Sun 5th August 2001, 3pm kick-off.

Pre-season friendly :
Yeovil Town 0 – 3 Southend United

Att: 1,352

Line up : (3-5-2 to start switching to 4-4-2)

Chris Weale

Terry Skiverton

Roy O’Brien

Anthony Tonkin

Nick Crittenden

Darren Way

Glenn Poole

Michael McIndoe

Andy Turner

Barrington Belgrave

Carl Alford

Subs used: 12. James Bent (71, for Alford), GK. Steve Collis (61 for Weale), 14. Steve Thompson (71, for Belgrave), 15. Colin Pluck (46, for Poole), 16. Andy Lindegaard (59, for O’Brien)

Southend :
23. Daniel Gay, 16. Leon Cort, 3. Damon Searle, 4. Stephen Broad, 5. Phil Whelan, 6. Leon Johnson, 7. Stuart Thurgood, 8. Kevin Maher, 25. Tony Richards, 10. Daniel Webb No number; Dean Holness.
Subs: (all used) 11. Mark Rawle 12. Jason Harris 13. Mel Capleton 14. Shane Wardley 15. David McSweeney 17. Scott Forbes 19. Gareth Risbridger 22. Daniel Kerrigan

Leon Johnson (44, 0-1), Tony Richards (59, 0-2), Mark Rawle (65, 0-3)

This report courtesy of Fe7:

When an affair breaks down and a partner is deserted for the sake of a new mistress: one is always left asking a number of questions. Is she prettier than me? Is she more fun? Yeovil Town had such a short love affair with David Webb. The break-up had been amicable: but one still asks those questions.

Well, today, the new couple were invited to a Sunday cream tea at Huish Park, and we would find the answers to those questions. And, to add insult to injury, Webb returned with two of our children: Smith – who entertained the Main Stand with an individual training session before kick-off – still plenty of weight to lose and fitness to regain; and Risbridger who occupied a spot on the bench.

Today, both stands were open to the Yeovil faithful, a total gate of 1352, with about fifty Southend supporters in the visitor’s end of the Bartlett Stand.

The crowd at Huish Park this afternoon suffered a tedious and uneventful set of non-proceedings. The team disappointed in failing to create any clear-cut opportunities and failing to draw any saves from the Southend keeper. A step backward from Thursday’s 0-5 defeat by Bristol City. Does that give you some idea?

Gary Johnson had heeded the Yeovil supporter’s advice and give Crittenden a more attacking role, occupying more of a wing-back position, but with a back three providing the additional defensive cover that he could not provide. Johnson was absent and Poole filled his position in front of the back three. Weale replaced Sheffield in goal.

Yeovil started positively in the opening few minutes with many players contributing to good moves, MacIndoe appearing to be involved in most of Yeovil’s best moves. Belgrave and Skiverton working to provide Alford with the first clear chance, but Alford putting his finish over the bar. The closest opportunity coming from a MacIndoe corner which curled in over the Southend keeper onto the bar and away from danger. On 27 minutes MacIndoe was involved in the only disciplinary action of the afternoon when he twisted and turned, to break away from Webb, only to be cynically brought down from behind.

For the first 30 minutes Yeovil dominated play without creating any more significant opportunities. Southend were very much playing second fiddle, confident in mopping up and breaking down any danger without making any serious advances into Yeovil’s penalty box.

On 29 minutes Southend produced their most dangerous chance when a shot clipped Weale’s crossbar and flew over for a goal kick.

Yeovil’s best move so far come on 36 minutes from a Belgrave throw, the ball was fed out to the left wing where Turner, outpacing the Southend defence moving stealthily into the box, smashed his shot over the bar.

The game continued to ebb and flow, seemingly from one keeper to the other with very little excitement in between.

Almost out of the blue, on 43 minutes, a Southend break down their right produced a relatively innocuous cross that the Yeovil defence cleared to the edge of their box. Southend’s Johnson produced a simple and effective shot to Weale’s right hand to open the scoring. On the balance of play it was difficult to see that Southend deserved their lead, but that’s football.

Yeovil 0 Southend United 1

The half time whistle blew shortly after the restart.

Half Time: Yeovil 0 Southend United 1

The second half restarted with Poole being replaced by Pluck, taking up a central defensive position and O’Brien moving out to the right back position.

Almost immediately O’Brien was involved in a challenge that left him flat out, requiring medical attention. The stretcher was brought on for him but after a few minutes treatment he soldiered on, but it was apparent he was not fully fit.

Yeovil continued where they left off in the first half, making ground but failing to make any clear-cut chances.

On 57 minutes, Pluck was turned by Richards, leaving him clear with plenty of room on the edge of the Yeovil penalty box, he struck his shot well, past Weale to add Southend’s second goal.

Yeovil 0 Southend United 2

Immediately Lindegaard replaced O’Brien, taking up the right back position, giving Yeovil an unfamiliar look.

Southend were far more confident now and become more dominant for a short period. The game had degenerated as a competition, Yeovil, apparently, having lost their motivation and fighting spirit, continuing to go through the motions with relatively little belief in being able to achieve any consolation.

Collis replaced Weale in the Yeovil goal. Within a few minutes of his arrival Southend added their third goal. An excellent ball behind Tonkin left the substitute Forbes with plenty of space, he drove in an excellent low, first time ball. Rawle ahead of the Yeovil defence arrived to meet the ball at the near post. Collis expecting the ball to arrive nearer the penalty spot was well off the mark as Rawle directed his header easily into the gaping hole left by Collis’s wayward departure.

Yeovil 0 Southend 3

Yeovil replaced Belgrave and Alford with Bent and Thompson. This gave the Yeovil side a very strange look with Thompson playing up front, any expectation of a comeback had long since evaporated. Although Yeovil did continue to make chances; Skiverton blasting over from a MacIndoe free-kick and Bent blasting over from the edge of the box after a sweeping move out of defence, there appeared little likelihood that scoring would be the slightest possibility.

Southend made many substitutions throughout the second half giving all who started on the bench a few minutes in the game. Risbridger was introduced with about ten minutes to go and unusually Holness was reintroduced as Forbes struggled to continue following a clash with Way.

As the game thankfully ebbed away Thompson, Crittenden and Lindegaard interlinked to create opportunities, only for final shots failing to find the target.

To the relief of the crowd the final whistle blew.

Final score: Yeovil 0 Southend 3

Yeovil worked hard during the first half and moved the ball well in mid-field, MacIndoe was instrumental. However, rarely did Yeovil find their way into Southend’s penalty box or trouble their keeper. Southend were less adventurous and failed to create any significant chances in the first thirty minutes. Their first goal before half time was an unjust shock and against the run of play.

The second half was ten times more tedious and disappointing. Enough said.

Watching this game was a rather surreal experience. With few players or crowd able to take the game seriously – after all it was of little consequence to anybody. Roll on 18 August.

Having said that: the answer to the question at the top of the report: well, the new mistress is not very pretty; and is not very much fun. However, unfortunately, neither am I.