Yeovil Town’s unbeaten home record this season came to an end as Welling United completed the double over the National League South leaders at Huish Park this afternoon.

The moment that mattered came after 72 minutes when Charlie Cooper’s loose pass was seized upon by Anthony Grant who lashed an effort past Joe Day in front of a stunned Thatcher’s End.

In the first half, Yeovil lost influential full-back Michael Smith after just 16 minutes to what appeared to be a hamstring injury. He was replaced by Jay Foulston but from that point on it seemed to derail any rhythm – which continued for much of the match.

First half

The visitors struck the first blow by winning the toss and making Yeovil attack the Thatcher’s End in the first half, but it almost backfired after just two minutes. Jordan Young’s corner was met by the head of Morgan Williams but his effort went the wrong side of the crossbar.

Seven minutes later, another corner this time found the head of Frank Nouble who had acres of space, but his effort went wide. If those opening exchanges are anything to go by, set pieces could be a point to exploit the weaknesses of Welling. We’ll see.

There was an early change forced on Yeovil after just 16 minutes when Michael Smith went down holding a hamstring and, rather than risk the Northern Irishman who missed the goalless draw with Aveley on Monday night, he was replaced by Jay Foulston.

That meant a change of formation with Foulston making up a back three with Morgan Williams and Jake Wannell, whilst Sam Pearson moved in to a right wing-back position. Up front Sonny Blu Lo-Everton was in behind a front two of Nouble and Young.

Whilst the Glovers reorganised, Welling had their first chance on 18 minutes. It was one which came from nothing as Reece Grant fed Jason Adigun who took his chance early and scooped it over the crossbar. It looked like a decent opening with keeper Joe Day off his line.

But, after a couple of uncomfortable looking minutes, manager Mark Cooper had clearly seen enough of a back five. Foulston switched to right back with Pearson returning to a more forward position. Foulston is not a natural right back, but with Will Dawes, who stood in for Smith at Aveley, not among the substitutes, options were limited.

Welling definitely spotted the impact of losing Smith to their hosts and on 26 minutes Adigun found himself in a good position inside the box, but chose to lay it off to Reece Grant whose shot was well saved by Day. Yeovil were struggling to find their rhythm and their visitors are enjoying a lot of possession.

The tinkering continued with Nouble moving in to a more central position as Lo-Everton moved out to the left side and the striker had a shot straight down the throat of Reice Charles-Cook in the Welling goal just after the half-hour mark.

Yeovil’s best chance came on 40 minutes when a nice move from the right side saw Sam Pearson lay it off to Lo-Everton on the edge of the box and the midfielder tried to curl it rather than drill it and Charles-Cook did well to turn it around the post for a corner.

But that was about as good as it got for Yeovil. After a bright start, the injury to Smith has derailed a bright start from the hosts and given Welling an opportunity to grow back in to the game which, in fairness to them, they have done well.

Half time: Yeovil Town 0 Welling United 0

Second half

The first action of the second half saw Jake Wannell beaten by the pace of Reece Grant and his defensive team-mate Williams was left with little option other than to commit the foul. Yellow card from referee Craig Scriven. Having totalled 60 yellow cards and three reds in his first 11 matches, it’s fair to say the man in black is doing his best to keep his averages up in his 12th.

There were a couple of half chances for Yeovil, attacking the empty away end after the interval, with Charlie Cooper having one blocked before Charles-Cook got in fractionally ahead of Nouble soon after before Worthington fired one wide. It’s definitely not been a comfortable one for the Glovers.

Frank Nouble fires in a shot.
Picture courtesy of Gary Brown.

On 58 minutes, Young got a pass through to Pearson who tried to cut inside and get a shot in rather than take it first time and it was blocked by the face of Riccardo Di Trolio. Ouch.

That familiar patient, controlled style of play was met by the usual cries of “forward” from the stands of Huish Park. Not a lot of options going forward though. On 63 minutes, Cooper tried to up the options with Jordan Stevens replacing Lo-Everton.

But it was Day who was the keeper in action on 66 minutes. A quick throw-in fell to visiting midfielder Anthony Papadopoulos and Day got down well to make a comfortable save before Reece Grant fired an effort from distance over the bar and in to the Thatcher’s End. More worrying than that shot, the Welling midfield ghosted past Cooper with apparent ease on their way to the chance.

It was a mistake by Cooper which gifted Welling the goal after 72 minutes. Just inside the 18 yard box, a sloppy pass from the midfielder gifted Anthony GRANT the opportunity to smash a  beautiful left-footed shot in to the top corner. We have got away with a lot of misplaced passes this afternoon and it finally caught up with us.

Mark Cooper’s response was to introduce on-loan Bristol City striker Olly Thomas in place of Jordan Young on 76 minutes. The teenager went straight down the middle flanked by Nouble and Pearson.

Olly Thomas shoots at goal.
Picture courtesy of Gary Brown.

Thomas almost made an instant impact when he drove powerfully towards goal and unleashed a shot which the referee adjudged got a touch from Charles-Cook. The resulting corner came to nothing.

Having got themselves in front, Welling showed every bit of gamesmanship to both slow the game down and frustrate their opponents and, in fairness to them, they did it perfectly.

As the game edged in to injury time, Pearson nodded the ball down to Thomas who got a clean strike but it was superbly blocked by Di Trolio and took a nick off Alex Whittle on its way out. No goal, no corner. Ugh.

Day even joined the efforts for a number of late balls in to the box, but not even his presence could force an equaliser and the unbeaten home run is over.

Full time: Yeovil Town 0 Welling United 1

Match Details

Venue: Huish Park
Date: Saturday 9th March

Competition: National League South

Pitch: Looking good and holding up well
Conditions: Chilly and overcast

Attendance: 3,285 (90 away supporters)

Scorers: Anthony Grant 72 (0-1)


Yeovil Town: Morgan Williams 46, Olly Thomas 89
Welling United: Joe Ellul 38, Ricardo Di Trolio 45+1, Reece Grant 51, Anthony Grant 89, Sonny Fish 90+5, Crossley Lema 90+6

Referee: Craig Scriven

Yeovil Town (4-2-3-1)


Substitutes: Jay Foulston (for Michael Smith, 16), Jordan Stevens (for Sonny Blu Lo-Everton, 63), Olly Thomas (for Jordan Young, 75), Josh Owers (not used), Alex Fisher (not used).

Welling United: Reice Charles-Cook, Cameron Green, Joe Elull, Anthony Grant, Reece Grant (for Sonny Fish, 87), Chiori Johnson (for Crossley Lema, 76) , Antony Papadopoulos, Riccardo Di Trolio, Jason Adigun, Gene Kennedy, Lachlan Bird. 
Substitutes (not used):  Osman Foyo, Jack Burchell, Luke Holness.

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Essex Glover
1 month ago

This shouldn’t be too damaging but……it’s been mentioned before – this squad is not good enough for NL. Let’s enjoy it though, as MC has said, winning a championship at any level
Is a great achievement. However, and Mark will be fully aware, some serious recruitment
will be necessary in the summer. COYG.

Phil A
1 month ago
Reply to  Essex Glover

Certainly a bigger squad is needed next season.

I don’t really understand why Linton is at Whymuff? Scoring goals in a bang average team…we’ve dried up 🤔

Just for an insurance policy, do we need a proper RB as a back up? Huge risk to have Smith in/out when we need solidity and leadership at the back. Like last Monday, we can’t rely on the improving Dawes filling in for every injury. Surely there is a National League team looking to give game time to a squad player for 8-9 games. Who knows – one for next season.needed as well.