Saturday, July 14, 2012
This afternoon’s opening pre-season friendly finished with a goal for each side. The visitors opened the scoring in the first half when Ed Upson’s shot took a deflection to carry it past Dan Hanford’s outstretched hands before Bulls’ trialist and current Torquay player Lloyd Macklin levelled the match in the second period.
Dan Hanford kept the gloves for the duration of the game with Stefan Stam and Luke Graham starting in central defence. Former Cheltenham player Andy Gallinagh is believed to be the player at right back while Chris Carruthers (ex Northampton) may have been at left back.
The central midfield roles fell to Harry Pell and Simon Clist with Sam Clucas wide left and trialist Marley Watkins on the right. Former Darlington striker Ryan Bowman partnered Sean Canham up front.
Gallinagh was prominent with some early overlapping runs down the right but Sam Clucas was first to try his luck with a shot that was blocked away. Hanford dealt confidently with a testing cross by getting a firm punch on the ball. Bowman’s firm challenge allowed the ball to fall to Watkins who made good ground before sending in a cross, which forced a corner, but the Clucas’ flag kick was too deep.
Stam and Graham both got in timely clearance headers before James Hayter missed a glorious chance when he scooped over from ten yards following good work by former Bull Lewis Young on the Yeovil right and some typical prompting by Gavin Williams. Another Clucas corner was met with a firm Graham header but the referee had already blown for some petty offence in the box. Hayter beat Stam to a speculative long ball forward but his chipped effort cleared the bar. A clumsy challenge on Clist by Upson brought a foul and Harry Pell’s 35-yard free kick screamer could only be tipped over by keeper Marek Stech. Then with just a few minutes remaining before the break, Yeovil took the lead. Gallinagh was possibly guilty of allowing his wingman to advance too far into the box before pulling the ball back to the edge of the box from where Upson’s shot took a deflection past Hanford.
HT Bulls 0 Yeovil 1
Both managers made a plethora of changes which saw The Bulls introduce Lloyd Macklin up front with an as yet unknown strike partner (No 20), Eddie Odihambo at right back, James McQuilkin, Will Evans and amongst others, former Cheltenham player David Bird.
The second period provided less controlled passing than the first half but The Bulls did improve their share of possession. McQuilkin produced a few nice touches as he drifted across the central area with one particular ball inside to trialist 20 producing a shot that the keeper could only gather at the second attempt. Odihambo showed a willingness to get forward and got a few decent crosses in. A chance fell to trialist 20 but he stabbed wide from 10 yards before he tested the keeper with a crisp shot following good link-up play with Macklin.
The Bulls equalised late in the game when Macklin chased down a poor back pass and robbed the keeper before finishing confidently from a narrow angle.
FT Bulls 1 Yeovil 1
Dan Hanford looked very promising with good decision making while Stam and Graham, although perhaps short of half a yard of pace were well positioned and dominant in the air. Clist was his usual busy self and Pell was keen to get the ball forward into dangerous areas. Marley Watkins looked bright and threatening but the strikers, Canham and Bowman were starved of genuine opportunities. Of the second period players, Macklin took his goal well while trialist 20 impressed with his anticipation, awareness and movement.
Early days and no doubt more trialists to look at but we’re off, running and undefeated.
See you at Evesham on Tuesday.