Match Details: 28/10/2017
Yeovil Town 3-0 Stevenage Borough
EFL League Two
Yeovil Goals: Sam Surridge (24), Olufela Olomola (27), Sam Surridge (40)
Yeovil Line-Up: 1. Artur Krysiak, 3. Nathan Smith, 4. Matt Worthington, 5. Bevis Mugabi, 7. Otis Khan, 13. Francois Zoko, 14. Sam Surridge, 16. James Bailey, 17. Omar Sowunmi, 23. Tom James, 24. Olufela Olomola,
Subs: 6. Keston Davies, 8. Connor Smith, 9. Rhys Browne, 10. Jake Gray, 25. Sid Nelson, 30. Alefe Santos, 31. Tommy Scott
Substitutes Used: Rhys Browne for Otis Khan (81 mins)
Bookings: James Bailey (Foul, 42), ,
Yeovil Town picked up their fourth home win of the 2017-18 season in dramatic style, as they beat Stevenage 3-0, but finished the game with nine men. All the football came during the first half as AFC Bournemouth loanee Sam Surridge grabbed two goals - the first coming after he capitalised on a loose ball in the box, with the second being the result of an Otis Khan corner. In between Southampton loanee Olufela Olomola, who took a square ball from Khan for his seventh goal of the season. The second half saw the darker side of the game, with a challenge from Stevenage's Joe Martin sparking a 21 man brawl that saw Olufela dismissed for retaliation, and Stevenage substitute Kevin Toner also sent off for his role in the aftermath. Francois Zoko was also sent off against his old club in a separate incident, leaving the Glovers short of two strikers by the time the game ended.
The Glovers went into the match making three changes from their last League Two match against Barnet. Midfield pair Jake Gray and Connor Smith dropped to the bench, with Matt Worthington coming into the midfield, whilst an extra striker was deployed in Sam Surridge, resulting in Olomola Olufela being pushed out onto the flank. The other change was a forced one - Tom James had deputised in midweek for Ryan Dickson due to concussion sustained last weekend, but Dickson still wasn't fit enough to return. On the bench, youth teamer Tommy Scott got onto the teamsheet with Jonny Maddison injured. Meanwhile Stevenage went into the match with last season's top goalscorer Matt Godden, and key playmaker Ben Kennedy both injured, whilst experienced midfielder Jonathan Smith was suspended.
Stevenage had the better of the early play, with Dale Gorman's shot deflected for a corner, before Chris Whelpdale struck the post after the Glovers failed to clear their lines from a corner, with his turn and shot almost opening the scoring from close range. Yeovil couldn't really get into the match in an attacking sense for the opening 20 minutes, with Stevenage's deep crosses into the box giving them much to think about.
On their first shot of the game though, the Glovers got their noses in front. A long throw by Tom James was flicked on, and then a succession of shots on goal peaked when James Bailey's attempt ricocheted into the path of Sam Surridge. He fired the loose ball home for a 1-0 lead from inside the box.
Three minutes later, and Yeovil were 2-0 up. Catching Stevenage on the counter-attack, Otis Khan could have taken the ball on himself for a crack on goal, but he instead squared it for Olufela Olomola and goal number seven for the Southampton player was fired home.
Having struggled to create chances for 20 minutes, Yeovil then went on to create the lion's share of the attempts as Stevenage went into their shells. Otis Khan had a low shot saved by Joe Fryer as he watched his defence wobble, and five minutes from time the keeper would also have had rights to question their marking from set pieces. An Otis Khan corner came into the box, and such was the space that Sam Surridge got, he was able to fire the ball home from close range to give his club a 3-0 advantage.
Stevenage made a double substitution at half time to try to deal with their situation, and the end result was that they recovered slightly from those three quickfire goals. There was an uncomfortable moment when a Dan Newton shot was parried by Artur Krysiak with the loose ball deflecting off Nathan Smith and narrowly wide for a corner. Newton then saw Krysiak deny him in more conventional circumstances as another shot went out for a corner.
The visitors' afternoon got more difficult when Fraser Franks seemed to get a head injury that resulted in a lengthy stoppage, and ultimately their third substitution with Kevin Toner coming on. But Toner's afternoon was to last only ten minutes. When Joe Martin went in for a heavy tackle with Olufela Olomola, that sparked a large brawl on the halfway line, with those in the dugouts also spilling onto the pitch in their efforts to drag players away. Referee Chris Sarginson took his time, but eventually signalled for Olomola to go for an early bath, with Toner also dismissed for something that happened in the aftermath. Martin, who had kicked the whole thing off by his tackle, escaped with a yellow card.
With eight minutes remaining, and in a rather irate feisty atmosphere, Francois Zoko was also dismissed for a high foot on Jack King. In fairness to Zoko, his action was not genuinely malicious, but his dismissal was consistent with many of the recent dismissals in the Premier League when players have made contact high up the body. That left Yeovil down to nine men, and with their two key strikers off the field.
In all of that kerfuffle, the football tended to be forgotten during the second period, and not even eight minutes of injury time could focus minds back on what was meant to be the two clubs' proper focus. In the end, there couldn't be any arguments about the actual result, which moves Yeovil up one place to 17th. But unless the club are able to lodge appeals, the likely three match bans could make things difficult over the next two or three weeks.
Link: 2017-18 Latest League Two Table.
Final Score: Yeovil Town 3 Stevenage 0.
Scorers: Sam Surridge (1-0, 24 mins), Olufela Olomola (2-0, 27 mins), Sam Surridge (3-0, 40 mins)
1. Artur Krysiak
5. Bevis Mugabi 17. Omar Sowunmi 3. Nathan Smith 23. Tom James
24. Olufela Olomola 16. James Bailey (Capt) 4. Matt Worthington 7. Otis Khan
13. Francois Zoko 14. Sam Surridge
31. Tommy Scott (GK) 6. Keston Davies 8. Connor Smith 9. Rhys Browne (81 mins for Otis Khan) 10. Jake Gray 25. Sid Nelson 30. Alefe Santos
1 Joe Fryer
25 Ronnie Henry 20 Terence VanCouten 5 Fraser Franks 3 Joe Martin
7 Chris Whelpdale 17 Dale Gorman 4 Jack King 11 Thomas Pett
19 Danny Newton 9 Kyle Wootton
6 Luke Wilkinson (46 mins for Terence VanCouten) 15 Alex Samuel (46 mins for Kyle Wootton) 16 Chris Day 18 Tom Conlon 22 Kevin Toner (53 mins for Fraser Franks) 29 Luke Slater 33 Ben Wilmot
Yeovil Bookings: James Bailey (foul, 42 mins). Red Card: Olufela Olomola (off the ball incident, 63 mins), Francois Zoko (serious foul play, 82 mins).
Stevenage Bookings: Jack King (foul, 27 mins), Joe Martin (foul, 63 mins), Dale Gorman (foul). Red Card: Kevin Toner (off the ball incident, 63 mins)
Yeovil Match Statistics: Possession: 53%; Shots: 16; Shots On Target: 9; Corners: 6; Fouls: 12.
Stevenage Match Statistics: Possession: 47%; Shots: 12; Shots On Target: 4; Corners: 3; Fouls: 13.
Referee: Christopher Sarginson (Staffordshire). Assistants: Ravel Cheosiaua (Worcestershire) and Kevin Morris (Herefordshire). Fourth Official: Adam Bromley.
Attendance: 2,439 (with 101 Stevenage supporters).