Under the stewardship of caretaker boss Tristan Lewis, Hayes & Yeading put in a solid all round performance at Gander Green Lane to bring three desperately needed points back to Beaconsfield Road on Saturday with an Adam Everitt volley just after the break being all that separated the two sides.
Chances throughout the whole 90 minutes were to be at a real premium although Hayes & Yeading did create an early opening when Kadell Daniel rose in the middle to meet a Lewis Ferrell centre but couldn’t get enough purchase on his header and the effort drifted harmlessly wide of the far post.
The best opening in the first quarter for the visitors came when Micky Spillane rolled a free-kick square to Shaun Cooper who let fly from 20 yards and only just cleared the recalled Grant Smith’s crossbar.
As the half time break approached, Smith did well when an Aaron Howe punt bounced to Dan Fitchett in the United box, Smith was out quickly and grabbed the bouncing ball as the striker went to touch it past him, receiving a knock in the process that led to a second lengthy break in play while he received treatment.
In the fifth minute of eight extra minutes, the home side should have taken the lead as a Bedsente Gomis cross from the left saw Kevin Amankwaah arrive at the far post only to put his effort into the side netting of Smith’s goal.
Tristan Lewis’s side came out with renewed fire after the break and chased the ball down immediately from the re-start. This forceful approach was to pay dividends after just three minutes when the U’s were pressurised into conceding a somewhat needless corner. Christian Smith took the out-swinging kick which was met powerfully on the volley by the arriving Adam Everitt and the ball crashed into the net before former United ‘keeper Howe could barely raise his hand (below right).
Fired up from conceding, Paul Doswell’s U’s were straight back at the United defence and Smith did well to haul in a curling effort from Spillane before Fitchett was played through on goal when Jamie White helped on another Howe punt, the United ‘keeper did well to stand up to his approach and under pressure from namesake Christian, Fitchett dragged his shot across the face of goal and wide of the far post.
For the final third of the game it was a real midfield battle with United defending the goal advantage stoutly and the home side not really looking able to break down the defensive wall in front of them. Another former United man in the form of Dale Binns did break into the United area to collect a Fitchett pass just after the hour mark but his driven shot from 8 yards out was well blocked by a flying Dean Inman.
Five minutes from time the non-stop running of Benyon created an opening for Luke Williams but Howe held onto his volley and then in the third minute of stoppage time the home side were reduced to ten men when Shaun Cooper was shown a straight red card by referee Fissenden for a lunge on young United substitute Dylan Kearney.
With stoppage time unbelievably ticking past eight minutes for the second time in the match, the final whistle finally arrived and it was Hayes & Yeading who secured a precious three points and a first victory of 2015.
Report by Kevin Watts.
Photos by Ray Peploe.
United Man of the Match: Elliot Benyon.