Venue: Huish Park
Saturday 12th November, 3pm kick-off
Conditions: Warm, sunny day
Pitch: Looking good
Attendance: 2,405 (65 away supporters)
Scorers: Will Harris 25 (0-1), Alex Fisher 31 (1-1), Alex Fisher 51 (2-1), Malachi Linton 90+3 (3-1)
Yeovil Town: Matt Worthington 87
Referee: Sam Mulhall
Yeovil Town (4-3-3):
Substitues: Louis Britton (for Alex Fisher, 70), Malachi Linton (for Andrew Oluwaborie, 74), Ewan Clark (for Anthony Georgiou, 85), Gime Toure (not used), Ollie Hulbert (not used).
Gateshead: Montgomery, Richardson, Pye, Gallagher (for Daley, 20), Conteh (for Yussuf, 86), Bailey, Ward, Hasani (for Martin, 51), Campbell, Harris. Substitutes: Langley, Magnay.
A double from man of the match Alex Fisher and a late finish from substitute Malachi Linton saw Yeovil Town pick up their first win under new manager Mark Cooper and their third of the season.
It was also the first time this season the Glovers had scored more than two goals and pulled themselves a whole two points adrift of the National League relegation zone with a win over bottom of the table Gateshead.
The result was nothing less than Mark Cooper’s men deserved and they could even afford a missed second penalty from Fisher who deserved his hat-trick for an outstanding display – but we’ll take three points, oh yes we will!
Manager Mark Cooper made two changes from the midweek stalemate against Maidenhead United with Ben Richards-Everton and Ewan Clark, replaced by Chiori Johnson and Andrew Oluwabori.
There was no starting position for new signing striker Louis Britton, who joined four fellow forwards on the substitutes’ bench alongside Malachi Linton, Gime Toure, Ollie Hulbert and Clark.
For the visitors, ex-Glovers’ striker Adi Yussuf was named among the substitutes’ bench manager Mike Williamson, a former Newcastle United player, made just his second appearance of the season.
The line-up saw Matt Worthington playing forward, almost as a number ten, with captain Josh Staunton and on-loan Jamie Andrews playing in the centre of midfield, and it was the home side who started the brighter but without forcing visiting keeper James Montgomery in to action.
But, it was the visitors who took the lead with the game’s first opportunity on 25 minutes. A looped ball forward saw Staunton miss an interception and Will HARRIS picked it up and a clinical finish left Grant Smith clutching at thin air. More than a hint of offside but the only person who matters (the assistant referee) did not agree.
The lead lasted just six minutes as a wonderful free kick whipped in low and around the wall by Anthony Georgiou and Alex FISHER stooped low to head home. A goal and from a set piece – that’s the stuff!
At that point Cooper shifted the formation with Oluwaborie moving up in to a front two with Fisher with Chiori Johnson pushing further forward. If there was a lack of a tactical Plan B from Chris Hargreaves, his successor was showing he is capable of changing it up.
Smith was called in to action on 35 minutes when sloppy defending saw a free-kick find its way to Williamson and his first time effort was denied by the keeper’s feet.
As the board went up for first half-time injury time, a great ball from Jamie Reckord was chested down by Johnson to Oluwaborie but the winger could not get enough on it to trouble the goal.
But the Peterborough United man did force Montgomery in to action when the winger cut back inside with the keeper off his line and had an effort stopped by his feet.
Then with the final action of the first half, a low ball across the six yard area saw Fisher go agonisingly close to adding his second. There’s no doubt the home side will have been the more disappointed to hear the half-time whistle.
Half time: Yeovil Town 1 Gateshead 1
It was a fast start from Yeovil with Chiori Johnson, who was definitely given more licence to go forward since the change, pressing forward in, but he effort went wide.
And the former Torquay United man was at the heart of the move which put the hosts ahead on 51 minutes. His sumptuous delivery found FISHER inside the box and the striker slammed his second of the afternoon in to an unguarded net.
It was nothing more than the Glovers deserved for their positive play, in particular Oluwaborie and Johnson’s link up down the right hand side which was causing Gateshead all kinds of problems.
There was a heart in mouth moment on the hour mark when Smith went down heavily after a coming together with a Gateshead player and needed some lengthy treatment. Heart in mouth because there were five strikers on the bench – but on loan keeper Will Buse was watching on from the stands.
Fisher had a golden opportunity to complete his hat-trick on 67 minutes when he won a penalty and, as you’d imagine, grabbed the ball. But the striker went for the perfect penalty and his effort went over rather than ‘top bins’.
That proved the frontman’s last opportunity who was replaced three minutes later by new signing Louis Britton. Fisher even apologised to the Huish Park for only scoring two goals rather than three. It’s okay, Fish, you’ve done your bit!
Smith was furious by a piece of sloppy defending with 15 minutes remaining, another long ball over the top to Harris (if it sounds familiar, check how the Gateshead goal came about!) put the striker one-on-one, but luckily his effort was not as clinical as when he found the next.
The visitors were hard working and playing good football, and the nervousness from Yeovil was there for all to see. On the touchline, Cooper and Chris Todd were making their feelings known.
Whatever they said, it clearly didn’t get through to the defence as on 84 minutes another (yes another!) dinked ball over the top from the visitors found Kenton Richardson who put the ball in the back of the net……but the flag was up.
If you felt nervous before, how did you feel when Adi Yussuf replaced holding midfielder Kamil Conteh. An attacking move from the visitors. Curse of the old boy, anyone? Oh and five minutes of injury time…..how’s your nerves, Huish Park?
But it was left to substitute Malachi LINTON to settle the nerves three minutes in to stoppage time with a third – yes, a third goal. The young striker was sent through on goal, held his nerve and slotted home his third of the season, taking him level with Reckord as this season’s top scorer.
If you wondered what response Huish Park would give to a team which was truly “playing on the front foot”, you only had to listen to the crowd. Off the field, there may be dissent, but these fans will back any Yeovil Town side who put that kind of effort in.