Hayes & Yeading United fell to a second home defeat in five days, this time at the hands Steve Evans' expensively assembled Crawley Town side.
Manager Garry Haylock was dealt an early blow when first choice keeper Lee Harrison failed a fitness test which left debutant Josh Lennie in the United goal to face the experienced Crawley attack. Other changes saw Tom Cadmore return in place of Charlie Wassmer while the departed Ben Wright was replaced by James Mulley.
Early chances were to go the way of the home side as first James Mulley fired over before Elliott Buchanan forced an early save from Michel Kuipers who almost let the shot slip under his body. Mulley and Bradley Pritchard then swapped passes inside the Crawley area with the former being denied as Kuipers arrived at the ball to block it away.
Crawley then shot a warning across the bows when Mulley passed square straight to Matt Tubbs, the prolific striker forcing a low save from Lennie. Minutes later, Steve Masterton hung up a free-kick that Lennie came for and never looked like reaching, the loose ball eventually bouncing nicely to Craig McAllister who slotted it past the defenders on the line.
One became two less than ten minutes
later when Tubbs fed Masterton on the left, Lennie came for his cross but failed to notice an unmarked McAllister who stole in to glance a header into the vacant net to double his sides advantage.
The Reds, playing in white, continued to push on the United goal. Sergio Torres had a shot from 18 yards deflected wide by a well timed Jamie Hand interception before Tubbs and Masterton played a neat interchange that saw Tubbs advance on goal only to be denied by a combination of Lennie and Adam Bygrave that saw the ball go wide of the target.
The second started much as the first had finished with the visitors in the driving seat. An early misplaced Bygrave header was latched onto by Scott Neilson who saw his thunderbolt from 20 yards crash against the underside of the bar before coming back into play to be cleared. Minutes later a long Glenn Wilson throw was helped on inadvertently by Cadmore to Torres who forced a good diving save from Lennie from 12 yards out, the ball being pushed around the left upright by the United keeper.
On the hour
Ahmed Deen was desperately unlucky not to pull one back as he latched onto a clearance and hit a shot that smashed against the angle of post and crossbar and came back into play before being cleared to safety. Twenty minutes remained when the Reds put the game beyond United as Tubbs was given space in the area to cross, a neat step over by McAllister left the ball to run to an unmarked Torres who fired home from eight yards.
The prolific Tubbs was still looking to get his own name on the scoresheet, a long ball set him free into the area but he was denied a shot by a superb chase down tackle by Cadmore and minutes later he broke into the box on the opposite side, clipped the ball around the on-coming Lennie but was on this occasion denied by Bygrave who had chased back and cleared off the line.
United's last chance came nine minutes from time when a centrally placed free-kick was rolled to Cadmore by Holmes, the defender's shot by-passing the wall only to be turned wide at the foot of the post by Kuipers.
Report by Kevin Watts.
Photos by Ray Peploe.
United Man of the Match: Tom Cadmore.
Highlights courtesy of FC Video here.