Altrincham

Max Evans. 📾 Mike Kunz.

Yeovil Town’s final day victory over Altrincham saw two young Glovers make their first league starts, Ollie Haste played the final few moments but it was Max Evans who put in a cracking performance on debut to keep a clean sheet in goal.

When talking to BBC Somerset’s Sheridan Robins he said he was delighted with his first league start.

“I enjoyed it, it was good to get the number 1 down”

“(The clean sheet) was the main thing, helped the boys out, they helped me out many times, it was a good start”

He thanked the experienced members of the squad, name checking Mark Little and Josh Staunton for their contributions during the game even if he wasn’t expecting to get his debut under the Glovers’ stand in player manager.

“I had a chat with him (Staunton), he was happy for me to get the game which was nice



 me and Grant (Smith) get along really well, it’s been a really good season, my first full season in men’s football, it’s been really good and I can’t wait to have many more hopefully.”

One Man of the Match performance in the bag for Max, here’s to many more.

 

Yeovil huddle before Altrincham


and breathe.

The 2021/22 season has come to an end. 44 league games, an FA Cup run, and a Somerset Premier Cup victory has made the campaign far from dull despite the 12th place finish. The final game saw an injury ravaged squad squeeze out a 1-0 win over fellow mid-tablers Altrincham. Debuts for Ollie Haste and Max Evans rightly took the post match headlines, but I wanted to highlight two other performances.

Sonny Blu Lo-Everton. Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

I gave Sonny Blu Lo Everton my man of the match on the radio. He was fantastic in the first half, and gave us a glimpse into what we would have loved to have seen more of through the whole season. He glided effortlessly with the ball, had shots, a relaxed game brought out the best in him, how desperately we could have done with that on a more regular basis. His career lies higher than the National League and he’ll go onto good things, I’m sure.

Morgan Williams. Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

Much was made out of Morgan Williams’ controversial Glovies wins (by Ian mostly), but as one of those certain to be there on Day 1 of pre season next year, I for one am chuffed. He played centre half, he’s played left back, right wing back and for his first proper season adapted to all of them with ease. If he wants to show of the leadership and seniority he showed alongside Jack Robinson and in front of Max Evans that is absolutely fine by me. We’ve got a good one in Morgan Williams, that’s for sure.

184 Yeovil fans made the trip to Altrincham, maybe take a few off for some easy geography, but that is an incredible level of support. I wouldn’t have blamed any supporter for saying no thanks, for starting their summers early and listening on the radio, but so many felt like they needed to be there. To say goodbye? To say thanks? Because that’s just what weekends are for? I’m not sure, but whoever is on that press release as our new manager has a truly brilliant fan base to get on board with. I hope they harness the spirit of the 184, I hope they see the passion and support of the 1900+ at the Legends game and use that to their advantage, give us something to cheer and we are there ready to be on your side.

I have to mention Josh Staunton don’t I? Last summer he told us that last season he thought he might not kick a ball ever again. He did, he became an integral part of the side, then Charlie Lee’s right hand man, then
 almost inexplicably, Manager. Find me a Yeovil fan who doesn’t think we should extend his contract? Find me a Yeovil fan who thinks he isn’t the person to build a side around next year? I’ve written in depth before about how I feel he’s the most important player we’ve had since Skivo, well, he became our first player-manager since the Glovers legend took over from Russell Slade. He deserves the upmost respect and a damn good contract.

So, I don’t like to address rumours, but there were murmurs of some players not being in the best frame of mind before the game and there were a number of absentees. I’ll say only one thing
 if there’s any player that doesn’t want to be here, they’re absolutely fine to leave. It takes a special type of player to play for Yeovil Town, you have to show the commitment that 184 fans showed today, if you’re not willing to do that, despite all that’s gone on, you know where the door is. For what it’s worth, in every little snippet of conversation I’ve had with people, every game I’ve watched, every interview I’ve transcribed this season I’ve never doubted any squad member’s commitment, I just hope it’s still there at the same level next season.

It won’t exactly be a quiet week for Glovers fans, or a quiet summer for that matter, but I hope YTFC supporters can enjoy their summers. It’ll be time to play ‘Guess the Trialist‘ soon.

Venue: Moss Lane
Sunday 15th May, 3pm kick-off

Conditions: Dry and warm, except for a spot of rain the second half

Pitch: In decent nick for the final game.

Attendance: 2,123 (184 away supporters)

Scorers: Tom Knowles 15 (1-0),

Bookings:

Yeovil: D’Ath 45, 
Altrincham:
Hampson 70

Referee:  Peter Gibbons


Yeovil Town : (4-4-1-1)

Max Evans

Jordan Barnett, Morgan Williams, Jack Robinson, Mark Little

Charlie Wakefield (for Adi Yussuf, 36) Lawson D’Ath Alex Bradley, Tom Knowles

Sonny Blu Lo-Everton

Reuben Reid

Substitutes: Grant Smith, Josh Staunton, Ollie Haste, Adi Yussuf.



Match Report

A first half strike from Tom Knowles was enough to secure Yeovil Town a final day win and ensure caretaker player-manager Josh Staunton’s managerial career ended with a 100% record.

But, it was a man of the match performance from young goalkeeper Max Evans which was the story of an otherwise uneventful match.

The teenager was handed his debut by Staunton in place of first choice keeper, Grant Smith, and rewarded him with some outstanding saves as the hosts pushed for an equaliser in the second half.

On a day that club captain Luke Wilkinson and midfielders Dale Gorman and Matt Worthington did not even feature in the squad whilst youngster Ollie Haste came on as a late substitute to make his debut, the match had an end of the era feel to it.

Here’s how it all looked to Coatesie saw it from the away end
.

 

First half

After an opening 15 minutes with little more than a half-chance to shout about from either side, the ball found its way to Sonny Blu Lo-Everton who played a beautiful ball through to Tom KNOWLES who lashed home the opener with Reuben Reid lurking at the far post.

Moments later Ryan Colclough almost found an instant response, bursting down the right but his ball was turn away by Morgan Williams, before moments later Jake Cooper fired wide for the hosts after a misplaced pass by Alex Bradley.

It took 20 minutes for anything else to happen in the game and that was an injury to Charlie Wakefield who was replaced by Adi Yussuf after 36 minutes.

He went in up front alongside Reid with Lo-Everton dropping back in to midfield  from the more advanced position he had adopted.

Altrincham’s threat was coming down the left side from Colclough whereas at the other end there was liveliness from Knowles (as has become standard) but little else to get excited about.

A minute in to first half stoppage time, Colclough’s ball in was flicked wide by Marcus Dinanga. That half-chance was a moment of excitement when on ‘fans’ appreciation day’ at Moss Lane.

The half-time announcement of the raffle draw was another highlight – it was that kind of 45 minutes, folks.


Half time: Altrincham 0 Yeovil Town 1

Second Half

The half-time interval saw young substitute Ollie Haste warming up on his own, albeit he ran along halfway line twice before disappearing in to the dressing room.
 
It took until the 51st minute for something to happen when Lo-Everton picked up the ball in midfield, skipped past a couple of tackles and poked it through to Yussuf who either tried to bustle his way through and was blocked or gave up. You decide.
Play immediately swung to the other end where Colclough, the hosts’ threat in the first half, was denied by a smart stop from Max Evans.
 
Evans was in action again dropping to his right to deny Cooper before Colclough lashed one wide.
 
The home side certainly began to grow in to the game and Colclough almost found himself on the end of a cross from Pringle. The winger was certainly keen to add to the 11 goals he has his season with Alty seemingly able to stroll through the visitors midfield at will. What is Josh Staunton up to today? Oh yeah.
 
Little was caught out 30 yards from goal and Pringle fed it through to substitute Josh Hancock, but his shot was easily stopped by Evans, fast becoming the visitors’ man of the match.
 
If that fact was in doubt, the teenager pulled off another superb stop to deny Mooney who had carved his way through the visitors’ defence.
Moments later, Hancock inexplicably beat the offside flag to break through on goal and pulled his shot across goal.
On 83 minutes, Yeovil’s best chance saw Yussuf charge forward in to the box, squared it to Reid who paused and allowed the Alty defence to get a challenge in.
 
Seemingly unhappy at watching his midfield allow the hosts to attack that caretaker player boss Josh Staunton brought himself on. It is fair to say that he had not prepared for it.
 
With Altrincham committing men forward in search of a goal, Yeovil found gaps with chances to Yussuf who lifted one over from out side and Lo-Everton who lashed a shot over the bar.
 
As the fourth official’s board went up, there was one final moment for the visitors as Ollie Haste came on as a substitute to make his league debut for the club.
 
The applause at the end suggested this may be the last we see or many of this Yeovil again. As on chapter closes, another opens.
 

Full time: Altrincham 0 Yeovil Town 1

Max Evans, who is given his first league start today. 📾 Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

Interim-Caretaker-Player-Manager-Captain Josh Staunton has picked his first (and last) team for the trip to Altrincham in the final game of the National League season.

Young keeper Max Evans is handed a start with first-choice keeper Grant Smith on the substitutes bench alongside Staunton and fellow youngster Ollie Haste.

There is no sign of club captain Luke Wilkinson or midfielders Matt Worthington and Dale Gorman whilst Josh Neufville is unavailable following his recall by Luton Town.

 

Yeovil Town: Max Evans, Mark Little, Morgan Williams, Jack Robinson, Alex Bradley, Tom Knowles, Jordan Barnett, Sonny Blu Lo-Everton, Lawson D’Ath, Reuben Reid, Charlie Wakefield.

Substitutes: Grant Smith, Josh Staunton, Ollie Haste, Adi Yussuf.

 

For Altrincham supporters this weekend’s final National League game of the season is a historic one for many reasons.

Firstly, it will be the last the club plays as a part-time team with the club confirming it will be full-time next season, but – even in defeat – they have already achieved their 55 points is the highest they have managed since 1996.

And, victory could see them claim as high as 12th place in the table – leap-frogging Yeovil in the process – which would be the highest they have managed in more than two decades.

However, as Yeovil fans with long enough memories to recall the club’s own transition from part-time to full-time football will recall, the change comes at a price with seven players confirming that this weekend will be their final one as Altrincham players.

Goalkeeper Tony Thompson, captain Shaun Densmore, full-back Connor Hampson, defender Andy White and midfielders Jake Moult, Josh Hancock and Tom Hannigan will all leave to remain part-time.

The transition to professional football began last summer when manager Phil Parkinson was installed in a full-time capacity and now the club has decided the time is right to bring the playing squad alongside.

It is the Robins’ performances at Moss Lane which has been their strength this season and they haven’t lost on home soil since the defeat to Torquay United at the end of January.

Over the past six matches, their home form – won four, drawn two, lost zero – puts them sixth in the National League form table, behind only Wrexham, Solihull Moors, Notts County, Stockport County and Torquay.

You can hear our chat with Erin, a.k.a @GolfRoadGoals on Twitter and Instagram, talk to us about the weekend’s game on our latest podcast – here.


FROM THE MANAGER

Altrincham manager Phil Parkinson admitted he had an eye on Sunday’s final day game when picking his starting XI for Tuesday night’s draw at Bromley.

He brought a number of the players who will be leaving the club as it transitions to full-time football back in to the line-up.

He said: “This game was to be them ready for Sunday and there’s other boys who could not make it due to injury.

”The biggest thing I want to do is give them that send off, they have dedicated a big chunk of their footballing careers to this club and they deserve that opportunity to say goodbye to the fans.

”One thing is for sure, they will not let themselves down knowing we’ve got a landmark moment because we have not finished higher than 14th in this division for 20 years and I’m sure they want to finish on a high.”

But for Parkinson, who has been a full-time employee all season, next season is about the start of a new era for the club – and he is setting the bar high.

He added: “I don’t think I will have ever truly left my mark on this club unless we get promoted out of this league.

”This is the toughest it has been with ex-League clubs in the division, but when this club has been at its best we have pushed for League football and that is certainly something we want to do.

”But, that is a long way off, but we are making giant strides to get us where we want to be to be that club again.”


TEAM NEWS

Altrincham boss Phil Parkinson fielded “a makeshift team” in the midweek draw at Bromley.

Goalkeeper Matthew Gould came in between the posts in place of Tony Thompson, the first choice stopper who will be one of seven players leaving the club to remain part-time next season.

Defender Toby Mullarkey, a regular feature in the side this season, also missed out and has been linked with a move to EFL side Portsmouth this week.

Up front, top scorer, Ryan Colclough, who has 11 goals to his name this season, has been missing since Easter Monday.

There were returns for captain Shaun Densmore, Tom Hannigan and Jake Moult, three of the seven departing this summer, against Bromley.

Academy graduate Ryan Morton came off the bench in midweek.


A FOOT IN BOTH CAMPS

AJ Leitch-Smith was the inevitable scorer of Altrincham’s goal when they drew 1-1 at Huish Park back in October.

The 32-year-old forward spent the 2014-15 season at Huish Park before departing back to his native Cheshire to join Port Vale, and arrived at Moss Road from Morecambe in the summer.

He has only made 19 appearances this season, scoring four times, and has not featured since the end of March.

Last season, central defender and now Wales under-21 international Billy Sass-Davies turned out for both sides whilst on loan from Crewe Alexandra and was in the patched-up Glovers’ side which went down 4-3 at Alty at the end of last season.

Full-back Mark Lynch, who played 31 times in green-and-white between 2006 and 2008, finished his career at Alty in 2012, but other than that we’re struggling a bit.

How about inside forward Albert Foulds, who started his career in the youth team at Alty before playing a season at Yeovil in the 1949-50 season?

Darren Sarll believes that his Yeovil Town side are “where they should be” in the National League table after nine games of the season.

The Glovers sit in 14th following a 1-1 home draw against Altrincham on Tuesday night, but have lost three and drawn two of their last five having picked up three wins in a row prior to that run.

The manager said that his side’s failure to score more than one goal despite mustering 28 shots at Altrincham, who had left-back Connor Hampson in goal for 74 minutes due to an injury to their keeper, was an indication why they are in mid-table.

But, he said that without greater resources at his disposal he is having to “re-invent” his side with injuries to key players including defender Luke Wilkinson and midfielder Mitchell Rose.

Yeovil Town manager Darren Sarll.
Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

Sarll said: “We have to reinvent ourselves every time something changes, because if you take Luke Wilkinson out of the team, it doesn’t just take Luke out, it take Josh Staunton out of midfield.

“Who then goes in midfield? Are the ingredients the same? Mitch Rose would have been perfect (against Altrincham) but he’s injured, so we are trying to re-invent all the time.

“We are where we probably should be because our expected goals goals for that game was six which for 32 crosses that is not surprising.

“We want to build on that, we want another 30-odd crosses and get those chances for Adi and Joe (against W*ymouth at the weekend).

There were murmurings of discontent from the Huish Park stands at the final whistle on Tuesday night and the uncertainty on the future of the club driven by the absence of Chairman Scott Priestnall, it seems likely a poor start in the weekend’s derby could spark more anger.

Ahead of the tie, Sarll called for “positivity” from supporters and re-iterated his call for patience with his squad which is the second youngest in the National League.

He added: “Everyone know the (team we had in the 2019-20 season) was built for immediate productivity – this is not that team and it is going to take time.

“We just have to make sure we keep moving forward, it is going to be very up and down, this is not a group which is going to take hours.

“If player availability and squad depth is not good enough, it is going to take time.

Yeovil were held to a 1-1 draw by Altrincham at home last night and here are our five conclusions…

We did play better(ish!). We had a lot more shots than Saturday and we did cause Altrincham problems in the open stages. The movement of Yussuf and Seymour did cause problems until the injury to Altrincham ‘keeper Tony Thompson at which point they shored up. It was damning that we struggled to test Connor Hampson, a left back, who came on from the bench to have a go in goal. Eventually, it became apparent that couldn’t catch anything in the second

Joe Quigley opens the scoring against Altrincham.
Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

half, which led to Quigley’s opener. But, inevitably, we let it slip, allowing our former player Ajay Leitch-Smith to equalise. Once again we were left lacking creativity, ideas and failed to break down a side that had been protecting their not-goalkeeper for more than 70 minutes. Although the players felt aggrieved not to have had a winner through Josh Staunton, we really should have been able to do more than rely on a decision from an official to find a winner. Beforehand,  I would have taken a draw against part-time Altrincham (such is our decline) but there is no doubt that we should have got more than that in the context of the match

Don’t fall in love with footballers. Tom Knowles, the shining light at the end of last season. The player who many have pinned our hopes on for this season. What’s happened? Where’s that spark gone? He was playing in a different role during the last campaign. Is he a bit shackled with our new defensive focus? He was withdrawn at half time on Saturday and the first off last night. Something’s not quite clicking in this system for Knowles and we need to get it right. When Knowles is confident, and playing well, we’re going to be a better team. Personally, I want him through the middle as close to the goal as possible.

Joe Quigley had another one of those games which make you question what we’re doing. I like Quigley, I think he’s scored more goals than we thought he would and I think he’s a better player than many give him credit for. However, we’re not playing to his strengths. He struggled to win any headers last night, yet we continue to lump it forward to him. We need his goals (no one else is scoring) but we need to try and switch up how we use him. Maybe he needs to come out of the firing line for a game or two and we give Yussuf and Seymour a go together. I thought Quigley and Yussuf sort of got in eachother’s way a bit in a 4-3-3 last night.

The pressure is on. Three disappointing results in a row at home and W*ymouth come to Huish Park on Saturday, in front of fans, for the first time since November 1999. The off-field uncertainty x growing unrest amongst supporters is not the most ambitious crossover event in history and it’s made Saturday feel like a must-win for Darren Sarll. Even if we win, it may not be enough.

The Supporters Alliance Group are united. On a night when our gate was 1640, with Scott Priestnall absent (again) and Glenn Collis in the Directors’ Box the timing of the SAG statement has made it abundantly clear for those in charge and those at the table. The supporters of Yeovil Town FC want total change. The supporters groups of Yeovil Town haven’t always agreed on things, but at this critical moment in the club’s history they are working for the same cause. We want change, we need change and it can’t come soon enough. Obviously, it’s the owners prerogative who he does a deal with, but with momentum and a united voice, supporters should feel empowered to make their feelings clear.

 

Venue: Huish Park
Tuesday, October 12 2021, 7.45pm kick-off.

Conditions: A clear night with a bit of mist
Ground: Impressive as usual

Scorers: Joe Quigley 57 (1-0), AJ Leitch-Smith 65 (1-1)

Attendance: 1,640 (30 away supporters)

Referee: Matthew Russell

Bookings:
Yeovil: Robinson 90+2
Altrincham: Hancock 35, Pringle 83



Yeovil Town
: (4-3-3)
Grant Smith
Dan Moss, Max Hunt, Josh Staunton, Jordan Barnett
Tom Knowles, Matt Worthington, Dale Gorman
Ben Seymour Joe Quigley Adi Yussuf

Subs:  Charlie Wakefield (for Knowles, 75), Alex Bradley (for Moss, 86), Jack Robinson (for Worthington, 90), Sonny Blu Lo-Everton Max Evans.

Altrincham: Thompson (for Hampson, 16) , Hannigan, Moult, Jackson, Pringle, Senior, Mullarkey (for Furman, 23), Hancock, Kosylo (for Peers, 70), Leitch-Smith, Mooney . Substitutes: Densmore, Dinanga.

 


Match Report

Yeovil Town failed to win at Huish Park for the fourth consecutive game after being held to a draw against an Altrincham side who fielded a defender in goal for 74 minutes of the National League fixture.

Joe Quigley had put the Glovers’ ahead after 57 minutes only for the strike to be cancelled out by the old boy curse with former Glover AJ Leitch-Smith snatching an equaliser just eight minutes later.

The home side started brightly and had the first effort on goal after three minutes with Adi Yussuf drawing a good save from Tony Thompson in the visitors’ goal.

Max Hunt was fortunate not to put in his own net shortly after. Ex-Glover AJ Leitch Smith‘s effort towards goal struck Hunt’s hip and trickled past Grant Smith‘s post.

Tom Knowles in action against Altrincham.
Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

Space opened up nicely for Tom Knowles in the seventh minute but his low effort skidded wide of the left-hand post.

Altrincham were forced into an early change with an injury to keeper Thompson. With no keeper on the bench they were forced to bring on  Connor Hampson in his place and it was not long before the left back was called in to action.

A scramble in the box opened up nicely for Yussuf who struck a low effort which Hampson was equal to with an impressive reaction from the stand-in stopper.

Altrincham were forced into another change in their backline in the 22nd minute with Toby Mullarkey going off injured.

In the 45th minute Altrincham had their first effort at goal through top-scorer, Dan Mooney. Good interplay between Leitch-Smith and Josh Hancock set up the winger who cut inside and curled a left-footed effort over Smith’s bar.

The half-time break came with Yeovil having the majority of the ball without doing a great deal with it.

Half time: Yeovil Town 0 Altrincham 0

he Glovers came out strong in the second half and Matt Worthington had a decent effort from the edge of the box which was deflected wide for a corner.

Yeovil Town celebrate Joe Quigley’s opening goal.
Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

Just before the hour mark Yeovil opened the scoring after Joe QUIGLEY pounced on a free kick that was spilled into the six yard box by Altrincham’s (not) keeper. Yeovil’s top scorer finished with the goal gaping and raced off in front of the raucous Thatchers’ Stand.

LEITCH-SMITH equalised for Altrincham in the 65th minute – why wouldn’t he? He was alert after Staunton couldn’t clear his lines allowing The striker to out it into the roof of the net.

Yeovil reacted and came inches from retaking the lead shortly after. The Glovers piled on the pressure from a corner and Hampson in the goal. He saved a header from a corner but put it back into danger and Max Hunt’s head. Altrincham defenders were on the line to clear away from the goal.

In the hosts’ goal, Smith was forced into a reaction save in the 73rd minute, palming the ball over the line after a couple of ricochets.

Quigley nearly had a second moments later with a sharp turn and volley that went wide of the post. Ten minutes from time Quigley’s low header caused problems.

Altrincham were adamant they should have had a penalty a couple of minutes later when Leitch-Smith’s shot was blocked by Staunton. The Altrincham players appealed for handball but the referee awarded a goal kick in the resulting scramble.

Adi Yussuf in action against Altrincham.
Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

Yussuf thought he’d given Yeovil a late lead in the 85th with a back post header that was blocked around the line. Altrincham were awarded a freekick as Yussuf appealed but there was nothing given.

Yeovil kept pressing and searching for a winner but couldn’t break down Altrincham’s back line who managed to earn a draw after defending a goal without a recognised keeper for 70 minutes.

The win moved Darren Sarll’s men up a place to 14th in the National League table, but with an FA Cup tie against local rivals Weymouth coming up at the weekend, Huish Park still expects.

Full time: Yeovil Town 1 Altrincham 1


Darren Sarll has responded to a lack of attacking threat from his Yeovil Town side by naming three strikers to face in-form Altrincham at Huish Park tonight (7.45pm kick-off).

Adi Yussuf.
Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

Top-scorer Joe Quigley remains from the 2-0 defeat at home to Notts County at the weekend with Adi Yussuf and Ben Seymour replacing Dion Peirera and Sonny Blu Lo-Everton. Peirera is not in the squad which presumably means an injury whilst Lo-Everton drops to the substitutes’ bench.

Jordan Barnett is recalled at left back in place of Jack Robinson. Mitch Rose drops out of the squad.

For the visitors, who have won six of their opening nine National League fixtures, former Glover Ajay Leitch-Smith in place of Marcus Dinanga whilst talented Ryan Colclough is not in the squad suggesting an injury.

 

Yeovil Town: Smith, Moss, Staunton, Hunt, Barnet, Worthington, Gorman, Knowles, Quigley, Seymour, Yussuf. Substitutes: Evans, Wakefield, Lo-Everton, Robinson, Bradley.

Altrincham: Thompson, Hannigan, Moult, Mooney, Hancock, Kosylo, Jackson, Pringle, Senior, Mullarkey, Leitch-Smith. Substitutes: Densmore, Hampson, Dinanga, Peers, Furman.

The 220-mile trip from Greater Manchester to South Somerset will be a major challenge facing an in-form Altrincham side as they arrive at Huish Park tonight.

The part-time outfit are making their first midweek away trip – an anticipated eight-hour round journey – after many of the squad will have been at work, but they will arrive in good form.

The visitors have six wins and three defeats in their opening nine fixtures of the season and last time out they beat high-flying Dagenham & Redbridge on the road.

That has put the part timers one point off the play-offs with games in hand over many above them, one of which arrives against Yeovil as the only midweek National League fixture.

The only solace which it appears can be found is that two of their three defeats have come away from home with a 1-0 defeat at Wealdstone on September 11 and a 2-0 reverse at FC Halifax Town on August Bank Holiday Monday.

At home, the Robins are playing the type of creative, attacking football Yeovil fans are crying out for, but Glovers’ boss Darren Sarll will be hoping this open approach works against them on the road.

There’s no real stars in the Altrincham side although all-action midfielder Dan Mooney is top scorer with four already this season alongside the speedy Ryan Colclough.

One player in the visitors’ side formerly of Yeovil parish in AJ Leitch-Smith. Don’t even think it.

 


FROM THE MANAGER

Speaking to Alty TV after the 2-0 win at home to Maidenhead United on Saturday, Alty boss Phil Parkinson said the four-hour trip to South Somerset would be testing for his in-form side.

He said: “It’s so important we won (against Maidenhead) because we know everything is going to be against us.

“Even if you travel on the Friday to do the Saturday at Yeovil, the travel is sapping there is no getting away from it.

“But our lads will go there an acquit themselves brilliantly and we will go and do what we always do and try and get a win.

“There’s no point in being reserved with this team, we just have to unleash them and play in the right way.

“It is going to be a massive ask to go there midweek and get a result when our lads have been working before they are going.

However, the manager has no doubts about his side’s ability to get a result at Huish Park having picked up six wins in their opening nine National League fixtures.

He added: “I have said to the players, if we want to be taken seriously we can’t go games without winning, I think we went five games last season where we didn’t win.

“We can’t do that if we want to keep pushing and the lads certainly stood up and were counted.

“It feels very similar to the other groups we have had in the past here where they can smell blood and they go and finish a team off.”


TEAM NEWS

Visiting boss Phil Parkinson has the luxury of naming the same team which picked up a 2-0 home win over Maidenhead United at the weekend.

There are no fresh injury concerns with striker Tom Peers, who scored as a substitute in the 4-3 win over the Glovers in Greater Manchester at the end of last season, staking a claim for a start having come off the bench on Saturday to net the second.

However, it seems likely Alty will stick Marcus Dinanga, who joined from Stevenage in the summer, seems likely to start alongside Matthew Kosylo, the scorer of his side’s other at the weekend.

Midfielder Connor Kirby is the only injured player for the visitors after he suffered a season-ending double compound fracture in the defeat at Wealdstone a month ago.

Another summer signing, experienced midfielder Ben Pringle who joined from Morecambe, has impressed so far this season and seems certain to start in the middle of the park.


A FOOT IN BOTH CAMPS

AJ Leitch-Smith has already been mentioned.  The 31-year-old forward spent the 2014-15 season at Huish Park before departing back to his native Cheshire to join Port Vale, and arrived at Moss Road from Morecambe in the summer.

He came off the bench at the weekend and seems likely to start as a substitute on his return to South Somerset.

Last season, central defender and now Wales under-21 international Billy Sass-Davies turned out for both sides whilst on loan from Crewe Alexandra and was in the patched-up Glovers’ side which went down 4-3 at Alty at the end of last season.

Full-back Mark Lynch, who played 31 times in green-and-white between 2006 and 2008, finished his career at Alty in 2012, but other than  that we’re struggling a bit.

How about inside forward Albert Foulds, who started his career in the youth team at Alty before playing a season at Yeovil in the 1949-50 season?

The visit of Altrincham to Huish Park has been rescheduled for Tuesday, October 12, 7.45pm kick-off.

The National League fixture had been due to be played earlier this month but was postponed due to cases of COVID-19 in the visitors’ squad.

The club has confirmed tickets will be on sale for the rearranged fixture from tomorrow.

Yeovil Town boss Darren Sarll has said next weekend’s final game of a turbulent National League season against $tockport County will just be a case of strapping up his battered and bruised side.

Speaking after the 4-3 defeat at Altrincham on Saturday, where the Glovers saw loanee Josh Neufville ruled out with a broken ankle, the manager said the return of Alex Bradley from suspension was the only positive ahead of the return of Paddy Madden to Huish Park.

Sarll and Skiverton
Yeovil Town manager Darren Sarll, left, with assistant, Terry Skiverton.
Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

Sarll told BBC Somerset: “There’s nothing to do other than to try and get them fit and ready to go down the tunnel (against Stockport next weekend) and ready to go, there is no training to be done because in many ways the preparation is irrelevant because of the changes to (the position players are playing in).

“We had nine injured today and two suspended and that will be ten injured and one suspended with Alex Bradley back, and we will have to see if we can roll a few of them out.

“But that is to say that Lawson (D’Ath) recovers, Charlie (Lee) recovers, (Carl) Dickinson recovers. Dicko was running around like he was on a pogo stick at the end there and I have great admiration for that group of players that put themselves in harm’s way again.”

As well as those named by the manager, there are injuries to Jimmy Smith, Josh Staunton, Rhys Murphy, Matt Worthington and youngster Alex John whilst defender Luke Wilkinson will be missing through suspension.

Academy graduate Toby Stephens, Under 18s regular Adam Heaton and young goalkeeper Max Evans were the only three options to Sarll on the bench at Altrincham once Emmanuel Sonupe had replaced the injured Neufville.

Yeovil Town manager Darren Sarll spoke to BBC Somerset following the Glovers’ 4-3 loss to Altrincham on Saturday.

It was the final away game of the season for Yeovil and there was plenty of drama, action, goals and unfortunately a nasty injury to Josh Neufville.

Both Sarll and Josh’s replacement Emmanuel Sonupe spoke kindly on the Luton loanee’s situation in their post-match comments – those quotes can be found here.

On the game itself, Sarll said he believed chances off the woodwork from strikers Joe Quigley and Reuben Reid and Charlie Lee’s header which was blocked on the line could have put his side 3-0 up in the first 15 minutes.

On the game itself, a lively opening spell for Yeovil wasn’t capitalised on, both Joe Quigley and Reuben Reid hit the woodwork, before their hosts went up the other end and scored twice before the break.

Darren Sarll
Yeovil Town manager Darren Sarll.
Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz,.

But, Sarll was left to bemoan a lack of options due to injuries and suspensions with midfielder Lawson D’Ath playing at right back whilst Carl Dickinson played in the centre alongside Billy Sass-Davies with Michael Kelly playing at left back.

The manager said: “I have nothing but pride and positivity for these players because many of them should not be playing, Charlie (Lee) should not be playing, Carl Dickinson should not be playing, but they are doing it because they have great pride and admiration for the football club.

“We died on our feet in the closing stages, you see how lazy we got with our one-v-ones and the amount of crosses we let in to the box, they were not really crosses where the winger has to work for it, they were passing their way in to the box and opening us up.”

Despite the two-goal deficit, the Glovers actually fought back to a level pegging before Charlie Lee put the visitors in front.

Sarll added: “I thought it was brilliant the way they came back in to the game, scoring three times away from home and really throwing everything at it, It would have been nice at 3-2 to be able to call on players who could come on and really tighten the game up and make sure there’s no spaces.

“But, it wasn’t to be, they threw every punch they had in their arsenal and I am very proud of them for that. If we are going to go down in a game, I want us to go down landing as many blows as possible.”

Yeovil Town goalscorer Emmanuel Sonupe has said he will talk about his future at the club at the end of the season.

The former Tottenham Hotspur youngster, who joined on a short-term deal at the end of November, scored the Glovers’ opening goal in a thrilling 4-3 defeat at Altrincham on Saturday.

Speaking about his future to BBC Somerset after the game, he said: “It has been a frustrating season for me with injury, but I have just been trying to work hard and keep and when I am on the pitch, try and affect the game as much as I can.
“I am just happy to get those minutes and help out where I can. I don’t know what the future holds for me yet, I will have to have that conversation after the season is done.”

The 25-year-old came on after 12 minutes after Josh Neufville  was stretchered off with a broken ankle in Greater Manchester and pulled his side back in to the game with a 56th-minute goal.

Sonupe was full of praise his team-mates who came from 2-0 down to lead 3-2 with 18 minutes to go before conceding two late goals.

He said: “The gaffer (Darren Sarll) said at half-time that if we could get the first goal in the second half, we would be straight back in it, and all the boys believed that.
“So once we got the first one, we knew we could definitely do something with the game.
“It has just been our luck at times this season. We have come back, shown great character until that last 15 minutes.
“We have put a lot in there, I just hope we can put that right in the last game (against Stockport County next weekend).”

 

It has been a disappointing end to Altrinchams first season back in the National League after promotion last year.

A strong start saw them pick up wins against Wrexham, Chesterfield, Boreham Wood and Dagenham and Redbridge, but their form had just started to take a downward turn when Yeovil beat them 2-0 at Huish Park with goals from Rhys Murphy and Chris Dagnall in mid-February.

They go in to this weekend’s fixture on the back of a terrible run of form with six defeats and a draw in their last seven games and will be hoping to put on a final flourish with fans allowed back in the The J.Davidson Stadium for the first time.

Altrincham have two more opportunities to entertain the home crowd with another home game against Eastleigh in midweek before finishing at home to Gary Johnson’s Torquay next weekend.


FROM THE (ASSISTANT) MANAGER

Speaking after a 2-1 defeat at W*ymouth last weekend, Alty assistant manager Neil Sorvel said he was aiming to finish top of the mini-league of promoted sides including King’s Lynn, Wealdstone and W*ymouth.

He said: “It would be a really good achievement to do that, but it needs a positive finish from us, and that’s what we will be aiming for.

“We’ve got three home games left, with the fans back in, and we need some good performances to get them on our side.

“We’ve got to produce something that will excite them, and we can do that by playing to the level we’re capable of.”


TEAM NEWS

On the eve of Yeovil’s visit to Greater Manchester, Altrincham confirmed that forwards Yusifu Ceesay and Joe Piggott are both set to leave the club.

Neither player has appeared in the squad since the Bank Holiday Monday defeat at Solihull Moors earlier this month and manager Phil Parkinson said the decision had been made to give the club “the strongest, most competitive squad possible” for next season.

Speaking to the club’s website, the manager said: “Ultimately, we want to be more than just survival candidates long term. That’s why difficult decisions have to be made, and we are in the process of making some key ones. I would like to thank them both for their commitment to the club this season. Their attitude and application has been first class.”

Striker Nyal Bell and  defender Yoan Zouma have also been allowed to  return to their parent clubs, National League rivals Stockport and Barrow respectively – and we would like to thank them for their efforts during their short spells with Alty.


A FOOT IN BOTH CAMPS

Glovers’ on-loan defender Billy Sass-Davies had a spell on loan at Altrincham earlier this season.

The Crewe Alexandra player made seven appearances on loan between November and December.

That was his second spell with Alty having had a brief spell there at the end of last season, making just one appearance before being recalled by his parent club.

A slightly more retro connection is winger Lee Elam who had 12 matches with Yeovil Town who was snapped up by Gary Johnson back in our first season in the Football League back in 2003.

He made 12 appearances in that season before being shipped out to Chester City at the end of that campaign.

Elam would later go on to play for Exeter and W*ymouth in the Westcountry and eventually spent the 2008-09 at Altrincham  in the Blue Square Premier, playing 45 times and coaching the club’s youth team.