Division One South And West: AFCfc Hayes 2 Paulton Rovers 2
Much improved AFC Hayes had teenage star in the making Ross Ahir to thank as they got off the mark at the third time of asking with a 2-2 draw at home to Paulton Rovers.
Having been thumped by an aggregate of 9-0 in their opening two games, Ahir popped up in the 89th minute to earn Joe Mitchell's side a deserved point.
That capped a man of the match performance from the 18-year-old, of whom great things are expected.
Hayes started brightly and Ahir went clean through in only the fifth minute before being brought down by keeper Kyle Phillips but the referee disagreed with most in the crowd and waved away penalty claims.
He further angered home fans when awarding a harsh looking free kick to Paulton and when Hayes failed to clear Dan Cleverly fired home from 15 yards, giving Mark Phillpott no chance.
Ricky Pither equalised two minutes from half-time following good play by Jay Pereira and Hayes emerged from the break in the same vein, taking the game to the visitors, who finished last season in seventh place.
Pereira and Victor Osubu ran the show and Pereira delivered a ball across the six yard area that somehow Osubu lifted over the bar from within a foot.
Rovers immediately went down the other end and from a corner Oliver Price put Paulton back in front, completely against the run of play.
Back came Hayes and Osubu went clean through but again lifted the ball over the bar, Pereira missed too and Pither went down but again the referee waved play on. As time ran out Ahir chased a long, hopeful ball, the keeper made a mistake and the teenager tapped home to give his side a draw, the very least it deserved.
HAYES: Phillpott, Walters, Harwood (James 60), Homer, Polidore (Haguch 80), Osubu, Pereira, Gladdy, Pither (Pitcher 75), Clark, Ahir. Subs not used: Paxton, Jimmy.
Goals, Hayes: Pither 43; Ahir 89. Paulton: D Cleverley 20; Price 70. Attendance: 61.