Three points, a clean sheet, third win in four at home… go on then!

Commentating for Three Valleys Radio was Dave Prior he’s taken time to put together Five Conclusions as the Glovers started off the Bank Holiday weekend with a bang.

Dave Prior (left) and Paul Thorpe of 3VR

A performance to silence the doubters? Maybe. After a bright start from the visitors, it took Rhys Murphy to win a foul just shy of the 2-minute mark to give the Yeovil defence a breather. I worried at that point it could become a tricky afternoon, considering we had not kept a clean sheet in the previous four matches. Truth is, I didn’t really have much to worry about. Jordan Young coolly slotted home to give Yeovil the lead after 14 minutes. Young was a constant threat throughout and certainly staked a claim to be starting every week. People may point to the fact Yeovil made it difficult for themselves by not sealing the win until the 95th minute. Whilst that may be true, I don’t remember Will Buse having a shot to save. Cooper and Worthington had control of the midfield and having Sonny as the link man to play between the lines helped to cement that control. The back 4 kept the Angels front two quiet for most of the afternoon. There were cries to quicken the play from the stands, particularly in the second half. The conditions were torrential which I think must be considered but for me, it was clearly Yeovil’s most complete performance of the season. Oh, the ref didn’t help either (Editor: RULE ONE, PRIOR!) did he but ill stick to the rule and just leave it at that……..

Jordan Young. Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

Jordan Young. Was our spark here all along? A season in which a plethora of new attacking talent has joined over the summer, yet it could be an existing player who could really make the difference. Young, showed glimpses of what he could do in a struggling side last season and if today is anything to go by, he is heading for an exciting season. Exquisite close control and comfortable in possession. The goal showcased his skillset by driving towards the goal, sending the defender for a hot dog before cutting in on his weaker foot and bending it into the near post. How many times did we complain of players not having a shot from good positions last year? A player certainly not lacking confidence and could be a key asset, particularly when games are tight. Recent experience at this level too may result in Yeovil seeing the best version of Jordan Young this season.

Staunton, Wannell and Williams warm up

Flat back four – It’s a yes from me. Its no secret that the back 3 (or back 5 depending on your preference) has been a talking point amongst fans for a while now. For me I think we have looked more assured as a back 4 and that showed again today. As mentioned above, Buse keeping a cleano (or a cleanie if you ask me) and not having a shot to save also tells its own story. Whittle and Williams showed how good they are going forward whilst not being exposed in behind them. Staunton and Wannell also look like a dream partnership. Wannell’s composure on the ball, allows him to drift into midfield to start attacks (John Stones style) with the confidence Staunton is there to support, with Charlie Cooper tracking back to vacate the space. This was a common theme in the second half. It will be interesting how the formation will look on Monday with inevitable changes to come. If it’s not broke don’t fix it comes to mind.

Rhys Murphy tussles with a Tonbridge Angels defender.
Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

Tough day at the office for Murphy. I have heard a lot of supporters talking about Murphy hitting between 20-25 league goals this season. Whilst I think his purchase is of significance, I have not really agreed with that stance. A horrendous injury record, more artificial pitches to overcome this season, I think that is a huge ask. There is no doubt he is a brilliant finisher, particularly at this level, but today wasn’t his day. Throughout the first half he was reluctant to come towards the ball, waiting for it to come to feet, and was often dispossessed. Then there was the penalty. He showed his confidence to step up and take it but in truth, from where I was sitting, it looked a comfortable save. To add insult to the miss, Mark Cooper took him off after directly afterwards which concluded a tough afternoon for him.

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

The right changes at the right time. Whilst Rhys Murphy will disagree, I think Mark Cooper made the right calls. There has been talk this week of Thomas getting a start after recent positive performances, but I think there is a case for him being a fantastic impact sub. His sheer presence and size is a nightmare for any defender, and seeing him come on when you are starting to tire will strike fear into opposition defenders. The same goes for Nouble. The perfect cameo today. His unpredictability was causing all sorts of problems and he went on a brilliant solo run which unfortunately did not result into anything. He got his goal though and topped off a brilliant day with a driving run on the break from inside his own half before receiving the ball in front of goal and smashing it home. Whilst both will have ambitions to start regularly for Yeovil Town, there is certainly an argument for ‘super sub’ labels. Sorry lads…..

It was Robbie Williams who said “I’m loving angels instead.” Based on the Tonbridge performance today, not for me. (….and through it aaaaaaaaalllllllllllll….)

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