Match Details: 10/01/2017
Yeovil Town 4-2 Reading
Checkatrade Trophy Third Round
Yeovil Goals: Otis Khan (24), Francois Zoko (32), Omar Sowunmi (65), Own Goal (88)
Yeovil Line-Up: 2. Liam Shephard, 3. Nathan Smith, 4. Matthew Dolan, 6. Alex Lacey, 7. Kevin Dawson, 8. Alex Lawless, 10. Otis Khan, 11. Ryan Dickson, 12. Jonny Maddison, 13. Francois Zoko, 28. Ben Whitfield
Subs: 1. Artur Krysiak, 5. Bevis Mugabi, 16. Matt Butcher, 17. Omar Sowunmi, 18. Jack Storer, 20. Joe Lea, 22. Ollie Bassett,
Substitutes Used: Matt Butcher for Alex Lawless (46 mins), Omar Sowunmi for Otis Khan (55 mins), Bevis Mugabi for Kevin Dawson (89 mins)
Bookings: Alex Lawless (Foul, 45), Matthew Dolan (Foul, 67), Omar Sowunmi (Ungentlemanly Conduct, 76), Liam Shephard (Ungentlemanly Conduct, 83), Jonny Maddison (Ungentlemanly Conduct, 90)
Yeovil Town gained a route into the Quarter-Finals of the EFL Trophy tonight, as they beat Reading Under-21s by a 4-2 scoreline. A rather lively match saw the Royals play most of the match with ten men after Sandro Wieser was given a straight red early in the first half. The Glovers took control with first half goals from Otis Khan and Francois Zoko and although the visitors pulled one back via Andrija Novakovich they always held the upper hand. Substitute Omar Sowumni restored the two goal advantage, and when Jack Sheppard turned the ball into his own net in the dying minutes, that wrapped the game up, even if a late Josh Barrett penalty gave Reading a consolation. The Glovers now pass into the final eight of the competition, awaiting the draw on Thursday morning.
As with previous rounds of the competition, there was a small bit of squad rotation, although some of that was forced, with Tom Eaves dropping out through illness, replaced by Francois Zoko. In goal, Jonny Maddison swapped with Artur Krysiak for his fifth appearance for the club, whilst Liam Shephard returned from his own illness, dislodging Bevis Mugabi. The other decision was for new loan signing Jack Storer to sit on the bench for the full game, with Ben Whitfield taking a wide left slot in the front three. Reading's side was if anything more inexperienced than the side they had fielded at the Madejski Stadium, with a number of their Under-21s having been used in recent first team matches, meaning that some of their squad players that got onto the pitch were as young as sixteen.
The match got off to a fairly quiet start, although the Glovers did hit the crossbar in the opening quarter hour in the game's only chance of that period. Ryan Dickson's cross after Ben Whitfield had set him up, saw Francois Zoko's header come back off the crossbar, to continue the Glovers' habit of striking the woodwork in recent games. But one of the key incidents of the early period was of a less eloquent kind, as Sandro Wieser put in a fierce challenge on Alex Lawless just 18 minutes into the match. Referee John Brooks was the man who had dismissed Mansfield's Danny Rose back in August for a similar tackle just ten minutes into the game at Field Mill - he showed extreme consistency by dishing out another early bath.
That allowed Yeovil to take control of the match as they scored twice in the fifteen minutes that followed. Kevin Dawson threaded the ball through to Otis Khan and the former Barnsley man fired hom from 20 yards out for his seventh goal of the season. Then with just 32 minutes played, Ben Whitfield put the ball into the box towards Francois Zoko, and his clever turn inside the box lost his marker, allowing him to fire into the bottom corner of the net. 2-0 to the good and a man advantage.
The Glovers came close to a third after a header from a corner saw the ball come back off the crossbar again, with Francois Zoko involved inside the box. Then Zoko and Kevin Dawson combined to almost create a goal for Ben Whitfield, but he couldn't quite divert Dawson's shot into the back of the net. It was all Yeovil, except for a five minute period leading up to the break when they seemed to have mentally already gone in for a cup of tea. Reading sensed an advantage, applied a short amount of sustained pressure, and then pulled a goal back from a free kick, as the ball bobbled around inside the box, and Andrija Novakovich fired home for a 2-1 score at the break.
Alex Lawless was withdrawn at half time - possibly because of the hefty tackle he got, or possibly because he picked up a yellow just before the break - Matt Butcher was an easy replacement. Ben Whitfield pulled off a mazey weaving run past the Reading defence for what would have been an excellent solo goal, but his final shot was a bit too central to worry the Royals keeper. A second change by the Glovers was definitely forced, with Otis Khan going down with an ankle injury and limping off, and after a lengthy deliberation over who was going to replace him, Omar Sowumni - not seen since August 20th - was brought on as his successor.
Reading were still giving a good account of themselves, with Josh Barrett particularly involved throughout the match, even if some of his shooting was a little wayward. He managed to get one on target but into the arms of Jonny Maddison, before Yeovil began to kill the game off by scoring their third of the night. Ryan Dickson has provided a few fine assists this season with his crosses, and his ball to the back post was met by a downward header from Omar Sowumni - on the pitch for merely ten minutes before he scored his first goal since September 2015, even if Stuart Moore somewhat fumbled the ball into his own net.
The visitors decision was to look towards the future, taking off both of their front line strikers, including their goalscorer, and introducing a 16 year old - Danny Loader's first contribution was to surprise Nathan Smith for pace and to fire off a shot that Jonny Maddison had to smother - it would have been an impressive debut. Overall though, the game was getting oddly tetchy and ragged in the closing stages with a number of players landing in the book for silly stuff. The match as a spectacle was finished off, when Ben Whitfield's cross was diverted into his own net by Jack Sheppard to provide the third occasion in the EFL Trophy that the Glovers have netted four goals.
There was still time for one more goal as the pace of Danny Loader upset the Yeovil defence, with Matt Butcher drawn into a foul. Josh Barrett grabbed the ball to take the spot kick and put the ball past Jonny Maddison for what was basically a consolation goal. The Glovers therefore go into the hat as one of the final eight teams in the competition. The only concern will have been the injury to Otis Khan on the night, and the feeling that one or two other players might have been carrying niggles in the closing stages. But the four goals break a barren five game run in which the club had only scored one goal, which certainly does no harm.
Final Score: Yeovil Town 4 Reading Under-21s 2.
Scorers: Otis Khan (24 mins, 1-0), Francois Zoko (32 mins, 2-0), Andrija Novakovich (45 mins, 2-1), Omar Sowunmi (65 mins, 3-1), Jack Sheppard (88 mins, 4-1, own goal), Josh Barrett (90 mins, 4-2, penalty)
12. Jonny Maddison
2. Liam Shephard 6. Alex Lacey 3. Nathan Smith 11. Ryan Dickson (Capt)
7. Kevin Dawson 8. Alex Lawless 4. Matt Dolan
10. Otis Khan 13. Francois Zoko 28. Ben Whitfield
Substitutes: 1. Artur Krysiak 5. Bevis Mugabi (89 mins for Kevin Dawson) 16. Matt Butcher (46 mins for Alex Lawless) 17. Omar Sowunmi (55 mins for Otis Khan) 18. Jack Storer 20. Joe Lea 22. Ollie Bassett.
40. Stuart Moore
35. Jake Sheppard 28. Danzell Gravenberch 45. Dominic Hyam (Capt) 63. Ramarni Medford-Smith
60. Tyler Frost 17. Sandro Wieser 29. Josh Barrett 42. Andy Rinomhota
36. Andrija Novakovich 41. Harry Cardwell
61. Teddy Howe 33. Shane Griffin (62 mins for Danzell Gravenberch) 56. Luke Southwood 51. Ryan East 62. Danny Loader (71 mins for Harry Cardwell) 55. Sam Smith (75 mins for Andrija Novakovich) 48. Harrison Bennett
Yeovil Bookings: Alex Lawless (foul, 45 mins), Matt Dolan (foul, 67 mins), Omar Sowunmi (kicking ball away, 76 mins), Liam Shephard (ungentlemanly conduct, 83 mins), Jonny Maddison (timewasting, 90 mins)
Reading Under-21s Bookings: Andy Rinomhota (82 mins, foul), Josh Barrett (90 mins, dissent). Red Card: Sandro Wieser (serious foul play, 18 mins).
Yeovil Match Statistics: Possession: 51%; Shots: 17; Shots On Target: 8; Corners: 3; Fouls: 17.
Reading Under-21s Match Statistics: Possession: 49%; Shots: 10; Shots On Target: 7; Corners: 4; Fouls: 9.
Referee: John Brooks (Leicestershire). Assistants: Andrew Quin (Hampshire) and Simon Knapp (Bristol). Fourth Official: Brendan Malone (Wiltshire).
Attendance: 1,081 (with 88 Reading supporters).