Yeovil Town manager Mark Cooper admitted his side were not at their “fluent best” as they picked up another three points with a 2-0 home win over Bath City.
Goals from Jordan Young and Frank Nouble’s tenth of the season saw them extend their lead at the top of National League South to ten points with a controlled performance against the visitors who have promotion ambitions of their own.
Speaking to BBC Somerset’s Ian Randall after the match, the boss said: “Bath tried to sit in and make it difficult for us, we had lots of possession in the first half and we just had to be patient and pull them about a bit because they were very well organised.
“We managed to score a lovely opening goal which meant they had to change about a bit and go 4-4-2 and then it was just about controlling the game in the second half. They had to go for it and they put Cody Cooke on and played lots of diagonal balls which I thought we dealt with marvellously, scored a second goal and our subs came on and made a difference and we looked really solid.
“Sometimes you can’t be so fluent but you have to manage the game and I thought we did that really well.”
The game’s moment of pure quality led to Young’s opening goal after 13 minutes when a beautiful ball from Nouble picked out Michael Smith on the right of the penalty area to slot a ball across the box for Young to convert.
Cooper added: “It is a trademark goal for us where we isolate their full-back, play a ball in behind and have a cut back and our players know where the ball is going. It is a great goal.”
Nouble added a second with 13 minutes of the game remaining when he was in the right place in the six-yard box to prod home from a well-worked corner.
In the second half, Cooper introduced Jay Foulston who played as one of three central defenders in a back five to counter a lot of direct play from the visitors.
The boss said: “He was Johnny on the Spot and that goal came at a good time for us and calmed us down a bit. We changed the system in the second half to counter a lot of long balls forward and then we went back to our standard formation and we saw it out very comfortably.
“We said at half-time that Bath were not going to make it easy for us. They are very well-organised, it’s a local derby with a big crowd and I told the players that the worst score we should finish with was 1-0 and we had to make sure we kept a clean sheet.
“We were not at our fluent best but you can’t do that every week because there is another team on the pitch trying to make it difficult for you. They had lots of long balls, bounces in the box, but I thought we defended it really well.”
The manager described Nouble as “a talisman” for his performance which earned him the sponsors’ Man of the Match against Bath. His second half strike was his third in as many games.
Yeovil have now picked up 25 points from a possible 27 at Huish Park and have only drawn three matches at home this season against fellow promotion hopefuls Maidstone United, Chelmsford City and Hampton & Richmond.
Cooper said: “We enjoy playing here and you can see that from the results and the performances. It is a happy camp all round.”
The Glovers now prepare to travel to struggling Taunton Town, who have been forced to ship out a number of first-team players due to well-publicised financial difficulties in the county town, on Tuesday night looking for another win.
“It’s just another game,” said Cooper, “we can’t look at what is going on off-the-pitch, we just have to pick a team that is fresh and can go and run about and try to get another result.”
On the additions from the other side of Somerset, he added: “If you don’t pay your players and do the right things, then you do risk losing them, so we could have profited. That’s the law of the land. These players were on our radar for a while, so when the chance came we jumped on it.
“We sit in the office for ten hours a day with all our data metrics and analysis and look at players. You are always trying to evolve the playing side and Dylan and Jay are helping us evolve as a squad.
“They are two players who are really good ages and the experience is probably at the top end of the pitch which is probably why we are scoring so many goals.“
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