10th January 2024

The Glovers continued their fine run of form with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Taunton Town. Frank Nouble extended his excellent scoring streak by netting his fourth goal in as many games, propelling the Glovers 13 points clear at the top of the National League South.

Despite the cooler conditions, the Glovers started strongly. In the opening stages, Jordan Young set up Michael Smith with a cutback, but Smith’s low effort was denied by Dan Lavercombe. Lavercombe was called into action again when Jordan Young’s free kick was collected by the Taunton keeper.

16 minutes into the game, Jordan Young received the first caution after catching Ross Stearn as they contested for a loose ball. Shortly after, Michael Smith had his second chance at goal. This time, he brought a long ball down, cut inside, and shot, but his low effort went wide of the post.

The game then settled as both sides battled in the middle of the park. In the 28th minute, Jordan Young was set through one-on-one with Lavercombe, but he couldn’t make contact with the ball as it ran through to the keeper.

On the 35th minute, good footwork from Courtney Senior allowed him to shoot from range, but he fired wide of the target. Matt Worthington had a shot from range in the 41st minute, but his effort also flew wide of Lavercombe’s goal.

Taunton had their own chances as the half drew to a close when former Yeovil loanee Zac Bell set up Lloyd James, who put a cross into the box, but Joe Day came out and claimed the ball. The two additional minutes were well managed by the Glovers. Ross Stearn tried to threaten as he made his way into the box but tripped over himself after 17 stepovers.

The break saw the Glovers make an attacking change, with Rhys Murphy coming in to replace Courtney Senior as Mark Cooper looked to adjust his attacking options.

It didn’t take long for the Glovers to finally take the lead. Matt Worthington intercepted Cam Evans before releasing Frank Nouble through on goal. Nouble, with only Lavercombe to beat, managed to find the far corner with a neat finish.

The Glovers continued to put pressure on the Taunton defence. Sonny Blu Lo-Everton moved quickly down the wing and put a cross towards Rhys Murphy, but it was poked away by Nick Grimes. In the 65th minute, Rhys Murphy gave the Glovers their best chance of doubling the lead. The ball dropped perfectly for Murphy, who fired a looping volley towards goal, but Dan Lavercombe was fully stretched to tip his spectacular effort onto the crossbar.

The two sides then started to make changes as the game settled again. Jordan Young was replaced by Will Dawes as Cooper looked to add more fresh legs to the midfield.

Taunton’s best chance to find the net fell to Louie Slough in the 82nd minute when a cross from the left fell to Slough, who headed his effort wide. The Glovers had their own headed effort, this one from Jake Hyde, who came in moments before, after rising highest from Matt Worthington’s free kick, but his effort was held by Lavercombe.

Seven additional minutes were indicated at the end of the 90 minutes, but the Glovers were not fazed by this as they continued their strong defensive display to see out the three points.

With the fixture being a game in hand due to the postponement on New Year’s Eve, this meant the Glovers could extend their lead at the top of the table to 13 points.