27th March 2023

Yeovil Town lost 2-1 on the road to table topping Bridgwater in a tight and well contested league encounter which saw schoolboy striker Bobby Hilton grab his first goal for the club 

The Young Glovers were much changed from their September match-up with Bridgwater as team manager Matt Percival continues to give valuable game experience to a talented crop of school boy and first year players. 

There were also some familiar faces back in the ranks with Rob Hollard returning between the sticks after an impressive spell at Gillingham Town and Charlie Bateson being available following the cancelation of Tiverton Town’s game this weekend. 

The home team, whose race for the title with defending champions Torquay United looks to be going to the wire, began the stronger and controlled the early stages from midfield. With a blustery wind behind them, Bridgwater showed an attacking intent and struck the post and saw a header cleared off the line as Yeovil struggled to settle. Bateson saw two shots from distance flash wide but was largely feeding off scraps as the home side were consistently quickest to any loose balls and sought to press down the wings. Shortly after the half hour mark Bridgwater took the lead when the young striker slotted low past Hollard to make it 1-0. 

This setback brought about an excellent response from Yeovil who made some useful advances of their own down the wings through Harry Lock and Mikey Archibald and created a low shot for Josh Haskett which was well saved. Bateson then narrowly failed to flick a shot past the keeper but shortly after was gifted a chance to equalise when the visitors were awarded a penalty. The striker sent his spot-kick low to the keeper’s left but was thwarted by a good save. 

As the half drew to a close, Harrison Foster saw a shot blocked from five yards as the Young Glovers finished the stronger of the two sides. 

Percival sent on Corey Koerner for Lock at left wing back as Yeovil looked to pick up where they left off in the early stages of the second half. Bateson created a chance, but having rounded the keeper saw his angled shot sail over from the edge of the 15-yard box. Bridgwater responded well to this and had two good chances, the second expertly saved from Hollard, as both teams chased the crucial second goal. Schoolboy strikers Joe Beckey and Bobby Hilton were introduced to the fray but it was Bridgwater who took a 2-goal lead when their left-back scored direct from a corner with the visitors adamant that Hollard was impeded as he leapt for the swerving ball. 

The Young Glovers pulled one back almost immediately when a shot from Haskett was spilled and Hilton grabbed his chance, lofting a neat finish over the stranded keeper to make it 2-1 with twenty minutes still remaining. 

The game became a hotly charged affair and Yeovil were unlucky not to draw level when Beckey had a stinging shot deflected behind and Bateson saw a curling effort drift narrowly 

wide. Bridgwater chased a third and Hollard was called upon to make a terrific reaction save to keep the visitors in it with ten minutes to go. 

As the intensity rose, both teams picked up bookings as this competitive match-up headed into the final minutes. Hilton almost snatched a point at the death after skipper Max Dyer put him through down the right, but his flicked effort struck the post and fell to safety. 

Despite the loss, Yeovil Town remain in third place in the league with Cirencester Town losing away at Bath City. 

Team: 1 – Rob Hollard, 2 – Mikey Archibald, 3 – Harry Lock, 5 – Aidan Skiverton, 6 – Harrison Foster, 7 – Mason Alden 8 – Jack Bareham, 9 – Charlie Bateson, 10 – Freddie Beale, 11 – Josh Haskett and 14 – Max Dyer © Subs: 15 – Corey Koerner, 16 – Joe Beckey, 17 – Bobby Hilton 

The Young Glovers return home on April 1st to face Wimborne Town U18s in another league fixture.