Match Preview: Tavistock AFC vs Yate Town

Final game off the season for the Lambs sees Stuart Henderson’s side take on an impressive attacking, Yate Town

By Luca Sperti

Tavi come into the encounter following two games in the space off three days. The Lambs started this week off with a emphatic 3-2 win against Wimborne Town, thanks to a Ed Harrison screamer before losing 0-2 to a defensively resolute Bristol Manor Farm on Thursday. The Farmy Army controlled the game on Thursday but it was Tavi, who came closest early on. A ball from Welsh winger Alfie Cunnigham, from the right, was only cleared as far as Captain Harrison, who smashed a shot from the edge off the box onto the inside off the post. However,the midfielders shot bounced away from goal, rather than hitting the back-of-the-net. However, in the 26th minute, Manor Farm took the lead after a corner was cleared only as far as Jayden Nielsen. From outside the box, the winger sent in a low-shot which deflected off a Tavi defender, before rolling into the bottom right-corner, given Aaron Dearing in the Tavi goal no chance. However, it took to the 90th minute for Manor Farm, to wrap up the victory and make it 0-2. A ball from Charlie Elkington for Tavi, was intercepted by the impressive Nielsen, who made his way down the left by-line before the pulling the ball across the box. There was substitute Owen Brain who swept the ball into the net, past a outstretch Aaron Dearing. Yate Town’s last game was last Saturday, where they drew 3-3 with promotion contenders Cribbs Fc at The South West Interiors Stadium. The Bluebells took the lead in the 14th minute through a superb strike from Calum English-Brown. The Zimbabwean, took two touches in the centre-of-the-park, before smashing a shot from distance, with his laces, into the bottom right-corner. However only 10th minutes later, Cribbs equalised thanks to talisman David Duru, who capitalised on a poor ball by Mike Baker before finishing past Aaron Sainsbury. However deep into added time in the first-half, Yate Town re-took the lead, thanks to Starman Nick McCootie, who shrugged off Cribbs defender Joah Hall before smashing a shot from the right-of the box into the top left corner. The goal was another peach from the former Bath City man. In the 89th minute the points looked to be wrapped up for the Bluebells after Nick McCootie got a second with a delightful chip over Mac Boyd. But the visitors didn’t lay down and pulled a goal back in the first minute off added time through a powerful Sonny Harnett-Balkwill header. Four minutes later the visitors equalised after a Harris Feltham freekick was bundled into the goal. The result confirmed Yate can no longer finish in the play-offs this campaign.

The White and Blue outfit, are unbeaten in five games winning three and drawing two. Yate’s last win came on the 6th of April, when they stuck three past Devonshire based outfit Willand Rovers at The South West Interiors Stadium. Daren Mullings’ side opened the scoring in the fourth minute, after a Wayne Nderemani cross was smashed home by winger English-Brown. In the 44th minute in the encounter main-man McCootie put his name on the scoresheet after the former Taunton man out muscled a Willand defender before smashing the ball into the back-of-the-net. In the 54th minute,the game was wrapped up after a Chris Lines cross was headed home by Joe Guest. The side twenty minutes out off Bristol, last lost on Saturday 23rd March to free-scoring Bishop’s Cleeve at home. Despite the Mitres being free-scoring it was only one goal which settle the result, with a Jay Malashanskyj
strike being the difference between the two-sides. On the stroke off half-time in the encounter, Yate had a chance to equalise after the White and Blue outfit were awarded a penalty. The inform McCootie stepped up, but the forwards penalty was comfortably saved by Lewis Clayton, in the Cleeve goal. Yate’s last away fixture was on the 10th of April, where they drew 2-2 with play-off chasing Larkhall Athletic at Plain Ham. The Bluebells, donning yellow on the day, opened the scoring in the encounter in the 28th minute after a English-Brown cross was smashed home by Guest. However in the 45th minute Larkhall equalised through a calm finish by Harry Pritchard, on the counter-attack .In the 70th minute Yate re-took the lead through a sublime goal from English-Brown. The old-score winger took a few touches just inside the Larkhall half, before smashing a shot from the right into the top left-corner. It was a goal off real quality from a very exciting player. However only five minutes later, Larkhall equalised once again after a goal from Eben Mortimer-Taylor.

Yate current sit in 8th position and a victory in Saturdays encounter against the Lambs, could see the Bluebells jump into seventh position if Evesham fail to win at already relegated, Paulton Rovers. Tavi currently sit in 11th position and a win for Stuart Henderson’s side could see the Lambs move up to 10th, in the place of Malvern Town. Yate have also had the most away draws in the League this season in seven, which is joint with Cribbs. Yate have also scored 55 goals this season which is six less than the Red and Black Devonshire based outfit. However Darren Mullings side have conceded 25 goals less than the Lambs this season. Yate also have picked up more points at home this season in away. The Bluebells have picked up 30 points at home this season compared to 19 away from home. Whereas Tavi nearly have an identical record in the league this season for home and away games. The Lambs have accumulated 22 points at home compared to 23 points at away. A draw for the Lambs, would see Stuart Henderson’s side have the same amount of points home and away come the end of the season.

The return fixture between these two sides, saw Yate come out 5-1 winners at The South West Interiors Stadium, thanks to a masterclass from McCootie. The Bluebells took the lead in the encounter through Oli Jenkins, before a excellent finish for McCootie from a tight-angle put Darren Mullings side 2-0 ahead. In the 42nd minute it was 3-0 to Tavi, after former Lamb Taylor Scarff diverted a cross into his own-net. The impressive McCootie then made it 4-0 in the 52nd minute before English-Brown made it five with a excellent goal. Tavi did in fact pull a goal back in the 72nd minute after a well-worked goal was smashed home by Alex Battle. The previous meeting between the two sides was back in early September in the FA Trophy, first qualifying round at Lodge Road. Tavi were 0-2 winners that day in the Gloucestershire sunshine thanks to goals from Owen Pritchard and Jacob Bowker.

Yate Town Key Players:

Nick McCootie- The 35-year-old striker is a nailed-on choice for this list. The Veteran attacker signed for Yate Town from Taunton Town this January and has been a revelation ever since. McCootie started his career at Cinderford Town where he scored seven goals in all competitions in his first season. A move to Paulton Rovers followed where in two full seasons at the club McCootie made 90 appearances scoring an impressive 47 goals. In the 14/15 season still at Paulton, the attacker scored five goals in only 10 appearances which led to Bath City signing the frontman. McCootie made 144 appearances for Bath City in all competitions, for the National League South side, scoring 34 goals in a 3-and-a-half-year spell. Midway in the 17/18 season McCootie moved to fellow National League South side Chippenham Town, where he made 13 appearances in his half-season scoring four goals. The following season the attacker scored 12 in 40 for The Bluebirds including ten in the League. The next season saw the goal scorer drop down a division to recently relegated Weston- Super-Mare, in hopes to get the club promoted. The penalty specialist made 78 appearances at the Somerset based outfit scoring 17, but couldn’t help The Seagulls return to the sixth tier. McCootie then himself returned to the National League South with Taunton, where he made 47 appearances last season scoring three goals. This season in the same division the attacker scored two in 19, in the sixth tier of English Football. Following Taunton’s financial trouble, McCootie moved to Yate and has been a revelation since arrival. In total McCootie has scored an impressive 14 goals in 17 appearances, including all different types off goals including the delightful chip against Cribbs.

Finn Bell- The 19-year-old is on loan from League Two side Forest Green Rovers, who he has made four appearances for. Bell made his debut for FGR in October of 2020 coming on for Josh March against West Brom U21’s in 3-0 win in the EFL Trophy. Bell then made an appearance for Forest Green the following season against Brighton U21 in a 2-2 draw once again in the EFL Trophy. Bell went on to play twice for Rovers the following season in the EFL Trophy coming on against Newport County and Exeter City. The composed all-rounded midfielder then spent time out on loan at Cinderford Town last season, where he scored twice in 19 appearances in the League. Since joining Yate on loan this season Bell has made 22 appearances impressing with his distribution from the centre of the park as well as his work-rate.

Tavistock AFC Last five results:

Thursday 25th April- Tavistock AFC 0-2 Bristol Manor Farm

Tuesday 23rd April- Tavistock AFC 3-2 Wimborne Town

Saturday 20th April- Bashley FC 0-0 Tavistock AFC

Tuesday 16th April- Mousehole AFC 3-2 Tavistock AFC

Saturday 13th April- Tavistock AFC 1-3 Evesham United

Saturday 6th April- Malvern Town 2-1 Tavistock AFC


Yate Town Last five results:

Saturday 20th April- Yate Town 3-3 Cribbs Fc

Wednesday 10th April- Larkhall Athetic- 2-2 Yate Town

Saturday 6th April- Yate Town 3-0 Willand Rovers

Monday 1st April- Yate Town 3-0 Paulton Rovers

Friday 29th March- Westbury United 0-2 Yate Town


Ticket prices are as follows:

Adults: £10

Concessions (13-17 & over 65): £6

Under 12s accompanied with an adult:

Cash or card can be used on the turnstiles, tea hut and “The Lambing Shed.

Club Shop: We have a top of the range Club Shop, located near the Lambing Shed which features Hats, Scarves, pin badges, keyrings, and mugs. We also have a wide range of Programmes, some which are over 20 years old.