Yeovil Town extended their unbeaten run in Sky Bet League Two to six matches with a dramatic 2-1 victory against Colchester United at Huish Park.
After failing to score in a dominant opening 45 minutes, the Glovers fell behind after the break courtesy of Kurtis Guthrie against the run of play.
With a first league defeat in six matches looming Town completed a stunning comeback with 5 minutes remaining, with Francois Zoko and Tahvon Campbell netting to send the home faithful into raptures and move Darren Way’s side a step closer to the play-offs.
Way made one change to the side that started the Emirates FA Cup tie at Solihull Moors in midweek, re-introducing Matt Butcher into the midfield trio at the expense of Ben Whitfield who dropped to the bench.
In a late change, Nathan Smith took a spot amongst the substitutes having missed Tuesday’s match through suspension. The left-back had been waiting for FA clearance for medication taken to treat a skin condition, which was received shortly before kick-off.
With Way looking for a reaction from his side after exiting the FA Cup in midweek, Town dominated proceedings from the start.
After a scrappy opening 10 minutes the Glovers took hold of the game and made Artur Krysiak a spectator for much of the first half.
With Otis Khan firing straight at Walker from range to notch the game’s first shot on goal, the chances continued to come for Town.
As the game moved past the 15-minute mark, the Glovers created two good chances in the space of a minute.
Firstly, Kevin Dawson showed his athleticism to roam down the right and pick out Tom Eaves in the middle with the striker’s slightly scuffed volley falling wide of the far post, before Khan could only fire straight at Walker from 12 yards after Eaves picked out the wide man with a pull-back.
Town continue to bombard the U’s and spurned their best chance of the half with 27 minutes on the clock.
Liam Shephard’s low cross from the by-line evaded everyone in the middle but for Eaves, who could only blaze over the bar from two yards out on the stretch at the far post.
The same combination almost brought the opener minutes later. After patient build-up from the Glovers and some 15+ passes, Hedges’ neat flick allowed Shephard to whip in another cross which couldn’t quite be prodded home by Eaves at the back post who was a stud’s length away from connecting with the Welshman’s cross.
Completely dominant Town soon engineered another opportunity, with Eaves’ excellent reverse ball playing in Hedges who rounded U’s ‘keeper Walker only to be forced wide in the process, with Colchester recovering quickly to quell any chance of a shot on goal.
That was as good as it got for Yeovil before the break as Way’s side returned to the dressing room unsure as to how they hadn’t taken the lead at Huish Park.
With many of the supporters still discussing how Town hadn’t taken the lead, Colchester scored the opening goal of the match from their first meaningful attack of the game.
Brennan Dickenson’s looping cross was spilt by Krysiak which allowed Denny Johnstone to smash an effort against the bar only for Kurtis Guthrie to nod home the rebound from close range to take the lead against the run of play.
Way reacted immediately introducing Francois Zoko for Khan, as the Glovers switched to two up front and a midfield diamond.
With numbers forward the U’s almost doubled their lead on the break when Drey Wright flashed an effort wide of the post from just inside the box, as John McGreal’s side grew in confidence.
Sensing a first win since September the visitors dropped deep into their own half in a bid to keep out a Yeovil side looking to avoid a first defeat in League Two in six matches.
Set-pieces looked to be the Glovers best outlet with Alex Lacey heading straight at Walker from a Ben Whitfield delivery before captain Darren Ward headed over the bar from Hedges’ free-kick – slumping to his knees in disappointment.
But Yeovil weren’t ready to surrender their unbeaten run and levelled the scores with 86 minutes on the clock through Zoko.
From a Town corner Ryan Dickson headed the ball back into the box, where the Yeovil striker was on hand to volley home on the turn from the angle.
Buoyed by getting back on level terms the Glovers pressed for a winner and stunned Colchester when they found it in the 90th minute.
Whitfield ‘s shot from range fell to Campbell in the box, who composed himself and created a yard of space before finding the back of the net with a measured effort from inside the box.
Colchester threw numbers forward in additional time but couldn’t find a way past a resolute Town defence, as Yeovil made it 6 matches unbeaten in League Two and moved up to eighth place in the table, outside of the play-offs only by goal difference.
Yeovil Town: Krysiak; Shephard, Ward, Lacey, Dickson; Dawson (Campbell 68’), Butcher, Dolan (Whitfield 41’); Hedges, Eaves, Khan (Zoko 53’).
Bookings: Dawson 18’, Butcher 60’, Lacey 64’, Hedges 90’
Subs not used: Maddison, Mugabi, Smith, Sowunmi.
Colchester United: Walker; Vincent-Young, Wynter, Eastman, Brindley; Wright (Sembie-Ferris 77’), Slater, Lapslie, Dickenson; Guthrie; Johnstone.
Bookings: Vincent-Young 71’, Eastman 75, Lapslie 80’
Subs not used: Kent, Barnes, Fosu, Kamara, Dunne, Bonne.