20th February 2021

Yeovil Town suffered a late sucker punch as Hartlepool United won 2-1 at Victoria Park.

After a quiet first half, the game burst into life in the second as Tom Knowles scored a stunning goal from 30-yards out.

However, Hartlepool fought back scoring twice, the second coming in stoppage time to complete a late turnaround.  

Darren Sarll was forced into one change from Tuesday’s win over Boreham Wood. Despite expecting to be fit, Billy Sass-Davies missed out with Matt Worthington came into the team in his place. 

This meant the Glovers began as follows; with Adam Smith in goal, and a back four of Carl Dickinson, Max Hunt, Albi Skendi and Alex Bradley. 

The midfield diamond comprised of Jimmy Smith at the base, Worthington and Neufville in the wide positions and Knowles at the tip. 

After their goal scoring performances against the Wood, Rhys Murphy and Reuben Reid starting up front for Yeovil. 

Typically, of two competitive sides, the fixture began in quite a tense fashion, with a real battle in the midfield for supremacy.

The first opening of the afternoon fell to the hosts on four minutes, as Luke Armstrong picked up the ball in the box, it caused havoc amongst the Yeovil defenders, with midfielder Knowles eventually forced to clear from within the six-yard box.

Following the early scare, Yeovil began to find their rhythm, the channels were a profitable route behind the Hartlepool defence.

Following an effective short goal kick routine, Hunt quite brilliantly found Neufville bursting down the left hand side, the Luton loanee then played a well-weighted pass into Murphy’s path. With Murphy picking the ball up on the edge of the box, it allowed the hosts’ defence to adjust and block the Glovers’ number 9’s first shot, but Reid was proactive, snatching a chance himself which was also heroically blocked. Eventually, the ball fell to Murphy once again who had his effort well saved by Harry Killip in goal for Hartlepool.

With that, Yeovil were in the ascendancy, controlling much of the ball in the Hartlepool half, yet in terms of chances, very little fell as the hosts 3 at the back formation put a strong wall for the visiting green and whites to break down.

As the half came to a close, Hartlepool looked the brighter of the two sides, but like Yeovil, did little to test A.Smith in goal, as efforts from the edge of the box were blocked by the likes of Hunt and Bradley.

At the break, neither side had really done enough to stamp their authority on the game to take the advantage.

The second half saw the game burst into life, and that was largely thanks to a stunning opening goal which came on the 54th minute. After A.Smith punted the ball up field, Reid dropped the ball into Knowles’ path who kept the ball under control and hammered the ball into the top corner from 30-yards out.

Knowles’ confidence only grew, and Town were seemingly denied a penalty on 61 minutes as the pacey midfielder was hacked down inside the box, yet the referee instead gave a corner.

As the half grew on, so did Hartlepool, largely thanks to a change of system which saw the hosts adopt a back four.

The extra body in attack ultimately paid dividends on 72 minutes, as Luke Armstrong capitalised on A.Smith mishandling to level the affair.

In the closing stages, Town seemingly looked like they were going to hold on, but the Pools had other ideas, countering a Yeovil free-kick, Hartlepool attacked down the flanks, with Gavan Holohan eventually turning the ball in at the back post to claim all three points.


Yeovil Town: A.Smith; Dickinson, Hunt, Skendi, Bradley; J.Smith (Dagnall), Worthington, Neufville, Knowles (Warburton); Reid, Murphy (Quigley).

Subs not used: Evans, Kelly.