Hayes & Yeading United progressed to a first Middlesex Senior Cup Final with Tom Cadmore’s 82nd minute thunderbolt the only bright spot in a drab game against Bedfont Town on Tuesday evening.
Manager Garry Haylock fielded a strong United side while also giving a rare start to both Phil Appiah and Daniel Wishart.
United started well and early chances fell the way of Wishart and Appiah but neither player could keep their efforts down and Gary Ross in the Bedfont goal happily saw them over his goal.
Lee Harrison’s first action in the United goal was straightforward enough, Wayne O’Sullivan played the ball forwards to Reis Stanislaus who controlled the ball before shooting weakly at the United keeper.
It was the 20th minute before a real chance came and it fell to the home side. Appiah picked out Adam Green on the left side and he found Ben Wright in the corner of the six yard box, a quick turn by the United striker saw a shot that Ross stuck out a foot to and turned wide.
Appiah was stamping some authority in the middle of the park and he again sparked a move that this time saw the ball played right to Andy Yiadom who advanced before hitting a low hard centre that evaded all at the front post and was just out of range for the on-coming Wishart at the far.
As the break approached United continued to push for the elusive opener. Lee Brown played a neat interchange with Wright before collecting the ball and advancing into the area where a shot with his weaker right foot was wide of the target. Wright himself soon went close too when he hit a first time volley from Green’s throw, the ball rippling the roof of the net as it went over Ross’s goal.
The second period was a little different as the visitors really started to put some pressure on the home defence, thankfully they had also left their shooting boots at home.
Harrison was soon called into action when Louis Dennis set up Carl McClusky on the edge of the area, his drive was pushed away by the United keeper only for the ball to quickly be returned to the same player who despite being unchallenged sliced his shot wide.
With United coming under increased pressure, a throughball to Stanislaus saw him faced with an on-rushing Harrison but the striker rushed his lob and the ball sailed well wide of the vacant United goal.
Minutes later United had another let off when a game of pinball in the United area saw a grounded Harrison stick out a toe to poke the ball away to an area where it could be cleared upfield.
Green for United and Dennis for Bedfont both fired wide when well placed before United substitute Jefferson Louis burst between two defenders but as had been happening all evening, he fired wide of the target.
A bright spark to the game finally arrived in the 82nd minute when Wright rolled a free-kick short to Cadmore he launched an absolute peach of a strike from fully 35 yards that flew into the top corner of the Bedfont net with Ross only able to stand and watch.
United saw out the rest of the game with an odd half chance falling to each side thus securing a place in the Final against Staines Town on Easter Monday.
Report by Kevin Watts.
United Man of the Match: Tom Cadmore.