Hayes & Yeading tasted defeat for the first time in 20 games this season but it took a Football League side some three levels above to end the unbeaten run and even then only by a solitary goal at the SKYex on a blustery Saturday afternoon in November.
The League Two side held a lot of early possession but neither side really got into their stride in the first quarter of the game with the only noteworthy chance going the way of the U's in the nineteenth minute when Isaac Olaofe got his head to a right wing David Ajiboye centre but the effort was too high to trouble Tyla Dickinson in the United goal.
Paul Hughes' side went close five minutes later, Jack Conners fired a free-kick into the middle of the U's area, Ben Goodliffe headed the ball out but only as far as Amos Nasha who saw his shot from 20 yards just go the wrong side of the upright.
Within a minute the visitors had another half chance as a deep free-kick from midway inside the United half was headed back from beyond the far post by Joe Kizzi and with the wind carrying the ball a little, Dickinson did well to grab it right under his own crossbar.
Ten minutes from the break another United attack saw Connors chip the ball forwards into Moses Emmanuel's forward run, the United striker seeing his effort blocked away by Goodliffe and three minutes later at the opposite end Ajiboye's cross from the left was chested down by Olaofe to U's skipper Rob Milsom, his dipping drive being tipped over acrobatically by Dickinson.
Final chance of the half went the way of the hosts as Emmanuel got his head to a Tyler Goodrham free-kick but his effort went wide of the target and we went in at the break scoreless.
Ten minutes after the re-start Hassan Jalloh and Goodrham exchanged passes on the right with the former picking out Emmanuel in the middle but his effort from 15 yards was again the wrong side of the upright and then on 63 minutes U's 'keeper Dean Bouzanis needed to be sharp as substitute Jordan Norville-Williams won possession and fed Goodrham, the Oxford United loanee hitting a curling effort toward the far corner that Bouzanis pushed away to safety.
Two minutes later Bouzanis was forced into another save as Sanmi Odelusi found Francis Amartey on the left of the U's box, United's top scorer cut inside only for his shot to be blocked with the ball dropping to Emmanuel who saw his effort blocked away by the visitors stopper.
As United were starting to edge the chances, the League 2 side seemed to stir into action themselves. Kizzi tried his luck from distance but Dickinson handled his effort comfortably and just a minute later Ali Smith set up a shooting chance for Ajiboye but his shot dipped over the United goal.
The deadlock was finally broken by the League 2 side on 71 minutes as substitute Donovan Wilson swung the ball across the United box to Will Randall who without hesitation hit a perfect shot across Dickinson into the far corner of the United net.
From there on United pushed forwards but only really created one decent opening in the 83rd minute, Omar Rowe's deep cross was headed back across goal by Liam McDevitt, a U's defender inadvertently helped the ball on to Shaquille Hippolyte-Patrick but his header was wide of the target.
As the match moved into stoppage time, the U's were content to hold the ball in the corner at the United end thus demonstrating what a tough afternoon United had given them with little between the two sides, certainly not the three levels that current league status dictates.
So having tasted defeat we must now pick ourselves up, dust down and continue to push ahead, we also congratulate former Hayes FC legends Matt Gray and Jason Goodliffe and their Sutton side and wish them all the best for the rest of the campaign.
Report by Kevin Watts.
Top photo by John-Patrick Fletcher ©, others by Stacio Fernandes ©.
United Man of the Match: Liam McDevitt.
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