Football: Yate Town could face defensive crisis against Swindon Supermarine

Jack Cox will miss Yate's game against Swindon Supermarine through suspension (4096561)

Jack Cox will miss Yate's game against Swindon Supermarine through suspension (4096561)

First published in Sport

YATE Town could face a defensive shortage when they chase a fourth straight victory against play-off rivals Swindon Supermarine at Lodge Road on Saturday (3pm).

Connor Clifford and Jake Cox, who have shared left back duties for most of the season, are both suspended for the Southern League Division One South and West clash, while on the other side of the back four Mitch Tippins (hamstring) and Mitch Harrison (calf) are injury doubts.

Long-term absentee Tom Seery is not expected to be fit for another month after undergoing knee surgery last year.

Manager Rob Cousins admitted that he’s attempted to bolster his squad in recent weeks, but has not been able to compete financially with other clubs.

“It’s disappointing but we need to accept our position and make sure we’re on a firm financial footing if we’re to progress,” Cousins told www.gloucestershirefa.com.

“Really we could do with another quality striker because Lewis (Haldane) is scoring a lot of the goals and we need to give him some support and make sure we have good back-up if he has to miss out for whatever reason.”

Yate were frustrated by the wet weather this week, with games at Thatcham Town on Saturday and Wimborne Town on Tuesday night postponed, but they will be hoping to continue their good run of form against Swindon Supermarine.

A run of just one defeat in their last 11 league games has propelled Yate into the play-off positions and Cousins has urged his young and inexperienced squad to grasp their opportunity.

“It’s so far been a pleasing season overall given we lost about 13 players last summer and only Tom Seery, Jake Cox and Mike Bryant remained,” he said.

“It’s been great showing people what we’re about, as a management team and group of predominantly young players.

“There’s a terrific team spirit here; no moans and groans. They want to progress and we want to keep them here and add a few for next season.

“We’ve been reiterating to them that now’s the time to grasp it, to give it a go. We’re in a nice little position in the table but we’re mindful too that we have a small squad and injuries and suspensions can bite at any time.”

Cousins also praised former Bristol Rovers striker Lewis Haldane, who is the top scorer in the division with 27 goals to his name.

"He's hungry to score goals all the time and he is very well supported when he occasionally loses his confidence, but he's been in superb form this season and it's a bonus to have him,” said Cousins.

"However, he is only as good as the team behind him. They are providing him with opportunities and he has the talent to put them away – the combination is great to see.”

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