Yeovil Town booked their place in the first round of the FA Cup with two superb goals to see off National League side Southend United at Huish Park.

The Glovers took the lead through a stunning strike from Jake Wannell after just two minutes and had to withstand an onslaught of pressure from their higher division visitors throughout the second half before a superb Jordan Young goal on 67 minutes.

The visitors continued to pile on the pressure but the hosts’ backline stood firm to keep only their third clean sheet of the season.

First half

It could not have been a better start for Yeovil with a free-kick from Jordan Young found Jake WANNELL on the edge of the box who put his left foot through it and it flew in to the corner. It was a finish that any striker would have been proud of.

Jake Wannell puts his left foot through a second minute effort – and you know where it’s going.

Southend responded and looked for an immediate response to going out early, but the next meaningful chance fell to Will Dawes on 11 minutes. Great running down the left by Rhys Murphy, playing against his former side, of course, saw him then feed Dawes whose effort from the edge of the box fizzed over the bar.

Southend centre-half Jason Demetriou tried to match his opposite number (Wannell) with a long-range effort from the egde of the box, but the dive of Joe Day was probably not required.

An inswinging corner from Young on 17 minutes was well claimed by Nick Hayes with a number of Yeovil players lurking inside the box.

On 24 minutes, a foul by Michael Smith on the lively Jack Bridge gave Dan Mooney the chance to fire a ball in to the box which was punched away by Day. Wes Fonguck’s follow up was blocked and the danger was cleared.

Despite the better chances falling the way of Yeovil, it was Southend who were dominating possession and their best chance came on the half-hour mark as Bridge beat Michael Smith and got his shot away which first Day in to a smart save.

This was one for the football purists with both sides keeping the ball on the surface and playing it nicely with the visitors leaving no-one in any doubt their small squad is filled with quality.

Having been made look a mere mortal by Bridge moments earlier, Smith did superbly to get something on a Jack Wood effort to turn it wide for a corner. From the following flag kick, Mooney found himself in space on the edge of the box, moved past a couple of tackles and unleashed an shot which flew just the wrong side (or should that be the right side?) of Day’s post.

A major blow came for the visitors with four minutes before the break when midfielder Dan Mooney came off with an injury, having just recovered from one. With just three players on the bench, it was youth teamer Beau MacDonald, just 16 years old, who replaced him.

If you want to make a manual of how to deliver a free-kick, just replay Young’s deliveries which have all been superb. 


Half time: Yeovil Town 1 Southend United 0


Second half

Southend came out for the second half with their tails up (or should that be with a flea in their ear?) and Day was forced in to action first to gather Jack Wood’s tame effort and then do superbly to keep out Ollie Kensfdale before Harry Cardwell headed a corner from Bridge over the bar. This tie ain’t over…..if anyone thought it was.

A beautiful move almost found a breakthrough for the visitors. A great through ball by Oli Coker found Bridge on the left side of the box and Day was forced to make a fine stop with his legs. It’s all Southend at the moment, Yeovil somehow holding on.

A mistake by Kensdale gave Murphy the run on the Southend defence and their was a very clear push in the back from Demetriou who made the mistake. Referee James Durkin, born and raised in Portland (not prizes for guessing his local team), gave nothing. Another referee happy to hand out pointless bookings for alleged time-wasting but bottling big decisions.

Murphy got booked for voicing his view about Mr Durkin’s decision. Fear not, it’s not a fifth booking and a ban as bookings are competition specific.

But, a minute later there was plenty stuck in the referee’s pipe for him to smoke. Dawes and Young found themselves two on one with the visiting defence and Dawes fed YOUNG who broke through the visiting defence and seemed to have lost his opportunity before poking it under Hayes to double the lead.

The goal was harsh on The Shrimpers who had been thoroughly in charge up until that point. But, up yours, Mr Durkin!

Immediately after the goal, Mark Cooper replaced Murphy and Dawes for Jordan Stevens and Zac Bell.

The second half had seen Nouble ploughing a lone furrow up front on his own with Yeovil packing people behind the ball with the hosts’ defence playing deep and the midfield dropping even deeper.

On 83 minutes, Nouble was withdrawn in place of Staunton. So that’s even deeper. 

Two minutes from time, a rare break away by Young – the man now playing up front – and another push inside the box. No surprises for guessing what Portland’s finest thought of it.

But, that said, a three-goal deficit would have been harsh on the visitors who dominated possession and it was only thanks to some gallant defending from the hosts that they were kept out.

In. The. Hat.

Southend piled on the pressure in the second half but the Yeovil defence stood firm.

Full time: Yeovil Town 2 Southend United 0

Match Details

Venue: Huish Park
Saturday 14th October – 3pm Kick Off

Pitch: Wet from the previous night’s rain and cut up badly in front of the Thatcher’s Stand
Conditions: Glorious sunny day with a blustery wind which didn’t really benefit either side

Attendance:  2,697 (301 away supporters)

Scorers: Jake Wannell 2 (1-0), Jordan Young 67 (2-0)

Yeovil Town:
Will Dawes 40, Michael Smith 45, Rhys Murphy 66, Frank Nouble 75.
Southend United:
Dan Mooney 21.

Referee: James Durkin (of Portland, just outside W*ymouth)

Yeovil Town (4-3-3)


Substitutes: Jordan Stevens (for Rhys Murphy, 68), Zack Bell (for Will Dawes, 68), Josh Staunton (for Frank Nouble, 83) Will Buse (not used), Sonny Blu Lo-Everton (not used), Jordan Maguire-Drew (not used), Jake Hyde (not used).

Southend United: Nick Hayes, Gus Scott-Morriss, Kensdale, Jack Bridge, Harry Cardwell, Dan Mooney (for Beau MacDonald, 41), Jack Wood (for Ronnie Blake, 90+1), Harry Taylor, Wes Fonguck, Jason Demetriou, Oli Coker. 
Substitutes (not used): Nathan Ralph.

Referee: James Durkin (of Portland, near W*ymouth)


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Essex Glover
6 months ago

Here am I sat in my house just 15 miles from Southend with a gigantic grin on my face!

Trevor Higgs
5 months ago

A very fair assessment on the game not often seen from a home teams prospective so very well written. Difficult times for our club in terms of numbers hopefully when the wretched embargo is lifted we will start climbing the league and competing on a level playing field ! Good luck for the rest of the season I enjoyed my visit to Huish Park apart from the result of course