Full of confidence after Tuesday's win at Nene Park, Hayes & Yeading United Manager Nas Bashir kept an unchanged side for the visit to the New Bucks Head on Saturday which meant goalkeeping coach Delroy Preddie remained between the sticks with Steve Arnold not yet free from injury.
Hayes & Yeading were out of the blocks quickly in the Shropshire sunshine and in just the second minute Tom Collins burst into the Bucks area and flashed a hard low ball across the six yard box but none of his arriving teammates could get the crucial touch. Similarly at the other end five minutes later, a Adam Proudlock cross went across the United area and away for a throw-in on the far side.
The two who were to prove a thorn in the Bucks side all afternoon, Louie Soares and Luke Williams, combined in the the twelfth minute with the latter taking on a shot from 20 yards that was only just wide of the target. Next to try his luck for United was Sam Argent, again after good work by Williams, but his effort from 25 yards was never going to trouble Ryan Young in the Bucks goal.
As we approached the half hour mark it was still the visitors who looked the most dangerous. Harrison Bayley, a recent substitute in place of the injured Argent, fed Williams who advanced before finding Soares who embarked on a mazy dribble into the Bucks area before hitting a shot with the outside of his foot that curved inches wide of the far post with Young well beaten.
It was 32 minutes before Preddie was called into any real action as Chris Sharp broke into the United area from the left and tried to pick out Proudlock who was arriving at the far post, Preddie's outstretched left arm doing a fine job in gathering the hard low centre as it came across his six yard box.
United went oh so close to taking the lead in the 36th minute when a quickly taken throw to Soares gave him the time to find a pass to Dan Spence, United's newest recruit making space before hitting a low drive that beat Young only to cannon back into play off the inside of the Telford upright.
Then just two minutes later the deadlock was broken by the home side, very much against the run of play. Fraser Franks appeared to be held down by Proudlock who then produced an incisive pass that saw Richard Davies fire past Preddie into the bottom corner with what was the home side's first on target effort of the game.
Williams soon saw a shot go well wide before the Bucks almost doubled their advantage when Proudlock burst through against Preddie, the United keeper doing extremely well to block away his effort.
Another forced change at the break saw Ryan Crockford replace Franks who had received a head injury during the first half. This saw Bashir having to reshuffle his side with skipper Mark Bentley moving into central defence in place of the AFC Wimbledon loanee while Crockford took up his usual midfield role.
It was the Bucks who started the second period in brighter fashion and just a few minutes in a free-kick on the right side of the United area saw Sean Newton's effort go narrowly wide of the target.
Telford nearly doubled their advantage just after the hour when a corner fell nicely to Jon Adams which forced a fine save from Preddie, turning his drive around his near-post.
United were still looking the more likely side from open play but the home side were posing problems from set pieces and Proudlock nearly connected from close-range after Davies’ corner kick had been headed across goal by Dan Preston but Soares was there first to boot the ball clear.
A long ball up to Proudlock saw Preddie come for the ball and just as he was about to gather he realised he was outside his box, whipping his hands away quickly he managed to control and clear the ball despite howls of protest from the home fans who thought he had handled outside his area.
Seconds later United could and maybe should have bagged an equaliser when Crockford played the ball to Williams in the right channel, advancing into the area and with a tight angle, the United play maker opted to cross instead of shoot and the ball went across the six yard box to safety.
Play was switching ends minute by minute at this time and Preddie had to be alert for United, diving to his left to deny Newton who had got his head to another Bucks corner kick.
As the game entered its final stages Soares was really proving a pain to the Bucks defence and having combined yet again with Williams he saw his shot from 18 yards well held by Young diving to his left. The best was still to come though from the former Southend man when he chased down a Crockford pass, collecting it right on the bye-line before beating a defender and making room to shoot only to see his effort take a deflection and spin agonisingly wide of the far post.
The resultant Soares corner was headed forwards by Hector Mackie, cleared by Preston but only as far as Cadmore on the edge of the box, he worked the ball left to Soares (via Crockford). The United top scorer then cut inside onto his right foot and unleashed a drive that Young did well to parry but substitute Richard Pacquette was quickest to the ball and rammed it left footed past Young for a deserved equaliser
(seen here and celebrated aside).
Despite more than four minutes of added time neither keeper was really tested any further and United came away with a fourth point in five days which after our early season travel woes was most welcome.
Report by Kevin Watts.
Photos by Ray Peploe.
United Man of the Match: Louie Soares.
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