Steve Harris – @steveharris84
Steve Harris previews the game at Huish Park
YEOVIL TOWN VS TORQUAY UNITED – NATIONAL LEAGUE
Match details: Yeovil Town vs Torquay United
Venue: Huish Park, Yeovil
Date: Sunday, 1st January, 2023
Yeovil: W, D, W, D, L,D
Torquay: L, D, W, L, W, D
Yeovil: Alex Fisher (4)
Torquay: Will Goodwin (8)
HEAD TO HEAD
Year founded: 1895
Nickname: The Glovers
Last season’s league finish: 12th in National League
Yeovil notable honours: Division Four/Division Three/League Two:
Conference/Blue Square Premier/National League
FA Trophy winners:
MANAGER: MARK COOPER
Former Exeter City, Birmingham City and Fulham midfielder Mark Cooper took charge of the Glovers in October 2022 following the dismissal of former Gulls player and manager Chris Hargreaves.
As a manager, Cooper made his name in non-league circles with Tamworth and Kettering Town – winning the National League North title with the latter. He was given his first shot at managing in the Football League with Peterborough United in 2009, when he was named as the successor to Darren Ferguson.
His tenure at London Road proved to be short-lived and his next role saw him take charge of Darlington, with whom he won the FA Trophy in the 2010-11 season. He was dismissed by the Quakers early in the 2011-12 campaign and then had a second spell with Kettering before taking charge of AFC Telford.
In 2013, he became assistant manager of Swindon Town under Kevin MacDonald and would later succeed MacDonald early in the 2013-14 season. Under his guidance, the Robins finished 8th in League One in 2013-14 before reaching the Play-offs in the 2014-15 season where they were beaten by Preston North End in the final.
Following his dismissal from the County Ground, he had a short spell in charge of Notts County in 2016 before he was appointed as Forest Green Rovers manager. In his first full campaign in charge at the New Lawn, Cooper led the Gloucestershire side into the Football League for the first time as they defeated Tranmere Rovers in the National League Play-off final to win promotion.
After helping to establish the Green Devils in the Football League, Cooper parted company with the club in 2021. He then had a brief spell in charge of Barrow before taking charge of the Glovers.
Cooper is also the son of former Leeds United and England left-back Terry Cooper.
PLAYER TO WATCH: ALEX FISHER
Torquay United fans will probably remember Alex Fisher from his spell at Plainmoor under Paul Cox and Kevin Nicholson in the early part of the 2015-16 season. Fisher scored five in 23 appearances in all competitions for the Gulls. This tally included a strike on his debut against Macclesfield Town on the opening day of 2015-16.
He then had two spells with Inverness Caledonian Thistle and Motherwell before he returned to the South West for his first spell with Yeovil in the 2017-18 campaign.
After being released by the Glovers following their relegation from the Football League in 2019, Fisher signed for Exeter City and remained with the Grecians for two years until he was let go at the end of the 2020-21 season.
He then spent a year with Newport County before he returned to Huish Park after he was released by the Exiles.
Date of Birth: 30th June, 1990 (32 Years Old)
Former Clubs: Oxford United, Brackley, Oxford City, Jerez Ind., KVK Tienen, Racing Mechelen, KSK Heist, Monza, Mansfield Town, Torquay, Inverness CT, Motherwell, Yeovil Town, Exeter City, Newport County.
NL Stats 22-23: Played 22, Goals Scored 4, Yellow/Red 1/0
Torquay: Shaun Donnellan
Yeovil: Chiori Johnson, Alex Fisher, Louis Britton
Torquay 1-1 Yeovil
26th December 2022
Torquay United and Yeovil Town both put on ‘Jekyll & Hyde’ performances before having to settle for a point which did neither of their chances of escaping from relegation much good at Plainmoor.
Mark Ellis had the first chance for Torquay but goalkeeper Grant Smith was able to save his headed effort.
Yeovil nearly broke the deadlock when Josh Staunton’s low shot was saved by Mark Halstead, however the Gulls then went in front in the 20th minute when Ellis headed home.
They nearly added a second when Stephen Wearne’s low effort was tipped away by Smith.
At half-time, Glovers boss Mark Cooper decided to shuffle his pack and sent on Malachi Linton and Alex Fisher in place of Chiori Johnson and Charlie Wakefield.
It was a change that paid dividends in the 64th minute when Jordan Maguire-Drew found Linton, who tucked the ball home to equalise for the visitors.
Maguire-Drew (twice), Staunton with a header that went over and Fisher (twice) all went close, but they found Halstead in inspired form.
The Gulls were then reduced to ten men in stoppage time when Dylan Crowe was shown a second yellow card.
Yeovil Town (4-4-2):
Morgan Williams – Max Hunt – Ben Richards-Everton – Jamie Reckord
Matt Worthington – Josh Staunton – Jamie Andrews – Jordan Maguire-Drew
Malachi Linton – Alex Fisher
Torquay United (4-4-2):
Shaun Donnellan – Ali Omar – Dean Moxey – Ben Wyatt
Dillon De Silva – Brett McGavin – Tom Lapslie – Stephen Wearne
Will Goodwin – Aaron Jarvis