‘We’ll never give up battle’
United boss switches up the intensity on the pitch FOOTBALL
THE first rule of football is you must always play to the whistle and Hayes & Yeading United will no be allowed to stop running as long as Garry Haylock is in charge.
The 44-year-old manager is back at the helm for a second time after returning to the club in October and has been putting his own stamp on the team.
Known for firm discipline, Haylock has been insisting on his players upping their efforts in training and made working on health and fitness one of his top priorities at Beaconsfield Road.
Heads will not be allowed to drop until the referee signals the end of each fixture and that much was evident at the weekend as Elliot Benyon struck in stoppage time against Eastbourne in the FA Trophy.
That goal earned Hayes & Yeading another bite at the trophy last night (Tuesday) and was proof that Haylock’s never-say-die mentality will pay dividends as the season progresses.
“I suppose any manager will come in and try and improve fitness,” he explained.
“I think the fitness levels were just a lack of pre-season or poor recovery from injury, I think that’s more the case.
“It’s something you can always work on, but I’ve always tried to work specifically on football fitness rather than running round the pitch and training in that way.
“We are trying to improve the intensity to our game and that’s crucial.”
There were two new faces in the Hayes & Yeading squad at York Road on Saturday as they scrapped for that draw with Eastbourne.
Former Uxbridge goalkeeper Rourke Pickford is been drafted in as cover for first-choice stopper Dan Lincoln and remained an interested spectator on the bench.
However, there was a debut for young full-back Jake Sheppard in defence following his arrival from Championship side Reading on loan.
He joins 19-year-old striker Matt Jay in making a short-term switch to United as he agreed to drop down to non-league level from Exeter City.
Jay made his second appearance in the red shirt against Boro but could not replicate the goalscoring start he made to his Hayes & Yeading career against Truro City.
Meanwhile, in the Southern League Division One Central, Northwood completed a double over Arlesey Town on Saturday as they triumphed 1-0 in Bedfordshire.
The Woods smashed Town 5-0 on the opening day of the season and Michael Murray’s stunning free-kick gave them another three points on Saturday.
Mark Dennison gave Uxbridge the lead against promotion contenders Royston, but they could not hold onto the advantage in the second period and were forced to settle for a draw.
AFC Hayes also grabbed a 1-1 draw in their Combined Counties Premier clash with Farnham, Bradley Hand on target for the Brook.