Match Details: 01/01/2018
Yeovil Town 1-2 Crawley Town
EFL League Two
Yeovil Goals: Sam Surridge (19)
Yeovil Line-Up: 1. Artur Krysiak, 3. Nathan Smith, 4. Matt Worthington, 7. Otis Khan, 8. Connor Smith, 10. Jake Gray, 11. Ryan Dickson, 14. Sam Surridge, 17. Omar Sowunmi, 23. Tom James, 24. Olufela Olomola,
Subs: 5. Bevis Mugabi, 6. Keston Davies, 12. Jonny Maddison, 13. Francois Zoko, 15. Jordan Green, 25. Sid Nelson, 30. Alefe Santos
Substitutes Used: Bevis Mugabi for Otis Khan (45 mins), Jordan Green for Olufela Olomola (76 mins), Francois Zoko for Sam Surridge (90 mins)
Bookings: Connor Smith (Foul, 24), , , Francois Zoko (Foul, 90)
Nine-men Yeovil lost to Crawley Town in their New Year's Day match, as bizarre circumstances surrounded the game. When AFC Bournemouth loanee Sam Surridge put the Glovers ahead, the game seemed to be going their way. But referee Brett Huxtable sent off Connor Smith for two bookable offences, followed by Omar Sowunmi for a professional foul, leaving Yeovil down to nine men with over half the game left. Mark Randall equalised just before half time, but then there was more second half drama as the game was held up for 11 minutes with a drone being flown over the stadium. The break favoured the visitors, and they netted 53 minutes into the extended half, as substitute Thomas Verheydt won the match, to leave Yeovil in 20th place in the League Two table.
The Glovers went into the match making two changes to their starting line-up with Ryan Dickson returning to the fold after illness, as Bevis Mugabi dropped to the bench, whilst Tom James shuffled to the other full-back slot. The other swap saw Francois Zoko drop to the bench, with some concerns over a tight hamstring seeing him rested, whilst Olufela Olomola got a start in what could be his final loan game for the club, with his current deal up this week.
Crawley did very little in the opening stages to suggest that they would eventually win the game. Yeovil saw a Sam Surridge shot blocked by Josh Yorwerth and out for a corner, whilst visiting keeper Glenn Morris had to race off his line to block a Jake Gray attempt before he could properly get his toe on it. Matt Worthington and Otis Khan fired shots over the bar, whilst Crawley hadn't really got the ball in the Glovers penalty area.
No surprise then, that Yeovil took a 19th minute lead, even if the route to goal was a bit unusual. Olufela Olomola appeared to be intending a cross into the box, when the ball ended up flying off the woodwork. The ball came out to Sam Surridge who was able to compose himself and fire home on the rebound for a 1-0 lead.
The problem was that there was a bit of a sideshow going on. Referee Brett Huxtable had sent off players in each of his previous three matches, and for the New Year's Day game, he was booking anything that moved. Whilst Crawley's players bore the brunt of that, Connor Smith's sliding tackle on Jordan Roberts was followed up by another foul on Josh Doherty. Both earned him yellow cards, which meant that by 38 minutes he was off the field.
That was the cue for Crawley to wake up and get themselves into a game where they had done next to nothing. Jordan Roberts fired over the crossbar, before the Sussex side got their equaliser a minute before the break. A short corner saw Lewis Young and Jordan Roberts exchange passes, before a cross into the box was met by Mark Randall on the near post for a close range volley and an equaliser to take themselves into the half time break.
Worse was to come for Yeovil when injury time during the first period saw them drop to nine men. Jordan Roberts and Omar Sowunmi battled as the Crawley striker drove forward, and when he went down outside the box, referee Brett Huxtable judged it as being a professional foul, meaning that Yeovil would be two men short for the second half. Readjusting into a 4-3-1 formation, Otis Khan was sacrificed for Bevis Mugabi before the whistle
The second half opened with Crawley applying all of the pressure, as Enzio Boldewijn's cross was palmed over for a corner, and Mark Randall fired narrowly wide from a Lewis Young cut-back. But once they got into it, the Glovers were doing a decent job of frustrating Crawley, and you sensed the visitors were a little bit too conscious of the fact that they were playing with nine men. If anything, their tendency to overplay risked them being caught on the counter-attack. Sam Surridge may have been the lone striker, but he was performing that role very effectively, with him ultimately getting the Sponsors player of the day.
Then came another twist in the proceedings. Referee Brett Huxtable suddenly took all the players off the field, with a drone flying above the stadium. Presumably, someone in the area had got themselves a Christmas present, and was flying it in a way that concerned the official, so an eleven minute delay saw the players head back to the dressing room before the problem was resolved.
That delay seemed to help Crawley more than it helped Yeovil, with Crawley now applying themselves far more efficiently. Enzio Boldewijn shot narrowly wide from close range, whilst Jordan Roberts shot wildly over the bar. But in the 98th minute (or the 87th minute if you stopped your watch), a Jimmy Smith cross saw substitute Tom Verheydt head home what would be the winning goal. The Glovers briefly rallied as Tom James forced the keeper into a save during injury time, but the tide had turned against them, and Ibrahim Meite came close to wrapping up the game when he wasted an injury time opportunity. The result sees Yeovil slip to 20th, but thankfully without the bottom pair of clubs taking advantage of that situation.
Link: 2017-18 Latest League Two Table.
Final Score: Yeovil Town 1 Crawley Town 2.
Scorers: Sam Surridge (1-0, 19 mins), Mark Randall (1-1, 44 mins), Thomas Verheydt (1-2, 90 mins)
(NOTE: Goal time for Thomas Verheydt was 87 mins if clock was stopped when teams left the field, or 98 mins if the clock was left running.]
1. Artur Krysiak
23. Tom James 17. Omar Sowunmi 3. Nathan Smith 11. Ryan Dickson
10. Jake Gray 4. Matt Worthington 8. Connor Smith 7. Otis Khan
24. Olufela Olomola 14. Sam Surridge
12. Jonny Maddison (GK) 5. Bevis Mugabi (45 mins for Otis Khan) 6. Keston Davies 13. Francois Zoko (90 mins for Sam Surridge) 15. Jordan Green (76 mins for Olufela Olomola) 25. Sid Nelson 30. Alefe Santos
1 Glenn Morris
22 Josh Lelan 15 Josh Yorwerth 6 Mark Connolly 19 Cedric Evina
8 Jimmy Smith 25 Mark Randall
2 Lewis Young 21 Dannie Bulman 7 Enzio Boldewijn
11 Jordan Roberts
3 Josh Doherty 5 Joe McNerney 12 Yusuf Mersin 18 Billy Clifford 23 Thomas Verheydt (74 mins for Josh Yorwerth) 26 Ibrahim Meite (39 mins for Josh Lelan) 27 Moussa Sanoh (62 mins for Cedric Evina)
Yeovil Bookings: Connor Smith (foul, 24 mins), Francois Zoko (foul, 90 mins). Red Card: Connor Smith (second bookable offence, 38 mins), Omar Sowunmi (professional foul, 45 mins)
Crawley Town Bookings: Jordan Roberts (foul, 14 mins), Glenn Morris (handball, 15 mins), Lewis Young (foul, 31 mins), Josh Yorwerth (dissent, 32 mins), Mark Randall (dissent, 38 mins)
Yeovil Match Statistics: Possession: 56%; Shots: 7; Shots On Target: 2; Corners: 3; Fouls: 15.
Crawley Town Match Statistics: Possession: 44%; Shots: 11; Shots On Target: 4; Corners: 10; Fouls: 12.
Referee: Brett Huxtable (Devon). Assistants: Kevin Morris (Herefordshire) and Ronald Ganfield (Somerset). Fourth Official: Savvas Yianni (Somerset).
Attendance: 2,635 (with 92 Crawley Town supporters).