Hayes & Yeading came from two goals down to progress in the Middlesex Senior Cup at Spartan South Midlands Leaguers Hillingdon Borough on Tuesday evening.
Garry Haylock gave playing time to some of the regular benchwarmers but in essence it was a strong United side that took on Borough on a somewhat lumpy Middlesex Stadium pitch.
Daryl McLean was first to go close for United when he headed Andy Yiadom’s far post cross wide of the target. Almost instantly the home side caused problems at the back for United, letting us know it was not going to be the stroll in the park that some supporters envisaged.
In just the sixth minute a weak back-pass by Lewis Ferrell was pounced on by Ollie Hawkins but Niki-Lee Bulmer did well to save with his feet while Tom Cadmore was on hand to throw a block to the rebound.
The opener was only five minutes away and it came as a shock when the home side scored it. A floated cross from the left appeared to be missed by Bulmer under pressure and when the ball was collected beyond the far post and rolled back inside, Ryan Welsh had the easy task of firing his side ahead from close range.
United started to up the pace again but as with a lot of games this season the vital finishing touch went awol, helped a lot by a fine performance between the sticks by Borough keeper Derek Lewis. Michael Malcolm was first to try as he cut in from the right but Lewis fielded his left foot shot, next in line was Elliott Buchanan but he was too high. Lewis then put his side under pressure by inexplicably picking up a back-pass, the resultant free-kick 12 yards out was touched to Adam Green, Lewis palmed his effort back to Yiadom who could only watch as his shot went wide of the target.
Just before the half hour mark Lewis was again to deny United a leveller when he got down quickly to his right to touch away a Jake Hyde downward header that looked to be heading into the bottom corner. Lewis did however save his best until the 35th minute as Buchanan chipped the ball to Yiadom, his volley from eight yards being superbly tipped over by the home keeper.
Five minutes later a similar volley at the other end brought the home side a two goal advantage as Welsh latched onto a free-kick from the halfway line that appeared to sail over all and sundry to smash the ball past Bulmer.
The two goal deficit however lasted a matter of 30 seconds as straight from the kick off United moved forwards picking out Hyde on the edge of the box and he steered a low drive across Lewis’s dive and into the bottom corner.
United started the second period quickly and Hyde went close to an equaliser before McLean forced another good save from Lewis as he tipped over his drive.
United could have come unstuck less than ten minutes into the half though when a cross from the left was deflected into the air, Luke Peace got his head to the ball only for his effort to go wide off the left upright of Bulmer’s goal.
On the hour the home side had a golden chance to net their third when a very offside looking Welsh was allowed to advance on Bulmer’s goal only for him to blast the ball high over the United goal.
The defining moment that finally swung the game United’s way came on 77 minutes when the already cautioned Aaron Silcott dragged back an advancing Adam Green and referee Engelbretson showed him a red card. The resultant free-kick further punished the home side as Green played the ball to Hyde’s feet, the striker returning it perfectly into Green’s run and he fired across Lewis and in off the far post to level the scores.
It was then just two minutes before United had the lead against a tiring Hillingdon side. Malcolm cut in from the right and hit a shot that Lewis did well to parry only for Hyde to nip in to touch home from close range. Hyde’s hat-trick was not long coming either as Lewis pushed out his header only for a stray defenders arm to connect with the ball as it was crossed back in, the United striker sending Lewis the wrong way from the penalty spot.
Number five came a couple of minutes from the end when a Deen corner was headed home at the near post by Buchanan and the game was over with United moving straight to the quarter-finals courtesy of second round opponents Tokyngton Manor withdrawing from the competition.
Report by Kevin Watts.
United Man of the Match: Jake Hyde.