Southern League Division One South & West
Sholing 2 Yate Town 4
LEWIS Haldane hit a 21-minute hat-trick as Yate Town came from two goals down to beat Sholing.
Yate were trailing to a Braiden Hamilton strike and a Mitch Tippins own goal at the break, but Haldane turned the tables on Sholing in the second half before a Nuno Felix cracker sealed the victory, which keeps them top of the table.
There was little doing for the first ten minutes as both teams got a feel for the game, but Yate’s risky habit of stroking the ball around at the back was to work against them as Lewis Fennemore broke play up and played in striker Hamilton, who was fouled by Joe Chandler on the edge of the D.
Alex Sawyer slammed the free-kick into the defensive wall and the ball was played back into the box where Stuart Mott headed down for Hamilton to sweep home his first competitive goal for Sholing.
Yate briefly rallied with Tom Warren firing a long range shot from the right just over, but it was a brief respite for the league leaders.
With 14 minutes gone the Boatmen made it 2-0 when T J Cuthbertson sent Nick Watts away on an electrifying run down the right. The pacy winger cut inside, skipping through the Yate backline as if they weren’t there and his low shot towards the far corner was diverted into his own net by visiting defender Tippins.
Yate responded with another strike from distance, Jake Jackson’s first-time shot going narrowly past Matt Brown’s left-hand post.
It took 32 minutes for Brown to be tested when a corner fell for Dale Evans to unleash a fierce but centrally placed blast which the home keeper had covered all the way.
Yate began knocking the ball around with more confidence as the first half drew towards a close and Haldane wasn’t too far away with a curling effort on the left.
It was backs to the wall stuff for the FA Vase winners at the start of the second half with Jackson twice unlucky for Yate.
First he was played in by Chandler and looped an effort against the bar and then Brown denied him with a smart tip over.
Sholing’s Wembley hero Marvyn McLean was then denied by keeper Martin Horsell’s legs after scampering onto BarryMason’s crossfield pass, but it was the visitors who struck next.
From a corner Haldane put Brown under pressure before bundling the ball home in the 62nd minute to open his account for the season.
With Yate’s football now justifying their lofty league position, Sholing had an enormous let-off on 68 minutes when Tippins crashed a shot off the inside of the far post and Haldane somehow missed the follow-up.
But with the home defence under massive pressure Haldane struck again two minutes later, squeezing a low equaliser just inside Brown’s left-hand post.
A defensive blunder almost cost Sholing minutes later but a less than impressed Brown stretched to reach Jackson’s lofted shot.
Mason clipped the top of the bar as Sholing attempted to claw back the lead.
With eight minutes to go Haldane completed his hat-trick – and a superb comeback by Yate – with a cheeky back-heel after another dangerous Tippins delivery from the right.
In the 90th minute, Horsell saved Yate with a superb reaction save as Mott met Kevin Brewster’s free-kick with a point-blank header.
But the game was up for Sholing in the opening seconds of stoppage time when substitute Felix beat Brown with a stunning strike from 20 yards to make it 4-2 to the visitors.
Yate will be searching for their fourth away win in a row on Bank Holiday Monday when they visit Mangotsfield United, who lost 2-1 at Clevedon Town on Saturday.
Yate Town: Horsell (c), Tippins (Knight 88), Staley, Chandler, Lewis, Harmer, Warren, Evans (Abraham 74), Jackson, Haldane, Ricketts (Felix 85). Subs not used: Rogers, Fletcher.