Ben Wright becoming the first Hayes & Yeading United player to score a league hat-trick was overshadowed by some crazy defending that saw United’s midweek goals against column reach nine from two games against sides billed by the bookies as “relegation candidates” along with ourselves.
United started well and had the best of the opening chances. Just four minutes had elapsed when an Ahmed Deen cross from the left was helped on by Elliott Buchanan to Bradley Pritchard, his shot from inside the area being deflected wide by Curtis McDonald.
Fifteen minutes later it was the woodwork that got in the way as Buchanan flicked on a Peter Holmes corner that needed a touch onto the crossbar by Rovers keeper James Bittner before the danger was cleared. Within a minute Bittner was needed again by his side as Ben Wright latched onto a miss-timed Luke Jones header, this time it was Bittner’s outstretched leg that did the trick.
Just before the half hour mark and with probably their first clear cut chance the visitors took the lead when Reece Styche latched onto a through ball in the right channel and advanced into the area before firing under Lee Harrison’s dive.
This blow saw United step up their own game once more and on 34 minutes Adam Green should have done better when he hit the side netting from inside the box after excellent work on the left by Deen and a sharp lay off by Buchanan.
Five minutes later though it was all square when Buchanan’s shot on the turn struck the arm of defender Gavin Caines and referee Atkin pointed to the spot. Wright stepped up and fired home from 12 yards giving Bittner no chance.
As the half closed chances kept coming, Yan Klukowski broke away into the United half and despite Addam Bygrave doing his best to hold him off he managed to get a shot away that needed a strong arm save from Harrison and Green cleared the danger at the far post.
United still had time to make two chances in the last minute of the half, firstly Deen headed a Bradley Pritchard cross wide and seconds later Pritchard himself burst into the area to collect a neat Buchanan back-heel but his shot went agonisingly wide of the far post.
The half-time break seemed to kill United’s momentum as less than two minutes into the second half Rovers were in front once more when a deep Lee Smith cross from the right was inexplicably clawed into his own net by Harrison.
Harrison came to the rescue five minutes later however when James Norwood burst into the area and fired a shot that the United keeper did well to palm away with Lewis Ferrell doing the tidy up work.
Two minutes later we were all square once again. Deen collected the ball in the middle of the park and advanced forwards before picking out Wright on the right side of the Rovers area, the United striker took a touch before firing a left foot shot past Bittner into the far corner.
Less than ten minutes later the game took yet another twist as Forest Green took the lead for the third time, again in somewhat comical fashion as a slightly deflected McDonald cross appeared to be left by all and sundry in the United box as the ball bounced into the far corner of the net.
As you would expect from the way the game had gone thus far it was not long before the scores were once again level and once again it was Wright, this time netting a close range volley after he was found by Pritchard.
Pritchard himself was almost on the scoresheet minutes later when his deft chip sailed inches wide of the far upright.
The final minute of the game just about summed up United’s Jekyll and Hyde start to the season as a long throw from Ian Herring fell to the feet of Rovers substitute Jon Else who fired the winner for his side through a gaggle of players on the United goal line.
Report by Kevin Watts.
Photos by Ray Peploe.
United Man of the Match: Ahmed Deen.
Highlights courtesy of FC Video here.