Red Insure Cup Third Round

Merthyr Town 1 Yate Town 1 (Merthyr won 4-2 on penalties)

YATE Town suffered penalty shootout heartache as they were knocked out of the Southern League Cup by Merthyr on Tuesday night.

Although Jake Jackson and Jake Cox were successful from the spot for the Bluebells, Lewis Haldane and Connor Clifford both missed before Andrew Thomas scored to send Merthyr through to the quarter-finals.

The recently installed artificial surface at Merthyr meant Yate could finally get 2014 underway after their New Year’s Day home derby against Clevedon Town and last Saturday’s game at Wimborne Town in Division One South and West were both postponed due to the wet weather.

Yate boss Rob Cousins said: “We looked a bit rusty and it took a while to get used to the pitch and their formation but we worked hard and created a few chances to win the game in normal time.”

Thomas had put the home side in front after 15 minutes but Cox equalised nine minutes later with a spectacular 30-yard free kick that caught out goalkeeper Giles Cutlan and went into the bottom corner.

Robin Nicholls was handed his first and only start since rejoining Yate on a short-term deal last month and will return to the USA to continue his football scholarship at the University of Texas tomorrow after his playing opportunities were limited by the recent postponements.

Cousins also gave a chance to a number of fringe players, including assistant manager Michael Meaker, Mitch Harrison, Ryan Dunn and Sam Kamara, with youth team player Joe Guest amongst the substitutes.

Billy Fletcher is suspended for Yate’s home game against Cinderford Town on Saturday, while Jordan Rogers doubtful.