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Season 2006-2007 : Eastleigh vs Yeovil Town : Friday 7th July 2006
Pre-Season Friendly : Eastleigh vs Yeovil Town

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Venue: Silverlake Stadium
Fri 7th July 2006, 7.45pm kick-off.

Conditions: Variable with mid-game showers
Pitch: Good

Scorers: Daniel Webb (8 mins, 0-1), Daniel Webb (20 mins, 0-2), Danny Smith (47 mins, 1-2), Ishmael Welsh (69 mins, 1-3)

Attendance: 401

Fourth official:

Yeovil: None
Eastleigh: None

Team Line-Ups

Yeovil Town : (4-4-2)
1. Darren Behcet
2. Craig Alcock, 4. Bradley Thomas, 5. Sean Kelly, 3. Jake Smeeton
11. Gavin McCallum, 6. Gary Mills, 8. Adrian Harper, 11. Ishmael Welsh
9. Danny Webb, 10. Mario Harrison

Subs: Tom Clarke (65 mins for Harrison), Stephen Maher (54 mins for Harper), Andrew Ottley (65 mins for McCallum), Gary Bowles (78 mins for Smeeton), Steve Thompson (not used).

Eastleigh :
M Thomas, Collins, Bound, Oliver
Hodgson, Smith, Dutton, Wheeler
Town, A Forbes.

Subs: S Forbes, Ashford, Jarvis, Shaw, Puckett.

Match Report

A new era opened for Yeovil Town on Friday night as Russell Slade took charge of his first ever game as Yeovil manager. The line-up he chose probably won't bear too much resemblance to that which eventually makes the League One trip to Millwall in early August. Of the 16 players named, only Daniel Webb featured in last season's League One campaign and only tonight's captain Bradley Thomas and youth team graduate Gavin McCallum had been on contracts at the club. Bradley was of course up against his former club, and no doubt there was some pride at being able to lead out his new side at his former club.

The first half was frenetic, but of good quality, with both Gavin McCallum and trialist Ishmael Welsh making good use of the width of the pitch as genuine wingers rather than the wide midfielders that Yeovil Town have often played in recent years. Certainly on the left flank that Welsh was occupying, Eastleigh had their hands full, and it was from this area of the park that all three Yeovil goals were to develop.

Nine minutes in, the first cut was made as Welsh fed Daniel WEBB across the face of the area, and his control and and volley gave former Scunthorpe United goalkeeper Paul Musslewhite no chance as it looped over his head. Certainly a cracking finish and a cracking start.

The path to the second goal took a fairly similar route, although perhaps the team play that produced it out-did the first goal for style. Again Ishmael Welsh was the provider. He shone in the first half, constantly taking the Eastleigh full-back on both inside and outside in a manner that Yeovil Town have perhaps missed a touch during their time in the Football League - David Poole and Kevin Gall occasionally excepted. Welsh's eventual cross into the box found Daniel WEBB once again, and from about half the distance of his first strike, he found the net once again with his feet.

Most of the play was in the Eastleigh half although the home side were performing relatively well and looked pretty well organised. Their main hopes of breaking their duck appeared to come from breakaways, but the Yeovil back four looked capable of dealing with it all, with full-backs Jake Smeeton and Craig Alcock playing well beyond their years and Bradley Thomas looking very calm and composed on the ball against his former team-mates.

The nearest the home side got was when Andy Forbes flashed a shot across the face of Darren Behcet's goal - the young goalkeeper otherwise had a fairly quiet half, even if he kept himself busy by bellowing instructions at his just-as-young defence.

Half-time: Eastleigh 0 - 2 Yeovil Town

The opening period of the second half was a scrappy affair, with Yeovil not really coming out of the blocks too cleverly. Eastleigh pulled a goal back within a couple of minutes from the restart when a ball into the box was only half cleared and Danny SMITH rifled a shot in off the inside of Behcet's left hand post to pull the scores back to 2-1.

Neither Mario Harrison nor Daniel Webb were getting any real sniff of the ball and Eastleigh looked to be trying to tie up Ishmael Welsh a lot more tightly during the second period and it was harder for Yeovil to get any throughput. Midfielder Adrian Harper, who hadn't looked likely to do too much to justify a trip to Cornwall was replaced by fellow Irishman Stephen Maher, then 10 minutes later another trialist, Mario Harrison, was replaced by Tom Clarke. Harrison had apparently only just arrived in the country, so perhaps some allowance should be made for what was a fairly non-descript performance. Andrew Ottley, who played for the Glovers Reserves late last season, was a third substitute, replacing Gavin McCallum, who had a good game, getting on the ball well on what was not his natural side of play.

The three substitutions seemed to liven up matters somewhat. Daniel Webb really should have grabbed his hat-trick when he saw the ball flash his way midway through the half in a ball from the right, but his air-shot confused not only himself but also everyone else in the penalty box and the chance went begging.

The introduction of Maher and Ottley in midfield seemed to help trialist Gary Mills get to grips more with what was going on around him, and whilst several players on the night appeared to fade a touch as the game went on, Mills was one that grew into the game somewhat more. It was his break-up in play that initiated Yeovil's third goal on the night. The ball was thread through to Tom Clarke who provided an angled pass into the path of Ishmael WELSH who capped a highly promising night for him, by striking an angled shot into the far top corner. 3-1 and not a lot of time for Eastleigh to do anything about the two goal deficit being restored.

Gary Bowles was a late replacement for Jake Smeeton at the back, and the game ended with Tom Clarke twice almost getting onto the scoresheet - a shot that flashed wide and another one that had Paul Musselwhite at full stretch.

Overall, even the Yeovil side full of trialists and former Youth players looked good value for their win. At times and in particular at the start of the second half, it came across as a touch scrappy but when you've got 15 players who have in the main not played too much football with each other before that was none too surprising. In terms of the trialists, the ones that stayed on the pitch for the whole 90 minutes - Welsh, Mills and Kelly - were the more likely ones to get an invite to Cornwall based on that showing, with Welsh particularly impressive.

Finally all four of the youth team graduates - McCallum, Clarke, Smeeton and Alcock looked as though they deserve to be mixed in well with the professionals during the pre-season fixtures as none looked out of place on the night. Oh and as for the dreaded predictions of "hoofball" under Russell Slade? Certainly if that was the tactic that many Grimsby fans had predicted for the Glovers, then someone had forgotten to tell the players who turned out at Eastleigh. It was a little raw around the edges, but bar the odd ball up to target man Daniel Webb, the game stayed very much on the deck the whole night.


Full-time: Eastleigh 1 - 3 Yeovil Town
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