Yeovil 2 City 0

YEOVIL have a rich history when it comes to FA Cup upsets.

During their long stint as a non-League club, they picked off 20 teams from the top four divisions – a record among minnows.

With the mantle of the lowest-ranked survivors in this year's competition, they resurrected that tradition to add City to their cup conquests.

Following the Bantams on the road this season has been far more pleasure than chore.

Yet Saturday felt like the longest day in more ways than one. The team coach would not have been the only transport sitting in stony silence on the many, many miles back to West Yorkshire.

Stuart McCall's first taste of the third round as City boss was an unpleasantly painful one.

But on the scale of embarrassment, at least it did not quite equate with being knocked out by Telford as a player in 1985.

City rode that blow to go on and win promotion – and McCall was throwing down the post-match gauntlet to the current squad once he had finished seething.

Such was his anger from his team's limp efforts, he had marched straight over after the final whistle to do media duties – showing a conviction to get the job done which his players had lacked in the previous 90 minutes.

This was against a team that had been hurriedly thrown together on Friday morning when a posse of loanees came riding in to Yeovil's rescue.

Glovers boss Darren Way had been struggling to name 11 players in the middle of last week – but the cavalry arrived in the nick of time in the shape of four fresh faces from Barnsley, Southampton, Liverpool and Middlesbrough.

Striker Marcus Barnes had even started training with Saints on Friday morning before he was given the shout to pack his bags and go west.

"I'm still struggling with the names," he admitted after his goal-scoring debut.

But it was City who looked like they had never played together before, especially in a woeful first half.

There were obvious mitigating circumstances, with almost the whole first-choice defence missing. Matt Kilgallon's half-time departure, in fact, meant that none of the established back four and keeper were on the pitch.

The rejigged backline included youngster Jacob Hanson after Luke Hendrie had to be left out at the 11th hour when a deal with Burnley failed to materialise.

And Lukas Raeder made only his third start in goal because Rouven Sattelmaier felt a twinge in his back.

But suggestions that a patchwork defence gave City a ready-made excuse to fail did not wash with McCall as he launched into a damning assessment. In a nutshell, his team did not want it as much as Yeovil.

While McCall was careful not to throw out the baby with the bathwater in his later criticism, this was a harsh reality check in deepest Somerset.

Take nothing away from the hosts, who hustled and harried with the abandon of a team happy to give it a right good go.

The short-term fixes secured in the build-up to the game look a step-up in quality. Yeovil should not be flirting with relegation danger for much longer on this evidence.

But defeat in such a flat and off-key manner will raise questions over City's own long-term credentials in some eyes.

It was only the third loss in 15 away games this season but once again they tripped up against supposedly lesser opposition to follow previous setbacks at Bury and Wimbledon.

The attitude of the team will be watched very closely when Northampton, another side battling the drop, arrive at Valley Parade at the weekend.

The signs were there from the very start that something was not clicking at Huish Park. Tyrell Robinson had to scramble clear in front of his own line to deny Jared Bird and the tone was set.

Yeovil's wingers had a field day, the strikers dominated a central defence patently lacking the controlled presence of Nathaniel Knight-Percival and City's midfield could not get a sniff.

When the visitors did get some possession, there was no hint of the quality you have come to expect as Yeovil bullied the ball back. The only surprise was that City limped to the half-time whistle still on level terms.

Raeder was kept occupied throughout, making one very good save from Barnes. But he was grateful for an acrobatic effort from Kilgallon on the line to thwart a thunderbolt from full back Tom James.

Charlie Wyke prodded over from an Alex Gilliead cross but City had been second best in all departments.

McCall read the riot act at the break and things did look to improve for a few minutes. That was until Otis Khan, the best player on the pitch, cut them wide open on the counter-attack.

The midfielder is attracting League One interest, notably from Blackburn, and showed why with his quick thought and clever distribution on a bobbly surface.

With City caught upfield, he threaded a pass into the path of the charging Barnes. The striker still had plenty to do but when he couldn't find a suitable angle, he opted to go through Raeder's legs with a finishing swagger that you don't witness in League Two.

The Bantams finally showed a bit of menace in a frantic bid to level. Paul Taylor nearly conjured up one of his specials as he pinged the underside of the bar. Shay McCartan should have buried the rebound but allowed Artur Krysiak to make a crucial save.

So, City have still not scored an FA Cup away goal since Mark Yeates rounded off that unforgettable afternoon at Stamford Bridge three years ago.

While his old club laboured on the wrong end of another giant-killing, Jon Stead – another hero of Chelsea – was ironically notching the winner in Notts County's upset triumph at Brentford. Yeates, meanwhile, scored against Guiseley for present employers Eastleigh.

But City's comeback hopes had disappeared in the firm grip of Yeovil's Polish keeper and the Glovers sealed the win when Francois Zoko, looking far more of a handful than he ever did in claret and amber, was allowed to surge deep into away territory before teeing up Jordan Green.

Substitute Danny Devine was denied a consolation by James on the line but City had got exactly what they deserved.