9th October 2023

The Glovers reached the summit of the Vanarama National League South after an impressive 3-1 victory against Aveley. Two first-half goals from Rhys Murphy and one from Jordan Young were sufficient to propel the Glovers to the top of the table.

Within five minutes, the Glovers had a significant opportunity to take the lead. Jordan Young’s free-kick from the left bounced across the 6-yard box and found the head of Jake Wannell, who put his effort over the bar.

Aveley, who were in fourth place at the start of the afternoon, then had their first chance. Michael Dada brought the ball forward before firing an effort towards goal, but Joe Day was there to punch the ball clear.

Then the Glovers really took control of possession. Rhys Murphy turned his man on the right wing before being pulled down inside the area, but the referee waved away the appeals from the Thatchers Gold Stand.

Moments later, Murphy broke through the defence and forced Jonathan North into a strong save, but the danger wasn’t cleared. The ball fell back to the feet of Murphy, who forced North into another save before Jordan Young curled an effort from the right.

In the 13th minute, the Glovers broke the deadlock. Michael Smith brought the ball down and found the feet of Frank Nouble, who squared the ball to Rhys Murphy, who poked it in at the back post.

Before the green-clad supporters had even finished celebrating the first goal, they had another to celebrate. Frank Nouble played a pinpoint pass through to Will Dawes, who found Jordan Young with a delightful cross before Young volleyed the ball beyond North in the Aveley goal to make it 2-0.

On 23 minutes, a corner came out to Jake Wannell, who laid the ball off to Josh Owers, unleashing a powerful effort towards goal, but North matched his attempt with an impressive diving save.

Despite North’s heroics, he was unable to deny Rhys Murphy from grabbing his second and the Glovers’ third of the afternoon. Will Dawes dispossessed the Aveley defender, allowing Rhys Murphy to find Frank Nouble, who drove forward before returning the ball to Murphy, who found the bottom corner.

On 35 minutes, it was almost a fourth goal. Jordan Young progressed down the right wing before finding Nouble with a wonderful curling ball, but despite his best efforts, Frank Nouble couldn’t find the target with his outstretched boot.

On the brink of half-time, Jonathan North was again called into action. The ball dropped inside the 18-yard box, where Alex Whittle made a rare appearance inside the area, but his goal-bound effort was well saved by North.

The second half saw Aveley come out with nothing but attacking intent. Their very attack-minded setup worked within the first few minutes as Charlie Hughes managed to squeeze the ball over the line after a good initial save from Joe Day.

On the hour mark, Jordan Maguire-Drew replaced Will Dawes, and moments later, he was right in the thick of it. Maguire-Drew brought the ball down and beat his man before finding Rhys Murphy, who put his effort wide under pressure from the Aveley defence.

The hardworking Rhys Murphy then made way on 75 minutes for Jake Hyde, who returned to the squad after serving his one-game suspension. Minutes later, Jordan Maguire-Drew drove to the byline and crossed towards Jordan Young, who could only watch his effort go over the bar.

The final change a few minutes later saw Jordan Young being replaced by Sonny Blu Lo-Everton as Mark Cooper looked to introduce more fresh legs into the midfield.

As the final minutes ticked away, the Glovers managed to keep the forward-pushing Aveley at bay to secure a sixth consecutive win and maintain their unbeaten start at Huish Park for the 2023/24 season.