In what might have been one of the worst footballing spectacles the National League has ever seen, FC Halifax Town and Yeovil Town played out a 1-1 draw at The Shay on Saturday.

Gloverscast Ben was on co-commentary duty for BBC Somerset in the press box and explores the reasons for this, of which plenty were out of Yeovil’s (or anyone’s) control for that matter.

A point on the road should be taken as a good thing on the whole.

I’ll get to the game itself in a moment, but I think it’s worth noting that we are at the stage of the season where we can’t really worry too much about style of play, or level of performance, but it’s now about getting as close to 50 points as possible.

As mentioned on previous podcasts, ten 1-1 draws between now and the end of the season might be enough. Although you’d rather get it wrapped up far sooner.

After the game Yeovil manager Mark Cooper told of his pride in the squad for coming back from 1-0 down and for putting their bodies on the line.

I’ve slept on it (Rule 2) and with some of the teams below us in the table dropping points – Torquay and Gateshead drawing and Dorking losing – it goes down as a ‘good away point’.

Now to the match… well, actually no, to the pitch now.

Manager Mark Cooper leads the applause for the away supporters at the end of the game.

The Shay stadium pitch was an utter disgrace.

Yes, I know it was the same for both teams, but I have to include something on the sandy surface.

I got the chance to stand on a little bit after the game, it was exactly like running across the beach when the tide had just gone out.

It was tough to get any grip if moving at speed, but in tight areas it was sticky and sludgy enough to get your foot stuck in it.

It was basically like playing on a non-Newtonian liquid. (Ask your science teachers, kids).

There’s no doubt in my mind it prevented any kind of a football match from breaking out and could well have contributed to one – or maybe both – of the serious injuries suffered by Lawson D’Ath and Edwin Agbaje.

Lawson D’Ath is lifted to his feet after suffering a hamstring strain.

Speaking of which, I’ve heard rumours that if you win the Golden Gamble next week, the prize has been changed from cash to a place on the bench for the second half. Bring your boots if you’re coming to the game on Saturday.

Edwin Agbaje looks set to be out for a considerable amount of time, Lawson D’Ath broke our hearts again by pulling up chasing to correct an error by Ryan Law, and Matt Worthington is out for two games after a tenth yellow card of the season after ‘taking one for the team’.

Goal-scorer Malachi Linton looked more like Malachi LIMPton as he came out of the tunnel to chat after and Charlie Cooper and Josh Staunton are bandaged up enough to represent an ancient Egyptian artefact.

Alex Fisher and Jordan Maguire-Dre both looked to be nursing something or other as well.

It’s a big week in the physio room as we patch a few bodies up and get them ready.

If Agbaje is out for a while, it would make sense to try and replace that loan spot, but my word do we need some bodies.

I still haven’t mentioned the football have I?

Let’s talk playing out from the back.

Grant Smith. Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

I love the commitment to the cause, it’s clearly something Mark Cooper wants to see and maybe the personnel we have doesn’t suit long goal kicks, but oooof does it make me nervous.

The best keeper in the league, two centre backs in Josh Staunton and Owen Bevan you’d hang your hat on more often than not, but with the margins so fine and meaning so much, the risk-reward balance is right on the line and at times it was inviting more pressure than it drew on us.

Finally then. What happens now? A week off, but only for the players. 

Well, the assumption is that we need to bolster the ranks (see Matt Uggla’s tweets from Saturday night – here), which is far easier said than done, we’re already oversubscribed on loans but may need to roll that particular dice again.

We appear to have already earmarked targets for the summer (what is this forward thinking… and why do I like it?) but the suggestion is we might be in a position to move a bit earlier for those, which would be helpful.

Do we need to think about recalling some loans? We have two players in Will Dawes and Ollie Hulbert playing reasonably well in the division below, we have Ollie Haste, who is incredibly highly thought of, who can play as a back up to the left side.

But more than that, we have two home games in a row, the first of which falling on Non League Day. Is there time to try and do something to entice Bristol City fans, Southampton fans… any fans of Premier League/Championship clubs to spend their international break at Huish Park?

I’ve seen some clubs offer any season ticket holder of a Premier League or EFL side a £10 ticket, or similar, but having a bouncing Huish Park will only help the lads get through 90 more minutes against a very good team.

Nine more cup finals to go…

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1 year ago

With four in plus Scott Pollock getting closer we should be OK. Agbaje looks season ending he will need to be replaced immediately. Recall the loans. Good enough or not, they’ll be needed as cover.