Yeovil Town completed their fifth win in seven league games when they saw off Hartlepool United by a single goal at Huish Park this afternoon.
Joe Edwards’ first goal of the season, in the seventh minute, was enough to keep Yeovil on the edge of the group chasing the playoffs but they made hard work of it and had to endure extensive Hartlepool second half pressure to hold on to what they had earned.
The result keeps the Glovers in eleventh spot but inches them to within four points of the top six after a stuttering, spluttering display in front of 3,095 spectators today.
Manager Gary Johnson made just one change to the starting eleven that lost 3-1 to Stevenage in midweek. Luke Ayling returned to the right back slot after a gap of nine matches with Joe Edwards moving into right midfield and Keanu Marsh-Brown dropping to the bench.
Yeovil looked positive from the off and Dan Burn headed a Paddy Madden cross over before they took the lead in the seventh minute. Sam Foley was released down the left hand side and he was given space to pick out a pinpoint cross that Joe Edwards stabbed in at the near post. The goal made several punters happy who had snaffled up odds of 33/1 on the Bristol City loanee being first scorer.
The rest of the half was poor fare really. Town had conceded six goals in their previous two defeats while Hartlepool have had a rotten start to the season with just one win in eighteen games and neither side looked to have the ingenuity to unlock each others defence.
Daniel Johnson fired over from fourteen yards on 25 minutes but Yeovil’s only other sights of goal in a forgettable first half were headers from strike duo Madden and James Hayter, neither of which troubled ex-Glovers keeper Scott Flinders.
Hartlepool, whose last away win was here eight long months ago, came out much more brightly after the interval and having not had a shot in the first period, took less than three minutes to threaten the Town goal through Simon Walton’s long range left foot screamer.
Edwards, brimming with confidence after his first half strike, almost curled in a second from the edge of the box but it was the visitors who pushed forward and looked more likely to score. James Poole and Peter Hartley went close and Anthony Sweeney “scored” but it was ruled out well beforehand for an offside flag.
Yeovil, under real threat for the first time, seemed to take to going long in a bit to relieve themselves of pressure, and though Daniel Johnson and Madden had half chances, it was still ‘Pools who looked set to even matters. Poole volleyed over again from a Steve Howard knockdown and Sam Collins miskicked from six yards out when it seemed easier to score.
At last, Town began to put some passing moves together, much to the obvious relief of the home element of the crowd and the chances started to come again after a barren spell. Madden scooped the ball up for sub Keanu Marsh-Brown who volleyed wide and both Johnson and Madden had quick efforts blocked too.
Stech saved a Sweeney header then watched with alarm as Poole sliced his cross on to the roof of the Yeovil Town net. Howard then headed straight at Stech and Yeovil’s final chances came in stoppage time when second sub Reuben Reid hammered a shot well over the bar and Marsh-Brown’s effort was deflected for a corner.