FA Cup 4QR :
Hayes 3 – 1 Yeovil Town

Att: 1,242

Line up : (4-4-2)

Chris Weale

Adam Lockwood

Tom White

Terry Skiverton

Anthony Tonkin

Nick Crittenden

Tommy Schram

Michael McIndoe

Andy Turner

Carl Alford

Kim Grant

Subs used: Colin Pluck (61 mins for White), Steve Thompson (82 mins for Crittenden), Chris Giles (61 mins for Turner)

1. Bertrand Bossu, 2. Anthony Charles, 3. Brendan Gallen 4. Jon Ashton 5. Dominic Sterling 6. Matt Elverson 7. Dean Clark 8. Matt Elverson 9. Ian Hodges 10. Ryan Spencer 11. Kevin Warner
Subs used: Mark Molesley (40 mins for Ashton), Michael Currie (78 mins for Spencer), Matthew Grey (82 mins for Gallen)

Scorers: Hodges (2, 1-0), TURNER (38, 1-1), Hodges (39, 2-1), Hodges (89, 3-1).

This report courtesy of Ben Ashby:

Yeovil were without Scott Ramsay, unavailable at the behest of Brighton, and Lee Johnson missed out through suspension. They did, however, have the benefit of good vocal support from the travelling faithful, who easily out-voiced the pitiful scattering of Hayes fans. Presumably there was something else worth doing in Hayes on Saturday, but having strolled through the town on the way to the stadium, I’m buggered if I noticed what it was.

The game kicked off with a hazy sun overhead and a decent pitch underfoot – near perfect conditions, but it was a far from perfect start for the away side. Just 2 minutes into the game Adam Lockwood, whose 1-month loan deal has just been made permanent by Yeovil, inexplicably tried to control a cross from the right with his chest when he should have cleared with his head. The ball fell to Ian Hodges and the Hayes striker played his way into the area with a neat one-two before tucking the ball into the bottom left hand corner.

The away fans groaned collectively, sensing perhaps that it was going to be ‘one of those days’. This perception gathered strength a minute later. Yeovil had a chance to strike back immediately but were denied, not for the last time that day, by Hayes’ gigantic goalkeeper Bertrand Bossu. Anthony Tonkin swung a cross over from the left and Carl Alford got on the end of it, only to see Bossu save his goal-bound effort with his legs.

Yeovil continued to enjoy good possession and penetration down the left flank, and it was from another Tonkin cross that Bossu pulled off the save of the match. The full-back’s cross found Terry Skiverton at the back post and his nod across goal was met in turn by the head of Alford. The ball seemed destined for the onion bag, but Bossu launched his huge frame across goal to palm the ball impossibly away.

Yeovil established a grip on the game for the opening 20 minutes, dominating possession and playing the better football. Hayes were restricted to breakaway attacks, and it was from one such attack that Hodges almost prematurely notched his second goal of the game. Lockwood, who had a very uncertain first period, committed a foul on the left, and Hayes’ set-piece merchant Kevin Warner curled the ball to the back post. Hodges rose above Tom White to head home, but his effort was quite correctly ruled out for climbing all over the Yeovil centre-back.

On 25 minutes, Yeovil missed a golden opportunity to level. Nick Crittenden broke down the right and crossed into the box. Bossu got down to smother, but ended up fumbling the ball. It fell to Alford, but he could only side-foot the ball against the post with the goal yawning. By this stage in proceedings, the away fans were certain it was going to be ‘one of those days’.

Kim Grant sprayed the ball wide to Tonkin on the left, and his searching cross was met by Michael McIndoe, Yeovil’s best and most inventive player on the day, but he could only head over the bar. Shortly afterwards McIndoe was booked for dissent after the referee chose not to award Yeovil a blatant free kick, and Grant followed him into the book for speaking out of turn. These bookings followed that of Skiverton, who could have no complaints after scything down Ryan Spencer.

After the sustained dominance and pressure Yeovil had enjoyed, the equaliser they scored on 38 minutes was a just reward. McIndoe found Grant in the Hayes area, and he twisted his way to the by-line. He then lifted a cross to the back post where Andy Turner headed past Bossu from close range.

If the equaliser Yeovil scored was a just result of sustained pressure and probing, all that good work was thrown away straight from the ensuing kick-off. With the Glovers still telling each other how great they were, Hayes waltzed their way straight through the middle, Hodges finding himself on the end of a through ball and one-on-one with Yeovil stopper Chris Weale. The Hayes man took his second goal as well as his first, slipping the ball under the advancing Weale and into the back of the net.

The life of a Yeovil fan has never been a simple, happy existence. It is at times like these, with the Glovers merrily shooting holes in their feet, that even the most devout followers of the green and white religion call their faith into question. The half-time whistle blew to leave Yeovil fans pondering how their team could have created so many chances and squandered all but one, yet given two goals away at the other end through schoolboy defensive errors. Primary schoolboys at that.

The second half continued in much the same vein as the first period – Yeovil enjoyed a majority of possession and territory and Hayes responded with dangerous, if sporadic, counter attacks. A 25-yard free-kick from McIndoe beat the wall but was saved comfortably by Bossu after a foul on Crittenden, and at the other end a shot from Mark Molesley was deflected over the bar.

The referee was a complete Cyclops, using his one good eye to pick up on Yeovil fouls and ignoring similar offences by the home team. It was not the fact that Turner and Alford (for a clumsy forward’s tackle) joined the names in the book that irked the home fans, more the fact that at least two Hayes players were not cautioned for offences of comparable severity.

Yeovil continued to create and on the hour they crafted a fine move, culminating in a right-wing cross, a deft flick-on from Turner and a shot blazed over the bar by Alford. Then Tonkin burst through in the inside-left channel, only to see his well-struck shot saved by Bossu, who was smartly off his line.

On 62 minutes, Yeovil Boss Gary Johnson made a double change in an attempt to turn the game, White and Turner giving way to Colin Pluck and Chris Giles. The effect was immediate – Giles chased a through ball and what looked like a fifty-fifty was missed, Barthez style, by Bossu who had come tearing from his goal. This left Giles through on goal, with just a defender between him and the net. Giles opted for placement but could only direct the ball into the side netting. In Giles’ defence, he was at an awkward angle and it was his first touch after coming on, but it was another great chance wasted by Yeovil.

On 68 minutes, a goalmouth melee was cleared as far as McIndoe on the edge of the area, but his volley fizzed a foot wide. Hayes’ defending was becoming increasingly desperate, and Yeovil again rattled the woodwork. Grant used his strength to hold off his man on the right of the six yard box, but his drive thumped off the inside of the near post with Bossu beaten. Grant had another half chance from the other side of the box, but his shot was again parried by the colossal Bossu.

The final quarter of an hour consisted of Yeovil pressing forward and throwing balls into the Hayes box. For their part, Hayes defended in numbers (if not entirely convincingly), wasted time and generally spoiled for the final whistle. That duly came, but not after Hodges completed his hat-trick, neatly finishing a Michael Currie cross after a stoppage time breakaway.

In the final analysis Yeovil were undone by defensive errors and profligacy in front of goal, as well as a fair slice of bad luck. They played reasonably well, and could have won the game comfortably. As it happened, the display of clinical finishing came at the other end from Ian Hodges, his hat-trick tripping up Yeovil’s FA Cup run at the first hurdle. Yeovil may be renowned as giant-killers, but there are also occasions when less formidable foes prove more die-hard – and once again this was the story against Hayes. “We are ace,” sang the home fans at the end of the game – on this evidence, not ace, but facing Wycombe Wanderers in the 1st round proper of the FA Cup at Yeovil’s expense nonetheless.