A second half equaliser from substitute Rhys Murphy saw Yeovil Town come from behind to get a draw against Maidstone United at Huish Park on Saturday.

The frontman, who came off the bench after 64 minutes, reacted quickest to stab home a Jordan Young corner kick with seven minutes of normal time remaining.

Yeovil had fallen behind to a header from another substitute, Maidstone’s Levi Amantchi, with 56 minutes on the clock and the hosts were forced to settle for a point.

Here’s how it went down at Huish Park…..

First half

Manager Mark Cooper made just one change from the midweek win over Truro City as Jamie Sendles-White came in to a five-man back line with Morgan Williams overcoming a dead leg to line up as right wing-back.

Striker Rhys Murphy, who had started the previous three matches of the season, dropped to be the bench with Jake Hyde, Frank Nouble and Jordan Maguire-Drew lining up as a front three.

Having won a free-kick within seconds of the start with the team shooting towards a noisy Thatcher’s Stand, Charlie Cooper hammered an effort just wide of the post.

Hyde had a couple of decent chances soon after. On five minutes, he went through on goal, rounded visiting keeper Lucas Covolan, but could not beat the offside flag, and then six minutes the striker headed a great ball from Maguire-Drew just wide.

The possession was certainly in the home side’s favour but, following those early chances, clear-cut opportunities were few and far between with Bivesh Gurung’s run and shot after 24 minutes easily held by Yeovil manager Will Buse.

Two minutes later, a glorious free-kick delivery from Maguire-Drew found the head of Nouble seven yards out from goal but the big forward got under it and it went over. The best chance of the game by a margin.

The visitors’ best chance of the half so far came ten minutes before half-time when Sam Corne’s free-kick was cleared as far as Gurung whose effort fizzed past the post.

On 38 minutes, Covolan was the difference between Yeovil Town a 1-0 lead. A long throw from Sendles-White found the head of Williams whose effort was superbly turned away by the ex-Torquay United stopper.

Better possession, better chances, but still nothing to put Yeovil Town in the ascendancy.

Half time: Yeovil Town 0 Maidstone United 0

Second half

The second half started in a less controlled fashion for Yeovil Town than the first half and, as it was in midweek against Truro City, the visitors took the lead with just ten minutes after the break.

A corner from Corne was flicked on by winger Lamar Reynolds, Buse pushed it away but straight on to the head of striker Levi AMANTCHI, just on as a substitute, and he headed home the opener after 56 minutes.

Looking back on the chances which the Glovers had in the first half and the visitors’ improved performance, it was a case of what could have been. Can’t argue that there’s not enough goal-scoring talent available to the home side.

Yeovil responded with a treble change on 64 minutes and an attacking one. Olly Thomas, Jordan Young and Rhys Murphy came off the bench to replace Jake Hyde, captain Josh Staunton and Jordan Maguire-Drew with the formation switching to a very narrow-looking 4-4-2 with Sendles-White and Wannell flanked by Williams on the right and Whittle on the left.

A weak effort from Nouble, a shot wide of the post by Worthington, it was all a bit powder puff from the home side, but – if you were in attendance at the Truro game, you know what’s coming next – with seven minutes remaining Yeovil were level. A corner from Young was not dealt with by Covolan and the predator that is MURPHY was on hand to stab home the equaliser.

Moments later Maidstone will be wondering how they did not regain their advantage on 86 minutes. A free-kick in to the box found the head of George Fowler whose effort went over the bar. *loud exhalation of breath*

Seven minutes of injury time added by the referee. With a couple of them gone, a corner came to Thomas whose effort was blocked, broke to Young, again blocked. 

It was all Yeovil in the closing stages, but they were left to rue the missed opportunities in the first half as they settled for a point.


Full time: Yeovil Town 1 Maidstone United 1

Match Details

Venue: Huish Park
Saturday, 19th August, 3pm kick-off

Pitch: Excellent
Conditions: Warm and sunny

Attendance: 2,899 (130 away supporters)

Scorers: Levi Amantchi 56 (0-1), Rhys Murphy 83 (1-1), 

Yeovil Town: 
Alex Whittle 63, Matt Worthington 72, Rhys Murphy 90+4
Maidstone United: Ogo Obi 41, Gavin Hoyte 46, George Fowler 90+4

Yeovil Town (5-2-3) 

Substitutes: Olly Thomas (for Jake Hyde, 64), Jordan Young (for Josh Staunton, 64), Rhys Murphy (for Jordan Maguire-Drew, 64), Zac Bell, Josh Owers.

Maidstone United: Covolan, Hoyte, Ezennolim, Fowler, Corne, Reynolds (for Wanjau-Smith  80), Aransibia, Obi (for Amantchi, 53), Bone, Sole, Gurung (for Kelly, 84). Substiututes (not used): De Graft, Earle, Amantchi.

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Andy Pandy
7 months ago

“The possession was certainly in the home side’s favour but, following those early chances, clear-cut opportunities were few and far between with Bivesh Gurung’s run and shot after 24 minutes easily held by Yeovil manager Will Buse.”

Congratulations on the promotion, Busey!

7 months ago

He might do a better job!

7 months ago

Me again, when will Mr Cooper get it, 5 at the back just does not work. We may have potential goal scorers up front but without the service from midfield they do not have a chance. The last 3 home games has shown that 3 in midfield are not giving the strikers the service they deserve. That’s why in all 3 games they front men have been dropping deep to get the ball and not in and around the box where they should be and expecting quality passes from midfield. Another thing, why do we always lose every 50/50 tackle, what are our players being fed ( careful what I say now, so say nothing). For Mark Cooper read CARP ( anagram) however careful what I ask for, sometimes better the ………….. we know even if it means more years in NL South or worse. Sorry but I care too much about this team

7 months ago

It has to be 4-4-2 and rotate our 4 strikers, some are more “experienced ” than others so need resting at time

7 months ago

Well done all