Yeovil Town maintained their unbeaten start to the pre-season with a 1-1 draw against Championship visitors Reading this afternoon.
Pavel Pogrebnyak had given the Royals a 47th minute lead with a close range header but Trialist B, who had seen an effort tipped onto the crossbar minutes earlier, headed home with twenty minutes left to give Gary Johnson’s men a deserved share of the spoils.
The Yeovil manager had created a buzz pre-match by naming former Glovers winger Andy Welsh in his starting eleven and also giving a game to former Town loanee Simon Gillett in the centre of midfield. Gillett ended up having an impressive game, tidy and collected in midfield whilst also displaying an appetite for a tackle and a through ball.
Reading had the best of the early exchanges with home keeper Artur Krysiak holding on to a rising shot from Jake Taylor and watching as Sean Morrison’s header sailed over the bar and shots from Alex Pearce and Michael Hector were blocked.
Yeovil’s first chance fell to A J Leitch-Smith who chipped wide of the far post and the same player pulled a left foot effort wide after controlling a Welsh cross. Reading then came more into the game with Seth Twumasi blocking a Pogrebnyak shot, Taylor heading over and Krysiak saving another effort from the big Russian.
Leitch-Smith then had a third effort saved by the feet of former Town loan keeper Alex McCarthy in the Reading goal but the half ended with bad news for Johnson as Welsh was stretchered off after a collision with Royals midfielder Nick Blackman.
At half time, only one change was made for each side with McCarthy replaced between the posts by Federici and Welsh not recovering so was replaced by Trialist D, a small tricky winger.
The second half started in the worst possible fashion for Yeovil as Reading took the lead just two minutes in. Ryan Edwards swung in a cross from the left flank and Pogrebnyak got in between Jakub Sokolik and Krysiak to power home a header from inside the six yard box.
They nearly made it two moments later when Morrison headed against the crossbar from a Jordan Obita free kick but Yeovil also went close when Aaron Martin glanced a header wide from Gillett’s corner.
On the hour came the raft of changes associated with friendlies. Visiting boss Nigel Adkins made nine substitutions while Johnson changed five players, introducing two more trialists as well and Brendan Moloney for his home debut.
Krysiak saved from Hal Robson-Kanu’s low drive and Yeovil so nearly equalised on 66 minutes with the best move of the match. A flowing move found Liam Davis in space down the left and his low cross found Trialist B whose effort was tipped onto the crossbar superbly by Federici.
Gary Johnson made four more changes with twenty minutes left, bringing on another trialist and giving Nathan Ralph a first home appearance for more than a year after recovering from injury.
And within two minutes. Town had drawn level when Davis’s free kick was met by the head of Trialist B who nodded home.
After all the changes, the game petered out a little unsurprisingly with the only incident of note when Trialist A was unceremoniously yanked back by a Reading defender late on, a yellow card in a competitive game but ref Phil Gibbs decided against issuing a card and the defender ended up being on the end of some comedy booing for the rest of the game.