Written by Kurt West
Yeovil Town ended their five game losing streak with a gutsy win in the capital against a much-fancied Leyton Orient side via a Tom Eaves header in the 76th minute. I now look back at the three main things we learnt from the crucial victory at Brisbane Road.
1. Darren Ward is key
Darren Ward’s reintroduction to the Glovers team gave the defence a huge boost and meant they kept only their second clean sheet in the league. Darren’s experience had clearly been missed in a Yeovil team that was shipping goals like no tomorrow and lacked a real leader. With Alex Lacey also making a recent return, the Yeovil Town defence is certainly a stronger one that it had been previously and keeping these two players fit will be key if Yeovil want to crack on this season under Darren Way. Ward had turned 38 in the week, which is a phenomenal age to still be playing at, yet his presence seems to boost the whole defence and Alex Lacey looked the real deal partnered next to the veteran, throwing in crucial blocks at very crucial times to make sure Town held onto their narrow lead.
2. Tom Eaves is unfairly criticised?
I’m not going to claim I am the lads biggest fan at all and he is a very frustrating player to watch sometimes but his performance yesterday can not really be criticised. He ran his heart out for the team and was made to feed off scraps for most of the game due to the wingers being so distant from him and having a slight change in job roles to help out the back four. Eaves rarely lost a header which is something I haven’t been able to say too much this season and he took his chance very well when he got it after clever play from Otis Khan and Ryan Hedges. The signing of Izale Mcleod and the the return of injured Francois Zoko in the near future, should give Eaves good competition and give Darren more options to change things as we do look incredibly predictable at this moment with how we’re lining up.
3. Darren Way needs to be more pragmatic and trusting
I have complete faith in the manager and especially with a fully fit squad but I do understand some of the fans concerns towards him and I think they’re very fair points. Since the start of the season he has made very little change to the starting eleven and the players did look fatigued having to player every three days in such a physically demanding league. One thing I didn’t agree with yesterday was the lack of substitutions, we only made one change the entire match and that was in the 86th minute with defender, Bevis Mugabi coming on for winger, Otis Khan. I feel like the introduction of midfield ‘hard man’ Alex Lawless would’ve been a good substitution to sure up the midfield especially when two of our midfielders were on bookings and certainly not shying away from challenges that could see them pick up a second yellow. Darren certainly needs to give more fringe players chances when starting players are struggling with fatigue or injury because it’ll then tell him who is really up to the job and what kind of role they can fulfil in Darren’s system which requires lots of energy and freshness.
Yeovil Town’s next fixture will be against Cheltenham Town at Huish Park which will certainly be exciting as former Yeovil legend Gary Johnson returns to manage his side against, his once apprentice at Yeovil Town, Darren Way. Both will be desperate to prove themselves against each other after similar starts in League Two and hopefully Yeovil Town can win their second league game in a row for the first time this season.
Yeovil fans, what did you make of the performance against Leyton Orient? Do you agree with these points? Let us know in the comments below!
featured image by Martin Belam