An penalty in second half injury time saw Mark Cooper kick off his career as Yeovil Town manager with a draw at Maidstone United.

The result leaves the Glovers one point inside the National League relegation places as they prepare to take on Darren Sarll’s Woking on Tuesday night.

Inexplicably, Dave made the trip to Kent from his Lancashire home and here’s how he saw it…..

 

It was better than it has been. Let’s start with the positives. There was much more desire and bravery to attack the game in the first half (we’ll get to the second half soon enough) and we completely deserved to be in at the break more than one goal ahead. Was it the shame of knowing they held a good slice of responsibility for Chris Hargreaves’ sacking, or some pearls of wisdom from their new manager, Mark Cooper? Who knows, but it had an impact…..in the first half.

Alex Fisher. Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

Feed the Fish and there’s a chance he’ll score. Having come in for some unwarranted stick from his own ‘supporters’ four days  earlier, Alex Fisher responded in the best possible way. In the first half, he held the ball up well, brought team-mates in to play and, most importantly, scored our first goal since Chiori Johnson’s winner against Solihull three games prior. He benefited from the Maidstone keeper being out of position, but never the less.

Confidence is key. Having put so much good work in during the first half, I dearly hoped we would have come out and done more of the same in the second half. But, sadly it was an all too familiar story of dropping deeper and deeper and inviting Maidstone to attack us. This is a poor Maidstone side, but our tactics gave them confidence and as it poured in to their performance, it visibly drained from ours.

Too many round pegs in square holes. Call them fish out of water or round pegs in square holes, a big part of our problem was players not in their best positions. Ben Richards-Everton is no more a left wing-back than I am and Chiori

Mark Cooper watches on from the stand at Maidstone United.

Johnson, who seems every bit a wing-back capable of playing on either side, is not suited to the midfield. I have managed zero EFL matches, never played professional football and have more Cub Scout badges than UEFA ones – but playing players out of position when better options exist is not good.

There’s a lot of work to be done. There was plenty of gesticulating from Mark Cooper in his position in the stands where he will have been able to “get a good look” (don’t mention the ban) at his new squad. That second half performance will tell him a lot about what needs needs putting right – I doubt he’ll read this though. He knows there’s a lot of work to be done and there undoubtedly is. But, to finish as I started, it was better……in the first half.

There is a sixth conclusion but it completely smashes Rule 1 [Gloverscast Rule #1 – Don’t complain about National League officials, they are all awful] and, on the balance of opportunities created, Maidstone did deserve a point from the game. But, if you’re wondering what I am talking about watch until 8 minutes and 20 seconds in to these highlights……

 


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