Pre-season friendly :
Yeovil Town 0 – 0 Peterborough

Att: 1,224 (only Main Stand open)

Line up : (4-4-2/4-3-3/3-4-3 at various times!)

Jon Sheffield

Nick Crittenden

Roy O’Brien

Colin Pluck

Anthony Tonkin

Darren Way

Lee Johnson

Michael McIndoe

Andy Turner

Barrington Belgrave

Carl Alford

Subs used: Chris Giles (for Alford, 76 mins)

This report courtesy of Fe7:

IF Barrington Belgrave read my last report on the Exeter match and took the slightest bit of notice, I would like to claim to be slightly responsible for one of the most positive transformations ever seen in a player. Without being critical I suggested Belgrave should keep trying at all times, and not give up, as he tends to do now and again. Tonight, his performance was outstanding. He scared Peterborough’s defence sh1tless, they just could not handle him, to the extent of a booking, in a friendly??? We have known for some time that he has these qualities, but tonight he skinned them when possible, he held the ball up when appropriate; he passed the ball when sensible. Brilliant!! Well done Bazza. Same again next week – especially Sunday?

Back to the game.

The beginning of the school summer holiday’s and a family atmosphere prevailed at Huish Park on a warm sunny evening where for their first home friendly Yeovil entertained Peterborough United. The crowd of 1244 filled the Main Stand, the other three sides being closed. The playing surface was lush but showed signs of the scars left by recent drainage work, leaving the underlying surface uneven and bumpy in places.

The Yeovil team were announced to their supporters for the first time this season, with special welcome to the new Yeovil players, Sheffield, Pluck, Johnson, Turner and Alford, and a special welcome to the new manager Gary Johnson.

Yeovil, on the back of three good performances away, were Peterborough’s fourth opponents. Yeovil’s team looked familiar with Pluck coming in for Skiverton, that being the only change from the starting line-up at Exeter the previous week. The game heralded the return, in Peterborough colours, of Howard Forinton, who played for Yeovil on loan last season, as well as in Yeovil’s ICIS league winning season. The opportunity for Gary Johnson to assess Forinton and compare his performance to his own players was obvious.

Both teams started skilfully, moving the ball around well, Peterborough taking more of the initiative in the early minutes. Good work by Belgrave and crosses by MacIndoe gave the Yeovil fans a taster of the offerings to come. Attacks mounted by Peterborough lacked decisiveness and failed to worry the Yeovil defence unduly. The first direct assault on the Yeovil goal was easily saved by Sheffield. As the game developed it became obvious that Jason Lee, Peterborough’s number 10, was the main threat, O’Brien had his hands full.

Belgrave was a continual threat to the Peterborough defence. None more so than when Peterborough’s goalkeeper seemed to take an age to clear a back-pass. With Belgrave steaming down on him the crowd gasped in anticipation, but the anticipation subsided as the ball was cleared just in time. Belgrave was soon to threaten the Peterborough defence again with a delightful through ball that Alford latched on to. He was up-ended amid screams for a penalty from the Yeovil faithful.

Yeovil held much possession but failed to create any clear-cut chances. Their skilful approach work promised much but in the end lady luck would not smile on Yeovil and all efforts failed to hit the target.

It looked as if lady luck would provide a cruel twist as O’Brien mistimed an interception and Forinton was left with only Sheffield to lob, this he did effectively, only to see his shot bounce past the outside of the Yeovil goal. At the other end Belgrave was again causing trouble, only just failing to put Way through on goal.

On 40 minutes Yeovil created their best opportunity, again it was Belgrave. Picking up the ball halfway inside the Peterborough half Belgrave ghosted past defenders into the Peterborough box, where he curled a right foot shot past the keeper. The Yeovil faithful, held their breath, willing the ball to curl inside the far post, the ball failed to curl sufficiently and to Belgrave’s disappointment and all Yeovil supporters the ball drifted limply past the far post by a couple of feet.

Within minutes Peterborough could have taken the lead, a fingertip reaction save from Sheffield managed to deflect an attack onto the corner angle of the goal and away from danger.

The half time whistle blew, Yeovil Town 0 Peterborough United 0.

Good news welcomed O’Brien onto the pitch at the start of the second half: Jason Lee had been substituted.

Peterborough continued to play a quick first touch passing game, but attacks all too often fizzled out, or were easily saved by Sheffield, failing to cause the Yeovil defence any worries. Again, as in the first half Yeovil maintained much possession, but no clear-cut chances. For the last half hour of the game Yeovil dominated the Peterborough half with attack after attack.

On 60 minutes a sweet free kick by MacIndoe found Alford on the edge of the box. With back to the goal and defender in toe, turned both to execute a clever lob that, although not troubling Peterborough’s keeper, was none the less, not too far away.

Three minutes later Belgrave was again the instigator of Peterborough’s torment, breaking down the right wing to put in a first rate low cross, the defence managed to clear the ball to Alford on the edge of the box, his shot while heading for the far corner of the goal, lacked any serious power and was easily saved. Crittenden then played a superb diagonal cross-ball to find Turner who bore down on the Peterborough goal. But, again, his shot was well saved. Crittenden, now exploiting his talents in Yeovil’s transformed 3-4-3 formation, found Alford whose subsequently played a through-ball inside the box to Turner who was shepparded away from danger by the last Peterborough defender before being able to produce an effective strike.

Peterborough’s frustration with being unable to cope with the pace of Belgrave was illustrated when, for the umpteenth time, he was callously upended, the referee concurred with the Yeovil crowd and produced his first, and only, yellow card of this friendly.

There was some action at the other end, but in the main the Yeovil defence cope well. On the one awkward moment Tonkin needed to rely on O’Brien’s timely challenge when he mistimed his interception of a Peterborough through-ball.

On 76 minutes Giles replaced Alford and was immediately in the thick of the action. A sweeping Yeovil move out of defence resulted with Crittenden winning a corner, Giles just fails to make contact with MacIndoe’s deep cross and the Peterborough defence clear it for a second corner in two minutes.

On 90 minutes the dream finish almost becomes a reality. Giles nods down to MacIndoe on the six-yard line who calmly taps in, only to be flagged for offside.

Final score 0-0.

Yeovil were simply the better team. There is certainly not two leagues difference between the two teams. Although neither team created many clear cut opportunities Yeovil held by far and away the majority of possession. For the last thirty minutes Yeovil played attractive skilful football. The game was exciting, and entertaining. Peterborough were not slouches, they showed they can play good football, but they will need to do that for more than 20 minutes in the future.