Match Details: 02/04/2018
Coventry City 2-6 Yeovil Town
EFL League Two
Yeovil Goals: Alex Fisher (6), Francois Zoko (11), Alex Fisher (15), Francois Zoko (55), Sam Surridge (80), Sam Surridge (90)
Yeovil Line-Up: 4. Jared Bird, 6. Lewis Wing, 9. Rhys Browne, 11. Ryan Dickson, 13. Francois Zoko, 15. Jordan Green, 17. Omar Sowunmi, 18. Alex Fisher, 23. Tom James, 25. Stuart Nelson, 27. Shaun Donnellan,
Subs: 5. Bevis Mugabi, 7. Otis Khan, 12. Jonny Maddison, 14. Sam Surridge, 20. Oscar Gobern, 21. Ryan Seager, 30. Alefe Santos
Substitutes Used: Sam Surridge for Alex Fisher (74 mins), Oscar Gobern for Jared Bird (77 mins), Otis Khan for Jordan Green (90 mins)
Bookings: Jordan Green (Foul, 62)
Yeovil Town scored six goals away from home for the first time since they entered the Football League on Easter Monday, as they stunned play-off chasing Coventry City at the Ricoh Arena. The Glovers marginally surpassed their 5-1 away win against Leyton Orient in 2011 at Brisbane Road by sticking six past the Sky Blues, in a game that got off to a flying start. Alex Fisher scored twice in the opening 15 minutes, sandwiched by a Francois Zoko goal, giving the Glovers a 3-0 half time lead. Coventry rallied as substitute Maxime Biamou pulled a goal back, only for Zoko to get his second. Biamou then scored the goal of the afternoon as he stuck from distance but that mattered little as substitute Sam Surridge scored twice in the closing stages to produce a 6-2 final scoreline and to lift the Glovers up to 17th in the table, and eleven clear of the relegation spots.
The Glovers went into the match naming the same starting eleven as the one that took to the field against Colchester United sixteen days previously. The only change was on the bench where Oscar Gobern was fit again. That meant that two of the club's loan players sat out the game, with Marcus Barnes joining Corey Whelan in the stands. Coventry's squad included former Glovers trialist Chris Stokes, who the club tried unsuccessfully to sign from Forest Green Rovers during the 2014-15 season.
To say the match opened up in stunning style would be an understatement. Six minutes into the match, Lewis Wing's right wing cross was spilt by home keeper Lee Burge, and Coventry didn't recover from that mistake. Shaun Donnellan pushed the ball back across the face of goal where Burge no longer was, and Alex Fisher was on hand to convert from half a yard out, into an empty net for a 0-1 advantage.
Five minutes later, and Coventry's woeful start to the match was once again capitalised upon by Yeovil Town. Experienced midfielder Michael Doyle was caught napping as he lost possession to Lewis Wing, whose run took defenders one way, whilst Francois Zoko pulled out in the other direction. That allowed Wing the opportunity to provide a simple pass to the striker, who calmly slotted the ball into the bottom left corner from just inside the box, for a 2-0 lead.
Three Yeovil Town attacks became three Yeovil Town goals just fifteen minutes into the match. A long punt up field by Stuart Nelson was headed on by Alex Fisher. That looked harmless enough given he had no support nearby, right up until the point when Jack Grimmer's woeful attempt to head back to his goalkeeper fell short, allowing the energetic Fisher to nip between the two of them, and convert his second goal of the game, with only 15 minutes gone, for a fairly surreal looking 3-0 advantage.
Once Coventry woke up and realised they were actually playing a football match on Easter Monday, they began to look a reasonable side. However, it wasn't just mistakes at the back that they were making. Peter Vincenti managed to entirely miss the ball on an open goal when the ball whistled across Yeovil's six yard box. Then Marc McNulty headed over the bar from about a foot out, as a back post cross went beyond Stuart Nelson. Vincenti was hauled off after just 35 minutes, and his replacement Maxime Biamou managed to force Nelson into his first save of the day, as he dived low to his right.
But Yeovil could have even sneaked a fourth before half time - Alex Fisher's well directed header five minutes before the break had the 251 fans celebrating, only to find a linesman's flag to up to deny him. No surprise that boos rang out from the home sides of the stadium at half time. Home boss Mark Robins even chose to replace his goalkeeper at the break, with Liam O'Brien replacing Lee Burge, who didn't appear to be injured, but had clearly gifted the opening goal that had set off the first half avalanche.
Coventry responded well early in the first half, and Maxime Biamou gave his side some hope when Yeovil Town's one bit of sloppy defending gave the Sky Blues a 47th minute goal. The back line were far too static when a Coventry player hit the deck with Yeovil apparently expecting a free kick to be awarded against them. Instead, the prone player managed to flick a leg out to push the ball into the path of Marc McNulty. The striker pulled the ball back with a short pass, and Biamou got a six yard tap-in, to give the home side a bit of hope at 1-3.
It didn't take long for the three goal advantage to be restored though. Yeovil caught Coventry on the break as a through ball found Francois Zoko on the left flank. With no-one else in support, he out-fought the attentions of Dominic Hyam, and slotted the ball home across the face of the keeper and into the bottom right hand corner for the 1-4 advantage.
That was largely the nature of the second period. At either two or three goals down, Coventry kept pushing to get a foothold in the game, with their forward numbers allowing Yeovil plenty of space when they did regain possession. Midway through the second half, and Sky Blues fans probably wondered why Maxime Biamou had not been on since the start of the match. He struck a looping 20 yard 68th minute volley out of nowhere that pulled the game back to 2-4 for what was undeniably the goal of the game.
At that point, things could have got a bit wobbly. A superb bit of anticipation by Stuart Nelson saw him rush off his line to smother a Marc McNulty shot before the striker could tee it up properly. Then Dominic Hyam had a shot cleared off the goalline, leading to one of those chaotic goalmouth scrambles. Had Coventry converted one of those, then things could have got a bit 'interesting' in the final ten minutes.
Instead, Yeovil Town had introduced AFC Bournemouth loanee Sam Surridge as a replacement for Alex Fisher, and within six minutes of his addition, he got in on the act. Rhys Browne pulled the ball back to substitute Oscar Gobern, and his floated cross to the back post found Surridge behind the Coventry defence to head home his first goal in open play since New Year's Day, and to restore the three goal cushion at 2-5.
Coventry's day of woe got that little bit worse deep into second half injury time, when a superb bit of play by Francois Zoko got Yeovil their sixth of the day. Despite a crowd of Sky Blues defenders in front of him, he provided a threaded pass into the path of Sam Surridge, who fired home into the top left corner from close range for a 2-6 away win, and Yeovil's biggest victory on their travels since they ended the Football League. With Coventry boasting the meanest home defence in League Two, and Yeovil having the division's leakiest defence on their travels, anyone who predicted an away victory was probably pushing their luck and optimism. But there will have been no-one who saw a result of that magnitude happening in a million years. Football is a funny old game at times.
Link: 2017-18 Latest League Two Table.
Final Score: Coventry City 2 Yeovil Town 6.
Scorers: Alex Fisher (0-1, 6 mins), Francois Zoko (0-2, 11 mins), Alex Fisher (0-3, 15 mins), Maxime Biamou (1-3, 47 mins), Francois Zoko (1-4, 55 mins), Maxime Biamou (2-4, 68 mins), Sam Surridge (2-5, 80 mins), Sam Surridge (2-6, 90 mins)
1 Lee Burge
2 Jack Grimmer 15 Dominic Hyam 5 Rod McDonald 24 Ryan Haynes
7 Peter Vincenti 30 Tom Bayliss 8 Michael Doyle 32 Kyel Reid
10 Marc McNulty 18 Jonson Clarke-Harris
3 Chris Stokes 9 Maxime Biamou (35 mins for Peter Vincenti) 12 Tom Davies 13 Liam O'Brien (46 mins for Lee Burge) 26 Jordan Shipley 27 Josh Barrett (74 mins for Ryan Haynes) 38 Jordan Ponticelli
25. Stuart Nelson
23. Tom James 27. Shaun Donnellan 17. Omar Sowunmi 11. Ryan Dickson
15. Jordan Green 6. Lewis Wing 4. Jared Bird 9. Rhys Browne
18. Alex Fisher 13. Francois Zoko (Capt)
12. Jonny Maddison 5. Bevis Mugabi 7. Otis Khan (90 mins for Jordan Green) 14. Sam Surridge (74 mins for Alex Fisher) 20. Oscar Gobern (77 mins for Jared Bird) 21. Ryan Seager 30. Alefe Santos
Coventry City Bookings: None.
Yeovil Bookings: Jordan Green (foul, 62 mins)
Coventry City Match Statistics: Possession: 51%; Shots: 20; Shots On Target: 7; Corners: 12; Fouls: 9.
Yeovil Match Statistics: Possession: 49%; Shots: 13; Shots On Target: 7; Corners: 4; Fouls: 7.
Referee: Eddie Ilderton (Tyne and Wear). Assistants: Marvyn Amphlett (Worcestershire) and Andrew Aylott (Bedfordshire). Fourth Official: Mark Cunliffe (Merseyside).
Attendance: 8,787 (with 251 Yeovil Town supporters).