Stone strikes to secure derby spoils for Yate
By The Bristol Post | Tuesday, December 27, 2011, 07:00
A solitary Dave Stone strike helped in-form Yate Town maintain their recent momentum by seeing off the challenge of Clevedon Town at Lodge Road.
Stone's clinical finish from an inch-perfect Hector Mackie pass just after the hour mark was enough to settle this scrappy derby day encounter and give Rob Cousins' improving Bluebells' side a fifth win in their last seven Southern League Division One South & West games.
"We've been flying lately and playing some good stuff, but we knew that we'd have to win scrappy on this occasion because the conditions weren't good," said Yate assistant boss Michael Meaker, pictured, afterwards.
"We are a team that likes to get the ball down and play, but it was more important to do the nasty side of the game right. It was always going to be a day where one or two moments of quality were going to decide the game. We managed to nick the goal, so it's another victory to help us maintain our recent momentum.
"We've been doing the right things over the last couple of months, so we're delighted for the boys more than anything else."
The victory saw Yate move 13 points clear of the drop zone ahead of Saturday's clash with leaders Bideford at Lodge Road. They then go to face local rivals Mangotsfield on Monday and Meaker added: "We're the in-form side and we're looking forward to every game now. We think we have got a good group of players together and we just wish the season had started a month ago."
Clevedon boss Mickey Bell, meanwhile, was pleased with the character his young side showed.
"Everyone sees us as a young side and try to go down the route of getting in our faces," he said.
"I thought the boys stood up to it well and we tried to play our stuff. I think 0-0 would have been a fair result, because both teams really gave it their all out there.
"We just lacked a little bit of quality at times and were punished for the one mistake we made, which let Stone in for the goal. I can't criticise the lads because they worked their socks off and, on another day, they'd have got some reward for that."
Yate enjoyed the better of the openings in the first-half – the best of which fell to Stone when he was sent through on goal following a clever pass by Robin Nichols.
Clevedon goalkeeper Jason Mellor was up to the task at hand and managed to stick out a leg to repel Stone's effort to convert from inside the penalty area.
It was a save that earned Mellor redemption for earlier making a sloppy pass that offered Yate wideman Matt Groves an unexpected opportunity. The former Mangotsfield man whistled the resulting shot wide to spare Mellor any further embarrassment.
Clevedon, however, had started the brighter of the two sides and put Yate goalkeeper Josh Dempsey to work as early as the fifth minute when striker Johnny Moss forced him into a routine save from inside the penalty area.
George Brimson, though, was the only other Clevedon player to trouble Dempsey in the opening period – a vicious effort from distance that was taken by the goalkeeper at the second attempt.
Yate had good chances to make their mark in the final five minutes before the break – but midfielder Mark Badman could only prod an effort wide of the post when under pressure before an inviting ball from Groves across the face of goal was only missing a final touch to convert.
"We had enough chances to wrap the game up by half-time," added Meaker. "We told them to keep their shape and to keep grafting and that the chance would come."
It did finally come for Stone in the 61st minute – but not before Moss scooped an Ashley Kington set-piece delivery over the crossbar from close range in what turned out to be Clevedon's best chance of the day.
Yate managed to see out the final half-an-hour with relatively little drama occurring around their own penalty area, but were grateful that full-back Charlie Rich's blistering attempt to equalise cannoned back of a post in the dying stages.
"That was a close one," admitted Meaker. "We were pleased to see the game out with a clean sheet. Our goalkeeper Josh Dempsey only had couple of saves to make and I think the boys at the back deserve a tremendous amount of credit."