Hayes & Yeading United Football Club

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Ebbsfleet United 1
Hayes & Yeading United

A stoppage time strike from substitute Toby Little gave a massive boost to Garry Haylock's side as it earned Hayes & Yeading a first ever Blue Square Premier victory after a goal apiece in the first six minutes had got the game off to a cracking start.

Hayes & Yeading got the perfect start at Stonebridge Road when Scott Fitzgerald chased down an errant back pass and held off keeper Lance Cronin on the left side of the area just long enough to make space and cross to the in-coming George Daly who leapt to volley home at the far post. Celebration sadly soon turned to despair as Ricky Shakes found striker Magno Vieira from the right, the frontman moving into the area before sliding the ball neatly past Simon Overland's dive to restore parity for the hosts.

The frenetic start to the game continued apace, just minutes after pulling level the visitors were indebted to Overland for a double save that kept the Fleet at bay. A right side cross from Ishmael Welsh was headed goalwards by Crystal Palace loanee Simon Thomas, Overland did well to push his effort away and was then quickly back in place to block Dean Pooley from five yards.

Minutes later an almost identical incident saw Pooley's header pushed out by Overland who again was quick to pounce on the follow-up, this time denying Vieira a second.

Still within the first 15 minutes it was Hayes & Yeading who should have taken the lead, Esmond James found Daly on the right flank, his cross was met firmly at the far post by Fitzgerald but sadly his effort was just wide of the target with Cronin well beaten. Just prior to a lull in proceedings the home side had a couple of half chances as Thomas headed wide when well placed and Overland did well to gather a Welsh shot that had come low through a crowd of players in his area.

The game then settled into a lengthy period where each defence was on top, in fact the only other real chance of the first period saw Overland again save from a long range Welsh effort.

The Fleet started brightly in the second period, Welsh beat Matt Ruby to the ball on the left side and crossed to man mountain Thomas who was well off target with his header. Just before the hour mark it was Hayes & Yeading on the march forwards, Marc Canham and substitute Ram Marwa worked a neat short corner before the ball was played into Adam Green in the area but his volley was too high to trouble Cronin.

Hayes & Yeading continued to push forwards and when a weak Binns corner was cleared straight back to him, the winger cut back to his left before crossing to the far post where Daly did well to reach the ball but could only provide a straightforward catch for Cronin.

Skipper Darius Charles was first to a free-kick for the Fleet but headed well wide before a long James Mulley throw was met by Fitzgerald who headed goalwards only for Cronin to push the effort out from right under his own crossbar and Charles was on hand to hack clear.

The home side went close nine minutes from time when Shakes raced inside Green and fired hard and low to the near post where Fleet substitute Scott Ginty met the ball on the volley but it was wide of Overland's goal.

From that chance onwards there only looked like one team that were going to take the spoils and that was Garry Haylock's side who finished by far the stronger. Two minutes remained and it looked as if a magnificent Cronin save had earned his side a point, Green's cross being met by Fitzgerald and his header looked destined for the top corner but for the fingertips of Cronin that took the ball onto the bar and over.

As the clock reached 90 it looked as if another golden chance to win the game had gone, Toby Little nutmegged Will Salmon before picking out fellow substitute Robert Gradwell who could not steer his shot inside the near post.

Two minutes later though Hayes & Yeading struck the fatal blow, Canham played the ball forwards to Marwa who played it forwards on the turn, Salmon totally scuffed his kick and the ball ran through to Little who coolly slotted past Cronin (pictured left) to seal a first ever maximum points in the Blue Square Premier for Middlesex's finest.

Report by Kevin Watts.

Photos by Ray Peploe.

United Man of the Match: Matt Ruby.

Ebbsfleet United
Hayes & Yeading United
Lance Cronin
Half-Time: 1-1

Full-Time: 1-2

Referee: Mr K Yeo

Attendance: 884


Ebbsfleet United:
Vieira (6)

Hayes & Yeading United:
Daly (3)
Little (90+2)

Simon Overland
Will Salmon
Danny Allen-Page
Jordan Collins
Adam Green
Gavin Heeroo
(c) Tom Cadmore
Dean Pooley
Matt Ruby
Magno Vieira
James Mulley
Ishmael Welsh
Marc Canham
Ricky Shakes
Scott Fitzgerald
Leon Crooks
Dale Binns
Darius Charles (c)
Esmond James
Simon Thomas
George Daly
Jamie Forshaw (for Shakes, 82)
Ram Marwa (for Allen-Page, 54)
Scott Ginty (for Vieira, 77)
Robert Gradwell (for James, 68)
Scott Shulton
Sami El-Abd
Chris Henry
Toby Little (for Daly, 82)
Matthew Lamprell
Delroy Preddie