Lewis set to savour Hayes return home
Director of football ‘like a kid in sweet shop’ FOOTBALL
HAYES & Yeading United’s Director of football turned all Judy Garland this week admitting: ‘There’s no place like home’.
Tristan Lewis was finally preparing to take his seat at the SkyEx Community Stadium last night (Tuesday) for the club’s first competitive fixture back in the borough.
Hitchin Town were due to take to the field at the Beaconsfield Road venue yesterday for United’s second match of the new Southern League Premier campaign.
Lewis will have been hoping for a better result than Saturday’s league opener at Frome Town as they were beaten 2-1 in Somerset despite Ismael Ehui netting a penalty.
Lewis, who has also held the position of manager and assistant manager, has been part of the furniture at United for five years now.
But the club has led a nomadic existence throughout that period with his side hosting games first at Woking and latterly at Maidenhead while plans for their new stadium hit delays.
So with that competitive exile coming to an end, the director of football’s romanticism is understandable.
And while he may have traded Dorothy’s ruby slippers for more traditional sporting footwear, Lewis admits the prospect of coming home has brought out the little boy in him.
“I have been here five years and haven’t had a ‘ home’ game yet which is a bit weird,” he told the Gazette. “So I’m probably going to be like a kid in a sweet shop by the time we actually play.”
Hayes & Yeading are running with a new-look squad this season under boss Mickey Lewis and confirmed the return of former Charlton full-back Yassin Moutaouakil last week.
Moutaouakil previously spent time at United between 2011 and 2013 where he became a popular defender among the supporters.
Meanwhile, Northwood endured a tricky start to their Division One Central campaign as newly-promoted Ashford Town took the points.
Most of Mark Burgess’ side have moved on over the summer and there were six debutants in the 3-1 reverse, with the player-boss getting a consolation goal for his side.
Uxbridge also suffered an opening-day defeat while AFC Hayes were last night due to take on Abingdon at Farm Park in an FA Cup replay after a goalless draw on Saturday. RUISLIP racer Thomas Gray picked up his first BSA Superkart Series trophy of the year at Donington. The gutsy driver had endured some rotten luck at the Derby circuit a month earlier but put that behind him with some dazzling performances. Those bad memories from the previous round were fresh in the memory for the team and they feared another poor weekend when the driver injured his back before race one.
Add to that a broken gearbox on the camper van used to transport the kart north and things were looking grim.
But the following morning brought fresh hope as Gray recovered in time to qualify and exceeded expectations despite having missed out on practice.
The newly-rebuilt Honda CR250 engine was unable to run at full race pace but somehow the petrol head managed to secure third place on the grid.
Reliability and engine management remained the order of the day for race one.
However, another strong showing yielded second place and only missed out on the fastest lap by a tenth of a second.
Victory was within reach in race two until a spin forced him to work his way back through the pack to claim third spot and a second podium.
With two trophies in the bag, Gray was in with a shout to win the overall meeting if results were favourable in the final race of the weekend.
But mechanical problems and an unwanted visit to the pits saw his dreams shattered but he still managed to limp home to eighth in class to end a good set of results in difficult circumstances.
n WANDERING DAYS ARE OVER: Hayes director of football Tristan Lewis, left, with manager Mickey Lewis are looking forward to the club’s first game at their new stadium, below. Pictures: John-Patrick Fletcher
n BACK: Yassin Moutaouakil has returned to Hayes
n SETBACKS: Thomas Gray co.uk www.sadiejanephotography.