FC Halifax Town

Venue: Huish Park
Monday, 2nd April, 3pm kick-off

Conditions: Overcast 

Pitch: Held up nicely

Attendance: 2210 (153 away)

Scorers: None

Bookings:

Yeovil: D’Ath 27, Worthington 45,
Wealdstone:
Cooper 78,

Sending Off:
Wealdstone: Dyer 37.

Referee: Savvas Yianni

 


Yeovil Town : (4-4-2)

Grant Smith

Jack Robinson, Luke Wilkinson, Ben Barclay, Morgan Williams

Tom Knowles, Matt Worthington (Gorman 65), Lawson D’Ath, Sonny Blu-Lo Everton (Bradley 79)

Reuben Reid (Yussuf 55), Josh Neufville

Substitutes:  Alex Bradley, Jack Robinson, Dale Gorman, Reuben Reid, Max Hunt

Wealdstone: Howes, Cook, Okimo, Umerah (Charles 63), Sesay, Tavares, Dyer, Clayden (Browne 70), Henry, Mundle-Smith, Cooper

Substitutes: Charles, Browne, Hearin, Mascoll, Shrowder


Match Report

Grant Smith. Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

Yeovil Town played out a 0-0 draw with Wealdstone in the penultimate home game of the 2021/22 season, despite plenty of attacking intent against a Stones’ side who played nearly an hour with ten men, the Glovers could’t get through a staunch back line. Here’s how it went at Huish Park.

First half

In a half lacking goals, there wasn’t much lacking in terms of talking points.

The drama kicked off early with a concerning injury to Wealdstone’s Charlie Cooper, he looked to take a nasty bump and concern was high, but after a number of minutes of treatment, he returned with tissue stuffed up his nose and a new bloodless shirt.

He would actually be one of the livelier players for the visitors with a couple of early pot shots, but he was a key player in the Stones’ best chances when the clock hit 30 minutes.

However, the Glovers did have the ball in the back of the net shortly before, Adi Yussuf and Lawson D’ath combined to cause chaos in the Wealdstone’s defence, the ball hit the net, the music started blaring but there was a foul given on the travelling goalkeeper.

Back to that big chance, on 29 minutes a flurry of near misses, half chances and shots on goal resulted in not one, not two but three goal line clearances. Luke WIlkinson and Morgan Williams both throwing their body on the line in the name of a clean sheet.

The game would take on two more defining moments, Jack Cook hit the crossbar from a header, before Alex Dyer, the Monserrat midfielder was shown a straight red for a challenge on the Glovers’ Sonny Blu Lo Everton.

This changed the Glovers’ intensity; Lo-Everton drove forward for force shots in on goal, whilst the full backs began to venture forward more often.

Ben Barclay, who was returning to the starting line up, had a half chance from a Tom Knowles throw in, but despite six additional minutes being added on, the half-time whistle came in time for the visitors.

Half time: Yeovil Town 0 Wealdstone 0

Second Half

The second half began with plenty of attacking intent from the Glovers, but the number of clear cut chances didn’t match the amount of possession.
 
Charlie Lee made his first change with Reuben Reid replacing Adi Yussuf, with an desire to bring more control to the front line, but it was the visitors who actually went close shortly before the hour, David Sesay giving Grant Smith a chance to earn his corn.
 
Lawson D’Ath and Tom Knowles saw shots cleared, parried or sail high into the stand behind the goal as the hosts continue to huff and puff.
 
Dale Gorman was brought on to replace the booked Matty Worthington, and the Northern Irishman was straight into the action but his free kick was well saved.
 
The next chance to break the deadlock fell the way of Middlesbrough loanee Jack Robinson; with the ball pinging about in the box, the stand-in right back saw his shot squirm just wide.
 
The stats were all in favour of the Glovers, with plenty of shots flying in, Josh Neufville continued his exciting form with an effort which was blocked. Shots became corners, but rarely became clear chances.
 
Sam Howes in the visitor’s goal continued to keep the Glovers out, as the game became a glorified attack vs defence session.
 
As with all matches like this, there was always going to be an inevitable chance for the ten-man visitors and it came from Cooper, who had an eventful game with the injury and booking, he forced Smith in the Yeovil goal into a fantastic save with less than ten minutes on the clock.
 
With the clock winding down, Yeovil found frustration kicking in but there was still more opportunities coming the way of the home side.
 
Josh Neufville had a penalty shout turned down, Gorman saw another effort fly wide as the clock ticked beyond the 90 minute mark, Reid couldn’t convert late on either as the game ended up finishing a disappointing stale mate for the Glovers

Full time: Yeovil Town 0 Wealdstone 0

 

What a strange game we saw at the The Shay, home of FC Halifax Town, yesterday.

As is custom Yeovil gave a top seven team a hard time, but this time, came away with nothing to show for it after an 83rd minute winner from substitute Zach Dearney.

Ben was in the commentary box for the BBC Somerset and here’s a few of his post-match thoughts.


Firstly, the only way the play against Halifax was with a few of the dark arts.

Now, that’s not a complaint, if we had tried to match up to Halifax with the same level of attacking flow and speed, they’d have picked us apart. There’s no shame in that, they’re a better side than us (hardly breaking news). It worked for us against Stockport, Wrexham and others and it was the right way to go about this.

Frustrating them was our best chance and it came, so, so close to working again.

The home fans were silent throughout until they scored late on, a polite ripple of applause all they could really muster, an atmosphere not befitting a side so close to making the EFL

Mainly though, the result came down to making the most of the minimal clear cut chances that the game provided.

For all their attacking prowess, Halifax didn’t really make Grant Smith pull off anything more than a routine save.

He caught a long ranger from left back Jack Senior, parried away a stinger or two from elsewhere…but they got one sniff inside the six yard box and took it.

Yeovil can only really say they worried home keeper Sam Johnson once or twice a Josh Neufville pinger off the bar and a couple half chances from set pieces.

Josh Neufville wheels away after scoring

Speaking of Josh Neufville, let me get this down on paper (well, in pixels on a screen)… when he’s playing Premier League football in a few years time we will all say “we saw it first”, “he learnt it all with us”... he’s that good.

He seems to find space where others can’t, he seems to make over hit nothing balls into something and with a burst of pace, half a yard and a drop of the shoulder he can cause all kinds of trouble.

He’s going the same way as Andros Townsend and I’m just grateful we were part of that journey.

Halifax will probably get promoted.

I think it’s time to crack out the crystal ball, Stockport are doing their darnedest to throw the title away and Wrexham are ready to pounce.

But if the Shaymen finish second or third, none of the other sides will fancy a play-off semi-final in West Yorkshire. They’re too good at home.

Then, they’ve got the big name players going forward to make enough chances in the final too.

All the more of a compliment to how we’ve troubled them (and plenty of others in the mix) over the course of 180 minutes.

Charlie Lee and the Angry Blackcurrant

Finally, a personal one. But National League sides need to better equip their press facilities.

Anyone who has ever had the pleasure of the John Lukins Press Box at Huish Park will appreciate what having a bit of space, room to sit/stand and having the freedom to get into a good flow.

There were five bodies from the YTFC side at Halfiax, Sam, two from Three Valleys Radio and Sheridan and I from the BBC.

With fans sat behind us, infront and to the side of us you’re crammed into about 2 meters of space. My knees are in bits.

You get more leg room in RyanAir economy.

It was the same at Solihull too, fairly new stands and the press area feels like an afterthought.

I’m not going to moan about the stuff on the pitch cos we fought as I knew we would… so I found a moan off the pitch instead!

 

 

Venue: The Shay
Saturday, 30th April, 3pm kick-off

Conditions: Dull

Pitch: A rugby league pitch – rock hard, sandy and not conducive to good football.

Attendance: 1,947 (106 away supporters)

Scorers: Zach Dearnley 83

Bookings:

Yeovil: Wilkinson 53, Barnett 54, Knowles 80
Halifax:
Debrah 60, Warren 61, Spence 90+3

Referee: Michael Barlow

 


Yeovil Town : (4-3-3)

Grant Smith

Mark Little (Sonny Blu Lo-Everton 85), Luke Wilkinson, Max Hunt, Morgan Williams

Dale Gorman, Lawson D’Ath, Jordan Barnett

Tom Knowles (Ben Barclay 81), Reuben Reid (Adi Yussuf 75) , Josh Neufville

Substitutes: Jack Robinson, Alex Bradley

FC Halifax Town: 1 Sam Johnson, 3 Jack Senior, 5 Jesse Debrah, 8 Kieran Green (Martin Woods 75), 10 Matt Warburton, 11 Billy Waters, 17 Kian Spence, 20 Harvey Gilmour (Matty Stenson 64), 21 Tyrell Warren, 25 Jordan Slew (Zak Dearnley 78), 28 Pierce Bird

Substitutes: 2 Jay Benn, 19 Jamie Cooke


Match Report

A late winner from Zach Dearnley saw FC Halifax Town break a stubborn Yeovil Town side to earn the three points they needed to seal a National League play-off position.

The substitute found himself in the right place in a crowded penalty box to turn home a right wing ball from Tyrell Warren with seven minutes remaining.

Up until that point neither side appeared to have the quality to find a breakthrough with Josh Neufville coming closest when he smashed an effort off the crossbar in the closing stages of the first half.

Here is how Coatesie saw it from his position in the away end at The Shay…..


First half

The first meaningful opportunity fell to the hosts on six minutes and it was ex-Glover Matt Warburton who was at the heart of it breaking down the left before feeding in strike partner Billy Waters whose shot was cleared off the line by Morgan Williams.

Williams was a definite target on the left side of defence with both Warburton and Jordan Slee testing for weaknesses in the visitors’ defence.

With 24 minutes gone, Warburton and Waters combined again and it was only further last ditch defending that denied them.

At the other end, the tactic was to play long balls forward for Reuben Reid, Josh Neufville and Jordan Barnett to run on to. A couple of penalty appeals – one more half-hearted for Barnett followed by another stronger one for Reid – were the most we had to offer for it.

Until about three minutes before the break that was about the level of opportunities which came to either side. Then Jack Senior got away down the left and picked out Waters who (very fortunately) slipped at the vital moment.

Josh Neufville. Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

But the closest either side came to scoring fell to Neufville who found himself in space on the edge of the box and, with no obvious pads available, unleashed a thunderous effort which came back off the crossbar.

Certainly not a classic and goalless at the break.

Half time: FC Halifax Town 0 Yeovil Town 0

 

Second Half

Having warned Halifax supporters pre-match that they would probably be cursing Tom Knowles at some point in the game, the opening ten minutes cantered around the forward’s ‘injuries’ which certainly earned him his attention of the hosts.
For Halifax, the front three of Warburton, Waters and Slew continued to probe and there was some last ditch defending required. The most came on then house mark when Warburton and Waters combined for the latter to have a shot which was deflected by a heroic stop by Luke Wilkinson.
This certainly was not a vintage performance from either side with Halifax’s attractive passing having very little in the way of cutting edge, whilst Yeovil could not string any real passes together.
Going forward it relied on a moment of magic from either Neufville or Knowles. Neufville showed moments of his undoubted class but had very little in the way of support.

Another combination between Warburton and Waters saw the latter arrive at the back post to fire in to the side netting after 77 minutes.

Eventually The Shaymen found a breakthrough and unsurprisingly it came from the right side with Tyrrel Warren’s ball in turned home by substitute Zachary DEARNLEY with seven minutes of normal time remaining.
It was clearly a goal that meant more to the home side who needed three points to secure a play-off place. Manager Pete Wild punched the air in delight and The Shay awoke from the slumber it has been in for the previous 83 minutes.
For Yeovil, it seemed another match towards the end of the season with a further one to come in under 48 hours.

Full time: FC Halifax Town 1 Yeovil Town 0

Yeovil Town name an unchanged starting XI for the trip to play-off hopefuls FC Halifax Town today (3pm kick-off).

On loan defender Ben Barclay, who missed last weekend’s win over his parent club Stockport County, returns on the bench in place of goalkeeper Max Evans.

 

Yeovil Town: Grant Smith, Mark Little, Luke Wilkinson, Max Hunt, Morgan Williams, Lawson D’Ath, Dale Gorman, Jordan Barnett, Josh Neufville, Tom Knowles, Reuben Reid.

Substitutes: Ben Bradley, Jack Robinson, Alex Bradley, Sonny Blu Lo-Everton, Adi Yussuf.

 

As many of you know, the Gloverscast podcast had to find a few things to talk about on Friday after the last-minute withdrawal of Yeovil Town chairman Scott Priestnall from an interview with us.

Now normally, we would take in the view of an opposition fan and, because we thought we’d have something we to talk about, we didn’t line up an FC Halifax Town fan to speak with.

So, we’ve asked Luke Walsh, who runs Shaymen Talks YouTube channel, to answer us a few questions about our opponents this weekend.

How would you summarise FC Halifax Town’s season so far?
It’s been a surprising season based on the fans thoughts  going into this season with the lack of recruitment seen by a selection of our fans.
As a fan I was expecting a mid table finish at best, but Pete Wild and his backroom staff have brought in a good group of lads who have certainly over-achieved this season.

What has been the highlight of the season?
I think the highlight of our season has to be the 3-2 victory over Notts County at The Shay in October.
We were 2-0 down with a man down and 10 minutes to go and we somehow managed to not only come back but take all 3 points off the ‘pies after a 90+10 winner by Matty Warburton. I think that’s when the fans really started to believe something special is happening this season.

Who have been your stand out players this season?

Ex-Glovers’ midfielder Matt Warburton jumps for a ball with former Halifax favourite Josh Staunton in the reverse fixture at Huish Park in September.

Going forward, based off current form Matty Warburton is a threat, playing in the attacking midfield role, he doesn’t just bring goals to the team but plenty of assists too. Something I am sure the fellow Glovers are aware of. Billy Waters needs no introduction, he has scored 21 goals this season in all competitions.
He always works hard and is a handful to mark. Jordan Slew can be a match winner on his day, he is a very unique attacking player that can play in a range of positions going forward.

What can we expect from The Shaymen this weekend?
So luckily for us they are no really damaging injuries going into Saturdays game, however former Glover and current centre half, Tom Bradbury will not be fit for Saturday’s game. Niall Maher the centre half is also doubtful after picking up a knock at Southend last Saturday. Formation wise, I would be expecting us to play in our usual 4-2-3-1 with Waters been the out and out striker.

A big thanks to Luke for taking the time to give us his thoughts on his team and if you want to check out our very own Coatesie on the Shaymen Talks podcast this week – see here.

FC Halifax Town boss Pete Wild insists his side is not feeling the pressure as they bid to secure a play-off place when Yeovil Town come to The Shay this weekend.

The manager, who saw red (and went a bit red) when his side lost the reverse fixture in September, saw the gap from fourth-placed Solihull Moors cut to just two points last weekend.

The Shaymen went down 1-0 at Southend United whilst Solihull picked up a win with third place offering home advantage in a one-off play-off semi-final.

A win for Wild’s team on Saturday would guarantee a play-off place, a win or a draw would set a new record for the highest points total the club has recorded in the fifth tier since reforming, while a win would equal their best points tally in the previous ten seasons.

Speaking to the Halifax Courier, the boss said: “I honestly don’t feel that there’s any pressure on us, I feel that we’ve just got to keep going,” Wild said.

“The only pressure is what people try to create outside to try and put us under pressure, I don’t feel a pressure and the players hopefully don’t feel a pressure.

“All they need to do is play the game and not the result, just worry about Yeovil on Saturday, don’t worry about what happens on Monday, don’t worry about what happens next Saturday, just play the game.

Having lost at home to Maidenhead United on the opening day of the season, only promotion-chasing Wrexham and Boreham Wood (before their FA Cup run scuppered them) have won at The Shay in National League action this season.

Last time out in front of their own fans they picked up a 2-0 win over fellow promotion chasers Chesterfield with one Matt Warburton on target.

 


FROM THE MANAGER

Shaymen boss Pete Wild is expecting more of what he and his side experienced when Yeovil came out on top at Huish Park back in September, despite the change of manager from Darren Sarll to Charlie Lee.

He told the Halifax Courier: “Yeovil are off the back of an excellent win on Saturday, I know Charlie tried to keep a lot of the same traits Darren  had and keep a lot of things going.

“I’d expect a team that’s like Charlie as a player, full of tenacity, full of energy, full of drive, wants to get in your faces and make it difficult for us, exactly what they did to Stockport last Saturday.

I’d expect a lot of that on Saturday because that’s a reflection of Charlie as a person and a footballer, so I’d expect more of what Southend gave us last Saturday.


TEAM NEWS

Former Glovers’ defender Tom Bradbury will be missing this weekend after picking up a knee injury on Easter Monday.

The centre half, who moved to West Yorkshire following his release from Huish Park in the summer of 2020, had been expected to be out for six weeks but may be back in time for the club’s play-off campaign.

Fellow defender Niall Maher, whose foul on Tom Knowles gave the Glovers a penalty in the reverse fixture, is also a doubt after suffering a hip injury in the loss at Southend.

On loan Pierce Bird, who joined from National League strugglers King’s Lynn last month, could be an option at the back.

Winger Jamie Allen is expected to be missing with a hamstring strain, but midfielder Martin Woods, who had a three game loan spell at Yeovil in 2008, returns after suspension.

 


A FOOT IN BOTH CAMPS

Matt Warburton is the obvious link between these two sides and is showing the class which Yeovil Town supporters saw far too little of during his time at Huish Park.

Ex-Glovers’ midfielder Matt Warburton jumps for a ball with former Halifax favourite Josh Staunton in the reverse fixture at Huish Park in September.

The midfielder has formed an impressive partnership alongside Jordan Slew and Billy Waters in the Halifax front line and will be looking to show his old employers what they missed this weekend.

The 29-year-old joined on loan from Northampton Town in October 2020 and was with Yeovil until the end of last season, but only made 19 appearances. Following his return to Northampton he was released and returned to the North joining Halifax in the summer.

Tom Bradbury is another familiar face having spent the 2019-20 season at Yeovil but he seems likely to miss out with a knee injury this weekend, but Shaymen midfielder Martin Woods, who had a spell on loan at Yeovil in 2008, could feature having returned from suspension.

In the Glovers’ squad, injured midfielder Josh Staunton was a popular figure in West Yorkshire before moving to South Somerset last season. He will be missing having just undergone surgery on a groin hernia.

Yeovil Town’s Watford loanee Sonny Blu Lo-Everton was singled out for praise by Darren Sarll when speaking to BBC Somerset’s Sheridan Robins following the Glovers’ 1-0 win over Halifax Town on Saturday.

Sonny Blu Lo-Everton in action for Yeovil Town.
Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

Lo-Everton, who started in an attacking role just in behind frontman Joe Quigley before being substituted late on for Adi Yussuf caught the eye of the sponsors who gave him the Man of the Match, and his boss was full of praise for the 18-year-old:

“He’s a brilliant footballer, he has a brilliant mind, for someone that creative he is actually a little too inquisitive because he should just trust his eyes.

“If we all saw football like Sonny did, there would be far more creative players in the country and there isn’t and that is because they don’t see the game that way, Sonny certainly does and I think as he plays more for us, he will trust more what his eyes tell him more and he’ll be even sharper, quicker and smoother.

“He never looks like he has to try hard, Sonny, he has the lovely way of making everything look easy.”

Lo-Everton has now started each of the last two games for the Glovers after coming off the bench late on vs King’s Lynn on the opening day, and whilst he is yet to complete a full 90 minutes, he’s already making a lasting impression on this Yeovil side.

FC Halifax Town Manager Pete Wild spoke to the the media following his side’s 1-0 loss to Yeovil Town on Saturday evening.

He said that his side had ‘”given Yeovil too much respect” in the first half before ‘”totally dominating'” the entire second half.

The only goal of the game came from Joe Quigley’s right boot, 12-yards out he smashed home his second penalty of the season and it was enough for all three points.

Despite, the entire BT Sport analysis team, commentary team and most importantly the referee all in agreement it was the right decision, Wild wasn’t so sure.

Speaking to the Halifax Courier he said:“Naz (Niall Maher) is clearing the ball and he falls over his leg – how’s that a pen?…These decisions seem to happen week-in, week-out and nothing gets done about it.”

Maher’s foul on Tom Knowles wasn’t the only time Wild got angry with the officiating – the  manager got booked twice in the space of 60 seconds and saw the last few minutes of the match from the comfort of the away dressing room, an incident he says he was sorry about.

“My frustrations boiled over, I shouldn’t be getting sent-off and I apologise for that,” he said.

“My yellow, apparently, is for getting the ball back in play, which is ridiculous…and then my red, the fourth official’s looked at me, smiled, and given the ball the other way, so I just said ‘you’ve done that on purpose’.

“Highly frustrating, but until the issue of refereeing’s addressed in this league nothing’s ever going to change.”

Overall, Wild was critical of both side’s attacking prowess saying the game should have ended 0-0 and that neither side deserved the full three points.

Wild said: “I don’t think either side deserved to win it, I don’t think there was enough chances for either side to deserve to win.

“But we need to be better. we didn’t test the keeper enough, we looked tired, and we’ve got to be better than that.”

Venue: Huish Park
Saturday September 4 2021, 5.30pm kick-off.

Conditions: Dry and bright
Ground: Perfect

Scorers: Quigley pen 14 (1-0)

Attendance: 1,899 (54 away)

Referee: Thomas Parsons

Bookings:
Yeovil: Gorman 52, Staunton 52
Boreham Wood: Slew 70, Warburton 84

Yeovil Town : (4-4-1-1)
Grant Smith
Dan Moss, Max Hunt, Luke Wilkinson, Jordan Barnett
Charlie Wakefield, Dale Gorman, Josh Staunton, Tom Knowles
Sonny Blu Lo-Everton
Joe Quigley

Subs: Adi Yussuf (for Lo-Everton, 84), Alex Bradley (for Knowles, 90), Max Evans (not used), Morgan Williams (not used), Toby Stephens (not used).

FC Halifax Town: Johnson, Debrah, Bradbury, Maher, Benn, Warren (for Gilmour, 67), Woods, Summerfield  (for Green, 64), Warburton, Waters (for Allen, 83), Slew.
Substitutes: Spence, Swaby-Neavin.

SUMMARY

We broke the hoodoo, we got the monkey off our back, put it however you like but for the first time since Wembley 2013, Yeovil Town won a match on the telly.

The BT Sport cameras have not been kind to the Glovers since our return to non-League and it took a penalty smashed down the middle from Joe Quigley (who else?) to earn three points under the spotlight.

It came after 14 minutes when Tom Knowles was caught with a high kick from Halifax captain Niall Maher and referee Thomas Parsons had no hesitation but to point to the spot.

Here’s how David Coates saw it watching on the telly…..


FIRST HALF

On the day when breaking hoodoos was the order of the day, Yeovil Town boss Darren Sarll will have been pleased to name an unchanged starting XI to the one which had won at Aldershot Town on Bank Holiday Monday.

The boss’ only change was a fifth substitute on the bench in the form of Alex Bradley who returned after illness.

The game started with the move which led to the home side taking the lead. Sonny Blu Lo-Everton‘s ball in from the left could not find Quigley and rebounded as far as Tom Knowles who was caught by visiting captain Niall Maher.

Tom Knowles is caught by FC Halifax Town captain Niall Maher inside the box.
Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.
Referee Thomas Parsons had no hesitation in pointing to the spot and Quigley stepped up to put it down the middle.
Knowles had a claim for a second spot kick five minutes later after a coming together with Maher but (again) he referee got it right and waved away any appeals.
That led to the game slowing down as Yeovil frustrated the visitors who were second best in the tactical battle, and it was not until the closing stages of the half that either side carved out any opportunities.
In the 45th minute, Charlie Wakefield‘s ball in from the right was heading towards Quigley at the back post, but was well defended by Tyrrell Warren, and a minute later a free kick from Dale Gorman was headed over by Luke Wilkinson, who was flagged offside. The television replay, however, suggested otherwise.
The lead was nothing less than Yeovil deserved having looked comfortable against a Halifax side who had picked up wins in their previous two matches.
Half time: Yeovil Town 1 (Quigley, pen) FC Halifax Town 0

SECOND HALF

With Halifax boss Pete Wild hopping around on the touchline for much of the first half (more on that later), the expectation was that the visitors would come out with a spring in their step or a flea in their ear after the interval.
If they did it was not immediately obvious Yeovil again starting the brighter with Gorman’s lofted ball in to the box finding Quigley, who could only manage a tame header.
The Shaymen did start to find their way back in to it and had their best chance of the game on 54 minutes when a free-kick from Matt Warburton, who probably the visitors’ only real attacking threat in the first half, was pushed away by Grant Smith.
His clearance only went as far as striker Jordan Slew whose shot from the far post rattled off the post and away.
From there the game started to get stretched with neither side able to find any fluidity. Wilkinson had a shot deflected over and Slew fired a ball in to the box which flashed past his strike partner Billy Waters, who had scored three in his first three matches for the visitors but was anonymous throughout.
It was not until the closing stages that either side managed to create a real opportunity. With  two minutes to go substitute Jamie Allen got away down the right and it was only thanks to an excellent interception from Max Hunt inside the area that he did not get his shot away.
Striker Adi Yussuf fires a shot in on goal.

Then, in the second minute of injury time, Glovers’ substitute Adi Yussuf broke away and rather than squaring the ball to either Quigley or Alex Bradley to his left, he tried to take on the shot which he put over.

That was too much for Wild who finally combusted and it did not take a lip reader to work out what he said to the officials to earn himself a red card. Ironically, in the build up to the game, Wild had spoken about how he expected Yeovil to bully his side and said he would be advising his players to keep cool heads.

His judgement presumably impaired by the loss of his temper, he later told the BT Sport cameras his side had “dominated the second half from start to finish.” If you say so, Pete.

Full time: Yeovil Town 1 (Quigley, pen) FC Halifax Town 0

 

Yeovil Town  name an unchanged starting XI from the Bank Holiday win over Aldershot Town as they face FC Halifax Town in today’s televised home game (5.15pm kick-off)

The only change comes on the substitutes’ bench where Alex Bradley returns after missing the first two games through injury.

Former Glovers Matt Warburton and Tom Bradbury and Martin Woods, who had a brief loan spell at the club in 2008, all line up for the visitors.

Yeovil Town: Smith, Barnett, Wilkinson, Hunt,  Moss, Staunton, Gorman, Wakefield, Knowles, Lo-Everton, Quigley.  Subs: Evans, Bradley, Williams, Stephens, Yussuf.

FC Halifax Town: Johnson, Debrah, Bradbury, Maher, Benn, Warren, Woods, Summerfield, Warburton, Waters, Slew. Subs: Gilmour, Allen, Green, Spence, Swaby-Neavin.

 

Not unlike their hosts this weekend, FC Halifax Town (kick-off 5,15pm) are starting the new season with a very different looking squad to the one which finished the last campaign.

The West Yorkshire side have lost a number of players not least top scorer Jake Hyde, who has joined the Wrexham Hollywood revolution, Player of the Season full-back Jeff King who has joined fellow big-spenders Chesterfield, and midfielder Jack Ering who made the move in to the Football League at Walsall.

But, on early season form, manager Pete Wild has done a good job of searching out replacements with ex-Cheltenham Town and Torquay United frontman Billy Waters in menacing form with three goals in his first three fixtures, and ex-Glover Matt Warburton in decent form heading in to the weekend.

After a disappointing opening day defeat at the hands of Maidenhead United, the Shaymen have picked up a 3-2 win on the road at Woking followed by a 2-0 home win over Altrincham over the Bank Holiday weekend and will arrive in South Somerset in confident mood.


FROM THE MANAGER

FC Halifax Town manager Pete Wild has said he expects his side to come up against a “big, strong, aggressive” opponent in Yeovil Town  when they face them on BT Sport on Saturday evening.

Speaking to the Halifax Courier about the Glovers, he said: “You know what you’re getting, you know what’s coming, they’re going to be big, strong, aggressive, they’re going to try and bully us, they’ll think they can bully us.

“Don’t get me wrong, they’ve got some really good footballers as well, but I’m sure their aim will be to bully us on Saturday.”

When asked how his side can counteract that, Wild added: “Just more of the same, we don’t have to get into a fight, we ain’t got a team to fight, we’ve got a team to play football, and that’s what we’ll be looking to do.

“One of our core values is tactical awareness, which is about our style of play, not the opposition’s.

“You’re always working on style of play, there’s always areas you need to be better in your style of play.

“Sometimes we need to be better defensively, sometimes we need to be better offensively, you’ve just got to keep working away at it. If you think you’ve cracked it you’re knackered.”

 


TEAM NEWS

Having lost some big earners in last season’s top scorer Jake Hyde and Player of the Season Jeff King, the visitors to Huish Park this weekend have invested in deepening their squad.

This meant boss Pete Wild had the luxury of not having striker Gerry McDonagh and defender Javid Swaby-Neavin involved over the Bank Holiday weekend when they picked up a win on the road at Woking and a home win over Altrincham.

Winger Dom Tear will miss the fixture with an ankle injury, but otherwise the Shaymen arrive with a clean bill of health.

 


A FOOT IN BOTH CAMPS

There are likely to be three players  who start the televised fixture who have experience in the other camp in the form of the visitors’ Matt Warburton and Tom Bradbury and Josh Staunton, who seems likely to line up in midfield for Yeovil.

Warburton arrived in West Yorkshire in August following his release from Northampton Town having played 19 times for the Glovers last season during a loan spell when we probably did not see the best of him.

An undoubtedly classy footballer, the 29-year-old has struck up a good relationship with forward Billy Waters and, according to our conversation with the Halifax Courier’s Tom Scargill on the latest edition of the podcast, has been unlucky not to get on the scoresheet already.

Central defender Bradbury has started in  the opening three matches this term having made 35 appearances for the Shaymen last season and is a permanent fixture in the visitors’ backline.

Meanwhile, Staunton, who sat out most of last season through injury, will be a familiar face to the travelling fans having spent two seasons at the club.

He was part of the Halifax side which reached the National League play-off semi-finals in the 2019-20 campaign.

The course of this game against promotion-chasing FC Halifax Town at Huish Park changed in the space of 60 second half seconds.

In the 83rd minute, Reuben Reid broke in to the box and was seemingly hauled down by defender Niall Maher, but shouts for a penalty by referee Elliot Swallow were waved away.

The visitors immediately broke down the other end where Luke Sumerfield’s shot from the edge of the box was only parried by Adam Smith as far as Kieran Green who stabbed home the second.

Now, you do not lose any game 3-0 and think you deserve to go away with all three points, but there are definite grounds for scrapping the first rule of the Gloverscast – don’t moan about referees at this level.

We had enough chances to take something from the game but, whilst visiting keeper Sam Johnson made some superb saves, we simply were not clinical enough in front of goal.

With top-scorer Rhys Murphy missing again today with a groin injury, we lacked that killer instinct. Halifax didn’t and that is one reason why they’ll be among the play-off places and we won’t.

Here’s how I saw it……


FIRST HALF

The one change to Yeovil starting line-up saw Reid come in for Charlie Lee, suspended after his booking for dissent (grumble, grumble) at Wealdstone two days earlier, with Jimmy Smith dropping to the base of the diamond,

On the bench midfielder Toby Stephens, who came through the Yeovil Town Community Sports Trust set-up and Under-18s, replaced Reid.

Yeovil started playing towards the away end at Huish Park with a strong wind behind them and Reid fired the first chance from just outside the box over after five minutes following good work from Tom Knowles.

Former loanee Martin Woods, who played three times in 2008, had a long-range effort well held by Smith  in the Yeovil goal shortly after, but on 14 minutes Albi Skendi bundled Danny Williams over in the box to concede a penalty.

No complaints with the award and ex-Plymouth Argyle midfielder Summerfield sent Smith the wrong way from the spot to put Halifax ahead.

That goal probably came a little against the run of play with the home side having had some good early pressure, but things started to unravel after going behind.

The bad conditions – there was wind, hail and rain – seemed to hinder us with Carl Dickinson in particular struggling to find the right length with his set-pieces, whilst the visitors started to find some rhythm.

Summerfields long shot from a well-worked free kick was well held by Smith in the 20th minute and then next chance fell to Billy Sass-Davies 15 minutes later when he headed wide from a corner.

The on-loan Crewe man could have had a couple of goals from set pieces at Wealdstone and should have at least made the keeper work here.

The final chance of the half fell to Smith – yes, Adam, the goalkeeper – whose long clearance forward went wide.

That gave former Glovers’ manager Steve Rutter, who was on co-commentary on the live stream, the chance to recall the time keeper Dave Fry scored from his own penalty box in an equally minging day back in 1991.

 

Half time: Yeovil Town 0 FC Halifax Town 1


SECOND HALF

Reid, who had an anonymous first half, started the second brightly with a stinging drive from the edge of the box superbly tipped wide by Halifax keeper Sam Johnson, and shortly after Knowles bent a free-kick inches wide.

On Reid, I have been called out for being critical of his lack of goals and, whilst his link up play and creativity has brought something to the side since joining us, I wish he’d have more efforts like he did here.

A fantastic run by Josh Neufville soon after was ended by a cynical trip by Summerfield on the edge of the box and Johnson made another great stop to keep out Knowles’ free-kick.

On the hour mark came the Glovers’ best chance so far, Michael Kelly’s ball in to the box was headed down by Joe Quigley to Chris Dagnall, but a combination of the keeper, defender and striker contrived to give Johnson  a chance to grab the ball.

The first 20 minutes of the second half showed clearly that having at your backs is not the benefit that some amateur analysts (see above tweet) thought it might be, with the visitors failing to take advantage of the conditions in the second half as their hosts had in the first.

It was Yeovil who were asking all the questions. Dickinson made Johnson work from a wide free-kick and then, with 10 minutes remaining, a superb cross-field pass from Skendi found Knowles but his ball across the box was cleared away by Halifax.

The game changed with seven minutes remaining when Reid broke in to the box and looked to be pulled back  by Niall Maher, but referee Swallow was not interested.

The Shaymen then broke down the other end with top-scorer Jake Hyde, on as a substitute, getting a ball in that was cleared as far as Summerfield whose shot was parried by Smith as far as Kieran Green who stabbed it in.

In 60 seconds, Yeovil went from potentially getting level to being 2-0 down.

Then, in the first minute of injury time, Alex Bradley failed to cut out a forward ball and Hyde ran through to slot past Smith.

The linesman had his flag up, but unfortunately got enough on it to make Hyde onside and referee Swallow gave the goal. He was due getting a decision right, I guess.

Yes, I know, first rule of the Gloverscast…..

Full time: Yeovil Town 0 FC Halifax Town 3 (Summerfield, pen, Green, Hyde)


YEOVIL TOWN: A. Smith, Dickinson (c), Kelly, Sass-Davies, Skendi, J.Smith, Knowles, Neufville, Dagnall, Quigley, Reid.
Substitutes: Bradley (for J. Smith, 74), Sonupe (for Dagnall, 84), Hunt (for Skendi, 86). Not used: Evans Stephens.
Bookings: Dickinson, Skendi, J.Smith, Reid, A.Smith.


FC HALIFAX TOWN: Johnson, King, Bradbury, Byrne, Clarke (c), Maher, Woods, Summerfield, Chadwick, Green, Williams.
Substitutes: Hyde (for Bradbury, 66), Stephenson (for Chadwick, 78). Not used: Davison-Hale, Senior, Spence.
Bookings: Bradbury, Summerfield, Green.

It was a Paddy Madden goal from which cost FC Halifax Town three points in their last outing.

The former Glovers’ hero got his sixth goal for $tockport County just before half-time at The Shay on Saturday to dent the West Yorkshire side’s hopes of a top three finish.

However, the Shaymen still arrive at Huish Park on Bank Holiday Monday in fifth place with three wins in their last five matches.

Their position owes much to their form over the past couple of months with nine wins from 15 matches since the start of March.

That run includes wins on the road at play-off rivals Chesterfield and Notts County.


FROM THE MANAGER

FC Halifax manager Pete Wild has promised to carry on rotating his team when they arrive at Huish Park.

He made three changes for the 1-0 defeat against $tockport County at the weekend and is planning more for a game he is expecting to be a hard-fought one.

Speaking to the Halifax Courier, Wild said: “I expected Yeovil to win at Wealdstone on Saturday, I expect an aggressive, front-foot, in your face Yeovil, ready to have a go at us.

“You know what Darren Sarll’s teams are like. We, first and foremost, have to match our levels from Saturday, and make sure we do out stuff right so we don’t get undone.”

He added that his side needed to “get a positive result, a draw or a win” to keep pace with a competitive top seven.


TEAM NEWS

Former Yeovil Town loanee Tahvon Campbell, who is on loan at The Shay from Cheltenham Town, sat out the defeat to $tockport with a knee injury.

Shaymen boss Pete Wild told the Halifax Courier a scan on the winger/striker’s injury had shown “just bruising”, but added he did not expect him to return until next weekend.

Another ex-Glover, defender Tom Bradbury, was an unused substitute at the weekend as Wild went for a 4-5-1 formation rather than a 5-3-2 with wing backs.

According to Halifax supporters, Bradbury is one of four quality central defenders fighting for three starting spots  when they play five at the back and therefore could return on Monday.

Jeff King is expected to return at right wing-back after missing the past two games through suspension.

Wild said after that $tockport defeat that midfielder Jack Earing would miss out with a hamstring injury and added the trip to Somerset may come too soon for frontman Darren Stephenson, on loan from National League North side Curzon Ashton.

Striker Micah Obiero, who is on loan from Championship side Huddersfield Town, could be available after suffering a hip injury.