Match Details: 17/08/2018
Notts County 0-4 Yeovil Town
EFL League Two
Yeovil Goals: Alex Fisher (34), Alex Fisher (36), Alex Fisher (72), Yoann Arquin (84)
Yeovil Line-Up: 3. Carl Dickinson, 4. Gary Warren, 6. Omar Sowunmi, 9. Alex Fisher, 12. Nathan Baxter, 14. Diallang Jaiyesimi, 17. Alex Pattison, 18. Yoann Arquin, 20. Sessi D'Almeida, 21. Wes McDonald, 23. Tom James,
Subs: 5. Bevis Mugabi, 10. Jake Gray, 15. Gabriel Rogers, 19. Korrey Henry, 22. Tyrique Spencer-Clarke, 25. Steve Phillips, 30. Alefe Santos
Substitutes Used: Jake Gray for Wes McDonald (84 mins), Korrey Henry for Diallang Jaiyesimi (87 mins)
Bookings: Sessi D'Almeida (Foul, 30), Nathan Baxter (Ungentlemanly Conduct, 81), Darren Way (Ungentlemanly Conduct, 83)
Yeovil Town thrashed Notts County by a 4-0 scoreline at Meadow Lane on Friday night, as Alex Fisher netted a hat-trick to stun one of the pre-season promotion favourites. The shock result was steered in the direction of the visitors just after the half hour mark when two quickfire goals from Fisher set them on their way. Both were similar, with Yoann Arquin's right-wing cross and Wes McDonald's left wing cross both resulted in close range finishes from the centre-forward. Fisher got his third when Alex Pattison put a ball over the top for him to chase, and Notts County's miserable evening was finished when former Magpie Carl Dickinson put in the cross that former Magpie Yoann Arquin headed home, leading to a chorus of boos from the home supporters, and to temporarily push Yeovil into 4th position ahead of Saturday's fixtures.
The Glovers went into the match making one change to their starting line-up, as Brentford loanee Reece Cole was not fit enough to make the teamsheet, with his knee problem seeing him drop out early on during the Tuesday night League Cup match. His place in the side was taken by Middlesbrough loanee Alex Pattison. There was also the welcome sight of Jake Gray on the bench, six months after a serious ankle injury had put him out of the squad.
The first period was an extremely open one, with both sides clocking up chances to score. Yeovil started the better, as Diallang Jaiyesimi's through ball to Alex Fisher saw his shot deflected out for a corner, with Omar Sowunmi heading over the crossbar from the resultant set piece. Notts County managed to get the ball in the back of the net at the other end, but Nathan Thomas's close range finish from a Kristian Dennis flick-on was ruled out with him in an offside position.
Yeovil really should have been ahead when a Wes McDonald cross into the box was completely mis-kicked by Diallang Jaiyesimi, with Yoann Arquin maybe being a bit surprised to find the ball reaching himself behind the Norwich City player. He also sliced at the ball, hooking it a yard wide of goal when the opportunity was there to score.
Notts County had a fifteen minute spell where they began to look more dangerous, but the Glovers defence held firm, with Nathan Baxter having to both parry and save shots from the home side. Just as they relieved that pressure, Yeovil took the lead 34 minutes into the match. The ball was fed out to Yoann Arquin on the right wing. He cut across a defender before putting in a low cross that found Alex Fisher, who produced a first time close range finish for a 0-1 advantage.
Two minutes later, and on the next attack, Yeovil Town doubled their lead. This time it was Wes McDonald who was the instigator. His left wing run saw him get into some space, and the cross into the box produced an identical result - Alex Fisher evaded his marker, and converted it first time from close range, and suddenly they were 0-2 up, leading to a stunned silence from the home sections of the ground.
Yeovil almost managed to grab a third before half time, as a Yoann Arquin cross into the box took a deflection of a County defender's leg, with the ball coming off the post and back out, leaving County fans increasingly frustrated at what they were seeing. It wasn't that they had been completely outplayed - it was just that Yeovil were more decisive and more direct in the final third, and Fisher's finishing had been the clear difference between the two sides.
Notts County were again thwarted by the offside flag early in the second half, after Kristian Dennis was pulled up as he tried to finish from close range. But then Yeovil hit the woodwork for a second occasion during the match, as Diallang Jaiyesimi's strong run saw his shot palmed onto the crossbar by Ross Fitzsimons. That was enough for Kevin Nolan to make a double substitution and a formation change as they tried a 3-5-2 shape to try to get themselves back into the match.
That change really didn't seem to suit the Magpies, as they lost their shape particularly in the middle. A poor defensive header let Diallang Jaiyesimi through, with his shot parried out for a corner, and when Alex Fisher almost prodded home from the set piece, the growing discontent from the home sections of the ground became a loud chorus of boos, as only a defensive block near the goalline stopped Yeovil getting their third.
With just under 20 minutes left, Magpies fans views on their team performance continued to slide, as that third goal finally came. Alex Pattison's ball over the top was well placed for Alex Fisher to run onto, and he finished well by scoring off the inside of the post to become the first Yeovil player to score a hat-trick since Jack Compton's January 2016 trio scored against AFC Wimbledon. He made that position clear, by holding three digits in the air as he celebrated his goal.
Notts County's day was about to get worse. They thought they had a foothold back into the match when Enzio Boldewijn went down inside the box under pressure from former Magpie Carl Dickenson. A penalty was awarded, but when Kane Hemmings stepped up, his spot kick crashed off the crossbar and back out again to keep the score at 0-3.
Darren Way had an unusual 83rd minute experience, after he received a yellow card after appearing to show dissent at a foul by Tom Crawford on Carl Dickenson 83 minutes into the match, with a summer rule change meaning that managers can now get carded. Presumably he wanted a greater punishment for the offence, but that duly came in the best way possible, as from the set piece, Dickenson got one over his old club. His ball into the box was headed home by Yoann Arquin - another former Magpies player - to send hundreds of home fans streaming out of the ground.
There was the extra bonus of Jake Gray being able to get a five minute cameo as a substitute after his six month lay-off from an ankle injury. Alex Fisher even had a late opportunity to get a fourth when he was put through, but got his footwork all wrong and ended up shooting at the keeper. Having already collected the rights to the matchball, he won't have been too disappointed. More home boos rang out on the final whistle, as Yeovil Town - briefly at least - rose to 4th in the table ahead of the other eleven weekend fixtures. It was a more than welcome way for them to record their opening win of the season, and we will find out in time whether County's position as one of the pre-season favourites for promotion, and Yeovil's position as one of the favourites for relegation can be justified. On tonight's performance, the bookies may need to go back to the drawing board for one or both of those sides.
Link: 2018-19 Latest League Two Table.
Final Score: Notts County 0 Yeovil Town 4.
Scorers: Alex Fisher (34 mins, 0-1), Alex Fisher (36 mins, 0-2), Alex Fisher (72 mins, 0-3), Yoann Arquin (84 mins, 0-4)
1 Ross Fitzsimons
4 Elliott Hewitt 5 Richard Duffy 16 Shaun Brisley 23 Daniel Jones
11 Enzio Boldewijn 8 David Vaughan 17 Noor Husin 10 Nathan Thomas
9 Kristian Dennis 15 Kane Hemmings
3 Pierce Bird 7 Lewis Alessandra 14 Andy Kellett (57 mins for Nathan Thomas) 18 Terry Hawkridge 22 Tom Crawford (57 mins for David Vaughan) 30 Jon Stead (68 mins for Kristian Dennis) 40 Max Culverwell
12. Nathan Baxter
23. Tom James, 6. Omar Sowunmi (Capt), 4. Gary Warren, 3. Carl Dickinson
21. Wes McDonald, 20. Sessi D'Almeida, 17. Alex Pattison, 18. Yoann Arquin
14. Diallang Jaiyesimi, 9. Alex Fisher
24. Steve Phillips, 5. Bevis Mugabi, 10. Jake Gray (84 mins for Wes McDonald), 15. Gabriel Rogers, 19. Korrey Henry (87 mins for Diallang Jaiyesimi), 22. Tyrique Spencer-Clarke, 30. Alefe Santos
Notts County Bookings: Shaun Brisley (foul, 45 mins), Noor Husin (foul, 74 mins), Tom Crawford (foul, 83 mins)
Yeovil Bookings: Sessi D'Almeida (foul, 30 mins), Nathan Baxter (timewasting, 81 mins), Darren Way (ungentlemanly conduct, 83 mins)
Notts County Match Statistics: Possession: 51%; Shots: 12; Shots On Target: 3; Corners: 4; Fouls: 12.
Yeovil Match Statistics: Possession: 49%; Shots: 25; Shots On Target: 12; Corners: 4; Fouls: 12.
Referee: Simon Hooper (Wiltshire). Assistants: Andrew Halliday (North Yorkshire) and Daniel Robathan (Surrey). Fourth Official: Craig Hicks (Surrey).
Attendance: 7,439 (with 188 Yeovil Town supporters)