Yeovil Town fought back from 2-0 down and 3-2 down, but left Hampshire with nothing as the Glovers fell the wrong side of a 4-3 scoreline.

The hosts had their manager sent off, the Glovers had Charlie Cooper sent off for a second bookable offence in the dying seconds.

Dave Coates was in the away end for the rollercoaster fixture, here’s how it unfolded.

First half

The opening chance of the game came after six minutes when James Roberts found Mo Faal who got his shot away.

But just a minute later, the big frontman, allegedly a target of Matt Uggla during SU Glovers’ ‘stewardship’ at Huish Park, made no mistake with FAAL heading home a left wing cross from Roberts.

They was at least a suspicion of foul play by Faal, with Charlie Cooper getting a booking for informing the referee of this.

Faal had the ball in the net again soon after only to be adjudged to have fouled his man on this occasion, but on 12 minutes the home side doubled their advantage. A quick throw by Tom Mehew and Callum KEALEY spun to shoot and double the advantage.

And at the other end, Yeovil were yet to manage five yard pass let alone an effort on goal. The pace of the artificial pitch seemed to completely go against the team who was less familiar with it.

Faal seized on to another loose pass on 19 minutes, the big striker broke through but was denied by a great save from Will Buse.

It took the Great Escape to strike up from the away end at Westleigh Park to inspire the visitors. What were we saying about who inspires who? But they inspired a goal in the 26th minute from a corner as Charlie Cooper’s ball in was bundled in by Jake WANNELL. Was there a hand involved? Probably (/definitely) but who cares?

At the other end the threat had not stopped as Havant continued to press ahead. Faal caused Jamie Sendles-White all kinds of problems and the ball broke to Roberts whose effort went over.

Cooper put a shot over from a 34th minute corner before on 41 minutes a great run down the right by Thomas saw him jink in to the box but scuffed his shot wide. For a side which can’t seem to control a ball or play a pass on an artificial search, two chances is nothing to be sniffed at.

Worthington had a header tipped over by Worner in the Havant goal with a minute of normal time remaining and then Yeovil were handed a lifeline as Maguire-Drew was bundled over in the box. MAGUIRE-DREW stepped up to coolly fire home the penalty and the game was level.

But five minutes in to injury time a trip on Faal in the box by Wannell saw the hosts get the chance to restore their lead. FAAL’s initial effort was saved by Buse but the forward was there to turn in the spot kick.

Half time: Havant & Waterlooville 3 Yeovil Town 2

Second half

Half time saw Morgan Williams replace Sonny Blu Lo-Everton and five at the back was….well, back.

The highlight of the opening exchanges of the second half was Havant manager James Collins being sent off, presumably for something he said to the referee after Faal went down under a challenge whilst Yeovil played on.

A minute later a flicked header from Williams was superbly clawed out by Worner, and on 54 minutes good play from Nouble saw the ball break to Cooper and his chance was well saved by the legs of Worner.

But the threat at the other end was not over proven by Roberts putting an effort just wide after 58 minutes.

An injury to Worthington saw him replaced by Jordan Young after 62 minutes.

A minute later Faal had a long range shot against the post and the rebound fell to Rory Deacon whose shot flew over the bar and two minutes later former trialist Tom Blair had an effort rattle back off the post.

With a goal seemingly lacking and greatly needed, manage Mark Cooper introduced Rhys Murphy with 69 minutes gone. He replaced Olly Thomas, who may well be more of a threat coming off the bench.

With ten minutes gone, Faal, who was turning in the perfect big frontman performance, turned Sendles-White and fed in Roberts who bent another one just over the bar.

As the game ticked in to the final ten minutes when the fitness and discipline was supposed to be in the favour of the full-time side, it was Havant who appeared to have the upper hand. At the other end, it all felt aimless and uncoordinated.

It was hard to see where an equaliser was coming from – and then one came. Maguire-Drew fed MURPHY who broke away and slotted home.

But, if this afternoon had taught us anything, it’s not over til it is over. Faal drove down the left, played it in to KEALY who spun to turn home his second of the day.

But there was just time for it to go from bad to worse. Cooper went down under a tackle inside the box and got a second yellow for simulation and that was the end of his afternoon.

Full time: Havant & Waterlooville 4 Yeovil Town 3

Match Details

Venue: Westleigh Park
Monday, 28th August, 3pm kick-off

Pitch: Stupid Plastic
Conditions: Dull but hot.

Attendance: 1744 (658 Yeovil fans)

Scorers: M Faal (1-0), C Kealy (2-0), J Wannell (2-1), J Maguire-Drew (2-2), M Faal (3-2), R Murphy (3-3), C Kealy (4-3)

Yeovil Town:
C Cooper, 15. Maguire-Drew, 64. Whittle, 99
Havant & Waterlooville: Deacon, 54. Kealy, 69. Worner, 72. Busari, 82, Faal, 94)

Red Cards:
Yeovil Town:
C Cooper (96)
Havant & Waterlooville: 
Jamie Collins (off pitch, 51)

Referee: Joe Booksalot

Yeovil Town (4-3-3)


Substitutes: Morgan Willams (for Lo Everton, 46), Jordan Young (for Worthington, 62) Rhys Murphy (for Thomas, 69) Josh Owers, Jake Hyde.

Havant & Waterlooville: Worner, Innocent, McNerny, Mehew, Kealy, Faal, Busari, Willson, Blair, Deacon, Roberts
Substitutes (not used): Jewitt-White (for Busari, 86) Oastler (for Faal, 94)


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7 months ago

Terrible performance, wonder what excuses Cooper will come up with this time.

Essex Glover
7 months ago

Back to normal I see. For goodness sake can we not get some decent players in?While we’re about it can someone please call Ian Holloway and make him an offer?FFS with our resources we we should be top of this Mickey Mouse league not miles off the pace already.Rant over.

7 months ago

Well what can you say. Every game will be a Cup Final. Artificial pitches will be our downfall. As will having a goalkeeper that the defense cannot rely on. A replacement goalkeeper is paramount. Cooper is a tinker man especially during a game (he’s no Pep) this is reflected in the way the team plays. Mostly they havnt a clue what is expected during a match. Yeovil turn up and expect the opposition to just role over, sadly that’s not the case. Before the season started I thought Cooper would have until Xmas, I havnt changed that view.

Phil A
7 months ago

Got what we deserved! Not many in the playing squad came out of that one with any credit. On the plus side – three goals (woohoo, when did we last do that?) but you’d kinda expect a promotion hopeful team to win with that many? I guess not today!

Cooper needs a reaction – Chelmsford need to leave HP with a good hiding! We’ll see how good the squad depth is without Cooper Jr. and possibly Worthy. To be honest I’m actually looking forward to seeing Owers (phone yer dad, Josh… you’re getting a game at last!) and potentially Stevens making a cameo. Perhaps even a rarer than rare sighting of Will Dawes?

7 months ago

The glovers train on an artificial pitch don’t they? The pitch played perfectly and had nothing to do with it.