Match Details: 12/03/2016
Yeovil Town 1-0 Notts County
Skybet League Two
Yeovil Goals: Francois Zoko (50)
Yeovil Line-Up: 1. Artur Krysiak, 2. Ben Tozer, 3. Nathan Smith, 7. Kevin Dawson, 8. Marc Laird, 11. Ryan Dickson, 23. Harry Cornick, 24. Connor Roberts, 25. Liam Walsh, 26. Darren Ward, 39. Francois Zoko
Subs: 9. Ryan Bird, 12. Chris Weale, 14. Jack Compton, 16. Tahvon Campbell, 19. Brandon Goodship, 21. Alex Lacey, 38. Leroy Lita,
Substitutes Used: Brandon Goodship for Harry Cornick (56 mins), Tahvon Campbell for Marc Laird (62 mins), Leroy Lita for Francois Zoko (72 mins)
Bookings: Marc Laird (Foul, 33), Ryan Dickson (Foul, 38)
Yeovil Town gained their fourth win in a row this afternoon, as they saw off Notts County by a 1-0 scoreline. Their fourth consecutive single goal victory extended the club's run without conceding a goal to 456 minutes, and was achieved when Francois Zoko scored his seventh goal of the season, finishing off a move involving Everton loanee Liam Walsh and AFC Bournemouth's Harry Cornick. That win was richly deserved, and would have been gained by a wider scoreline, were it not for some impressive goalkeeping from former loanee Scott Loach, and another failure to convert a spot kick, with Leroy Lita's effort saved after the Magpies were penalised for handball. That thankfully didn't matter, with the club now eleven points clear of the bottom pair of clubs, taking them further away from any thoughts of trouble in the final ten matches of the season.
The Glovers went into the match making just one change to their starting line-up from last week's win at Mansfield Town. Matt Dolan had limped out of that match during the second half, and he was still carrying a knock from that game so dropped out of the squad. Thankfully waiting in the wings was Liam Walsh, who had been missing for three matches due to illness, meaning there was an obvious like-for-like swap available. The only other change saw Jack Compton come onto the bench, following his recovery from a hamstring problem, and he displaced Jakub Sokolik, who was still struggling through illness.
The first half wasn't a classic - even if Yeovil had the upper hand, there wasn't a lot of evidence of goalkeepers being tested throughout the half. Defensive blocks were partially responsible for that, with Francois Zoko having an effort blocked for a corner, whilst at the other end Ben Tozer and Darren Ward had to block chances from Liam Noble and Jonathan Stead respectively - Curtis Thompson did manage to get past the defensive line with his effort but Artur Krysiak watched it go wide of the left-hand post.
Notts County were in theory playing a 4-3-3 against the Glovers, but their wingers were so deep that it became more or less a 4-5-1 in the way they played, sticking everyone bar Jonathan Stead behind the ball, using Liam Noble as the link man in the centre. The Glovers should have gone ahead when Harry Cornick put Marc Laird in on goal on the counterattack. But the midfielder's attempt was dragged well wide of the target. Then a great move down the right flank involving Connor Roberts saw him interchange passes with Kevin Dawson, only for the latter to fire over the bar. That was the frustration - that they had created two or three great chances but not truly tested Scott Loach when the half time whistle blew.
Five minutes into the second period that all changed. Midfielder Liam Walsh showed a real bit of quality as he found Harry Cornick on the flank, and his left sided cross into the box found Francois Zoko, who dug out a superb looping header into the back of the net for the opening goal of the game, and the 1-0 lead that would force the visitors to abandon their ten men behind the ball approach to the game.
Jonathan Stead almost hit back as he headed an Adam Campbell cross over the bar, but in reality it looked more likely that Yeovil would extend their lead. Harry Cornick had two quick efforts on goal, with the latter producing a superb save from Scott Loach from the edge of the box, as the keeper dived full stretch to keep the ball out. A little surprisingly that was one of his final moments on the pitch, with Brandon Goodship being brought on as a substitute. Tahvon Campbell was also brought on, displacing Marc Laird, who was sat on a booking, and that saw Kevin Dawson drop deeper into midfield for the final half hour. Not that this stopped the Irishman from getting forward - he immediately capitalised from that position - getting in from a wide position and forced Loach to parry the ball onto the outer part of the goalframe.
Yeovil's final substitution saw Leroy Lita replace Francois Zoko - the goalscorer got a standing ovation, whilst the debutant got a loud cheer as he got onto the pitch for the first time in his Yeovil career. He could have had a dream start when Yeovil were awarded a penalty for handball in a crowded goalmouth. Not for the first time this season, there was a bit of an over-extended debate between the players over who should take the spot kick, with Jack Compton sat on the bench as the last successful taker and regular penalty man Matt Dolan out injured. Liam Walsh and Ryan Dickson were eventually overruled by Leroy Lita, but Scott Loach continued his sparkling display by saving Lita's penalty kick.
With still only one goal in it, inevitably Notts County pushed players forward in the closing stages although they were a little lucky again to still have a chance of staying in the game - Curtis Thompson had already been booked when he committed a bulk standard yellow card tackle on Liam Walsh that should have seen him leave the field. Referee Gavin Ward choose to bring captain Jonathan Stead over to inform him of the final warning, rather than produce the red. Then Scott Loach saved at point blank range from Brandon Goodship, with Andrew Boyce having to clear off his own goal line. Despite County forcing some late pressure, again it was Yeovil who should have put the game to bed, but Leroy Lita wastefully shot wide from close range during injury time - thankfully that miss, nor his failed penalty mattered, and the end result was four perfect 1-0 wins, and with Yeovil now eleven points clear of the drop, things are now starting to look cut and dried in terms of any worries that might still linger - with York City and Dagenham and Redbridge starting to look dead and buried.
Link: 2015-16 Latest League Two Table.
Final Score: Yeovil Town 1 Notts County 0.
Scorers: Francois Zoko (1-0, 50 mins)
1. Artur Krysiak
24. Connor Roberts 26. Darren Ward (Capt) 3. Nathan Smith 11. Ryan Dickson
8. Marc Laird 25. Liam Walsh 2. Ben Tozer
7. Kevin Dawson 39. Francois Zoko 23. Harry Cornick
12. Chris Weale (GK) 9. Ryan Bird 14. Jack Compton 19. Brandon Goodship (56 mins for Harry Cornick) 16. Tahvon Campbell (62 mins for Marc Laird) 21. Alex Lacey 38. Leroy Lita (72 mins for Francois Zoko)
13. Scott Loach
18. Elliott Hewitt 6. Haydn Hollis 27. Andrew Boyce 31. Thierry Audel
24. Adam Campbell 15. Curtis Thompson 12. Robert Milsom 28. Jason Banton
16. Liam Noble
30. Jonathan Stead (Capt)
4. Alan Smith 10. Ronan Murray (56 mins for Jason Banton) 17. Rhys Sharpe 26. Graham Burke (72 mins for Robert Milsom) 29. Wesley Atkinson 39. Izale McLeod 40. Kevin Pilkington (GK)
Yeovil Bookings: Marc Laird (foul, 33 mins), Ryan Dickson (foul, 38 mins)
Notts County Town Bookings: Liam Noble (foul, 71 mins), Curtis Thompson (foul, 77 mins), Adam Campbell (foul, 90 mins)
Yeovil Match Statistics: Possession: 58%; Shots: 15; Shots On Target: 8; Corners: 7; Fouls: 9.
Notts County Match Statistics: Possession: 42%; Shots: 9; Shots On Target: 2; Corners: 2; Fouls: 17.
Referee: Gavin Ward (Surrey). Assistants: Richard Martin (Weston-super-Mare) and Christopher Husband (Worcestershire). Fourth Official: William Bull (Hampshire).
Attendance: 3,588 (with 179 Notts County supporters).