Brick by brick to new stadium
But without additional cash, groundsharing will continue
HAYES & Yeading’s chairman is frustrated that he cannot pump the funds he would like into completing the club’s new stadium.
Tony O’Driscoll, who formally took control of United earlier this week having been acting in the role since last summer, is overseeing building work at Beaconsfield Road.
Hayes & Yeading brought an end to their three-year groundshare with Woking this year and are now playing their Conference South home fixtures at Maidenhead United’s York Road stadium.
In order to start playing football at their proposed new home, the Beaconsfield Road ground must first meet the National Ground Grading Category B standard.
Visible progress was made during the close-season, including brickwork on the interior of the main stand, but a return to action on the field incurs greater costs than during the summer.
Work is under way, albeit at a slow pace, and O’Driscoll is frustrated at how long it is taking for the project to be completed.
“A lot of the supporters have been asking me about the ground,” he said. “It’s quite simple: we don’t have any money. Any money we have at the moment is being used to pay the wages and for the everyday running costs of the club. Any surplus is being invested in the ground.
“Looking from six months ago to now, you will see the progress. We have been spending money on the ground but we’re not able to spend as much money as we would like to at the moment. Little things are being done down there but not as much as we’d like.
“Building is continuing but it is slowing down. Speaking to the supporters, they do understand the problems we are facing. It is more about letting them know what is happening and perhaps in the past they didn’t know.”
United had chalked up two wins out of two before Basingstoke inflicted their first loss of the season on Saturday.
That was followed by another defeat, 1-0 to Whitehawk, in Maidenhead on Monday.
There is no chance of Hayes & Yeading fans seeing Conference football at Beaconsfield Road in 2014 but O’Driscoll believes York Road is a good fit for the club in the meantime.
“The absolute earliest we could be back there is the start of next year, and that’s only if we get some more money injected into the club,” he added. “I’m very happy with the arrangement at Maidenhead and it almost feels like home.
“The supporters are happier at Maidenhead and it is easier for them to get to. It is an improvement from Woking, which is what I’m after, and I hope if the team keeps playing good football that more people will come down.”
Keeper Jonathan North saved his second penalty of the season as Wealdstone earned a 0-0 draw at 10-man Ebbsfleet United on Monday.
North, who was the spot-kick hero on the opening day against Eastbourne Borough, kept out Matt Godden’s effort from 12 yards just before the break.
That came after the host’s Daryl McMahon was sent off after half an hour for a challenge on Luke O’Nien, who joined Stones on Friday last week from Watford on a season-long loan.
Scott McGleish was on target in injury time on Saturday as Wealdstone lost their first match in Conference South as they were beaten 2-1 by Farnborough.
■ SLOW PACE: The state of play at Beaconsfield Road earlier this year