AN APPEARANCE for Yate Town against Winchester in the FA Cup has cost former Chippenham defender Tyrone Mings the chance to make his professional debut at Villa Park on Saturday.

The defender left the Bluebirds to move to Championship side Ipswich Town after impressing on trial last month, and made the bench for the first time on Saturday as they Tractor Boys crashed to a 3-0 defeat at home to Brighton.

Manager Mick McCarthy had earmarked the full-back to make his debut in the Blues’ FA Cup third round tie against Aston Villa, but his involvment for Yate in the first qualifying round means he is now cup-tied.

A disappointed Mings tweeted: “Devo'd, meant to be starting Saturday against villa but already played in fa cup. ****.”

Meanwhile, Mings’ old boss Nathan Rudge is convinced the Bluebirds are making progress as they prepare to travel to Weymouth tomorrow.

The Hardenhuish Park side have now drawn their last three games in the Southern Premier, the latest being a 2-2 draw with Frome Town.

This weekend sees them travel to Weymouth who currently occupy a play-off place, and Rudge has taken great heart from the way they have progressed in recent weeks.

“We’re getting more difficult to beat now,’’ he said.

“At the start of the season we weren't, but now we’re not losing games of football.

“If anything, we’re giving teams games of football and no team is finding it easy to beat us now.

“It proves how far we’ve come when you see teams celebrating the way Frome did at getting a point off us.’’ In Division One South and West, Cirencester go to Didcot Town.