Match Details: 08/11/2015
Maidstone United 0-1 Yeovil Town
FA Cup First Round
Yeovil Goals: Wes Fogden (55)
Yeovil Line-Up: 1. Artur Krysiak, 2. Ben Tozer, 3. Nathan Smith, 6. Jakub Sokolík, 9. Ryan Bird, 11. Ryan Dickson, 17. Omar Sowunmi, 20. Wes Fogden, 24. Connor Roberts, 26. Darren Ward, 30. Josh Sheehan
Subs: 4. Matthew Dolan, 10. Shaun Jeffers, 12. Chris Weale, 19. Iffy Allen, 21. Alex Lacey, 22. Mark Beck, 23. Harry Cornick,
Substitutes Used: Alex Lacey for Omar Sowunmi (18 mins), Chris Weale for Josh Sheehan (58 mins)
Bookings: , Ryan Dickson (Foul, 24),
Yeovil Town won their way through to the Second Round of the FA Cup this afternoon despite having to battle against the odds. Reduced to ten men for 83 minutes of the game after Jakub Sokolik was dismissed for a straight foul, they also lost goalkeeper Artur Krysiak just before the hour mark for a professional foul. Despite that two men disadvantage, the remaining nine men defended heroically, and were good enough for a 1-0 win when Wes Fogden converted a loose ball into the net ten minutes into the second period for the only goal of the game.
The Glovers went into the match making three changes to the line-up that lost 3-2 against Carlisle United last weekend. In came new signing Darren Ward who was unveiled just before kick-off, slotting in at the back, as Alex Lacey dropped to the bench. There was also a surprise inclusion for Ben Tozer - Yeovil fans getting their first sight of him since his arrival this summer, with a knee injury having thwarted him from playing any part so far. He replaced George Thomas who was blocked by his parent club from playing in today's tie. Up front, Omar Sowunmi was preferred for Harry Cornick who finally got a chance to put his feet up for the afternoon, having been one of the club's most used players this season. There was good news, as Jakub Sokolik and Nathan Smith passed pre-match fitness tests, having been substituted last weekend with hip and ankle problems.
Any tactical plans Yeovil may have had went clean out of the window just seven minutes into the match. A tackle by Jakub Sokolik in the centre of the park on James Rogers saw the Maidstone players rush in and immediately crowd referee Michael Bull, and after eventually creating some body space for himself, the Essex official decided that it was worthy of a red card offence - leaving Yeovil playing 83 minutes with just ten men.
Initially, they reorganised as Ben Tozer, who had started as a central midfielder, dropped deeper to fill the hole left by Sokolik, but around ten minutes later, Omar Sowunmi was withdrawn as a second striker, allowing Tozer to push back up, whilst Alex Lacey came on as an early substitution.
It was a messy scrappy first half, with Yeovil struggling to cope with the unusual and often erratic bounce of Maidstone's artificial surface, demonstrated when Ryan Dickson picked up a yellow card for his high foot on Callum Driver, as the ball lifted sharply off the playing field - technically a more dangerous tackle than the one that Sokolik had committed, so we can be thankful that referee Bull wasn't Trevor Kettle.
Maidstone rarely threatened, despite the man advantage, with Alex Flisher scuffing a chance badly wide. At the other end, a Josh Sheehan free kick went straight into the Maidstone wall, and the half fizzled out with neither side doing enough to warrant anything other than the 0-0 scoreline that was on the board.
Ten minutes into the second period, Yeovil found a route to goal via a set piece. Alex Flisher had just fouled Ben Tozer and when the ball was swung into the box, Alex Lacey's challenge on goalkeeper Lee Worgan had him flapping a bit with a weak palm outwards. Wes Fogden hit the ball first time as it fell loose and although he scuffed his strike a touch, his attempt was good enough to ensure it span into the corner of the net.
From joy though, to anguish just two minutes later. A defensive error by Connor Roberts saw Alex Osborn put clean through on goal, and when Artur Krysiak came outside his area to deal with the situation, he brought down the Stones player, leaving referee Bull with little option but to produce his second red of the day. Maidstone failed to take advantage of the free kick situation, but with Yeovil now down to nine men, and Chris Weale intoduced for Josh Sheehan, this was going to be a long long 35 minutes.
Just to prove though, that football can be a hard game to predict, Yeovil actually played their best football whilst only having nine men on the pitch, with Darren Ward rock solid at the back, and some impressive hold-up play down the flanks from the likes of Wes Fogden, Connor Roberts and Ryan Bird. They could even have gone two goals up when Alex Lacey's header from a Ryan Dickson cross had to be cleared off the goal line.
During the closing five minutes - and five minutes of added injury time - Maidstone finally began to build up a head of steam, and they were off celebrating when they had the ball in the back of the net, thanks to a diving header from Alex Akrofi. As the home players raced off in celebration though, their final minute 'goal' was chalked off thanks to an offside flag from a linesman. Yeovil breathed a sigh of relief, and avoided that banana skin, passing their way through into the Second Round - even if suspensions for Jakub Sokolik (three matches) and Artur Krysiak (one match) will have dampened their enthusiasm a little.
Final Score: Maidstone United 0 Yeovil Town 1.
Scorers: Wes Fogden (55 mins, 0-1)
1. Lee Worgan
2. Callum Driver 5. Immanuel Parry 4. Jamie Coyle 3. Tom Mills
7. Matt Bodkin 6. Jack Paxman 8. James Rogers 10. Alex Osborn
11. Alex Flisher 9. Jay May
12. Steven Watt 19. Mitch Pinnock 16. Bobby-Joe Taylor 14. Alex Akrofi (63 mins for Alex Osborn) 18. Adam Birchall (81 mins for Alex Flisher) 15. Frannie Collin (74 mins for Jay May) 17. Ben Bridle-Card
1. Artur Krysiak
24. Connor Roberts 6. Jakub Sokolik 26. Darren Ward 3. Nathan Smith
30. Josh Sheehan 2. Ben Tozer 20. Wes Fogden 11. Ryan Dickson (Captain)
9. Ryan Bird 17. Omar Sowunmi
12. Chris Weale (58 mins for Josh Sheehan) 4. Matt Dolan 10. Shaun Jeffers 19. Iffy Allen 21. Alex Lacey (18 mins for Omar Sowunmi) 22. Mark Beck 23. Harry Cornick
Maidstone Bookings: None.
Yeovil Bookings: Ryan Dickson (foul, 24 mins). Red Card: Jakub Sokolik (serious foul play, 7 mins), Artur Krysiak (professional foul, 57 mins)
Maidstone Match Statistics: Possession: 65%; Shots: 14; Shots On Target: 0; Corners: 8; Fouls: 13.
Yeovil Match Statistics: Possession: 35%; Shots: 7; Shots On Target: 4; Corners: 1; Fouls: 12.
Referee: Michael Bull (Essex). Assistants: Thomas Ramsey (Essex) and Ashvin Degnarain (London). Fourth Official: Neil Davies (London).
Attendance: 2,811 (with approx 265 Yeovil supporters).