Match Details: 11/02/2017
Yeovil Town 1-1 Leyton Orient
EFL League Two
Yeovil Goals: Francois Zoko (45)
Yeovil Line-Up: 1. Artur Krysiak, 2. Liam Shephard, 3. Nathan Smith, 4. Matthew Dolan, 8. Alex Lawless, 9. Tom Eaves, 11. Ryan Dickson, 13. Francois Zoko, 26. Darren Ward, 28. Ben Whitfield, 31. Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro,
Subs: 5. Bevis Mugabi, 12. Jonny Maddison, 16. Matt Butcher, 17. Omar Sowunmi, 19. Brandon Goodship, 32. Tom James, 39. Shayon Harrison
Substitutes Used: Shayon Harrison for Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro (71 mins), Bevis Mugabi for Ryan Dickson (79 mins), Omar Sowunmi for Francois Zoko (90 mins)
Bookings: Alex Lawless (Foul, 55), Matthew Dolan (Foul, 78)
Yeovil Town threw away two points this afternoon, as a late goal from former loanee Gavin Massey saw them punished. The 1-1 draw against Leyton Orient, who had gone into the match on the back of six consecutive defeats, came after Massey accepted a Paul McCallum knockdown, just two minutes before the final whistle. The Glovers had held the advantage at half time when Francois Zoko scored his ninth goal of the season, when he followed up on a parried Tom Eaves effort, but couldn't add to that lead, with the draw leaving them stuck in 16th place after a scrappy and sometimes tetchy game.
The Glovers went into the match making five changes to the side that went out of the EFL Trophy in midweek against Luton Town. There weren't too many surprises in there - Artur Krysiak replaced Johnny Maddison, with captain Darren Ward coming back into central defence as Matt Butcher dropped to the bench. Kevin Dawson's suspension meant that Alex Lawless returned after a month out through injury, whilst up front Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro replaced Shayon Harrison. At right-back Liam Shephard returned after suspension, replacing Bevis Mugabi. In the Orient line-up, Gavin Massey and Tom Parkes represented the former Glovers.
The first half was one littered with mistakes, with both sides often losing possession. This was shown by the first chances that fell to both sides. In the first Alex Lawless was robbed of possession by Liam Kelly, allowing him to release Rowan Liburd who fired wide. Then at the other end, Francois Zoko got himself in on goal, but his standing foot slipped as he prepared to shoot, meaning that the eventual shot dribbled into the arms of Orient's rookie keeper Sam Sargeant.
Ben Whitfield had a near post effort blocked out for a corner for the first decent chance, but Orient were pressing well and counter-attacking efficiently. Yeovil were indebted to Liam Shephard who had been left as the last man following a set piece and did well to block out Sandro Semedo when the winger tried to shoot instead of passing to the free Gavin Massey, stopping the two-on-one from turning into a goal.
As the half closed, Liam Shephard sliced the ball into the side netting after Ben Whitfield played him in, whilst Francois Zoko shot over the bar. It looked as though a scrappy game was heading in as a deserved goalless scoreline when Yeovil managed to take the lead in first half injury time. That injury time only existed because of a lengthy injury to Artur Krysiak after he got whalloped by Rowan Liburd in a fifty-fifty. As the clock ticked past 46 minutes, Tom Eaves fired in a shot that took a deflection, Orient's Sam Sargeant made an excellent save, but following up on a rebound from a narrow angle was Francois Zoko who scored his ninth of the season for a 1-0 half time lead.
An injury to one of their centre-backs forced Orient into a half time change as Callum Kennedy was introduced as a left-back. They also tried to force the initative by bringing on top scorer Paul McCallum, who has been out with an injury in recent weeks. Yeovil looked a bit better in this period, with a Tom Eaves header being saved whilst the excellent Ben Whitfield saw his shot go over the bar.
The match was competitive, and became increasingly tetchy, with referee Darren Deadman struggling to keep a lid on things - noticeably when Alex Lawless committed a foul on Liam Kelly, followed by the Orient midfielder pushing him in the chest. That should have been both players in the book, but instead only Lawless was punished. When Liam Shephard and Paul McCallum squared up a few minutes later, you sensed that Deadman wasn't really in control, with the official dishing out six second half yellow cards for trivial things, but not intervening in the more questionable stuff.
Back with the football, Tom Eaves shot narrowly wide, with Sam Sargeant left scrambling across his goal, whilst Francois Zoko's superb run saw him beat four players, squaring the ball to Ben Whitfield. Frustratingly his shot went straight at Sargeant and there was a feeling Yeovil were failing to close the game off during what had been their best period. A Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro shot that went wide added to that tally.
In the closing stages, Ryan Dickson went down again, as he struggled to complete the 90 minutes, and Liam Shephard switched across to left back, with Bevis Mugabi taking the right-back slot. Whether as a result of that substitution, or just the general fact that they were now in the final ten minutes of the game, Yeovil seemed to go onto the back foot, allowing Orient to build up a bit of a head of steam. A ball into the box saw Paul McCallum win a header, Liam Kelly get a touch, and then Gavin Massey stabbed home for an 88th minute equaliser that during that 10-15 minute period had been brewing.
A frustrated home crowd showed some dissent both on the substitution that followed - Francois Zoko replaced by Omar Sowunmi - and on the final whistle when the 1-1 result stood. It leaves the Glovers stuck in 16th position - still nine points off the play-offs and 11 points off relegation. All the signs are that the Glovers are heading for midtable obscurity - no big disaster, but recent results suggest things are fizzling out more than fans might have hoped for.
Link: 2016-17 Latest League Two Table.
Final Score: Yeovil Town 1 Leyton Orient 1.
Scorers: Francois Zoko (45 mins, 1-0), Gavin Massey (88 mins, 1-1)
1. Artur Krysiak
2. Liam Shephard 26. Darren Ward (Capt) 3. Nathan Smith 11. Ryan Dickson
28. Ben Whitfield 8. Alex Lawless 4. Matt Dolan
13. Francois Zoko 9. Tom Eaves 31. Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro
Substitutes: 12. Johnny Maddison 5. Bevis Mugabi (79 mins for Ryan Dickson) 16. Matt Butcher 17. Omar Sowunmi (90 mins for Francois Zoko) 19. Brandon Goodship 32. Tom James 39. Shayon Harrison (71 mins for Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro)
24. Sam Sargeant
29. Myles Judd 37. Yvan Erichot 6. Tom Parkes 16. Nicky Hunt
4. Liam Kelly
7. Michael Collins 15. Nigel Atangana
11. Gavin Massey 20. Rowan Liburd 22. Sandro Semedo
3. Callum Kennedy (46 mins for Yvan Erichot) 10. Paul McCallum (54 mins for Rowan Liburd) 12. Charlie Grainger 19. Teddy Mezague 23. Freddy Moncur 28. Josh Koroma (65 mins for Nigel Atangana) 30. Sam Dalby
Yeovil Bookings: Alex Lawless (foul, 55 mins), Matt Dolan (foul, 78 mins)
Leyton Orient Bookings: Sandro Semedo (foul, 71 mins), Michael Collins (foul, 73 mins), Liam Kelly (foul, 74 mins), Gavin Massey (excessive celebration, 89 mins)
Yeovil Match Statistics: Possession: 49%; Shots: 13; Shots On Target: 6; Corners: 3; Fouls: 8.
Leyton Orient Match Statistics: Possession: 51%; Shots: 11; Shots On Target: 6; Corners: 5; Fouls: 11.
Referee: Darren Deadman (Cambridgeshire). Assistants: Simon Knapp (Bristol) and Neil Radford (Worcestershire). Fourth Official: Derek Eaton (Gloucestershire).
Attendance: 3,120 (with 151 Leyton Orient supporters).