Yeovil v Bristol City
Yeovil’s second friendly of preseason 2016 saw the Glovers narrowly lose 2-1 at Huish Park to a strong Bristol City side.
Lee Johnson’s side took a 2-0 lead in the first half, as Aden Flint and Jonathan Kodjia both scored headed efforts. Tom Eaves halved the deficit, but much-changed lineups in the second half saw City grind out the victory.
Manager Darren Way named three new signings in his starting eleven, with Eaves, Ryan Hedges and Otis Khan all having their first taste of action at Huish Park.
His opposite number and former teammate Lee Johnson named a strong lineup, with summer arrivals Lee Tomlin and Gary O’Neil both starting alongside debutant Callum O’Dowda, who moved from Oxford to Ashton Gate during the week.
It was the visitors who had the first chance, with veteran midfielder O’Neil’s shot from range deflecting off a Yeovil defender just wide for a corner. Yeovil looked dangerous on the break, and came close to breaking the deadlock on the 15 minute mark.
Joe Bryan intercepted a long pass out to the right-hand side, but Hedges reacted quickly to nick the ball from the City left-back and cut inside, fizzing a shot just inches over the bar.
The visitors were dominating possession and after a number of corners took the lead from a set-piece midway through the first half. O’Neil whipped a ball into the box and centre-back Flint headed home to give Johnson’s men the lead.
From a corner of their own, Town nearly had an instant reply. Alex Lacey nodded the ball against the bar, but Eaves was unfortunate to not turn in the rebound from close range.
Nathan Smith was unlucky to not score an equalizer as he got to the far post to meet Khan’s deep free-kick, but City goalkeeper Richard O’Donnell just prevented the centre-back’s effort from creeping in.
City went close to doubling their lead on the half-hour mark as Tomlin caught Town cold before going on a long jinking run before being felled on the edge of the area. The former Bournemouth picked himself up to take the free-kick but the ball went safely over the crossbar.
But after Town were unlucky to pull it back to 1-1 just before the half-time whistle, City were 2-0 in front. After Khan’s shot found O’Donnell’s glove, a counter-attack led to Bryan whipping a cross towards Kodjia at the far post, and the Ivorian’s header found the back of the net.
Yeovil 1st Half XI: Krysiak Shephard, Dickson, Dolan, Lacey, Smith, Dawson, Ferdinand, Eaves, Hedges, Khan.
Bristol City 1st Half XI: O'Donnell, Little, Flint, Williams, Bryan, Pack, Reid, O'Neil, O'Dowda (J.Smith 32’), Tomlin, Kodjia.
Whilst City made seven changes to their lineup at half-time, introducing former Glovers Luke Ayling and Kieran Agard, Way allowed his starting line-up an hour in order to build up their fitness levels as Town kicked off towards the empty home terrace.
Town halved the visitors lead ten minutes after the restart, as Ryan Dickson’s cross was acrobatically volleyed home by Eaves, but the tall striker was pulled off on the hour mark as a new Town XI was introduced for the final half hour.
As the tempo slowed down towards the final stages of the game, chances came at a premium. City almost made it three, as their trialist Samuel Armenteros’ cross from the left inadvertently hit the bar before bouncing away to safety.
A Josh Brownhill volley flashed just wide of Jonny Maddison’s right hand post with only a few minutes of the game left but City saw out the game to claim victory in this pre-season derby.
Bristol City 2nd Half XI: O'Donnell, Ayling, Flint, Williams (Vyner 84’), Golbourne, Brownhill, Pack, Freeman, Armenteros, Agard (Garita 84’), Wilbraham.
Yeovil Town 60 mins: Maddison; Ezewele, Trialist (14) , Trialist (15), Trialist (13)- Lea, Trialist (12), Trialist (18)- Trialist (22), Sowunmi, Trialist (20).