Manager Garry Haylock again stuck with a winning formula by keeping the same starting XI that had taken the Club to the brink of survival for the trip to Cambridge United, sadly a fifth consecutive victory was not forthcoming as the 10 man hosts nicked a late winner at the Abbey Stadium to ease their own relegation fears whereas Hayes & Yeading's safety was assured by results elsewhere.
On a very warm afternoon in sunny Cambridgeshire it turned out to be a rather lifeless first half which saw very little goalmouth action until the final minutes of the half. Hayes & Yeading lost the services of Elliott Buchanan for around ten minutes early on as he left to have stitches in a head wound received in an aerial challenge.
Cambridge had the ball in the United net after just 20 seconds but the whistle had already blown for offside well before the shot and at the other end Lee Brown headed a Steve Masterton corner over, again within the opening couple of minutes.
It was fully 20 minutes before another vaguely noteworthy opening. With Buchanan still off having treatment, a Brian Saah free-kick from midfield was headed back across the visitors area by Josh Coulson to Liam HUghes who blazed over from 12 yards.
With Hayes & Yeading having the better of the play, it looked even better for the visitors when after 27 minutes a poor pass to Lewis Ferrell saw him get to the ball just before a studs up tackle from James Jennings that saw referee Kinseley instantly pull out a red card to dismiss the Cambridge left back.
With Buchanan back on, it was Hayes & Yeading's turn to have a man advantage although we had to wait until three minutes before the break for any sort of chance and surprisingly it went to the home side. Conal Platt exchanging passes with Luke Berry before advancing into the six yard box but Lee Harrison was alert and quickly dived onto the ball at the Cambridge player's feet.
A purple patch in front of goal by the visitors should have resulted in the lead being taken but Cambridge keeper Danny Naisbitt and defenders Kevin Roberts and Brian Saah ensured that did not happen. Firstly Brown picked out Bradley Pritchard, his volley being pushed away by Naisbitt and then Pritchard slid the ball to Buchanan in the area, his shot being forced wide by a well timed Saah block.
As we continued into stoppage time, Pritchard again fed Buchanan, his initial effort was snubbed out by Naisbitt and Saah, the Hayes & Yeading striker then managed to work the ball loose and having beaten Naisbitt this time found Roberts in his way as the right-back cleared the ball off the line.
The second half was to be more even and have a little more for the crowd to shout about. Early chances came the way of both sides, Steve Masterton met a Ferrell cross but Naisbitt held on easily and then at the other end a good chance went begging for the home side as Coulson got his head to a corner at the far post but was well off target.
Platt then headed a Hughes cross wide before Roberts saved the home side again at the other end. Masterton's corner was headed goalwards by Tom Cadmore, Pritchard's flick on took the ball past Naisbitt only for Roberts to head it off the line and despite the visitors claims that it went over the line the assistant referee's flag stayed firmly by his side.
Hayes & Yeading were now getting on top as the heat continued, Pritchard and substitute Ben Wright combined on the right, the striker's deep cross being met by a Brown diving header but the angle was far too acute for him to hit the target. Five minutes later a quick corner to Peter Holmes saw the skipper cross deep to Brown, his header back into the mix was met by Adam Bygrave but Naisbitt plucked it out of the air.
Just fourteen minutes remained when the home side hit Hayes & Yeading with a real sucker punch as the ten men took the lead. The impressive Platt made room to cross on the left, Harrison could not reach the cross which left Cambridge substitute Jordan Patrick the easy task of side footing a volley into the net at the far post.
The home side nearly doubled their lead five minutes from time when another substitute Adam Marriott made space for a shot, Harrison did well to block away his initial drive and when the Cambridge man tried again his shot was weaker and Harrison gathered comfortably.
Hayes & Yeading's
best chance of an equaliser came three minutes from the end when Andy Yiadom's deep cross was collected by Brown, he returned the ball to the centre but it went just over Wright's leap before striking the head of an on-coming Coulson who was inches from putting through his own goal.
Report by Kevin Watts.
Photos by Ray Peploe.
United Man of the Match: Tom Cadmore.