Pre-season friendly :
Exeter City 1 – 2 Yeovil Town

Yeovil scorers: Alford (4) Belgrave (85)

Line up : (4-4-2)

Jon Sheffield

Nick Crittenden

Terry Skiverton

Roy O’Brien

Anthony Tonkin

Darren Way

Lee Johnson

Michael McIndoe

Andy Turner

Barrington Belgrave

Carl Alford

Subs used: Andy Lindegaard (for Way), Glenn Poole (for Turner), James Bent (for Belgrave), Chris Giles (for Alford)

This report courtesy of Fe7:

Exeter’s first friendly and their defence was still on the beach when a quick free kick left Alford with space on the edge of the Exeter box. Alford lobbed the on-coming keeper for his first goal.

The rest of the first half contrasted Yeovil’s effective defence – if not sometimes nervous – and creative attacks with Exeter’s more physical approach and lack of goal-scoring opportunities.

A good run down the right by Turner lead to great penalty appeal when a City defender handled the ball as Turner pulled the ball back. Alford and Belgrave gave the City defence concerns, the City answer was to physically manhandle them.If this had been a league match a few yellow cards would have been produced.

A rare City attack produced a good block from Sheffield’s legs.

At half time Yeovil were rightly in the ascendency – having created more clear cut opportunities and showing a more solid defence.

The start of the second half was in contrast – City had woken up and moved the ball around mid-field quickly – and Yeovil soaked up much pressure. From an ensuing corner the ball was flicked out to the corner of the box were a good volley into the far corner of the goal left the Yeovil defence with no chance. Yeovil paid for their failure to get to the corner and cover all opponents effectively.

Yeovil’s play at this time resorted to the long ball which invariably came straight back. Johnson came more and more into the game and instilled a more skillful – play the ball out of defence – approach.

Towards the end of the second half it appeared as if the game would finish level. Although the introduction of Poole and Giles for Turner and Alford seemed routine, Giles produced the inspiration to break the equilibrium. Winning the ball inside the City half Giles broke away from three City midfielders to put Belgrave through on the edge of the box. Belgrave with still plenty to do advanced and creating space for himself slotted the ball into the far side of the City goal.

Further good moves minutes later finished with Bent who had replaced Belgrave produce a quick ball into the box where the advancing Giles was unfortunate to blast the ball over the City cross-bar.

Lindegaard replaced Way with two minutes to go.

Final score 1-2.

Yeovil deserved their win for controlling more of the game and creating the more clear cut chances. Skivvo continued to lead as he did all last season – his challenges being uncompromising. Johnson looked a class above the rest and ran the Yeovil midfield at critical times. Alford battled well in the first half and took much physical treatment – tended to miss out on the second half. Belgrave again fightened the opponents defence – but would make everyone much happier if he didn’t give up so easily.

In general the defence was effective: Crits not always looking happy at right back – certainly not as exciting as he does tearing down the wing. O’Brien and Tonks battled to cope with the City pace and movement.

The midfield was effective and looked full of skill: Macca showed a new dimension to his game playing inside. The downside of this is there was no natural ball-winner in the middle. Way on the wing is not his best place. However, bringing Critts forward will provide GJ with exciting possibilities.

Alford was not the finished article but showed physical presence and some very clever touches. Belgrave is Belgrave and would be better with a more positive attitude. Giles is on fire and a great season is predicted. Bent is still an exciting / skillful propect.

For a first game City played some skillful / clever one touch football – but only for twenty minutes. A first game against Yeovil was not a good choice for them. Confidence will always be an issue.

Yeovil have room for improvement – but the squad comprises of skillful young players – the future’s Green.