11:27am Wednesday 22nd January 2014
By Rob Iles
YATE Town survived a late Shortwood United onslaught to earn a good point at a soggy Meadowbank on Tuesday night.
Shortwood increased the pressure in the final 25 minutes as they looked to stretch their winning run to seven games, but the Bluebells have now only lost once in their last eight games after defending heroically at times in the heavy rain.
The closest Shortwood came to a winner came in the 65th minute when Jake Parrott’s free kick was headed against the underside of the bar by fellow substitute Kevin Slack and Sam Avery could not bundle the ball in, allowing Mitch Tippins to clear off the line.
Adam Mann, making his final appearance for Shortwood before moving to Conference North side Gloucester City, was determined to sign off in style and looked likely to score three minutes later when he showed a great turn of pace to surge through the middle of the Yate defence, but goalkeeper Martin Horsell saved well with his legs after racing off his line.
Mann was never far away from the action, getting booked for a late challenge on Joe Chandler before making space for a shot from the edge of the box, which Horsell managed to get his body behind after seeing it late.
In five minutes of stoppage time, a combination of Tippins and Horsell somehow kept out Avery’s header following Slack’s long throw, Duncan Culley shot into the side netting on the turn and Tippins came to the rescue again when he blocked James Coates’ header on the line after a dangerous Mann corner.
While Shortwood finished strongly, Yate arguably shaded the first hour and were unfortunate to find goalkeeper Tom King in fine form.
After Shortwood failed to clear a corner properly in the 13th minute, Joe Chandler picked up the ball on the left hand side of the box and King had to be alert to tip his curling shot away from the top corner.
Shortwood then almost caught Yate on the break one minute later as Mann skipped past Tippins down the left and his cross was prodded wide by Ross Langworthy under pressure.
Ross Staley’s corner looked like it might go all the way in until King clawed it away from goal and the ex-Bristol Rovers went close again with a deliberately audacious attempt from 35 yards that flew inches over the bar.
A delicious through ball by Nick Hancock with the outside of his boot presented Langworthy with a great chance at the other end but the striker had more time than he thought, chesting down before getting off a quick shot with his left foot that went harmlessly wide.
Yate made a bright start to the second half and when King failed to get much distance on his goal kick, Jake Cox headed the ball into the path of Lewis Haldane, who hit a fierce first-time shot with his left foot that required the goalkeeper to be at full stretch to tip over.
Cox then cut in and had a well-struck 30-yard effort pushed away by King, while Staley fired wide from similar range.
Shortwood United: King, Avery, Brown, Thomas, Coates (c), Richards, Hancock (Parrott, 53), Price (Slack, 63), Langworthy (Culley, 79), Mann, Cant. Subs not used: Sykes, Herbert.
Yate Town: Horsell, Cox, Tippins, Chandler, Harrison, Abraham, Harmer, Bryant (c), Clifford, Haldane (Jackson, 69), Staley (Kamara, 69). Subs not used: Meaker, Dunn, Cousins.
Ref: Steve Oakey.
Star men: Adam Mann (Shortwood), Mitch Tippins (Yate).
Shortwood visit Bridgwater Town on Saturday, while Yate Town are at home to bottom side Fleet Town.
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