Venue: Huish Park
Saturday, January 15th, 3pm kick-off
Conditions: Cold and cloudy
Pitch: Okay, getting a bit bobbly in areas.
Attendance: 1649 (58 away)
Scorers: Williams 29, Fowkes 45.
Referee: James Durkin
Yeovil Town: Bradley 85
Needham Market: Some!
Yeovil Town : (4-3-3)
Morgan Williams, Josh Staunton, Max Hunt (Little 79), Jack Robinson
Matt Worthington (Bradley, 70), Jordan Barnett
Sonny Blu Lo-Everton
Adi Yussuf (Knowles 63), Reuben Reid
Substitutes: Max Evans
Needham Market: Garnham, Dye, Sayer, Hammond, K. Morphew, D. Morphew, Page, Collard, Ingram, Clark (Marshall Miranda), Fowkes
Substitutes: Mpongo, Cullum, Sturgess, Santa De La Paz, Northwood, Fitzgerald
Yeovil Town were knocked out of the FA Trophy on penalties at the hands of Needham Market in a disappointing affair at Huish Park.
The Southern League side more than held their own against an out of form Yeovil team who never stretched their opponents.
Morgan Williams opened the scoring after half an hour but poor defending before the break allowed Needham Market to go in on level terms.
It took penalty shootout drama to decide the match and the part-timers clinched it with Marcus Garnham the hero, saving Morgan Williams sudden death penalty and launching scenes of jubilation amongst their 58 travelling supporters.
Here’s how Ian saw the game…
What a difference seven days makes in football. The electric atmosphere generated by 8,000 supporters for the FA Cup tie against Bournemouth was replaced by a rather muted atmosphere of 1649 at Huish Park for the visit of Needham Market in the FA Trophy.
Diamonds aren’t forever, but Darren Sarll returned to most-used formation since becoming manager in 2019, with Adi Yussuf partnering Reuben Reid up front and Sonny Blu Lo-Everton in the hole, as they say. Josh Staunton dropped to back line in place of the injured Luke Wilkinson with Matt Worthington returning to midfield and Jack Robinson and Morgan Williams at fullback.
The subdued atmosphere contributed to an equally subdued start by the Glovers and the Needham Market had the first half-opening through their left-winger Ben Fowkes, who cut inside had his shot deflected over Grant Smith’s goal.
The towering Max Hunt could have opened the scoring in the 11th minute when he met Dale Gorman’s corner emphatically. He glanced his header wide of the left post after out-jumping the entire defence.
As Glovers adjusted to their new shape, they didn’t keep hold of the ball as well as the gulf might suggest they should. Lo-Everton had a sight of goal from distance and attempted a speculative lob over Garnham which went wide.
As the half wore on, Yeovil held onto possession more comfortably and started pressuring Needham Market into mistakes, with the goalkeeper looking particularly uncomfortable with the ball at his feet.
Adi Yussuf had a decent, if not awkward, chance to put Yeovil in front in the 26th minute. The striker found a chunk of space in the 18 yard box as the ball looped over his head, he swung his left foot at it but his connection wasn’t on point.
Just before the half an hour mark, the club’s music man got his moment to bring some samba music to the ‘masses’ as MORGAN WILLIAMS found himself in the unusual position of the opponents penalty box. The fullback strode onto Yussuf’s drilled cross and put past the keeper to open the scoring. 1-0
Seemingly content with 1-0, Yeovil took their foot off the pedal and allowed their opponents to have a bit of the ball. Just before half time, Yussuf had a good opportunity to double the Glovers’ lead but he dragged his left-footed shot wide.
The tie was evened up in first half stoppage time, after some dismal defending from a set piece and a couple of fortunate ricochets, BEN FOWKES smashed the ball past Smith. 1-1
Half time: Yeovil Town 1 Needham Market 1
The Glovers came out with more of a purpose in the second half, with Dale Gorman determined to get the shots in early.
Needham Market had a great opportunity to take the lead in the 52nd minute, but were denied by a determined, last ditch tackle from Josh Staunton.
And it was last-ditch defending at the other end of the pitch moments later. Barnett’s out-swinging corner was headed towards goal but blocked by Yussuf in front of the keeper who scrambled to clear the ball away from goal.
Needham Market had penalty appeals turned down by the referee on the hour, as their striker Luke Ingram went down with Josh Staunton nearby.
To liven up the attack, Sarll withdrew Yussuf for Tom Knowles, prompting a change of shape to the more familiar 4-3-3 with Reuben Reid the central striker.
The Glovers opponents weren’t fazed by the arrival of Knowles (#DWILWF) and carved out a good chance through Callum Page cutting inside from the right. His Bergkamp-esque effort wasn’t Bergkamp-esque in execution and it glided high and wide.
Buoyed by Yeovil’s lack of impetus and the increase in unforced errors, the Southern League side grew into the half and had Ingram’s header been a bit lower they would have been in-front. The striker beat Max Hunt to the ball and his attempt had green tinted supporters holding their breath.
As the clock ticked closer towards the 90th minute and a potential penalty shootout, Sarll urged his players forward and introduced our marquee summer signing, Mark Little, for his first competitive appearance in a Yeovil shirt.
There was a handful of hopeful crosses, but truthfully, Yeovil didn’t stretch their part time opponents who defended resolutely and nearly nicked it in stoppage time but for Smith’s heroics in goal. Fowkes, who was lively all game caused havoc in the box before his charged down shot rebounded to Ingram who should have clinched the tie.
In normal time, it finished 1-1 and the game went straight to a penalty shootout.
Full time: Yeovil Town 1 Needham Market 1
Ingram – scored
Hammond – scored
Marshall-Miranda – saved
Page – scored
Fowkes – saved
Collard – scored
K. Morphew – scored
Dye – scored
D. Morphew – scored
Sayer – Saved
Garnham – scored
Barnet – scored
Reid – saved
Gorman – scored
Bradley – scored
Lo-Everton – saved
Knowles – scored
Robinson – scored
Staunton – scored
Smith – scored
Little – saved
Williams – saved