Hayes & Yeading hat-tricks are like London Buses, you wait 18 months for one and then two come along at once as firstly Jake Lovell and then minutes later Scott Fitzgerald reached that mark against Hillingdon at the Middlesex Stadium this evening.
United, fielding a very strong side were first to draw blood on 11 minutes. Danny Allen-Page ghosted past his marker on the right flank before crossing into the centre where Scott Fitzgerald rose to head past former Hayes FC keeper Ben Harris in the Borough goal.
Minutes later a neat interchange on the left between James Mulley and Jake Lovell saw the former beat Harris from just inside the area but the ball went wide off the outside of the upright. Still United pressed for a second, Lovell crossed to Steven Gregory but Harris did well to block out his point blank header and Mulley's follow up was well blocked by the defender.
On 26 minutes with the ball barely seeing the United half of the field a free-kick was floated to the far post and as Steve Perkins jumped with Gerald Kelly, the strikers header struck the United man's arm at point blank range and the referee pointed to the spot. Adrian Allen stepped up and blasted the penalty past Aaron Howe to level the scores.
This fired up United even more and four more goals were to come their way in a 12 minute spell before the break. Mulley set up Will Hendry but Harris was equal to his shot before Mulley moved into the Borough area only to be tripped by player/manager Steve Hale and another spot kick was awarded. Toby Little, playing his first game of the season after injury, stepped up and put his kick into the corner just beyond Harris' dive.
A minute later youth team striker Jake Lovell had the ball in the net but was harshly adjudged to have pulled back his marker on entering the area. The youngster's first goal at senior level was only minutes away though when he stooped low to head home a Fitzgerald centre. We had to wait even less time for his second senior goal as just a minute later the diminutive striker leapt highest at the far post to head home after Fitzgerald had headed back a far post Hendry cross.
The scoring in the first half was not yet finished though because on 43 minutes Allen-Page played the ball into the penalty spot, Lovell stepped over it and Gregory took it past the last defender before firing in goal number five for United.
The home side started well in the second period and after just two minutes got a goal back courtesy of an error by Howe who appeared to totally miss a long throughball that Allen had chased giving the striker a walk home goal.
Five minutes later the unlucky Mulley again hit the upright after being put through by Gregory and just a matter of seconds after this it could have been 5-3 when the impressive Lucas Williams burst into the United area but with just Howe to beat lost his composure and fired over the bar.
Five minutes later we again saw a chance for each side within seconds of each other. Allen-Page crossed from the right to Lovell who set up Gregory but Harris did well to push away his shot and at the other end Howe had to do exactly the same when Williams again burst tried his luck, this time from just outside the area.
Just after the hour mark a low Allen-Page cross was turned home from close range by Fitzgerald and then the game seemed to fizzle out until the dying embers when both Lovell and Fitzgerald were to complete their hat-tricks although by this time the home side were down to ten men after a heavy Matt Ruby challenge saw Alex Gediking leave the field on a stretcher.
Two minutes remained when Jake Lovell made club history by being the first ever Hayes & Yeading player to score a first team hat-trick, to add to the four he has already scored for the under 18s this year. The creator was Hendry who advanced towards the Borough defence before sliding the ball into Lovell's path and the confident striker easily beat Harris.
As the game moved into time added on, Lovell was denied a fourth when his shot on the turn was turned away by Harris and then a minute later Gregory played Fitzgerald in and he fired home from 12 yards to complete his hat-trick despite playing all game as an emergency midfielder.
This was also United's 50th goal of the season in just 22 games, long may we continue to entertain, more clean sheets would be nice though boys!
Report by Kevin Watts.
Website United Man of the Match: Jake Lovell.