Evo-Stik Southern League Division One South & West Cirencester 1 Town Yate Town 2
YATE TOWN set a new club record with their eighth league win on the spin at play-off rivals Cirencester in a competitive local derby.
Mitchell Page hit the winner within one minute of the second half before limping off and goalkeeper Lubos Ancin made a stunning double save from James Mortimer-Jones at the death to preserve the points.
Both sides were awarded soft penalties in the first half, the in-form Scott Wilson stepping up to score his ninth goal in six games for Yate on 19 minutes and Ancin keeping out a 31st minute spot kick from Sam Collier, who did equalise from a free kick one minute later.
While Yate were not quite at their free flowing best, they dug in and showed the kind of battling qualities they will need to sustain a promotion challenge.
With one win in 12 games Cirencester's play-off hopes are fading quickly, although they could take some encouragement from this performance that their fortunes will turn around soon.
After a cagey start from both sides, Yate began to apply some pressure and Mortimer-Jones was deemed to have pulled back Mike Bryant in the box from Geraint Bater's free kick. Wilson sent Glyn Garner the wrong way from the spot to score his first goal away from Lodge Road since joining the club.
Five minutes later Page beat the offside trap to get on the end of Matt Groves' ball over the top and sent in a superb cross to the unmarked Scott Wilson, who was caught off balance as he volleyed over from seven yards.
Cirencester were given a chance to get back into the game when Aidan Bennett burst into the box and went down under a challenge from Groves, with referee Derek Eaton pointing to the spot and although Collier hit the ball firmly from 12 yards Lubos Ancin went the right way and palmed it to safety.
However, Collier quickly made amends and Ancin went from hero to villain. The Cirencester striker blasted a free kick from 30 yards which the Yate goalkeeper appeared to have covered comfortably, only for the ball the somehow squirm through his grasp and over the line.
Tackles then started flying in from both sides and Ciren felt aggrieved that Jake Cox escaped with a yellow card for hacking down Bennett from behind, and Bennett was booked himself soon after for a late tackle on Edd Vahid.
Yate made the perfect start to the second half when Wilson played the ball into the feet of Page, who punted it into the top corner from just inside the box.
Cirencester responded immediately as Bennett's cross was cleared only as far as Josh Morse by Tom Seery and when the winger let fly from the edge of the box Ancin had to be at his best to tip the ball away.
The manic start to the half continued when Garner rushed off his line to block Wilson's shot after Page played the ball through and Bryant almost finished a move he started with the follow-up effort, only for Shane Anson to get back and make a desperate clearance off the line.
Cirencester rarely threatened until late on when Mortimer-Jones hit the post from 25 yards with eight minutes left and the same man looked certain to equalise in stoppage time, only to be denied twice by Ancin after being sent through on goal by Ben Wells.
The win moves Yate above Cirencester to seventh, just two points off the play-offs, while the Centurions are now a further two points and four places behind.
Yate's next game is at home to Wimborne Town on Tuesday (7.45pm). Cirencester are home to Mangotsfield United on the same night (7.45pm).
Cirencester: Garner, Anson, Dunton, Beeden, Reid, Mortimer-Jones, Shepherd (Griffin, 73), Wells, Collier, Bennett, Morse (Packer, 73). Subs not used: Hooper.
Yate Town: Ancin, Warren, Cox, Seery, Bryant, Bater, Groves (Purnell, 90), Vahid (c), Page (Meaker, 68), Wilson, Wring. Subs not used: Thomas, Sarr, Cousins.
Ref: Derek Eaton.
Att: 115 Star men: Shane Anson (Cirencester), Tom Warren (Yate).
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