Match Details: 30/04/2016
Barnet 3-4 Yeovil Town
Skybet League Two
Yeovil Goals: Matthew Dolan (55), Nathan Smith (63), Francois Zoko (76), Harry Cornick (90)
Yeovil Line-Up: 1. Artur Krysiak, 3. Nathan Smith, 4. Matthew Dolan, 8. Marc Laird, 11. Ryan Dickson, 21. Alex Lacey, 24. Connor Roberts, 25. Liam Walsh, 32. Liam Shephard, 38. Leroy Lita, 39. Francois Zoko
Subs: 9. Ryan Bird, 10. Shaun Jeffers, 12. Chris Weale, 14. Jack Compton, 16. Tahvon Campbell, 23. Harry Cornick,
Substitutes Used: Tahvon Campbell for Leroy Lita (60 mins), Harry Cornick for Ryan Dickson (71 mins)
Bookings: Alex Lacey (Foul, 52)
Yeovil Town recovered from being two goals down twice during a pulsating match against Barnet this afternoon, pulling out a last gasp winner in a 4-3 victory at the Hive Stadium. The hero of the moment was AFC Bournemouth loanee Harry Cornick, who scored the winner in the 95th minute to produce an improbable win in Yeovil's final away match of the 2015-16 season. Barnet took the lead through a Michael Gash header and when John Akinde scored from the penalty spot early in the second period it looked as though the Bees were heading for a basic pedestrian win. But Matt Dolan's 20 yard strike sparked the Glovers into life to pull a goal back. John Akinde then got his second of the afternoon, but Barnet's two goal advantage lasted a minute as Nathan Smith scored a rare header, followed by Francois Zoko's equaliser. That set up an end to end finale that was completed deep into injury time when Cornick drove the ball home to send 455 away supporters wild.
The Glovers went into the match making one change to their starting line-up but also a formation change. Harry Cornick was dropped to the bench, whilst Marc Laird came into the team, with the extra midfielder meaning that the much-tried 4-3-3 was dropped, with Darren Way switching to a 4-3-1-2, with Laird as the attacking midfielder, playing just behind a very experienced front pairing of Francois Zoko and Leroy Lita. With Tahvon Campbell and Harry Cornick on the bench, and Brandon Goodship forced to play as the 'sixth loan' for the fourth game in five matches, that tended to imply that Way was looking at which permanently contracted players were on his books that could unpick his side's goalscoring problems.
Early on at least, the signs were that not too much had changed. Barnet created the more incisive chances as John Akinde almost scored from a corner, with Ryan Dickson having to head the ball off his own goal line. The Glovers passed the ball well but without any end output, and midway through the first half they went behind as a James Pearson cross was converted inside the box by Michael Gash, with Yeovil's marking having gone astray.
Yeovil nearly responded a few minutes later via a Matt Dolan free kick. Those who witnessed Jack Compton's long range attempt from the touchline at AFC Wimbledon back in January will have already witnessed what Dolan nearly achieved. His deep free kick from the right touchline looped over goalkeeper Jamie Stephens, but he just about managed to get a palm on the ball to send it onto the crossbar and away to safety. Dolan was then found out on the left flank creating Yeovil's best other first half chance as he put in an excellent cross towards Marc Laird who was in the centre of goal beyond the penalty spot and a clear aim on goal - unfortunately for him, he misdirected it over the crossbar.
That rather summed up the opening period, and there was the fear that Yeovil's lack of quality in front of goal in recent games might haunt them again. However, they started the second half superbly, almost scoring within 30 seconds of the kick-off. Francois Zoko ran through on goal and forced Jamie Stephens into a superb low save, and when the loose ball fell to Marc Laird, his shot on the rebound was met by more superb reflexes from the Bees goalkeeper. Then Leroy Lita narrowly hooked the ball over the bar, and the feeling was the Glovers were on to something by the way they'd started.
Then came the sucker punch. Barnet's first proper attack of the half saw Alex Lacey foul John Akinde wide on the edge of the penalty area. Referee Sebastian Stockbridge blew up for the spot kick, and Akinde calmly passed the ball into the corner of the net, having correctly judged which way Artur Krysiak was going to dive. 2-0 down and it seemed it wasn't going to be Yeovil's day.
Midfielder Matt Dolan though had other ideas. Just three minutes after Akinde's goal, he notched up his first goal for the club in nearly four months, and his first outfield strike of the 2015-16 season. Dolan has always had a good strike on the ball, but goals have eluded him during his permanent spell with the club, but there was certainly nothing wrong with the goal that put Yeovil back in the match - a 20 yarder that went low and hard into the bottom right hand corner.
A game that was becoming more and more open then got a little bit too open. Yeovil were caught in possession, and lost the ball to Andy Yiadom. His long ball down the middle was perfectly judged for John Akinde to run onto and the Barnet striker got his second goal of the game as he headed the bouncing ball over the advancing and exposed Artur Krysiak for a 3-1 lead. Surely game over - or so you'd have thought.
It took Yeovil under a minute to reduce the two-goal deficit again, although it was the most unlikely of sources who nabbed it. Nathan Smith's last goal for the club came on December 13th 2008 and with his three year spell at Chesterfield having not produced any goals, that strike still stood as his one and only professional goal. He thus doubled his tally in the 63rd minute when he headed home from close range following a Matt Dolan corner to pull the game back to 3-2.
Still the goals were coming. With 14 minutes remaining of the match, Francois Zoko incredibly levelled the scores. He received the ball on the edge of the box, and provided a low shot on the angle that fired into the back of the net for a 3-3 scoreline. Game on!
That set the game off into a frantic end-to-end encounter in which both sides threatened to snatch the winning goal. Barnet thought they'd got it when they got the ball in the back of the net just as the clock ticked over to 90 minutes, but a linesman's flag went up and stopped the celebrations. Then with the game deep into five minutes of added time, Yeovil broke on a counter-attack. Goalkeeper Artur Krysiak fed Liam Walsh by rolling the ball out of his own penalty area and his powerful run up field saw the Everton loanee feed Harry Cornick. The substitute slotted the ball past the keeper and then ran across to 455 deliriously happy Yeovil Town supporters, with the retaining wall between both players and fans disappearing into a single sea of green and white.
With pretty much the final kick of the match, the Glovers had won the game. Theoretically it was a game that did not matter one iota to any league table, or any divisional status - yet the timing of the goal and the celebrations made you feel as though the Glovers had just avoided the relegation drop, and not two weeks ago at Bristol Rovers when it actually happened.
Link: 2015-16 Latest League Two Table.
Final Score: Barnet 3 Yeovil Town 4.
Scorers: Michael Gash (1-0, 22 mins), John Akinde (2-0, 52 mins, pen), Matt Dolan (2-1, 55 mins), John Akinde (3-1, 62 mins), Nathan Smith (3-2, 63 mins), Francois Zoko (3-3, 76 mins), Harry Cornick (3-4, 90 mins)
21. Jamie Stephens
37. James Pearson 6. Michael Nelson 4. Bira Dembele 3. Elliot Johnson
7. Andy Yiadom 14. Sam Togwell 40. Harry Taylor 12. Luke Gambin
9. John Akinde 18. Michael Gash
5. Bondz N'Gala 16. Tom Champion (72 mins for Fumnaya Shomotun), 17. Sam Muggleton (80 mins for Harry Taylor) 19. Shaun Batt 20. Fumnaya Shomotun (36 mins for James Pearson) 31. Kai McKenzie-Lyle 36. Alie Sesay
1. Artur Krysiak
24. Connor Roberts 21. Alex Lacey 3. Nathan Smith 11. Ryan Dickson (Capt)
32. Liam Shephard 25. Liam Walsh 4. Matt Dolan
8. Marc Laird
39. Francois Zoko 38. Leroy Lita
12. Chris Weale (GK) 9. Ryan Bird 10. Shaun Jeffers 14. Jack Compton 16. Tahvon Campbell (60 mins for Leroy Lita) 23. Harry Cornick (71 mins for Ryan Dickson)
Barnet Bookings: John Akinde (78 mins, foul)
Yeovil Bookings: Alex Lacey (52 mins, foul)
Barnet Match Statistics: Possession: 45%; Shots: 9; Shots On Target: 5; Corners: 8; Fouls: 11.
Yeovil Match Statistics: Possession: 55%; Shots: 12; Shots On Target: 6; Corners: 7; Fouls: 6.
Referee: Sebastian Stockbridge (Tyne and Wear). Assistants: John Farries (Oxfordshire) and Robert Hyde (London). Fourth Official: Robert Whitton (Essex).
Attendance: 2,379 (with 455 Yeovil supporters).