Match Reports (Page 18)

It was another difficult night for Yeovil Town’s walking wounded as they went down to their third consecutive defeat on a disappointing night at Aldershot Town.

With a decent starting XI – with Luke Wilkinson in goal – on the treatment table, Darren Sarll’s starting XI was the walking wounded from the opening whistle.

A battling first half saw them match their hosts, but a defensive error from an out-of-position back line and a harsh straight red card for Alex Bradley inside four first half minutes left the already depleted Glovers with too much to do.

Here’s how I saw it…..


With too many injuries to mention – look at the match preview if you’re interested – there was a welcome return for Lawson D’Ath on the substitutes bench, marking his first appearance in the squad since the 3-0 win at Weymouth on January 5.

Joining him on the bench were four members of the Glovers’ under-18s, youth team captain Jiah Medrano, midfielders Adam Heaton and Toby Stephens, the latter who made his first-team debut at Wrexham at the weekend, and keeper Max Evans, who has been a regular on the bench this season.

On the pitch, the injury-ravaged visitors lined up with central midfielder Charlie Lee in the heart of defence alongside Billy Sass-Davies, and Josh Neufville playing at right back rather than his more forward approach with Bradley at the base of the diamond.

However, Yeovil started brightly and made much of the early running with Emmanuel Sonupe having an early shot blocked before Tom Knowles and captain Reuben Reid linking up nicely for Knowles to jink in to the box and fire in a shot that was well tipped away by Aldershot keeper Mitch Walker.

Shots’ striker Harry Panayiotou fired one wide having been found by a fine George Fowler pass soon after, but – despite what the Aldershot live stream pundits told us at half time – the Yeovil chances were not restricted to one effort.

On 11 minutes, Reid held the ball up well on the edge of the box, squared it to Dagnall whose shot was well-saved by Walker. That’s at least two efforts that had the keeper working.

But, that was about as good as it got for the Glovers in the first half, with the home side turning up the pressure after that with Craig Tanner having a shot come off the outside of the post.

The final 25 minutes of the half turned in to a less end-to-end affair although it was Aldershot who looked more threatening going forward.

That pressure showed up  exactly where Yeovil’s defence had players out of position with Neufville looking particularly vulnerable, as he did when he was deployed at right-back in the game at Chesterfield earlier in the season.

An equally big concern was head injuries to Sass-Davies and Chris Dagnall, the latter who ended up with a bandage around his head – injuries are not what we need right now.

Half time: Aldershot Town 0 Yeovil Town 0


Now, remember how I said in the first half that the out-of-position Neufville getting caught out of position? Well, with six minutes in to the second half, good play between Fowler and Tanner down the rightv saw a ball go to the back post and Chike Kandi got in front of Neufville to head Aldershot ahead at the back post.

To add insult to injury, three minutes later Alex Bradley saw red for a tackle from behind on Panayiotou in the middle of the box.

I’m obviously out of practice with this match reporting lark because I looked up just as the tackle went in, looked up to see Bradley walking. It looked wild to me at a first glance, but suffice to say not all of Twitter agreed with my glancing review, see below!

And, having watched the replay at the end of match, I concur with the views of Twitter – it was a yellow card, but never a red.

To add further injury to injury (or should that be insult as well?) a crunching tackle from behind on Tom Knowles by Aldershot substitute Jon Nouble’s on 69 minutes looked every bit as bad as the one Bradley saw red for.

Nouble got a yellow. What’s the first rule of the Gloverscast again?

Red card or not, the loss  put Yeovil’s walking wounded were under even more pressure and Kandi will be disappointed not to have doubled their advantage shortly after.

There was a bright spot with D’Ath making an appearance in the 67th minute, replacing Sonupe, and despite an obvious lack of match fitness, he showed his usual composure on the ball.

Sass-Davies threw his body on the line on at least two occasions to block shots coming in from the home side, but with nine minutes to go Dagnall headed over with a rare opportunity.

The home side continued to turn the screw and it was another defensive mistake that led to the doubling their advantage.

A long ball forward found Nouble with only Kelly in the vicinity of him and, with the rest of the Yeovil defence racing back from…..well, somewhere…..he played in Panayiotou  who hammered it home.

Adam Smith pulled off an amazing double save soon after, but dead on their feet is the way to describe how Yeovil looked by the closing 10 minutes of the match.

So, another defeat ends with me thinking the same thing as the after the last one – can’t we just finish the season now? Pretty, pretty please.

Full time: Aldershot Town 2 Yeovil Town 0

ALDERSHOT TOWN: Walker, Fowler, Sendles-White, Lyons-Foster, Rees (for Nouble, 28), Kandi (for Hinds, 74), Panayiotou, Anderson, Edser, Kinsella, Tanner (for Bettamer, 74).
Subs not used: Ogie, Miller.
Lyons-Foster, Nouble, Panayiotou.

YEOVIL TOWN: Smith, Bradley, Sass-Davies, Lee, Kelly, Knowles, Sonupe (for D’Ath, 67), Dagnall (for Stephens, 82), Neufville, Quigley, Reid.
Subs not used: Evans (GK),Heaton, Medrano.
Sending off: Bradley.

There’s plenty of things which have gone wrong for Yeovil Town this seasonbut  defensive frailties and injuries to key players would be in most supporters’ top two on-the-field issues.

In less than 30 first half minutes, both issues were cruelly exposed by a rampant Wrexham side who cruised to a 3-0 lead helped in no small part by gift-wrapped defending from the visitors.

Youth team graduate midfielder Toby Stephens made his debut when he came on for the final 10 minutes, and that really was the only highlight for Yeovil.

It says a lot that despite conceding three, goalkeeper Adam Smith was the visitors’ man of the match and without a number of high quality, reaction saves the score could have been much, much worse.

Here’s how I saw it…..


There was one change to the Glovers’ starting line-up with Matt Worthington returning from injury to replace Jimmy Smith who dropped out with a knock. Top-scorer Rhys Murphy returned on the bench in place of Alex Bradley.

Captain Carl Dickinson, who was making his 100th appearance for the club, started in the middle of defence alongside Albi Skendi, with Michael Kelly at left back and Billy Sass-Davies on the right. Add that central defensive partnership to the number made by boss Darren Sarll this season.

The home side took the lead in all too familiar fashion when Wrexham captain Shaun Pearson was given a free header to nod home a corner after just nine minutes, with Sarll screaming to make a substitution.

The change was made with Worthington replaced by Max Hunt presumably due to injury, but the shaky defending continued with Omotayo having a couple of chances against another central defensive pairing in Hunt and Dickinson.

On 17 minutes, Tom Knowles had the visitors’ first chance with a free-kick well saved by Rob Lainton.

But, it was another piece of calamitous defending that gifted Wrexham a 2-0 lead.  Joint top-scorer Luke Young was found in acres of space inside the box and his goal-bound shot was turned in to his own net by Hunt.

Only a fine stop from goalkeeper Adam Smith stopped it from being 3-0 with the Yeovil defensive all at sea (again) when Young burst forward and squared it to Dior Angus  whose shot was saved before Young blazed the rebound over.

Just before this chance, a tactical reshuffle saw Sarll switch to three at the back before reshuffling back to four after the plan’s shortcomings were very swiftly exposed.

Joe Quigley shot wide from distance soon after and to add injury to insult Skendi went off with what looked like a rib injury to be replaced by Emmanuel Sonupe.

Jordan Davies, who Tim Edwards from Wrexham fanzine Fearless in Devotion spoke to us about on Thursday’s Gloverscast, got the third with a free-kick from fully 25 yards out which bent round the wall and past Smith. Tim told us this lad was a future Wales international player and, with a technique like that, it’s hard to argue.

Angus and Davies could have added to the scoreline before the home side mercifully took their foot off the gas and Yeovil were able to see out the half.

That said, defender Theo Vassell was denied by another fine stop from Smith when he was (surprise, surprise) unmarked at the back post from a corner.

In reality, Wrexham would have felt disappointed to only be 3-0 ahead at the break. Heaven only knows how Sarll started that half-time team talk.

Half time: Wrexham 3 Yeovil Town 0


Presumably with the manager’s words ringing in their ears, Yeovil  did start the second half brighter with Neufville firing wide three minutes after the restart with Quigley and Reuben Reid both unable to get a touch to turn the ball home.

Shortly after, Omotayo was denied by a mixture of good luck and good goalkeeping from Smith who had raced to the edge of his box, and Cameron Green fired the loose ball wide.

Neufville was at the heart of some improved play for the Glovers for the first 15 minutes of the half, however, Lainton could easily have set up a deck chair such as the bluntness of the visitors’ attack. Quigley ran hard with little impact and on the few occasions the ball found Reid, he did nothing with it.

You always felt this was a bit like a cat playing with a cornered mouse – with Wrexham being the cat, of course – and in the 70th minute, Smith made another point blank stop to deny Pearson’s header from a corner.

Highlights were few and far between for Yeovil, but one was definitely the appearance of young midfielder Toby Stephens who replaced Knowles in the 80th minute.

He has been turning out for the Glovers’ under-18s side this season having come up through the Yeovil Town Community Sports Trust set-up.

Like many of his team-mates, Stephens struggled to see much of the ball in his time on the pitch as Wrexham strolled the game to a close.

With the last kick of the game, Omotayo found space on the edge of the box and hit it high wide and not very handsome – we were spared us that indignity, at least.

Can the season just be over now? Please.

Full time: Wrexham 3 Yeovil Town 0

WREXHAM: Lainton, Vassell, Pearson, Harris (for Rutherford, 39), Green, Kelleher, Davies (for Jarvis, 81), Young, Hall-Johnson, Omotayo, Angus (for Ponticelliat, 74)
Subs not used: Dibble, French,
Bookings: Young

YEOVIL TOWN: Smith, Dickinson, Sass-Davies, Skendi (for Sonupe, 28), Kelly, Worthington (for Hunt, 10), Knowles (for Stephens, 80), Neufville, Dagnall, Reid, Quigley.

Subs not used: Evans, Murphy.
Bookings: Dagnall, Knowles.

The course of this game against promotion-chasing FC Halifax Town at Huish Park changed in the space of 60 second half seconds.

In the 83rd minute, Reuben Reid broke in to the box and was seemingly hauled down by defender Niall Maher, but shouts for a penalty by referee Elliot Swallow were waved away.

The visitors immediately broke down the other end where Luke Sumerfield’s shot from the edge of the box was only parried by Adam Smith as far as Kieran Green who stabbed home the second.

Now, you do not lose any game 3-0 and think you deserve to go away with all three points, but there are definite grounds for scrapping the first rule of the Gloverscast – don’t moan about referees at this level.

We had enough chances to take something from the game but, whilst visiting keeper Sam Johnson made some superb saves, we simply were not clinical enough in front of goal.

With top-scorer Rhys Murphy missing again today with a groin injury, we lacked that killer instinct. Halifax didn’t and that is one reason why they’ll be among the play-off places and we won’t.

Here’s how I saw it……


The one change to Yeovil starting line-up saw Reid come in for Charlie Lee, suspended after his booking for dissent (grumble, grumble) at Wealdstone two days earlier, with Jimmy Smith dropping to the base of the diamond,

On the bench midfielder Toby Stephens, who came through the Yeovil Town Community Sports Trust set-up and Under-18s, replaced Reid.

Yeovil started playing towards the away end at Huish Park with a strong wind behind them and Reid fired the first chance from just outside the box over after five minutes following good work from Tom Knowles.

Former loanee Martin Woods, who played three times in 2008, had a long-range effort well held by Smith  in the Yeovil goal shortly after, but on 14 minutes Albi Skendi bundled Danny Williams over in the box to concede a penalty.

No complaints with the award and ex-Plymouth Argyle midfielder Summerfield sent Smith the wrong way from the spot to put Halifax ahead.

That goal probably came a little against the run of play with the home side having had some good early pressure, but things started to unravel after going behind.

The bad conditions – there was wind, hail and rain – seemed to hinder us with Carl Dickinson in particular struggling to find the right length with his set-pieces, whilst the visitors started to find some rhythm.

Summerfields long shot from a well-worked free kick was well held by Smith in the 20th minute and then next chance fell to Billy Sass-Davies 15 minutes later when he headed wide from a corner.

The on-loan Crewe man could have had a couple of goals from set pieces at Wealdstone and should have at least made the keeper work here.

The final chance of the half fell to Smith – yes, Adam, the goalkeeper – whose long clearance forward went wide.

That gave former Glovers’ manager Steve Rutter, who was on co-commentary on the live stream, the chance to recall the time keeper Dave Fry scored from his own penalty box in an equally minging day back in 1991.


Half time: Yeovil Town 0 FC Halifax Town 1


Reid, who had an anonymous first half, started the second brightly with a stinging drive from the edge of the box superbly tipped wide by Halifax keeper Sam Johnson, and shortly after Knowles bent a free-kick inches wide.

On Reid, I have been called out for being critical of his lack of goals and, whilst his link up play and creativity has brought something to the side since joining us, I wish he’d have more efforts like he did here.

A fantastic run by Josh Neufville soon after was ended by a cynical trip by Summerfield on the edge of the box and Johnson made another great stop to keep out Knowles’ free-kick.

On the hour mark came the Glovers’ best chance so far, Michael Kelly’s ball in to the box was headed down by Joe Quigley to Chris Dagnall, but a combination of the keeper, defender and striker contrived to give Johnson  a chance to grab the ball.

The first 20 minutes of the second half showed clearly that having at your backs is not the benefit that some amateur analysts (see above tweet) thought it might be, with the visitors failing to take advantage of the conditions in the second half as their hosts had in the first.

It was Yeovil who were asking all the questions. Dickinson made Johnson work from a wide free-kick and then, with 10 minutes remaining, a superb cross-field pass from Skendi found Knowles but his ball across the box was cleared away by Halifax.

The game changed with seven minutes remaining when Reid broke in to the box and looked to be pulled back  by Niall Maher, but referee Swallow was not interested.

The Shaymen then broke down the other end with top-scorer Jake Hyde, on as a substitute, getting a ball in that was cleared as far as Summerfield whose shot was parried by Smith as far as Kieran Green who stabbed it in.

In 60 seconds, Yeovil went from potentially getting level to being 2-0 down.

Then, in the first minute of injury time, Alex Bradley failed to cut out a forward ball and Hyde ran through to slot past Smith.

The linesman had his flag up, but unfortunately got enough on it to make Hyde onside and referee Swallow gave the goal. He was due getting a decision right, I guess.

Yes, I know, first rule of the Gloverscast…..

Full time: Yeovil Town 0 FC Halifax Town 3 (Summerfield, pen, Green, Hyde)

YEOVIL TOWN: A. Smith, Dickinson (c), Kelly, Sass-Davies, Skendi, J.Smith, Knowles, Neufville, Dagnall, Quigley, Reid.
Substitutes: Bradley (for J. Smith, 74), Sonupe (for Dagnall, 84), Hunt (for Skendi, 86). Not used: Evans Stephens.
Bookings: Dickinson, Skendi, J.Smith, Reid, A.Smith.

FC HALIFAX TOWN: Johnson, King, Bradbury, Byrne, Clarke (c), Maher, Woods, Summerfield, Chadwick, Green, Williams.
Substitutes: Hyde (for Bradbury, 66), Stephenson (for Chadwick, 78). Not used: Davison-Hale, Senior, Spence.
Bookings: Bradbury, Summerfield, Green.

A clean sheet, two nicely-taken goals and a second half to forget is not a bad summary of Yeovil Town’s first trip to Wealdstone in many supporters’ memories.

But, given the background to the past few weeks at Huish Park with the passing of captain Lee Collins, many would agree that a fourth win from the last six is a great result for Darren Sarll’s men.

It moved the Glovers up to the top of the bottom half in 13th place in the National League and this is how it played out…..


The Glovers’ starting XI was unchanged from the 3-0 home win over Solihull Moors on Tuesday night, with the only changed coming on the bench where Alex Bradley returned from injury to replace Rhys Murphy, and young keeper Max Evans took the place of Matt Worthington.

It did not take long to figure out why Wealdstone have conceded six and seven in their previous two home games with Billy Sass-Davies heading just wide before Joe Quigley had good chance blocked.

In the 14th minute, a Charlie Lee cross found Chris Dagnall who laid it back to Tom KNOWLES who hammered home a crisp strike to open the scoring.

Quigley had a good chance six minutes later when a quick throw from Knowles found him in the box, he showed a good first touch but put the ball wide with his second.

The in-form striker made amends on 23 minutes when, after a number of shots rained in from the Glovers, the ball landed to QUIGLEY in the box and he coolly slotted in his fourth in two games.

One disappointing thing in the first half was a yellow card for Lee who talked himself in to the book after ex-Glovers’ loanee Connor Smith shoved Tom Knowles in the back.

We’ve spoken on the podcast about the frustration of players getting booked for dissent, and it could have cost Lee shortly after when he put in a feisty tackle. That said, Smith proved himself to be a bit of a plum – to put it politely.

One peculiar thing which those tuning in to the live stream will have noticed, was the number of people who appeared to be inside the ground; perhaps it was the camera angle but it certainly seemed busy on the near side.

When the half-time whistle blew, the biggest disappointment was that it was only 2-0 to the Glovers.

Half time: Wealdstone 0 Yeovil Town 2


The start of the second half belonged to Wealdstone’s teenage keeper Jake Askew who pulled off two great saves to deny Sass-Davies‘ header and Lee‘s shot from successive Dickinson corners.

Just before those saves, there were three penalty appeals – two for Yeovil and one for the Wealdstone – none of which given surprisingly considering the referee was not afraid to get his cards out with four bookings apiece.

Quigley had a shot cleared off the line shortly after but, despite their chances, there was not a huge amount of quality on show with the hosts seemingly bringing Yeovil down to their level.

Wealdstone’s finishing proved to be as poor as their defending with Charlie Hughes putting a free header over – albeit the linesman’s flag was up, not that he knew that.

That said, it was the hosts who had the better of possession but could not punish some shaky defending from Yeovil.

Sarll responded by bringing on Emmanuel Sonupe and Reuben Reid to try and push on for more goals in the closing stages.

Sonupe had a great run forward, only to run in to a blind alley, and Neufville had a moment of indecisiveness in the box which saw another opportunity peter out.

Possibly the highlight of the second half was seeing Alex Bradley come on for his first appearance since the middle of March, and in true Yeovil Town versatile fashion the full-back slotted in to midfield.

That said, a second successive clean sheet, a couple of decent goals, a hard-fought second half if lacking in quality will keep us all happy.

Full time: Wealdstone 0 Yeovil Town 2 (Knowles, Quigley)

WEALDSTONE: Askew, Phillips, Olowu, Okimo (c), Wishart, Charles, Smith, Dyer, Green, Mendy, Lewis.
Subs not used: Shelvey, Hughes, Parish, Lo-Everton, Gondoh.
Bookings: Smith, Charles, Phillips, Wishart.

YEOVIL TOWN: A. Smith, Dickinson (c), Kelly, Sass-Davies, Skendi, J.Smith, Lee, Knowles, Neufville, Quigley, Dagnall.
Subs not used: Evans, Sonupe, Hunt, Bradley, Reid.
Bookings: Lee, Quigley, Skendi, Kelly.