Collins makes it third time lucky
Comeback king bags a goal after travels up north FOOTBALL
TOM Collins rejoined Hayes & Yeading for a third time this week but the striker doesn’t regret leaving the club to head north two years ago.
The 22-year-old goal man spent the past couple of years at Stockport County and Hyde but slipped through the trapdoor with both clubs.
It was a brave decision for the young forward to relocate and he returned to the area permanently this summer, having come back on loan briefly in February 2013, to sign for United’s Conference South rivals Wealdstone.
Things didn’t work out under Gordon Bartlett though and, after a brief stint at Hampton & Richmond, the striker pulled on the red shirt again on Saturday.
He made his mark too, netting the winner in a 2-1 triumph over Bishop’s Stortford, and hopes his experiences elsewhere will benefit his H&Y team-mates.
He said: “I loved it up there, it was an adventure.
“I don’t regret going up there for one minute. I believe it has made me a better player. It was a bit of a trek up there but once I was up there I was fine.
“Of course my family, friends and girlfriend are down here. Everything is down here really but it’s nice to try something different. That’s what life is all about.
“It was a chance to play in the Conference Premier and I think it really is a different game in the Conference South. It’s much more physical in this league.
“You get more time on the ball in the Conference Premier. It is a bit more ratty at this level and I need to learn to release the ball more quickly.”
Hayes & Yeading boss Phil Babb had no hesitation in bringing Collins back on board and was pleased to see the move yield instant results in the win over Stortford.
“It was a good win, with a lot of chances, excellent professionalism,” Babb said of the Stortford performance. “We just want to collect as many points as possible, and build up a momentum.
“There’s a full round of midweek fixtures this week, and we want to keep in touch with the play-offs and leaders. The league is our main focus at the moment, after last season we just want survival.”
Hayes & Yeading were last night (Tuesday) due to take on Staines Town.
Collins’ old club, Wealdstone grabbed a share of the spoils as they held big-spending Havant & Waterlooville 2-2 on Monday night with Scott McGleish and James Hammond finding the net.
The game threatened to boil over at times and Stones boss Gordon Bartlett and Havant manager Lee Bradbury were both sent to the stands after a challenge by Hawks midfielder Scott Donnelly caused a melee but no players were shown a card.
That came after they picked up their second victory of the season on Saturday with a 2-1 win at Weston-Super-Mare where McGleish was again on target before Tom Hamblin grabbed the winner. HAREFIELD must avoid getting caught up in Vase fever and concentrate on their promotion push, writes Jon Batham.
So said boss Phil Granville this week, following the hares’ dramatic 3-2 extra-time cup success over Wellingborough Town in the second qualifying round on Saturday.
Ben Gill proved the hero, striking in the final minutes of normal time and then in extratime to settle a tie which looked to be slipping away in the second half until the visitors were reduced to 10 men with quarter of an hour left.
A visit to Sunday Sports now awaits in the first round on Saturday, November 1, but three more Spartan South Midlands Premier games starting with Saturday’s visit of London Colney come before then.
So with Harefield riding high in the table, Granville wasted no time stressing where his priorities lie, calling his side to focus on their bread and butter league campaign.
“Our priority is to win enough games to be up there challenging,” he said. “We want to put in a promotion push and we feel we have the squad capable of doing that.
“London Colney is under new management and the boy who scored all their goals last year isn’t there anymore, so they are a bit of an unknown quantity for us.
Before hosting London Colney, United were due to welcome Colney Heath last night (Tuesday).
Divisional rivals Hillingdon Borough’s Vase exploits are over for another year after they went down 4-2 10-man Wembley, this after leading 2-1 through Danilson Vincente and Mark Chijindu. Borough were due to travel to Leverstock Green in the league last night before hosting Hadley on Saturday.
Elsewhere, in Southern Division One Central AFC Hayes recorded back-to-back wins for the first time this season as Ricardo Faux-James’ early goal was enough to take the points at Aylesbury United.
Ian Crane’s side were aiming to make it a hat-trick at Leighton Town last night and they host neighbours Northwood on Saturday.
Woods also won at the weekend in their first competitive game on an artificial 3G pitch at Bedworth with Ismael Ehui and Nana Asamoah’s second half strikes clinching victory after they trailed 1-0 at the break.
Mark Burgess’ side were due to host St Ives Town last night before that trip to AFC Hayes at the weekend.
Uxbridge tasted victory beating high-flying Aylesbury 3-1 with Kevin Warner giving them a first half lead doubled by Lewis Cole’s volley four minutes after the break.
The Moles halved the deficit with 20 minutes left, but Dave Thomas settled nerves slotting home from the spot after Matt Woods had been fouled.
Tony Choules’ troops were due to host Beaconsfield SYCOB last night and then head to Kettering Town on Saturday.