Hayes & Yeading United gave their Blue Square Bet Premier survival hopes a huge boost by taking all three points from one of the FA Trophy finalists for the second consecutive Saturday as Darlington were beaten by the odd goal in five at Church Road.
Manager Garry Haylock made just one change to the side that defeated Mansfield Town, with regular number 1 and new dad Lee Harrison returning in place of Shane McWeeney between the sticks.
United started well and after just seven minutes Steve Masterton played a free-kick to the far post where a Tom Cadmore volley was deflected wide of the target by Quakers skipper Ian Miller.
Minutes later United were in front as Lewis Ferrell fired a perfect pass from the edge of his own area down the right touchline to Elliott Buchanan who comfortably outpaced Adam Quinn before picking out Bradley Pritchard just inside the area, the United midfielder beating keeper Sam Russell into the bottom corner of the Darlington net (below).
Darlington were quickly back at United as a Lee Harrison punt was volleyed back to John Campbell who broke through on goal, Harrison did well to palm his shot into the air and Ferrell cleared up by heading away for a corner that came to nothing.
United however were soon pushing for a second as Buchanan brought down a Holmes pass in superb fashion, Russell blocked his shot in the air and recovered quickly enough to tip the looping ball over. Masterton’s corner kick found Hand on the edge of the area, a quick touch to his left saw him hit a low 20 yard shot that Russell pushed wide.
For the Quakers, Bridge-Wilkinson’s free-kick is met with a glancing header from Quinn but the effort is too high to trouble Harrison and a couple of minutes later United’s lead is doubled. Pritchard controls a long ball from Adam Bygrave before lifting a pass into the area where Buchanan fires first time past Russell to double United’s lead (below right).
Holmes went close a minute later after good work on the left by Lee Brown and Sam Rents before the visitors went even closer in the 29th minute. John Campbell fired a crossfield ball to Senior who cut inside and hit a shot that Harrison palmed out, Senior collected the ball but from a very acute angle his shot struck the face of the upright and flew across goal and away to safety.
In hitting the post Senior injured himself and limped off very gingerly to be replaced by Michael Smith. The Quakers were still pushing forwards and Harrison was quickly in action again, this time when Aman Verma and Campbell exchanges passes, the former moving into the area before forcing a diving save from the United keeper.
Last action of the half saw Masterton’s outswinging corner being met sweetly on the volley by Hand but his 20 yard effort dipped just over Russell’s bar.
At the start of the second half United got a real let off as Marc Bridge-Wilkinson broke free in the area, Bygrave did well to delay his shot but then with Harrison grounded he hit a shot off that was blocked away by the back of the keepers raised heel and a couple of minutes later Harrison again denied the same man, tipping his shot wide of goal.
Having subdued the pressure from the visitors at the start of the half, United moved forwards and increased the lead to three in the 53rd minute. Holmes picked out Masterton on the right, he in turn fed the ball to Buchanan at the near post, his neat lay off to Rents in the middle saw the Crawley loanee switch to his left foot before firing his first United goal, beating Russell into the top corner of the Darlington net.
An eight minute spell in favour of the Quakers just after the hour mark almost spelt disaster for United as a glaring miss was quickly followed by two goals that put the result very much back in the balance.
Paul Terry’s raking pass from halfway line picked out Quakers substitute Smith who burst past Harrison into the area and with the vacant net gaping he proceeded to coolly roll the ball into the.......erm......side netting.
Darlington’s opener was only minutes away though and Harrison and Bygrave will both consider themselves unlucky participants. Taylor held off a Cadmore challenge before pulling the ball back to Terry, his shot was pushed into the air by Harrison who in attempting to punch clear while grounded thumped the ball into Bygrave and it flew back towards the United net and despite a goalline attempt to clear the referee’s assistant ruled the ball had crossed the line.
Number two came minutes later when Bridge-Wilkinson’s free-kick was hit against the United crossbar by Miller who miscued the follow up to Gregg Taylor who fired the ball into the roof of the net.
While many now awaited the Darlington onslaught, this never came and United took the sting out of the visitors with some solid defending, in fact the only other real chance of the game came in stoppage time and it was for United. Masterton’s free-kick clearing Russell’s desperate fingertips but substitute Ben Wright hit the side netting with his header.
Report by Kevin Watts.
Photos by Ray Peploe.
United Man of the Match: Lee Harrison.
Highlights courtesy of FC Video here.
7 year old United mascot Dean Cochrane
with Elliott Buchanan (right).
Bradley Pritchard in his first season with United collects the Supporters' Player of the Year trophy after the game from Peter Herman.
In doing so Bradley joins previous winners Steve Perkins, Josh Scott and James Mulley as a worthy winner of the now named "John Colvin Trophy".