Jake Wannell’s third goal in two games saw Yeovil Town maintain their unbeaten home form to edge out a Havant & Waterlooville side whose performance belied their lowly status on a miserable afternoon at Huish Park.

The only goal came on 32 minutes when a ball across the face of goal by Sonny Blu Lo-Everton was turned home by the centre half to seal the three points in atrocious conditions.

There were glorious chances for strikers Frank Nouble, Sam Pearson and substitute Jordan Stevens to increase the advantage in the second half, but Havant keeper Ross Worner was in inspired form and his team-mates put in an impressive display to match Yeovil in the second half.

First half

Yeovil Town were unchanged from last weekend’s 4-2 win at Tonbridge Angels with Charlie Cooper still missing with an injury picked up in the last fixture at Huish Park, a 3-1 win over Slough Town.

Boss (and Cooper’s father), Mark Cooper, said he was hoping to save the midfielder for some important upcoming fixtures, not least the trip to third-placed Chelmsford City next weekend.

The flag remembering ex-Glovers’ captain Lee Collins was back on the Thatchers’ End ahead of kick-off.

Havant arrived with just one win to their name all season, but they had a glorious chance to open the scoring after just four minutes. A ball in to the box found former Glovers’ striker, Yeovil-born Ryan Seager, in space behind Jake Wannell and his misdirected header went to Callum Kealy whose own header had to be tipped on to the bar by Joe Day.

The visitors’ tactic was to press high and pressure the home side’s midfield, but when Yeovil got in control they created an opening with Michael Smith’s ball in from deep almost finding Sam Pearson, just past the striker’s left boot.

There was a blow for Yeovil as Alex Whittle was replaced by Jay Foulston after a fairly innocuous-looking incident. The full-back had also departed at half-time at Tonbridge the previous weekend when he was suffering with illness. We’ll have to wait to hear from Mark Cooper about the fitness of the full-back.

After 31 minutes, Pearson had a shot well blocked, before a great ball in to the box saw Nouble stretch for a header Nouble over to Michael Smith, he could not quite get enough on it and the ball came off the post. But seconds later the home side were ahead.

A good set-piece routine saw Yeovil play it short, a back heel from Pearson inside the box found Sonny Blu Lo-Everton and his ball across the goal-line was turned home from close range by Jake WANNELL.

On 39 minutes, there was a blow for the Glovers after Young picked up a booking, his tenth of the season, for delaying a restart. That means he will be missing for the trip to the Chelmsford in seven days and the visit to Farnborough Town the weekend after.

Overall, a good controlled performance, dominating in possession albeit not creating too much in the way of chances in tricky conditions, but ahead at the break.

Half time: Yeovil Town 1 Havant & Waterlooville 0

Second half

With five minutes of the second half played, patient play from Smith saw him put a ball in to the box which carried on the slippery surface and had Havant keeper Ross Worner scrambling. He seemed to punch the ball back in to the danger zone but, luckily for him, there was no Yeovil player there to capitalise.

There were a number of waves of attack from Yeovil, but, with the wind and rain behind them, Havant had not given up on this game and had a succession of corners without forcing Day in to notable action.

Then, just before the hour mark, the hosts broke away with Nouble thundering towards goal, clean through with only Worner to beat. But the big striker lifted his effort high, wide and not so handsome.

Three minutes later, Pearson robbed Ben Morgan and found himself one-on-one with Worner with the whole goal to aim at only for the keeper pulled off a fine stop, but it really should have been 2-0 to Yeovil. From the corner which followed from Young, Pearson was unable to prod the ball towards goal as Worner collided with his own player.

Jordan Stevens replaced Dylan Morgan after 65 minutes and lined up alongside Michael Smith down the right side.

Within five minutes of arriving, Stevens had a golden opportunity to double the advantage. Great hold-up play from Nouble fed the speedy midfielder who nicked it past his defender, but he was denied by a superb save from Worner. HOW IS THIS NOT 2-0?!

With 20 minutes remaining, Lo-Everton got dispossessed in a midfield where a lot of space was opening up there and James Roberts found himself with a great chance to put the visitors level. Thankfully his effort went just past the post.

On 77 minutes, Will Dawes replaced Pearson, and four minutes later Seager had a great opportunity to level, but could not find the target from a free-kick in from substitute Roarie Deacon.

This is a frenetic second half without either side really having the better of it. Yeovil have had two glorious opportunities to have put the game out of sight, but Havant did not give up the fight until the final whistle.

It perhaps was not the win that Glovers’ fans expected when they arrived at Huish Park, but a win is a win. The ten-point lead at the top of the National League is maintained. Just to be on the safe side, keep on minding that gap.

Full time: Yeovil Town 1 Havant & Waterlooville 0


Match Details

Venue: Huish Park
Date: Saturday 17th February – 3pm

Competition: National League South

Pitch: Held up in places and showing a little wear and tear in goal-mouth
Conditions: Miserable. Got heavier and windier as the game proceeded.

Attendance: 3,801 (123 away supporters)

Scorers: Jake Wannell 32 (1-0)

Yeovil Town:
Jordan Young 39, Frank Nouble 46, Joe Day 68
Havant & Waterlooville: Nathan Carlyle 52, Ross McNerney 83, Ben Morgan 90+1

Referee:  George Laflin

Yeovil Town (4-2-3-1)

Substitutes: Jay Foulston (for Alex Whittle, 19), Jordan Stevens (for Dylan Morgan, 65), Will Dawes (for Sam Pearson, 77), Josh Owers (not used), Alex Fisher (not used).

Havant & Waterlooville: Ross Worner, Devante Stanley, Kai Innocent, Joe McNerney, Ben Morgan, Nathan Carlyle, Harry Jewitt-White (for Sion Spence, 82), Alfy Whittingham (for Roarie Deacon, 63), Callum Kealy (for Ethan Beckford, 58), Ryan Seager, James Roberts. Substitutes (not used): Brendan Willson, Jack Jebb.

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