Yeovil Town boss Mark Cooper admitted he knew there was a risk in making seven changes to his starting line-up for the 2-1 defeat at Torquay United in the FA Trophy second round this afternoon.

The Glovers named a completely changed back four with captain Josh Staunton paired alongside Bristol City loanee Duncan Idehen in the middle with Zac Bell and Alex Whittle at full-backs, in front of them Josh OwersWill Dawes and Jordan Maguire-Drew were handed starts and Jake Hyde began up front.

Speaking to BBC Somerset’s Ian Randall after the match at Plainmoor, Cooper admitted there were a number of his first-choice starters who he did not want to risk with two away trips in the National League South coming up at Chippenham Town on Tuesday night and Welling United next weekend.

He said: “I knew when I was picking the team that there was a chance we might not get through, but we could not risk Morgan Williams, Michael Smith, Rhys Murphy had an issue with his knee but he’ll be fine for Tuesday and we needed to freshen Frank (Nouble) up as well. But credit to Torquay, they got through and we march on.

I thought if we got one we would have a big chance to get another and so it proved, but we did not score early enough. The way Torquay are going, especially at home, they become a bit anxious, but once we scored one I was convinced we would get another big chance and we did. But we just could not manage to force it over the line.

Torquay took the lead when Dillon De Silva opened the scoring after just three minutes and then Fleetwood Town loan midfielder Callum Dolan added a second with a fine strike early in the second half.

Cooper said: “We got an attacking free-kick in a really dangerous position and probably our most productive player at the minute, Jordan Young, hits the ball straight in to the first man, they break on us and we don’t do our defensive job and we get caught out of position and the lad cuts inside and scores. Then the second one, we are caught of position again and it is another shot from the edge of the box because we did not defend the edge of the box well enough from our midfield.

The players should know to the minute detail of what their position is because we are meticulous with it and we do it every day. There’s no criticism of the boys that came in to the team today, we felt it was a strong enough team to get a result but we fell on the wrong side of the important bits in the big moments.

The boss had praise for debutant Idehen, who joined in the week following an injury to central defender Jake Wannell in the 4-2 home win over Farnborough on Tuesday night.

Asked about the 21-year-old’s performance, Cooper said: “Especially second half I thought he was great. He won every header, every tackle, was composed on the ball. It was a difficult game for him to come in to, but I thought he looked very good.

The Glovers now travel to Chippenham Town on Tuesday night looking to bounce straight back and continue a winning run in National League South which stretches back to the 3-2 victory at Weston-super-Mare at the start of September.

Chippenham progressed to the next round of the Trophy with a 3-2 win on penalties at home to Basingstoke Town today.

Cooper said: “We have got to concentrate on Chippenham on Tuesday and go and get another big result in the league. I think we have won ten league games on the trot and we have to go and make that 11 now.


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Riviera Gull
4 months ago

Yeovil are easily the best side in the NLS and will win the league by 20-25 points.

Talking to Mark Cooper the league is his goal….and rightly so.