Hayes & Yeading 2-5 Maidenhead
Garry Haylock conceded his Hayes & Yeading side had been guilty of self-inflicted wounds in Easter Monday’s defeat to landlords Maidenhead.
United were 3-0 down with little over half an hour played, with at least two of the goals down to defensive howlers
Former Reading man James Harper’s ‘worldy’ on debut and a freak effort from Darren Purse threatened an unlikely point in a second half rally before goals from United old boys Jake Reid and James Mulley left the hosts hovering near the relegation trap door.
It marked the second time this month they had been three down at the break after a similar collapse at Wealdstone, something Haylock had out with his players during and after the match.
“The conversation I’ve had in there at half-time and full-time was by giving the opposition a three-goal start we are not giving ourselves a chance,” admitted Haylock.
“They were bad goals as well. Our first goal was a very good goal and if someone scores one of those against you then you put your hand up and say fair enough, but they were three terrible goals.
“Two were set piece throw-ins which came into our box which we did not defend properly – that’s just basic.
“When we get two back in a more positive second half you start to think we might nick something, but we were not good enough in both boxes. We did not threaten enough in theirs and we can’t keep a clean sheet in our own.”
The rot started just five minutes in when a throw from the right was headed weakly into the path of Mark Nisbet who stabbed in from close range.
A magnificent reflex save by James Hamon kept out Ryan Upward, but United did not make the most of the reprieve, conceding a second on the half hour when Harry Pritchard surged forward before finding Dave Tarpey whose low shot defied the home keeper’s best efforts to keep it out.
By this stage debutant Adetayo Osifuwa had limped off injured and just two minutes later it was 3-0 when Upward fired across Hamon to the far corner.
The scorer denied Shepherd Murombedzi with a superb block at the other end, but it would have been 4-0 by the break had Tarpey not lashed wildly over with only Hamon to beat.
United were better after the break, particularly after the introduction of Harper on the hour. Just 11 minutes later he reduced the arrears with a stunning 25-yard volley, a goal which was met by a smoke flare thrown from among United’s own supporters.
Buoyed by the goal the hosts pressed and Elliot Benyon had a header cleared off the line before Purse fired a wind assisted left-foot shot in off the far post to make it 3-2 with six minutes left.
Sadly, it merely stirred the Magpies from their second half slumber as first Reid and then Mulley gave the score-line a more realistic feel with strikes in added on time.