Yeovil Town manager Mark Cooper has said his side is fully focused on securing promotion from National League South this season.

Two goals from new signing Sam Pearson saw the Glovers maintain their unbeaten home record and their 13-point advantage at the top of the table with a 2-0 win over Hemel Hempstead Town at Huish Park today.

His most recent signing is a clear signing of building for the future, but the boss told our man Ian Perkins he has not given much thought to next season.

He said: “I’m not really thinking about it because we have to get this season done first, but it is prudent when we make a signing that it is one which can go with us on a journey. When I was trying to convince Sam, the thing I think got it over the line was the belief of where we want to go. The signings we make are with that in mind.”

The manager was pleased with Pearson’s contribution on his second debut. He added: “We brought him in, played him up front because of his movement. The way we play, the boys at the front of the pitch have to run and run hard and fast in to space and Sam gives us that option.

What was definitely on his mind was a second half tackle by Hemel youngster Kombe Kawimbe on Glovers’ midfielder Charlie Cooper which the boss described as “the worst tackle I have seen in three or four years on any football pitch.”

Charlie Cooper in action against Hemel Hempstead Town.
Picture courtesy of Gary Brown

He told BBC Somerset’s Josh Perkins: “It is a young player that committed it, he is learning the game, he’s full of remorse for it, but the referee (Craig Scriven) has to do his job. It is a straight red card, we can’t be sentimental. In any other game you are getting locked up for three weeks for that tackle, not just a red card. Luckily we are not sat here talking about a really bad injury with that tackle. Charlie is okay but he had a little tight hamstring towards the end, but he’s okay.

I said to the referee that those kind of tackles have been outlawed from the game. When I played you got a round of applause for that tackle, but (the referee) did not do his job today. He endangered the safety of the players and, as good as his performance was at times, he will be remembered for that tackle. We want to help referees to learn, but they have to want to learn and hopefully he will and come back better because he has the potential to be a good referee.

Substitute Jake Hyde suffered a calf strain just minutes after arriving into the game.
Picture courtesy of Gary Brown

The boss said he expected Cooper and full-back Michael Smith, who suffered a slight groin strain during the victory, to be available for Tuesday night’s trip to Truro City – but revealed he expected striker Jake Hyde to be missing after suffering a calf strain shortly after coming on against Hemel.

However, Cooper is hoping to have top scorer Rhys Murphy, who sat out the Hemel game with a hamstring injury, to be available in three days time. He said: “We are hoping he will be okay for Tuesday, but if not Tuesday then Saturday. It will be great to have Murph back because he has been great.

The final word came for the winning streak which the manager sees in his squad as they enter the business end of the season knowing they can expect more rough treatment in the coming weeks.

He said: “Teams are going to try and beat us up and kick us off the pitch. In the first week of the season we had a discussion about whatever the opposition bring, we have to do whatever we have to do to win.

Whether they want a scrap in the car park or play Tiddlywinks in the bar, whether we are knee-deep in mud, playing on a rubbish 3G pitch or if it is chucking it down with rain, we have the mentality that we want to go to the well and get it done.

Their was a few naughty tackles today, there was a punch in the first half on Jake Wannell, but we can give it out as well and we have to have that nasty streak. I don’t know any team that wins things that has not got that streak in them that they will look after each other.

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