Yate Town maintain promotion challenge
YATE Town bounced back to winning ways with a 2-1 victory away at Moneyfields that saw them leapfrog their Portsmouth-based promotion rivals into second place.
They are now separated from leaders Blackfield and Langley by goal difference in the Evo Stik League South Division One South.
Yate’s seven-match unbeaten league run had ended the week before when they visited North Devon to play Bideford. 2-0 down at half-time, Yate pulled one back when Bristol Rovers’ loanee Harry Warwick scored into an empty net after a fine run from Peare. After both teams spurned decent opportunities, Bideford secured a 3-1 victory in the 80th minute when man of the match Ryan Turner completed his hat trick.
Perhaps the most crucial match of the unbeaten run was the win over league leaders Blackfield & Langley, who had a virtually unblemished home record. Yate dominated the first half and took the lead just before the break when Mike Bryant bundled in a corner at the far post. The home team equalised just after the interval but Town showed character and determination, and their efforts were rewarded in the 88th minute when captain Nick Peare scored from close range after the home team had failed to clear a free kick.
The local derby against Mangotsfield Utd attracted a large crowd to Lodge Road, and they witnessed an entertaining match, with Yate just edging home in a seven-goal thriller.
Yate led four times but were pegged back three times by Mangotsfield, who were only denied a fourth by the crossbar.
Town opened the scoring through Dave Sims-Burgess before Luke Spokes took advantage of a poor pass out of defence to equalise. Jack Twyman headed Yate back into the lead but almost immediately Kyle Tooze made it 2-2. A header from Josh Ford gave Yate a one-goal advantage at the break.
Mangotsfield regained parity through Matty Tanner before Sims-Burgess completed his double and Yate just held on to their 4-3 advantage.
Yate maintained their unbeaten run when Western League champions Street visited Lodge Road. After a goalless first half, Yate scored the only goal of the match when Nick Peare was brought down in the box and Olly Mehew scored the penalty.
Town’s good first half of the season has seen a significant increase in attendances at Lodge Road, and Yate are hopeful that this encouraging trend will continue throughout 2019.
YATE TOWN FIXTURES (all Saturdays at 3pm)
February 2 Fleet Town (a)
February 9 Bristol Manor Farm (h)
February 16 Highworth Town (a)
February 23 AFC Totton (h)
March 2 Slimbridge (h)
Other matches at Lodge Road
February 5 (Tues) Bristol Rovers U23 v Plymouth Argyle U23 1pm
February 6 (Wed) Yate Town Youth v Clevedon Town Youth 7.30 pm
Picture: Yate’s Olly Mehew opening up the Street defence during Yate Town's 1-0 win. Photo: Red Piranha Photography