Young Glovers fall to Bridgwater in home opener
Confidence was high in the home camp following last weekend’s 8-0 win over New College Swindon in the season opener. Under sunny skies at Alvington, both teams set about their work in a cagey fashion with attacks limited to probing balls down the flanks. As the half wore on the visitors grew in confidence, creating some half chances and pressing the home defence. After a prolonged spell of pressure Bridgwater saw a shot repelled by a last-ditch tackle from Jonny Lye but finally got the opening goal they deserved when a loose pass-back resulted in the striker placing a cool finish inside the near post, 0-1.
Jake Graziano, playing in a deep play-maker midfield role, put together some fine runs and saw a shot drift wide as the Young Glovers tried to find their way back into the game. However, as the half drew to a close it was the visitors who nearly added to their lead with a shot that was sliced wide from 5 yards following a corner.
Team Manager Mark Challen would have been disappointed with both the lack of scoring chances and ball retention in the first half and to their credit, the home team began to play with a much higher tempo and sense of attacking purpose at the start of the second period. Substitute Korey Andrews, who was combining well with Callum Deemer, set up a good chance for Darren McAlastair, but the young striker saw his shot fly over.
Bridgwater continued to look dangerous going forward and missed some good chances to increase their lead. Yeovil were then indebted to two fine saves from Callum Smalley, the first following a fierce drive direct from a free kick and then an acrobatic parry following an excellent volley from just inside the box. The visitors grabbed their second at around the 70th minute mark when a low cross from the right was turned in by the advancing striker, 0-2.
Challen rang the changes during the second half and U16 players Mason Alden, Josh Sutton and Robert Hollard got some valuable minutes on the pitch. Yeovil determinedly pressed for a goal and Graziano saw a low shot saved before setting up a chance for Deemer, now playing as a striker, which drifted wide. The home side got the goal their second half performance deserved when a free-kick from Andrews was swung over to the far post where Lye was on hand to make sure the goal-bound effort went in to make it 1-2 with five minutes to play.
Any sniff of an equaliser was quickly put out when a loose ball was picked up on the right with the striker smashing a low shot past the keeper, 1-3.
Yeovil head to Wimborne Town next Saturday for another 10.30 kick off in the SW Counties Youth League.
Report by Matt Partridge