Hayes & Yeading’s post-Christmas blues continued on Sunday as a one goal lead against second bottom Weston-super-Mare turned into defeat at York Road in a game that also saw two red cards, one apiece.
United, fielding newly signed striker David Moli alongside Nathan Elder up front were a little slow getting started as the visitors pace in attack tool the game to Phil Babb’s side in the opening minutes with Grant Smith twice having to save shots from distance, first from Dayle Grubb a then from Ollie Watkins.
United’s first strike at goal also came in the opening ten minutes as David Moli played the ball right to Greg Morgan whose first time shot forced Weston ‘keeper Luke Purnell to save diving low.
On 13 minutes Smith was again in action as Watkins burst past Lewis Ferrell into the United box and advanced into the six yard box with the United stopper diving sharply at the strikers feet to grasp the ball.
Six minutes later the deadlock was broken in somewhat comical fashion. Rhys Murrell-Williamson broke past his marker on the left side of the box and crossed low to Nathan Elder whose weak goal bound flick should have been cleared off the line by Jacob Kane who seemed to get his feet mixed up and could only help the ball into the net.
Just after the half hour mark, an excellent cross-field pass from Murrell-Williamson picked out Greg Morgan who outpaced Jake Llewellyn before firing a low cross through the six yard box that no red boot reacted quickly enough too and the ball flew out beyond the far post.
Minutes later Moli collected the ball on the right and with a nifty foot shift raced between two defenders and hit a curling shot that missed the far corner by a fraction with Purnell rooted to the spot.
Sadly this was pretty much the last time Purnell’s goal was seriously threatened and within sixty seconds the visitors were level. Watkins cross from the left was met in the middle by Dean Inman, his headed clearance going straight to Weston striker Matt Jay who smashed the ball back low through a crowded area and past Smith.
In stoppage time Smith kept the scores level with a fine save diving to his right to keep out a Watkins effort that looked to be squeezing in the bottom corner.
As the temperature dropped on the terraces so did it on the pitch in the second half as chances became a rarity. An early chance for the visitors saw Watkins and Jay combine again, the latter stooping to head the ball away from Inman’s challenge before hitting a volley that Smith did well to hold on to.
What was to prove to be the winner came just after the hour mark, Jay sliding the ball through to an on-coming Grubb who fired confidently past Smith from just inside the United box.
Minutes later it could have been worse for the home side as Tom Jordan’s headed clearance was picked up by Jay who in turn found Joe McClennan, he ran at the United back-line before picking out Watkins on the left, his cross deflected off Matt Ruby’s challenge before looping over Smith and right across the face of the United goal before being cleared from beyond the far post.
With just under 20 minutes to play United were given hope when Grubb reacted violently and knocked Ferrell to the ground right in front of referee Steven Plane who had no hesitation in dismissing the Weston playmaker.
Unfortunately, even against ten men United could not really create a clear opening with the Jordan marshalled Seagulls defence really holding control over the United attack. In fact the last real opening of the game fell to the ten men on 80 minutes when Kane broke free from his own half and found McClennan who saw his driven shot pushed away by the diving Smith.
To make United’s day “complete”, Matty Harriott became the second player in the game to see red when he was cautioned for a second time deep into stoppage time leaving both sides to play the final minute of so with ten men as the visitors maintained control in the corners to take the three points back to Somerset with them.
Report by Kevin Watts.
Photos by Ray Peploe.
United Man of the Match: Rhys Murrell-Williamson.
Print the Teamsheet: Here.