Venue: Huish Park
Saturday August 13th, 3pm kick-off
Conditions: Hot…..very hot!
Pitch: Impressive, as you’d imagine.
Attendance: 2,880 (645 away supporters)
Scorers: Paul Mullin 7 (0-1), Malachi Linton 49 (1-1)
Yeovil Town: Linton, Worthington, Wakefield, Williams
Referee: Lewis Smith
Yeovil Town : (5-3-2)
Charlie Wakefield, Morgan Williams, Max Hunt, Josh Staunton, Jamie Reckord
Sam Perry, Matt Worthington, Sam Pearson (for Lawson D’Ath, 70)
Alex Fisher (for Gime Toure, 72), Malachi Linton (for Chiori Johnson, 88)
Substitutes (not used): Will Buse, Alfie Pond.
Wrexham: Howard, Forde, Hayden, Tozer, Cleworth, Mendy (for Hosannah, 64) , J.Davies, Young, Lee (for J.Jones, 70), Mullin, Palmer. Substitutes: Watson, Tunnicliffe, J.Jones, Dalby.
A goal of the season contender from Malachi Linton earned Yeovil Town a point against title favourites Wrexham in the opening game of the season at Huish Park.
The 21-year-old striker, who joined in the summer following his release by Wycombe Wanderers, lashed home an unstoppable effort from the edge of the box on 49 minutes to cancel out an early opener from visitors’ star striker Paul Mullin.
On a scorching hot day there were plenty of drinks breaks and substitutions with new boy Gime Toure impressing with a lively display after coming on with 72 minutes gone.
Here’s how it played out in Somerset……
The only change from the opening day defeat at Scunthorpe United saw winger Sam Pearson replace Ben Richards-Everton, who was in the stands with an injury, as Yeovil lined up with Josh Staunton, Max Hunt and Morgan Williams as three central defenders.
New arrivals forward Gime Toure and defender Alfie Pond, who both joined on Friday, were both named on the substitutes’ bench.
The system was an unmitigated disaster in the first half seven days about, but the hosts actually made a decent start seeing plenty of the ball and controlled it without really threatening their visitors but, with just six minutes on the clock, a defensive clanger gifted Wrexham an opener.
A long ball forward from the visitors saw Paul MULLIN sneak in behind Williams and fired through the legs of goalkeeper Grant Smith. It was the striker’s first goal of the campaign, but there’s every chance he won’t score an easier one.
Having gone behind, the home side went back to having more possession and, five minutes after the opener, a whipped corner by Matt Worthington found Josh Staunton who could not direct his effort goalwards.
Williams almost got caught out again when he tried to clear his lines only be caught out by Ollie Palmer, but the defender put in a fine block to deny the visitors’ other star striker……oh, Elliot Lee as well.
However, there were things to be positive about from the hosts – despite the goal, of course – with a far more composed performance in the formation which showed no sign of paying off seven days earlier.
The mercury rising to 33 degrees may have meant there was not a huge amount else to write home about for the rest of the half.
It took until two minutes before the break for either side to create anything approaching an opportunity and it fell to Yeovil with Worthington’s corner forcing a scramble with Hunt and Alex Fisher both in there, but neither being able to test Mark Howard in the visitors’ goal.
Half time: Yeovil Town 0 Wrexham 1
The first chance of the second half came out of nowhere when a long ball forward from Hunt forced an error by former Glover Ben Tozer and Linton was free. He burst clear on goal, but was denied by the fingertips of Howard.
But, just when you thought the young striker had missed his chance to impress his new supporters, LINTON picked the ball up on the edge of the 18 yard box and he smashed it right footed in to the top corner. If Jordan Barnett’s wonder strike against Torquay last season was the goal of the season, it will take something special to top that.
With only five minutes of the second half gone, the fear was a rapid Wrexham reaction (trying saying that after a few drinks!) but there was not a huge amount to trouble either Smith or Grant in the 20 minutes that followed.
Sam Pearson, who impressed coming off the bench at Scunthorpe, looked lively again down the wing and caused some problems up until he was replaced in the 70th minute by Lawson D’Ath.
Toure replaced Alex Fisher shortly after as both sides began to make changes with the heat taking its toll.
It took Toure only a few moments to make an impact. He picked the ball up on the left, drove at the Wrexham defence and flashed a ball across the face of goal, but there was no-one there to finish the opportunity.
There was a heart in mouth moment soon after when Smith tried some fancy footwork to get around Palmer and was very lucky not to gift the striker a goal. If looks could kill, Chris Hargreaves would have been on a murder charge with his goalkeeper!
The heat even had an effect on the officials with referee Lewis Smith going off and the result was seven minutes of stoppage time being added on at the end.
As the game ticked in to the additional time, Toure flashed a ball across the face of goal in what could have been a win.
However, there was plenty to be optimistic with an impressive performance to banish the disappointment of the opening day – bring on Barnet.