A second half strike from midfielder Josh Owers saw Yeovil Town keep their unbeaten home run intact with a 3-2 win over Eastbourne Borough at a sweltering Huish Park.

The Glovers took the lead when Frank Nouble rose unmarked inside the box to power home a 13th minute header.
But, the visitors, led by winger Leone Gravata stunned the home crowd with a quickfire double from Jack Paxman.

Nouble added his second with an audacious goal two minutes in to first half stoppage time, lifting a ball over Eastbourne keeper Ben Dudzinski after he had come racing off his line.

The conditions took their toll in a scrappy second half but it was a moment of quality which won it when Owers lashed an unstoppable winner in on 69 minutes.

First half

A slip from Morgan Williams gave Decarrey Sheriff the opportunity to come forward and Josh Staunton committed what referee Neil Pratt considered a foul. A lot of the rest of Huish Park disagreed.

Two unbelievable saves from Joe Day, at first when he had to get down at the feet of the visitors’ Fletcher Holman to clear it before pulling off a super save to turn an effort from Leone Gravata aside moments later. Absolutely world class saves from the on loan Newport County man.

But immediately at the other end, it was the home side were ahead. A corner from Jordan Young, who did superbly to win the flag kick, found the head of Frank NOUBLE who powered home his second in as many matches.

Frank Nouble scored his second in as many matches to give the Glovers a 13th minute lead.
Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

The first of an anticipated many drinks breaks on the UK’s hottest day of the year so far came after 15 minutes when Eastbourne defender Freddie Carter went down injured. He was replaced by ex-Swindon Town man Yaser Kasim four minutes later.

The first of an anticipated many drinks breaks on the UK’s hottest day of the year so far came after 15 minutes when Eastbourne defender Freddie Carter went down injured. He was replaced by ex-Swindon Town man Yaser Kasim four minutes later.

Nouble and Young combined superbly on 23 minutes for the big frontman to power forward by a great last ditch tackle saw his effort blocked. Matt Worthington lifted his effort over the bar from the rebound. Great bit of play from Yeovil.
Another slip by Williams saw Gravata find Holman whose angled effort went wide. The offside flag was up but it was a great opportunity.

Moments later, Holman had another great opportunity as Bell lost possession and Gravata’s ball in from the left found Holman who was denied by a superb block from Josh Staunton.

Following another drinks break (told you there would be a few), Eastbourne exploited space down the left again and this time they got the equaliser their dominance had threatened.

It was Gravata again who had a low drive blocked and it landed to the feet of Jack PAXMAN whose shot from the edge of the area flew past Joe Day after 36 minutes.

And two minutes later he was at it again. Paxman found Holam inside the area, the young striker had an effort blocked and again it was PAXMAN who hammered his second.

The threat down the left was clear with Gravata targeting Bell to good effect and Eastbourne overloaded down that side.

Yeovil were shell-shocked but responded with three minutes of normal time remaining when Nouble fed Young and his effort was saved well by Dudzinski in the visitors’ goal.

But the keeper was beaten when he came racing off his line to try and win the ball ahead of NOUBLE who superbly lifted the ball over him from fully 30 yards out and it bounced in to the net. Big Frank looks a man reborn playing through the centre.

Wow. What a first half.

Half time: Yeovil Town 2 Eastbourne Borough 2


Second half

Manager Mark Cooper introduced midfielder Charlie Cooper and striker Jake Hyde at the start of the second half with Bell, who had been given a torrid time by Gravata, and Lo-Everton making way.

That meant a back three of Wannell, Staunton and Williams with Alex Whittle and Matt Worthington given licence to press forward on the left and right respectively.

It was a scrappy opening to the second half, the first chance came for Yeovil as Cooper’s free-kick in from the left found Staunton whose header was superbly turned away by Dudzinski. The flag was up.

The next opportunity fell to the visitors and it was no surprise it was Gravata whose 56th-minute effort was blocked by the face (Eastbourne argued hand) of Staunton.

With neither side dominating possession, Mark Cooper made his third change (he did say pre-match that he expected to use them all) as Jordan Stevens replaced Young during another drinks’ break on 63 minutes.

With his first touch, Worthington and Stevens linked up down the right. The substitute jinked away from his man, but Worthington’s cross was not good enough to find Hyde inside the box.

But the hosts took the lead for a second time on 69 minutes with a goal that was all about Josh Owers.

The midfielder did superbly to pick up a sloppy pass from Hyde, fed Worthington who got away down the right, the ball was cleared as far as OWERS whose shot screamed in to the net. The second the ball left his foot it was going nowhere other than past Dudzinski.

The pace of Stevens was tangible when the ball broke down and the substitute was impacting in all the places we wanted him to be.

The visitors spurned a gilt-edged chance on 83 minutes. Good play between substitutes Emmerson and Vigar found Sheriff in acres of space on the edge of the box, but the forward put his shot wide. A big opportunity.

Eastbourne, a full-time outfit themselves, were not giving up and when seven minutes of stoppage time were put up the temperature rose at a time when it really did not need rising.

Players from both sides dropped to the floor at the final whistle and the Glovers will be pleased not to have a midweek match coming up after a draining performance.

Full time: Yeovil Town 3 Eastbourne Borough 2

Match Details

Venue: Huish Park
Saturday 9th September – 3pm kick-off

Pitch: Slippy (from watering)
Conditions: Scorching

Attendance: 2,728 (62 away supporters)

Scorers: Frank Nouble 13 (1-0), Jack Paxman 36 (1-1), Jack Paxman 38 (1-2), Frank Nouble 45+2 (2-2), Josh Owers 69 (3-2)

Yeovil Town: 
Charlie Cooper 88
Eastbourne Borough: Scott Leslie 57

Referee: Neil Pratt

Yeovil Town (4-3-3)

Substitutes: Charlie Cooper (for Zac Bell, 46), Jack Hyde (for Sonny Blu Lo-Everton, 46), Jordan Stevens (for Jordan Young, 63) Jordan Maguire-Drew (not used), Rhys Murphy (not used)

Eastbourne Borough: Ben Dudzinski, Scott Leslie, Archie Proctor, Brad Barry, Jack Paxman, Decarrey Sheriff, Imran Uche (for Billy Vigar, 73), Freddie Carter (for Yaser Kasim, 19) , Fletcher Holman (for Zak Emmerson, 46), Leone Gravata, Sam Beard.

Substitutes (not used): Daniel Quick, Jay Beckford.


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