Venue: Huish Park
Sunday 1st January, 3pm kick-off

Conditions: Driving rain on and off…..mostly on
Pitch: Sodden and slippy

Attendance: 3,907

Scorers: Matt Worthington 81, Jordan Maguire-Drew 90+4


Yeovil Town: Jamie Andrews 24, Malachi Linton 61, Matt Worthington 66,

Referee: Greg Rollason

Yeovil Town  

Substitutes: Andrew Oluwabori (for Max Hunt, 46), Lawson D’Ath (for Jamie Andrews, 46), Alex Fisher (for Malachi Linton, 71, Will Buse, Chiori Johnson.

Torquay United: Mark Halstead, Tom Lapslie (for Ryan Hanson, 84), Ali Omar, Asa Hall, Aaron Jarvis, Kieran Evans, Stephen Wearne, Shaun Donnellan, Will Goodwin (for Corie Andrews, 84), Dean Moxey, Dillon De Silva (for Ben Wyatt, 73). Substitutes: Ross Marshall, Rhys Lovett.

Match Report

Yeovil Town got 2023 off to a winning start as second half goals from Matt Worthington and Jordan Maguire-Drew was enough to see off Torquay United at Huish Park on New Year’s Day.

The game followed a similar pattern to the same fixture in Devon on Boxing Day with the visitors dominating the first half and it took two half-time substitutions from Glovers’ boss Mark Cooper to change it. He introduced winger Andrew Oluwabori and playmaker Lawson D’Ath at the interval.

It was Oluwabori who was at the heart of everything which was good going forwards for Yeovil and he made the opener for Worthington before Maguire-Drew wrapped it up in injury time.

First half

In his pre-match interview, Yeovil boss Mark Cooper hinted there would be a surprise in his formation and it was a role as centre forward for natural defender Ben Richards-Everton.

In horrendous conditions from the start, the game was unsurprisingly scrappy in the opening exchanges and it took until the 17th minutes for either keeper to be called in to action. A long pass forward by ex-Glover Shaun Donnellan found midfielder Kieron Evans who forced Smith in to a smart stop.

Asa Hall had another effort from outside the box easily held by Smith, but it was the visitors who looked the brighter in the opening half-an-hour.

The moment for Yeovil came on 28 minutes when Jordan Maguire-Drew’s ball found Richards-Everton thundering forward towards goal – only to slip at the crucial moment to allow Torquay to regain posession. A penny for the thoughts of top scorer, Alex Fisher, sat on the substitutes’ bench.

Four minutes later, a good ball through saw the Yeovil defence opened up again but Will Goodwin’s effort went wide.

In a similar fashion to the Boxing Day game in Devon, the Glovers’ players seemed unsure about what they were supposed to be doing in this unorthodox formation, whilst the visitors seemed a lot more confident and it showed.

Another sumptuous pass on 40 minutes almost found Jamie Reckord bombing in to the visitors’ penalty area, but the wing-back could not get to the ball ahead of Mark Halstead in the Torquay goal.

Half time:  Yeovil Town 0 Torquay United 0


Second half

As it did on Boxing Day, the start of the second half saw Mark Cooper make two substitutions with the arrival of Andrew Oluwabori and Lawson D’Ath in place of Max Hunt and Jamie Andrews, with Richards-Everton going to a more familiar defensive role.

Oluwabori made an instant impact with his ball finding its way through to Maguire-Drew who fired in an effort from the edge of the box, but saw it turned away for a corner by Halstead.

Oluwabori, who had not started a match since the goalless draw at Notts County in mid-November, appeared keen to show his manager what he had been missing. On 47 minutes, his effort was turned wide and the resulting corner from Maguire-Drew was almost bundled home on the back post by Morgan Williams.

Andrew Oluwabori and Lawson D’Ath come on at half-time.

Oluwabori was at the heart of everything good going forwards for Yeovil and on the hour mark he released Linton whose effort went in to the side netting.

On 63 minutes, Donnellan’s long-range effort was parried away by Grant Smith. We’ve seen those before, haven’t we?

On 71 minutes, Oluwabori popped up on the left, cut inside and curled an effort just around the corner. Cardiff City loanee Evans, who impressed on Boxing Day, caused problems for the Yeovil defence, firing an effort wide on 72 minutes and then forcing Smith in to a smart top two minutes later.

But, with the visitors in the ascendancy, it was the home side who took the lead. Not surprisingly it was Oluwabori who was at the heart of it, breaking in from the left and finding WORTHINGTON at the back post to turn home the opener after 81 minutes.

That goal was against the run of play and led to Gary Johnson’s men pressing forward again and it led to a few openings for Yeovil. A minute from time, Oluwabori’s effort was denied by Halstead and broke to Maguire-Drew who juggled the ball but could not magic up an effort to test the keeper.

Soon after Oluwabori broke away again and hit an effort wide and wide and just when we were beginning to mutter about our inability to put a game to bed, a second goal came. Fisher, on as substitute for Linton, broke away down the right and threaded a superb ball through to MAGUIRE-DREW who dinked it delicately over Halstead to get his first for the club.

The visitors did have the ball in the net through Evans soon after, only for it to be ruled out for offside. A great start to 2023 as manager Mark Cooper continued his unbeaten run at Huish Park.

Full time: Yeovil Town 2 Torquay United 0

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