A late equaliser from Emmanuel Monthe earned Hayes and Yeading United's reserve side a point in an entertaining and even game against St Albans City at Clarence Park.
Hayes and Yeading asserted themselves early, enjoying a lengthy stay in the opposition half. One notable move saw Ashleigh Artwell feed Rhys Murrell-Williamson on the left and he cut inside across the pitch, playing a one-two with Chinedu Vine before plaing in the overlapping Colin Mugoya. His low centre was met by Vine who hit a powerful shot which came back off the post, although the assistant's flag would have denied him a goal anyway.
A short while later, St Albans keeper Felix Hull charged out to clear the ball under pressure from Vine but his effort was hit back over his head first time by Artwell who was unlucky to watch his firm shot cannon back off the bar from 30 yards away.
On 11 minutes, with their first shot on goal, the Saints took the lead. Akim Akinbinu showed good skill to beat Mugoya on the bye-line and his low centre was turned in at close range by Jordy Ndjeka. A second blow came soon afterwards when the lively Artwell had to leave the game with an injury and he was replaced by triallist striker Chris Manangu, forcing a reshuffle.
It took a while for United to settle back into their stride and the defence were grateful to George Upton for his speed off his line, as he blocked Alex Yearwood's shot in a one on one situation, although the rebound fell straight back at the forward's feet, and when his chip cleared Upton, Conor Tierney was able to get back and head clear off the line.
St Albans grew in confidence and a swift move down the right created the next chance as Yearwood's deep cross was seized upon by Alex Levy and he showed great technique in laying the ball off to Ndjeka, who fired just over from 15 yards. United responded and a long Josiah Benjamin ball produced an aerial challenge for Manangu and both St Albans centre halves, the loose ball landing perfectly for Murrell-Williamson whose shot was well blocked by Hull's feet. However, play hit a lull and St Albans went in at the break still a goal to the good.
That didn't last long. In fact just 51 seconds after the restart, the scores were level. Reshan Rapheal dwelt on the ball in the left back position for too long and was pickpocketed by Vine. He accelerated through two rather half hearted challenges but was met by Hull. However the keeper fumbled the ball right back to him and he had the simple task of finding the empty net. Soon afterwards, on the other flank Tierney fed the ball to Murrell-Williamson and he got into top gear ghosting through the Saints' defence before unleashing a fierce shot which Hull did well to keep out, low to his left.
The hosts responded as Yearwood got in behind the defence, but he shot straight at Upton and was foiled by his alert keeping twice again in quick succession, first exerting enough pressure to force a hurried and wayward and then racing clear of his box to intercept and execute a well timed tackle. In the meantime, Murrell-Williamson continued to get into his stride with two dangerous crosses across goal, Monthe headed a Dominic Green corner just over the bar and Gary MacDonald hit a 30 yard free kick firmly, but straight at Hull. Then Hull produced a fine save to deny Vine who hit the ball sweetly after good work by newly arrived substitute, Chris Rose.
The way that play was developing, there was bound to be a goal sooner or later and it was the home side who cashed in. Levy punted a high ball into the box and under pressure, Monthe headed the ball in the air. Rushing onto it was Mayowa Ayonkoya who headed the ball into the corner of the net beyond Upton.
United showed pleasing determination not to let the game peter out as Hull produced two more cracking saves to deny both Vine and Murrell-Williamson with his fingertips but United got their deserved equaliser with just a minute remaining, Monthe heading in from a corner inside the six yard box.
Report by Nick Bell.
United Man of the Match: George Upton.