19th January 2019

Dubbed a six-pointer, the hosts got off to the perfect start after just eight minutes when Tom James headed home a Jake Gray corner. 

Buoyed by the Welshman’s latest goal-scoring exploit, Town took their advantage into the break after the Magpies failed to turn possession into anything meaningful in front of goal. 

It was much of the same after the restart as both defences remained on top, before a late flurry of action. 

The visitors struck the crossbar with a little over a quarter-of-an-hour remaining whilst at the other end substitute Alex Fisher forced a smart save from Ross Fitzsimons. 

Dealing a blow to County’s survival hopes the green and whites put the game beyond doubt in stoppage time when Alex Dobre made it a home debut to remember to extend the gap on the division’s bottom side.

Ending their 10-game winless run at Mansfield last weekend, Town were forced into making one change to the starting eleven. 

Joining Barnsley for an undisclosed fee on Friday, Jordan Green vacated his wing position as Rhys Browne took his place, whilst Matt Worthington – rejoining on a permanent basis for a second spell at the club – started amongst the substitutes. 

With a much-reduced injury list, the Glovers were only left unable to call upon Omar Sowunmi (ankle), James Bailey (knee) and Alex Pattison (back) for the visit of the Magpies. 

Sticking with the 4-3-3 formation that served Darren Way’s side so well a week ago, Town once again raced into an early lead. 

Home debutant Alex Dobre won a corner after racing to the byline, and Gray’s pinpoint delivery to the near post was glanced up and over Fitzsimons for James’ sixth goal of the season. 

With any pre-match nerves dispelled early on the green and whites looked comfortable for their 1-0 lead, holding the visitors at arm’s length despite spells of possession for Neal Ardley’s side.

Veteran striker Jon Stead powered a diving header wide of the target whilst strike partner Lewis Alessandra forced the only save of the half from Nathan Baxter when his driven strike was comfortably collected by the Chelsea loanee.

A relatively uneventful half bar the opener, County squandered their best chance on 39 minutes when Elliott Hewitt failed to capitalise on Baxter’s weak punch and blazed over the bar with the goal gaping as they were forced to head into the interval behind.

Re-emerging after the 15-minute break, little changed to the pattern of the match with the Glovers forced to deploy a mostly rearguard action. 

County continued to fire balls into the box from wide positions but were consistently left frustrated as the home side’s back four, led by captain Gary Warren, stood firm. 

Demonstrating the uneventful nature of the clash, David Vaughan’s lashed effort wide of the target on 61 minutes was the first shot of the half, with the green and whites quick to respond at the other end. 

Dobre’s driving run into the County half ended with a squared ball to Sessi D’Almeida, but a last-ditch challenge from Richard Duffy denied the Benin international a shot on goal from 12 yards. 

Threatening to come alive with 20 minutes remaining the visitors went as close as they managed to an equaliser from a corner. 

Alessdandra’s delivery was headed back across goal by Stead where Pierce Bird was only able to hit the woodwork from a few yards out. 

Although Town survived the scramble in the box it came at a price as Adel Gafaiti suffered a head injury that forced Bevis Mugabi to take his place in the heart of defence for the closing stages.

Also making a change up front, Fisher almost put the result beyond doubt late on. 

The Glovers’ top scorer found himself one-on-one with County’s ‘keeper but was thwarted by Fitzsimons as the clock ticked down. 

With six minutes added on at the end of the second half the hosts took matters into their own hands late on when Dobre latched on to Ben Barclay’s poor back-header and rounded Fitzsimons to secure an important second win in a row. 

Yeovil Town: Baxter; Grant, Warren, Gafaiti (Mugabi 73′), Dickinson; D’Almeida, James, Gray; Browne (Arquin 69′), Zoko (Fisher 77′), Dobre.
Bookings: James 54′
Subs not used: Nelson, Worthington, Santos, Rogers.

Notts County: Fitzsimons; Hewitt, Barclay, Duffy, Bird (Thomas 83′), Evina (Dennis 75′); Vaughan, O’Brien, Milsom; Stead, Alessandra (Boldewijn 75′).
Bookings: Barclay 45′, Vaughan 51′
Subs not used: Pindroch, Brisley, Jones, Etete.