Venue: Huish Park
Saturday, November 13 2021, 3pm kick-off.
Conditions: Cloudly but dry.
Ground: Continues to look in great condition.
Scorers: Tom Knowles 41 (1-0), Harry Pritchard 68 (1-1), Adi Yussuf 76 (2-1)
Attendance: 2,494 (253 away supporters)
Referee: Sunny Gill
Yeovil Town: Barnett (38), Moss (41), Wakefield (50)
Eastleigh: House (53)
Yeovil Town : (4-3-3)
Dan Moss, Max Hunt Luke Wilkinson, Jordan Barnett
Matt Worthington, Josh Staunton, Dale Gorman
Tom Knowles Adi Yussuf Charlie Wakefield
Substitutes: Sonny Blu Lo-Everton (for Wakefield, 65), Joe Quigley (for Worthington, 72), Morgan Williams (for Knowles, 88), Alex Bradley, Max Evans
Eastleigh: Joe McDonnell, Josh Hare, Michael Kelly, Andrew Boyce, Tom Broadbent, Cav Miley, Jake Hesketh, Tom Whelan, Harry Pritchard, Tyrone Barnett, Ben House.
Substitutes: Hill (for Hesketh, 65), Harper (for Kelly, 65), Whitehall (for Pritchard, 85), Maghoma, Hollands.
An exquisite goal from Tom Knowles and Adi Yussuf in each half stretched Yeovil Town‘s unbeaten run to five games – yes, we’re counting the Somerset Premier Cup.
It was an at times ill-tempered match where the Glovers had to battle against an Eastleigh side above them in the National League table at the start of play and boasting some real quality in their ranks.
But, come the final whistle, it was Yeovil who moved up to 13th place with their visitors dropping to 15th.
Here’s how it played out at Huish Park…..
An ankle injury to Jack Robinson saw the on-loan Middlesbrough defender saw Jordan Barnett drop back to left-back, with Max Hunt and Luke Wilkinson reunited in the centre of defence.
That meant Josh Staunton moved forward in to a midfield three alongside Dale Gorman and Matt Worthington with Morgan Williams dropping to the substitutes’ bench.
Yeovil continued their habit of making a fast start to matches and enjoyed the better of the game for the opening 15 minutes.
However, as has also been the case this season, it was quality in the final third which prevented them from turning their possession in to serious threats on goal.
Despite the home side dominating play, it was Eastleigh’s Harry Pritchard who had the best early chance firing over from just inside the box after four minutes.
The visitors came in to the game more as things progressed with full backs in Michael Kelly and Josh Hare in the thick of it with top-scorer Ben House and defender Tom Broadbent both having opportunities.
A good piece of interplay on between Charlie Wakefield and Tom Knowles saw the latter test Eastleigh keeper Joe McDonnell with an effort on 24 minutes.
The best chance of the first half fell to Adi Yussuf nine minutes later. A long throw by Knowles was flicked on by Hunt to find the striker six yards out but his header was off target after 33 minutes.
The game threatened to boil over on a couple of occasions with both Barnett and Dan Moss booked inside three first half minutes by referee Sunny Gill – last seen giving a yellow to Yeovil keeper Grant Smith for his ‘shagger hips’ after the FA Cup replay at W*ymouth.
But, it was a majestic moment from Tom KNOWLES that broke the deadlock with two minutes of the half remaining. A great pass by Wilkinson found him on the edge of the box from where he unleashed a stunning shot compared to Cristiano Ronaldo by ex-Glover Nick Crittenden on BBC Radio Somerset.
How different the half looked as a result of that moment of magic. The visitors undoubtedly had the better chances of the half albeit on the counter attack, but – even more importantly – the hosts led at the interval.
Half time: Yeovil Town 1 Eastleigh 0
The first opportunity of the second half fell to the visitors when House got the wrong side of Wilkinson, who was grateful to his keeper Smith who came out to deny the visitors’ top-scorer.
Visitors’ captain Andrew Boyce headed a Whelan free-kick wide with another good opportunity just before the hour mark, before a neat bit of interplay involving created another opening for Yussuf who could not make the most of it.
On 65 minutes, Yeovil manager Darren Sarll replaced Wakefield with Sonny Blu Lo-Everton with his Eastleigh counterpart Ben Strevens introduced Ryan Hill and the pacey Vincent Harper in place of Kelly and Jake Hesketh.
That sparked the visitors who upped the tempo and and they pulled the game level after 68 minutes with the first goal conceded by Yeovil in 429 minutes.
Hill was involved finding House who slotted in Harry PRITCHARD, his first effort was blocked but he was able to turn in the rebound for the equaliser.
Sarll responded throwing on top-scorer Joe Quigley in place of Worthington and within eight minutes of going behind, the home side were ahead again.
A great ball by Smith picked out Quigley whose flick on found YUSSUF and he smashed an unstoppable strike for his third goal in green-and-white.
In the 87th minute, Quigley had an opportunity to add to his tally for the season, creating a chance by his own persistence but his shot was blocked by McDonnell.
There was a heart in mouth moment in the dying moments of five minutes of added time when House looked to be shoved in the box, but referee Gill gave nothing.