Sat 4th August 2001
Match Report: Martin Baker
Weather: Green but with uneven patches throughout
Pitch: Blustery with heavy showers
Officials: Referee: Kevin Greening (Portsmouth), John Sorrell, Robert Anderson (Assistants)
Yeovil : None
Winchester City : None
Starting Line-Up : 1. Chris Weale, 2. Richard Lindegaard, 3. Loic Herouard, 4. Tom White (captain), 5. Colin Pluck, 6. Andy Lindegaard, 7. Glenn Poole, 8. Paul Henblest, 9. Steve Thompson, 10. Richard Parkinson, 11. Faisal Mali. Subs : 12. Chris Luke (63, for Henbest), 14. James Thompson (63, for R Lindegaard), 15. Ross Newell (63, for Herouard).
Winchester City : 1. Scott Kemmis 2. Kevin Tugwell 3. Stewart Lang 4. Dave Moteane 5. Jamie Boswell 6. Kevin Tugwell 7. Matt Holmes 8. Jon Vowles 9. Stuart Findlay 10. Alan Bundy 11. Matt Pidgeon
With the game against Southend United taking place just 24 hours later, it was no surprise when Yeovil Town selected ‘the other eleven’ – with pretty much every squad player who didn’t start against Bristol City utilised against Hampshire League side Winchester City, who have recently merged with their neighbouring rivals Winchester Castle. Exceptions to that rule were goalkeeper Stephen Collis, with Chris Weale getting the nod for a full 90 minutes, striker James Bent who had been given personal leave and the two trialists currently at the club. Of those, Shavar Thomas was training with the Jamaican National Squad whilst Raffeale De Gregorio was still waiting for international clearance from the New Zealand FA.
The opening half was a dire affair, with heavy rain spoiling the spectators enjoyment of the game, with no possibility of shelter other than the odd tree or the overhang of Winchester’s new impressive clubhouse. Neither side created any worthwhile chances, with the ball spending most of the time up in the air in the middle third of the pitch. A flicked header from a Winchester corner went a couple of yards wide, whilst another chance for the home side was sliced over and wide, but in all honesty in any other match report these ‘chances’ would have been not worthy of a mention.
The game finally livened up five minutes from the break when Winchester’s Stuart Findlay was put through on a one-on-one. Goalkeeper Chris Weale spread himself well, parrying the shot out of his area, but the ball fell straight to Alan Bundy, whose shot looked goalbound until Tom White got a boot in the way to clear it off the line. A minute later Matt Holmes proved that the home side had their tails up when he hit a half-volley that Weale saved well, turning the ball for a corner.
Yeovil’s only incisive chance of the half came right on the half time break when Steve Thompson, playing an unusual forward role for Yeovil, put away Glenn Poole on the left wing and his accurate cross was met by a diving header from Andy Lindegaard but the attempt was put on the wrong side of the net.
Half-time score : Winchester City 0 Yeovil Town 0
The second period opened again with Winchester taking the game to Yeovil. Alan Bundy got in behind Colin Pluck on a throughball and this time his shot had Chris Weale beaten, but the low strike rattled the base of the post and went to safety.
The game was fortunately of marginally better quality as it began to open up a little more, and Faisal Mali should have done better with a free header from an Andy Lindegaard corner. The chance from six yards out instead went wide of goal, making it far easier for Winchester than it should have been.
Glenn Poole came even closer just past the hour mark when he was put through on a one-on-one. His lob almost beat the Winchester keeper, but an outstretched fingertip did just enough to slow down the power of the shot, and as the ball trickled goalbound, a Winchester defender was able to get back to push the ball out of the goalmouth.
Yeovil made a triple substitution with 63 minutes gone with Loic Herouard, Richard Lindegaard and Paul Henbest all making way for Chris Luke, Ross Newell and James Thompson. And two of the substitutes had a near instant impact as Newell’s low left wing cross was met at the back post by Chris Luke, but a strong defensive block ensured that Luke’s shot went anywhere but the goal.
But there on in, Yeovil struggled to create serious chances with the strong wind in their favour seemingly hindering them as they got stuck in a rut of over-hit balls going for goalkicks, offside traps and overly ambitious passes being intercepted by a Winchester City side who seemed calm enough to match them all the way.
Overall, the game was something of a disappointment with little entertainment to excite the crowd which included a fair selection of travellers from Somerset. Yeovil rarely got the ball on the deck in the way that we know the young players can, and space was at a premium as Winchester hurried their visitors into making mistakes. Clearly these are the players currently trying to battle their way into Gary Johnson’s starting eleven, to persuade him to change his mind over the provisional team he has selected over the course of the last few friendlies. But on the evidence of yesterday’s performance, there will be not too many players likely to influence his mind over that decision.
Final Score : Winchester City 0 Yeovil Town 0
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