FA Cup nights like this are meant to be about imagining the impossible. Yeovil Town are struggling in the foothills of League Two. However, a visit this evening to Huish Park by Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United side is just the distraction Darren Way and his players require.
Yeovil Town Dare to Dream as Man Utd Arrive for FA Cup Tie
Yeovil Town, at times, make life hard for themselves. Two spots from the relegation zone in League Two and last Saturday saw the arrival of their closest rivals at present, Chesterfield. Heading into the game Yeovil had a relatively comfortable lead over Jack Lester’s side. Four points the better, this game was that most boring of cliché’s – a six-pointer. Cliché’s, however, are rooted in reality.
Well, reality bit with something approaching genuine discomfort for Way’s side. Louis Reed gave the visitors a 66th-minute lead. Within three minutes of his goal, Lewis Wing, the 22-year-old attacker on loan from Middlesbrough, was brought on to inject a spark that the home side couldn’t ignite. A little over ten minutes on the pitch and Wing equalised with a fine shot from distance.
They were back in the game. And then they were out of it again. A moment of indecisiveness and confusion in injury time saw concentration disintegrate and former Macclesfield Town and Stockport County number nine Kristian Dennis couldn’t have asked for better luck when scoring the Chesterfield winner.
Man Utd’s Visit Couldn’t Come at a Better Time
The difference between Yeovil and Chesterfield is now only a point. Forest Green Rovers are foaming at the collective ankles of both sides. Barnet, adrift at the bottom, are showing some signs of life under new manager Graham Westley. There have been better times to be a Yeovil supporter. But there is a current caveat because Huish Park could well become the ground where Alexis Sanchez makes his Man Utd debut.
Yeovil is ready for the influx of its northern guests. Way is a former midfielder who took charge of the club in December 2015 following the sacking of Paul Sturrock.
Way, a known obsessive when it comes to attention to detail, will have his side well organised. Whether that will be enough for what Mourinho promises to be a strong starting side, remains to be seen.
When Man Utd travelled to Yeovil for a third round FA Cup meeting with the same club in January 2015, it took two fine second-half goals from Ander Herrera and Ángel di María to win it for Louis van Gaal’s side. But that day Yeovil were tight in the tackle and pressed without relent.
Sam Surridge is likely to be leading the line tonight, and, speaking to the clubs official website, pointed out the obvious, but pragmatic point, that Yeovil will have to play above themselves tonight.
“The tempo of the game will be high because they’re world class players and we’ll have to play above ourselves and hope they don’t have their best game so we can get a result.
“The gaffer wants us to be obsessed with getting a result.
“The least he expects is taking them back to Old Trafford. He’s ambitious; we’re all ambitious and we can do it.”
That word again. Obsessed.
Obsession alone won’t win a match, but it epitomises that this is a game Yeovil Town are daring to dream as something to boost their season. A draw and a replay back at Old Trafford. Or maybe even a win that, as unlikely as it seems, would do everything for their collective spirit as they face into a very real battle for survival in League Two that is a must.
Tonight’s game isn’t must win. There within lies the chance to dream.
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