Yeovil 0, Fleetwood Town 2
YEOVIL were a high-flying Conference club when they defeated Blackpool in the FA Cup in 2000.
Fleetwood find themselves in a similar league position now and will have the chance to pull off the same giantkilling act in the next round.
Town made some history with a stunning and heroic performance which landed the dream tie with neighbours Blackpool.
Having never beaten a Football League side before this season, Fleetwood have now seen off two and a third would mark their greatest achievement.
Fleetwood dominated the match throughout, scoring in each half through Jamie McGuire and Jamie Vardy. Both sides were down to ten men by the end, with Steve McNulty receiving his marching orders minutes before the end on a dramatic night in Somerset.
Coldplay’s ‘Paradise’ rang out at the end and there was no more appropriate word to sum up the fans’ delight.
Shaun Beeley recovered from a dead leg suffered in the match at Highbury but Jamie Milligan was sidelined after failing to regain fitness following his injury from the game. Keith Briggs deputised in midfield.
Yeovil took the game to Town in the opening moments with some strong running which gave the defence several anxious moments.
Scott Davies collided with Nathan Pond on the edge of the area as he attempted a clearance. The veteran defender went down momentarily but soon recovered.
Town repelled the initial raids and began to establish some territory of their own, mainly down the right with Beeley seeing a lot of the ball.
After 12 minutes, McGuire sent Jamie Vardy away and his cross was met by Andy Mangan, whose header at the near post went over the bar.
The home crowd, quietened by Town’s resolve, burst into life after 18 minutes when Kieran Agard slipped the ball past Davies but the goal was disallowed for offside.
Town came back with Beeley again making ground down the right. His cross was met by Briggs, whose volley went wide.
Town were playing with confidence and fluency, bringing the ball calmly out of defence and making inroads in the final third of the pitch.
The frustration which began to come from the terraces was a tribute to the Conference side’s dominance.
As the half hour approached, Peter Cavanagh gave away a free-kick 25 yards out.
Paul Wotton’s shot skidded on the wet surface, Davies failed to hold and Steven MacLean tapped the rebound wide.
Town opened the scoring on 28 minutes, when Peter Till found McGuire, who drilled a right-foot shot inside the far post to trigger wild celebrations in front of the ecstatic Cod Army fans who had made the long journey south.
Strangely, referee Adcock then appeared to book Richard Brodie, one of Town’s substitutes, for holding on to the ball on the touchline.
Yeovil had been able to offer little in attack since the opening burst but had a chance after 36 minutes.
Goodall appeared to be tripped but the referee waved play on and Davies saved well from Andy Williams.
Town continued to press the Glovers defence down both sides, with Till and Mangan prominent, and a further chance eluded Pond from a corner.
A Mangan shot from distance was deflected wide for another corner, and the home crowd were willing their side back into the game as half-time approached.
Defender Bondz N’Gala brought Vardy down to earn the game’s first booking on the pitch and received a further warning as the game went into added time.
Goodall’s shot from the resulting free-kick went narrowly over Gareth Stewart’s crossbar.
The jeers rang round Huish Park as the teams left the pitch but it had been an impressive 45 minutes for Fleetwood.
Gavin Williams replaced Conor Clifford as the second half started on a pitch showing signs of wear and tear after several days of rough weather.
Yeovil began in similar vein to the first half but Town held firm. On their first foray upfield, Vardy was felled by Paul Huntington, who eventually saw yellow but not before play had been waved on and Mangan had brought an acrobatic save from Stewart.
Vardy recovered to get a further shot on target before Town had to defend desperately from a free-kick on the left.
Edward Upson fouled McGuire on the hour and became the home side’s third booking. As in the first period, Town resisted the pressure and built a platform again, once again frustrating the Yeovil supporters in the 3,276 crowd.
After 67 minutes, Pond sold his skipper short with a pass and McNulty received his seventh booking of the season.
Worse was to come for the Glovers as N’Gala received his marching orders for a second yellow, this time for a foul on Vardy.
Yeovil came back as Goodall got his side into trouble but Pond cleared up the danger.
Yeovil were lacking ideas as Town closed them down time after time. Agard’s wild shot landed near the corner flag after 74 minutes and typified their efforts.
Vardy, whose every touch was greeted by boos, got free down the left and Till just failed to meet the low cross. Vardy then created an opportunity for himself which he hit just wide but the shot lacked conviction.
It was to be an anxious last few minutes for Town, however, as they also went down to ten men, McNulty sent off for a second yellow card.
Kieran Charnock immediately replaced Till to take up position in central defence.
A resurgent Yeovil came forward and Gavin Williams headed over as five minutes of added time approached.
But Town came straight back and Vardy silenced his critics on the Yeovil terraces with his 15th goal of the season, taking the defence on and hitting home via a deflection off Stewart.
The terraces behind the goal started to empty as the Conference’s most successful away team homed in on a famous victory.
Yeovil: Stewart, Ayling, Ngala, Huntington, Upson, Ehmer, Wotton (Gibson 83), Clifford (Williams 45), A Williams, MacLean (O’Brien 73), Agard; not used: Gilbert, Haynes-Brown, 10 Williams, Edgar, Johnson.
Fleetwood: Davies, Beeley, McNulty, Goodall, Cavanagh, Pond, Till (Charnock 86), Briggs, McGuire, Mangan, Vardy; not used: Stephenson, Brown, Wassmer, Clancy, Brodie, Vieira
Ref: Adcock; Att: 3,276