A goal in the final minutes of each half saw the spoils shared at Church Road as United hosted Mansfield Town for the first time.
On a heavy pitch after recent rainfall it was Hayes & Yeading who created the first opening when an Adam Green clearing header was picked up by James Mulley in his own half before embarking on a one on one run against Stags defender Luke Foster. The United man was well held up by the Stags skipper but still managed to find Esmond James on the right of the area, his attempted shot being well intercepted by the boot of Andy Nicholas.
The eighth minute of the game was to prove pivotal for United's keeper Clark Masters who did well to dive and gather at the feet of an incoming Kyle Perry who in trying to get to a Jon Shaw centre clattered into the United stopper and despite continuing after treatment Clark had to be replaced on 20 minutes by Simon Overland.
With Masters still trying to recover it was good to see the ball being held high up the field by United. Dale Binns made it to the bye-line on the left before picking out James in the area, his shot striking the outstretched leg of Kyle Nix before flying over. The resultant corner saw a partly cleared ball fall to Binns whose volley bobbled around before finding it's way to Matt Ruby who could get enough force on his shot and keeper Alan Marriott was able to save at the foot of his post.
Masters goal was threatened just before he was replaced when a long Marriott punt was helped on by Perry to Nix but the Stags midfielder sliced his effort wide from the edge of the area.
With Overland now in the United goal we move forwards to the final nine minutes of the half before the next chance worthy of comment. Binns with space on the left chipped the ball in towards the penalty spot, a scramble on the floor saw the ball run to Ram Marwa who was denied from 8 yards as his drive was blocked away by Foster.
While dealing comfortably with the Stags forays towards the United goal, the home side continued to push back the Stags defence, on the counter-attack. Ed Harris headed clear for United and James picked up the ball before commencing a mazy run that saw him turn Jon Challinor inside out before switching the ball to his preferred right and hitting a shot that Marriott did well to grab diving to his left.
The breakthrough for United was
just five minutes away though. Stags defender Scott Garner was a little too casual in possession, Steve Basham took the ball off his toes and played a neat interchange with Binns which saw the wide man advance into the box and fire across Marriott into the far corner of the Stags goal.
Stoppage time almost brought an equaliser for Mansfield, Challinor, Gary Silk and Shaw combined down the right flank and as the latter's cross was met at the near post by Harris, the ball seemed to spin off his shin and fly just wide of Overland's upright.
It was all change at the start of the second half, assistant referee Carl Brook took over the whistle from the referee Ian Cooper who was feeling unwell and Stags boss David Holdsworth made two changes by throwing Ryan Williams and Blair Sturrock into the fray in place of Perry and Nix.
Chances in the second half were to be very few and far between. The half was just a few minutes old when United appeared to have a real let off as the ball struck Green's arm in the area but this seemed to go un-noticed by the officials, much to the defender's relief.
The next opening came with an hour played when Marriott was required to keep out and Adam Green free-kick which he did with little concern.
Minutes later at the other end, Nicholas tried his luck from a wide left position, hitting a rasping drive that just cleared Overland's crossbar before Challinor met a Willaims free-kick only to be denied by a superb Overland save as he clawed away his point blank header.
Fifteen minutes of play that really lacked any creativity followed and we moved into the final six minutes before either goal was threatened again. One of several long throws from Nicholas finally found it's target as Duffy flicked the ball on the Sturrock who could not get a good connection and Overland dived down to save at the foot of his post.
The 90th minute arrived and an error by Overland saw the Stags finally brake the resolute United defence. Williams, who had been a thorn in the side since his introduction, chipped the ball into the six yard box where Overland, who was surrounded by bodies, appeared to get both hands to the ball before letting it slip through his fingers and onto the toe of Silk who forced home an equaliser for Mansfield.
Report by Kevin Watts.
Photos by Ray Peploe.
United Man of the Match: Esmond James.
Highlights courtesy of FC Video