Full time score: Yeovil 2 – 0 Wycombe
Stadium: Huish Park, Yeovil
Yeovil goalscorer/s: Upson 32', Foley 45'
Wycombe goalscorer/s: None
Official man of the match: Jamie McAllister (Yeovil)
My man of the match: Joe Edwards (Yeovil)
Yeovil Town are now just two wins away from a memorable day out to Wembley after beating League Two side Wycombe Wanderers two goals to nil in the JPT Area Quarter Final at Huish Park on Tuesday.
With the Green & Whites loanees, joint top scorer Paddy Madden and defender Dale Bennett, both cup tied, it was a chance for other fringe players to stake their claim for a first team slot. The Glovers never looked like losing this one from the off and controlled large periods of the game, with the Chairboys being limited to very few good opportunities. On the rare occasion they did break through, Marek Stech or the woodwork was there to deny them.
Wycombe had been in good form before this fixture, winning their last three games in League Two to edge themselves further clear of the relegation zone under new player-manager Gareth Ainsworth. They would have fancied their chances against a Yeovil team whose results have sloped off in the last few weeks – losing two of their last three games including a poor overall performance against Carlisle ten days ago in their last competitive outing.
After that match Gary Johnson vowed to have his team in training every day leading up to this match and it had the desired effect.
The Green and Whites looked more comfortable in possession and had good awareness of the players around them, camping out in the away team's half for much of the first period. Although this was a much improved performance the Glovers still seemed to lack the cutting edge, playing some entertaining and tippy tappy football to the sound of oles in front of a disappointing 1,771 crowd. They just seemed to lack the final killer ball or clinical finish. Marek Stech hardly had a touch in the first half and ended up running from one side of his box to the other in an effort to keep warm.
The turning point came 26 minutes in when ex-Leyton Orient midfielder Matt Spring was sent off for the second time against the Glovers in recent years, the first being in March 2011 during Yeovil's 5-1 rout against Leyton Orient after a dangerous tackle earnt him an early bath. This time it was for a high 'studs up' challenge on fans favourite Gavin Williams and the referee, without any hesitation, immediately reached for his back pocket - the player walking off the pitch with few complaints.
The sending off made sure that the already one sided game ceased to be a contest, with Gary Johnson actually saying after the game he'd rather their man had stayed on as it was a mere formality that Yeovil would progress.
The Glovers now had to make the extra man count, and Upson could easily have had a hat-trick but seemed to have left his normally solid shooting boots at home. It was only a matter of time until the inevitable breakthrough which came after 32 minutes, when midfield magician Ed Upson finally completed his quest to score a goal inside the box
after heading in a pin point cross that was put into the danger area by Norwich loanee Korey Smith.
Yeovil worked the flanks well and the balls into the Wycombe penalty area seemed to be causing all sorts of problems. It was no surprise when another opportunity arose down the
wing after Joe Edwards had done well to burst to the byline, he nearly got lucky when he saw his attempted cross tipped over by the backpedalling Arnold.
Yeovil kept knocking on the door and were rewarded just before half time with a second goal when Sam Foley netted after another excellent cross this time by Captain Jamie McAllister, which was headed back across goal by the impressive and fast becoming first name on the team sheet, Joe Edwards for Foley to volley home. On loan from Bristol City, Edwards who can play either in defence or in midfield, looks at home in Somerset and with talks of a permanent move in January on the horizon, much to the delight of the Glovers faithful, he could turn out to be a real find.
In the second half Yeovil again made much of the running with Tottenham emergency loanee Jordan Archer making some good saves to keep the score respectable after former No 1 Nicky Bull decided to take a break out of football for "family and footballing reasons".
Just as the game was drawing to a close however, Wycombe finally woke up and managed to claw their way back into the game. With the Glovers searching for the killer third goal, they were always susceptible to the counter attack and the Chairboys very nearly got lucky when the substitute Matt McClure used his pace to good effect before delivering a ball to the edge of the area which was struck with venom by a Wycombe player and was well saved in the Yeovil goal by Stech. But he could do nothing about the next effort which he saw thunder off his crossbar after a pulsating run by Andrade, dancing and tricking his way past two Yeovil players before cutting it back, only to see the effort by McClure hit the woodwork with the goalkeeper a mere spectator.
The Glovers survived the late barrage by Wycombe and despite a few late scares that could have made it interesting; the result was never really in doubt.
The official man of the match award was given to Jamie McAllister, and although he did not play badly, for my money I would have given it to Joe Edwards. For reasons I have already stated, he is quick, aware, versatile and has good crossing ability. He is a real gem and Gary Johnson will do well to retain his services for the long-term.
In the interview after the game, Gary Johnson said he wants more from his players and is setting high standards, but he has seen his team reach the Semi-Finals of the JPT for the first time in their history. Plus they are now the highest ranked team in the Southern section, so it can't all be bad. Full time score, Yeovil two, Wycombe nil.
Written by: Josh Wilde, Age 14.