23rd April 2022

Charlie Lee secured his first win as Yeovil Town interim manager with a 2-1 win over league leaders Stockport.

A first half strike from Tom Knowles got the Glovers up and running before Josh Neufville scored the first league goal of his loan spell to build a more comfortable lead.

Former Glover Myles Hippolyte set up a nervy end with his 70th minute strike, but a superb defensive display, notably from the returning Max Hunt ensured the three points remained at Huish Park.

With Ben Barclay unable to play against his parent side, Hunt made a return from his long-term injury lay-off.

Neufville also returned to the starting side after being named a substitute against Weymouth.

Stockport’s possession play has earned them a positive reputation this season, and it was on show in the opening stages, as the table toppers dominated the ball. However, despite a large amount of the ball, Grant Smith was largely untested throughout the first half.

This actually suited the Glovers, who have been a counterattacking side all season. Lee’s side were able to break with pace but struggled to get in behind the Stockport defence.

The first chance of the afternoon fell with ten minutes played. Paddy Madden drifted free at the back-post and forced a save from Grant Smith with his header.

It took 33 minutes for Yeovil to test Hinchliffe in the County goal. Luke Wilkinson’s free-kick from the edge of the box was on-targer, but it was a comfortable save for the County no.1.

This really sprung the game into life, as just two minutes later, Yeovil had a golden chance to strike ahead. After being dragged down, Neufville did excellently to get back up and find Reuben Reid who just couldn’t get the ball under control to get a shot off into an open net.

With 40 minutes on the clock, Town found the advantage. Knowles isolated his marker in the right flank and jinxed his way towards goal, and produced an excellent finish from an acute angle.

It was a slim advantage for the Glovers at the break, but one they deserved for the tenacity throughout the half.

At the break, the visitors made a double switch, turning to former Glover Hippolyte who added thrust to the Hatters attack.

However, the changes did little to force any real goalmouth action in the opening stages, with Town looking dangerous on the break once again.

It was a counterattacking move which saw Town add their second with ten minutes of the second half played. Dale Gorman’s outstanding pass with the outside of his boot sent Neufville baring down on goal. The Luton Town loanee produced a cool finish to add Yeovil’s second, something Glovers fans have seen many times on stream, but never in person before now!

After the goal, the visitors had to up the ante to stand any chance of getting anything out the game, but in truth struggled to get their forward players into the game. Madden was cut a frustrated figure throughout as he struggled to find shooting room.

However, the 70th minute, Stockport showed a glimpse at why they are the champions-elect. A wonderful piece of build-up worked the ball around the box, eventually being laid back to Hippolyte who powered the ball home.

Despite wanting to carry their momentum, Stockport were the masters of their own downfall following the goal; firstly from within the stand, with a flare thrown onto the pitch delaying the restart. Then, just one minute after the game kicked off once more, Will Collar was sent off for a dangerously high foot on Gorman.

Even with reduced numbers, Stockport pressed for a way into the game, lumping the ball forward at every opportunity, with Hunt in particular thwarting any Hatters effort.

In truth, this actually suited the Glovers, who were able to stick to their counterattacking gameplan.

The best chance of the closing stages actually fell Yeovil’s way, as Neufville turned the Stockport defence once again, but dragged his effort wide from the edge of the box.

Ultimately 2-1 was how it remained as Lee secured a memorable first win as Yeovil Town’s interim manager.

Yeovil Town; Smith; Little, Wilkinson, Hunt, Williams; Barnett, Gorman, D’Ath (Bradley), Knowles, Neufville; Reid (Yussuf)

Bookings: Knowles, Barnett

Subs not used: Evans, Robinson, Lo-Everton