VILLIAN turned hero Simon Overland saved a late penalty to earn Hayes & Yeading United a creditable 1-1 friendly draw with League One side Leyton Orient at Church Road last night (Tuesday).
The goalkeeper was at fault for James Scowcroft's 34 th minute leveller after Danny Allen-Page had headed the hosts in front ten minutes earlier.
Clear cut chances were at a premium throughout but it looked like United's hard work had come undone when skipper Tom Cadmore blotted his copybook with a clumsy challenge on Ryan Jarvis inside the box with 13 minutes left. Jarvis stepped up but Overland atoned for his earlier error by guessing the right way, diving low to his right.
That was the highlight of a fairly uninspiring game which saw both defences come out on top. However, United boss Garry Haylock will be happy with the his three summer signings so far. Towering centre half Sami El-Abd won countless headers and marshalled his defence well; left-back Adam Green showed promise despite several cynical challenges on Orient's attackers; and midfielder Marc Canham kept things neat and tidy in midfield, although fans will want to see him putting in a few more tackles.
United's work-rate was first class and are trying to play the game the right way with the ball on the floor, utilising the flanks. However, they lack a cutting edge up front following Josh Scott's departure and must cut out the needless fouls in dangerous positions if they are to make an impact in the Conference this season.
The first clear cut chance of Tuesday evening fell to Jarvis in the 13 th minute but the cross from the right was just a shade too high for the striker.
Cadmore then robbed Scowcroft as the former Ipswich and Leicester City striker shaped to shoot.
But it was the Blue Square Premier side that broke the deadlock thanks to some sublime wing play from Dale Binns. He latched on to a hopeful punt down-field, ghosted into the box and put the ball on a plate for the inrushing Allen-Page to plant a bullet header past Jamie Jones.
However, the lead lasted barely ten minutes. Jarvis whipped in a dangerous cross from the right but Overland got his bearings all wrong and pawed the ball straight onto the head of Scowcroft at the back post.
Allen-Page almost restored United's lead but his scuffed shot from 12 yards bounced just wide of Jones's right post.
Early in the second half Overland was caught in no man's land when Jarvis spotted him off his line, but his lob breezed just over the bar.
James Mulley then went on a mazy run before pulling his shot high and wide as the game started to open up.
United substitute Scott Fitzgerald, on for the tireless Justin Cochrane, tested Jones with a few low shots while at the other end Overland was left clutching at air as he watched Jimmy Smith's 20 yard effort sail just wide.
Haylock threw on Toby Little and Esmond James for Binns and Allen-Page in a bid to push for the winner but it was Orient who were presented with the chance after Cadmore's hack on Jarvis.
However, Overland was equal to the task from the spot and Hayes could have won it late on but Fitzgerald could only direct a free header wide of the mark.