Yeovil Town completed their pre-season schedule unbeaten with a 2-2 draw at home to League Two local rivals Exeter City at Huish Park this afternoon.
They did it the hard way though, twice coming from behind after first Scott Bennett then John O’Flynn had given the Grecians the advantage. Ed Upson levelled first with a trademark special before Reuben Reid smashed home with ninety seconds remaining.
Manager Gary Johnson started the derby friendly with what would appear to be his first choice starting line up for the start of the season.
But his team were rocked on five minutes with the opening attack of the match. The Grecians forced a corner and from Liam Sercombe’s flag kick, there was a scramble before centre half Scott Bennett stabbed home from seven yards out.
There then followed a spell of chances for either side. Reuben Reid’s shot was half blocked for the home side while Guillem Bauza’s effort was saved by Marek Stech.
Richard Hinds then headed over from a Byron Webster cross before Reid’s shot was saved by visiting keeper Artur Krysiak but Gozie Ugwu sliced his shot well wide.
The game then went to sleep for a good fifteen minutes with the only opportunity a golden one for City attacker John O’Flynn who fluffed his shot leaving Stech to rescue his team mates’ defensive mix up.
Then, just before the half hour mark came the Glovers equaliser. Ed Upson played some neat close passing with James Hayter and Dominic Blizzard before curling a beauty into the far corner of the net.
Again there was a good portion of the match with little or no chances to speak of until the last two minutes of the first period. An error in central midfield left the Grecians in a good position to break quickly and Bauza was played in down the left channel. The former Swansea attacker was then brought down by keeper Stech and O’Flynn gleefully smashed the spot kick high into the roof of the net.
Ugwu opened the second half with a wayward shot and Hinds’ header was clawed away well by Krysiak from a corner.
Former Glover Arron Davies then fired well wide just before Gary Johnson made his first change of the afternoon with Ugwu replaced by winger Keanu Marsh-Brown. City boss Paul Tisdale then made four alterations to his own team giving some of his young fringe players a twenty minute run out.
The changes continued with Nathan Ralph replacing Sam Foley and Lewis Young coming on for Richard Hinds and the former Northampton winger almost set up a goal with his first touch. A lovely through ball allowed Hayter to spring the offside trap but his delicate lob over Krysiak was easily cleared by a covering defender.
Yeovil’s final change came three minutes from time when Curtis Haynes-Brown came on for Blizzard and within two minutes, the second goal arrived. Jamie McAllister swung over a free kick, Luke Ayling headed back across goal and Reuben Reid smashed an unstoppable volley into the net.
Not the best performance by far but the nine game build up has resulted in five wins, four draws and 23 goals scored. However today’s display shows the manager there is still work to be done before Tuesday night’s Capital One Cup curtain raiser against Colchester United.
Team: Marek Stech, Luke Ayling, Jamie McAllister, Richard Hinds, Byron Webster, Dominic Blizzard, Ed Upson, James Hayter, Reuben Reid, Sam Foley, Gozie Ugwu.
Subs: Keanu Marsh-Brown (for Ugwu 60 min), Gareth Stewart (not used), Lewis Young (for Hinds 71 min), Nathan Ralph (for Foley 68 min), Curtis Haynes-Brown (for Blizzard 87 min), Will Agbo, Charlie Ware, Liam McDevitt, Mitch Brundle (all not used)