Yeovil Town were downed 2-0 by a very impressive Chesterfield at Huish Park on Saturday. In a new feature for the Gloverscast, here are our Five Conclusions from the National League encounter.
The loss of Luke Wilkinson hit us hard. It’s never easy to lose your captain, but when your captain is your most experienced defender who is surrounded by younger players it’s a big blow. With Mark Little and Reuben Reid out until Christmas, Adi Yussuf is the next most senior player at 29 and still new to the group. We saw that lack of experience exposed for Chesterfield’s second goal after Kabongo Tshimanga capitalised on soft defending from Max Hunt and Wilkinson’s replacement, Morgan Williams. One long ball over the top should be handled comfortably but there was a real lack of conviction in the defending in that moment. Speaking after the match, Darren Sarll said: “I think that is a hamstring tear, so we will have to dig deep in to the reserves or recruit.”
Sonny Blu Lo-Everton really struggled to influence the game in the first half. Chesterfield’s back line, Gavin Gunning in particular, were powerful, imposing and dominant. The 19-year-old couldn’t find the pockets of space that $tockport County allowed and it was noticeable. His half time substitution suggest that the manager felt the same and his replacement Yussuf made more of an impact, although Chesterfield with Gunning-less in the second half.
Against Halifax and $tockport, Josh Staunton and Dale Gorman were impressive in containing their attacking players. They didn’t give Matt Warburton or John Rooney a chance to pull strings. Defensively, they are as safe as you can ask in the position and they had little chance to influence the goals that were conceded yesterday. During pre season I felt there was need for us to have centre midfielder who could break lines and make an impact further up the pitch and I felt yesterday was a good example of that. But for a speculative effort from distance by Staunton, the influence they have inside the opponents half isn’t creating clear cut chances. The absence of Lewis Simper is one we could do with an answer on, as a forward thinking midfielder he could have made a difference in the latter stages.
For all of our effort in the second half, it felt like Chesterfield were holding us at arms length. Our half time change of Yussuf for Lo-Everton made a difference but not game-changing. As a squad, we still seem short. Chasing the game at 2-0 and we didn’t feel that bringing on Alex Bradley would make a difference our other outfield option was Jack Robinson. If I’m Darren Sarll, I’m knocking on Scott Priestnall’s door (he was in attendance to see it unfold) and asking if I can have another option in midfield as well as another central defender.
Let’s not discount Chesterfield here. They are an expensively assembled side that fell in the quarter finals of the play offs last season. They’ve got Football League level players in their squad and have spend six-figures on a striker. That level of money in the National League is not uncommon this season with the likes of Wrexham and $tockport. They have Danny Rowe, Jack Clarke and Akwasi Asante to return from injury and if you listened to Friday’s Gloverscast, their fans are pining for seven substitutes. Right now, we are in a different league in terms of competing off the pitch.