The academy squad headed to Millfield School to partake in a development tournament alongside Forest Green Rovers, MK Dons, Loughborough University and the hosts. Confidence grew as the tournament progressed and Head Coach Mark Challen would have been pleased with the growing optimism within the squad. There was also a chance to introduce new signings Dan Brito and Benjani Jnr and see a welcome return from injury for Adam Heaton.
After a tough first match against Loughborough University resulting with a 3-0 loss, the Young Glovers hit their strides with a combative performance and 1-0 win against Forest Green Rovers before a scintillating performance in a 5-1 victory over Millfield.
In Sunday’s first match against Rovers, Yeovil had to weather an early storm from a well organised and potent opposition who saw an early header flash wide, and a stinging shot smash onto the crossbar. After the break the Young Glovers fashioned a few half chances for Lloyd, before Benjani Jnr stroked home the decisive goal after a fantastic move down the left involving Haste, Medrano and Lloyd and a great headed knockdown from Skiverton, 1-0. Rovers pressed for an equaliser, but some smart saves by Dragos in goal and with a defence well organised by Lye and Corrbridge, they preserved the win.
The final game saw Yeovil go up against Millfield School and a fantastic team performance ensured they finished the day in style. Lloyd scored his first following some fine interplay between Haste and Medrano down the left, 1-0. The Young Glovers were now buzzing, and Heaton and Hughes set up further chances for Lloyd and Benjani Jnr before a great run and cross from Medrano set up Skiverton, who fired confidently past the keeper to make it 2-0. Yeovil were now in full flow and a typical marauding run from Lloyd saw him beat two defenders before clipping a shot inside the post, 3-0.
At the start of the second half Yeovil profited further when Stephens, after initially losing the ball, battled tenaciously to retrieve the situation and thread a sublime pass through to Lloyd who bagged his hat-trick to make it 4-0. The Young Glovers, playing controlled possession football, scored once more after some great work from Brito down the right set up Lloyd who squared to an advancing Haste, 5-0. To their credit Millfield dug in and snatched a late consolation goal with a header following a cross from the left, 5-1.
The tournament served its purpose well as a very useful development exercise for the squad. With a few regulars unavailable, and Constanza having to sit out the final game after picking up an injury, there were valuable playing minutes for all, including Graziano, Andrews, Skiverton and the new and returning players.
Plenty of positives for Challen to ponder with his evolving and developing squad.
Yeovil return to action in the Merit League on 17th April with a trip to Bristol Rovers.