Yeovil Town were held to a 1-1 draw in humid conditions at the Camrose this afternoon, as Conference South side Basingstoke Town came from a goal down to level in the Glovers second pre-season friendly. In a first half dominated by Yeovil, they took the lead when Sam Hoskins pounced on a defensive error to score from eight yards out on the half hour mark. But in a disjointed looking second half, featuring a Glovers side with significantly more new faces, Basingstoke levelled as Manny Williams stabbed home from a corner, with little to inspire in the second period or suggest the Glovers could win the game.
Gary Johnson selected a starting eleven made up entirely of permanent signings, perhaps suggesting the way his mind his thinking in terms of what he has seen so far in pre-season training, albeit with Chris Weale, AJ Leitch-Smith, Joel Grant and Ben Nugent all sitting out today's match.
It was an opening 45 minutes that the Glovers dominated, albeit in humid conditions, and in a half punctuated by physios coming on, drinks breaks, and a few painfully slow moments where it wasn't really clear why play wasn't resuming. This was definitely a pre-season friendly. As the half wore on, Kieffer Moore had a one-on-one blocked by the feet of the keeper, and when the ball was returned into the box Sam Hoskins flicked a header wide that he probably should have put away.
Kieffer Moore finds his shot is blocked by Basingstoke keeper Stuart Moore, who was in excellent form.
The Basingstoke keeper was in excellent form throughout the match - albeit that he seemed to like doing saves in a manner that would be called 'playing to the cameras' - if there had been any video cameras showing this afternoon's match! He made one such acrobatic save from a Sam Foley volley inside the box, forcing the ball out for a corner. Brendan Moloney whistled a rocket of a shot over the bar, before the home keeper saved again - this time tipping over a Sam Hoskins volley.
But there wasn't a lot any goalkeeper could do when a defensive hash gifted Sam Hoskins the ball on 29 minutes, and the former Southampton striker gave himself room inside the box before firing home from eight yards out for what was on the whole a deserved lead - and one that Yeovil took in at the break. Not a brilliant 45 minutes worth of football, but it was passable.
Liam Davis rides a tackle down the left flank.
In the second period inevitably Yeovil made many changes - seven at half time and then a further three on the hour mark. Introduced were known trialists Luke Clark and Ferdinand Takyi, plus a French winger called Kamel Chergui who used to be on the books of St Etienne, and former Glovers loanee Lawson D'Ath, who was released by Reading at the end of last season and played for Bristol Rovers in midweek.
The end result was a bit of a disjointed mess at times, and Basingstoke's equaliser was evidence of that - a corner that the Glovers made a hash of clearing as it bounced around in the box, before Manny Williams fired home for the equalising goal, seven minutes after the break.
Thereafter, there wasn't an awful lot more going on during the game to suggest Yeovil could retake the lead. Kamel Chergui and Ferdinand Takyi looked lively enough although without a real end product, but Lawson D'Ath didn't achieve a lot, whilst Nathan Smith and Nathan Ralph looked a little anonymous in their play, albeit with the latter operating in midfield. If Gary Johnson's thinking was to put his 'first eleven' in during the first half and 'the others' in during the second half, then there wasn't an awful lot to see during the second period to make anyone think that he might have got his decision-making wrong - based on the second 45 minutes play.
Final Score: Basingstoke Town 1 Yeovil Town 1.
Scorers: Sam Hoskins (29 mins, 0-1), Manny Williams 52 mins, 1-1)
Yeovil Town (First Half):
1. Artur Krysiak
2. Brendan Moloney, 5. Jakub Sokolik, 6. Aaron Martin, Liam Davis
7. Kevin Dawson, 4. Joe Edwards, 8. James Berrett, 11. Sam Foley
10. Sam Hoskins, 9. Kieffer Moore.
Yeovil Town (Second Half):
1. Artur Krysiak
16. Seth Nana Twumasi, 6. Aaron Martin 5. Jakub Sokolik, 13. Nathan Smith
17. Lawson D'Ath, 18. Luke Clark, 4. Joe Edwards, 20. Kamel Chergui
22. James Hayter, 21. Ferdinand Takyi
Substitutes: 14. Matteo Lanzoni (60 mins for Aaron Martin) 19. Nathan Ralph (60 mins for Joe Edwards) 15. Calvin Brooks (60 mins for Jakub Sokolik)
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