13th January 2018

Taking no time to warm up on a cold afternoon, captain Francois Zoko notched an impressive 10th of the season with just 11 minutes on the clock.

The Green & Whites went close to adding to their lead in what was a one-sided opening 45 minutes, before settling for a one-goal lead. 

Having hit the post twice and remaining relatively untested, the Glovers were dealt a sucker punch on 86 minutes as Tom Pope converted an unlikely penalty to force Town to only share the spoils.

Darren Way made two changes from the side that caused an FA Cup upset over Bradford City last weekend. 

Recovering from a slight knock, Surridge was given the nod to partner Zoko up front in Staffordshire, a tough decision which saw Marcus Barnes drop to the bench after netting on his debut against the Bantams.

Suspended for the cup encounter at Huish Park, Omar Sowunmi reclaimed his spot at the heart of the defence in place of Bevis Mugabi, as Town returned to being able to name a full subs bench.

Looking to build on consecutive cup victories, the Glovers almost translated their form into the league within the opening exchanges.

Tom James’ strike from the edge of the box ricocheted into the path of Surridge, who from an angled position saw a well-hit strike tipped onto the post by Ryan Boot. 

With the Valiants still appealing for an offside flag that never came, Town moved into the next phase of play and almost scored again as Jake Gray let off a strike into the side netting.

Firing off early warnings, the Glovers were soon to be third time lucky.

Artur Krysiak’s pinpoint distribution set Otis Khan off on a counter-attack, who having picked out Zoko watched on as the Ivorian picked out the bottom corner from 20 yards.

Manfully dealing with Vale’s direct approach, the Somerset outfit continued to be the only side creating chances.

With less than 20 minutes on the clock Jordan Green was just beaten to a through ball by home stopper Boot, with Surridge’s strike on the rebound falling just wide. 

Becoming a stop-start affair following a lively opening quarter, the game became relatively muted until 10 minutes before the break.

With 36 minutes played Boot had to make up for a dreadful attempted clearance to save Surridge’s powerful shot with his feet, before the Valiants produced their only chance of the half.

Ricocheting around the Town box the ball eventually fell to Marcus Harness, whose low drive was saved by a sprawling Krysiak before the hosts were once again on the defensive.

Looking to become Yeovil’s outright top scorer, Zoko went close with a second long-range effort that Boot needed two attempts to save, as Town rounded off an impressive first-half performance.

Trying to find a way into the match Neil Aspin made a double change at the break, but it did little to turn the tide on the pitch.

After hitting the post in the first-half, Surridge did the same just four minutes after the restart. 

The Bournemouth loanee’s header back across goal from James’ pinpoint delivery seemed destined for the back of the net, only to hit the woodwork and bounce clear.

Somehow still only a goal ahead the Glovers went close again just minutes later when a cleverly worked short free-kick saw Gray flash a low drive inches wide.

Causing frustration to grow amongst the home ranks with their dominant performance, the Valiants continued to struggle to break down their Somerset opponents. 

Introducing Barnes and Lewis Wing to freshen things up, the Glovers looked to have dug in to hold on for victory until four minutes from time.

After Sowunmi was adjudged to have tripped Dave Worrall in the box, referee David Webb pointed to the spot allowing Pope to score against Yeovil for the third time this season and rescue a point for the hosts. 

Port Vale: Boot; Davis, Anderson, N. Smith, Pugh; Kay, Tonge; Harness (Worrall (66′), Whitfield (Gibbons 46′), Montano (Wilson 46′); Pope.
Bookings: Anderson 51′
Subs not used: Lainton, Barnett, Forrester, Angus.

Yeovil Town: Krysiak; James, Sowunmi, N. Smith, Dickson; Green (Wing 76′), Gray (Whelan 90′), Bird, Khan; Surridge (Barnes 59′), Zoko.
Bookings: Surridge 38′, Zoko 70′
Subs not used: Maddison, Mugabi, C. Smith, Santos.