Hayes & Yeading continue to hover just above the precipice as two stunning Christian Smith free-kicks were not enough to take anything from Tuesday evening’s visit from high flying Gosport Borough as once again United were undone by a controversial penalty award.
The first half on a heavy York Road pitch was a somewhat turgid affair with little inventiveness shown by either side in the attacking sense although United did create an early opening as Greg Morgan advanced down the right and his cross was flicked goalwards by Elliot Benyon before being comfortably grasped by Borough ‘keeper Nathan Ashmore.
The best chance of the half fell to the visitors just before the 20 minute mark when Tom Dunford found Justin Bennett on the edge of the United area, his shot on the turn being superbly tipped over by Calum Kitscha at full stretch.
Bennett was to have the only other real chance of the half when he met a Dan Wooden centre but Kitscha was down quickly to save the strikers header.
Things were to liven up somewhat after the break but sadly for the second match running a lot hinged on a penalty given against and one refused for.
It took the visitors just five minutes to open the scoring as a cross from the right side was flicked into the bottom corner by Wooden which meant to get back into the game United would have to score against Gosport, something not achieved in the previous three meetings.
With the goal advantage the visitors started to push for another and only a fine Christian Smith block in the six yard box denied Sam Pearce who had run onto a training ground low corner to the edge of the box.
The second came in unfortunate circumstances for United skipper Dean Inman who dived to try and head clear a Wooden cross from the right but only succeeded in planting the ball into the corner of his own net.
Two minutes later though United were back in the game as Christian Smith hit a 20 yard free-kick Ashmore could not keep out despite getting a hand to the ball on its way into the net.
Sadly the next five minutes proved crucial when just minutes after pulling a goal back, Samir Bihmountine tangled Borough’s Wooden in the United box and despite the defender appearing to be fouled by Wooden, referee da Costa saw it the other way pointed to the penalty spot, even to the amazement of the travelling Gosport fans. With the kick awarded, Justin Bennett stepped up and struck his penalty past Kitscha.
Within a minute Mr da Costa had another penalty decision to make at the other end when Benyon appeared to be pushed over by Mike Carter while chasing a Wes Daly throughball only for the official to wave away United’s vehement protests.
United still continued to press forwards though with Benyon having a shot saved by Ashmore and Inman seeing a shot from close range loop over off Rory Williams’ outstretched boot.
United were given a little ray of hope with a couple of minutes left when Ashmore came to the edge of his box to gather the ball with Benyon is close attendance but was flagged for handling outside his area and referee da Costa deemed he had denied a goalscoring opportunity and brandished a red card.
With all subs used, and outfield player moved between the sticks and was immediately beaten by another well placed Christian Smith free-kick however despite six added minutes being played, the visitors held firm and United now face the final quarter of the season in desperate need of points to avoid another “relegation”.
Report by Kevin Watts.
United Man of the Match: Dean Inman.
Print the Teamsheet: Here.