Match Details: 12/12/2015
Yeovil Town 2-2 Barnet
Skybet League Two
Yeovil Goals: Francois Zoko (80), Francois Zoko (86)
Yeovil Line-Up: 4. Matthew Dolan, 6. Jakub Sokolík, 10. Shaun Jeffers, 11. Ryan Dickson, 12. Chris Weale, 20. Wes Fogden, 23. Harry Cornick, 24. Connor Roberts, 26. Darren Ward, 30. Josh Sheehan, 39. Francois Zoko
Subs: 1. Artur Krysiak, 2. Ben Tozer, 3. Nathan Smith, 9. Ryan Bird, 19. Iffy Allen, 21. Alex Lacey, 25. Christian Maghoma,
Substitutes Used: Ben Tozer for Josh Sheehan (54 mins), Iffy Allen for Wes Fogden (70 mins), Ryan Bird for Shaun Jeffers (75 mins)
Bookings: Matthew Dolan (Foul, 25)
Two late goals from Francois Zoko helped rescue a point against Barnet this afternoon at Huish Park, to help lift Yeovil Town off the foot of the League Two table. The 2-2 draw gained looked rather unlikely with ten minutes remaining, with the Bees having gained a two goal advantage at the break. Aaron McLean scored direct from a free kick midway through the first period, before breaking the offside trap during first half injury time to double Barnet's lead. Yeovil produced some spirit during the second period, putting pressure on Barnet's penalty box, but it wasn't until Zoko headed home a Connor Roberts cross on 80 minutes that things began to take shape. The visitors were sucked deep and with four minutes remaining, Zoko struck again to deliver a point. With York City losing against Bristol Rovers, that was good enough to allow the Glovers to leapfrog them on goal difference, to give a bright finish to the day.
The Glovers went into the match making two changes to their starting line-up, along with a formation change, in what was Darren Way's first game in charge for a Football League match. Nathan Smith lost his place in the side for the first time this season, as Ryan Dickson took over at left-back, whilst Ben Tozer dropped out of midfield to allow an extra forward on the pitch, with Shaun Jeffers getting the nod, as Way reverted to a 4-4-2. On the bench, Iffy Allen and Christian Maghoma were included - with George Thomas having returned to Coventry, this left Mark Beck as the only fully fit player left out of the first team squad, with Jack Compton and Marc Laird both still being put through rehab work.
The first half was a relatively even one, in terms of chances for both sides, and with both clubs forcing a succession of corners from shots that were deflected. Aaron McLean's attempt was blocked by a defender, whilst Josh Sheehan's shot at the other end saw the ball ahead out for a corner. Barnet had the best of the early chances though, as a John Akinde header went straight into the path of McLean, whose shot was good enough to beat Chris Weale, but Connor Roberts did brilliantly to stop the ball going over the line.
The strength of the Barnet front pairing should have given Yeovil enough warning signs of what to expect. However, Jakub Sokolik gave away a free kick on the edge of the box, and when Aaron McLean stepped up, his free kick was curled over the defensive wall, with Chris Weale's hand not quite enough to keep the ball out of the net. 0-1 down, and even with 72 minutes of play still remaining, the Bees seemed to slow play down a notch from that moment onwards - no surprise given they had lost eight of their ten previous away fixtures leading up to this game.
Shaun Jeffers produced a run and shot on target from a narrow angle on the half hour mark that visiting keeper Ian Lawlor saved relatively comfortably. Yeovil's problem was that whilst their approach play was good, they were struggling to create cast iron chances, with Barnet soaking up a lot of play at the eighteen yard line. From one such bit of pressure, they even managed to extend their lead, just as the play switched into three minutes of time added on. A long ball up field by Luke Gambin from deep inside his own half, was well judged for both Barnet forwards to run onto, as Yeovil's defence played for an offside flag that never came. Aaron McLean was the first to get on the chase, and although John Akinde was in support, McLean confidently slotted past the advancing Chris Weale for a 0-2 scoreline - with loud boos ringing out as the half time whistle blew.
Yeovil controlled the majority of the second period, even if for long stretches of that 45 minutes, they looked as though they weren't going to get anything out of it. Half chances for Connor Roberts, Shaun Jeffers and Harry Cornick really weren't hitting the target, with any great intent, even if the fact that they were getting plenty of the ball in the final third at their favoured home end of the ground was helping them build up a head of steam. It wasn't really until both sides made substitutions that the balance of the game began to significantly swing Yeovil's way - double scorer Aaron McLean was withdrawn, whilst for the green'n'whites, Iffy Allen and Ryan Bird were introduced as attacking options.
With ten minutes to go, Yeovil finally got a killer ball into the box. Connor Roberts flighted a cross, and coming in at the near post was Francois Zoko, whose glancing header was perfect to change the direction of the ball and put it into the back of the net. Suddenly the crowd noise turned up a notch, and Barnet seemed to get sucked into their own half - a point magnified when they withdrew striker John Akinde for defender Michael Nelson in an obvious attempt to see the game out during the closing stages.
The Bees couldn't do it - with four minutes remaining, the ball was recycled to the edge of the box, following an attacking move, and it found Francois Zoko with his back to goal. He made room for himself turn and fire off a left-footed shot from just outside the area, that was hit superbly into the back of the net for a 2-2 scoreline and to produce the biggest roar of the day at Huish Park. With Barnet now looking out on their feet, Yeovil could have even snatched an improbable winner, with substitute Iffy Allen's late chance saved by the Barnet keeper. They probably wouldn't have wanted just a single point out of this winnable home match at the start of the game, but when there were eleven minutes on the clock, they probably would have gladly accepted it - with York surrendering a goal lead to lose at Bristol Rovers, and Dagenham and Redbridge also losing at Crawley, the end result didn't look quite as bad as it might have been, lifting Yeovil off the foot of the table, and giving them a point advantage over their two main rivals.
Link: 2015-16 Latest League Two Table.
Final Score: Yeovil Town 2 Barnet 2.
Scorers: Aaron McLean (18 mins, 0-1), Aaron McLean (45 mins, 0-2), Francois Zoko (80 mins, 1-2), Francois Zoko (86 mins, 2-2)
12. Chris Weale
24. Connor Roberts 6. Jakub Sokolik 26. Darren Ward (Capt) 11. Ryan Dickson
23. Harry Cornick 4. Matt Dolan 30. Josh Sheehan 20. Wes Fogden
39. Francois Zoko 10. Shaun Jeffers
1. Artur Krysiak (GK) 2. Ben Tozer (54 mins for Josh Sheehan) 3. Nathan Smith 9. Ryan Bird (75 mins for Shaun Jeffers) 19. Iffy Allen (70 mins for Wes Fogden) 21. Alex Lacey 25. Christian Maghoma
33. Ian Lawlor
7. Andy Yiadom 5. Bondz N'Gala 4. Bira Dembele 3. Elliot Johnson
12. Luke Gambin 8. Curtis Weston 14. Sam Togwell 27. Josh Clarke
9. John Akinde 24. Aaron Mclean
6. Michael Nelson (83 mins for John Akinde) 10. Kevin Lisbie 16. Tom Champion (46 mins for Josh Clarke) 18. Michael Gash (66 mins for Aaron McLean) 19. Shaun Batt 31. Kai McKenzie-Lyle 32. Jack Stacey
Yeovil Bookings: Matt Dolan (25 mins, foul)
Barnet Bookings: Andy Yiadom (23 mins, foul), Josh Clarke (45 mins, foul), Sam Togwell (88 mins, foul)
Yeovil Match Statistics: Possession: 51%; Shots: 11; Shots On Target: 6; Corners: 5; Fouls: 12.
Barnet Match Statistics: Possession: 49%; Shots: 6; Shots On Target: 3; Corners: 2; Fouls: 11.
Referee: Graham Salisbury (Lancashire). Assistants: Nigel Lugg (Surrey) and Neil Radford (Worcestershire). Fourth Official: Graham Horwood (Bedfordshire).
Attendance: 3,162 (with 129 Barnet supporters).