It was a perfect start to 2023 at Huish Park as the Glovers earned a 2-0 win against Torquay. Here are Ian’s Five Conclusions.

Mark Cooper got experimental. When the team sheet came out it was quite easy to put the line up into a 5-3-2 with Malachi Linton leading the line. When the players emerged for the first half and Ben Richards-Everton was in the front two with Linton many will have wondered if Mark Cooper had a few NYE drinks. The Richards-Everton experiment didnt produce much attacking flow, but after the match Cooper said it softened Torquay up. He also said Alex Fisher was sick and hadn’t trained and was only able to make a cameo from the bench. It wasn’t pretty at points but he managed to find a combination that got a result.

Andrew Oluwabori and Lawson D’Ath come on at half-time.

We had to change it at half time again to unlock Torquay. It was surprising to see Max Hunt and Jamie Andrews replaced, given that they have been two of Mark Cooper’s mainstays, but I think it was a nod to Ben Richards-Everton to move him to the back 3. Lawson D’Ath didn’t see much of the ball, but Andrew Oluwabori’s impact was instant. What we saw against Maidenhead and Gateshead in November was on display again. His ability to run directly with the ball and scare defenders in unmatched in our squad. There are moments where he choose the wrong option but in 80th minute when he drove down the left hand side and put an inviting ball across the six yard box for Matt Worthington, he showed what he can produce.

I thought Torquay played well. The table doesn’t lie, and many will be calling for Gary Johnson to be replaced, but in the first half they opened us more than most teams have this season. Grant Smith was the busier of the two goalkeepers all afternoon and had to make plenty of saves. They created several openings inside the 18 yard box where had they managed to connect more cleanly with the ball, it could have been a very different story.

Jordan Maguire-Drew. Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

That was some finish by Jordan Maguire Drew. The player who struggled through his debut against Dorking is long gone. How we’ve missed a player with his radar for a pass. He got on the ball in the first half and came close to unlocking Torquay. His second half was quieter as we took a more direct approach to getting something from the game but he was in the right place at the right time to seal the game with a cute finish in stoppage time. While Grimsby have said the deal is just a loan, Yeovil are confident that it’s more than that and on the evidence of the last two matches, he’s going to be a key player for us this year.

It’s been a great start to the year. It’s been difficult to find positivity this season but as we move into 2023, we’ve won a game by two clear goals and kept a clean sheet, we’ve announced that we’re relaunching a women’s club and there’s a potential takeover on the horizon. The year has kicked off with hope at Huish Park, and although we’ve been here before and detail is limited, I think a bit of hope is a nice position to be in.

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