Yeovil progressed through to the next round of the FA Cup with a 7-1 win over AFC Stoneham yesterday with the gulf in quality clear from the kick off. Here are Ian’s conclusions from Huish Park…

We got the job done professionally. We knew this had the potential to be a banana skin. Mark Cooper described it as a no-win game for his team but I thought it was a job well done by the Glovers. They peppered the AFC Stoneham goal in the first half, kept their opponents at arm’s length and didn’t seem to need third gear. Frank Nouble’s early goal in the second half really killed Stoneham’s chances and Yeovil cruised to the final whistle bagging seven goals.

Michael Smith was impressive. It’s hard to read too much into this performance given the opponents, but Smith made a good first impression. He got forward, he orchestrated, he stepped into centre midfield to try and speed things up through the lines, he picked out passes that others couldn’t and his extra quality was clear. Smith clearly has high standards too, berating his teammates for allowing crosses into the box and urging his teammates to make things happen.


Michael Smith, left, celebrates with Rhys Murphy.
Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

Rhys Murphy proved a point. Since the switch to the 4-3-3, Rhys Murphy hasn’t had a chance to make an impact through the middle with Frank Nouble’s impressive recent form. He entered the fray yesterday with the bit between his teeth. While some goalscorers seemed apologetic for beat the keeper, Murphy was ruthless and determined to get on the scoresheet. His first was a good move from Smith, to Maguire-Drew, to Stevens, who’s cross into the six-yard box was Murphy’s bread and butter. His second game from him chasing down a loose pass from Stoneham defender to finish from a tight angle and the third was a lovely through ball from Maguire-Drew for Murphy to coolly finish for the match ball.

Jordan Stevens did nothing to quell my excitement. I will caveat this in the same way I did with Michael Smith, but in Jordan Steven’s first start he roasted full backs, he gave us natural width and showed the explosive pace we’ve been waiting for. He started on the left and provided that natural balance to Jordan Young on the opposite side. There’s still a bit of rustiness there but once he gave us a glimpse of what he’s about.

Jordan Stevens.
Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

AFC Stoneham deserve enormous credit. Their goalkeeper Callum Lee made some unbelievable saves in the first half and Duarte Martins never gave up and took his goal well. Their supporters were noisy throughout and enjoyed their afternoon at Huish Park. While the score line wasn’t what they would have wanted, the club made the most of the occasion and soaked up the atmosphere at the final whistle with their 208 travelling fans. Best of luck for the rest of the season!

AFC Stoneham supporters (and the Yeovil Press’ Steve Sowden!) celebrate their consolation goal.
Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

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