Hayes & Yeading United were knocked out of the Allied Counties League Cup by Thatcham Town in an entertaining game at Waterside Park.
After a slow start to the match, the home side carved out the first opening when James Meagrow’s throughball found Tom Mahoney and he beat the offside trap but not Alex Tokarczyk who blocked his shot.
Bobby Cumber had United’s first effort on target, a 25 yard free kick which Aidan Waters caught comfortably before Thatcham’s star of the show, Carl Self curled in a free kick which Carl Prestidge got his head to but couldn’t get on target.
United took the lead soon afterwards. George Isaac latched onto a long ball and although he was tackled, this wrongfooted Waters and Isaac was able to take the ball around him and tap it into an empty net.
Thatcham went quickly in search of an equaliser and Prestidge shot straight at Tokarczyk after James O’Docherty had played him beyond the visitors’ defence. Then Self had two shots in quick succession blocked by United defenders before play quickly switched to the other end and Dean Worman laid the ball off to Cunningham who shot just wide from outside the area.
Isaac almost doubled his tally just before half time. James Nortey-Silke played the ball down the right hand side and Maccabee Thomas crossed for Isaac. Although the winger was able to control the ball, he could only fire straight at Waters.
The two sides traded early blows after half time as Worman’s shot just cleared the crossbar before Andre James cleared O’Docherty’s shot off the line following Self’s corner.
A spell of five minutes soon afterwards saw the game take several twists and turns. Salt fired a shot towards goal and although Tokarczyk was just able to keep his shot out, substitute Connor Southgate was on hand to tap in an equaliser.
With United still reeling, Mahoney beat the offside trap to get in behind the defence and finish confidently to put Thatcham 2-1 up.
But as the players were still celebrating, their defence switched off and Bobby Cumber’s free kick was headed out weakly by Adam Patrick allowing Mitchell Dunstall to volley into the top corner from the edge of the area to make the score 2-2.
Self capitalised on Nortey-Silke’s error to fire a lofted shot just past the far post before Cunningham and Patrick got in a tangle on the edge of the Thatcham area and the ball broke to Isaac, but his shot was comfortably held by Waters.
In the 77th minute, Thatcham assumed control as Self crashed home a free kick via a wicked deflection off the United wall which took it beyond Tokarczyk’s reach.
Tomas Jansons went close from another Bobby Cumber free kick but Waters scrambled his shot away, before Self fired just wide for Thatcham.
And with United pushing forward in search of an equaliser, Meagrow took advantage of the extra space in defence and raced clear to finish the tie with a long shot in stoppage time.
Report by Nick Bell. Photos by Ray Peploe.
United Man of the Match: George Isaac.