Gloverscast Ben took in Yeovil’s final pre-season friendly against Plymouth Parkway, there were plenty of talking points, here are his five conclusions from Bolitho Park.

If we do things chronologically, the first thing I noticed was actually pre-match.

During the warm up, I noticed that the coaches were actually doing relatively little.

Rather than being told to go here, go there, run this way, around this cone, once a structured stretching session was completed, the little groups broke away in their positions and took control of what they needed to do.

The defenders worked on some shape and some heading, the midfielders pinged passes about and the attackers were working on their close control and finishing. It sounds simple enough, but it just looks like a group who know what they need to do and how they’re going to do it.

A refreshing change from the lost individuals masquerading as a team we saw so often last season.

Staunton, Wannell and Williams warm up

Once the game was underway, it is clear, no matter if we like them or loathe them, high flying wing backs are here to stay.

For the most part, in the first half, it worked, too.

Jordan Young had chalk on his boots on the right and on the left Will Dawes took the much coveted Gloverscast Man of the Match award.

He DID NOT stop causing havoc both in attack and defence.

His crosses were dangerous, his position constantly drew the opposition out of line and it made for a very attacking first half.

If we have the ability to take that approach against better sides, it will garner positive results.

Both Hyde and Nouble looked dangerous from Dawes’ deliveries and we continued to push forward even in the second half with ten men.

Will Dawes
Picture courtesy of Iain Morland.

The red card changed the game and it was totally needless.

Firstly, I really think it was a good thing that the game had a bit of bite to it, teams aren’t going to roll over and let us rub their tummies this season. Plenty of sides will boot us about, we best get used to it.

Next, the initial challenge did look nasty, the 21-man melee was a bit over the top (the Parkway keeper clearly didn’t fancy it), but to see a red card brandished was totally unnecessary.

If Williams deserved to see red, so did a dozen others.

There was no surprise to see Mark Cooper head onto the pitch and explain that he could, if needed to, substitute Morgan Williams rather than scupper the game’s integrity.

The Glovers will, I’m sure, have trained for lopsided numbers in training and to be honest, still kept Plymouth at arms length through most of the second half.

Yeovil Town manager Mark Cooper and his assistant Chris Todd ‘discuss’ the sending off with the referee.

The game also changed when Frank Nouble was taken off.

During the first half, Nouble was kicked, booted, dragged down, pulled and pushed, but kept himself right in the mix of everything.

He dropped deep to pick up the ball, he kept it stuck to his boot when playing a solo role up front and nearly scored and assisted himself.

But, Olly Thomas didn’t have quite that same effect on the game and as a result, the ball came back at the Glovers defence a bit too much.

I have no doubt in my mind in a league game, Mark Cooper would have kept Nouble on for exactly the reason of keeping the ball at the right end when playing with 10 men to buy time and soak up pressure.

Thomas has his place for Yeovil this season, but I’m not sure that was it.

Frank Nouble.
Picture courtesy of Iain Morland.

Finally, with the attacking options we have, players from last season (like JMD, Owers, Dawes to name just three) adding extra %s to their pre season games it’s safe to say the Glovers head into the season in the best position I’ve seen the side since dropping into Non League and maybe before.

The options are plentiful, the link ups look like they’re well in the process of gelling nicely.

We’ve thrashed a couple teams, scored a couple goals, had some moments of adversity and a little wake up call in defeat too.

The lads are ready, the stadium is ready, the supporters are ready.

Roll on Hemel.


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8 months ago

Two things.
1. No matter how good we are inept officials are beyond our control and will inevitably cost us points…but everyone is in the same boat so these things even themselves out over the season.
2. Their equaliser was a wake up call to remain switched on for 90 minutes until that final whistle goes.
Apart from that we were great. Excited about next week.