EDD VAHID paid tribute to the ‘terrific’ Yate Town supporters following their 3-0 defeat at Cheltenham in the first round of the FA Cup.
The Yate skipper is now hoping many of the 889 fans who made the trip to the Abbey Business Stadium will show their faces at Lodge Road and help the team move away from the Southern League Division One South and West relegation zone this season.
He said: “I thought the supporters were absolutely terrific. All the lads in the changing room mentioned it.
“I’ve certainly not played in a game with so many Yate fans behind the goal giving so much support and hopefully a few will come back and they’ll see we’re a team that has got potential to do a lot better than we are.
“It didn’t look like the fans needed a lot to cheer about because they were tremendous throughout, but just to get a goal to give them a bit more to cheer about would’ve been great.”
Vahid put in a typically solid performance at the back up against Cheltenham strikers Darryl Duffy and Shaun Harrad to take the sponsors’ man of the match award for Yate and felt the whole team could hold their heads high after their performance.
He said: “Everyone did themselves proud and I think that’s the biggest thing when you come into a game like this.
“You want to put in a performance where you can come away and say you’ve not left anything out on the pitch and I think everyone of us can say that.
“The final thing we said before we went out was to keep it tight, so we were really disappointed to concede so early, but I thought we played well after that.
“We moved the ball well and created a couple of chances but they’re a good team.
“Exeter lost 3-0 there last week so we haven’t let ourselves down.
“We felt like we had a little bit of control actually. They were always dangerous on the attack with runners coming from all over the pitch, but we had our moments.
“We wanted to show people that we can play and that our league position is a false one.”
Vahid is Yate’s longest serving player but has never gone past the second qualifying round of the FA Cup with the club before due to their previous poor record in the competition.
It had already been a memorable year for the 30-year-old after he went to the London 2012 Olympics to support Great Britain’s top sailors and divers in his role as performance lifestyle adviser with the English Institute of Sport, and Yate’s cup run topped it off nicely.
He said: “In the last few seasons we’ve struggled to win a corner in an FA Cup game so to win five matches has been terrific.
“I think everyone is immensely proud of what they’ve done, but the lads are disappointed which is a strange feeling.”
Yate chairman Colin Pick also praised the fans.
He said: “We would like to thank the supporters who went to Newport and even more so the ones at Cheltenham.”
* A Yate fan was taken to hospital after dislocating his shoulder when being hit by the ball at half time in the game at Cheltenham. He has been asked to contact the club on 01454 228103.