Hayes & Yeading United Football Club

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HYUFC Hayes & Yeading Utd 2
Harrow Borough 2
Harrow Borough win 3-2 on penalties

Hayes & Yeading took a breather from the Bostik League on Tuesday but came up marginally short of a place in the Middlesex Senior Challenge Cup Final as Paul Hughes’ side were beaten on penalties by Southern Premier side Harrow Borough after a hard fought 90 minutes that saw United come back from 2 down and a man down to send the game to penalties.

Both Managers named strong line-ups for this semi-final tie with United giving debuts to three new arrivals at the SKYex in the form of Chid Onokwai, Kunle Otudeko and Joe Wilson.

The visitors started brightly and former Ashford Town striker Mark Bitmead was quickly running at the United defence, his sixth minute centre aimed for Ryan Moss being well intercepted and cleared by Josh Chamberlain.

A couple of minutes later Berkley Laurencin in the Borough goal was tested for the first time as Ed Asafu-Adjaye and Scott Bridges combined and fed the ball inside to Kunle Otudeko, the debutant taking a touch and firing in a shot from the edge of the box that Laurencin held low down.

United fans quickly got a view of the power and pace of Chid Onokwai as the striker collected the ball from Elliot Benyon in the midfield area before barrelling his way through a couple of challenges and letting fly from 25 yards but his shot was too high to trouble the Borough goal. Five minutes later Joe Wilson chipped a neat ball forwards to Benyon he again found his strike partner Onokwai, this time he did hit the target but could only find Laurencin who held his low shot.

Chances at this time were free flowing at both ends and in the seventeenth minute a nice interchange between Bitmead and former Hayes FC youth product Josh Andrew resulted in Andrew being set up to strike, this was denied however by a fine interception by United’s current youth team skipper Michael O’Neil who took the ball away off his toes.

At the midway point in the half snapshots from Onokwai for United and Bitmead for Borough went close but not enough to trouble either custodian but a minute later the visitors skipper Moss should have done better when set up by a Ryan Haugh cross from the right, the striker volleying weakly straight to Jack Smith in the United goal.

Just past the half hour United earned a corner that Donnelly swung in from the left, Liam McDevitt got to the ball first but his powerful header was just off target and a few minutes later Scott Donnelly and Bridges exchanged passes while moving into the Borough box, the latter seeing his curling shot saved by Laurencin diving to his left.

Five minutes from the break Andrew and Bitmead again combined with the former seeing his shot turned wide by Smith who stood tall as the defender advanced into the box. The final chance of the opening half came in stoppage time and fell to the home side. Otudeko found substitute Toby Little 30 yards out, the United man advancing to the edge of the box before letting fly, unfortunately his effort was too high and we went in scoreless at the break.

The second half started with a somewhat controversial “bang”. Just over a minute had been played when the visitors earned a free-kick 35 yards from goal on the left. The ball was played into the box by Ant O’Connor and from this reporters’ view in the stand McDevitt won a clear header to get the ball away and everybody seemed rather confused when referee Morrison pointed to the spot having obviously seen an infringement of some sort as the ball came in. Moss held his nerve and smashed the ball down the middle to give the visitors the lead.

Minutes later United were almost two adrift when a short touch back toward Smith was intercepted by Bitmead, he took the ball around Smith and although the United ‘keeper got back again to block off his way to goal, the Borough man picked out Moss in the middle and he, with the goal fairly gaping, found a brilliantly positioned Chamberlain on the line and the United man blocked his shot and played the loose ball to safety.

United were soon dealt another injury blow having lost O’Neil late in the first half, this time Little who had replaced O’Neil went down under a heavy challenge and despite trying to carry on was unable to and was replaced by Jeevan Panesar.

Minutes later with United still rearranging at the back, Haugh collected the ball and ran at the United back line from the left side before firing a 20 yard shot that took a deflection off McDevitt before hitting Smith’s arm and going straight through the stoppers legs into the net to double the visitors advantage.

Just three minutes later United were reduced to ten men as Asafu-Adjaye was cautioned for what appeared to be a somewhat soft challenge with the referee immediately taking umbrage to the defenders reaction to the yellow card and he produced a second yellow card within seconds of the first and the United man was dismissed.

This seemed to stir something in United as just three minutes later Paul Hughes side were back in the hunt. Onokwai chased down a throughball on the right side and fired his shot past Laurencin only for it to come back off the post to Benyon who showed great technique to fire the ball straight back into the Borough net beyond the covering defender on the line.

Having got back into the game despite being a man short, the gaffer changed things up again which meant subbing the sub that had subbed the sub as the unlucky Panesar made way for additional firepower in the form of top scorer Lee Barney.

United were almost caught on the hop shortly after though as O’Connor burst into the United box and from eight yards with only Smith to beat somehow managed to smash the ball against the crossbar, the loose ball running to Moss who saw his powerful strike pushed away by Smith as United cleared the danger.

With ten minutes remaining it was all square once again. Bridges sprayed a superb cross-field pass wide to Otudeko on the left flank, the midfielder bringing the ball down on his chest before moving at pace towards the Borough area, his angled shot from the left going across Laurencin before nestling in the far corner of the net for a debut goal.

The final chance of the game for the visitors saw a scramble in the box that saw O’Connor fire past Smith only for Donnelly to clear the ball off the line and with legs flying in the six yard box it was the calm head of Chamberlain who played the ball to safety.

In stoppage time a rampaging run at pace from Onokwai could have produced an unlikely winner for United but it was not to be and his chance of a shot was taken away by some good defending by the covering defender who came across to meet the United striker and off to penalties we went.

With just one Borough kick from the first two each hitting the net it came down to the final two kicks, Smith saved from former United under 18 Lewis Cole leaving Benyon to fire it to sudden death but sadly his kick was too high and it is Harrow Borough who progress to the final with our best wishes to Steve Baker and his assistant Darron Wilkinson in said final against Barnet or Brentford B.

Report by Kevin Watts.

Photos by Montimagemedia ©.

United Man of the Match: Josh Chamberlain.

Print the Teamsheet: Here.

Hayes & Yeading United
Harrow Borough
Jack Smith
Half-Time: 0-0

Full-Time: 2-2
Harrow win 3-2 on pens

Referee: Mr N Morrison

Attendance: 114


Hayes & Yeading United:
Benyon (73)
Otudeko (80)

Harrow Borough:
Moss (47 pen)
Haugh (67)

Berkley Laurencin
Joe Wilson
Josh Andrew
Ed Asafu-Adjaye
Ryan Haugh
Josh Chamberlain
Shaun Preddie
Michael O'Neil
Nathaniel Oseni
Liam McDevitt
Mark Bitmead
Scott Donnelly ©
Ant O'Connor
Scott Bridges
Mark McLeod
Chid Onokwai
© Ryan Moss
Kunle Otudeko
Michael Bryan
Elliot Benyon
Lewis Cole
Rylan Myers
Mitchal Gough
Toby Little (for O'Neil, 40)
Lee Pearce
Lee Barney (for Panesar, 75)
Max Holland
Jeevan Panesar (for Little, 64)
Frank Keita
Callum McAllister
Excellence Muhemba
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