James Collins scored his 100th career goal and Dean Cox created a goal on his long-awaited debut as Reds began 2017 with a 2-0 home win over Yeovil.
It gave Dermot Drummy and his players a measure of revenge for the 5-0 defeat at Huish Park a month ago and was our third successive League 2 victory at the Checkatrade Stadium.
The goals were scored in an eight-minute spell in the first half but Reds needed keeper Glenn Morris to be at his most agile in the second period, when he made three good saves. Reds remained a threat going forward all afternoon and could easily have embellished the score-line in a game which flowed from end to end and finished with the sides resembling a couple of tiring heavyweights trading blows at the end of a 15-rounder as the effects of three games in a week took its toll.
Cox was thrown into the fray from the off and showed his prowess from set pieces in the 21st minute when Mark Connolly was found by his corner and the defender’s shot on the turn was blocked in front of goal by a Yeovil defender.
Collins fired straight at Artur Krysiak as Reds began to get on top before opening the scoring in the 29th minute. Cox’s corner into the six-yard box was perfect for Yorwerth to attack and the Welsh defender bulleted a header past Krysiak for 1-0 for his third goal of the season.
Krysiak kept out an effort from man of the match Lewis Young and with Reds turning the screw a second goal looked inevitable and came when Enzio Boldewijn was tripped by Otis Khan just inside the box. It looked a soft penalty but having been denied a stone-wall spot kick at Plymouth on Saturday the Dutchman would have felt justice had been served. Collins smashed home the penalty to bring up three figures and Reds went in at the break in control.
Yeovil made two changes at the break and one of the replacements, Francois Zoko, was denied on 50 minutes when Morris grabbed his powerful header on the line. The keeper then saved Tom Eaves’ shot and another effort from Zoko as Yeovil enjoyed a good spell.
With the game getting stretched Reds remained a threat. Twice in as many minutes Billy Clifford should have finished off some excellent counter-attacks but lacked composure in front of goal before the midfielder picked out Boldewijn’s run and he shot wide.
Morris again denied Zoko late on with a finger-tip push over the bar from a free kick but Reds comfortably negotiated the closing stages to send the majority of a 2304 crowd happy.
Reds: Morris; Young, Connolly, McNerney, Yorwerth, Cox (Roberts 61); Payne, Smith; Clifford (Watt 80); Collins, Boldewijn (Bawling 88). Unused sub: Mersin, Blackman, Djalo, Henderson.
Attendance: 2304 (342 away)
Man of the match: Lewis Young