Charlie Lee’s debut in front of the Huish Park crowd ended in defeat as Yeovil Town failed to take their opportunities and gifted an Aldershot Town side battling against the drop two goals on a sunny Good Friday afternoon.

Coatesie travelled down from his northern home for the match between his hometown team and his adopted hometown team (no, he wasn’t the away fan who needed medical treatment), and here are his conclusions….

Even the glorious sunshine could not hide the cracks at Huish Park. I’m not just talking about on the pitch – although there were some of those, which I’ll come too – but this was my first home game in well over two years and it’s sad to see the state of the place. Even if you can look past the unloved, run down infrastructure, I heard at least half-a-dozen people complain at the lack of a printed programme (not a problem for me, but it clearly it is for some supporters), the tea bars were shut for away fans meaning big queues in the Screwfix Family Stand. Yet again, it’s the same relentlessly cheery volunteers and underappreciated staff who are fronting up, whilst the only sign of our absent owner, Scott Priestnall, were the chants calling for him to go. If I were him, I wouldn’t want to face up to what my lack of interest and investment was doing to more than 125 years of history either……but I’m not the one who bought a football club less than three years ago.

On the pitch, it wasn’t a great day either. We seemed to forget how to score goals again. The freedom we

Josh Neufville. Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

been playing with in recent weeks deserted us and we were unable to find our way through an Aldershot team who had absolutely no reason to do anything more than keep it tight and hit us on the break. Josh Neufville was paired alongside Reuben Reid in a front two and ran tirelessly but too often in the first half there were aimless balls played up to him. At the start of the second half we got it down better and laid siege to the visitors’ goal but just could not find a way through, and when we gifted Giles Phillips the freedom of the area to head home the opener, it felt like game over. I think we could have stayed out there all Easter and not scored.

Our full-backs didn’t not look comfortable. When I saw Mark Little and Jordan Barnett on either side of defence, I was pleased that we had a recognised right and left back on the pitch. However, from the start, Mark Little did not seem to be running comfortably and had problems containing Aldershot down his side. Barnett looked rusty in his first start in almost a month and, although he can still put in a fantastic sliding tackle when he needs too, does seem more effective further up the pitch. I’d put Morgan Williams back in for W*ymouth on Easter Monday.

Dale Gorman. Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

Please can we get Dale Gorman off free-kicks with a shot on goal? I know he scored that one at Dover, but surely we have other players who have the potential to get a more meaningful effort on goal. There was one in the first half of this match about 25 yards out which I thought was crying out for a Luke Wilkinson pile driver to test the keeper, but no. Or, to quote my Thatcher’s Stand companion, Chris Fox: “Oh, f*** off, Gorman!” It was funny to start with (tequila and all that) but I’m now starting to see what the Glentoran supporters were telling us when we signed him – he shoots from literally everywhere.

Tom Knowles was a bright spot – again. I feel like I have done nothing but complain in my previous four conclusions….so let me end of at least one positive. There were some bright spots and, as is often the case, Tom Knowles was one of them with his relentless desire to attack. When we got the ball to him, Aldershot didn’t know what to do and when we repeated that with other players (especially early in the second half) the same occurred. You know what you need to do on Monday, boys.


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