Venue: Wordsworth Drive
Tuesday July 12th, 7.45pm kick-off
Conditions: Summer’s evening – sticky, but clear
Pitch: Dry and slope-y (if that is a word)
Referee: Craig Scriven
Yeovil Town : (5-4-1)
Grant Smith (for Max Evans, 82)
Chiori Johnson (Trialist) (for Toby Stephens, 82), Max Hunt (for Trialist 75), Josh Staunton (for Trialist, 59), Morgan Williams (for Haste, 75), Jamie Reckord (for Trialist, 80)
Dominic (Trialist) (for Scott Wilson – Trialist, 47), Sam Perry (for Trialist, 59), Matt Worthington (for Trialist, 59), Tom Knowles (for Trialist, 59)
Malachi Linton (for Trialist, 65)
Substitutes (not used): Benjani Junior
Taunton Town: Will Buse, Will Tunnicliff, Nick Grimes, Jake Wannell, Dan Ball, Lloyd James, Joe Guest, Zac Smith, Ross Stearn, Dave Sims-Burgess, Nat Jarvis.
Substitutes (not used): Lee Lucas, Ollie Chamberlain, Nick McCootie, Jared Lewington, Ioan Richards, Jay Foulston, Joe Budd, Harry Warwick, Ross Staley, Dylan Morgan, Lloyd Irish
A saved Tom Knowles penalty was the most dramatic moment of Yeovil Town’s opening pre-season friendly which ended in a goalless draw at Taunton Town on Tuesday night.
The Glovers’ forward won the spot kick on 53 minutes and stepped up to see his effort turned aside by Taunton goalkeeper, Will Buse, who lives a stone’s throw from Huish Park and whose brother, Matt, was among the trialists on the bench for Yeovil.
As is the tradition, there were a host of trialists on show for the visitors with two in the starting line-up with a “a number” of others on the substitutes’ bench – to quote the club’s social media accounts directly.
One starting at right-back identified as Chiori Johnson, released by Torquay United at the end of last season, and the other (we think) Dominic McHale, who was last at National League North, AFC Telford, on the opposite wing to Tom Knowles with new signing Malachi Linton through the middle on his own.
By the end of the match the entire starting XI had been replaced with the only recognisable faces coming off the bench being goalkeeper Max Evans, and midfielders Ollie Haste and Toby Stephens – all the others were trialists.
Former Glovers’ youngster Matt Buse, who ended last season at W*ymouth (someone’s got to do it, Matt!) and formerly turned out for Taunton, was among those on the bench alongside quite a number of others who may very well not be about for the next friendly against Exeter City at Huish Park on Saturday.
Here’s how our very own Ian saw it from his vantage point in the county town…..
As both sides tried to gain a foothold in the game neither was particularly able to take control. The Glovers had early half chances through long distance efforts.
Taunton had themselves a half chance 18 minutes in with a headed effort that looped comfortably wide of Grant Smith’s goal.
One of the trialists, Dominic McHale (we’re pretty sure), had a chance to make a good first impression with a free kick in a decent area but his effort was comfortably saved by Will Buse, in the hosts’ goal.
Taunton came close to opening the scoring half an hour in with a low effort that trickled wide of Smith’s post after their striker got the better of Josh Staunton.
The Peacocks grew into the game as the first half wore on, spending a lot of time on the front foot and putting dangerous crosses into the Yeovil box. The Glovers conceded some needless free kicks, inviting the pressure and a combination of defenders kept another effort out of Smith’s goal.
Max Hunt was denied a 35th minute opener through a fantastic save from Buse in the Taunton goal. Hunt rose highest in the box and his powerful header was low into the ground which was somehow kept out.
Yeovil had a good effort as the first half drew to a close with a trialist Chiori Johnson beat Buse to the ball and put it across the box in front of goal. Taunton dealt with the immediate danger but it fell to Knowles who drove his strike over the bar.
Half time: Taunton Town 0 Yeovil Town 0
Yeovil swapped one trialist, McHale (pretty certain) for another, Scott Wilson, a Bristol-born forward who had a spell at Aldershot Town last season, at the break, with the replacement partnering Malachi Linton up front.
Both sides returned from the break with intent and Taunton tested Smith early on.
Hunt hit the post in the 53rd minute with another towering header and as Yeovil peppered the Taunton goal in the ensuing goal mouth scramble the ball fell to Knowles who darted into the box and went down under a challenge to win a penalty.
Knowles stepped up to take the resultant spot kick but his shot was saved by Buse who got down low to his right to keep the score level.
Taunton came back up the other end and earned a free kick in a dangerous area which flew wide of the goal.
Midway through the second half both sides made the obligatory preseason friendly changes with five, including Matt Buse, joining the action.
The changes took all the momentum from the game as both sides adjusted to their new personnel, with neither particularly finding a rhythm.
Yeovil had a chance to take the lead five minutes from time after Buse threaded a precise ball to a trialist striker, Lloyd Irish in the Taunton goal charged him down and prevented a late opener.
The Glovers continued to press and the play opened up nicely on the edge of the box for Buse whose curled effort took a deflection on its way towards go to out for a corner.
So, in summary, no goals, loads of trialists most of whom probably won’t be here come the next match, and it was bloody hot.