The hunt for Yeovil Town’s second win of the National League season goes on after a 1-0 defeat away at Southend United in a match which saw the Glovers play 73 minutes with ten men following the first half dismissal of Gime Toure.

The result puts them clear of the National League drop zone by goal difference alone with 11 matches of Chris Hargreaves’ tenure as manager now played.

Dave gives his opinions on what he saw from the away end at Root’s Hall.


Southend were not a good team either. I’m not sure if this one ranks as a positive or a negative conclusion, but the fact that our opponents were unable to muster more than a single goal against us with ten men speaks volumes. For the 17 minutes that we had the full complement on the pitch, we caused them problems and looked like causing them more.
I, like the other 80 supporters in the away end, saw nothing of the incident which led to Gime Toure’s red card but if that “moment of madness” had not happened, we threatened to be a slightly above average team against an average one. Is that a positive or a negative dressed up as a positive? You decide.

Gime Toure. Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

The sock count will be increasing. I’m going to try and get a couple of positives in at the beginning here, because there was effort from the team – socks well and truly worn out. I’ll defer judgement on Gime Toure’s red, but if he kicked out at Kacper Lopata then he landed his team-mates well and truly in it. There was huge frustration that for the first half minutes which followed the 17th minute dismissal we defended deeper and deeper until the inevitable happened and Jake Hyde popped up with the eventual winner, but there was some effort mostly in the final 20 minutes. To the extent you would not believe we had a one man deficit at some points.

Against any other player, is that a foul? CRASH! Yes, that’s the sound of Rule 1 of the Gloverscast being shattered on the floor, but I have to talk about at least one decision made by referee Sam Mulhall. No, I don’t mean the sending off because he (like me!) completely missed that and was informed by his assistant. On 32 minutes, Josh Staunton beats Southend keeper Collin Andeng-Ndi (who looked shaky all match) to a corner to head home, the keeper goes sprawling on his back waving his hands and the official chalks the goal off for a foul. Against any other player on the pitch, is that a foul? To me, no, it’s simply a player wanting the ball more.

You can’t have ten hard luck stories. As I walked out of Root’s Hall without acknowledging the efforts of the Yeovil side (I had a train to catch!), I could almost hear the post-match interviews – socks worked off, commitments to putting it right on Tuesday night at Dorking and the same hard luck stories we’ve heard so often. The fact is, you can’t have ten hard luck stories, we’ve won one of our 11 matches so far this season afterall. The simple fact is performances have not been good enough and no about of effort and desire alone is going to fix that. These things are the minimum we expect, but they are not enough to earn three points on their own. There’s enough quality there, there’s no obvious deadwood like we had last season (if you tell me Reuben Reid scored a hat-trick for Weston-super-Mare this weekend, you’re only reinforcing my point) but the fact is they’re not performing at the moment and that’s down to more than effort.

Martyn Starnes, far left, with Stuart Robins and Scott Priestnall at the match at Altrincham in August.

What else did we think was going to happen? Don’t get me wrong, I like Chris Hargreaves, he seems a nice guy and obviously someone who has a good pedigree as a coach. But Darren Sarll is showing at Woking what he is capable of when he’s not got a hand tied behind his back (whether he consistently does that remains to be seen) and the answer to our demise seems simple. We’ve got a management team who are trying to assemble a team capable of challenging with a budget completely inadequate for the task with a hand tied behind their back and a chain around one foot. The club is rudderless bordering on delusional with none of the long-term vision or concrete framework we were promised by its leadership. If this is the alternative to a takeover bid from a consortium which it is claimed had no money, I think I would’ve taken my chances with them. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, nothing changes until everything changes and right now that feels a million miles away.

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