It was another difficult night for Yeovil Town’s walking wounded as they went down to their third consecutive defeat on a disappointing night at Aldershot Town.
With a decent starting XI – with Luke Wilkinson in goal – on the treatment table, Darren Sarll’s starting XI was the walking wounded from the opening whistle.
A battling first half saw them match their hosts, but a defensive error from an out-of-position back line and a harsh straight red card for Alex Bradley inside four first half minutes left the already depleted Glovers with too much to do.
Here’s how I saw it…..
With too many injuries to mention – look at the match preview if you’re interested – there was a welcome return for Lawson D’Ath on the substitutes bench, marking his first appearance in the squad since the 3-0 win at Weymouth on January 5.
Joining him on the bench were four members of the Glovers’ under-18s, youth team captain Jiah Medrano, midfielders Adam Heaton and Toby Stephens, the latter who made his first-team debut at Wrexham at the weekend, and keeper Max Evans, who has been a regular on the bench this season.
On the pitch, the injury-ravaged visitors lined up with central midfielder Charlie Lee in the heart of defence alongside Billy Sass-Davies, and Josh Neufville playing at right back rather than his more forward approach with Bradley at the base of the diamond.
However, Yeovil started brightly and made much of the early running with Emmanuel Sonupe having an early shot blocked before Tom Knowles and captain Reuben Reid linking up nicely for Knowles to jink in to the box and fire in a shot that was well tipped away by Aldershot keeper Mitch Walker.
Shots’ striker Harry Panayiotou fired one wide having been found by a fine George Fowler pass soon after, but – despite what the Aldershot live stream pundits told us at half time – the Yeovil chances were not restricted to one effort.
On 11 minutes, Reid held the ball up well on the edge of the box, squared it to Dagnall whose shot was well-saved by Walker. That’s at least two efforts that had the keeper working.
But, that was about as good as it got for the Glovers in the first half, with the home side turning up the pressure after that with Craig Tanner having a shot come off the outside of the post.
The final 25 minutes of the half turned in to a less end-to-end affair although it was Aldershot who looked more threatening going forward.
That pressure showed up exactly where Yeovil’s defence had players out of position with Neufville looking particularly vulnerable, as he did when he was deployed at right-back in the game at Chesterfield earlier in the season.
An equally big concern was head injuries to Sass-Davies and Chris Dagnall, the latter who ended up with a bandage around his head – injuries are not what we need right now.
Half time: Aldershot Town 0 Yeovil Town 0
Now, remember how I said in the first half that the out-of-position Neufville getting caught out of position? Well, with six minutes in to the second half, good play between Fowler and Tanner down the rightv saw a ball go to the back post and Chike Kandi got in front of Neufville to head Aldershot ahead at the back post.
To add insult to injury, three minutes later Alex Bradley saw red for a tackle from behind on Panayiotou in the middle of the box.
I’m obviously out of practice with this match reporting lark because I looked up just as the tackle went in, looked up to see Bradley walking. It looked wild to me at a first glance, but suffice to say not all of Twitter agreed with my glancing review, see below!
And, having watched the replay at the end of match, I concur with the views of Twitter – it was a yellow card, but never a red.
Wow. Absolutely speechless. When you thought the standard of refereeing at this level couldn’t get any lower #ytfc
— Chris Sweet (@Sweeter1984) May 11, 2021
To add further injury to injury (or should that be insult as well?) a crunching tackle from behind on Tom Knowles by Aldershot substitute Jon Nouble’s on 69 minutes looked every bit as bad as the one Bradley saw red for.
Nouble got a yellow. What’s the first rule of the Gloverscast again?
Red card or not, the loss put Yeovil’s walking wounded were under even more pressure and Kandi will be disappointed not to have doubled their advantage shortly after.
There was a bright spot with D’Ath making an appearance in the 67th minute, replacing Sonupe, and despite an obvious lack of match fitness, he showed his usual composure on the ball.
Sass-Davies threw his body on the line on at least two occasions to block shots coming in from the home side, but with nine minutes to go Dagnall headed over with a rare opportunity.
The home side continued to turn the screw and it was another defensive mistake that led to the doubling their advantage.
A long ball forward found Nouble with only Kelly in the vicinity of him and, with the rest of the Yeovil defence racing back from…..well, somewhere…..he played in Panayiotou who hammered it home.
Adam Smith pulled off an amazing double save soon after, but dead on their feet is the way to describe how Yeovil looked by the closing 10 minutes of the match.
So, another defeat ends with me thinking the same thing as the after the last one – can’t we just finish the season now? Pretty, pretty please.
Full time: Aldershot Town 2 Yeovil Town 0
ALDERSHOT TOWN: Walker, Fowler, Sendles-White, Lyons-Foster, Rees (for Nouble, 28), Kandi (for Hinds, 74), Panayiotou, Anderson, Edser, Kinsella, Tanner (for Bettamer, 74).
Subs not used: Ogie, Miller.
Bookings: Lyons-Foster, Nouble, Panayiotou.
YEOVIL TOWN: Smith, Bradley, Sass-Davies, Lee, Kelly, Knowles, Sonupe (for D’Ath, 67), Dagnall (for Stephens, 82), Neufville, Quigley, Reid.
Subs not used: Evans (GK),Heaton, Medrano.
Sending off: Bradley.