YATE Town boss Rob Cousins feels “let down” by the absence of key players during a run of games against play-off rivals.
Jake Cox still has one game to serve of his suspension for picking up ten yellow cards this season and Connor Clifford is banned for a further two games following his sending off against Shortwood United earlier this month, with Sam Kamara set to continue out of position at left back this Saturday at Tiverton Town, who are only behind Yate on goal difference.
The Bluebells visit another club in the play-off mix next Tuesday night when they face Paulton Rovers and winger Ross Staley is expected to be sidelined for both games after aggravating a slight hamstring injury he picked up in training last week while playing for Hartpury College the next day.
Cousins was unhappy with the performance of his side in the 3-1 home defeat against promotion-chasing Swindon Supermarine, which saw them drop out of the top five, but he believes their cause was not helped by the missing trio.
He said: “They let the team down a bit with their suspensions and injuries but we certainly had enough about us to cope with the team that started if individuals didn’t make certain make mistakes.
“Too many individuals had an off-day. Players who have been rock solid all season didn’t perform.
“I was annoyed with Ross. He trained Tuesday, felt a niggle and played for his college on Wednesday even though I asked him not to take a risk because of who we had out.”
Yate face a tough run-in with ten of their last 15 games being away from home, but they have only lost two games on the road all season, the last of which came at Evesham United in November.
Cousins stressed the importance of getting at least one win from the trips to Tiverton and Paulton to stay in touch with the top sides, and has demanded a quick reaction following their defeat against Swindon Supermarine.
He said: “We’ve got to bounce back straight away and it’s important in the next two games that we take points from them, whether it be three, four or six.
“The season’s not been won or lost. We’ve just got to make sure we win more than we lose now.
“Every game is going to be massive between now and the end of the season.
“I think everyone is capable of beating each other, that’s why it’s so tight.”
Yate had three penalty appeals turned down against Swindon Supermarine and Cousins thought they should have been given at least one of them for a handball in the box in the final ten minutes when they were already 3-1 down.
He said: “The one near the end, I felt was a penalty. I thought he dragged it back with his hand.
“I just don’t think the referee wanted to see that one.”