Yeovil Town maintained their pre-season unbeaten run tonight, as a 1-1 draw against Premier League side Stoke City saw them draw in their eighth practice match. A goalless first half burst into life during a ten minute period just after the break, as Reuben Reid's penalty opened the scoring after Byron Webster was fouled in the box. Then the Potters grabbed their equalising goal through Kenwyne Jones as his backpost header saw the visitors level to give them their second draw in the West Country in 24 hours, having also played Torquay United last night.
The Glovers went into the match missing two key players, as Rohan Ince continued treatment on a shin injury back at parent club Chelsea, whilst Gavin Williams missed his third consecutive match with calf muscle problems. For Stoke City, former loan pair Asmir Begovic and Marc Wilson got the chance to start against their former club, although there was no place for the likes of Rory Delap, Peter Crouch and Robert Huth in a relatively strong Potters starting line-up.
Both sides had their chances during the first period, with Ryan Shawcross almost putting into his own net from a Reuben Reid cross, whilst James Hayter headed over the bar. Stokes best chance came via trialist Sebastian Boenisch who forced a terrific save out of Marek Stech, after Stoke's Jamie Ness and Glenn Whelan had combined to good effect down the channel following a free kick. Reading loanee Gozie Ugwu was once again playing as a winger, and he showed that he knew how to drive at the full-back with an excellent run, but his final ball to Reuben Reid was poor and the two sides went in at the break without beating the keepers.
Three minutes into the second period, Yeovil Town got a shock breakthrough after Ryan Shawcross fouled Byron Webster in the box, giving the Glovers the chance of a spot kick to open the scoring. Up stepped Reuben Reid and although Asmir Begovic guessed the right way, he couldn't get his hand to the ball, with the penalty kick putting Yeovil Town 1-0 up against Premier League opposition.
Unsurprisingly Stoke came back at them - with Ryan Shotton's cross-cum-shot clipping the crossbar as he sought out Kenwyne Jones. However, nine minutes after the Yeovil opener, Sebastian Boenisch got in down the left flank, and his deep cross into the box, and Jones planted an excellent header home on the back stick, with the Glovers perhaps guilty of losing their marker as Stoke levelled the game.
Both sides made a series of second half substitutions, although with Yeovil only having four available outfield substitutes, their options were a little more slender as legs on both sides tired somewhat. In the dying stages, Cameron Jerome could have won it as he tried to stab a loose ball home but couldn't get his tow on it, then Danny Higginbotham blasted well wide of the target in the final minute.
Overall, a good performance from a Glovers side that tired a little in the second period, but did not look overawed by their Premier League opposition. Reuben Reid got the sponsors man of the match, not only for his penalty, but for leading the line well. With six of the ten outfield players getting through 90 minutes, with a near first choice eleven competing, the Glovers are timing the end of their pre-season schedule well.
Final Score: Yeovil Town 1 Stoke City 1.
Scorers: Reuben Reid (1-0, pen, 48 mins), Kenwyne Jones (1-1, 57 mins)
1. Marek Stech
2. Luke Ayling 4. Richard Hinds 5. Byron Webster 3. Jamie McAllister (c)
19. Gozie Ugwu 6. Dominic Blizzard 8. Ed Upson 14. Sam Foley
9. James Hayter 11. Reuben Reid
7. Keanu Marsh-Brown (71 mins for James Hayter) 12. Gareth Stewart 15. Lewis Young (71 mins for Luke Ayling) 16. Nathan Ralph (80 mins for Jamie McAllister) 20. Curtis Haynes-Brown (80 mins for Sam Foley)
1. Asmir Begovic 5. Sebastian Boenisch 12. Marc Wilson 17. Ryan Shawcross 20. Matthew Upson 26. Matthew Etherington 6. Glenn Whelan 18. Dean Whitehead 9. Kenwyne Jones 19. Jonathan Walters 30. Ryan Shotton.
8. Jamie Ness (25 mins for Matthew Etherington) 33. Cameron Jerome (46 for Marc Wilson) 40. Wilson Palacios (60 mins for Dean Whitehead) 32. Diego Arismendi (60 mins for Glenn Whelan) 24. Rory Delap (65 mins for Jonathan Walters), 23. Michael Tonge (71 mins for Kenwyne Jones), 3. Danny Higginbotham (71 mins for Sebastian Boenisch)
Attendance: 2,106 (including 350 Stoke fans).
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