Yeovil Town winger Otis Khan has won the League Two Goal of the Month for December 2017. The 22 year old has been rewarded for his strike against Morecambe at the Globe Arena, with him receiving 46 percent of the vote and seeing off attempts by Crewe Alexandra's Calum Ainley and Barnet's Jamal Campbell-Ryce.
Khan was asked about his goal, which involved him interchanging passes with Jake Gray before putting in a shot from the edge of the box. Yeovil went on to lose the game 4-3 but the goal itself left Khan with happy memories:
"It feels incredible. This is obviously a massive award to have, my first one, I'm really over the moon and I couldn't be happier. I've come inside from the left and found a little pocked of space. I've got the ball on the half turn and just been direct with, took the player on, laid it off to Jake, got it back and I knew the keeper was creeping out a bit so I thought if I put it in the other corner then I would be alright, so I reversed it and I'm happy it went in."
One of the ironies is that the award could be one of Khan's final acts as a Yeovil Town player, with the club having received a bid from an unnamed club, which meets a trigger clause in his contract, entitling him to hold talks with that club. Lead judge Don Goodman said that Khan had a growing reputation:
"Khan is one of the most exciting attacking talents in League Two and this goal vindicates his growing reputation. The strength and confidence behind his driving run from midfield was as impressive as the composed finish which flew with power and accuracy over the Morecambe 'keeper."
Otis Khan wins the League Two December 2017 Sky Bet Goal Of The Month award
Well it didn't take too long. Barely an hour or two after Yeovil Town confirmed that they had received a substantial offer for winger Otis Khan, another League One club's local press believes that their team may be interested. The Bristol Evening Post suggests that Bristol Rovers are interested in the 22 year old's services, also naming Wigan Athletic and Luton Town as other interested parties.
As per other similar January transfer window reports, there are no sources or quotes provided to back up the information. Earlier this month he was linked with fellow League One sides Bradford City and Peterborough United by a national tabloid newspaper. However, it's worth noting that Yeovil Town's own information released today did not specify any named club. The only information that is certain is that it is a club that was able to meet a contractual clause in Khan's contract that allowed that club to talk to him. Only one club is reported to have met that figure at present.
Yeovil Town manager Darren Way has clarified that an offer received for former Barnsley winger Otis Khan has triggered a clause in his contract. The size of the transfer fee, which Way describes as a 'substantial offer' has either matched or bettered a trigger clause in his contract that entitles the player to hold personal talks with another club at that level. The club don't reveal the amount at stage, or the interested club, although Bradford City and Peterborough United were named by a tabloid paper last week.
As such, the club are unable to stand in the 22 year old's way, with the contractual valuation of the player met. If Khan were to accept personal terms with the other club, the Glovers would have to sell him for the agreed price, or hope that other clubs generated a bidding war that inflated that valuation. Way has confirmed via the club website at this afternoon's press conference that Otis is the one that will have the decision to make:
"Otis Khan has had a substantial offer from another club. We can’t stand in his way because of a clause in his contract so he'll have a decision to make. He deserves to have the interest he's attracted. He has been fantastic throughout his whole career and I've got a decision to make as to how to deal with this now with the Manchester United game coming up. I've got to sit down with him, but ultimately I've got to do what’s best for the football club as far as the offers that have come in. It was always my fear in the window this would happen, and now it's just how we deal with it knowing we’ve got a big game on Saturday."
The situation with defender Omar Sowunmi is a little bit more vague, with Way implying that unwanted inputs from Omar's agent are causing some issues. At present although the club say there is "interest" in the player, this doesn't appear to be a formal bid.
Yeovil Town have confirmed that they have received formal bids for the services of winger Otis Khan. The 22 year old former Barnsley and Sheffield United player has been the club's top goalscorer this season with ten goals, and is also reported to have contributed ten assists to other players during the 2017-18 season, putting him in double digits on both counts - a statistic matched only by Manchester City winger Leroy Sane.
That has inevitably created speculation as to whether Khan might be on the move during the January transfer window. Just over a week ago, a tabloid paper connected Khan with a move to Peterborough United or Bradford City, claiming both were interested in his services. At the time there was no confirmation from any party that those clubs held firm interest.
The club have now stated that there have been "bids" (note this implies more than one) for Khan's services from one or more unnamed clubs. At present they have not divulged whether the club have accepted or rejected the offers, only going as far as to confirm their existence. They also state that there has been some "interest" in defender Omar Sowunmi although this appears to fall short of being a formal offer:
"Darren Way confirms Yeovil Town have received bids for Otis Khan. The gaffer has also revealed there has been interest in Omar Sowunmi."
Khan has a contract with the club that runs until the summer of 2019, whilst Sowunmi's current deal runs out in the summer of 2018. In both cases, the two players will be under the age of 24 at the time their contracts expire, meaning the club would still be entitled to a development and training fee for their time spent at the club, although this generally falls short of the sort of money clubs can obtain from an in-contract player.
There will presumably be more on this later, that may indicate the club's direction on the two players.
There is a new date for Yeovil Town's League Two match against Exeter City. The match will now be played on Tuesday 13th March 2018 with a 7.45p.m. kick-off at St James Park. The match had been due to be played next weekend but was postponed due to the Glovers' involvement in the FA Cup Fourth Round against Manchester United.
If you've already bought a ticket for this game, tickets do remain valid. If you can't make the new date, please visit the Huish Park Ticket Office as soon as possible, to ensure an exchange or a refund.
Tickets had been on sale to Season Ticket Holders only for this match - we'll try to get clarity over when these will be put on general sale, given the new fixture date.
Yeovil Town's EFL Trophy Quarter-Final tie against Fleetwood Town is to be delayed. All Quarter-Final ties in the competition should have been played during next week, with Tuesday 23rd January the most obvious date for the tie to be placed. However, the club have successfully argued for the tie to be moved to another date due to their Friday night FA Cup match against Manchester United on January 26th.
Whilst the two clubs have yet to agree a date for the tie, both Yeovil and Fleetwood have confirmed that it will NOT take place on Tuesday 23rd January (or during that week) and that they are looking for an alternative date for the tie.
Exactly when could be a headache. Yeovil Town are due to play Grimsby Town on Tuesday 30th January, whilst until their Manchester United tie is fulfilled they cannot definitely commit to the week of February 5th as that is earmarked for Fourth Round Replays. Both Yeovil and Fleetwood have Football League fixtures on Tuesday 13th February, whilst Fleetwood also play on Tuesday 20th February. The Semi-Final ties are due to be played during the week commencing February 26th.
Hence, it would seem inevitable that the Quarter-Final tie will be played on Tueday 6th February, provided the club's FA Cup Fourth Round tie against Manchester United does not end in a draw. If it does, then the earliest the two clubs can meet would be during the Semi-Finals week.
Following Saturday's League Two match against Port Vale at Vale Park, Yeovil Town striker Francois Zoko spoke to the BBC. With questions from local journalist Chris Spittles, in an interview for the BBC, Francois gives his views on the 1-1 draw and the goal he scored in that game. Read the interview via the link below.
This morning, Yeovil Town Commercial Manager Dave Linney was interviewed live on BBC radio, about the club's ticketing for the Manchester United game. With questions from BBC Somerset presenter Claire Carter, Dave talks about the ticket sales as they stood early on Tuesday morning, how much the 2014-15 meeting made for the club, and his expectations for the current meeting. Read that interview via the link below.
NOTE: Tickets remain on sale to supporters with four tokens from competitive matches from this season.
Yeovil Town's on loan striker Sam Surridge has been given a new contract by his parent club. Premier League side AFC Bournemouth have awarded him a deal that runs until June 2019, with them presumably happy with his progress at Huish Park that has seen him turn into a first team regular, with 35 appearances to his name.
At present, the 19 year old's agreement with the Glovers runs until the end of the 2017-18 season, although his parent club theoretically have a recall clause that they could execute before the January transfer window closes. Surridge says that he is happy to sign his new Bournemouth deal, and is pleased with the way his Yeovil spell is going:
"I'm buzzing, I heard about it (the new contract) a couple of weeks ago so I'm really happy and couldn't wait to get it done. I've enjoyed my time with Yeovil so far this season and I think I'm developing well. I went to Poole last year and that helped me going into this year and I've played a few games, got a few goals and I want to get as a good as I can. I want to come back the best player I can, it's nice to get rewarded."
So far Surridge has scored seven goals for the club (with an eighth against Chelsea Under-21s being credited by the club to Rhys Browne, whilst the Football League have credited Surridge). He says that he is looking forward to the FA Cup Fourth Round tie against Manchester United and says that manager Darren Way believes the club can either beat or draw against their Premier League opponents:
"Looking forward to it. We were all watching the draw together and the gaffer thinks we we can win or get a replay at Old Trafford, so everyone is looking forward to it. I want to keep scoring more goals and improve my goal to game ratio, and to make sure we get as high as we can in the league."
Former Yeovil Town loanee Matt Butcher has also got himself a new deal. The 20 year old, who hasn't been out on loan at all this season, has also penned a deal until June 2019. Butcher has been an unused substitute for Bournemouth's first team on three occasions, as well as taking the captain's armband for their Under-21s in a number of games.
Advance ticketing information for the League Two match between Crewe Alexandra and Yeovil Town is now available. The match will take place on Saturday 10th February, with a 3.00p.m. kick-off at Gresty Road. Prices for this fixture are set as follows:
Disabled supporters pay £17.00 and can admit an assistant free of charge.
Away supporters get the North Stand (going by the glorious name of the Whitby Morrison Ice Cream Stand), which holds 1,680 and gives a side view. There are a couple of pillars but this shouldn't be a problem for anyone with the numbers we are likely to take.
Tickets are available on the day of the match at the same price, but you'll need to purchase from their Away Ticket Office, as they do not do cash sales on the turnstiles.
Parking is available at a cost of £3.50 at the ground. Visiting Supporters can use the Alexandra Suite adjacent to the North Stand from 12.00 noon for food and drink.
Yeovil Town's Ticket Office opened up its shutters this morning to the next wave of supporters that will be purchasing FA Cup Fourth Round tickets for the Manchester United tie. At around 7.30p.m. in the region of 100 supporters had gathered to ensure they didn't miss out, with each of them holding four tokens.
Commercial manager Dave Linney confirmed sales figures for the game just before today's tickets were sold, saying that once the 2,176 tickets allocated to visiting supporters were taken into account, the club had sold over five thousand tickets for the game at the end of the Priority One stage. Linney told BBC Somerset the situation:
"We're in excess of 5,000 once you take the allocation to Manchester United, so we're well above halfway. We anticipate those tickets will go very soon. It's just under 4,000 that will be available to the next criteria of tickets that have been collected through games from this season."
The Commercial Manager also confirmed that the club had been allowing fans to purchase ticket bundles since the draw - an arrangement that would give those fans Priority One status, and the ability to purchase a Manchester United ticket at the same time. He said that had seen a large take-up of that option. Linney also said that he hoped the overall theme of the FA Cup excitement would encourage people to buy Season Tickets for next season, with the 2017-18 sales having hit a Football League low of 1,534:
"Our season ticket sales were down this year, and we understand the reasons for that, but people who have been to four or more games this season have the opportunity to bring those tickets in from those games, and exchange them for a ticket for Manchester United. So we hope that we can get them back on board, to buy that season ticket next year. We've already sold a number of bundles, which was another criteria, to give them a ticket for Manchester United. So they had to buy six tickets in advance, and we've done quite a lot of those in the last few days."
The Ticket Office will be open from 9.00a.m. until 5.00p.m. this week. As ever, tickets are subject to availability.
Priority sales for Yeovil Town Season Ticket Holders for the FA Cup Fourth Round tie against Manchester United closed this evening, allowing the next wave of supporters to queue up from tomorrow morning. From Tuesday morning, fans who hold Four Tokens from competitive fixtures from past 2017-18 season home fixtures can swap those tokens for a Fourth Round ticket, subject to availability. The Ticket Office will open at 9.00a.m. tomorrow.
At present, there isn't an official figure on how many tickets have been sold. The Western Gazette report that 'more than 3,000' have been sold so far, which fits roughly with the 1,538 season ticket holders that the club has this season being entitled to buy two tickets each for the game. However, the club has an unspecified number of fans who have purchased Bundle Tickets, who were also given Priority One status.
For a normal fixture, the capacity of the ground is 9,200. Manchester United have confirmed they were given an allocation of 2,176 tickets for the fixture (which given they had over 5,000 applications have all sold out), leaving around 7,000 spaces in the home sections of the ground. However, with local and national media, players families, staff at the club and Football Association invitees likely to take up a sizeable number of seats, the actual number available to the ordinary punter will be lower than that. It's worth noting that the 9,264 ground attendance for the 2014-15 FA Cup Third Round fixture was only achieved by use of a temporary corner stand - there have been no signs that the club plans to repeat that this time around.
Inevitably, the token system causes plenty of confusion amongst Yeovil Town supporters. We've tried to answer the most obvious questions associated with them for fans planning to visit the ground tomorrow. The two questions we cannot answer at all is 'Do you know if I will get a ticket if I start queuing at a particular time?' and 'When will it sell out?'
Qu 1. I live/work a distance from Huish Park and can't get to the ground to present my Tokens. Can I purchase over the phone?
No, all applications for supporters holding ticket stubs will need to be made in person so the Tokens cannot be reused. If you can't get to the ticket office during the opening hours, please arrange for a friend or family member to purchase your tickets.
Qu 2. I am purchasing for myself and for multiple friends/family as we all have the relevant Tokens. Is there a limit of how many tickets you'll allow me to buy?
Supporters can purchase one ticket for each set of four tokens. If you are purchasing on behalf of friends/family and hold the appropriate number of Tokens for everyone, you can buy one ticket for each set. There is no limit on the numbers you can purchase, provided you have the correct number of Tokens.
Qu 3. I have four Young Persons tokens, but there is no Young Persons ticket rate. What do I qualify for?
Supporters holding a pair of Young Persons tokens can purchase an Adult ticket. This will also apply to a mix of Young Persons and Adult tokens (the only scenario where a mix of tokens will be accepted).
Qu 4. I hold four Junior Tokens. Can I buy an Adult ticket?
No - with the exception of Young Persons Tokens (as above) the ticket you are purchasing must match the Tokens you are holding. The same would apply if you had two junior tokens and two adult tokens. In the above case the only ticket you'd be eligible to purchase would be a Junior one.
Qu 5. I hold four Tokens relating to one part of the ground but want to purchase tickets for another part of the ground. Can I do this?
Tokens are not tied to a particular area of the ground, so you can do this (subject to availability). This is with the exception of Tokens from tickets purchased by away supporters - these are not valid.
Qu 6. I have got two or three tokens, but need a fourth one. If I bought a Chesterfield ticket, or another future match ticket, could I use that as a valid token?
No - tickets must be for competitive fixtures (League and Cup) from the 2017-18 season, up to and including the Forest Green Rovers Checkatrade Trophy fixture. Pre-season friendlies are not allowed. Away tickets are not . Don't be tempted to tear off your token from future games - in doing so you'll invalidate the matchday ticket.
Qu 7. I went to four games or more but I can't find my tokens. Can I use proof of purchase to get a ticket?
Former Stevenage, Newport County and Preston North End manager Graham Westley is back in football. The 49 year old has been named as the new Head Coach of Barnet, taking charge of all first team affairs as from tomorrow morning. Barnet's statement describes him as having 'fantastic track record at this level and above'.
That may be news to Newport County supporters - Westley's former club - which he left in March 2017, with the Exiles stood 11 points adrift at the bottom of League Two. That will be a familiar position for Bees fans - they are also bottom of the league and currently four points from safety, with 20 points from their 27 fixtures, although they do have one game in hand on 22nd placed Chesterfield that could claw back that gap.
Barnet's statement is a curious one, given that it is penned by Mark McGhee, widely assumed to be their previous manager, but now titled as Head of Technical. He had only been appointed in November 2017, replacing Rossi Eames, who also is still on the wage bill at the Hive Stadium, having returned to his previous role as Head of Player Development. McGhee's spell in charge lasted just eleven games, comprising of three wins and eight defeats.
At the time of his appointment, Barnet had made no hint that McGhee's appointment was a temporary one. However, since they parted company with Martin Allen in December 2016, they have worked their way through Rossi Eames (12 games), Kevin Nugent (11 games), Rossi Eames (second spell, 26 games) and Mark McGhee (11 games). They may wonder if their position at the foot of League Two, and their inability to provide a stable management team may be connected. Will Graham 'medal winner' Westley be the best man to resolve that instability? We will soon find out.
Just before Saturday afternoon's League Two fixture kicked off against Port Vale at Vale Park, Yeovil Town manager Darren Way spoke to the BBC about the match. With questions from local journalist Chris Spittles, in an interview for BBC Somerset, Darren gives his views on why he thought Vale would be up for the game, and also explains why he wants a lot of the talk about the Manchester United match to be culled for the moment. Read that interview via the link below.
Yeovil Town striker Francois Zoko has been nominated in the Team of the Day for League Two. The League Paper has included him in their eleven, following his performance in the 1-1 draw against Port Vale on Saturday at Vale Park. The 34 year old scored his side's eleventh minute goal that held the lead until Tom Pope's late equaliser.
There's another familiar name in the eleven, with defender Sid Nelson also nominated for his role in Chesterfield's shock 2-0 win over Luton Town yesterday - he should be making a quick return to Huish Park next Saturday with his new club. The nominated team reads as follows:
Christy Pym (Exeter City)
Ben Richards-Everton (Accrington Stanley), Sid Nelson (Chesterfield), Malvind Benning (Mansfield Town), Drew Talbot (Chesterfield)
Ben Kennedy (Stevenage), Luke O'Nien (Wycombe Wanderers), Danny Rowe (Lincoln City), Jorge Grant (Notts County)
Francois Zoko (Yeovil Town), Enzio Boldewijn (Crawley Town)
Yeovil Town's supporters coach was attacked by stones following yesterday's 1-1 draw against Port Vale. The damage was done as the coach prepared to leave Vale Park, after 103 supporters had witnessed their side pick up a point in League Two. Fans reported several large stones being thrown at the coach, with one of them shattering the outside of the double-glazed unit of one window.
Thankfully no-one was hurt as a result of the damage, with the inside glass remaining in place. However, the shattering of the outer glass panel was significant enough for it to fall out entirely once the coach got onto the motorway. The coach had been organised by the Green and White Supporters Club, as part of their standard offering for all first team fixtures.
We're informed this was an entirely unprovoked attack. There were no problems between supporters before or during the match - Glovers fans have pointed out that they found Vale supporters friendly and approachable before kick-off. Hence this falls into the 'minority' category. Thankfully, our experience of the Football League over the 14.5 seasons we've had has been a peaceful and friendly one. However, we have seen reports of stones being thrown at players and supporters coaches outside League One and League Two grounds from other unrelated games this season - it's clearly something that stewards and police need to be aware of the risks of happening at the end of such games, to stop the moronic types getting the opportunity in the first place.
Shattered glass on the supporters coach, returning from Port Vale
Following Saturday afternoon's 1-1 draw with Port Vale at Vale Park, Yeovil Town manager Darren Way spoke to the BBC about the game. With questions from local journalist Chris Spittles, in an interview for BBC Somerset, Darren's views on the match and the team performance can be read in full via the link below.
For those who want to watch limited match highlights from this afternoon's League Two match against Port Vale these are now available online. The Sky Sports coverage is ultra-short on this occasion, and only includes the goals from Francois Zoko and Tom Pope, along with the tackle by Omar Sowunmi that led to David Worrall being fouled, in the eyes of the referee. Watch the clip via the link below.
Update: Two minute YouTube highlights have also been added below.
If you watched Saturday afternoon's 1-1 draw against Port Vale at Vale Park, don't forget to cast your Man of the Match votes. Choose your top three players from the match, plus entertainment and performance ratings along with any other comments you want to make on the game, using the form below.
Yeovil Town manager Darren Way laid into referee David Webb after he made the decision to award a late penalty against his club at Vale Park. The match official awarded the 86th minute spot kick after Omar Sowunmi was judged to have fouled David Worrall inside the box - a decision that allowed Tom Pope to step up and provide the equalising goal in a 1-1 draw.
In what was an often tetchy game, with the home crowd making their feelings known about the officials throughout the match, it had looked like the Glovers were going to come away with all three points, following Francois Zoko's 11th minute goal. Way suggested the referee had been drawn into the reaction from the home crowd, and claimed that Sowunmi had got a touch on the ball:
"I've watched it back again, and it's never a penalty. I was speaking to the Fourth Official throughout the game, and I just said don't let the crowd dictate your decision-making, and I felt he did on that situation. He gets a touch on the ball. You can see it moves away from Worrall, so the direction of the ball changes. But they're always going to get them at places like this, whether it be the technical area, or whether it is the crowd. Sometimes you've got to be a lot stronger than what the officials are at times. They've got experienced players and their budget is probably twice the size of ours. They've got a huge squad list, and we've got young players. We have to make sure that we understand that's going to happen, because we aren't getting any help from the officials, that's for sure."
Yeovil Town had a number of chances to have sealed the game before that spot kick with AFC Bournemouth loanee Sam Surridge hitting the woodwork in each half, whilst a number of other goal attempts went wide of the target. Way admitted his players were disappointed to only get a point out of the game and said that if his team had won by five or six goals then that would have been a just scoreline:
"The lads are a little bit deflated in there, but I've said to keep your heads up. From start to finish, it should have been five or six (goals) towards the end there. But unfortunately it's always hard when you come to places like this. There's always elements of pressure that you're going to be put under, which they did. But it happens, and I just want my players to be proud of that. My players had to stand up to the physical battle which they did. We talked about blocks and tackles, and that's a huge part of the game when you come here, and as I've said we played some fantastic football. The first half was probably the best away performance that I've witnessed. Their crowd started booing, so everything was going for us. Unfortunately we just didn't pick up the three points."
Yeovil Town were thwarted by a late penalty this afternoon, as for the third time in four matches this season, they ended up with a 1-1 draw with Tom Pope scoring. On this occasion, the big target man got his goal from the penalty spot, as an 86th minute challenge by Omar Sowunmi on David Worrall produced the spot kick. But that left Yeovil kicking themselves somewhat after they'd held the lead since the 11th minute when Francois Zoko had scored his 10th goal of the season from long range. Sam Surridge hit the post in both halves, but the visitors couldn't capitalise on their first half dominance.
The Glovers went into the match making two changes to their starting line-up compared to the side that turned out against Bradford City in the FA Cup on the previous weekend. Omar Sowunmi was preferred to Bevis Mugabi after he served his suspension, whilst Sam Surridge came in for Marcus Barnes. With Connor Smith also back from suspension, the Glovers had the luxury of filling a full bench. Vale started with Ben Whitfield in an advanced role, whilst they perhaps sensibly left James Gibbons - who had been sent off twice against Yeovil this season - on the bench.
They could have been ahead after just two minutes. A Tom James cross was met by Sam Surridge, only for keeper Ryan Boot to get a touch on the ball and push it onto the post. Vale's defence protested for an offside decision against Surridge, but the assistant stood firm, meaning it would have stood. From the throw-in that came out of that move, Jake Gray put a shot into the side netting.
Having made a dominant start, it was no surprise when Yeovil Town took the lead, even if the manner was slightly speculative. Francois Zoko got time to have a strike at goal from 20 yards out, and goalkeeper Ryan Boot seemed somewhat surprised, diving late as the ball ended up in the bottom corner. 0-1 up and on the balance of play, a deserved lead.
That dominance continued, as Jordan Green burst through, forcing Boot to partially smother the ball, but Sam Surridge poked wide on the rebound. Port Vale had done nothing, with their only chance of some respite coming when there were loud appeals for a penalty, with Tom James having blocked a ball into the box - the Valiants saw an outstretched arm, but referee David Webb presumably saw the defender's chest.
More Yeovil chances came as Jordan Green's shot was smothered by Boot, whilst the goalkeeper's poor kicking almost presented Sam Surridge with a goal, as the ball came back into the striker's path, putting him one-v-one with the keeper. On this occasion Boot redeemed himself by blocking the shot. Then Otis Khan fired wide, leading to an angry agitated home crowd turning up the volume to complain about the lack of inputs their own attackers were having in the game.
It took 41 minutes before they were calmed a bit, as Marcus Harness pulled off a shot inside a crowded box, only for Artur Krysiak to save the attempt. But this was Yeovil's half by a long chalk, as Francois Zoko tried his luck from distance just before the break. 0-1 up at the break, and it probably should have been more.
No surprise then to find Port Vale making a double change at the break. Ben Whitfield and Cristian Montano were withdrawn, and they employed a formation change, switching to a 3-5-2 in an effort to get some attacking intent and some crosses into the box. Initially that looked to have an effect as Marcus Harness saw deflected attempt go into the arms of Artur Krysiak. But at the other end once again Sam Surridge hit the post - doing everything right as he headed back across the goalkeeper from a Tom James cross, only for the ball to come off the inside of the post and straight into the grateful arms of Ryan Boot.
This was a bit more of a fragmented half, and a more even one, despite Yeovil still clocking up a reasonable number of attempts, with Jake Gray putting wide from a free kick, and Omar Sowunmi putting a header over the bar from a Tom James cross. But Port Vale were struggling to create clear-cut chances, with their best coming from a Michael Tonge header that Krysiak saved.
It was only in the final ten or fifteen minutes of the game that the home side started to look dangerous whilst Yeovil began to flag. With four minutes remaining, Vale got themselves a lifeline as Omar Sowunmi brought down substitute David Worrall inside the box. Up stepped Tom Pope to convert the spot kick, meaning that for the third time this season the scoreline was 1-1 and the Vale goalscorer was Pope.
That was how it stayed, even if five minutes worth of injury time provoked concerns that Yeovil might go home with nothing, with the home side on the front foot for the first time in the game. For 75 minutes, the Glovers had been the better side, but the late spot kick showed why they needed that second goal to kill the game off.
Scorers: Francois Zoko (11 mins, 0-1), Tom Pope (86 mins, 1-1, pen)
Port Vale: 23 Ryan Boot
5 Joe Davis 4 Tom Anderson 24 Nathan Smith 8 Danny Pugh
7 Marcus Myers-Harness 6 Antony Kay 32 Michael Tonge 11 Cristian Montano
31 Ben Whitfield 9 Tom Pope
Substitutes: 1 Robert Lainton 10 David Worrall (66 mins for Marcus Myers-Harness) 14 Tyrone Barnett 15 Anton Forrester 21 James Gibbons (46 mins for Cristian Montano) 22 Dior Angus 28 Donovan Wilson (46 mins for Ben Whitfield)
Yeovil Town: 1. Artur Krysiak
23. Tom James 17. Omar Sowunmi 3. Nathan Smith 11. Ryan Dickson
15. Jordan Green 10. Jake Gray 4. Jared Bird 7. Otis Khan
14. Sam Surridge 13. Francois Zoko
Substitutes: 12. Jonny Maddison (GK) 5. Bevis Mugabi 6. Lewis Wing (74 mins for Jordan Green) 8. Connor Smith 19. Marcus Barnes (59 mins for Sam Surridge) 22. Corey Whelan (90 mins for Jake Gray) 30. Alefe Santos
The starting line-up for Yeovil Town's League Two match against Port Vale at Vale Park has been revealed. The match sees the Glovers name two changes to their starting line-up compared to the team that took to the field against Bradford City last Saturday.
Connor Smith and Omar Sowunmi were suspended last weekend, but only for one game. Sowunmi gets into the starting line-up, replacing Bevis Mugabi, whilst Smith sits on the bench. The other change sees Sam Surridge preferred ahead of last weekend's goalscorer Marcus Barnes who sits on the bench. Academy player Paulius Golubickas drops off the teamsheet.
The first team squad members to miss out today are right-back Daniel Alfei (knee injury, out for season), Rhys Browne (ankle), Oscar Gobern (hamstring) and James Bailey (knee ligaments).
The team reads as follows:
Yeovil Town: 1. Artur Krysiak
23. Tom James 17. Omar Sowunmi 3. Nathan Smith 11. Ryan Dickson
15. Jordan Green 10. Jake Gray 4. Jared Bird 7. Otis Khan
14. Sam Surridge 13. Francois Zoko
Substitutes: 12. Jonny Maddison (GK) 5. Bevis Mugabi 6. Lewis Wing 8. Connor Smith 19. Marcus Barnes 22. Corey Whelan 30. Alefe Santos
Port Vale: 23 Ryan Boot
5 Joe Davis 4 Tom Anderson 24 Nathan Smith 8 Danny Pugh
7 Marcus Myers-Harness 6 Antony Kay 32 Michael Tonge 11 Cristian Montano
31 Ben Whitfield 9 Tom Pope
Substitutes: 1 Robert Lainton 10 David Worrall 14 Tyrone Barnett 15 Anton Forrester 21 James Gibbons 22 Dior Angus 28 Donovan Wilson
As part of the build-up to this afternoon's League Two fixture against Port Vale at Vale Park, Yeovil Town manager Darren Way spoke to the BBC about the game. With questions from BBC Somerset reporter Tom Seymour, Darren gives his views on the FA Cup, Manchester United, and also his January transfer window recruitment policy. Read that interview via the link below.
Yeovil Town manager Darren Way has said that any remaining Yeovil Town signinings during the January transfer window will almost certainly need to be permanent deals, if he is not to end up with the problems he had last season. The Glovers recruited seven loan players by the time that the January transfer window closed, but the final two didn't really contribute to the strength of their squad, with Football League matchday rules meaning that only five loanees could be put onto a teamsheet for any given game. The end result was that Kagongo Tshimanga's half season loan saw him fail to even get named in a first team squad, whilst Swansea City winger Owain Jones was a frequent casualty.
Way has said that he would only use that route as a last resort, and hopes that instead the club will back him in terms of bringing in players on permanent deals, to increase the size of his 22 man squad. He explained his thinking:
"It's quite obvious that I can only sign permanents now. I don't really want to go down the line of having that extra loan. I may if I have to. Unfortunately last time I got left in a position where neither of the loans got injured, so I always had to leave one out. That was uncomfortable. Nine times out of ten you'd probably run with five, then one gets injured and then you wonder why you never did that. But I think that certainly with the finances that the team has helped generate at the football club now, I'm hoping that I get a little bit of help but I need the help now."
As usual, the January transfer window will close on January 31st, and that will be the club's final chance to do any deals, with the exception of any free agents that happen to be out there. Way said that it was not just about the amount of time he had left to make recruitments, but was also his worry of losing players before the window closes:
"I've got 20 days to get help and reinforcements. That's with holding on to the players that we've got. If I was a manager out there, I'd probably be watching us every week, knowing the history of the football club, and if a player comes in then nine times out of ten, although I know we don't want to sell our players, but at the same time I know that when you look at the scouts list, every week at our club it seems to be very high. Again, all I can do is sit there and hope that I don't lose any players, but I understand if they move on to bigger and better things that we can't stand in their way."
The Manchester United Supporters Trust have released a statement complaining about the scheduling of their FA Cup Fourth Round tie against Yeovil Town. The two sides will meet on Friday 26th January, with a 7.55p.m. kick-off chosen to enable live coverage of the match on BBC One. This leaves visiting supporters with a lengthy journey from the North-West (in theory!) where they are expected to take up a full allocation of around 2,000 tickets.
Manchester United's previous round tie against Derby County also took place on a Friday night, although on this occasion the broadcasting companies couldn't be blamed. The game was switched to an evening kick-off due to Manchester City also being drawn at home at the same stage, meaning that it was Derby's supporters who predominantly suffered.
The Trust will doubtless have been irritated that the choice of the Yeovil Town tie for live broadcasting has reinstated the near permanent scheduling of their club's matches on live television. When the Derby game was not chosen, it broke a 13-year run of 58 consecutive televised FA Cup matches involving the Red Devils. The last match not selected had been the January 2005 match against Exeter City at Old Trafford, which the broadcasters had incorrectly assumed would be a walkover - they later changed their minds when the Grecians secured a replay.
A statement by the Trust calls for either the Football Association or their parent club to put on free transport for their supporters to avoid the problems of not being able to use public transport across a single day, due to it being a night game:
"Yet again broadcasters have totally ignored the impact on away fans when considering what will be best for television ratings. Although this is far from just a problem in the FA Cup, we would urge the FA to look at mitigating against such issues in future contracts. If the FA and clubs get a huge chunk of additional revenue due to a game being on TV, the least they could do is to lay on free transport for away fans who are affected by the game being moved."
It's worth noting that the Thorne Lane closures may present a different obstacle for both sets of supporters on the night of the game. The road is not only a popular access route to the stadium, it also provides some of the parking options on matchdays. Whilst we're sure that Wessex Water and Somerset County Council will get petitioned to temporarily lift the restrictions, it may be that they can only do that partially, having already commenced the works prior to the FA Cup draw taking place.
Both clubs will pocket a £144,000 Broadcast Fee to ease the pain of being chosen for live coverage.
Yeovil Town have agreed a new contract with defender Tom James. The former Cardiff City player has been given a 'new and improved' deal following a season that has seen him become a first team regular. On this occasion, Tom's contract length doesn't change - he remains contracted until the summer of 2019, but this presumably provides higher wages and/or a higher guaranteed value should an opposition club come in for him.
The 21 year old has now made 29 appearances for the club, scoring one goal along the way, and has operated in both right-back and left-back positions throughout the season. He has said of his new contract:
"I'm really pleased to have signed a new deal at the club. Hopefully now I can repay the gaffer's trust in me and continue to improve and help the team push forward in the right direction."
Tomorrow afternoon sees Yeovil Town head to Vale Park for a League Two match against Port Vale. As a result, the Ciderspace guide to the area of Burslem, the ground, directions, parking, a pub guide and other related stuff can be found via the link below.
Yeovil Town winger Otis Khan has been included in the shortlist for the League Two Goal Of The Month. He is nominated for the goal that he scored for the Glovers during their 4-3 defeat at Morecambe. They have also shortlisted Barnet's Jamal Campbell-Ryce and Callum Ainley's goal for Crewe Alexandra.
The final selection is determined via a fan vote on the Sky Sports website. You can view the goals and choose your favourite by heading to this page. Voting closes at 6.00p.m. on Tuesday 6th January. Sky's description of the three goals are as follows:
Jamal Campbell-Ryce – BARNET v Morecambe – 16th December There seemed no danger when Campbell-Ryce got the ball near the touchline on halfway. That was until he jinked inside, strode forward and curled home a sumptuous 30-yarder.
Callum Ainley – CREWE ALEXANDRA v Crawley Town – 16th December Collecting a raking pass near the by-line, the 20-year-old jinked inside a defender and left Crawley keeper Glenn Morris motionless with an arrowhead shot into the far top corner.
Otis Khan – Morecambe v YEOVIL TOWN – 29th December Shielding the ball as drove towards the area, Khan exchanged passes with teammate Jake Gray, took one touch and then looped his unstoppable shot into the far corner.