Hayes & Yeading’s habit of conceding late goals continued this afternoon at Holloways Park as a stoppage time David Pratt header robbed United of what would have been an excellent and fully deserved point against League leaders Chippenham Town.
United started well against the leagues’ top team and new striker Ramone Rose almost made his mark on two occasions in the opening five minutes. His first effort saw him get head to an Anthony Edgar centre and when the visitors ‘keeper Darren Chitty parried the ball away it fell to Graeme Montgomery who saw his follow up effort cleared off the line by Greg Tindle. Two minutes later Rose again met a centre with his head, this time from a Ryan Hope free-kick, but his header went the wrong side of the post.
Chippenham’s first forward push of significance came in the 11th minute when a free-kick from halfway found Will Richards who advanced into the box and hit a shot that took a deflection before Danny Boness pushed it away to safety. Shortly after Rose picked out Edgar with a low centre, the United man’s first time shot being held low down by Chitty.
After the early chances for both sides, it was not until the 32nd minute that another close shave came, Matt Jones collected the ball in the middle of the park for the visitors and advanced towards the United box before hitting a shot from distance that glanced wide off the outside of the post.
The table toppers started to push on and twice went close as the half drew towards its conclusion, firstly a free-kick from the left found Tindle but he headed wide and then a through ball over the top to David Pratt saw the striker outpace Darren Locke before firing across goal with the ball just evading the sliding Jake Andrews.
The deadlock was finally broken in stoppage time, and it was United who found the net. Connor Toomey played the ball across the field to Hope, he fed it inside to Karl Stevenson who played it forwards to Rose who took a touch and fired past Chitty into the corner of the net from 20 yards.
The second half didn’t look to have started well for United as just six minutes in the visitors were unbelievably awarded a penalty when an attempt to clear the ball over his own head saw the ball strike the same players arm, how that constitutes deliberate handball I really don’t know. Pratt stepped up to take the penalty and despite being well struck, Boness selected correctly and got down well to push the kick away, many would say justice prevailed on this occasion.
Boness was soon in action again, saving low from Pratt and then Matt Smith within seconds of each other before a break at the other end saw the post deny United a second, Edgar beating Chitty at the angle from 20 yards only for the ball to come straight back off the upright to a defender who cleared his lines.
Chitty was required again minutes later when Stevenson chipped the ball in to Montgomery who tried to loft the ball over the stopper who caught it at full stretch under his own crossbar.
Seven minutes from time the visitors pulled the game level, Richards rising almost unchallenged to thump home a header from a right sided corner kick.
Stoppage time brought two real chances and it shows how things go for you when you’re at the top and against you when you’re at the bottom. The first saw the visitors take the lead when Dan Bowman was given far too much space to advance from his right-back slot, his centre being flicked into the far top corner by Pratt. In the fifth minute of stoppage time United had the ball bouncing in and around the Chippenham box with it finally falling to substitute Dylan Kearney at the far post but his effort went narrowly wide of the post and referee Atkin brought the game to its conclusion.
Report by Kevin Watts.
United Man of the Match: Danny Boness.
Print the Teamsheet: Here.