Evo-Stik Southern League Division One South & West: Yate Town 2 Tiverton Town 1
MIKE BRYANT kept his cool on his return from a ski holiday to give Yate their ninth home win in a row over Tiverton.
The midfielder has missed the last three games but made the difference in this entertaining encounter by scoring the winner in the 82nd minute after coming on as a substitute.
Captain Edd Vahid also marked his return to the side after an injury lay-off with a goal on 29 minutes, although he lost the ball for Tiverton's equaliser four minutes later.
There was little between the sides for 70 minutes but Yate have developed a habit that all top teams have of finishing strongly, and for the second time in seven days they scored a late winner to cement their place in the play-offs.
Tiverton should have taken the lead inside five minutes when Jules Emati-Emati was sent through on goal by Lewis Tasker's punt over Yate's defence but he hit his shot straight at goalkeeper Lubos Ancin, who was able to save well with his legs.
Yate had appeals for a penalty turned down when Michael Meaker tried to play in Scott Wilson and felt Thomas Gardner blocked the ball with his hand.
Tiverton looked the most dangerous side but were often let down by the final pass or shot and were made to pay when Yate took the lead. Geraint Bater whipped in a corner that evaded everyone before reaching Vahid at the far post and the defender bundled the ball in.
However, just four minutes later Vahid was caught out at the other end when he was fighting for the ball with Emati-Emati and inadvertently played it into the path of Josh Searle, whose first effort was blocked by Ancin before he followed up to put the ball in the unguarded net.
Bater then stung Christopher Wright's gloves with a fizzing drive from 25 yards and within a minute of the second half fellow midfielder Harley Purnell hit a screamer from 30 yards just wide.
Tiverton had two clearer sights of goal but David Steele could only head straight into Ancin's arms after Tasker's corner caused problems in the six-yard box and when they out-numbered Yate with a quick break Alex Faux drove wastefully wide from 20 yards.
The game continued to swing from end to end as Cox's well struck free kick from 25 yards was palmed away by Wright before a dipping volley from Groves didn't quite come down quickly enough.
The introduction of midfielder Bryant gave Yate more attacking impetus and he started a good move down the right involving Groves and Cox, who fed Wilson in the box, but the striker's fierce shot was well beaten away by Wright.
As Yate cranked up the pressure, Groves threaded a lovely ball through to Bryant, who kept his composure to confidently slot past Wright from 15 yards.
Yate Town: Ancin, Warren, Cox, Purnell (Bryant, 64), Thomas, Bater, Groves, Vahid (c) (Barnes, 71), Meaker (Sarr, 90), Wilson, Rendall. Subs not used: Murley, R Cousins.
Ref: Mr S Glyde.
Att: 124 Gazette star man: Tom Warren - Another steady display at the heart of Yate’s defence.