Apr 29 2012 By Edd Paul
Hayes & Yeading Image 1
Hayes & Yeading 1-2 Stockport
MOTHER NATURE did her worst as Hayes & Yeading succumbed to a final day defeat to put an end to their disappointing season.
Even a Julian Owusu consolation couldn’t add a silver lining to United’s day, with strikes from Danny Hattersley and Joe Connor compounding more misery upon the home fans.
Despite the loss Hayes & Yeading played well for periods on a boggy surface, matching the visitor’s attractive game with their own passing
With the match a dead rubber following United’s relegation at Lincoln last weekend and County’s confirmed safety, both sides played with freedom and at a quick tempo.
The home side were nearly a goal up within 30 seconds after Owusu powered his way into the area before laying the ball off to Phil Walsh.
However the tall number nine’s head was obviously still in the dressing room as he miscued his lines and struck a tame effort at County keeper Ian Ormson.
The visitors then took the lead in comical fashion on seven minutes when Steve Arnold scuffed his goal-kick straight to Hattersley, with the striker finishing well to leave United’s Player of the Year red-faced.
However another goalkeeping blunder handed United an equaliser eight minutes later when Ian Ormson went to punch a cross only to completely miss the ball and leave Owusu with an easy tap-in.
Arnold then made up for his gaffe with a brilliant double save, firstly denying Hattersley a second before blocking Jon Nolan’s effort wide.
Nolan did get the better of Arnold minutes later but saw his clipped shot bobble onto the post and out of play.
United started the second half at the same pace as the first, Owusu again working hard down the left before lifting a cross into the unmarked Walsh.
But again, Walsh couldn’t take advantage of a golden opportunity and headed way over the bar from six yards out.
The home side had a small period of sustained pressure, delivering a few tricky balls into the Hatters’ box, but nothing so dangerous County’s defence couldn’t deal with.
Gradually, the sluggish pitch began to wear United down and County took advantage, controlling the tempo and leaving the home side chasing shadows.
Nolan then hit the crossbar with a thunderous long-range drive as the visitors started to pile on the pressure.
And they finally took the lead on 74 minutes when a headed clearance landed at the feet of Connor, the County captain taking one touch before hammering the ball into the bottom corner.
United will now hope to forget a troubled campaign and look forward with fresh optimism towards next season, as they return to the Blue Square Bet South following a three-year absence.