Venue: Huish Park
Saturday 4th February, 3pm kick-off
Conditions: Cold and dry
Pitch: Must’ve been hot, scorched grass in front of the Thatcher’s
Attendance: 2,421 (54 away supporters)
Scorers: Sha’mar Lawson 20 (0-1), Alex Fisher 67 (1-1), Alex Fisher 70 (2-1), Jerome Binnom-Williams 90 (2-2)
Yeovil Town: Morgan Williams 90
Maidstone United: Hady Ghandour 58, Jereome Binnom-Williams 90+5
Referee: Adrian Quelch
Substitutes: Alex Fisher (for Jack Clarke, 46), Chiori Johnson (for Ben Richards-Everton, 46), Charlie Wakefield (for Chiori Johnson, 75), Jordan Young, Will Buse.
Maidstone United: Barden, Fowler, Corne, Barham, Booty, Binnom-Williams, Deacon, Bone, Jobe, Lawson, Cawley. Substitutes: Ghandour (for Booty, 58), Pattison (for Cawley, 68) Mersin, Alabi, Jeche.
An injury time equaliser from Jerome Binnom-Williams saw bottom club Maidstone United inflict a 14th draw of the season on Yeovil Town at Huish Park.
A second half brace from substitute Alex Fisher looked to have earned the Glovers a win after a Sha’mar Lawson gave the visitors the lead in a first half they utterly controlled with the home team booed off the pitch at the interval.
But, with a minute of injury time played at the end of the match Binnom-Williams rose highest to earn a point.
With Owen Bevan missing through suspension, Yeovil went for a three-man back line of Ben Richards-Everton, captain Josh Staunton and Morgan Williams with Edwin Agbaje and Jordan Maguire-Drew playing as “aggressive” wing-backs, according to boss Mark Cooper’s pre-match interview with BBC Somerset.
Richards-Everton was straight in to the action clearing off the line after Jerome Binnom-Williams and Roarie Deacon combined to get the first effort in on the hosts’ goal.
Three minutes later, Deacon combined with Jack Barham who chipped the ball up for Jack Cawley whose header was weak but held by Grant Smith. It was comfortable for Yeovil’s number one, but a nervous start for the Glovers who were struggling to get through midfield in the early exchanges.
The tempo which was seen in the first half against Wealdstone four days earlier was missing for Yeovil, often the case when we play with a back three – and Mark Cooper spotted this and quickly changed to a back four. Richards-Everton moved to left-back, Agbaje to the right and Staunton and Morgan Williams adopted the central defensive positions. That saw Maguire-Drew move further forward.
However, it was the visitors who took the lead after 20 minutes through a move which belied their lowly status. A superb move through midfield involving Deacon and Mamadou Jobe who squared the ball to Sha’mar LAWSON who coolly side-footed in to the bottom corner. It was nothing more than Maidstone deserved.
The first meaningful effort on goal came after 27 minutes when a good run from Matt Worthington fed the ball in to Andrew Oluwabori on the edge of the box, but his effort was over the bar. A meaningful effort, but off target.
The animation of Cooper and his assistant Chris Todd on the touchline spoke volumes for the manager’s opinion on the pedestrian performance. There was no urgency to get the ball out and going forward. Half-time ‘re-programming’ incoming?
As the board came up for injury time, Maidstone midfielder Regan Booty, who scored the late penalty in the 1-1 draw in the reverse fixture, was found on the edge of the box but his low shot went whistling past the post.
The half-time whistle blew to the sound of boos at Huish Park.
Half time: Yeovil Town 0 Maidstone United 1
Cooper responded with a double change at half-time pulling Jack Clarke and Richards-Everton and introducing Alex Fisher and Chiori Johnson, the latter not seen since being taken off at the interval at Torquay on Boxing Day.
Within five minutes of the restart, the tempo rose (it couldn’t really have sunk any lower) and Worthington got a good ball across, crying out for Fisher to throw some part of his body at it. He didn’t and the chance dissipated.
Maidstone dropped deeper defensively in response to Yeovil getting forward more, but still no shot on goal.
One eventually came on 55 minutes when a great ball in to the box from Oluwabori found Worthington at the back post to test Dan Barden in the visitors’ goal, the ball dropped to Oluwabori who went for a spectacular shot outside the box. You can probably guess the rest.
It was the striker’s instincts of Fisher which led to the equaliser on 67 minutes. It was hopeful ball in to the penalty area by Morgan Williams and FISHER took it on the right foot volley and smashed it home. That’s what a striker can do for you. Parity.
Three minutes later, Yeovil were ahead. Great play by Worthington and a combination of Fisher, Chiori Johnson and a Maidstone defender all had dibs on that one. The stadium announcer gave it to FISHER, so we’ll say Fisher, but probably one for the Dubious Goals’ Panel.
If Johnson had had a goal taken off him by Fisher his game got worse when he pulled up with a hamstring injury on 75 minutes. He was replaced by Charlie Wakefield.
A great free-kick in to the box found a head from BINNOM-WILLIAMS which flew over Grant Smith. Fair play to Maidstone, they deserved their point for their first half performance alone and that stopped a run of nine straight defeats for them. For Yeovil, another draw.