With League leaders Oxford United fielding a less than full strength side it was a good chance for Hayes & Yeading to cause an upset and progress in the FA Trophy, sadly it was not to be as former Hayes FC loanee Jack Midson netted the only goal for the U's midway through the first half and the visitors rarely looked like pulling it back.
Early exchanges saw a Franny Green effort for the home side deflected over the Hayes & Yeading crossbar and then at the other end a Marc Canham effort was part blocked before James Mulley latched onto a weak clearance but his shot from the edge of the area was wide of the far post.
On 13 minutes an uncharacteristic error by skipper Tom Cadmore
saw him leave to ball to run over the bye-line only for the impressive Alfie Potter to nip in and take it inside, forcing Simon Overland into a diving block that saw the ball out for a corner. The corner itself also caused problems as Danny Allen-Page was required to clear Onome Sodje's header off the line.
Oxford were soon back on the attack as Sodje raced away on the left, his shot was deflected into the path of Rhys Day who was only denied by a perfectly timed Matt Ruby sliding tackle. The goal was only ten minutes away though as Simon Clist raced forwards on the left leaving defenders in his wake before picking out a perfect cross that saw Midson rise virtually unchallenged to head home from close range.
With the visitors showing very little invention going forwards, it was Oxford whose neat inter-play was giving them lots of possession but the Hayes & Yeading back-line were standing firm. Adam Murray and Adam Chapman played a quick one-two but Overland easily caught the latter's effort before a break away on half time for Hayes & Yeading saw Mulley carry the ball from his own half before playing it left to Dale Binns whose shot was blocked by a sliding Chapman.
The opening five minutes of the second period saw Oxford try to force home their territorial advantage but Overland and his defence held firm. A near post corner was pushed out by Overland to Sodje who fired wide from close range and within a minute a slip at the back allowed Franny Green a run at goal that Overland did well to partially block and Ruby ran in to head the ball wide as it span towards goal.
Still Oxford came forwards and Potter ran at the defence and curled a shot that went just wide of Overland's far post.
With just over 30 minutes remaining Hayes & Yeading found a little forwards momentum with the introduction of Scott Fitzgerald in place of Esmond James whose place on the flank was taken by Mulley. Adam Green immediately took the ball from Oxford skipper Murray before trying his luck from 25 yards, just missing the far post with keeper Billy Turley beaten.
Ten minutes later Mulley played the ball inside to Justin Cochrane, he in turn quickly found Steve Basham on the edge of the area but his shot on the turn was comfortably held by Turley, his only real action in 90 minutes. Four minutes later Hayes & Yeading swept from one end to the other, Cadmore won a block tackle in his own half before a quick cross-field ball found Mulley who ran forwards and tried his luck from 20 yards, just missing the angle at the top corner of the Oxford goal.
Seven minutes remained and it looked like the game was over when Oxford substitute Sam Deering broke into the area only to be tripped by Overland, who received a yellow card, and a penalty was duly awarded. Midson stepped up and despite beating Overland saw his shot crash back off the right-hand upright but it was still a comfortable victory for the home side.
Report by Kevin Watts. Photos by Ray Peploe.
Highlights courtesy of FC Video
United Man of the Match: Matt Ruby.