Hayes & Yeading United exited this season's FA Trophy at the first hurdle as Blue Square Bet South side Ebbsfleet United came from behind to earn a deserved victory over Garry Haylock's men at Stonebridge Road.
It was the home side who made the early running and on 11 minutes Gareth Williams whipped in a low cross from the right that just evaded the slide of Calum Willock on the edge of the six yard box. Minutes later the same pair exchanged passes, Willock advanced into the area but was denied when his angled shot was pushed away by the strong hand of Lee Harrison who was back in the United goal after injury.
It was the 24th minute before Fleet keeper Preston Edwards was fired at, and with great success. Skipper and former Fleet man Peter Holmes latching onto a Yiadom pass before drilling the ball past Edwards from 20 yards.
The hosts seemed to reel a little from this setback and five minutes later Hayes & Yeading could have nicked a second. Jake Hyde rose highest and flicked the ball to Yiadom, his shot was blocked by Derek Duncan. The loose ball was then collected by Nathan Webb who fed Yiadom, his centre being met by Hyde but Edwards plucked it out of the air comfortably.
Then in a five minute spell it all went wrong for Garry Haylock's side as two goals were conceded in quick succession. The equaliser came from an advance down the right by Williams, he picked out Joe Howe on the edge of the box and his sweet strike into the top corner of Harrison's net was a goal the minute it left his boot.
This time it was the visitors turn to fall onto the back foot and just three minutes later the Fleet had the lead. Howe fed the ball down the right to Michael West, his low centre saw a tangle of legs between Webb and Willock and both fell to the floor, the Fleet striker was however quickest to react as he hooked the ball past Harrison while firmly planted on his backside in the six yard box.
Minutes later Harrison kept the visitors in the hunt when he dived to push away a Williams shot from 12 yards after good approach work by West.
The end of the half though belonged to Hayes & Yeading without finding the net. A low ball across the box saw Yiadom slide in at the far post but from a very acute angle he could only hit the side netting. Graeme Montgomery went closer four minutes later when he ran onto a Yiadom cross only for the ball to come back off the upright.
After a slow start to the second period it all got worse for Hayes & Yeading around the hour mark. Williams found Fleet substitute Ricky Shakes in the area, he rounded Harrison and fired the ball towards the net and while from a distance Webb appeared to chest the ball wide, referee Long decided otherwise and awarded the home side a penalty along with a caution for Webb. Williams took responsibility only to fire wide of the target to give Haylock's side a real let off.
Unfortunately Webb's afternoon was to get even worse less than two minutes later when a strong tackle on Tom Phipp, where he seemed from a distance to win the ball, saw referee Long in a hurry to serve another caution and therefore a red card to the United teenager.
Phil Appiah was thrown into the fray on 66 minutes in place of Ahmed Deen to add some steel to the midfield and two minutes later he was certain he had won a penalty when racing onto a throughball, getting to it before Edwards' dive, and appearing to be caught by the keeper only for a corner to be awarded.
Hayes & Yeading albeit with ten men pushed on looking for a way back. Montgomery collected a crossfield ball before shooting with his weaker right foot, Edwards gathering comfortably. Seconds later another ball into the Fleet box was knocked down by Appiah to Lewis Ferrell who saw Edwards hold onto his volley.
Four minutes from time the home side finally got some breathing space when a Harrison goal-kick was headed back from halfway by Paul Lorraine to Williams who first time touch, found Willock who shrugged off Cadmore before rounding the United stopper and rolling the ball into an empty net.
Two further chances came United's way in the dying moments. Appiah saw a shot well saved by Edwards and a minute later Ferrell had the ball in the net but was adjudged to have fouled the Fleet keeper in doing so.
Stoppage time saw action for Harrison again when an offside looking Williams was allowed to progress but he was foiled by the outstretched legs of the veteran keeper.
Report by Kevin Watts.
Photos by Andy Corbett.
United Man of the Match: Andy Yiadom.