Hayes & Yeading United moved into the fourth round of the Lucas Fettes Cup with a hard fought 2-1 victory over Walton & Hersham on a windy Monday evening at AFC Hayes.
United lined up without regular right-back Elliott Legg, who picked up an injury in a recent game at Ashford, this saw Leonel Da Goma switch to full-back with Adam Butler returning in the middle.
It was in fact our Surrey based visitors who started the game brighter, going close as early as the eighth minute when Grant Kelly tried his luck from fully 40 yards, his shot going just past the top corner of Luke Daley’s goal.
Minutes later United’s first sight of goal saw Aristede Bassele latch onto a poorly directed defensive header but his shot went just the wrong side of the upright.
Walton continued to push towards the United goal as the half progressed. A left wing cross was met on the volley by Jack Inkpen, forcing Daley to push out his effort which the United keeper grabbed at the second attempt. The impressive Tom Hall then made space for himself on the left of the area before rifling a shot that was just too high to trouble Daley.
Around the 20 minute mark a second opening came the home sides way as Aaron Harriott’s 20 yard effort bounced awkwardly over keeper Joe Garnett’s dive but went agonisingly wide of the target.
Walton should have taken the lead on the half hour when Hall found Billy Brazil on the right, he advanced into the United area and fired goalwards, Daley did well to push his shot away but the ball fell to the in-coming Ross Nunn but he fired over from 12 yards out.
Just two minutes later the deadlock was broken, by United. Andrew Dean’s quickly taken throw to Lewis Cole gave the United man space to feed the ball to Harriott, the big striker holding off two defenders before curling a shot past Garnett into the top corner of the Walton net.
This strike seemed to rock Walton back on their heels and the only other chance of the half again fell to the home side. Cole’s corner was flicked on at the near post and met at the far by Adam Butler, his diving header being blocked on the line and cleared to safety.
Buoyed by Harriott’s strike, it was United who came out in more positive fashion after the break. Skipper Jeffrey Kimoto sent Cole away on the left side, his low drive forcing a fine diving save from Garnett.
With Carron Moses-Holmes leaving the field injured on 59 minutes, it took replacement Riquel Samuels just ten minutes to put his stamp on the game. Kimoto played the ball forwards to the United substitute who put Jake Dowdeswell under sufficient pressure that the defender lofted the ball up over his own keeper for a spectacular own goal to double United’s lead.
Hayes & Yeading had chances to seal the tie in the next 15 minutes. Bassele attacked a throughball, his shot from just inside the area being pushed wide by Garnett. The resultant Cole corner was met by another United substitute, Prosper Ezewuzie, but his header went across the face of goal and wide of the far post.
Samuels then outstripped Dowdeswell again but his left foot drive dipped over the bar and minutes later United were lucky to survive when Emmanuel Ajayi touched off the ball to Hall, his drive beating Daley’s dive only to crash back off the upright.
Three minutes from time Walton earned a deserved lifeline when Ajayi’s shot was pushed away by Daley only for the ball to fall perfectly to Inkpen who rammed it home from close range.
Despite seeing a lot of the ball in the remaining minutes, including more than six of added time, Daley was rarely troubled although he did have to be alert to grab an Ezewuzie header that was heading goalwards.
United will now entertain Woking in the 4th round, a side with an unbeaten record in the Ryman Youth League although Walton & Hersham have twice held them to a draw this season.
Report by Kevin Watts. Photos by Ray Peploe.
United Man of the Match: Adam Butler.