Yeovil Town are back on the road this weekend as the latest Sky Bet Championship fixture pits the Glovers against bottom of the table Barnsley in Yorkshire.
The M1 will take a battering as the team and fans make their way north to take on one of only two sides below Yeovil in the table.
The Tykes are bottom of the Championship two points, and two places behind Yeovil. It might be too early to be throwing around phrases like “Six Pointer” and “Must Win” but you could forgive them slipping out in the build up to such an important game for both sides.
A win for Yeovil could see them climb out of the drop zone, while a home win would put them the south Yorkshire side within a point of safety.
Barnsley are currently without a manager following the departure of David Flitcroft, former Fleetwood Town boss Mickey Mellon is in caretaker charge; Mellon masterminded an FA Cup shock over the Glovers during his time at Fleetwood.
Mellon has been in charge for two games so far, a win over Brighton before a home defeat against high flyers Burnley. Prior to that, a pair of defeats were the final results during Flitcroft’s reign, results which saw the Oakwell outfit hit rock bottom. Barnsley, aren’t without their high profile players, however. Loan goalkeeper, Jack Butland represents both England Under 21s regularly and was part of the Great Britain football side at the 2012 Olympics.
At the other end, Paddy McCourt, has represented both Northern Ireland at international level and Celtic in the Champions League. They also are looking to a recently acquired Nottingham Forest loanee to score some goals, what Ishmael Miller is to Yeovil, Marcus Tudgay is to Barnsley.
Recent history has seen the Tykes swing from Premier League to League One and start the climb back again. In fact, the sides met during the 2005/06 season, both sides notched a win on their home patch. At Huish Park, David Poole and Efe Sodje scored in a 2-1 win.
Since then, we’ve only met in a pre-season friendly, Gavin Tomlin and Lloyd Owusu scored in a 2-0 Yeovil win, but the mass amount of trialists probably mean we cannot read too much into it.
Saturday’s visitors are going with a reasonably full bill of health, even goalkeeper Marek Stech is back fighting fit, even if his match sharpness might not see him make his first team return for a couple of weeks.
Mass changes might not be in Gary Johnson’s thoughts following two wins and a draw in the last three games. One man desperate to get a go will be Kevin Dawson, not only would it represent a chance to claim his starting place back, but it would also see him face his brother Stephen, who is a mainstay in the Tykes’ midfield. Christmas Dinner with a Dawson victory either way could be interesting!
The Glovers did have a little run out during midweek, a behind closed doors game against Exeter saw the Grecians win 1-0, but the likes of Sam Foley, Kieffer Moore and Liam Fontaine got some good minutes under their belt ahead of the weekend fixtures.
It’s 22nd vs 24th in the Championship on Saturday and if you’re not making the trip north, you can always keep up with the Glovers using both radio and online; whilst you’re online, it can’t hurt to remind everyone that you can save up to £5 on the cost of a ticket for each of the next two Yeovil home games simply by buying online at YTFC.net.
All the reaction will be available on the club’s YouTube channel while you can keep up with the conversation on Facebook and Twitter too.
Cricket Umpire Dickie Bird, Bowler Darren Gough and TV Interviewer extraordinaire Michael Parkinson.
A foot in both camps.
Martin Cranie, Kevin Betsy, Arron Davies, Rory Fallon, Ritchie Jones, Michael McIndoe, Craig Rocastle, Korey Smith and Lewin Nyatanga was all set to sign for Yeovil during pre-season before being lured north to Barnsley.