A late Will Hendry strike saw Hayes & Yeading earn a deserved point and stop the Saints winning streak at Clarence Park this afternoon.
As you would expect from two sides riding high in the division the first half was a pretty tight tense affair with goal chances at a real premium and this was not helped by a very whistle happy man in the middle.
The first chances came with the twenty minute mark approaching and would probably normally not be noteworthy but for the lack of incident to that point. For the home side Jonathan Hunt fired a free-kick from the right side of the area that flew across the face of goal and at the other end minutes later a corner was driven flat into the area by Hendry and despite Steve Perkins getting his head to the ball it cleared the goal with many feet to spare.
Probably the best chance of the half came just after the midway point, a loose Matt Ruby clearance was pounced upon by Hunt whose cross found an unmarked Sam Hurrell in the six yard box but his diving header was wide of Delroy Preddie's left hand post. Five minutes later came United's best chance, Hendry chipped the ball forwards to Scott Fitzgerald who worked his way between two defenders only to have the ball taken from his toes by an excellent interception from Ben Martin.
As the final minutes ticked away, two chances came United's way. Hendry fired in another flat corner from the right that appeared to go wide off the outside of a post before he sent Mulley on a run that saw the midfielder hit a volley that nestled in keeper Paul Bastock's midriff. The final effort of the half fell to the home side's Gary Cohen but he headed wide after Hakim had flicked on at the near post.
With the slope now in their favour, it was the home side who made the better start to the second half and they so nearly broke the deadlock after just four minutes. Tom Cadmore dived into a tackle against Hakim who managed to go past the United skipper to advance on Preddie's goal. His shot beat the keeper but kindly for United came back into play off the face of the post and was cleared away by a relieved defence.
Hunt then should have done better after coming in quickly from the right side to meet a Hakim centre, the wide man fired wide of the target. With fifteen minutes now remaining, the ball was played forwards to Mulley who cheekily lofted it over his marker and ran around to meet the ball only to shoot wide as Bastock arrived at his feet.
Minutes later controversy reigned as firstly Cohen appeared to throw himself to the floor in a bid to get Steve Perkins sent off, luckily referee Miller was not falling for it and booked the Saints striker. Then from the throw-in that had resulted, and with the linesman being very inattentive as Adam Everitt appeared to be on the pitch when he launched a long throw into the United area that bobbled around before finding it's way to Hakim who turned and fired across Preddie into the far corner of the net.
It took nine minutes for United to find a deserved equaliser. A free-kick was awarded just outside the Saints area that Hendry stepped up to and shot low into the corner of Bastock's goal. United's comeback almost came undone in the final minute when another Everitt "bomb" was inadvertently flicked on by Ruby but Hakim's header was held by Preddie to secure a point that moves United to second in the table.
Report by Kevin Watts. Photos by Ray Peploe.
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Website United Man of the Match: Will Hendry.