For Yate Town, this weekend’s visit from Yeovil Town marks only the second time the club have reached the FA Cup’s first round proper.
They lost 3-0 at Cheltenham Town that time in 2012 having put then-Conference Premier leaders Newport County in the fourth qualifying round.
Yate head in the tie in decent form having won four or their last six including a 5-2 win over Steve ‘I Played At The Highest Level You Know?’ Claridge‘s Salisbury City on Tuesday night.
That means The Bluebells are nine unbeaten in their last Southern League Premier South and FA Cup matches, with their only recent decents coming when manager Paul Michael changed his side.
A much-changed side went out of the FA Trophy after a 2-0 at home to Willand Rovers last weekend when experienced former W*ymouth and Hereford United striker Stuart Fleetwood was sent off.
The other defeat saw them go down to a 2-1 defeat at home to Cirencester Town in the Southern League Challenge Cup at the start of the season.
There might be 38 places dividing the two sides, but the hosts do have a striker in form in the shape of David Sims-Burgess, a wills and probate consultant who lives five minutes from the ground, who has ten goals this season already.
There’s an HGV driver in the form of midfielder Sam Kamara as well, so the FA Cup stories just write themselves.
The game is a sell-out with 1,600 tickets sold with capacity reduced from the ground’s 2,000 official capacity to ensure safety.
There’s even a temporary stand been put up at Lodge Road to accommodate the bumper attendance.
Preparations well underway here at The South West Interiors Stadium ahead of our @EmiratesFACup First Round tie with @YTFC, including a temporary stand behind the goal. #bluebells #EmiratesFACup pic.twitter.com/96wObLR3XO
— Yate Town FC (@YateTownFC) November 4, 2021
In the previous rounds of the Cup, Yate have recorded the following results:
- First Qualifying Round: Dorchester Town 1 Yate Town 3
- Second Qualifying Round: Yate Town 2 Gosport Borough 0
- Third Qualifying Round: Yate Town 3 Redhill 0
- Fourth Qualifying Round: Dover Athletic 1 Yate Town 1
- Fourth Qualifying Round (Replay): Yate Town 1 Dover Athletic
If you are making the trip to Yate, don’t forget to check out our Ciderspace Away Travel Guide to Lodge Road – here.
Also, catch our chat with Seb from Yate Town on the latest podcast – here.
FROM THE MANAGER
Speaking after the midweek win over Salisbury City, Yate Town manager Paul Michael described this weekend’s tie as “a free hit” for his in-form side.
Speaking of the Yeovil game, he said: “We look at every game and what the other team can do and see if we can tweak anything, but generally it is about us.
“We have not changed our shape in any game this season, we have played the same shape and played the same way and just tweaked little things depending on who we are playing against.
“If you take the two games out of it where I changed the team in the Challenge Cup and FA Trophy, that is nine unbeaten in the league and FA Cup, so we are on a great run.
“So what we have earned is to just have a free hit on Saturday and whatever happens will be.”
Midfielder Andy Lewis is the only new injury doubt from Yate Town’s midweek 5-2 win over Salisbury City.
Boss Paul Michael said defender Will Tunnicliff, who went off in the victory on Tuesday night, “will be fine“.
The boss said the loss of Lewis was “a bit of a concern” with defender Nick Rhodes already missing, and added that former Dorchester Town striker Olly Mehew was “touch and go” for the visit of the Glovers.
The manager said: “I would be massively surprised if he makes it, but fair play to him, he is doing everything he can.”
A FOOT IN BOTH CAMPS
Yate Town Director of Football Richard Thompson will be a man with a foot in both camps for this weekend’s FA Cup tie.
The striker played 36 times during two spells at Yeovil Town between 1989 and 1990 initially on loan from Torquay United before joining permanently following his release by the Gulls.
He left Huish in 1990 and went on to play around a number of other Westcountry non-League sides including a spell at Yate before returning as manager in 2000.
Thompson guided the club to two promotions during nine years at the club before going on to manage at Almondsbury Town and Mangotsfield United before returning to Lodge Road as Director of Football.
Welsh winger Howard Pritchard, who played more than 150 times for Bristol City, had a couple of seasons with Yeovil in the early 1990s before going on to join Yate in 1992.
But, a more recent connection is Rob Cousins, a cultured midfielder who was a key part of the club’s ICIS League-winning side under Graham Roberts in the mid-1990s.
He spent four years at Huish Park before going on to play for Forest Green Rovers and Tiverton Town, ending his career at Yate as both a player and manager.