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Season 2005-2006 : Yeovil Town v West Ham United : Saturday 23rd July 2005
Pre-Season Friendly : Yeovil Town 2 - 2 West Ham United

Venue: Huish Park
Sat 23rd July 2005, 5pm kick-off.

Conditions: Overcast, mild
Pitch: Excellent

Scorers: Pablo Bastianini (4, 1-0), Petr Mikolanda (38, 1-1), Kevin Gall (44, 2-1), Bobby Zamora (86, 2-2)

Attendance: (including 1,500 West Ham fans)

Referee: Lee Probert
Assistants: Ron Ganfield, Andrew Sainsbury

Bookings:
Yeovil: None
West Ham: None

Team Line-Ups

Yeovil Town : (4-4-2)
1. Chris Weale
12. Kevin Amankwaah, 4. Terry Skiverton, 16. Efe Sodje, 5. Colin Miles,
9. Kevin Gall, 8. Lee Johnson, 7. Paul Terry, 6. Darren Way,
10. Phil Jevons, 18. Pablo Bastianini

Subs: 2. Adam Lockwood (63, for Johnson), 3. Michael Rose (63, for Miles), 11. Nathan Jones (63, for Way), 13. Steve Collis (63, for Weale), 14. Andy Lindegaard (63, for Amankwaah), 15. Steve Reed (63, for Terry), 17. Scott Guyett (63, for Skiverton), 19. Dale Williams (not used) 20. Matt Harrold (63, for Bastianini), 21. Luke Oliver (63, for Sodje), 25. Arron Davies (63, for Gall), 26. Lubo Blaha (46, for Jevons)

West Ham United :
1. Stephen Bywater; 2. Trent McClenahan, 3. Shaun Newton, 4. James Collins, 5. Malky Mackay, 6. Carl Fletcher, 7. Christian Dailly, 8. Gavin Williams. 9. Bobby Zamora, 10. Petr Mikolanda, 11. Luke Chadwick

Subs: 16. Youseff Sofiane (46, for Chadwick) 14. Kyle Reid (68, for Mikolanda), 12. Elliot Ward (80, for Dailly), 21. Matty Reed (GK), 15. Darren Blewitt.

Match Report

The return of Gavin Williams to Huish Park seemed to almost turn this match into a testimonial game for the former Glover, with both teams supporters packing out the ground in warm but thankfully not scorching weather. Glovers boss Gary Johnson omitted David Poole from the squad with the winger suffering an inflamed hip, but otherwise all first team squad players were available and on show for the game. West Ham fielded a somewhat disappointing line-up mainly made up of those likely to be competing for places on their bench for the new season, and manager Alan Pardew and former Glover did not even travel to see how such players would get on at his former club.

The Glovers set out their intentions right from the start when Phil Jevons latched onto a long ball over the top of the West Ham defence. Phil Jevons did them for pace, and Stephen Bywater's decision to leave his box looked to have been misguided, but as Jevons shot, Bywater blocked and a defender hacked the ball away for a corner as Jevons aimed for the rebound.Straight from the Lee Johnson corner, a neat collect and turn by trialist Pablo BASTIANINI saw Bywater well beaten on his near post as the Argentinian flicked the ball home. Not a bad way to introduce yourself to Somerset!

West Ham tried to hit back through Carl Fletcher after he was put through around the penalty spot, but a wonderful block by Colin Miles that was brave and perfectly timed, stopped the Londoners from getting a strike on goal. But for the second time in the match the West Ham back line were done for pace as another ball over the top saw Phil Jevons put through. Once again Bywater had to come out and block, but when Jevons got the loose ball again, his attempt to chip the backpedalling keeper struck the crossbar. Kevin Gall's follow-up on the rebound went just wide from a narrow angle.

It took West Ham 24 minutes before they could get a direct attempt on the Yeovil goal, but Bobby Zamora's attempt went well over the bar despite plenty of space to compose himself. A minute later Zamora was again the recipient of a through ball, but his attempt to play the ball low across the Glovers six yard line saw no incoming team-mate and Paul Terry calmly put the ball out for a corner.

Seven minutes from the break, Gavin Williams produced the sort of mazey run that all Yeovil fans know far too well, and his through ball to Zamora was perfect. The finish though was not and once again the Hammers striker put the ball over the bar. But a minute later Zamora's role as goal provider was a little more fruitful. His attempt at a cross was blocked by Terry Skiverton, but the rebound fell kindly to Petr MIKOLANDA who fired home from close range to level the scores.

If that was meant to restore normality, Yeovil hadn't read the script. Pablo Bastianini had his own back of tricks two minutes from the break, and his cheeky lob over the last West Ham defender saw Kevin GALL use his pace and collect the pass. Bywater once again had to leave his line to compensate for the sluggishness of his backline but this time when he parried Gall's initial shot, the Welshman was able to slot the rebound in from just two yards out. A great half for Yeovil, and a scoreline that thoroughly reflected the pattern of play in the game.

Half-time: Yeovil Town 2 - 1 West Ham United

Half time saw Lubomir Blaha replace Phil Jevons whilst West Ham also made their first change of the afternoon with Luke Chadwick being replaced by Youseff Sofiane. Christian Dailly got the first strike on target of the second period but his low drive was comfortably saved by Chris Weale.

But Yeovil still looked like the side more likely to score. Bastianini struck a terrific volley just wide of the target after West Ham had only half-cleared their lines. Then Bywater almost took the ball over his own goal-line when a Darren Way cross looped right under the crossbar providing a nasty moment for the Hammers. The Glovers forced four corners in succession with Lubo Blaha seeing one of his attempts deflected for a corner kick during the Yeovil spell of pressure. Next Lubomir Blaha laid the ball off for Colin Miles but his shot was scuffed wide of the target.

The 63rd minute saw wall to wall substitutions take place as Yeovil brought on ten substitutes with only Lubo Blaha remaining on the field. As the game restarted, West Ham full-back Trent McClenahan was caught napping as Blaha charged down an attempted clearance, ran onto the loose ball and forced Bywater into stretching his full length to stop the shot.

But four minutes after the changeover, perhaps induced by the mass swapover, West Ham appeared to have a foothold back into the game. Gavin Williams took on two Yeovil defenders and when the ball ricocheted through to Bobby Zamora, Luke Oliver clumsily took out the Hammers striker for a clear spot kick. Then came the chants of "Super, Super Gav" from the crowd as bizarrely the Yeovil crowd willed their former hero to take the spot kick, but Zamora ignored their cries and picked the ball up. Embarrasingly for him though, Steve Collis guessed right and saved the spot kick keeping Yeovil's advantage in the match. Westland Stand 1 Bobby Zamora 0!

As the game moved into it's final segment, Michael Rose produced a wicked curling cross that beat Bywater and were it not for Shaun Newton's goal-line clearance, Yeovil would have been surely 3-1 up with Matt Harrold charging in to stab the ball home. Newton got there first by a whisker.

West Ham had done little to trouble the new Yeovil back line other than the penalty, but with just five minutes remaining, the Hammers grabbed an equaliser their play probably did not deserve. Kyle Reed put a cross into the middle, Steve Collis saved an initial shot from close range but as the ball bobbled loose, Bobby ZAMORA finally found the target and gave West Ham a late 2-2 scoreline.

Despite the late goal, Yeovil put in a fine performance and should be proud of that. The first half performance of Pablo Bastianini shows he could be well worth a sit-down with Gary Johnson in the near future, whilst some of the overall first half play was stunning at times. Even those in the 'lesser' second half did not look out of place alongside West Ham's stars. If I was a West Ham fan though, I would be very concerned. Whilst the majority of those players will be doing little more than bench warming in August, these are the players they will be relying on in the Premiership during December when the suspensions and injuries bite. On that showing, the Hammers do not appear to have a great deal in reserve.

Badger

Full-time: Yeovil Town 2 - 2 West Ham United
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Last Updated : 23rd July 2005
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