Walsall 0 Yeovil Town 2 (AET) – Tuesday 9th August 2016
In August 2016, Matt Dolan scored one of the greatest ever goals for Yeovil, a Beckham-esque 65-yard effort from inside his own half against Walsall in the first round of the League Cup.
Yeovil were in League Two at the time and their opponents in League One, having recently been to Wembley in the Football League Trophy under Dean Smith, so it sort of counts as an upset as well. After a goalless 90 minutes at the Bescot, an Alex Lacey header was deflected in by Bakayoko to give the Glovers the lead in the first half of extra time. Dolan’s spectacular effort sealed the deal in the 111th minute. Yeovil would go on to play Everton at Goodison in the second round, trailing 1-0 to a goal from Aaron Lennon for much of the match, before further goals from Ross Barkley and Kone wrapped up the win. Everton put out a strong line-up in front of just under 25,000 – Lukaku played 90 minutes, but didn’t score.
Hero on that night Matt Dolan was not best-known for his scoring exploits, scoring 9 goals in 103 appearances. He first joined us on loan from parent club Middlesbrough in January 2013 as cover for the injured Joe Edwards. He made his league debut for Yeovil just before his 20th birthday in a 2-0 win against Sheffield Utd that was part of our eight-match winning run on the way to the League One play-offs. His first loan spell was cut short by injury but he made a return right at the end of the season, scoring a goal and assist on his first start back, a vital 2-1 win at Notts County which ended a run of one win in eight and took us back into the play-off places. The winner that day came from a direct free kick, his only goal that season. He played in five of the last ten matches, and came on briefly as a substitute for James Hayter in the play-off final.
Over the next few years Matt had spells at home town club Hartlepool as well as Bradford, before making a surprise return to Yeovil in 2015 after the Glovers were relegated to League Two. Over the next two seasons he was ever-present, making 94 appearances and scoring eight times. Many of his goals were penalties, but aside from that highlights were probably the goal that kick-started the fightback that would end with an injury-time 4-3 win at Barnet, and the free kicks he scored both home and away in wins over Crewe in the same season, the second of which in April 2017 was his last goal for the club.
Refusing a new contract at the end of 2016/17, Matt signed for fellow League Two side Newport, where he still plays today, making over 200 appearances to date.
Team that day: Artur Krysiak, Liam Shephard (sub. Bevis Mugabi, 54), Ryan Dickson, Matt Butcher, Alex Lacey, Matt Dolan, Alex Lawless, Kevin Dawson, Otis Khan (sub. Tahvon Campbell, 101), Ryan Hedges, Tom Eaves (sub. Omar Sowunmi, 115). Subs not used: Jonny Maddison, Joe Lea
By coincidence, this day 18th August back in 2009 also saw another long range effort for the Glovers, this time Ryan Mason’s spectacular volley against Exeter, when the 18-year old was on loan from Spurs.
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