Despite taking the lead after just 16 seconds, Hayes & Yeading United’s under 18s failed in their bid to reach the League Cup semi-finals when an impressive display from hosts Flackwell Heath on a dry bumpy pitch saw them net three times with no further reply.
United’s lead only lasted until the 15th minute though as a right wing cross was only partially cleared to Ross Broadway who took a touch on the edge of the box before turning and hitting a shot that beat Simon Grant’s dive just inside the near post.
Despite missing injured top scorer Jake Lovell, almost immediately from the kick off United were ahead when Ashley Barnes latched onto a loose clearance to volley past home keeper Henry Craven.
United created a couple of chances to re-take the lead as the half progressed. A quick corner to Joakim Ehui offered a shooting chance, his effort was well charged down by the impressive Justin Hockley and Barnes was just off target with the follow up. Daniel Wishart then turned and outpaced defender Connor Saville before unleashing a thunderous drive that Craven did well to block and his defence finished off the job by clearing their lines.
Five minutes before the break the hosts took the lead. A weak defensive header by Abdi Hamadi was quickly pounced on by Broadway, Grant did well to smother his shot only for the loose ball to fall to Will Barnard who coolly rolled it back into the United net.
United had a chance to draw level a minute before the break when a deep free-kick from Barnes found it’s way to Josh Andrew at the far post, his volley however was well saved by Craven.
Five minutes into the second half the home side were grateful to left-back Sam Barry who was on hand to clear off the line after Barnes had toed the ball past Craven having made it to a Grant punt that cleared the Flackwell defence.
Just after the hour mark an unusual misjudgement by Charlie Wassmer saw the centre-back miss his header from a long punt and Jamie West was first to the ball hitting a perfect lob from 30 yards that went up into the night sky before bouncing up perfectly up into the roof of the net as Grant backpeddled in vain.
United still created chances but seemed to lack that killer touch in front of goal, this was partly due to the very well organised Heathens back-line that was superbly marshalled by skipper Hockley. Andrew had two chances, heading the first wide of the target and the second finding the waiting arms of Craven.
Grant had to be at his best to keep the score at three a few minutes from the end when a long ball was picked up by Ben Gray who lobbed the United keeper but this time Grant raced back and dived to palm the ball out from virtually on his goal line.
United finished with a couple of chances but on each occasion the agile Craven was equal to anything we could throw at him.
Report by Kevin Watts.
Website United Man of the Match: Ashley Barnes.