Two goals in the last ten minutes saw Yeovil Town forced to a Second Round Replay at the Highbury Stadium, as they let a 2-0 lead slip against the Cod Army. Another long-range strike from Ed Upson had been added to by an excellent Conor Clifford goal early in the second period, but home side Fleetwood Town roared back during the final eight minutes, with Kieran Charnock and a Jamie Milligan penalty ensuring the two sides will meet again at Huish Park in around ten days time.
Yeovil made just one change to their starting line-up with Gareth Stewart coming in for Rene Gilmartin who was denied permission to play by his parent club Watford. The Hornets did the same with striker Gavin Massey, whilst there was a surprise as Tottenham Hotspur also blocked Jonathan Obika from playing in the tie. The end result was that Yeovil could only field a six man bench, with Alistair Slowe included on that bench, and no substitute goalkeeper.
The game took a long time to warm up, with both sides failing to keep the ball on the deck in blustery conditions. Fleetwood controlled the midfield though, and in doing so looked marginally the better side, albeit without creating too much. A Jamie Milligan free kick was deflected off the wall for a corner for the first chance of the match that took 16 minutes to come.
It took Yeovil Town 32 minutes to even remotely threaten the Fleetwood goal, and when they did it was incisive. Ed Upson received the ball on the edge of the box, and fired in yet another beauty from the edge of the box, and into the far corner, giving goalkeeper Scott Davies no chance whatsoever. 1-0 up, and probably not deserved on the balance of play, but certainly deserved for the quality of the strike. Anyone putting Ed Upson on a new contract yet?
The Glovers should have been another goal to the good minutes later, when Luke Ayling made a surging run in from the flank, firing a shot that Scott Davies could only parry directly into the path of Kieran Agard, whose hesitance was costly, letting the ball come onto him, and allowing right-back Shaun Beeley to block out his attempt. Shortly after that, Agard again was wasteful, as he took too many touches, allowing defenders to close him down inside the box, with his eventual shot deflecting just wide of the right-hand upright for another corner. In the end, it was Yeovil who finished as the stronger team, with the goal allowing them to find their feet against the home side as the went in for the break.
A perfect start to the second period saw Yeovil increase their grip on the match when a great spot of counter-attacking gave them a second goal. Andy Williams bombed up the right flank, and running level with him was Conor Clifford who received a perfect inside pass into a centre-forward's position, and the Chelsea midfielder fired home into the roof of the net. 2-0 up and a buffer to cope with during the second period.
Fleetwood tried to battle back, with Jamie Vardy getting the ball in the net, albeit long after a linesman's flag had stopped play. A series of corners put pressure on the goal in swirling conditions, whilst a Jamie Vardy shot across the face of goal could have been converted at the far post were it not for a Fleetwood player spooning the ball as he tried to break the net. They had plenty of pressure, but didn't seem to know how to carve out the chances that they needed to get back into the game.
At the other end, Conor Clifford had a couple of long range chances, as he shot just wide of the target following a Kieran Agard pass, whilst another attempt went over the bar. But with eight minutes remaining, matters became rather dicey when Peter Till's left wing cross finally struck gold for Fleetwood, as Kieran Charnock's diving header saw him ghost in from the full-back position to pull them back to 2-1.
Suddenly the home side believed in themselves, and big target man Richard Brodie seemed to cause the Glovers defence plenty of problems in the closing stages, along with the swirling wind and the rain. With two minutes remaining, Kieran Charnock was judged to be fouled inside the box, with referee Robert Madley pointing to the spot for what appeared to be a fairly generous decision. Up stepped Jamie Milligan, who fired into the top left, with Gareth Stewart's dive not quite good enough to get a hand on it.
Four minutes of injury time saw the home side hoping for a winning goal as they seized the momentum, but that five and final strike never came. For the Glovers, they will need to take the positive that they are in the hat for the Third Round, but in truth, they invited far too much pressure during the closing stages of the match, with often eleven men behind the ball. They will have to pick themselves up for the long journey home, and see who comes out of the hat for tomorrow afternoon's draw.
Final Score: Fleetwood Town 2 Yeovil Town 2.
Scorers: Ed Upson (0-1, 32 mins), Conor Clifford (0-2, 49 mins), Kieran Charnock (1-2, 82 mins), Jamie Milligan (2-2, pen, 89 mins)
1. Scott Davies
2. Shaun Beeley 6. Nathan Pond 23. Kieran Charnock 13. Alan Goodall
19. Gareth Seddon 7. Sean Clancy 8. Jamie Milligan 18. Jamie McGuire
33. Jamie Vardy 14. Andy Mangan
16. Danzelle St Louis-Hamilton (GK) 5. Steve McNulty (46 mins for Steve McNulty) 9. Richard Brodie (73 mins for Sean Clancy) 10. Magno Vieira 11. Peter Till (57 mins for Sean Clancy) 15. Keith Briggs 17. Stefan Cox
Yeovil Town: (4-1-2-1-2)
24. Gareth Stewart
2. Luke Ayling 5. Paul Huntington 4. Bondz N'Gala 14. Max Ehmer
20. Paul Wotton
6. Dominic Blizzard 8. Edward Upson
37. Conor Clifford
7. Andrew Williams 18. Kieran Agard
9. Steve MacLean (86 mins for Conor Clifford) 15. Kerrea Gilbert 16. Oli Johnson (79 mins for Andy Williams) 23. Billy Gibson 31. Alistair Slowe 40. Rhys Baggridge
Fleetwood Bookings: Steve McNulty (52 mins, foul)
Yeovil Bookings: None.
Referee: Robert Madley (West Yorkshire). Assistants: Darren England (South Yorkshire) and Adrian Holmes (West Yorkshire). Fourth Official: Dean Mohareb.
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