A Bank Holiday Monday in Hampshire, sounds lovely doesn’t it? Trains strikes might take the edge off the trip from Lancashire to the deep, dark south… losing 4-3 (despite fighting back from 2-0 and 3-2 down) definitely will make for a long, lonely journey back.

That’s what Gloverscast Dave did, he’s got five conclusions on what he saw (he probably has more, but we’re a stickler for the rules around here…) here they are.

Well that was dreadful. Let’s start with the obvious, shall we? That was an absolute defensive horror show from Yeovil. For the first half, we looked all at sea lacking any kind of defensive shape or discipline. Was it the absence of Josh Staunton? That was certainly a part of it, I think. Morgan Williams looked to be something we were missing in the first half as well. It got a bit better when he came on, but that probably just underlines what a farce the first half was.

Can it just have been the surface? I would definitely say the entire performance cannot be put down to the pitch alone. Playing on plastic does not stop players doing the simple things which we simply did not do. But it did appear to make them harder. We seemed to be incapable of controlling or passing a ball, let alone both. This was worse than the opening day defeat at Hemel Hempstead – our last outing on an artificial pitch – and with more matches coming up on these surfaces still to come, we need to sort this out quickly. Training at Dorchester, perhaps? 
Morgan Williams battles for the ball away at Havant
Too many changes cost us. You don’t need to be an experienced football manager to know that keeping a consistent line-up is the secret to success. With Jake Hyde fit enough to make the bench, it would seem that Josh Staunton was the only player unable to play on the artificial surface. Mark Cooper said last week that starting Olly Thomas would be very different to the player we have seen come off the bench to good effect recently and that prediction proved correct. The young Bristol City forward struggled to get in to the game, but he was far from the only one who struggled. If this was us offering players who have not been starting an opportunity to impress, they did not take it.
Will Buse in full flight at Havant
Being full-time means little if you have the wrong attitude. Last week, Cooper also spoke about there not being much difference between full-time and part-time players. For a team supposedly low of confidence having not won at home since February or won at all this season, Havant went some way to proving that point. But far from just fitness (although they looked every bit as fit as their full-time opponents) there was a great discipline and organisation about Havant. In Faal up front, they have a player who has the attributes to be a handful of defenders across the division and, if we can do it consistently, at a higher level. He bullied our defence from the opening minute and we could not handle him.
It’s hard not to, but we can’t lose our heads. There is no doubt this performance was a concern and the fact that it is now two poor performances in our first two away games is also a concern. But (big but), 10 points from the opening six games is still not a terrible return. We have put pressure on ourselves with a home game against an unbeaten Chelmsford this week and then our first derby of the season against Weston-super-Mare to follow. The job is now to embrace that pressure and step up. No excuses.

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