Match Details: 10/10/2015
Yeovil Town 2-2 Dagenham and Redbridge
Skybet League Two
Yeovil Goals: Ryan Bird (69), Jakub Sokolík (76)
Yeovil Line-Up: 1. Artur Krysiak, 3. Nathan Smith, 4. Matthew Dolan, 5. Stephen Arthurworrey, 8. Marc Laird, 9. Ryan Bird, 11. Ryan Dickson, 20. Wes Fogden, 23. Harry Cornick, 24. Connor Roberts, 26. Jake Howells,
Subs: 6. Jakub Sokolík, 10. Shaun Jeffers, 12. Chris Weale, 19. Iffy Allen, 21. Alex Lacey, 27. Max Melanson, 28. Ollie Bassett
Substitutes Used: Shaun Jeffers for Jake Howells (46 mins), Jakub Sokolík for Matthew Dolan (46 mins)
Bookings: Nathan Smith (Foul, 45)
Yeovil Town came from two goals down to secure a point at Huish Park this afternoon, after a topsy-turvy game against Dagenham and Redbridge. They trailed by two goals at the break after former trialist Kane Ferdinand took advantage of Ashley Chambers returning the ball after his own shot had come off the woodwork. Then just before half time Frankie Raymond doubled their lead, with loud boos from the home crowd giving their thoughts on the subject. A double substitution and a formation change seemed to galvanise the team, and when Ryan Bird headed home with 20 minutes remaining suddenly it was Dagenham on their heels. Seven minutes after Bird's goal, Jakub Sokolik got his first goal for the club as Daggers keeper Liam O'Brien punched the ball onto the defender's head and that ricochet ensured that the visitors stayed in the drop zone, whilst the Glovers managed to rise one place to 21st.
The Glovers went into the match with a rare luxury - an unchanged starting eleven. Speculation that the Glovers might go into the match without a central defender wasn't realised and all three passed their fitness tests with Stephen Arthurworrey starting, whilst Jakub Sokolik and Alex Lacey were the two additions to the bench from Tuesday night's JPT match which restricts clubs to naming five substitutes. All other long term injured players stayed sat in the stands, whilst Josh Sheehan was out in Denmark on international duty.
Apart from an early chance from Harry Cornick effort, and a flicked header from Marc Laird from a Jake Howells corner, this was an inert opening 20 minutes, with neither side getting a foothold in the game. It took Dagenham a total of 18 minutes to even get a sniff on goal - the snag was that it was the opening goal of the game. Ashley Chambers hit a shot that hit the post, and when the ball returned back to him, the Yeovil defence were disoriented enough to ensure that his rather scuffed return met Kane Ferdinand who scored from inside the box for a 0-1 advantage.
Yeovil hadn't done too much wrong up until that point, but following the goal, their players seemed to go to pieces, with misplaced passes and a lack of forward play gradually seeing far too many players going into their shells. When Dagenham got the ball, they retained it much better, with the evergreen Jamie Cureton breaking past Yeovil's centre-back pairing before volleying over the bar. Connor Roberts briefly gave Yeovil a chance at the other end as he force Liam O'Brien into a save, but in all honesty it wasn't too surprising when Dagenham doubled their lead just before the break, as midfielder Frankie Raymond's excellent strike flew past Artur Krysiak, leading to loud boos and cries of 'rubbish' around the ground, both after the goal and particularly when the half time whistle blew.
Paul Sturrock had clearly been watching a similar half of football to the 3,000 or so home fans, and he decided to make a double substitution at the break, with Jakub Sokolik and Shaun Jeffers being introduced for Jake Howells and Matt Dolan. That led to a formation change, with Nathan Smith - who had looked uncomfortable as a centre-back, moved out to the full-back slot, whilst Ryan Dickson took Howells' position, allowing Sokolik a chance to slot in as a centre-back. Jeffers provided extra man power up front.
It took a while for that change to bear fruit, despite Ryan Dickson being particularly impressive in his more advanced position. He produced a cross that saw Ryan Bird flick the ball on, but Harry Cornick got the ball under his feet, producing a weak shot that O'Brien easily saved. Yeovil still looked fragile, with Jeffers and Cornick colliding, and Dickson and Marc Laird frequently misplacing passes, but midway through the half, they finally got their tails up. A Connor Roberts cross saw both Ryan Bird and Marc Laird go for the ball, but the striker got a touch on it for his fifth goal of the season and suddenly Yeovil were back in the game.
The body language of the players changed, as Shaun Jeffers headed over the bar and within seven minutes Yeovil were level. Dickson had twice forced Nyron Nosworthy into last ditch block tackles as he bore down on goal, and after the second was forced for a corner, his own set piece saw Daggers keeper Liam O'Brien have a bit of a nightmare as his punch on the ball ricocheted off the head of Jakub Sokolik and almost apologetically dropped into the back of the net for a 2-2 scoreline.
At that point it was Dagenham who looked dead on their feet, with another Dickson cross seeing Shaun Jeffers head just over the bar, and in injury time a slight lapse in concentration in the Yeovil back four could have seen Daggers grab a late goal. But there were no further goals in a game in which Yeovil were dead and buried with 69 minutes on the clock, yet could have easily won by the time the final whistle blew. The half time substitution galvanised the team, whilst Bird's goal gave a mentally fragile side a massive dose of self-belief. The end result was a long long way from perfection, but it could have been so much worse.
Link: 2015-16 Latest League Two Table.
Final Score: Yeovil Town 2 Dagenham and Redbridge 2.
Scorers: Kane Ferdinand (0-1, 18 mins), Frankie Raymond (0-2, 45 mins), Ryan Bird (1-2, 69 mins), Jakub Sokolik (2-2, 76 mins)
1. Artur Krysiak
24. Connor Roberts 5. Stephen Arthurworrey 3. Nathan Smith 11. Ryan Dickson (Captain)
23. Harry Cornick 20. Wes Fogden 8. Marc Laird 4. Matt Dolan 26. Jake Howells
9. Ryan Bird
12. Chris Weale 6. Jakub Sokolik (46 mins for Matt Dolan) 10. Shaun Jeffers (46 mins for Jake Howells) 19. Iffy Allen 21. Alex Lacey 27. Max Melanson 28. Ollie Bassett
Dagenham and Redbridge:
1. Liam O'Brien
2. Josh Passley 32. Justin Hoyte 5. Nyron Nosworthy 23. Ashley Hemmings
17. Jodi Jones 25. Kane Ferdinand 18. Frankie Raymond 22. Jake Mulraney
7. Jamie Cureton 10. Ashley Chambers
12. Christian Doidge 19. Ade Yusuff (46 mins for Jodi Jones) 30. Mark Cousins 21. Frankie Sutherland (81 mins for Ade Yusuff) 27. Scott Mitchell
Yeovil Bookings: Nathan Smith (45 mins, foul)
Dagenham Bookings: None.
Yeovil Match Statistics: Possession: 47%; Shots: 10; Shots On Target: 5; Corners: 5; Fouls: 7.
Dagenham Match Statistics: Possession: 53%; Shots: 6; Shots On Target: 4; Corners: 3; Fouls: 5.
Referee: Andy Woolmer (Northamptonshire). Assistants: Robert Dabbs (Dorset) and Richard Hulme (Somerset). Fourth Official: Andrew Bennett (Devon).
Attendance: 3,204 (with 117 Dagenham supporters).