Match Details: 21/01/2017
Blackpool 2-2 Yeovil Town
EFL League Two
Yeovil Goals: Francois Zoko (34), Darren Ward (80)
Yeovil Line-Up: 1. Artur Krysiak, 2. Liam Shephard, 3. Nathan Smith, 4. Matthew Dolan, 7. Kevin Dawson, 9. Tom Eaves, 11. Ryan Dickson, 13. Francois Zoko, 16. Matt Butcher, 17. Omar Sowunmi, 26. Darren Ward,
Subs: 5. Bevis Mugabi, 6. Alex Lacey, 12. Jonny Maddison, 18. Jack Storer, 19. Brandon Goodship, 28. Ben Whitfield, 39. Shayon Harrison
Substitutes Used: Ben Whitfield for Omar Sowunmi (71 mins), Shayon Harrison for Francois Zoko (76 mins), Bevis Mugabi for Ryan Dickson (84 mins)
Yeovil Town conceded five minutes into second half injury time this afternoon, as a late Nathan Delfouneso goal denied them their first League win of 2017. The Glovers were pegged back to 2-2 despite taking the lead twice at Bloomfield Road. Francois Zoko's seventh goal of the season gave the Glovers the lead before the break, but the home side put plenty of pressure on during the second period and equalised through Kelvin Mellor. Ten minutes later Darren Ward looked to have won the game when he scored from inside the box, but Delfouneso scored deep into injury time for the final goal of the game. Much of that injury time was due to a serious looking injury to Ryan Dickson, who was stretchered off following a collision with Jamille Matt, with his left leg strapped up as he left the field after a long delay, although later suggestions were that it was a head injury that caused him to leave the field.
The Glovers went into the game making two changes to their starting line-up. Captain Darren Ward returned after a ten game absence, with Alex Lacey the unlucky man to drop out. Up front, Ben Whitfield was displaced with Tom Eaves coming into the starting line-up. That led to a formation tweak with Eaves and Omar Sowunmi playing as a centre-forward pairing as Francois Zoko dropped to a slightly deeper role. Blackpool's teamsheet included two new signings but both set on the bench - mirroring Yeovil's decision to put Shayon Harrison, Jack Storer and Brandon Goodship on the bench.
The first half was a scrappy attritional affair, in which both sides struggled to get control of the ball on a sticky looking pitch, that tended to cause both sides to adopt a long ball mentality, perhaps explaining why Tom Eaves and Omar Sowunmi were employed as a duo of central strikers on this occasion. Jamille Matt headed over the crossbar early on, whilst Nathan Smith had a shot blocked by Blackpool's Tom Aldred after their goalkeeper Sam Slocombe dropped the ball in the box. Minutes later, Smith headed wide. Then Darren Ward headed over from a Matt Dolan corner with the ball looping onto the roof of the net. At the other end, Matt caught the Yeovil back four rather flat-footed, but his attempt to lob Krysiak was a bit woeful and it went well wide of the target.
Yeovil hadn't had a single shot that had reached Sam Slocombe when they took the lead 34 minutes into the match. Avoiding the pitch entirely, Liam Shephard's throw-in was flicked on by Tom Eaves, then flicked on by Omar Sowunmi, and nicely into the path of Francois Zoko who was able to volley home from close range for a 1-0 lead. That was the trigger for Yeovil to close the half as the stronger side, with Matt Dolan's shot being parried by Slocombe as the midfielder hit the ball on the half volley. There hadn't been many chances throughout the half, but the main thing to note was that Artur Krysiak hadn't made a single save during it.
That pattern of play changed somewhat as Blackpool came out for the second period as by far the stronger team. A Mark Yeates header was easily saved by Artur Krysiak, before Kelvin Mellor and then Yeates again put shots wide. Despite being on top during this period, Gary Bowyer chose to introduce both of his new signings as substitutes on the hour mark, changing Blackpool's formation into a more attacking line-up. One of those subs, Nathan Delfouneso, curled a shot just wide of the target with Krysiak beaten, and then Tom Aldred forced Krysiak into a superb save before Will Aimson shot wide, with both Blackpool centre-backs getting firmly up the pitch.
The equaliser was coming, and after another substitute Sanmi Odelusi forced Krysiak into another save from an angled shot, Blackpool got level. Substitute Nathan Delfouneso's impact was clear as he broke past Liam Shephard and down the left flank before putting the ball into the box for Kelvin Mellor to fire home. 1-1 and with the home side having their tails firmly up, Yeovil immediately made the substitution they'd been trying to do before the goal, with Ben Whitfield replacing a limping Omar Sowunmi, meaning Yeovil reverted to the 4-3-3 formation as Francois Zoko and Whitfield went into wide positions. Later new signing Shayon Harrison replaced Zoko on the wide right.
With ten minutes remaining, despite having had very little chances to build up an attack during the second period, Yeovil grabbed the lead once again. Tom Eaves found himself in a wide position, and when he put the ball into the box, he found the unexpected sight of Darren Ward, who had stayed up for a long time following a previous set piece and was on hand to fire the ball home for a 2-1 lead.
The game suffered a lengthy six or seven minute delay almost immediately after the goal, after Jamille Matt and Ryan Dickson went in for an aerial ball, leaving Dickson on the deck. The stretcher bearers were brought on, with Dickson being slowly put onto the stretcher, with his legs being strapped up, although it had seemed the initial injury was a facial one. He left the field to be replaced by Bevis Mugabi, with the unusual feature of this being that Liam Shephard took the left-back slot despite Nathan Smith being on the pitch - Mugabi went to the right side.
Dickson's injury meant that nine minutes of injury time were signalled, and five minutes into that time added on, Blackpool grabbed an equalising goal. Liam Shephard fouled Jamille Matt, and when Danny Pugh put the free kick into the box, Tom Aldred touched the ball on and Nathan Delfouneso claimed the last touch for the game to be clawed back for a 2-2 scoreline in the 95th minute.
There was still late drama. Tom Eaves struck the crossbar in the 97th minute with a superb shot, before Blackpool had their own shouts for a penalty kick when Kelvin Mellor went down inside the box. The second half had been a bit of a rollercoaster, with a draw probably a reasonable outcome but with the Glovers still left in 16th, they will be kicking themselves that they didn't hold on.
Link: 2016-17 Latest League Two Table.
Final Score: Blackpool 2 Yeovil Town 2.
Scorers: Francois Zoko (0-1, 34 mins), Kelvin Mellor (1-1, 70 mins), Darren Ward (1-2, 80 mins), Nathan Delfouneso (2-2, 95 mins)
1. Sam Slocombe
2. Kelvin Mellor 15. Tom Aldred 6. Will Aimson 5. Clark Robertson
21. Bright Osayi-Samuel 4. Jim McAlister 22. Danny Pugh 17. Mark Yeates
18. Danny Philliskirk
19. Jamille Matt
29. Sanmi Odelusi (61 mins for Danny Philliskirk) 34. Sebastien Turenne Des Pres 9. Mark Cullen 16. Eddie Nolan 27. Dean Lyness 31. Armand Gnanduillet 30. Nathan Delfouneso (60 mins for Mark Yeates)
1. Artur Krysiak
2. Liam Shephard 26. Darren Ward 3. Nathan Smith 11. Ryan Dickson (Capt)
7. Kevin Dawson 16. Matt Butcher 4. Matt Dolan
13. Francois Zoko
9. Tom Eaves 17. Omar Sowunmi
Substitutes: 12. Jonny Maddison 5. Bevis Mugabi (84 mins for Ryan Dickson) 6. Alex Lacey 18. Jack Storer 19. Brandon Goodship 28. Ben Whitfield (71 mins for Omar Sowunmi) 39. Shayon Harrison (76 mins for Francois Zoko)
Blackpool Bookings: None.
Yeovil Bookings: None.
Blackpool Match Statistics: Possession: 50%; Shots: 16; Shots On Target: 5; Corners: 3; Fouls: 15.
Yeovil Match Statistics: Possession: 50%; Shots: 15; Shots On Target: 7; Corners: 4; Fouls: 12.
Referee: Carl Boyeson (East Yorkshire). Assistants: Chris Isherwood (Lancashire) and Alf Greenwood (North Yorkshire). Fourth Official: Gary Hilton (Lancashire).
Attendance: 2,885 (with 167 Yeovil supporters).