Hayes & Yeading United Football Club

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1st Team Match Report

AFC Rushden & D. 0
Hayes & Yeading Utd

A Laste Dombaxe first half goal and a save of the season by Zaki Oualah was the difference as Hayes and Yeading United put in one of their finest performances of the season to do the double over League leaders AFC Rushden and Diamonds.

For the match United made several changes from the Chalfont draw with Toby Little, Ola Olajubu and Kaan Fehmi dropping to the bench and Danny May was out injured. With Ryan Kinnane, Spyros Mentis, Ismael Ehui and club captain Tommy Smith starting in their place. Paul Hughes opted for a 4-4-2 formation instead of his usual 3-5-2.

As the match started both teams were clearly up for the top of the table clash with plenty of 50/50 tackles flying in with no team giving much away and after 20 minutes Rushden created the real first chance of the game as their striker Tom Lorraine headed over the bar from a free kick on the left.

United soon came into the game after this and started to create chances as Spyros Mentis found himself in a great position in the box but his shot was well blocked by a Rushden defender and from the resulting rebound handball was given against the United midfielder. Soon after Manny Duku came close as he out jumped everyone to meet a Scott Donnelly free kick that he headed powerfully but sadly the ball went over the bar.

Midway through the half United had their best spell of the match and started to dominate Rushden all over the pitch, nearly taking the lead after Donnelly's cross found Ismael Ehui on the six yard line only for the United striker to be denied by a last ditch tackle from a Rushden defender to keep the score level on 36 minutes.

Minutes later, a well timed 50/50 tackle by Donnelly released Mentis towards the Diamonds goal, his mazy run saw him beat several home defenders but his final effort was fired wide of the target.

On the stroke of half time United got the breakthrough they had deserved. It all started off with some great defending by club captain Tommy Smith who put a great sliding tackle in to deny Rushden's Ryan Robbins as he sized to shoot deep inside the United box. United then surged up the other end and after some good work down the right by Keano Robinson and the outstanding Mentis, Dombaxe received the ball on the edge of the D and his powerful shot was too much for Rushden keeper Ben Heath as his fingertips were not enough to stop the ball going into the bottom right corner to the delight of the red army behind the goal.

Sensing they had been second best in the first half Rushden came out very differently after half time putting lots of early pressure on the United defence with both their wingers Luke Fairlamb and Joel Gyasi causing all sorts of problems down the flanks.

On 57 minutes Rushden created their best chance of the game so far as their striker Robbins had a great headed chance from a corner only to fail to connect with it.

Soon after Rushden substitute Ross Oulton almost made an immediate impact as his run and cross had to be tipped over by United keeper Oualah after a ricochet in the box.

It was all Rushden by this stage and United had to breathe a sigh of relief when Robbins burst into the box and his powerful drive beat everyone except the post as it smashed back out and Ben Farrell blazed over the bar on the follow up, much to the relief of United players and fans alike.

With six minutes to go United’s Oualah produced an outstanding match winning save to deny Rushden an equaliser. A long throw-in by Sam Brown was launched deep into the United box, the ball was flicked on to Jack Westbrook whose powerful header looked all but certain to go in but somehow Oualah managed to tip it over one handed and at full stretch from underneath his own crossbar.

This really galvanised United and despite conceding several corners in the dying minutes they managed to defend heroically throwing bodies at everything much to Rushden's despair and it was United who nearly scored at the death as Duku's flick-on released substitute Sahr Kabba, the United strikers’ outstretched boot poked the ball past Heath but agonisingly wide of the target.

It didn't matter however as United saw out the game to secure an epic win over title favourites Rushden. The win moves United up to second with all eyes on Beaconsfield now who will be under pressure to win their games in hand before United travel back to our old temporary “home” for what is currently our penultimate fixture of the season.

Report by Rob Bitmead.

United Man of the Match: Zaki Oualah.

AFC Rushden & Diamonds
Hayes & Yeading United
Ben Heath
Half-Time: 0-1

Full-Time: 0-1

Referee: Mr S Tallis

Attendance: 433


AFC Rushden & Diamonds:

Hayes & Yeading United:
Dombaxe (45)
Zaki Oualah
Joe Curtis
Keano Robinson
Sam Brown
Priestly Farquharson
Jack Westbrook
Adam Cash
Liam Dolman ©
© Tom Smith
Jack Ashton
Ryan Kinnane
Joel Gyasi
Scott Donnelly
Ben Farrell
Laste Dombaxe
Tom Lorraine
Manny Duku
Ryan Robbins
Spyros Mentis
Luke Fairlamb
Ismael Ehui
Ben Ford
Ola Olajubu (for Robinson, 90)
John Dean
Kaan Fehmi
Callum Westwood (for Gyasi, 78)
Sahr Kabba (for I Ehui, 58)
Blaize Punter (for Ashton, 10)
Toby Little (for Cash, 66)
Ross Oulton (for Curtis, 58)
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