FANS' ZONE 30/12/2021
YEOVIL OUT FOR THE COUNT AS UNITED PULL NO PUNCHES IN ENTERTAINING BOXING DAY FEAST
It seemed it was a West Country Boxing (Day) contest between two heavyweights if the first twenty minutes of sparring were anything to judge by as United had to match their physical opponents, tackle by tackle, with the afternoon’s ref, Scott Jackson, choosing to keep hands from his pockets although it turned out he played his cards right, saving his red for two incidents late on, plus four yellows, all to the visitors.
Soon after they had their first red Ben Wynter put United in front, then four minutes later it was 2-0 as Sparkes’ vicious volley took a deflection only for keeper Smith to palm it into his own net and Yeovil were on the ropes. Could the Gulls deliver the knock-out blow? The ten men rallied, hit the cross-bar and MacDonald made a strong save after his only mistake of the afternoon.
United’s third, thanks to Joe Lewis, who put in another impressive performance, with a free header four minutes from time, had Yeovil out for the count. By the final whistle the Glovers were off but to a re-match next Sunday.
Then as the season’s highest attendance of 3,830 were filtering out of Plainmoor there was still time for Yeovil keeper Grant Smith to get a straight red.
As United boss Gary Johnson said after the game, ”We can’t go over the top because we play them again in a week’s time.” On Sunday in fact, with Yeovil looking not only to be without three of their starting eleven but also with their eyes on the visit of AFC Bournemouth on the Saturday for their FA Cup Third Round tie.
United look to be without Armani Little who picked up his fifth booking after scoring his 10th goal of the season on Tuesday at Eastleigh. Disappointingly it has subsequently been reported that there were distasteful moronic chants directed at Yeovil supporters over the tragic death of their captain Lee Collins by a minority of individuals on the Popside; the club is carrying out investigations and asks any supporters with information and/or phone footage to contact email@example.com.
Since Boxing Day 2015 at Plainmoor United have now won five in a row: Forest Green 4-1, Forest Green 4-3, Truro City 4-2, Yeovil Town 6-1 and Yeovil Town 3-0.
National League Boxing Day Crowd Watch: Stockport had a fantastic 8,896 for their 5-1 win, United were next with 3,830 followed by 3,759 at Bromley and 3,699 at Aldershot. Bottom club Dover, yet to record a win, only had 697 watching a 2-0 defeat.
Mathematics: C- Still trying to find some consistency, adding and subtracting points beginning to improve but too many negatives. Goal difference remains negative.
History: C+ Doing well earlier in the year but fell down at the final (play-off) fence. Been inconsistent since the Summer break.
Geography: C- Plenty of travel stories but field trips have resulted in poor away form.
PE: C- Flattered to deceive on occasions; could do better but can be entertaining.
PSHE: A* First class knowledge of Covid protocols; keen to keep everyone safe.
Art: E Poor with even drawing cups and decided not to try a bowl.
Music: D Too reliant on ‘Sweet Caroline’. Needs to try a new tune.
Drama: E Failed to spot the winner at Ashton Gate although ‘Gary Time’ is exciting.
Textiles: B+ New kit designs look good even in black & white.
Owner’s Report: B Manager needs squad refreshment to gatecrash the play-offs in 2022 but in Gary we trust.
Three TUST officials met with Torbay MP Kevin Foster before Christmas to discuss the recent report on the future of football produced by former Sports Minister Tracey Crouch MP. Foster said,”It was good to have a detailed discussion about some of the items put forward in the Fan-Led Review, not least how governance structures could be reformed to ensure fans have a greater voice.”
And don’t forget, as the Football Supporters Association reminds us, to make sure football is run sustainably in the future, contact your local MP to support the Fan-Led Review.
There’s beginning to be disquiet amongst many managers over Covid cancellations, some at very short notice, in particular Hull called off their Championship match against Blackburn two hours before kick-off, making a total of 33 fixtures postponed across the Premier League, EFL and National League on Boxing Day.
Not that far back matches used to be played on Christmas Day with the return, against the same team, 24 hours later.
AFC Wimbledon have told the EFL they want clubs who postpone games for coronavirus outbreaks ‘ to be held to account’. They have published a strongly worded letter to the EFL, “We want the EFL to undertake its due processes and implement the strongest possible measures to ensure that - where a club was unable to fulfil a fixture, they must be held to account for all decisions which led to that position.”
Covid rules in the National League say teams have to have 14 players, including a goalkeeper, named as their first team squad, to play.
There’s still time to enter the Christmas Quiz Parts One & Two with the deadline extended to Friday December 31, there are £10 & £15 club shop gift vouchers up for grabs. All the answers can be found on the club’s official website but they’ll be listed here next week.
On Boxing Day United supported Shelter’s #NoHomeKit wearing their black & white, could that change their away fortunes around at Eastleigh on Tuesday? The answer was no with yet another loss on the road.
With the Yeovil return coming up on Sunday Gary Johnson and his squad must be looking to get 2022 off to a positive start.
From all at TUST we wish owner Clarke Osborne, directors George Edwards and Mel Hayman, Gary Johnson, Aaron Downes, the players and management teams all a very happy and successful New Year.
And best wishes to the Yellow Army especially those who travel hundreds of miles on a regular basis.
Stay safe in 2022.