Match Report: Larkhall Athletic 2-2 Yate Town

Larkhall Athletic 2 Yate Town 2

Pritchard 45, Mortimer-Taylor 75 – Guest 29, English-Brown 70

You don’t always get what you deserve in football and it was one of those nights for Yate Town as the Bluebells can count themselves unfortunate not to have collected all three points. Despite playing really well on a difficult pitch, both teams gained a point in their quest to be in a top five place come the end of the season and subsequently be involved in the end of season play-offs.

For the third consecutive game, Yate Town manager, Darren Mullings, started with the same eleven as fifth placed Yate Town took on sixth place Larkhall Athletic. The home side were missing striker Brad Norris from their team due to injury.

After a slow start to the game Larkhall won a free kick which was cleared for a corner by the Yate Town defence and from the resulting corner the ball struck a post after a scramble in the visitor’s penalty area but from this point onwards it was Yate Town who dominated play.

Chris Lines’ deft pass created a chance for Wayne Nderemani but his shot was blocked and in the 28th minute a right-wing cross from Calum English-Brown was met my Joe Guest whose clever touch saw the ball fly into the top corner of the net to put the Bluebells into the lead.

Joe Guest’s clever flick puts Yate Town into the lead.

Chris Lines went on a mazy run but his shot was eventually cleared as Yate continued to play attractive football and put pressure on the home defence.

On the stroke of half-time it appeared that Calum-English-Brown was followed in the Larkhall half but the referee waved play on and there seemed little danger from the ball hit forward as Ewan McMillan collected the ball but under hit his back pass to Aaron Sainsbury and Larkhall forward Harvey Pritchard gleefully nipped in to slot the ball past goalkeeper Aarron Sainsbury, just inside his right-hand post. This was a rare mistake from McMillan who up to this point had been outstanding during the first half.

Nick McCootie, who was a constant threat all evening, in action.

The second half started with Larkhall’s Ethan Cannings shooting straight at Aaron Sainsbury and then Nick McCootie rattled the Larkhall crossbar with a fierce shot from 30 yards. After 57 minutes Chris Lines had a shot from 25 yards superbly tipped over the crossbar at full stretch by home goalkeeper Arthur Nasta and Nasta was called into action from the resulting corner bringing off another fine save.

Larkhall’s Cummings had a chance when he broke clear down the right but dragged his shot badly wide of the far post whilst at the other end both Calum English-Brown and Wayne Nderemani had shots blocked but on 70 minutes Calum English-Brown scored a wonderful goal as he collected the ball about 40 yards from goal, turned a defender and then seeing Larkhall goalkeeper Nasta off his line left fly with the ball sailing into the top corner of the goal.

Calum English-Brown lets fly from about 40 yards for his wonder goal.

The game was stopped soon after following a collision in the Yate Town penalty area and after a 5-minute delay Chris Lines was forced to leave the field and Dan Dempsey took his place. Shortly after this, a fortunate ricochet saw Larkhall substitute Ethan Mortimer-Taylor break clear of the Yate Town defence and he cooly placed the ball past Aaron Sainsbury to equalise for his team.

Chris Lines on the ball before having to go off with an injury after 73 minutes.

Yate Town had a penalty appeal waved aside on 78 minutes when Nick McCootie appeared to be fouled in the penalty area but Yate continued to look for another goal but with 9 minutes added time being played Larkhall appeared to shut up shop and make sure that they kept their hard-earned point and keep the status quo of being one point behind their visitors but with 3 games in hand in the closing phases of the season, however, Yate Town did carve out a chance in the final moments of the game but Joe Guest’s effort was just off target.

This was an excellent advert for Southern League Division One South football and fans will have left the ground having witnessed a goal to remember from Calum English-Brown. Yate Town, with just two games remaining are still in the hunt for a place-off place as many of the teams below them have not accumulated the points from the games that they had in hand, perhaps due to a fixture pile up. Larkhall still have those games in hand but points in the bag are often worth more at this time of the season.

Yate Town’s final home game of the season on Saturday 20th April, against Cribbs, could well be a decisive game, with the Bluebells still in the frame for a top 5 finish.

Larkhall Athletic: Nasta, Goodall, Dymond-Hall, Boulton, Bradley, Bowman, Lambert (Mortimer-Taylor 65), Pritchard, Williams, Cannings (Passco 90), Camm

Unused subs: Graham, Merritt, Lea

Bookings: Camm (20), Pritchard (29), Boulton (80)

Yate Town: Sainsbury, Taylor, Lewis, McMillan, Baker, Guest, Lines (Dempsey), Jenkins (Hillier), English-Brown, McCootie, Nderemani (Lewis)

Unused subs: Bell, Byrne

Bookings: Lines (33)

Yate Town Man of the Match: Calum English-Brown

Referee: Adam Gregory

Attendance: 234