Yeovil Town will end the year 2016 in 13th place in the League Two table, after nine fixtures took place today as the main bulk of the weekend matches. Whilst the Glovers were one of three clubs to rearrange their matches to the Friday evening, once all matches had been played the net result was that across all twelve fixtures they remained unchanged - right in the centre of mid-table and five points off Cambridge United who were the final play-off team after Boxing Day, and remain so after their 1-1 draw against Leyton Orient.
In truth, the Christmas period has seen the top six sides cement their ambitions that little bit further, with 6th placed Wycombe Wanderers on a run of nine matches without defeat, seven of which have been victories, including their Friday night 1-0 win over Cheltenham Town. Luton Town lie in 5th place, having beaten Barnet 3-1 today, and both sides are now eight points ahead of the Glovers. Seventh placed Cambridge United are another side in strong form - this afternoon's draw was the first time in six games that they'd dropped points. Ninth placed Colchester United (who beat Stevenage 4-2) and eleventh placed Exeter City (who beat Newport County 4-1) are the other clubs in form, with both currently six unbeaten.
Talking of Newport County, despite having initially rallied under new manager Graham Westley, recent matches suggest they are falling apart again. They have lost all six of their last six matches, conceding 17 goals in the process, and are now five points short of safety at the foot of the table. Whilst Cheltenham Town are also struggling badly in their first season back in the Football League, keep an eye out for Notts County, who have now slipped to 22nd place and are on a run of eight consecutive defeats, with 19 goals conceded during that period. Both clubs should be feeling a little nervous going into the New Year.
Following Friday night's 0-0 draw against Portsmouth at Huish Park, Yeovil Town manager Darren Way spoke to the BBC about the match. With questions from local journalist Chris Spittles, in an interview for BBC Somerset, Darren gives his thoughts on the match, the fog, and what was the imminent loan signing of Birmingham City striker Jack Storer. Read that interview in full via the link below.
For those who want to view match highlights from Friday night's League Two match between Yeovil Town and Portsmouth then these can be viewed (sort of) online. Through the thick fog you'll just about be able to pick out two minutes worth of action from the 0-0 draw that includes Ryan Dickson's valuable second half goalline clearance, as well as Otis Khan's late attempt that came off the goal frame. Watch it via the link below.
On Monday, Yeovil Town make the trip to the Broadfield Stadium, for the League Two fixture against Crawley Town. For those heading to the game, the Ciderspace guide has been updated to cover ticketing, travel, parking, local pubs and club statistics. Find it via the link below.
Yeovil Town have confirmed the loan signing of Birmingham City striker Jack Storer, subject to clearance. With the news of his arrival being already out there in the public domain yesterday, with the player himself having arrived as a 'guest' in last night's 0-0 draw against Portsmouth, the Glovers have now stated that once the transfer window opens tomorrow they will be lodging the paperwork to complete a loan deal.
The 18 year old - who turns 19 on the day of the Crawley Town match - has been signed from January 1st until the end of the 2016-17 season, and will wear the No.18 shirt during his time with the club. Whether he is on the teamsheet at the Broadfield Stadium will depend on the club receiving clearance in time for that match.
Storer will become one of six loans at the club. At present that isn't a problem, with Ryan Hedges expected to be out of the team for around four to six weeks. However, it would strongly imply that one of Yeovil Town's current set of loan players may return to their parent club after the Crawley match - the most obvious scenario would be for Tahvon Campbell's arrangements to be ended, given that his deal is up for renewal after the Crawley Town match, although the club also need to review terms with AFC Bournemouth pair Ben Whitfield and Matt Butcher at the same time. Hedges and Liam Shephard have loan deals that run until the end of the 2016-17 season.
Yeovil Town manager Darren Way has more or less admitted that a deal is in the offing to bring Birmingham City striker Jack Storer to Huish Park, after the 18 year old attended tonight's League Two match against Portsmouth. Of course, until the Football League Offices open in January (and with Bank Holidays to consider, that may not be on New Year's Day) the club cannot submit and approve the paperwork for any intended January business, but if Storer's own Snapchat account was anything to go by earlier today, he will be a Glovers player for a six month period once everything is signed, scanned and pushed through the system - hopefully in time for the January 2nd trip to Crawley Town.
When asked about links with Storer following tonight's 0-0 draw, Way chose to stop short of confirming that Storer was going to be a Yeovil Town player, but on the other hand admitted it was on the cards, in a round about way:
"It's out there now, but until it's signed on the dotted line he best hope I don't change my mind!"
On the game itself, Way said that he thought it was a great game of football, despite the lack of goals, but admitted that the difference between losing and winning games could come down to his players' confidence in front of goal, with a key chance in the final ten minutes falling to Otis Khan but coming off the corner of the goalframe and back out again to keep the game goalless:
"It was a powerful performance from the players. I thought we outworked the opposition. The players from start to finish gave everything again and I just think when you need that little bit of quality, you need a little bit of confidence, and when you get in the position that Otis Khan was in, you have to take it. That was the final moment where I said it was the difference between winning and losing. I felt there was going to be a big risk and reward today in the way that we played, we left three up at times and I didn't think there was any sign of caution. We never once sat back, we were always looking to be a threat in the final third so I thought it was a great game of football."
Way also explained that the early withdrawal of Liam Shephard was not down to injury. The Swansea City loanee went down midway through the first half with what was assumed to be down to him falling awkwardly, but it appears that the right-back had been ill in the lead-up to the match. Hence when he signalled that he was unable to continue, the Glovers dugout were already prepared to bring Bevis Mugabi onto the pitch. Given his problem was merely illness related, that should mean that Shephard shouldn't miss much game time, although Monday's trip to Crawley Town may mean he needs to be assessed for that game.
If you watched Friday night's 0-0 draw against Portsmouth at Huish Park, don't forget to cast your Man of the Match votes. Choose your top three players from the match, plus entertainment and performance ratings along with any other comments you want to make on the game, using the form below.
Yeovil Town gained their second 0-0 draw of the Christmas period this evening, as they ended up having to settle for a share of the points with play-off chasing Portsmouth. At a foggy Huish Park, a fairly even encounter overall saw the visitors create the best first half chances, with Artur Krysiak pulling off a superb save from Kal Naismith in the lead-up to the break. But it was the Glovers who came the closest, as Otis Khan found the goalframe in the way, with his late shot coming off the angle and back out, as they finished December with three games on home turf without finding the back of the net - three fixtures tonight mean that they rise one place to 12th for the time being at least.
The Glovers went into the match making one change to their starting line-up from the team that turned out against Exeter City on Boxing Day. That change was an enforced one with Ryan Hedges ruled out of action for four to six weeks with an ankle injury, allowing Tahvon Campbell the chance to come into the side. In the Portsmouth line-up, they chose to retain their side that won 3-2 on Boxing Day, with Kal Naismith and Michael Smith having also been their most convincing players in the season's earlier EFL Trophy tie.
The match took place in fog. Thick thick fog, meaning that anyone stood behind one goal for the match was only realistically going to see half the game. Thus in the first half, most Yeovil fans got to see the Pompey attacks - those appeared to be the pick of the first half attempts, even if an early Ben Whitfield effort went wide of the target as the first effort at the goal. The first on target one came from Kal Naismith as Artur Krysiak had to punch over his own crossbar for a corner. From that set piece, Naismith's corner found Matt Clarke, but the centre back's attempt went wide. Naismith was again the provider as Michael Smith shot wide, before Carl Baker put one over the bar.
Yeovil were forced into an early change as Liam Shephard went down off the ball - the initial assumption was that he was injured, but post-match indications were that he was merely ill - Bevis Mugabi replaced him. As the first half closed, Yeovil began to assert themselves a bit more, with Otis Khan's shot flying over the bar, whilst another Ben Whitfield attempt went wide. A Khan free kick produced their first on target effort but was too central to worry Pompey keeper David Forde. As the half closed, the best save of the half came from Artur Krysiak as he flung himself at a Naismith shot, with the ball running loose on the parry - thankfully a linesman's offside flag prevented any issues on what might have happened next. Good defending then stopped Michael Doyle from getting in a clean shot from a Carl Baker free kick, as the ball bobbled out via a defender's leg for an apparent corner which never got taken due to the half time whistle.
A fairly quiet and even start to the second period saw neither side offer anything of note until ten minutes in, when Portsmouth's Noel Hunt and Yeovil's Kevin Dawson both had good efforts from distance, but again with the goalkeepers easily positioned to save. Substitutions began to kick in as Francois Zoko was introduced for Tahvon Campbell, with both defences looking very resolute. Artur Krysiak had to save from Michael Smith but was largely well shielded by his back four during the evening, with Pompey getting one clear sight on goal, when a Smith header beat Krysiak to a cross, but with Ryan Dickson anticpating well to hack the loose ball clear - Pompey's best chance of the match.
Then with seven minutes remaining, came Yeovil's best chance. Otis Khan once again found the goal frame frustrating him as his shot inside the box came off crossbar and post and back out again, with Tom Eaves unable to get his boot on the rebound for what would have been an almost certain winner. The Glovers finished the game strongly, but that was to be the one clear moment they had to break the deadlock in a generally even game. The frustration for them will be that they have only picked up two points from their two Christmas home fixtures, although with Pompey almost certainly likely to reach the play-offs this year, holding their more wealthy opponents to a draw was no mean feat on the night. Shame that for many in the crowd, they only saw around 50 percent of the game, as the fog proved to be just as much of a frustration as the angle of Khan's late strike.
Yeovil Town: 1. Artur Krysiak
2. Liam Shephard 6. Alex Lacey 3. Nathan Smith 11. Ryan Dickson (Capt)
7. Kevin Dawson 8. Alex Lawless 28. Ben Whitfield
19. Tahvon Campbell 9. Tom Eaves 10. Otis Khan
Substitutes: 12. Jonny Maddison 5. Bevis Mugabi (21 mins for Liam Shephard) 13. Francois Zoko (71 mins for Tahvon Campbell) 14. Josh Ezewele 16. Matt Butcher (82 mins for Ben Whitfield) 17. Omar Sowunmi 22. Ollie Bassett
Portsmouth: 1. David Forde
26. Gareth Evans 5. Matthew Clarke 6. Christian Burgess 3. Enda Stevens
7. Carl Baker 4. Danny Rose 8. Michael Doyle 22. Kal Naismith
20. Noel Hunt 9. Michael Smith
Substitutes: 10. Milan Lalkovic 13. Liam O'Brien 16. Jack Whatmough 19. Conor Chaplin (82 mins for Carl Baker) 21. Adam Buxton 23. Kyle Bennett (67 mins for Noel Hunt) 24. Amine Linganzi (90 mins for Michael Doyle).
Yeovil Bookings: Ryan Dickson (foul, 90 mins)
Portsmouth Bookings: None
Yeovil Match Statistics: Possession: 52%; Shots: 10; Shots On Target: 5; Corners: 2; Fouls: 7.
Portsmouth Match Statistics: Possession: 48%; Shots: 11; Shots On Target: 4; Corners: 4; Fouls: 11.
Referee: Christopher Sarginson (Lancashire). Assistants: Neil Radford (Worcestershire) and Michael Webb (Surrey). Fourth Official: Adrian Quelch (Dorset).
Yeovil Town's on loan wide man Ryan Hedges is to return to Swansea City for a temporary period, whilst he gets rehabilitation on his ankle injury. The 21 year old has told BBC Somerset tonight that he has sprained ankle ligaments as a result of the injury that he sustained against Exeter City on Boxing Day, and expects to be absent for around four to six weeks, targetting the end of January as the rough timeline for when he hopes to return.
Ryan will be heading back to the Liberty Stadium for most of January, where their Premier League facilities will hopefully speed up his physiotherapy, but will aim to return to Huish Park once he is given clearance by their medical staff to start running again. That will then hopefully allow him to reintegrate with the first team squad sometime around the end of January or start of February. Ryan is already on loan at Yeovil Town until the end of the 2016-17 season - at present there is no suggestion that the deal itself would be curtailed.
Yeovil Town have chosen their starting line-up for this afternoon's League Two match against Portsmouth at Huish Park. The match sees the Glovers name one change compared to the team that played against Exeter City on Boxing Day. Swansea City loanee Ryan Hedges picked up a nasty ankle injury that will rule him out for the foreseeable future - his place in the side is taken by West Bromwich Albion loanee Tahvon Campbell.
Captain Darren Ward (swollen knee) and midfielder Matt Dolan (hamstring) miss their seventh consecutive games. Midfielders Joe Lea and Ollie Bassett were on loan with Dorchester Town but have returned to Huish Park after their deals ended - Bassett gets as far as the bench. Midfielder Kyle Copp who had been on a half-season deal, has left Huish Park to join Merthyr Town today.
The team is as follows:
Yeovil Town: 1. Artur Krysiak
2. Liam Shephard 6. Alex Lacey 3. Nathan Smith 11. Ryan Dickson (Capt)
7. Kevin Dawson 8. Alex Lawless 28. Ben Whitfield
10. Otis Khan 9. Tom Eaves 19. Tahvon Campbell
Yeovil Town are being linked with a loan move for Birmingham City forward Jack Storer. The 18 year old was signed by the Championship side from Stevenage at the tail end of the 2015-16 season, and is under contract until the summer of 2018, after he scored seven goals in pre-season friendlies, four of which were with their first team squad.
In a slightly circular move, Jack is Birmingham born, and began his career with Birmingham City's youth academy before they rejected him at the age of 15 years old. Born on January 2nd 1998 (meaning he is about to turn 19 years old) after he left Birmingham he joined Wolverhampton Wanderers for a year but they stopped short of giving him scholarship. Instead Stevenage took him on for two years, giving him a scholarship and his Football League debut at the age of 17 and 229 days - the August 2015 appearance was to represent his only 11 minutes for Stevenage, but they gave him a professional contract.
By April 2016, Birmingham had performed a u-turn and had to pay money to take back the player that they had rejected three years previously. They paid Stevenage a five figure fee, in a deal that included a number of performance-related add-ons. Since then he has made three Championship appearances (all from the bench) and one EFL Cup appearance for the Blues, although not without drama attached to that.
In the August 2016 match against Wolverhampton Wanderers he came on as a 76th minute substitute but by the 83rd minute he had been sent off for showing violent conduct towards Wolves' Kortney Hause, having moved his head towards the player's face in what was deemed an act of aggression. When leaving the field, he definitely showed an act of aggression as he kicked the advertising hoarding, suffering a foot injury that put him out for a month! Since then he's only made one more substitute appearance, playing for their Under-23 side.
As yet neither club has confirmed any loan deal - however it would be impossible for the agreement to be cleared until the January transfer window opens, just prior to the Crawley Town match. He is a conventional central striker, standing at 6'1" tall, rather than a wide player, which would tend to suggest that he isn't a direct replacement for the injured Ryan Hedges. On his Snapchat account, Storer has put out a message saying 'New chapter in my career' with 'Yeovil' at the top of the message. Hence it would appear all parties have agreed terms but are awaiting the opening of the window to push the deal through.
Yeovil Town midfielder Kyle Copp has left the club. The former Swansea City player had been on a half-season contract at Huish Park but had struggled to break into the side, getting just two minutes worth of football, as a substitute in the EFL Trophy match against Portsmouth back on August 30th. In recent matches he has been generally the last player to be selected of the available squad, often failing to make the teamsheet except when the club were down to their final eighteen fit and available players.
Kyle has now signed for Merthyr Town, who are managed by former Glovers midfielder Gavin Williams - a player who Copp shares a number of attributes with in terms of his style of play. There's no contract length revealed but Copp himself has confirmed he has joined the South Wales side:
"Happy to join Merthyr Town. Look forward to playing some games and hopefully help the lads in the promotion push."
Gavin Williams has indicated that the deal is subject to international clearance going through if Copp is able to play for them in their Bank Holiday match against Redditch United in time:
"I'm delighted that Kyle has agreed to join us from Yeovil. I was keen to strengthen the squad after a few departures, and [Kyle has] the quality to take us forward."
The very best of luck to Kyle in his career at Merthyr and in the future.
Yeovil Town remain confident that tonight's match against Portsmouth will go ahead despite the current foggy conditions. The League Two match, which kicks off at 7.45p.m. on Friday night, has had some concerns given there is plenty of thick fog patches across Southern England.
However, the club have put out several messages this afternoon, stating that "the fog is clearing surrounding Huish Park and at the moment there is no doubt regarding the match". Needless to say, particularly once we reach nightfall, and around the period that the turnstiles are due to open, keep an eye on Social Media for any updates on the game.
Officials for the League Two fixture between Yeovil Town and Portsmouth have been published by the Football League. The match takes place on Friday 30th December 2016 (tonight) with a 7.45p.m. kick-off at Huish Park. The man in charge of the fixture will be referee Christopher Sarginson (Lancashire).
Mr Sarginson was promoted to the Football League's referee list in the summer of 2008. We had him twice during the 2008-09 season with the first being November 2008's 0-1 home defeat against Peterborough United. We were a little unimpressed by Mr Sarginson's handling of the game, where six players got booked, but where a firmer grip on some of the earlier action might have stopped the game from boiling over at various points. In the end the only surprise was that both sides kept 11 players on the pitch.
Later that same season, we had him for a home match against Milton Keynes Dons in March 2009. Perhaps our attention was swayed a little with three new loan signings in the side on that day, but the match referee doesn't get a mention in our match report, bar the fact that he awarded us a fairly clear-cut penalty. Sadly, we didn't convert it. We then had him for the August 2009 Tuesday night match against Exeter City that ended up in a 1-1 draw at St James Park. Just the one booking that night, which we had no complaints about, and a good unfussy performance.
After that, he took charge of the October 2011 2-2 draw against Colchester United. Here he did us a bit of a favour - chalking off a goal for the home side after Steven Gillespie was ruled to have fouled Glovers keeper Jed Steer when putting the ball into the net. Not too surprisingly, the Essex club were less than delighted about the decision; Gillespie said after the game: "Keepers get protection, everyone knows that. I had a bit of leverage with the arms, but I thought it was a goal. I was up and away to celebrate. Even a couple of their lads after the game said they didnít see anything wrong with that." The Western Gazette had a somewhat different view of Mr Sarginson's performance, saying that their main grumble was the six yellow cards - four against Yeovil - that he dished out saying that he "gave a number of soft free kicks and yellow cards but was largely spot on with his decisions."
Our paths crossed in December 2011, when we managed a 0-0 draw against Rochdale up at Spotland. This was a decidedly dull game where the biggest incident involved a red card given to Kerrea Gilbert. Partly because the midfielder was already on a yellow card, there seemed to be a bit of confusion over whether he'd been given a second yellow or a straight red. But in terms of the actual incident, it wasn't one that we made a big fuss about either way - an over-the-top tackle. The Western Gazette said of Mr Sarginson's contribution to the afternoon: "Neither side can have complaints about his competent afternoon."
The December 2013 meeting involving him though was a corker that will live long in the memories of Yeovil Town supporters - although Paul Ince will be doing the best to blot it out of his mind. That match seemed to be heading towards a relatively normal 1-0 win for the Glovers until Blackpool seemed to lose the plot in the closing minutes. Kirk Broadfoot, Ricardo Fuller and Gary MacKenzie all got their marching orders in the 90th minute - two for a pair of yellow cards in quick succession, whilst Fuller got his for lamping Luke Ayling.
Sometimes you can blame a referee for losing control of the match, and sometimes the responsibility has to come firmly onto the players. This was a case of the latter, as the Tangerines ended the game with just eight men, and Ince endured what he described a bit of a crap night - amongst other things! Ince's team ended up with eight players sent off before Christmas, and himself given a five match ban in another match, but denied his side had a disciplinary problem and instead blamed the officials and the fixture computer. Which is a bit 'crap' really. Like ourselves, the Western Gazette felt the referee was given little choice in the matter saying "the referee was having a perfectly straightforward night until someone in the Blackpool dugout pressed the self-destruct button. He had no option but to send off three visitors in an unnecessarily fiery finale."
Having dealt with such a 'crap' game, Mr Sarginson would probably have been glad to have had a much quieter match for our January 2015 away match against Preston North End. A couple of late bookings was about his only impact in a 1-1 draw. No complaints. We then had him twice during the 2015-16 season - firstly for the October 2015 match against Cambridge United, where we had a horrible first half performance, followed by a decent second period - but all of our own making. We can't recall him playing too big a part in that game, even if he brought his yellow card out four times. Just over a month later, he took charge of our 1-0 victory over Stevenage in the FA Cup. Aside from turning down a strong Stevenage penalty appeal - which we won't argue about! - he had a quiet game. We then had him again during the 2016-17 season for the 1-0 victory over Crewe Alexandra at Gresty Road - again another quiet match with just one booking.
As an assistant referee, he has waved the flag at an FA Vase Final, a Football League Play-Off Final and a UEFA Cup tie. As a referee, his biggest game was to take charge of the Conference Play-Off Semi-Final Second Leg tie between Torquay United and Exeter City.
Mr Sarginson will be assisted by Neil Radford (Worcestershire) and Michael Webb (Surrey). The Fourth Official will be Adrian Quelch (Dorset).
Yeovil Town supporters travelling to Crawley Town on Monday should note that there is likely to be disruption to rail services in the Sussex area on the day. There is an ongoing dispute between Southern Rail and various rail unions that includes a Conductors' Strike on Monday 2nd January 2017 that is likely to lead to delays and cancellations of various services.
Exactly what gets cancelled and what stays in service will only be known on the day of the match, meaning that any services going out of London Victoria or Clapham Junction down to Crawley may get cancelled if the relevant Conductor isn't available. Southern Rail services have been subject to significant disruption and delays in recent months, even when there are no strikes taking place, meaning that it is hard to tell what is the effect of strike action and what is general train operator incompetence.
Needless to say, if you are planning to take the train to Crawley, keep an eye on this page and on the number of services that are running. In addition, if you are taking a route other than the standard one from Victoria/Clapham down to Crawley, we'd recommend that you check the service is still running - Southern Rail have already pulled certain routes from the timetable entirely.
They intend to use the Saturday timetable during the Bank Holiday Monday, although that may quickly become a work of fiction. Allow extra time for both legs of your journey, rather than planning to turn up just before kick-off, and hopefully you'll still get there.
Tickets for Yeovil Town's EFL Trophy Third Round tie against Reading Under-21s are now on sale from the Huish Park Ticket Office. The match will take place on Tuesday 10th January 2017, with a 7.00p.m. kick-off. Ticket prices for this fixture have already been set around the whole ground at:
For Season Ticket Holders, you have until Friday 6th January at 4.00p.m. to reserve your usual spot on the ground (particularly relevant to those in the seated parts of the stadium) - unsold seats will be released for General Sale on Monday 9th January.
All fans can immediately purchase tickets - there are no restrictions in place. They'll shortly be made available for purchase via the online Portal as well.
In addition to the list of suggestions for improvement, which was published earlier today, Yeovil Town's Supporters' Survey results also detail some statistical analysis of the multiple-choice questions that were asked during the survey. The survey fell into two areas - firstly questions on the type of supporters that were responding to the survey, and then followed by fans' views on the Matchday Experience and their overall value as supporters of the club.
The key data extracted from the survey is as follows:
Types Of Supporters: 1. Current Season Ticket Holders: 51.6%. Former Season Ticket Holders: 30.4%
2. The vast majority of fans attend games with friends (37.3%) or family (28.4%) with other options for partner/spouse or general children that would up that total if they were bundled into the family option.
3. Fans are spread far and wide - only 21.9% live less than 15 minutes from the ground - the majority need up to half an hour to get there (33.8%) with another 27.5% needing up to an hour to get there. Just under 10 percent need over 90 minutes to get to the ground.
4. Despite this, the vast majority arrive at the ground during the hour before kick-off, with 33.1% turning up with 30-59 minutes to go, whilst 30.4% turn up with half an hour to go, with 15% leaving it until the final 15 minutes before kick-off.
5. Despite a large number not being season ticket holders currently, 58% of you attend over 16 home matches a season. Just 3.3% of those responded said they'd stopped attending games but were responding.
6. Most people buy their tickets in advance, with online (30.1%) and via phone (24.7%) favoured - only 14.1% leave it until matchday.
Matchday Experience: 7. What's important when attending a match: There was a huge spread of opinion of what attracts fans to a specific game, with no one single pattern. However, Ticket Prices (3.39 out of 5 for importance) was followed by the importance of the fixture (2.59) and whether friends/family were attending. Yeovil fans are clearly a hardy bunch - the weather was the least important factor - thankfully as it's the one thing the club can't control.
8. What's good and bad about the club: Rated good were the Ticket Office (3.4) and the Club Shop (3.1). Rated badly were Food and Drink (1.53) and Pre-Match/Half-Time Entertainment (1.65).
9. What do fans want to see improved? Better catering was a mile ahead on 32.7%, with more entertainment/activities (19.9%) behind it, strongly mirroring the answers to the previous question. Fans were least concerned with Digital Matchday Coverage on social media.
10. Season Ticket Offers: The majority of fans (65.5%) want to see 23 Home Games at a more competitive price. This question though becomes rather fudged in statistical form, given that one of the options invited fans to state what benefits they would like to see as part of their season ticket, meaning it would have been better structured as a separate question - 24.7% chose that option.
11. What would encourage you to bring more family/friends to games? Again the top answer was better bar/catering facilities (26.6%) with ticket promotions for first time attendees (15.7%) narrowly beating entertainment activities (15.3%).
12. How do you rate the catering? Given that fans were asked to score marks out of five for each category, with 1 being Poor and 5 being Excellent, it is particularly damning that this question scored marks of 1.49 (Price), 1.58 (Variety), 1.82 (Queue Time) and 1.83 (Taste).
13. How likely are you to buy something from the ground? Other than your ticket, you are most likely to purchase a Programme (2.86) and least likely to buy Food (1.83). The low scores in all factors would imply that a lot of fans are unlikely to purchase anything.
14. Rate the Matchday Experience: The club score just 3.95 out of 10 as a rating.
15. Rate other club factors: The club's Community work scores the highest here, with 2.92 out of five, whilst emails from the club are rated lowest at 2.47.
16. What do fans see as important to them? This question is phrased as being irrespective of whether the club are getting it right or wrong, but merely at the level of importance fans attach to it. The top marks were given to Players Acknowledging Fans (25.4%) followed by the club holding regular Fans Surveys (19%).
17. How do you feel valued as a Supporter? The club score just 2.89 out of 10 as a rating. It's worth noting that once this is factored down to a score out of five (to compare with other answers) that this is the single worst statistic across the whole survey.
Whilst the club's response to the survey has not yet formulated an action plan, nor attached any priority to fans responses, the above data does give three key factors that the club should consider prioritising against:
a) The low score for how valued Supporters feel by the Club is the stand-out statistic, and appropriately the final question in the survey. Furthermore, feeling valued by a Football Club should be something that can be improved by low or zero cost change. Given it is such a key factor in a supporter-club relationship, the club needs to assess why it's the worst score in the survey.
b) The repetitive responses to the Catering and Food/Drink areas of the club point to a clear problem in that area in the eyes of supporters. This is also a key revenue generation area for the club, and if they are not getting it right, then there is a risk it will lose the club money.
c) There is also a strong pointer to a lack of pre-match and half-time entertainment of a suitable quality. Again this should be read when considering that although many fans are shown to travel a long distance to get to home games, many still time their journeys to arrive during the final hour before kick-off. Indirectly this may impact on revenue, if fans cut their stay at Huish Park down to the bare minimum.
Yeovil Town's on loan wide man Ryan Hedges has been firmly ruled out of tomorrow night's home match against Portsmouth, with no firm prognosis on his injury. The Swansea City loanee was clattered in the second minute of the Boxing Day home match against Exeter City by City defender Troy Brown, leading to him being substituted early on during the match.
Hedges was sent off for a hospital scan on an injured ankle, but as of Thursday afternoon, the club had not got back details of how long he would be absent for, except to immediately rule him out of the December 30th match against Portsmouth that has been recently rearranged to be a Friday night 7.45p.m. kick-off. Way's views on the situation, given to the Western Gazette, tend to point to something that might see him absent for a while:
"Ryan is going to be struggling to participate in the foreseeable future. We're waiting on the extent and how long that's going to be, but we're disappointed. I was disappointed in the tackle. I knew on the day it was a bad tackle and to lose a player of that calibre, we've got to make sure we do our best now, that someone else fills that spot and I'm hoping that someone can do that within the group."
The Glovers will also have to manage the potential absence of defender Darren Ward and midfielder Matt Dolan. Both players have missed the last six matches - Dolan with a hamstring strain that was initially intended to keep him out for two-to-three weeks, whilst Ward's swollen knee was initially described as merely a decision to 'rest' him but has become something more long term, with neither player seen since November 19th.
As per the last two fixtures, both players are being labelled as 'close' but without any commitment to them being involved in tomorrow night's match. The Glovers should be able to add midfield pair Ollie Bassett and Joe Lea to their available squad for selection - their loan spells with Dorchester Town ended with the vacant management position at the Avenue Stadium almost certainly having a fair bit to do with their arrangements fizzling out fairly quietly.
Yeovil Town have published details of the feedback they received following a Supporters Survey that was conducted during October 2016. The club received responses from 556 people during the consultation period. Whilst they don't divulge any specific comments or detail provided by supporters as part of those submissions, they provide statistical responses to the multiple-choice questions, and have provided a summary of what they believe fans have asked the club to improve on in the freeform text responses.
We've tried to group the club's summary of what needs to be improved into sections, which gives a list as follows:
Customer Service Issues: Fans would like to be made more welcome
A friendlier approach in hospitality
Food And Drink: Cheaper and more affordable catering facilities
More catering options
A solution to long queues in the beer tent pre-match
Matchday Experience: TV games to be shown at Huish Park after games
More upbeat music around the ground and as the players enter the field/music needs to identify with the club
Better half-time entertainment
More fan involvement on a matchday, especially with younger supporters
Players to meet supporter before the game
Improve wifi at the ground
A big screen/TV scoreboard
Sound quality on the tannoy
Cover the away end
Outside Matchdays: More information on the website in between matches
A box at Huish Park for fans to give suggestions on media content
Improved communication between the club and fans
School football tournaments at Huish Park
More school visits
More advertisements around the town
Stadium Maintenance: Improve the upkeep of the stadium
Paint the stadium
Ticketing and Merchandising: Lower ticket prices
More ticket offers such as kid for a quid
Season ticket holder incentives
Birthday party packages for Junior Glovers
Season ticket holder rewards
A Ďpay what you wantí games
Twentyís plenty (£20 tickets)
The club haven't divulged any action plan associated with the above summary comments, whilst there's no priority attached to any of the above issues - i.e. whether certain comments or suggestions came up more repetitively than others, so all of the above should be treated as an unsorted list. The club indicate that in the New Year they plan to make 'changes around the club' to reflect the above concerns and suggestions.
There was a bit of a false start on this just before Christmas, but Portsmouth have confirmed that they have sold out their final batch of tickets for Friday night's League Two fixture against Yeovil Town. The match takes place on Friday 30th December at Huish Park, with a 7.45p.m. kick-off - note carefully the rearranged date if you have been using the fixture list that was published at the start of the season.
Portsmouth sold out their initial allocation of just over 1,500 tickets, leading up to the Christmas break but have today confirmed that they have also sold their secondary allocation of 500 terrace tickets. In practice the total number of tickets sold will be slightly above the 2,000 mark as the seated block in the Screwfix Stand holds slightly above 500 - last season's travelling numbers for Portsmouth were confirmed as 2,088 in a total crowd of 6,051 which was the highest attendance of the 2015-16 season. With this fixture falling during the Christmas holiday period the overall attendance should match or beat that.
Tickets remain on sale for home supporters ONLY - give the Huish Park Ticket Office a call or a visit, or use the online portal linked below. For all other fixture and ticketing information, follow the links below.
Yeovil Town's EFL Trophy fixture against Reading Under-21s has had a change to its original kick-off time. The match will now start at 7.00p.m. on Tuesday 10th January 2017, rather than the usual 7.45p.m. start. There's no explanation as to why the earlier kick-off time has been adopted, but this has been an occasional feature of the EFL Trophy in recent seasons, to bring forward the time match starts.
The match will be played to a conclusion on the night, with no extra time for the EFL Trophy Third Round tie. If the scores are level after 90 minutes, then a penalty shoot-out will decide which team goes through to the next round.
As yet, tickets are NOT on sale but when they are, they will be priced as follows:
Yeovil Town's final home match before Christmas saw them take on Barnet in a League Two clash. After an inert first half, the Glovers threatened to take over the game during the second period, with both Otis Khan and Tom Eaves hitting the crossbar. As is sometimes the case in such matches, the away side then nipped in and scored the winner - the end result was a 0-1 defeat with Alex Nicholls the match winner.
Man of the Match voting saw centre-back pairing Nathan Smith and Alex Lacey recognised in almost equal doses. Up front Tom Eaves put in another battling performance, but voters were most impressed with Swansea City wide man Ryan Hedges - another day, and another consistent performance by him in the front three.
Full voting as shown below, with outright MOTM votes shown in brackets:
1. Ryan Hedges 140 (10)
2. Tom Eaves 112 (6)
3. Alex Lacey 70 (5)
4. Nathan Smith 70 (3)
5. Kevin Dawson 42 (1)
6. Otis Khan 42 (3)
7. Alex Lawless 30 (1)
8. Liam Shephard 8 (0)
9. Ben Whitfield 6 (0)
10. Ryan Dickson 2 (0)
OVERALL MATCH RATING : 7.38
Performance : 7.52
Entertainment : 7.24
VOTES RECEIVED : 29
Just before Boxing Day's League Two match kicked off against Exeter City at Huish Park, Yeovil Town manager Darren Way spoke to the BBC about the match. With questions from local journalist Chris Spittles, in an interview for BBC Somerset, Darren explains why he recalled AFC Bournemouth loanee Ben Whitfield to the side, along with Tom Eaves and Otis Khan, and also explains the brief interest he had in Reuben Reid over the summer. Read that interview via the link below.
Yeovil Town midfielder Ollie Bassett is to return to Huish Park, after his loan spell at Dorchester Town ended. The 18 year old's final contribution of a three month loan spread across two spells, was to play in their 1-1 draw against Weymouth. He clocked up a further 90 minutes, in a match that saw Nathan Walker get the Magpies goal from the penalty spot, in front of 2,033 spectators. Overall Bassett made 16 appearances, scoring three goals.
Bassett confirmed to the Dorset Echo that his deal was coming to an end after the game, and that although he was prepared to go back out on loan somewhere - and even to consider a return to Dorchester - his first action would be to head back to Yeovil Town, and talk to manager Darren Way about his likely plans:
"It has been good to get regular games week in week out and they are a good bunch of lads (at Dorchester). They welcomed me in and encouraged me, I've really enjoyed it. I have liked it and if the opportunity came again I would definitely come back. Hopefully I can go back to Yeovil and get a few games. I will speak to the gaffer (Darren Way) and see what he wants. I may go back out on loan, I may go back to Dorchester but we are not sure yet. I just want to kick on from what I have done at Dorchester."
On a more low-key note, it would seem likely that Joe Lea's loan spell at Dorchester has also come to an end. His deal actually ended on December 17th, but neither club have made any announcement about his future at the Avenue Stadium. His absence from Dorchester's squad for the Boxing Day fixture would suggest that his loan spell has not been extended, with his time with the Magpies somewhat interrupted by an ankle injury sustained at the start of the second month. Assuming he has returned to Huish Park, his time ends with eight appearances to his name across the two months.
A significant factor in Bassett and Lea's return to Huish Park lies in the exit of Dorchester management duo Mark Jermyn and Nick Crittenden. Both bowed out, with Boxing Day's fixture acting as a farewell match, with them having made the decision to leave the club just over a week ago. Dorchester have also said farewell to captain Jake Smeeton, with the former Glovers player making the decision to join Poole Town at the same time as Jermyn and Crittenden's exit. With Jermyn having clocked up over 700 appearances, Crittenden bowing out with close to 300 appearances to his name, and Smeeton having broken through the 200 barrier recently, this is definitely the end of an era at Dorchester Town.
Yeovil Town left-back Ryan Dickson has been nominated in the League Two Team Of The Day. The divisional team, published by The League Paper recognises Ryan's performance in the 0-0 draw against Exeter City that saw him part of the back four that kept a clean sheet against the Grecians, whilst he was captaining the side.
Ryan is nominated in a set of eleven players that include Doncaster Rovers striker Andy Williams - his single goal helped put Donny on top of the League Two table after the Boxing Day fixtures. The full team reads as follows:
Trevor Carson (Hartlepool United)
Richard Brindley (Colchester United), Scott Cuthbert (Luton Town), Tom Eastman (Colchester United), Ryan Dickson (Yeovil Town) Tom Bolarinwa (Grimsby Town), Danny Rose (Portsmouth), Andrew Fleming (Morecambe), George Cooper (Crewe Alexandra)
John Akinde (Barnet), Andy Williams (Doncaster Rovers)
For those who want to view match highlights from yesterday's 0-0 draw against Exeter City, these are now available online. It won't be a surprise to find the looping header from Tom Eaves being the pick of the crop, whilst the same player is also thwarted by an offside flag during the second half that stopped him breaking through. There are also a number of Grecians efforts on goal across the two minutes worth of highlights. Watch via the YouTube clip below.
The Green and White Supporters Club have set their travel plans for the forthcoming Lesgue Two match against Crawley Town. The match takes place at the Broadfield Stadium on Monday 2nd January 2016, with a 3.00p.m. kick-off. Departure times and prices are listed as follows:
Crawley Town : Monday 2nd January 2017. Huish Park: 8.45a.m. Adult Members: £22.00; Member Concessions: £20.00 Adult Non-Members: £24.00; Non-Member Concessions: £22.00
To place your booking, send a text message to Paul Hadlow on 07736 044570. If you want to call him please only do so after 6.00p.m. You can also reach him at email@example.com
Remember in all cases to ensure you make clear which match you are booking for, your full name (and any other names you are booking for) and a contact telephone number. You may be asked to pay a deposit of £5.00 to reserve your seat for the trip.
Following Boxing Day's 0-0 draw against Exeter City at Huish Park, Yeovil Town manager Darren Way spoke to the BBC about the match. With questions from local journalist Chris Spittles, in an interview for BBC Somerset, Darren gives his views on the overall performance, a second half penalty appeal, the injury to Swansea City loanee Ryan Hedges and the half time whistle that never was. Read that interview via the link below.
If you watched Monday afternoon's 0-0 draw against Exeter City at Huish Park, don't forget to cast your Man of the Match votes. Choose your top three players from the match, plus entertainment and performance ratings along with any other comments you want to make on the game, using the form below.
Yeovil Town's on loan wide man Ryan Hedges will be sent off for a scan, to diagnose if there is any damage to his ankle, following a bad tackle during this afternoon's 0-0 draw with Exeter City. The on loan Swansea City man was on the pitch for just ten minutes today, but in truth only participated for around two of those minutes, as he was victim of a flying tackle from Troy Brown who picked up the opening booking of the game.
That was as far as Hedges got during the afternoon, despite his attempt to continue for a few additional minutes, and speaking to BBC Somerset after the match, manager Darren Way said that he would be off to hospital later to get a scan done on the injury to see if there was any ligament damage, or whether it was just an impact injury:
"It was a poor tackle - a very poor tackle. There were one or two poor tackles throughout that game. Ryan is a big player for us and he causes the opposition loads of problems. But he'll be assessed now, down at the hospital and he'll have a scan and hopefully he'll be okay."
In terms of the overall game, Way felt that his side had done enough, particularly during the second half, to deserve to win the match, despite the Glovers drawing a blank for the second home game running. The closest they came was when a Tom Eaves header came back off the crossbar during the second half, with Grecians keeper Christie Pym not being brought into action for too much other than crosses into the box. However, Way felt that there were opportunities there to have won the match:
"I think if you were a supporter watching that game today, I thought the second half performance was terrific. I did feel that I was a little bit disappointed in the way that we played in the first half compared to previous games. It was quiet and there wasn't enough energy, and there wasn't enough cleverness in the final third. What you've seen in the second half is a reaction once again where the players were giving everything for this football club. I think there were perhaps four or five chances. Ben Whitfield's shot normally on another day that would fly into the back of the net. There is just that little bit of lady luck is what's needed now to turn a dominant second half into three points."
Yeovil Town ground out a 0-0 draw with Exeter City at Huish Park this afternoon, as they struggled to create clear-cut chances during the majority of the 90 minutes. Whilst the Grecians forced Artur Krysiak into a number of saves through Ollie Watkins and David Wheeler, Yeovil's best chance by far came midway through the second period when a Tom Eaves header came off the crossbar, but in actual shots to make Exeter keeper Christie Pym work for his money, these were few and far between, leaving the Glovers in 13th place after the day's scores.
The Glovers went into the match making three changes to their starting line-up. All three were tactical, as the Glovers headed back to the side that had beaten Crawley Town 5-0 three matches ago. Otis Khan and Tom Eaves cane in for Tahvon Campbell and Francois Zoko, whilst in midfield Ben Whitfield came in for Matt Butcher. In the Grecians line-up Reuben Reid started whilst on the bench Joel Grant was available to come on.
The first half saw the Glovers start brightly across the opening 15 minutes, albeit without creating too much themselves. It started with a typical Boxing Day bit of feisty tackling with Troy Brown deservedly going into the book for taking out Ryan Hedges. Unfortunately after a few minutes it became clear that the Yeovil wide man's ankle wasn't going to survive that tackle and he had to retire early, replaced by Matt Butcher, with Ben Whitfield being pushed higher up the pitch.
Chances for either side were few and far between, with Reuben Reid firing well wide of the target for the first effort of any kind. Then came Yeovil's only true first half effort as Nathan Smith glanced a header wide of the target from a corner. City weren't exactly pressurising themselves, with a Reid shot blocked by Alex Lacey, with the same defender doing the same from an Ollie Watkins effort. Artur Krysiak's only true contribution to the half came when Reid did finally give Lacey the slip, with the keeper coming off his line to rescue the situation. Inside six minutes of injury time - extended to eight after one fan in the crowd 'blew for half time' using his own whistle - Watkins fired over the bar, completing a half in which neither keeper had to make a save.
The second half didn't change that pattern too much, as defenders got in the way of shots - a Ben Whitfield attempt span out for a corner off a defender's leg. Then there was a big shout from the crowd for a penalty as the ball pinged off the arm of Jordan Moore-Taylor - a clear handball, but presumably referee Tim Robinson saw it as more of a ricochet than one of true intent.
Then came Yeovil's killer chance - by far the best they had all game as Ryan Dickson's cross into the box saw the ball loop off the head of Tom Eaves, past Christie Pym, but off the crossbar and back out. Eaves had a frustrating half at times, with the linesman's offside flag and a few fouls stopping some of his work, but the Match Sponsors presumably had it in mind that he was the Yeovil player that went closest to breaking the deadlock when they awarded him the player of the day.
At the other end, Exeter's counter-attacking showed why they have an impressive away record. The Glovers had most of the territory, but in truth the Grecians had more of the shots. Substitute Liam McAllinden almost scored with his first shot as he forced Krysiak to save low down. Lee Holmes shot wide, followed by McAllinden again being denied by Krysiak at his near post. At the other end, Tom Eaves got the ball in the net, but in a manner that suggested he knew the offside flag had frustrated him again.
That was probably about as close as either side went in the closing stages, with the only notable thing being that referee Tim Robinson managed to somehow clock up six bookings in a match where really only that opening tackle by Brown had been truly unreasonable. The goalless draw was probably a fair one, and leaves the Glovers five points off the play-offs, but in a solid mid-table position.
Yeovil Town: 1. Artur Krysiak
2. Liam Shephard 6. Alex Lacey 3. Nathan Smith 11. Ryan Dickson (Capt)
7. Kevin Dawson 8. Alex Lawless 28. Ben Whitfield
10. Otis Khan 9. Tom Eaves 23. Ryan Hedges
Substitutes: 12. Jonny Maddison 5. Bevis Mugabi 13. Francois Zoko (77 mins for Ben Whitfield) 14. Josh Ezewele 16. Matt Butcher (10 mins for Ryan Hedges) 17. Omar Sowunmi 19. Tahvon Campbell
Exeter City: 30. Christy Pym
28. Jack Stacey 39. Troy Brown 15. Jordan Moore-Taylor 3. Craig Woodman
11. David Wheeler 4. Lloyd James 25. Jake Taylor 10. Lee Holmes
14. Ollie Watkins 33. Reuben Reid
Substitutes: 1. Robert Olejnik 6. Jordan Tillson 7. Ryan Harley (50 mins for Craig Woodman) 12. Joel Grant (77 mins for Lee Holmes) 16. Matt Oakley 19. Liam McAlinden (61 mins for Reuben Reid) 23. Connor Riley-Lowe
Yeovil Bookings: Kevin Dawson (kicking ball away, 44 mins), Matt Butcher (foul, 75 mins), Nathan Smith (foul, 79 mins), Tom Eaves (foul, 90 mins)
Exeter City Bookings: Troy Brown (foul, 2 mins), Liam McAlinden (foul, 67 mins)
Yeovil Match Statistics: Possession: 59%; Shots: 5; Shots On Target: 0; Corners: 7; Fouls: 16.
Exeter City Match Statistics: Possession: 41%; Shots: 9; Shots On Target: 3; Corners: 3; Fouls: 12.
Referee: Tim Robinson (West Sussex). Assistants: Ian Cooper (Kent) and David Avent (Northamptonshire). Fourth Official: Adam Bromley (Devon).
Attendance: 6,086 (with 1,359 Exeter City supporters).
Yeovil Town manager Darren Way has confirmed that he did try to re-sign former striker Reuben Reid when he left Plymouth Argyle, but the two parties didn't get close to agreeing terms. Reid lines up in the Exeter City side for this afternoon's League Two match at Huish Park, as a former Glovers player, but was a free agent for much of this summer, with clubs such as Newport County trying to agree terms but failing to do so.
Eventually, Reid surprised a number in Devon by agreeing to sign for Plymouth's rivals Exeter City on September 13th, and has gone on to score four times in 16 appearances for Paul Tisdale's side. Way spoke about Reid's return to Huish Park today, and told BBC Somerset that his time spent looking for a new club could come down to him pricing himself out of the reach of side's like the Glovers, admitting they couldn't afford to take him on:
"Perhaps he may have wanted too much money. We couldn't afford him, that was for sure. He's a good player and I've known Reuben for a long time now and he'll be doing his best to get one over on us. I spoke to him, but I just couldn't get anywhere near his wages."
Way would have been well aware of Reid's wage demands at League One level, given he was the club's First Team Coach when Reid was on the club's books under Gary Johnson. The Bristolian had been brought in during the 2012-13 season, but lost his place in the side when Paddy Madden and James Hayter struck up a regular goalscoring partnership, and ended up being loaned out to Plymouth Argyle, with him eventually signing a permanent deal at Home Park.
Yeovil Town have chosen their starting line-up for this afternoon's League Two match against Exeter City at Huish Park. The match sees the Glovers name three changes compared to the team that played against Carlisle United nine days ago. Both appear to be tactical, with Tom Eaves preferred to Francois Zoko whilst Ben Whitfield swaps with his AFC Bournemouth team-mate Matt Butcher. Meanwhile Otis Khan comes back in for Tahvon Campbell.
Omar Sowunmi had been out with an unspecified injury last weekend but returns to the bench, displacing Kyle Copp. Captain Darren Ward (swollen knee) and midfielder Matt Dolan (hamstring) miss their sixth consecutive games. Midfielders Joe Lea and Ollie Bassett are on loan with Dorchester Town although Lea's deal at the Avenue expired on December 17th - there's been no word from either camp as to whether that's been extended or ended.
The team is as follows:
Yeovil Town: 1. Artur Krysiak
2. Liam Shephard 6. Alex Lacey 3. Nathan Smith 11. Ryan Dickson (Capt)
7. Kevin Dawson 8. Alex Lawless 28. Ben Whitfield
10. Otis Khan 9. Tom Eaves 23. Ryan Hedges
Admission to Yeovil Town's Hospitality Marquee (aka the Beer Tent) this afternoon will be to home supporters only. We'd presume this is a capacity-related decision than any issues with the Grecians supporters. They had sold around 900 tickets for the Boxing Day fixture as of Christmas Eve, so it can probably be assumed that the same policy will be in force for the December 30th match against Portsmouth given that they had sold in excess of 1,500 tickets during the week leading up to Christmas.
Grecians fans will be able to purchase alcohol outside the ground from something labelled as a 'Booze Bar' - we think that is one of the mobile tea bar huts outside the turnstiles that has sometimes been used to serve plastic bottles.
Once Yeovil Town play their December 30th fixture against Portsmouth, they'll be at the halfway point of the 2016-17 season. Albeit two games early, Christmas is a good time to take stock of where we are in both the league table and the overall statistics, strengths and weaknesses of where we are now. The latest Taff's Gloversblog takes a mince pie and chews on that - read it via the link below and feel free to add your own views at the foot of the article.
Officials for the League Two match between Yeovil Town and Exeter City have been published by the Football League. The match takes place on Monday 26th December (Boxing Day) at Huish Park, with a 3.00p.m. kick-off. The man in charge of the fixture will be referee Tim Robinson (West Sussex). He was promoted to the Football League's referees list in the summer of 2012 and we've now had him five times as a referee. He's been placed on the PGMO Select Group 2 list for the 2016-17 season - a set of fully professional officials that now largely take charge of Championship level fixtures.
The first time we saw him was for the November 2012 home match against Hartlepool United which we won 1-0. He produced four yellow cards on the day - one against ourselves and three against the visitors. We were relatively happy with his performance, although the visitors may hold different opinion. He can't be blamed too much for Antony Sweeney's second half goal being chalked off for an offside flag, but Hartlepool were furious when he denied them a penalty midway through the second half when Byron Webster blocked a header with his arm. Ball-to-hand ruled Mr Robinson.
We then had him for the March 2013 home game against Walsall. Normally booking-free games get the thumbs up from most football supporters, but on this occasion we felt his 'hands off' approach was a little bit too extreme. We had two strong penalty shouts during the match, as James Hayter appeared to be fouled, quickly followed by Dan Burn getting wrestled to the floor. On both occasions, no decision was given, leaving manager Gary Johnson feeling that he was too inexperienced as an official to cope with what was a crucial fixture:
"He was seeing little pushes and was blowing up for pushes from a corner, but he wasn't seeing the major decisions. The referee has got to find whatever level he's at as well. The assessors have got to find out whether these first year lads that are just coming into the game can handle the big game. That's what they have to decide and we don't have a say in it. They say that we do, but we don't."
This theme somewhat repeated itself for the August 2013 match against Birmingham City - the Championship match that saw the game settled by a Dan Seaborne own goal. Although he eventually went on to book six players, his performance earlier on in the match was rather frustrating. Birmingham were one of these sides that regularly fouled their opponents, and Mr Robinson tried to opt for finger-wags, calling their captain over, and issuing last warnings to avoid dishing out yellow cards. His problem was that even after those last warnings, he continued to dish out 'last last' warnings instead of putting his foot down, and that led to the match getting a bit heated and fraught at times.
He was much better for our April 2015 home match against Sheffield United, that gave Paul Sturrock his first win as the new Yeovil Town manager. A Stephen Arthurworrey goal won the match for the Glovers, and overall the official took a back seat in the game. We can't recall it, but with us running the ball into the corner flags during second half injury time, the 90th minute booking for Josh Sheehan for timewasting looks suspiciously justified! The Sheffield Star gave him a 7/10 mark - judging by their player marks, that suggested they were happy with his performance as well.
He was then present for the September 2015 Football League Trophy tie against Barnet at Huish Park. This was a low key game of oddness - a match that Yeovil won without having a single shot on target, with an own goal settling the game. We're not sure how, given the often pedestrian nature of the tie, but Mr Robinson managed to produce six bookings on the night. Nothing controversial, but for a game where nothing really happened, we're not sure how he clocked up that many.
There are far more vivid memories of the January 2016 meeting that involved Mr Robinson. This was the FA Cup Second Round Replay against Carlisle United at Huish Park. Across the night we saw eight yellow cards and two red cards in a rather bad-tempered match, which we felt he was losing control of even by the end of the first half.
His big moment came in the 80th minute when he judged Jabo Ibehre's spot of WWF 'clotheslining' of Artur Krysiak to be worthy only of a yellow card - that bit of video footage flew around the world on social media after the game, in disbelief that somehow Ibehre had stayed on the pitch. Robinson's grip on the game later went entirely when Alex Lacey and Luke Joyce were dismissed in separate incidents that were far less worthy of note - needless to say, the referee was hammered by the media after the game, and deservedly so.
Mr Robinson will be assisted by Ian Cooper (Kent) and David Avent (Northamptonshire). The Fourth Official will be Adam Bromley (Devon).
As part of the build-up to the Boxing Day home fixture against Exeter City at Huish Park, Yeovil Town manager Darren Way spoke to the BBC about the match. In an interview for BBC Somerset, Darren's thoughts on the two Christmas fixtures, including the later holiday fixture against Portsmouth, can be read via the link below.
Former Yeovil Town striker Adam Morgan will end 2016 by signing forms with his fifth club of the year. He has agreed terms with FC Halifax Town who play in the National League North and lie six places higher in the table than the club he is leaving. He departs Curzon Ashton on much better terms than he's managed with other clubs he's played for, with a record of 11 goals in nine appearances across all competitions, including a hat-trick against AFC Wimbledon in the FA Cup.
The 22 year old will put pen to paper on an 18 month contract with the Shaymen, and join a side that are currently four points off the National League North Play-Off spots with two games in hand on most of their rivals. Halifax note that the deal is subject to League/FA approval - with it having gone through late on Friday they may have to see whether he is registered in time for their Boxing Day fixture.
Morgan was on the books of Accrington Stanley at the start of 2016. Since then he has taken in Hemel Hemstead, Colwyn Bay and Curzon Ashton, before Friday's move to Halifax. Curzon had signed him on a non-contract basis, and so will move there on a free transfer.
Yeovil Town's EFL Trophy Third Round tie now has a firm date. The match against Reading Under-21s will take place on Tuesday 10th January 2017 at Huish Park, with a 7.45p.m. kick-off. This will be the second time the two clubs have met in this competition, with them meeting at the Group Stages at the Madejski Stadium. On that occasion goals from Tom Eaves and Francois Zoko won the match 2-0 for the Glovers, but both sides qualified from the Group Stages and so meet again. This time around, one team will go out - with the match being played for a 90 minute period, with penalty shoot-outs settling the tie if necessary.
The date of the tie means that Yeovil Town will not be playing any fixture on Saturday 7th January, with the Plymouth Argyle fixture that was planned for that date already rearranged for Tuesday 31st January.
Yeovil Town have arranged a new date for their League Two match against Plymouth Argyle. The originally planned date was called off due to Argyle's FA Cup Third Round tie against Liverpool that clashes with the January 7th date. The match will now be played on Tuesday 31st January 2017, with a 7.45p.m. kick-off.
If you have already purchased a ticket for the January 7th fixture, then tickets remain valid for this date. If you can no longer make the revised date, get in contact with the Huish Park Ticket Office to arrange a refund or an exchange for another match.
Yeovil Town are planning to launch a number of Development Centres in January 2017. These will be aimed at children aged 6 - 12 years old, and provide a formal coaching environment that can be used to develop players' skills at a young age. Those children that are seen as the best of the crop can then be invited to join the main Yeovil Town Academy set-up at a later age.
The club plan to provide a six week introductory trial period before any qualifying players actually join the Development Centre set-up. To obtain further details email firstname.lastname@example.org (Ian Thompson) at the club.
At present it's not clear where the club will host the Development Centres. Currently, the Yeovil Town Community Sports Trust host their own Development Centres out of Burnham, Taunton, Radstock, Wells, Langport and Yeovil.
Yeovil Town Under-18s have been given a date for their FA Youth Cup Fourth Round tie. The Glovers will travel to play Hertfordshire team Broxbourne Borough on Wednesday 11th January 2017, with a 7.30p.m. kick-off.
The match will be played at Goffs Lane (EN7 5NQ) which is a couple of miles west of Cheshunt, on the north side of Enfield and the M25. Broxbourne's senior side play in the South Midlands League Premier Division and are struggling in 21st place in the table. By contrast, their Under-18s side have created club history - this is the furthest they've ever been in the competition.
The game will be played to a conclusion on the night, with extra time and penalties, if required. The Glovers have already beaten Newport County, Merstham and West Bromwich Albion on their way to this stage of the competition.
Yeovil Town's League Two match against Barnet has been put back by 24 hours. The match will now take place on Wednesday 15th March at the Hive Stadium, with an 8.00p.m. kick-off. The match had been due to take place on the Tuesday night but has been tweaked slightly to take place on the Wednesday.
Alarm bells are starting to ring at League Two side Morecambe after two of their Board of Directors quit the club in very different circumstances. The Shrimps have been under new ownership since September 2016, with long-standing owner Peter McGuigan making the decision to sell his shareholding following 20 years at the club. Brazilian businessman Diego Lemos took a majority shareholding but despite some of the usual noises being expressed upon his arrival, claiming he had 'high ambitions' not a lot seems to have changed at the Globe Arena.
On Tuesday, Morecambe director Nigel Adams announced his resignation from their board, providing a critical view of the current ownership, believing that as a Director he was being kept in the dark in terms of the club's financial plans, directly criticising the new owner for his lack of transparancy:
"I do not feel I have been given sufficient financial information from the majority shareholder to allow me to perform my duties. In the absence of communication from the new owner and access to financial management information, my position as a director has become untenable. I have a number sponsorship deals currently in place with the football club and these will remain in place but will not be renewed."
With Adams being a Shrimps fan and the club's main shirt sponsor and home terrace sponsor, his concerns raised eyebrows, but what was particularly unusual was that he was able to use the club's official website as a vehicle to criticise the approach of the club's owner. Usually such sites have to kowtow to the club's owners or management, with any resigning Director or employee having to go to the media to express any unpalatable views on their exit. Not so here. It might have been that their website editor was on the Christmas sherry that day, were it not for the fact that today, the remaining Board members have put their name to a statement issued by the club, again calling into question the investment plans of Mr Lemos.
Morecambe's Boardroom was unexpectedly one man short for their meeting held today. When Lemos was announced as the club's new owner, Qatari national Abdulrahman Al Hashemi was announced as a new Director, and also took the position of Co-Chairman alongside McGuigan, with the implication that he was going to be the right-hand man for Lemos. It would appear that on Wednesday, the remainder of the Morecambe Board discovered that Al Hashemi had quietly resigned his Directorship of Morecambe FC on November 25th, just over a week after Mr Lemos left the country.
With that information becoming public via the Companies House website, the remaining Directors held a meeting to discuss the current situation. For the second time in a week, Morecambe's own club website was used as a vehicle to question the club's owner, who appears to have gone missing:
"The board remains extremely concerned at the current state of affairs, as the current majority shareholder, Mr Diego Lemos, has failed to deliver on promised investment. Communication with Mr Lemos continues to be difficult and he has now been out of the country since Thursday, November 17. As a board we understand the criticism levelled at us for the lack of communication and rumours that naturally follow. There are legal issues that need to be resolved before the complete story can be told but once these issues are resolved the board would wish to provide further clarification. The board members who met today are united in their resolve to find solutions to the many problems facing Morecambe Football Club as a direct result of Mr Lemos' continuing absence and his failure to deliver promised funding. We are extremely conscious of our responsibilities to our loyal and valued staff, players and fans and we look forward to working with all stakeholders in order to achieve a positive resolution in the New Year."
Morecambe briefly suffered issues in paying their players' wages in October 2016, shortly after Lemos's arrival as owner, but that was labelled as a one-off issue at the time. However, with growing circumstancial evidence that Lemos may not be the 'money man' he claimed to be upon his arrival, their future is clearly of concern. In November, worried Morecambe fans made the decision to set up a Supporters Trust to help centralise their fans' voices and efforts, but for the moment it seems that even the surviving Board members are just as in the dark as the fans, as to what is going on in Lancashire.
Former Yeovil Town midfielder Alan Pardew has been relieved of his duties at Premier League side Crystal Palace. Whilst some managerial exits are dressed up with 'mutual agreements', the statement from Palace makes clear that they were the ones that did the pushing saying that they had 'asked him to step down' as manager today.
Pardew had been given a three-and-a-half year contract at Selhurst Park back in January 2015, after he replaced Neil Warnock. The early signs were promising as he took them to the 2015-16 FA Cup Final, whilst stabilising what had been a rocky position in the League. This season though has been rather more of a struggle. They've lost eight of their last ten matches, and lie in 17th place, just one point above the relegation line.
The 55 year old had appeared to have good backing from his Chairman Steve Parish, but had recently hinted in an interview that he was also having to deal with other major shareholders who were showing concerns at recent results. Pardew issued a statement following his exit, thanking the club for their overall support:
"I would just like to take the opportunity to thank everybody at Crystal Palace for their fantastic support. In particular a big thanks to the players who gave me absolutely everything and Steve Parish and his Board. Personally I have a lot of good feelings for this football Club and am sad that my time there has ended. I feel that I have a special bond with the club and hope that hasn't been affected, I wish everybody associated with the Club the best of luck in the future including of course the fans who have been magnificent."
His final record for Palace shows that he managed 87 games, winning 35 of them, and drawing 13, with 39 defeats - a win ratio of 40.2 percent. As yet, Palace have not appointed a Caretaker Manager, with assistant manager Keith Millen the default person to hold the reins until that is announced.
Yeovil Town and their supporters will be waiting once more to discover whether two of their most experienced players will be available, ahead of Boxing Day's visit of Exeter City. The League Two fixture will see the Grecians head to Huish Park on Monday 26th December, with a 3.00p.m. kick-off, and as yet there's no firm indication as to whether defender Darren Ward and midfielder Matt Dolan will be present for that match.
The pair have not featured on the teamsheet since November 19th, missing five games in total, with Ward missing due to a swollen knee, whilst Dolan pulled up with a hamstring problem midway through that match against Colchester United. Dolan's original prognosis was that he would be missing until just before Christmas - there hasn't been any subsequent update to confirm whether that view still holds, whilst Ward's absence has been entirely on a game-to-game basis, with no timetable laid down for his return.
Last week, manager Darren Waytold the media that they were 'near to fitness' but stopped short of disclosing whether they'd got onto the training pitch, which implied that they had yet to reach that stage. This time around, it would appear that they are now joining in with training sessions, and so much of it will come down to general fitness levels and any reaction they may have to those injuries. Way explained:
"They're looking good. They're training hard, and they're getting a sweat on every day, so to me that shows a desire that they're going to back on the field soon. We've had really good stats this year as far as injuries are concerned, with a small squad. We've fielded only 19 players (in the Football League) which throughout the whole football pyramid is an exceptional stat. So I don't want that to change. If that does change it will be disappointing because it shows that they're not living right."
There were no noticeable injuries picked up during last weekend's trip to Carlisle United, hence those two players should be the only pair the club are waiting on.
Midfield pair Ollie Bassett and Joe Lea have been on loan with Dorchester Town. Bassett's spell still has one more game to run, whilst Lea's current deal ran out after last Saturday's match and there's been no word on whether that has been extended, with the impending exit of management team Mark Jermyn and Nick Crittenden doubtless a factor in the lack of updates on that front.
Yeovil Town's Ticket Office and Club Shop will be closed over lunchtime today, for the Staff Christmas Lunch. Fans needing to buy tickets or merchandise should avoid visiting/calling between 1.00p.m. and 2.00p.m. today - otherwise normal hours should apply. For overall Christmas and New Year opening hours, view the article linked below.
Note that for Tickets, these will remain available online, so if you do want to purchase tickets at lunchtime today, then any online purchases made will be processed later in the afternoon. The online ticketing portal is linked below.
Yeovil Town's League Two home match against Plymouth Argyle, originally scheduled for Saturday 7th January, will need a new date. The match will be postponed due to the Pilgrims involvement in the FA Cup, where they have set themselves up for a Third Round trip to Liverpool that will be played on Sunday 8th January. That means that the Glovers' League Two match will need to be rearranged, almost certainly to a midweek date.
The Pilgrims gained their passage to the Third Round tonight via a 1-0 win over Newport County, and a Graham Carey penalty scored seven minutes from the end of Extra Time. It's unlikely that the Glovers will be able to arrange a fixture for that weekend, but on the other hand they may be happy to leave the Saturday empty, given that they are travelling to Crawley Town on Monday 2nd January in a Bank Holiday fixture, whilst their EFL Trophy match against Reading Under-21s is most likely to be played on or around Tuesday 10th January, meaning that in practice even with the Argyle game getting pulled, they will probably only face around an eight day break.
One option could be to stage the EFL Trophy tie itself on the Saturday - the Football League have already given other clubs permission to do this in earlier rounds, but would obviously need Reading's agreement. The Royals Development Squad are due to play Southampton Under-23s in the Premier League 2 competition on Monday 9th January, so there's clearly going to be some fixture-shuffling going on in Berkshire.
Yeovil Town now know for certain which team they will face in the Third Round of the EFL Trophy. Tonight's match between Southampton Under-21s and Reading Under-21s at St Mary's Stadium ended in a penalty shoot-out after the two clubs were tied at 1-1 after 90 minutes, with Yeovil-born Lloyd Isgrove netting for the home side during the first half. During the second period, Niall Keown pulled the Royals level, and ensuring the game went to spot kicks.
The crucial part of the penalty shoot-out came when Reading keeper Anssi Jaakkola saved Southampton's first two penalties, and that gave the Royals the advantage throughout, allowing Yakou Meite the chance to score the winning spot kick and send Reading through by a 4-3 margin. Reading Under-21s will now travel down to Huish Park for the next stage of the competition as the winners.
This will be the second occasion that Yeovil Town will play the Royals' Development Squad, having already beaten them 2-0 in the Group Stages, through goals from Tom Eaves and Francois Zoko. As with that Madejski Stadium match, Reading adopted a policy of fielding a very young inexperienced squad for the match, rather than allowing themselves to flex the rules by bulking it out with over-age players. Southampton did the same, fielding much of their side that had played in the FA Youth Cup earlier this month, which is intended to be pitched at Under-18s level.
All Third Round ties are due to be played during week commencing January 9th, with Tuesday 10th January the most likely date for most of those ties to be played. As yet, there isn't a date set for Yeovil Town's tie to be played.
Reading Under-21s: 31. Anssi Jaakkola 63. Ramarni Medford-Smith 34. Niall Keown 3. Jake Cooper 30. Tennai Watson 17. Sandro Wieser 29. Josh Barrett 42. Andy Rinomhota 62. Danny Loader 55. Sam Smith 19. Yakou Meite
Substitutes: 58. Terence VanCouten 60. Tyler Frost 33. Shane Griffin 56. Luke Southwood 51. Ryan East 48. Harrison Bennett
League One side Coventry City have appointed former Yeovil Town boss Russell Slade as their new manager. Having worked his way though Leyton Orient, Cardiff City and Charlton Athletic in recent years, he seems to be on a mission to work with the country's most difficult and controversial owners. He now moves on to work with SISU, who are still the Sky Blues owners, despite the ongoing disdain from their fans.
Slade's first game in charge willbe their Boxing Day fixture against Bristol Rovers and he has been given a contract until the end of the 2016-17 season. The 56 year old takes over a club sat in 23rd place in the League One table and two points from safety, and his remit will doubtless be to do what he did for Brighton and Leyton Orient in his first season with them - save them from relegation. Technical Director Mark Venus explained the appointment:
"We are delighted to welcome Russell Slade to Coventry City as the Clubís new manager. Weíre pleased to have secured the services of a highly-rated manager who has experience both at League One level and higher. Russell has been at football clubs in challenging circumstances before and has experience of steering them through to safety. The Club believe that Russell is the right man to take Coventry City forward and hope that everyone will give him their full support."
Slade has been out of work for just over a month, having left Charlton Athletic on November 14th. He was given just 21 games in charge at The Valley before owner Roland Duchatelet decided to select his eighth manager in under three years.
League Two side Portsmouth have managed to put on sale additional tickets for their League Two match against Yeovil Town. Earlier this week they indicated that they had sold out their allocation of tickets, and told fans that they would not be receiving any more for the Friday 30th December match at Huish Park. In true Christmas Panto Season, they've changed saying they've sold out to 'oh no, they haven't!' and they've gone back on sale.
It would appear that somewhere along the line, someone had miscalculated the size of the Copse Road Terrace! At lunchtime today, they announced that they had put on sale a further 500 tickets. It would appear that their initial allocation of tickets was for only 1,500 spaces, with around 500 of those for seated spaces in the Screwfix Stand. That therefore meant that Pompey were still 500 short of full capacity for terrace spaces, and so they have been given a second batch of standing tickets. If they sell those, then it will take them up to the final capacity of just over 2,000 spaces.
Tickets for Home Supporters remain on sale from the Huish Park Ticket Office, either in person, online or by calling 01935-847888.
Yeovil Town will be offering free parking to supporters attending the Boxing Day match against Exeter City. The match on Monday 26th December, which kicks off at 3.00p.m. will see the regular £2.00 charge waived for any fans who park up before 2.00p.m. on the day. Anyone who arrives after that point will be charged the usual amount.
The club will also be offering a free mince pie and hot drink outside the ground, from an area situated close to the front of the Ticket Office. Younger fans will be offered a Chocolate Santa.
Tickets for this match can be purchased online or via the Huish Park Ticket Office on 01935-847888. For Opening Hours and the Online Portal, follow the links below.
Former Yeovil Town striker Ryan Bird has been transfer-listed by his current club Eastleigh. The Hampshire side's latest boss Martin Allen has decided to make the former Portsmouth player available to other clubs less than half a season after he was given a one year contract with the Spitfires.
In truth, the 29 year old has probably been a victim of the high management turnover at Ten Acre. He was recruited in by Chris Todd over the summer, but he was replaced by Ronnie Moore who then resigned to be replaced by current incumbent Allen. The former Barnet boss has already recruited four new players - two from his old club - and so has begun to cull some of the existing squad members.
Bird had scored seven times from eighteen appearances, of which only seven have involved starts at National League level. He was last selected in the League on October 29th, with just two FA Cup substitute appearances since then, meaning that Allen has yet to give him a start.
Between Saturday's match at Carlisle United and the forthcoming pair of home matches against Exeter City and Portsmouth, Yeovil Town manager Darren Way spoke to the BBC. In a live interview with BBC Somerset? Breakfast Show presenter Claire Carter, Darren reflects upon the weekend's defeat, as well as looking forward to what lies ahead over the next two games. Read the interview via the link below.
Two weeks ago, Yeovil Town played host to Milton Keynes Dons in an EFL Trophy Second Round match. The end result was a mini-upset, with League Two seeing off League One in a 4-1 win. We even scored their goal for them - thankfully Alex Lacey redeemed himself later at the other end. Kevin Dawson and Francois Zoko converted spot kicks, whilst the final goal of the night came via the head of Ben Whitfield.
Man of the Match voting saw wide man Ryan Hedges keep up his consistent performances, whilst in midfield Kevin Dawson was very highly rated. The poll winner, and by a considerable margin, was AFC Bournemouth loanee Ben Whitfield, who played out a full 90 minutes on the left side of midfield, and scored with a well timed headed goal.
Full results are as shown below, with outright MOTM votes shown in brackets:
1. Ben Whitfield 244 (22)
2. Kevin Dawson 118 (3)
3. Ryan Hedges 28 (1)
4. Tahvon Campbell 24 (0)
5. Matt Butcher 20 (1)
6. Alex Lacey 20 (0)
6. Ryan Dickson 20 (0)
8. Liam Shephard 14 (1)
9. Nathan Smith 12 (0)
10. Otis Khan 10 (1)
11. Francois Zoko 8 (0)
OVERALL MATCH RATING : 8.69
Performance : 8.55
Entertainment : 8.83
VOTES RECEIVED : 29
League Two side Portsmouth have sold out their allocation of tickets for the forthcoming match against Yeovil Town at Huish Park. The game had been moved to Friday 30th December, with a 7.45p.m. kick-off which we thought might dampen the enthusiasm of some of those Pompey fans that are travelling, but it appears not - they have announced that all of their tickets have been sold, and that they do not expect any further allocation to be issued. That should guarantee just over 2,000 travelling supporters inside the ground on the night.
Last season, the February 20th fixture saw 2,088 Portsmouth fans enter the ground, out of a total attendance of 6,051, which ultimately turned out to be the club's highest attendance of the 2015-16 season. The club's general policy is to allocate 1,500 terrace places to away supporters, with just over 500 seats provided in the Screwfix Stand.
Tickets for Home Supporters ONLY remain on sale from the Huish Park Ticket Office, either in person, online or by calling 01935-847888.
Yeovil Town supporters making plans for the January 2017 trip to Blackpool should note that there are major railway engineering works taking place in that area over the next couple of years. From October 2016 until May 2018, Network Rail are upgrading the railway between Preston and Blackpool to provide electrification of the line, meaning that on occasions that service will be unavailable.
The Glovers travel to Blackpool's Bloomfield Road ground on Saturday 21st January 2017, and that is also the date upon which Network Rail plan to start closing the line entirely on weekends. On each weekend from 21st January until 2nd April there will be no service running between Preston and both the Blackpool North and Blackpool South stations.
There will be a Bus Replacement Service available for that leg of your journey, however it means that the time you need to allow for your journey will almost certainly be longer. Once we have more detail of what that entails, we'll include it on the site guide. However, those booking advance rail tickets for this match should ensure they book a service that doesn't get in too close to kick-off!
League Two side Notts County managed to steer their way past the courts today, keeping themselves out of trouble for at least another seven weeks. With this morning's announcement that Alan Hardy was going to be buying the club, it's little surprise to find that it took around a minute in the High Court in London for the case to be adjourned until February 6th 2017. The logic will be that this gives Hardy enough time and space to complete the paperwork for his purchase of the club.
Last Friday, outgoing owner Ray Trew gave an indignant reply to the national press regarding the impending Court appearance, insisting that the story was not newsworthy and that "Our petition will be settled ahead of the hearing and thatís all there is to it". Readers will therefore be shocked to learn that it wasn't settled, and the debt remains outstanding. The debts to HMRC are undisclosed, but the Nottingham Post reports them as being in the region of £350,000 worth of unpaid taxes.
The Post also claims that this is the fifth occasion under Trew's stewardship that Notts County have been taken to court by the taxman. The first in February 2010 came at the point at which he was just taking control of the club, and so came out of debts incurred by the previous administration. However, there was a further case in February 2013, for which the outstanding debt was paid. Then came the trio of 2016 cases - one in May which came just after Trew had put the club up for sale. Then HMRC petitioned and later withdrew an October case, before the current December 2016 case coincided with Trew's announcement to sell the club.
The Post speculates that the Christmas festive period, and the opening of the January transfer window may provide County with enough funds to repay the Taxman by the time February 2017 comes around, although clearly by then they will have accrued further tax demands. In the last few days, they have agreed the sale of 15 year old Academy midfielder Jack Bearne to Liverpool for a fee reported as being £150,000. However, the transfer of registration will only take place in April 2017, which would suggest that they will have to wait a while before payments come through.
Just before Saturday afternoon's match against Carlisle United kicked off at Brunton Park, Yeovil Town manager Darren Way spoke to the BBC. With questions from local journalist Chris Spittles, in an interview for BBC Somerset, Darren explains his thinking in the team selection of Francois Zoko, Tahvon Campbell and Ben Whitfield as well as describing what sort of a match he had been expecting. Read that via the link below.
League Two side Notts County look as though they are to overcome their immediate financial woes by undergoing a change of ownership. On the day that they are due to be in court to answer a Winding Up Petition called by HMRC (aka the Taxman) they have announced that owner Ray Trew is to sell the club to local businessman Alan Hardy. The owner of Nottinghamshire Golf and Country Club has been in the frame to buy the club since Trew announced in March 2016 that he wanted to sell the club and so is already well known in Nottingham circles.
It would seem highly likely that the timing of this morning's announcement is to ensure that the High Court allows the case brought by HMRC to be deferred, pending the completion of the sale of the club, rather than to allow them to be put into Administration or Liquidation. Hardy's own statement touches on that subject as a priority:
"I am delighted to confirm that I have reached an agreement with Ray Trew to purchase Notts County Football Club. This follows a series of discussions over the weekend. As part of the agreement, I will be ensuring the club is able to settle a High Court hearing scheduled for Monday. There is still a considerable amount of work to be undertaken in the coming days and, together with my team, we will be working around the clock to conclude our agreement and make a more formal announcement in the near future."
Trew's impending exit brings to an end a six-and-a-half year involvement at Meadow Lane, having also stepped in during February 2010 at a time when they appeared to be close to going bust. His tenure initially seemed positive, but then became dogged by a catalogue of managerial changes, with County getting through 15 managers in seven years - since March 2015 they've got through six management teams.
Current boss John Sheridan is currently under extreme pressure. His side have dropped down to 20th place in the League Two table, and are on a run of six consecutive League defeats, having last picked up a point in October, leaving them just one point off the drop zone.
Meanwhile the Notts County statement still doesn't clear up the huge question mark over the future of Notts County Ladies. The FAWSL1 side have been recent FA Women's Cup finalists, and have just had three players called up into the England Lionesses squad, but their existence has been called into question by the lodging of a document with Companies House. On December 13th, the Directors of Notts County Ladies Football Club Ltd registered a two month notice under the Companies Act for that company to be dissolved, meaning that unless there is a challenge to that, they would cease to exist as a company in February 2017. It may be that Hardy plans to set up his own company to run their Ladies side, but with County refusing to comment on the lodging of the document, and no mention of the Ladies side in the takeover notice, clearly the situation is concerning.
Former Yeovil Town midfielder Nick Crittenden is to leave Dorchester Town. The 38 year old has been on the Magpies books since the summer of 2008 as a player, making close to 300 appearances for them, and since January 2015, having had a brief spell as Caretaker Manager, he has been the assistant manager to Mark Jermyn who is also stepping down from his post as first team manager, having just got through his 700th playing appearance for the club.
Dorchester drew 3-3 with Kings Lynn Town on Saturday, and it seems that Jermyn and Crittenden had already made their decisions before that game kicked off, with a club statement being issued immediately after the final whistle, whilst Jermyn had bought two crates of beer to take on their team coach as he broke the news to the players after the game.
Although both Jermyn and Crittenden also held playing registrations, the statement and a subsequent interview with Jermyn pretty much makes clear that they will not be staying as players either. Crittenden has a daytime job in Yeovil Town's Accounts Department and it would seem likely that after nearly 20 years as a professional that he would hang up his boots, unless he drops into local league football.
As for the game itself, Yeovil Town pair Ollie Bassett and Joe Lea both started the match - aside from a Dorset Senior Cup tie this is the first time that both have managed to get places in the starting eleven at the same time, due to Bassett's October loan recall and Lea's November ankle injury. Lea made it as far as midway through the second period, as he regains his match fitness following that injury, whilst Bassett played the full 90 minutes in what was his 15th appearance.
The obvious question is what effect the resignation of Jermyn and Crittenden has upon the loan arrangements for the midfield pair. Lea's deal ended on Saturday, whilst Bassett's arrangements are due to end just after Christmas. The current management team are due to have one last hurrah - they will take charge of the Magpies side that hosts Weymouth on Boxing Day - the Magpies have yet to announce arrangements for after that game, but clearly the link between Crittenden's role in Huish Park, and Glovers boss Darren Way may affect how easily the club can keep track of such loan players and their progress in the future.
For those who want to view match highlights from yesterday's 2-1 defeat against Carlisle United, these are now available online. The two minutes worth of footage includes the Carlisle goals from Shaun Brisley and Charlie Wyke along with the reply from Nathan Smith as well as some of the other key efforts that include a deflected chance for Tahvon Campbell. Watch via the YouTube clip below.
Following Saturday afternoon's 2-1 defeat against Carlisle United at Brunton Park, Yeovil Town manager Darren Way spoke to the BBC about the match. With questions from local journalist Chris Spittles, in an interview for BBC Somerset, Darren's verdict on the defeat, his thoughts on the first half defending and the second half comeback can be read in full via the link below.
If you watched Saturday afternoon's 2-1 away defeat against Carlisle United at Brunton Park, don't forget to cast your Man of the Match votes. Choose your top three players from the match, plus entertainment and performance ratings along with any other comments you want to make on the game, using the form below.
Yeovil Town manager Darren Way felt that his side's decision-making in their defensive third, and those of the match referee in the attacking third provided the key moments in the club's 2-1 defeat against Carlisle United today. The Glovers succumbed to their second consecutive defeat after first half goals from Shaun Brisley and Charlie Wyke and although Nathan Smith pulled a goal back during the early part of the second half, it was undoubtedly the first half period that was the reason why they went home without a point.
Way told BBC Somerset that player concentration levels and decision-making needed to be better, with some of the play preceding those two goals putting his side on the back foot, allowing Carlisle the chance to capitalise:
"I think that when you're coming away to Carlisle and playing a team that is in the top three, sometimes your decision-making has to be spot on, and your concentration has to be spot on. It's really important that you make those right decisions at key moments. I felt that just every now and again, one or two just didn't make those decisions that the right time. Having said that, we learn from that, and we've got to accept sometimes you make wrong decisions."
Way was also unhappy with referee Darren Handley was guilty of his own poor decision-making late on in the match. As the clock ticked into the final ten minutes, Ryan Hedges was tackled by Carlisle left-back Macaulay Gillesphey. The match official signalled for a corner kick, believing the home defender had got a touch on the ball, whilst Way saw it as a challenge worthy of a spot kick, and accused Handley of 'bottling' what would have been a big decision:
"I feel that decision from the referee was very very poor for the penalty. For me, from where I was stood it was a definite penalty. Hedges lifted the ball over him, and he brings him down in the box. When you come away to Carlisle, some referees just bottle those decisions. I thought he bottled it."
A much improved second half performance did see Carlisle put under plenty of pressure in the final 45 minutes. But like last weekend's match against Barnet, the end result was a single goal defeat. Way was frustrated by that, but wanted to stay on the front foot leading into the Christmas period:
"It's unfortunate that it's happened again and I'm stood here now and it's the same as the Barnet game where I'm disappointed that we didn't get anything out of that game. Having said that, I've spoken to the group - we've played Plymouth now, and we've played Doncaster now, and that was different today, playing against a top three team. It was that close. I think when I look at us as a team we're a real big threat and a dangerous threat. So we have to make sure that we're right, and mentally right going into the next two games, because we're close."
Yeovil Town went down to their second defeat in a row, as poor defensive play during the first half saw them lose to Carlisle United. The Cumbrians grabbed the three points thanks to a superb long range Shaun Brisley strike that saw him beat Artur Krysiak from 35 yards out. They then doubled their lead as shaky Glovers defending allowed Charlie Wyke to head home from a corner. The Glovers fought their way back after half time, with Nathan Smith getting his third career goal for Yeovil as he headed home a corner. But the home side held on for three points that kept their automatic promotion hopes going strong, whilst the Glovers dropped two places down to 12th.
The Glovers went into the match making three changes to last weekend's line-up against Barnet, with all of them being tactical. In the front line, Francois Zoko was given a start against his former employers, whilst Tahvon Campbell came in, as Otis Khan and Tom Eaves sat on the bench. In midfield, Matt Butcher displaced his AFC Bournemouth teammate Ben Whitfield. With Omar Sowunmi out injured, Kyle Copp came in to warm the bench.
Tahvon Campbell had a couple of early opportunities for the Glovers, with one seeing him cut in from the left and force Carlisle keeper Mark Gillespie into a parried save. But Carlisle were causing the Glovers defence some discomfort with Shaun Miller's shot being saved by Artur Krysiak, whilst a follow-up attempt was hacked away.
Ten minutes into the match, home took the lead with a bit of a thunder-strike. The ball had been half cleared, and when Shaun Miller challenged Ryan Dickson for the ball, it broke to Shaun Brisley who was in an advanced position following a set piece. He struck the ball from 35 yards out with the sort of shot that a centre-back should never be able to make - a looping effort that crashed past Artur Krysiak and into the top of the net, for a 1-0 lead.
Yeovil looked overall shaky at the back and that was demonstrated when Carlisle almost doubled their lead. Shaun Miller chipped the ball over Artur Krysiak, with the ball coming off the underside of the crossbar and coming back out. Thankfully, Nicky Adams fluffed an open rebound by hitting the ball over the bar. More edgy defending saw Michael Raynes stab the ball wide of the target in a goalmouth scramble, whilst a poor backpass by Nathan Smith put his side in danger, with Krysiak thankfully coming off his line to narrow the angle and send Miller wide before he could take the opportunity.
But it was another defensive wobble that put Carlisle on their way to going 2-0 up. Artur Krysiak dropped a ball he normally would have caught, and the ball went out for a corner. Nicky Adams swung the ball in, and Charlie Wyke got far too much room to head home at the near post to double their lead. In the middle third, Yeovil weren't too shabby during the half, whilst Tahvon Campbell was lively and shot wide in the closing stages. But Carlisle got their half time lead due to the edginess around the back five Yeovil players that seemed to put them on the back foot on a few too many occasions.
The second half was a different kettle of fish. With fifteen minutes to clear their heads, they came out fresh and scored within three minutes of the restart. From a Ryan Hedges corner, Nathan Smith was inside the box to head home the set piece, and give Yeovil exactly what they needed to change the tone of the game.
Ignited by the goal, suddenly Yeovil were on the front foot again, and Tahvon Campbell's header came off Shaun Brisley for a corner, with a Ryan Hedges angled shot also saved by the Carlisle goalkeeper. That wasn't to say that the home side were completely under the cosh - they were managing to break away on a number of occasions to ensure Yeovil couldn't go too gung ho. But the Glovers looked far more dangerous, demonstrated when Francois Zoko's cross found the unlikely party of Liam Shephard heading the ball towards goal but being palmed away.
Substitutions came out in force as Tom Eaves and Otis Khan were introduced into the front line, restoring last weekend's attacking trio. Of course the more Yeovil pushed up in the closing stages, the more open spaces they would leave at the other end - Carlisle substitute Jabo Ibehre should have taken advantage of a poor Artur Krysiak goal kick, as he got the chance to run at his goal, but the Glovers keeper was alert enough to produce an excellent save to undo his error. Krysiak also saved from Jamie Devitt as the clock ticked into the final ten minutes.
The Yeovil bench thought they should have had a penalty when Ryan Hedges was tackled by Macaulay Gillesphey as he ran into the box. Referee Darren Handley thought otherwise, and decided the left-back had got a touch on the ball as he signalled for a corner, leaving the Glovers bench furious with the decision, and manager Darren Way accusing the match official of 'bottling it' in his post-match interview. In the time that remained, Carlisle could have made their life a little easier, but Jabo Ibehre fluffed a routine header from a Nicky Adams cross by putting it wide, whilst the same player saw his deflected shot superbly saved by Krysiak before Nathan Smith hacked the loose ball away from close to his goal line. Despite two 95th minute corners for Yeovil, they couldn't quite create the golden chance they needed to equalise, and instead would have to reflect upon why it took them until the second period to stabilise their back line and give themselves a fighting chance. They instead slip to 12th, although still in a position that could make the second half of their season an interesting one.
Scorers: Shaun Brisley (1-0, 10 mins), Charlie Wyke (2-0, 36 mins), Nathan Smith (2-1, 48 mins)
Carlisle United: 1. Mark Gillespie
23. Tom Miller 5. Michael Raynes 15. Shaun Brisley 12. Macaulay Gillesphey
19. Reggie Lambe 7. Jason Kennedy 4. Luke Joyce 10. Nicky Adams
20. Shaun Miller 9. Charlie Wyke
Substitutes: 6. Mark Ellis 11. Derek Asamoah 14. Jabo Ibehre (73 mins for Shaun Miller) 17. Jamie Devitt (72 mins for Charlie Wyke) 22. Max Crocombe 26. Kevin Wright 44. Alex McQueen
Yeovil Town: 1. Artur Krysiak
2. Liam Shephard 6. Alex Lacey 3. Nathan Smith 11. Ryan Dickson (Capt)
7. Kevin Dawson 8. Alex Lawless 16. Matt Butcher
23. Ryan Hedges 13. Francois Zoko 19. Tahvon Campbell
Substitutes: 12. Jonny Maddison 5. Bevis Mugabi 9. Tom Eaves (71 mins for Francois Zoko) 10. Otis Khan (64 mins for Tahvon Campbell) 14. Josh Ezewele 15. Kyle Copp 28. Ben Whitfield (85 mins for Matt Butcher)
Yeovil Bookings: None.
Carlisle United Bookings: Jason Kennedy (foul, 65 mins), Nicky Adams (ungentlemanly conduct, 90 mins)
Carlisle United Match Statistics: Possession: 47%; Shots: 11; Shots On Target: 7; Corners: 5; Fouls: 11.
Yeovil Match Statistics: Possession: 53%; Shots: 16; Shots On Target: 5; Corners: 11; Fouls: 8.
Referee: Darren Handley (Lancashire). Assistants: Richard Wild (Lancashire) and Richard Bartlett (Cheshire). Fourth Official: Alf Greenwood (North Yorkshire).
Yeovil Town have chosen their starting line-up for this afternoon's League Two match against Carlisle United at Brunton Park. The match sees the Glovers name three changes compared to the team that played against Barnet on Saturday. All three appear to be tactical, with Tahvon Campbell and Francois Zoko coming in for Otis Khan and Tom Eaves respectively in the forward line. In midfield Ben Whitfield is replaced by Matt Butcher - all displaced players move to the bench.
The only change to the overall eighteen is that Kyle Copp comes in for Omar Sowunmi on the bench. Captain Darren Ward (swollen knee) and midfielder Matt Dolan (hamstring) miss their fifth consecutive games. Midfielders Joe Lea and Ollie Bassett are on loan with Dorchester Town.
The team is as follows:
Yeovil Town: 1. Artur Krysiak
2. Liam Shephard 6. Alex Lacey 3. Nathan Smith 11. Ryan Dickson (Capt)
7. Kevin Dawson 8. Alex Lawless 16. Matt Butcher
19. Tahvon Campbell 13. Francois Zoko 23. Ryan Hedges
Carlisle United: 1. Mark Gillespie
23. Tom Miller 5. Michael Raynes 15. Shaun Brisley 12. Macaulay Gillesphey
19. Reggie Lambe 7. Jason Kennedy 4. Luke Joyce 10. Nicky Adams
20. Shaun Miller 9. Charlie Wyke
Substitutes: 6. Mark Ellis 11. Derek Asamoah 14. Jabo Ibehre 17. Jamie Devitt 22. Max Crocombe 26. Kevin Wright 44. Alex McQueen
Two weeks ago, Yeovil Town played a League Two match against Crawley Town at Huish Park. They ended up going a little bit goal crazy, with a 5-0 win. Two goals from Otis Khan and one each from Tom Eaves and Ryan Hedges were followed up by a late one from substitute Francois Zoko as they gained their biggest win of the season.
Man of the Match voting saw holding midfielder Alex Lawless given a lot of credit for his role in that win, even though he was not one of the headline makers. Wide man Ryan Hedges was the player the Match Sponsors had singled out and he came in 2nd place in this fans poll. However, the worthy winner - two goals and two assists - was Otis Khan, who won by a small margin from Hedges.
Full results are as shown below, with outright MOTM votes shown in brackets:
1. Otis Khan 336 (19)
2. Ryan Hedges 310 (16)
3. Alex Lawless 210 (17)
4. Tom Eaves 100 (5)
5. Kevin Dawson 72 (2)
6. Ben Whitfield 22 (1)
7. Nathan Smith 10 (0)
8. Alex Lacey 6 (0)
8. Francois Zoko 6 (0)
10. Ryan Dickson 4 (0)
11. Artur Krysiak 2 (0)
11. Tahvon Campbell 2 (0)
OVERALL MATCH RATING : 9.4
Performance : 9.5
Entertainment : 9.3
VOTES RECEIVED : 60
As part of the build-up to the League Two match against Carlisle United at Brunton Park, Yeovil Town manager Darren Way spoke to the BBC. With questions from BBC Somerset reporter Dan Albutt, Darren's thoughts on the long trip up the M6, and his opponents can be read via the link below.
League Two side Notts County will have to face a winding up petition on Monday, following the alleged failure to settle tax-related debts. The action has been brought by HMRC (aka the Taxman) with this being the second occasion during 2016 that the Magpies have been petitioned in this way. In March 2016, they were asked to deal with their outstanding tax bill, and by May they had managed to settle that to the satisfaction of the courts, but it seems the same problem has arisen again.
At least part of County's problem appears to be that owner Ray Trew has been attempting to sell the club for much of 2016. For much of that time, local businessman Alan Hardy's name has been at the forefront of reports linking him with bids for the Meadow Lane club. However, it seems that Trew and Hardy have never been able to agree on a price, with The Mirror newspaper claiming that Trew is after £6 million to walk away. However, the club's ongoing financial issues, and their slide down the leagues mean that Hardy's valuation is lower.
The claim is also that Notts County owe other clubs money from ticket sales, presumably where they have provided a facility for selling tickets for Magpies away games. The Football League have generally slapped a transfer embargo on clubs that fail to cough up on finances affecting other clubs, or those relevant to the Taxman, but at present there's no word of that being the case - that may become an issue if any such things lie unresolved when the January transfer window reopens.
Trew adopted a defensive position when he was contacted by The Mirror, claiming that everything would be settled prior to Monday's Court appearance, and that therefore he regarded the situation as 'not news':
"Our petition will be settled ahead of the hearing and thatís all there is to it. Firstly I want to know why this is even worthy of column inches when this is not news at all. Hartlepool and Bury have recently been in the High Court and this didnít warrant a story, so why is Notts County a story? The only story you need to write about is why there are so many football clubs being issued with winding up petitions by HMRC."
The County owner went on to name three more clubs who he claimed were subject to current court petitions, including fellow League Two side Morecambe, and suggested that football clubs were being treated differently to other businesses by HMRC, when it came to dealing with tax arrears:
"If you search the London Gazette and indeed the court listings you will see the likes of Morecambe, Southend and Bolton have all in the last week or so been issued with petitions. The fact is HMRC do not treat football clubs like they do other businesses and you will need to speak to them or the Treasury as to the reasons why, but my feeling is we are low-hanging fruit. Outside of football I own an accountancy practice and I have clients who not only owe vast sums (ten times what we owe) and are six months in arrears of PAYE but also maybe two quarters behind in their VAT, yet they donít get issued with such petitions or indeed treated as we do in football."
It should be noted that of the five clubs that Trew name, he may be stretching the truth somewhat. Bolton's financial issues last reared their ugly head back in March, having undergone a takeover that dealt with the bulk of their 2015 problems. Southend United are serial defaulters with their tax bills but last saw action back in May, whilst Morecambe's recent issues appeared to relate to the late payment of players' wages rather than any HMRC demand. Of the two cases that True's claims do have some credence, Bury have had to deal with four petitions this year, but was cleared on November 21st, whilst Hartlepool blamed an accounting software error for a debt they settled by November 28th.
Trew's complaint that football clubs are being treated more harshly than other business sectors can be explained in a simple way - the footballing industry is regarded as a high credit risk. It is worth noting that between 1990 and 2013 there were 54 instances of clubs in the top five divisions falling into administration - approaching a 50 percent failure rate of the number of clubs who occupy those leagues. HMRC have also opposed the Football Creditors Rule that allows Leagues to prioritise payments to other member clubs ahead of external creditors.
The estimate was that between 2000 and 2009, the defaulting of Football Clubs had resulted in £28 million being written off, whilst as of May 2009, it was calculated that around £50 million was outstanding in arrears across up to 60 professional clubs. Hence with those factors in mind, HMRC changed its position, and began to only give clubs a very short grace period to pay arrears, to stop clubs using HMRC as a second banking facility, which in practice was what had been happening. With Notts County having been one of those regular defaulters, along with the likes of Southend, Mr Trew will find that his actions, and HMRC actions are very much inter-related.
Officials for the League Two match between Carlisle United and Yeovil Town have been published by the Football League. The match takes place on Saturday 17th December 2016, with a 3.00p.m. kick-off at Brunton Park. The man in charge of the fixture will be referee Darren Handley (Lancashire).
Mr Handley is a new referee from a Football League point of view, having been promoted over the summer of 2014. He's taken charge of two Yeovil Town matches so far - both during the 2014-15 season. The first was the rather woeful 4-1 defeat against Port Vale in October 2014 - one of the worst performances of the 2014-15 season. Whilst the main bulk of the reasons for that defeat lay in our dreadful defending, we weren't too happy with his early decision-making, suggesting that he'd shown himself up as a rookie by allowing himself to be cajoled into booking two of our players early on - but only after Port Vale players had surrounded him, telling him what to do. It probably didn't help the situation, but wasn't the main cause.
He then took charge of a 1-0 defeat against Crewe Alexandra at Gresty Road in February 2015. We lost to a 38th minute Nicky Ajose goal and then spent the rest of the game struggling to get a goal that would get us back into the match. Whilst much of that was down to our own problems in front of goal, we were rather frustrated by Mr Handley's interpretation of what constituted a foul, and what didn't. The game became a bit stop-start as a consequence.
He is a PE teacher at Tottington High School, and got into refereeing at an early age, moving from level eight to level four by the time he turned 18 - something that saw him move into the West Lancashire Football League during 1995. He was promoted to the North West Counties Football League referees list in 2000, before joining the national list for assistant referees in 2006. Prior to his promotion to the Football League, one of his final moments saw him take charge of the Conference Play-off semi-final second leg between Cambridge United and Halifax. This season he's done 21 matches, producing 76 yellow cards and two red cards. That's slightly top-heavy on the cautions but is balanced out by the low number of dismissals.
Mr Handley will be assisted by Richard Wild (Lancashire) and Richard Bartlett (Cheshire). The Fourth Official will be Alf Greenwood (North Yorkshire).
Yeovil Town manager Darren Way expects right-back Connor Roberts to still make it to the top of the professional game, despite the early curtailment of his six month loan spell with Bristol Rovers. When the 21 year old was sent to join the League One side back in August, the logical conclusion was that the Swansea City player was being tested as to whether he could make it at the next level up, having played 54 times for the Glovers during the 2015-16 season.
Unfortunately, due to competition for places in the right-back area, Roberts was only able to make five appearances for Bristol Rovers during his time there, with only two of those matches coming in third tier Football League matches. Today saw his loan spell ended early leading to the obvious question of how far up in the game he could expect to play. Way told BBC Somerset today that he still expects him to get to the top:
"I know Darrell Clarke really well and he's a good guy, and unfortunately for Connor it's not quite worked out. All I know is what he's done for this football club is fantastic, and he's a very good player that's going to the top. It will just be a matter of when."
The other obvious question to ask Way was whether the club would have any interest in bringing Roberts back to Huish Park. At a technical level, today's decision by Bristol Rovers boss Darrell Clarke makes absolutely no difference to that hypothetical situation - his agreement with Rovers was to run the loan spell until January, whilst Transfer Window regulations mean no Football League side can loan him out until the window re-opens in the New Year.
However, Way believes that he probably will get a call from either Roberts or Swansea City in the near future to consider his thoughts, and he gave a reminder that last season he did manage to fit fellow Swansea right-back Liam Shephard and Roberts himself into the same starting line-up by pushing Shephard into midfield. So he implied that sort of an arrangement could still be a possibility:
"I think that Connor being the player that Connor is, from an outsider that would be the first words if he's gone back, to make sure they make that connection with us again. And that's natural. I know Liam Shephard is a fantastic right-back. I think you've got to be careful what you say. Last year I made the decision to bring both of them in, even when Connor was here and Connor perhaps would have thought there would have been a little bit of a threat."
The main issue for Way though would be that he already has five loan players on his books, with Swansea City pair Liam Shephard and Ryan Hedges committed to the club for the whole of the 2016-17 season. Thus any attempt to bring Roberts in would mean a mini-headache. Way would either have to negotiate the early ending of Shephard's loan spell, or make the decision to not renew one of his other loan players whose deals are due up in January, with West Bromwich Albion striker Tahvon Campbell and AFC Bournemouth pair Matt Butcher and Ben Whitfield on the club's books for the next few weeks.
At present, all five loan players fit into non-conflicting positions on the pitch in their natural roles, whereas unless Shephard is the player who is sent back early then the reintroduction of Roberts would see the set of loanees ending up looking potentially a little imbalanced. The only thing that is certain is that the list of five loan players cannot be sensibly altered for the next three fixtures, at which point - regardless of any thoughts on Roberts - the future of Campbell, Butcher and Whitfield would have to be addressed.
Saturday sees Yeovil Town make their longest journey of the 2016-17 season. The 676 mile round trip to Carlisle United sees the club head to Brunton Park for a League Two match, and the Ciderspace guide has been updated with that in mind. Find yourself ticketing, directions, parking, a pub guide and various statistics via the link below.
Perhaps understandably, Yeovil Town manager Darren Way is not giving away too many clues regarding whether two of his senior players will be on the team bus to Carlisle United early tomorrow morning. The Glovers make their longest journey of the season this weekend when they travel to Brunton Park, to take on a Cumbrian side who are sat in second place in the League Two table.
The open-ended question is whether central defender Darren Ward or midfielder Matty Dolan will be travelling up for the match, or whether they will have another weekend sat at home. Both have missed four games in a row - Ward with the swollen knee problem that has affected him on-and-off during 2016, whilst Dolan has had a hamstring strain.
Ward's absence was initially described as him being rested, and there has never been a firm prognosis given for how long he would be absent for. Dolan was expected to be out for two or three weeks - a situation that would make him available for the Carlisle match based on the lower estimate, but rule him out of the game based on the higher estimate.
So are either of them likely to be available? Way is keeping that one under his hat, presumably to not let Carlisle United guess his starting line-up too easily. Whatever the scenario, the players themselves will know what's happening soon, given that the objective is to reach the North West long before any Friday night rush hour kicks in on the M6:
"Theyíre near to fitness; thatís all I can say. Theyíre working hard. Itís just a matter of when. Weíre going to leave early tomorrow, and get up there to get the distance out of our system."
There were no other injuries identified from last weekend's match against Barnet. Young midfield pair Ollie Bassett and Joe Lea remain on loan duty with Dorchester Town.
Former Yeovil Town loanee Connor Roberts has had a loan spell with League One side Bristol Rovers curtailed. The Swansea City right-back had been at the Memorial Stadium on a six month loan deal that was due to run into January 2017, but today they have ended it early, confirming that he has returned to his parent club.
Whilst Roberts was a near ever-present for Yeovil Town during 2015-16 - he missed one match due to a Wales Under-21 call-up - his time in Bristol has been rather more frustrating. Despite taking him on loan on August 25th, it took until October before they gave him time on the pitch. In the end, the 21 year old was only selected for two League One matches, with the remainder of his five appearances coming in the FA Cup and EFL Trophy. Since November 15th, he has been entirely unused, meaning that the 'active' part of his six month deal can be condensed into a six week period.
Roberts will be able to play Development Squad matches for Swansea City over the next few weeks, but will not be allowed to play any first team football until the January transfer window opens.
Just over two weeks ago, Yeovil Town made the long trip up to Accrington Stanley for a League Two match at the Crown Ground. The match ended in a 1-1 draw - a bit of a frustrating outcome given the Glovers were leading the match through a Ryan Hedges strike scored just after half time, right up until second half injury time, when the home side equalised.
Man of the Match Voting saw fans impressed by the return of holding midfielder Alex Lawless, whilst wide man Ryan Hedges was recognised for his efforts. The clear Man of the Match though was Otis Khan, who has been one of the in-form players over the last few weeks.
Full results are as shown below, with outright MOTM votes shown in brackets:
1. Otis Khan 36 (3)
2. Ryan Hedges 16 (1)
3. Alex Lawless 12 (1)
4. Artur Krysiak 8 (0)
4. Tom Eaves 8 (0)
6. Kevin Dawson 6 (0)
7. Ryan Dickson 2 (0)
7. Alex Lacey 2 (0)
OVERALL MATCH RATING : 7.2
Performance : 7.2
Entertainment : 7.2
VOTES RECEIVED : 5
Yeovil Town have published their opening hours for the Christmas and New Year period. As usual the set of Bank Holidays and irregular fixtures mean that standard opening hours are not always kept. Therefore the Ticket Office and Club Shop have set the following hours:
Friday 23rd December : Tickets: 9.00a.m. - 4.00p.m. Shop: 10.00a.m. - 4.00p.m.
Saturday 24th December : 10.00a.m. - 12.00 noon.
Christmas Day : CLOSED
Monday 26th December (Exeter City, Home): Tickets: 9.00a.m. - 3.00p.m. Shop: 10.00a.m. - 3.00p.m.
Tuesday 27th December 27th : CLOSED
Wednesday 28th December : Tickets: 9.00a.m. - 5.00p.m. Shop: 10.00a.m. - 4.00p.m.
Thursday 29th December : Tickets: 9.00a.m. - 5.00p.m. Shop: 10.00a.m. - 4.00p.m.
Friday 30th December (Portsmouth, Home) : Tickets: 9.00a.m. - 7.45p.m. Shop: 10.00a.m. - 7.45p.m.
New Year's Eve : CLOSED
New Year's Day : CLOSED
Monday 2nd January (Crawley Town, Away) : CLOSED
Tuesday 3rd January : Tickets: 9.00a.m. - 5.00p.m. Shop: 10.00a.m. - 4.00p.m.
The Online Ticketing Portal will remain open 24 hours a day, seven days a week for supporters to purchase tickets. Any tickets purchased outside of opening hours will be processed when the Ticket Office next physically opens.
Yeovil Town midfielder Joe Lea made his return from an ankle injury yesterday evening. The 18 year old is currently on loan at Dorchester Town, but had missed five matches in a row through an ankle injury that was sustained during the warm-ups for their match against Chesham United on November 19th. Last night he made his return in a 1-1 draw against St Ives Town in a Southern League Premier Division match.
Joe played the whole of the second half in the match, after he replaced David Jerrard at half time. Meanwhile Ollie Bassett played a full 90 minutes, and sort of got an assist. A 55th minute corner taken by Bassett was headed on by Matt Oldring, causing St Ives defender Liam McDevitt (not the former Yeovil youth teamer with a similar name) to turn the ball into his own net. Josh Dawkin equalised five minutes from time.
Last night's appearance by Joe Lea was the penultimate match of his second month loan spell with the Magpies, although the first time he'd got onto the pitch during that month. His deal expires after their Saturday away game against Kings Lynn Town. Bassett was making his 14th appearance for Dorchester - his current deal runs until late December, with their Boxing Day fixture against Weymouth expected to be his last match of his third month. There's no word as yet as to whether Dorchester would like to extend either player's stay at the Avenue Stadium.
League Two side Carlisle United have successfully appealed against a red card that would have seen one of their players miss Saturday's match against Yeovil Town on Saturday. Centre-back Michael Raynes was dismissed by referee Michael Heywood after he consulted with his linesman in last Saturday's 1-1 draw against Luton Town at Kenilworth Road, leaving the Cumbrians down to ten men, with the claim at the time being that Raynes had used an elbow on Hatters striker Danny Hylton.
The FA's review panel have decided that the decision to dismiss Raynes was not warranted, and so have wiped out the red card, leaving him free to play at Brunton Park on Saturday. That is likely to ensure a bit of bad blood between Carlisle and Luton, with Hylton claiming it was "obvious he's thrown the elbow" after the match, whilst Luton boss Nathan Jones suggested that Raynes' actions were 'cowardly' referring to it as an off-the-ball incident:
"The boy Raynes is a competitive player. I watch him and he likes that combative edge but what he's done, he's done him (Hylton) off the ball. It's a bit cowardly, if I'm honest, but that's sometimes what Danny invites because he's a wholehearted player. It was a good battle between them, but we stood up to that physical test and showed that we don't get bullied by anyone."
Following the success of the appeal, Carlisle boss Keith Curle has had his own biteback at Jones, suggesting his comments on the incident were 'naive':
"Weíre obviously pleased with the decision because it would have been extremely harsh for Michael to have missed out on three games for something he didnít do. Iím disappointed with some of the comments made by Nathan Jones and Danny Hylton which have appeared in the press over the weekend. Weíve had people talking about 'off the ball incidents' which were 'cowardly' acts. These comments have been made, naively in my opinion, about an incident which clearly didnít happen. Thankfully justice has been done."
Danny Hylton was the Luton player that pushed Yeovil Town defender off the pitch in the August encounter against Yeovil Town at Kenilworth Road, with Lacey falling over the perimeter boards and down into the sunken walkway area of the Oak Road Stand end. Lacey was eventually diagnosed with a broken arm, whilst Hylton managed to escape any sort of punishment for his actions on the day - a situation that manager Darren Way described after the game as an absolute joke.
Just before Saturday afternoon's home match against Barnet kicked off at Huish Park, Yeovil Town manager Darren Way spoke to the BBC about the game. With questions from local journalist Chris Spittles, in an interview for BBC Somerset, Darren talks about why he reverted to the eleven players that had faced Crawley Town on the previous weekend, despite the mid-week win over Milton Keynes Dons. He also gives his views on the importance of the month of December. Read that interview via the link below.
Former Yeovil Town defender Efe Sodje appeared at the Old Bailey on Monday as one of six men accused of fraudulent trading. The charges were reported in October 2016 and relate to each person's involvement in the Sodje Sports Foundation - a charity that existed between 2008 and 2014. Monday's session was the first court appearance for those parties involved, following their arrests in July 2016.
The charges levelled at them are complex and multiple, and so rely upon the media for getting the exact nuances correct. Reporting states that Efe Sodje, along with his brothers Sam Sodje, Bright Sodje and Stephen Sodje are charged with Fraudulent Trading between 2008 and 2014. They have all pleaded not guilty to this charge.
In addition, Sam Sodje - who trialled for Yeovil Town during one pre-season before going on to play for Reading in the Premier League - is accused of five counts of money laundering. On one of those five counts he is jointly accused alongside two other men, Emmanuel Ehikhamen and Andrew Oruma. In addition, Ehikhamen is charged with 11 additional money laundering offences, whilst Oruma is charged with one further money laundering offence. These are all alleged to have taken place between November and December 2013. All parties deny all the money laundering charges.
The purpose of Monday's court session will have been to read out the charges and enter pleas - no further detail on the nature of the alleged offences is divulged. All six men have been released on bail. The actual trial is scheduled to take place in July 2017.
Yeovil Town Under-18s have been given an away draw in the Fourth Round of the FA Youth Cup. Their reward for their shock 3-2 win over West Bromwich Albion in the Third Round stage is to be given a very different challenge, as they take on Broxbourne Borough in Hertfordshire. They reached the Fourth Round by beating Chester 1-0 after extra time, in a match where the beaten side raised concerns about a difficult playing surface, as well as some controversial behaviour by some of the home fans.
The Broxbourne Borough first team play in the Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division, and had never reached the Third Round stage before, so this is definitely new territory for them. They had beaten Boreham Wood at the Second Round stage, whilst for the First Round they received a bye. Forward Alie Bangura is recognised as one of their key players, with a good striker record, whilst he's already made one first team appearance for the men's side.
The full draw is as follows:
1 Preston North End VS Everton
2 Huddersfield Town or AFC Wimbledon VS Hull City
3 Stoke City VS Nottingham Forest
4 Middlesbrough or Rotherham United VS Fulham or Mansfield Town
5 Arsenal or Blackburn Rovers VS Aston Villa
6 Newcastle United VS Swansea City or Wolverhampton Wanderers
7 Swindon Town or Queens Park Rangers VS Tottenham Hotspur
8 Exeter City or Wigan Athletic VS Manchester Utd or Southampton
9 Reading or Manchester City VS Liverpool or Crystal Palace
10 Brighton and Hove Albon or Derby County VS Cambridge United or AFC Bournemouth
11 Leicester City Leyton Orient VS Barnsley or Carlisle United
12 Oldham Athletic or Birmingham City VS Chelsea or Cardiff City
13 FC Broxbourne Borough VS Yeovil Town 14 Sheffield Wednesday VS Gillingham
15 Burnley or Bradford City VS Norwich City
16 Sunderland or Burton Albion VS Shrewsbury Town
All ties are due to be played by Saturday 14th January 2017 - as yet there's no firm date for the tie although the most likely scenario is that it will be played in early January 2017.
Yeovil Town wide man Ryan Hedges has been included in the Team Of The Week for League Two. The Swansea City loanee has been listed by The League Paper despite the Glovers losing 0-1 at home to Barnet during the weekend just gone - the Bees didn't manage to get a player nominated themselves, perhaps showing the balance of the game overall.
Included in the eleven players chosen, former Glovers loanee Gavin Massey is also listed - he is now on the books of Leyton Orient. They also chose Plymouth Argyle boss Derek Adams as their Manager of the Day. The team reads as follows:
Sam Slocombe (Blackpool)
Bradley Halliday (Cambridge United), Christian Burgess (Portsmouth), Joe Jacobson (Wycombe Wanderers), Sonny Bradley (Plymouth Argyle)
David Wheeler (Exeter City), Gavin Massey (Leyton Orient), Graham Carey (Plymouth Argyle), Ryan Hedges (Yeovil Town) Danny Hylton (Luton Town), James Collins (Crawley Town)
Advance tickets for Yeovil Town's League Two fixture against Crawley Town are now on sale from the Huish Park Ticket Office. The match takes place at Broadfield Stadium on Monday 2nd January 2017 (New Year Bank Holiday) with a 3.00p.m. kick-off. You have a choice of seating or terracing, with prices set as follows:
The Checkatrade Stand (East Stand - Seated): Adult: £18.00; Over-65s and Aged 18-21: £14.00; Under-18s: £10.00; Under-16s: £4.00; Under-11s: £1.00.
The KR-L Stand (North Stand - Terracing): Adult: £16.00; Over-65s and Aged 18-21: £12.00; Under-18s: £10.00; Under-16s: £4.00; Under-11s: £1.00.
In addition to the above, you can purchase Family Tickets that provide admission to either the Seated or Terracing areas at the following rates:
The Checkatrade Stand (East Stand - Seated): Family Ticket (2x adults and 2x U16) : £34.00 Family Ticket (1x adults and 1x U16) : £17.00
The KR-L Stand (North Stand - Terracing): Family Ticket (2x adults and 2x U16) : £30.00 Family Ticket (1x adults and 1x U16) : £15.00
Ambulant Disabled supporters will pay the relevant age bracket above but can admit an assistant free of charge. For Wheelchairs access call Crawley direct on 01293 410 000.
Tickets are all available online, via the link below, with the exception of Ambulant/Wheelchair Disabled, and Family Tickets - if you need those then with the exception of Wheelchair Users call or visit the Huish Park Ticket Office on 01935-847888.
Tickets will also be available on the day from a cash only turnstile at the same prices as above. However, for past visits, concession and family tickets have had to be brought from ticket office, which is situated in the middle of the car park outside the main club entrance.
Last Thursday, the Football League formally launched a new scheme to encourage and reward those clubs that introduce young English players into their starting line-up for first team matches. Dubbed EFL Futures, the earlier October 2016 press release provided a financial package to those clubs who played English players (or Welsh in the case of Newport County and Cardiff City) aged Under 21, with a pool of £750,000 provided per season to share out to clubs.
The actual scheme starts next season, and runs for three years, but statistics produced by the League as a dry run show that Yeovil Town would benefit rather favourably, if appearances were based on this season's squad and team selection. The League have drafted a top ten list of clubs, up until the end of November, and the number of accumulated appearances that have been made by players who are either Under-21 or turned 21 years old during this season. The top ten is based purely on League appearances, and is presumably in line with how next year's rules would be applied.
Yeovil Town come in 9th place, out of the League's 72 clubs. A spot check of these statistics would suggest that Otis Khan (17 league starts), Ben Whitfield (2 starts), Matt Butcher (12 starts) and Tahvon Campbell (4 starts) provide the Glovers grand total of 35 starting positions in Football League matches. That has confirmed one missing aspect of the rules that wasn't explicitly stated at the time of the initial press release - loan players do count, given that Khan is the only contracted Yeovil player in that list.
League One side Coventry City top the table with 78 appearances, whilst Swindon Town are second with 45 appearances. It's no surprise to find Crewe Alexandra high up the table with 44 appearances, whilst Gary Johnson's Cheltenham Town side are in 4th place, with Nathan Jones's Luton Town side in 7th place. The Glovers lie just below them in 9th place.
For this season, the statistics should be taken purely as indicative - there will be no pay-outs to clubs this time around. However, the League's latest statement would imply that £750,000 would be divided on a pro-rata basis, stating that based on the dummy statistics produced, currently League One and League Two clubs would gain the lion's share, with in the region of £600,000 totalled across all 48 clubs, whilst Championship clubs would take £150,000. They state that 185 players have been blooded by clubs so far this season, but don't reveal the total accumulation, meaning that it's not possible to work out how much this (theoretically) would be worth to Yeovil Town if it was repeated next season.
At the time the League announced the introduction of EFL Futures, they said that 14 of the England National Team squad that were selected for Euro 2016 had some sort of background in the Football League - whether as a permanent signing or as a loan player. Chief Executive Shaun Harvey said that trying to drive that further was behind next season's moves:
"We believe the successful introduction of young English players will not only benefit the EFL as a competition and its 72 clubs, but also the wider game as a whole and we are determined to do what we can to help the nation fulfil its footballing potential. A high performing England national team is good for the game in this country and we are therefore committed to doing everything we can to help the national team develop. The EFL is once again leading the way in shaping this collective ambition in football, but this is just the beginning. We will now work tirelessly to secure further commercial support and work closely with clubs to maximise the options available."
For those who want to view match highlights from yesterday's 0-1 defeat against Barnet at Huish Park, these are now available online. As well as the goal from substitute Alex Nicholls, you can also watch a number of the chances the Glovers had to win the match themselves, with Tom Eaves and Otis Khan having the pick of the crop. Watch via the YouTube clip below.
Following Saturday afternoon's home match against Barnet at Huish Park, Yeovil Town manager Darren Way spoke to the BBC about the game. With questions from local journalist Chris Spittles, in an interview for BBC Somerset, Darren's verdict on how his side lost the game 0-1 can be read in full via the link below.
Yeovil Town manager Darren Way admitted that his side were not decisive enough in the final third today, as they suffered a 0-1 home defeat against Barnet. The Glovers were undone in the 84th minute of the game as Bees substitute Alex Nicholls won the match with the visitors' only recorded shot on target during the 90 minutes.
That didn't reflect what had happened at the other end of the park, with both Tom Eaves and Otis Khan striking the woodwork, whilst visiting goalkeeper Jamie Stephens was by far the busier of the two keepers. But in the end it was the Nicholls goal that will stand was the match winner, and although Way was happy with his players efforts, he admitted that in certain aspects they had come up short:
"I talked about the last couple of games we've had where we scored nine goals. The difference being today that we were very indecisive in the final third. I think that when you are an attacking team like we are, with the players that we have, with those runners going forward, you cause the opposition problems. But at the same time, you leave open an opportunity at 0-0 to get back into the game. I think Barnet will find themselves very lucky leaving the ground today, to get three points."
Way said that although he knew there were some failings in the final third, and that his players had taken criticism for their strike rate - the preceding two fixtures excepted - he wasn't prepared to be too hard on them, suggesting that his players knew they should have wrapped the game up long before the winning goal:
"I can't be too harsh on the players because this wasn't about complacency as a problem today. This was just gone of those games, and one of my first games as a manager where I question myself as to how we did not win that game. I think it was plus-16 corners. We got into the final third and we were camped in their half for the whole of the second half. We've had one-on-ones, and we've had two-v-ones and unfortunately this is what can happen. I have to make sure that they keep believing, and that they don't get too despondent. They have taken criticism for not scoring goals. Life is not easy at times, and I have to accept that this happens."
If you watched Saturday afternoon's 0-1 home defeat against Barnet at Huish Park, don't forget to cast your Man of the Match votes. Choose your top three players from the match, plus entertainment and performance ratings along with any other comments you want to make on the game, using the form below.
Yeovil Town's unbeaten League Two run came to an end this afternoon, as a tale of missed chances allowed Barnet to gain a classic smash'n'grab 0-1 victory. The crucial goal came six minutes from time, as Alex Nicholls came on as a substitute to grab the winner. That was the only recorded on target shot from the Bees, whilst at the other end, the Glovers failed to convert their chances - a Tom Eaves header struck the crossbar, whilst Otis Khan found a volley come off the underside of the same goalframe, but in the end it was Barnet who got all three points to allow them to climb above Yeovil, in a manner they'll feel was rather fortunate.
The Glovers went into the match making four changes to their starting line-up, but effectively all were to revert back to their previous League Two line-up after the midweek EFL Trophy match. Thus Artur Krysiak, Alex Lawless, Tom Eaves and Otis Khan all came back into the side, with the outgoing for all heading to the bench. Barnet's side began a new era with Martin Allen leaving the club for Eastleigh, leaving them in interim management for the immediate future.
The first half was a rather scrappy one with both sides struggling to carve out obvious chances. The fourth minute opportunity that came to Ryan Hedges perhaps didn't give a clue as to what was going to follow during the 41 minutes that followed. His weaving run that saw his final shot tipped over the bar by Jamie Stephens was straight out of the sort of football seen against Crawley Town last weekend, but unfortunately the rest of the half didn't really pan out that way.
Barnet adopted a battling physical approach in midfield - sometimes too physical as John Akinde bashed Ryan Hedges off the field of play, leading to him getting a booking. Most of the time though Barnet stayed on the right side of the law, albeit without really bothering Artur Krysiak's afternoon. Luke Gambin's shot was too high, whilst Curtis Weston found his effort blocked by the body of a Yeovil defender. At the other end, all the Glovers could muster was a Ryan Dickson effort that went comfortably wide, as the half ended deservedly goalless.
Yeovil took a while to warm up during the second half, but grabbed two clearcut chances in in one minute that could have broken the deadlock. A Ryan Dickson cross fell perfectly to Tom Eaves, but his header crashed off the crossbar, with the loose ball being saved by Jamie Stephens. Then in the next move, Ben Whitfield fired the ball into the side netting creating a situation where one part of the ground thought he'd scored, and the other part knew he hadn't.
Five minutes later, Whitfield was involved again as his shot was flicked on by Otis Khan, with his attempt to convert coming off a Barnet player for a corner as it span just wide. Yeovil tried a change of personnel with Francois Zoko coming on for Ben Whitfield, and the Glovers were inches away from claiming the lead with the game ticking into the final 20 minutes, as a Tom Eaves knockdown found Otis Khan, but his shot crashed off the underside of the crossbar and back out.
Barnet's chances were few and far between - Artur Krysiak had to be alert to a John Akinde run through, smothering the ball as the striker ran through. The Bees hadn't had a single shot on goal until 84 minutes into the game - but then they struck gold with a classic bit of smash'n'grab. Curtis Weston found substitute Alex Nicholls and he fired past Krysiak for a 0-1 lead that really didn't really reflect what had gone before that lead.
With six minutes remaining, Yeovil grabbed one decent chance to equalise just as the clock ticked around to 90 minutes. Francois Zoko and Otis Khan broke clean through on goal, but Khan's shot was smothered well by Bees keeper Jamie Stephens and the visitors managed to hang on for the win, by running the ball into the corners during the four minutes worth of added time. That ensured the Glovers dropped out of the play-offs, and down to 10th place, albeit with a long way to go before being in that top seven becomes truly important in May.
Yeovil Town: 1. Artur Krysiak
2. Liam Shephard 6. Alex Lacey 3. Nathan Smith 11. Ryan Dickson (Capt)
7. Kevin Dawson 8. Alex Lawless 28. Ben Whitfield
10. Otis Khan 9. Tom Eaves 23. Ryan Hedges
Substitutes: 12. Jonny Maddison 5. Bevis Mugabi 13. Francois Zoko (69 mins for Ben Whitfield) 14. Josh Ezewele 16. Matt Butcher 18. Omar Sowumni 19. Tahvon Campbell (82 mins for Tom Eaves)
Barnet: 1. Jamie Stephens
28. Jack Taylor 4. Bira Dembele 6. Michael Nelson 3. Elliot Johnson
32. Mauro Vilhete 20. Tom Champion 8. Curtis Weston 11. Luke Gambin
9. John Akinde 34. Ephron Mason-Clark
Substitutes: 7. Ryan Watson 12. Josh Vickers 15. Alie Sesay 17. Sam Muggleton (82 mins for Luke Gambin) 18. Nana Kyei 19. Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro (66 mins for Ephron Mason-Clark) 23. Alex Nicholls (60 mins for Tom Champion)
Yeovil Bookings: None.
Barnet Bookings: John Akinde (foul, 27 mins), Bira Dembele (foul, 34 mins), Elliot Johnson (timewasting, 86 mins)
Yeovil Match Statistics: Possession: 56%; Shots: 15; Shots On Target: 4; Corners: 14; Fouls: 7.
Barnet Match Statistics: Possession: 44%; Shots: 4; Shots On Target: 1; Corners: 3; Fouls: 11.
Referee: Kevin Johnson (Somerset). Assistants: Robert Dabbs (Dorset) and Louis Marks (Hampshire). Fourth Official: Christopher Wade (Hampshire).
Yeovil Town right-back Liam Shephard's availability for this afternoon's League Two match against Barnet can be explained by a slight adjustment to the FA Disciplinary Rules. In previous seasons, the cut-off point for suspensions for five bookings has been the final day of the calendar year. However, this season, the Swansea City loanee is reprieved by the Football Association bringing forward the cut-off period for Football League sides by one month, meaning that Shephard's booking last weekend against Crawley Town was beyond the cut-off.
The rules for the Premier League are still as they were before, meaning that cut-offs will depend upon which level you're playing at. The same will apply for those reaching ten bookings, meaning that the cut-off rules are now as follows:
5 Bookings (Premier League) : 31st December
5 Bookings (English Football League, National League, Steps 2-4) : 30th November
10 Bookings (Premier League) : 2nd Sunday in April
10 Bookings (English Football League, National League, Steps 2-4) : 2nd Sunday in March
15 Bookings - No Cut-Off period : End of Season
20 Bookings - Players must attend a Regulatory Commission.
What isn't clear is if a player plays for one club during one half of the season, and then moves to another club midway through the season.
Yeovil Town have chosen their starting line-up for this afternoon's League Two match against Barnet at Huish Park. The match sees the Glovers name four changes compared to the team that played against Milton Keynes Dons on Tuesday. Goalkeeper Artur Krysiak returns between the sticks, displacing Jonny Maddison.
Meanwhile the question mark over whether Liam Shephard was suspended or not has been answered in the negative. He had theoretically picked up his fifth first team yellow card last weekend, but his name did not appear on the FA's suspension lists - the most likely explanation is that in one of those five games, the referee either omitted his name, or actually booked another player, although the FA's own statistics don't help identify which game wasn't counted. Bevis Mugabi who had served his own suspension in midweek sits on the bench.
Striker Tom Eaves returns to the side, with Francois Zoko dropping out, whilst Otis Khan comes back in place for Tahvon Campbell. Meanwhile holding midfielder Alex Lawless returns in place of Matt Butcher.
Captain Darren Ward (swollen knee) and midfielder Matt Dolan (hamstring) miss their fourth consecutive games. Midfielders Joe Lea and Ollie Bassett are on loan with Dorchester Town. Midfielder Kyle Copp is the one fit player not to make the teamsheet.
The team is as follows:
Yeovil Town: 1. Artur Krysiak
2. Liam Shephard 6. Alex Lacey 3. Nathan Smith 11. Ryan Dickson (Capt)
7. Kevin Dawson 8. Alex Lawless 28. Ben Whitfield
10. Otis Khan 9. Tom Eaves 23. Ryan Hedges
This week, the BBC followed some of Yeovil Town's players to see how they live their lives off the field of play. They centred on five of the players who share a house and how they cope with each other. So if you want to see Otis Khan taking the bins out, or Ryan Dickson doing a spot of hoovering, then head via the link below and view the two-and-a-half minute clip.
Football League Chief Executive Shaun Harvey has admitted that there is a distinct possibility that the EFL Trophy could be scrapped at the end of this season. The attempt to revamp the competition to include sixteen clubs with EPPP Category One Academies is widely regarded as being a failure, with low attendances, and ever-changing and contradictory rules causing friction between the League and its member clubs, as well as seeing many supporters bail out of watching the early stages of games.
Harvey had stayed bullish in this views on the competition, believing that it would eventually be declared as a success, but even he has now admitted that the result of the one year pilot is likely to mean that the competition is either revamped again, or potentially curtailed entirely. That final decision will be up to the League One and League Two Chairmen, and he said it would be put to a vote in April 2017. Whilst his gut feel was that the individual Chairmen would seek to restructure the competition again, he said that getting rid of it entirely was also a real possibility:
"We've always committed to review the competition and its objectives with our 48 League One and League Two clubs. We said we would do this after the one-year pilot and it will take place in April. We will see if amendments need to be made to the rules for it to continue in this format, whether it can continue in this format, whether it continues at all. There's as much potential that it won't (continue as a competition) as it will."
Aside from the controversy of including what are viewed as Premier League and Championship 'B Teams' in the competition, one other major controversy that has surrounded the competition has been the fining of Football League sides that have not stuck to the 'full strength team' rule - one in which League One and League Two clubs have to field at least five of their eleven most regular starters, or five of those who have started in their previous League fixture.
That rule began to look seriously flawed when Luton Town - managed by former Glover Nathan Jones - decided to match a visiting West Bromwich Albion Under-21s side with his club's own Under-21 side. If the goal of including the EPPP Category One sides in the competition was to promote young footballing talent, then surely the Hatters could also use the fixture to promote their own young players, and see how they coped against a Premier League's Academy side.
The 2-0 win for Luton appeared to vindicate that move, helping their Academy players gain experience in a 'first team' environment. The Football League disagreed, and fined Luton £15,000 for breaking competition rules, thus providing the obvious contradiction that it was okay for a Premier League side to use the competition to blood young players, but as soon as one of the Football League's own member clubs did the same, they would get punished for it. This created the impression that the competition was there to benefit Premier League clubs, rather than those Harvey was meant to represent. He admitted that the launch of the revamped competition had been hurried and that created a bad first impression:
"One of the things that's causing a challenge with the EFL clubs is a requirement for them to play what is defined as full-strength sides. The reason for that is we can't run a pilot to see if we can benefit younger players if they're not actually being exposed to senior football. I think launching the Checkatrade Trophy as quickly as we did didn't help the situation. We couldn't be really clear about what we were trying to achieve. That didn't help get this competition off on the right foot."
Officials for the League Two fixture between Yeovil Town and Barnet have been published by the Football League. The match takes place on Saturday 10th December 2016, with a 3.00p.m. kick-off at Huish Park. The man in charge of the fixture will be referee Kevin Johnson (Johnson).
He had been a regular at Huish Park, but during earlier years he was largely appearing for friendly fixtures, or as an assistant referee or fourth official. Over the summer of 2014, he was promoted to the Football League's referees list, having previously been a referee at Conference level, whilst performing an assistant's role in the Football League.
Mr Johnson is 39 years old and born in Bristol. He lives in Weston-super-Mare, where he used to work at the Bristol Evening Post as a newspaper printer, but now works in property maintenance, working in Redfield. He started refereeing during his late teens, progressing through the Bristol and Suburban and Gloucestershire County leagues before taking on Western League and Southern League fixtures.
During the 2014-15 pre-season he took charge of the pre-season friendly against Cardiff City, in a match in which the Bluebirds ran out as comfortable 1-4 away winners. He also took charge of our September 2014 Football League Trophy match against Portsmouth which ended in a 1-3 home defeat. Despite the two results, we can't find too much outrage about his performance, apart from a possible penalty shout when a Sam Hoskins cross appeared to be handled inside the box by a Pompey player.
Where things get more controversial are with the Boxing Day meeting against Bristol City at Ashton Gate. It was an unusual decision to allow him to take charge of a local derby game in the city of his birth, where his employment is currently in Bristol BS5, and where his former employers are the major media organisation reporting on that club, in an environment where there is clearly going to be a lot of passion and support for that club, and where he will have rubbed shoulders with their supporters on a daily basis. He presumably isn't a City supporter, but it would be like someone working at the Western Gazette and then going off and refereeing a Yeovil game.
During the match he awarded Bristol City two penalties - the first was soft, whilst the second came about after he'd belatedly changed his mind over a free kick given Yeovil's way that caught our players out of position as a direct result of his u-turn. He also turned down our own penalty appeal. Overall, City were the better side, and deserved their win in terms of the pattern of play, but manager Gary Johnson was not best pleased saying after the match: "I'd be shocked if anyone thinks they were penalties" - his view was that for the second penalty his defender had won the ball. Overall the referee's performance was poor, and you wondered what the referees association were thinking in terms of giving such an inexperienced official a local derby in his own back yard.
We crossed swords again in August 2015 for the 2-0 defeat against Oxford United at the Kassam Stadium. There he had a much quieter game, with the home side thoroughly deserving their victory. He did give us one moment of amusement - he went for a little bit too much showmanship in trying to book Connor Roberts for a foul, and in his hurry to brandish a yellow card, it flew out of his hand. Oxford's Danny Hylton had a calmer approach to things, and picked up the card, showing it to Roberts on behalf of the referee. A minor point, but sometimes referees forget that they are not meant to be a part of the performance.
He was present for the March 2016 League Two match against Carlisle United. There we thought the match official was in a very lenient low-key mood, choosing not to intervene on a few occasions when he could have - notably when Carlisle's Martin Smith was booked for kicking the ball away, got a last warning for a further foul, and then fouled again. Somehow he stayed on the pitch. Despite this apparently favourable outcome for Carlisle personnel, their manager Keith Curle wasn't happy after the match, accusing Johnson of being biased - words that we're surprised the FA didn't take an interest in. He complained that Johnson's geographical roots were influencing his decision-making - a bit surprising given that Mr Curle, as a Bristolian himself, should know that someone from Bristol isn't going to willingly hand our favours to someone from Yeovil!
Most recently, Mr Johnson took charge of the August 2016 EFL Trophy Group Stage match against Portsmouth. With that being a seven goal thriller, there wasn't room enough in the 4-3 win for us to get too agitated about referees. There was one late moment where his decision-making did become key, when he denied Pompey what would have been an 8th goal in the match and a late equaliser, with the visitors appealing that Amine Linganzi had bundled the ball over the line. In fairness to the referee, that was probably one for his assistant to decide - the answer was 'no' and Yeovil got the win.
Mr Johnson will be assisted by Robert Dabbs (Dorset) and Louis Marks (Hampshire). The Fourth Official will be Christopher Wade (Hampshire).
Yeovil Town manager Darren Way expects to play a side with a wealth of young talent if his team end up playing Southampton Under-21s in the next round of the EFL Trophy. The Third Round, which will take place in the second week in January, will see the Glovers play one of two EPPP Category One Academy clubs at Huish Park.
Whilst Reading Under-21s are well known to the Glovers, having already played against them in the Group Stages at the Madejski Stadium, Southampton would be brand new opponents, and a club with a strong reputation for producing and blooding new talent through their Academy system. That includes the likes of Josh Sims, who has recently broken into their first team and has been nominated for a Premier League 2Player Of The Month award. Way told BBC Somerset today he was aware of their reputation:
"We've already played Reading, so we know what they are all about. Then we've got another team (in Southampton) that is on our doorstep which again is another Premier League team. So you never know what sort of a team they're going to field, but what I do know is that Josh Sims played in one of their previous games, so they've got a wealth of young talent."
When Yeovil Town played Reading Under-21s, they experienced a match where they had to spend a lot of time without the ball, with the Royals dominating long spells of possession, particularly during the first half. He implied that he would expect more of the same from Southampton, whose style of football at that level was rather similar:
"It's a challenge that's very testing. They're normally a possession-based team that like to keep the ball. They've had enough time to be able to work on it in training every day - not necessarily without pressure. But it's important that we apply ourselves in the right way on the day, like we have done against Bristol Rovers, MK Dons and Portsmouth. And we've enjoyed the cup."
As for which club the Glovers will face - they'll have to wait for two more weeks to find out, with Southampton only due to host Reading on Wednesday 21st December at St Mary's Stadium. Once that issue is known, all Third Round fixtures are due to be played during week commencing January 9th 2017.
Yeovil Town will go into Saturday's match against Barnet still without two key players again. Captain Darren Ward (swollen knee) and midfielder Matt Dolan (hamstring) are not believed to be ready to make a return to the first team squad, meaning that the Glovers are expected to select from the same squad of players that beat Crawley Town 5-0 last Saturday.
Dolan is definitely out, with his hamstring injury expected to keep him out until around Christmas, even if the initial hope was that he might stand a chance of the Carlisle United away fixture. Ward's position is extremely doubtful given that he still has swelling on his knee, which has meant that he's missed the club's last three fixtures, and shows no sign of being ready to return to first team training.
There was a question mark over the availability of right-back Liam Shephard. In theory he picked up his fifth booking of the 2016-17 season last Saturday - cautions in the matches against Blackpool, Cheltenham Town, Cambridge United, Solihull Moors (home) and Crawley Town should mean that he serves a one match ban. However, his name does not appear on the FA Website in their list of suspended players. Their records indicate he has been booked six times this season (one of which was in the EFL Trophy) so this is probably an administrative oversight on their behalf. Assuming he is absent, his place in the side should be taken by Bevis Mugabi.
Midfield pair Ollie Bassett and Joe Lea remain out on loan with Dorchester Town - the latter has missed five games with an ankle injury.
Just before Tuesday night's EFL Trophy Second Round tie against Milton Keynes Dons kicked off at Huish Park, Yeovil Town manager Darren Way spoke to the BBC. With questions from BBC Somerset reporter Ed Hadwin, Darren talks about the selection of Francois Zoko and Jonny Maddison in the starting line-up and the issue of facing a newly appointed Milton Keynes manager. Read that interview via the link below.
Yeovil Town have been given a home draw in the Third Round of the EFL Trophy. The Glovers will face Southampton U21s or Reading U21s at Huish Park as a reward for Tuesday night's 4-1 victory over Milton Keynes Dons.
If it does turn out to be the Royals, then we've already played them in the Group Stages, winning the match 2-0 win goals from Tom Eaves and Francois Zoko at the Madejski Stadium during November. Southampton and Reading are due to meet at St Mary's on December 21st.
The draw was made live on Sky Sports News this morning and produced the following set of ties:
Mansfield Town vs Walsall or Oldham Athletic
Luton Town vs Chesterfield
Oxford United vs Scunthorpe United
Blackpool vs Wycombe Wanderers
Cheltenham Town or Leicester City vs Bradford City
Yeovil Town vs Southampton U21s or Reading U21s Coventry City vs Brighton and Hove Albion U21s
Swansea City U21s vs Wolverhampton Wanderers U21s
All Third Round ties are due to be played during week commencing January 9th, with Tuesday 10th January the most likely date for most of those ties to be played. However, with Cheltenham Town and Leicester City only playing their Second Round tie during that week, the Third Round tie affecting the winners of that tie will inevitably be delayed.
Former Yeovil Town midfielder Nick Crittenden believes that Dorchester Town's loan midfielder Ollie Bassett is bringing a bit of life and excitement to his Magpies side. Crittenden has a foot in both camps - working in the Huish Park accounts department by day, whilst acting as Dorchester's Assistant Manager and player on matchdays. Hence he has a closer than usual viewpoint on the 18 year old, who is currently in the third month at the Avenue Stadium this season, that has seen Bassett score three times in 13 appearances.
Bassett also picked up Dorchester's Player Of The Month earlier this week, with all three of his goals being netted during the month of November, and Critts has told the Dorset Echo that he feels the more Bassett plays, the more he is growing into his role with the Magpies:
"Ollie seems to be growing in confidence every game. Itís important for him to get minutes under his belt. He is young and learning, his ability is there for all to see. The way he takes people on and the way he skips around people like they are not there, it's something you canít teach. He is progressing well and has certainly boosted our performances. He has brought a bit of life and a bit of excitement. When he picks the ball up you can sense something is going to happen. He has a good attitude as well, which is a nice thing. If you tell him something he listens, he doesnít answer back and he is a good lad, we are thoroughly enjoying having him."
Crittenden echoes the words of his manager Mark Jermyn, who said last month that the main thing that Bassett needed to work on was what he did when he didn't have the ball at his feet. However, he felt that he was taking the right attitude in accepting that feedback on his game:
"He is good on the ball but that is half the game. On the ball he has no problem at all but he has to work on his game off the ball. I think he has the aggression in him and I donít think that will hold him back. Itís just that running off the ball and working back. Itís a learning curve but one I am sure he is willing to accept."
Bassett's current loan spell with the Magpies is expected to run until just after Boxing Day, with the two clubs having extended his deal during late November.
Yeovil Town midfielder Ollie Bassett has picked up a monthly award during the third month of his loan spell with Dorchester Town. The 18 year old has been the honour of their November 2016 Player Of The Month Award, following a purple patch in which he scored three goals for the Magpies, providing at least two assists for other players goals.
Bassett was presented with the award prior to Dorchester's home match against Biggleswade Town, and had an involvement in both of the goals Dorchester scored in their 2-1 win as he made his 13th loan appearance. Bassett's pass to Neil Martin helped set up the cross that was converted by former Glover Jake Smeeton after another ex-Yeovil player Ben Wood flicked the ball on. Bassett and Wood then combined again for Dorchester's second as Wood's cross was converted by David Jerrard.
Dorchester had Jake Smeeton sent off for two bookable offences in the closing stages, but did enough to ensure that a second half Biggleswade goal didn't count for much. Once again there was no sign of fellow Glovers midfielder Joe Lea - his ankle injury has now kept him out for five consecutive matches, with no mention of what the prognosis might be.
Cable and satellite broadcaster BT Sport have announced the set of matches that they will be covering for the FA Cup Second Round Replay. They will be scheduling two matches, covering four Football League sides, as games at Peterborough United and Newport County are selected. Both matches have a big carrot at the end of the stick, with trips to Chelsea and Liverpool respectively for the winning teams. The matches selected are as follows:
Tue 20/12/2016 : Peterborough United vs Notts County (BT Sport)
Wed 21/12/2016 : Newport County vs Plymouth Argyle (BT Sport)
All other Second Round Replays will take place on Tuesday 13th December. The one week delay on the two televised ties appears to be because BT Sport already have pencilled in two Premier League televised matches during the Tuesday and Wednesday, with Sky Sports also having scheduled Championship games that fall across those two days. However, across the 20th and 21st of December, there are no planned domestic televised fixtures.
The particular interest to Yeovil Town supporters is that if Plymouth Argyle win the FA Cup Second Round Replay match at Rodney Parade, then the Pilgrims will be playing in the FA Cup on Third Round day - a situation that would see their January 7th League Two match at Huish Park called off. As such, the delay on the Second Round Replay means that fans will get just over two-and-a-half weeks notice of confirmation for that January fixture.
The FA haven't stated what sums of money those four clubs will receive, but for the 2015-16 competition, all clubs received £36,000 for the live broadcast of an FA Cup Second Round Replay tie.
For those who want to view match highlights of Tuesday night's EFL Trophy Second Round tie between Yeovil Town and Milton Keynes Dons, these are now available online. As well as the opening goal from the visitors, which Alex Lacey won't want us to talk about too much, you can view four second half goals, as Kevin Dawson and Francois Zoko net penalties, Alex Lacey gets one in at the other end of the park, followed by Ben Whitfield's second goal for the club. Watch via the YouTube clip below.
Yeovil Town's involvement in the EFL Trophy would appear to be on a national basis from this point onwards. In the past, the Football League Trophy has maintained a regionalised split to cut down on travelling costs and help boost gates, right up to the point of Area South and Area North 'finals' (run as competition semi-finals) before the winning teams meet at Wembley Stadium for the actual final.
There had been rumours that the regionalisation was being scrapped for the Third Round draw - Blackpool's main club website believe this to be the case, indicating that it's possible for any team to draw any other team on a national basis. The competition has three more ties due to be played tonight, with three other ties only taking place after the Third Round draw.
The draw is scheduled to take place on Sky Sports News on Thursday, commencing at approximately 11.30a.m. and the list of clubs still involved in the competition are as follows:
Swansea City U21s
Brighton and Hove Albion U21s
Yeovil Town Wolverhampton Wanderers U21s
Bradford City (Beat Cambridge United 1-0)
Coventry City (Beat Crawley Town 1-0)
Wycombe Wanderers (Beat Millwall 3-1)
Walsall or Oldham Athletic (Playing 13/12/2016)
Southampton U21s or Reading U21s (Playing 21/12/2016)
Cheltenham Town or Leicester City (Playing 10/01/2017)
Updated: Results from 07/12/2016 factored in.
The removal of the regionalised approach to the competition may be as a result of one of the most criticised aspects of the Group Stages of the competition. The large number of Southern clubs at League Two level meant that Cheltenham Town were classified as a 'northern' club, putting them in a supposedly 'regionalised' group with Blackpool, Bolton Wanderers and Everton Under-21s. Tonight's match between Bradford City and Cambridge United also continues that farce. If that regionalisation had been maintained, both clubs would have continued facing northern clubs. Rather than rebalance the set of clubs left in the competition, it appears they've scrapped that entirely.
Following Tuesday night's 4-1 win over Milton Keynes Dons in the EFL Trophy, Yeovil Town manager Darren Way spoke to the BBC about the game. With questions from BBC Somerset reporter Ed Hadwin, Darren's thoughts on his side's strike rate in front of goal, his views on the EFL Trophy competition, and the overall performance can be read in full via the link below.
Yeovil Town manager Darren Way praised his side's strike rate over the last two matches, as they showed signs tonight and on Saturday, that their problems in the final third may be behind them, following tonight's 4-1 victory over Milton Keynes Dons. Going into Saturday's match against Crawley Town on the weekend, the Glovers were the lowest goalscorers in League Two, and had featured in several matches where their inability to kill teams off in front of goal had ultimately cost them.
Two matches later, and a 5-0 win over Crawley has been followed by a 4-1 victory over Milton Keynes in the EFL Trophy, giving them nine goals in three days to savour. Way naturally hopes that will change his players level of confidence in front of goal, and described their goal haul as phenomenal:
"I can only thank the players for the way that they're playing at the moment. With the goals that they're scoring in the last two games, that is a phenomenal strike rate to have, no matter where you're playing. But to do it against a League One team, just shows the confidence within the group. There was a moment certainly for two or three goals where I felt very proud to be a Yeovil Town manager."
Pick of the punch for tonight's match was Alex Lacey, who scored his first goal for Yeovil Town around 50 minutes after he'd netted at the wrong end of the pitch, to give the away side the lead. However, he scored the crucial third goal of the evening that gave his side some breathing space, and Way quipped that made up for what had happened earlier in the match:
"That makes up for his mistake, doesn't it, so I was very pleased with the way he finished that. having said that it was only the chance that we gave them and the mistake that we made, that was going to give them an opportunity to go 1-0, which was the story. What I did say is that we'd got to win this game tonight. There was no drawing tonight, because it then goes to penalties. So I made sure that they had a winning mentality."
The Glovers now go into the Third Round draw for the EFL Trophy, which will be made on Thursday, live on Sky Sports News, at around 11.30a.m.
Yeovil Town's Under-18s created a cup shock in the Third Round of the FA Youth Cup tonight. Coming up against an EPPP Category One side in West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns, they won 3-2 despite having to come from a goal down early on. The Baggies took the lead through Evan Pierce 18 minutes into the match, but Callum Morton scored his third goal in three FA Youth Cup rounds by providing a quick equaliser for a 1-1 half time scoreline.
The match swung on an incident just past the hour mark that saw Yeovil Town hand out a double punishment. Callum Morton was brought down when clean through on goal, and Max Melbourne was given his marching orders for the offence. From the set play just outside the box, Joe Tomlinson fired home direct, and seven minutes later Paul Akinuli fired home from a corner, despite the Baggies appealing for a foul on their keeper in the build-up.
In the final minute, late West Brom pressure saw the home side grab a goal back, with Glovers keeper Kingsley Latham unfortunate to be credited with an own goal, but despite a couple of injury time goalmouth scrambles, they held on to gain a route into the Fourth Round of the tournament.
Final Score: West Bromwich Albion U18s 2 Yeovil Town U18s 3.
Scorers: Evan Pierce (1-0, 18 mins), Callum Morton (1-1, 25 mins), Joe Tomlinson (1-2, 62 mins), Paul Akinuli (1-3, 69 mins), Kingsley Latham (2-3, 90 mins, own goal).
Yeovil Town Under-18s: 1. Kingsley Latham 2. Charlie Fripp 3. Joe Tomlinson 4. Arthur Warren 5. Jayden Corbridge 6. Jeremiah Gyebi 7. Jack Rice-Lethaby 8. Jack Hilton-Jones 9. Callum Morton 10. Bradley Cherrett 11. Daniel Buckley.
Substitutes: 12. Archie Watts 14. Paul Akinuli 15. Mitchell McCann 16. Gabriel Rogers 17. Tom Hayes.
Yeovil Town gained a route into the Third Round of the EFL Trophy tonight, as a second half comeback secured a 4-1 win over Milton Keynes Dons. At the break they trailed to an own goal from Alex Lacey when his back header saw miscommunication between him and Jonny Maddison. During the second period, it was the tail of two penalties, as Kevin Dawson and Francois Zoko converted spot kicks following a foul and a handball respectively. Alex Lacey then redeemed himself by scoring a fine volley at the other end of the pitch before a Ben Whitfield header finished the match off, with the latter two goals being netted whilst MK Dons were down to ten men, with two fouls from Samir Carruthers seeing him fail to finish the match.
The Glovers went into the match making four changes to their starting line-up, all of which were like-for-like swaps from the team that played against Crawley Town. Goalkeeper Jonny Maddison has played in all of the club's EFL Trophy matches so far and he continued that theme as he displaced Artur Krysiak. Midfielder Alex Lawless had only just returned from a groin injury, so the decision to rest him made sense as Matt Butcher came in. Then up front, Tahvon Campbell and Francois Zoko were given starts as Otis Khan and Tom Eaves put their feet up. They faced an MK Dons side that had made nine changes to their Saturday starting eleven, with the likes of Ed Upson and Dean Bowditch not even making the teamsheet, whilst Kieran Agard and Joe Walsh warmed the bench.
The first half was largely a non-event in terms of chances - a Kevin Dawson shot went well over the bar, whilst Ryan Colclough's fairly tame effort was saved by Jonny Maddison. That was largely it, with the exception of one of those 'oh no!' moments midway through the first half. A cross into the box by Ryan Colclough towards Kabongo Tshimanga was easily intercepted by Alex Lacey who headed it back towards his keeper's goal. Unfortunately for both himself and Maddison, the keeper had already moved off his line for the ball, meaning that Lacey's header missed his teammate and landed in the back of the net.
Based on the first half coverage, there was a distinct possibility that might be the theme of the night. Neither side was creating too much in terms of proper chances. Tshimanga got the ball in the net for the visitors but an offside flag and a whistle clearly meant that wasn't going to stand. At the other end, the Glovers seemed to be back in their 'nearly' mode, with final third balls not quite finding their men in a way that would create a chance worth taking. 0-1 at the interval.
The second half was a different kettle of fish, sparked by an early penalty decision. Paul Downing tussled with Tahvon Campbell inside the box, and rather clumsily clipped the West Bromwich Albion loanee, with referee Lee Swabey pointing to the spot. Up stepped Kevin Dawson who fired the spot kick home, right in the corner where keeper Lee Nicholls had no hope of getting near it. That equaliser seemed to galvanise the Glovers and having looked a bit too tentative in the first period, they were suddenly looking more like the team that had thrashed Crawley on the weekend.
Samir Carruthers was rightly booked for hacking down Ben Whitfield as they struggled to check his runs, and by the hour mark Yeovil had themselves a second penalty, with a Jack Hendry arm judged to have handled inside the box. Unsually, the ball was handed across to Francois Zoko who took the attitude of keeping his eyes on the MK Dons keeper as he ran to take his kick, and when the keeper didn't significantly move, rolled the ball into the corner for a placed spot kick and a 2-1 lead.
MK Dons were finding their evening was slipping away, and Ben Whitfield's second half runs had a lot to do with that. Jack Hendry became the second visiting player to be cautioned for bringing him down, and then when Samir Carruthers brought him down a minute later, referee Lee Swabey produced a second yellow card for Carruthers, to reduce his side to ten men, and to ensure that their game unravelled even further.
Then came the goal of the night, and from a slightly unexpected source. Kevin Dawson had won a free kick that was put into the box. The ball dropped loose to Alex Lacey, who effectively levelled up his evening by lashing the ball into the top right hand corner of the net, and to give his side a 3-1 lead that was unlikely to be clawed back. Not that the goal that followed it was too shabby either - six minutes later Ryan Dickson produced a peach of a cross into the box, and running in with perfect timing was Ben Whitfield, who finished off the scoring for the night with a well planted header, and to ensure his side go through into the Third Round which takes place early next year.
Final Score: Yeovil Town 4 Milton Keynes Dons 1.
Scorers: Alex Lacey (0-1, 24 mins, own goal), Kevin Dawson (1-1, 49 mins, penalty), Francois Zoko (2-1, 62 mins, penalty), Alex Lacey (3-1, 73 mins), Ben Whitfield (4-1, 79 mins)
Yeovil Town: 12. Jonny Maddison
2. Liam Shephard 6. Alex Lacey 3. Nathan Smith 11. Ryan Dickson (Capt)
7. Kevin Dawson 16. Matt Butcher 28. Ben Whitfield
13. Francois Zoko 19. Tahvon Campbell 23. Ryan Hedges
Substitutes: 1. Artur Krysiak 8. Alex Lawless (82 mins for Kevin Dawson) 9. Tom Eaves (79 mins for Francois Zoko) 10. Otis Khan (85 mins for Ryan Hedges) 14. Josh Ezewele 15. Kyle Copp 18. Omar Sowumni
Milton Keynes Dons: 19. Lee Nicholls
12. George B Williams 16. Jack Hendry 23. Paul Downing 24. Ben Tilney
11. George C Williams 17. Daniel Powell
49. Ryan Colclough 25. Chuks Aneke 7. Samir Carruthers
27. Kabongo Tshimanga
Substitutes: 1. David Martin 2. George Baldock (70 mins for Kabongo Tshimanga) 4. Joe Walsh 10. Ben Reeves (58 mins for Ryan Colclough) 14. Kieran Agard (58 mins for Chuks Aneke) 26. Connor Furlong 30. Brandon Thomas-Asante
Yeovil Town have chosen their starting line-up for this evening's EFL Trophy Second Round match against Milton Keynes Dons at Huish Park. The match sees the Glovers name four changes compared to the team that played against Crawley Town on Saturday. Goalkeeper Jonny Maddison has played in all of the club's EFL Trophy matches so far, and he swaps over with Artur Krysiak once again. Midfielder Alex Lawless makes way for Matt Butcher in a straight swap, whilst striker Tahvon Campbell comes in for Tom Eaves. In addition Francois Zoko gets his first start of the season, displacing Otis Khan.
Defender Bevis Mugabi is suspended and so drops out of the squad - Kyle Copp gets onto the bench as a result. Captain Darren Ward has been out for the last two matches with a swollen knee. Midfielder Matt Dolan has a hamstring injury that is expected to keep him out until just before Christmas, and so he continues to be absent. Midfielders Joe Lea and Ollie Bassett are on loan with Dorchester Town.
The team is as follows - a line-up that could still be a 4-3-3 but may slide into a 4-4-2 if Ryan Hedges plays a deeper role:
Yeovil Town: 12. Jonny Maddison
2. Liam Shephard 6. Alex Lacey 3. Nathan Smith 11. Ryan Dickson (Capt)
7. Kevin Dawson 16. Matt Butcher 28. Ben Whitfield
19. Tahvon Campbell 13. Francois Zoko 23. Ryan Hedges
Substitutes: 1. Artur Krysiak 8. Alex Lawless 9. Tom Eaves 10. Otis Khan 14. Josh Ezewele 15. Kyle Copp 18. Omar Sowumni
NOTE: If the match scoreline is level after 90 minutes the game will go immediately to penalty kicks to decide the winner - there will be no extra time played.
Given the a lower-than-usual crowd is expected for tonight's EFL Trophy tie against Milton Keynes Dons, supporters heading to the game should note that there are a number of changes to the usual arrangements at Huish Park.
The Hospitality Marquee (aka the Beer Tent) will be closed for tonight's match. Instead, all supporters can make use of the Legends Lounge (aka the Alec Stock Lounge) which is situated upstairs in the Main Stand - turn left at the top of the central staircase.
Whilst all home sections of the ground will be open for tonight's match, there will be no tea bars open on the Home Terrace. You will need to use Tea Bar 2 in the Main Stand, with access given to those stood on the terrace tonight.
For those who care, the Football League has announced arrangements for the Third Round draw of the EFL Trophy. Yeovil Town's interest in this will depend upon tonight's Second Round home match against Milton Keynes Dons, which kicks off at 7.45p.m.
Whichever side is successful will need to tune into Sky Sports News on Thursday 8th December, where the draw will be made live at around 11.30a.m. The Third Round draw will be split between the existing North and South sections, as currently divided, but otherwise is expected to be a freeform draw.
Tonight's fixture will be settled on the night, with the game settled via penalty kicks if the scores are level after 90 minutes. There will be no extra time played. The Glovers are expected to select a team without Matt Dolan (hamstring) and Darren Ward (knee) whilst Bevis Mugabi will serve a competition-specific one match suspension. The only other question mark hangs over the availability of right-back Liam Shephard, who was substituted at half time against Crawley Town, having picked up a knock of some kind.
Milton Keynes will have new manager Robbie Neilson take charge of his first match tonight, after leaving Hearts on Friday. His arrival just before the weekend meant that Caretaker boss Richie Barker got one more game before bowing out, as they drew 0-0 against Charlton Athletic in the FA Cup. Neilson takes charge of a side that has a wealth of ex-Glovers connections, with midfielder Ed Upson and strike pair Dean Bowditch and Kieran Agard all having represented the club, whilst Joe Walsh is a former trialist.
For match ticketing and other information, follow the links below.
On Saturday, Yeovil Town notched up a 5-0 win over Crawley Town at Huish Park - their biggest win of the 2016-17 season. Reflecting on that two days later, Glovers boss Darren Way spoke to BBC Somerset presenter Claire Carter, giving his thoughts on that victory, as well as considering tonight's EFL Trophy fixture against Milton Keynes Dons. Read that interview via the link below.
Officials for the EFL Trophy Second Round match between Yeovil Town and Milton Keynes Dons have been published by the Football League. The match takes place tonight - Tuesday 6th December 2016 - at Huish Park, with a 7.45p.m. kick-off. The man in charge of the fixture will be Lee Swabey (Devon).
Mr Swabey is 31 years old and was born in Plymouth. He's been a regular at Huish Park and other West Country venues stretching back nine years as an assistant referee and a fourth official, since becoming a Football League official in the summer of 2006. He was promoted as a referee to the Football League in the summer of 2015, getting a trial run during the 2015-16 pre-season, taking charge of our 3-2 win over Swansea City Under-21s which seemed to pass off without major incident.
Later during the actual 2015-16 campaign, he was present for the 1-1 draw against AFC Wimbledon. We'll have trouble in providing a review for his performance though as he only lasted 38 minutes! We're not quite sure what caused his problem, but at that point he needed to be replaced, and retreated to becoming the Fourth Official for the rest of the match.
We finally got him for a full 90 minutes for the December 2015 match against Leyton Orient. Overall he had a decent game. We would quibble about the six minutes of first half injury time he conjured up, but as we scored during that period, maybe we won't do that! Orient fans were too busy expressing their unhappiness with their first team manager to get angsty about the referee, and we don't recall anything too controversial from their point of view.
The most recent match involving Mr Swabey was the March 2016 fixture against Cambridge United at the Abbey Stadium. He had a large impact on the match, given that he dished out a red card against Liam Walsh just 16 minutes into the match. Although we've not got too many complaints about the Walsh dismissal - if you put a hand into a player's face, then you're not going to stay on the pitch - we felt the match official should have been more alert to what preceded it - James Dunne's pinch to the back of Walsh's neck should have got him cautioned, which given the same player got booked later on in the match, would have evened up the two teams. He wound up the home fans as well by booking Darnell Furlong for diving when they thought he'd given them a penalty, and in a game with six yellows and one red he was a bit too involved in the match.
He's only taken charge of one match this season - the November 26th League One match between AFC Wimbledon and Fleetwood Town. During the 2015-16 season he took charge of 31 matches, raising 98 yellow cards and 11 red cards, and was becoming very top-heavy in the closing stages to that season, with six of those dismissals in the final 12 matches.
Mr Swabey will be assisted by Andrew Laver (Hampshire) and Colin Lymer (Hampshire). The Fourth Official will be Brett Huxtable (Devon).
Just before Saturday afternoon's match against Crawley Town kicked off at Huish Park, Yeovil Town manager Darren Way spoke to the BBC about the match. With questions from local journalist Chris Spittles, in an interview for BBC Somerset, Darren talks about the situation regarding captain Darren Ward, his year in charge of the club, and his side's unbeaten run of form in the division. Read that interview via the link below.
Yeovil Town wide man Otis Khan and manager Darren Way have been included in the Football League's Team Of The Week for the weekend just gone. With the Glovers hammering Crawley Town 5-0 on Saturday, it's not too surprising to find some green'n'white representation in there, and Otis is a worthy inclusion given that he scored twice and provided two assists in that match. He is nominated alongside his manager, who gained his biggest managerial win, just over a year after becoming the club's first team boss.
The full set of nominated players, which span all three divisions, are as follows:
Karl Darlow (Newcastle United)
Andy Butler (Doncaster Rovers), Alex Pearce (Derby County), Ryan Fredericks (Fulham)
Conor Hourihane (Barnsley), Alex Pritchard (Norwich City)
Souleymane Doukara (Leeds United), Jacob Murphy (Norwich City)
Otis Khan (Yeovil Town), Chris Martin (Fulham), Sam Winnall (Barnsley)
Yeovil Town have engaged with an external cleaning company to provide improvements to the appearance of the Huish Park Stadium, after supporters raised concerns. Both the Glovers Trust and a survey conducted by the club highlighted that dirt and algae accumulating on the side of the stadium walls and side of the stands created an unfavourable impression to those visiting the club, and gave the view that the stadium was not being maintained to those coming to games.
As a result of that supporter feedback, the club have engaged Helliar and Son Professional Cleaning Services who have today begun the process of cleaning the external part of the stadium. Last month's meeting with the Glovers Trust reported that the work would be at no cost to the club although the club's wording today that work has commenced "after reaching an agreement" implies that there are some commercials attached to the work.
The club had set a target of end of November to publish the full findings of their survey, which was conducted between October 12th and October 19th, producing over 550 responses by supporters. The club indicate that is still being worked on - in addition to the more common themes raised by fans over the years, the club have admitted that 'transparency' - the openness by which the club explains its own decision-making - has been raised as an issue, and so the club have pledged to also explain any recommended improvements that cannot be made within its own financial or organisational constraints.
Yeovil Town's 5-0 win against Crawley Town on Saturday was one of the more notable scorelines in the club's thirteen year Football League history. Netting five goals or more in a League fixture has been a rare occurrence - yesterday was only the fifth time it has happened since coming up from the Conference, and given three of those occasions happened during the 2004-05 season, it's been an even more rare situation in recent years.
The occasion gives an opportunity to trawl through nearly 100 years worth of this site's database to pluck out both the club's biggest Football League era wins (excluding cup games, play-off matches etc), along with the bigger wins the club recorded prior to joining the Football League. The five times that the club have scored five goals or more in the Football League are as follows:
1. 18/09/2004 : Yeovil Town 6 Oxford United 1.
The club's record win at Football League level, and the only occasion that they've scored six goals since entering the League in 2003. A Phil Jevons hat-trick did the damage, whilst Andrejs Stolcers grabbed two and Kevin Gall got the other. Leading into the match, Oxford had only conceded three times in eight matches, so presumably didn't see that coming. The visitors were only a goal down at the break, but Graham Rix's team collapsed in the second half
2. 03/12/2016 : Yeovil Town 5 Crawley Town 0.
The only other occasion that the Glovers have recorded a five goal winning margin in the Football League. Saturday's win came as the strikers shared the goals around, with Tom Eaves, Ryan Hedges and substitute Francois Zoko scoring once, whilst Otis Khan grabbed the third and fourth goals on the day. The scoreline was particularly unexpected given that the Glovers went into the match as League Two's lowest goalscorers - not any more!
3. 26/03/2011 : Leyton Orient 1 Yeovil Town 5.
The club's record away win at Football League level. It also stands as the club's biggest win at third tier level, given that all of the other five or six goal hauls happened in League Two. The scoreline was helped somewhat by Orient having to play 76 minutes of the match with ten men after Matthew Spring got himself sent off. Shaun MacDonald took advantage, by scoring a hat-trick in the opening 42 minutes of the match, whilst Andy Welsh and Dean Bowditch got second half goals.
4. 09/04/2005 : Yeovil Town 5 Mansfield Town 2.
Another scoreline with an odd story behind it. Seven days previously, Glovers fans thought their side had pretty much thrown away promotion, with a damaging 2-0 away defeat against Rushden and Diamonds - their second defeat in a row and four in five games. Gary Johnson's decision was not to haul his side in for extra training - he instead told them to get out of Yeovil for four days to clear their heads, believing they were under too much pressure. They returned, and looked far more relaxed and rested, as two goals from Darren Way, and one each from Arron Davies, Michael Rose and Phil Jevons gave the 5-2 win. The Glovers didn't lose a match again that season, and went on to win the League Two title four games later.
5. 28/12/2004 : Cambridge United 3 Yeovil Town 5.
This Christmas holiday fixture saw the Glovers going into the match in a rich vein of form. They were to complete December with six straight wins, and a total of 19 goals scored. Five of them landed in at the Abbey Stadium. Two were scored by Phil Jevons, whilst Darren Way, Lee Johnson and Andrejs Stolcers completed the high scoring fixture, and guaranteed manager Gary Johnson the manager of the month award for December 2004.
Other Scorelines Worthy Of Note.
Prior to the club entering the Football League, there were a number of large scorelines recorded over the years. This site's database goes back as far as the club's entry into the Southern League in 1922 that saw the club known back then as Yeovil and Petters United move out of the amateur league structure, and to form the Yeovil Football and Athletic Club Limited company that houses Yeovil Town Football Club as it exists today. There's some caveats included, given that during the early seasons, the club often competed in multiple divisions during a single season, under the guise of a 'first team' structure, but where certain competitions were viewed as 'semi-Reserve Team' outings, often playing League clubs formal Reserve Teams.
Taking that 1922 benchmark onwards, these are the most notable scorelines:
Biggest Home Win: 24/01/1931 : Yeovil Town 12 Exeter City Reserves 0 (Western League Division One - biggest first team competition win since 1922)
06/10/1923 : Yeovil Town 12 Westbury United 1 (FA Cup First Qualifying Round - biggest FA Cup win)
27/12/1955 : Yeovil Town 10 Kidderminster Harriers 0 (Southern League - joint biggest Southern League win)
04/03/1961 : Yeovil Town 10 Bedford Town 0 (Southern League - joint biggest Southern League win)
05/10/2002 : Yeovil Town 6 Southport 0 (Conference League - biggest Conference-era League win)
Biggest Away Win: 28/02/1931 : Guildford City 1 Yeovil Town 7 (London Combination Division 2)
17/09/1936 : Torquay United Reserves 1 Yeovil Town 7 (Western League Division One)
01/09/1945 : Swindon Town Reserves 1 Yeovil Town 7 (Southern League)
Most Away Goals Scored: 09/09/1931 : Swindon Town Reserves 4 Yeovil Town 9 (Southern League Western Section)
Prior to 1922, we're relying upon manual inspection of what is often an incomplete set of results for each season. However, biggest win that can be found through visual inspection of the club's '100 Years' History book is a Somerset Senior League match against Street that took place on 30th April 1900, in which Yeovil Casuals (the Yeovil team that predated the merged Yeovil and Petters side) recorded a 14-0 victory. That would appear to be the absolute competitive biggest win since the club's inception as the Yeovil Casuals side in 1895.
Former Yeovil Town winger Jordan Gibbons appears to be attempting some sort of a comeback in the game. The 23 year old former Queen's Park Rangers player had been released by Yeovil Town at the end of the 2015-16 season, and in July 2016 announced that he was retiring from the professional game, despite trialling for Boreham Wood in pre-season, with a hip injury having badly scuppered his time at Huish Park, restricting him to just four appearances.
Gibbons did indicate that he was leaving the door open to a possible return on a part-time basis. He's now signed for Isthmian League Premier Division side Wingate and Finchley, who play in North-West London in the Barnet area. So far, Gibbons has made one appearance for them, featuring as a 39th minute substitute against Canvey Island on November 19th. He hasn't featured in the two fixtures that have followed, but their club have subsequently confirmed that he is the same player who turned out for QPR and Yeovil, and has registered to play for them.
For those who want to view match highlights from Saturday afternoon's 5-0 win over Crawley Town at Huish Park, these are now available online. Watch the goals fly in as Tom Eaves, Ryan Hedges, Otis Khan (twice) and Francois Zoko all get in on the act. Unsurprisingly in needing to pack in two minutes worth of highlights, that provides the lion's share of the footage, which can be watched via the YouTube clip below.
Following Saturday afternoon's 5-0 win over Crawley Town in League Two, Yeovil Town manager Darren Way spoke to the BBC. With questions from local journalist Chris Spittles in an interview for BBC Somerset, Darren's post-match verdict can be read in full via the link below.
Yeovil Town manager Darren Way said that it was a good feeling to see his team get above the 'green line' that took them into a play-off position in the League Two table for the first time. The Glovers ended the day in sixth position in the table - the first time they've been in that position in a meaningful way since the 2012-13 season when they were a League One side, and having spent much of the current campaign in the lower half of the table, they have gradually risen through a crowded mid-table pack to get there at the start of December.
Way came through the first anniversary of his appointment as manager at the club two days ago, and so the start of his second year as manager was a happy one, as he gained the biggest win of his management career. He told BBC Somerset that he was glad to see that his players stepped up to the challenge that he gave them:
"It's nice being in a year of management, with the work that everyone has put in, with the staff, players and everyone on the shop floor, to know today that we've climbed above that green line. So it's a good feeling. The vibe around the dressing room is fantastic. Some of the players have got unbelievable desire and belief to do well, and I think you can see that in their performance. They stepped up. I said that if you get into the play-offs you invite a little bit more pressure. We just wanted their decision-making to be spot on today, to deal with that pressure of knowing they could get into the play-offs, because the majority of this group have not had that opportunity."
Going into today's match at Huish Park, Yeovil Town were the division's lowest scorers - a problem that has dogged them somewhat during the season so far, with them having only won a match by more than a single goal margin on two occasions this season. As such, today's goal-fest came as something of a surprise. Way was glad to see that his players had taken their opportunities, and acknowledged that there had been criticism for not finishing games off in the past:
"I think the performance today was fantastic. I thank the supporters, because they deserved that. I think we've had a number of games since I've been manager where we've created chances like that but we've not taken the opportunities. We know that there's been a level of criticism aimed at our strikers because we've not scored enough goals. But having said that, we've got another clean sheet and a 5-0, and we climb above that green line. The players are so ambitious that they're actually telling each other let's get another goal. I know we could look at it in a negative way and say it was Crawley, but no we actually performed really well today. We exploited every weakness that they had, and the players played with an unbelievable desire and confidence."
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Yeovil Town gained their biggest win of the 2016-17 season as they thrashed Crawley Town 5-0 at Huish Park. In a one-sided encounter, the Sussex side were never really in the match at any stage, with the home side's front line running rampant throughout. Tom Eaves opened the scoring after he flicked an Otis Khan shot into the net. Then Eaves provided a flick-on for Ryan Hedges to score, and by half time it was 3-0 as Khan converted a Kevin Dawson cross. There was no letting up in the second period as Khan got his second of the day, as he followed up on a saved Hedges shot, and then Khan set up substitute Francois Zoko for Yeovil's fifth of the day, lifting them into 6th position and into the play-off slots for the first time.
The Glovers went into the match naming an unchanged line-up from the one that drew against Accrington Stanley last weekend, with the only alteration being on the bench as Matt Butcher returned from his suspension to displace Kyle Copp, who was the only fit player to miss out on the teamsheet. In the Crawley line-up, Matt Harrold (Achilles) and Lewis Young (suspended) missed out on their chance to play against their old clubs, leaving just former loanee Billy Clifford starting, whilst former trialist Conor Henderson sat on the bench.
Right from the start of the match, Crawley looked second best. Whilst Yeovil Town didn't have too many clear-cut chances, with a Ryan Dickson shot going wide of the target, they were on top in terms of play in the middle third, but as per recent matches they needed to make sure they created something before the game started drifting. They got that breakthrough 16 minutes into the match when Otis Khan got on the ball and sent a shot towards the far post. Rather than let it run, Tom Eaves flicked out at the ball, deliberately diverting it into the back of the net for the opening goal of the game.
That seemed to settle the Glovers down, whilst rattling Crawley. Alex Lacey headed over the crossbar from a corner, before just short of the half hour mark, Yeovil's lead was doubled. A long ball forward by Nathan Smith was flicked on by Tom Eaves, with the ball falling into the path of Ryan Hedges. He controlled the ball before firing home from just inside the box, to give a rare buffer at 2-0 up.
Crawley were poor, with Jordan Roberts' free kick that narrowly went over the bar one of very few chances they had. In fact, one of their best was created by Yeovil's own defence, as Alex Lacey's clearance ricocheted off the body of Nathan Smith for a corner. At the other end, Yeovil could have easily been 3-0 up when Tom Eaves forced Glenn Morris into a strong save from a header, and then crashed the rebound shot against the crossbar, before Kevin Dawson put the third attempt wide of the target. But the next goal was coming, and three minutes before the break, Dawson's cross into the box found Otis Khan, and the wide man netted from inside the box, to pretty much end the game as a contest, even before the half time cuppa.
The visitors' decision to perform a half time double substitution of both full-backs perhaps showed the dominance of Otis Khan and Ryan Hedges during the opening 45 minutes. A new pair were given a chance to plug the wide gaps, whilst Bevis Mugabi replaced Liam Shephard who had picked up a knock just before the break, as well as a caution that will almost certainly see him suspended next weekend. But Crawley's changes made little difference - six minutes into the half, Alex Lawless fed Ben Whitfield, and then those two wide men combined once again - Ryan Hedges had a shot that Glenn Morris saved, but Otis Khan was there to follow up the rebound.
Ryan Hedges and Tom Eaves threatened to combine for another as they provided a great flowing move between the pair, with a Hedges shot going just wide. Then Crawley had a fifteen minute period in which they vaguely looked as though they might get a consolation as Yeovil took their foot off the gas a little bit - a Adi Yussuf shot that was saved at the near post by an otherwise unoccupied Artur Krysiak was about as good as it got for them though. Yeovil's not so secret super sub though is Francois Zoko - every goal he's netted this season has been from the bench, and he needed just three minutes on the pitch to grab his fourth of the season. Once again the wide men were the destructors, as Ryan Hedges went on a run that found Otis Khan, and he set Zoko up to score the fifth and final goal of the afternoon.
Zoko could have had another if his shot in the final ten minutes had not been deflected out for a corner. But those five goals were good enough to lift them above Wycombe Wanderers on goals scored, and into the play-off positions in sixth place. There are of course 27 matches still left to play in the season, but with the club's unbeaten run now heading out to eight matches in League Two fixtures, the Glovers will feel that particularly their home form would stand them a chance of keeping themselves there. The biggest win of the season so far, for a side that had previously struggled to score goals, is not a bad way to get there.
Yeovil Town: 1. Artur Krysiak
2. Liam Shephard 6. Alex Lacey 3. Nathan Smith 11. Ryan Dickson (Capt)
7. Kevin Dawson 8. Alex Lawless 28. Ben Whitfield
10. Otis Khan 9. Tom Eaves 23. Ryan Hedges
Substitutes: 12. Jonny Maddison 5. Bevis Mugabi (46 mins for Liam Shephard) 13. Francois Zoko (70 mins for Tom Eaves) 14. Josh Ezewele 16. Matt Butcher 18. Omar Sowumni 19. Tahvon Campbell (78 mins for Ben Whitfield)
Crawley Town: 12. Glenn Morris
20. Aryan Tajbakhsh 5. Alex Davey 6. Mark Connolly 14. Andre Blackman
4. Josh Payne 8. Jimmy Smith 21. Adi Yussuf 18. Billy Clifford
11. Jordan Roberts 19. James Collins
Substitutes: 1. Mitchell Beeney 7. Enzio Boldewijn (46 mins for Andre Blackman) 16. Addison Garnett 17. Bobson Bawling (46 mins for Aryan Tajbakhsh) 24. Aliu Djalo 44. Conor Henderson (62 mins for Jordan Roberts) 33. Sanchez Watt
Yeovil Bookings: Liam Shephard (foul, 38 mins)
Crawley Bookings: Alex Davey (foul, 10 mins), Josh Payne (foul, 21 mins), Aryan Tajbakhsh (foul, 41 mins), Jordan Roberts (foul, 48 mins)
Yeovil Match Statistics: Possession: 53%; Shots: 18; Shots On Target: 6; Corners: 2; Fouls: 13.
Crawley Match Statistics: Possession: 47%; Shots: 7; Shots On Target: 2; Corners: 3; Fouls: 14.
Referee: Charles Breakspear (Surrey). Assistants: Adrian Tranter (Dorset) and Kevin Howick (Oxfordshire). Fourth Official: Lee Swabey (Devon).
Yeovil Town manager Darren Way has given a brief update on the circumstances affecting club captain Darren Ward. The 38 year old has been absent for the past fortnight, having last played in the home match against Colchester United, and is off the teamsheet for the League Two game against Crawley Town this afternoon.
Ward's problems relate to the knee injury that has plagued him throughout the year of 2016, right back to the snowbound away match against Morecambe, that saw him drop out of the squad for around five weeks after that. Ward had been back in the side having a consecutive run of games from mid-September onwards, with those twelve games coinciding with a run of stronger form for the Glovers.
He sat out last weekend's 1-1 draw with Accrington Stanley, and although the inference was that he was being 'rested' for that match, his absence for a second game would imply that it is a bit more than that. Darren Way told BBC Somerset that this was a decision made in conjunction with the club's doctor:
"Darren has had a problem with his knee that needs to be managed. We had that busy period and that busy week where we had extra time (against Solihull) and that was a big huge load on his knee joint, and then he played against Colchester. Just by speaking to the Club Doctor, she said it's best that we rest it. What we want to do is to make sure that it's got no inflammation around that joint. So the decision was made not to push him."
The club's other absentee, Matty Dolan, is expected to be out until just before Christmas with a hamstring injury.
Yeovil Town have chosen their starting line-up for this afternoon's League Two match against Crawley Town at Huish Park. The match sees the Glovers name an unchanged side compared to the team that played against Accrington Stanley on last Saturday.
There's also only one change to the bench. AFC Bournemouth loanee Matt Butcher has served a one match suspension for accumulating five bookings, and he comes back into the squad, displacing Kyle Copp, who is the only fit and available player to not make the teamsheet.
Captain Darren Ward missed last weekend's match due to swelling on his knee, and although that was described as 'precautionary' at the time, he's not made the squad for a second match running. Midfielder Matt Dolan has a hamstring injury that is expected to keep him out until just before Christmas, and so he continues to be absent. Midfielders Joe Lea and Ollie Bassett are on loan with Dorchester Town.
The team is as follows:
Yeovil Town: 1. Artur Krysiak
2. Liam Shephard 6. Alex Lacey 3. Nathan Smith 11. Ryan Dickson (Capt)
7. Kevin Dawson 8. Alex Lawless 28. Ben Whitfield
10. Otis Khan 9. Tom Eaves 23. Ryan Hedges
As part of the build-up to the League Two match against Crawley Town at Huish Park, Yeovil Town manager Darren Way spoke to the BBC. In an interview for BBC Somerset, Darren reflected on his year in charge of the club, his hopes for the Crawley game, on a day where so few of their rivals are playing, and also on the Christmas schedule. Read that interview via the link below.
Tomorrow afternoon's opponents Crawley Town will be without two former Yeovil Town players when they travel down to Huish Park. They will select a squad that will lack striker Matt Harrold and winger Lewis Young, with injury and suspension respectively stopping them from playing.
Harrold, aged 32, had scored one goal in ten appearances, and played the final nine minutes of their 3-2 win over Grimsby Town last weekend. However, he has suffered a tear in his Achilles that will keep him out for three months, meaning that if he does travel down it will merely be to see old friends.
Similarly, Young will not be able to play in Saturday's match due to picking up his fifth booking of the 2016-17 season during the same match against Grimsby. The 27 year old had made 23 appearances for Crawley this season, and so will be a more significant hole that needs filling for their match on Saturday.
Aside from Harrold and Young, Crawley also have midfielder Billy Clifford on their books, who had an acutely short loan spell with the Glovers during the 2013-14 season. He should be in their squad, having made 22 appearances this season, scoring one goal.
Yeovil Town's EFL Trophy opponents for next week will be under new management by the time they reach Huish Park. League One side Milton Keynes Dons are due to announce the arrival of Hearts management team Robbie Neilson and his assistant Stevie Crawford after they agreed compensation with the Scottish Premiership side to take them down south.
Milton Keynes have been without a manager since Karl Robinson left his post by mutual consent in October, after six-and-a-half years in the job. There had been media reports that they were attempting to recruit former Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard as a high profile replacement, but they fizzled out without consequence, and this week they've made their move for Neilson, with both clubs openly confirming that they had agreed a severance deal.
Assuming Neilson and Crawford agree personal terms, they will be properly unveiled today - the question is whether they watch from the stands or head directly to the dugouts for their FA Cup Second Round match against Charlton Athletic on Saturday. If they allow caretaker Richie Barker to take the team for one last game then it means that the Glovers will face a management team making their 'debut' two games running, with Barnet due to bring a new dugout team to Huish Park on December 10th.
Neilson is a 36 year old who played more than 200 games at Tyncastle as a defender between 1999 and 2009. He was appointed as their manager in 2014, and took to the job like a duck to water, winning the Scottish Championship in his first season with seven matches to spare. He took them to third place in their first season back in the Scottish Premiership, and currently has the club in second place, albeit eight points behind runaway leaders Celtic.
Neilson and Crawford will take over a side that were relegated from the Championship last season and have continued to flounder in the division below. They currently lie in 19th place in League One, and are just two points off the relegation zone.
The Glovers are due to play Milton Keynes in an EFL Trophy Second Round tie on Tuesday 6th December at Huish Park, kick-off 7.45p.m.
Officials for the League Two match between Yeovil Town and Crawley Town have been published by the Football League. The match takes place on Saturday 3rd December 2016, with a 3.00p.m. kick-off at Huish Park, and is a rearranged fixture following the postponement during November. The man in charge of the fixture will be referee Charles Breakspear
He was promoted in the summer of 2013 onto the Football League referees list. However, as it was his first season at the new level and we were in the Championship it took until the 2014-15 campaign when we met twice at League One level. The first was the September 2014 match against Crawley Town at the Broadfield Stadium. There he had a fairly quiet game, with just one booking, whilst Crawley's two second half goals that gave them a 2-0 win were more down to uncertain defending than dodgy refereeing.
We then had him for the home match against Walsall, which turned into a lively Tuesday night match from a referee's point of view. He managed to award a penalty to both sides - both decisions probably correct - but with both failing to hit the back of the net, with goalkeepers coming out on top, with Scott Loach our hero for the Walsall spot kick, whilst Adam Morgan had his saved. The referee was also put under the spotlight when Stephen Kingsley was stretchered off with a fractured cheekbone after a rather physical challenge by Tom Bradshaw - a lengthy chat with his assistant presumably concluded that neither he nor Mr Breakspear had seen the incident. On top of that, the referee booked six players - three each way - and there was just the feeling that he was a bit too involved in the game. Manager Terry Skiverton certainly took that line, feeling that the Kingsley incident had affected the referee's judgement saying "after that, the referee seemed to take a bit of a backtrack, and I think he lost the game ... I just felt that they all seemed to lose the plot within the game."
We had him three times during the 2015-16 season. The first was an October 2015 home match against Mansfield Town. This game had an extraordinary end to it, with the Stags scoring their goal 99 minutes and 41 seconds into the match. Whilst this was deep into injury time, there was some justification for it as lengthy injuries to Artur Krysiak and Stephen Arthurworrey had resulted in several second half delays, although we had gone marginally beyond the signalled nine minutes and suspect the free kick that Reggie Lambe scored from would have been the final action of the game. Otherwise, the referee had a fairly decent game. After that, he was present for the Boxing Day match against Plymouth Argyle. We lost 1-0, and he booked five players across both teams, but we don't recall any hackles being raised.
The final match of the trio came at the tail end of the 2015-16 campaign. He took charge of the 1-1 draw against Northampton Town which on the whole was a decent game. However, we felt the longer the game went on, the more the referee seemed to be getting wrapped up in the match, rather than taking charge of it. Three bookings in the final five minutes looked over the top within the context of the rest of the match where he'd adopted a very lenient approach to it all.
Our most recent meeting came in September 2016, when he took charge of the 1-2 home defeat against Hartlepool United. This game was frustrating on many levels, notably in that the visitors had clearly come to Huish Park with plans to timewaste. Mr Breakspear did book their goalkeeper Trevor Carson for multiple infringements, and also added on additional time to reflect what Pools had been doing. However, it did rather grate that Hartlepool got their winning goal during the time added on for some of the timewasting. Technically correct, but it felt a bit morally unjust. In fairness to him, we didn't play well during the second period, and the match was slowly eroding from our grasp.
He's rapidly been moved through the divisions, with his 2013 promotion being his fourth move up the lists in four seasons, and given that he attained that at the age of 24, it would suggest he is one of the officials the authorities are hoping to fast-track through the system - sometimes that works, sometimes it doesn't. Last season he was very top heavy with the number of players he booked - 142 cautions and four dismissals across 37 matches is one serious hit rate, whilst his 86 bookings and four red cards from 19 matches during 2016-17 suggests more of the same.
Mr Breakspear will be assisted by Adrian Tranter (Dorset) and Kevin Howick (Oxfordshire). The Fourth Official will be Lee Swabey (Devon).
Former Yeovil Town loanee Liam Walsh has been nominated for a Premier League 2 Player Of The Month Award. The nomination for November 2016, is based on the Everton midfielder's performances in the newly set-up league for clubs who have a EPPP Category 1 Academy set-up which covers the majority of Premier League sides and a number of the larger Championship set-ups.
Walsh has been a regular starter in Everton's Under-23 side that plays in the Premier League 2 set-up, despite being just 19 years old, with media outlets such as the Liverpool Echo believing he is now running close to being given some sort of exposure within Everton's first team squad. The Toffees made the decision that they would not loan Walsh out to any club during the first half of this season, and it would appear that is going to plan for them.
In total he's scored four times in 13 appearances, having made 11 starts at that level, whilst he has also managed two starts for Everton's academy side as part of their participation in the EFL Trophy Group Stages, which included captaining the side against Bolton Wanderers.
Walsh has been nominated alongside three other players, with Ben Woodburn of Liverpool, Josh Sims of Southampton, and Swansea City striker Oliver McBurnie making up the quartet. The winner gets announced on Friday 9th December.
Yeovil Town will have to manage without midfielder Matt Dolan until just before Christmas, definitely ruling him out of this weekend's match against Crawley Town. The 23 year old had been an ever-present during the 2016-17 season, playing in every minute of every competition - up until the point at which he limped off the field in the 42nd minute of the 2-1 win over Colchester United last month.
Manager Darren Way has confirmed at today's press conference that Dolan will be out for "two or three weeks" with a hamstring injury, implying that he might just about sneak back into contention prior to the club's trip to Carlisle United on December 17th, but more realistically could be looking at the Boxing Day visit of Exeter City to Huish Park.
Way has indicated that is the club's only current injury concern, which would imply that captain Darren Ward's knee problem that stopped him playing in last weekend's trip to Accrington Stanley is now resolved. One player who will definitely return is midfielder Matt Butcher, who has served a one match suspension.
Teenage pair Ollie Bassett and Joe Lea are currently out on loan at Dorchester Town.
League Two side Barnet have lost their manager Martin Allen today, after he decided to take up a job in the league below. The 51 year old has decided to join National League side Eastleigh, bringing to an end his fourth management spell with the Bees. He leaves behind a Barnet side who are having an excellent season, currently lying in eighth place in the League Two table - currently kept off the play-off positions on goal difference.
Eastleigh have been bringing in a number of high profile players over the last year or so, with former Glovers Ryan Bird, Jake Howells and Bondz N'Gala all on their books. However, they lie in 9th place in the National League table, and eight points off the play-offs, and lost their manager Ronnie Moore yesterday after he resigned due to "personal circumstances", leaving them hunting for their third manager of the 2016-17 season.
It seems that Eastleigh's reaction was to get straight onto the phone to the Hive Stadium - Barnet acknowledge that they received an approach on Wednesday - and Barnet Chairman Tony Kleanthous admitted that had come as a surprise to him:
"Martin has asked to be released from his contract so he can join Eastleigh. The approach came out of the blue yesterday but it was quite clear that Martin had decided that he wanted to take the opportunity they were offering to him. He leaves with our best wishes having done a great job helping to rebuild the football club after our relegation into the National League. Our promotion two years ago was one of my highlights as Chairman and I was always aware Martin would be in demand as a result."
Barnet have put Development Team coach Rossi Eames in charge for the time being. He will be assisted by Academy manager Henry Newman. Although Yeovil Town have two fixtures to play before that match arrives, due to the FA Cup Second Round weekend, Barnet's next first team fixture comes on Saturday 10th December, when they will travel to play Yeovil Town in a League Two fixture. Unless Kleanthous moves quickly in his recruitment, that will be Eames' first game in charge.
Yeovil Town will be holding a minute's silence prior to their League Two match against Crawley Town on Saturday. The match takes place at Huish Park on Saturday 3rd December, with a 3.00p.m. kick-off, but before it commences, both teams and the crowd will be asked to show a mark of respect following the recent air accident that involved Brazilian football team Chapecoense.
The plane was carrying 77 people who were travelling from Santa Cruz de la Sierra in Bolivia, to Medellin in Colombia. Most of the 71 people who died were associated with the football club, whether as players, officials or journalists. The Brazillian side had been due to play the first leg of the Copa Sudamericana final against Colombian side Atletico Nacional.
Both Yeovil Town and Crawley Town players plan to wear black armbands on the day to show their own personal respect to those who lost their lives.
League Two side Newport County have parted company with their Club Secretary, with reports that he 'cannot work' with new manager Graham Westley. Former Football Association representative Graham Bean has quit his role after just three weeks in the position describing his working relationship as 'untenable', according to BBC Wales Sport. Newport have since confirmed Bean's departure, but have gone for the approach of not elaborating on the reasons for the departure.
The Daily Star goes for the opposite approach, suggesting that a row broke out between Westley and club staff that has led to accusations of bullying against Westley, with claims that the manager himself had resigned earlier in the week, before performing a u-turn 24 hours later. The implication is that this then led to Bean's resignation.
The national paper suggests that the row broke out following the choice of hotel selected for Newport County's trip to Blackpool last weekend, that saw them stay on the Friday night in Preston. Westley apparently complained about his squad being located on the Ground floor of the hotel, rather than on the top floor, and that his room was situated close to an ice-making machine. Westley blamed Newport's club staff for this situation - with presumably Bean at the centre of that - whilst the Star suggests the hotel booking was made by an external travel company, rather than by Newport staff.
The claim is that Westley himself is now 'under investigation' regarding the accusations of bullying - Newport neither confirm nor deny that in their statement. However, Westley's departure from Preston North End back in February 2013 was accompanied by reports of some rather unconventional preparation for their match against Yeovil Town, at the hotel they stated in prior to the game, with Westley losing his job after a Tuesday night 3-1 defeat. Bean himself has given his views to South Wales Argus, and whilst he also doesn't elaborate on the exact nature of the problems, he does confirm it was a case of Westley going, or himself resigning:
"I have left the club. Graham Westley is an impossible man to work with. Iíve been in the game for 20 years and I very rarely fall out with anyone but he needs to learn some manners and start treating people with some respect. I reported my concerns about him to the board and if he were to leave the club Iíd consider returning. But thereís no way Iíd be prepared to work with someone of his character. There are some good people behind the scenes at Newport County who work hard for the club and I wish them all the best for the future. But if they stick with Westley then I fear for them."
Older Yeovil Town supporters will recall when Westley first began to get noticed by Yeovil Town supporters whilst he was the manager of Farnborough Town. His legendary elongated ejection from the Avenue Stadium, Dorchester - where the Glovers were staging a 2002-03 season Conference league match unsurprisingly saw Westley charged by the Football Association, both for his sending off, and for the rail-clinging aftermath that saw stewards and police have to intervene to get him out of the stadium. The FA's charges against Westley at the time were heard by their new Compliance Officer, who was ... Mr Graham Bean - the very same person! So there may be a little bit of 'history' involved there.
Bean was the first Compliance Officer appointed at the Football Association, who joined the body in 1999 as a former policeman, to help repair the broken image football had within its ranks. However, he resigned from his post five years later, in the wake of his investigation into Boston United's financial corruption in 'winning' the 2001-02 Conference League title, and the FA's rather woeful lack of action once Boston's charges were found to be proven. Bean's resignation was broadly assumed at the time to imply that he felt the FA's Disciplinary Commission had failed to address the seriousness of what he had uncovered.
By November 2006 he probably felt vindicated, as manager Steve Evans and Chairman Pat Malkinson were given criminal convictions for tax fraud, on top of the non-criminal rule breaches for which Evans, Malkinson and Boston United were found guilty of.
Former Yeovil Town striker Adam Morgan admitted that his head was gone during his time at Huish Park, citing his own internal frustrations as having caused his downfall from being a promising Liverpool academy player. The 22 year old's time with the Glovers won't feature too highly in any history books, with his 19 appearances providing just one goal from the penalty spot, as he dipped in and out of the playing side under three separate managers.
However, that was a far cry from the sort of expectations the club - and probably Morgan himself - had when he arrived at the club in late autumn 2013, as a player who was about to drop out of Liverpool's academy system, despite having briefly represented them in the Europa League. His time with the Glovers was ended early, with a loan spell at St Johnstone failing to ignite his career, whilst a further spell with Accrington Stanley rapidly fizzled out.
Morgan's profile in the national media has recently had a bit of a renaissance for happier reasons, thanks to his involvement with National League North side Curzon Ashton, who he joined in October, having had a rather nomadic 2016 that took in Colwyn Bay and Hemel Hempstead. Five goals in five games, including three goals across the two ties against Westfields that took them into the FA Cup Second Round that takes place this weekend. With Curzon playing AFC Wimbledon in a televised match, suddenly the media focus has fallen on Curzon, and their players.
Up until now, Morgan has not commented on the circumstances that saw him rapidly fall from grace down the leagues, but in an interview with ITV Sport he has given his own views on why he fell from Europa League football, to non-league crowds of under 200. He admits that he underestimated how hard it would be to adapt to the Football League:
"Looking back, obviously it was a lot harder to adapt than I originally thought. When I went to Yeovil they were in the Championship, I didnít step down three leagues or anything like that, as I had the ambition to step back up to the top league. Things donít always happen the way you want them to or the way you expect them to. I was more than confident that I could have played week in, week out at Yeovil in the Championship, but for whatever reason Ė things went on behind the scenes Ė but thatís football and these things happen and you have to move on."
Morgan's failure at Huish Park was replicated when he moved to Accrington, with him only making three appearances before being shown the door. He insisted that the reasons why things didn't work out there or at Yeovil lay purely in football terms, rather than anything going on away from the training ground:
"When I went to Accrington I didnít really play, but I enjoyed my time there, I liked the manager there, itís just unfortunate that my head space wasnít right when I was there. Only football things distracted me: from doing so well at Liverpool to not doing so well at Yeovil, and Iíd jumped down the leagues quicker than what I should have. Accrington is a great club and so is Yeovil, but it didnít work for me and Iíd wanted it to so much that it played with my head. It was the definition of your head going; I wasnít enjoying it, not because I didnít like the clubs, just because I didnít like the way I was performing or I wasnít get the opportunities I wanted, but thatís down to me. My head went as I was finding it hard, so I had to step down, reassess and now Iím looking to go back and turn around my career."
In both interviews with the Liverpool Echo and ITV Sport, Morgan tends to gloss over his experiences at Colwyn Bay and Hemel Hempstead, telling both media outlets that he was 'maintaining fitness' there. The views of those two clubs managers are rather more caustic. He says that he has not attempted to find a job outside football, even though Curzon are part time, as he still holds an ambition to break back into League football in the future.
My short-term goal is to score goals for Curzon and whatever happens after that happens. Iíve always believed you donít lose your talent over night, people donít say nice things about you for no reason; itís just about getting your consistency back. Iím doing well at the minute, as Iím happy, Iím enjoying playing football and Iím able to show my goalscoring talents. I believe playing anywhere, with a run of games, Iíd score goals and thatís what is hopefully going to happen now. Iíve just got to prove people wrong now and prove myself right as Iíve never stopped believing in my ability."