Match Details: 06/07/2019
Yeovil Town 2-0 Stratford Town
Yeovil Goals: Rhys Murphy (21), Rhys Murphy (42)
Yeovil Town won their opening pre-season friendly this afternoon against Southern League Premier Division Central division side Stratford Town. Two first half goals from former Chelmsford City striker Rhys Murphy was enough to give Yeovil a 2-0 victory, with the first half performance easily good enough to win the game. The Glovers fielded two teams with most players only featuring for 45 minutes each, with the end result being that a younger second half side couldn't extend that lead.
The game opened with three new signings and three trialists in the starting line-up. Albi Skendi, who was signed on the morning of the match from Stratford for an undisclosed fee, appeared as a central defender, alongside former Forest Green Rovers defender Lee Collins. The other defender in a 3-4-1-2 formation was a trialist with former Dundee defender Tom Bradbury filling in.
Midfield saw a rather more familiar set of players, with Craig Alcock and Carl Dickinson now back in the first team fold following their exclusion from the side during the final three months of last season. They were joined by trialist James Craigen, who was last on the books of Dunfermline Athletic. Up front, Ryan Seager played a deeper role, with new boy Rhys Murphy being joined by Weston-super-Mare born Bradley Ash, who was last on the books of Boreham Wood.
The Glovers opened up the scoring midway through the first half, after Ryan Seager's run set up Bradley Ash. The trialist's shot was parried by Stratford keeper Sam Lomox, but only into the path of Rhys Murphy who finished from close range. Just before half time, in a match that had largely seen the visitors on the back foot defending, Carl Dickinson's cross into the box was chested down well by Rhys Murphy and despite Stratford appealing for the offside flag, he finished well from inside the box for a 2-0 half time lead.
The second period saw nine changes made at the break with only trialists Tom Bradbury and Bradley Ash surviving - both were later withdrawn from play. Two more unnamed trialists were put on in their place, with a third seeing Reading goalkeeper Liam Driscoll, who is believed to be on the edge of a loan move to Huish Park. Around them there were all four of Yeovil Town's academy graduates that have signed professional deals, plus one second year scholar in the form of Tai Fleming.
The inevitable result was that Stratford had more of a comfortable half than they'd experienced during the opening 45 minutes. They created their best chance midway through the second period when Joel Gyasi caught Yeovil on the break, cutting in from the left flank, but his shot came off the upright to keep Driscoll with a clean sheet. As two more second year scholars appeared in the closing stages, only Driscoll, Courtney Duffus and the two trialists remained as 'senior' players in the line-up and they couldn't extend their lead, with their best opportunity coming when Duffus saw a shot deflected into the side netting.
Final Score: Yeovil Town 2 Stratford Town 0.
Scorers: Rhys Murphy (1-0, 21 mins), Rhys Murphy (2-0, 42 mins)
First Half Side:
1. Stuart Nelson
5. Albi Skendi, 4. Lee Collins, 6. Tom Bradbury
2. Craig Alcock, 7. Matt Worthington, 8. James Craigen, 3. Carl Dickinson
11. Ryan Seager
9. Rhys Murphy, 10. Bradley Ash
Second Half Side:
Tai Fleming, Tom Bradbury, Daniel Ojo
Nestor Shako, Gabriel Rogers, Alex John, Trialist
Bradley Ash, Courtney Duffus, Trialist.
Devon Arnold (59 mins for Bradley Ash), George Calverley (70 mins for Tom Bradbury)