6th July 2019

Showing what he’s capable of from the very off, summer signing Rhys Murphy showed his goal-poaching tendencies when he was perfectly placed to stab home a loose ball from just a yard out on 21 minutes.

Rounding off an impressive 45 minutes, Murphy was on hand again to double the hosts’ lead with a cool finish as the green and whites started pre-season in confident manner.

Nine changes were made at the halfway stage with Town ending the match with a completely altered eleven, although a dominant second half display couldn’t see a change to the scoreline. 

With manager Darren Sarll taking charge of his first Town match since being appointed last month, three of his summer recruits started whilst player-coach Andrew Crofts patrolled the touchline alongside him. 

Lee Collins, Albi Skendi and Murphy were all on display from the start, with three trialists mixing in with the remaining players from last season to forge the starting eleven. 

As expected against Southern League Premier division opposition, the hosts dominated possession from the start and could’ve taken the lead inside the opening five minutes.

Trialist Bradley Ash found space in the box to get a shot off the from the angle, but his strike was deflected just wide.

Stroking the ball about confidently it wasn’t long before Town had their next chance. Carl Dickinson’s measured ball over the top found the run of Murphy but his first-time shot was parried away by Stratford’s 6’9″ stopper Sam Lomox. 

A substantial figure to beat he was left helpless towards the midway point of the half when the Glovers broke the deadlock. 

Murphy’s neat flick into the path of Ryan Seager allowed the attacker to pick out the run of Ash and when his eventual shot could only be parried, Murphy was on hand to poke home from a yard out. 

Now with the lead to match their dominance, the green and whites continued to press for a second but had to wait until the 42nd minute to do so. 

Dickinson again spotted the run of Murphy with a ball that cut out the Stratford defence and after controlling on his chest, Town’s new number emphatically picked out the bottom corner to raise a cheer from the crowd of 878. 

Making wholesale changes at the break, five trialists helped make up the eleven whilst defender Tai Fleming from the under-18s was also introduced.

Despite the alteration in personnel it did little to affect the flow of the match as Sarll’s side remained on the offensive. 

Ash’s low ball across the box found Courtney Duffus at the back post, but at full-stretch, the striker couldn’t steer it on target. 

With seven Academy graduates or current scholars on the pitch it was graduate Nestor Shako who almost added a third just past the hour-mark.

Weaving his way into the box the winger let fire with a venomous strike that had to be pushed away by Elliot Taylor to deny the 18-year-old a goal on his first-team debut.

In their only real foray forward, Chris Way hit the post for the visitors but the chance only came sandwiched between close calls for Duffus and Gabby Rogers. 

Entertaining the home crowd until the end, the 2-0 lead couldn’t be added to but the Glovers’ pre-season started in encouraging style.

Yeovil Town: Nelson (Trialist 46′); Skendi (Fleming 46′), Collins (Ojo 46′), Bradbury (Calverley 70′); Alcock (Shako 46′), Worthington (Rogers 46′), Craigen (John 46′), Dickinson (Trialist 46′); Seager (Duffus 46′); Murphy (Trialist 46′), Ash (Arnold 59′). 

Stratford Town: Lomox; Cox, Fisher, Brown, Morrison, Ford, Revan, Lukinga, Shariff, Wilson, Isaac.