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Season 2006-2007 : Yeovil Town vs Exeter City : Tuesday 18th July 2006
Pre-Season Friendly : Yeovil Town vs Exeter City

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Venue: Huish Park
Tues 18th July 2006, 7.45pm kick-off.

Conditions: Hot and sultry.
Pitch: Brand new!

Scorers: Chris Cohen (1-0, 50 mins), Gavin McCallum (2-0, 90 mins).

Attendance: 1,932

Fourth official:

Yeovil: None
Exeter: None

Team Line-Ups

Yeovil Town : (4-4-2)
Steve Mildenhall
Kevin Amankwaah, Terry Skiverton, Terrell Forbes, Nathan Jones
Arron Davies, Paul Terry, Chris Cohen, David Poole
Wayne Gray, Matt Harrold.

Subs: Ishmael Welsh (56 mins for Arron Davies), Andy Lindegaard (66 mins for Nathan Jones), Scott Guyett (66 mins for Terrell Forbes), Jean-Paul Kalala (66 mins for Paul Terry), Daniel Webb (76 mins for Matt Harrold), Gavin McCallum (76 mins for Wayne Gray), Darren Behcet (76 mins for Steve Mildenhall), Bradley Thomas (76 mins for Terry Skiverton).

Exeter :
Jones (Rice 46); Woodards (Richardson 64), Seaborne, Todd, Moxey
Taylor (Gill 64), Clay (Bye 73), Challinor (Buckle 73), Friend
Stansfield (Phillips 64), Mackie.

James Francis's Match Report

After gracing their pre-season programme with three emphatic triumphs against the lowly opposition of Eastleigh, Bodmin Town, and St. Blazey, Yeovil overcame their sternest opposition so far - Conference side Exeter City - not with any great conviction but with a sufficiently astute display to defeat the Grecians.

In the first half, Yeovil were far from convincing, as their half-hearted attacks often broke down before involving the new and so far unprofitable strike-partnership of Matt Harrold and Wayne Gray. While Arron Davies blasted a few half-chances off target, the Glovers’ best goal-scoring opportunities of the half fell to Chris Cohen, who failed to make the most of a trademark Kevin Amankwaah sprint and cross, and Harrold, who misguided his close-range header wide of the goal after a pinpoint cross from Davies. At the opposite end of the field, Exeter’s young and energetic striker, Jamie Mackie, was causing Yeovil’s defence occasional problems and Steve Mildenhall was required to pull off some great reflex saves.

Throughout the second half, Yeovil appeared far more adept in keeping possession and their ball retention, with Chris Cohen’s typical graft and determination epitomising the team’s overall increase in work-rate. And it was Chris COHEN himself who put Yeovil in front soon after the break, as his clinical left-footed strike rifled into the top-right corner to the tremendous delight of the Huish-faithful.

Around the hour-mark, Russell Slade made as many as eight substitutions, clearly trying to give every member of his squad the opportunity to impress ahead of the new season, and a few certainly made impressions. While Matt Harrold saw his header unfortunately rebound off the post, Ismael Welsh and Gavin McCALLUM particularly caught the eye, Welsh with his pace, devious trickery, and shining confidence to run at the full-backs on both wings, and McCallum with his left-footed curling pile-driver from the 30-yard mark, which nestled in the bottom-left corner in the final minute.

My feeling is that there is more to come from this newly-assembled Yeovil side, and, with a few more additions, there should be a healthy balance of experience and youthful exuberance. Hopefully the team will gel together quickly in order to make a positive impression in League One from the outset this season.

Final Score: Yeovil Town 2 Exeter City 0

James Francis

Ciderspace Match Report

Yeovil Town had to work hard tonight to get a 2-0 win over Nationwide Conference side Exeter City at Huish Park in the club's fourth pre-season friendly match. A frustrating first half saw the visitors chase and close down a strong Glovers line-up and it was only in the second period when more spaces began to open up that Yeovil finally assumed control of the game.

The match kicked off late due to a surplus of people queuing at the Ticket Office on the night, and this delayed proceedings by around five minutes, although it transpired that there were other unusual goings on affecting stadium operations on the night that would become more apparent as the night went on.

Yeovil began the match playing a strong line-up that again had all the air of manager Russell Slade trying out a candidate League One line-up against former Glover Paul Tisdale's side. The visitors could have taken the lead when Terry Skiverton's slightly casual backpass caught goalkeeper Steve Mildenhall off-guard. Former Glovers FA Trophy Final hero Adam Stansfield almost took advantage, charging down Mildenhall's clearance, but the keeper made a good recovering save to ensure his Huish Park career didn't start with a spot of embarrassment.

Exeter were scampering around the field trying to close down every ball, trying to hurry Yeovil out of possession and in the main it worked. Although Yeovil's passing was good, eventually Exeter's harrying would force a defender or midfielder to adopt safety-first tactics and to belt the ball up field. In doing so, moves broke down and the Glovers found it difficult to feed their forward line with anything particularly useful.

Exeter's chances were rare, but were mainly falling to James Mackie, who was the main reason for Yeovil's back line being kept on their toes on the night. The Glovers took their time to build up to anything worthwhile, mainly seeing shots from Paul Terry, Arron Davies and Matt Harrold being shot from long range, and it was only when the half began to close down that they began to get more room from an Exeter side that were never going to keep up such a workrate in such stifling heat.

Their best chance came five minutes before the break. Arron Davies put in a superb cross from the right, where he and Poole had been interchanging wings for most of the first 45 minutes, and meeting the ball with a diving header was Matt Harrold. Had he met the ball full on, then a goal would have been the inevitable outcome, but a crowded goalmouth probably contributed to the ball glancing off his head. The Glovers had shown a gradual improvement over the course of the half but needed to do more in the second period in the way of creating good chances.

Half-time: Yeovil Town 0 - 0 Exeter City

After a first half that was full of midfield battles and players closing each other down and cancelling each other out, Huish Park became more and more gloomy-looking as the second period commenced. No - this wasn't a comment on the football itself - more that a wide-area power cut had left the ground devoid of light, tannoy and scoreboard and there was a real possibility the match might not finish.

A great move down the left flank saw the ball find Matt Harrold, who knocked the ball into the path of Chris COHEN, who fired home from a narrow angle to give Yeovil the lead five minutes into the second period. As if by Biblical means, power at the ground was restored, the lights came on and from there on, Yeovil had the upper hand on their non-league counterparts. Any threat of the game being curtailed early was gone.

Matt Harrold could have made the scoreline 2-0 when he headed against the foot of a post, with Exeter just about scrambling the ball clear for a corner before anyone could follow up the rebound. The tall striker had seen a lot more of the ball early in this second period, having put another chance just wide of the target as well as firing a shot into the wall.

The usual myriad of substitutions occurred mid-way through the second period and once the eight had been completed, only Kevin Amankwaah, David Poole and Chris Cohen stayed on the field and the formation looked like this:

Darren Behcet
Kevin Amankwaah, Bradley Thomas, Scott Guyett, Andy Lindegaard
David Poole, J-P Kalala, Chris Cohen, Ishmael Welsh
Daniel Webb, Gavin McCallum.

Yeovil finished the game far stronger than the Grecians and Chris Cohen began to put on another one of his masterclass performances as the game opened up for him in midfield. Ishmael Welsh proved to be another bright spark, attacking the Exeter right-back in much the same way that he has done in other friendlies, whilst Gavin McCallum's speed was also giving some tired Exeter legs something to think about.

All in all, a vastly improved second half performance and with the last kick of the game, the Glovers got the second goal that performance deserved when Gavin McCALLUM got the ball with his back to goal, turned and struck a fine ball into the left hand corner from the edge of the box. Play barely restarted before the final whistle blew.

Not a classic, but a good workout, and perhaps Exeter's first half determination will have given Russell Slade a closer indication of how his side will look for League One matches than the open spaces in Cornwall would have given him. As with much of League One last season, much of the game is about wearing the opposition down, and after a fairly dull looking first half, they did just that and certainly ended the game playing the sort of stuff that Glovers fans will hope Slade can build upon over the next three weeks.


Full-time: Yeovil Town 2 - 0 Exeter City
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Last Updated : 18th July 2006
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