Written by Kurt West
Yeovil’s unbeaten run ended in embarrassing fashion on Tuesday night as they crashed out to Vanarama National side Solihull Moors on penalties after the scores were tied at 1-1 after 120 minutes. Francois Zoko had put the Glovers ahead in the 93rd minute with an exceptional strike, however the lead didn’t last long as Solihull equalised after a shambolic refereeing decision gifted Asante a penalty which he duly put away.
Me and the other Yeovil fans had arrived in the rather bleak Solihull, with high expectations against a team that are still plying their trade as a part time club. That added to our relatively good form made us favourites for the tie but we all knew it’s never as simple as that in the FA Cup. Solihull took a while to calm down after a frantic start and Yeovil shaded the first half without really creating any real clear cut chances, however what we saw for the next 75 minutes was as poor as I have ever seen and I’ve seen some pretty bad times in the least few years (two back to back relegations to name just one). It is still beyond me how Solihull were not leading 3 or 4-0 at full time, they had enough chances in the second half to win several games of football let alone one and we looked truly rattled by the far hungrier and passionate side who deserve full credit for even getting it to a replay after being 2-0 down in the first game at Huish Park. So we scrape it to extra time, now it’s time to really give the players a bollocking and get them firing in extra time, using their superior fitness levels and technical ability, right? For about 3 minutes this looked to be the case, Francois Zoko firing in an absolute rocket off the post. We hadn’t played well but I would’ve took the win and with the way we played it was time to take the sting out of this tie and kill the game as quick as we could, this was another objective we truly failed to pull off. Solihull dominated the rest of extra time and got their chance when the referee gave one of the worst penalty decisions I’ve ever seen, that’s no excuse on our part but I hate to see the referee make such an influence on the game, it felt like he took a year to give it too, which is something that really grinds my gears. Asante duly slotted the penalty away in calm fashion and we were heading to penalties.
I wasn’t confident before the shootout and Dickson opened the shootout with a penalty that matched his performance, horrific. For me, a player should never be missing the target from a penalty but Dickson felt otherwise and decided to smash it so far wide that it felt closer to the corner flag. Solihull took 4 perfect penalties and we had another saved and two which crept in. That was it, Solihull had done it and their penalties summed up their performance. Hungry, calm, collected and passionate. They had truly rattled us and Darren Way now has a huge job to do, to get these players riled up for the game on Saturday against Colchester United. On topic of the manager I thought he had a really poor night, out fought in every area by the opposition manager, on top of that he decided to only use 2 subs in 120 minutes, another decision I found absolutely beyond belief. I am the first person to stick up for Darren but I cannot defend him after this game and he really needs a big week now to get the fans onside again. 6 points better of in the league by this time next week would be a start. A 3 hour journey home did nothing to lighten my mood in what was one of my lowest days following Yeovil.
Artur Krysiak 7 – Unlike Saturday his distribution was pretty much spot on, kept us in the game towards the end and didn’t really do anything wrong so I think 7 is a fair rating.
Liam Shephard 4 – Their left winger ran him ragged all game. Gave away the penalty but as I said, he didn’t actually do anything to the man. Poor game on the whole however.
Darren Ward 5 – One of his poorer games in a Yeovil shirt, nothing massively wrong but I don’t think he pushed the players as much as he could of being the captain.
Alex Lacey 6- Won most of his aerial battles, not at fault for me. Much worse players.
Ryan Dickson 2 – Horrendous performance, felt like he gave away the ball every time he touched it. Never offered anything going forwards and was poor defensively. Rounded his performance off with the worst penalty I’ve ever seen at a live game.
Kevin Dawson 6 – Incredibly lucky to start after he was pretty much the sole reason we were even in this replay but was probably one of our better players on the night and no booking in 120 minutes is an outstanding achievement for him.
Ben Whitfield 5 – Our whole fan base was calling for him to be starting this game but he never really got going and didn’t get involved much. Would like to see him given another chance.
Matty Dolan 5 – Didn’t influence the game at all, poor performance.
Ryan Hedges 3 – After 2 goals in his last 3 I was expecting big things from Ryan. He failed to deliver like most of the team, has an annoying habit of holding onto the ball for too long, incredibly frustrating to watch.
Tom Eaves 2 – Absolutely bullied up front by their centre-half, would be surprised if he won even one header. Completely anonymous.
Otis Khan 5 – The only one of the front three who offered anything going forward. Unfairly taken off in the second half which seems to be a regular thing nowadays.
Francois Zoko 6 – Thought he was extremely lazy when he come on, didn’t link up with Eaves at all, that being said I think Lionel Messi would’ve struggled with Eaves next to him.
Matt Butcher 5 – Like the whole midfield, really offered nothing going forward or back. Horrendous display from our midfield.
Yeovil fans, what were the main reasons for this loss? Can you bounce back in the league? Let us know in the comments below!