Hayes & Yeading lost out by the odd goal in five at The Impact Arena against fellow strugglers Alfreton Town, with four of the goals coming in a frantic spell of time added on at the end of the game and in all honesty the result was nothing less than ten man Alfreton deserved.
Nas Bashir gave debuts in the two full-back positions to recent arrivals Callum Morris and Curtis Wynter while Fulham loanee Corey Gameiro had to settle for a place on the United bench.
Alfreton were to take the game to United in the opening half hour with the first chance coming in just the 7th minute when a well timed sliding block by Callum Morris stopped an Anthony Church drive from troubling Carl Pentney in the United goal.
Jake Moult then collected a Tom Cadmore
clearance and advanced into the United box on the right before shooting for the near post but his effort was just wide of the target. Connor Franklin then crossed from the left to Anthony Wilson who despite beating Cadmore in the air he could not direct his header at the goal.
Pentney was needed in the 20th minute when Paul Clayton flicked the ball on for Nathan Arnold to run into the United area, the United stopper tipping his effort onto the post and wide. The resultant corner kick was met by the head of Greg Young but Pentney held on comfortably.
United's first shot in anger came in the 29th minute from Louie Soares but it was well wide of the target.
Two minutes later what should have proved a key turning point in the game came when a tackle for the ball between our own Luke Williams and James Mullan saw the Alfreton player twice kick out at the United man, just a tad obvious with those bright yellow boots, and referee Bankes promptly pulled out a straight red card reducing the home side to ten men.
United did pick up some possession for the remainder of the half and after Soares had fired wide from 20 yards, United's best chance of the half saw Richard Pacquette get to a throughball before the on-coming Joe Day in the Alfreton goal, the United striker's lob being tipped firmly enough to take it wide of the target.
As we entered stoppage time at the end of the first half, a long punt upfield by the home side saw Clayton again flick the ball on, this time to Wilson who fired across Pentney's goal and wide of the far post. Almost immediately at the other end a deep Morris cross was retrieved at the far post by Pacquette who returned it to the in-coming Soares but his diving header was held by Day and we went in at the break scoreless.
With a man advantage for the next 45 minutes it was expected that United would fall into a passing rhythm and move the ball about the park as we've seen so many times this season, sadly this was not to be the case and it was the ten man home side who really played as if they had the extra man. This was evident in the 50th minute when Morris was ruled to have tripped Moult inside the area and a penalty was awarded. Church stepped up only for Pentney to guess correctly and push his kick away with Franklin heading the rebound over the top.
Far from being a wake up call for the visitors, it was still the ten man home side pushing for the opener, Pentney saved well from a Theo Streete volley and then just after the hour mark, Wilson hit a shot at the far post that was deflected onto the post with the rebound falling to Arnold who fired wide although in the process Pentney had picked up an injury that was to see him replaced soon after. Sadly not before Arnold had given the home side a deserved lead when he broke down the right and fired a shot past the limping United keeper from 18 yards.
Even after going behind, United really didn't impose themselves on the game while chances were still coming form the home side. Replacement keeper Delroy Preddie was soon in action, firstly having to keep out a Wilson shot that was then scrambled wide before racing from goal to challenge for the ball by the touchline, bringing down his man in the process and receiving a caution for his actions.
Preddie was soon in action again as Robert Eagle received the ball on the left and hit a shot that forced the United keeper to push his effort around the post.
Then we get to stoppage time, and somehow four more goals. First to hit the net was Alfreton's Arnold, sadly for him it was his own net as he fired a goalline clearance of Williams header straight back past Day to cancel out his own earlier strike.
Within minutes though Alfreton were back ahead as Arnold broke down the left before picking out Moult who fired past Preddie from ten yards to put the home side back ahead. This lead was only to last a few seconds however as virtually straight from the kick off, Soares hit a screamer from 30 yards that flew past Day to once again pull United level.
The point was not to be though as the home side went straight back down the other end and having earned a corner kick, Moult's dead ball picked out Nathan Jarman who headed through the crowd at the near post to give his side a deserved three points and leave the United fans and players in a low mood for the journey home.
Report by Kevin Watts.
Photos by Ray Peploe.
United Man of the Match: Curtis Ujah.
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