Match Details: 09/01/2018
Yeovil Town 2-0 Forest Green Rovers
Checkatrade Trophy Third Round
Yeovil Goals: Nathan Smith (3), Connor Smith (26)
Yeovil Line-Up: 1. Artur Krysiak, 3. Nathan Smith, 7. Otis Khan, 8. Connor Smith, 10. Jake Gray, 14. Sam Surridge, 15. Jordan Green, 17. Omar Sowunmi, 22. Corey Whelan, 23. Tom James, 30. Alefe Santos
Subs: 4. Jared Bird, 5. Bevis Mugabi, 11. Ryan Dickson, 12. Jonny Maddison, 13. Francois Zoko, 29. Paulius Golubickas,
Substitutes Used: Jared Bird for Alefe Santos (66 mins), Francois Zoko for Jake Gray (70 mins)
Bookings: Omar Sowunmi (Foul, 57), Francois Zoko (Foul, 87)
Yeovil Town gained a comfortable route through to the Quarter-Finals of the EFL Trophy tonight, as they beat Forest Green Rovers by a 2-0 scoreline. They did the damage during the first half, with Nathan Smith getting his side a quickfire lead as he diverted home a move from a corner from close range. The lead was doubled just after the halfway point of that first period when Connor Smith cleverly finished an Otis Khan pull-back. With their Gloucestershire opponents misfiring until the second half, that advantage was good enough to put them out of the trophy and put the Glovers into the final eight.
The Glovers went into the match making five changes to their starting line-up, with Connor Smith, Sam Surridge, Omar Sowunmi, Corey Whelan and Alefe Santos all coming into the eleven. Marcus Barnes and Lewis Wing were forced to sit the game out, having played for their parent clubs earlier in the competition, and that meant the Glovers bench was still a man short even with Academy player Paulius Golubickas staying on the teamsheet. Forest Green's line-up saw Keanu Marsh-Brown make his first trip back to Huish Park since the 2012-13 season, although there was no return for Dale Bennett (ankle) or Reuben Reid (cup-tied) as the visitors made seven changes to their line-up.
They got off to the perfect start when Nathan Smith scored with the first chance of the match. A corner move was played short, and when Omar Sowunmi fired the ball across the face of the box, Smith was there to convert from close range, even if Forest Green players tried in vain to play the offside trap, appealing for the goal to be ruled out. The officials disagreed and Yeovil had a 1-0 lead.
Yeovil spent most of the half having the upper hand, with Alefe Santos shooting wide from the edge of the box, whilst a free kick move allowed Jordan Green to receive the ball short but fire wide. They doubled their lead after 26 minutes with a well-taken goal, as Otis Khan cut the ball back into the path of Connor Smith. The midfielder lifted the ball over the keeper into the top corner of the net giving a 2-0 lead that summed up the gap between the two sides during the early part of the match.
The home team continued to dominate, as Jordan Green broke through in a one-v-one only to have his shot smothered by goalkeeper Bradley Collins with the ball ricocheting out for a goal kick. Tom James saw a long range attempt go wide but was then much closer from a free kick as his 35 yard free kick clipped the top of the crossbar, and over the goal. Forest Green's half was summed up by Keanu Marsh-Brown almost doing an air-swing on a shot, badly slicing the ball wide, and although Dayle Grubb managed a couple of attempts just before the whistle they were well out of the game.
Little surprise that a half time substitution and a formation change saw Forest Green come out more brightly. Reece Brown's shot from distance went wide, and Dayle Grubb found his free kick parried by Artur Krysiak. Whilst that was good play by the home keeper, he almost caused Forest Green to capitalise on a Jordan Simpson cross that he missed, leaving Keanu Marsh-Brown at the back post. It wasn't the winger's night though as he once again sliced it.
The game ended in a scrappy manner, with Forest Green apparently conceding the tie as they chose to make their final substitution the introduction of a 16 year old youth team player, whilst their top goalscorer was sat on the bench twiddling his thumbs. The match ended with Sam Surridge almost adding a third as Francois Zoko set him up, but Bradley Collins got his body in the way - not that it mattered with most of the hard work already done before the game got halfway through.
Final Score: Yeovil Town 2 Forest Green Rovers 0.
Scorers: Nathan Smith (1-0, 3 mins), Connor Smith (2-0, 26 mins)
1. Artur Krysiak
22. Corey Whelan 17. Omar Sowunmi 3. Nathan Smith (Capt) 23. Tom James
10. Jake Gray 30. Alefe Santos 8. Connor Smith 7. Otis Khan
15. Jordan Green 14. Sam Surridge
12. Jonny Maddison (GK) 4. Jared Bird (66 mins for Alefe Santos) 5. Bevis Mugabi 11. Ryan Dickson 13. Francois Zoko (70 mins for Jake Gray) 29. Paul Golubickas
Forest Green Rovers:
1 Bradley Collins
21 Mark Roberts 6 Emmanuel Monthe 3 Scott Laird
33 Luke James 12 Jordan Simpson 15 Charlie Cooper 10 Reece Brown 19 Alex Whittle
7 Keanu Marsh-Brown 8 Dayle Grubb
4 Drissa Traore (46 mins for Scott Laird) 9 Christian Doidge 17 Daniel Wishart (68 mins for Alex Whittle) 18 Callum Evans 24 Harry Pickering 37 Lewis Spurrier (71 mins for Mark Roberts)
Yeovil Bookings: Omar Sowunmi (foul, 57 mins), Francois Zoko (foul, 87 mins)
Forest Green Bookings: Drissa Traore (foul, 82 mins)
Yeovil Match Statistics: Possession: 48%; Shots: 11; Shots On Target: 5; Corners: 4; Fouls: 12.
Forest Green Match Statistics: Possession: 52%; Shots: 8; Shots On Target: 4; Corners: 7; Fouls: 9.
Referee: John Busby (Oxfordshire). Assistants: Andrew Laver (Hampshire) and Justin Amey (Dorset). Fourth Official: Lee Swabey (Devon).
Attendance: 1,395 (with 71 Forest Green supporters).