Venue: Huish Park
Saturday, March 26, 3pm kick-off
Conditions: A clear, sunny day
Attendance: 2,465 (411 away supporters)
Scorers: Reuben Reid 4 (1-0), Tom Knowles 8 (2-0)
Southend: Clifford 74, Gubbins 78,
Referee: Gary Parsons
Yeovil Town : (4-4-2)
Mark Little, Luke Wilkinson, Ben Barclay, Morgan Williams
Matt Worthington Dale Gorman Lawson D’Ath (for Alex Bradley, 90), Tom Knowles
Charlie Wakefield (for Josh Neufville, 61) Reuben Reid (for Olufela Olomola, 85)
Substitutes: Josh Staunton, Jordan Barnett.
Southend United: Arnold, Hobson, Bridge (for Cardwell, 58), Dalby, Clifford, Atkinson, Neal, Clark, Davies, Dennis (for Powell, 70), Kensdale (for Gubbins, 46). Substitutes: Gard, Gubbins, Demetriou, Cardwell.
Yeovil Town picked up their third win in a row thanks to a quickfire start against Southend United on a glorious afternoon at Huish Park.
Reuben Reid‘s second goal of the season after just four minutes was swiftly followed by Tom Knowles‘ second in as many matches to see off a Southend side.
Having been given the runaround by the Glovers in the first half, the visitors changed their shape after the break and the second half was a much closer affair.
The win saw Yeovil leap-frog their opponents to take up 12th place in the National League table, 11 points off the play-off places and 24 points off King’s Lynn Town, who take up the division’s final relegation spot.
Here’s how it went down in sunny Somerset…..
Both sides made just one change from their midweek matches with Luke Wilkinson coming in for Josh Staunton, who has been playing with a hernia injury in recent weeks, in the centre of the Yeovil defence.
For the visitors, loan signing Kenny Clark was thrown straight in to the Southend line-up in place of the suspended James Dunne as they reverted to a back three.
Having had success with a fast start in the 2-1 home win over Bromley, Yeovil did exactly the same thing and found the lead after just four minutes.
A ball in to the box from Lawson D’Ath picked out Reuben REID who turned superbly in the box and got his shot away which squeezed under visiting keeper Steve Arnold to open the scoring.
After just nine minutes, a quick throw from D’Ath caught the visitors napping and fed Charlie Wakefield whose ball found Tom KNOWLES at the back post to slot home the second. What. A. Start.
The non-stop Wakefield (where does he get his energy from?!) were exploiting the back three being employed by their visitors and it was no surprise to see them revert to a back four soon after.
A week ago, we had not scored twice in a National League match since the end of February and we’d won just once in the league in 2022 – but that monkey is definitely off our back!
After such a fast start on a very hot day in Somerset, Yeovil unsurprisingly slowed down soon after with the visitors seeing a lot more of the ball albeit they didn’t do a lot to test Ted Cann in the hosts’ goal.
At the other end, Knowles fed Wakefield on 24 minutes and the winger-turned-striker lifted his shot over and shortly after midfielder Jack Bridge broke in to the box but his effort was not enough to test Cann.
That was the start of a bit of the visitors coming back in to the game with on loan Norwich City striker Matt Dennis put a header just over from Leon Davies‘ cross, and then Clark headed a great opportunity over the bar from a Harrison Neal free-kick.
But three minutes before the interval it should have been 3-0 to Yeovil. A superb through ball from Reid found Knowles who nipped in ahead of Clark his goal-bound effort was brilliantly headed off the line by Shaun Hobson.
Cann made a good stop to deny Dennis moments later, but the home side went in at the break two goals to the good.
Half time: Yeovil Town 2 Southend United 0
If you needed proof that the back three they started with was not working for Southend, manager Kevin Maher introduced Joe Gubbins, the young QPR defender signed on loan in midweek, in place of Ollie Kensdale at half-time.
But it was Yeovil who started the brighter and on 47 minutes a great delivery by Dale Gorman found Wilkinson who got it across to Reid who appeared certain to score but was denied by a great interception by Hobson.
The quick start continued as Gubbins’ clearance landed at the feet of Wakefield whose effort was volleyed over and soon after Knowles had another effort which was well saved by Arnold in the visitors’ goal.
On the hour mark, Josh Neufville came off the substitutes’ bench in place of Wakefield, but there was little more to talk about at either end until Southend substitute Harry Cardwell had a shot blocked by Ben Barclay on 70 minutes.
D’Ath put an effort just wide from a tight angle a minute later, but there was nothing much to shout about for either side until Barclay put one just wide on 83 minutes.
With five minutes remaining, Olufela Olomola came off the substitutes’ bench to replace Reid and the on loan striker almost had an immediate impact. He found himself clear on goal after a misplace pass by Clark, who did superbly to get back and deny the striker with a last ditch tackle.