Huish Park was rocking last night as Yeovil Town picked up a crucial win in the battle to stay in the National League. Here are Ian’s conclusions from the 1-0 victory over Eastleigh.

A great leap (definitely not a push, ref!) by Matt Worthington for the opener.

The atmosphere at Huish Park was incredible last night. I can’t remember a night like that in a long long time. More than 2900 were at Huish Park last night, an increase of 700ish (minus the Eastleigh travelling supporters) versus last Tuesday. The reduced ticket offer brought people back and helped create an electric atmosphere. The crowd were vocal from the off, and in the second half they roared Mark Cooper’s side home. The celebrations at the end we reminiscent of the old days – I could get used to this feeling. 

We played for the whole game. It was a night where the Yeovil players put in a performance across the pitch for the whole 90 minutes. Cooper’s side were patient when they had to be, and forced the issue when the opportunity arose. Play off hopefuls Eastleigh, who were unbeaten in seven, could not have begrudged going in 2-0 down at half time. Jordan Young came inches away from heading in and fingertips and the post kept Jordan Maguire-Drew from scoring a cracker. With 45 minutes towards the raucous Thatchers Stand, Yeovil got their goal, could have got more and lifted the gloom after the recent run of results.

Jordan Stevens. Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

The Jordans are stepping up. With no shortage of Jordans in the squad and all three starting last night, they all put in a performance of quality. Jordan Young continues to improve. He held the ball up well, was direct with his running and is getting closer to finding that all-important goal. Maguire-Drew looked the classy player who made things happen over Christmas. He threaded passes, got shots away and with 60 minutes in the tank, looks to be rebuilding fitness. And, our new signing Jordan Stevens, looked a totally different player from the one against Woking. Comfortable running with the ball and rapid when hunting down opponents, he looks like to be a real coup for the club.

The system suited the players. Look, I’ve been very clear I don’t like three at the back. I’m open to it working eventually, but we’ve not been able to get a consistent tune this group all season. So when I saw our defensive unit warming up as a four, there was a bit of relief on my part. It worked as well. It was a pretty fluid front five, with Stevens, JMD, Worthington, Young and Law making forward runs and getting into the final third. A shout out for Charlie Cooper, who’s discipline in centre midfield is so crucial to allow his teammates to get forward. Matt Worthington, who had one of his worst games on Saturday, was immeasurably improved and leapt highest to score the winner after a great run into the box.

We need to stay grounded. There’s been so much happen in the last week. After the turbulence of the last regime, we’re all understandably excited. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves after this win. The teams around us good results last night, and we needed to keep up. We’re three points ahead of the relegation zone, but we’ve got some tough away matches coming against Chesterfield, Barnet and Halifax. We’re not out of this battle yet, but with new ownership in the door (although the deal isn’t quite complete) we can be more hopeful of staying in the league than we were over a week ago.

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