Hayes & Yeading United travelled to winless Forest Green Rovers on Tuesday evening and on a drizzly evening were fortunate to come away with a point, Simon Overland starring after the dismissal of Danny Allen-Page just before the hour mark left United a man short.
The home side who had 17 year old Tom Pass in goal were rarely troubled in front of goal, in fact other than the first couple of minutes when pressure was put on the young keeper from a couple of corners he had very little to do.
At the other end Overland was the much busier keeper, on eleven minutes Curtis McDonald played the ball in from the left to his skipper Jonathan Smith who hit a low drive that skidded off the greasy surface and required Overland's touch to take the ball wide of goal. Within a minute Overland was again in action, this time doing well to hold a low drive from Sean Rigg who had latched onto a poor clearance.
The home side were controlling possession without causing much trouble for Matt Ruby and Co at the back however in the 20th minute Rigg had another chance when a high clearance dropped to him in the United box, he struck the ball well from 12 yards out but Overland stood strong and pushed his effort away to safety. Rovers came again eight minutes later when a neat combination down the left saw McDonald play and receive a return from Rigg before sliding the ball across to David Brown who was a little too casual and side footed his shot wide when well placed to trouble Overland.
The last chance of the half came with ten minutes still to play and it was to be the last time Pass was seriously troubled in the whole game. Marc Canham played a free-kick into the Rovers area, the ball was headed clear as far as Adam Green who tried a volley from 25 yards that whistled inches wide of the left hand upright.
The small but vocal United following must have thought the second half couldn't get any worse, sadly it did when Allen-Page, who was making his 100th appearance, was dismissed after receiving two yellow cards in quick succession, the first of which appeared extremely harsh.
Just prior to the dismissal the home side had another superb chance to break the deadlock when Smith played in a free-kick, Mark Preece flicked on to the far post where Paul Lloyd arrived at pace and headed over from three yards.
Soon after the dismissal of Allen-Page Garry Haylock made a tactical substitution by replacing George Daly with Esmond James to keep a balanced midfield. Rovers were soon on the attack again as United tried to settle into the new formation, Lloyd played the ball to Steve Adams who crossed to Paul Stonehouse at the far post, the wide man being sufficiently distracted by James Mulley that he volleyed wide.
Minutes later United conceded a free-kick right on the edge of the area, the ball was laid back to McDonald who cracked a low skidding shot past the wall that Overland did very well to hold onto as Rigg closed in for any loose pickings. Overland's best save of the game came with 17 minutes remaining, Rigg headed the ball forwards and when Green slipped on the turf it left Lloyd with just Overland to beat, he curled the ball towards the far corner only to be denied by a superb full length diving save from the United stopper.
With just five minutes remaining it was Mulley's turn to come to the rescue as Rigg received a flick on at the far post, his first time strike from ten yards out being blocked by a perfectly timed Mulley sliding interception that took the ball away from goal for a corner that was then comfortably dealt with by Overland.
Report by Kevin Watts. Photo by Ray Peploe.
United Man of the Match: Simon Overland.