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STEVENAGE 2-2 YEOVIL TOWN

12 November 2016

Yeovil Town extended their unbeaten run to eight matches in all competitions with a last minute equaliser to draw 2-2 at Stevenage in Sky Bet League Two.

After a relatively tame first half, the Glovers took the lead in Hertfordshire three minutes after the restart when Ryan Hedges rounded off a swift counter-attack engineered by Tom Eaves.

Coming into the game with four consecutive cleansheets in League Two, Town conceded their first league goal in over six hours of football when Ben Kennedy picked out the bottom corner on 68 minutes. 

As the Glovers searched for a winner late on they were dealt a sucker punch when Kennedy netted his second inside the final ten minutes, before substitute Ben Whitfield struck with the last kick off the game to earn Town a point and a share of the spoils at the Lamex Stadium.

Darren Way made three changes to the starting eleven which won 2-0 against Reading Under-23’s in the Checkatrade Trophy in midweek, re-introducing captain Darren Ward, Artur Krysiak and Eaves – who scored at the Madejski – in place of Ben Whitfield, Jonny Maddison and Tahvon Campbell respectively. 

The changes saw a slight reshuffle of personnel, with Liam Shephard moving forward to operate in midfield with Mugabi shifting to right-back. 

Heading to Hertfordshire unbeaten in six, the Glovers started the game in positive fashion and engineered the first chance of the game inside five minutes.

From a deep free-kick Boro could only clear the ball to the edge of the box allowing Matt Butcher to try his luck from 20 yards, but the Bournemouth loanee could only clear the Austin Stand entirely. 

Looking a threat in the final third, Town launched a rapid counter-attack after robbing the hosts of possession, with Eaves, Hedges and Otis Khan linking up well only to be denied by the linesman’s flag as the latter raced through on goal inside the opening 10 minutes.

Stevenage benefited from a counter-attack of their own minutes later when Harry McKirdy drove forward, but a scrambling Town defence did well to get back and block his eventual shot as the striker cut inside. 

In a fairly end-to-end opening to the match Krysiak was called into action for the first time just before the 20-minute mark, diving to his left to palm away Fraser Franks’ venomous strike from 25 yards. 

The hosts had the ball in the net midway through the first half when Matt Godden latched on to Franks’ lofted through ball, but the linesman’s flag denied Boro from taking the lead as Darren Sarll’s side began to enjoy themselves at the Lamex. 

Despite a spell of possession Stevenage failed to trouble Krysiak further and it was Yeovil who finished the half the stronger. 

As the game ticked in to additional time Shephard was in the right place at the right time 10 yards from goal after Matty Dolan’s low drive was blocked, but the Welshman’s snapshot was tipped around the post by home ‘keeper Jamie Jones.

After ending the first half positively the Glovers began after the restart with a bang, taking the lead after 48 minutes through the lively Hedges.  

Another swift Town counter saw Eaves slide a perfectly weighted through ball for the rampaging Hedges, who cut inside before firing a low drive under Jones and into the back of the net. 

Town almost added a second five minutes later when Eaves’ delicately flicked effort from a low cross flew goalwards only being stopped by Jones who knew little about it on his line. 

With an assist to his name the Yeovil striker was pressing for a goal of his own and drew Jones into another save just past the hour mark, applying a deft flick at the near post from a low cross which was tipped around the post by the Boro ‘keeper.

With Yeovil pressing for a second the hosts drew back on level terms against the run of play on 68 minutes, with a moment of individual inspiration from Ben Kennedy. 

The Boro wide man cut inside from the right wing before finding the bottom corner with an inch-perfect curling shot. 

Kennedy’s strike was the first goal the Glovers have conceded in five Sky Bet League Two matches and Stevenage came close to a second in what would’ve been controversial circumstances. 

A long ball over the top was left by Ward with Godden seemingly in an offside position, but no flag came and the Boro striker saw a header fall just wide of the post before the Town captain had a lengthy chat with the officials. 

As the game entered the final ten minutes the Glovers enjoyed a flurry of set-pieces but in the process of searching for a late winner were caught on the break. 

From a Town corner Jones released Kennedy wide on the right and the winger produced a carbon-copy of his first goal to cut inside and this time find the top corner past a hapless Krysiak. 

With almost four minutes of additonal time played, substitute Ben Whitfield smashed home an equaliser in the 94th minute with a powerful strike from a throw-in deep in the Boro half to send the away end into raptures and extend Town’s unbeaten run to eight and continue their surge towards the play-offs. 

The draw also sees Yeovil come away from Stevenage unbeaten for a fourth consecutive match, moving up a place to 10th in League Two in the process.

Stevenage: Jones; Henry, Wilkinson (Schumacher 83’), Franks, Ntlhe; Kennedy, Lee, King, Godden; McKirdy (Liburd 83’), Cowans (Pett 71’).
Bookings: Cowans 30’, Lee 42’, King 86'.
Subs not used: Day, McAnuff, Tonge, Wells.

Yeovil Town: Krysiak; Mugabi, Ward, Lacey, Smith; Shephard (Whitfield 88’), Butcher, Dolan; Hedges, Eaves, Khan (Zoko 75’). 
Bookings: Smith 32’.
Subs not used: Maddison, Ezewele, Dickson, Sowunmi, Campbell.

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