Hayes and Yeading United entertained Farnborough at the Skyex Community Stadium on Bank Holiday Monday, 2nd May. They were contesting their final and most important match of the season, the Pitching In Southern League Premier Division South Play-off Final. The reward for the winners of this match was promotion to the National League South. The game was covered by the County’s roving team of Chris Benn (photographer) and Jim Taylor (reporter).
Hayes & Yeading United had reached this final by finishing second in the league table to winners Taunton Town and then beating 5th placed Weston super Mare 2-1 at home in the play-off semi-final.
Farnborough had finished third in the league table, a point behind Hayes & Yeading and had then beaten 4th placed Metropolitan Police 2-1 at home in their play off semi-final.
United were very unfortunate to lose a very tight match, played in front of a record crowd of 1,600, by 2 goals to 1. They took the lead in the 13th minute and were the better side in the first half. However, Farnborough scored an equaliser in added time at the end of the half. Hayes & Yeading received a further blow 3 minutes after the restart, when they were reduced to ten men by the dismissal of striker, Francis Amartey. They fought well, despite this handicap but Farnborough snatched the winning goal. with 4 minutes of normal time remaining.
In the first minute, Moses Emmanuel is just wide from Francis Amartey's cross
United created a good scoring chance in the first minute. Amos Nasha released Francis Amartey up the right wing and Moses Emmanuel hit his shot from the resulting cross just wide.
Farnborough’s Mitchell Parker was set up by Elliott Buchanan in the fourth minute but was foiled by the advancing United keeper, Ravan Constable.
Moses Emmanuel puts United ahead
A long kick from Ravan led to United taking the lead in the 13th minute. The ball bounced kindly for Moses Emmanuel who fastened onto it and beat the keeper at the second attempt, to register his 41st goal of the season.
Amos Nasha again released Francis Amarty up the right wing. Jack Ball cut out his cross at the expense of a corner. This was taken by Omar Rowe but was headed wide by Liam McDevitt.
At the other end, Ravan Constable comfortably took a high cross from John Oyenuga.
United kept pressing for a second goal. The referee played a good advantage following a foul on Francis Amartey but this was wasted when Sanmi Odelusi blazed over. Amos Nasha put Moses Emmanuel through but the keeper saved at his feet. A good run by Francis Amarty was stopped by the keeper at the expense of a corner.
Farnborough’s Mitchell Parker fed winger Reggie Young, who worked his way into a position to deliver a low shot, which Ravan Constable easily saved.
Reggie Young (11) scores Farnborough's equaliser
Disaster struck United in the 2nd minute of added time. Jordan Norville-Williams slipped and fell over, whilst in possession of the ball. Reggie Young collected it and ran through to net the equaliser.
A mini siege of the visitors’ goalmouth, including several blocked shots and a miskick, ensued during the remainder of the added time, which was protracted when the visiting supporters behind the United goal released a flare onto the pitch.
Half time score: Hayes & Yeading United 1 Farnborough 1
United resumed the attack immediately. Cole Brown collected a pass from Moses Emmanuel, ran through and tested Jack Turner with a low shot.
Francis Amartey (10) is sent off
Things got even worse for United in the 4th minute of the second half. Francis Amartey raised his arm to Jack Ball, following a tussle and the latter fell to the ground. The referee immediately produced a red card.
Moses Emmanuel (9) fails to get a touch on Cole Brown's cross
Despite being reduced to 10 men United continued to look the better side. Cole Brown put in a dangerous cross from the right but Moses Emmanuel couldn’t get a touch on it. Omar Rowe’s low drive was turned for a corner.
Farnborough started to exert pressure on United’s defence. A good challenge by Cole Brown thwarted Elliott Buchanan in the act of shooting. Then Mitchell Parker just cleared the crossbar with a free kick from outside the box.
Cole Brown made a penetrating run but ran out of space. At the other end, Ravan Constable knocked down a swerving shot by Sam Deering.
Omar Rowe performed a weaving run, which ended when he was brought down by Farnborough’s Frankie Sutherland. Cole Brown went forward for Amos Nasha’s free kick and tested the keeper with a low shot.
Farnborough came back at United, using Mitch Brundle’s long throw as an attacking weapon, as they had been doing for much of the game. Cole Brown, who excelled in United’s defence, robbed Farnborough substitute Paul Hodges in the act of shooting. Hodges tested Ravan with a volley from around 25 yards. Then the United keeper saved low down from Elliott Buchanan.
United substitute, Kadell Daniel was fouled just outside the corner of the visitors’ penalty box. He took the free kick himself but it was headed away.
Sam Deering (8) scores Farnborough's winning goal...
Farnborough captain, Sam Deering took a through ball, turned, ran on and beat Ravan with a low shot, to score the winning goal in the 87th minute.
...and celebrates with his team mates
United pressed for an equaliser during the 5 minutes of added time. Liam McDevitt cleared the bar with a header from Josh Payne’s wide free kick. Then in the dying seconds, Kadell Daniel’s free kick from the edge of the box was brilliantly saved by a diving Jack Turner.
Final score: Hayes & Yeading United 1 Farnborough 2
Obviously, this was an extremely frustrating ending to United’s excellent campaign, especially given the unfortunate circumstances of the defeat. However, I am sure that they will overcome their disappointment and come back even stronger next season.
Hayes & Yeading United: Ravan Constable, Cole Brown, Jordan Norville-Williams, Sanmi Odelusi, Liam McDevitt (capt), Ben Frempah, Amos Nasha (Josh Payne 88 mins), Omar Rowe, Moses Emmanuel, Francis Amartey and Hassan Jalloh (Kadell Daniel 69).
Unused substitutes: Keano Robinson, Jack Connors and Marcin Brzozowski (goalkeeper).
Manager: Paul Hughes.
Farnborough: Jack Turner, Frankie Sutherland, Jack Ball, CJ Fearn (Paul Hodges 74), Mitch Brundle, Mark Nisbet, John Oyenuga, Sam Deering (capt), Elliott Buchanan, Mitchell Parker and Reggie Young.
Unused substitutes: David Pratt, Terrell Egbri, Adam Martin and Dante Baptiste (goalkeeper).
Manager: Spencer Day.
Referee: Craig Scriven Assistant Referees: John Painter and Christopher Britton Fourth Official: Robert Ablitt.
Attendance: 1600 (a record for the ground).
We thank Chris & Jim for giving up their bank holiday to cover this game, as ever they have selected imagery from some key moments in the game, alongside this, Chris has very kindly provided a full album of imagery.
Chris & Jim's Picks
Full Album Courtesy of Chris Benn