A double from on loan striker Sonny Cox saw Yeovil Town achieve a club record 13 wins in a row with a hard-fought win over Dover Athletic to extend their lead at the top of National League South to six points.

A frustrating first half was punctuated by a long stoppage for a serious-looking injury to visitors’ defender Peter Ojemen, who was stretchered off, and the Glovers huffed and puffed to little effect.

The second half began in similar style against a dogged Dover side belying their status in the division’s relegation zone until Exeter City frontman Cox bagged his first on 58 minutes before doubling the lead on 77 minutes.

A defeat for second-placed Aveley at Bath City means Yeovil extend their lead at the top of the division with at least one game in hand over all but one of the teams in the play-off places.

First half

The visitors started the match with only one win this season and sitting second-from-bottom of the National League South table, but they dominated the opening exchanges at Huish Park, moving the ball quickly especially down the right side.

However, it was on loan Exeter City striker Sonny Cox who had the game’s first opportunity, who showed some good footwork in the box and got his shot away which Dover keeper Billy Terrell was equal to.

On 12 minutes, Michael Smith got on the overlap down the right and put a good cross in which Jordan Young headed wide. After a patchy start, Yeovil slowly finding their groove and Smith and Young linked up soon after but the forward smashed his shot over the bar, an effort matched by Matt Worthington after 17 minutes.

The desire for an early goal seems to have us shooting on sight. The visitors will be happy for us to carry on doing that all afternoon.

Good play by Young saw him beat defender Peter Ojemen and get a ball in towards Hyde who could not get his shot away, it broke to Young who could not do any better.

More worryingly Ojemen stayed down after what looked like an awkward fall and medical teams from both sides quickly got involved and the 22-year-old left the pitch on a spinal board and wheeled stretcher to applause from all sides of Huish Park. Good news was Ojemen returned the applause given to him. We wish him a speedy recovery.

Dover defender Peter Ojemen, far right of shot, lies prone in front of the visiting supporters after an awkward fall.
Picture courtesy of Debs Curtis.


Following a delay of more than ten minutes, the game got back underway and Charlie Naylor came on to replace Ojemen for Dover. A strange atmosphere at Huish Park.

On 38 minutes (take at least ten minutes off that number), good play by Sonny Cox and the ball broke to Will Dawes and whether it was a miss or a Terrell save (nice one Terrell?) is difficult to tell, but either way it remains goalless.

Dawes had a better-struck shot with a minute of normal time remaining, but again it was a long range effort and Terrell gathered. The home side are being restricted to those kind of efforts with everything that is good coming from Michael Smith down the right side. You can almost here Rhys Murphy and Frank Nouble in Mark Cooper’s ear asking to be brought on to liven up a performance lacking in urgency.

With three minutes of the 11 added on played, Worthington (you guessed it) from range put a comfortable shot in to the arms of Terrell, who is yet to have a real testing shot. Not enough behind that one.

It took until the eighth minute of stoppage time for Terrell to get that test, who then got a quickfire second. Smith was in acres of space at the back post from close range and fired it straight at the keeper who did superbly to deny him, before repeating the feat from Cox on the follow-up. The teenager on loan from AFC Bournemouth has done superbly there.

A frustrating first half marred by the injury to Peter Ojemen. You sense Mark Cooper will be ‘having a quiet word’ with his players at the break. 

Half time:  Yeovil Town 0 Dover Athletic 0


Second half

Mark Cooper sent the same starting XI out for the second half with Messrs Murphy and Nouble surely not far from his thoughts as they attacked the Thatcher’s Stand in the second half.

But the turnaround certainly did not make an instant impact with a flat start which was lacking in midfield positions, not giving Cox and Hyde up front much to get on the end of.

On 52 minutes, a cynical trip on Will Dawes by Naylor led to a quick free-kick which found its way towards Hyde at the back post, but he could not do anything with it. Soon after another quick one from Worthington found Cox inside the box but his effort was deflected wide and, from the corner, Young found Hyde (there’s a script we’ve heard before) but unfortunately Sonny Blu Lo-Everton got in the way and the effort went over the bar.

You got the feeling a goal was coming and on 58 minutes it arrived. Great play by Will Dawes saw him get his shot in which Terrell turned away, but only as far as Hyde who did superbly to pick up the pieces and fire it back across the face of goal and there was Sonny COX to fire home his first goal in green-and-white.  The announcer gave it to Jordan Young, but we know it was you Sonny!

On 68 minutes, Cox thought he had a second goal. Good delivery from Worthington found Hyde who forced a great save out of Terrell and Cox was on the spot to fire in to the net…..but the flag was up for offside.

The goal had understandably lifted Huish Park and the team and Yeovil continued to press for a second and Cox curled an effort just wide with 20 minutes remaining.

On 71 minutes, Rhys Murphy replaced Hyde and he was almost in immediately. Dawes’ through ball found the top scorer who ran on, but the Dover defence stepped up and the flag was raised.

With 77 minutes gone, it was 2-0 to Yeovil and Cox was in on the action again. Dawes was again involved and it was his ball in from the left which a grounded Dover defender tried to clear, hit Alex Whittle and the ball broke  COX who showed superb finishing to smash home his second. 

As the celebrations continued, Frank Nouble replaced Jordan Young (who did not immediately hear the substitution) and, as if there was not enough to deal with for the Dover defence, the pairing of Murphy and Nouble was re-established. Cox moved out to the right with Dawes keeping on the left. 

On 79 minutes, Murphy forced a fine save out of Terrell and the keeper was back in action six minutes later when Cox had a shot which may have led to more if he’d passed. But he’s on a hat-trick, so who else would have passed? No-one is the right answer.

Zac Bell, who one would imagine will replace the suspended Alex Whittle when Farnborough Town come to Huish Park on Tuesday night, replaced Smith with one minute of normal time remaining, and the three points were confirmed soon after.

Full time: Yeovil Town 2 Dover Athletic 0

Match Details

Venue: Huish Park
Saturday 11th November, 3pm kick-off

Pitch: Cut up slightly, but held up okay
Conditions: Dry after more torrential rain during the week

Attendance: 3,162 (43 away supporters)

Scorers: Sonny Cox 58 (1-0), Sonny Cox 77 (2-0).

Yeovil Town: 
Jordan Young 50
Dover Athletic: James Dunne 43, 

Referee: Robert Ablett

Yeovil Town (4-4-2)

Substitutes: Rhys Murphy (for Jake Hyde, 71), Frank Nouble (for Jordan Young, ) Zac Bell (for Michael Smith, 89), Josh Owers (not used), Jordan Maguire-Drew (not used).

Dover Athletic: Billy Terrell, Peter Ojemen (for Charlie Naylor, 28), Sinn’kaye Christie, James Dunne, Josh Anifowose, Zidan Sutherland (for Luke Baptiste, 63), Jacob Mensah, Henry Young, Nick Dembele (for Archie Hatcher, 71), John Oyeunga, Paris Lock.
Substitutes (not used): Luke Baptiste, Dontai Stewart, Johl Powell.


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