Match Details: 19/07/1999
Yeovil Town 1 Gillingham 2
1. Tony Pennock
2. Dave Piper
3. Murray Fishlock
4. Kevan Brown
5. Terry Skiverton
6. Dean Chandler
7. Matt Hayfield
8. Steve Stott
9. Warren Patmore
Substitutes (all used): Rob Cousins, Jamie Pitman, Jason Eaton, Phil Simpson, Darren Keeling, Tony Pounder, Gary Cook.
Yeovil shaded the first half of the friendly versus Gillingham with transfer- listed Ben Smith looking the best player on view. SMITH opened the scoring in the tenth minute by firing home an unstoppable 20 yard shot after the ball had been cleverly chested into his path by the ever-reliable Warren Patmore. It was a goal that deserved a larger audience than the tiny 485 attendance actually there.
Yeovil created several other good opportunities in a largely forgettable first half, with Murray Fishlock in particular looking dangerous from dead-ball situations, causing problems in the Gillingham defence with his accurate crossing. Who needs Beckham when we’ve got Murray? Er, don’t answer that! Fishlock limped off to be replaced by Jamie Pitman in the 27th minute, hopefully only as a precautionary measure.
Tony Pennock made a couple of good saves when called upon, but the best chance of the first half fell to Adrian Foster after good work by Matt Hayfield. Foster burst into the Gillingham penalty area from a wide position and with only the keeper to beat rather scuffed his shot across the face of the goal, Warren Patmore just failing to slide the ball into the empty net. 1-0 to Yeovil at half-time.
The second half was rather more one-sided with Gillingham dominating and playing some attractive, passing football. The usual plethora of substitutions didn’t help Yeovil’s continuity, but for all Gillingham’s possession they failed to pose a great deal of threat to Yeovil’s goal until the 77th minute when the Gills made it 1-1 from an inswinging corner which was bundled somewhat untidily over the line. The Gills winner came with two minutes to go – the Yeovil defence were convinced that the scorer, Mick Galloway, was offside, but the referee and linesman felt otherwise.
Plus points for Yeovil included the first half pairing of Foster and Patmore – both players looked to be on the same wavelength. It was nice to see Jamie Pitman running freely after his appalling luck last season and on this showing Ben Smith deserves to be playing evey week. His future is in his own hands. Matt Hayfield looks to be getting back to his best and Kevan Brown was as solid as ever. There were good (if brief) performances too from Pounder and Fishlock. Jason Eaton and Darren Keeling partnered each other up front in the second half, but had little service with which to impress. As always, when Steve Stott was replaced our midfield seemed to lose a little of it’s edge.
Final Score: Yeovil Town 1 Gillingham 2