8th March 2023

Matt Worthington was the difference as Yeovil Town returned to winning ways against Eastleigh at Huish Park.

The Glovers’ No.7 scored a second half header to secure a 1-0 win for Mark Cooper’s side.

The result means Yeovil ended a seven-game run without a victory in the National League. 

Buoyed by the announcements of Reo Griffiths and Scott Pollock, along with discounted tickets thanks to Paul Sackey & Matt Uggla, the Thatcher’s Stand was filled to the brim, generating a great atmosphere at Huish Park.

Pollock wasn’t quite fit enough to be named in the squad, so was unveiled to the Huish Park crowd prior to kick-off. The former Hashtag United and Boston man got a great reception, whilst Griffiths was named on the substitutes bench, but was unused in the match.

The match got off to a less than ideal start for Yeovil, as Morgan Williams, who was operating in a right-back role, was forced to be substituted with just a minute played. A foul from Yeovil academy graduate Alfie Lloyd saw Williams hobble off and be replaced by Edwin Agbaje.

Many teams would have been disheartened by such an early change, but not the Glovers, who dominated the first half.

Jordan Stevens was the creative outlet throughout the night for Yeovil, and showed his first glimpse of that in the 10th minute as his cross across the six-yard box just lacked a body to tap it home.

With 15 played, Yeovil once again looked dangerous out wide. Worthington looked for Jordan Young who rose well, but couldn’t quite connect with the No.7’s cross.

Chances continued to fall for Yeovil. In the 20th minute, Stevens burst down the left and picked out Young, he had his shot blocked, but Worthington picked the ball up, had two bites of the cherry but couldn’t test the Eastleigh ‘keeper. 

Moments later, Yeovil were denied what was seemingly a stonewall penalty. Young rounded McDonnell in the Eastleigh net and was hauled down, yet the referee remained unmoved.

Maguire-Drew, who has been struggling with a knock in recent weeks looked like the player the Glovers had first signed on Tuesday night. His first sight of goal came with 25 minutes played; he sent his marker the wrong way and forced a good save from McDonnell.

As the half grew on, Yeovil went close again through the no.10 in the 40th minute. The ball dropped to Maguire-Drew on his weaker right foot, but his goal bound effort was somehow clawed away by McDonnell, who was single handedly keeping the Spitfires in the game.

The second half saw much of the same for Yeovil, and with 50 played, Town had an effort cleared off the line. After pinball in the box, Jamie Reckord’s header was heroically cleared by the Eastleigh defence.

Crosses continued to be a threatening outlet, with Owen Bevan and Agbaje both attempting to get on the end of a Maguire-Drew cross, to no avail. Moments later, Young did the same but he turned the ball wide.

With 66 minutes played, Yeovil finally found a deserved breakthrough. Town’s bright spark Stevens sent a superb cross to the back stick which was met by Worthington, his looping header caught out McDonnell who couldn’t scramble back to save and the Thatcher’s Stand erupted! 

In fairness to Eastleigh, they responded well to the goal, with Lloyd firing wide moments later, but their evening became increasingly difficult when Ousseynou Cisse received his second yellow card of the evening for a foul on Young.

From then, the Green & Whites showed excellent game management to secure a vital win at Huish Park. 

Yeovil Town: Smith; Williams (Agbaje), Staunton, Bevan, Reckord; Law, Worthington, Cooper, Maguire-Drew (Fisher), Stevens (D’Ath), Young.

Bookings: Stevens, Agbaje

Subs not used: Griffiths, Oluwabori