Yeovil Town took full advantage of the slip up by Hampton and Richmond earlier to go ten points clear at the top of the National League South, four goals, each from different players wrapped up the points in front of (another) National League South attendance record.
Here’s Gloverscast Ben’s match report.
The Glovers started brightly and did find their way into the Taunton penalty area with just a couple of minutes on the clock, but it was Taunton who first had a proper opportunity to force a save out of Joe Day.
Ross Stern, stood over a free kick 25 yards out, but instead of shooting, he dinked the ball into the area where a couple of Taunton players, challenged for the ball in an offside position.
Will Dawes sought medical attention soon after, a few Glovers players asking the referee if he intended to do anything further regarding the situation, he wasn’t, Dawes was fine.
… that was until he wasn’t.
Despite coming back onto the pitch, Dawes was to be replaced by Rhys Murphy, that would move Jordan Young into a wider to bring Murphy along side Frank Nouble up front.
The opening ten minutes resembled a passing session between the two goalkeepers, neither side able to get their foot on the ball.
Once someone did, a chance was created, Rhys Murphy crashed his way into the box on the right hand side and fizzed a ball across for the waiting Courtney Senior, but it was scrambled away.
It seemed to wake the Glovers up, Alex Whittle and Senior were teaming up nicely, but the crosses weren’t finding their men.
Senior failed to bring one down with the goal gaping, Charlie Cooper had a shot from distance that somehow, via at least one, if not two deflections skipped just wide.
At the other end, Stern and Nat Jarvis were attempting some of the game’s dark arts with former Peacock Jake Wannell their main target.
Dan Ball brought Jordan Young down with the Glovers man in full flow after picking up a loose ball, the set piece was being lined up by Charlie Cooper.
25 yards out, just to the left hand side of the area, it may have favoured the right footer, but Young pulled rank, but would sky the ball over the bar.
The Glovers would have their goal soon enough though, Morgan Williams picked out Jordan Young through the middle of the park, the winger skipped past one, sped past another and fed Michael Smith whose inch perfect cross ball was placed home from 12 yards by Frank NOUBLE.
The Peacocks were on the ropes early, their restart went straight out of play and then a loose pass through the midfield nearly gave Nouble another chance to run at the defence.
Nouble and Young got their wires crossed on 18 minutes, good work from Courtney Senior coming to nothing as Nouble couldn’t slide Young through on goal.
Rhys Murphy forced a great save from the Taunton keeper, a sensational pass from Charlie Cooper set the front man on his way, the keeper to his credit stayed big and just got a big toe on the shot, to send it round the post.
20 minutes gone and the Glovers had the ball in comfortable possession, Matt Worthington sent a long ball forward to Nouble, he brought the ball down and found Michael SMITH who slide the ball home as smoothly as only with a man with his silky voice could. 2-0 Gorgeous.
Frank Nouble picked the ball up on 25 minutes, ran the full length of the pitch with no-one in white able to get near him, his final touch was just a smidgen too heavy and a desperate defence could mop up.
Taunton were trying to find a way back into the game, with less than half an hour on the clock they were planning a change, but before they could make it, both Whittle and Young causing havoc down their respective wings.
Young was in full flow by this point, he drew a foul out of Zac Smith in the left wing back area, right by the corner flag.
Young whipped it in himself, some head tennis ensued and Taunton could make a break away, Stern forcing a throw in which would lead to a Glovers goal kick.
Stern – with short sleeves and gloves – claimed for a spot kick, but was waved away.
The change originally planned by Taunton was seemingly canned, the Glovers were looking for a third, Jordan Young was bundled off the ball in the area, but nothing doing there, Senior continued to snap at the heels of anyone in the Taunton defence, and there were chances beginning to flow.
Michael Smith was flying down the right hand side and he whipped a ball in to the six yard box where Rhys Murphy, who started the play off 50 yards further back, somehow missed the target. It looked easier to score.
Dan Ball didn’t like what he was seeing and told someone, and then proceeded to tell the referee his name. Yellow.
Murphy lashed another shot over the target, smashed at goal from distance, a frustrated swipe at the ball.
The first Glover in the book was Matt Worthington, the skipper adjudged to have fouled Joe Guest on 38 minutes.
Confidence was starting to flow, Senior travelled a long way quite quickly down the left hand side, he went sideways to Cooper who couldn’t find Worthington down the right hand side.
Five minutes left of normal time and once again Stern – he of the short sleeves and gloves (are you cold or not?) – was throwing himself to the ground, all it did was give the Glovers the possession again, possession which found its way to Jordan Young, who couldn’t quite squeeze either himself or a cross into the box.
Senior did manager to get the ball onto his left foot on the edge of the area, but one touch too many saw the Peacocks snuff out the challenge.
Rhys Murphy was in something of a mood after squandering chances earlier in the half, some great work by Nouble and Young saw Murphy skip past the person closest to him, but his left footed shot was again, nestled into the Thatchers Stand.
Taunton would end the half with some sort of pressure, a free kick down the right hand side, taken by Lloyd James found its way back into the area and the Glovers would pounce on a Joe Day punch to counter.
Frank Nouble sending Murphy through again, but the Bagsman couldn’t quite convert as the fourth official announced four additional minutes to play.
Ollie Chamberlain was involved in some nice play with James for Taunton down the right, but his cross was slashed at by the Taunton Skipper, Nick Grimes… it wasn’t close to Joe Day’s goal.
Day got a replacement ball and launched it forward, Nouble sent a couple defenders for an early half time hot dog and found Jordan Young.
Young skipped past one and tricked his way past a second, but another high shot didn’t trouble the away keeper.
The Glovers were approaching double figures for proper chances, Rhys Murphy was too strong for Dan Ball after a long clearance, but the ball got stuck under his foot, with a run at the goal at his mercy.
2-0 to Yeovil, it could have been six.
Half time: Yeovil Town 2 Taunton Town 0
Taunton made a switch at the break, Marcus Day was taken out of the affair with Cam Evans brought in.
The opening exhanges of the second half, were a little bit scrappy, both sides tried some longer balls to get their rhythm back, Courtney Senior was the first player to get the ball down and get attacking, he linked up with Alex Whittle, but his cross evaded everyone and it was cleared by the visitors.
Those two would team up again, as the Glovers took their time to force another attack, Smith and Young were equally well teamed together on the right.
He found himself in acres of space near the Taunton corner flag, but his first time cross wasn’t met by a Glover.
The action was all in the Taunton box, Courtney Senior couldn’t find half a yard of space after linking well with Rhys Murphy.
With ten minutes gone, a slip by Senior gave Zac Smith the chance to move the ball forward, Taunton progressed forward before Cooper broke up the attack, he was hauled down for the second time in the first period of the second half.
Neither goalkeeper had done much in the way of anything arduous since the break, both sides making progress down the flanks, but nothing in the way of a final ball, or shot to cause much damage.
Taunton had clearly had something of a rocket at half time, they were trying to break up play as much as possible, Austen Booth did just that with a bursting run forward, only to foul Jake Wannell in the process.
Zac Smith pounced on a loose ball on the left hand side as the clock ticked passed an hour, but a heavy touch and a loud shout from the Glovers’ keeper meant Joe Day mopped up with minimal fuss.
The second half didn’t appear to have the same fizz to it as the first, Taunton had the most of the ball, a long shot was easily claimed by Day whilst Ross Stearn moaned some more at the ref who wasn’t falling for his antics.
Whilst the Taunton attackers were having a moan, their defenders were doing some attacking, Dan Ball fired a shot in, but a combination of Glovers’ defenders saw it wide; the corner was dealt with by Jake Wannell.
With just over 65 minutes on the clock, Joe Day took a clattering when claiming a high ball, as Taunton maintained a bit of possession in midfield, the hosts prepped a change.
Courtney Senior’s final action was to win a free kick down the left hand side, Sonny Blu Lo Everton coming on, a switch in tactics with Jordan Young going wide on the left.
As the Free Kick came in, it came to nothing, but it soon would.
The Goal Kick from Lavercombe saw a loveley through ball from Matt Worthington, Rhys MURPHY kept his cool as he slotted past the on rushing keeper.
The chances kept coming, corners and crosses galore.
Sonny Blu LO EVERTON found himself a bit of space 25 yards out, not long after having a shot saved, his fired shot, low and hard, off the post and nestled into the back of the net. 4-0 and it was all happening too fast for this report to be written.
Taunton made a change again, Nick McCootie coming on for Ross Stearn, who had clearly spent too much time and effort flailing about.
Soon after Joe Day finally had something to do; give the referee his name… for time wasting, at 4-0 up… riiiiiight.
Jordan Young was replaced by Alex Fisher and the Glovers played their final cards from the bench.
It was about now, the stream dropped to black, Taunton got a goal back with just over ten minutes left, Austen Booth rising highest at a corner.
Zac Smith was booked (finally) and he had a shot on goal, which went wide.
Nick Grimes had a go too, but that went over, the Glovers were able to take their foot off the gas as the half wore down.
Taunton were reduced to 10 men, after the sub Nick McCootie saw yellow… twice, in quick succession. A reckless challenge followed by a confrontation and that was it, early bath.
Four additional minutes, if you’ve made it this far and were hoping for more significant updates, the stream never came back – Gloverscast Ben will send an angry email shortly after publishing this match report.
Game over. 4-1, could have been a cricket score. Top of the league by ten points. Merry Christmas!
Full time: Yeovil Town 4 Taunton Town 1
— Chris Hockley (@Chrishockley) December 26, 2023
Venue: Huish Park
Date: Tuesday 26th December – 3:00pm
Competition: National League South
Pitch: Cut up in places, but nothing serious
Conditions: Dry and cool
Attendance: 6,301 (406 away supporters)
Scorers: Frank Nouble (1-0 ’15), Michael Smith (2-0 ’20), Rhys Murphy (3-0 ’69), Sonny Blu Lo Everton (4-0 ’72), Austen Booth (4-1 ’78)
Yeovil Town: Matt Worthington ’38, Joe Day ’74,
Taunton Town: Dan Ball ’36, Zac Smith ’81, Nick McCootie ’85
Yeovil Town: None
Taunton Town: Nick McCootie ’85 (Second Bookable Offence)
Referee: Ross Martin
Yeovil Town (4-4-2)
Substitutes: Rhys Murphy (for Dawes ‘6), Sonny Blu Lo-Everton (for Senior ’67), Alex Fisher (for Jordan Young ’75), Josh Owers (not used), Jake Hyde (not used).
Taunton Town: Dan Lavercome (GK), Nick Grimes, Dan Ball, Austen Booth, Ollie Chamberlain, Lloyd James, Nat Jarvis, Joe Guest, Ross Stearn (for Nick McCootie ’72), Zac Smith, Marcus Day (For Cam Evans ’46)
Substitutes (not used): Lloyd Irish (GK), Rabi Tabu, Callum Doman