. The Gloverscast has asked one of BBC Somerset’s finest co-commentators, Marcus Duncomb what he thought… here are his Five Conclusions.

Reuben Reid. Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

We could really do with some more goals. This one is somewhat obvious but it’s the main thing which is holding us back. In our 26 league games this season, we’ve only managed to score more than one goal in six games – the last time we did so was away at Wrexham in November. While it’s all well and good having a solid defence (not last night mind you…), you cannot rely on scoring one goal a game to win you matches. The more concerning factor is that it wasn’t like we had missed opportunities against Wealdstone. Reuben Reid was fairly ineffective and his replacement Adi Yussuf had a similar impact on the game. I heard there’s a striker Chesterfield have just signed who they don’t seem to be starting – wonder if they’re willing to loan him out yet?

I wonder if it might be time to start playing some full-backs. Morgan Williams has been one of our most consistent performers this season but, through no fault of his own, I wonder if we need to begin playing a back four of two centre-backs and two full backs rather than three centre-backs and one full-back. When we’re defending a lead or trying to keep a clean sheet, Williams is perfect for that role. Similarly when playing against a big side, you can see why Sarll puts him at full-back. However, when chasing an equaliser and struggling to create chances (as has been the case more often recently), I think it’s worth having a natural full-back there who can take on players and put quality balls into the box.

Lawson D’Ath. Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz

We needed a playmaker to unlock Wealdstone’s defence. Throughout the game, as soon as we brought the ball to the halfway line, Wealdstone’s back five would drop deep onto the edge of their penalty area and their midfield trio would be just in front. At this point our midfield would pass it around and be unable to find that crucial pass. Sarll has said previously that it doesn’t suit his side to have more of the ball and that was evident last night. I think we missed someone like D’Ath last night to orchestrate play for us.

Defensive errors are starting to creep into this team. When a team is built on its defensive stability and ability to win games by not conceding, there can be no room for errors. We saw it with the goal we conceded against Weymouth and both goals against Wealdstone were really poor goals to concede. If you concede goals like those then you have to go up the other end and make amends by scoring a few. Unfortunately, this team never looked like doing so and the only way we scored was by being gifted a penalty.

Finally, and this isn’t exactly a revelation, but we are mid-table team. Before the season I think pretty much everyone predicted a mid-table finish this season. The pre-Christmas run gave us some great memories and away days, but what it also gave fans was a tiny glimmer of hope to sneak into the play-offs. Sarll said during that period that his players were playing at levels much higher than they should and that fans need to manage expectations. Unfortunately, the way of mid-table is that if you go on a good run, you should expect it to be balanced out by a not so good run later on and that is exactly what has happened this season.

Charlie Wakefield. Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

As always, we’ve drawn some conclusions from yesterday’s 0-0 against Solihull Moors. Here are Ian’s key takeaways from the afternoon…

Oh Charlie! Our star man had the most golden of opportunities to take us into the half time break with an advantage. A through ball from Tom Knowles gave Wakefield freedom of the Solihull Moors half, but as he bore down on goal you could just feel the confidence ebbing away. He had so long to make a decision and in the end his shot was poor and easy for Boot to make the save. It was a big moment and it felt like it was weighing on Charlie for a while, before he got back into his rhythm.

We defended with our lives. I thought the match was a good tactical battle. Neither side let up, and both changed their shape. We weathered the storm in the first quarter of an hour, with Grant Smith making a good save from Maycock and Sbarra missing a header. The game ebbed and flowed after with both sides sharing possession and territory. As the game wore on though, and fatigue set in Solihull took a bit more control and we had to defend resolutely. There was that typical defensive determination as shots were charged down by Staunton, Wilkinson, Williams, Barclay et al as we clung on to a clean sheet.

Lawson D’Ath gives us something different. Forced into an early change with Jordan Barnett’s injury, I was surprised to see Darren Sarll opt for Lawson D’Ath over Sonny Blu Lo Everton. But Lawson gave us all a timely reminder of what he’s capable of with an unexpected 70 minutes. He’s always offering to take the ball of his teammates, in any position and he’s always looking forward. The way he brings the ball down is always positive and forward-thinking. I think his arrival forced Solihull to be a bit more wary of us than they were with Barnett. Although we didn’t anticipate it, this amount of time from D’Ath will be beneficial for him. It gave him enough time to influence and get in to a flow and built up a good chunk of fitness ahead of next week.

Lawson D’Ath. Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz

People are voting with their feet. Less than 2000 were in attendance on Saturday after a midweek game which had roughly 3400 home supporters. Did Friday’s statement about anti-social behaviour have anything to do with that? Maybe, but the statement was the right thing to do. But let’s be clear, there are a plethora of reasons why supporters aren’t at games. Chiefly, Scott Priestnall and his absenteeism as the owner and chairman. Huish Park needs more than a lick of paint. You can read a blog here about that though.

We are actually unbeaten in three games. It’s been quite challenging to reconcile thoughts these past few weeks, but we’ve stopped the run of defeats and, in-truth, picked up good points. Had we drawn at Woking with 10 men, then beaten Weymouth and then drawn with in-from Solihull I think we’d be happy? The last three results have yielded the same points tally at that hypothetical scenario, yet there’s still a cloud. Personally, I think the off-the-pitch uncertainty and lack of clarity keeps this cloud hovering over us, no matter what happens on-the-pitch. A 0-0 draw against Solihull is a decent result given both teams’ form, position and resources. I just think I want to be able to enjoy it without the opaqueness which surrounds our future. We’ve got a big week ahead of us on the pitch, but what I would give for a big week off it.

We drew with Weymouth, yet again, and we probably shouldn’t have. Here are Ian’s Five Conclusions from a game of two halves at Huish Park last night.

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

The first half performance was bad. We were disjointed and looked like a group who hasn’t played together before. Our dynamism up front against Wrexham and Woking just wasn’t there. We knew we’d feel the absence of Tom Knowles, but maybe not THAT much. W*ymouth controlled possession nicely and seemed to have an answer for whatever we threw at them. The first half was littered with misplaced passes, one of which put us on the backfoot in the fourth minute, loose touches and Darren Sarll reacted at half time.

Our second half performance suggests we may actually have a Plan B.  The half time introduction of Reuben Reid and a switch to 4-4-2 changed our fortunes, and allowed us to unlock our wide areas a bit. I thought Reid improved us and the switch allowed us to see more of Charlie Wakefield and Jordan Barnett. It took Weymouth a bit of time to adapt and we managed to grab a fortuitous equaliser before they did. With Knowles back, I think we’d all prefer to see the exciting front three including him Wakefield and Sonny, but if we need to change it up, we do have an option of a 4-4-2.

It was great to see Lawson D’Ath back. I don’t think we can overstate the quality of Lawson D’Ath. But for his injuries, he’d be an EFL player for sure. His composure, his technique and his vision are supreme at this level. His cameo in midfield didn’t help us to victory, but he managed to remind us of what he’s capable of and with some more games under his belt, he has the opportunity to make an impact in our midfield.

Adi Yussuf should have scored that chance at the death. He could have scored just after W*ymouth’s opener. I think we did enough in the second half to deserve the win but as has been the case on sixteen times this season, we could only score one goal when he needed more. Is Adi Yussuf the man to do it? It feels increasingly likely that he is not. Yussuf is a marmite player. Wealey was very complimentary of him during commentary, and he’s far more qualified to pass judgement than I am, but I thought he was poor. He didn’t hold the ball up, I felt he struggled to influence when he had the ball. Even his shot for the goal was diverted in. He does run around though, and cause defenders problems by being a nuisance. I suppose it depends if we want a striker who impacts games in that way, rather then putting the ball in the net.

Charlie Wakefield. Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

Give Charlie Wakefield a new contract, please!  The highlight of the night was the ‘Star Man’ on the right. (I can’t think of a player ever having two great chants). His running, his desire and effort for the cause is unparalled in this team. The hope and expectation when he picks up the ball vibrates around Huish Park and more often then not he beats more than one player to find a cross, get a shot away or do something impressive. In my view, he’s been our signing of the season. For a player who had a patchy injury record and struggled to cement a place at Wealdstone and Bromley, truthfully I didn’t expect a great deal from him. He’s f*cking dynamite, though.

Well, it wasn’t pretty, but a hard-earned three points for ten-man Yeovil Town at Woking are the first we’ve got on the board in 2022. Here’s how Coatesie saw it from his vantage point at the Kingfield Stadium….

 

It probably doesn’t bear counting as a conclusion any longer, but this team really is putting everything on the line for points this season.
In a profession where there is a dwindling amount of loyalty, we have a team constructed of those at either ends of their careers who are playing like their lives depend on it.
There’s no experienced heads looking to see out their autumn years on easy street, or youngsters who see this as simply a step on the ladder – or if they do, they are going to kick and fight their way up it.
I cannot help being drawn back to the comparison of the side which took us out of the Football League…..if that side had half the spirit of this one….anyway, that’s a conversation for another day.

Luke Wilkinson.
Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

How much do we need Luke Wilkinson? The manager described his performance as “great, rubbish and great all in the same game” but even at his most ‘rubbish’ he was inspiring.
Ben Barclay alongside him looks a useful addition and when the kitchen sink came from Woking with us down to ten men, they ran in to a Wilko and Barclay-shaped wall.
The stats in all competitions where he’s featured speak for themselves.
With Wilko: P17 W11 D1 L5.
Without Wilko: P12 W1 D6 L5.
That is if you count the penalty shoot-outs against W*ymouth and Needham Market (both without Wilko) as draws at 90 minutes, and give him a win for his two-minute cameo at the end of the victory at Wrexham.

Whilst you can only beat what’s in front of you, this was a very poor Woking team.
Missing their only decent player in Max Kretzschmar and now without their only goal threat, Tahvon Campbell, who moved back in to the League at the, they were devoid of any quality.
A better side or one with a player able to find a bovine’s behind with a string instrument would surely have put away some of the chances Woking wasted.
Even with ten men for half-an-hour, there was only one occasion where Grant Smith was forced in to serious action.
The effort we put in saw is over the line, but let’s make no mistake this was a poor opponent.

I could complain about the referee, Tom Bishop, who was seemingly intent on sending someone off from the opening moments….oh, I just did a bit!
But, there were too many occasions where we gave the referee an invitation he didn’t need to go to his pocket.
Darren Sarll described Tom Knowles as a “daft bugger” for getting his fifth yellow for delaying play, and it felt like both sides gave away fouls which you can afford to do  against a trigger-happy referee.
When both benches are throwing their hands up in frustration at decisions, you get the impression of the kind of game Mr Bishop had.

Finally, who’s still standing? With Tom Knowles now suspended for Tuesday’s derby with W*ymouth, Jordan Barnett having limped off with a hamstring strain to go with the ankle injury he went in to Saturday with, it’s looking threadbare.
The addition of Barclay was a plus and it was great to see Lawson D’Ath back on the bench – oh how we could do with his skill in midfield – but more reinforcements are needed.

Wrexham fought back to clinch a 2-1 win at Huish Park yesterday, here are my Five Conclusions from the match.

The supporters have turned. I believe there was a vocal minority of negativity towards Scott Priestnall not so long ago. But it felt different this weekend. The chants were the loudest they’ve been and even found their way to the Screwfix Stand. We can only hope the his statement on Friday was his final toy thrown out of the pram and there’s not more to come. He’s shown his contempt for supporters and from the reaction at Huish Park, that vocal minority isn’t such a minority any more.

Tom Knowles in action for Yeovil Town.
Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

There were times that our front three looked unplayable. The interplay between Tom Knowles, Charlie Wakefield and Sonny Blu Lo-Everton was the best we’ve looked going forward all season. Knowles’ goal was classic Knowles and I thought Wakefield looked to be back in a decent form. That said, we should have put the game to bed. Wakefield’s miss was a sitter and he won’t need to be told that again. There was a decent chance right at the start of the second half too. If we can get that trio working like that regularly, I think we’ll score more goals. And, a shout out for Sonny – I think that was the best I’ve seen him play for us. Calm on the ball, sharp with his passing and I think he held his own in circumstances he wasn’t when he first joined. He’s such a technically gifted player and I think/hope that’s beginning to show.

I thought Mark Little had a good game. He showed his experience and he showed why Darren Sarll hyped him up so much at the start of the season. He was always talking to his teammates and I felt he had some decent moments in attacking situations. Sarll said he shouldn’t have been on the pitch after 60 minutes, let alone move to centre back. He’s been talked about as a big influence behind the scenes, hopefully he can start having an influence on the pitch, stay fit and help drag us out of this run of form.

We need to get out of this run, soon. This feels a bit familiar, after a decent run of wins we now find ourselves on a run of six without a win. I felt we played well today and we probably could have won it, but the suspect officiating really did break our flow and the loss of Josh Staunton afterwards compounded that. We need to find a way out of this run to keep our season alive or I fear the playoffs will be out of reach. The problem is, our squad is thinning out be that through injury or the owner selling them.

Yeovil Line Up vs Weymouth

The spirit amongst these players is first class. Despite all they’ve had thrown at them in the last couple of weeks, this ever-depleting squad is as close as any other squad I can recall. This young, hungry group work for eachother and for the supporters. We said it early in the season, but the the bond between this group and the Huish Park faithful is wonderful and as Darren Sarll said after the match, they’re so close. They lost a big player, forgive the pun, in Joe Quigley yesterday, Luke Wilkinson has been out, Max Hunt is on crutches and Josh Staunton hobbled off but still they go on with energy and positivity. They are an infectious bunch of lads who the supporters are firmly behind, they are the antithesis of the owner of the football club.

On Friday night, Yeovil Town chairman Scott Priestnall declared that the sale of top-scorer Joe Quigley to Chesterfield for an undisclosed fee had been necessary to balance the Huish Park books.

In a statement, the owner said that the sale had been made to boost the club’s coffers “at a time when our average attendances are much lower than expected“.

Owner Scott Priestnall speaks alongside manager Darren Sarll in July.

Referring to the “much lower than expected” attendances, he claimed speculation around the ownership of the club was “certainly not helping the club cover lost revenues of playing behind closed doors (last season).”

Rewind to the end of July, Priestnall sat alongside manager Darren Sarll and declared that season ticket sales were “ahead of schedule“, adding this his focus was on ensuring his manager had “the resources to be competitive.”

So, after what no-one can question last season was a financial heart attack for all football clubs, let’s take a look at what we know about where money has come in to the club since the summer:

Sport England loans – £801,538

In two loans, the club borrowed £801,538 from Sport England which the club said were “given to clubs due to lost revenue from last season’s lockdown period” – it says ‘given’ but they do expect them back, incidentally.

The statement in August added: “This means that the loan itself is in relation to the costs and creditors from last season, and that is what the loan will be used for.”

In the very same statement, titled ‘Financial Update’, the club confirmed it had settled its debts with the taxman having taken a ‘payment holiday’ with HM Revenue & Customs during lockdown.

So, probably our most important creditor settled up with and a hefty loan to deal with costs and creditors from a season behind-closed-doors.

FA Cup prize fund and television money – £158,004

The third round of the FA Cup ended in defeat which meant no prize money, but the switch to the game on the BBC Red Button brought in an additional £32,000.

The second round FA Cup tie against Stevenage saw Yeovil Town pick up £34,000 in prize money and £60,000 for the game being broadcast live on BBC television.

Darren Sarll’s side progressed through the FA Cup’s fourth qualifying round (£9,375 in prize money) and the first round proper (£22,629) as well.

FA Trophy prize fund – £6,000

The FA Trophy third round win brought in an additional £4,500 and even losing to Needham Market in the fourth round generated £1,500.

Tally up these things and you reach the princely sum of £965,542. Not to be sniffed at.

But, of course, it is attendances that are the problem.  The lack of games at Huish Park with fans in attendance last season don’t give us a great deal of insight, but in the 2019/20 season, which ended in early March, we averaged crowds of 2,951.

It does beg the question why we budgeted for crowds of 3,000, according to a statement from the chairman, when we haven’t actually managed an average gate of above 3,000 since 2016-17 as a League club, but we’ll let that slide.

This season we’ve topped the 2019/20 average on three occasions – W*ymouth in the FA Trophy (3,354), Torquay on January 2 (3,866) and the FA Cup third round with AFC Bournemouth this month (7,818).

There’s been four occasions when crowds have dipped below 2,000 (five if you include Bridgwater in the Somerset Premier Cup), but that still means 41,926 supporters attended 16 matches at Huish Park this season – giving an average crowd of 2,620.

That is on average 331 people fewer than the 2019/20 season when we went out at the first time of asking in the FA Cup – so is that so different? For context, that puts us comfortably in the top half of the National League attendance table.

Last season, we also picked up undisclosed transfer fees for young striker Alfie Lloyd for “an undisclosed fee plus add ons” to QPR in May 2021, and frontman Courtney Duffus for another undisclosed fee in January 2021, and we’ve heard Sarll talk about his pride at the fees that he has picked up for players.

Myles Hippolyte was another who went for an undisclosed fee to Scunthorpe United in the summer of 2020, peak pandemic time – but that was 18 months ago, so we can’t count that.

On the field, the experienced heads of Rhys Murphy, Charlie Lee, Carl Dickinson and Jimmy Smith, who would have been among the top earners, departed our payroll in May, and off-the-field Sarll spoke yesterday about “staff shortages” – not least his lieutenant, Terry Skiverton.

Yes, we brought in Mark Little, another experienced head, but the majority of arrivals were of the youthful variety – hence having the second-youngest squad in the division.

So, with the thick end of £1m either borrowed or made through prize money, attendances dipping 331 below the levels of two years ago, transfer fees already brought in, a wage bill trimmed – and don’t even get me started on supporters’ donating more than £50,000 to a Crowdfunder when the chips were down in the summer of 2020.

After all that, we’re still in a position where we’re having to fire sale players to clubs we should be competing against for promotion, Mr Priestnall?

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!

To try and put into words the impact Terry Skiverton had on Yeovil Town Football Club is really quite a challenge.

For 23 years, London born Terence John Skiverton was a part of the furniture at Huish Park – in fact, he was so much more.

He signed for the Glovers from Welling United back in the Summer of 1999 and departed this past week.

We’ve seen tributes pour in from players and fans and quite frankly we’re not sure just how much more we can add.

But, what we can do is try and reignite some memories.

Skivo, played 383 competitive games for the Glovers, scored 44 goals and would go on to manage 157 more, overseeing two spells in the managerial hot seat.

He was an assistant to Gary Johnson and to Darren Way, lead the Glovers’ academy for a time and did just about every job going at one time or another at Huish Park.

From the bottom of all our hearts, thank you Skivo.

Words might not do your time in Somerset justice, but maybe pictures will.

We are proud to be working hard to save whatever we can from the now defunct Ciderspace archives and are delighted to be able to share these pictures spanning just about every one of the 23-years that Terry Skiverton was part of Yeovil Town Football Club.