Yeovil Town extended their unbeaten pre-season run to five games with a 1-1 draw against local rivals Bristol Rovers at Huish Park this afternoon
Rohan ince gave the Glovers the lead with twelve minutes remaining but the League Two visitors replied four minutes later with a leveller from sub Oliver Norburn.
It was probably a fair result based on both chances and possession in a friendly that never really got going as a spectacle, occasionally firing into brief passages of decent interplay but often finding a final ball lacking.
Once more, Yeovil manager Gary Johnson began with a strong looking line up that has been a feature of his early season selections. The previous three results had seen his squad score ten times without reply against Poole Town, Plymouth Argyle and Dorchester Town so little need to change the winning formula.
Mark McGhee, on the other hand, had seen his Rovers side suffer three consecutive poor results losing to Frome Town and Newport County while scraping a draw against Weston-super-Mare.
And it was one of his new boys, Fabian Brockhammer, who almost gave Rovers an early lead with a cross shot that Town keeper Marek Stech did well to tip over his own crossbar while backpedalling furiously. The big gloveman then had to dive full length to deny former Glovers trialist Jim Paterson from a header.
Ed Upson was controlling things from his midfield berth but also providing the cutting edge on the end of the chances created. He could have given the Glovers the lead twice in the first half of the first period but curled a shot over then shooting over after a nice one two with Reuben Reid.
Stech then saved well from a Pat Keary header during a spell of pressure from the Pirates when they forced three corners and from another set piece, captain Matt Gill swung a free kick over the crossbar.
The half ended with chances from either side. New Rovers buy David Clarkson, who recently made the short switch from Bristol City, sent an effort whistling just wide and Gas keeper Connor Gough denied Keanu Marsh-Brown and Ed Upson late on too while Joe Anyinsah spurned a good opportunity to send his side in ahead when he sliced his shot wide at the near post.
Boss Johnson made just one change at half time, withdrawing Gavin Williams and throwing Lewis Young on. Upson continued where he had left off, sidefooting into Gough’s arms before seeing the keeper deny him again three minutes later.
James Hayter had his first sniff of goal just after the hour but his effort was deflected for a corner and it was his last contribution, as he was replaced in a double swap by Gozie Ugwu with Sam Foley replacing Richard Hinds in the other switch.
Ugwu headed over from a corner and Upson again had a chance but slipped as he shot meaning an easy gather for keeper Gough. At the other end, Eliot Richards shot wide after Joe Anyinsah’s good work and former Glover Matt Harrold wasted a golden chance to score when he sent his header spinning wide of the far post.
Nathan Ralph came on for Keanu Marsh-Brown with thirteen minutes left and within sixty seconds, the deadlock was broken. Rohan Ince, who retreated to centre half following the departure of Hinds, collected the ball thirty yards out and sent in a blistering drive that nestled in the corner of the net.
Curtis Haynes-Brown was the final sub, coming on for Jamie McAllister, but following a defensive lapse and good approach play from Anyinsah, David Clarkson lobbed the ball over the advancing Stech for the equaliser on 82 minutes.
It was the first goal the Glovers had conceded in almost six hours of pre-season football since the late equaliser at Hereford United two weeks ago and despite some good work down the right by Young, his final shot flew over and the game ended one apiece.
Next up for Johnson’s men is Llanelli AFC on Tuesday evening followed by a return to Newport County on Friday night for a certain Sam Foley as the Glovers continue their build up to their tenth season in the Football League.