The long awaited Presidents’ Challenge Cup Quarter Final match between Redbridge and Hayes & Yeading United proved to be a disappointing encounter, although Hayes & Yeading United did net a comfortable victory.
A wet evening on a bumpy pitch with a swirling wind meant conditions for passing football were difficult and for much of the match, both sets of players were finding it difficult to keep the ball under control, with the superior technique of the United players proving the overriding factor in the scoreline.
United went close first when Toby Little shot from midfield but Redbridge keeper James Marrable comfortably caught his rising shot.
Little’s corner soon afterwards was met by Robert Gradwell but his close range effort was blocked by Marrable. However, Little was to earn United a fortuitous opener on 18 minutes when his wayward long range shot cannoned off team mate Tom Woodbridge and the ball spun back across keeper Marrable and into the net.
Mark Nougher had Redbridge’s first shot at goal on 28 minutes but he screwed his shot well wide after Charlie Wassmer had half cleared Myrie Allen’s cross. United responded with a route one effort as Little flicked on Chris Baker’s long punt down field and a one two between Gradwell and Woodbridge led to Gradwell shooting straight at Marrable.
Little was again the orchestrator as United stretched their lead in the 34th minute. It was his pass to Josh Andrew on the right wing which started the move and Andrew advanced before slipping the ball through to Andrejs Štolcers. The Latvian midfielder turned neatly before rolling the ball into the far corner past Marrable.
Chuck Duru had a great chance to pull one back before half time, but Baker was quick to dive bravely at his feet to deny the striker after he had been put clear by strike partner Elliott Scott.
The second half really deteriorated in entertainment value. Scott hit a long range shot well over before he and Duru were both replaced in a double substitution. Soon afterwards, Nathan Webb hit a pinpoint long range pass to Andrew and although Marrable was able to palm his angled shot away, he did so right into the path of Gradwell who couldn’t miss with an open goal ahead of him.
With the game over as a contest, a rather dour midfield battle ensued. Towards the end of the match Matthew Donovan got a shot on target through a crowded penalty area but Baker managed to turn his shot wide.
And with just three minutes remaining, a short goal kick from Baker went wrong as Wassmer was caught in possession by substitute Bradley Ross who slotted the ball into the net beyond Baker’s despairing dive.
It was in vain however, as it was United who were to earn a semi final tie against Harrow Borough.
Report by Nick Bell. Photos by Ray Peploe.
United Man of the Match: Toby Little.