A first half hat-trick from Rhys Murphy saw Yeovil Town return to winning ways with a solid performance against Southern League outfit Tiverton Town in the third match of their pre-season campaign.

Having opened the scoring after just three minutes, the frontman embarrassed Tiverton keeper Ollie Saunders to add a second on 13 minutes, turned provider for strike-partner Frank Nouble on 32 minutes before completing his hat-trick before the break.

Manager Mark Cooper made a number of changes in the second half as the home side pulled two goals back, but he will have been pleased with what he saw of his side who bounced back after a 2-1 defeat at Wimborne Town on Tuesday night.

Once again, our thanks to Callum Hallett who was on the ground in Devon to witness the win, here’s how it went……


First half

The Glovers’ starting line-up included defender Morgan Williams, who sat out the defeat at Wimborne three days earlier after limping off in the opening friendly of the summer against Buckland Athletic last weekend. Mifdielder Matt Worthington was also named among the substitutes, quashing a concerns over his fitness after being taken off as a precaution on Tuesday.

Having kicked off a little later than planned it took just four minutes before the partnerships which manager Mark Cooper had spoken about being important in pre-season became apparent. Frank Nouble won the ball off a defender and fed strike partner Rhys MURPHY who dinked the ball over the keeper.

The striker, who returned to Huish Park in the summer, had a half-hearted penalty appeal turned down (he’s still in to those, it seems) before doubling the advantage on 13 minutes. Saunders thought he was Ederson and ended up red-faced as MURPHY nicked the ball off him to make it 2-0.

Tiverton midfielder River Allen had a great chance to reduce the deficit on 24 minutes when his shot was well-saved by Will Buse, only for the hosts’ player to put the rebound over.

On 32 minutes, Murphy turned provider with a great ball through to NOUBLE who had all the time in the world to finish in to the bottom corner.

Debutant Zac Bell, who joined on loan from Bristol City in the week, had a good shot saved soon after before Williams headed just over the bar from a Jordan Maguire-Drew corner kick.

It took until five minutes before the break for MURPHY to complete his hat-trick. The striker won a penalty and stepped up to make no mistake from the spot.

Half-time: Tiverton Town 0 Yeovil Town 4

Second half

Mark Cooper rang the changes after the break with goalkeeper Lewis Williams, who had previously played for Tivvy, replacing Buse, Josh Owers coming on for Charlie Cooper and Will Dawes replacing Alex Whittle.

Within eight minutes of the restart there was another enforced change as Maguire-Drew went down under a heavy tackle and was replaced by Jordan Young following an impressive performance from the initial Jordan.

Jordan Young in action at Tiverton Town.

Two minutes after his departure the hosts pulled a goal back. A corner bounced around inside the box before Jamie Richards slotting through the legs of Williams.

Murphy was denied following a Dawes long throw, before another good chance fell to the frontman after good play by Owers. He was denied a fourth by a great challenge from Jamie Richards on the hour.

On 63 minutes, Yeovil introduced Malachi Linton, Ollie Haste and trialist Matt Buse in place of Murphy, Jake Wannell and Nouble.

Then, in true pre-season fashion, another round of changes came with 70 minutes on the clock. Benjani Junior, Jamie Sendles-White, Matt Worthington and Under-18s player Aidan Skiverton, replaced Jordan Stevens, Williams, Bell and Josh Staunton respectively.

Perhaps unsurprisingly the much-changed Glovers began to give the hosts more of the game with Saunders’ long ball found to Niall Thompson whose 20 yard effort went over.

Sendles-White was off again on 74 minutes being replaced by Unde-18s’ player Jacob Shore. Perhaps a bit of a knock for the experienced head.

Worthy had a great run and shot soon after before brilliant platy from Linton on 83 minutes set up Benjani Junior for a chance which forced a fine stop out of Saunders in the home side’s goal.

Tiverton got a second on 84 minutes. The ball dropped nicely for Jack Rice to hook the ball in past Williams after the ball had ricocheted around the box. Jordan Young had an effort well saved by Saunders soon after – he’ll score one day, we’re sure.

Full time: Tiverton Town 2 Yeovil Town 4


Yeovil Town: Will Buse (Lewis Williams, 45), Morgan Williams (for Jamie Sendles-White, 70, for Jacob Shore, 74), Josh Staunton (for Aidan Skiverton), Jake Wannell (for Ollie Haste, 63), Alex Whittle (for Will Dawes, 45), Zac Bell (for Matt Worthington 70), Charlie Cooper (for Josh Owers, 45), Jordan Stevens (for Benjani Junior, 70), Jordan Maguire-Drew (for Jordan Young, 53), Frank Nouble (for Matt Buse, 63), Rhys Murphy (for Malachi Linton, 63).

Attendance: Approx 250 Yeovil Town supporters.

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