Hayes & Yeading United beat Hemel Hempstead Town on a night soured by a serious looking injury to Hemel’s captain Adam Dedman.
United took the lead as early as the ninth minute when Jake Lovell spread the ball out wide to Josh Andrew on the right and he raced into the area before slotting the ball to Shane Wyllie. A very clever flick over the advancing Nicky Law allowed the ball to sneak in at the far post.
Andre Costa had a free kick deflected into Law’s hands as United kept up the pressure. However, there was much concern soon afterwards when both Wyllie and Dedman, whilst chasing a loose ball, careered into the pitchside wall, with Dedman hitting it particularly hard. After lengthy treatment, he returned to the game to run off his injuries.
Law was again handily placed to foil another United attack when Andrew squared the ball to Lovell whose shot from the edge of the area picked out the home keeper.
On 37 minutes the game was stopped. Wyllie and Dedman were chasing a long ball and the United forward was penalised for a push in the back. The contact looked innocuous but the Hemel captain fell heavily and his distress was clear for all to hear. Both sports therapists were required to treat him and an ambulance was called as neither felt it right to move him without specialist equipment. At this point, the referee suggested to both sets of players that they go back to the changing rooms to keep warm.
In all, there was a 27 minute delay while the player was reassured, treated and eventually carried away on a stretcher before being taken straight to hospital.
Play restarted in an understandably more subdued manner. Daniel Mehmet headed a Costa free kick goalwards only for Law to catch it before Hemel’s Lee Simper latched onto Stuart Farrell’s long ball and hit a hopeful 25 yard shot which Simon Grant gathered.
Hemel thought they’d equalised soon before half time when a Rob Ursell cross was headed over Grant by Simper and Jay Austin helped the ball in. Austin’s apparently unnecessary involvement in the move appeared to be the only reason why the goal was ruled out for offside.
After a shortened half time break, Hemel Hempstead had the ir best spell of the match. Robert Kean found Ursell whose 25 yard piledriver was spilled by Grant only for Aga Briandt to be well positioned to clear. Then Jake Gilbert hit the post with a firm half volley from Simper’s corner.
Somewhat against the run of play, United extended their lead. Substitute Scott Orphanou raced clear on the right and fired the ball across goal. Law palmed the ball away from goal but straight into the path of Mehmet who placed the ball into the bottom corner.
This goal seemed to deflate the home side. Wyllie hit a shot just over from Costa’s lay off before Briandt’s long ball out of defence caught the home back line flat footed and Lovell raced clear before hitting a low shot which Law tipped past the post. Costa hit the side netting after a mazy run to the by line but apart from a late Adiel Mannion mishit shot which bobbled past the post, United ended the game as comfortable victors.
Report by Nick Bell.
Website United Man of the Match: Aga Briandt.