Hayes & Yeading United came away from Chestnut Avenue with just a solitary point after two late Northwood strikes saw United’s second under 18s game end 3-3 on Thursday evening.
It couldn’t have started in worse fashion for United as in just the fourth minute a scuffed Luke Daley clearance went straight to Woods striker Luke Dunne who coolly slid the ball back into the United net from 12 yards.
Hayes & Yeading were soon on the front foot and went on to dominate the first half, Lionel Da Goma saw a shot from the edge of the box saved by a diving Max Easton and then on 21 minutes another goalkeeping error, this time by Easton saw United draw level. The Woods keeper having gathered the ball quickly threw it towards defender Louis Judge who unfortunately was looking away, this allowed Aristede Bassele to nip in and advance on goal before slipping the ball past Easton’s dive at the near post.
United nearly scored a quick second as Harriott outjumped his marker but in attempting to head over the advancing Easton saw the keeper leap and parry his effort at full stretch on the edge of the area before the danger was cleared.
Despite spending large amounts of time in the hosts half that vital second goal did not come before the break, not for want of trying though as three good chances were created in the last two minutes of the half.
Firstly, a Troy Timothy free-kick was headed narrowly wide by Bassele and then Timothy himself tried an audacious lob from fully 30 yards that only just cleared Easton’s crossbar. Right on the whistle, Harriott won the ball out on the left and fed Levi Fernandez, he worked his way past Michael Uche before crossing to Bassele who should have done better with his far post header that went wide of goal.
The second half was to be a much more even affair as the hosts came much more into the game although it was still United who started the better when just four minutes in Timothy and Fernandez combined on the left to pick out Umar Mansaray at the near post but he fired wide from close range.
Minutes later a misjudgement by Daley saw him come charging out for a ball that Dunne got to first, thankfully for the United keeper he managed to drive him wide and then as he cut back inside Daley produced a fine diving parry right on the edge of his area to deny Dunne a second of the evening.
United’s defence was again caught out minutes later when a long ball saw Adam Butler hesitate which allowed Northwood skipper Callum Wright to lob the ball over the advancing Daley only for Butler to chase back and head the goalbound effort out for a corner.
Daniel Gbadebo for Northwood and United’s Harriott both went close within a minute of each other while Da Goma was dispossessed by Wright who forced a diving stop from Daley with a 20 yard shot.
The deadlock was finally broken on 71 minutes with the two providers only having been thrown into the action by Simon East minutes before. A corner on the right side was swung in deep by Ryan Simpson, Butler did extremely well to head the ball back across from beyond the far post and Max Hubbard headed home from 6 yards to give Hayes & Yeading the edge.
Just seven minutes later the same pair of substitutes teamed up to net number three. This time Simpson’s corner was to the near post and after a close rnage shot was blocked the ball fell nicely to Hubbard who crashed home a left foot volley from just outside the area.
The young United side showed their inexperience by appearing to shut off at this point thinking the game was won and just two minutes later conceded a second as Woods substitute Nathan Henry was given space to advance from 35 yards out to the edge of the area where he moved the ball to his right foot before planting a shot past Daley into the bottom corner.
Five minutes later Bassele should have sealed the game but rather than pick out Harriott in the centre he went for an acute angled drive that went out on the far side for a throw-in. Then as the game approached stoppage time a needlessly conceded free-kick on the right bye-line earned the home side a deserved point when Lamin Cole’s kick was misjudged by Daley and sailed into the roof of the net, much to the Woods players’ astonishment.
The two sides will face each other again on 19th September, this time at United’s temporary Farm Park home, in the FA Youth Cup and if that game is as good as this one it should not be missed.
Report by Kevin Watts. Photos by Ray Peploe.
United Man of the Match: Andrew Dean.