South­ern Yate Town cap­tain Hitch­ings poised to leave club

Bristol Post - - SPORT - Kevin FA­HEY post­sport@b-nm.co.uk

YATE Town man­ager Paul Brit­ton is fac­ing up to the prospect of los­ing club cap­tain Char­lie Hitch­ings af­ter the Evo-Stik Di­vi­sion One South lead­ers re­ceived an ap­proach from Paulton Rovers.

Paulton boss John Ren­dell, who used to be Brit­ton’s as­sis­tant at Yate, put in seven days’ no­tice for Hitch­ings and with the de­fender hav­ing lost his place in the first team to Sam Boul­ton the move looks like be­ing com­pleted in time for Hitch­ings to make his de­but away to Slim­bridge to­mor­row.

“Char­lie’s been bril­liant for us and been my club cap­tain but foot­ball’s an evolv­ing game and noth­ing stands still for long,” said Brit­ton. “At the mo­ment Char­lie can’t get into the side be­cause when he was sus­pended Sam Boul­ton, who was our player and sup­port­ers’ player of the year last sea­son, came in and hasn’t put a foot wrong.

“Char­lie is ob­vi­ously dis­ap­pointed with that and he pulled out of Tues­day’s game at Bris­tol Manor Farm due to work com­mit­ments so I think he’s in­sti­gated a move.

“It’s a tough one but you can­not keep ev­ery­one happy.”

The ap­proach comes just a week af­ter Yate re­sisted an at­tempt by Bris­tol Manor Farm to lure de­fender Josh Ford away from Lodge Road. Ford turned down that move and showed again in Tues­day’s 4-2 win at The Creek just why he is an im­por­tant part in Yate’s bril­liant start to the sea­son.

Go­ing into to­mor­row’s game at home to bot­tom club Barn­sta­ple Town Brit­ton’s side are just one of four clubs un­beaten in the league play­ing at Step 5 and above with a ter­rific record of seven wins and three draws from their ten games.

“I keep say­ing to the play­ers to take each game as it comes and we can­not af­ford to un­der-es­ti­mate Barn­sta­ple as they have won their last two games and scored seven goals in the process,” warned Brit­ton.

With Hitch­ings head­ing for the exit Brit­ton has brought in mid­fielder Will Dawes from League Two side Chel­tenham Town on a work-ex­pe­ri­ence deal and the 18-yearold was on the subs bench for the mid­week win at Manor Farm.

Nick Peare is sus­pended af­ter be­ing sent off af­ter two yel­lows at Tot­ton and Dave Sims-Burgess is not yet ready to re­turn.

With Paulton clos­ing in on Hitch­ings and last sea­son’s top goal scorer Jack Ball push­ing for a place in the start­ing side, Ren­dell should have cause for op­ti­mism ahead of the trip to Slim­bridge.

“Jack played 30 min­utes in our win at Fleet last week and on Tues­day at Sal­is­bury (2-0 de­feat in the League Cup) so he is push- ing hard and in con­tention to start the game this week­end,” said Ren­dell.

“We have missed him with­out a doubt be­cause we have been cre­at­ing chances. Had he been play­ing I reckon he would have had 15 goals by now.”

Man­gots­field United man­ager Ol­lie Price is hop­ing new sign­ing Lewis Elling­ton will pro­vide some ex­tra fire­power to his side af­ter the Chip­pen­ham Town striker signed dual reg­is­tra­tion forms.

“I worked with Lewis when he came here from Bris­tol Rovers last sea­son and he is the sort of goalscorer we need,” said Price.

“Our per­for­mance lev­els have been pretty de­cent, but we just aren’t tak­ing enough of our chances.”

Elling­ton could make his de­but away to Bide­ford this week­end but Clay­ton For­tune will be sus­pended af­ter be­ing sent off at Melk­sham Town last Satur­day.

With a free week­end, Manor Farm’s next game is at pro­mo­tion-chas­ing Street next Tues­day and man­ager Lee Lashenko will in­clude new sign­ings Jamie Bird and Alex Rus­sell in the squad - plus he has also brought back de­fender Martin Stow­ell.

Bird was re­cently re­leased from Here­ford while Lashenko is hop­ing that 45-year-old Rus­sell will be able to put his vast ex­pe­ri­ence from a long Foot­ball League ca­reer, in­clud­ing spells at Bris­tol City, Chel­tenham Town and Yeovil Town, to good use for the club.

Stow­ell left Manor Farm for Man­gots­field last sea­son af­ter los­ing his place in the side and this sea­son was play­ing at Odd Down.

Foot­ball’s an evolv­ing game and noth­ing stands still for long

Char­lie Hitch­ings looks set to leave Yate Town

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