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History of Yate Town FC

Yate Town FC began life as Yate Rovers in 1906, and Rovers won the Glos F.A. Junior Cup in 1913-14. World War One then intervened, and although Rovers reformed after the war, they later disbanded, probably in the early thirties. In 1933-34 season Yate Y.M.C.A. was formed and they entered the Bristol and District Division 5 under the captaincy of Arthur Gould. Goalkeeper Frank Boulton, one of four brothers in this team, later played for Arsenal. The team was promoted to Division 3 at the end of the following season. After the Second World War, they reformed, still known as Yate YMCA, playing in the Bristol and District League and the Avon Premier Combination. Yate YMCA were amongst the founders of the Gloucester County League in 1958 and the following year they dropped the YMCA from their title in favour of Town.

A major step forward in the clubs progress occurred in 1983 when they obtained membership of the Hellenic League and moved on to the first step of the non-League pyramid system.

Promotion to the Premier Division was soon accomplished when at the conclusion of the 1984/85 season Yate Town finished runners-up behind Pegasus Juniors in Division One. The following season they won the Hellenic Premier League finishing the campaign unbeaten at home. That successful formula continued into the 1988/89 season when they retained the Championship crown, losing just one league game. A second prize was obtained in the shape of the Gloucestershire Challenge Trophy. In the quest for further soccer prestige, Yate Town obtained election to the Southern League, Southern Division in 1989.

Yate Town moved to their present ground in Lodge Road in 1984 having previously played at Yate Aerodrome (1954-1960) and Sunnyside Lane (1960-84) to prepare for the higher standard of football. Covered accommodation was erected in 1987 and floodlighting in 1988.

The 1993/94 season was disappointing as Yate finished second from bottom in the Midland Division. Luckily relegation was avoided but restructuring of the Southern League meant that the club was switched back to the Southern Division after three seasons in the Midland.

The 1994/95 season, their first in the Southern Division, saw Yate make a terrible start which lead to long serving manager, Pete Jackson, being relieved of his duties. The appointment of former Bristol Rovers favourites Ian Alexander and Phil Purnell, as Manager and Assistant, led to an immediate upturn in fortunes. The club enjoyed an excellent end of season run which saw them finish in sixteenth position. They again reached the final of the Gloucester Senior Cup losing on penalties after extra time to Cheltenham Town. Improvement continued in the 1995/96 season with a young squad enjoying their best campaign for a long time, finishing in the top half of the Southern League.

The club celebrated its Golden Jubilee in season 1996/97. During the 1997/98 close season John Freeguard was appointed Manager but after obtaining just two victories from seventeen games he resigned and was replaced by Martin Durnell, Manager of Yates very successful Youth Team, assisted by Club Captain Danny Iddles. Despite these changes the Club still finished in the basement spot, but as before, relegation was avoided due to the restructuring of the Southern League. The 1998/99 season a young side finished 20th in the Southern League.

The 1999/2000 season saw Yate Town return to the Midland Division for the first time for six seasons due to the regionalisation of the Midland and Southern Division into Western and Eastern Divisions. Unfortunately they finished well adrift and were relegated to the Hellenic League. Manager Martin Durnell resigned and was replaced by former players Gary Hewlett and Richard Thompson who became Joint Player Managers. After a poor start to the 2000/01 season Yate Town enjoyed a long run of victories that saw them finish in third place in the league.

The following two seasons saw Yate finish third and second behind eventual champions North Leigh. North Leigh did not take up the promotion place available so Yate were again returned to the Southern League level of non-league football. After a poor start to the 2003-04 season, Yate improved and consolidated Southern League status by finishing in sixteenth position.

Yate enjoyed their most successful season in 2004-05. They finished Runners-up in Division One West, and secured promotion to the Southern League Premier Division for the first time. Additionally, they won the Glos F.A. Senior Challenge Cup for the first time in their history, beating Bristol Rovers 2:0 in the final at the Memorial Stadium. They had previously defeated Bristol City and Forest Green Rovers en route to the final.

Town exceeded all expectations 2005-2006 season, their first in the Premier Division. Despite another poor start, they finished in a highly creditable sixth position, and also retained the G.F.A. Senior Cup when beating Cheltenham Town in the Final.
In 2006-2007 Yate were again challenging for a play off spot for much of the time, but were badly hit by injuries in the final few weeks, which led to a poor run of results, and Town finished in a mid table position. In 2007-2008 season Yate continued to establish themselves as a Premier Division Club, and finally finished in an encouraging tenth position.

A poor run of results which saw Yate gain only two wins in twenty League matches and slide into a relegation position, led to Richard Thompson being relieved of his duties in February 2009 and Lee Barlass, who had been Richard's Assistant for several seasons, also left the Club. Dave Mogg, formerly Manager at Hallen F.C. and Assistant Manager at Taunton Town and Weston Super Mare was then appointed as Manager. Despite his best efforts, the Club could not climb out of the relegation zone and are now in the South & West Division.

The 2009-10 season saw a much changed and relatively inexperienced squad finish in a respectable mid table position. Despite the addition of several experienced players, the 2010-11 season saw little progress being made under David Mogg, and after two years in charge he was replaced as manager by Rob Cousins, initially in a caretaker capacity. Performances quickly improved, and Rob was soon appointed as permanent manager. A string of good performances at the end of last season led to us regaining the Glos. F.A. Senior Challenge Cup, beating Cheltenham Town Reserves 3-2 in the Final, having beaten Bristol City Reserves in the Semi-Final. We again finished in a mid table position in the league. In the 2011-2012 season we made a very poor start to the League campaign, although making some progress in both F.A. Cup and F.A. Trophy. Results improved considerably after the first third of the season, although we finished in the bottom half of the table.

The 2013-14 season was notable for a superb run in the FA Cup, where we made it into the First Round Proper for the first time. Despite a series of poor results in the League, we excelled in the FA Cup, and victories against Poole Town, Winchester City, Oxford City and North Leigh saw us drawn at home to Conference giants Newport County in the Final Qualifying Round. We were leading 3-1 as the tie approached injury time, but two late goals saw Newport secure a 3-3 draw after an excellent performance. Few people gave us a chance in the replay against a team which eventually gained promotion to the Football League, but a never to be forgotten night saw us fight back from being a goal down to equalise and then two goals in extra time gave us a tremendous 3-1 victory. This amazing performance earned us a trip to neighbouring Football League Club, Cheltenham Town in the First Round Proper, and we again excelled ourselves before losing 3-0. This Cup run was the catalyst for much improved results in the League, and we eventually finished just outside the Play Offs in sixth position. Unfortunately we became a victim of our own success, and the close season saw the departure of most that squad.

During the 2013/2014 season, the new look squad acquitted themselves very well. After an inconsistent start, a series of good results saw us briefly threaten to make the play -offs, before we ended the season in a creditable ninth position.
We also had another decent run in the FA Cup, before losing to Gloucester City in the third qualifying round replay.

The 2014-15 season saw us struggle for consistency, which led to Rob Cousins and Michael Meaker being replaced by Craig Laird, assisted by Rob Boyd in March 2015. Several experienced and high profile signings were introduced by Craig for the 2015-16 season, but unfortunately that campaign proved very disappointing, and led to another change in management, with Paul Britton, assisted by John Lester before the start of the following season. Many new, younger players were introduced into the squad throughout the 2016-17 campaign, and by the end of that season virtually a new look young team was in place. There was a disappointing start to last season, however, so several more experienced players joined the club. This led to a vast improvement, and at one time there appeared to be an outside chance of being involved in the play-offs before we ended last season in a comfortable mid-table position.


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