When the 2023/24 end-of-season DVD is released, fans won’t be flocking to the club shop to relive their Monday night trip to Aveley. However, despite a drab affair, Ollie Marsh was just about able to muster some conclusions:

We didn’t really look like scoring… after seven minutes. When golden chances fell to Jordan Young and Alex Fisher in the opening ten, it looked like a long night was in store for Aveley. Both were played in on goal in similar fashion; Young fluffed his lines after taking way too long to pull the trigger, while Fisher put his laces through it and was thwarted by the keeper. But after that, we struggled to put together the free flowing moves we’re used to seeing. Fisher and Frank Nouble got a half each, and Young, Jordan Stevens and Dylan Morgan seemed to be chopping and changing behind them throughout, but to no avail. The combination to unlock the Millers defence couldn’t be found.

Aveley did what they did very well. It became clear early on that Aveley had been set up to nullify. They were structured, organised, and disciplined, fearlessly pressing and applying pressure whenever Yeovil had the ball. They also packed a punch on the counter-attack and could perhaps be disappointed that they couldn’t find a way to nick it. There was also a pricklier side to their game which amounted to niggly fouls and slightly excessive physicality. One aerial dual between Will Dawes and Charlee Hughes – a pantomime villain in the reverse fixture earlier this season – led to Dawes having to limp off. But they played their gameplan to near-perfection, and the home fans seemed happy with both the method and result.

The Parkside pitch can get in the bin. There won’t be too many opportunities to break the Gloverscast rule on mentioning non-traditional playing surfaces, so I’ll take full advantage here. It probably would have been better to play the game on the car park outside the stadium, rather than the football-pitch shaped stretch of concrete painted green inside it.

I’m so happy Super Joe Day’s in goal. While it was as nothingy as nothing could get after the half time, the highlights package will at least feature one clip from the second period. The fact that Joe Day had an altogether quieter evening only makes his sublime fingertip stop from Ikechi Eze’s would-be worldie in the dying embers of the game more impressive.

Four points from two away games is good going. Yeovil managed to get through two tricky away ties with a tight turnaround between them, and did so unbeaten. The win at Farnborough was great fun and this was not, but there should be no disappointment with that return overall. Mark Cooper showed that his small but perfectly formed squad had enough depth to rotate efficiently, and the results – combined with Worthing doing the business against Chelmsford – keep us well on track.

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