Yeovil Town breezed into the semi-final of the Errea South-West Challenge Cup after a Chertsey Town side managed to keep them at bay for the whole of the first half, only to implode in the space of 10 goal-filled controversial minutes. Goals from Andy Kirk and Nathan Jones, plus two from former Youth-Teamer Ren Turnock swept the Surrey side away, but the non-leaguers will have been left wondering about the performance of the match referee who intervened at a crucial moment of the game to chalk off a Chertsey 'goal' twice.
For the first time in pre-season the Glovers adopted a 4-4-2 formation, starting mostly with those who had warmed the bench on the previous evening. Andy Kirk and Lloyd Owusu finally got a chance to see what they could do at the start of a match as Tomlin and Warne made way.
On a much better pitch than yesterday, apart from a slope that made the old Huish ground look like a snooker table, the Glovers passed the ball around well, forcing the Chertsey keeper - believed to actually have been borrowed from Bideford Reserves for the night! - into several strong saves. However, as the half wore on, chances thinned out, and a few individuals seemed to be trying just that little bit too hard to impress the manager, trying to take the ball and the shots on their own, when a bit of simple passing would not have gone amiss. As a result, Chertsey managed to survive until the break, where the Glovers made a double substitution, introducing Aaron Brown and Owen Irish to the team.
The Glovers took the lead eight minutes into the 40 minute second half, when Marc Bircham laid the ball off for Nathan Jones on the left flank, and the full-back's cross was met from close range by Andy Kirk to put his side a goal up. At last with the deadlock broken, there was the chance for Yeovil to enjoy their football that little bit more.
They were though given a helping hand by the man in the middle. Having won a free kick a few yards outside the box, Chertsey 'scored' not once, but twice! Curling it perfectly over the defensive wall they landed the ball in the net only for the referee to disallow the strike due to the whistle not having been blown. Just 30 seconds later, with the wall lined up again, the match official disallowed a second superb free kick for the same offence! When Chertsey's third attempt was tipped over the bar, one of the comments aimed at the match official saw him reach for his notebook. Even Yeovil fans were feeling sorry for the Chertsey players by this stage.
No such mercy shown though by the Yeovil players. Amidst a series of three substitutions, including the loss of Lloyd Owusu to what looked to be a groin strain, they took advantage in clinical fashion. Nathan Jones was fed by Kieran Murtagh out on the left flank, and the Welshman changed his footing twice to give himself room on the corner of the area before powering home to put the Glovers 2-0 up.
Next Ren Turnock was put away by Gavin Tomlin and the youth team graduate netted with his first touch on the park, only to net again a minute later. Murtagh put away Troy Hewitt and the young striker drew out the beleagured Chertsey keeper in a one-on-one. Hewitt's shot was saved but straight into the path of the incoming Turnock who grabbed his second and Yeovil's fourth of the night.
From there-on Chertsey barely threatened, although to their credit they did get the goal their efforts deserved, with the last kick of the game - literally. Lee Peltier stuck a boot out on the box and brought down a Chertsey striker, and they were able to net from the spot to at least give them some joy out of the evening.
The Glovers now go into the semi-final of the competition, where they will play the runner-up in Group 1 at 8.00pm on Saturday night at Mill Road, Barnstaple. Their opponents will only be known by the end of tomorrow evening.
Final Score: Chertsey Town 1 Yeovil Town 4.
Scorers: Andy Kirk (48 mins, 0-1), Nathan Jones (56 mins, 0-2), Ren Turnock (58 mins, 0-3), Ren Turnock (59 mins, 0-4), Chertsey Goal (80 mins, penalty, 1-4).
Yeovil Town (4-4-2):
1. Corrin Brooks-Meade
12. Craig Alcock 5. Scott Guyett 6. Terrell Forbes 3. Nathan Jones
17. Aidan Downes 4. Lee Peltier 7. Marc Bircham 2. Nathan Smith
9. Lloyd Owusu 16. Andy Kirk
Aaron Brown (46 mins for Scott Guyett)
Owen Irish (46 mins for Craig Alcock)
Kieran murtagh (55 mins for Terrell Forbes)
Ren Turnock (55 mins for Aidan Downes)
Troy Hewitt (55 mins for Andy Kirk)
Gavin Tomlin (58 mins for Lloyd Owusu)
Bookings: Marc Bircham (foul), Lee Peltier (foul)
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