football-3AFC Hayes 1 – Sutton Common Rovers 1

We started brightly and went close to opening the scoring in the first few minutes, when a Danny Fernandez header from an Anson Cousins cross forced the keeper into a decent save. From the corner, taken by Fernandez, Liam Holden headed over the bar, writes Gary Brigden

AFC Hayes had their first chance of the game shortly after and we were forced into some fairly scrappy defending to clear the corner, as the hosts started to get a foothold in the game.

We continued to try and play, and Fernandez looked to have been too strong for his marker, but was pulled back for a foul, and honours remained even. We were playing more of the football, but Hayes direct style was causing us some problems.

Matt Robinson went close from a corner when he hit the bar, and on 26 minutes we took the lead when Robinson powerfully headed home a Fernandez corner

We were struck a blow on 38 minutes when Sean Bradley, who has been in outstanding form of late, pulled up injured, and was replaced by Ben Ewing. We then survived a scare when a long ball found a well placed Hayes forward, but a raised assistants flag stopped the danger.

It was a scrappy start to the second half, but a few minutes in we thought we had increased our lead, when Fernandez had the ball in the net, once again though it was chalked off by the official.

Hayes were now starting to get on top, and the levelled the scores on the hour, when a ball in from the right was met by a powerful volley by Berry for 1-1.

Darren Salmon made a couple more changes midway through the half, introducing Michael Campbell and Francois Gabbidon, in place of Robinson and Dave Burton, as SCR pushed for the important second goal. Despite this though no more goals were forthcoming, although both sides had chances, and the game looked to be petering out for a draw.

There was almost a sting in the tail. In stoppage time, the Hayes forward broke the offside trap and raced clear on goal, he rounded Ollie Ellaway and looked as though he must score, however some superb defending from Anson Cousins forced him wide, and he was unable to hit the target and the points were shared.

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