Match Details: 06/01/2018
Yeovil Town 2-0 Bradford City
FA Cup Third Round
Yeovil Goals: Marcus Barnes (61), Jordan Green (76)
Yeovil Line-Up: 1. Artur Krysiak, 3. Nathan Smith, 4. Jared Bird, 5. Bevis Mugabi, 7. Otis Khan, 10. Jake Gray, 11. Ryan Dickson, 13. Francois Zoko, 15. Jordan Green, 19. Marcus Barnes, 23. Tom James,
Subs: 6. Lewis Wing, 12. Jonny Maddison, 22. Corey Whelan, 29. Paulius Golubickas, 30. Alefe Santos
Substitutes Used: Lewis Wing for Jared Bird (78 mins), Corey Whelan for Marcus Barnes (85 mins), Alefe Santos for Otis Khan (90 mins)
Bookings: Jared Bird (Foul, 16)
Yeovil Town worked their way through to the Fourth Round of the FA Cup this afternoon, with an impressive 2-0 victory over League One side Bradford City. The Glovers deserved their victory thanks to their counter-attacking football that saw a Bantams back line exposed during two second half moves. Southampton loanee Marcus Barnes got a goal on his debut after Otis Khan put him through on goal, whilst 15 minutes later a wonderful solo run by Francois Zoko allowed Jordan Green to wrap the game up. Whilst the Glovers had to clear the ball off their line on three occasions - Tom James twice and Nathan Smith ensured their goal wasn't breached - they were able to get themselves in the Fourth Round for the first time since 2014.
Such were the trials and tribulations of the last week, with loanees returning and suspensions, that there were five changes to the starting line-up. Two of those changes were players making their debuts, with Southampton striker Marcus Barnes and Barnsley midfielder Jared Bird starting. Jordan Green, Francois Zoko and Bevis Mugabi were rather more familiar names that came into the side.
Right from the start, Bradford's back line looked fragile and open, and although Jared Bird greeted his arrival on the Huish Park scene with a feisty tackle that hit him booked, it was the visitors who seemed to be more living on the edge. Bird himself produced a cross that went beyond the Bradford keeper and into the six yard box, but Tyrell Robinson cleared the ball close to his own goal line. Francois Zoko produced the game's first real effort when his shot was deflected, forcing Bantams keeper Lukas Raeder to change his angles to palm the shot out. Marcus Barnes tried to pounce, but the ball wouldn't bobble his way.
Bradford were in particular having problems dealing with Otis Khan - one particular nutmeg left two defenders for dead close to the byline, whilst another had to be forced out for a corner when he broke through the same defensive pair. From that corner, Khan's delivery found the head of Tom James, but the keeper comfortably saved it. James's next goal attempt was rather less comfortable for the Bantams defence, as he picked up a loose ball and rifled it through the crowded penalty area, catching Matthew Kilgallon full in the body as the defender cleared the ball off the line - something that seemed to leave him in discomfort for the remainder of the half.
Right on half time the sucker punch almost arrived. Bradford had looked sharp on their right flank throughout the half, pulling the ball wide to create space on the pitch. But their final ball had been poor right up until the final minute before the break, when Paul Taylor got space in the middle, and drilled a low shot just past Krysiak's post. Yeovil were on top, but that was a warning sign for them to take their chances.
No surprise for Bradford that Matthew Kilgallon failed to show for the second half, with Adam Thompson replacing him. The visitors enjoyed their best spell of the game in what appeared to be a tactical reorganisation, as Artur Krysiak had to block Timothee Dieng's angled shot with his legs. Then Krysiak got vital finger tips on a low shot from Charlie Wyke - enough to bobble it wide for a corner.
Yeovil hadn't done a lot in the second half, apart from an Otis Khan free kick that had the Screwfix side of the ground up in the air as it hit the side netting - but was wide enough for the keeper to watch it go by. However, even when they're under pressure, the Glovers tend to be good on the break. They got their opening goal through this route as Otis Khan picked the ball up close to the dugouts and slipped it through to Marcus Barnes. The Saints loanee ended up in a one-v-one and finished confidently at the away end of the ground as he pushed it past the keeper and into the corner of the net for a 1-0 advantage.
Bradford almost got themselves an equaliser 70 minutes into the match. Paul Taylor's shot from the edge of the box crashed off the underside of the crossbar. With Artur Krysiak having already committed himself for the initial shot, he did well to get himself up and block the Shay McCartan effort as the former Accrington Stanley midfielder tried to convert the rebound.
That save was to prove crucial as once again Yeovil caught Bradford on the counter-attack for their second goal. Francois Zoko received the ball close to the dugouts, close to where Khan's move for the first goal had started. At one stage, as he danced his way through Bradford defenders who were attempting to foul him, it looked as though he was going all the way, but he laid the ball off to Jordan Green, who capped a fine performance from him personally by slotting the ball low and past the keeper, into the corner of the net for a 2-0 scoreline.
Bradford tried in vain to get back into the match, but the Glovers defence held firm. Nathan Smith cleared off his line from a Charlie Wyke effort, getting the ball out for a corner, and then in second half stoppage time, Bradford substitute Daniel Devine was denied, as Tom James cleared the ball off the line for the second time in the match. It was that sort of a day for the visitors, in a match where the Glovers served up one of their best performances of the season. The big question is whether they can transfer what they are doing in the cup competitions, into bulk standard league matches, but for now their interest in the FA Cup will carry on into the back end of January as they look forward to the Fourth Round draw.
Link: 2017-18 Latest League Two Table.
Final Score: Yeovil Town 2 Bradford City 0.
Scorers: Marcus Barnes (1-0, 61 mins), Jordan Green (2-0, 76 mins)
1. Artur Krysiak
23. Tom James 5. Bevis Mugabi 3. Nathan Smith 11. Ryan Dickson
15. Jordan Green 10. Jake Gray 4. Jared Bird 7. Otis Khan
19. Marcus Barnes 13. Francois Zoko
12. Jonny Maddison (GK) 6. Lewis Wing (78 mins for Jared Bird) 22. Corey Whelan (85 mins for Marcus Barnes) 30. Alefe Santos (90 mins for Otis Khan) 29. Paul Golubickas
23 Lukas Raeder
16 Jacob Hanson 5 Matthew Kilgallon 6 Romain Vincelot 35 Tyrell Robinson
17 Alex Gilliead 7 Nicky Law 8 Timothee Dieng 14 Shay McCartan
9 Charlie Wyke 10 Paul Taylor
2 Adam Thompson (46 mins for Matthew Kilgallon) 11 Dominic Poleon (75 mins for Shay McCartan) 24 Daniel Devine (70 mins for Timothee Dieng) 27 Jordan Gibson 34 Omari Patrick 40 George Sykes-Kenworthy
Yeovil Bookings: Jared Bird (16 mins, foul)
Bradford City Bookings: Romain Vincelot (31 mins, foul), Tim Dieng (68 mins, foul), Tyrell Robinson (50 mins, foul)
Yeovil Match Statistics: Possession: 49%; Shots: 15; Shots On Target: 8; Corners: 6; Fouls: 8.
Bradford City Match Statistics: Possession: 51%; Shots: 11; Shots On Target: 5; Corners: 4; Fouls: 12.
Referee: John Brooks (Leicestershire). Assistants: Samuel Ogles (Hampshire) and Matthew Lee (West Sussex). Fourth Official: Adam Bromley (Devon).
Attendance: 3,040 (with 465 Bradford City supporters).