Hayes & Yeading United failed to notch a first Middlesex Senior Cup Final victory as holders Staines Town took the spoils by the odd goal in five at Earlsmead on Easter Monday.
With Blue Square Bet Premier participation for next season assured, it was a little surprising that Manager Garry Haylock started with just four of the players that had been in his starting XI at Cambridge 48 hours earlier, although injuries and tiredness I'm sure played a part.
Things could not have got off to a worse start for United either as the holders took the lead after just 78 seconds. A corner from the right by Rene Steer was helped on by Richard Orlu which gave Howard Newton the space to leap above his marker to head beyond Shane McWeeney in the United goal.
United’s first shot at Louis Wells’ goal came a couple of minutes later with Jack Pattison advancing from full-back to fire a 20 yard effort inches wide of the target. The equaliser was only a couple of minutes away though as skipper Tom Cadmore powered a Joel Jacobs corner past Wells.
Sadly for United the scores were not level long as another Staines corner caused problems for the United defence, McWeeney missing his punch which gave Orlu the simplest of headers into the net to restore the Swans advantage.
United immediately started to push for a second, Daniel Wishart held off his marker before hitting the ball across the area but just out of the reach of Lewis Ferrell who was playing in an unfamiliar midfield role. Ferrell himself returned the compliment minutes later by feeding the ball to Wishart who hit a shot on the turn that Wells was down sharply to grab.
Possession then switched back to the other end and two good chances went astray for the Swans. Skipper Andre Scarlett fired a free-kick around the wall from 25 yards, only just missing the target and then yet another corner caused problems, this time Steer’s low centre found Marion Ifura but he blazed over when well placed.
One further chance came for each side before the break. Cadmore flicked on another accurate Jacobs corner to Adam Bygrave but his shot was well wide of the target and at the other end Newton dived full length to get his head to a Warren Harris cross but again the target was missed.
United were spending a lot of time in the Swans half after the break and the first real chance saw Wishart head a Jacobs corner over from close range, the United under 18 defenders corner kick’s proving difficult to defend for the Swans. At the other end of the park, Newton went close to notching his second, having made space just outside the box he hit a shot that was only just wide of McWeeney’s goal.
Hayes & Yeading did finally square the game on 66 minutes when Lee Brown and Nathan Webb combined to pick out Andy Yiadom in the area, his smart turn brought a trip from James King and referee Mr Rea pointed to the spot with Brown converting comfortably by sending Wells the wrong way.
Rather than ignite a United surge, the goal seemed to galvanise the Swans who started to finally find some forward motion of their own. Former United reserve Alex Duffy, on as a substitute for Staines swung in a free-kick that was flicked goalwards but turned over by McSweeney. Five minutes later, another precise Duffy delivery was dragged down by Newton who forced a fine diving save from McWeeney with Bygrave doing the clean up.
Just four minutes remained when the Swans hit what turned out to be the winner and not surprisingly it was once again Newton on the scoresheet as he was given space to move along the edge of the area before cutting the ball back against his run into the opposite corner of McWeeney’s net.
United did have two chances to reply before the final whistle, both engineered by substitute Esmond James who was making his first appearance after 13 months out with injury, and both falling to under 18s top scorer George Isaac on his first team debut. The first effort saw Isaac try an over shoulder volley from a James corner which went wide, the second saw a neat chip through by James and the United striker beat Wells to the ball, lofting it over his head but Scarlett was quick enough to punt it over the bar as it headed goalwards.
The final shot in anger came from the Swans as their own under 18 striker Mario Quiassaca tried his luck from 25 yards, the ball whistling past McWeeney’s post.
Report by Kevin Watts.
Photos by Ray Peploe.
United Man of the Match: Phil Appiah.