Rovers and Yeovil met in a pre-season friendly at Huish Park tonight, with Darrell Clarke’s side coming out on top, winning 3-1 courtesy of two goals from Billy Bodin and a delightful third strike by Byron Moore.
Bodin scored either side of half time and then created the third goal for Moore.
Rovers always looked comfortable in possession and while this was by no means an easy victory against a workmanlike Yeovil side, Clarke’s side always looked capable of stepping up a gear when the need arose.
They kept their shape well, created the better opportunities and were clinical in front of goal. All in all, it was a good night’s work for Rovers as the countdown to the new campaign gathers pace.
After a lively opening the first chance of the game fell to the home side but Olufela Olumola saw his snap shot comfortably saved by Adam Smith.
At the other end a hurried shot from Ellis Harrison flew high over the crossbar.
Play was fairly even after that point, but Rovers did go close to opening the scoring on 17 minutes when Tom Broadbent met a Chris Lines corner and volleyed straight at goalkeeper Jonathan Maddison who saved well.
Rovers began to exert pressure on the Yeovil defence after that near miss and Billy Bodin was next to try his luck, but his well struck shot from just outside the area was too close to Maddison who saved comfortably.
Francois Zoko then made a smart run down the left and outpaced Daniel Leadbitter, who appeared to be struggling, before firing into the side netting. Almost immediately Leadbitter was replaced by Luke Russe.
Rovers created another fine opportunity just before the half hour mark when Byron Moore found the overlapping Lee Brown out on the left. The defender’s pinpoint cross was met by Harrison who headed over from close range.
Darrell Clarke’s side, though, took a deserved lead into the break after Byron Moore was cynically brought down by Rhys Browne out wide on the left. Lines delivered the resulting free kick low into the box where Bodin was first to react and he swept the ball past Maddison with some aplomb.
Within two minutes of the restart Bodin scored his, and Rovers’ second goal when he latched on to a mishit shot from Harrison and easily beat Maddison.
Yeovil immediately went down the other end and might have pulled a goal back, but Olomola spooned a shot over the bar from 12 yards out and with Yeovil suddenly coming alive a Browne effort was deflected behind for another corner.
Broadbent then did well to thwart the home side when he turned a cross by Daniel Alfei behind for a corner and another effort, from Browne, was deflected behind for a corner.
The home pressure paid off, however, when Nathan Smith beat Smith with a shot to the keeper’s right following James Bailey’s ball into the box.
Rovers soon restored their two goal advantage with a superb goal, created by Bodin and finished in style by Moore who lifted the ball over Maddison as he rushed off his line in an attempt to save.
Otis Khan went close to pulling a goal back for The Glovers on 66 minutes, but was denied by Smith who saved with his legs at the expense of a corner.
Former Rovers player Alefe Santos was introduced as a 77th minute substitute for the home side and was immediately in the thick of the action, winning a corner for his side.
As the clock ran down Ollie Clarke created a chance for Connor Jones but the youngster dragged his effort wide of the far post when well placed.
One of Yeovil’s trialist substitutes fired over the bar in the final minute, and hit a shot just wide of the upright in time added on, but in spite of that late flurry Rovers were able to comfortably defend their two goal lead.
Yeovil Town: Jonathan Maddison, Daniel Alfei, Thomas James, James Bailey (Jake Gray, 77), Omar Sowunmi (Keston Davies, 83), Nathan Smith, Otis Khan, Connor Smith (Alefe Santos, 77), Olufela Olomola (Trialist, 83), Rhys Browne, Francois Zoko (Trialist, 83).
Substitutes: Artuer Krysiak, Joseph Tomlinson, Samyan Ismail, Trialist, Trialist
Bristol Rovers: Adam Smith, Daniel Leadbitter (Luke Russe, 24), Tom Broadbent, Tom Lockyer, Lee Brown, Ollie Clarke, Liam Sercombe (Rollin Menayese, 75), Chris Lines, Billy Bodin (Lewis Ellington, 70), Byron Moore (Connor Jones, 75), Ellis Harrison
Substitutes: Thom Jonkerman (Trialist G/K)