Yeovil Town drew with local rivals Bristol Rovers tonight, in their second public pre-season friendly. The Glovers had to come from behind, after Tom Lockyer converted from close range from a corner just before the break to give the Gas a half time lead. They had hit the woodwork twice during the match, but couldn't increase that advantage, and it was the Glovers who equalised when a Carl Dickinson free kick was headed home from close range by Bevis Mugabi to ensure the match ended in a 1-1 draw.
The Glovers starting line-up showed very little in the way of change, with Bevis Mugabi preferred to Shaun Donnellan, who took no part in tonight's game, whilst Francois Zoko got the nod ahead of Alex Fisher. James Bailey and Jake Gray remained out injured, whilst centre-back Gary Warren was also not used on the night. In the opposition line-up, Ed Upson started against his former club.
An early Tom James free kick saw Sam Slocombe palm the ball away, as Yeovil started comfortably. This was followed by a lobbed Chris Lines effort that cleared Stuart Nelson, and clipped the top of the crossbar before landing on the back of the net. Lines also dragged a shot wide before Diallang Jaiyesimi came close to claiming a goal as he put a Carl Dickinson cross just over the crossbar.
With 37 minutes gone in a fairly even half, Rovers took the lead as they won a corner on the left. As it was swung in, Tom Lockyer managed to out-muscle Bevis Mugabi, and force the ball home from close range to put the Gas 0-1 up at the break. Surprisingly both sides declined to make massive changes at that point, with only James Clarke introduced for the visitors as the game restarted.
Rovers started the second period on the front foot, forcing Stuart Nelson into a couple of errors, as he sliced a clearance whilst under pressure from Tom Nichols, and when the ball went into the box, he half-missed his punch on the ball, leaving him exposed. Thankfully Rovers didn't follow up on this.
Instead it was Yeovil that equalised, just before the hour mark. A Carl Dickinson free kick was swung into the box and Bevis Mugabi rose highest as four or five players contested for the ball, and he managed to plant his close range header past the keeper for a 1-1 scoreline.
Rovers tried to hit back, as Sam Matthews struck the crossbar from the edge of the box, with a well hit shot that ultimately bounced out for a goal kick. Substitutions and trialists began to appear, with both Yeovil strikers making way for a trialist and Alex Fisher. It took a while for Rovers to begin to threaten again, and it was only in the final 15 minutes that they began to assert any authority, with Tom Nichols turning and shooting but finding Stuart Nelson getting down low to save. Then Liam Sercombe cut in from the wing, firing a shot just wide of the right hand post.
Yeovil finished the match by substituting their entire midfield, with Gabriel Rogers and Tyrique Spencer-Clarke coming on as Academy players, joined by two more trialists. To their credit they kept Bristol Rovers fairly quiet in the closing stages - something that the League One club's fans might question. In terms of chances, the game mainly fizzled out, meaning that neither team looked too likely to snatch a winner.
Final Score: Yeovil Town 1 Bristol Rovers 1.
Scorers: Tom Lockyer (0-1, 37 mins), Bevis Mugabi (1-1, 57 mins)
1. Stuart Nelson
2. Tom James, 6. Bevis Mugabi, 5. Omar Sowunmi (Capt), 3. Carl Dickinson
7. Jordan Green, 4. Sessi D'Almeida, 8. Alefe Santos, 10. Rhys Browne
11. Diallang Jaiyesimi, 13. Francois Zoko
Trialist A (60 mins for Diallang Jaiyesimi), Alex Fisher (63 mins for Francois Zoko), Daniel Ojo (76 mins for Omar Sowunmi), Tyrique Spencer-Clarke (79 mins for Alefe Santos), Gabriel Rogers (79 mins for Rhys Browne), Trialist B (79 mins for Jordan Green), Trialist C (79 mins for Sessi D'Almeida)
1. Sam Slocombe 2. Daniel Leadbitter 23. Kyle Bennett 4. Tom Lockyer 5. Tony Craig 6. Ed Upson 7. Liam Sercombe 10. Tom Nichols 14. Chris Lines 26. Sam Matthews 28. Michael Kelly
8. Ollie Clarke 11. Bernard Mensah Jr 15. James Clarke (46 mins for Daniel Leadbitter) 16. Tom Broadbent 20. Adam Smith 21. Alfie Clarke 33. Alex Rodman
Referee: Lee Swabey. Assistants: Paul Rees and Stacey Pearson. Fourth Official: Sean Rothwell.
Attendance: 1,114 (with 329 Bristol Rovers fans).
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