30th March 2024

The Glovers turned a Good Friday into a wonderful Friday as they put three past Torquay United in front of a record-breaking crowd at Huish Park. Two goals from Jahmari Clarke either side of the half and a goal from Jordan Young ensured they returned to winning ways at Huish Park.

After completely missing from the squad for their trip to Braintree Town, Jordan Stevens returned to the starting line-up with Rhys Murphy also appearing on the bench for the first time since January.

The game got off to a feisty start when 12 seconds into the encounter the first card was shown. Jordan Young lunged in after an awkward first touch and the referee was not giving him any chances. The opening stages were dominated by heavy challenges flying in from both sides as they displayed signs of physical presence. Arkell Jude-Boyd was another to be shown a yellow for a late challenge on Morgan Williams.

The first chance of the game came to the Glovers on 12 minutes. Jordan Young and Brooklyn Genesini linked up well down the right before Genesini put in a dangerous cross into the six-yard box but Jordan Stevens was unable to arrive on the scene in time to head the ball in at the back post. Jahmari Clarke, who was making his home debut alongside Brooklyn Genesini, had his first chance in front of the Thatchers Gold Stand when the ball came to his feet before turning and shooting. It’s safe to say Clarke won’t want to remember that part of his afternoon too quickly.

The yellow cards kept falling when on 26 minutes as Austen Booth became the next to join the referee’s book after a late challenge.

Brooklyn Genesini was thick in the action again in quick succession. The first chance saw Genesini weave his way into the box before poking the ball to Matt Worthington whose low effort was blocked. The second saw the ball bounce around the area before Frank Nouble laid the ball off to Brooklyn Genesini but he drilled his effort wide of the post.

The visitors had a couple of chances from corners just after the half-hour mark but the set pieces were easily dealt with by the defence and Joe Day.

The Glovers finally took the lead when Jahmari Clarke found himself in the right place at the right time. Charlie Cooper set himself for a shot on the edge of the area which was blocked but it was able to fall nicely to the feet of Clarke who prodded in his first goal for the Glovers in front of the Thatchers Gold Stand.

With just 5 minutes left of the first half following the goal, Torquay had the best chance inside first-half injury time but the shot from Will Jenkins-Davies was no trouble for Joe Day as it trickled wide.

The second half saw the Glovers get off to a strong start, similar to the first. Jordan Young played a nice pass through the defence where Jordan Stevens was able to latch onto the ball before putting in a low cross but Halstead was able to collect.

It was Jordan Young who was able to double the Glovers’ lead on 58 minutes. Frank Nouble worked well down the left to bring the ball forward before cutting the ball back to Young who fired his effort in off the underside of the crossbar.

Then it was suddenly like London buses as two very quickly became three! A well-placed pass from Morgan Williams turned defence into attack as Jahmari Clarke let the ball run through his legs before slotting it past Halstead and into the bottom corner. The young striker from Reading seemingly enjoying his second of the afternoon in front of the travelling supporters.

Before Clarke could even think about getting a hat-trick, the board was up and he departed to a standing ovation as he was replaced by Olly Thomas with 25 minutes left.

The introduction of Olly Thomas saw an injection of energy with some fresh legs in attack. On 71 minutes, Jordan Stevens brought the ball forward down the left before firing an effort at goal which had Halstead at full stretch but it was just over the bar.

Another change to the attack saw Jordan Young replaced by Dylan Morgan after the goalscorer received some treatment.

The fresh legs continued to work in favour of the Glovers. Olly Thomas intercepted play before driving into the area. Thomas had options to play across the area but decided to go on his own and forced a save from Halstead.

A late change saw Sonny Blu Lo-Everton replace Charlie Cooper as the game headed into additional time.

Despite the 7 extra minutes, Torquay posed no real threat as the Glovers stood firm and secured a comfortable three points in front of a National League South record crowd of 6,462.