Hayes & Yeading United Football Club

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HYUFC Hayes & Yeading Utd 1
Bracknell Town 0
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A Toby Little penalty was the difference between the teams sitting 1st and 2nd in the Bostik South Central table as Paul Hughes' Hayes & Yeading side moved to within five points (four with our goal difference) of lifting the title with a full six games left to get them.

The gaffer stuck with exactly the same team that had brushed South Park aside a week previous including substitutes for this table topper and as you would expect from two teams with 200 League goals between them this season, chances were going to come quickly and frequently.

The first came in just the third minute as both teams went close to breaking the deadlock within seconds of each other. The first chance fell to United as Elliot Benyon raced onto a Josh Chamberlain through ball only to slip at the vital moment, the ball was quickly pumped down to the other end and with Jack Smith coming to claim the ball, Ed Asafu-Adjaye headed it beyond his own 'keeper with the ball thankfully rolling just wide of the post.

Minutes later the visitors had another good chance to open their account as a deep Joel Jacobs cross found the unmarked Joe Gater at the far post, the defender heading over from close range without troubling Smith.

Asafu-Adjaye did well in just the seventh minute, the United defender sliding in to block away a Joe Grant drive after neat approach play from Liam Ferdinand saw the opening created on the edge of the United box.

Ten minutes later United were awarded a free-kick just over 20 yards from goal, Scott Bridges fired past the wall and with his effort heading for the top corner, Bracknell stopper Mark Scott did extremely well to tip the effort around the post. The resultant corner was headed goalwards by Liam McDevitt only for Scott to claw the ball out and the follow up was blocked wide with the subsequent corner coming to nothing.

The 25th minute saw United again go close through Bridges, this time Little played the ball infield from the left and Bridges let fly from 25 yards however with Scott scampering to his left, the ball went just the wrong side of the upright.

Just a minute later the visitors went just as close at the other end when Ferdinand slid the ball through to Grant who saw his angled drive go just wide of Jack Smith's goal. Soon after a long Scott punt was flicked on by former United striker Adam Cornell to Ferdinand only for the divisions top scorer to shoot weakly straight at Smith, the same player doing exactly the same thing minutes later after he pounced on a weak Mitchal Gough backwards header.

The final chance of the half again fell to the visitors who were attacking with the wind at their backs. Grant played the ball to Cornell, his neat back-heel fed a forwards surge from wing-back Dave Hancock who raced into the box only for Smith to be off his line quickly to block away the effort and the Divisions two top scoring teams somewhat surprisingly went in goalless at the interval.

An early opening for United after the break saw Benyon feed Lee Barney on the right side of the area, his pull-back to Benyon saw the strikers' shot deflected over off the diving body of Scott.

A quick break on the right side by Grant for the visitors saw him being well tracked by Josh Chamberlain, the United man deflecting the cross in the air with the looping ball forcing Smith to tip it over. The resultant corner was punched away by a Smith but only as far as James McClurg, his volley from just inside the box going wide of the far post.

The decisive point in the game came around the hour mark as Ashley Smith broke through from right wing-back, his initial effort was blocked by Scott, the ball ran loose with the stopper still grounded and with no whistle forthcoming from referee Warren to stop the play, Smith reclaimed the ball facing away from goal only to be unnecessarily shoved to the ground by Matt Day (left) leaving the referee little option but to point to the spot. With United having only just replaced injured regular penalty taker Scott Donnelly, Little stepped up and coolly sent Scott the wrong way to put United ahead with his 21st of the season.

Changes from the bench for both sides saw little goalmouth action until we hit the final ten minutes. Another former United man in the shape of Ashleigh Artwell broke down the right side for the visitors, his deep cross picked out Seb Bowerman beyond the far post, his tame header going straight to Jack Smith in the United goal.

A minute later Gough was a fraction from scoring one of the best ever United goals in the clubs short 12 year history, the defender bringing down a clearance before hitting a dipping volley from fully 40 yards that beat Scott all ends up only to come back off the crossbar to Barney who was flagged offside before he could net the rebound.

A minute later United should really have put the game to bed. Benyon sent Barney away on the right side, United's top scorer pulling the ball back nicely to substitute Nick Elliott who fired wide with just Scott to beat.

Five minutes from time the visitors were close to an equaliser when Bowerman crossed from the left to Grant who saw his header go wide by a whisker as Smith threw himself full stretch to his left.

In stoppage time Little almost claimed another as the United wing-back collected the ball on the left flank before cutting inside only for his angled shot to be deflected wide by Gater and soon after referee Warren brought the game to a close with news coming through that third placed Marlow had only drawn and with United beating Bracknell the title really was now within touching distance for Paul Hughes' side.

On top of that we also saw a record crowd for the SKYex, beating last years play-off attendance by 1, with 416 in attendance this afternoon.

Report by Kevin Watts.

Photos by Montimagemedia ©.

United Man of the Match: Toby Little.

Print the Teamsheet: Here.

Hayes & Yeading United
Bracknell Town
Jack Smith
Half-Time: 0-0

Full-Time: 1-0

Referee: Mr G Warren

Attendance: 416


Hayes & Yeading United:
Little (62 pen)

Bracknell Town:

Mark Scott
Ashley Smith
© Dave Hancock
Toby Little
Joel Jacobs
Mitchal Gough
Joe Gater
Liam McDevitt
Matt Day
Ed Asafu-Adjaye
Ryan Parsons
Scott Donnelly ©
Harrison Bayley
Scott Bridges
James McClurg
Lee Barney
Adam Cornell
Josh Chamberlain
Liam Ferdinand
Elliot Benyon
Joe Grant
Nathan Webb (for Donnelly, 57)
Ashleigh Artwell (for Parsons, 75)
Chid Onokwai
Chris Grace
George Bennett
Seb Bowerman (for Cornell, 67)
Joe Wilson (for A Smith, 75)
Sean Moore (for Bayley, 90)
Nick Elliott (for Chamberlain, 63)
Carl Davies
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