Groundhopping

A big Groundhopping day out in Somerset…. Yeovil Town v Chesterfield

Happy Sunday!

It has been far too long since this blog has been active, but the small matter of a global pandemic has meant that groundhopping has not been possible since December 2020, but that’s behind us now! (fingers crossed)

So to celebrate getting back into groundhopping, and football, we needed a game that was sure to be a classic. After much deliberation, where destinations such as Notts County, Derby and Lincoln were all mentioned, we eventually ended up choosing Yeovil Town.

Huish Park has been a ground that I have wanted to tick off for a good while now, especially after my epic Football Manager career with them in 2009…

Yeovil are a very interesting Non-league club, having played in four different divisions in the last decade, including a season in the Championship. Funnily enough their opponents today have played in three different divisions in the last decade, so you could say that this was a National League game between two clubs of Football League stature.

Yeovil were relegated from the Championship in 2014

So 10:30am came around and it was time to leave for the 200 mile round trip, with my Yeovil shirt on of course!

After picking up my friend from Surbiton station, the journey did not get off to a great start, as busy Saturday traffic meant it took nearly an hour just to get on the M3, not ideal when you’ve got a three hour journey ahead of you.

Anyway, we eventually got going properly, and in the end managed to make pretty good time, arriving at the Huish Park car park with the best part of an hour to spare before kick off.

There was a really relaxed vibe around the ground as we walked around it to collect our tickets, with fans from both sides basking in the sun enjoying a Cider, but the relaxed vibe soon subsided as anticipation for the game increased the closer we got to 3pm.

We got our tickets in the Thatchers Gold Terrace, i’ll say it’s because i’m a traditionalist, but in reality it’s because this is where the cheapest tickets were! Nevertheless I was pleased we were stationed here as this was right in and among the loudest Yeovil fans.

Words can’t describe how nice it was to hold a paper ticket again

Kick off came around soon enough, and I took in a large breath of fresh air, as football was finally happening right in front of my eyes, for the first time since December.

The game was set to be a good one, Yeovil’s start to the season was solid, if not spectacular, while Chesterfield had started very well, eyeing top spot before Saturday’s clash, but it was the home side who made the brighter start.

The Glovers enjoyed plenty of possession in their visitor’s half, and looked keen to deliver dangerous balls into the box, but Chesterfield’s centre back pairing dealt very well with this threat. Yeovil did have the ball in the back of the net though, only for it to be disallowed as the referee judged that Chesterfield’s keeper had been fouled.

This was met with boos and jeers from the home crowd, as it looked soft in real time, but my mate actually got the incident on film, and it looked like the Yeovil attacker had made contact with the keeper. National League VAR in full force!

Chesterfield then delivered a well time sucker punch to the home side, as Manny Oyeleke scored with what looked like a decent finish in the nineteenth minute. A swift passing move led to the midfielder having a clear shot on goal, that hit the back of the net pretty hard.

Oyeleke was the best player on the pitch, standing out in midfield and linking to the attack well too, his goal just capped this excellent performance.

This goal gave Chesterfield added impetus, and they started to look really threatening, and they duly added to their lead ten minutes before the break. A long ball from goalkeeper Scott Loach was not dealt with by the Yeovil defence, and Kabongo Tshimanga latched onto the loose ball and slotted a cool finish into the corner of Yeovil’s net.

Chesterfield were looking really comfortable going into the break, 2-0 up and they had nullified the threat that Yeovil posed in the early exchanges.

Pretty view of the first half

To be honest, the second half was a non starter, Chesterfield shut up shop and looked to play on the counter, and Yeovil didn’t have the quality on the ball to pose any real threat to the visitors.

This is testament to the fact that Chesterfield are one of the picks to gain promotion from the National League, they put in a very professional away performance and if they can provide that sort of performance on a regular basis, then there’s every chance we will see them in the Football League in 2022…

Tempers flared after the final whistle

The game ended, and i’m sure fans from both sides breathed a sigh of relief, as it put an end to an uneventful second 45. Oyeleke, Tshimanga and Gavin Gunning were the stand outs for the away side, and they all played a part in an excellent win for the Derbyshire outfit.

And fair play to the 200 odd Chesterfield fans who made the 8 hour round trip, at least the game was worth it for them!

We then went on to Yeovil Nandos and had a proper good feeding, I would highly recommend a visit there after ticking Huish Park!

The journey back was actually pretty enjoyable, and we made good time, so all in all it was a good day.

I thoroughly enjoyed being back at the football, I just hope this season will be uninterrupted so I can tick some more interesting places, like Yeovil!

Thanks for reading this blog.

Catch you next week for another groundhopping trip!

  • GROUND: Huish Park
  • GAME: Yeovil Town 0-2 Chesterfield
  • COMPETITION: National League
  • GROUND NUMBER: 89
  • WOULD I GO BACK: Yep
  • TICKET PRICE: £12
  • DAYS SINCE LAST 0-0: 939
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