An away win, the first in 220 days. Three away goals in a winning league match away from Huish Park, for the first time in nearly two years. It was a thriller alright, Ben had the stream on, here’s what he took away from the game.

Five conclusions were tough… it could have easily been ten! But we’ve whittled it down. 

Firstly, let’s talk about Jordan Young.

According to Mark Cooper post match, we parted with somewhere in the region of £5,000 to secure his services last season. 

At the back end of the 2022/23 season, we had a kid with bags of potential, down on his luck, getting to grips with the full time game. He looked raw but like he had something about him, what I saw last night was probably the best 60 minutes I’ve seen of him in Green and White (well, Yellow and Black).

He’s got a set piece delivery to match plenty of those who have smashed a dead ball for the Glovers, but I saw more than that, a fight to get the ball off his team mates, to be direct, to give defenders a nightmare, but also a desire to do his defensive work too.

He’ll probably admit he got bullied off the ball at times last season, but he’s clearly gaining strength, he’s clearly a confidence player and his confidence must be sky high right now. He’s fast approaching ‘first name on the team sheet’ status.

Let’s watch that free kick again shall we? – You don’t save those.

I watched on the stream and whilst initially had radio coverage on as well, I quickly realised that the camera and microphone positioning allowed for a real insight into Mark Cooper’s touchline style. So I listened, and learned two things.

Firstly, the Weston super-Mare fans situated near the dugout need to wash their mouth out with soap… some very fruity language on show, at times it bordered on abusive actually – Nouble, Worthington and Cooper all coming under regular fire far beyond what I would call ‘normal’ football style ‘banter’ (I hate that word).

But seriously, someone at WSM should remind their fans, that camera and microphone picks it all up… 

Anyway, I digress, Mark Cooper still kicks every ball, still makes every header and really offered a hands on approach to his coaching.

He, at times, literally helped Jamie Sendles-White through the first half, screaming where to be, where to move. Being out of position at right back would have been new to him and he got all the help he needed and put in a very solid display during the first 45.

Cooper claims the assist to Young’s free kick (above) shouting at JS-W to make sure Young took the spot kick and not allow Murphy to pull rank, he kept the team motivated and kept reminding them of the basics; “Face Up”, “Shape”, “Sprint back in”, “Less turnovers lads”… stuff that might seem fairly trivial, but for me shows he’d be out there himself if he could.

Mark Cooper in discussion with captain Josh Staunton during the 2-1 home win over St Albans. Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

Frank Nouble – the Green and White Berbatov?

We’ve maybe been slightly critical of Nouble on the podcast over the last couple of games, but I really tried to watch him closely in this line up. There were times he frustrated, there were times he seemed to go quiet and times he could arguably have done a bit better with what was given to him in the way of service, but then… Bang. Goal.

One he had to be strong for, one he had to get spot on under the pressure he was facing, and finished it off well from close range.

I think, there’s no doubt in my mind he’s got all the qualities to be a real force at this level, I’m not sure he’s a back-to-goal striker, I think we want to see him ball at feet, running at players and making it really difficult to win the ball from. 

But, much like Berbatov, quiet spells, drifting in and out of games all look strange, but if he takes the chances that come his way, he could easily find himself up towards double figures in no time at all. Almost without anyone noticing.

Let’s have his goal too shall we?

Squad depth, rotation and doing the dirty work in places you wouldn’t normally.

Last night we started with a central defender at right back, a right back at the heart of the midfield three and ended with Matt Worthington in an attacking left position and all whilst managing several players on Yellow cards.

It hadn’t really hit me until last night, just how stretched this season will become. Games aren’t 90 minutes, last night went well over 100, seven Glovers players were booked, taking a couple of them to within touching distance of a ban. 

Minutes in the legs will need to be managed, both Jordan Young and Rhys Murphy were probably brought off with their fitness just been looked after and most, if not all of the team were really flagging towards the end.

If Jake Hyde has a sore calf and JS-W has an achilles concern then that’s two more people to think about. It was great that Josh Owers came in and played so well, but we will certainly need our full squad. We may need to ask about Will Dawes, the only one of those with a squad number not to make a first team squad so far, we may even need to ask about Scott Pollock – spotted back training at Alvington yesterday – every squad member is going to do a lot of pitching in, playing out of position and being asked a lot of. 

That’s fine, but it’s going to take some man management, we don’t want benches going unfilled, we need our full range of options if we are to achieve our goals this season.

Jordan Young celebrates his first goal for the club.
Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

Finally, 850 fans and everyone of them deserved that moment.

I’ve made no secret of the fact that I’m gutted to be so far away this season, but watching (and listening) to the game last night, the fans were exceptional. It was noted post match by all three of Cooper, Staunton and Young how important you are. 

We’ve continued to sell away tickets in our numbers this season, I’m sure that’ll continue and so long as you keep doing yourselves and the club proud, you’re helping. You’re 100% helping.

Is it a cheesy, cliche to say you got the team over the line… maybe, but there’s no doubt in my mind, that big crowds, crowds within touching distance of the pitch can make a difference, can get their support into the minds of both sets of players.

Oh how I wanted to be in the away end on Tuesday, to watch our team play good football at times, to keep a decent enough side at arms length for periods and to be honest, pick up about as comfortable a 3-2 win as is possible, on another day that game ends 6-1 and no one bats an eyelid.

On to Eastbourne!

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Essex Glover
10 months ago

A welcome win indeed and well done.Your comment about the team flagging at end of game suggests they are not fit enough.YTFC is a full time professional club hence there should be no
problems with fitness.Apart from Torquay, all other sides are part time so we should be far fitter

10 months ago

I would mention that some of the so called bants aimed at the WSM keeper were out of order too.
“ kill them” and your an fffing Peado are not helpful.

Derek Hamilton
10 months ago

Well summed up Ben. Pretty much how I saw the “stream” with Somerset Sound 10 secs behind. I thought there was a puzzling fragility in our passing and ball control on many occasions. Get that right and we could have had 5+ last night. Which might be just as well given our capacity to concede. It was also great to see we have a group of players coming together who can excite the crowd.