Yeovil fell to a dismal 1-0 loss at the hands of York City at Huish Park yesterday. Here’s how Ian saw it from the press box.

We didn’t compete in the midfield battle. For a lot of the match it felt like we were playing with seven at the back and three up front. The gap between the midfield was so large that it was no wonder we resorted to playing it long from back to front and exposing our deficiencies. York City’s centre midfield were finding pockets of space (much like Dagenham’s did last weekend) and kept possession effectively. I can’t recall Sam Perry or Lawson D’Ath grabbing the game or getting us a decent few minutes of possession once. We missed Matt Worthington in their for sure, but our focus on recruiting attack-minded players and centre-backs has left us short in centre midfield.

Charlie Wakefield. Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

I think it’s time to try something different tactically. The 3-5-2 worked well against Wrexham and was effective in holding firm against Dagenham but we really didn’t look comfortable with it at all yesterday. Alex Fisher isn’t the kind of striker who’s going to hold up the ball and bring others into it. Charlie Wakefield isn’t a wingback and, although I like Josh Staunton at centre back, yesterday wasn’t his greatest performance. I would have liked to have seen him brought forward into a deep midfield role yesterday to help us compete in those areas and switch to a back four. We tried to build up from the back, but it just didn’t happen. If we conceded the ball cheaply once, we did it a thousand times. Max Hunt and Ben Richards-Everton struggled to get us moving forward but they weren’t helped by their teammates offering to get the ball from them and had to resort to lumping it down the channels forcing our strikers to feed off scraps.

We looked tired. That was one of the managers observations yesterday adding that he’d review what they did in the week following the Bank Holiday double header, suggesting the preparation hadn’t been right for yesterday. We didn’t keep the ball, we weren’t offering to get take it from each other, we felt overrun on numerous occasions and we didn’t play like a team. Maybe we missed the legs of Matt Worthington in midfield, but it felt like most weren’t at the races at all yesterday. That fatigue led to poor decision making, a lack of willing runners and no execution of the manager’s plan. We can’t criticise these players for not looking fit, because we know they are, but yesterday something was off. 

Matt Worthington. Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

Credit has to go to York City, they played like a team that’s been at this level for a while. The Minstermen looked comfortable on the ball and didn’t give us a look-in in the second half. Lenell John-Lewis gave a complete strikers performance, winning aerial duels, getting into dangerous spaces in the box and causing our three centre backs problems all afternoon. John-Lewis was thwarted from the spot by Grant Smith, but he deserved his deflected winner. The pressed our defence and goalkeeper when the time was right and were really well organised. But for a couple of saves from their keeper, they rarely felt stretched by our attacking play.

We said last week had to be the low point of the season, and now THIS has to be the low point of the season. Boos rang out at Huish Park yesterday following the final whistle, whether you agree with that or not, the performance was straight out of the Darren Way-era so you could understand the frustration in the stands. It has to be an off-day. Although there’s more certainty off-the-pitch this season than last, the clouds from the climax of last season are still there and it feels like they’re gathering quickly again. People won’t forget about the talk of plans for new investment and concrete frameworks from April and here we are five months later with one additional director. If there are repeats of yesterday, the pressure will be on the owner again.


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