Match Details: 09/11/2016
Reading 0-2 Yeovil Town
Checkatrade Trophy Group Stage
Yeovil Goals: Tom Eaves (48), Francois Zoko (89)
Yeovil Line-Up: 2. Liam Shephard, 3. Nathan Smith, 4. Matthew Dolan, 5. Bevis Mugabi, 6. Alex Lacey, 10. Otis Khan, 12. Jonny Maddison, 16. Matt Butcher, 19. Tahvon Campbell, 23. Ryan Hedges, 28. Ben Whitfield
Subs: 1. Artur Krysiak, 9. Tom Eaves, 13. Francois Zoko, 14. Josh Ezewele, 15. Kyle Copp, 17. Omar Sowunmi,
Substitutes Used: Tom Eaves for Tahvon Campbell (46 mins), Francois Zoko for Otis Khan (69 mins), Josh Ezewele for Matt Butcher (81 mins)
Bookings: Bevis Mugabi (Foul, 43)
Yeovil Town won past the Group stages of the EFL Trophy by winning their group, thanks to a 2-0 victory over Reading Under-23s. The goals both came in the second half, as a pair of substitutes found the back of the net. Tom Eaves scored his sixth goal of the season as he netted three minutes after getting on the pitch, whilst Francois Zoko scored a late close range finish which guaranteed a place in the Second Round of the competition.
The Glovers went into the match making four changes to their starting line-up, with Jonny Maddison, Bevis Mugabi, Matt Butcher and Tahvon Campbell all getting the nod. Kevin Dawson was suspended, whilst as with previous group matches Artur Krysiak and Darren Ward were given the night off. Up front Tom Eaves sat on the bench. Whilst many Under-23 sides in the EFL Trophy have opted to field a number of clearly over-age players with hundreds of games of first team experience, the Royals unusually opted for a squad full of academy graduates, even if the likes of Andrija Novakovich won't be aiding the progress of the England national side at any time in the future.
The first half was played at a high speed tempo, with Reading dominating possession meaning that Yeovil had to do a lot of chasing throughout the half. Andrija Novakovich had an early chance that went wide of the target, whilst at the other end Matt Dolan had a typical long ranger to get into the game. Ryan Hedges fired wide, and although Reading were fluent they also lacked a bit of end product with Jonny Maddison not having too much to do other than mop up a Jake Cooper effort on goal. The half ended with Bevis Mugabi landing in the book for a fierce challenge on Liam Kelly, that was perhaps fortunate that it was a minor enough competition for referee John Busby to issue just a yellow card.
Tahvon Campbell had been forced to do concentrated 45 minutes worth of sprinting to keep himself competitive against Reading's athletic players, and he was replaced at the break by Tom Eaves. The substitute needed just three minutes to get off the mark, as a Matt Dolan set piece was headed downwards by Bevis Mugabi into the path of Eaves who finished smartly from just outside the six yard area. 1-0 up and now Reading needed two goals to send Yeovil out of the competition.
Like Yeovil, the Royals substitutes were proving to be incisive, with Josh Barrett getting a number of chances to score during the second period. On the hour mark he forced Jonny Maddison into a save for the first time during that half, whilst a quarter hour later, Maddison denied again from the same player as Barrett shot on the angle. But Reading couldn't find enough firepower on the night to look like they were going to get past the Glovers second choice keeper.
During the closing stages, Francois Zoko was introduced, whilst Josh Ezewele got his debut, coming on for the last nine minutes as a right-back, as Liam Shephard pushed into midfield to replace a tiring Matt Butcher. As the game ticked into the penultimate minute, the result was sealed, once again from a Matt Dolan free kick. There was a touch of fortunate as his set piece ricocheted off the Reading defensive wall, into the path of Zoko, who was on hand to score his first goal of the season from deep inside the box. That guaranteed the win, the topping of the group, and a route into the next stages. Reading Under-23s as losers also qualified in second place, meaning both sides were still relatively upbeat on the final whistle.
Link: EFL Trophy Group Stage Final Table.
Final Score: Reading Under-23s 0 Yeovil Town 2.
Scorers: Tom Eaves (0-1, 48 mins), Francois Zoko (0-2, 89 mins)
40. Stuart Moore
30. Tennai Watson 59. Tom McIntyre 28. Danzell Gravenberch 3. Jake Cooper
42. Andy Rinomhota 53. Omar Richards 60. Tyler Frost
38. Liam Kelly 14. Dominic Samuel 36. Andrija Novakovich
47. Axel Andrersson 58. Terence VanCouten 57. Joe Tupper 29. Josh Barrett (46 mins for Liam Kelly) 51. Ryan East 55. Sam Smith (78 mins for Omar Richards) 34. Niall Keown (61 mins for Dominic Samuel)
12. Jonny Maddison
2. Liam Shephard 6. Alex Lacey 5. Bevis Mugabi 3. Nathan Smith
28. Ben Whitfield 16. Matt Butcher 4. Matt Dolan
10. Otis Khan 19. Tahvon Campbell 23. Ryan Hedges
1. Artur Krysiak 9. Tom Eaves (46 mins for Tahvon Campbell) 13. Francois Zoko (69 mins for Otis Khan) 14. Josh Ezewele (81 mins for Matt Butcher) 15. Kyle Copp 17. Omar Sowunmi
Reading Under-23s Bookings: None.
Yeovil Bookings: Bevis Mugabi (foul, 43 mins)
Reading U23s Match Statistics: Possession: 67%; Shots: 16; Shots On Target: 8; Corners: 6; Fouls: 4.
Yeovil Match Statistics: Possession: 33%; Shots: 9; Shots On Target: 4; Corners: 1; Fouls: 15.
Referee: John Busby (Oxfordshire). Assistants: John Farries (Oxfordshire) and Simon Knapp (Bristol). Fourth Official: Mark Derrien (Dorset).
Attendance: 739 (with 84 Yeovil supporters).