Venue: Huish Park
Saturday July 23rd, 3pm kick-off
Conditions: Cloudy but warm.
Attendance: 1,565 including a significant number of visiting fans
Scorers: Ryan Hardie 47 (0-1), Finn Azaz 60 (0-2)
Sendings off: Yeovil Town – Matt Worthington 69; Plymouth Argyle – Bali Mumba 69.
Referee: Daniel Lamport
Yeovil Town : (5-3-2)
Chiori Johnson (for Charlie Wakefield, 61), Max Hunt, Josh Staunton, Morgan Williams, Jamie Reckord (for Trialist C, 72)
Sam Perry (for Matt Buse, 72), Matt Worthington
Tom Knowles (for Toby Stephens, 82)
Malachi Linton (for Stanley Anaebonum, 61), Alex Fisher (for Ollie Hulbert, 61)
Substitutes (not used): Max Evans, Ollie Haste, Toby Stephens, Trialist B, Trialist C, Trialist D, Trialist E, Trialist F, Trialist G, Trialist H.
Plymouth Argyle: Callum Burton, Macaulay Gillesphey (for Endacott, 82), James Wilson, Dan Scarr, Matt Butcher (for Lewis, 74), Joe Edwards (for Craske, 82), Ryan Hardie (for Ennis, 60), Danny Mayor (for Jephcott, 60), Bali Mumba, Finn Azaz (for Whittaker, 60), Adam Randell (for Houghton, 74).
Substitutes: Zak Baker, Jordan Houghton, Niall Ennis, Morgan Whittaker, Brendon Galloway, Luke Jephcott, Finley Craske, Brandon Pursall, Jack Endacott, Alfie Lewis.
The final pre-season friendly at Huish Park ended in defeat for Yeovil Town as they went down 2-0 at the hands of League One opposition in Plymouth Argyle.
Second half goals from Ryan Hardie and Finn Azaz put the visitors ahead by the hour mark before the game’s other flash point saw Glovers’ midfielder Matt Worthington red carded after a clash with Argyle wing back Bali Mumba. Both players got their marching orders.
Here’s how Marcus Duncomb saw proceedings…..
Cries of ‘green army’ were ringing around Huish Park ahead of the match, but they came from the Devon visitors who had traveled in decent numbers for this pre-season friendly.
After Plymouth completely dominated possession for the first ten minutes, Yeovil then played the ball out from the back perfectly. Starting with Grant Smith, the ball was played around and beat the Plymouth press to find Tom Knowles who drove forward and hit a strike from 25 yards out just wide of the right hand.
The Pilgrims had pretty much all the ball but were struggling to break down the Yeovil defence. Their countless crosses led to nothing but tame Ryan Hardie and, former Glovers’ loanee Matt Butcher efforts in the opening 20 minutes.
Plymouth should have taken the lead in the 26th minute when the ball was played back to Hardie who beat Smith, but Max Hunt used all of his 198 centimetres to block it on the line. Seconds later, Finn Azaz had the ball from six yards out and fired on target, but Smith was back on his feet to smother.
Smith had to deal with a lot of shots from outside the box from Butcher, who was channeling his inner Dale Gorman, but all of them were claimed comfortably.
The final chance of the half came from a corner which Hardie flicked on with the back of his head but it whistled just over the bar.
Half time: Yeovil Town 0 Plymouth Argyle 0
Three minutes after the restart Plymouth finally created the clear-cut chance that their possession deserved. Talisman Danny Mayor ran down the left and played a very simple ball into the area for HARDIE to tap in and take the lead.
In the 55th minute, Malachi Linton won the ball high up in the opposition’s half (not for the first time) and drove forward with the ball. He opted to shoot early but he blazed it over.
Plymouth’s lead doubled on the hour mark when left back Macaulay Gillesphey fired from range and Smith parried right into the path of AZAZ who couldn’t miss.
That triggered three changes from either side with Charlie Wakefield coming on for Chiori Johnson, replacing him at right wing back, with Ollie Hulbert and trialist Stanley Anaebonam replacing Linton and Fisher. For Plymouth, Niall Ennis, Luke Jephcott and Morgan Whittaker replaced Hardie, Mayor and Azaz.
Yeovil had their best chance of the game in the 66th minute when a well-aimed kick from Smith was flicked on well by Knowles to Ollie Hulbert who was one-on-one but missed the target.
Moments later, and it looked very unlike a pre-season friendly. Yeovil midfielder Matt Worthington and visiting wing back Bali Mumba clashed and within seconds all 22 players on the pitch as well as both dugouts and coaching staff were engaged in a mass brawl. The referee sent off both Mumba and Worthington.
? A friendly affair… pic.twitter.com/Np9ewDxKdX
— Yeovil Town F.C. (@YTFC) July 23, 2022
Looking at the rule book it would appear that, if this friendly is considered to be a “non-first team fixture” it would mean Worthington is suspended for the next three non-first team fixtures. However, with only two more friendlies – at Dorchester Town on Tuesday night and then Weston-super-Mare next Saturday – it would appear the midfielder is unlikely to fulfil his suspension.
The combination of the red cards and the endless substitutes completely killed any momentum this game had and Yeovil couldn’t find a way back into it.