Hayes & Yeading United made it a totally scoreless Easter with a second goalless draw in three days, this time against fellow promotion contenders Hampton & Richmond Borough at Church Road.
Prior to the game (pictured right)
Bill Perryman handed over a cheque for almost £1500 raised at the recent "Evening with Steve Perryman" to Phil Spurden who received it on behalf of the Musgrove Leukaemic Trust.
On to the match, Manager Garry Haylock made several changes from Saturday's starting line-up in an effort to keep everybody up to speed and fresh for the challenge of the play offs and this was quite evident early on as the visitors enjoyed a good spell in charge of the ball.
The visitors with three former Church Roaders in their starting line-up plus one on the bench made a good start and with just 12 minutes played one of those
three, former United man Kieran Knight was denied by a sharp Delroy Preddie save. A miss kick by Steve Perkins allowing the striker to race onto Shaun McAuley's pass before Preddie dived left to push the ball around the post. The resultant corner found it's way to Dean Wells at the far post, his effort was blocked on the line by Preddie and McAuley fired wide on the rebound.
former Church Roaders continued to be denied by Preddie, McAuley fed the ball forwards to Knight who was denied by the quick reactions of Preddie who gathered at his feet. Minutes later Knight received the ball from midfield and turned Gary MacDonald before again running freely at Preddie, again the United stopper denied him by tipping his shot just outside the post.
The midway point had been reached when United finally began to find their feet, Toby Little outpaced Jon McDonald on the left, his centre was headed out by John Scarborough but only as far as the returning Danny Allen-Page who tried his luck with his weaker left foot and was well off target from 18 yards. Allen-Page then found space before playing the ball to Staforde Palmer, he turned on the edge of the area but also fired wide of the far post.
The Beavers were then awarded a free-kick on the left corner of the United area, Barrie Matthews took the kick and found the head of his skipper Dean Wells at the far post, his header looping over Preddie's outstretched hand and onto the roof of the net. Three minutes later United went as close as anybody was to come all afternoon, James Mulley found Palmer on the edge of the box again, this time with his stronger right foot he hit a curling shot that looked destined for the top corner but for a superb tip onto the bar by keeper Matt Lovett, Little's follow up being scrambled away.
The closing action of the first half saw Preddie again in action, this time holding onto a first time Stuart Lake effort after a neat Knight lay off.
Just a couple of minutes from the start of the second half an Allen-Page free-kick was met by Scott Fitzgerald but his header was too high to trouble Lovett. Minutes later Preddie pulled off his best save of the game, yet another long punt from the back was perfectly chested by Knight into the run of McAuley who was only denied by the speed that Preddie was off his line to palm away his driven effort.
Just on the hour mark Matt Ruby advanced the ball from his own half before playing it to Palmer's feet 20 yards from goal, the striker turned and hit an immediate shot that Lovett handled well as the ball pitched just in front of him. Just minutes after joining the action top scorer Josh Scott was presented with a fantastic chance to break the deadlock when Wells' weak backpass landed at his feet, sadly it fell to his weaker right and he failed to trouble Lovett.
It was fully 77 minutes before one of McDonald's long throws caused a major problem for United's excellent defence, our own Steve Perkins flicking it to the far post where Beavers substitute Lawrence Yaku headed goalwards only to be denied by Preddie's fingertips that took the ball away to safety.
The Beavers caused a couple of minor scares in stoppage time, Yaku fizzed the ball across the six yard box just evading a sliding Scarborough at the far post and Lake got his head to a late corner but this just provided a routine catch for Preddie and a draw resulted between two teams who may yet lock horns again in the play offs.
After the final whistle three presentations took place on the pitch as pictured below. On the left, Chairman Derek Goodall hands over the March Blue Square South Manager of the Month award to Garry Haylock and the March Blue Square South Player of the Month award to Will Hendry. Pictured on the right is the Verdi Performance Cars Man of the Match award which went to keeper Delroy Preddie.
Report by Kevin Watts.
Photos by Ray Peploe.
Match Highlights available at www.fcvideo.co.uk
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