Yeovil Town produced a memorable if unexpected comeback to come from two goals down to grab a vital point against fellow strugglers Dagenham & Redbridge this afternoon.
In a shocking first half, the Daggers went two ahead through a Kane Ferdinand header and a sweet drive from Frankie Raymond right on the interval. But after making a double switch at half time, the Glovers scored twice in eight minutes through Ryan Bird and Jakub Sokolik to move up one place to 21st in the League Two table.
For the first time in the campaign, manager Paul Sturrock had the "luxury" of naming an unchanged eleven after two much improved results this week. After drawing with Portsmouth and beating Coventry City in the JPT, he elected to start with Harry Cornick playing alongside Ryan Bird up front in a 4-4-2 line up.
Yeovil actually started the brighter of the two sides and should have taken the lead on five minutes. Jake Howells swung in a good corner but Marc Laird failed to get a decent contact and flicked his header wide. He was made to pay dearly for the miss when the visitors took the lead on eighteen minutes. A ball into the box wasn’t dealt with adequately and was only cleared to Ashley Chambers outside the box. His first shot cannoned off the upright back to him and his second effort fell to Kane Ferdinand who headed home past Artur Krysiak.
Chambers was looking lively up front and his strike partner, 40-year-old Jamie Cureton, couldn’t be ignored either. The former Bristol Rovers front man escaped the clutches of Stephen Arthurworrey but sent his volley wide of Krysiaks goal. Krysiak’s oppo, Liam O’Brien, was called into action for the first time to save from Connor Roberts left foot shot on 33 minutes though it might well have gone wide.
With the half time kettle boiling, Daggers then doubled their lead in spectacular style. Again, it followed a scramble in the box and this time, the ball found Frankie Raymond who finished with a lovely left footed drive from twenty yards. Raymond then had the final word of the first period testing Krysiak with a long range free kick.
At the break, Sturrock withdrew Matt Dolan and Howells to replace them with Jakub Sokolik and Shaun Jeffers. The Czech defender slotted into centre half, releasing Nathan Smith to go to left back and captain Ryan Dickson to move into left midfield. Jeffers then joined Bird up front as a new duo.
Cornick went close early on when a cross found him in the six yard box but the on loan Bournemouth stacker looked like he wasn’t expecting the ball to reach him and the cross rebounded off his shins and into the keepers arms.
Even with 25 minutes to go, it looked inevitable that the home side would be slipping to a fourth home defeat in six league games when a goal came from nowhere. Connor Roberts crossed in and Ryan Bird headed home, the ball going across the line in slow motion.
Yeovil were inspired by the goal and Jeffers header went close as did a Ryan Dickson cross that deflected off Nyron Nosworthys leg and behind for a corner. But the Glovers weren’t denied for long and from the corner, keeper Liam O’Brien punched the ball against the back of Jakub Sokolik and it rebounded back into the net, rolling apologetically over the line.
Within three minutes, Yeovil almost snatched an incredible winner when Dickson crossed in and Jeffers headed just wide and it was the final chance in a game that Dagenham will be cursing they didn’t win. Jake Mulraney had a half chance late on but pulled his shot wide so the spoils were shared in this bottom three battle.