Injuries to key players continue to put pressure on Manager Ritchie Hanlon as Hayes & Yeading dropped out of the Isuzu FA Trophy at the first hurdle yesterday with United beaten 3-1 at Bognor Regis Town.
With Jerry Wiltshire away on International duty with the British Virgin Islands and Jack Williams and Ronan Silva adding to the already lengthy injury list this was never going to be an easy task however United started the game in positive fashion.
With seven minutes played Cole Brown advanced on the right side and played the ball to Roger James in the right channel, he moved into the area but his shot was just wide of the target under pressure from the Rocks defence.
A few minutes later an opening for the hosts saw their skipper Calvin Davies try his luck with a 25 yard free-kick that evaded the United wall but went safely into Jacob Adams arms.
Sixty seconds later United should have taken the lead. Having gained a free-kick to the right corner of the Rocks box, Jamie Hanlon floated the kick into the box picking out an unmarked Tarik Moore-Azille who managed to head over from six yards.
With 19 minutes on the clock the home side were indebted to former United loanee ‘keeper Ryan Hall as Adams fired the ball forwards to Michael Fernandes, he turned his marker and tried to loft the ball over hall from 25 yards, the stopper getting just enough on the ball at full stretch and it dropped just outside the post.
A good attacking patch for the hosts followed as firstly Lucas Pattenden pulled the ball back from the right to Dan Smith, the striker being denied by the boot of Adams and ten minutes later Pattenden again burst into the United box, Adams once again saved but as the ball ran to Smith he drove it towards goal only to see his effort blocked by Pattenden who was on the floor after his initial burst.
A quick fire change of ends saw Hall tested once more as Norman Wabo sent Fernandes into the box, his low effort being pushed away by the diving Rocks ‘keeper and that closed out the first half with the final fifteen minutes bringing not a chance at either end.
The hosts were quickly out of the blocks and took just three minutes to open the scoring as a ball over the top was misjudged by the United defence allowing Pattenden to run through and slide the ball past the on-coming Adams.
The lead lasted just three minutes however as a corner kick on the United right was pulled back to Amos Nasha on the edge of the box, he switched the ball neatly to his left foot before curling a beautiful 20 yarder beyond Halls’ reach into the far top corner.
It was hoped United would push on from equalising so quickly but sadly that was not the case as just before the hour mark the United defence was undone again. A free-kick was floated in to the far post, Smith rose highest to nod the ball back into the danger zone with Craig Robson getting the deftest of flicks with his boot to lift the ball over Adams into the United net.
Just five minutes later the Rocks had a third as Matt Burgess and Smith combined down the left side, the latter squaring the ball across the United box to Bognor’s newly signed Dorking loanee Alfie Rutherford who was gifted a tap in just three minutes after coming onto the pitch.
With United now creating very little going forwards another chance fell to the home side in the 73rd minute as a neat interchange between Rutherford and Pattenden on the break saw the former try for goal but his effort was held by Adams.
Four minutes remained and the home side almost had a fourth when the ball was needlessly given away 30 yards from the United goal, Pattenden played the ball to Tommy Lee-Higgs on the edge of the box but his effort was partially blocked by Sanmi Odelusi with Adams scooping up the loose ball.
One final chance fell to United in stoppage time as Brown was fed the ball as he moved into the Rocks area but his low drive was blocked away by Hall and that was it for another season in the FA Trophy for Hayes & Yeading United.
Report by Kevin Watts.
United Man of the Match: Amos Nasha.
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