U18s are left feeling down at The Down
Yate slip to defeat as Odd Down climb to top spot
The away side were much the better team for the first quarter. Ellis Kow latched onto a Route One ball but pulled his effort wide, on a bobbly surface, before Takayo Nembhard collected a long Nathan Goodwin-Worrell pass to calmly slot into the bottom left corner for 0-1. Bolazs Boda, on his league debut, was making searching runs up the flank throughout and his deep cross enabled Nembhard to test the home keeper well.
A surge of pace on the Odd Down right led to a telling cross into the 6-yard box which was converted at the far post and the hosts were back into what then became a feisty game, with strong challenges going in from both sides and yellow cards being shown.
The hosts were unlucky not to profit early after the restart, as a difficult ball forced Josh Blackman out of his area to head away, the follow-up was on target but Ewan McMillan had tracked back to mop up. Soon after, though, a well-delivered free-kick to the back post saw a bullet header soar into the net and Odd Down had the lead at 2-1.
Kow responded immediately with several dangerous deliveries from the bye-line, one of which spun loose on the goal-line before being cleared but Yate were reduced to 10 men after Goodwin-Worrell's second yellow card, and lots of character was now needed.
The home side exploited the extra man, firstly ballooning a great chance over the bar before seizing on an unfortunate spill from Blackman to score their third. Boda, in support again, tested the Odd Down stopper with a long-range effort as Yate played better football than they had done since conceding the equaliser in the first period. A header from a deep Joey Martin-Tulloch corner was headed off the line, but the hosts were able to use their extra man as they broke through midfield.
Blackman redeemed himself to a point, standing up strong, when exposed to a 1-on-1 at the end but the points went the way of the hosts, who go to the top of the division.