Yeovil Town went out of he FA Cup at the third round stage to Carlisle United after losing this replay on penalties in heartbreaking fashion at Huish Park tonight.
Matt Dolan missed the crucial fifth penalty as the Cumbrians scored all theirs to set up a mouthwatering home fourth round tie with Premier League Everton. Earlier, Jack Compton had given the Glovers the lead only for Anthony Sweeney to equalise. Francois Zoko then missed a stoppage time penalty and both sides had a player dismissed in extra time before the late drama continued with the spot kick shoot out.
Yeovil manager Darren Way suffered a blow before kickoff with the withdrawal of centre half Darren Ward through a knee injury. Alex Lacey came in and there was welcome news on the bench with the reappearance of Kevin Dawson and Simon Gillett.
The first half started with both sides trying to get used to a frosty pitch and bouncy surface. Neither side found the target in an open first twenty minutes with Michael Raynes shooting wide for the visitors and Yeovil having by far the most chances with Matt Dolan, Zoko, Jack Compton and Connor Roberts all off target.
The game was also punctuated by a series of niggly fouls, not helped by some baffling decisions from ref Tim Robinson which would later prove costly for the Glovers. However it was Yeovil that took the lead on 29 minutes in superb fashion. Shaun Jeffers collected the ball on the halfway line and ran thirty yards before playing the ball into new loanee Liam Walsh. The Everton midfielders dummy allowed the ball through to Jack Compton who curled a peach of a shot into the far corner.
One of the battles that the official wasn’t getting a grip on was between Roberts and Carlisle striker Hallam Hope, a tussle that ended up earning both players a caution but Hope then took it a step further, going in studs up on Roberts three minutes later with no punishment. Late on in the half, Zoko headed wide but his blushes were spared by an offside flag.
At half time, Carlisle manager Keith Curle made two changes, taking off the injured Danny Grainger and Alex Gilliead and pushing on Macauley Gillesphey and Jabo Ibehre. But it was Yeovil that showed first when Jack Compton angled a shot that bounced off the top of the bar and then shot wide. Liam Walsh then earned a yellow for a foul on Hope who was then promptly substituted for his own good by Curle with 25 minutes of normal time left.
The changes made Carlisle look more lively up front and Gillesphey, third sub Derek Asamoah and Luke Joyce all missed chances to equalise. Town keeper Artur Krysiak brilliantly tipped over from a Sweeney back header. The leveller was coming and it duly arrived on 78 minutes. A corner was swung in from the left and Sweeney headed it in despite a desperate attempt from Krysiak to keep it out.
Immediately after the goal, there was an almighty brawl involving at least a dozen players including Ibehre who almost took out Krysiak with a "clothes line" action that could have injured the keeper. Both men were yellow carded but with any help from his assistant, ref Robinson would surely have shown a straight red.
Sweeney then almost scored a sensational winner, volleying against the crossbar and Krysiak parried well from Charlie Wyke’s shot. With the match heading into stoppage time. Kevin Dawson made his first appearance for twelve months, coming on for the youngster Walsh. And as e clock ticked on to 93 minutes, there was incredible late drama as Zoko was clattered into by Carlisle keeper Mark Gillespie. Ref Robinson got his decision right this time but Zoko didn’t, pulling his rig footed penalty wide of the post by quite a margin.
Extra time arrived with the game becoming end to end again. Ibehre was being booed with every touch for his shocking challenge on Krysiak and in the first half of extra time, both teams lost a man through a red card. Alex Lacey went into a 50/50 challenge with Wyke and ended up seeing red although the Yeovil youngsters shin pad was pierced by Wyke’s boot. That was on 97 minutes and six minutes later, Joyce cynically brought down Jeffers and earned a second yellow and subsequent red.
The rest of extra time saw chances for both sides, Yeovil coming closest through Jakub Sokoliks header that was superbly tipped over by Gillespie. Ibehre then further annoyed the Yeovil crowd by appearing to elbow Connor Roberts but the official chose to give a final warning to the striker.
Penalties came and with the first four players from each side scoring (Dickson, Jeffers, Tozer and Dawson for Yeovil; Kennedy, Sweeney, Wyke and Ibehre for United), Matt Dolan stepped up and drilled his penalty against the post. Mark Ellis then converted Carlisle’s fifth spot kick to give Curle’s men the fourth round lucrative tie v Everton.