A new year, and a new decade, kicks off at Plainmoor tomorrow, as Yeovil Town take on The Gulls for the second time in six days.
The match provides Gary Johnson’s side with an early opportunity to avenge the defeat at Huish Park, with The Glovers registering a comprehensive victory on Boxing Day. However, Saturday’s 4-1 home victory over Woking was an emphatic return to form for United, ahead of what promises to be another exciting encounter.
Who’s the Boss?
After signing a three-year contract in the summer, the Yeovil Town board selected Darren Sarll as the man to guide The Glovers through their first campaign outside of the Football League in sixteen years.
Boasting a strong reputation for developing young players, Sarll has enjoyed a 15-year coaching career that has included spells at the likes of Brentford, Rotherham United and Stevenage.
Most recently Head of Academy at Watford, Darren headed to Somerset to lead the club’s assault in the National League for 2019/20.
How have they been doing?
The Glovers have responded well to the challenge since dropping out of the EFL, and quickly established themselves amongst the early season pace setters.
The memory of an opening day defeat at Barnet was immediately erased with a 1-0 win over Eastleigh. Eye-catching victories over highly fancied sides Notts County, Bromley, Hailfax, Solihull have further strengthened their promotion credentials.
One of Yeovil’s most difficult opponents this season have proved to be the television cameras – Their 3-2 away defeat to Sutton on Saturday means Sarll’s side are yet to win on BT Sport this season.
Player to watch
One of United’s chief tormentors on Boxing Day was Albi Skendi, a summer signing from Stratford Town.
Boosted by signing his first professional contract, Albi is able to operate in a number of roles across midfield, in defence and also up front.
Skendi’s previous stints have included spells at Oxford City and Banbury United, as well a spell in America with Los Angeles Wolfs.
Played for both
Ryan Dickson has enjoyed spells with both clubs, after beginning his career with another club based in the South-West, Plymouth Argyle.
Two loan spells at Plainmoor, totalling nine appearances and 1 goal helped give Ryan a taste of first-team football, before he left Home Park for permanent spells at Brentford, Southampton, Colchester and Crawley.
Joining Yeovil in 2015, Dickson made over 100 league appearances for the Huish Park club before earning at National League South winners medal, before joining Truro City on loan earlier this season.
Twelve years ago, United were experiencing their first season as a non-league club in 80 years, whilst Russell Slade’s Town arrived at Plainmoor for an FA Cup 1st Round match as a League One club..
In front of the watching BBC cameras, The Gulls revelled in their role as underdogs, and despite falling behind to a Marcus Stewart goal, braces from Danny Stevens (above) and Chris Todd meant it was Paul Buckle’s side who progressed through to Round 2.
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Vanarama National League | Torquay United Vs Yeovil Town | 01/01/20 3pm KO | Plainmoor TQ1 3PS | Ticketing details are available here.