Yeovil Town breezed their way through to the Second Round of the League Cup tonight after they dominated a Colchester United side at Huish Park in the opening game of the 2012-13 season. The 3-0 win was set on its way by Richard Hinds, who needed just 3 minutes and 38 seconds to open his account, and the centre-back doubled his tally a minute before the break with a headed goal. Matters were polished off towards the end of the second period when substitute Keanu Marsh-Brown scored on the counter-attack in a game where the visitors were always largely on the back foot through Yeovil's pace.
The Glovers went into the match minus Gavin Williams (calf muscle) and Rohan Ince (shin) but otherwise were able to select the rest of their sixteen first team players in their starting line-up. The line-up chosen was identical to that selected for the final pre-season friendly against Exeter City, with only five of the seven substitute spots allocated. For Colchester, they included former Yeovil Town left-back Michael Rose, who was signed by Gary Johnson during his first spell at the club.
Four minutes into the match and in the first real chance of the game, the Glovers got the best start they could possibly have. The corner from Ed Upson wasn't the best one, but Colchester's defence lacked decisiveness, and when the ball dropped down to Richard Hinds, he lashed the ball home for an early lead. A great start to the season for sure, and 1-0 up!
Colchester reacted well to the goal being conceded, gaining plenty of possession and forcing a couple of corners, but without creating too many clearcut chances. The balance of the game was curious - the visitors had more possession, but the Glovers were more incisive about the way they played the game. A breakaway by Ed Upson saw the Colchester defence stretch, and his unselfish pass through to James Hayter saw keeper Mark Cousins push the ball out for a corner. Cousins had to do the same with a Sam Foley effort that was pushed over the bar.
Although the Essex side began to get some input into the game as the half closed, there was no doubt about which side deserved to be in front at the break. And that balance of the game was reaffirmed when another Ed Upson corner was fired into the box, and Richard Hinds produced a powerful 44th minute header to put the Glovers deservedly 2-0 up. Just as the half time whistle blew they almost undid that as a Byron Webster back header caught Marek Stech out somewhat, but thankfully the big keeper got a hand to stop the ball whilst off-balance.
The second period opened with Stech once again producing an excellent save - the Essex side certainly had a few chances across the 90 minutes to break the deadlock, but the Czech Republic keeper was in fine form. Overall this was a more even start to the half, although there was still a sense that the Glovers were capable of scoring more on the break.
With twenty minutes remaining, manager Gary Johnson came down from his seat in the Directors Box that he had occupied during the match, allowing Terry Skiverton to marshall things at dugout level. A few instructions and a double substitution saw Lewis Young and Keanu Marsh-Brown introduced, with Gozie Ugwu and James Hayter coming off. Nine minutes after Marsh-Brown's introduction, his pace crucified the Colchester back line, as Reuben Reid's pass split their defence in two, and forced their keeper Mark Cousins to commit himself, lifting the ball confidently over the advancing keeper and into the back of the net.
So 3-0 up and game over, but this was a game that could have seen more goals - at Yeovil's end if Marek Stech had not made a couple of excellent saves, and in the closing stages when Yeovil's third substitute Nathan Ralph came on and whacked the ball against the crossbar with his first touch, as Mark Cousins was forced to tip the shot onto the woodwork. The game was done and dusted in style and with ease, with the Glovers able to threaten on the counter-attack every time Colchester pushed up.
Thus an easy passage into Round Two of the League Cup, and a position in tomorrow's lunchtime draw. Whilst there might have been some concern that the Glovers could only field sixteen players on the teamsheet for the opening day of the season, there was no doubt that what they had on the field was superior to their opposition. When the three substitutes came on, that injected further pace into the side just at the time when the game was perhaps dying a touch. As starts to a season go, there can't be too many complaints about that.
Final Score: Yeovil Town 3 Colchester United 0.
Scorers: Richard Hinds (1-0, 4 mins), Richard Hinds (2-0, 44 mins), Keanu Marsh-Brown (3-0, 79 mins).
Yeovil Town: (4-4-2)
1. Marek Stech
2. Luke Ayling 4. Richard Hinds 5. Byron Webster 3. Jamie McAllister (Capt)
19. Gozie Ugwu 6. Dominic Blizzard 8. Ed Upson 14. Sam Foley
9. James Hayter 11. Reuben Reid
7. Keanu Marsh-Brown (70 mins for Gozie Ugwu) 12. Gareth Stewart 15. Lewis Young (70 mins for James Hayter) 16. Nathan Ralph (81 mins for Sam Foley) 20. Curtis Haynes-Brown
1. Mark Cousins
20. Brian Wilson 18. Tom Eastman 4. Magnus Okuonghae 3. Michael Rose
22. Anthony Wordsworth 10. Kemal Izzet 14. Andrew Bond
16. Ian Henderson 9. Clinton Morrison 30. Drey Wright
35. Carl Pentney 6. Matt Heath 7. Karl Duguid (58 mins for Drey Wright) 8. John-Joe O'Toole (79 mins for Kemal Izzet) 15. Marcus Bean 25. John White 28. Alex Gilbey
Yeovil Bookings: None.
Colchester Bookings: None.
Yeovil Match Statistics: Possession: 56%; Shots: 16; Shots On Target: 13; Corners: 8; Fouls: 14.
Colchester Match Statistics: Possession: 44%; Shots: 10; Shots On Target: 5; Corners: 5; Fouls: 4.
Referee: Simon Hooper (Wiltshire). Assistants: Robert Ellis (West Midlands) and Andrew Bennett (Devon). Fourth Official: Derek Eaton (Gloucestershire).
Attendance: Attendance: 1,907 (including 88 Colchester fans).
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