Yate Town FC HISTORY
Early history: Yate Town’s earliest history began in 1906 as Yate Rovers but the team disbanded after the First World War and then reformed as Yate YMCA. An early legend was Frank Boulton, one of four brothers and he eventually went on to play for Arsenal. After the Second World War Yate competed in the Bristol and District League and the Avon Premier Combination and were amongst the founding members of the Gloucester County League. In 1959 the YMCA was dropped in favour of Town and home matches were played at Yate Aerodrome (1954-1960) and Sunnyside Lane (1960-1984).
In 1983 Yate joined the Hellenic League and the first step of the National League System and promotion the following season. This resulted in a need to improve the playing facilities and in 1984 Yate Town relocated to their current ground at Lodge Road. The first section of covered accommodation was erected in 1987 and floodlighting the following year.
Seasons 1987/88 and again the following season saw Yate Town win the Hellenic League Premier Division and season 1989/90 saw them playing in the Southern League for the first time, in the Southern Division.
By season 1993/94 Yate Town were competing in the Midland Division of the Southern League and relegation was narrowly avoided. The League restructuring for 1994/95 saw Yate moved back to the Southern Division but after a poor start long-serving manager Peter Jackson handed over to former Bristol Rovers favourites Ian Alexander and Phil Purnell. A creditable sixteenth finish in the table followed by runners-up in the Senior Cup and atop half finish was achieved the following season. The club celebrated its Golden Jubilee in 1996/97 and not long after appointed John Freegard as manager for season 1997/98. His tenure was short-lived and with just two victories from seventeen games, he resigned and was replaced by Martin Durnell assisted by Club Captain Danny Iddles. Despite these changes, the club still finished in relegation place but the drop was avoided due to a restructuring of the Southern League and the following season Yate struggled again finishing in 20th place. Due to another reorganisation, Yate moved to the Midland Division but relegation did follow the following season and manager Martin Durell resigned and was replaced by former players Gary Hewlett and Richard Thompson (Director of Football) as Yate returned to the Hellenic League.
Season 2000/01 saw Yate enjoy a long run of victories that saw them finish in third place in the Hellenic League and they finished in a similar position again the following season and were runners-up in 2002/03 but when champions North Leigh declined promotion Yate Town was offered their place in the Southern League which they accepted. Back in the higher division, Yate finished sixteenth and the following season were runners-up in Division One West and gained promotion to the Premier Division for the first time. Yate also won the Senior Challenge Cup for the first time in their history beating Bristol Rovers 2-0 in the final. Yate finished sixth in the League and retained the Senior Challenge Cup beating Cheltenham Town in the final. The following two seasons saw Yate finish in mid-table positions in the League but during season 2008/09 and with the club in a relegation place, Richard Thompson departed in February 2009 to be replaced by Dave Mogg, the former Bath City and Cheltenham Town goalkeeper, who had previously been assistant manager at both Taunton and Weston-super-Mare, but the change was too late and the club was relegated to the South and West Division of the Southern League. Season 2009/10 saw a young squad finish in mid-table and more experienced players were added the following season but there was little improvement in results and Dave Mogg was replaced by Rob Cousins, who had vast playing experience with Bath City and Yeovil Town. He secured a mid-table position and Yate once again won the GFA Senior Challenge Cup.
2011/12 saw a bottom-half finish but the highlight of the season were decent runs in both the FA Cup and the FA Trophy. Season 2012/13 was until recently, one of the most memorable in the club’s history reaching the First Round Proper of the FA Cup beating Newport County over two games. Newport recovered from 3-1 down in the first game to draw level at Lodge Road and in the replay, Yate came from 1-0 down to win in extra time. In the First Round Proper Yate lost 3-0 at Cheltenham Town.
Season 2013/14 saw another mid-table finish but after a poor run the following season Rob Cousins and his assistant Michale Meaker departed to be replaced by Craig Laird and Rob Boyd. Despite several high-profile signings season 2015/16 ended disappointingly and another change of manager saw Paul Britton come in assisted by John Lester. Their third season in charge saw Yate finish in third pace in 2019 and strong performances in the play-offs with home victories over Moneyfields and Cinderford Town, in the final, secured promotion to the Premier Division of the Southern League for the second time in the club’s history. Season 2019/20 was a challenging return to the higher level but just as a run of strong performances began COVID forced a premature end to the season in March and Paul Britton resigned as manager in the summer of 2020. Paul Michael was appointed as his successor and once again COVID prematurely ended season 2020/21 in November. Season 2021/22 was a highly successful season for Yate and will be remembered for the club reaching the First Round Proper for the second time. Two games against National League Dover Athletic, a 1-1 draw in Kent followed by a famous 1-0 win at Lodge Road in the replay had fans buzzing. Sadly, progress in the competition was halted by Yeovil Town, also at the time also a National League side, and the team from Somerset won 5-0 at Lodge Road in front of 1600 fans. In the League Yate finished just outside the play-offs and also won the GFA Senior Challenge Cup. At the end of the season Paul Michael left the club to manage Merthyr Town and Yate appointed the vastly experienced Peter Beadle as their new manager. Sadly, this bold move failed to pay off and Beadle departed in in October 2022 and the club appointed John Rendell, who had previously managed Paulton Rovers for the past six seasons. Despite a brave attempt relegation could not be avoided and the last game of the season confirmed that they would go down to the Southern League Division One South for season 2023/24 with John Rendell and his assistant Paul Tovey still in charge.