Match Details: 10/11/2015
Gillingham 1-1 Yeovil Town
LDV Vans Trophy
Yeovil Goals: Harry Cornick (13)
Yeovil Line-Up: 2. Ben Tozer, 3. Nathan Smith, 4. Matthew Dolan, 10. Shaun Jeffers, 12. Chris Weale, 17. Omar Sowunmi, 20. Wes Fogden, 21. Alex Lacey, 23. Harry Cornick, 24. Connor Roberts, 26. Darren Ward,
Subs: 9. Ryan Bird, 19. Iffy Allen, 22. Mark Beck, 28. Ollie Bassett, 29. James Needle
Substitutes Used: Ryan Bird for Omar Sowunmi (66 mins), Iffy Allen for Shaun Jeffers (90 mins)
Yeovil Town gained their second consecutive penalty shoot-out win in the Football League Trophy tonight, as they produced five perfect penalties to get past League One side Gillingham at the Area Quarter-Final stages. The Glovers had managed a 1-1 draw across the 90 minutes, with AFC Bournemouth loanee Harry Cornick scoring his fifth goal of the season to give them a deserved lead. With Ben Tozer hitting the crossbar from distance, it was somewhat disappointing that the Gills equalised before the break as Bradley Garmston cut in from the left to fire home. A more even second half led to deadlock, and when the spot kicks were taken it looked as though fans were in for a long night. But Rory Donnelly missed Gillingham's fifth penalty of the night, allowing Swansea City loanee Connor Roberts a chance to be the hero as the Glovers won the shoot-out by a 5-4 scoreline.
Manager Paul Sturrock rang the changes heavily for the game, making five changes, albeit with three being enforced. Artur Krysiak and Jakub Sokolik were suspended, whilst Josh Sheehan was away on international duty. They were replaced by Chris Weale, Alex Lacey and Matt Dolan respectively. Captain Ryan Dickson had been playing with a knock on Sunday and so he was rested in favour of Harry Cornick, whilst up front Shaun Jeffers was swapped for Ryan Bird.
The start made by the Glovers was emphatic to say the least. Omar Sowunmi had an early header go wide, then Shaun Jeffers broke through only to put the ball wide of goal. Matt Dolan had a shot from distance, and then came the spectacular - Ben Tozer apparently hasn't trained on grass yet since coming back from injury, due to Sunday's preparation for the Maidstone game, but he seemed to have his bearings rather spot on as he spotted Gillingham goalkeeper Stuart Nelson off his line and decided to lob him from 50 yards out. The ball crashed off the crossbar, with Sowunmi unable to convert the rebound.
All of this was inside the first 13 minutes of the match, with Gillingham having barely got out of their own half, when Harry Cornick opened the scoring - his fifth of his loan spell at the club. A forward header by Omar Sowunmi set Cornick on his way, and he raced past John Egan before shooting into the top corner to give the Glovers a very deserved 1-0 lead.
Gillingham may be merely a point off the top of League One but it took them until midway through the first half before they did anything of note, but Chris Weale was in a dominant mood, as he punched the ball away on three separate occasions to stop crosses hitting their target. If anything, it should have been Yeovil going further ahead as Wes Fogden put Omar Sowunmi through but he put his effort wide of the post instead of testing the keeper.
That made the home side's equalising goal rather galling, given that they had done so little during the half. Bradley Garmston received the ball, and cut inside Connor Roberts before angling an unstoppable 43rd minute shot into the far corner. Frustrating given the way the Glovers had dominated the first period, but it meant that they went in at the break with a 1-1 scoreline instead of the two or three goals their play deserved.
Gillingham made a half time substitution and a formation change, abandoning their wingback formation to match up Yeovil's 4-4-2. That made for a far more even second half, albeit one that didn't contain too many clearcut chances until the closing stages. A Shaun Jeffers run released Harry Cornick for a chance of his second goal, but he fired over, then a Matt Dolan attempt from the edge of the box was saved. Alex Lacey probably should have done better when he saw the ball drop at his feet after Darren Ward headed back across goal from a Dolan free kick.
But as the game drew to a close, it was Gillingham who came closest to winning it as they forced a series of corner kicks and shots on goal, with Chris Weale in fine form to stop them. He sent out attempts by Bradley Garmston and Bradley Dack for corners, but the best one of the lot came a couple of minutes into injury time when he made a flying stop from a Doug Loft effort. That was good enough to ensure the game went to spot kicks, with it becoming very clear who had won the toss to take the kicks, with them taking place in front of an entirely empty stand, neutralising Gillingham's home advantage. Up stepped each player, but with high quality penalties, it seemed as though a long night was ahead - until Rory Donnelly's attempt, the ninth of the evening, was skied. That allowed Connor Roberts the honour of taking the tenth penalty knowing he would send his side through - he made it five out of five for the Glovers and to give them an Area Semi-Final berth.
Final Score: Gillingham 1 Yeovil Town 1. (Yeovil win 5-4 on penalties).
Scorers: Harry Cornick (0-1, 13 mins), Bradley Garmston (1-1, 43 mins)
Penalties: Bradley Dack (1-0), Matt Dolan (1-1), John Egan (2-1), Ryan Bird (2-2), Doug Loft (3-2), Ben Tozer (3-3), Ben Williamson (4-3), Harry Cornick (4-4), Rory Donnelly (MISSED), Connor Roberts (4-5).
1. Stuart Nelson
2. Ryan Jackson 4. John Egan 26. Harry Lennon 50. Adedeji Oshilaja 3. Bradley Garmston
7. Doug Loft 44. Josh Wright 23. Bradley Dack
10. Cody McDonald 17. Rory Donnelly
9. Ben Williamson (80 mins for Cody McDonald) 11. Jermaine McGlashan (74 mins for Josh Wright) 12. Glenn Morris 15. Aaron Morris 16. Emma Osaoabe (46 mins for Adedeji Oshilaja)
12. Chris Weale
24. Connor Roberts 21. Alex Lacey 26. Darren Ward 3. Nathan Smith
20. Wes Fogden 4. Matt Dolan 2. Ben Tozer 23. Harry Cornick
10. Shaun Jeffers 17. Omar Sowunmi
29. James Needle (GK) 9. Ryan Bird (66 mins for Omar Sowunmi) 19. Iffy Allen (90 mins for Shaun Jeffers) 22. Mark Beck 28. Ollie Bassett
Gillingham Bookings: Bradley Dack (37 mins, foul)
Yeovil Bookings: None.
Gillingham Match Statistics: Possession: 59%; Shots: 7; Shots On Target: 3; Corners: 10; Fouls: 16.
Yeovil Match Statistics: Possession: 41%; Shots: 12; Shots On Target: 2; Corners: 4; Fouls: 8.
Referee: Dean Whitestone (Northamptonshire). Assistants: Nigel Lugg (Surrey) and Carl Fitch (Suffolk). Fourth Official: Andrew Aylott (Bedfordshire).
Attendance: 1,832 (with 64 Yeovil supporters).