Not many would have thought that Yeovil Town would complete the double over National League big-spenders Stockport County. But that’s exactly what Charlie Lee’s Glovers managed yesterday. Here are Ian’s Five Conclusions from an excellent game at Huish Park.
It was another match which showed how crazy our season has been. I said before the match that it wouldn’t have surprised me if we nicked the game given some of our results against the better sides this season. And boy did we. It felt like Stockport were banging the door down for the entire first half, but we held firm and after a slick bit of skill from Tom Knowles (#DFILWF) he finished brilliantly just before half time. His goal was the springboard which seemed to galvanise the Glovers and Charlie Lee’s side grew in confidence as the match progressed.
It was amazing to finally see a Josh Neufville goal at Huish Park. A quick break and our lockdown hero was in behind the Stockport defence. He showed
the calmness of a seasoned striker and coolly sent Hinchcliffe the wrong way to send those that were at Huish Park wild. He’s had to play a different game than he did last season. Yesterday he was starved of the ball at points and really had to make the most of his own possession and when it mattered he made it count.
We didn’t let Stockport’s changes count. Dave Challinor made a double substitution at half time and before Crankshaw and Hippolyte has a chance to settle into the game and make a difference, we were 2-0 up. Another change followed swiftly and although Hippolyte scored against his old club, the red card of Will Collar two minutes later meant they had another on-pitch change to make. It felt like Stockport never managed to get going as cohesively in the second half as they did in the first, and we managed to deal with most of their threat comfortably.
Stockport’s own supporters took their side’s momentum. After Hippolyte’s goal a blue smoke bomb was thrown into Grant Smith’s six yard box. County players had swiftly grabbed the ball to force a quick restart, but their momentum was totally lost as a stewards had to wait for the smoke bomb to extinguish before they could safely remove it. Collar’s deserved red card for a dangerously high foot on Dale Gorman shortly after the delay just exacerbated things for County’s evidently frustrated players. Dave Challinor thought the same:
Dave Challinor says #stockportcounty gave themselves a lifeline but “shot ourselves in the foot”.
On the red: “fans have been brilliant but a flare going on & delaying the restart kills any momentum – WC will be punished for a moment of stupidity, but we don’t need that either.”
— Sam Byrne (@_SByrne) April 23, 2022
Max Hunt stepped back in supremely. You wouldn’t have known it was Hunt’s first game back after months out injured. The centre back was dominant against the National League’s lethal pairing of Paddy Madden and Scott Quigley. The deadly duo had moments of freedom in the first half, but Hunt was a man mountain, winning everything in the air and throwing himself in front of efforts at goal. His confidence shone through and was clear to see when he executed a textbook Cryuff turn on the halfway line before getting Yeovil on the attack. It was the kind of performance from Hunt which hammered home the urgent need to secure the futures of some of these players.