Match Details: 14/09/2019
Yeovil Town 3-2 AFC Fylde
Yeovil Goals: Rhys Murphy (5), Myles Hippolyte (14), Jimmy Smith (78)
Yeovil Line-Up: 3. Carl Dickinson, 4. Lee Collins, 6. Luke Wilkinson, 7. Matt Worthington, 9. Rhys Murphy, 10. Gold Omotayo, 11. Myles Hippolyte, 24. Remeao Hutton, 26. Charlie Lee, 27. Liam O'Brien, 28. James Tilley
Subs: 2. Craig Alcock, 5. Jimmy Smith, 8. Lawson D'Ath, 18. Albi Skendi, 19. Tom Bradbury,
Substitutes Used: Jimmy Smith for James Tilley (60 mins), Albi Skendi for Rhys Murphy (74 mins), Tom Bradbury for Lee Collier (80 mins)
Bookings: Lee Collins (Foul, 16), Matt Worthington (Foul, 51)
Yeovil Town gained their fourth consecutive National League victory on Saturday afternoon, via a 3-2 win over AFC Fylde at Huish Park. Two early goals set them on their way as Rhys Murphy's return to the side took just four minutes to make an impact as he fired home from a short free kick. The lead was doubled when Myles Hippolyte converted from a Matt Worthington cutback. Fylde began to work their way back into the match and on the hour mark Kurt Willoughby converted from a long throw-in. Just as the visitors looked likely to get an equaliser, substitute Jimmy Smith had a debut to remember as he netted the third, and whilst Kurt Willoughby pulled one back in the final five minutes, the Glovers held on for a victory that lifts them up to fourth place in the table.
The Glovers went into the match making three changes to their starting line-up compared to the team that beat Halifax Town 2-0 last Saturday. One of those was forced, with Courtney Duffus suffering a hamstring problem last weekend that meant he couldn't play against AFC Fylde. He was replaced by Rhys Murphy who was returning from his own hamstring problem. The other two changes enabled a tactical switch - the withdrawal of Albi Skendi and Tom Bradbury meant that Lee Collins could return to the side as captain, but also that James Tilley could come in, allowing the 3-4-1-2 to become a 4-1-3-2.
It didn't take long for Yeovil to get their noses in front. Although Danny Rowe got the game's first shot on goal, which took a deflection for a corner, at the other end the Glovers scored with their first chance. James Tilley had been brought down outside the box, and when he took the free kick short, that allowed Rhys Murphy to drill the ball into the bottom corner for a superb finish and a 1-0 lead after just four minutes.
Murphy's early play was dangerous, as he turned inside the box and forced James Montgomery to make a strong save. Fylde's top goalscorer from last season Danny Rowe again tried his luck, but was probably a bit too ambitious with a free kick that sailed over the crossbar. Instead it was Yeovil who were more clinical in front of goal as they doubled their lead just 14 minutes into the match. Once again Murphy was the instigator, with his shot taking a deflection onto the path of Matt Worthington. The midfielder pulled the ball back across the goal, and found Myles Hippolyte who was able to finish smartly from inside the box. 2-0 up and apparently cruising.
Yeovil could have easily had more as Fylde looked a bit shellshocked. Luke Wilkinson had a header saved, and then Rhys Murphy had the ball in the back of the net from a Wilkinson pass, only to find the linesman's flag going up for offside as he prepared to slot home. Wilkinson even tried an overhead kick, showing the level of confidence in their side that one of their centre-backs was willing to try such acrobatics in front of goal.
No surprise that AFC Fylde - last season's National League Play-Off Finalists - would eventually get their act together. Having started the match using a 4-3-3, they switched to a 4-4-2, putting Danny Rowe into the centre alongside Jordan Williams and that seemed to get them going, with Liam O'Brien saving a Mark Yeates attempt, whilst Rowe shot wide. A breakaway move saw Williams shoot over the crossbar from inside the box, and then came Fylde's best chance of the half, with Rowe's shot being parried by O'Brien for a corner. There was no doubt the visitors weren't quite out of the game as much as the 2-0 scoreline at half time suggested.
That theme continued into the second half, even though Fylde clearly wanted to shake it up further, making a double half time substitution that saw former Yeovil Town trialist James Craigen withdrawn, having unusually been placed as a right-back for the opening 45 minutes. Although James Tilley got an early chance for Yeovil and Matt Worthington headed wide, the visitors were dominant by now.
As such it wasn't too surprising that they pulled a goal back on the hour mark, as Yeovil didn't defend a long throw properly, allowing substitute Kurt Willoughby the opportunity to prod home from close range and to set the game up at 2-1 with half an hour remaining.
Jimmy Smith was brought on for his debut straight after the goal, and took a while to make his mark, as Fylde saw Jordan Williams shoot over the crossbar, and a Danny Rowe shot held by Liam O'Brien. The Yeovil goalkeeper then made an outstanding save as he pushed a Scott Duxbury shot onto the post, with Fylde inches away from an equalising goal.
On such things can games change. Albi Skendi was introduced as a late substitute, replacing Rhys Murphy in a change that saw a reshuffle, with Skendi moving into midfield, whilst Myles Hippolyte moved into a front line position. That was to prove very influential as four minutes after his introduction Skendi helped break up a Fylde move in the centre of the park, before threading a ball through to fellow substitute Jimmy Smith. The Crawley Town loanee produced a confident low finish to restore Yeovil's two goal cushion at 3-1, and surely now game over?
Not quite. With four minutes remaining, Kyle Jameson put a low ball across the face of the Yeovil Town area, and substitute Kurt Willoughby was on hand to sweep the ball home for a 3-2 scoreline and another twist in the match.
Thankfully that fifth goal in the game didn't quite spark any late drama despite five minutes of injury time. Yeovil managed to wind down the clock via a succession of throw-ins that went their way, and whilst Fylde grabbed a couple of injury time corners, they couldn't fashion a clearcut chance to get themselves a late equaliser. For the Glovers the 3-2 victory gave them four consecutive wins for the first time since February/March 2016 - maybe not in the clinical way the opening 20 minutes of the match had threatened to do, but against one of last season's play-off finalists it would have been a surprise if the entire 90 minutes had been free of drama.
Link: 2019-20 Latest National League Table.
Final Score: Yeovil Town 3 AFC Fylde 2.
Scorers: Rhys Murphy (5 mins, 1-0), Myles Hippolyte (14 mins, 2-0), Kurt Willoughby (59 mins, 2-1), Jimmy Smith (78 mins, 3-1), Kurt Willoughby (86 mins, 3-2)
Yeovil Town: (4-3-1-2)
27. Liam O'Brien
24. Remeao Hutton 6. Luke Wilkinson 4. Lee Collins (Capt) 3. Carl Dickinson
7. Matt Worthington 26. Charlie Lee 28. James Tilley
11. Myles Hippolyte
10. Gold Omotayo 9. Rhys Murphy
2. Craig Alcock 5. Jimmy Smith (60 mins for James Tilley) 8. Lawson D'Ath 18. Albi Skendi (74 mins for Rhys Murphy) 19. Tom Bradbury (80 mins for Lee Collins)
1 James Montgomery 3 Scott Duxbury 5 Kyle Jameson 28 James Craigen 4 Neill Byrne 18 Mark Yeates 8 Ryan Croasdale 10 Danny Philliskirk 11 Jordan Williams 27 Nick Haughton 9 Danny Rowe
6 Alex Whitmore (46 mins for Hames Craigen) 15 Danny Bradley (72 mins for Mark Yeates) 18 Kurt Willoughby (46 mins for Nick Haughton) 20 Elton Ngwatala 21 Dan Lavercombe
Yeovil Bookings: Lee Collins (foul, 16 mins), Matt Worthington (foul, 51 mins)
AFC Fylde Bookings: Kyle Jameson (ungentlemanly conduct, 59 mins)
Yeovil Town Statistics: Possession: 47%; Shots on Target: 7; Off Target: 5; Corners: 6.
AFC Fylde Statistics: Possession: 53%; Shots on Target: 7; Off Target: 4; Corners: 7.
Referee: Savvas Yianni (Somerset). Assistants: Marcus Carmichael (Hampshire) and Craig Green (Hampshire). Fourth Official: Ryan Saward (Gloucestershire).
Attendance: 2,395 (with approx 50 AFC Fylde supporters)