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Season 2003-2004 : Yeovil Town vs Brentford : Saturday 19th July 2003
Pre-Season Friendly : Yeovil Town 2 Brentford 0
Other reports :

Venue: Huish Park
Saturday 19th July 2003, 3.00pm kick-off.

Conditions: Warm but pleasant
Ground: As usual in excellent condition

Scorers: Kevin Gall (50 mins, 1-0), Hugo Rodrigues (80 mins, 2-0).

Attendance: 1936

Referee: Steve Dunn

Bookings:
Yeovil: None
Brentford: None

Team Line-Ups

Line up : (3-4-1-2)

Stephen Collis
Adam Lockwood, Roy O'Brien, Colin Pluck,
Nick Crittenden, Darren Way, Jamie Gosling, Lee Johnson, Abdelhalim El Kholti
Kevin Gall, Kirk Jackson

Subs: Alex Jeannin (for Colin Pluck, 46 mins), Hugo Rodrigues (for Adam Lockwood, 46 mins), Jose Sebastiao (for Abdelhalim El Kholti, 46 mins), Andy Taylor (for Nick Crittenden, 60 mins), Andy Lindegaard (for Jamie Gosling, 60 mins), Adam Stansfield (for Kirk Jackson, 60 mins), James Bittner (for Stephen Collis, 75 mins), Stephen Reed (for Kevin Gall, 75 mins).

Brentford:P. Smith, Dobson (Allen-Page 65 mins), Sonko, Somner, Frampton (Fieldwick 65 mins), Hutchinson, J. Smith (Tabb 53 mins), Evans (Hunt 16 mins), McPhee (Peters 57 mins), O’Connor (McDonald 57 mins), Traynor. Sub not used: Julian.

First Half

This report courtesy of Martin Baker:

It's all very well knocking seven goals past Chard. The assumption is always that against Screwfix opposition that a team of Yeovil's new stature should be knocking seven goals past Chard. The real acid test was therefore due today, when Nationwide League Second Division side Brentford came to Huish Park. A team that finished 16th in the Second Division last season would surely be the sort of medium term aspirations that the Glovers would want to match. Thus this also became D-Day for the five players hoping to win contracts for the coming season - would the team collectively be able to match their loftier opponents?

Brentford brought down 18 players, all bar two of whom feature in their 20-man First Team squad that is listed on their Official Site, so Yeovil were facing certainly a strong West London side. Gary Johnson chose to start with pretty much his strongest available line-up, in their usual formation.

It was Yeovil who got out of the blocks the fastest, to set a pattern that continued for most of the first half. A header from Colin Pluck, a shot from Abdelhalim El Kholti and a drive from Jamie Gosling that was deflected for a corner all showed the intentions of the home side to take the game to Brentford.

The Bees made an early enforced substitution though and gradually worked their way back into the game, enjoying just a 15 minute spell where they looked dangerous from their sporadic attacks. Kevin O’Connor came the closest for them, as he struck the base of the post with Stephen Collis well beaten, whilst Adam Lockwood had to be on hand to clear the goal-line to avoid the Glovers conceding.

But that was really as good as it got for Brentford, whose up'n'under approach seemed to be received fairly comfortably by the Yeovil back three. At the other end, Kevin Gall was being his usual handful, with darting runs keeping the Brentford back line busy, and he had two good chances to keep Brentford keeper Paul Smith busy. But it was Abdelhalim El Kholti that produced the chance of the half, when he launched a fierce drive to the top corner from the edge of the area. Somehow keeper Smith got a hand to it, and Brentford escaped in at half time with their clean sheet still in place.

Half-Time: Yeovil Town 0 Brentford 0

Gary Johnson decided to be more minimal with the substitutions than of late, with just three changes at half time - Alex Jeannin, Hugo Rodrigues and Jose Sebastiao providing straight swaps for Adam Lockwood, Colin Pluck and Abdelhalim El Kholti.

It was a quiet start to the half, but only five minutes in that lull was broken in the most emphatic way possible. Kevin GALL got the ball in plenty of space around 35-40 yards out from the Brentford goal, and without warning, swivelled and belted the ball. The second he struck the ball, the crowd were up on their feet as this was a goal all the way, with the Brentford keeper being a mile away from saving the fiercely driven shot which landed into the top of the net. The Huish Park Goal of the Season award for the 2003-04 season is in danger of being decided already!

Predictably, the hour mark was punctuated by a continual series of substitutions by both teams, and both teams struggled to get a real grip on the game. Stephen Collis came more into the game, having to make a couple of strong saves, including one that left him clutching his leg as he seemed to fall awkwardly. That ultimately led to Chippenham Town keeper James Bittner becoming another new face on the Huish Park scene, even though Collis was able to continue for five minutes beyond his injury.

The Glovers were begining to win back their grip on the game though, and Brentford had little answer to the home side's game of possession. Each time Brentford thrust the ball forward, the Yeovil back line, usually in the form of the giant frame of Hugo Rodrigues, merely passed it back up field, forcing the visitors onto the back-foot where Yeovil were to force a succession of corners and free kicks. Jose Sebastiao was the victim of two fairly crude challenges, leading to taunts from the 200 travelling Brentford fans.

Ultimately the game was won with 10 minutes remaining. Another corner was not cleared properly by the visitors, and when Andy Taylor put the ball back into the box, a slight scramble saw Hugo RODRIGUES toe-poke the ball home from six yards out to his obvious delight.

Brentford almost pulled a goal back in the dying minutes when they struck Bittner's crossbar, but the return chance was ballooned high into the Westland Stand. James Bittner had to be on hand to stop a further chance from the visitors, but ultimately Yeovil Town finished comfortably, with many of the Brentford support deciding they'd seen enough and heading for the car park.

Martin Baker

Full-time: Yeovil Town 2 Brentford 0
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