Following his recent comments on the state of our pitch, it’s probably as well that Eastleigh manager, Richard Hill, wasn’t commenting on the Kingfield patch which at first sight looked decidedly below par for a Conference Premier Club.

Teams:- Hayes & Yeading:
Mikhael Jaimez-Ruiz, Jack Mills, Adam Everitt, Matty Harriott (Brown 69), Ben Gerring, Dean Inman (C), Kiernan Hughes-Mason, Luke Williams, Inih Effiong, Geoff Mitchell (Merrifield 69) and Ryan Blake (English 60).

Subs not used: Johnson and Young (gk).

Borough: Kevin Scriven, Josh Huggins, Ollie Treacher, Matt Ball, Alan Inns (C), Luis Morrison-Derbyshire, Dan Bennett (Fearn 91), Steve Laidler, George Sykes, Jon Nurse (Bosch 86), and Phil Page (French 78).

Subs not used: Cole and Siaw.

Referee: Gary Jerden, Assistants: Thomas Ellams and Shaun Farrer.

The two teams and officials emerge for the first half.

Borough began with a real sense of purpose and following a free kick on the right flank after just two minutes, Matt Ball’s hard, low shot went narrowly past the post. Shortly afterwards, having been played in by Bennett, Ball’s cross was too high.

Hayes did forge an attack which was cleared by the Boro’ defence allowing Bennett to hit a good long ball up to Sykes who was well tackled to avert the danger. After Page shot weakly on ten minutes, Bennett had a sharp chance which was just wide, then Ball and Laidler combined well down the left only for the final cross to evade all contact and run out of play.

On the quarter hour Bennett lost possession in midfield which resulted in Effiong going clear on goal and with thoughts of last Saturday in mind, Boro’ fans held their breath as Scriven rushed out to intercept. On this occasion, he failed to make contact with either the ball, or the player, but debutant, Luis Morrison-Derbyshire, covered and made a timely interception at the cost of a corner. On 22 minutes, after bobbing about in front of goal, the ball fell to Effiong whose shot on the turn was saved by Scriven.

After 25 minutes, Referee, Gary Jerden, stopped play for no apparent reason and went to the touchline just inside the Hayes half. It was clear that discussions were going on, but with the dug outs obscuring the view, no one knew the reason. After a delay of some 5 minutes, play restarted and shortly afterwards a Steward informed a group of Boro’ fans that a light was crackling and sparking and there was concern that it might represent a safety hazard. Fortunately, the game progressed with no further problem.

Following more promising attacks during which Nurse went close, the ‘home’ side made progress down the left and, in attempting to clear, Josh Huggins saw the ball cannon into Mitchell with the rebound fortunately ending up in the arms of Scriven. The first goal came in the 35th minute, when some poor defending gave Page the chance to shoot home. 0 – 1

The setback sparked Hayes who enjoyed their best spell of the game and Scriven grabbed a long free kick at full stretch before Ryan Blake beat the off-side trap and crossed from the left only for Hughes-Mason to see his intended shot fly bizarrely back across the pitch and out for a Boro’ throw. The last few minutes which included 5 minutes added time, saw Gerring head wide from a corner, the hard working Page back tracking to clear from the 6 yard line and finally, after good work from Ball and Bennett won a corner, a strong header from Inns was blocked on the line and cleared. Half Time: Hayes 0 – 1 Borough.

A good half for Borough who showed much more of an appetite than of late. They enjoyed good possession, did not give the ball away so easily, worked hard and cohesively as a unit and thoroughly deserved their lead which could easily have been more.

Borough started the second period as they finished the first, with Page having a shot blocked before one time favourite, Dean Inman, floored Bennett without being penalised. Another attack was cleared for a corner which produced nothing. Hayes first foray into Boro’s penalty area was the result of a good diagonal run by the bustling Effiong before
finding Williams whose shot was blocked by Scriven. A long free kick by Hughes-Mason avoided everyone and went out for a goal kick.

A Boro’ counter attack ended with Nurse heading against the upright, but it wasn’t long before their efforts proved fruitful and Boro’ doubled their lead when George Sykes worked well to reach Matt Ball who beat two defenders before sending a left foot shot across the keeper into the far corner. 0 – 2

Following the break down of a Hayes attack, Page won the ball in midfield and saw his 35 yard shot go just too high. Next, good work by Sykes on the right saw Matt Ball become the 2nd Boro’ player to be denied by the woodwork. Hayes made a substitution in the 60th minute, replacing Blake with English and 2 minutes later, Inman was booked for a foul on Norris and Matt Ball’s free kick was tipped over by Jaimez-Ruiz for a corner.

Hayes made a double substitution after 69 minutes bringing on Merrifield for Mitchell and Brown for Harriott. Boro’ continued to attack and the industrious Sykes was unfortunate to see his effort narrowly miss the post and find the side netting. At the other end, Effiong snatched at his shot which went high and wide of the mark. Then a good move between Hughes-Mason and Effiong led to Scriven tipping a shot from Blake over for a corner. Borough brought off
Phil Page in the 78th minute and replaced him with Connor French who, after only a couple of minutes, did well to make space for a shot which went through the keepers’ legs only for the woodwork to deny Boro’ for a third time.

A further substitution in the 86th minute saw George Sykes replaced by Alfred Bosch and almost on 90 minutes, Bennett was replaced by Fearn as Boro’ sought to consolidate for the final 3 minutes of added time. After French had
another shot saved a long ball up field saw Scriven rushing out only to collide with another defender and present Hughes-Mason with an easy chance to score a consolation and his first goal for Hayes. Fortunately, there wasn’t much longer to go and Boro’ stood firm to claim the 3 points.

FULL TIME: Hayes & Yeading United 1 Boro 2

An excellent all round team performance from a Boro’ side who played some good football with everyone prepared to put in a full shift and work for each other. The faithful few who made the short journey to Woking were appreciative of what they saw and voiced their approval in robust fashion. Those fans who elected to stay home and watch Manchester Utd. beaten by Olympiakos, were definitely the losers.

Well done to one and all and a repeat of this effort at Ebbsfleet could well put a dent in their aspirations too. Oh, and the pitch played pretty well despite the way it looked.

Match Report by Tony Duff.

Att: 122

Spencer Day’s Post Match Interview can be viewed here.

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