Cooper-Smith picks up a point
The first team made it ten games unbeaten when a goal from Daryl Cooper-Smith helped them to pick up a point away at struggling AFC Hayes.
In truth though it was a game the side could and should have won comfortably, and they were left to rue their wastefulness in front of goal.
Darren Salmon made three changes to the side that had seen off Godalming Town in the previous game, with skipper Aaron Bogle missing out through illness and replaced by Owen Davies, Matt Farrell was suspended and replaced by Dan Jones who came in for a first start, and Rory Lewis was in for the late arriving Matt Auletta.
The lads started brightly, and put AFC Hayes under some early pressure, but were unable to trouble Cameron Kennedy in the home sides goal, and the game settled down, with us holding the upper hand but unable to create any clear cut chances.
We should have taken the lead on 35 minutes when a great run and low cross by Cooper-Smith was well defended by Mateuz Kazcmarek and the chance went begging. We continued to push, and finally made the breakthrough on 41 minutes. A spell of pinball in the AFC Hayes area eventually saw the ball drop to Cooper-Smith who crashed the ball beyond Kennedy for 1-0.
Darren Salmon made a change at the break introducing Matt Fairbrother for a debut, in place of Jones. The half was more even with us needing to be on our toes to prevent Mourao Jaraz and Dean McDonnell for AFC Hayes from opening the scoring, and both Craig Hastings and the fit-ish, again Owen Davies performing well.
Just after the hour and we should have increased our lead, a tremendous ball from the right by Lewis was met by Danny Fernandez a couple of yards from goal, but somehow he put his header over the crossbar. It was a miss we were to regret as with just under twenty minutes remaining Hayes were level.
A hopeful ball into the area looked to be comfortable for either Hastings or Michael Eacott, but they impeded each other and the ball was guided home by McDonnell to bring AFC Hayes level.
Salmon rung the changes and introduced Andrew White and Liam Holden for Fernandez and Lewis, but despite our best efforts, and AFC Hayes being reduced to ten men when McDonnell picked up a second yellow card, we were unable to find a winner, and had to settle for a point.
** with thanks to Scott Wallage for his tweets, which have enabled me to create a report despite not being at the game.