Cox vows to end scoring drought
‘I can’t wait for the bad weather, it does suit me’
NOT many people enjoy the winter weather but Hayes & Yeading striker Pat Cox reckons he’ll find his shooting boots again now the clocks have gone back.
United, who drew 1-1 with Sutton on Sunday, have traditionally flourished in the warmer months and come unstuck when the rain stops them playing their passing game.
It was one of the main reasons for the club’s relegation last term, although they went on to earn a dramatic reprieve, as the fixtures piled up following postponements.
Cox only signed for the club in March this year and made an instant impression but didn’t have the opportunity to influence results during their poor winter form.
He insists things will be different this time round though and the big forward is looking to end his six-game scoring drought at Chelmsford City on Saturday, hopefully in a downpour.
“When the pitches are nice you can pass the ball about and the team has traditionally done well in that period,” Cox explained.
“My game is all about the rough and tumble though. You play a lot of games in the bad weather and that’s when I can come into my own.
“My aerial presence can be a big influence. We can play longer when the pitches get worse and I can’t wait for the bad weather to be honest. It suits me.
“When the ball comes to me feet I can hold it up and when the ball comes over the top I’ll try my best to win my flick-ons.
“We want to be up there this season. We don’t just want to finish top half this season, we’re hoping to get up there and challenge.”
Manager Phil Babb was slightly disappointed Hayes & Yeading couldn’t hold on for all three points against Sutton but believes his side have made great strides this term.
“There’s a little tinge of disappointment having gone 1-0 up,” he added.
“It was a good test for us and another one which we’ve passed. We’ve proved this year that we can compete with the best. The pressure that we put the boys under in training during the week is starting to prove its worth.
“We know, certainly after last year, what can happen. But we’ve learnt from those mistakes and we’ve brought in the characters and the quality to help us when it does get tough. We should be able to see good results rather than runs of bad ones.
“We’re confident we’ve got a competitive squad this season and anything better than the last one will be a positive.”
Elsewhere in the Conference South, Dave Tarpey struck a late equaliser to cancel out Shaun Lucien’s effort as Wealdstone drew 1-1 with Maidenhead at the Vale on Saturday.
Former Hayes & Yeading midfielder Jamie Hand and ex-Stones striker Richard Jolly were due to turn out for Gordon Bartlett’s side in a friendly against Hendon on Monday night but the match was postponed because of a waterlogged pitch.
Stones head to high-flying Boreham Wood this weekend. CRAIGE Tomkins led the rout as Uxbridge marched into the second qualifying round of the FA Trophy at the expense of Hythe on Saturday.
Tomkins had claim to the match-ball after bagging a hat-trick in the 6-1 rout of their Ryman League South visitors, setting up a home tie against the winners of last night’s (Tuesday’s) replay between Bideford and Didcot. It was strike partner Matt Woods who got Uxbridge the opener on five minutes. Once Wayne Carter had rifled in number two from the edge of the box just past the half hour the Kent side, nicknamed the Cannons, were little more than fodder for the rampant Reds.
Tomkins seven minutes later added a third after Hythe keeper Roddy Hayward had dropped a free-kick. His second followed after the break and the hat-trick duly arrived courtesy of a curling free-kick on 64 minutes. Woods made it six with his second before Ashley Miller lobbed home a consolation for Hythe. Uxbridge will be back for much-needed league points when they host Chalfont St Peter on Saturday.
Northwood’s Trophy progress proved more hazardous at home to Guernsey.
Woods will travel to Wimborne Town for the next round, but only after seeing off the Channel Islanders 5-3 on penalties after a 2-2 draw, the shootout avoiding a costly trip by air for a replay. An open game saw Ismail Ehui fire Woods in front with a smart turn and shot on 34 minutes, but the lead lasted just four minutes before Jacques Isabelle teed up Marc McGrath to level things. Woods had the better of the remainder of the 90, but could not force a winner and then found themselves behind in the first period of extra-time when Dominic Heume struck.
Time was running out for the hosts when Perry Dicker was thrown on for Jordan Lawal with just eight minutes left, but the substitute promptly ran onto a through-ball to slot home with his first touch – and so to penalties. Here, while Woods’ takers kept their nerve Guernsey sub Luke Winch was the man to miss their third kick, enabling Michael Murray to seal victory. Woods are back in league action on Saturday at home to Beaconsfield SYCOB.
Already out of the Trophy, AFC Hayes were without a game and are propping up the rest in the league ahead of Saturday’s visit to Bedworth United.
Meanwhile, Harefield United’s’s run in the FA Vase is over following a 3-1 defeat at Spartan League rivals Sun Sports in the first round. Ryan Kinane gave United a half-time lead, but they were sunk by three second-half strikes from the hosts. Elsewhere, Hillingdon Borough’s wretched Spartan South Midlands Premier form continued as they were beaten 3-0 at Biggleswade United. Borough entertain Berkhamstead on Saturday before hosting Sun Sports on Tuesday, while Harefield host Holmer Green this weekend.