MATCH REPORT | Eastleigh FC – Yeovil Town

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Yeovil Town fell to defeat in Hampshire as Eastleigh won 1-0 at the Silverlake Stadium.

After a largely positive first half where Yeovil failed to take their chances, Eastleigh took the one that fell to them as Ryan Hill tucked home the only goal of the game.

Creating little of note in the second, the hosts were able to control the affair and see out a victory.

With numbers at the back dwindled, some last-minute recruitment allowed Darren Sarll to play a defence back four of players comfortable in their position. Crewe loanee Billy Sass-Davies made his debut at centre back, as he partnered Max Hunt for a youthful pairing in the middle. The theme of youth continued on the flanks continued as Alex Bradley and Michael Kelly began in the full-back roles. Adam Smith retained his place in goal.

The midfield saw a return from injury for Charlie Lee, he played alongside Matt Worthington, Josh Neufville and Albi Skendi in the midfield roles. Rhys Murphy partnered Reuben Reid to lead the line.

It was a relatively slow start from both sides, yet Yeovil created the better of the opportunities in the opening stages with January’s National League Player of the Month Skendi firing wide from the edge of the box.

Just minutes later, Reid also went close after he worked some space for himself inside the box, but the hosts did well to turn the ball wide.

The Spitfires were dangerous on the break, and caught Yeovil napping on 30 minutes as Sam Smart pounced on Kelly’s indecisiveness but fired wide from an acute angle.

Straight up the other end, Yeovil felt hard done by, with Skendi finding Murphy in the box, the Glovers number nine was seemingly hauled down as he tried to get a shot off, but the referee was left unmoved, allowing play to continue.

As the half-time break approached, Eastleigh took the lead, as former Hampton & Richmond Borough man Hill fired a driven effort beyond A.Smith into the bottom corner.

At the break, Darren Sarll was given his marching orders by the referee, it was unclear as to why this had happened at the time, but in his post-match interview, Sarll confirmed he was sent off for saying “you owe us a penalty now.”

The late first half goal seemingly knocked the stuffing out of Yeovil for the second half, with chances few and far between.

The substitutions attacking substitutions Matt Warburton, Joe Quigley and Chris Dagnall did thrust Yeovil further forward, but did little to find any real cutting edge.

In terms of chances, the best fell to Eastleigh on 89 minutes as Joe Tomlinson’s free-kick forced a save from A.Smith.

Ultimately it was another frustrating night for Yeovil, falling to back-to-back defeats for the first time in 2021.

 

Yeovil Town: A.Smith; Bradley (Warburton), Hunt, Sass-Davies, Kelly; Lee (Dagnall), Worthington, Neufville, Skendi; Murphy, Reid (Quigley).

Bookings: Worthington

Subs not used: Dickinson, Knowles.