Wrexham

Darren Sarll will be reporting referee Sunny Gill after Yeovil Town midfielder Dale Gorman was left with a cut on his head from an incident just seconds before the equaliser for Wrexham in today’s 2-1 defeat at Huish Park.

The manager described the decision to “poor play” with the Northern Irishman on the ground and Tom Knowles seemingly fouled in the build up to the equaliser scored on the hour by the visitors’ Paul Mullin.

Speaking to BBC Somerset’s Sheridan Robins after the game, Sarll said: “I think the officials have to be very careful when they don’t put the health of players at the forefront of their minds.

“Dale has got cut on his head, so I will report him for that. That was poor play and Dale would have been in that hole that Mullin found himself in.

“I think that was their first shot on target and when you look at who it was that took the attempt, you realise there’s a calibre to goal-scoring and he (Mullin) certainly has that.

Now, according to guidance issued to referees: “Play is stopped if, in their opinion, a player is seriously injured or receives a head injury.” One can therefore only assume that Mr Gill did not think Gorman’s injury was to his head.

Despite the defeat, his sides six consecutive loss which means they are still looking for their first points of 2022, Sarll said he could not criticise his team and described the reception they received from supporters as “mind-blowing.

He said: “I thought we pressed the ball very well, the tempo was insane at times and the only tactical criticisms are the defending of crosses and the finishing, because we could have been high and dry.

We had some clear chances and that is good because we have not made many this year, today there was good creativity in the side, the dribblers and the ball carriers were outstanding.

We deserved to win the game on performance or at least get a point, but that is why I say these are the worst ones to explain.

He pointed to the departure of midfielder-turned-defender Josh Staunton after 76 minutes as a major blow. He limped off and was replaced by Alex Bradley meaning Mark Little, playing his first league game of the season, had to move in to an unfamiliar role in the middle of defence.

Sarll said: “The subs made us a bit disjointed and losing Staunton was huge because he stitches a lot of what we do together, then Mark (Little) had to play centre half.

“He shouldn’t have been on the pitch after an hour, he should have been off, he deserves a lot of credit for doing what he did.

“It disjointed our defensive structure and no blame on the individuals who came in to those positions but it just disjointed our defensive positions and flow.”

Yeovil Town manager Darren Sarll said he expects to be without defender Max Hunt for “a couple of months” after picking up an injury in training ahead of today’s 2-1 defeat to Wrexham.

The centre half was on crutches at pitchside with a brace around his lower leg and was one of two other injury worries with Josh Staunton limping off. The manager confirmed he will need a scan to assess the extent of that injury.

But one piece of good news is that captain Luke Wilkinson, who it was feared could be out for six weeks after an injury at Southend, is expected to return for next weekend’s trip to Woking.

Yeovil Town manager Darren Sarll.

Speaking to BBC Somerset’s Sheridan Robins after the match, Sarll said: “Hunt is going to be a couple of months, but Staunton we don’t know. We can’t see inside the leg until we get it scanned.

“This is the thing when you have small groups, the toll to prepare, play and throw everything at a game like Josh does for this football club, it takes a toll over a season.

“I feel we are so close, the foundation of the group could be so wonderful, we just need a little bit more.”

Having sold top-scorer Joe Quigley to National League rivals Chesterfield on Friday night, the Glovers are left with 17 first-team squad members, including back-up goalkeeper Max Evans and young midfielder Toby Stephens.

Sarll said the squad needed “a little bit more help“, adding that he was not giving “a cryptic clue” with the club’s owner Scott Priestnall having said that falling attendances was the reason behind the sale of Quigley.

He previously said the club had budgeted for averaging crowds of 3,000 this season – an average they have not achieved since the 2016/17 campaign in League Two. There was a crowd of 2,988 inside Huish Park against Wrexham.

The manager said: “I think we are close, this team has a wonderful foundation, a great commitment, energy and spirit. I think the supporters believe in them, I believe in every one of them, but we need a bit more depth.

“Phil (Parkinson, the Wrexham manager) was able to make a change at half-time bringing on a normal starter in (Jordan) Ponticelli who I thought made a big difference in the first ten minutes of the second half.

“We need a little bit more help. That is not a cryptic clue that I am giving anyone but I feel for the players, they deserve a better ending of their day for the performance they put in.

Asked if he hoped to be able to bring players to the club, Sarll added: “The deal has to be right and affordable, if we can we will.

“(Quigley) is the fourth forward I have sold here in two-and-a-half years, so we obviously improve people.

“We try and improve players with our coaching. I would have liked him today.

Venue: Huish Park
Saturday, January 22nd, 3pm kick-off

Conditions: Cloudy, calm and barely a breeze.
Pitch: Held up nicely with more attention required to the Thatcher’s End.

Attendance: 2,988 (814 away supporters)

Scorers: Tom Knowles 14 (1-0), Paul Mullin 59 (1-1), Williams o.g. 79 (1-2),

Referee: Sunny Sukhvir Gill

Bookings:
Yeovil Town: Williams 86
Wrexham: Ponticelli 90



Yeovil Town
: (4-1-2-1-2)

Grant Smith
Mark Little, Josh Staunton (for Alex Bradley, 75), Morgan Williams, Jack Robinson
Dale Gorman,
Matt Worthington (for Adi Yussuf, 82), Jordan Barnett (for Reuben Reid,86)
Sonny Blu Lo-Everton
Charlie Wakefield Tom Knowles

Substitutes: Max Evans,Toby Stephens.

Wrexham: Lainton, Hall-Johnson, Hayden, Tozer, Lennon, Hosannah (for McAlinden, 66), J.Jones, Young, Davies, Mullin, Thomas (for Ponticelli, 46).
Substitutes: 
Dibble, Cleworth, Angus.


Match Report

As listeners to the Gloverscast know we have some rules, the first of which is: Don’t complain about National League referees, they’re all rubbish.

It was the man in black, Sunny Sukhvir Gill, who was in the spotlight as big-spending Wrexham came back from two goals behind to win 2-1 at Huish Park and extend Yeovil Town‘s losing run to six matches.

Up until just before the hour mark, the referee was having a good game (by National League standards) but with Dale Gorman on the floor clutching his head, the allowed the game to go on and Paul Mullin made no mistake to cancel out a first half opener from Tom Knowles.

Before kick-off defender Max Hunt was spotted on crutches and in the second half Josh Staunton limped off with what appears a hamstring injury.

Another defeat, more pressure on the already threadbare squad – and that’s before we get to the off-the-pitch stuff.

Here’s how Ian saw it from his spot in the Huish Park press box……

First half

The soundtrack to the opening seconds of the match was that of “We want Priestnall out”, as home fans made their displeasure at their absentee owner.

The day after he attributed low attendances as his reasons for selling Joe Quigley to Chesterfield, the Glovers started the game with no recognised striker in the starting line-up and with Max Hunt on crutches at pitchside. Wingers Tom Knowles and Charlie Wakefield started furthest forward and Mark Little made his full debut after returning from injury, moving centre back Morgan Williams to…centre back.

Tom Knowles. Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

It was the man I’ve warned you about since day one, who opened the scoring for Yeovil after 14 minute. Tom KNOWLES continues to make the #DFILWF mantra difficult to follow, and his cleanly struck left-footed shot caught just about everyone by surprise as it flew past Wrexham ‘keeper Rob Lainton into the bottom corner. A strike he enjoyed enough to cup his in front of that TikTok lot in Martin Baker Glovers’ Trust Terrace. 1-0.

The Glovers advantage was nearly doubled in the 26th minute, when Josh Staunton met Sonny Blu Lo-Everton‘s deep cross with a towering header. The captain’s effort flew over the bar into a sagging Welsh flag behind the goal.

Chances don’t come more gilt-edged than Charlie Wakefield‘s ten minutes later. A fluffed clearance by Lainton only reached the incoming Matt Worthington and he squared the ball to the unmarked Wakefield inside the 18-yard-box who had time to pick his spot but barely connected with the ball. The ball trickled to the relieved hi-vis keeper as the Yeovil supporters planted their heads in their hands with the precision Wakefield was missing.

The Hollywood boys of Wrexham offered very little in the first half. But for a couple of speculative efforts from their beloved Jordan Davies, the Yeovil defence held firm and went into half-time with the lead as Netflix no doubt pondered whether they’d bought the rights to the wrong psychodrama.

Half time: Yeovil Town 1 Wrexham 0

Second half

Yeovil started the second half with determination and some early pressing from Knowles forced a mistake in the Wrexham back line and very nearly created a carbon copy of Wakefield’s chance in the first half. Wakefield couldn’t bring the ball under control though and Wrexham cleared their lines.

Shortly after, Mullin took a tumble under a challenge from Morgan Williams and was adamant he should have had a penalty. The man in the middle, Sunny Gill, thought Mullin went down too easily and waved his appeals away.

Mullin, determined to grab Wrexham up to his level came close to equalising moments later, dragging his right footed shot wide of Grant Smith’s post.

He got his goal just before the hour mark in controversial circumstances. While Dale Gorman was on the floor clutching his head, the referee allowed play to continue around Gorman and last season’s top scorer in League Two put a fine strike into the top corner with Smith rooted to the spot. 1-1 Paul MULLIN.

Gill, who had been having a good game by National League standards, quickly became the villain of the piece as players and fans raged, bewildered by his decision to allow play to continue. Perhaps we missed a protocol where referees are allowed to judge the severity of head injuries, but it was largely shambolic and set him up for a difficult half an hour to see out with supporters well past boiling point.

Josh Staunton who limped off in the second half.
Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

With fifteen minutes left on the clock, Staunton was replaced by Alex Bradley (who had been booked already while warming up) and made his way down the tunnel gingerly. Probably the sight that Yeovil supporters feared the most given our depleted squad.

Three minutes later, Wrexham went ahead. A cross went all the way to the back post to the feet of Jordan Davies. He drilled a left footed cross across the box which was bundled into his OWN GOAL by the sliding Morgan Williams. 1-2

As the time faded away, and Wrexham took control of the game against Yeovil’s tiring legs, Darren Sarll threw on Adi Yussuf and Reuben Reid to salvage the game.

Grant Smith was forced into a good save, low at his near post, from Davies well-struck free kick in the 88th minute.

With six minutes added on, Yeovil searched for an equaliser and Yussuf nearly connected with Bradley’s cross, but Wrexham saw the game out with a string of a corners at the death sending their 814 supporters back cheerfully back to North Wales. For the Glovers, it was another defeat in 2022 as we head into another week of uncertainty.

Full time: Yeovil Town 1 Wrexham 2

Defender Max Hunt is the noticeable absentee from the Yeovil Town side which takes on big-spending Wrexham at Huish Park this afternoon (3pm).

BBC Somerset reporter Sheridan Robins reports that Hunt is missing through injury with the defender on crutches at pitch side.

Central defender Max Hunt. Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

The other big news is that the Glovers start with no recognised striker with Adi Yussuf and Reuben Reid named on the bench after top-scorer Joe Quigley was sold to Chesterfield on Friday.

We are going to guess that is Tom Knowles and Charlie Wakefield as a front two ahead of a diamond in midfield with Sonny Blu Lo-Everton at the tip and Dale Gorman at the base.

Mark Little come

s in for his first league start for the club at right-back as Morgan Williams shifts to the centre of defence to replace the absent Hunt.

For the visitors, star striker Paul Mullin returns after three weeks off alongside Kwame Thomas with defender Harry Lennon back after suspension.

Former Glover Ben Tozer makes his return to Huish Park in the centre of defence and Liam McAlinden, red carded when Yeovil won 2-0 in North Wales in November, returns on the bench.



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

Wrexham: Lainton, Hall-Johnson, Hayden, Tozer, Lennon, Hosannah, J.Jones, Young, Davies, Mullin, Thomas.
Substitutes: Dibble, Cleworth, McAlinden, Angus, Ponticelli.

 

Full-back Mark Little is playing through the pain barrier as he makes his way in to the Yeovil Town team.

The ex-Bristol City player has been missing for the past four months after rupturing the ligaments in his foot in pre-season.

Talking to the Gloverscast‘s Ben Barrett ahead of the weekend’s visit from big-spending Wrexham, the 33-year-old said that he had originally been told the injury may not be serious.

He explained: “The first two sets of people said just ice it and it will be fine, so I went to see a specialist and it needed surgery and there’s a plate to hold my foot together.

“The surgeon is happy it’s stronger than it was before, but I need to teach my foot to play football now. I know the more I play, the better it will be.

“This surgeon is saying ‘go and do what you want to do’, normally if you feel pain you will come out of training, but I have been encouraged to play through it.

Little made his playing return in last weekend’s FA Trophy exit at the hands of lower division Needham Market and was one of four players to miss from the spot in a penalty shoot-out.

He praised the work of manager Darren Sarll for lifting the team after the defeat and the departure of assistant manager Terry Skiverton at the start of the week.

He said: “It was not great over the weekend which was sombre before the (Needham Market) game which led to the performance maybe, but we have had a full week this week.

“The manager is so good at this. He is upset and frustrated as much as we are, but he gets the mood in the camp better.

“We had two tough days Monday, Tuesday, rest day Wednesday and then two good days and we’ve had a perfect week leading up to up a match.”

Sarll said Little was “in contention” for a start against Wrexham at Huish Park this weekend.

He said: “We need to be a bit more progressive with Mark, I’m not sure he can do 90 minutes but he will certainly be in contention for a start.

“He gets closer every day, but he is a true professional and you can see why he’s played in the Championship for as long as he did.”

Wrexham are arriving in South Somerset this weekend still smarting from Yeovil Town inflicting their only home defeat of the season.

Goals from Josh Staunton and Sonny Blu Lo-Everton earned the Glovers a 2-0 win in North Wales at the end of November.

The North Wales media still refer to the sending off of midfielder Liam McAlinden as “controversial” despite the fact an appeal was dismissed after an appeal by the Reds.

Striker Jordan Ponticelli also said that – despite losing by two clear goals – the big-spending side did not deserve to lose at the Racecourse Ground two months ago.

He told the North Wales Leader: “I thought we were the better side when they came here and we went down to 10 men so it will be a good game.

“Hopefully we can go there and put it right what happened. It’s our only home defeat and I thought we didn’t deserve that so hopefully we can go and get three points.

The match is the first National League action Wrexham have had since a 3-1 defeat at Notts County in their last outing on January 2.

But, whilst Yeovil suffered an FA Trophy exit at the hands of lower division opposition last weekend, the Welsh side dispatched Isthmian League side Folkestone Invicta with a 5-1 victory.

That game was played behind-closed-doors and live-streamed (remember that?) due to COVID-19 restrictions covering Wales, but saw manager Phil Parkinson put out a strong team including Ponticelli, who scored twice.

Having ‘only’ splashed out the best part of £1m on players this season, there are rumblings of discontent at the lack of activity in the January transfer window – something that exists for clubs from Wales, less so for the rest of us in the National League.

A striker to fill the void left by an injury to Jake Hyde seems to be where manager Phil Parkinson is looking to splash the cash with reports of a £180,000 bid for AFC Wimbledon striker Ollie Palmer last weekend, and non-League hot-shots Kabongo Tshimanga from title rivals Chesterfield and Solihull Moors’ Joe Sbarra among other names linked.

 


FROM THE MANAGER

Wrexham manager Phil Parkinson has backed his side’s mentality to prove their defeat at Notts County last time out in the National League was just a blip.

Speaking to the North Wales Leader ahead of the weekend, he said: “We have got a strong mentality in the group and we want to keep that because it is so important.

“The leadership qualities in the group are really important to us, and strength of character and mentality with the way we approach games is important, allied with the quality we have shown.

“But it is digging in sometimes away from home and when decisions go against you, it seems to happen away from home and you have just got to be ready to be resilient as a group.

“That is the kind of attitude that we need to take down to Yeovil.


TEAM NEWS

Star striker Paul Mullin appears set to return to the starting line-up having had a three-week rest with a hamstring injury.

The frontman, one of several big money additions at the Racecourse in the summer, sat out last weekend’s FA Trophy match but seems likely to return to the forward line probably alongside Jordan Ponticelli or Kwame Thomas.

Definitely out is frontman Jake Hyde who will be missing for at least another six weeks with a calf injury.

Defender Harry Lennon, who was sent off after just nine minutes of the 3-1 loss at Notts County last time out in the league, has served his suspension although has been carrying a back injury in recent weeks.


FOOT IN BOTH CAMPS

Two players with a foot in both camps could find themselves facing off against each other for a second time this season.

Adi Yussuf. Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

Yeovil Town striker Adi Yussuf scored six times in 16 appearances for Wrexham whilst on loan last season, whilst Ben Tozer played 26 times for Yeovil in the 2015-16 season.

It was the Glovers’ man who came out on top when they last faced off, of course.

Top scorer Joe Quigley, recently back after an injury which kept him out of the win at the Racecourse in November, spent four matches on loan at Wrexham in 2015 whilst an AFC Bournemouth player, scoring a late equaliser in a match against Tranmere Rovers in October that year.

Other players with a foot in both camps include:

  • Gold Omotayo (Yeovil Town – 2019-2020, Wrexham – 2021)
  • Iffy Allen (Yeovil Town – 2015-2016, Wrexham – 2017)
  • Mark Beck (Yeovil Town – 2015-16, Wrexham – loan – 2016)
  • Izale McLeod (Yeovil Town – 2015-16, Wrexham – 2017)
  • Chris Dunn (Yeovil Town – 2013-14, Wrexham 2016-18)
  • Daniel Alfei (Wrexham – 2012/2013, Yeovil Town 2017-2018)
  • Andy Bishop (Yeovil Town – loan – 2004, Wrexham – 2013-15)
  • Kevin Gall (Yeovil Town – 2003-2006, Wrexham – 2010-2011)

Venue: The Racecourse Ground
Tuesday November 30th, 7:45pm kick-off

Conditions: Not quite ‘hand warmer’ cold, with a fair breeze.
Pitch: A lovely, if slippy, carpet

Attendance:  8057 (103 away supporters)

Scorers: Josh Staunton 64, Sonny Blu Lo-Everton 82,

Referee: Scott Tallis

Sending off:
Wrexham: 
McAlinden 34

Bookings:
Yeovil Town: Moss 44
Wrexham: Lennon 36



Yeovil Town
: (4-3-3)

Grant Smith
Dan Moss, Max Hunt, Josh Staunton, Morgan Williams
Matt Worthington, Dale Gorman, Jordan Barnett
Sonny Blu Lo-Everton, Adi Yussuf, Charlie Wakefield

Substitutes: Luke Wilkinson (for Lo-Everton, 88), Alex Bradley (for Yussuf, 81), Ollie Haste, Max Evans.

Wrexham: Lainton, Hall-Johnson, Hayden, Tozer, Lennon (Jones, 69), Hosannah (Green, 78), Young, Davies, McAlinden, Ponticelli (Hyde, 78), Mullin

Substitutes (not used): Dibble (GK), French,


Match Report

Yeovil players celebrate with fans at Wrexham

Yeovil Town finished off a sensational November by beating Wrexham away at Hollywood Boulevard, aka, the Racecourse Ground.
Luke Wilkinson dropped to the bench after an overnight illness whilst Tom Knowles was absent following the body slam he received a the hands of ‘Hulk Hogan’ on Saturday.
Sonny Blu Lo Everton and Morgan Williams replaced them in the now customary, 4-3-3 line up.

Make sure you record this episode of the Netflix documentary, it’ll be one to savour, but only if you’re a Glover

First half

Yeovil Town started this game brightly, knowing a quick start would not only banish the demons of going behind early against Dover, but also prove as to be the only way this star studded Wrexham side were likely to be got at.

Within a few minutes of the start, Yeovil were whipping in multiple corners as the Wrexham defence hastily cleared their lines, the deliveries weren’t great, but Jordan Barnett was just getting his eye in for later.

The game always had something of a tense edge to it, Adi Yussuf getting booed every time he touched the ball as an ex-Dragons player.

A side of Wrexham’s quality were never going to kept quiet for long, Ben Tozer, a former Glover of course, was launching his Delap-esque throws whilst the attacking intent of Liam McAlinden and Luke Young to race beyond the home side’s front duo was always a tactic.

Dan Moss in action vs Grimsby. Pic Credit @leeblease

Neither ‘keeper had much in the way of a proper save to make by the time the main talking point of the match came around, a needless, reckless challenge on Dan Moss saw McAlinden shown a straight red.

He was adjudged to have led with an elbow long after Moss had cleared his lines and the Irishman was off.

Even with ten men Wrexham had chances to create openings, they had a penalty shout of their own turned down, but the all too familiar sight of a Yeovil defence standing tall took the game through to half time… a moment, finally, for some calm.

Half time: Wrexham 0 Yeovil Town 0

Second half

Wrexham made a tactical change at the break, a back four saw Tozer move into a defensive midfield role, whilst Yeovil knew calm heads and a patient approach would be the best way forward.

Jordan Barnett in his advanced role was proving a nuisance for the home side, he, along with Dale Gorman and Matt Worthington harried and hustled their hosts into countless errors.

Paul Mullin became more anonymous and Max Hunt kept Jordan Ponticelli quiet.

At the other end, gaps were starting to show and Sonny Blu Lo-Everton and Charlie Wakefield combined on a couple of occasions to create chances, the final ball often just lacking an extra ounce of quality.

With an hour gone, Yeovil had another chance to put the ball in the box from a Jordan Barnett free kick, whilst initially cleared, he delivered a second cross beyond the Dragons’ back line, unmarked, with the freedom of Wales Josh Staunton was on hand to neatly apply the finish.

A tricky volley that squirmed beyond the ‘keeper who will feel he should have kept it out.

Wrexham made changes almost immediately and it bring a spell of pressure, for Yeovil to deal with, Bryce Hosannah was a constant threat and Cameron Greene was creating plenty of space with fresher legs than most.

The game was put beyond doubt with ten minutes left, when Alex Bradley delivered a wonderful ball to Max Hunt following another Yeovil set piece.

Hunt’s shot was wonderfully saved, Wakefield saw his follow up blocked, but Sonny Blu Lo Everton didn’t miss the third time, hammering the ball home from 10 yards.

The final few moments were relatively untroubled for Yeovil with the 8000 home fans streaming for the exit, Darren Sarll’s side saw the game out and recorded a fourth successive away win in November.

Full time: Wrexham 0 Yeovil Town 2

 

Yeovil Town completed an unbeaten November with a fantastic 2-0 win away at Wrexham, two thirds of the Gloverscast were there, with Ben Barrett keeping up his record this season of not seeing the Glovers even concede, let alone lose!

He was alongside Sheridan Robins in the commentary box and here are his five conclusions from a brilliant night in North Wales!

Five Conclusions: Wrexham 0 – 2 Yeovil

I think I’ve just about made it back down to earth following Yeovil’s 2-0 win over Wrexham, a night that I think will go down as a special night for the 103 Yeovil fans who made the journey.

When we first got the team sheet, there was a look of realisation that hadn’t maybe sunk in properly before, but we are down to the barest bones, and it’s not going to get any easier.

Sorry to start with a negative, I’ll get to the good stuff in a bit, but our bench had a Goalkeeper with nothing more than a couple Somerset Premier Cup games to his name, a 17-year old college student, an experienced pro who was touch and go for a game a couple days ago, was ill overnight and probably shouldn’t have been there and Mr Versatile – Alex Bradley.

Bradley, who has done nothing wrong in his minutes so far, was probably the ONLY option for Darren Sarll. He came on for Adi Yussuf which meant a reshuffle tactically, but we need some bodies in the squad… and quickly.

Right, OK, onto the good stuff.

Morgan Williams, a bit like Alex Bradley has had to wait for his chance, but he got it last night… albeit out of position at left back… and grabbed it with both hands.

Nothing phased him, with Reece Hall-Johnson a constant threat, the ever dangerous Paul Mullin drifting onto his side to avoid Josh Staunton’s back pocket he dealt with everything brilliantly.

Not just defensively either, he took chances to move forward, to play brave passes, to try and start attacks and get involved with Barnett and Wakefield further forward.

This was the best I’ve seen from him, and to have him pushing Wilko, Hunt and co for positions can only be a good thing. 

I think it’s time to add Paul Mullin to the long list of highly influential players Yeovil have kept quiet.

Let’s get this right, he’s a League One striker, he’s better than this division by at least 24 places, but arguably so is Paddy Madden, so is Jordan Slew, so is Matt Warbuton, so is Tavhon Campbell, so is Michael Cheek, so is Joe Sbarra, so is Paul McCallum, you get the picture.

What is it about the league’s best that just cannot get the job done against Yeovil?
The only common denominators are Messrs Wilkinson, Hunt, Staunton, Worthington and Gorman.

At this level, maybe teams have a few stars with everyone else at a similar level, maybe Darren Sarll has cottoned on to that it can be just as simple as keeping those players quiet.

Wrexham fans sung Paul Mullins’ name time and time again almost as if to ask when he was going to do what he ALWAYS does.

But that didn’t happen, and opposition players will know that.

It’s Elliot List of Stevenage on Saturday, Adam Marriott at Barnet followed by… someone… maybe… at W*ymouth. Bring ’em on.

Loan signing Dan Moss in action
Pic: Mike Kunz.

A special word for Dan Moss.

With an elbow to his head, followed a target on his back, the 21-year old Millwall loanee had to play like a 31-year old YTFC veteran for 60 something minutes.

Not only was he in something of a makeshift defence, but he was an attacking outlet with Tom Knowles missing from that right hand side.

He was kicked, pushed, tackled late, shoved over and each and every time, he just got up and kept his cool.

That might have been a new experience for the young lad to be booed by nearly 8000 people and we’ve seen plenty crumble under that pressure.

On a yellow card himself, Darren Sarll could have pulled the trigger and taken him off, but he trusted his man to see the game out.

Dan Moss will have learned more in one night than maybe the rest of his short career combined, he passed every test with flying colours and is quickly rising up the loan-hero ranking at YTFC, he’s got Connor Roberts and Remeo Hutton ahead of him in that right back spot… but he’s closing fast.

Good luck to Mark Little who has to try and get him out the team.

Finally, a look at the table and maybe the future.

Darren Sarll said that as long as his Yeovil side were within touching distance of the play-offs come the turn of the year, we maybe have a chance.

Injuries permitting, we could give it a go in the second half of the season.

At the time of writing, we’re 10th on 28 points. Wrexham occupy the final play off spot in 7th on 30 points having played a game more.

We’ve played EVERY ONE of the top 14 sides so far this season, with Barnet (15th), Torquay twice (17th), Weymouth (19th) and Wealdstone (16th) coming up between now and the turn of the year…

This is an opportunity, none of those games are a guaranteed three points, but…

I’d say with a fair chunk of those next 15 points comes a great chance to be more than just within ‘touching distance’.

I enjoyed that one, I hope you did too.

Yeovil Town manager Darren Sarll admitted he was nervous about putting out a reconfigured defence in the 2-0 win at big-spending Wrexham on Tuesday night.

The Glovers’ boss took out club captain Luke Wilkinson due to illness and replaced him with stand-in skipper Josh Staunton and brought centre half Morgan Williams for only his second league start – at left-back!

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

Speaking with BBC Somerset’s Sheridan Robins after the match in North Wales, he said the addition of Williams in place of Jordan Barnett, who played further forward, was to deal with the dangerous long throws of former Glovers midfielder Ben Tozer.

Sarll said: “I was a little worried about how it would look playing Jordan  in midfield and and a centre half at left back (in Williams).

“I thought can that be explained and maybe excused if it doesn’t go right?

“I thought with the ball coming (from Tozer’s long throws) to the back post, Morgan would deal with it better than Jordan, but I thought Jordan would collect the ball far higher up the pitch

“And I didn’t want two young ones at the back, I wanted Staunton’s voice, and we got away without playing Wilkinson.

“I said to Terry (Skiverton, assistant manager) ‘we got away with that one’ and he said ‘we haven’t got away with anything, we’ve been very good’ and he was quite right.”

Of Wilkinson, the boss added: “He was a little bit poorly and under the weather last night and normally when these things happen with Luke, that is when he normally breaks and I didn’t want to do that with such an important game coming up on Saturday.

The other change saw Sonny Blu Lo-Everton come in as part of the visitors’ front three in place on Tom Knowles, who dropped out having been dazed by being slammed to the floor by Dover’s Danny Collinge in a 1-1 draw at the weekend.

The Watford loanee got the second with seven minutes to go and was praised by his manager.

He said: “(Sonny) only came out of the side because he got his injury (in the 2-0 defeat) at Grimsby and then we’ve gone on this run, so he’s had to wait which is what you have to do as a young footballer.

“He has great character, very low maintenance and he has good quality, my only criticism of him at the moment would have been his return with goals.

“But, in that moment, he’s got the slowest brain on the pitch – I don’t mean ‘thick’, I mean calmness and composure – and that is why he looks so graceful and balanced all the time.

“He took it very well, but we had two misses before that so it was good technique from Sonny.”

The win moves Yeovil up to tenth in the National League table, two points off the play-off places and 14 away from the relegation zone, and means they have taken 17 points from the last possible 21.

Sarll again praised the character of his side saying: “October was not a particularly great month for us, but (these players) are great.

“They know what we are doing with them, we know their characters and the uniqueness of the team is that they are willing to sacrifice for everyone and the management team are willing to sacrifice for them.

“When you get that nice dynamic, it can be a powerful tool to use, but we are what we are and we’ve got what we’ve got (in terms of players) and they are all performing at their optimum and they should be very proud of themselves.

“There’s no quality better than being a trier and they are certainly doing that.”

Yeovil Town stand-in skipper Josh Staunton has hailed the spirit of the team after a 2-0 win at big-spending Wrexham.

He scored his first goal for the club after 64 minutes at a wet and windy Racecourse Ground and put in another solid performance against one of the division’s promotion favourites.

The win stretches the unbeaten run to nine games and sees the Glovers unbeaten throughout January with 10 points from their last 12.

Speaking to BBC Somerset’s Sheridan Robins, Staunton said: “Money buys you certain things, but we are here for Yeovil (Town) Football Club and the spirit and heart we have that is priceless.

“We have been showing that this last month with some results where we have dug in, tonight we stood up where we needed to and we have come out with a result regardless of resources.

I have been in teams where there has been a lot more experience, but the heart in some of those young lads, especially key players like Mossy who are not Yeovil players like Mossy (Dan Moss) who is not (a contracted player).

“You can’t ask for much more, they have been giving everything and when we have been tested with a small squad, every player has stood up and you can’t ask much more.”

Staunton was full of praise for his defensive team-mates who were excellent against a star-studded Wrexham frontline including big money summer signings Paul Mullin and Jake Hyde.

He added: “I thought the back four were excellent today, young Hunty alongside me and the two full-backs.

“Morgan Williams stepping in at left-back was a different class, some of the headers he won at the back stick and even just coming inside on his right foot was excellent.

“It is not easy stepping in when you have been out in the cold, coming back from injury.”

 

 

In the last six games there is no side in better form in the National League.

The Dragons from the Hollywood hills of…err…North Wales have won four and drawn two of their league encounters and you have to go back to the end of October to find their last defeat.

But, looking on the positive side, Yeovil Town have the same record in their past six matches surpassed by their hosts on Tuesday night by virtue of their goal difference.

Wrexham have a goal difference of plus 12 with the Glovers having one of plus five for their respective 14 points tallies.

Another ray of hope for Darren Sarll’s men will be that their big-spending hosts’ form is largely built on their away form, also the best in the division, with their home form showing three draws and three wins from their past six – still not bad.

Manager Phil Parkinson said he had been drumming the need to stick to their game plan in front of their own fans.

Following Saturday’s 2-0 home win over Bromley, he said: “We have been speaking to the lads about sustaining performances at home and concentrating on what we need to do, sticking to the game plan.

I felt we did that today and we said to the lads at half-time that we owe it to ourselves to make sure we keep doing the right things right until the end.

“It is not just 75 minutes, we have to concentrate and move the ball quickly, make those angles and try and put quality in the box and I felt we stuck to that.

The story of Wrexham’s takeover by Hollywood stars Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney needs little re-telling and the owners have backed manager Phil Parkinson in the transfer market.

Marquee signings include star striker Paul Mullin, who turned down the chance of League One football with Cambridge United to join the Dragons, and has only failed to find the net four times in 14 appearances this season.

Alongside Mullin in the win over Bromley was Jake Hyde, who was top scorer at FC Halifax Town last season, back from injury and unlucky to have two goals ruled out for offside at the weekend.

Former Yeovil midfielder Ben Tozer followed in Mullin’s footsteps leaving League One Cheltenham Town to join the Hollywood blockbuster – we can only assume the climate of North Wales was the appeal!

Defender Aaron Hayden dropped out of the League at Carlisle United, but may be missing for the visit of Yeovil with a virus.

If you are making the midweek trip to North Wales, don’t miss our Ciderspace Away Travel Guide to the Racecourse Ground – here.


FROM THE MANAGER

Speaking after the weekend’s win over Bromley, Wrexham manager Phil Parkinson said his side were looking to continue their climb up the National League table.

He said: “We are gradually working our way up the league, we are on a decent run and we aim to continue that on Tuesday night.

It was important for us to get a win after the draw at home to Wealdstone in the last match here, and we will go in to the Yeovil game which we know will be tough.

“They went down to Bromley and beat them in the week and we know they are a resilient type of team, but by Tuesday night we will have put a lot of thought in to the team selection and hopefully we pick the right eleven, the right bench and go and get three points.


TEAM NEWS

Playmaker Dan Jarvis is a doubt for the visit of Yeovil having been stretchered off in the weekend’s home win over Bromley.

The former Stoke City youngster, who has featured five this this month including starting the last two matches, was the victim of an full-blooded tackle which saw Bromley’s Liam Trotter see red after just eight minutes.

Defender Aaron Hayden the Bromley match with a virus and is therefore also a doubt.

Hayden, who dropped out of the League at Carlisle to join the Hollywood revolution in North Wales in the summer, was replaced by youngster Tyler French.

According to Wrexham fans, fellow centre half Harry Lennon struggles to play twice in a few days meaning the absence of him and Hayden could be a weakness in the hosts’ armoury.


A FOOT IN BOTH CAMPS

Two players with a foot in both camps could find themselves facing off against each other at the Racecourse Ground.

For Yeovil Town, striker Adi Yussuf scored six times in 16 appearances for the Dragons whilst on loan last season, whilst Ben Tozer played 26 times for Yeovil in the 2015-16 season.

Yussuf could find himself on the wrong end of the home supporters having allegedly got off the team coach en route to a match with Eastleigh to force a move to Chesterfield on transfer deadline day in January.

Tozer, who rejected a new contract offer at Huish Park at the end of his spell and joined Newport County, is likely to get a more neutral response from the travelling supporters.

Top scorer Joe Quigley, out until Christmas with a knee injury, spent four matches on loan at Wrexham in 2015 whilst an AFC Bournemouth player, scoring a late equaliser in a match against Tranmere Rovers in October that year.

Other players with a foot in both camps include:

  • Gold Omotayo (Yeovil Town – 2019-2020, Wrexham – 2021)
  • Iffy Allen (Yeovil Town – 2015-2016, Wrexham – 2017)
  • Mark Beck (Yeovil Town – 2015-16, Wrexham – loan – 2016)
  • Izale McLeod (Yeovil Town – 2015-16, Wrexham – 2017)
  • Chris Dunn (Yeovil Town – 2013-14, Wrexham 2016-18)
  • Daniel Alfei (Wrexham – 2012/2013, Yeovil Town 2017-2018)
  • Andy Bishop (Yeovil Town – loan – 2004, Wrexham – 2013-15)
  • Kevin Gall (Yeovil Town – 2003-2006, Wrexham – 2010-2011)

Dale Gorman said his Yeovil Town team-mates were “really disappointed” with their first half performance in the 1-1 draw at home to bottom side Dover Athletic on Saturday.

Dale Gorman.
Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

But, the Northern Irishman was quick to point out that seven points from the past three fixtures, including wins at high-flying Dagenham & Redbridge and Bromley, meant they were happy with their week’s work and ready for the trip to big-spending Wrexham on Tuesday night.

Gorman refused to blame the blustery conditions at Huish Park for the slow start which saw Yeovil go 1-0 down to a second minute goal from TJ Bramble.

Speaking to BBC Radio Somerset’s Sheridan Robins after the match, he said: “We as a group have expectations and as a group we were really disappointed with ourselves in the first half, but we came out of it with a point.

“That takes us a step closer to where we want to be and I think we actually moved up two places today, so you have to take some positives from it.

“We have to dust ourselves down and go again (at Wrexham) on Tuesday.

He added: “It has been a good month for us, we stay unbeaten and we are positive and we will do all the right things to get a result at Wrexham.

We will go there as underdogs, but we have gone to Stockport, Dagenham and Bromley (and got) big results, so why can’t it happen again on Tuesday night?

Tickets are now on sale for next week’s trip to Wrexham and the Boxing Day trip to Gary Johnson’s Torquay United.

The details are as follows:

Wrexham (away) – Tuesday, November 30 (7.45pm kick-off)

 

As is standard practice these days, there are no sales at The Racecourse stadium on matchday and slightly less usually, tickets are on sale from Huish Park rather than directly from Wrexham.
They are available to buy – HERE.

Prices:
Adult: £20
Concession: (65+ and Under 21): £15
Under 18: £8
Under 11: £5
Torquay (away) – Sunday, December 26 (3pm kick-off)

Away fans have been allocated 237 seats in the Bristow’s Bench Stand and the whole of the Wollens Terrace which has a theoretical 1,100 standing capacity (assuming Health & Safety is still allowing this).

There will be no sales on matchday and therefore all tickets must be bought in advance – CLICK HERE TO BUY TICKETS.

Prices – seated
Adult: £18
Concession (65+): £16
Under 18: £10
Under 7 (with paying adult): FREE

Prices – Standing
Adult: £16
Concession (65+): £14
Under 18: £10

Under 7 (with paying adult): FREE

 

Yeovil Town‘s trip to big-spending Wrexham has been rearranged for Tuesday, November 30.

The match at the Racecourse Ground had been scheduled for the opening day of the National League season, but was postponed after an outbreak of COVID-19 in the Glovers’ camp.

There are no details of ticketing arrangements yet, but we’ll update you as soon as they are available.

The opening day trip to big spending Wrexham has been postponed due to COVID-19 cases in the Yeovil Town camp.

The tie had been due to take place at the Racecourse Ground next Saturday, August 21.

The news was confirmed by Wrexham inan article on their website which added:

All at Wrexham AFC would like to wish those affected at Yeovil Town well, and we look forward to meeting you later in the season.

Details of our re-arranged match against Yeovil Town will be posted in due course, along with relevant ticket information.

It was swiftly followed  by an article from Yeovil which said: “A new date for the fixture will be issued in due course.

However, it did not take the Red Dragons long to get over us as they fixed up a  trip to Solihull Moors, whose match against Dover Athletic was postponed due to COVID-19.

The cancellation follows the postponement of the Glovers’ last two pre-season friendlies against Southampton B last Tuesday and the match against AFC Bournemouth Under-23s which had been due to take place this weekend.

As it stands, we will kick-off our National League campaign with the home match against King’s Lynn Town on Saturday, August 28.

With Yeovil Town‘s first game of the new season not taking place in England, but in Wrexham, Wales, there was a little extra delay in confirming just who could attend and in what numbers, but Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford has announced that as of Saturday July 17th Wales would follow England in easing some Covid Protocols.

Drakeford has annouced that Wales will not restrict attendances in outdoor events as they move to ‘Alert Level 1′.

In a series of tweets he confirmed that… “there will be no limit on the amount of people who can gather outdoors in Wales – and we will no longer have to social distance when outdoors”.

This seems to suggest that Yeovil fans will be able to make the trip across the border without restriction.

The rules change when indoors where, numbers will still be reduced and face coverings will still be required and those showing symptoms of Covid will still not be admitted into sporting events.

Ticket details for away supporters are yet to be confirmed, and it is yet to be seen if Wrexham as a football club intend to apply any further restrictions.

The Glovers start the 2021/22 season against Wrexham on Saturday 21st August.

Parkinson celebrates with his Colchester side at Huish Park in 2006

National League side Wrexham have made something of a statement signing today in the dugout announcing that former Bolton and Sunderland manager Phil Parkinson as their new head coach.

Parkinson who has also had spells in charge of Colchester, Charlton, Bradford and Hull put pen to paper on a 12-month rolling contract at the Hollywood-backed Welsh side.

Lancashire-born Parkinson has achieved promotions with Bradford and Colchester in the past as a manager, including securing promotion to the Championship with a 0-0 draw at Huish Park in the 2005/06 season.

In total, the Glovers have faced Parkinson seven times in the opposition dug out, winning two, drawing two and losing three.

Darren Sarll faced the media following Yeovil’s 3-0 loss against Wrexham and talked of the side’s fragility both mentally and physically.

All three goals came in the first half in Wales with Shaun Pearson, Luke Young and a wonderful free kick from Jordan Davies giving the home side an unassailable lead before the break.

When asked to sum up his side’s performance, Sarll said:“There’s a fragility to us, that’s probably the best way how we explain… and it’s all coming up at once, at a tough time for us all.”

Prior to the game, assistant Terry Skiverton said that Yeovil were down the bare bones in terms of fit and available players, a situation which has been made worse, with issues reported for Matt Worthington and Albi Skendi, who both had to come off before half time, with Max Hunt and Carl Dickinson playing through an injury as well as concerns for Alex Bradley and Rhys Murphy prior to kick off.

On his injury crisis, Sarll added: “If I told you the stories of injured players or ill players … I couldn’t write it.”

BBC Somerset’s Tom Seymour confirmed the full extent of the Glovers’ injury problems after the game.

 

Despite the negative result, Sarll did make sure to recognise the positives from a more resilient second half display. “I thought second half, we did better, we contained, we didn’t ever look like scoring a goal, and we were just patching up and plastering over our wounds from the first half.”

The second half also saw the introduction of Toby Stephens, an academy graduate and at just 17 years old, someone Yeovil fans would have been excited to see.

Sarll joked, he was the only fit central midfielder at the club at the moment, before taking time to praise the youngsters cameo appearance.

“Toby deserved to play today, the way he trained yesterday, he deserved to come onto the pitch today… he deserves the opportunity He’s with us for next season, under contract, I really like Toby, I have to remind of his midfield duties, but he took the ball, tried to win it back. For someone at 17 years-old, I think he’s got a really great opportunity, but we are going to have to create a better environment for him to progress.”