Yeovil Town's EFL Trophy tie against West Ham United Under-21s has set a new club record. The 720 supporters (including 83 West Ham supporters) that turned up at Huish Park was the lowest crowd for a competitive fixture since they entered the Football League. The crowd beat the 886 that turned up for the same competition against AFC Wimbledon eleven months previously.
The low point came as little surprise. With both sides mathematically out of the competition, the game became a mid-season friendly match. Add in a midweek match, and some pouring rain, and it ticked all the boxes possible to provide a historical record, since the Glovers moved out of non-league football.
It will also come as little surprise that all of the club's lowest attendances during their Football League era have come as part of EFL Trophy ties, with five of the bottom six attendances coming since the League's controversial decision to revamp the competition as the Checkatrade Trophy, incorporating Under-21 sides from EPPP Category One clubs.
The lowest attendances for competitive fixtures since the summer of 2003 stand as follows, with all relevant to the Football League Trophy:
06/11/2018 : 720 : West Ham United Under-21s (Group Stage)
05/12/2017 : 886 : AFC Wimbledon (Second Round)
10/01/2017 : 1,081 : Reading Under-21s (Third Round)
28/11/2017 : 1,110 : Plymouth Argyle (Group Stage)
01/09/2015 : 1,203 : Barnet (First Round)
06/12/2016 : 1,308 : Milton Keynes Dons (Second Round)
It will take a long long time before any EFL Trophy ties drop below the April 2001 attendance that currently stands as the last occasion crowds dropped below Tuesday night's crowd. On April 30th, they staged a Bob Lord Trophy tie against Kingstonian. With the tie having been postponed on four previous occasions due to a waterlogged pitch, the club were running out of fixture slots to stage the tie. As such when they played the match 24 hours before a huge Conference fixture against Hereford United, it was obvious that the club would be putting out a Reserve Team. Just 295 spectators turned up to watch the Glovers more or less throw the tie, by a 0-5 scoreline.
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