Hayes & Yeading United progressed to the final qualifying round of this seasons Emirates FA Cup on Tuesday evening by the smallest of margins, beating Chipstead on penalties after a goalless stalemate at the SKYex.
Further injury worries were to beset Paul Hughes’ preparations with two debutants coming into the starting XI plus a further two new faces on the bench.
United were to dominate possession for the first 45 minutes of this game with the visitors showing a somewhat defensive position, which was effective however as United really created very little of substance in the first period.
An early opening came after just six minutes when Francis Amartey raced away on the right side, he pulled the ball back to debutant Samir Bajja but his effort from just inside the box was just too high to trouble Oliver Pain in the visitors goal.
It was just the other side of half an hour played before another chance hit the notepad, Dylan Kearney collected the ball on the right side of the Chipstead area, his low driven cross was met by a sliding Jack Williams but the ball bobbled up into Pain’s grateful arms.
Seven minutes later United had a good chance to make the breakthrough as Jordan Norville-Williams fed the ball to Kearney who held it up well before laying off the Scott Donnelly who sadly on this occasion had left his shooting boots at home and the shot sailed over the visitors goal.
United’s second debutant, Adel Gafaiti went close in stoppage time, the central defender meeting a Donnelly free-kick at the far post only for his header to drop the wrong side of the upright and the half ended at 0-0.
The visitors came out in the second period with renewed attacking ambition and ten minutes after the re-start a long lofted pass over skipper Liam McDevitt saw former United striker Tom Collins chase the ball down, colliding with Jack Smith racing from his goal and while the majority of the crowd held their collective breath, referee Ellsmore waved away Chipstead’s appeals and the game continued.
Two more half chances came for the visitors in quick succession, Collins collected a low cross from the left only to shoot wide of the target and then Spencer Cripps tried his luck from distance and this also failed to trouble Smith in the United goal.
United’s first real chance of the half thus far came on 61 minutes when Norville-Williams sent Jack Williams away on the left side, his centre was met by Kearney who fired over when I’m sure he will feel he should have hit the target.
Two minutes later Smith was needed to keep the visitors at bay, the United stopper blocking away a low driven cross from the left but only as far as Jack Beadle who saw his follow-up effort blocked by Donnelly and the danger was then cleared.
Smith was soon in action again, this time on 67 minutes when another long punt upfield to Collins saw him collect and find a perfect cross-field pass to an unmarked Cripps who saw his low hit shot blocked away by United’s in-form ‘keeper.
Smith again kept the scoresheet blank five minutes later when substitute James Dickson fired in a shot from the corner of the area, Smith blocked the ball into the air with United substitute Bay Downing blocking the follow-up into Smith’s grasp.
On 78 minutes United had three chances in quick succession but all were repelled by the resolute Chipstead back line. Donnelly played a corner kick deep beyond the far post, Sanmi Odelusi collected and played the ball back in to Gafaiti who shot goalwards from close range only for Pain to react quickly to deflect the ball over the crossbar. The subsequent corner was played short to Jack Williams who had two shots in quick succession both snubbed out by the visitors defence.
Four minutes from time Smith again saved United when Collins weaved his way in from the left and fed the ball to Cripps, his low shot was blocked away by Smith’s legs and the danger was again cleared.
The final two chances both went the way of United. Debutant substitute Tomas Kalinauskas pulled the ball back from the right flank to Donnelly but his shot was too high and then in the final minute of additional time, another United substitute, Karl Cunningham, collected the ball on the edge and hit a shot on the turn that Pain did well to turn away and off to penalties we went.
Gafaiti started proceedings and fired United ahead, first up for the visitors was Karn Miller-Neave who slipped as he struck the ball and I think the aircraft departing Heathrow may have had to duck it went so high. Next for United was Bay Downing who struck his kick firmly only to find the post and with the visitors firing home their second kick it was 1-1 after 2 each.
Next up for United was Cunningham who buried his kick before Smith pulled off a superb save to deny Michak Stanic-Stewart. Both sides netted their fourth kick with Donnelly firing home for United and it was down to Odelusi to seal victory for United, which he did emphatically and United were through by the seat of our pants, so to speak.
Commiserations to Chipstead who certainly didn’t bring their league form to town and we wish Rob Kember and his side all the best for the season.
Report by Kevin Watts.
Photos courtesy of Gary House Photography ©
United Man of the Match: Adel Gafaiti.
Print the Teamsheet: Here.