Evo-Stik Southern League Division One South & West Yate Town 2 Bridgwater Town 1
YATE TOWN picked up their tenth home league win on the bounce without getting out of second gear against a plucky Bridgwater Town side.
With Lodge Road turning into a fortress and struggling Bridgwater having conceded nine goals in two midweek defeats going into the game, a home victory looked like it would be a formality, but it was a flat performance by the Bluebells and they had to work as hard for the three points as in any of their previous nine games on their own patch.
All the goals came in an eight-minute period of the first half and anyone who expected the floodgates to open when Karim Rendall's 28th minute opener was quickly followed by Mike Bryant's second goal in as many games were mistaken as Ross McNab halved the deficit on 36 minutes and the result was in doubt right up to the final whistle.
The below-par performance should not take anything away from Yate's achievement, though, which is more remarkable when you consider they lost their first three home games this season.
Bridgwater made the brighter start and Yate goalkeeper Lubos Ancin pulled off a great one-handed save diving to his left to keep out McNab's effort after just three minutes.
Yate struggled to get going but created a good opening when Rendall threaded a ball through to Bryant and he squared to Scott Wilson as goalkeeper Luke Purnell raced off his line, but the striker got the ball stuck in his feet and when he eventually got his shot away it was blocked by Alex Rigley.
The hosts went in front when Wilson made a dangerous run into the box and found the unmarked Rendall, who fired in from 15 yards.
Rendall then turned provider three minutes later as he made a storming run down the left and hit a low cross into the six-yard box where Bryant was able to take a touch before blasting the ball into the net.
Bridgwater pulled a goal back when Jon Vance played a lofted pass into the box and McNab out-muscled Scott Thomas before somehow hitting the ball into the roof of the net from a narrow angle.
Michael Meaker's fizzing shot was well pushed away by Purnell after he was sent clear by Rendall and then Harley Purnell's shot from the edge of the box was touched on by both Matt Groves and Bryant before finding the goalkeeper's grateful arms.
A fierce strike by Jake Cox was well parried away by Purnell early in the second half but Ancin surpassed his opposite number at the other end three minutes later when he brilliantly clawed away Vance's audacious attempt that appeared to be heading for the top corner and Steven Fitzpatrick could only head the loose ball wide.
Rendall wastefully blazed over from a good position after Meaker pulled the ball back from the left byline and Bryant skewed wide from Wilson's lay-off as Yate struggled to put the game to bed.
The last 15 minutes were nervy for Yate and two Tim Legg crosses were headed narrowly wide within three minutes of each other, firstly by Vance and then Fitzpatrick.
However, Yate hung on and substitute Mitchell Page could even have given the scoreline a flattering look when he raced through on goal, but his attempt was saved by Purnell's legs.
Yate remain fifth and are away in their next three games, starting on Tuesday night with a trip to Abingdon United, who were the last team to beat them at Lodge Road.
Yate Town: Ancin, Warren (c), Cox, Barnes, Thomas, Bryant, Groves (Wring, 72), Purnell, Meaker, Wilson, Rendall (Page, 77). Subs not used: Sarr, R Cousins.
Ref: Kevin Morris.
Gazette star man: Tom Warren - Always seemed to be in the right position to keep Bridgwater at bay as his fine form continues.