And now you’d better believe us.

Fire up your favoured live scores app and you’ll notice that Yeovil Town are top of the National League South by way of 13 points. Thirteen(!) points clear and we’re not even close to the end of January. You could argue that for a full-time club in a part-time division with the budget we have, 13 points clear is exactly where we should be. But for the sake of this piece, and for the sake enjoying the moment to the fullest, I’m going to ignore that and pour praise onto the manager and the players for what is, so far, a monumental effort. After all, saying you’ll piss the league and actually pissing it, are two different things.

So why are we so far clear?

Compared to last season’s National League South it does seem like the quality in the division may have dropped slightly. In terms of points tally, after 26 matches last season, the eventual winners of the league Ebbsfleet United were top on 57 points – two fewer than where Yeovil are now.

The key difference being the teams around Ebbsfleet in 2022/23. The above graphic shows that Dartford and Havant were keeping pace with the league leaders last campaign, whereas the below graphic shows that this season Yeovil have no competition towards the summit of the division.

Whilst we now know the Glovers are the best team in the league by miles, let’s for argument sake look at who might challenge in the final three months of the run in.

Maidstone United don’t score enough goals, Worthing concede too many goals and Torquay United, the pre-season bookmakers’ favourites for the league, are a huge 18 points adrift of the Glovers. Mind The Gap. Hampton have been winning games narrowly and won’t last the distance near the top while Bath City’s Plan A; Get It Wide To Jordan Thomas lacks a Plan B when they’re having an off day. You only have to look at our decision to loan out Will Buse to Bath (who were 3rd in the table at the time) to see how Mark Cooper rates their chances of challenging Yeovil.

The fact is, we’re better in every metric. We’re scoring more goals, we’ve started keeping clean sheets, we’re controlling games as Cooper wants us to and even the underlying statistics such as xG suggest the table isn’t lying. There is no team in this league that will be able to mount a sustained challenge from here on in – they just don’t have the depth or quality. It does, at times, feel like watching the Year 11s vs the Year 7s in terms of resources and experience, but we must enjoy every ounce of it because it will not be this good in seasons to come.

The squad seem to be able to grind out performance after performance and each display shows off a different weapon to the armoury. Go long against us and you’ve no chance. Jake Wannell engulfs strikers like a white blood cell protecting the body from infection and Morgan Williams gobbles up long balls like Bruce Bogtrotter. Go short against us, play us at our own game like Farnborough and Aveley tried, and our passing quality, our pressing and fitness will almost always win the day. Try to bully us like Taunton on Boxing Day and we just bully back, but harder.

Picture Courtesy of Gary Brown

Joe Day has now kept five clean sheets in the last seven games and we’ve begun showing a sturdy, robustness that has allowed the team to string runs of wins together without playing all that well on occasion. In the past four games we’ve dug out 1-0 wins at Eastbourne and Taunton – these are the gritty, determined performances that wins you leagues in the cold, winter months.

The quality we have in the squad is genuinely mind-blowing for the level. In the past month the club have been able to loan out Jordan Maguire-Drew and Alex Fisher, two players who can’t get near the starting line-up, to teams in the division above. We’ve too lost Josh Staunton, who also couldn’t get a sniff of a game, to a National League outfit. Staunton has started life well at Boreham Wood, earning Man of the Match on his home debut for the club and finding himself in the National League Team of the Week.

If these players couldn’t get a game at Yeovil but are shining in the division above, that surely bodes well for next season.

There are still 20 games to play in this league though – the manager referenced as such in his post-match interview after the 1-0 win away at Taunton Town. Complacency might be our biggest danger from now until April. The facts would say there are still 60 points to play for so promotion is far from wrapped up but if the evidence of the first 26 games is anything to go by, Yeovil Town are going to win the league.

And now you’d better believe us.

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5 months ago

Don’t be to complacent yet, we all know Yeovil should have never have dropped so low. Let’s hope 2024 is going to be the winning year.

Essex Glover
5 months ago

Great to be in such a fantastic position at this stage in the season. However, I am a bit concerned that if we do go up (seems likely but not guaranteed], we will not be good enough to challenge next season the
NLS is of poor quality and the NL is a real step up in class.Hopefully Mr Chaiman’s pockets are deep.
Anyway, keep it going lads and we’ll worry about the rubbish I’ve just spouted in due course.COYG.