Yate top table as hot streak continues
Yate Town FC enjoyed the view from the top of the Southern League Division 1 South table after a ten-match unbeaten league run and their best ever start to a season.
Highworth Town visited Lodge Road having lost just one match this season but three goals in twenty first half minutes ensured Yate remained the only unbeaten team in their division.
Yate opened the scoring after twelve minutes when Dave Sims-Burgess’ clever flick allowed Ollie Mehew to beat the offside trap and finish with aplomb. Moments later the home side doubled their lead with a volley from Adam Price who found the top of the net from 25 yards.
A well worked goal saw Yate go three up when Mehew combined with Sam Kamara to slot home. Jack Twyman had a goal disallowed just before the break, and Ben Brooks and Nick Peare both came close to adding to the tally in the second half. The only blemish on a fine result the hamstring injury sustained by leading scorer Dave Sims-Burgess which will keep him side lined for several weeks.
Premier Division Dorchester Town were Yate’s opponents in the First Round Qualifying of the FA Trophy. Although Yate lost the tie after a replay they played a full part in two very entertaining matches. The game at Lodge Road ended in a 1-1 draw, with both teams impressing with very slick passing. After a goal-less first half, Dorchester took the lead with a close range finish from Exeter City loanee Ben Seymour. Yate equalised five minutes later when Ben Brooks headed in a cross from Sam Boulton.
The replay at Dorchester again saw a very even first half before Seymour gave Dorchester the lead with a curling free kick around the defensive wall. Dorchester booked their place in the next round when a breakaway two minutes from time ended with Harry Kite, another player on loan from Exeter City, scoring a well-taken goal.
Town returned to league action with a visit to highly placed AFC Totton, and took the lead before the interval with a free kick into the top corner from Nick Peare.
Peare received a second yellow card soon after the break leaving Yate to play the last forty minutes with only ten men. The referee then awarded the home side a penalty, which was converted by the experienced Justin Bennett, but the ten men held on to earn a valuable point with a 1-1 draw.
Yate made the short trip to play Bristol Manor Farm and on a wet and windy night on the banks of the Avon they gave an impressive display to register a 4-2 win. Manor Farm took the lead after four minutes but Town quickly equalised through Brooks, who completed his double just before half time scoring from a narrow angle despite being under pressure from two defenders.
Olly Mehew increased their lead in the 53rd minute when good work from midfielders Joe Guest and Sam Kamara gave him a shooting chance from the edge of the box.
Town appeared in total command at this point, but conceded a soft goal from a Farm corner to give the home side hopes of saving a point. Five minutes from time Adam Price scored with a well-executed free kick to secure Yate victory.
This unbeaten start came to an end when they met Barnstaple Town, who, after a very poor start to the season, had scored seven goals in winning their previous two games. Barnstaple took a surprise lead midway through the first half when a poor pass out of defence was collected by Harry Stevens whose speculative shot was deflected past home keeper Lewis Thomas. Sustained Yate pressure at the start of the second half was eventually rewarded when Josh Ford powered in a header from Price’s corner to level the scores after 56 minutes.
Ten minutes later another defensive error by the home defence was punished when Tallan Mitchell volleyed in to regain Barnstaple’s advantage. and it proved enough for Barnstaple to go back to North Devon with a 2-1 win.
Yate have a busy December programme, including a home local derby against Mangotsfield United on Boxing Day. Their good start to the season has seen a significant increase in attendances at Lodge Road, and Yate are hopeful that this trend will continue in December and the New Year.
Yate Town December Fixtures
Sat 1st Dec, Paulton Rovers, Away 3.00 Pm
Sat 8th Dec, Larkhall Athletic, Home 3.00 Pm
Sat 15th Dec, Slimbridge, Away, 3.00 Pm
Sat 22nd Dec, Blackfield & Langley, Away, 3.00 Pm, Boxing Day Mangotsfield Utd, Home, Tbc
Sat 29th Dec, Thatcham Town, Home, 3.00 Pm, Other Matches @ Lodge Road
Tues 4th Dec, Bristol Rovers -23’s v Exeter City-23’s, 1.00 pm
Wed 5th Dec, Yate Town Youth v Elmore Youth, 7.30 pm
Tues 11th Dec, Bristol Rovers -23’s v Walsall -23’s, 1.00 pm
Sat 15th Dec, Bristol Rovers 18’s v Bournemouth -18’s, 10.30 am