Hayes & Yeading United fell to defeat at Kingfield on Saturday as Southport came south and returned home with all three points courtesy of a goal in each half as United failed to score for the first time in a Blue Square Premier game since the end of November.
Manager Nas Bashir made two changes to the starting XI that had defeated Darlington four days earlier as Luke Williams returned from injury in place of Dwane Lee and new signing Nathan Koo-Boothe came in for Tom Collins. Another new arrival Tyrone Berry took a seat on the bench.
Hayes & Yeading actually started brightly and on seven minutes Luke Williams made his way down the right flank before pulling the ball back to Phil Walsh who volleyed over from ten yards. Five minutes later a Jamie Hand free-kick to the far post was met by Pelé but his header back across goal was well wide of the far post.
Just before the 20 minute mark United were indebted to keeper Carl Pentney who twice in quick succession kept the Sandgrounders at bay. A cross-field pass to Shaun Whalley saw the experienced Southport man cut inside and unleash a shot that Pentney tipped wide at full stretch. The resultant corner was worked back inside to Karl Ledsham, his close range drive from a tight angle being pushed wide by the United keeper.
Minutes later Southport showed their main weapon as Andy Owens launched a massive long throw that Nathan Koo-Boothe could only help on towards his own goal, Pentney saving his debut blushes with a fine catch high above his head.
United's goal remained intact sadly for just two further minutes. Whalley fired in a free-kick from the right side of the area and Steve Akrigg was on hand to head home at the far post from about three inches.
The half really deteriorated play wise after this as United's passing game struggled to get a foothold on the heavy pitch while the visitors resorted to a game of "hoof ball" as everything from the back just seemed to launch itself over the midfield area of the pitch, as a result nothing noteworthy really happed for the remainder of the half.
Nas made a change at half-time as Tyrone Berry entered the fray in place of Julian Owusu who had limped of the previous game before the break with an injury. United did create the first chance of the half as Daniel Wishart's corner was back-heeled goalwards by Tom Cadmore but McMillan was comfortable in gathering the ball into his arms.
It was just past the hour mark when the home side finally forced a serious save out of McMillan. Williams exchanged passes with Walsh before hitting a dipping shot from 20 yards that the Sandgrounders keeper did well to push over the crossbar. Minutes later Williams was involved again as he touched the ball to Cadmore from a free-kick and the United defender drove the ball goalwards only for McMillan to dive and save at the foot of his upright.
From testing the Southport defence twice it was quite a surprise when almost immediately the score became 2-0 as Tony Gray chipped the ball neatly into Sam Sheridan's run and he drilled in a first time shot that gave Pentney little or no chance.
Seconds later controversy reined as an airborne two footed lunge by Southport's Andy Parry was amazingly only met with a yellow card from referee Mr Bull when everybody in the ground must have expected red in today's climate.
The action hit a real lull again, in similar fashion to the first half, only really coming back to life in the dying minutes. Four minutes from time an inswinging corner that would have crept in at the far post was headed out from under his own crossbar by Yassin Moutaouakil to deny Southport a third and at the other end Williams twice tried his luck, the first going wide of the far post and the second taking a deflection of a defender before lopping over.
Report by Kevin Watts.
Photos by Ray Peploe.
Sponsors United Man of the Match:
Luke Williams (below).
Highlights courtesy of FC Video here.