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Season 2005-2006 : Cheltenham Town v Yeovil Town : Saturday 30th July 2005
Pre-Season Friendly : Cheltenham Town 1 - 1 Yeovil Town

Venue: Whaddon Road
Sat 30th July 2005, 3.30pm kick-off.

Conditions:
Pitch:

Scorers: Phil Jevons (26, 0-1), Ashley Vincent (90, 1-1)

Attendance: 946 (including around 50 Glovers fans)

Referee: CR Wilkes (Gloucestershire)
Assistants:

Bookings:
Yeovil: None
Cheltenham: None

Team Line-Ups

Yeovil Town :
1. Chris Weale 4. Terry Skiverton 6. Darren Way 7. Paul Terry 8. Lee Johnson 12. Kevin Amankwaah 16. Efe Sodje 11. Nathan Jones 18. David Poole 19. Pablo Bastianini 10. Phil Jevons

Subs: 5. Colin Miles (75, for Sodje) 9. Kevin Gall (75, for Poole 13. Steve Collis (46, for Weale) 15. Arron Davies (75, for Jevons 17. Scott Guyett (77, for Skiverton) 20. Matt Harrold (75, for Bastianini)

Cheltenham Town :
1. Scott Brown 2. Jerry Gill 3. Jamie Victory 6. Michael Taylor 8. John Finnigan (Captain) 9. Steve Guinan 10. Damian Spencer 11. Grant McCann 15. Michael Townsend 19. Craig Armstrong 22. JJ Melligan

Subs: 4. Michael Wylde 5. Gavin Caines (75 mins for Taylor) 7. Sosthene Yao (86 mins for Melligan) 12. Will Puddy (GK) 14. David Bird (60 mins for Finnigan) 16. Adam Connolly 17. Kayode Odejayi (66 mins for Guinan) 18. Ashley Vincent (81 mins for Armstrong) 20. Andy Gallinagh 21. Scott Musgrove

Match Report

A coach fire on the M5 northbound during one of the busiest weekends on the road of the year did not help preparation for this game. Originally intended for a 3.00pm kick-off, Gary Johnson's team spent two hours in the motorway chaos that ensued, and the end result was that the players only arrived at Whaddon Road at 3pm, with the game finally kicking off 34 minutes late.

Three interesting changes to the 'provisional' first team line-up that has been used in some of the recent friendlies. Chris Weale nudged his way ahead of Steve Collis, whilst Nathan Jones and David Poole were given starts in an effort to prove their fitness ahead of Colin Miles and Kevin Gall. It certainly appears that otherwise these three positions, the starting line-up for Oldham is close to taking it's final shape.

Yeovil started slightly sluggish, particularly at the back, conceding too many free kicks around the 20-30 yard area and one such offence allowed Cheltenham playmaker Grant McCann to curl a free kick over the Yeovil wall and towards the bottom right corner as early as the 4th minute. Chris Weale showed top form to tip the ball away from goal and for a corner.

Perhaps that was down to the rigours of the coach journey as 10-15 minutes into the match, Yeovil began to find their legs and really open up the Cheltenham defence; going on to control the rest of the first half. Pablo Bastianini gave another example of why Gary Johnson has brought him in for this season when he saw Cheltenham keeper Scott Brown off his line and chose to chip him Beckham-style from 45 yards out. Brown's blushes were saved by the meat of the crossbar and a defender cleared the rebound away.

Three minutes later, Phil Jevons got receipt of a through ball from Terry Skiverton which deflected nicely off a Cheltenham defender's head and straight into his path leaving him in behind the Cheltenham defence, but his attempt on the half volley went just wide of the post.

Finally on 26 minutes, Yeovil's general domination of the half paid off. A string of passes saw Darren Way and Nathan Jones combine up the left flank and when the latter's cross was put low into the area, Phil JEVONS was able to turn, make room for himself, and fire low into the bottom left corner of the net for a goal that had been coming.

The Glovers could have still increased their lead further before the break as they thumped the woodwork for a second time. A corner from the right was only half cleared and when the ball reached David Poole on the edge of the area, his volley deflected heavily, allowing the ball to loop up and leave Cheltenham keeper Scott Brown stranded once again. For the second time though, the crossbar came to his rescue.

But this was overall a pleasing half of football. Poole and Jones were looking highly impressive despite their recent layoffs and the overall shape of the team was looking good. Perhaps most critically was that bar some early free kicks, they had kept Cheltenham's attacks out of range of Chris Weale, despite the League Two side kicking down the slope towards the home terrace, where previous visits to Whaddon Road have seen many a long ball launched into the danger zone.

Half-time: Cheltenham Town 0 - 1 Yeovil Town

Just one change of note at half time with Chris Weale replaced by Steve Collis as boss Gary Johnson kept both keepers and the Yeovil support guessing as to who would be between the sticks on Saturday. Collis was brought into action quickly as a corner from Grant McCann saw a downward header from Jamie Victory scrambled away by the Yeovil keeper. One great save each for Yeovil's two keepers thus giving Gary Johnson little to go on in terms of who to choose for next week's match.

The second period was a far more even affair, with fewer chances for either side. David Poole managed a couple from long range. One came after home keeper Brown had scuffed a poor clearance and Poole attempted to lob a now out of position goalkeeper but his attempt cleared the bar by a couple of feet. Next Poole tried another long ranger after a corner was half-cleared, but his strike went wide of the upright.

Cheltenham had their own chances and Michael Taylor flashed a glancing header across the face of the Yeovil goal after he was not picked up from a corner. But overall this game was being controlled in midfield. Next Terry Skiverton had to be extremely careful with a Grant McCann free kick that was put in towards the back post, with Skiverton's stooped header being glanced past the post for a corner.

There was slight confusion midway through the second half after Damian Spencer committed an 'industrial' tackle on Efe Sodje that left the Yeovil defender flat out on the deck. Referee Mr Wilkes appeared to be inviting Spencer to voluntarily substitute himself after the clear yellow card tackle, but for some reason it never happened and Cheltenham replaced Steve Guinan instead. As the game approached the final 15 minutes, both sides made a whole host of substitutions, with Yeovil replacing five players, including Sodje.

The late substitutions seemed to benefit Cheltenham rather than Yeovil, with a bit of pace being introduced into the home side's front line, whilst Scott Guyett and Colin Miles formed a new defensive partnership. Former Forest Green striker Kayode Odejayi turned and ballooned a shot out of the ground when he was given room in the penalty box, and when Ashley Vincent also took a ball out of the ground a minute later it looked like Cheltenham had run out of ideas.

However right at the death, Cheltenham pulled the rabbit out of the hat and it came through a former Yeovil trialist. Right winger Sosthene Yao, who played in the Glovers Reserve side for a couple of games last season, forced his way down the right wing and floated an excellent cross in. finding Ashley VINCENT unmarked and able to plant a header into the top left hand corner for a late late equaliser. Disappointing from Yeovil's point of view given that by half time they could have had the game out of sight, but this was still a good penultimate work-out and it would seem unlikely that there would be anything more than minor tweaking necessary before next Saturday's game at Oldham. It would seem likely that Monday's match at Tiverton will be more of a chance for players to stake their claim on the bench, with the starting line-up now looking close to finalisation.

Badger

Full-time: Cheltenham Town 1 - 1 Yeovil Town
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Last Updated : 30th July 2005
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