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Former Yeovil Town loanee Josh Neufville may be loaned out again next season by his parent club Luton Town.

The speedy forward is one of three young prospects which Hatters’ boss and former Yeovil defender Nathan Jones is considering sending out on loan to get more experience.

Josh Neufville. Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

Jones admitted there had been “a lot of interest” in the 21-year-old who was recalled early from his second spell at Huish Park one game before the end of last season.

He also said that Dion Pererira, who had an ill-fated one-game spell in Somerset before returning to Kenilworth Road, may also be loaned out after a two-month stint at League Two side Bradford City last season.

Speaking to LutonToday, Jones said: “We’ve got a lot of young players here, we’re really establishing the football club and with Paul Hart’s appointment in the academy, the Under-23 group is now stronger.

That will filter all the way through the age groups, there’s a clear way of thinking now with the academy, it’s aligned with what we do, and it’s strengthened all that.

By doing that we can afford to one, keep young players in the building and not necessarily let them go out on loan, but there’s some at the point that they may need to.

Dion Pereira may need a loan, Elliot Thorpe may need a loan, Josh Neufville, we’ve had a lot of interest in him, but if they don’t go out then they’ll be in and around our group and get game time in the 23s as well.

So we’re in a real good position at the minute and we want to continue to get better.

Speaking to the Gloverscast last month, Yeovil Town boss Chris Hargreaves said he had spoken with Neufville about making a third return.

He said: “I have spoken to Josh Neufville about a potential return to the club. With him, the manager will want him to go to the next level and he probably wants to show himself in pre-season, but he knows if there’s any glimmer of him coming back, he’s coming back.

The door is open. The way he performed in some of the game, he looked like he gained from being here, so I would love him to be here.”

Neufville played 11 times in his second spell, scoring the winner in a 2-1 home win over eventual champions Stockport County, after returning to Huish Park at the end of March.

His previous stay in the 2020-21 season lasted five months and saw him score five times in 31 appearances.

Yeovil Town boss Chris Hargreaves is expecting to appoint his backroom staff in the coming days.

The manager revealed there would be two appointments who he has worked with in his career arriving at Huish Park.

One hotly-tipped candidate who would fit the bill is ex-Glovers’ striker Marcus Stewart, who was assistant manager at Bristol Rovers when Hargreaves had a role at the Memorial Stadium.

Speaking to the club’s YouTube channel, Hargreaves said he expected the arrivals to bring “experience and different ideas.”

He added: “I know them both very well and have worked with them, so that’s another plus to take some of the workload.

They know the size of the club and are looking forward to pre-season and get used to the players and the club.

Stewart, who was part of the Yeovil side which reached the League One play-off final in 2007, was last in the professional game as number two to Darrell Clarke at Walsall, but left by mutual consent after a year saying he did not want to travel from his home in Bristol.

He is presently Head Coach of the Men’s Football team for Maccabi GB which works with the UK’s Jewish community on a range of sporting, educational and well-being activities.

In the interview, Hargreaves also said he had “probably 50 to 100 players” who he was looking at bringing to the club and said he hoped to be able to get “some over the line in the next couple of weeks.”

He said: “Now it’s about getting the right characters in and showing them what this club is about.

We might not be paying the most money, but we have a history and a club and a fan base to offer them which is attractive.

I’m hopeful we can get some over the line in the next couple of weeks, but more often than not it will be late because players leave their options open to the last minute.

I’m hopeful there’s a couple on the horizon.

In recent weeks, the club has announced a number of members of last season’s squad have committed themselves to Huish Park for the coming campaign with midfielder Matt Worthington the latest to do so.

He has been joined by goalkeepers Grant Smith and Max Evans, defenders Max Hunt and Morgan Williams, midfielder Lawson D’Ath and Josh Staunton and forward Tom Knowles, who have also extended their stays.

Only Staunton, who signed a two-year contract, is understood to have committed to staying longer than the 2022/23 campaign, and Hargreaves suggested he would be looking to keep them for longer.

He said: “It signals their intent because they want to stay. Some lads are contracted (for the coming season) and we have to make sure we either tie them down or get the best out of them for their own careers or for us going forward.

There will be a few conversations to have in pre-season but I’ve spoken to most of them and they are committed to the cause so roll on pre-season.

Midfielder Dale Gorman has rejected a new contract offer from Yeovil Town and is one of six players who will leave the club.

Strikers Reuben Reid and Adi Yussuf, full-back Mark Little and the versatile Jordan Barnett and Alex Bradley have been released by new manager Chris Hargreaves, the club confirmed on Friday night.

Dale Gorman. Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

Winger Charlie Wakefield and midfielder Matt Worthington have both been offered new contracts and are yet to give the club an answer.

The announcement follows confirmation that playmaker Lawson D’Ath has re-signed for the 2022-23 campaign.

Even before the club officially confirmed Little’s exit, League of Wales side Penybont, who also have ex-Glovers’ loanee Shaun MacDonald, announced he would join them next season.

Northern Irishman Gorman made more than 40 appearances last season having joined from Glentoran, linking up with his old Stevenage manager Darren Sarll. It would be little surprised to see the pair reunited at Woking.

Reid and Yussuf managed just 11 goals between them with Yussuf weighing in with eight (including a questionable one in the derby draw with W*ymouth at Huish Park), but neither have impressed.

Barnett is perhaps a surprise name among those listed although he is still presently the subject of an FA charge having allegedly made 138 bets on football matches over a period of more than three years.

The decisions of both Wakefield and Worthington will be closely watched by Glovers’ fans.

 

Players released :
Reuben Reid
Mark Little
Adi Yussuf
Alex Bradley
Jordan Barnett

Remaining under contract or contract extension triggered:
Tom Knowles
Grant Smith
Max Evans
Morgan Williams
Max Hunt

Contracts offered and accepted:
Josh Staunton
Ollie Haste
Toby Stephens
Lawson D’Ath

Contract offers made:
Matt Worthington (awaiting response)
Charlie Wakefield (awaiting response)
Dale Gorman (rejected and will be departing the club)

Yeovil Town have added a further two fixtures to their pre-season schedule with visits to Dorchester Town and Weston-super-Mare planned for the end of July.

Chris Hargreaves’ men will visit the Avenue Stadium on Tuesday 26th July with a trip to north Somerset and Optima Stadium on July 30th.

In full, the pre-season schedule as it stands now is

  • Tuesday 12th July – Taunton Town (away) – 7.45pm kick-off
  • Saturday 16th July – Exeter City (home) – 3pm kick-off
  • Saturday 23rd July – Plymouth Argyle (home) – 3pm kick-off
  • Tuesday 26th July – Dorchester Town (away) – 7pm kick-off
  • Saturday 30th July – Weston-super-Mare (away) – 3pm kick-off

Oddly tickets for the final fixture on this list at Weston-super-Mare will go on sale at 10am on Friday 3rd June – here.

Tickets are priced as follows:

Adult – £9.00
Concession – £6.00
Under 16 – £2.50
Family – £17.00
Under 8 – FREE

Charlie Lee praised his Yeovil Town side for rediscovering their “killer instinct” to complete a double over leaders Stockport County today.

The Glovers’ caretaker boss admitted he had been critical of his side after they failed to put lowly Aldershot Town and W*ymouth to the sword over the Easter period.

Having soaked up pressure for much of the first half, Tom Knowles struck just before the break before Josh Neufville added a second on 55 minutes and then Yeovil managed to hold on for a 2-1 victory.

Charlie Lee.

Speaking to BBC Somerset’s Sheridan Robins after the match, Lee said: “It did not look like (Stockport) had ten men at the end, they were brave, direct and played good football but we dug in and got the win.

I have criticised the boys for not having that killer instinct you need to win games, we have looked like doing it loads of times but not quite done it, but they got the result today.

He added: “This is the best team in the league and one that would do well in the league above, so they are going to pin you back and they are going to have chances.

“We had to be a bit more defensive and look for counter attacks which we know we are good at and we made them count and could have got a few more.

“They will be disappointed they did not score more, Grant (Smith) made some good saves but we definitely deserved something out of the game, so I was really pleased.”

The boss had special praise for centre-half Max Hunt on his return after more than three months on the sidelines with an ankle injury.

He put in a commanding performance against the visitors’ strike force of ex-Glover Paddy Madden and Scott Quigley, having been brought in to replace Ben Barclay who was unavailable against his parent club.

Lee said: “I’ve got to give a shout out to Hunty who has come back after injury, you are always worried about somebody who has been out for a while, but he headed everything back.

“At this level you are going to do that, especially against a team like Stockport.

“His fitness is good. He’s worked so hard as he always does, so I just hoped he would make it through the 90 minutes because we did not have a natural replacement for him.

“Robbo was the only other option we had on the bench and he’s not had much time either, but they are both ready to play now. Hunty was exceptional.”

Of Luton Town loanee Neufville, he added: “When I see Josh Neufville at his best I am so glad I am retired because I have no interest in playing or training against that guy, he scares the life out of me!

I am just so glad he is playing for me and I don’t have to play against him. He went through and he looked composed, it was a great finish, but they all did their bit today.

The boss also revealed that midfielder Lawson D’Ath, who played 86 minutes before being replaced by Alex Bradley, had not trained all week due to illness.

Charlie Wakefield was missing through illness having missed training, but Lee said: “He will be with the medical staff this week and we are confident he will be back.

It was Lee’s first game with caretaker assistant manager Jody Brown alongside him after he was brought in following his sacking by National League South bottom club, Billericay Town, this week.

Lee added: “It was good to have Jody alongside me. He’s not going to be able to do any help doing any kicking, is he? He is more experienced on matchdays than me, so it is good to have him alongside us.

“He doesn’t know the plays as well as me and (Josh Staunton) and make decisions for me, and he made some today and we’ve got the win.

“I am enjoying it and embracing the opportunity. There’s lots going on, but there’s more opportunities to learn and hopefully we can win whilst I am learning.

Tickets are still available for Yeovil Town’s Easter Monday derby match at W*ymouth – but you only have until 10am if you want one.

On at least two occasions on Easter Sunday, the Terras’ website stopped selling tickets for the Windowman Stand terrace, only for more to come available soon after.

You can buy tickets by visiting the ticketing portal on the Terras’ website – here

Don’t forget it is a 1pm kick-off and there will be NO TICKETS AVAILABLE TO BUY ON THE DAY so if you turn up without a ticket, you’ll have to spend a day by the seaside instead.

If you are heading to the match, don’t forget to check out our Ciderspace Away Travel Guide to W*ymouth, see – here.

Young midfielder Toby Stephens has “a big future” at Yeovil Town and his latest loan spell will help his development, according to manager Darren Sarll.

Toby Stephens claps the Yeovil fans

The 18-year-old has been with Southern League Division One South & West side for the past month alongside Ollie Haste, who has turned out for the first-team in the Somerset Premier Cup and more regularly with the Under-18s.

Sarll confirmed that he will remain with the North Devon side until the end of the current campaign.

He said: “Toby is and is someone we have a long-term interest in. He’s doing great, I speak to (the Barnstaple manager) Craig Laird all the time, we’ve extended it til the end of the season, it gives him the games he would not get.

“I got a not particularly positive report on one game, I made him aware my eyes are everywhere and I’m not prepared to watch him not perform to his optimum.

“There needs to be a pressure on him to perform, he’s a wonderful young player and I hope he has a big future with our club.

Former Yeovil Town striker Kevin Gall has called on supporters from across the South West to fill Huish Park when a Glovers’ Legends side takes on a South West Legends XI in a match in memory of Adam Stansfield.

Gall and co-organiser and Yeovil fan Abby Carter have confirmed the long-awaited match will take place on Saturday, May 14 (kick-off 2pm), the day before the final National League fixture away at Altrincham.

It will raise money in memory of Stansfield, a member of the FA Trophy-winning team of 2002 who died of bowel cancer in 2010 aged just 31.

The game will also be a moment to remember many people who we have lost in recent years including Ciderspace co-founder, Martin ‘Badger’ Baker, captain Lee Collins and former staff members Stuart Housley, Bruce James, Maurice O’Donnell and Tony Trott.

Speaking to the GloverscastGall said: “This game has been two years in the making, it seems like forever but finally we are delighted we have finally got a date.

“Now it we really need everyone’s help to share it far and wide to supporters of Yeovil but all Stanno’s former clubs – Exeter City, Hereford, Elmore, and clubs from across the South West.

“It’s so important we fill Huish Park for Stanno and the unbelievable people we have lost over the last couple of years who dedicated their lives to Yeovil Town.”

He added that in the next few weeks there would be announcements around which players are turning out for both teams with a number from Yeovil’s most successful sides from years gone by expected to turn out.

Gally has also confirmed he will be bringing his boots – and has said he’ll bring back the tramlines if we can raise a good amount for the Adam Stansfield Foundation. That’s the gauntlet being thrown down, folks!

There will also be a match between a Yeovil Town Supporters’ XI and their Exeter City counterparts taking place at 10.30am on the day.

Details of tickets “will be available shortly and all previous agreements and purchases still stand“, the organisers have confirmed.

The game had been scheduled to take place in May 2020 but had to be cancelled due to restrictions around fans being allowed in Huish Park due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Adam Stansfield Foundation was set up to give young people the opportunity to develop life skills and raise awareness of illnesses caused by bowel cancer.

The game had been scheduled to take place in May 2020 but had to be cancelled due to restrictions around fans being allowed in Huish Park due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Anyone who is making the long trip to Dover Athletic may want to consider leaving a little more time with the possibility of traffic delays getting in to the Kent coast.

P&O Ferries, which operates ferries between Dover and Calais, announced on Thursday that it was sacking around 800 workers to replace them with overseas labour and there have been reports of security guards trying to board ships with handcuffs to remove staff.

The result has been the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) has called on trade unions and the wider public to “mobilise and protest” against P&O.

Dover is to the north of the town and a couple of miles away from the Port of Dover, but given the volume of traffic going in and out of the port there is every chance a few delays could very quickly become a lot of delays.

For everything else you ever wanted to know regarding Dover, visit our Ciderspace Away Travel Guide – here.

Yeovil Town 4 Bristol Rovers 0 – Saturday 13th March 2004

When Yeovil first entered the Football League, there always seemed to be a much more tasty atmosphere to games against Bristol Rovers than Bristol City, never mind Torquay or Swindon or any of the other relatively ‘local’ games we played. Maybe it was because we were seen as upstarts, for many years the little non-league club down the road that they could pat on the head and patronise, but suddenly in 2003 we were promoted and started to get ideas a bit above our station.

Yeovil’s elevation to the Football League came at a very low time for Bristol Rovers, often the poorer cousins of the Bristol clubs. In what is now the Championship as recently as 1993, they spent a few seasons in the third tier before being relegated again to the basement division in 2001. League performances continued to worsen, as they finished 23rd in 2002 only above relegated Halifax Town, and in 2003 escaped by the skin of their teeth, finishing three points above relegation thanks to a run of ten points from their last four games. They were a long way from the club who had been home to so many great strikers down the years, such as Jason Roberts, Barry Hayles and our very own Marcus Stewart. They’ve been a somewhat nomadic club in recent times, leaving Eastville in 1986 to share Twerton Park with Bath for a number of years. They returned to Bristol in 1996 to share the Memorial Stadium with Bristol Rugby Club, which led to the pitch tending to not be in the best of condition when we played them. The rugby club left to share with City at Ashton Gate in 2014, and since then frequent rumours of development or possible relocation to a new stadium have not materialised.

The very old school Ray Graydon had come in to manage in 2002, but was not well liked for his negative brand of football and he was eventually sacked in January 2004, not long after Yeovil won the first ever league meeting between the two sides at the Mem in December. The match that was perhaps not of the highest quality was settled by a moment of brilliance from Nick Crittenden. That wasn’t the first competitive match between the two clubs though, as they had met in the Football League Trophy (at that time sponsored by LDV) in October 2001, during the brief experimentation of inviting Conference clubs to take part. Despite being in the early days of Gary Johnson’s management Yeovil gave the Gas a pretty good game, taking the lead through McIndoe in the first half. Rovers equalised with a penalty conceded by Chris Weale in the second half, before the game went to extra time and penalties. The Glovers did take a surprisingly good set of penalties from Stansfield, Lockwood, Giles (in off the post) and Crittenden, before McIndoe blasted the last one over the bar and Yeovil were out. But it was an entertaining game which gave a good idea of what Yeovil might be up against should they get promoted, at a time when they were very much a work in progress – the next two games were dismal defeats at home to Chester and away at Southport, probably the low point of the season.

By March 2004, Phil Bater was in caretaker charge. Despite being in relative mid-table and having sacked Graydon, Rovers were in terrible form, with only one win in the last ten. Yeovil had been in patchy form since Christmas, with three defeats out of the last four, and were struggling a bit to find the right combination up front to hurt better League Two defences, but on the day were far too strong for the visitors and it was a fairly comfortable win in front of a full house. In a potentially tense atmosphere, nerves were settled early on as a Terry Skiverton shot from a quickly-taken free kick cannoned back off the bar, with the rebound stabbed home by Adam Lockwood. Rovers lost their composure and realistically the game was probably over when midfielder Graham Hyde managed to get himself booked twice in the same incident, first committing a foul on El Kholti, then shoving Lee Johnson, arguing with the ref about the decision and giving a lot of abusive gestures as he was dragged off the pitch, mostly seemingly aimed at Johnson.

Just before half time, Abou El Kholti made it 2-0 with a speculative shot deflected in off Darren Way. Immediately after half time, Gavin Williams made it 3-0 with a goal in front of the away fans. Although he mis-controlled the ball at first from Gall, he showed great composure and skill to dig the ball out under pressure from several defenders and beat the keeper. Towards the end Colin Pluck made it 4-0 with a header from a Paul Terry cross, and made it clear with a universally understood gesture that he could not hear what the Rovers fans were saying to him. If there were any two players who would have enjoyed scoring in front of the away fans, it would have been Williams and Pluck.

The following season, there was more needle to be enjoyed when Rovers employed Ian Atkins, an old adversary of Gary Johnson’s since their days together at Cambridge. The two managers could not possibly be more different – Gary Johnson, who likes to play attractive passing football and treats his players like sons, compared to Ian Atkins who is the kind of manager usually brought in to save teams from relegation and acts like a sullen sergeant major. The rivalry between the two teams intensified as Atkins, fresh from two fairly decent seasons at Oxford, turned Rovers into a much better team who led League Two towards the start of the season. However, disciplinary problems cost them, as the club with the worst disciplinary record in the division racked up the red cards and suspensions, including two – which could, and should, have been more – in an infamous night at the Memorial Stadium in October 2004.

In the much-anticipated return fixture in February 2005, Atkins would accuse Yeovil plays of diving ahead of the game, claiming that nobody likes them and Gary Johnson doesn’t have the ‘bottle’ to get a team promoted, and then on the day was strangely struck down with a mysterious virus and was unable to take charge of the team as they lose heavily again, this time 4-2 as the Glovers consolidated their position at the top of League Two. The whereabouts of Ian Atkins’ bottle remains unknown.

An interesting footnote to the 2004 game is that the starting line-up that day consisted entirely of players who had appeared for Yeovil in the Conference, which was possibly a deliberate move from Johnson who even employed the same 3-4-1-2 formation he had mostly used in that title-winning season, with Lindegaard and El Kholti as wing backs as opposed to the 4-4-2 that the Glovers generally employed in League Two. That they were able to beat a mid-table side so comfortably that they could just pass amongst themselves for the last 30 minutes shows just how far ahead of the Conference his team were.

Since the departures of Gary Johnson and Ian Atkins, the atmosphere between the two clubs has been less fiery, and subsequent meetings have resulted in quite a lot of draws. Low point was probably when Gavin Williams scored the winner against us in a 1-0 Rovers win at Huish Park in 2011, and high point was definitely Terrell Forbes scoring a late winner with his only goal for the club at the Mem in 2009.

Team that day: Steve Collis, Andy Lindegaard (sub. Paul Terry 71), Colin Pluck, Terry Skiverton (sub. Hugo Rodrigues 64), Adam Lockwood, Darren Way, Lee Johnson, Abou El Kholti (sub. Simon Weatherstone 90), Gavin Williams, Kirk Jackson, Kevin Gall. Subs not used: Jon Sheffield, Adam Stansfield

Yeovil Town manager Darren Sarll believes the return to fitness of playmaker Lawson D’Ath has helped change his side’s attacking mentality as they look to find some scoring form.

The Glovers are now the third-lowest scorers in the National League with just 27 goals in 28 matches with only the division’s bottom two, Dover Athletic (21 goals) and King’s Lynn Town (24), having scored fewer.

D’Ath has shown his quality in his first start of the season at Maidenhead United in midweek where he played 62 minutes, having played 68 minutes in the goalless draw at home to Solihull Moors earlier in the month.

Speaking ahead of the weekend’s trip to Chesterfield, Sarll said: “Lawson has been a breath of fresh air and when I talk about us working on the attacking side more, it’s because of Lawson.

“The fact we could re-sign him meant we had a really good attacking, constructive player and he gives us a different feel. That is what squad depth gives you when you can have it.”

Lawson D’Ath talking to the media ahead of the trip to Chesterfield.

D’Ath also faced the media on Friday morning and described his own performance as “average” saying he could have done more in the attacking third.

But, he said that the responsibility for finding more goals had to be a collective one, saying: “You need that responsibility and you take that on, that’s what we’re paid to do. But it’s not just strikers and midfielders, it’s about all areas of the pitch.

The Maidenhead match was the former Reading youngster’s third appearance, having come off the bench on two previous occasions against W*ymouth and Solihull, and he admits it has been a baptism of fire.

Those minutes were his first for nine months having suffered a knee injury in the final game of last season against Stockport County.

D’Ath said: “I want to play as many minutes as I can, it’s about building them back in to my body. I was training for a month but that is not the same as a pre-season when you do a lot of running and hard graft.

“You can’t replicate that and you can’t replicate the build-up of minutes you get in pre-season, so I have had to come in full throttle. It’s going to take a few games to get back to fitness.

Asked whether he felt the Glovers could still make the play-offs this season, he said: “Of course we can, why not? I got through nine months of not being paid and grafting to get back so anything is achievable!”

The Manchester Evening News reporter Sam Byrne is reporting thay Stockport County are likely to allow defender Ben Barclay to remain at Huish Park for the remainder of the season.

Ben Barclay
Pic: YTFC YouTube

Byrne, who covers Stockport for the MEN tweeted on Tuesday that with the loan due to expire this coming week a decision was due to be made and it appears that it has fallen in the Glovers favour.

Last week, Yeovil boss Darren Sarll said he’d be hopeful of keeping the central defender beyond his current stint and that appears to have been granted.

There is likely to be a recall clause in the deal, much like with Fela Olomola incase of emergency at the parent club, but we hope to hear some good news from the gaffer on the deal this week.

Barclay has been part of the Glovers defence that has kept three clean sheets since he joined.

Highlights of the goalless draw at home to Solihull Moors on Saturday are now available on the club’s YouTube channel.

If you can stick with with the psychedelic contrast for the opening 35 seconds, someone has fiddled with the settings after that – and four seconds later you’ll see Charlie Wakefield‘s golden chance to open the scoring.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Darren Sarll said Yeovil Town may have to change their system to accommodate a players who are feeling the strain of playing so many matches.

The Glovers’ boss said he would assess the situation following the 2-1 defeat at the hands of Gary Johnson’s Torquay United at Huish Park on Sunday.

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

He told BBC Somerset’s Sheridan Robins: “We are maybe going in to another period where we have to change. We definitely have a group of players that are putting so much effort in and maybe they are at their ceiling, they might need a bit of a break.

“We might need to change that system to get that freshness with the players that can come in, but we have to make sure we are hard to beat.

The boss said the loss was a poor last 15 minutes when goals from Connor Lemonheigh-Evans direct from a corner and a late winner from substitute Dan Holman saw the visitors complete the double over Yeovil.

Sarll described defending for the second goal as “absolute crap” and pointed to errors from midfielder Dale Gorman and debutant on-loan goalkeeper Dillon Barnes for the first goal.

He pointed to having to shuffle his defensive unit to accommodate for suspended goalkeeper Grant Smith and right-back Dan Moss and the late loss of captain Luke Wilkinson, who was missing having a COVID-19 test.

Morgan Williams moved from left-back to right back and on-loan Middlesbrough defender Jack Robinson returned for his first game in two months on the left side with Josh Staunton dropping in to the centre of defence alongside Max Hunt, the only constant from the 3-0 defeat at Torquay on Boxing Day.

The manager said: “We go back to where we were last season, making four changes in the five defensive positions, even if it is Williams to right back and Robinson at left back.

“There are players out there who looked tired because they are having to play a lot of games for the first time in their careers for some of them – (Charlie) Wakefield, (Tom) Knowles, players like that.

“Then there were a little band of players who, having come back from injury, they suffered with fatigue.

“But the last 15 minutes was poor and we are going to have to address that, the last half-an-hour last Sunday and we blamed poor old Sonny (Blu Lo-Everton, who was sent off on Boxing Day), but today all we can do is blame ourselves.

Darren Sarll is hoping he can keep two of his three loanees – defenders Dan Moss and Jack Robinson and forward Sonny Blu Lo-Everton – for longer stays at Huish Parl

But, the Yeovil Town boss does not believe he will be able to keep hold of all three whose current deals are all up for renewal in January.

Sonny Blu Lo-Everton. Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

Speaking ahead of Sunday’s home game with Torquay United, the manager said: “I don’t think we will keep them all, but I think we will keep the majority.

“When we look at the long-term loans – Sonny, Jack Robinson and Mossy – if we keep two out of three, I’ll be delighted.

“I think they have done too well (to not be noticed by other clubs) and when they do that they want to jump up and play higher.”

He added: “Financially we have nicked these lads we have given them an opportunity to create a profile and they have done a brilliant job.

“I would love them to stay but we are in the lap of the Gods. I would like to not do anything in January and just keep everyone, but it doesn’t work like that!

Robinson’s loan from Championship Middlesbrough is due to expire on January 10 with Sonny’s from Watford running out on January 16, and finally Dan Moss’ stay from Millwall on January 24.

The “Gods” which Sarll refers too could well mean the COVID situation at their parent clubs with Middlesbrough manager Chris Wilder admitting he has lost nine first-team players in a 48-hour period – seven of which would have started tomorrow against Sheffield United.

Late on Friday, the match with one of Wilder’s former club was postponed with Boro saying it was in “an impossible situation regarding available players.”

Ahead of that decision, Wilder said that the EFL had told him to “do whatever is needed to get the game on” including bring back loan players.

Jack Robinson in action for Yeovil Town.
Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

Wilder name-checked former Glovers’ loanee Lewis Wing at Sheffield Wednesday and “a young boy at Kilmarnock” – which could be goalkeeper Zach Hemming or striker Rumarn Burrell – but there was no specific reference to Robinson, who was with the Yeovil squad for the defeat at Torquay on Boxing Day.

Robinson had played once for his parent club this season in a 3-0 EFL Cup defeat at Blackpool but was awarded a new contract in the summer.

The 20-year-old has not featured since picking up an ankle injury in the 5-0 FA Cup fourth qualifying round win at Yate Town at the start of number, but has played eight times since joining on the eve of the new season.

As far as Dan Moss and Sonny Blu Lo-Everton are concerned, Millwall played their game on Wednesday with just 15 players due to COVID issues, whilst Watford postponed their Boxing Day match with Wolves before going ahead with the home game against West Ham on December 29.

It appears that young Yeovil Town midfielder Toby Stephens has returned to Huish Park after his loan spell at  Hemel Hempstead Town expired

The 18-year–old made three appearances during his time with the National League South side having joined in mid-November.

The Tudors are managed by Mark Jones who had a spell among the coaching staff during Darren Sarll’s time at the club.

Neither Yeovil nor Hemel have officially announced the return of the 18-year-old yet, but an enquiry from Gloverscast roving report Ben Barrett suggests he has indeed returned to Somerset.

Stephens has made two substitute appearances for the first-team this season, the last coming in the 5-0 FA Cup win at Yate Town at the start of November, but made five appearances last season.

Assuming the response from Hemel is correct, we’d imagine he will be available for selection in Sunday’s return fixture against Torquay United.

Yeovil Town 4 Cheltenham 1 – Sunday 26th December 2004

Christmas is usually a time for festive local derbies, but for a long time it was also associated with one thing – the Boxing Day Curse. When I first started going to Huish Park in the 90’s, as far as I was concerned any Boxing Day fixture was a write-off, we never won. My first true exposure to the severity of The Curse came in 1999 with a long trip to Forest Green to see Yeovil get absolutely thumped 3-0 by the Conference new boys. The salt in the wounds was rubbed in by a goal from one David Norton, who had arrived at Yeovil in the summer, got injured, presumably decided he didn’t like the treatment room, and moved to Forest Green when he’d got fit, scoring against us in one of his first games for them.

It was at this point that I learned about The Curse, as Yeovil had not won on Boxing Day since a 2-0 win over Farnborough in 1987. That was during a stint in the Isthmian League (then named Vauxhall-Opel), and in 20-odd years in the Conference between 1979 and 2003, Yeovil only won twice on Boxing Day, both away – 1-0 at Forest Green in 2000 and 3-1 at Weymouth in 1983. In fact 1983/84 was a pretty good year as the win at Weymouth was followed with a 6-3 win on New Year’s Day, with two goals each for Brown, Finnigan and Doherty.

In what you could call the ‘Conference Years’ of 1979-2003, Yeovil played 21 times on Boxing Day and won only three, losing 12 times – that is relegation form in any division. By contrast, New Year’s Day form was generally much better, playing 19, winning 10 and losing only five. Not quite promotion form, but probably playoffs. Although in later years the Boxing Day fixtures tended to be away from home with the New Year’s Day game at Huish Park (apparently at the club’s request), it was not always the case that Yeovil lost away and won at home – against Weymouth in 1988/89, the Glovers lost the home match 3-2, but won away 2-0.

This seems to have been mostly a Conference problem, as in the Southern League days of the 1970’s Yeovil were unbeaten on Boxing Day and won seven out of nine fixtures between 1969 and 1978 (1979/80 being the first year of what is now called the National League).

Depending on where Christmas fell, there would occasionally be games on the 26th and the 27th. Not usually against the same team, as New Year’s Day tended to provide the return fixture, but in 1969/70 Yeovil managed to beat Bath twice in 24 hours, with a 2-0 win away on the 26th and 2-1 win at Huish on 27th! There were occasionally no league games on New Year’s Day due to the FA Cup, which historically had its Third Round day on the first Saturday in January, although these days it tends to be the second. The games against Cardiff in 1999 and twice against Arsenal all led to New Year’s Day league games being postponed.

With Weymouth and Bath both relegated, when Yeovil returned to the Conference in 1997 there was a bit of a shortage of ‘local’ rivals, the first season being played at Cheltenham some 80 miles away. From 1998/99 we got Forest Green for a few years, which is slightly closer but doesn’t feel like it, especially after a 3-0 defeat. The curse definitely felt real then, as even Gary Johnson’s all-conquering team of 2002/03 lost there, almost losing by two goals for the only time that season, until Skiverton’s injury time consolation made it 1-2. It was our only defeat in the second half of the season.

Into the League then and things didn’t start much better, with a dismal 2-1 defeat at home to struggling Kidderminster in 2003. In atrocious conditions which probably should have seen the game abandoned due to heavy water on the pitch, Kevin Gall did equalise to make it 1-1 but not only did the Glovers go on to lose 2-1, but also had to put up with John Williams gloating at the Yeovil fans, as he would do again when he dived for a penalty in the reverse fixture, but Chris Weale had the last laugh in that one as the Glovers won 1-0.

In 2004, and back to playing Cheltenham again, even though Yeovil were in very good form and closing in on leaders Scunthorpe, it was a case of ‘here we go again’ when the visitors took the lead through a deflected shot from Martin ‘Disco’ Devaney. It all turned out alright in the end though, as goals from Gall and Jevons put Yeovil ahead at the break and late goals from Davies and Terry gave the final score a comfortable look. This was a time when Yeovil were on fire, and it seemed like no matter how many goals the opposition scored, Gary Johnson’s men would just score more. Just a couple of days later, they would go in 2-0 down at Cambridge, but come back in the second half to win 5-3. It would be their best run of form of the League Two winning season, winning 13 out of 15 league and cup games (not including the Somerset Premier Cup) and losing just once, down to ten men at Lincoln. In that period, Yeovil  scored 41 goals (an average of almost three a game!) and conceded 19; conceding over one goal a game, but still winning almost all of them. If you wanted to see goals in 2004/05, you watched Yeovil.

In the Conference and below, the festive tradition is to play the same local team twice on New Year’s Day and Boxing Day. This is not the case in the League, as the Boxing Day game tended to be local-ish (Charlton, anyone?), but the NYD game could be anyone. There no longer seems to be any evidence of a curse since that defeat at home to Kidderminster, with Boxing Day (4 wins from 15) and New Year’s Day (3 wins from 11) being about the same. Of course much of these years were spent in League One where the games were much harder so we would expect to win less often than in the Conference. The 3-1 win away at Brighton in 2006, followed by another win at Crewe a few days later came as a pleasant surprise as Russell Slade’s men found form over Christmas and pushed for the playoffs.

The 4-0 win at home against Wycombe in 2009/10 was one of the most comfortable and enjoyable Boxing Days I’ve had at Huish Park, and there haven’t been a lot of good ones! After that though, we went on a dismal run of five Boxing Day defeats in a row including consecutive 3-0 defeats by Bournemouth and an injury time loss at home to Charlton. There were no wins at all until 2017, with a 2-0 win at Cheltenham being our last Boxing Day win in the Football League. The return to the Conference brought a 6-2 win over Torquay in 2019, followed by an absolute hammering at Plainmoor that we won’t talk about. 2020 didn’t happen so that’s fine. This would appear to mean that the 6-2 win over Torquay was our first win EVER at home in the Conference on Boxing Day.

So has the curse returned? Only time will tell. I won’t be putting money on Yeovil to win at Torquay that’s for sure, but New Year’s Day will probably be okay.

Team that day: Chris Weale, Paul Terry, Michael Rose, Terry Skiverton, Colin Miles, Darren Way, Lee Johnson, Kevin Gall, Andrejs Stolcers (sub. Andy Lindegaard 80), Bartosz Tarachulski (sub Scott Guyett 88), Phil Jevons (sub. Arron Davies 68). Subs not used: Steve Collis, Adrian Caceres