Yeovil Town’s 2020 came to an end with a comfortable victory over Aldershot Town at Huish Park.
Eager to right the wrongs of Saturday’s defeat to Torquay, Yeovil began fast, scoring early through Courtney Duffus.
It was more of the same throughout the second half as Duffus doubled his tally and Albi Skendi added a late third to secure three points for Town.
After a humbling defeat on Boxing Day, Darren Sarll opted for four changes to his Yeovil Town side.
Adam Smith remained in goal for Town, but there was a return for Luke Wilkinson to the defence following his suspension. Carl Dickinson captained the side, with Max Hunt and Gabe Osho keeping their place to complete the back four.
It was a diamond in midfield for Yeovil, with Charlie Lee at the base, Matt Worthington and Lawson D’Ath in front of him and Skendi furthest forward. Duffus returned to the side to partner Joe Quigley up-front.
The change in the forward line led to a bright start for Town, with Duffus causing major problems for the Shots backline. On seven minutes, the Glovers number 14 forced a corner after a driving run.
Duffus was clearly in the mood for this one, and it didn’t take him long for him to find the back of the net. Following Quigley’s deft flick on, Duffus turned the ball home, on the volley to claim the lead on 14 minutes.
It was almost two in spectacular style on 22 minutes, following some pinball football, Duffus found the ball under his feet but a smart backheel caught Aldershot defence largely unaware, but a late heroic block saved their blushes.
In truth, Aldershot offered very little in terms of goal threat throughout the first half, only forcing one save from Smith as he turned Fowler’s effort wide of the post.
Yeovil ended the half the brighter of the two sides, with Wilkinson almost sending one of his trademark free-kick’s into the top corner but it flew just inches over.
At the break, Town held a deserved lead, largely holding the visitors at arm’s length and dictating the play.
The second half saw the Shots become more adventurous, forcing a goal line clearance from Max Hunt as Harrison Panayiotou struggled to turn the ball into the Yeovil net.
Largely though, Town’s defence stood firm, taking the pace out of the game and nullifying the visitors attacking threat. This allowed the Glovers full-backs opportunity to take the onus on the game, with Dickinson and Osho venturing forward and taking the onus of the game.
With games coming at such a fast pace, fresh legs were vital for both sides, but it was Yeovil’s substitutions who proved more effective as Josh Neufville became a continued thorn in the Aldershot side.
The tricky Luton loanee won the free-kick which ultimately led to Yeovil’s second goal of the afternoon on 78 minutes. A smart routine found Duffus free on the right-hand side of the box, with time to drill an effort beyond Brad James to put Yeovil’s first three home points within touching distance.
The task became a lot easier with the visitors reduced to ten on 86 minutes as Jermaine Anderson was shown his second yellow card.
Sarll’s men capitalised quickly with another well-worked set-piece. Dickinson found Quigley at the back-post, the towering striker cushioned a header into the unmarked Skendi’s path for the Albanian to put the result beyond doubt.
The only blemish against Yeovil’s performance came in stoppage time as Quigley was given his marching orders for a second yellow card.
Ultimately, after a disappointing Boxing Day, Glovers fans got the response they wanted a hard-fought comfortable win to secure a first home league victory of the season.
Yeovil Town: A.Smith; Dickinson, Wilkinson, Hunt, Osho; Lee (Neufville), Worthington (Knowles), D’Ath, Skendi; Duffus (Sonupe), Quigley
Bookings: D’Ath, Quigley RED, Worthington
Subs: Warburton, Dagnall.