Match Report: Yate Town 3-3 Cribbs

Yate Town 3 Cribbs FC 3

English-Brown 14, McCootie 45+4, 89              Duru 24, Croome 90+1, McCootie (og) 90+5

Yate Town were cruising to a comfortable win when two stoppage time goals from Cribbs gave them an unlikely draw thus ending the Bluebells hopes of reaching the play-offs with just one game remaining this season.

Before the game there was one minutes applause to mark the passing of former Yate Town secretary Iain Prior.

Yate Town manager, Darren Mullings, was forced to make a couple of changes to the team that drew at Larkhall with Chris Lines injured and James Taylor unavailable due to family circumstances. Dan Dempsey came in at right back and James Byrne slotted into midfield.

In front of a season’s best crowd of 528 the game burst into life, when on 14 minutes, Wayne Nderemani passed to Calum English-Brown who shot from just outside the penalty area for another spectacular goal – his sixth of the season.

Calum English-Brown (partly hidden) shoots to put Yate Town into the lead.

As Cribbs responded Dan Dempsey made a great interception to prevent what would have been an excellent chance for the visitors but after 24 minutes, hesitancy in the home defence allowed Cribbs leading goal scorer David Duru to equalise, slotting the ball past Aaron Sainsbury in the Yate goal.

Chances were then at a premium until Jacob Brown shot wide for Cribbs on 45 minutes but in added time Nick McCootie out muscled Cribb’s defender Ross McErlain on the right and drove towards the by-line and from an acute angle fired a stunning shot into the net that put the Bluebells into the lead on the stroke of half-time.

Nick McCootie scores just before half-time to put the Bluebells 2-1 up and below celebrates his goal.

The second half started with Yate on the front foot and English-Brown had a shot blocked and when Oli Jenkins followed up, and with Cribb’s goalkeeper McIntosh Boyd grounded, fired his shot over the bar.

Yate Town’s Supporters’ Player of the Season, Oli Jenkins, races clear of a Cribbs defender.

Joe Guest had a shot blocked and minute later Dan Dempsey’s shot from 25 yards went just wide of the post with McIntosh beaten. Play immediately swung to the other end and following a foul by Ewan McMillan, from the free kick on the edge of the penalty area, Aaron Sainsbury pulled off an excellent save from Harris Feltham with the ball then rebounding onto a post and ricocheting away for a goal-kick.

A flowing move after 66 minutes ended with James Byrne firing just over the bar and from a Wayne Nderemani cross Nick McCootie headed over the bar.

Cribbs were still an attacking threat at times and both Duru and substitute Ryan Cainey had shots but each time they were straight at Aaron Sainsbury in the home goal.

With moments of the second half remaining a through ball from Lewis Hall found Nick McCootie who saw McIntosh off his line and with an astute lob put the Bluebells 3-1 in the lead with just stoppage time remaining ….. but there was lots of drama still to come.

Nick McCootie scores his second goal with a deft lob from distance

Within a minute Cribbs won a corner on the right and substitute Bailey Croome rose unchallenged to pull a goal back from Cribbs and one could immediately feel the pendulum shift towards the visitors, with the home side rattled.

With only moments of the game remaining Cribbs won a free kick just to the left of the Yate penalty and Harris Feltham fired an excellent ball into the penalty area and Nick McCootie’s unfortunate deflection ended up in the net with the Cribbs players jubilant and the Yate Town players crestfallen with much of the crowd aghast at what they had just witnessed.

Despite these mad few minutes, it must be remembered how far the Bluebells have come under the stewardship of Darren Mullings and who would have thought at Christmas that the club would be in the reckoning of a play-off place with just two games of the season remaining.

The Bluebells travel to Tavistock next week and will be looking to finish the season with a win and be as high in the compacted table as possible.

Yate Town: Sainsbury, Dempsey, Hall, McMillan, Baker, Guest, Byrne, Jenkins, English-Brown, (Hillier 88), McCootie, Nderemani.

Unused subs: Bell, Lewis, Robinson-Swarbrich, Sage

Bookings: McCootie (35), McMillan (53), English-Brown (75), Baker (81)

Cribbs FC: Boyd, Hannett-Balkwill, Bennett, Hall (Cainey 71), Spence (Hurley 51), McErlain, Brown (Croome 71), Feltham, Duru, Corrick, Hodgson

Unused subs: Bhebhe, Murray

Bookings: Feltham (32), Hodgson 67), Croome (81)

Yate Town Man of the Match: Nick McCootie

Referee: Andrew Sheppard

Attendance: 528