Southern Yate sign Bryant and Humphreys as they seek swift return to winning ways
KNOCKED off the top of the league for the first time in several weeks, Yate Town manager Paul Britton has responded swiftly by signing Mangotsfield United captain Mike Bryant and Evesham United midfielder Nick Humphreys.
Bryant, an accomplished and highly experienced midfielder, who has already scored five goals for Mangotsfield this season, goes straight into the squad for Yate’s game at home to Larkhall Athletic tomorrow as they seek to bounce back after defeat at Paulton Rovers.
“When I first got the job at Yate Mike had just left to join Frome Town and I know he is a very good footballer,” said Britton. “I spoke with him last season but he had the armband at Mangotsfield so felt loyalty towards them but has now decided to move on.
“He will definitely strengthen our squad and we are delighted he has agreed to join us.”
Yate have shown great resilience this season in bouncing back from defeats and Britton is expecting a similarly robust response for the match against Larkhall.
“The boys trained really well on Tuesday and there was a mixture of disappointment and frustration after Saturday,” added Britton.
The frustration would have been that they played 75 minutes with ten men after Josh Ford was sent off for two yellow cards, the first of which led to the penalty that ultimately decided the match.
Ford is now suspended for the Larkhall game and will be joined on the sidelines by the injured pair of Mayson Evans (knee) and Ben Brooks (hamstring), but Adam Price is available again and Dave Sims-Burgess gained valuable match time as a substitute at Paulton.
“Larkhall are always a tough team to beat, but we’ll be looking to show that desire to put right last week’s defeat,” said Britton.
The loss of Bryant is the last thing Mangotsfield United manager Ollie Price needed ahead of the derby match against Bristol Manor Farm at The Creek, especially coming on top of the recent departure of Tom Warren and a further threematch suspension to Kyle Tooze.
“They were three experienced players I wanted to build my side around, but they have let me down and I have told them that,” said Price. “To be honest, it could be a blessing in disguise because they weren’t showing the quality we needed, but I am feeling let down by them.”
On the plus side, Price has signed exciting Melksham Town striker Dan Demkiv, while Luke Spokes has rejected a move to Larkhall Athletic. Price has also appointed Neil Simons, formerly the Chipping Sodbury manager, as his assistant.
Manor Farm have also suffered inconsistencies this season but a rousing 2-1 win over play-off contenders Evesham United last weekend may prove to be a turning point. “We have not won back-toback games in the league yet this season, so that is the aim now as we head into a very busy period,” said manager Lee Lashenko. “If we can put some points on the board we could quickly climb the table, but we will be respectful of Mangotsfield because they will be a dangerous animal.”
They must to do so without John Lock for the next three games as the defender was sent off against Evesham so that breaks up his promising partnership with Kai Fisher. “We will fill that gap by re-shuffling within the squad,” added Lashenko.
Paulton’s win against Yate has lifted spirits at Winterfield Road and manager John Rendell will be looking for more of the same in a testing match away to play-off contenders Cirencester Town.
“With players coming back we now have the balance in the squad I’ve been searching for, especially with new signing Charlie Hitchings strengthening the defence and Jack Ball returning up front,” said Rendell.
Yate Town’s new signing, former Mangotsfield United captain Mike Bryant