Phil Walsh's 25th minute red card left Hayes & Yeading United to play for more than an hour with 10 men, and it's a great credit to the rest of the side that we came away with a point which keeps us within touching distance of safety.
The visitors had a good share of early possession without really making any inroads towards Steve Arnold's goal and the first chance actually came the way of United. Jamie Hand's free-kick from the left was headed out to Aiden O'Brien, his shot was blocked but only as far as Daniel Wishart who steadied himself and curled a shot that was heading for the top corner only to be tipped over by Telford keeper Ryan Young.
Just four minutes later it was Arnold who had to show great awareness to keep the scoresheet blank. Ryan Valentine whipped the ball into the six yard box, Will Salmon controlled the ball and appeared to have beaten Arnold but for a full stretch fingertip onto the crossbar, the loose ball running again to Salmon who pulled it back for a brace of shots that were charged down by Tom Cadmore and Yassin Moutaouakil respectively.
Mark Bentley then collected a high Arnold clearance before finding Hand, he held off the attentions of Carl Rodgers before shooting from 20 yards, his effort appearing to graze the outside of the post before going wide of the Telford goal. Within a minute United carved out an excellent opening, Moutaouakil found space on the right and whipped in a cross that Wishart met in the centre but he couldn't keep his header low enough to trouble Young.
On 25 minutes the home side were reduced to 10 men. Phil Walsh cleared the ball into touch and as all and sundry followed the ball, an altercation appeared to take place between the United man and Telford's Kyle Perry which ended with Walsh appearing to push the Telford striker who hit the ground, shall we just say, rather easily. After much deliberation with his assistant's, word appeared to have come from the official furthest from the incident and a red card was shown to Walsh for raising his hands to an opponent.
Far from put a dampener
on United's effort's this seemed to push them on which is a great credit to Nas's side. O'Brien soon cut in from the left and played the ball to Bentley, his shot having the sting taken off it which allowed Young an easy gather. Moutaouakil then picked out Luke Williams from the right, his left foot shot going wide of the target before O'Brien collected the ball in the Telford area and despite a defender having two arms wrapped around him dragging him back, he refused to go down and referee Hopkins took no action as the United faithful shouted for a penalty.
Play immediately switched ends as Richard Davies picked out Perry, his shot forcing a low save from Arnold. The tempestuous Perry soon found his way into referee Hopkins notebook and this led to his removal by Telford manager Andy Sinton which led to a stand up argument between the two on the touchline.
The the half-time whistle approached Young kept out O'Brien more by luck than judgment, Wishart made his way between two defenders on the left and crossed low to O'Brien at the near post, his back-heel volley hitting Young in the chest before dropping in front of him to be gathered up gratefully in his arms.
Twice in stoppage time it was the ten men who went close to breaking the deadlock. O'Brien held the ball up well in the area before laying it off to Cadmore, his driven shot being deflected wide and from the resultant corner, Bentley collected the ball beyond the far post and with a neat back-heeled pass found Williams but his shot was well palmed out by Young who reacted quickly to the danger.
It was expected that the second half may be a struggle for United due to tired legs etc, however the opposite was the case for although the visitors took a lot of the ball, they really couldn't work out how to get past United's superb and stubborn back four.
Ten minutes in, another excellent save by Young stopped United taking a deserved lead. Dan Spence exchanged passes with Wishart on the left, the United left-back's cross falling invitingly back to Wishart but his sliced volley span nicely to Young in the Telford goal.
It was the 69th minute before a real noteworthy second half chance came for the visitors, substitute Adam Proudlock's cross from the left being flicked over Arnold by Phil Trainer but the ball landed on the roof of the net. Just two minutes later Proudlock found himself through on goal only for Arnold to block at his feet and the ball was cleared away to safety.
Six minutes remained when Spence exchanged passes with substitute Piero Mingoia on the left, the final ball sending the United left-back into the six yard box where Young did well to block out his close range shot with an outstretched leg. Still the ten men of United pushed for that vital breakthrough, Julian Owusu's centre was put over by Moutaouakil and a deeply hit Hand free-kick nearly embarrassed Young as he caught the ball at full stretch between the angle of bar and post.
The final say could however have gone to the visitors in stoppage time as Salmon's inswinging cross was met by Marlon Jackson in a crowded area, his header thankfully was well wide of the target and both sides ended with a share of the points.
Report by Kevin Watts.
United Man of the Match: Tom Cadmore.
Highlights courtesy of FC Video here.