Yeovil Town gained a 2-2 draw in their final pre-season friendly of the 2011-12 season, coming from behind twice against newly promoted Southampton. In a match played at Huish Park, the Glovers went a goal down just before the break through David Connolly, but came back strongly in the second period. A Paul Wotton penalty levelled the scores, but that was short-lived when Jonathan Forte restored the Saints lead. An Andy Williams header though, restored parity quickly though, as the three goals inside 10 minutes livened up an end-to-end period of the game.
The match saw Yeovil Town select a full set of contracted players in their starting line-up for the first time in pre-season - perhaps a giant hint as to what the starting line-up against Brentford might look like next weekend. With only four trialists on the bench as well, and of those only Rory Fallon being used on the day, this was a match to familiarise with what the Glovers will have at their disposal for the 2011-12 season.
Not too surprisingly, last season's League One runners-up started strongly, playing the ball around well, and showing good off the ball movement. Glovers goalkeeper Jed Steer, making his first appearance since agreeing a three month loan deal at the club, was in solid first half form, stopping attempts from Richie Lambert and Josť Fonte, but couldn't do a lot when the class of Lambert and Adam Lallana saw David Connolly fed right on the stroke of half time, and he nudged the ball home with more or less the final action of the half, with the Glovers defence perhaps having switched off a little.
That was the last we saw of goalscorer Connolly, who was replaced at the break by Jonathan Forte as Saints reshuffled their attack. This was to be a better half for Yeovil, although it was only directly after they had made four substitutions on the hour mark that they got themselves back into the match. A minute after those changes, Josť Fonte was found guilty of fouling Paul Huntington in the box, and up stepped former Saints midfielder Paul Wotton - transferred to the Glovers in January from St Mary's, sending the visiting keeper the wrong way.
Wotton's midfield partner Ed Upson was having a fine 45 minutes and was unlucky not to give Yeovil the lead when he powered two great long distance attempts, with one forcing Dan Harding to clear off his own line, as keeper Kelvin Davis was put at full stretch. That spell of Yeovil pressure therefore made Saints reclaiming the lead look a little harsh, even if Jonathan Forte's quick burst through the middle of the park, and shot fired into the far corner showed some Championship class for the third goal of the game.
Back came the Glovers though, as the quickfire period of goals continued - Ed Upson's right-flank cross landed on the head of Andy Williams, who netted his third goal of pre-season - a statistic made more impressive by him being rested last weekend. 2-2 and as Saints made even more substitutions, there was the chance for the Glovers to steal a win.
That wasn't to be, with Jed Steer having to keep out further chances, with Rickie Lambert still looking his usual dangerous self in aerial encounters, as Saints threatened to nick it at the end. Now the real action starts next weekend, as the Glovers travel to Griffin Park, and at least there's now a bit of stability in terms of the first team squad after a chaotic pre-season period. Going into that first match against Brentford, it will also have done no harm to have established a five game unbeaten run, for what that's worth in terms of pre-season opposition.
Final Score: Yeovil Town 2 Southampton 2.
Scorers: David Connolly (45 mins, 0-1), Paul Wotton (62 mins, 1-1), Jonathan Forte (67 mins, 1-2), Andy Williams (71 mins, 2-2).
Yeovil Town: 13. Jed Steer 2. Luke Ayling 3. Nathan Jones 4. Bondz N'Gala 5. Paul Huntington 6. Paul Wotton (Capt) 7. Kieran Agard 8. Ed Upson 9. Steve MacLean 10. Gavin Williams 11. Max Ehmer
Substitutes: 12. Rory Fallon (60 mins for Kieran Agard) 31. Gareth Stewart 14. Rhys Baggridge 15. Curtis Haynes-Brown (60 mins for Nathan Jones) 16. Andy Williams (60 mins for Steve MacLean) 17. Anthony Edgar (60 mins for Gavin Williams) 18. Abdulai Bell-Baggie 19. Bas Savage 20. Rui Marques 21. Billy Gibson (85 mins for Luke Ayling).
Southampton: Davis, Butterfield, Fonte (Capt), Seaborne, Harding, Guly, Schneiderlin, Cork, Lallana, Connolly, Lambert.
Substitutes: Bart, Richardson (for Butterfield), Jaidi (for Seaborne), Martin (for Fonte), Forte (for Connolly), Chaplow (for Cork), De Ridder (for Lallana).
Attendance: 2,018 (including 569 Saints fans)
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