It was another performance which felt like an terrible child’s drawing pinned on the Gloverscast fridge which led to a seventh stalemate with a 1-1 draw at Dorking Wanderers on Tuesday night.

The ignominy of taking a point against a side which was playing county level football when we were plying our trade in the Championship is no slight on our hosts – every credit to them for their achievements – but a real yardstick of how far we have fallen as a club.

Our own Dave was among the away support at Meadowbank and here he gives his verdict on another chapter in the story of this season which shows little sign of getting better.


Grant Smith. Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

Thank goodness for Grant Smith. There’s no doubt that in Grant Smith we have one of the best shot stoppers in the National League. One supporter tried to convince me that he was the best ‘keeper in the division which I said was a little far fetched, but if you need someone to pull of a point blank stop or deny someone one-on-one, I’d back him over most others. Thank goodness we had him as our last line of defence at Dorking, especially in the first half when he was absolutely exceptional. Grant got plenty of shouts of praise at the final whistle and deservedly so.

We’re the definition of insanity. It’s not often I’ll get the chance to quote Albert Einstein, but he did define insanity as:
Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Three days earlier I watched us look a threat (even with ten men) when we pressed forward and therefore it was a blessed relief to see us start that way and lo and behold – we took the lead through exactly the type of positive press I refer to. Marvellous, we’ve cracked it. But in what seemed like the time it took me to think this, we’d reverted to type. We were 1-0 ahead and started to invite Dorking on to us by sitting back. We seemed devoid of ideas, our forward passes were wayward, our set pieces were shocking, and it all just felt so predictable. If you went to the 1-1 draw at Eastleigh and missed the one Dorking, you saw the same performance.

Experience counts, but the quality is there. Chris Hargreaves cited the absence of experienced heads, Jamie Reckord and Ben Richards-Everton, as a major factor in the performance at Dorking. With an average age of just over 23.5 years in his starting XI, rising to just shy of 24 years once his three substitutes (including 32-year-old Alex Fisher) came on, there’s some credibility in that argument against a Dorking side with an average age of just over 30 years old. However, as the manager himself in the summer, there’s players in the squad with plenty of matches on their CVs despite their age and that makes the experience argument a difficult one to swallow. There is unquestionably quality in the squad which I still argue has less deadwood than last season’s squad. There’s players in their who can’t hide behind their birth certificates and it’s up to them to show it.

The pressure is on Chris Hargreaves. Chris Hargreaves admitted in his post-match interview that he understood supporters were “not happy” and said he felt the same. There’s a quarter of the season gone and it’s not too exaggerated to say we are staring down the barrel of a relegation scrap. To only be drawing a game which was described by his own captain as “must win” just three days previous is simply not good enough. Any hope (fantasy?) of a push to improve on last season’s performance now seems a long shot, but do the club’s hierarchy have the stomach to act to prevent what could be a walk off a cliff edge.

Yeovil Town owner and chairman Scott Priestnall in the stands at Dorking Wanderers.

Did you hear us alright Scott? Chairman and owner Scott Priestnall was in attendance at Meadowbank and at half-time he told some supporters that he could not hear any calls directed against him. If that was the case in the second half, I would suggest a hearing test, it was far from the majority of the away support, but it was a sizeable and vocal minority. He appeared unmoved by the actions, even when a small group of fans moved closer to his position in the stand. There’s questions are being asked of the Chairman about the future of a football club which has been part of the community of South Somerset for the past 127 years. As ever, we’d encourage him or anyone else at the club to answer them.


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