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The substitution, sponsored by Edenvale Turf South West, replacing No.9 Radamel Falcao is No.7 Angel Di Maria... HOW IT TOOK A PS100M TRANSFER FOR UNITED TO FINALLY SUBDUE BRAVE YEOVIL.

Byline: DAVE KIDD Chief Football Writer

THERE was a glorious moment for the Yeovil Town faithful with almost an hour played and their team on level terms with possibly the most famous club in the world.

The voice of the public-address announcer boomed out across Huish Park: "The substitution, sponsored by Edenvale Turf South West, replacing number nine Radamel p an out a "The sored Sout numbe Falcao is number seven, Angel Di Maria."

A Colombian striker trousering north of PS15million a year, had failed to break down the mighty Glovers and was making way for the most expensive recruit in British transfer history.

It was testament to the sterling job done by League One's bottom club that Louis van Gaal needed to send his PS59m Argentinian World Cup star out into the freezing Somerset air.

It was not the sort of substitution they are used to down here. Certainly not when Leyton Orient came to town and romped to a 3-0 win last week.

Minutes earlier, Yeovil's big-money recruit - a PS30,000 buy from Dorchester Town, who revels in the full name of Kieffer Roberto Francisco Moore - squandered a wonderful chance to give the home side the lead.

Boss Gary Johnson banned his players from taking selfies with United's famed cast list - but there had been little evidence of Yeovil being starstruck.

United had talked of arranging prestige midweek friendlies to make up for their lack of European football. Yet it took a moment of majesty from Ander Herrera and a cool finish from Di Maria to ensure they were not hosting a replay with Yeovil next week.

Van Gaal said these David v Goliath cup ties were referred to as 'death or gladioli' in Holland.

And while the United boss slipped free of the Grim Reaper, he hardly ended up brandishing bouquets like Dame Edna Everage in her pomp.

United had survived a scare. Yeovil were perhaps the most famous giant-killers in the English game during their non-league days, with help from the infamous slope at their old ground.

This was the biggest fixture to be staged at their current home. A day when a small west-country town, best known for manufacturing helicopters, stopped and dreamed of defeating members of the private-jet set.

Yet it mattered to the Reds too. They have not lifted the FA Cup in 11 years and as it represents their only realistic chance of a trophy this season, Van Gaal sent out a strong starting line-up.

They knew they were in for a game as soon as the gargantuan Moore crashed into David De Gea in the opening seconds. Moore and Paddy McNair spent most of the match with bandaged heads after a sickening early clash. Van Gaal used the break in play for a lengthy touchline tutorial.

Yet United carved out only two chances of note in the first half. Wayne Rooney curling over from 20 yards and James Wilson shooting straight at Jed Steer.

Yeovil had plenty of the ball but lacked composure in the final third, never more so than when Moore latched on to a Foley centre after a slip from Chris Smalling, only to produce a backpass to De Gea.

On came Di Maria and on 64 minutes United were ahead when Herrera, with his back to goal, spun and fired into the top corner.

Yeovil's Joe Edwards had a header cleared off the line but United added a second goal in the 90th minute when a visionary pass from Rooney sent Di Maria scurrying through to dink a finish past Steer.

Yet it was not a day they will forget in a hurry down here. And the boys from Edenvale Turf got their money's worth too.

david.kidd@trinitymirror.com

CAPTION(S):

angel to the rescue Falcao off, Di Maria on as Louis van Gaal tries to kill off Yeovil's threat

AIR DRYER Fergie arrives by helicopter

BIG DAY OUT Fans queue to get into Huish Park

YOU LOVE IT Di Maria seals the win and celebrates

REDS' RELIEF Herrera mobbed after his opener

MISSED IT Kieffer Moore fails to take his chance
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Title Annotation:Sport; Opinion Columns
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jan 5, 2015
Words:686
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