Yeovil Town made it three consecutive wins at Huish Park with a 1-0 win against Newport County in Sky Bet League Two.
In a game harnessed by harsh conditions, Town took the lead inside the final ten minutes when Ryan Hedges’ low cross was turned into the net by a combination of Tom Eaves and County defender Dan Butler, with the Glovers striker credited with his sixth goal of the season.
Victory continues the Glovers ascent up the League Two table, making it six goals scored and just two conceded in the last three matches in Somerset, as well as making it back-to-back wins as Yeovil move to within three points of the play-offs.
Darren Way named an unchanged starting eleven, sticking with the side which picked up a 1-0 win last time out against Wycombe Wanderers at Huish Park.
There were changes on the bench however, with Ryan Dickson, Tom Eaves and Francois Zoko all returning to the squad in place of Omar Sowunmi, Joe Lea (who joined Dorchester Town on loan earlier on Saturday) and Kyle Copp.
As the two teams emerged from the tunnel a consistent drizzle began to fall from the heavens, but it didn’t dampen a lively start to proceedings.
Inside the opening 10 minutes Town almost took the lead when Hedges’ deflected cross fell to Otis Khan in the box, with the Town wide man controlling and turning in one movement before seeing his deflected shot fall inches wide of the target with County ‘keeper Joe Day beaten.
The visitors, being managed by Graham Westley for the first time, responded with a chance of their own just minutes later.
Jennison Myrie-Williams’ deep cross fell to Butler at the back post, but the left-back’s shot from the angle was well saved by the legs of Artur Krysiak in the Yeovil goal.
Looking a threat from long throw-ins and corners, Jon Parkin had two efforts in quick succession blocked well by Yeovil from set-plays, before the hosts took control of proceedings.
Both widemen Hedges and Khan saw plenty of the ball in the opening 45 minutes, causing Newport full-backs Jazzi Barnum-Bobb and Butler plenty of problems.
Although unable to force Day into action, Alex Lawless curled an effort wide of the target from just inside the box after good build-up from Khan and Tahvon Campbell, before the Glovers enjoyed a flurry of corners in the minutes leading to half-time.
As the rain turned from drizzle to downpour Newport had to demonstrate their defensive resoluteness to keep out Town, with the referee’s half-time whistle coupled with worsening conditions in Somerset.
The two teams were welcomed back onto the pitch by the same relentless rain which led to a scrappy start to the second half.
With chances at a premium in the first period it was the Exiles who had opportunities early after the restart.
Myrie-Williams dragged an effort from inside the box horribly wide of the target after 53 minutes, before captain Scot Bennett headed over the bar from six yards three minutes later.
County’s early opportunities led to a reaction from Way, who introduced top scorer Tom Eaves from the bench in place of Campbell up front.
Just past the hour mark Town had their first chance of the half when Nathan Smith’s cross from the left had to be acrobatically palmed over the bar by Day with the ball heading for the top corner.
With conditions worsening at Huish Park both sides continued to search for an opening goal, and County substitute Jordan Green came close to doing so after 68 minutes when his low effort from range skipped off the surface and zipped narrowly wide of the post.
In search of finding a way to make it three consecutive home wins, Zoko took the field in place of Khan with a little over a quarter of an hour remaining, and the Glovers took the lead just five minutes later.
Hedges twisted and turned inside the Newport box before firing a fierce low ball across goal, which nestled in the corner of the goal after a combination of Eaves and Butler forced the ball over the line.
As the game entered stoppage time it could’ve been 2-0 when Zoko raced through on goal after Dolan and Hedges combined to release the striker, but the Ivorian’s effort was well saved by the advancing Day.
Zoko had a second attempt saved by Day in the dying embers of the match, as Yeovil looked the more likely to score the match's second goal.
As the sun began to shine through on Huish Park referee Dean Whitestone called time on proceedings to confirm a third straight home victory for the Glovers and back-to-back wins in Sky Bet League Two which moves Way's side to within three points of the play-offs.
Yeovil Town: Krysiak; Mugabi, Ward, Lacey, Smith; Dawson, Lawless, Dolan; Hedges (Whitfield 90’), Campbell (Eaves 56’), Khan (Zoko 76’).
Subs not used: Maddison, Dickson, Ezewele, McLeod.
Newport County: Day; Barnum-Bobb, Jones, Bennett, Butler; Sheehan (Wood 86’), Tozer, Rigg; Myrie-Williams (Green 64’), Parkin, Jackson (Compton 70’).
Bookings: Parkin 63’.
Subs not used: Bittner, Wood, Angel, Cameron.