10th August 2019

In a sense of deja vu from Tuesday night’s win over Eastleigh, Courtney Duffus struck to put the green and whites in the driving seat with a clinical finish on 22 minutes.

With the goal mirroring the performance on the pitch, the Hatters then fought back into the game and were only denied an equaliser before the break by a superb Stuart Nelson stop. 

In an attempt to put the game to bed, Rhys Murphy and Matt Worthington lead the assault on County’s goal but the first successive victories since March were denied when Adam Thomas came off the bench to level it up late on and force a share of the spoils.

Looking to carry on where they left off in midweek, Darren Sarll named an unchanged side to take on the Hatters. 

With just one alteration to the matchday 18, Nestor Shako returned to the bench as fellow Academy graduate Gabby Rogers dropped off. 

On a stormy afternoon in Somerset, the hosts were once again on the offensive from the off and were soon raining on the visitors’ parade. 

After an opening 20 minutes of encouraging forward play – albeit without shots on goal – the deadlock was broken in clinical style. 

Breaking forward from midfield, Lawson D’Ath’s shot from range deflected off of team-mate Murphy to land perfectly in the path of Duffus, who showed all the signs of a striker brimming with confidence to slot the ball under Ben Hinchliffe.

More than deserving of their lead, the hosts then had to remain aware at the back to withstand an attempt at an instant reply from Stockport.

Nyal Bell drove a strike from the edge of the box just over the bar before strike partner Frank Mulhern suffered the same fate soon after. 

Attempting to use those chances as a way to gain a foothold in the match, Jim Gannon’s side wrestled back a share of the possession from the Glovers and had their best opportunity to level the score on the stroke of half-time.

Elliot Osborne’s pull back to Mulhern just 10 yards out looked destined to result in a shot being swept home but for Nelson to dive at full-stretch and superbly tip the effort over the bar to earn an ovation from the Thatchers Gold Terrace.

Producing a spirited backs to the wall defensive display in midweek to retain their slender advantage, the green and whites looked to give themselves some breathing space after the restart. 

Launching a counter-attack from a County corner, Murphy ran from one box to the other prior to curling a shot a yard or two wide, followed by Worthington seeing a low drive whistle just past the post as the hour-mark came and went. 

With the Hatters only forcing Nelson into a save from Osborne’s wind-assisted strike the Greater Manchester outfit were being held at arm’s length as Worthington went close again, this time forcing Hinchliffe to parry for a corner. 

Comfortable for their 1-0 lead heading into the final 10 minutes, the Hatters needed a change in momentum and made all three available changes for the final assault. 

Yielding some joy, Nelson had to be perfectly placed to get a strong hand to Thomas’ shot from the angle, swiftly followed by fellow substitute Connor Dimaio lashing a venomous hit just wide as a late bombardment threatened. 

Looking like they’d done enough to round off a positive week at Huish Park, the hosts were dealt a late blow when Thomas was in the right place at the right time to divert a low shot under Nelson to rescue a point for Gannon’s side.

Yeovil Town: Nelson; Skendi, Collins, Bradbury; Alcock, Worthington, Whelan (McCoy 89′), Hutton; D’Ath; Murphy, Duffus. 
Bookings: Duffus 24′, Nelson 61′, Skendi 68′
Subs not used: Driscoll, Ojo, Shako, Seager.

Stockport County: Hinchliffe; Palmer, Cowan, Keane; Minihan (Dimaio 79′), Walker (Kirby 65′), Osborne, Turnbull, Jackson; Mulhern, Bell (Thomas 60′).
Subs not used: Ormson, Arthur.