Match Details: 17/07/1999
East Coker 1 Yeovil Town 11
Pre-season Friendly

1. Tony Pennock
2. Dave Piper
3. Murray Fishlock
4. Dean Chandler
5. Terry Skiverton
6. Rob Cousins
7. Phil Simpson
8. Steve Stott
9. Warren Patmore
10.Adrian Foster
11.Ben Smith

Substitutes (all used): Kevan Brown, Jason Eaton, Jamie Pitman, Matt Hayfield, Tony Pounder, Darren Keeling.

First half:

Some beautiful weather out in the Dorset countryside this afternoon made for an attendance that exceeded expectations and the perfect afternoon was had as Yeovil rattled in eleven goals without really needing to get out of second gear. The Erection 2000 Appeal benefitted hugely as all 300 programmes sold out before kick-off, and Colin Lippiatt brought his strongest squad possible for the proceedings.

Left out of the team were Steve Thompson and David Norton, both due to calf injuries picked up in training during the week. Thommo’s is expected to rule him out of both Gillingham and Wimbledon.

That excepted, the team was as strong you could hope for. Dean Chandler, Terry Skiverton and Rob Cousins made up the back three as Kevan Brown took a breather, whilst Phil Simpson replaced Thompson’s usual position, and the goal-poaching role vacated by Owen Pickard’s departure was taken by Adrian Foster. Ben Smith grabbed the No.11 shirt and in a new slimmed down look was to play the whole 90 minutes, if you can get your head round the idea of the 90 minutes being split into three thirds, by agreement with the various officials to cope with the fierce heat that was falsely disguised by a strong crosswind.

It is naturally very difficult to talk about anything other than the goals, in terms of action, as otherwise we’d be writing this report until next weekend. But after a slow start, Yeovil picked up speed, and got themselves two goals to the good by the time the first of the two breaks arrived. The first was an own goal from a corner, with Warren Patmore and Ben Smith in close attendance as the ball flashed bast the keeper after 21 minutes. Next Dean CHANDLER was the first Yeovil player to net as he headed home after 24 minutes.

In the second third, Yeovil took full control of the game following a series of substitutions that saw Eaton, Pitman, Hayfield and Pounder take the field. Matt HAYFIELD got the third after 32 minutes whilst Ben SMITH lapped up a misplaced pass and cheekily trickled it past the East Coker keeper to make it four after 34 minutes. Nine minutes later and SMITH had his second sending home a low strike from an Eaton cross, and his hat-trick was completed on 48 minutes as SMITH shot through a crowd of players.

So far so good, but the quality of goals scored took an upturn when East Coker set the standard in the 57th minute. Jamie KAY waltzed through the centre of the sleeping Yeovil defence and Pennock couldn’t quite get his hands on the open ball before the ball was guided into the net for the loudest cheer of the afternoon.

Yeovil were not to be outdone, and as the third portion of the match took shape, Tony POUNDER moved across the East Coker area and blasted one from 25 yards to make the score 7-1 after 72 minutes. Even Colin Lippiatt was losing count at this stage! Jamie PITMAN joined in the fun by doing an identikit attempt six minutes later, then on 82 minutes a Jason Eaton lob over the top of the East Coker keeper allowed Warren PATMORE to make the score 9-1.

The game was finished off in style as Yeovil added their tenth and PATMORE’s second as he guided home Darren Keeling’s cross, then right on the 90 minute mark, Jason EATON hoiked in a deserved first goal from close range to produce the final scoreline of 11-1.

Many positive things to report from this game. At the back, Skiverton looked calm and controlled with both his head and his feet, whilst in the midfield Pitman, Hayfield and Smith all looked comfortable, given their problems last season. Up front, on this single showing, Jason Eaton looked more at home than Adrian Foster, although both Foster and Simpson picked up minor knocks allowing Eaton an extended stay on the pitch.

Ben Smith had a fine match and played the full 90 minutes, flagging a little towards the end, but given that he was one of only a couple who played the full game, that is very excusable.

Yeovil experimented towards the end of the game, switching to a flat back four that allowed Pitman and Piper to take the two fullback roles whilst Skiverton and Brown covered the central positions. Yeovil played three up front for this, with Keeling partnering Eaton and Patmore and all of this looked pretty safe although Tony Pennock was only very rarely going to be troubled on that day.

No real injury worries, and no matter the standard of the opposition, I doubt that anyone is going to complain about eleven goals going in as it will surely count as a good way to get the squad morale ticking over in preparation for the more testing friendlies coming up.

Final Score: East Coker 1 Yeovil Town 11