6th November 2023

Yeovil Town progressed to the second round of the Emirates FA Cup with a 3-2 victory over Gateshead at Huish Park. Goals from Rhys Murphy and Jordan Stevens proved decisive in holding off a late challenge from the National League side.

Manager Mark Cooper reintroduced Frank Nouble and Rhys Murphy to the starting line-up after they were rested for the previous match against Braintree. It didn’t take long for Rhys Murphy to make an impact, as he capitalised on a long kick from Joe Day, deftly manoeuvred around his marker, and slotted the ball past Archie Mair.

Despite Yeovil’s quick start, Gateshead had their moments. Kyran Lofthouse tried his luck with a shot from the edge of the box, but it was blocked. Moments later, Ed Francis found himself in a similar position, but the Yeovil defence thwarted his attempt.

In the 22nd minute, Frank Nouble made a powerful run into the box from the right, outpacing his marker, and delivered the ball to Jordan Stevens. Unfortunately, Stevens couldn’t keep his shot on target from six yards out. However, he redeemed himself shortly after when he received a through ball from Rhys Murphy and calmly slotted it past Archie Mair, doubling Yeovil’s lead within 26 minutes.

The National League side appeared stunned, and Yeovil continued to press for a third goal. Rhys Murphy received a cross-field ball at the back post and found Matt Worthington, but his shot went wide. Callum Whelan had a chance just before half-time when the ball fell to his feet following a corner, but his shot sailed over the crossbar.

In the four additional minutes at the end of the first half, Matt Worthington had another opportunity to make it 3-0, but Archie Mair saved his effort.

The second half started slowly as Yeovil aimed to protect their lead. The first significant chance came in the 56th minute when Callum Whelan’s effort went over the crossbar after a short corner routine. A minute later, Kyran Lofthouse’s shot from outside the box was comfortably caught by Joe Day.

After the hour mark, the game sprang to life once more. Frank Nouble charged into the box, but his shot was blocked, and Michael Smith’s rebound shot narrowly missed the far post. Yeovil finally got their third goal when Rhys Murphy’s pressing led to a loose ball that he fired into the net for his second of the match.

Gateshead had a chance to mount a comeback when they were awarded a penalty after Michael Smith was adjudged to have fouled an opponent in the box. Marcus Dinanga confidently converted from the spot.

With 20 minutes remaining, Mark Cooper made four quick substitutions as Dawes, Murphy, Stevens, and Nouble were replaced by Young, Hyde, Cox, and Bell.

In the 80th minute, Gateshead had a decent opportunity when Ed Francis tried his luck from range, but it posed no problem for Joe Day as he watched it over. Despite Gateshead creating several chances, few troubled Joe Day in the Yeovil goal.

In the seven additional minutes of stoppage time, Gateshead managed to reduce the deficit to just one goal when a deflected long-range effort struck the underside of the crossbar and found Marcus Dinanga’s head.

Despite Gateshead’s late surge, Yeovil managed to hold on and secure their place in the second round of the Emirates FA Cup with a 3-2 win.