Darren Sarll was pleased to see his “focused” Yeovil Town side pick up a comfortable win at bottom side Dover Athletic with little fuss.
The Glovers’ boss saw goals from defender Ben Barclay and midfielder Dale Gorman both come from set pieces as they ran out 2-0 winners in a match which saw their hosts relegated out of the National League.
Speaking to BBC Somerset’s Sheridan Robins after the win, the manager said: “People will talk about Dover’s position but I never underestimate (manager) Andy Hessenthaler’s teams, he was some player and he has that attitude in his coaching.
“Our attitude to the game was very focused and because of that we kept our shape well on a pitch where it was very difficult to balance your touch out.
“There was no dramatic moments, except the one where (Dover midfielder Emmanuel Gyasi had the ball in the net) was offside, but apart from that I felt strong all day.”
He said his side were deserving of their goals from free-kicks for the opportunities they had failed to convert this season.
Barclay’s opener came after Jordan Barnett’s free-kick was touched on by Adi Yussuf to reach the on loan Stockport County player and then Gorman scored direct from a free-kick.
Sarll said: “The deliveries we have put in week in and week out has deserved goals from set plays and it’s something we have not been good at.
“Ben is a very good technician and we know Dale has got that type of quality. It was quite fun because a fan said to me before the game about the future and he said ‘I really like Gorman, but he’s too selfish with those free-kicks’.”
Sarll gave second debuts to returning goalkeeper Ted Cann, who started in place of first-choice Grant Smith who is suffering with a groin injury, and midfielder Josh Neufville, who rejoined on Friday from Luton Town.
It was the 20-year-old’s first appearance in green-and-white since he left the pitch on a stretcher having suffered a broken ankle at Altrincham in the penultimate game of the season. Yeovil travel to Altrincham on the final game of this season.
Speaking about his return, the Glovers’ boss said Neufville had pushed for the move: “He drove it. We’ve been in touch the whole season and you do feel partly responsible when players get bad injuries playing for you.
“Luton have been great and (manager) Nathan Jones and (first-team coach) Chris Cohen, obviously two ex-Yeovil men, were fabulous with us again and we are the last stage of Josh’s rehabilitation before next season.
“He came in Friday and he was so excited to be back. He said ‘Altrincham away on the last day, I will be ready for that’ – that is his determination and you don’t get too much of that.
“To have that courage and confidence to go back to a place which holds so many bad memories was quite something.”
Neufville came on after 73 minutes in place of Charlie Wakefield and showed enough in 17 minutes to believe he can rediscover the form which made him a fans’ favourite last season.
Sarll said: “Yesterday in training he absolutely tormented a player, I kept him away from Mark Little just in case, but they’re going to come up against each other very soon.
“He looks bigger physically and he’s going to be a weapon for us, but we have to build him slowly.
“There were a few cobwebs today and he was a bit rusty so we are going to have to go back to what the plan and remind him.”
Asked about the decision to bring in Cann on loan instead of giving an opportunity to number two Max Evans, the boss said the West Bromwich Albion youngster had impressed him during his previous loan spell at Huish Park.
He played three times during Sarll’s first season in charge in 2019/20.
The manager said: “Ted played for us two years ago and made a big impression on me back then because he played in front of a very experienced back four which could have been quite intimdating for a young man.
“I have tried to recruit him every season since then, so it was nice to bring him. Grant needs to clear his groin up and needed that change and that feeling of change in the dressing room.
“When you recruit players, you give everyone a wallop up the backside.”
He added that the deals for both Neufville and Cann were “no brainers“, suggesting the parent clubs are footing the wage bill for both players during their time in Somerset.
Of Evans, the manager said: “I wanted to have five outfield subs. I think if you asked all the National League managers something they would change, 20 managers out of the 23 would say ‘can we have an extra sub?’
“Every year we ask, every year we get turned away, but because of the run of form we were in I thought it would be really unfair to put a teenager in goal away at Dover.“