Cheltenham Town: 'Devastated' Yates needs pick-me-up after late stunner
MARK Yates described himself as "the most dejected man in the world" after Bristol Rovers' last-gasp equaliser against Cheltenham Town at the Abbey Business Stadium.
Shaun Harrad's goal at the end of the first half looked to have earned the Robins a tenth home League victory of the season, but Oliver Norburn crashed in a 95th-minute stunner to earn John Ward's men a point.
Yates accepted that on the overall balance of play improving Rovers deserved a share of the spoils, but the manner of the draw left him dejected.
"I feel for the boys and the supporters and I am pretty devastated, to be honest, I am just lost for words," Yates said.
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"It was poor defending from us because everyone was behind the ball and he's hit it from 35 yards.
"They probably deserved a point, but they shouldn't have got it like that.
"I think the boys are going to have to pick me up after this one because I am probably the most dejected man in the world at the moment and hurting more than them."
Yates was disappointed with the amount of time added on at the end of the game, with the fourth official's board showing four minutes of added time and Norburn's screamer arriving in the 95th.
"For me we were over the four minutes and I asked the referee about it and he said something about waiting to take a throw, but it was their lad who was taking it," Yates said.
"We are all shell-shocked, but Rovers played all right so I can't take anything away from them.
"From the position we were in we should have won it, though.
"It was a good hit, but we have to be out of the blocks and stop it.
"I thought Michael Hector was superb again at the back, but we didn't do enough to test their goalkeeper."
Yates named midfielder Marlon Pack among the substitutes for the first time since his deadline day move to Swindon Town fell through.
The 21-year-old could still join the League One club, but for the time being he remains a Cheltenham player and he will join the squad on their overnight trip to Dagenham and Redbridge this weekend.
"Marlon is ours until anyone tells us any different," Yates said. "He was on the bench and he was our substitute goalkeeper because Connor Roberts was away with Wales Under-21s. He is still part of us and part of the group."
Yates said he was unsure about the chances of Cheltenham signing Luke Rooney on loan from Swindon Town.
The winger has been training with Cheltenham and he was set to join as part of the Pack deal.
"He won't be in the squad for Dagenham and at the moment I haven't got a clue whether we are signing him or not," he said.
Left-back Billy Jones is fit-again, but Yates did not risk him on Tuesday, preferring to keep Sido Jombati in that position and Keith Lowe at right-back.
"Billy probably could have played, but I felt Sido did enough against Torquay on Saturday (2-1 win) to warrant keeping the same team," Yates said.