Yeovil Town fell to a 4-1 defeat at the hands of National League leaders Nott County yesterday afternoon. Here’s Ian Five Conclusions from Huish Park…
The score line did not reflect the performance. If you weren’t at Huish Park yesterday you’d have seen that score and thought it was a hammering, but it didn’t tell the full story. Notts County’s manager Luke Williams said he felt very lucky to come away from Huish Park with three points. Many expected the Glovers to sit back and absorb a 90 minute blitz, but despite conceding in the first five minutes, Yeovil went toe-to-toe with table-toppers but in the hunt for a second equaliser left too much room for Macauley Langstaff inside the 18 yard box in the 94th minute.
Mark Cooper set up his side with a plan to stifle Notts County and a big part of that involved Morgan Williams, who kept Ruben Rodrigues out of the game. Williams seems capable of doing every job asked of him. Yesterday he lined up as part of the midfield, tasked with following Rodrigues everywhere and preventing him from impacting the game and Williams did just that. Rodrigues barely got a sniff of the ball without Williams breathing down his neck to dispossess him. At one point in the second half Rodrigues celebrated a sliding tackle on Williams by the touch line which Williams laughed off – he clearly enjoyed the agitation of his opponent. Ultimately, Rodrigues made the difference from the spot, where Williams couldn’t shadow him, however the centre back, turned full back, turned wingback has shown he can also do a job in midfield too.
While the performance didn’t match the result, to gift the top goal scorer in the league was a cardinal sin. When Langstaff was allowed freedom of the six yard box to head home, it gave the Glovers an even bigger mountain to climb, and although they nearly managed it, its clear Langstaff is operating on another level. The striker is in the form of his life and is absolutely lethal in front of goal. His first was good positioning to spot space in the area, his second was less instinctive but a real poachers effort after good spell of patient possession and the third was the hunger to take home the match ball as Yeovil’s defenders switched off.
Despite going behind, we didn’t change our approach. It was clear that the plan was to allow the Notts County defenders to knock the ball about and bring it forward, but once they made it past the halfway line, Cooper, Worthington and D’Ath engaged and launched the counter attack. In the second half it felt like the momentum was with Yeovil and with the introduction of Andrew Oluwabori, Notts County had genuine pace up against them. Slocombe’s didn’t anticipate Oluwabori’s pace in the 65th minute and he nipped in to pinch the ball and was left with work to do to score a great equaliser. Slocombe was stretched again by Oluwabori and Jordan Young, but it was Jamie Reckord who should have levelled it before County’s stoppage time double.
Ytfc v Ncfc nearer rugby than football pic.twitter.com/425uKVd0Gv
— Colin (@YorkshireGlover) February 18, 2023
We’re down to the bare bones again. For the third season in a row, we’re playing without a full bench and asking players to play through the pain barrier to get us through games. Mark Cooper mentioned the absence of a physio again yesterday, clearly a pointed message. We’re going into two huge games this week that we need to win. The sides below are picking up points and if were going to keep our heads above the water we need to do the same at Maidenhead and York City. Make no mistake, we are in a relegation battle and our players are going above and beyond for the green and white shirt. Everyone (okay, maybe not everyone) at the club is mucking in.
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