Hayes & Yeading United progressed to the final Qualifying Round of the Emirates FA Cup for the third season running, winning by the odd goal in five against Isthmian South East side Whitehawk at the SKYex on a soaking Saturday afternoon that ended with the pitch holding up brilliantly despite the torrential rain that fell throughout the whole match.
United started well and got off to the perfect start with a goal after just six minutes. Jack Connors, on his home debut, played a corner into the Hawks six yard box, the ball was cleared but only as far as Amos Nasha on the edge of the box with his shot somehow creeping through a mass of bodies to nestle in the corner of the visitors net.
Soon after Jordan Norville-Williams on the left fed the ball inside to Francis Amartey who set it aside to Tyler Goodrham who tried his luck from outside the area but his effort was marginally off target and at the opposite end a few minutes later a 35 yard snapshot from Hawks skipper Henry Muggeridge was easily held by Ravan Constable in the United goal.
Just before the half hour mark the United lead was doubled as Connors fed Amartey at the right hand corner of the Hawks area, the United marksman teasing and turning his markers before firing a low shot into the bottom corner.
Two minutes later the Hawks were gifted, and should have taken, a golden opportunity when a loose pass went straight to Javaun Splatt in the United box, the Hawks striker seeing his effort saved at the foot of the post by a diving Constable.
This close shave spurred United again and just five minutes later it was 3-0 as Nasha threaded the ball through to Moses Emmanuel, his effort beat Hawks stopper Nathan Stroomberg-Clarke all ends up only to come back off the upright with Nasha firing home the rebound for his second of the game.
United twice went close to a fourth before the break with a Tyler Goodrham cross catching on the wind and requiring a 'keepers touch to see the ball over and right on the whistle skipper Sanmi Odelusi hit a drive from the edge of the box that just cleared the bar and we went in at te break with United looking good at 3-0.
The visitors came out in the second half looking a little more pumped than the first despite being three adrift. The first opening of the half however went to United less than two minutes after the re-start as Goodrham slid the ball between defenders to Amartey who fired across goal but just wide of the far post.
On 51 minutes the visitors got one back as an offside looking Ollie Munt raced away on the right and despite United's protests no flag was raised and Munt's cross left the simplest of tap-in's for Muggeridge and the Hawks were on the board and indeed two minutes later they could have had another as James Fraser tried his luck with a curler from the edge of the box but the ball just cleared the United goal.
A chance apiece fell either side of the hour mark with Amartey firing straight the 'keeper from 18 yards after good approach work from Goodrham and Moses Emmanuel while at the other end the arrears were reduced further by the Hawks, once again United protests went unheard as firstly Odelusi appeared to be illegally knocked off the ball and then as Fraser's cross found Splatt unmarked and again looking offside in the middle, his touch taking the ball past Constable and with no whistle sounding it was 3-2 with just under half an hour to play.
Chances for number four came and went for United, Emmanuel sent recently arrived substitute Omar Rowe through but he fired wide and then on 76 minutes Goodrham and Dinesh Gillela combined on the right with the latter pulling the ball back to Emmanuel who saw his shot deflected wide.
A tense final few minutes saw the Hawks go close on two occasion to forcing a replay. Muggeridge collected the ball on the left corner of the United area and drove it just wide of the United post and then in stoppage time Omarr Lawson raced into the United area on the opposite side but his drive was well defended and blocked over the top with referee Hallam bringing the game to an end minutes later with United's name going into Monday's draw.
Report by Kevin Watts.
Photos by Stacio Fernandes ©.
United Man of the Match: Amos Nasha.
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