Needham Market

Yeovil whimpered out of the FA Trophy at the hands of Needham Market yesterday. I soaked it all in and fortuitously managed to condense it in five conclusions.

Well, that wasn’t very good was it? It goes without saying that losing to a team in the Southern League Premier Division is unacceptable for Yeovil Town Football Club. The game should not have reached a penalty shootout and we should have had enough about us to put them away. But, as everyone knows and Darren Sarll said, on the day it’s 11 men vs 11 men and Needham Market’s 11 men earned victory. Too many players performed far below the level expected and we were the ‘giants’ that were killed on this occasion.

It’s blindingly obvious but we’re horribly out of form. We’ve gone through this pattern before. A good run of form followed by a rough patch of form. We need to get out of this patch sooner rather than later if we’re going to keep within touching distance of the play offs. How we get it back, who knows? Darren Sarll didn’t seem hopeful of any additions any time soon, which we obviously need. Once again, we’re round to talking correlation between what happens off the pitch and how important it is to what happens on it. We’ve gone from nine subs to four in seven days and the manager needs reinforcements.

Oh, Reuben. This wasn’t a performance of the rejuvenated Reuben Reid we’ve been anticipating. This match was Reid’s return to Yeovil in a nutshell. Loose touches, misplaced passes, a lot effort but a lack of quality. His penalty was disappointing and summed up his afternoon. This isn’t the Reid who was training almost immediately after the 2020/21 season finished. This is an experienced pro, at the latter stages of his career recovering from a serious hamstring injury having to start from square one again and get himself match fit in a side which is on a bad run. And instead of being able to be eased back into it, we’re reliant on him to come back into the team and drag us out of a mess.

There was a feeling of deflation around Huish Park. Perhaps it was the contrast of 8,000 last Saturday versus 1600 yesterday, but the rumours circulating before kick-off about Terry Skiverton’s departure (coupled with his notable absence during the warm up) certainly took the wind out of my sails. To lose a legend like Skivo in the middle of the season, without a proper send off is really sad. It’s not how I thought it would happen and I daresay it’s probably not how he thought it would happen. His departure is sad for supporters and also the players he works with on a daily basis and the staff he’s worked with since joining Yeovil in 1998.

Darren Sarll cut a frustrated figure. It felt like Darren was on the cusp of saying what he really felt about the situation after the match yesterday. That’s not to say he doesn’t normally, he clearly does. But, what must have been a highly emotional week for him has ended in, probably, his worst defeat as Yeovil manager. He’s lost his assistant (and friend), he’s lost his captain to injury and the team he’s worked miracles with so far appear to be in a rut. Next weekend we welcome Wrexham to town which will undoubtedly demonstrate the gulf in resource, but we did ‘em last time didn’t we?!

Sarll watches on

Yeovil Town manager Darren Sarll struck a visibly frustrated figure when speaking to Sheridan Robins following the Glovers’ shock FA Trophy exit at the hands of Needham Market.

He said that his side had done enough to progress, but that ultimately too many errors and too many wasted moments led to his side’s exit.

“I thought we did enough to win it. I know Grant (Smith) makes a brilliant save at the end and his was our best player including the penalties – but we should never have allowed it to get to penalties.”

“I want to give great respect and credit to Needham and Kevin (Horlock, the manager), I thought they conducted themselves unbelievably well, I thought technically at times they looked better than us.”

“Physically was the only thing we edged, which we should being a full-time team, and it was a very poor performance…It was personality-less and that is a worrying trait whether you are young or old.”

“The first half was pretty controlled. We are not a great team when we have to have the ball, quality is at a premium and technically we were awful – we allowed that game to get to penalties, even in that penalty shoot-out we had four chances to win it in our ground with our fans, so we well and truly got what we deserved today.”

Sarll made a number of enforced changes, but still played what he called his ‘strongest eleven”, and admitted his hands were tied with just four subs named.

“We know when Luke (Wilkinson) is back he is a massive player, I think when we don’t have Staunton in midfield we lose control, Dale (Gorman) does a brilliant job but around him we have a lot of athleticism but we don’t have a lot of control and composure, Jordan (Barnett) and Matthew (Worthington) run so hard but there are times when we need to breathe.”

The Glovers host Hollywood’s Wrexham next Saturday a match which Sarll said would be “nice and easy” with his tongue firmly pressed into his cheek.

Venue: Huish Park
Saturday, January 15th, 3pm kick-off

Conditions: Cold and cloudy
Pitch: Okay, getting a bit bobbly in areas.

Attendance: 1649 (58 away)

Scorers: Williams 29, Fowkes 45.

Referee: James Durkin

Yeovil Town: Bradley 85
Needham Market: Some! 

Yeovil Town
: (4-3-3)

Grant Smith
Morgan Williams, Josh Staunton, Max Hunt (Little 79), Jack Robinson
Dale Gorman,
Matt Worthington (Bradley, 70), Jordan Barnett
Sonny Blu Lo-Everton
Adi Yussuf (Knowles 63), Reuben Reid

Substitutes: Max Evans

Needham Market: Garnham, Dye, Sayer, Hammond, K. Morphew, D. Morphew, Page, Collard, Ingram, Clark (Marshall Miranda), Fowkes

Substitutes: Mpongo, Cullum, Sturgess, Santa De La Paz, Northwood, Fitzgerald

Match Report

Yeovil Town were knocked out of the FA Trophy on penalties at the hands of Needham Market in a disappointing affair at Huish Park.

The Southern League side more than held their own against an out of form Yeovil team who never stretched their opponents.

Morgan Williams opened the scoring after half an hour but poor defending before the break allowed Needham Market to go in on level terms.

It took penalty shootout drama to decide the match and the part-timers clinched it with Marcus Garnham the hero, saving Morgan Williams sudden death penalty and launching scenes of jubilation amongst their 58 travelling supporters.

Here’s how Ian saw the game…

First half

What a difference seven days makes in football. The electric atmosphere generated by 8,000 supporters for the FA Cup tie against Bournemouth was replaced by a rather muted atmosphere of 1649 at Huish Park for the visit of Needham Market in the FA Trophy.

Diamonds aren’t forever, but Darren Sarll returned to most-used formation since becoming manager in 2019, with Adi Yussuf partnering Reuben Reid up front and Sonny Blu Lo-Everton in the hole, as they say. Josh Staunton dropped to back line in place of the injured Luke Wilkinson with Matt Worthington returning to midfield and Jack Robinson and Morgan Williams at fullback.

The subdued atmosphere contributed to an equally subdued start by the Glovers and the Needham Market had the first half-opening through their left-winger Ben Fowkes, who cut inside had his shot deflected over Grant Smith’s goal.

The towering Max Hunt could have opened the scoring in the 11th minute when he met Dale Gorman’s corner emphatically. He glanced his header wide of the left post after out-jumping the entire defence.

As Glovers adjusted to their new shape, they didn’t keep hold of the ball as well as the gulf might suggest they should.  Lo-Everton had a sight of goal from distance and attempted a speculative lob over Garnham which went wide.

As the half wore on, Yeovil held onto possession more comfortably and started pressuring Needham Market into mistakes, with the goalkeeper looking particularly uncomfortable with the ball at his feet.

Adi Yussuf had a decent, if not awkward, chance to put Yeovil in front in the 26th minute. The striker found a chunk of space in the 18 yard box as the ball looped over his head, he swung his left foot at it but his connection wasn’t on point.

Just before the half an hour mark, the club’s music man got his moment to bring some samba music to the ‘masses’ as MORGAN WILLIAMS found himself in the unusual position of the opponents penalty box. The fullback strode onto Yussuf’s drilled cross and put past the keeper to open the scoring. 1-0

Seemingly content with 1-0, Yeovil took their foot off the pedal and allowed their opponents to have a bit of the ball. Just before half time, Yussuf had a good opportunity to double the Glovers’ lead but he dragged his left-footed shot wide.

The tie was evened up in first half stoppage time, after some dismal defending from a set piece and a couple of fortunate ricochets, BEN FOWKES smashed the ball past Smith. 1-1

Half time: Yeovil Town 1 Needham Market 1

Second half

The Glovers came out with more of a purpose in the second half, with Dale Gorman determined to get the shots in early.

Needham Market had a great opportunity to take the lead in the 52nd minute, but were denied by a determined, last ditch tackle from Josh Staunton.

And it was last-ditch defending at the other end of the pitch moments later. Barnett’s out-swinging corner was headed towards goal but blocked by Yussuf in front of the keeper who scrambled to clear the ball away from goal.

Needham Market had penalty appeals turned down by the referee on the hour, as their striker Luke Ingram went down with Josh Staunton nearby.

To liven up the attack, Sarll withdrew Yussuf for Tom Knowles, prompting a change of shape to the more familiar 4-3-3 with Reuben Reid the central striker.

The Glovers opponents weren’t fazed by the arrival of Knowles (#DWILWF) and carved out a good chance through Callum Page cutting inside from the right. His Bergkamp-esque effort wasn’t Bergkamp-esque in execution and it glided high and wide.

Buoyed by Yeovil’s lack of impetus and the increase in unforced errors, the Southern League side grew into the half and had Ingram’s header been a bit lower they would have been in-front. The striker beat Max Hunt to the ball and his attempt had green tinted supporters holding their breath.

As the clock ticked closer towards the 90th minute and a potential penalty shootout, Sarll urged his players forward and introduced our marquee summer signing, Mark Little, for his first competitive appearance in a Yeovil shirt.

There was a handful of hopeful crosses, but truthfully, Yeovil didn’t stretch their part time opponents who defended resolutely and nearly nicked it in stoppage time but for Smith’s heroics in goal. Fowkes, who was lively all game caused havoc in the box before his charged down shot rebounded to Ingram who should have clinched the tie.

In normal time, it finished 1-1 and the game went straight to a penalty shootout.

Full time: Yeovil Town 1 Needham Market 1


Needham Market:
Hammond – scored
Marshall-Miranda – saved
Page – scored
Fowkes – saved
Collard – scored
K. Morphew – scored
Dye – scored
D. Morphew – scored
Sayer – Saved
Garnham – scored

Yeovil Town:
Barnet – scored

Reid – saved
Gorman – scored
Bradley – scored
Lo-Everton – saved
Knowles – scored
Robinson – scored
Staunton – scored
Smith – scored
Little – saved
Williams – saved

Yeovil Town have named just four substitutes for the FA Trophy tie at home to Needham Market (3pm kick-off).

However, defender Mark Little, a summer signing who has not played since picking up an injury in pre-season, is among those on the bench alongside back-up goalkeeper Max Evans, forward Tom Knowles and Alex Bradley, who presumably needs to pick six numbers, two lucky stars and own a field of four-leaf clovers to get a start.

It is centre half-turned-full back Morgan Williams who appears to be plugging the gap left by the departure of Dan Moss on the right side, with Josh Staunton pushed back out of midfield to replace injured captain Luke Wilkinson alongside Max Hunt in the centre of defence. Jack Robinson comes in on the left.

Matt Worthington returns to midfield after missing the midweek defeat at Southend United with Sonny Blu Lo-Everton and Reuben Reid promoted to the starting line-up having been on the bench in the last match.

There is no place in the squad for forwards Charlie Wakefield or Joe Quigley with the club reporting he is missing through illness, while boss Darren Sarll said yesterday that Wakefield had not trained this week.

Yeovil Town (4-3-1-2): Grant Smith, Morgan Williams, Max Hunt, Josh Staunton, Jack Robinson, Dale Gorman, Matt Worthington, Jordan Barnett, Sonny Blu Lo-Everton, Reuben Reid, Adi Yussuf. Substitutes:  Max Evans, Mark Little, Alex Bradley, Tom Knowles.

Needham Market: Garnham, Dye, Sayer, Hammond, K. Morphew, D.Morphew, Page, Collard, Ingram, Clark, Fowles. Substitutes: Mpongo, Cullum, Sturgess, Marshall-Miranda, Santa, Northwood, Fitzgerald.

Needham Market are not coming to Huish Park for their FA Trophy fourth round with a plan to lie down for Yeovil Town.

The Marketmen, who lie in 13th place in the Southern League Premier Central Division, two steps below their hosts in the  pyramid, put out National League side Wealdstone in the last round with a 2-1 win on their own patch last month.

That result came about due to them taking the game to their higher division rivals, winning the ball high up the pitch rather than sitting back and hitting them on the break.

Manager and former Manchester City and Swindon Town midfielder Kevin Horlock said: “If we can we are a team that needs to be on the front foot. We’ve got some very good attacking players so you have to use them.

“I’m not one for sitting back too much because if you concede – especially early on – where do you go from there?

“I don’t want to give away too much, but we’ll be looking to play in a similar way to the Wealdstone game.

“I don’t want us to just sit there, play for the draw and penalties. That’s not in me and it’s not in my players either.”

You have to go back to the start of December to find this weekend’s visitors last defeat when they lost 3-1 at home to Stourbridge.

Since then they have picked up three wins and two draws in their following five matches including coming from 2-0 down at half-time to beat fifth-placed Alvechurch on Tuesday night.

Before disposing of Wealdstone in Round Three, Needham Market has made it through a qualifying round and then beaten Margate and Welwyn Garden City to progress to this stage of the competition.

However, the only game they played away from home was the qualifying round tie at St Ives Town.

You can hear more about what to expect from Needham Market – including why their players may be on a sugar high at Huish Park – in the chat with YouTuber and fan, Leo Fraser-Bell, in the latest edition of our podcast – listen here.


Needham Market manager Kevin Horlock is coming up to his second anniversary in the top job having spent eight months in charge of the club’s academy before that.

The ex-Northern Ireland international is hoping that some of the products of the academy can show what they are capable of – as they did against Wealdstone in the last round.

He said: “We got the positive result against Wealdstone and that is bound to have done a lot for belief.

“I said as soon as I came back to Needham that we’ve got a lot of players that can play at that level (National League), I’m sure of it.

“Some could do it now, others will be able to do it at a later date as they progress and get more experience. That’s not me feeding them rubbish, I really believe these lads are good enough.

“You’ve got to shoot for the stars. We sold the likes of (midfielder) Callum Page to Ipswich recently so the young lads know there is a pathway here.

“They showed what they’ve got against Wealdstone and there’s another opportunity for them to show it again.

“Yes it’s away from home this time and the journey makes it a bit tougher, but we won’t be looking for or making excuses. It’s a big game and one we’re really looking forward to.


Needham Market will give late fitness tests to left-back Callum Sturgess (calf) and defender Kyle Hammond (ankle) before the match.

Boss Horlock is hopeful central midfielder Tom Fitzgerald will have recovered from a groin strain to feature, but winger Tom Maycock is cup tied having featured for AFC Sudbury in the competition already.


Unsurprisingly, there’s not many player connections between us and Needham Market – in fact, we can only find one.

Simon Betts, not a player who will go down in Yeovil Town legend for anything particularly positive, was signed by Colin Addison midway through the 2000-2001 season and left midway through the following campaign after some below par performances, to put it mildly.

In 2005-06 he went on to play for Needham Market and went on to be a manager in the local leagues in East Anglia.


Monday’s FA Trophy fourth round draw produced far more emotion from me that I probably thought it would.

Firstly, having been promised a 2pm draw, I sat poised waiting with the draft open, but we had the adverts, the travel, and chat about the cricket, Harry Kane red card shenanigans trophy… a quick dial into to TalkSport’s non league guru Tony Incenzo, who was quickly booted off air as he happened to be calling from what sounded like a wind tunnel at NASA… and then finally the draw.

The presenter made at least one error in team name – one can only assume the notion of reading a name next to a number is harder than it seems – we can only use our imagination at the looks the FAs independent adjudicator must have been giving him – but balls were drawn, names were called and Yeovil were drawn at home to Needham Market.

Who!? Not even a town, just a little Market..? “roll up, roll up get your 4th round opponents here…”

Ok, so it’s a bit more than a market, in fact some pretty famous people have come from there, the bloke who discovered Oxygen and June ‘Dot Cotton’ Brown is from there too.

But in football terms, they’ve got one FA Vase Semi Final to their name and not a lot more, they’re tiny and an away day at Yeovil is about as big of a tie since… well, putting Wealdstone out in the last round.

And it got me thinking about how in the space of just Seven days, the same 14 or 15 blokes will line up against a Bournemouth side almost certainly destined for the Premier League, and then little Needham Market.

It’s a stark contrast, the pressure free tie of welcoming some of the best in the 2nd tier and then being on the other side of that coin, hoping not to be the front page of Sunday’s Non League Paper for the wrong reasons.

You could argue that Bournemouth might not fancy the cup with bigger fish to fry and you could argue the part time side from Suffolk will probably have a torrid journey, a day off work and less chance of a hotel stay… but isn’t that what makes cup competitions so awesome?

Darren Sarll and Co will have no problem finding footage of Dominic Solanke, Gary Cahill and Ryan Christie, but I’m not sure how much scouting is possible for Luke Ingram, Callum Sturgess and Ben Fowkes (presumably not the England wicketkeeper)

This is cup football at its very best and that’s why we love it, Huish Park will bring us two very different ties on two very different Saturdays and I cannot wait… after all, the Quadruple is still on…

Yeovil Town will host Needham Market in the fourth round of the FA Trophy

The Southern League Premier Division Central side put out National League rivals Wealdstone in the third round at the weekend.

The game will be played on Saturday, January 15.

The Suffolk-based side are managed by former Manchester City and Swindon Town midfielder Kevin Horlock and presently sit sixth-from-bottom of their division going to in to the Christmas fixtures.

The winners will receive £5,250 in prize money with £1,500 going to the losing side.

The draw in full is:

Alfreton Town v Bradford Park Avenue or FC Halifax Town

Dagenham & Redbridge v Southend United

Wrexham v Folkestone Invicta

St Albans City v Cheshunt

York City v Slough Town

Stourbridge v Guiseley

Tonbridge Angels v King’s Lynn Town

Southport v Solihull Moors

Notts County v Eastleigh

Dartford v Weymouth

Aldershot Town v Bromley

Boreham Wood v Maidstone United

Morpeth Town v Boston United

Yeovil Town v Needham Market

Stockport County v Larkhall Athletic

Spennymoor Town v Plymouth Parkway