21st February 2021

Yeovil Town suffered a late sucker punch as Hartlepool United won 2-1 at Victoria Park in dying embers. Manager Darren Sarll admitted it was a “big blow” for his side after their good recent spell of form.  

A magnificent strike from Tom Knowles in the second-half gave Sarll’s side the lead, but a goal from Luke Armstrong and a late strike from Gavin Holohan in stoppage time shattered Town’s hopes of picking up a big away point at one of the promotion hopefuls in the National League. 

Speaking to BBC Somerset after the game, he said: “The winning goal was obviously a massive sucker punch and a big blow for us. A point would have been brilliant result in a game which I thought we performed quite well in again.  

“I thought we played particularly well in the first-half, but with four minutes of play to go the decisions we made we absolutely hideous and ultimately cost us the game in the end.

“A point away from a side as good as Hartlepool would have really stitched things together nicely in terms of our form and momentum, and it would have meant going into Tuesday’s game a little more upbeat and positive. 

It was a difficult one to take especially when we’ve dominated a team for 60 minutes, who have been sitting comfortably in the play-off positions for the majority of the season. However, we’ve got to take full responsibly for our mistakes and try and move on from this now. 

The frustrating thing looking back is that it was a 700-mile road trip for nothing. I don’t want to take that away from Tom Knowles because his strike was absolutely magnificent as it was his first goal for Yeovil and also the team’s efforts, but as everyone knows in this game it’s all about the winningthe points, the promotions and of course the trophies. Again, I don’t want to take anything away from our performance but in my eyes a victory will always surpass an individual or team performance.”

With Saturday’s defeat at Victoria Park marking the half-way stage of the National League season for the Glovers, Sarll is hoping that his side can but a big run of games together in hope of making a late swoop for the play-offs. 

Looking back the first half of season has obviously been really poor there’s no doubt about that.” He added. “The first quarter of it was as bad as we’ve ever hoped, and I think the second quarter has showed some real promise and the growth of the team.  

We’ve got to try and build some momentum going forward now. We can’t go anywhere or even if we’re home and throw away the opportunities that we did today at any point. All we have to do over the course of the season is perform consistently because it’s a marathon not a sprint as we start to pall points. If we do stop palling points, then we’ll be ok but if we don’t gain that momentum and only win a couple – draw a few – lose a few – then we’re just going to flout in mid-table. 

“I don’t want that, I still want the second-half of the season to be a real positive one and I still think that we can get in there if we put our minds to it.”