Gary Johnsons’ policy of reviewing the situation after 10 games will surely come under review 4 games early after today’s disappointing home defeat to Chesterfield. Not that it’s time to hit the panic button, but with the transfer deadline less than two days away, the first six games in league one suggests that it’s harder than many of us fans have predicted.
Gary Johnson said not long after he joined the club that he was building a squad that would be capable of playing in Division One, and he got it right, but to make headway in this league you need to have players who are capable of playing Championship football, or ones that have played at this level and survived. I am not suggesting wholesale change, far from it, but one or two additions in key areas could make all the difference to the results experienced so far.
Until Swindon, our defence looked pretty watertight, but seven goals conceded since then has changed that situation, although the Glovers can be forgiven because on both occasions including today we have been chasing the game and have left the back line exposed. Efe Sodje’s sending off and suspension has not and will not help. Against Chesterfield we started with three at the back, Skiverton, Lockwood making a welcome return and Colin Miles…they all looked reasonably comfortable. But they were not brick walls…ala Chesterfield!
The wingbacks, Nathan Jones looked useful, although once again Kevin Amankwaah was superb both in attack and defence. It was he who set up the first goal with a strong run and fine low cross to the near post which home debutant Luciano ALVARES poked home to give Yeovil the lead after 36 minutes. Amankwaah had crossed 3 times prior to this goal in similar fashion but each time from a dangerous situation we failed to convert the chances. Lee Johnson steered one ball on but just missed the post, Lindegaard shot wide from one, and the other missed everyone all together…Bastianini looks the type of player who makes his own chances, so what Gary Johnson needs is a fox in the box or a Johnny on the spot, someone to go in where it really hurts, two would be nice but one would be lovely…does he already have one amongst his squad??
Chesterfield began to get back in the game, Chris Weale gifted them a corner when he failed to smother a long range shot, but he made amends by claiming the cross with surety.
As Yeovil pressed and left gaps Chesterfield broke and steamed towards goal, luckily Lee Johnson had tracked back the length of the field and blocked as the Spirerites attacker pulled the trigger. Lee Johnson had a fine game, substituted on Saturday after his disappointing penalty, he picked himself up and looked the best midfielder on show. He constantly picked the ball up off his defenders and sprayed the long and short ball out to the flanks to set up attacks. He was neat and tidy and tackled well in the middle, but he did make a point of walking around each of the three stands to openly applaud all the supporters. Was this a gesture aimed at his supporters who have stuck by him lately, or was this a farewell signal suggesting that he was in fact off to Swansea. Only time will tell, if it is the case then Johnson senior would not allow him to go unless he had a ready made replacement. For the first time it’s fair to say our midfield was lightweight. Not so much in the 50-50’s but the height advantage that Chesterfield had was significant, they could play a bit too, which is the noticeable difference stepping up a league.
Chesterfield got themselves back into the game with a goal a minute before the break, such a bad time to concede. As they piled forward no one made a tackle and they were allowed to run pretty much unchallenged, from the resulting corner the ball went clean through to the back post where Paul HALL smacked home from close range. The corner should have been dealt with but in truth the build up to it caused the problem.
Bastianini once again tried his luck from the halfway line, but his speculative effort that beat the keeper just went the wrong side of his right hand post, and that was the last of the action before half time came.