Callum Yeats eager to kick on after Hibs loanee nets first goal for loan side Stenhousemuir
On-loan Hibs defender Callum Yeats scored his first professional goal for Stenhousemuir last night, winning the man of the match award and keeping a clean sheet as the Warriors recorded a 1-0 win against Cowdenbeath,
Now the flame-haired full-back is keen for Stenny to be the first team to defeat runaway table-toppers Queen’s Park when the Spiders visit Ochilview this weekend.
Ray McKinnon’s side have won 12 of their 14 League Two games this season but 19-year-old Yeats is confident that his loan side have the quality to cause an upset.
"It’s going to be a tough game; they’re top of the league, full-time, and have a lot of quality players,” he added. “But if we play like we did [against Cowdenbeath], dig in, and put in a strong team performance then you never know, we could end up getting the three points or at least a draw and a point that takes us closer to fifth,” he told Warriors TV after the match.
First goal but could have scored twice
Yeats struck five minutes into the second half at Ochilview, converting Botti Bia-Bi’s cross at the back post for what turned out to be the winner, but the former Civil Service Strollers loanee was just glad to see Hibs’ partner club pick up a vital win.
He said: “I’m obviously delighted to get my first professional goal but also delighted that the team got the three points to help close the gap on the play-off spot before the post-split fixtures.”
It was a night to remember for the Hibs contingent at Ochilview with a first clean sheet in just his third SPFL fixture for 17-year-old defender Jack Brydon while Paddy Martin put in another good performance between the sticks just days after the goalkeeper's man-of-the-match performance against Kilmarnock in the 4-0 Scottish Cup defeat as he recorded a fourth shut-out of the season.
Yeats, who is equally comfortable at left back or left wingback, was instructed by Warriors boss Davie Irons to get forward as much as possible and could have opened his account in the first period if he hadn’t selflessly attempted to pick out a team-mate.
"I had another chance in the first half and probably should have shot but I heard a few shouts in the box and thought I’d try and cut it back.”
Yeats’ effort turned out to be enough to move Stenhousemuir eight points clear of Annan Athletic in seventh and the Warriors are now within three points of fifth-placed Stranraer, who they face in the penultimate game of the regular season.
Yeats only returned to action at the tail end of March, having spent a lengthy period of time on the sidelines with an injury – a sore one for the player after his promising displays at the start of the season as Stenhousemuir lost just one of their opening five matches.
Yeats continued: “I obviously had a setback and was out for about five months which wasn’t ideal because up until then I had been playing every game and was enjoying my football here but the two-month break [with no football] allowed me to recover and get back in to the team.
"Since I’ve come back I think I’ve done well and hopefully I can keep my place in the team.”