Hayes & Yeading United were just seconds away from a second victory at Kingfield when Bath substitute Scott Murray scored an equaliser for the visitors, thus cancelling out Richard Pacquette’s opener from first half stoppage time.
United started well and in just the sixth minute Louie Soares met a Luke Williams corner from the right only for his header to be cleared off the line by Bath’s Gary Mills.
On the quarter hour mark the visitors created a good opening of their own when a cross field ball picked out left-back Paul Stonehouse who hit a low slider which zipped off the greasy surface but was pushed away by Steve Arnold.
Minutes later play had again switched ends and this time it was United left-back Diak John who was raiding as he ran onto a loose ball in the area only for his shot to be blocked by a well timed Sekani Simpson challenge.
With play being confined to central areas, it was nearly 20 minutes before another opening arose as Marley Watkins made space for himself on the edge of the Hayes & Yeading area it took a well timed Mark Bentley challenge to deflect his effort away from goal.
The visitors were still pressing forwards and when Simpson chased down and caught a long ball down the right channel it required a perfectly timed sliding block by Arnold on the edge of his box to push the ball away to safety.
As we entered first half stoppage time a goalless first half looked a certainty, cue Ryan Crockford. Jamie Hand won possession 30 yards from goal and as the ball fell to Crockford he hit a dipping shot that flew over Garner and struck the underside of the Bath crossbar, Richard Pacquette was quickest to react and controlled the ball before rolling it into the net to give United the lead.
The introduction soon after the break of Scott Murray by visiting manager Adie Britton seemed to spark Bath into life and it was to be through him that most of the visitors attacks flowed.
Murray had been on the field less than 60 seconds when he ran onto an Adam Connolly throughball, his shot being pushed wide by Arnold. The resultant corner was recovered beyond the far post by Lewis Hogg, his centre flying goalwards forcing Arnold to tip it over.
Just over 15 minutes remained and a surge forwards by Williams for United created a good opening for our own substitute Nathan Elder but he screwed his effort well wide of the target.
Eight minutes remained when Arnold pulled off the save of the game. Again Murray was given space to raid on the left, he cut into the area and curled a shot that looked to be heading for the far corner but for the fingertips of Arnold who dived full stretch to keep his goal intact.
An 89th minute opening for Soares could have ended the visitors fight but he fired across goal and wide from just inside the box.
Then, in the fourth minute of stoppage time time Murray final got just rewards for his efforts as he again found time to collect the ball and advance into the area, this time with a bit more curl he slid the ball past Arnold’s despairing dive, with it going just inside the far post.
Report by Kevin Watts.
Photos by Ray Peploe.
United Man of the Match: Steve Arnold.
Highlights courtesy of FC Video here.