Clevedon Town U18 3-2 Yate Town U18
Battling Yate fall to late winner at the home of the League & Cup holders
The game started brightly from both teams and, on 10 minutes, a lightning burst down the home right wing drew a foul allowing Mitch Osmond to step up and despatch the resulting penalty, putting Clevedon 1-0 up. Yate themselves looked promising going forward, with the pace of Takayo Nembhard forcing a corner which was partially cleared to Justin Hall, who drove just wide of the upright.
The hosts were especially quick to close down and there were some absorbing individual battles, especially in central midfield involving Sam Knight and Joey Martin-Tulloch, and on both Clevedon flanks, which kept our defence on their toes. A dubious penalty award gave the home side a chance to double their lead but Mason Hawkins got down superbly low to his right to keep out the spot-kick.
As the half wore on, chances were at a premium and there was little between the two sides. Right on half-time, Nembhard beat the offside to go one-on-one with the home keeper, who saved well but Martin-Tulloch was on hand to bury the loose ball and draw Yate level.
Minutes into the restart, a late run from Sam Larkins wasn't picked up and he powered in a downward header from a corner to give the hosts the advantage again. Clevedon upped the pressure and only some strong blocks from Hawkins kept the contest open. The visitors kept believing, battling and working hard and after a well-formed move, Nembhard got a fine header away for the home keeper to save excellently. From a corner shortly after, the ball came across the goal-face and Ewan McMillan gratefully smashed it home for 2-2, at the far post.
Yate sensed victory. Nembhard's brilliant free-kick from out wide cannoned off the angle. Just when it felt like the visitors would get at least a point, a disputed free-kick was awarded, Osmond floated it into the danger area and Ed Harris rose to win the aerial battle and put the home side ahead again, as the game went into added time.
The away side refused to roll over and went full on for the leveller again. With a loose ball pinging around uncleared in the Clevedon box, the referee decided enough was enough and ended the match, which was unjust on Yate.
Despite a result that was hard to take, an impressively solid all-round performance against the current Premier League champions and League Cup holders has to lift those deflated spirits.
Take this belief into Thursday's FA Youth Cup match at Chippenham, lads !