A double from top scorer Rhys Murphy booked Yeovil Town a place in the Second Round of the FA Cup with a win over National League Gateshead at Huish Park on Saturday.

The Glovers made (another) fast start with Murphy latching on to a long ball forward from Joe Day to open the scoring with just a minute on the board, before Jordan Stevens latched on to a pass from Murphy to double the score after 26 minutes.

In the second half, Murphy poked home his second before a penalty from Marcus Dinanga pulled a goal back from the penalty spot and the National League’s top scorer added a second five minutes in to seven minutes of added time.

But it is Yeovil who will be Ball 33 in the draw for the Second Round which will be made at 2.30pm on Sunday, live on ITV1.

First half

Mark Cooper introduced Rhys Murphy and Frank Nouble back in to his starting XI after the pair started on the bench seven days ago in the National League South win over Braintree Town.

Speaking ahead of the match, the boss said the top scorer (that’s Murphy, by the way) was “gagging” to play and was being “let loose” with a trip to Torquay United coming up on Tuesday night.

And, the boss could not have been more of a prophet if he’d tried, as MURPHY gave the home side the lead after just three minutes. The striker latched on to a long ball from goalkeeper Joe Day which bounced over the Gateshead defence and excellent control on the edge of the box saw Murphy beat his man and lift a shot over Archie Mair in the visitors’ goal. There was probably a touch from a Gateshead defender along the way, but you try taking that goal off him.

Day was playing with Petr Cech-style head protection. We learnt after the match that the on-loan Newport County player had been in hospital during the week after suffering a spider bite close to his ear. No, seriously – read here.

Joe Day’s head gear.
Picture courtesy of Debs Curtis.

That stunned Gateshead – a side who ran out 4-0 winners when these sides met up in Tyneside back in April – who started to grow back in to the game. Kyran Lofthouse had a shot from range deflected wide before Ed Francis had an effort blocked on 15 minutes.

But when Yeovil went forward they looked dangerous and on 22 minutes a lovely bit of build up play down the left-hand side involving Will Dawes and Nouble saw the strike whip the ball in to Jordan Stevens driving in on goal but, with a bit of help from Stephen Wearne, he skied it over the bar from close rangfe. Soon after, Murphy found himself unmarked inside the box but could not get enough power on his header.

But on 26 minutes, the home side doubled the lead. A great run forward by Jake Wannell moved the ball forward, fed a ball through to Murphy who made a great turn and fed it to Jordan STEVENS smashed a great angled drive past Mair. First a goal and then an assist from Murphy – literally gagging for it!

Yeovil Town celebrate after Jordan Stevens doubled the advantage.
Picture courtesy of Debs Curtis.

There was a sickening moment where Gateshead midfielder Stephen Wearne collided with the advertising boards two minutes later. He received some treatment and fortunately was able to return to the fray.

Nouble and Murphy combined again to set up Matt Worthington who came within a whisker of adding a third.

As the game ticked in to injury time, midfielder Callum Whelan put an effort over the bar before good play by Will Dawes found Worthy, but his effort was straight at Mair who palmed it away allowing the visitors to clear the danger.

Half time: Yeovil Town 2 Gateshead 0


Second half

The second half started with a concerning moment when Alex Whittle went down and needed some treatment. Cue discussion about who could possibly play left-back. The answer for the few moments he was off the pitch was Will Dawes, but fortunately Whittle quickly returned to the fold.

Great play involving Smith saw the ball break to Nouble down the right hand side who put his foot through the ball but his effort was straight at Mair who parried it out as far as Smith whose effort rocketed wide.

Just after the hour mark it was 3-0 to the Glovers. Nouble again caused problems down the right, but his ball drilled in to the box was blocked and Regan Booty looked to have time to clear it, unfortunately (for Booty) he was robbed by Murphy allowing the ball to break to Stevens. Mair did well to block the shot with his feet but could only push it as far as MURPHY who lashed home his second. 

Rhys Murphy celebrates his second goal in front of the Thatcher’s Stand.
Picture courtesy of Debs Curtis

But the visitors were given a golden opportunity to pull a goal back when the faintest of nudges from Smith saw the National League’s top-scorer Dinanga (embarrassingly) tumble inside the box. Shock, horror, the referee gave it and it was DINANGA who stepped up send Joe Day the wrong way from the penalty spot.

Heads did not drop from Yeovil with good play from Dawes winning a corner which led to a foul being awarded against the visiting keeper.

That was Dawes’ last involvement as he was replaced by Jordan Young after 70 minutes, and two minutes later Murphy was withdrawn (presumably with Torquay United in mind) in place of Jake Hyde.

Perhaps with the trip to South Devon in 72 hours in mind, manager Mark Cooper saw withdrew the impressive Frank Nouble and goalscorer Jordan Stevens for Zac Bell and Sonny Cox.

Jake Wannell had a glorious chance to make it four with five minutes of normal time remaining. A ball in from Young was left by Morgan Williams for his central defensive partner who did not show the ball-striking ability he has shown previously.

But, the visitors ensured a nervy finish when they pulled another goal back with five minutes of the seven added on played. A shot from the edge of the box by substitute Aidan Rutledge deflected off the boot of Wannell, who was closing the striker down, and looped over Day and on to the crossbar and DINANGA was on the spot to head past Morgan Williams on the line.

The final whistle from referee Gary Parsons was met with a combination of relief and jubilation and means that our home match with Slough Town on December 2 will be moved to match way for a Second Round tie.

Full time: Yeovil Town 3 Gateshead 2


Match Details

Venue: Huish Park
Saturday 4th November, 3pm kick-off

Pitch: Held up well considering the battering the surface (albeit covered) had taken in the week leading up to the game
Conditions: It didn’t rain until the 85th minute

Attendance: 3,241

Scorers: Rhys Murphy 1 (1-0), Jordan Stevens 26 (2-0), Rhys Murphy 64 (3-0), Marcus Dinanga pen 67(3-1), Marcus Dinanga 90+5 (3-2).

Yeovil Town: 
Michael Smith 45+3, Alex Whittle 89
Gateshead: Kenton Richardson 41, Rutledge 90+2

Referee: Gary Parsons

Yeovil Town (4-4-2)


Substitutes: Jordan Young (for Will Dawes, 70), Jake Hyde (for Rhys Murphy, 72), Zac Bell (for Frank Nouble, 79), Sonny Cox (for Jordan Stevens, 79), Josh Staunton, Josh Owers, Jordan Maguire-Drew,  Alex Fisher.

Gateshead: Mair, Richardson, Grayson, Booty, Lofthouse (for Hunter, 64), Wearne (for Rutledge, 73), Whelan (for Chadwick, 64), Francis, Olley, McBride (for Hannant, 81), Dinanga.
Substitutes (not used): Storey, Allan, Hunter, Pani.


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Nick Winch
5 months ago

What a win – and congratulations to Gloverscast for getting a match report online before the ytfc twitter account even said the game was over! (well, on my PC anyway)!