Notts County

The curse of the old boy struck again as former Yeovil defender Alex Lacey headed home an equaliser four minutes in to second half stoppage time to rescue a point for Notts County on Saturday.

Glovers’ boss Darren Sarll said his side were “magnificent”, Tom Knowles said we deserved the three points, but the history books will show we had to settle for one at Meadow Lane.

Here’s Coatesie’s conclusions from his spot in the away end…

Darren Sarll wasn’t gutted at what can only be described as two points dropped, but admitted his players were. I have to say I am siding with the players.

This was  another hard luck story for this Yeovil side.

Despite my disappointment, I found myself standing, applauding and cheering this team at the final whistle.

It is just impossible not to be impressed and heartened by the sheer tenacity of them, they just never stop working.

As the game ticked past the 90th minute, Charlie Wakefield appeared in the left back position to win a ball back and clear it. Yes, our winger-turned-striker Charlie Wakefield who has played so many minutes this season, he was tracking back and helping out his team-mates.

How can you do anything but admire that spirit? And be so, so frustrated that it was not rewarded with three points. I know, again. Ugh.

The disappointment stings more because this was another good performance against one of the National League’s top teams.

I’d have taken a point before kick-off, especially when I saw there was no Olufela Olomola in the squad. How we missed him.

This was a Notts County which “has not scrimped” on its budget, according to Magpies’ fan Paul Mace who we spoke to pre-match, with a team we were told would control the game with easy-on-the-eye football.

It didn’t happen and it didn’t happen because Yeovil Town did not let it happen. We hassled, we harried, we disrupted the rhythm of a team with quality and experience in abundance. If you saw the win at Stockport County earlier this season, this had a similar feel. We showed Notts County no respect, the difference between this and Stockport was players feeling the rigours of a season – and no-one in any kind of scoring form.

It did not make for a game of great quality, but with our team which is all about effort, that speaks more for our efforts.

On that point, my thoughts on last season’s Reuben Reid were clear.

This season, I was willing to give him a chance and take fully in to account the fact he had an interrupted start of the campaign to put it mildly.

But, Reuben’s mistake at the end of this match was simply not acceptable. A burst forward by Lawson D’Ath, fed the ball through to our experienced striker who we are told has incredibly high standards, and he allows the ball to run under his foot and away to safety.

This was moments after the Notts equaliser and was a golden opportunity to get a shot in on goal. Yes, it is one mistake for a player who was on the pitch for less than 15 minutes, but he is paid to get that shot away. If his standards are as high as we are told – and I have no reason to doubt they are – he will be equally infuriated at his mistake.

The fact we played three midfield players – one of whom, Jordan Barnett, started the season as a left back – tells you all you need to know about our scoring options.

Alex Bradley. Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

So, it was pleasing to see a goal of great quality from Alex Bradley.

We’re told he sees himself as a midfield player rather than the right-back we thought we signed and if he carries on performing like he did here, he very well could be.

There was nice passes, quality runs forward, strong tackles. There was a lot to like about Alex Bradley’s performance.

Finally, it was pleasing to hear Sarll and Tom Knowles praising the travelling fans at Meadow Lane.

Even when we weren’t winning, they were making a noise in an otherwise quiet Meadow Lane.

Every one of those 223 people in that away end were magnificent – well, let’s say 222, it’s a bit big-headed to call myself ‘magnificent’! We are supporting a team which in reality has nothing left to play for with promotion out of our reach and relegation almost a mathematic impossibility, yet we still turn up and make a racket. At the final whistle, the vast majority stood to applaud the players’ efforts and chant the manager’s name. There’s a huge effort going in on the pitch, but it is being matched in the stands.

Yeovil Town manager Darren Sarll was very positive about the Glovers’ 1-1 draw with Notts County on Saturday.

Speaking to BBC Somerset’s Sheridan Robins, he said whilst the players might be ‘gutted’, he wasn’t and he sang his team’s praises.

“I’m not (gutted), the players are and it’s my job to ensure they understand the fruits of their labour, and that’s a magnificent performance, again.

“This is a process, we’ve got young players that are developing, they are exactly where they should be and this is about their journey long term”

The manager went on to make comparisons to Sutton United, who won the National League in 2020/21, but not before building a young squad who finished mid-table in the curtailed 2019/20 season.

Sarll spoke of his side’s endeavour and spirit – something all Glovers’ fans know is second to none.

“I’ll be surprised if anyone has come here this year and stuck it so boldly to Notts County. I told them, and I mean it, I’m not playing games, I was delighted with them. I can see in our attacking play, that we are getting better.”

There was praise for Alex Bradley whose second start of the season brought his first goal and for Jordan “Gareth Bale” Barnett who found himself as part of a front three citing their athleticism, hard work and determination to play for the team.

“I think the chaps have shown an incredible amount of desire and I think we’ve given something back to the people, to the supporters who have travelled so far and spent so much money and that’s all I can ever ask of them.

“I think if we have longevity with the team, I can start to ask a bit more, but right now they are exactly where they are and exactly where I think they should be, and they’re growing week in, week out.

“It’s very ballsy to come here and play in that manner, we didn’t sit off like 90% of the teams, we went after Notts County, and we went after Notts County with all of the things we know are against us.”

Sarll also confirmed that on loan striker Olufela Olomola, who missed out at Meadow Lane, should be available to make the squad for the visit of Dagenham & Redbridge to Huish Park on Tuesday night, and that there is no long term concern over forward Tom Knowles who limped off at the end against Notts.

Looking ahead to Tuesday, Darren Sarll hoped that the Huish Park faithful would see more of the same, even if he wasn’t overly enamoured with having to play on Tuesday after two long away days… and Dagenham having a weekend off.

“I just hope the home support sees the growth in the team, I hope we show them that there’s growth in the team.

“We need to be very very careful, physically with the team, because it’s a long journey, I didn’t want this game on this Tuesday (vs Dagenham) I thought it was unfair after two long away trips to put another game in, the league voted against us… we always seem to lose those ones… but we’ll go.

“This team can be such a good team, such a good team, and I love working with them and I really do hope people can see their progress, because they are fighting for dear life, bless ’em.

“Once we break the ceiling of those two goals in a game, I think we will unleash a war chest of other attributes we haven’t seen yet. We are pushing, we are really pushing and I’m really proud of them today.”

 

Venue: Meadow Lane
Saturday 5 March, 3pm kick-off

Conditions: Cold and breezy.
Pitch: Like a snooker table in comparison with what Chesterfield served up in the previous match.

Attendance: 6,943 (223 away supporters)

Scorers: Alex Bradley 47 (1-0), Alex Lacey 90+4 (1-1)

Bookings: 

Notts: Francis 41, Chicksen 54, Rodrigues 70, Sam 73.

Yeovil: Bradley 54, Williams 90+6.

Referee: Matthew Dicicco



Yeovil Town
: (4-3-3)

Grant Smith

Mark Little, Luke Wilkinson, Ben Barclay, Morgan Williams

Alex Bradley, Josh Staunton, Dale Gorman

Jordan Barnett, Charlie Wakefield, Tom Knowles

Substitutes: Lawson D’Ath (for Bradley, 63), Matt Worthington (for Barnett 79), Sonny Blu Lo-Everton, Reuben Reid (for Knowles 87), Adi Yussuf.

Notts County: Jaros, Chicksen, Cameron (for Lacey, 28), Rawlinson, Richardson (For Kelly-Evans, 57), Francis (for Mitchell, 79), Palmer, Rodrigues, Sam, Roberts, Wooton.

Substitutes: Lacey, Kelly-Evans, Brunt, Nemane, Mitchell.


Match Report

Yeovil Town’s inability to kill a game off saw them denied an impressive win at promotion chasing Notts County who grabbed a late equaliser.

Having gone ahead just two minutes in to the second half when Alex Bradley capitalised on a defensive mix up, the Glovers had to withstand pressure from the hosts.

Just when it looked as if they might manage that, Alex Lacey’s header deep in to nine minutes of stoppage time added on meant the visitors settled for a point.

Here is Coatesie’s perspective from the away end at Meadow Lane….

First half

Having been exposed on the break on a couple of early forays forward by the home side, the first proper chance came on four minutes on a break away led by Charlie Wakefield who picked out Tom Knowles but his shot was deflected wide for a corner.

Eli Sam, the Notts striker with five goals in his last five matches, had a header smartly stopped by Grant Smith soon after, before Kyle Wootton’s deflected effort was blocked on the line by Luke Wilkinson.

A lot of the home side’s threat was coming down the flanks with Sam on the left and Callum Roberts on the right.

On 22 minutes, it was Roberts’ whipped ball in from the right wing which found Ruben Rodrigues whose diving header went wide with only Smith to beat. Golden opportunity.

Notts lost captain Kyle Cameron on 28 minutes after  an innocuous looking tussle with Knowles. He was replaced by former Glover Alex Lacey, and moments later Ben Barclay put a header in to the hands of hosts’ keeper Vitezslav Jaros from a Knowles long throws.

Six minutes from half-time, a ball through from Alex Bradley set Barnett away down the left but his ball in to Wakefield was over hit giving Notts the chance to clear. It was yet another almost moment for us going forward.

In terms of clear cut chances, Rodrigues’ header wide was as good as it got for either side in a scrappy opening 45 minutes.

For a side pushing for promotion with a dearth of attacking talent in their squad, Notts County have not lived up to their billing and us….surprise, surprise, we look a side sorely lacking a striker.

Half time: Notts County 0 Yeovil Town 0

Second half

Any fans returned from the half time break late will have missed a misjudged header back to Jaros which found the younger keeper all at sea. The ball eventually broke to Alex BRADLEY who lifted it over the stranded keeper.

Alex Bradley. Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

That seemed to spark the home side in to action and on 53 minutes danger man Roberts got on the ball and fired a ball in to the near post where Rodrigues stabbed it goalwards but Smith denied him with an instinctive stop with his feet.

On the hour mark, Gorman’s free-kick found Wilkinson in the middle but he could not quite get enough contact to give Jaros more than a simple save.

As the game reached its closing stages, the wind off the nearby River Trent started to pick up and free-kicks were causing both defences.

On 77 minutes, another deep free-kick found Wilkinson in a bit dissimilar position to the one he found himself in at Chesterfield seven days earlier. This time he could not get clean contact on it.

There was battling, hassling, harrying from a Yeovil side who truly do not know when they are beaten, but the biggest lift came when nine minutes of injury time came up on the board.

Some of the stream of home fans leaving Meadow Lane turned around, sending something was about to happen and, a couple of minutes in to the nine it did. A lofted free-kick in found the head of Alex LACEY who seemed to have the freedom of the penalty area to head home.

But, it wasn’t over there, moments later the ball broke to D’Ath who brought it forward and squared it to substitute Reuben Reid. The ball ran under his foot and away to safety.

Full time: Notts County 1 Yeovil Town 1

Lawson D’ath and Co warming up at Chesterfield 📸 Ben Barrett

There is no place for striker Olufela Olomola in the squad for the match at Notts County this afternoon (3pm kick-off).

The on loan forward, who it had been hoped would be back from injury for the match, appears to be replaced by a front three of Tom Knowles, Charlie Worthington and (possibly) Jordan Barnett up front.

Yeovil Town: Grant Smith, Mark Little, Luke Wilkinson, Ben Barclay, Morgan Williams, Josh Staunton, Alex Bradley, Dale Gorman Jordan Barnett, Charlie Wakefield, Tom Knowles.

Substitutes: Matt Worthington, Lawson D’Ath, Sonny Blu Lo-Everton, Reuben Reid, Adi Yussuf.

Notts County Team: Jaros (GK), Chicksen, Cameron, Rawlinson, Richardson, Francis, Palmer, Rodrigues, Sam, Roberts, Wooton.

Bench: Lacey, Kelly-Evans, Brunt, Nemane, Mitchell.

Home comforts are certainly proving popular at Notts County with four wins in their last six matches at Meadow Lane.

If you add to that the Magpies have only lost at home twice in the National League – at the hands of Grimsby Town and Woking (before they were rubbish) – which you can bump up one with an FA Cup defeat at the hands of higher division Rochdale.

Off the back of a 3-1 loss at Chesterfield on Tuesday night – a game the Spireites fans would like to believe is a derby – Notts are looking forward to returning to their manicure surface rather than the threadbare beach which Yeovil also experienced in Derbyshire.

Speaking after the midweek defeat, Notts County manager Ian Burchnall admitted it would be tough for his side to achieve anything more than the play-offs this season.

He said: “The reality is we can only take care of our own situation, so that is Yeovil at the weekend and then Solihull next week, and not much more than that.

“Stockport have been in unbelievable form and that’s why they are where they are, but I don’t know what they’ll do in the upcoming games or what the other teams around us will do.

“We just have to take care of ourselves because there’s still a lot of games to play. We are in the play-off positions now, but we are not where we want to be, but this (game at Chesterfield) was the first in quite a few where our performance level dropped.”

There’s no shortage of goals in our opposition team, in fact the combined totals of their three top scorers, Kyle Wootton (15 goals), Callum Roberts (11 goals) and Reuben Rodrigues (10 goals including two at Huish Park last October) tally up to more than the entire Yeovil squad combined.

But, the man of the moment is striker Eli Sam who has scored five goals in his last five including three in his last three despite only playing twice in the first half of the season.

Burchnall added: “We changed the system to a 4-1-2-3 or a 4-4-3 which allows a wide forward where he is at his best, when we were playing with two central strikers it was not quite suiting his skillset.

The system change has given him that freedom and when he’s had his opportunity he has taken it.

Prior to the Chesterfield defeat, Burchnall reckons they conceded one shot in the previous three games, but in their last outing set plays cost them.

If there’s some comfort that Darren Sarll can take, just watch the highlights of the goals they conceded at Chesterfield – the highlights are here if you need them, Darren – and see the defensive mix-ups which gave Lawrence Maguire two goals.

If our set plays are to pay off, maybe this is a defence that can be got at.


FROM THE MANAGER

Notts manager Ian Burchnall believes his side is capable of bouncing back from Tuesday’s defeat at Chesterfield.

After the visit of Yeovil, his side face trips to play-off rivals Solihull Moors, $tockport County and Dagenham & Redbridge, the manager said: “Each time we have had a set back we have responded well and we have to focus on that because when we have performed well we have got points out of games.

“The games are coming thick and fast now, so we have to learn the lessons from (the defeat at Chesterfield) and get in to the next one.

“We are going to play a lot of difficult games now for the next month, but we know if we can get through that we have a good run in to the end of the season.

“There’s a long way to go, we are below where we would like to be but we are not a million miles away.

Asked what he expects from Yeovil, he added: “I watched there game against Chesterfield and they were a little unlucky [that’s putting it mildly, Ian!] because they have some good chances in the first half and then conceded a very good goal.

“We beat them away and since then they have really improved, they are well organised and have some good threats, experienced players like Adi Yussuf [stop sniggering at the back!] and they will come with plenty of energy and a plan to frustrate us.”


TEAM NEWS

Defender Ed Francis, a former Manchester City and England youth team captain, is expected to be missing for the weekend.

He missed the midweek match at Chesterfield after coming off in the win at Woking last weekend with an ankle injury.


A FOOT IN BOTH CAMPS

On the pitch, there will be at least one player on either side of the weekend’s fixture facing their old employers.

In the green corner, Jordan Barnett arrived at Huish Park following his release by Notts at the end of last season, where he played 12 times scoring once….against Yeovil.

Jordan Barnett
Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

Barnett was on the bench for the goalless draw with Maidenhead United in midweek when his all-action display was lacking, so may return.

In the black-and-white corner, central defender Alex Lacey was a virtual ever present in his two seasons at Yeovil in 2015-16 and 2016-17.

In the latter season, he was was awarded with the Green & White Supporters Club and Community Sports Trust Player of the Season.

Having rejected an offer of a new contract in Somerset, he signed for League One Gillingham and arrived at Notts in November 2019 following his release from the Gills.

However, Lacey has only turned out 15 times for Notts this season and his last appearance came at the start of February, highlighting the options available to this weekend’s opponents.

Other players who recent experience playing for both teams include:

  • Mitch Rose – Notts County (2019-2020, Yeovil Town (2021)
  • Francois Zoko – Notts County (2012-13), Yeovil Town (2015-2019)
  • Carl Dickinson – Notts County (2016-18), Yeovil Town (2018-2021)
  • Yoann Arquin – Notts County (2012-14), Yeovil Town (2018-2019)
  • Leroy Lita – Notts County (2015 – loan), Yeovil Town (2016)
  • Adam Coombes – Notts County (2013-14), Yeovil Town (2010 – loan)

Dion Pereira showed glimpses of his quality. Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

It was a difficult afternoon at Huish Park for Yeovil Town as they fell to a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Notts County. Here are our Five Conclusions from the game.

Once again it was another game with a lack of creativity. Two centre midfielders who play it safe, an out of form Tom Knowles and a new loan signing in Dion Pereira adjusting to his new surroundings struggled to create anything. Pereira showed glimpses of quality but the overall performance made it near impossible for him to make an impact. Charlie Wakefield looks better on the right hand side than the left, and looked a threat after his half time introduction, but Joe Quigley is looking increasingly isolated. I know it’s easy to say, but we need an Ed Upson. 

I think there’s a decision to be made about Sonny Blu Lo-Everton. The youngster is struggling to adapt to the physicality of the National League. He was withdrawn early against Chesterfield having made little impact. He came on against Maidenhead United when they were down to ten men and couldn’t unlock them. And yesterday he didn’t get a sniff out of Notts County. I’m sure Sonny has a very bright future in the game but right now his contribution in a Yeovil shirt is negligible. We’re on the verge of crisis territory and it’s unfair to put a young loanee in that environment because with every stray pass, every lost challenge the supporters’ frustration grows. 

For the second consecutive game Josh Staunton was voted the sponsors Man of the Match. It was another strong performance from the stand-in skipper and he’s proving what a smart signing it was last season. However, when your centre back is getting man of the match awards, it’s a damning indictment of the shape of things. Well done Josh, you’re becoming a leader and standard bearer, but I’d love a striker or a winger to be Man of the Match on Tuesday after scoring three and setting up two.

Minus King’s Lynn, we started well this season. A solid and dependable XI that we weren’t forced to change. The loss of Luke Wilkinson through injury has created a ripple effect through the side. With Staunton having to move back (mainly because of Morgan Williams’ injury) we’ve had to shuffle the pack a bit, including breaking up Staunton and Gorman. But are we changing things too much now? Three changes against Maidenhead United, after an alright (given the circumstances) performance against Boreham Wood in our last outing. Another three changes yesterday, and I’m not sure why. Jordan Barnett has been one of our better performers and was left out of the team yesterday for loanee Jack Robinson. Mitch Rose, regardless of the overwhelming negativity, started on Tuesday but was dropped for Notts County. History tells us that chopping and changing for every match doesn’t bode well, and now we can expect more on Tuesday.

Darren Sarll’s final substitution at 1-0 down yesterday was to remove Dale Gorman, the slightly more forward thinking of our central midfielders, for a defensive midfielder in Mitch Rose. We had an experienced striker in Adi Yussuf on the bench. I think with 20 minutes left at 1-0, we should have brought on another striker, tried something different and at least gone down swinging. That change was essentially us forfeiting the game in my view. Our rigidity is our strength in certain moments, but it is a weakness when we’re trying to do the same thing over and over again and failing to achieve anything. I know we’ve heard about ‘doing Plan A better’ in previous seasons but in the space of two weeks, the team appear to have been totally sapped of confidence and are barely carrying out Plan A. 

Darren Sarll has said he will need to ring the changes to try and spark his struggling Yeovil Town side in to life after two drab performances.

The Glovers face Altrincham at Huish Park on Tuesday night on the back of a goalless draw against Maidenhead United in midweek and a 2-0 defeat at home to Notts County on Saturday.

Speaking after the loss, the manager said: “We are going to have to open the door for other opportunities which come in the squad depth and we have to look at throwing them around and see if we can spark a bit of attacking pulse out of someone else.

“Sometimes we are crying out for coming out of the team and just watching, and we need to spark something because that was nowhere near good enough.

Sonny Blu Lo-Everton, who was replaced by Ben Seymour after 56 minutes.
Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

The manager made three changes from the side which drew in the week with striker Ben Seymour, midfielder Mitchell Rose and winger Charlie Wakefield dropping to the bench in place of Sonny Blu Lo-Everton, Matt Worthington and new signing Dion Pereira.

There was no place in the squad for loanee Lewis Simper who the manager said was continuing to struggle after coming down with COVID-19 and an injury, or defender Jordan Dyer, the two of Yeovil’s seven loanees to miss out.

Striker Adi Yussuf, who was available after a one-match suspension, and left-back Jordan Barnett who would both have been attacking outlets both remained on the bench against Notts whilst Alex Bradley did not even make the squad.

Darren Sarll said his Yeovil Town side have nowhere to hide after capitulating to a 2-0 defeat against Notts County at Huish Park.

The Glovers’ boss described the performance as “dross” after his side failed to register a meaningful shot on target until the 85th minute.

Over the entire 90 minutes, the home side managed two shots on target and none off target leading to boos from the home supporters for the second successive match.

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

Speaking to BBC Somerset’s Sheridan Robins after the match, the manager said his players deserved the reaction from fans having called four patience just four days earlier after a frustrating goalless draw at home to Maidenhead United.

He said: “There’s nowhere to go, nowhere to hide, we have got to make sure we provide a solution.

“We have to make sure we provide the ball in to that final third a lot quicker because without the ball we are not going to score.


“And we need to address the amount of time we are spending in that final third which is next to nothing.

“Unless we have the balls in that territory we can’t create or register chances.”

Sarll dropped loan signing Ben Seymour and winger Charlie Wakefield from the start and went with top-scorer Joe Quigley just in front of Sonny Blu Lo-Everton in the forward line  supported by Tom Knowles and new signing Dion Pereira on the flanks.

Joe Quigley stretches for a ball.
Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

He pulled Knowles off at the interval introducing Wakefield, but said he could have substituted all four players after an abject first 45 minutes.

The manager said: “First half it was like having a mouth without teeth. We didn’t keep the ball in the final third, so we couldn’t draw a foul, get a set play or a long throw.

“Tom obviously drew the brunt of it with the substitution, but all four of them could have come off. I would probably have done it if I knew I had the wiggle room later.

“I thought Tuesday night I thought we were solid and a bit bland, but when we were weak like today that really hurts.”

Venue: Huish Park
Saturday, October 9 2021, 3pm kick-off.

Conditions: An August day in October.
Ground: A great surface which was almost unused.

Scorers: Reuben Rodrigues 16 (0-2), Reuben Rodrigues 81 (0-2)

Attendance: 2,438 (291 away)

Referee: Gary Parsons

Bookings:
Yeovil: Robinson 55,
Notts County: Nemane 11, Palmer 14, Chicksen 45, O’Brien 57


Yeovil Town : (4-4-2)
Grant Smith
Dan Moss, Max Hunt, Josh Staunton, Jack Robinson
Dion Pereira, Dale Gorman, Matt Worthington, Tom Knowles
Sonny Blu Lo-Everton
Joe Quigley

Subs:  Charlie Wakefield (for Knowles, 46), Ben Seymour (for Lo-Everton, 56), Mitchell Rose (for Gorman, 66)  Jordan Barnett, Adi Yussuf.

Notts County: Patterson, Brindley, Brennan, Cameron, Chicksen (for Kelly-Evans, 70), O’Brien, Palmer, Rodrigues, Nemane (for MItchell ,80), Roberts Wootton Subs: Mitchell, Francis, Vincent, Sam.


Summary

Yeovil Town fell to their third home defeat of the season at the hands of a far superior Notts County side this afternoon. Ruben Rodrigues put the Glovers to the sword with a goal in each half.

There were three changes for Yeovil after Tuesday’s

New signing Dion Pereira in action against Notts County.
Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

dismal draw against Maidenhead United Matt Worthington came in for Mitch Rose to partner Dale Gorman in central midfield. Sonny Blu Lo-Everton took Ben Seymour’s place behind Joe Quigley and there was a debut for Luton loannee Dion Pereira with Charlie Wakefield dropping to the bench.

The opening ten minutes of the match saw little in the way of any action with both sides trying to get a foothold. There was an early yellow card for County’s Aaron Nemane after he cynically brought down Pereira in the Yeovil half. Matt Palmer joined his teammate in the book shortly after for a late challenge on Gorman.

Notts County took the lead after quarter of an hour through RODRIGUES who picked up the ball outside the box and sauntered past Max Hunt before firing a left footed effort at goal which took a small deflection leaving Grant Smith on his knees.

County dominated the ball following their opener and Smith was called into action again diving to his right to palm away Cal Roberts’ deflected shot from just outside the edge of the area in the 24th minute. Smith’s save fell to the feet of Nemane but the Glovers cleared their lines after a scramble inside the 18 yard box.

Yeovil did get County’s defenders hearts racing moment later with some neat interplay between Pereira and Quigley almost forcing an effort at Patterson’s goal.

Joe Quigley battles for the ball.
Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

The Glovers were starved of any meaningful possession as County imposed their technical superiority, finding space across the pitch. Murmurs of discontent grew with supporters struggling to keep their patience at wayward passes and aimless hoofs forward.

The closest Yeovil came to a shot in the first half was in the 44th minute when Dan Moss aimed a cross into the box towards Quigley. His effort was charged down on the penalty spot by a County defender.

County should have doubled their lead before the break as they outnumbered Yeovil defenders on a counter. Some fancy footwork in the box slowed the attack down and Moss got a block in on Kyle Wooton‘s shot.

As the half time whistle went there were boos from the Thatcher’s terrace, unsatisfied with a submissive first half display.

Half time: Yeovil Town 0 Notts County 1

The Glovers made a change at half time with Tom Knowles, who had been largely anonymous, making way for Charlie Wakefield. Wakefield moved to the right with Pereira taking up Knowles position on left midfield.

County had an early effort on goal through Rodrigues who was allowed to take the ball from the half way line to the edge of the box by a back-pedalling defence. His effort was high and wide, though.

Roberts thought he had a shout for penalty in the 53rd minute as he went down under a challenge in the box. The referee waved away the appeal, and there were few shouts from Roberts teammates.

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

Sonny Blu Lo-Everton was replaced by Ben Seymour just before the hour mark with the Glovers chasing the game. The diminutive midfielder struggled to make an impact throughout the game.

County had a big chance to grab a second in the 60th minute as Roberts put a sliding effort wide of the left hand post. The winger had plenty of time on space after being found by Rodrigues.

Sarll made is final substitution in the 66th minute taking off Gorman for defensive midfielder Mitchell Rose, to a smattering of boos from the terrace.

Wakefield managed to get hold of the ball on the right and get round two Notts players before slipping Seymour through on the right of the 18 yard box. The Exeter loanee struck a stinging cross across the box which was palmed out by Patterson. The incoming Periera and Wakefield got in each others way with the former handling the ball and conceding a free kick.

Worthington had a half chance moments later after a Seymour flick on but he couldn’t get the ball under control and a Notts County defender pinched the ball off his toe on the edge of the box.

RODRIGUES doubled his tally in the 80th minute with the County man rising alone in the box to head home from a corner emphatically.

Seymour had Yeovil’s first effort at goal in the 85th minute after being put through on the left hand side. He was closed down quickly by Patterson who saved his tame effort comfortably.

Yeovil forced another half chance in the 90th minute as a cross from left found Wakefield in space but his volley was saved well at the near post.

Five minutes were added on at the end of what has been a disappointing week for Sarll’s men in front of the Huish Park faithful. Altrincham on Tuesday before Weymouth in the FA Cup next Saturday look to be two increasingly important fixtures for Sarll.

Full time: Yeovil Town 0 Notts County 2

Read our Five Conclusions Here

 


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All pictures courtesy of Mike Kunz – thanks Mike!

 

Loan signing Dion Pereira is thrown straight in to the line-up as Yeovil Town manager rings the changes for today’s fixture with Notts County at Huish Park.

The boss has benched Charlie Wakefield, Mitchell Rose and Ben Seymour who all started the midweek goalless draw against Maidenhead United in favour of Matt WorthingtonSonny Blu Lo-Everton and Pereira, who joined from Luton Town in the week.

Jordan Barnett remains on the substitutes’ bench alongside striker Adi Yussuf who returns after a one-match ban for his sending off at Boreham Wood.

For the visitors, former Torquay United man Kyle Cameron returns after injury in place of former Glovers’ defender Alex Lacey who drops to the bench.

No sign of assistant manager Michael Doyle who has been rumoured to return to playing after the Magpies threw away leads in their past two matches.

Yeovil Town: Smith, Moss, Staunton, Hunt, Robinson, Worthington, Gorman, Pereira, Knowles, Lo-Everton, Quigley. Subs: Barnett, Rose, Wakefield, Seymour, Yussuf.

Notts County: Patterson, Chicksen, Cameron, Brennan, Brindley, O’Brien, Palmer, Roberts, Rodrigues, Nemane, Wootton. Subs: Kelly-Evans, Francis, Vincent, Mitchell, Sanm.

The big news coming out of Notts County ahead of their visit to Huish Park is that 40-year-old midfielder Michael Doyle is due for a return to action.

The former Coventry City player was appointed as assistant head coach to manager Ian Burchnall and took a step back from his role as a player.

However, after seeing his side give up a 2-0 lead to lose 3-2 against a ten-man FC Halifax Town on Tuesday night, the manager is looking to bring back the experienced head in the middle of the park.

Burchnall said: “We have discussed it and it’s not necessarily that we need Michael to play every game but there might have been a moment against Halifax where he could have come in and settled the environment.

“A lot of what we do will come from the way in which we train and I’ve said to Doyler maybe you need to get back on the training pitch and help the players understand from a coach on the pitch.

The capitulation of the Magpies in West Yorkshire in the week and last weekend when they gave up a 1-0 win to lose 4-1 at home to surprise package Woking.

 


FROM THE MANAGER

Notts County manager Ian Burchnall described his side’s performance in the 3-2 defeat at FC Halifax Town as “junior football“.

Having led 2-0 when Halifax defender Tom Bradbury saw red, Notts collapsed to a 3-2 defeat with a 100th minute winner from ex-Yeovil Town man, Matt Warburton.

Speaking afterwards, Burchnall told the Nottingham Post: “We’ve got to understand that over the course of the season goals go in but we can’t have such a negative reaction.

“When they do we have to bring ourselves together and reorganise. Until the red card, when I felt the game unravelled a little bit, I thought it was a very good away performance.

“We were 2-0 up and looked very stable. We have to remember why we’re in that position and what put us there.

“We started to chase the game and chase the result even at 2-1.

“When we’re 2-1 up, I still felt like we’re so desperate to chase that third goal to close it, that we leave ourselves vulnerable and a bit open to counter-attacks.

“We just have to completely manage the game and kill the opposition at that moment.

“And I think that is a mindset to be able to do that, to stay focused and disciplined even with a setback within the game.

 


TEAM NEWS

Goalkeeper Sam Slocombe has been missing since the middle of September after picking up an injury in training.

The club have brought in highly-rated Sunderland youngster Alex Patterson has played the last three matches, conceding seven times in his last two matches.

Slocombe’s injury was described as being “for around three weeks” when it was reported on September 24, meaning there’s a chance of him returning at Huish Park.

Central defenders Connell Rawlinson and  Kyle Cameron, the latter signed in the summer from Torquay United, have been big misses through injury in recent weeks.

As with Slocombe, both were ruled out for “up to three weeks ago”…..around three weeks ago and may be brought back in to the fold this weekend.

Ex-Yeovil central defender Alex Lacey is recently back after a hip operation in the summer following a four-month lay-off, but returned to the side at the beginning of September.

He has been an ever-present in the Notts side since the 3-2 win over Aldershot Town and has scored twice in that time, including in the 3-2 defeat at FC Halifax Town on Tuesday night.

 


A FOOT IN BOTH CAMPS

On the pitch, there will be at least one player on either side of the weekend’s fixture facing their old employers.

In the green corner, Jordan Barnett arrived at Huish Park following his release by Notts at the end of last season, where he played 12 times scoring once….against Yeovil.

Barnett was on the bench for the goalless draw with Maidenhead United in midweek when his all-action display was lacking, so may return.

Midfielder Mitchell Rose, who played the full 90 minutes against Maidenhead, played more than 50 times for Notts during an 18-month spell between January 2019 and November 2020. He was part of the County side who dropped out of the Football League.

In the black-and-white corner, central defender Alex Lacey was a virtual ever present in his two seasons at Yeovil in 2015-16 and 2016-17.

In the latter season, he was was awarded with the Green & White Supporters Club and Community Sports Trust Player of the Season.

Having rejected an offer of a new contract in Somerset, he signed for League One Gillingham and arrived at Notts in November 2019 following his release from the Gills.

He signed a contract extension in August 2020 and (ominously) scored in the 3-2 defeat at FC Halifax Town in midweek.

Other players who recent experience playing for both teams include:

Francois Zoko – Notts County (2012-13), Yeovil Town (2015-2019)
Carl Dickinson – Notts County (2016-18), Yeovil Town (2018-2021)
Yoann Arquin – Notts County (2012-14), Yeovil Town (2018-2019)
Leroy Lita – Notts County (2015 – loan), Yeovil Town (2016)
Adam Coombes – Notts County (2013-14), Yeovil Town (2010 – loan)

Notts County and Hartlepool United are standing in the way of a Johnson-versus-Madden head-to-head in the National League play-off final.

A brace from striker Rhys Oates earned Hartlepool a 3-2 win over Bromley in the play-off quarter finals on Sunday to set up a semi-final against Paddy Madden’s Stockport County next Sunday.

Ex-Yeovil Town striker Courtney Duffus was missing from the Bromley side, seemingly out of favour with new Ravens’ boss, Andy Woodman, but there was a second half appearance for Byron Webster.

In the other quarter-final, Notts County defender scored a later winner to settle an enthralling 3-2 win over Chesterfield, whose manager James Rowe was not bitter about the defeat and instead blamed the referee in his post-match interview,

Notts face Gary Johnson‘s Torquay in the first semi-final next Saturday, with the final taking place at the home of football, Bristol City’s Ashton Gate, the following weekend,