Yeovil Town extended their lead at the top of the National League South to 13 points with a narrow win at Somerset rivals Taunton Town.
It was a fourth goal in as many games from striker Frank Nouble which sealed the points to give the Glovers’ victory in their game in hand over a number of their rivals in the division’s top seven.
Here’s how it went down in the county town….
A bright start from the visitors saw good link-up between Matt Worthington and Sonny Blu Lo-Everton with the latter’s effort cleared off the goal line by former Glovers’ loanee Zac Bell, signed by Taunton on loan from Bristol City earlier in the day.
Soon after, nice passing saw Yeovil break forward at pace with a move involving Jordan Young and Lo-Everton, but it was full-back Michael Smith who the ball broke to on the edge of the box and his effort was easily held by Dan Lavercombe in the hosts’ goal.
With 18 minutes gone, a foul by Jordan Young on Peacocks’ striker Ross Stearn earned him a yellow card. From the resulting free-kick, Lloyd Irish’s ball found Ollie Chamberlain on the left side and he played a dangerous ball in to the box which was headed away Frank Nouble. Nothing much to trouble Joe Day in the Yeovil goal yet, but Taunton certainly not rolling over here.
When they were in possession, Yeovil struggled to shrug off their claret and blue shadows. The home side harried their opponents in a way they were completely unable to in the Boxing Day game at Huish Park. Not a one-sided affair this.
With half-an-hour gone, a nice ball forward by Senior was laid off nicely by Lo-Everton, but Young could not get in ahead of Lavercombe.
There was a heart-in-the-mouth moment on 39 minutes when Joe Day fumbled a long ball in to the box with a number of Taunton players in close proximity. The referee awarded a foul to the keeper who was perhaps a touch fortunate.
The half-time whistle sounded with Yeovil massively ahead in the possession stats, but Taunton’s game of pressing their visitors paid off.
Half time: Taunton Town 0 Yeovil Town 0
A gear change was required from Yeovil to press home their advantage and manager Mark Cooper introduced top scorer Rhys Murphy in place of the quiet Courtney Senior at the start of the second half.
Following a bitty opening five minutes a lovely ball forward by Matt Worthington picked out Frank NOUBLE who broke in to the box and fired an angled shot past Lavercombe. 1-0 to the visitors.
On 63 minutes, a great bit of link up between Lo-Everton and Murphy saw the midfielder jink his way in to the box, but he could not get a shot away to test Lavercombe.
Moments later a mistake by Zac Bell gifted possession to Murphy who showed all his striker’s instincts who hit it first time and he lashed an effort which Lavercombe did well to turn on to the bar to keep it out. What an effort from the bagsman, deserved a goal.
As the game closed towards the 90th minute, Murphy went down in what seemed like an innocuous clash, judged by the experts in the home crowd as time wasting. But, worryingly for those in the away end, the top scorer went off shortly after, replaced by Jake Hyde.
Hyde was straight in the action to head home a looping free-kick from Worthington, but his effort went over the bar.
It was a hard-fought win, but a win nevertheless. Job done.
Full time: Taunton Town 0 Yeovil Town 1
Venue: Wordsworth Drive
Date: Tuesday 9th January – 7.45pm
Competition: National League South
Pitch: Uneven and a bit bobbly.
Conditions: Cold. Very cold.
Scorers: Frank Nouble 50 (1-0),
Yeovil Town: Jordan Young 16, Rhys Murphy 71, Jake Wannell 75, Michael Smith 90+5
Taunton Town: Dan Ball 20, Nat Jarvis 58
Referee: Niall Smith
Yeovil Town (4-5-1)
Substitutes: Rhys Murphy (for Courtney Senior, 46), Will Dawes (for Jordan Young, 76), Jake Hyde (for Rhys Murphy, 87), Jamie Sendles-White (not used), Josh Owers (not used).
Taunton Town: Dan Lavercombe, Zac Bell, Nick Grimes, Dan Ball, Ollie Chamberlain, Lloyd James, Nat Jarvis (for Marley Rose, 61), Rabby Tabu Minzamba, Ross Stearn (for Evander Grubb, 78), Cameron Evans, Marcus Day (for Louie Slough, 70).
Substitutes (not used): Callum Dolman, Lloyd Irish.