Match Details: 08/10/2019
Yeovil Town 3-1 Woking
Yeovil Goals: Rhys Murphy (12), Rhys Murphy (41), Jimmy Smith (45)
Yeovil Line-Up: 3. Carl Dickinson, 4. Lee Collins, 5. Jimmy Smith, 6. Luke Wilkinson, 7. Matt Worthington, 9. Rhys Murphy, 14. Courtney Duffus, 24. Remeao Hutton, 26. Charlie Lee, 28. James Tilley, 31. Adam Smith,
Subs: 8. Lawson D'Ath, 10. Gold Omotayo, 18. Albi Skendi, 19. Tom Bradbury, 33. Chris Dagnall
Substitutes Used: Chris Dagnall for Courtney Duffus (61 mins), Lawson D'Ath for James Tilley (61 mins), Albi Skendi for Jimmy Smith (81 mins)
Bookings: Remeao Hutton (Foul, 24)
Yeovil Town picked up their sixth home win of the 2019-20 season on Tuesday night, as a strong first half performance ensured a 3-1 victory. Striker Rhys Murphy produced Woking's downfall, as he converted from close range from a James Tilley ball across the box just 12 minutes in, and then followed that up with a second just before the break as he hit the rebound on his own penalty kick after Cards keeper Craig Ross saved the initial shot. Yeovil squeezed in a third as Murphy set up Crawley Town loanee Jimmy Smith to put his side three clear at the break. The second half saw Woking rally, via a long range Ibrahim Meite goal, but Yeovil's strong start to the game won them the three points to keep them in third place in the table, one point off leaders Halifax Town.
The Glovers went into the match making three changes to their starting line-up from the team that lost at Hartlepool United on Saturday. One of those was a surprise with Courtney Duffus coming back from a hamstring injury and going straight into the starting line-up, as Gold Omotayo dropped to the bench. Myles Hippolyte dropped entirely out of the squad, along with Lawson D'Ath, with Matt Worthington and James Tilley providing the replacements in the midfield engine room. On the bench, Chris Dagnell stood by to make his debut for the club.
From Yeovil's point of view, they got off to a slow start, despite an early header from Jimmy Smith that went into the keeper's arms, followed by a Charlie Lee effort that went wide. Woking were sharp, as Dave Tarpey's shot forced Adam Smith to palm the ball away for a corner, forcing the game's early bit of territory and pressure.
But Yeovil then took the lead just 12 minutes into the match, with their first bit of decisive play. A Courtney Duffus cross to the back post found James Tilley. The Brighton midfielder attempted to fire the ball back across goal, and it fell into the path of chief goal poacher Rhys Murphy, who finished from close range to give Yeovil the start that they craved. 1-0 up elevated by a huge roar from the appreciative home terrace.
That was the signal for Yeovil to get proper control of the game. James Tilley was unfortunate not to get himself a penalty when his shot appeared to be blocked by the arms of a Woking defender, with the only possible excuse from referee Daniel Middleton being the close range nature of the drive. The referee's lack of action on a number of decisions seemed to be causing some definite niggle between both sets of players, with the game at times threatening to boil over - but thankfully never quite going that far.
In the minutes leading up to the break, the Glovers suddenly took the game by the scruff of the neck. Courtney Duffus held the ball up well inside the box and when he tried to give himself room in the box, Manny Parry brought him down inside the area for a penalty kick. Up stepped Rhys Murphy for the spot kick, but it was well saved by Cards keeper Craig Ross, only for the loose ball to fall straight back into the path of Murphy. The striker got it right on the second attempt, burying the ball into the back of the net for a 2-0 lead.
That two goal advantage became a three goal gap by the half time break. Courtney Duffus was brought down outside the box, and for once we had a good refereeing decision. As Woking's defence froze, expecting the free kick, Rhys Murphy was the man who didn't hestitate and as he put a through ball in for Jimmy Smith the midfielder calmly finished for his fourth goal of his Yeovil Town loan spell, and a 3-0 half time lead for the Glovers that meant they were in total control of the game.
That scoreline seemed to affect the way the second half panned out. Woking made a double substitution at the break, coupled with a formation change, and although Courtney Duffus forced Cards keeper Craig Ross into a bit of a messy save for a corner early on, the dominance of Yeovil Town's first half display wasn't really there after the break. In fact the game went into a total lull with neither side creating anything of note.
That should have suited Yeovil more than it suited Woking - until the Cards got a goal out of the blue. Ibrahim Meite - one of their half time substitutes - picked the ball up in space and unleashed a 25 yard strike right into the top corner of the net to pull the game back to 3-1, and to give Woking a small slither of hope.
The Cards began to create a number of chances that their previous 67 minutes worth of play hadn't. Moussa Diarra's header went wide, Kane Ferdinand fired over the crossbarand then Ibrahim Meite shot wide. Adam Smith had to keep himself busy from a Dave Tarpey free kick, that he palmed away for a corner, as the game suddenly began to take an edge, with everyone knowing in the stadium that if Woking grabbed a second they might make it interesting.
Still, Yeovil should have sealed it. Having made their own substitutions in the second period - one forced, due to a James Tilley injury - Carl Dickinson's parried shot could have gifted substitute Albi Skendi a goal. Unfortunately the former Stratford Town man's attempt on the rebound was cleared off the line. At the other end, a Max Kretzschmar free kick was turned over the crossbar by Adam Smith, and at that point Yeovil began to ease a little bit as the game finally ticked into injury time. There was just about enough time for Lawson D'Ath to force Craig Ross into one last save for the Cards, before the five minutes of added time were up, confirming Yeovil's victory on a night where they had the game wrapped up by half time, but took their foot off the gas too much in the second half. They remain in third place on the back of that win, but one lie just one point off the top after Halifax's surprise stalemate against Chorley saw them drop points.
Link: 2019-20 Latest National League Table.
Final Score: Yeovil Town 3 Woking 1.
Scorers: Rhys Murphy (1-0, 12 mins), Rhys Murphy (2-0, 41 mins), Jimmy Smith (3-0, 45 mins), Ibrahim Meite (3-1, 67 mins)
Yeovil Town: (4-3-1-2)
31. Adam Smith
24. Remeao Hutton 6. Luke Wilkinson 4. Lee Collins (Capt) 3. Carl Dickinson
7. Matt Worthington 26. Charlie Lee 28. James Tilley
5. Jimmy Smith
14. Courtney Duffus 9. Rhys Murphy
8. Lawson D'Ath (61 mins for James Tilley) 10. Gold Omotayo 18. Albi Skendi (81 mins for Jimmy Smith) 19. Tom Bradbury 33. Chris Dagnall (61 mins for Courtney Duffus)
13 Craig Ross 2 Jack Cook 3 Josh Casey 6 Moussa Diarra 5 Ben Gerring 4 Manny Parry 16 Shaun Donnellan 8 Kane Ferdinand 14 Godfrey Poku 22 Jamar Loza 7 Dave Tarpey
1 Sam Howes 10 Max Kretzschmar (46 mins for Ben Gerring) 11 Paul Hodges (54 mins for Jamar Loza) 12 Nathan Collier 18 Ibrahim Meite (46 mins for Godfrey Poku)
Yeovil Bookings: Remeao Hutton (24 mins, foul)
Woking Bookings: Ibrahim Meite (87 mins, kicking ball away)
Referee: Daniel Middleton (Derbyshire). Assistants: Colin Hubbard (Dorset) and Sean Rothwell (Devon). Fourth Official: Lewis Sandoe (Dorset).
Attendance: 3,397 (with 172 Woking supporters)