Yeovil Town swept to an emphatic pre-season victory this afternoon, as they thrashed League Two side Plymouth Argyle 5-0 at Dorchester Town's Avenue Stadium. The damage was done by a player that the Pilgrims introduced to professional football, with Reuben Reid grabbing an impressive hat-trick against his former side. Keanu Marsh-Brown managed his third goal of pre-season, whilst James Hayter weighed in by getting his first goal since joining the Glovers. But the Argyle cause was hardly helped by Nick Chadwick, who failed to last the first half of this 'friendly' match - his off the ball elbow on Byron Webster saw him given a straight red card that left Argyle playing the final 50 minutes with ten men.
The Glovers selected their first choice line-up for this match, with James Hayter and Reuben Reid as the front strikers in a 4-4-2 whilst Keanu Marsh-Brown occupied the right flank, with Gavin Williams on the left. All other positions were standard, with Rohan Ince continuing to partner Ed Upson, with Dominic Blizzard's hand injury keeping him out once again.
Both opening goals had common features to them, with Argyle's sluggish back four being out-paced on both occasions. The ninth minute opener saw James Hayter flick on a long ball into the path of Reuben Reid, who ran into the box, drew out the visiting keeper Jake Cole, and then knocked the ball past him and into the back of the net for a 1-0 lead.
Midway through the first half and the Glovers doubled their lead, as Keanu Marsh-Brown broke through the centre of Argyle's back four, with the winger easily out-pacing those who tried to catch him. This time goalkeeper Jake Cole did well to block the former Oldham player's shot, but the pace on the ball was enough for it to still land in the back of the net, for his third goal in pre-season.
Two became three just 35 minutes into the match, thanks to a howler from former Glovers defender Darren Purse. Being put under pressure by Reuben Reid, the Pilgrims player fell over, and that allowed Reid the chance to nip in and fire home Yeovil's third goal from close range.
Shortly after the third came a rare moment in a pre-season friendly - a red card. Nick Chadwick got involved in an off the ball incident involving Byron Webster, with the 29 year old appearing to use his elbow. The offence was serious enough for match referee Keith Stroud to tell Chadwick to leave the pitch, without Argyle being allowed to substitute him, meaning that the visitors had to play the remaining 50 minutes of the match with just ten men.
The second period saw Argyle step up a gear from their woeful first half showing, forcing Marek Stech into a couple of saves, whilst substitute Curtis Nelson clipped the outside of the post with one shot. The Glovers had reorganised at the break, introducing five substitutes, including the first opportunity to see Gozie Ugwu, following his arrival on loan from Reading. Lewis Young once again got a chance to see what he could do at right-back, whilst Nathan Ralph took the opposite full-back position.
Despite the visitors having much more of the second period, it was Yeovil who further extended their lead, midway through the half. Lewis Young made a forward run from his deep position, and his cross into the box saw the Argyle keeper over-commit himself. James Hayter was on the back stick, and skillfully planted a close range header into the back of the net. 4-0 and any idea that the Pilgrims might cause second half embarrassment was ended.
Just after Nathan Ralph picked up a yellow card for a fierce tackle, Glovers fans were treated to the goal of the game. Reuben Reid, who began his professional career with the Pilgrims, reminded them what they were missing - getting the ball on the edge of the box, making himself room, and then curling a fine effort into the top corner for a 5-0 scoreline.
That was basically that, with Yeovil making a series of late substitutions that meant that everyone bar Marek Stech and James Hayter left the field at some point during the game. An obvious morale-boosting result, particularly in that both main strikers got goals, with Marsh-Brown adding further to his own tally. However, the Glovers need to keep their feet a little bit on the ground in terms of the size of the victory, with Nick Chadwick's early bath a partial factor in how things panned out.
Final Score: Yeovil Town 5 Plymouth Argyle 0.
Scorers: Reuben Reid (1-0, 9 mins), Keanu Marsh-Brown (2-0, 22 mins), Reuben Reid (3-0, 35 mins), James Hayter (4-0, 70 mins), Reuben Reid (5-0, 82 mins)
Yeovil Town: (starting line-up)
1. Marek Stech 2. Luke Ayling 3. Jamie McAllister 4. Richard Hinds 5. Byron Webster 7. Keanu Marsh-Brown 8. Ed Upson 9. James Hayter 10. Gavin Williams 11. Reuben Reid 17. Rohan Ince
12. Gareth Stewart 14. Sam Foley (46 mins for Ed Upson) 15. Lewis Young (46 mins for Luke Ayling) 16. Nathan Ralph (46 mins for Jamie McAllister) 18. Charlie Ware (77 mins for Keanu Marsh-Brown) 19. Chigozie Ugwu (46 mins for Rohan Ince) 20. Will Agbo (75 mins for Gavin Williams) 21. Tommy Smith (88 mins for Reuben Reid) 23. Mitch Brundle (88 mins for Richard Hinds) 24. Aaron Downes (46 mins for Byron Webster)
Plymouth Argyle: (starting line-up)
1. Jake Cole 3. Robbie Williams 5. Darren Purse 7. Paris Cowan-Hall 8. Luke Young 9. Nick Chadwick 18. Ladje Sopukouna 23. Jamie Richards 25. Isaac Vassell 26. Jed Harper-Penman 27. Alessandro Perez
4. Maxime Blanchard 6. Conor Horihane 13. Ollie Chenoweth 14. Onismore Bhasera 16. Jamie Lowry 17. Curtis Nelson 20. Rene Gilmartin 21. Matt Lecointe 22. Jared Sims 24. Jordan Copp
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