‘We are still in with a shout’

SPORT Sur­vival would be a ‘mas­sive achieve­ment’

Harefield Gazette - - SPORT -

TRIS­TAN Lewis thinks it will be a mas­sive achieve­ment if Hayes & Yead­ing United man­age to es­cape rel­e­ga­tion from Con­fer­ence South af­ter an­other sea­son of tur­moil.

Lewis was ap­pointed in­terim manager in March fol­low­ing the de­par­ture of for­mer Liver­pool and Repub­lic of Ire­land de­fender Phil Babb by mu­tual con­sent.

He made a dream start by end­ing a run of 10 games with­out a victory by beat­ing Sut­ton 1-0 and then se­cured a priceless 2-0 win over rel­e­ga­tion ri­vals Farn­bor­ough.

Staines Town be­came the first team to slip through the trap­door at the week­end fol­low­ing a goal­less draw at St Al­bans City and only one more club will join them af­ter the ex­pul­sion of Sal­is­bury City this sea­son.

United know that sink­ing feel­ing all too well, hav­ing been de­moted from the di­vi­sion last term only to earn a dra­matic re­prieve af­ter Here­ford United were ex­pelled from the Con­fer­ence.

Their battle to avoid a re­peat this sea­son is still on­go­ing and has been fought amidst a back­drop of fi­nan­cial prob­lems as they strive to com­plete their Bea­cons­field Road ground.

Chair­man Tony O’Driscoll has been locked in ne­go­ti­a­tions with a fi­nan­cial backer over a pro­posed £300,000 in­vest­ment and a res­o­lu­tion is ex­pected early next week.

That fund­ing is vi­tal to se­cure the long-term fu­ture of the club and get them play­ing back in the bor­ough, with boss Lewis hop­ing it will be as a Con­fer­ence South club.

He said: “We’ve got a lot more work to do. We’re not over the line yet but we’re cer­tainly in a bet­ter po­si­tion than we were a few weeks ago.

“The play­ers have been bril­liant. Ev­ery sin­gle one of them has been bril­liant – the vibe has been good but it only takes a cou­ple of bad re­sults and ev­ery­one gets twitchy.

“We know we’re not the fin­ished ar­ti­cle, we wouldn’t be in a rel­e­ga­tion battle if we were, but we know that our job is to keep this team in this league.

“We’re all do­ing our best to be as pro­fes­sional as we can and keep the club in the di­vi­sion then try and build a foot­ball club again.

“I think I’ve said that three years in a row now though, and that’s the prob­lem we’ve got to solve.

“We are living week to week and I don’t think peo­ple re­alise quite how dif­fi­cult it is. If we can stay up, then in a strange way, it’s an achieve­ment. I know peo­ple prob­a­bly won’t agree but I think it would be a mas­sive achieve­ment.

“Peo­ple for­get we were rel­e­gated last year and we’ve been close to go­ing out of busi­ness a cou­ple of times this year. We’ve got staff work­ing for free but we’ve not lost any pas­sion. The play­ers are in good spir­its. It’s not doom and gloom, even though it prob­a­bly should be, and that’s tes­ta­ment to the work every­body has put in. Ev­ery sin­gle week is tough.”

Hayes & Yead­ing were last night (Tues­day) due to visit Bath City be­fore host­ing a Bas­ingstoke Town side beaten 4-2 by Weald­stone at the week­end, at York Road on Satur­day. Gor­don Bartlett’s Weald­stone can do United a favour by tak­ing points off Farn­bor­ough in three days’ time. A MASS brawl which saw North­wood’s South­ern League Di­vi­sion One Cen­tral match with Bedworth United aban­doned on Satur­day has been de­scribed as ‘hand­bags’ by North­wood’s player-manager.

Mark Burgess, pic­tured be­low, was sent off for his role in the in­ci­dent, along with a sub­sti­tute from each bench, af­ter a scuf­fle fol­low­ing the dis­missal of Bedworth’s Daniel Du­bidat at Chest­nut Av­enue.

Du­bidat had opened the scor­ing for the vis­i­tors on the half-hour but saw red af­ter kick­ing out at North­wood’s Steve Brown mid­way through the sec­ond half and had an al­ter­ca­tion with play­ers in the Woods dugout.

Burgess said: “It wasn’t a nasty game. It came out of the blue. Their cen­tre for­ward and our de­fender tan­gled and as they were get­ting up their player kicked out and was sent off. As he was walk­ing off, he kicked a ball into our dugout. One of our subs asked him why and he swore back at him, which sparked a big pile-up. He sent me off, two of their play­ers, their two coach­ing staff and one of one of our sub­sti­tutes. Ap­par­ently their manager wouldn’t leave so that’s why he aban­doned the game. He jumped over the hoard­ings be­hind the dugout but didn’t leave.” The FA has con­firmed it is in­ves­ti­gat­ing. Bedworth manager Stu­art Storer said: “I am not knock­ing the ref but I have to say, if he had han­dled it dif­fer­ently, things would have been okay. He sent me and my as­sis­tant off for try­ing to calm things down. I think the prob­lem was the ref was not de­ci­sive enough.”

Strug­gling AFC Hayes con­tin­ued their slide to rel­e­ga­tion as they were beaten 2-0 by Ayles­bury United at the week­end.

They re­sume their quest for sur­vival on Satur­day at a Mar­low side who beat Tony Choules’ Uxbridge at the week­end de­spite hav­ing two play­ers sent off at Hon­ey­croft, with Dave Thomas and Matty Woods goals not enough to pre­vent a 3-2 loss for the Red Army.

Uxbridge were last night (Tues­day) due to travel to Han­well Town. In the Spar­tan League Pre­mier Di­vi­sion, Hilling­don Bor­ough lost 3-0 at Berkham­stead on Satur­day while Hare­field United were 2-1 win­ners at Holmer Green.

Pub­lished by Trinity Mir­ror South­ern, at Stoke Mill, Wok­ing Road, Guild­ford, Sur­rey, GU1 1QA. Reg­is­tered at the Post Of­fice as a news­pa­per. Printed at Mir­ror Colour Print Ltd, St Al­bans Road, Wat­ford, Hert­ford­shire, WD24 7RG

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