Yeovil Town gained their biggest win of the 2016-17 season as they thrashed Crawley Town 5-0 at Huish Park. In a one-sided encounter, the Sussex side were never really in the match at any stage, with the home side's front line running rampant throughout. Tom Eaves opened the scoring after he flicked an Otis Khan shot into the net. Then Eaves provided a flick-on for Ryan Hedges to score, and by half time it was 3-0 as Khan converted a Kevin Dawson cross. There was no letting up in the second period as Khan got his second of the day, as he followed up on a saved Hedges shot, and then Khan set up substitute Francois Zoko for Yeovil's fifth of the day, lifting them into 6th position and into the play-off slots for the first time.
The Glovers went into the match naming an unchanged line-up from the one that drew against Accrington Stanley last weekend, with the only alteration being on the bench as Matt Butcher returned from his suspension to displace Kyle Copp, who was the only fit player to miss out on the teamsheet. In the Crawley line-up, Matt Harrold (Achilles) and Lewis Young (suspended) missed out on their chance to play against their old clubs, leaving just former loanee Billy Clifford starting, whilst former trialist Conor Henderson sat on the bench.
Right from the start of the match, Crawley looked second best. Whilst Yeovil Town didn't have too many clear-cut chances, with a Ryan Dickson shot going wide of the target, they were on top in terms of play in the middle third, but as per recent matches they needed to make sure they created something before the game started drifting. They got that breakthrough 16 minutes into the match when Otis Khan got on the ball and sent a shot towards the far post. Rather than let it run, Tom Eaves flicked out at the ball, deliberately diverting it into the back of the net for the opening goal of the game.
That seemed to settle the Glovers down, whilst rattling Crawley. Alex Lacey headed over the crossbar from a corner, before just short of the half hour mark, Yeovil's lead was doubled. A long ball forward by Nathan Smith was flicked on by Tom Eaves, with the ball falling into the path of Ryan Hedges. He controlled the ball before firing home from just inside the box, to give a rare buffer at 2-0 up.
Crawley were poor, with Jordan Roberts' free kick that narrowly went over the bar one of very few chances they had. In fact, one of their best was created by Yeovil's own defence, as Alex Lacey's clearance ricocheted off the body of Nathan Smith for a corner. At the other end, Yeovil could have easily been 3-0 up when Tom Eaves forced Glenn Morris into a strong save from a header, and then crashed the rebound shot against the crossbar, before Kevin Dawson put the third attempt wide of the target. But the next goal was coming, and three minutes before the break, Dawson's cross into the box found Otis Khan, and the wide man netted from inside the box, to pretty much end the game as a contest, even before the half time cuppa.
The visitors' decision to perform a half time double substitution of both full-backs perhaps showed the dominance of Otis Khan and Ryan Hedges during the opening 45 minutes. A new pair were given a chance to plug the wide gaps, whilst Bevis Mugabi replaced Liam Shephard who had picked up a knock just before the break, as well as a caution that will almost certainly see him suspended next weekend. But Crawley's changes made little difference - six minutes into the half, Alex Lawless fed Ben Whitfield, and then those two wide men combined once again - Ryan Hedges had a shot that Glenn Morris saved, but Otis Khan was there to follow up the rebound.
Ryan Hedges and Tom Eaves threatened to combine for another as they provided a great flowing move between the pair, with a Hedges shot going just wide. Then Crawley had a fifteen minute period in which they vaguely looked as though they might get a consolation as Yeovil took their foot off the gas a little bit - a Adi Yussuf shot that was saved at the near post by an otherwise unoccupied Artur Krysiak was about as good as it got for them though. Yeovil's not so secret super sub though is Francois Zoko - every goal he's netted this season has been from the bench, and he needed just three minutes on the pitch to grab his fourth of the season. Once again the wide men were the destructors, as Ryan Hedges went on a run that found Otis Khan, and he set Zoko up to score the fifth and final goal of the afternoon.
Zoko could have had another if his shot in the final ten minutes had not been deflected out for a corner. But those five goals were good enough to lift them above Wycombe Wanderers on goals scored, and into the play-off positions in sixth place. There are of course 27 matches still left to play in the season, but with the club's unbeaten run now heading out to eight matches in League Two fixtures, the Glovers will feel that particularly their home form would stand them a chance of keeping themselves there. The biggest win of the season so far, for a side that had previously struggled to score goals, is not a bad way to get there.
Link: 2016-17 Latest League Two Table.
Final Score: Yeovil Town 5 Crawley Town 0.
Scorers: Tom Eaves (1-0, 16 mins), Ryan Hedges (2-0, 28 mins), Otis Khan (3-0, 42 mins), Otis Khan (4-0, 51 mins), Francois Zoko (5-0, 73 mins)
1. Artur Krysiak
2. Liam Shephard 6. Alex Lacey 3. Nathan Smith 11. Ryan Dickson (Capt)
7. Kevin Dawson 8. Alex Lawless 28. Ben Whitfield
10. Otis Khan 9. Tom Eaves 23. Ryan Hedges
12. Jonny Maddison 5. Bevis Mugabi (46 mins for Liam Shephard) 13. Francois Zoko (70 mins for Tom Eaves) 14. Josh Ezewele 16. Matt Butcher 18. Omar Sowumni 19. Tahvon Campbell (78 mins for Ben Whitfield)
12. Glenn Morris
20. Aryan Tajbakhsh 5. Alex Davey 6. Mark Connolly 14. Andre Blackman
4. Josh Payne 8. Jimmy Smith 21. Adi Yussuf 18. Billy Clifford
11. Jordan Roberts 19. James Collins
1. Mitchell Beeney 7. Enzio Boldewijn (46 mins for Andre Blackman) 16. Addison Garnett 17. Bobson Bawling (46 mins for Aryan Tajbakhsh) 24. Aliu Djalo 44. Conor Henderson (62 mins for Jordan Roberts) 33. Sanchez Watt
Yeovil Bookings: Liam Shephard (foul, 38 mins)
Crawley Bookings: Alex Davey (foul, 10 mins), Josh Payne (foul, 21 mins), Aryan Tajbakhsh (foul, 41 mins), Jordan Roberts (foul, 48 mins)
Yeovil Match Statistics: Possession: 53%; Shots: 18; Shots On Target: 6; Corners: 2; Fouls: 13.
Crawley Match Statistics: Possession: 47%; Shots: 7; Shots On Target: 2; Corners: 3; Fouls: 14.
Referee: Charles Breakspear (Surrey). Assistants: Adrian Tranter (Dorset) and Kevin Howick (Oxfordshire). Fourth Official: Lee Swabey (Devon).
Attendance: 2,817 (with 79 Crawley supporters).
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