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Match Reports

Report: Late heartbreak for Town as we exit the Checkatrade Trophy

6 February 2018

Fleetwood were left stunned in second half stoppage time as Francois Zoko sent Yeovil Town in the semi-final of the Checkatrade Trophy with a 3-2 win at Huish Park.

In a frantic second half, Zoko won it after Jordy Hiwula had equalised. The first half saw Cian Bolger open the scoring, before Wes Burns scored an own goal to see the scores level at half time before Corey Whelan made it 2-1 deep into the second half.

Hiwula levelled things late on, but it was to be The Glovers who progressed to the last four of the Checkatrade Trophy.

In his 100th game in charge of the Cod Army, Rosler made seven changes from the game against Scunthorpe with the notable inclusion of Bobby Grant, who started his first game since the game with Bury in the previous round.

Fleetwood started brightly in snowy conditions in Somerset and could have been ahead inside four minutes. Bolger headed Kevin O’Connor’s free kick into the path of Hiwula, who volleyed over Artur Krysiak’s goal.

Markus Schwabl then hit a bouncing volley from the edge of the area, which took a deflection and forced Krysiak into an acrobatic save. It was from that corner that Town took a deserved lead, as Bolger rose highest to head O’Connor’s ball in.

Conor McAleny then rolled an effort wide Town dominated the early proceedings.

Yeovil’s first chance came when Jake Gray fired a shot into the area, which took a deflection and went behind. It was the home side that equalised themselves from the corner, as Gray’s ball found the head of the unfortunate Burns, who turned into his own net.

The Glovers then grew into the game with a period of strong pressure, but Town’s defence remained resilient against their pacey attack.

Corners seemed to be Fleetwood’s favoured form of having chances, and it was Bolger again who rose highest, but this time the Irishman’s effort was blocked by a home player and cleared away.

The first action of the second half saw Grant curl an effort wide of the mark after picking up the ball on the edge of the box.

Alex Cairns was then forced into a diving save as Gray thundered a free kick in his direction from distance.

The hosts then took the lead after a fine curling effort from Whelan found its way past Cairns when it came to him just inside the area, to make it 2-1.

There were encouraging signs from Rosler’s men as they battled for an equaliser with the game closing in on the final twenty minutes.

Harrison Biggins was introduced to the fray and the youngster looked calm and composed in the centre of the park with an impressive performance. Rosler then made two more changes with Kyle Dempsey and Ash Hunter replacing Grant and Burns.

Hunter made almost an instant impact as he beat his man on the right hand side and played in Hiwula who fired at Krysiak from close range. He produced a good block.

Town finally did equalise in bizarre fashion through Hiwula, but perhaps he didn’t know too much about it. It was Hunter’s cross that caused all the problems as Krysiak came out to catch, but instead fumbled and the ball ricocheted off Hiwula and into the net.

That left the game level with five minutes to go, and without a winner in 90, the game would go to penalties.

Four added minutes were shown at the end of the game, and there was to be drama, as Yeovil grabbed a late, late goal. It was the substitute Zoko who scored it, as he went through on goal and smashed it past Cairns with a powerful drive.

That was the goal that ended Fleetwood’s Wembley dream, but it was a memorable run from the Cod Army. A special mention must go to hardy 16 Town supporters that made the long trek South.

Yeovil Town XI: Krysiak (GK), Smith ©, Bird, Browne (Santos), Gray (Smith), Surridge (Zoko), Green, Sowunmi, Fisher, Whelan, James.

Subs not used: Maddison (GK), Donnellan, Dickson, Gobern.

Fleetwood Town XI: Cairns (GK), Coyle, O’Connor, Eastham, Hiwula, Burns, McAleny, Grant, Bolger ©, Schwabl (Biggins), Sowerby.

Subs not used: Crellin (GK), Maguire, Sheron, Donohue.

Referee: G Ward

Attendance: 1,314 (16 away)


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