Match Preview: Larkhall Athletic (A)

Match Preview

Larkhall Athletic v Yate Town

Saturday 2nd March 2024 – kick-off 3.00pm

One defeat in 12 games has propelled Yate Town into the top five in the Southern League Division One South table following their 1-0 home win against Bideford AFC last Saturday.

During this fine run Yate Town manager, Darren Mullings, has been able to field a near settled side, only having to make the occasional change due to an injury or two. He will be hoping to field the same side on Saturday that earned the win against Bideford and with eight games to go to end of the season, on 27th April, all Yate Town fans will be looking for this fine run of form to continue.

Striker Milo Murgatroyd has departed, joining Paulton Rovers, so Darren Mullings may be looking to add one or two players to the squad for the final run in.

In the reverse fixture back on Tuesday 9th January, Nick McCootie made a goal scoring debut for the club in the 4-1 win with the other goals coming from Joe Guest, James Taylor and substitute Jack Ball with Larkhall’s Dawid Regula getting a late consolation goal.

Nick McCootie in action on his debut against Larkhall Athletic.

Our opponents:

Larkhall Athletic sit in 12th position in the League, this coming off the back of the surprise 0-5 reverse at Exmouth last Saturday which was followed by the postponement of their home game against Frome Town which was called off on Wednesday evening.

Prior to the Exmouth loss the Larks had been in fine form as they drew 1-1 at home to Evesham United and beat both Willand Rovers 2-1 and Bashley 2-0 at Plain Ham and finished January with an excellent 5-1 win at Melksham.

Larkhall Athletic have 33 points from 24 games, winning 9, drawing 6 and losing 9, have 4 games in hand on the Bluebells and are just 5 points behind in a division where anyone down to Tavistock in 14th position can consider themselves in with a chance of a play off place with the top three teams (Wimborne, Frome and Cribbs) relatively clear, but fourth and fifth place are a realistic hope for 11 teams. With so many teams playing fixture catch up, the next 8 weeks until the end of the season will see many teams chopping and changing positions in the League table.

Larkhall have shown that they can beat the best in the League when they beat Wimborne Town 3-1 at home in January. This game was abandoned in stoppage time when Wimborne’s Jez Bedford was seriously injured, but thankfully due to the excellent treatment he received from the club physios from both clubs Jez is on the road to recovery. The 3-1 result stood, being confirmed by the Southern League.

One highlight of Larkhall’s season was their FA Cup game against Bath City in September, when they raced into a 2-0 lead but in front of a capacity crowd of 1000 fans the visitors clawed the game back to eventually win 3-2.

Aaron Parsons (above) has played for both clubs this season having started the season with the Bluebells, making 13 League and 3 Cup appearances and scoring one goal, before departing to the Larks in January.

Match day information

The Securitas Stadium, Plain Ham is the home of the Larks. The postcode for their ground is BA1 8DJ. Entry charges for the 2023-24 season are – full £10, concessions £7, under 16s (accompanied by an adult) free. Larkhall offer a well-stocked bar and hot and cold snacks such as filled rolls, chips, burgers, hotdogs, pasties, and so on. The club has ample parking on site but you are encouraged to walk or use public transport if possible. Larkhall village is just down the hill with its shops, cafes, pubs, etc. The number 7 bus from the city centre stops at Hillview Road, just down the hill from our ground.

Larkhall offer to all of their visitors a very warm welcome at the Securitas Stadium, probably one of the prettiest grounds in the country.

The 16-mile journey from Yate should take about 30 minutes via the A46 into Bath.