Calor Southern League Division One South & West
Yate Town 7 Fleet Town 0
LEWIS HALDANE scored a hat-trick in a Yate Town demolition of Fleet for the second time this season on Saturday.
The former Bristol Rovers striker, who netted three times in 29 minutes in the 6-0 win at the basement boys in November, helped the Bluebells record their biggest victory since they beat Melksham Town 10-1 in the FA Cup in September 2011, with Jake Jackson and substitute Ross Staley also getting in on the act with two goals apiece.
With only one other fixture in the division being completed – on the 3G pitch at league leaders Merthyr – Yate took full advantage of the efforts of the ground staff to get the game on in wet and windy conditions by moving within three points of the play-offs and boosting their goal difference.
However, Fleet were the better side for the opening 15 minutes until a very strong hail storm left the referee with no option but to suspend the match.
After the hail and rain stopped, the officials came out to inspect the pitch and, although there was lying water in places, the game restarted with the agreement of both managers after a delay of 15 minutes.
Yate midfielder James Harmer was taken to hospital with concussion after a clash of heads with team-mate Joe Chandler on 25 minutes, but was later released.
The game remained goalless until the 38th minute when Lewis Haldane headed the ball on for Jake Jackson to poke it into the net.
Things got even better for Yate three minutes later, Jackson scoring his second of the game and doubling the lead. A corner was not cleared by the Fleet defence and the ball fell very kindly for Jackson to simply tap the ball into an empty net.
Yate found themselves 3-0 up in the space of six minutes when Haldane added his name to the score sheet.
The bad weather passed as the players came out for the second half and Yate were able add more goals.
On 59 minutes Haldane scored his second goal of the afternoon, a superb solo effort, cutting in from the flank and driving the ball straight into the bottom corner.
Young striker Jordan Ricketts, signed on a month’s loan from Bath City, made his Yate debut when he replaced Jackson.
Staley's brilliant free kick with 15 minutes remaining continued to pile misery on Fleet when he drove the ball under the jumping wall and into the bottom corner of the net.
Substitute Sam Kamara made an instant impact, coming off the bench and playing a ball over the top, which Staley chested down and volleyed into the bottom corner on 79 minutes.
The scoring didn't end there, as Haldane completed his hat-trick with three minutes left. A great ball from debutant Ricketts split the Fleet defence and Haldane kept his cool to slot the ball into the bottom corner.
Yate Town: Horsell, Clifford, Chandler, Fletcher, Tippins, Cox (Kamara 75), Abraham, Bryant (c), Harmer (Staley 25), Jackson (Ricketts 75), Haldane. Subs not used: Meaker, Harrison.
• Yate Town are due to make the short trip to Mangtosfield United for the Gloucestershire Senior Challenge Cup semi-final on Tuesday night (7.45pm).