Yeovil’s final home friendly of the pre-season ended in a 4-1 defeat to Championship side Cardiff City this afternoon.
A J Leitch-Smith put the Glovers ahead in the first half but after the break, Ole Gunnar Solksjaer’s side turned on the style and replied four times; twice through sub Kenwyne Jones and one apiece from Adam Le Fondre and Matt Connolly.
The Bluebirds changed their entire starting eleven during the game while home boss Gary Johnson opted to make the one change in the ninety minutes as the Town prepare for their three final warm up games against Plymouth, Truro and Dorchester Town, all away from home.
The Bluebirds named a strong looking starting lineup including the likes of David Marshall, Kagisho Dikgacoi and new summer signing Adam Le Fondre. For Yeovil, there was no sign of three of the four trialists, only Ebo Andoh making it to the bench.
With more than 800 noisy Welshmen behind them, the game began in a carnival atmosphere and those fans were on their feet in the fourth minute when Brendan Moloney pulled down Le Fondre on the edge of the box. It would likely have been a red card in a competitive game but with it being a friendly, and partly due to the intervention of visiting manager Solksjaer, ref Kevin Johnson issued a yellow card. Le Fondre almost gained perfect revenge but his free kick cannoned off the bar.
Leitch-Smith has been impressive in pre-season netting five times and he almost made it six when a Ben Turner clearance hit Kieffer Moore and rebounded to him but his shot was saved well by Marshall.
Javi Guerra and Mats Daehli both wasted chances to give Cardiff the lead with weak efforts and it was punished as Yeovil took the lead on seventeen minutes. A long ball in from the left wing saw Kieffer Moore, Marshall and Ben Turner all jump to meet it. Moore got there first, Turner took his keeper out and Moore’s header rolled to Leitch-Smith who tapped home.
Marshall was hurt in the incident and was replaced by Simon Moore immediately after the goal. Le Fondre shot at Artur Krysiak and Guerra was also denied by the Pole as the half closed. Moore went close with a sidefoot finish that crept wide of the post.
Cardiff came out a changed side although only two subs were used by Solksjaer at the break. They seemed to step up a gear and equalised on the ten minute mark. A ball in from the left saw sub Nicky Maynard crumple under a challenge and ref Johnson pointed to the spot. Le Fondre sent Krysiak the wrong way with his finish.
Cardiff then made four changes on the hour introducing among others Peter Whittingham and Kenwyne Jones and the former Premier League pair looked good in their half hour cameos. Whittingham swung in a corner within a couple of minutes of his appearance; the ball found Matt Connolly on the left and after turning the right back inside and out, fired in a shot that Krysiak couldn’t hold.
Yeovil replied with Kieffer Moore testing his namesake and Moloney scooting an effort just wide of Moore’s post but it was soon 3-1 as after some neat interchange passing down the left flank, Jones met Declan John’s cross with an emphatic finish into an empty net.
The visitors made two more changes and Gary Johnson swapped Moloney for Seth Twumasi with eighteen minutes remaining. Joe Edwards, captaining the side again, went close with a far post header that went just wide but Cardiff were still looking likely to score. Fabio da Silva, on for John, sprinted down the left and crossed for Jones but his shot was blocked well by some desperate defending.
Nicky Maynard pulled his shot wide from the right channel on 83 minutes and as time ticked towards the final whistle, Jones sprang the offside trap and cut inside before showing his class and slotting in the fourth past Krysiak.