Yate Town 1 Bristol Manor Farm 1
Ball 83 Dodimead 85
Yate Town’s first game of 2024 saw them gain a point against sixth placed Bristol Manor Farm in a game played in difficult conditions as the rain poured down on the players, particularly in the second half. Despite all the wet weather in the region over the previous few days a 9.30am pitch inspection meant that the game could go ahead and Yate Town manager, Darren Mullings, made one change from the team that lost narrowly at Paulton Rovers on Boxing Day, bringing back Chris Peck with Ryan Hillier dropping to the bench.
Callum Hutton went close early on for Yate, as did Ollie Jenkins but the first half was a midfield battle with few chances being created however the dangerous Owen Brain was always a threat for the visitors but both defences held firm.
Dylan Lewis crosses into a packed Bristol Manor Farm defence in the first half.
As the conditions worsened in the second half Yate Town took control of the game and dominated possession but a resolute Bristol Manor Farm stood resolutely to clear a large number of crosses that came into their penalty area but visiting goalkeeper, Ben John, was rarely troubled. Ryan Hillier had the best chance for the hosts but his effort was blocked and went for a corner.
Bristol Manor Farm were always dangerous on the break and Yate goalkeeper Aaron Sainsbury had to be at his best to have an effort from Owen Brain on 77 minutes.
As Yate continued to press, and with 7 minutes remaining, a cross from the right, supplied by James Byrne, found substitute Jack Ball in the six-yard box and much to the joy of home fans Ball slid in to connect and put the home side in front.
Jack Ball scores for Yate Town after 83 minutes.
This stung Bristol Manor Farm into action and Sainsbury was forced make a good save. From the resultant corner, from the left, the home defence failed to clear the ball and in the scramble that ensued the ball eventually fell to Daniel Dodimead to crash home. Yate’s lead had last just two minutes.
Worse appeared to follow when the visitors had the ball in the net again as stoppage time approached, as after good work by Nielsen and Brain saw Dodimead fire home but his effort was ruled out for offside.
Despite the very challenging conditions both sets of players did incredibly well to provide the fans with an entertaining game and credit to referee, Mr Enever, who ensured that he took the conditions into account and let the game flow as much as possible.
For Yate Town this was so close to the win that is needed to help them move up the table. A much-disrupted fixture list due to the weather has seen a fair number of postponements but their last win stetches back to 21st October and the last 5 games have seen three draws and two narrow defeats. The margins in sport are very fine at times and as the Bluebells travel to Malvern on Saturday, they then have two home games in 4 days and hopefully that elusive win will come to fruition.
Yate Town: Sainsbury, Byrne, L. Hall, McMillan, Baker, Peck, Murgatroyd (Hillier 50), Jenkins, Hutton (Ball 75), Bell, Lewis (J. Hall 84)
Unused subs: Parsons, Dempsey
Booked: Peck (66)
Bristol Manor Farm: John, Adams, Robbins, Lucas, Woodhouse, Llewellyn, Nielsen, Kellow, Dodimead, Brain, Thomas
Unused subs: Lashenko, Kershaw, Harding, Locke.
Booked: Llewellyn (31), Woodhouse (78)
Referee: Mr George Enever
Man of the Match: Chris Peck