16th October 2023

The Glovers made it to the Emirates FA Cup First Round after dispatching Southend United with a 2-0 win at Huish Park. Goals from Jake Wannell and Jordan Young ensured the Glovers continued their fine start to the season at home.

Before most had even settled into their seats or spots on the terrace, the Glovers had already made their mark on the game. Jordan Young curled a free kick in from the right, which was cleared away, but Jake Wannell was waiting on the edge of the box to volley the ball off the base of the right post and into the net.

It wasn’t long before the Glovers were causing issues again. On 11 minutes, Rhys Murphy latched onto a long ball, bringing it down from over his shoulder before flicking the ball into the path of Will Dawes, who couldn’t keep his shot down.

The visitors then had a sight of goal themselves when Jason Demetriou found himself in some space just outside the box, but his low effort was wide of Joe Day’s goal. On 18 minutes, the ball dropped to Wesley Fonguck, who tried to curl the ball into the far corner, but Joe Day collected the ball.

The game settled briefly until Southend launched another flurry of attacks. Jack Bridge weaved his way into the box before getting a shot away, but Joe Day was there again to get down and claim the ball as his. On 35 minutes, Jack Wood progressed forward with the ball, skipping over multiple challenges before getting a shot away, but Michael Smith managed to get himself in the way of his shot.

The attacks continued going in the way of the visitors as Dan Mooney regained possession from a loose ball and had a shot from the edge of the area, but his effort was wide of the post.

On 39 minutes, the Glovers had a chance to get forward and double their lead. Frank Nouble brought the ball out of midfield and found the feet of Will Dawes, who was overlapping down the left. Dawes progressed into the box and cut back to shoot, but his effort was charged down, and the danger was cleared.

The Glovers continued to keep Southend at bay throughout the rest of the half despite the constant pushing for an equaliser as the score remained 1-0 at the break.

The second half started in a similar vein with Southend keeping the pressure on the Glovers’ backline. Ollie Kensdale rose highest following a free kick and forced a very good diving save from Joe Day, but a foul was called in the process in Yeovil’s favour.

On 53 minutes, Harry Cardwell, who had been kept quiet throughout the afternoon, got on the end of a Jack Bridge corner, but his header was over the bar. On 64 minutes, Jack Bridge went from creating chances to almost taking a chance when he snaked into the box and shot from a tight angle, but Joe Day again matched the effort.

After weathering the storm that was Southend’s attack, the Glovers then had some of their own. On 66 minutes, Rhys Murphy found himself behind the defence with just the keeper to beat but was hauled over by Jason Demetriou, but referee James Durkin was not interested in the appeals. The visitors then broke and won a corner immediately from the counter-attack. This corner was cleared to the feet of Rhys Murphy, who flicked it onto Will Dawes, sparking a 2v1 situation with Jordan Young in support. Dawes managed to switch the ball over to Young, who elegantly brought the ball down with the outside of his left boot before evading two defenders and poking the ball between the legs of Nick Hayes to double the advantage.

Directly after the goal, Mark Cooper turned to the bench with the introduction of Jordan Stevens and Zac Bell to replace Will Dawes and Rhys Murphy. Soon after, Frank Nouble made way for Josh Staunton as the Glovers looked to see the game out.

Despite a late onslaught of Southend attacks, most notably a shot from Harry Taylor that was saved by Day, the Glovers managed to hold onto the clean sheet and secure their spot in the Emirates FA Cup First Round.