Hayes & Yeading United became the latest winners of the Capital League President's Cup on a warm afternoon at AFC Hornchurch, beating Needham Market by two goals to nil.
On a dry, bumpy pitch, conditions weren’t perfect, but nonetheless, a combative and fast paced match ensued. Needham Market had the first sighting of goal as Thomas Dew’s low centre was only partially cut out by Elvijs Putnins, but Ryan Charles’s shot was blocked by Luke Bersey.
Harry Pearse had United’s first effort on goal when he was found on the left hand side by Luke Williams, but his shot didn’t trouble keeper Floyd Croll.
The dangerous looking Charles hit another shot across goal after latching onto a long ball, but it was United who took the lead on 26 minutes. A long Bersey free kick was collected by Harry Tew-Robinson, and although his lay off took an odd bounce, Williams controlled his low volley excellently and it found the bottom corner of the net beyond a well beaten Croll.
This gave United all the momentum. Omar Mohammed played the ball into Tew-Robinson’s feet and again, the young forward found Williams with a lay off only for this shot to roll wide of the goal. Then Williams got to the left byeline and cut the ball back to Brendan Cowell. His shot was very bravely blocked by Croll and the rebound was hit over the bar by Tew-Robinson.
United made their pressure felt and doubled their lead on 38 minutes as Tew-Robinson made a smart turn in a tight space on the byeline and cut the ball back to Pearse who slotted it into the bottom corner.
Needham Market rallied before half time as Charles sent in two dangerous, almost identical low crosses, the first was skyed by the onrushing Dew and the second was cleared just over his own crossbar by Andrew Dean.
Unfortunately, just before half time, Needham Market player Jordan Dye received a serious head wound. There was a great deal of concern for his health for some time and an ambulance was called. Credit goes to everyone who came to his aid, both those at the ground initially and the ambulance staff who quite rightly took their time to ensure he had the best care possible before being taken to hospital. Announcements were made assuring everyone in the ground that Jordan was conscious and that the extent of the wound was the main concern. Everyone at Hayes & Yeading United FC wish Jordan a speedy recovery.
Because of the timing of the delay, having consulted both managers, referee Mr Stephen Tate took the logical decision to call half-time and this was extended to allow the ambulance staff all the time they needed. In all there was a 40 minute wait until the second half began.
United resumed general control although the first chance fell to Needham Market as Stefan Tomasevic sliced a Dew pass into Elliott Crowe’s path but the forward pulled his shot wide of the far post.
Williams was soon tormenting the opposing defence once more as he dispossessed Kieran Morphew before firing just wide with a rising shot. After a corner wasn’t fully cleared, Putnins was called into action once more as Harrison Ford found Connor Corrick with a pass and the defender’s shot was easily collected by a low dive to the keeper’s left.
Tew-Robinson and Williams continued to create openings for United. Pearse benefitted but hit his shot straight at Croll before Jack Thomson-Wheeler got on the end of a Tew-Robinson cross but headed the ball into Croll’s hands.
Thomson-Wheeler came closer with a long shot soon afterwards, a 25 yarder which Croll had to dive to his left to push away, before Tew-Robinson had his own shot blocked by Croll after he advanced strongly on the left channel.
Tomasevic had a header cleared off the line by Brendan Heath on the goal line following a Pearse corner as United continued their domination until the end. However, Needham Market were given one more chance on goal as Charles put Sam Thrower through on goal, only for his shot to be saved thanks to Putnins’s sharp reactions diving to his right. Straight from the keeper’s clearance, play switched to the other end and Cowell hit a shot from an acute angle which Croll blocked.
However, there were no more goals and so United’s reserve side claimed a welcome piece of silverware for manager Delroy Preddie.
Report by Nick Bell.
United Man of the Match: Harry Tew-Robinson.