A scintillating first half performance from Yeovil Town saw them move to the top of the National League South with victory over the division’s surprise package at Aveley at Huish Park.

A quickfire double from Rhys Murphy (who else?) and then Jordan Young saw the Glovers’ domination repaid with less than 20 minutes gone and it was Murphy who added a third before half-time.

The visitors’ Charlee Hughes pulled one back with three minutes of the second half played, but the home side managed out the half to seal the three points.

First half

The Glovers were without Charlie Cooper through injury with captain Josh Staunton and midfielder Jordan Maguire-Drew dropping to the substitutes’ bench having started the 2-0 FA Cup win over Didcot Town seven days earlier.

They were replaced in the starting XI by Matt Worthington, who also took the armband, Will Dawes, who was given his first start of the season, and Alex Whittle, who returned at left back.

Shooting towards the Thatcher’s End, the early exchanges saw Rhys Murphy and Jordan Young’s pace both cause problems to a solid-looking visiting defence, but it was midfielder Jon Benton who had the first effort on goal after three minutes with his shot turned away by Joe Day in the hosts’ goal.

A foul on Dawes earned a free-kick on the left-hand side which was whipped in by Jordan Young was flicked on by Frank Nouble but Jake Wannell could not steer it in  from inside the six yard box. Superb delivery from Young again.

Day was called in action again to deny Dara Dada, before Murphy was felled inside the box after eight minutes – nothing given by referee Ross Martin, put that in the “seen them given” category. But, that riled the striker who forced Jonathan North in the visitors’ goal in to a great stop followed by another with his legs before Young curled it wide. Should be 1-0.

But the striker got his goal on 13 minutes. A great ball across field by Wannell to Nouble and you know who was going to be there to tap home his eighth of the season. It was MURPHY, if you were wondering. It had been coming.

The Thatcher’s End celebrates an opener from Rhys Murphy.

And it was 2-0 within four minutes. A jinking run from Dawes chipped a perfect ball back in to the six-yard box and it was a fantastic first time volley from Jordan YOUNG to double the advantage. Dawes had made the left-hand side his own and that goal owed everything to him.

Josh Owers tried to get in the act on 24 minutes when his long range effort was turned away by North. That seemed to do more damage than good to the ‘keeper who went down holding his shoulder before being declared fit to continue. Tactical delay from the visitors? Either way, both sides got the chance to have a drink and a chat with their respective coaching teams.

The third came just past the half-hour mark again. Will Dawes who found himself in the centre of the park and did superbly to win the ball back, fed Nouble who unselfishly (again!) fed strike partner MURPHY to get another. Another goal which was all about former National League South promotion winner (with Oxford City last season!) yet again – what an impact.

The goal was announced as Nouble – let’s hope that riles Murph up enough to get that picture holding up that many fingers and the match ball, of course.

How Nouble did not make it 4-0 on 35 minutes? Brilliant work down the right-hand side by Young and Nouble stretching for the ball should have turned it home. You get the impression Yeovil Town are enjoying themselves.

Aveley had an opportunity with six minutes of the first half remaining as Jonathan Nzengo drives in to the box, but his shot (or was it a cross) was blocked.

North was back in action again, this time to deny Alex Whittle. A patient bit of play, started by Josh Owers, saw the left back upfield to get in a volley which the keeper did superbly to turn away. Could be six without exaggeration.

Perhaps inspired by his opposite number, a superb free-kick by Benton from 35 yards was superbly turned away by Day, who used all his experience and physicality to punch away the corner which followed. Easily the best chance for the visitors and an excellent stop from the on-loan Newport County player.

What a first half. Take a breath, Huish Park.

Half time: Yeovil Town 3 Aveley 0


Second half

There were no changes from either side at the half-time break, but there were some ‘dark arts’ employed by the visitors’ striker Charlie Hughes backing in to Morgan Williams. When the Yeovil Town defender made his feelings known to the referee, he got a booking.

If that was the plan from Hughes, it worked perfectly as he pulled a goal back with just three minutes of the second half played. A cross in to the box and HUGHES was the only visiting player inside the box, he made a nuisance of himself and the striker poked home a goal.

Just before the hour mark, the excellent Dawes was withdrawn and replaced by Jordan Maguire-Drew.

It took Maguire-Drew just five minutes to make an impact. The playmaker took it forward, shaped to shoot before laying it off to Murphy but the Aveley defence did just enough to put him off. The visitors certainly looking a lot more solid at the back since the restart.

Captain-for-the-day Worthington went down in need of treatment on the 70th minute. Jake Hyde saw his opportunity and got changed. No surprise to hear Worthy wanted to continue…..and did.

But, Aveley were not giving up. Substitute Nana Kyei took a shot from the angle and Hughes was inches away from turning home a second. The striker’s frustrated reaction spoke volumes.

Remember I said Hyde was getting ready to come on? It was for Rhys Murphy who was replaced with 74 minutes played. 

Hyde was immediately where you’d want him to be, loitering inside the six yard box when Maguire-Drew’s cross dropped to Young. On his weaker right foot and his effort went over.

Goalscorer Young was replaced by Sonny Blu Lo-Everton with 78 minutes gone.

As five minutes of injury time were put up by the fourth official, a chant of ‘we are top of the league’ rang out from the Thatchers Stand as news that second-placed Bath City had been pegged back by at Braintree United. Still five minutes to go though….

Five minutes later and it’s confirmed. It’s October, so we can look at the league table now – right? Go on, treat yourself.

Full time: Yeovil Town 3 Aveley 1

Match Details

Venue: Huish Park
Saturday 7th October – 3pm Kick Off

Pitch: Looking alright, chopping up in places
Conditions: Glorious sunshine

Attendance: 2,793 (69 away supporters)

Scorers: Rhys Murphy 13 (1-0), Jordan Young 17 (2-0), Rhys Murphy 32 (3-0), Charlee Hughes 48 (3-1), 

Yeovil Town:
Jordan Young 45+1, Morgan Williams 47, Josh  Owers 77
Michael Dada 52, Charlee Hughes 90, Alex Hernandez 90+2, 

Referee: Ross Martin

Yeovil Town (4-4-2)


Substitutes: Jordan Maguire-Drew (for Will Dawes, 60), Jake Hyde (for Rhys Murphy, 74), Sonny Blu Lo-Everton (for Jordan Young, 78) Zac Bell, Josh Staunton.

Aveley: Jonathan North, Jon Nzengo (for Jason King, 79), Eduino Vaz, Siju Odeulusi, Jalen Jones, Harry Gibbs (captain), Matt Rush (for Alex Fernandez, 84), Garrett Kelly, Charlee Hughes, Jon Benton, Michael Dada (for Nana Kyei, 59). 
Substitutes: Tommy Davis, Kenny Aileru.


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