Yeovil Town produced a brave, spirited FA Cup performance but went down to a 2-0 defeat against Premier League giants Manchester United at a packed Huish Park this afternoon.
The Glovers were more than a match for their illustrious visitors for the first hour but after Anders Herrera had scored a superb opener, sub Angel di Maria added a second deep into the 90th minute to seal a victory over the League One hosts.
A two goal defeat was harsh on Gary Johnson’s side who had battled till they dropped, none more so than the returning Kevin Dawson who was superb in right midfield. But the Glovers were made to pay for missing the few chances they did create and United go into the fourth round draw this week.
Yeovil had been boosted by the return of Kieffer Moore up front to provide some physical presence and Johnson opted to use a 4-5-1 formation to counter Louis Van Gaal’s usual 3-4-1-2 formation.
Captain Joe Edwards had the game’s first chance but he pulled his shot wide from 30 yards on three minutes. United defender Paddy McNair fired way over after the ball bobbled as he was about to strike it.
On fourteen minutes, Wayne Rooney curled a shot over the angle of the woodwork and the England captain was then influential at the other end when he cleared Steven Arthurworrey’s header off the line, Radamel Falcao tidying up from Ben Nugent’s follow up.
On twenty minutes, there was a nasty clash of heads between Moore and Paddy McNair which left both players needing treatment and a head bandage. Herrera then set up James Wilson but his right foot shot was easily dealt with by Steer. On 36 minutes, McNair handled the ball as he attempted to control a through ball but referee Craig Pawson deemed it unintentional and waved away Yeovil’s appeals.
Herrera pulled a shot wide right on half time and in stoppage time, Dawson mishit a shot that was easily cleared by the United defence.
Louis Van Gaal made two changes at half time with Rafael and Luke Shaw, his two wing backs coming off and Jonny Evans coming on with Juan Mata. Wilson headed over from a Tyler Blackett cross but the big chance for Yeovil came on 54 minutes. Dawson’s ball in was deflected to Kieffer Moore but the big striker couldn’t get the ball out from his feet and De Gea smothered his attempt.
Angel di Maria came on for Falcao on the hour mark and within three minutes, United took the lead. And it was a brilliant finish that gave the Red Devils the lead when Herrera swivelled and hit a superb shot into Jed Steer’s top left hand corner.
Yeovil went at United straight from the restart and Joe Edwards hit a shot straight at De Gea a minute later. United could have gone two up shortly after but Rooney’s free kick sailed over the bar.
As expected, Yeovil went through the gears in the last twenty minutes in an attempt to level the tie. Joe Edwards again went close with a superb diving header that was headed off the line by di Maria and Moore went close with a shot that took a slight nick off Smalling and went for a corner.
Rooney and di Maria were off target with attempts; then there was a standing ovation for Kevin Dawson as he was subbed off with Sam Foley to be replaced by James Hayter and James Berrett.
Right on the ninety minute mark, United dealt a killer blow to Yeovil’s slim hopes of getting back into the game when Rooney sent a diagonal crossfield ball to release di Maria who raced on and dinked the ball past Steer and into the net.
Steer had one more attack to deal with as he parried a shot from Herrera away and it was the final chance in a game short of real clear cut opportunities.