Match Details: 27/04/2019
Northampton Town 2-2 Yeovil Town
EFL League Two
Yeovil Goals: Tristan Abrahams (18), Jake Gray (24)
Yeovil Line-Up: 5. Bevis Mugabi, 6. Omar Sowunmi, 8. Matt Worthington, 10. Jake Gray, 11. Courtney Duffus, 12. Nathan Baxter, 16. Tristan Abrahams, 17. Alex Pattison, 20. Sessi D'Almeida, 23. Tom James, 25. Alex Dobre,
Subs: 1. Stuart Nelson, 9. Alex Fisher, 13. Francois Zoko, 15. Gabriel Rogers, 18. Yoann Arquin, 26. Daniel Ojo, 27. Ryan Seager
Substitutes Used: Francois Zoko for Tristan Abrahams (70 mins), Yoann Arquin for Courtney Duffus (75 mins), Alex Fisher for Jake Gray (84 mins)
Yeovil Town's sixteen year tenure in the Football League came to an end on Saturday afternoon, after a 2-2 draw against Northampton Town. The Glovers only had themselves to blame, after they threw away a two goal lead, established by a Tristan Abrahams penalty, followed by Jake Gray's second goal in two games after he latched onto a Courtney Duffus knockdown. Holding that two goal lead at half time, four minutes into the second half it all began to unravel as Omar Sowunmi, who had won the opening penalty, headed past his own goalkeeper, and that was followed six minutes later by Daniel Powell's comfortable finish. With Macclesfield Town and Notts County both winning, that was to be the final nail in the coffin, condemning Yeovil to National League football next season, and leaving them bottom of the Football League.
The Glovers went into the match making one simple change. The hamstring injury for Rhys Browne meant that yet another right-back was needed. In came Matt Worthington, who last played there during his initial loan spell. The only other change was a recall for Ryan Seager on the bench, who had recovered from a minor knee injury that kept him out for one game. In the Northampton Town line-up were four very familiar faces with Dean Bowditch, Sam Foley, Sam Hoskins and Andy Williams getting the dubious honour of trying to relegate their old club from the Football League.
Both sides traded chances in the early stages, as Jake Gray fired into the side netting from his right-wing position. At the other end Joe Powell fired high and wide for the Cobblers' first effort. There were a couple of nasty moments down at that end of the ground, with a Sam Foley cross whistling through the Yeovil penalty box without anyone getting a foot on it. Then a Sam Hoskins cross into the box was acrobatically hooked by Andy Williams towards goal, with Nathan Baxter getting behind the shot well. With the Cobblers now threatening, a corner kick from them that was cleverly worked saw Dean Bowditch hit the outside of the post, with Baxter deceived by a Cobblers player trying to divert the ball just in front of him.
Yeovil got the break that they needed just eighteen minutes into the match. A long throw-in from the left flank by Tom James saw Omar Sowunmi bundled to the floor by Joe Powell and referee Anthony Backhouse instantly pointed to the penalty spot for what looked to be a fairly obvious spot-kick. Up stepped Tristan Abrahams, whose slight half-step in his run-up gave him enough of a chance to see David Cornell dive to his right, before Abrahams put the ball in the opposite corner. 0-1 up!
It took just six minutes for the Glovers to double their lead. With their tails firmly up, some nice one-touch passing saw Courtney Duffus nearly flick the ball into the path of Jake Gray, who was cutting in from the right flank and fired the ball into the far corner for his second goal in two games, and a superb 0-2 advantage for the Glovers.
By this stage, Yeovil were playing some of their best football during the last six months. They were a little unfortunate to not be three up when Jake Gray was given another nice flicked ball through to him by Sessi D'Almedia as he ran through on the right flank. He repeated his earlier move by firing home at the far corner, but the linesman on that side decided that he had made his run a little too early. Courtney Duffus then turned and hooked the ball wide of the target, as Yeovil finished the half on top. At this stage, things were looking very good indeed in terms of the scoreline and the performance.
Unfortunately, as has been seen over the course of the season, and even in recent weeks, Yeovil Town are still prone to shooting themselves in the foot. Former Glover Andy Williams made a strong run down to the byline and put in a left-wing cross to the near post. Under little pressure, Omar Sowunmi put in a diving header that appeared to be an attempt to put the ball out for a corner, but instead succeeded in heading past a disbelieving Nathan Baxter for a 1-2 scoreline.
More miscommunication between Sowunmi and Baxter two minutes later saw Baxter almost lose the ball inside his own box as suddenly the nerves started jangling for the first time. As such it wasn't the greatest of surprises when six minutes later Northampton equalised. Alex Dobre was muscled off the ball, and Joe Powell was able to thread a simple ball through to Daniel Powell inside the penalty box, leaving him with only Baxter to beat. His comfortable finish gave Northampton a 2-2 equaliser and suddenly the euphoria of half time was replaced by fear.
Then came the bad news from elsewhere. Notts County had taken a 48th minute lead, meaning that when Macclesfield Town went ahead in the 66th minute, Yeovil Town were not only bottom of the Football League, but heading for relegation. A Tom James free kick was punched away by David Cornell fairly comfortably, whilst at the other end Andy Williams struck the ball into the outside of the goal frame. With news filtering through of the Silkmen advantage, Neale Marmon threw on Francois Zoko and Yoann Arquin as attacking substitutes.
But Yeovil's attacking threat had become a little wasteful, with a Tom James free kick flying well over the bar when it probably should have been crossed into the box. A superb 40 yard run by Alex Dobre unfortunately met with a similar accuracy. With six minutes to go, Alex Fisher became the third attacking substitution before the game's killer chance was squandered. Another James free kick this time was swung in, and found Omar Sowunmi lurking unmarked at the far post. As Cobblers keeper David Cornell desperately threw himself at the ball, Sowunmi somehow directed his header back across the face of goal instead of into the back of the net with Bevis Mugabi and Alex Fisher unable to react in time to get a touch on the ball.
Bevis Mugabi hooked a shot from a corner just over the bar as the game moved into four minutes of injury time, during which there was one last chance for a dramatic winner. Yoann Arquin had produced a stunning goal in December against the Cobblers and the way he teed the ball up in the 92nd minute, it looked as though he fancied a repeat. Unfortunately a flying save by Cornell denied him. The Glovers pushed Nathan Baxter into the opposite penalty box for the final two minutes with two more set pieces, but when the ball was booted out of the crowded penalty box, referee Anthony Backhouse blew his whistle to end Yeovil Town's sixteen year stay in the Football League. Whilst there may be some introspection over how the Glovers threw away a two goal lead on the day, much of Yeovil's demise has come about via the last six month's worth of football, rather than any of the individual errors on the pitch at Sixfields. If we are honest about the situation, this had been coming for a while.
Link: 2018-19 Latest League Two Table.
Final Score: Northampton Town 2 Yeovil Town 2.
Scorers: Tristan Abrahams (0-1, 18 mins, pen), Jake Gray (0-2, 24 mins), Omar Sowunmi (1-2, 49 mins, own goal), Daniel Powell (2-2, 55 mins)
1 David Cornell
4 Charlie Goode 16 Aaron Pierre 18 Jordan Turnbull
7 Sam Hoskins 8 Sam Foley 10 Joe Powell 15 Dean Bowditch 12 George Cox
11 Daniel Powell 9 Andy Williams
3 David Buchanan 14 Junior Morias 17 Shaun McWilliams (61 mins for George Cox) 19 Jack Bridge (72 mins for Dean Bowditch) 21 John-Joe O'Toole 22 Timi Max Elsnik 30 Luke Coddington
12. Nathan Baxter
8. Matt Worthington 5. Bevis Mugabi 6. Omar Sowunmi (Capt) 23. Tom James
10. Jake Gray 17. Alex Pattison 20. Sessi D'Almeida 16. Tristan Abrahams
11. Courtney Duffus 25. Alex Dobre
1. Stuart Nelson (GK) 9. Alex Fisher (84 mins for Jake Gray) 13. Francois Zoko (70 mins for Tristan Abrahams) 15. Gabriel Rogers 18. Yoann Arquin (75 mins for Courtney Duffus) 26. Daniel Ojo 27. Ryan Seager
Northampton Town Bookings: Charlie Goode (foul, 57 mins), Shaun McWilliams (foul, 75 mins), Sam Foley (foul, 90 mins)
Yeovil Bookings: None.
Northampton Town Match Statistics: Possession: 54%; Shots: 15; Shots On Target: 7; Corners: 4; Fouls: 9.
Yeovil Match Statistics: Possession: 46%; Shots: 11; Shots On Target: 4; Corners: 5; Fouls: 7.
Referee: Anthony Backhouse (Cumbria). Assistants: Joe Clark (West Midlands) and Garry Maskell (London). Fourth Official: Mark Griffiths (South Yorkshire).
Attendance: 4,908 (with 317 Yeovil Town supporters)