29th August 2023

The Glovers’ unbeaten run ended abruptly following a disappointing 4-3 defeat on the road against Havant & Waterlooville.

Havant & Waterlooville started aggressively, immediately putting pressure on the Glovers’ backline. Muhammadu Faal and James Roberts linked up three times within the first 7 minutes. The first attempt fell into the hands of Will Buse, while Faal fired over from close range in the second attempt. The third attack led to Havant taking the lead, as James Roberts continued his early dominance on the left flank, delivering a perfectly timed ball to Muhammadu Faal, who found the net.

The Hawks soon doubled their lead as Callum Kealy managed to squeeze the ball in from a tight angle with a powerful effort from the left side of the box.

The Glovers needed a quick response and a series of attacks helped them gain a foothold in the game. Charlie Cooper lofted a ball to Olly Thomas, but it eluded his outstretched boot and reached Ross Worner. Frank Nouble initiated an attack by charging down the left wing, beating his opponent and winning a corner. Although the resulting corner found Nouble’s head, it deflected off a Havant defender’s head before being cleared.

Havant had an opportunity to make it three when Muhammadu Faal broke through the Yeovil defence with only Will Buse to beat. Buse made a strong save down to his left to keep the score at 2-0.

Yeovil managed to find a way back into the game. Charlie Cooper’s corner created chaos, leading to Jake Wannell scrambling the ball in, giving the Glovers a chance to recover.

However, Havant quickly resumed their attacking tactics. James Roberts had a chance at goal from the edge of the box after dispossessing Jake Wannell, but his effort flew over the bar.

The Glovers then pressed for an equaliser. Jordan Maguire-Drew set up Charlie Cooper at the edge of the box, but his curling effort missed just wide of the top-right corner. Frank Nouble delivered a delightful ball towards Olly Thomas, who couldn’t quite reach the cross.

Olly Thomas had a significant chance with the ball at his feet. He received the ball on the byline, managed to beat his man, but scuffed his shot wide of the post.

The Glovers then struck the woodwork. Jordan Maguire-Drew’s cross found Sonny Blu Lo-Everton’s head, who flicked it to Matty Worthington. Worthington’s header was tipped onto the bar by Ross Worner.

A huge opportunity emerged for the Glovers to level the score. Charlie Cooper’s corner reached Jordan Maguire-Drew, who was brought down by Billie Busari before he could shoot. Maguire-Drew converted the resulting penalty down the middle to make it 2-2.

However, Havant quickly regained the lead. Deep into first-half stoppage time, Muhammadu Faal was tripped in the box by Jake Wannell. Tom Ellsmore pointed to the spot. Although Faal’s penalty was initially saved by Will Buse, he reacted swiftly, lifting it over Buse to put the Hawks ahead at half-time.

A half-time substitution saw Sonny Blu Lo-Everton replaced by Morgan Williams. Williams had a great chance to level the score, heading towards goal off a cross, but Ross Worner managed to keep it out. Moments later, Frank Nouble’s cross was cleared to Charlie Cooper, whose strike was blocked by the Hawks’ defence.

Havant had a series of chances to extend their lead. Tom Blair’s cross found James Roberts, whose shot missed the far corner. Kai Innocent set up Billie Busari in the box, but Busari’s header missed the goal.

Due to an injury, the Glovers had to make a change, with Jordan Young replacing Matt Worthington.

Muhammadu Faal came close again, hitting the left post from around 20 yards out. Roarie Deacon’s follow-up shot went over the bar. Minutes later, Tom Blair’s effort hit the crossbar and went over after a cross fell to his feet just outside the box.

Jamie Sendles-White’s long throw-ins created a couple of chances. Jordan Maguire-Drew’s shot went well over the bar, and Frank Nouble’s flicked effort was cleared by Havant’s defence.

Between these chances, Mark Cooper made an adjustment, bringing on Rhys Murphy for Olly Thomas.

As time was running out, Rhys Murphy broke down the right and fired a shot from the edge of the box beyond Ross Worner into the far corner.

Unfortunately, the celebrations were short-lived, as Havant quickly countered down the left. Callum Kealy turned his man and found the far corner, all but sealing the three points for the Hampshire side.

The action wasn’t over. Yeovil continued to press during stoppage time. Charlie Cooper appeared to be tripped in the box, but the whistle from Tom Ellsmore indicated a free kick for Havant. After the decision, the referee issued Cooper a second yellow card, leaving the Glovers with 10 men.

As the full-time whistle echoed around Westleigh Park, it marked a second defeat on the road for the Glovers, who dropped to 7th place.