Yeovil Town manager Mark Cooper admitted his side did not perform brilliantly in a 1-0 home win over Havant & Waterlooville this afternoon – but he was just happy to see them pick up the three points.

A 32nd minute goal from Jake Wannell, the defender’s third in two games, was enough to seal the victory in atrocious conditions at Huish Park against a visiting team which belied their position second-from-bottom of the National League South.

The win maintains the Glovers’ ten-point advantage over second-placed Worthing, who won 4-1 at W*ymouth this afternoon, going in to Tuesday night’s all-Somerset clash with Weston-super-Mare.

Speaking to BBC Somerset’s Josh Perkins and our own Ian Perkins (no relation), the boss said: “It was a difficult afternoon in horrible conditions, but at this stage of the season it is just about points. A lot of managers  talk about injuries, but we have got a group of lads that just keep getting it done.

We didn’t play brilliantly well, we should have scored four goals because we had some brilliant chances, but we are allowed to miss them. But, did we grind out and defend brilliantly? Yes. So, for us, it is just another three points and at this stage of the season that is all we are bothered about.

It’s about the effort and the horrendous conditions we played in, especially in the second half, a referee who seemed hell-bent on trying to book all our players for I do not know what, he was giving throw-ins to them when they had quite clearly booted the ball out of play. It was a frustrating game, but we got the three points.

Having taken the lead through a well-worked goal straight off the training pitch, Yeovil had three great opportunities to extend their lead with strikers Frank Nouble and Sam Pearson and substitute Jordan Stevens all spurning chances.

Cooper said: “We had four unbelievable chances, Frank, Sam Pearson and Jordan Stevens are all clear through, and then their keeper drops the ball and we tapped it over the bar instead of in to the net. If you look at those chances compared to theirs, where Joe Day has saved on by the near post in the second half, we should be winning the game more comfortably.

We have got (former striker) Marcus Stewart (on the Huish Park coaching staff) with us and that is what we have talked about, when they get in that position, we give the keeper a chance to make that save and that is really frustrating.

The Glovers’ manager was critical of referee George Laflin, who handed out three yellow cards to each side, and it was the inconsistency of the official which riled Cooper.

He said: “Frank got booked for kicking the ball away, a milisecond after the referee blew his whistle, their right-back kicked the ball away right in front of me in the first half and he was blind to it. The difference is that if you kick it away in the second half you get booked, if you kick it away in the first half, you don’t.

If you time waste in the first half, like they did, you get booked, but when Joe Day throws the ball to Jake Wannell, in the second half when we are winning, he gets booked.

Credit to the players, they just keep coming here and getting it done and we have to keep getting it done for the next 14 games.

Picture courtesy of Gary Brown.

One of those bookings proved costly for forward Jordan Young who collected his tenth booking of the season for dissent in the second half. He now misses next weekend’s trip to third-placed Chelmsford City and the visit to Farnborough Town the following weekend.

Cooper said: “(Jordan) has had some ridiculous bookings for dissent, two-footed tackles when he has never made a tackle in his life and kicking the ball away. So it is really frustrating for us and for him.

There was also a concern around full-back Alex Whittle who came off after just 19 minutes having only managed the first half of last weekend’s 4-2 win at Tonbridge Angels. He was replaced by Jay Foulston who now seems likely to feature in the upcoming games.

His manager said: “That is two weeks running he has come off and that can’t continue. Jay came on and did really well and it looks like he will play for the next few games. It’s not an injury, it’s like an illness, I think.

With a full National League South schedule expected to take place (except for Taunton Town who are slated to play at home, of course) on Tuesday night, Cooper has called on the Huish Park to play their part in raising the atmosphere against Weston-super-Mare.

Speaking after the Havant win, he said: “I thought the fans were really quiet today from minute one and I might get stick for saying that. I asked on Thursday and I know it is hard because of the conditions and we did not start the game brilliantly, but we are top of the league and ten points clear and we need the fans to really get behind us. So Tuesday, please come and get behind us for 90 minutes.

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5 months ago

Mr Cooper comments on the quiet crowd!!! Maybe they need something to shout/cheer/sing about, not today. But let’s be positive, a win. But what a diabolical display. It looked like Mr Cooper played 4–2-3-1 and it proved to be absolutely carp (anog) maybe he thought it would be a pushover. We need a centre forward cos Pearson ain’t, and you can only describe Big Frank as an enigma. You could see, Mr Cooper, that their plan was wide men getting the ball quickly into the box with 3 or 4 of their players there or there abouts. Football is not a difficult game unless YOU complicate it with your bloody tippy tappy football. I know 10 points clear, I look forward to next season, not!!

Simon Thornley
5 months ago
Reply to  Mick

Thanks mate, funniest thing I’ve read in ages.

Archie Morris
5 months ago

Jeez – talk about Moody Mark Cooper! A great season we’re having, but what terrible communication from him here…

5 months ago

Well a win is a win fans!
I’ve no doubt that we are missing the Murph,his movement,experience,goals and just presence we are surely missing!
Nice to see drummer boy back yesterday ,(he must have a name!),
And after 4 previous attempts finally I had onions in my Hot dog !
Annoying and not necessary is the stupid body searching,grown men and ladies over 60 being tapped going into the ground!
Absolutely pathetic !
I refuse myself after being a YT fan for over 50 years!
On to victory!