The players of both Camberley Town and Hayes & Yeading United showed remarkable discipline and professionalism despite challenging conditions in a match which Camberley won 2-1.
Camberley enjoyed a lot of possession in the opening exchanges, but their momentum towards goal, as was the pattern throughout the match, was halted by a remarkable amount of infringements called by the referee. It was the 14th minute before they were able to make headway and they took full advantage with two goals in quick succession, both scored by George Geoghan.
The first came from a Thomas Finnerty corner which found Kyle Wilkie at the far post and although his shot was successfully blocked, the ball landed at Geoghan’s feet and he converted a simple tap in.
Minutes later, another Finnerty cross led to a second goal as Luke Daley fumbled the ball into the grateful Geoghan’s path for another simple finish.
Shane Collins hit a weak shot into the side netting for the home team, but Hayes & Yeading United gradually got into the game, with Ryan Simpson and Jack Banks probing a high defensive line who were supremely proficient at deploying the offside trap. One such occasion that United got behind their line involved a neat exchange between Aristede Bassele and Aaron Harriott on the halfway line with Bassele racing down the right only for the ball to run away from him down the slope.
Bassele again got beyond the home team’s defences soon afterwards as Simpson’s ball landed at his feet, but the assistant referee helped out his marker Harrison Read who seemed almost as shocked as Bassele to receive a free-kick having been floored by a sublime piece of skill from the United man.
United enjoyed their best spell of the game at this point, earning a succession of corners. Simpson’s delivery was threatening and one such ball hit the spot as it gave Jeffrey Kimoto a tap in virtually on the goal line to reduce the arrears.
The game then lost its way as both teams were continually punished for foul play, even though the spirit and attitude of the players couldn’t discernibly be called into question. One such occasion saw Geoghan get beyond Adam Butler and get beaten to the ball by Daley who raced out of his goal and saw his clearance charged down. Without any appeal for a foul, this passage of play earned a free kick and a booking for Butler, even though if the infringement had occurred, advantage had already been played. The resulting free kick was blasted into the wall by the influential Geoghan and the rebound long shot from Finnerty, although firmly hit, was well held by Daley.
United finished the half strongly and were aided by a mix up between the officials which resulted in a United corner. Simpson had three goes at getting his delivery right and on the third the ball skidded through a crowded six yard box only to be blasted over by Harriott at the far post on the volley. Then Banks produced a long shot which Samuel Launey parried away with an aesthetically pleasing dive and from the resulting corner, the ball was cleared back to Simpson who volleyed a pass to David Femiola in front of goal. The defender hit the ball first time on target but straight at Launey.
United would’ve hoped to have carried this momentum into the second period and get back into the game but in all honesty, the remaining forty five minutes were disappointing entertainment. The players were not at fault as their endeavours and competitive approach were befitting of the game, but for whatever reason, play wasn’t able to develop in any particular pattern.
United found Camberley’s offside trap frustrating even more throughout the second half, as it was astonishingly effective, even to the point where players who were marked goal side or running between defenders and those not interfering with the approach play were being penalised. There was a running dialogue between some of the players with the officials which detracted from the spectacle and both sets of players showed remarkable restraint and respect on the numerous occasions where they couldn’t understand a call made, with only Kimoto picking up a deserved booking for two fouls in quick succession.
Daley comfortably fielded a Collins shot on the hour and moments later, he was beaten by Samuel Slater’s shot which deflected off Leonel Da Goma only to curl onto the post. United contributed to the best passage of play in the second half by going down the other end in a move orchestrated by Butler who strode out of defence and picked out Harriott on the left flank. The forward got around Luke Holmes before teeing up Bassele but his goalbound shot was well saved by Launey.
And that was it as far as goalmouth incident was concerned, except for a flick on by Lewis Cole from Andrew Dean’s cross which Launey had to deal with and managed to do so comfortably. The game then degenerated into a bitty, disjointed, stop-start midfield battle which if at any point started to look threatening towards either goal, was regularly stopped by more officiating which stifled the spectacle which was a real pity, considering the quality on show from both teams.
Report by Nick Bell. Photos by Ray Peploe.
United Man of the Match: Jeffrey Kimoto.