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REPORT | Yeovil Town 2-0 Forest Green Rovers

Town progress in the Checkatrade Trophy

9 January 2018

Nathan Smith celebrates his goal with team mates PPAUK

Yeovil Town cruised into the last eight of the Checkatrade Trophy with a comfortable 2-0 win over Forest Green Rovers at Huish Park.

With just three minutes on the clock, captain for the night Nathan Smith opened his account for the season, making the most of space to convert from close range.

Causing problems seemingly at will, Town doubled their advantage on 26 minutes as Connor Smith rounded off a smooth attack with an equally adept finish, as the hosts enjoyed a profitable first half.

With the damage done early on, the Glovers stayed strong at the back after the restart to secure back-to-back clean sheets and a spot in the quarter-final, just two games from a Wembley final.

Darren Way made five changes for the cup encounter, which included a full debut for Liverpool loanee Corey Whelan.

Recovering from a slight knock, Sam Surridge returned to the fold after a one-match absence, whilst Alefe Santos, Omar Sowunmi and Connor Smith completed the alterations.

Loanees Marcus Barnes and Lewis Wing were forced to sit out due to being cup tied, whilst Rhys Browne, James Bailey and Oscar Gobern continued to miss out through injury.

Looking to equal last season’s achievement of reaching the quarter-final stage, the Green and White’s got off to a lightning start in front of the 1,395 crowd.

Cleverly working an early short corner, the hosts engineered the chance for Jake Gray to shoot from the edge of the box, with his low drive being diverted into the back of the net by an unmarked N. Smith.

Causing Forest Green’s back three something of a headache, the Glovers remained on the attack and went close to doubling their lead.

Opening up 20 yards out, Santos fired a low drive inches wide of the target, before Jordan Green hammered a half volley from the edge of the box a yard off target, still in the opening exchanges.

Plateauing into a quiet affair midway through the half, the game burst back into life just before the half-hour mark.

Otis Khan scrambled onto a diagonal ball over the top and stood up his man before laying off for C. Smith to curl a sublime first-time strike up and over a hapless Bradley Collins from the white line of 18 yards.

Having coasted into a two-goal lead the visitors almost responded immediately as Alex Whittle found space in the box, but his shot was well blocked by Whelan as Mark Cooper's side struggled to turn possession into opportunities.

Momentarily becoming end-to-end, Green raced through on the angle after pressing to win possession, only for Collins to race from his line and thwart the diminutive attacker.

In a one-sided opening 45 minutes in front of goal, Tom James watched his dipping 25 yard free-kick frustratingly clip the crossbar, as Way’s side had to settle for a 2-0 lead at the break with the Trophy last eight in sight. 

Switching formation at the break and introducing Drissa Traore in a bid to turn the tide, Rovers only found themselves playing out a repeat of the first half. 

Unable to truly test Krysiak, Dayle Grubb's free-kick straight at the Town stopper proved to be the visitors' best chance before the hour, as the Gloucestershire outfit continued to be held at arm's length. 

Perhaps summing up their evening, former Glover Keanu Marsh-Brown couldn't capitalise on an open goal after Krysiak misjudged a cross, miscuing at the back post with the goal begging to let the home stopper off. 

In a relatively uneventful second period, there was a moment to remember as Zoko entered the fray to make his 100th appearance for the club. 

Fittingly, the Ivorian ended the match on the winning side as Yeovil comfortably saw out the closing stages to progress in the Checkatrade Trophy, securing successive 2-0 home wins in the process.

Yeovil Town: Krysiak; Whelan, Sowunmi, N. Smith, James; Gray (Zoko 70'), Santos (Bird 66'), C. Smith, Khan; Green, Surridge.
Bookings: Sowunmi 56', Zoko 87'
Subs not used: Maddison, Mugabi, Dickson, Golubickas.

Forest Green Rovers: Collins; Roberts (Spurrier 71'), Laird (Traore 46'), Monthe; James, Cooper, Simpson, Whittle (Wishart 69'), Brown; Marsh-Brown, Grubb.
Bookings: Traore 82'
Subs not used: Pickering, Doidge, Evans.

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