Football: Robin Nicholls returns to Yate Town ahead of festive period
YATE TOWN have been handed a boost ahead of the busy festive period with former favourite Robin Nicholls rejoining the club on a short-term deal.
The midfielder won the 2011/12 Players’ Player of the Season award in his last year at Yate before going to the University of Texas in America on a football scholarship.
Nicholls, who attracted interest from Bristol Rovers during his previous spell, was not registered in time to play in Yate’s 1-0 victory at Southern League Division One South & West league leaders Cirencester after returning to the country last week, but should go into the squad for their home game against Taunton Town this Saturday and will be available until mid-January.
Bluebells boss Rob Cousins admitted that Nicholls will not walk straight back into the side, but he will be an important addition to the squad, particularly with captain Mike Bryant one booking away from suspension and a run of five games in two weeks ahead.
“Unfortunately it’s not as long as I’d have liked. He’ll be available for five or six games,” said Cousins.
“A few are carrying knocks and close to suspension so it will be massive to have him in the squad.
“It’s great to have him, he’s a great player, but we’ve got to make sure everyone’s happy – the ones that are here at the end of January, February, March and April when we need them most.
“He understands that, but we’ve got so many games coming up and it’s a great asset to have.”
Cousins was delighted to see Yate pick up their third win in a row at Cirencester last Saturday with Jake Cox scoring the only goal of the game in the 19th minute as they battled in the windy conditions to claim just their second clean sheet of the season.
“That was a big win, a big performance. They were hard conditions,” said Cousins.
“At half-time Cirencester were pleased just to be 1-0 down, they were confident they could turn it round with the wind in the second half, but we dug deep, we defended well from the top.
“In the second half, we had the better chances and could easily have been two or 3-0 up.
“We set up the get the midfield two a bit deeper to help the back two out because even a clean header wouldn’t go too far.”
The win moved Yate up to ninth in the table, just six points off Mangotsfield United in the play-offs, and Cousins is calling for more of the same when they take on Taunton at Lodge Road.
He said: “We can’t just perform for the big guns. They’ve got a lot of experience, physically they’re going to be tough opposition so we can’t take them lightly.”
Tom Seery faces another six to eight weeks on the sidelines after undergoing an operation on his knee this week.
Connor Clifford is expected to miss the game against Taunton and the Boxing Day trip to Bishop’s Cleeve (3pm), while Mitch Harrison is due to have an X-ray on his elbow after a work-related accident.
Yate’s Christmas raffle will be made in the clubhouse after Saturday’s game with the race night now starting at 6pm.
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