Chris O (follow on Twitter: @COakleyFtbl)
Sat 27 October 2007

SPAOTP's Road to Wembley: FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round

Another round, another team for us on our Road to Wembley as today we feature Hayes and Yeading United, the team who knocked out our previous focus of attention Chelmsford City 1-0.

This afternoon saw the Fourth Qualifying Round of the FA Cup (sponsored by E.OR (sorry, 'E.ON')) taking place and Hayes and Yeading found themselves playing away at Maidenhead United. Before we reflect on what happened, let's put everything into perspective for you.

Hayes and Yeading United only came into existence back in May when the merger came about of, yes, you've guessed it, Hayes and Yeading. They play in the Blue Square South (or Football Conference South as it's known in non-commercial circles), and if you're wondering what level that is in the English football pyramid system, here's a diagram to show you (click to enlarge).

Hayes and Yeading are currently 13th in the Conference South table out of 22 teams and are currently enjoying a seven-game unbeaten run that goes right back to the beginning of September. Top scorer in the league so far is Staforde Palmer with four goals although several other players in the squad have chipped in too this season including Will Hendry (3), Nevin Saroya (2) and Simon Martin (2).

Hayes and Yeading United are managed by Garry Haylock, previously manager of Yeading FC until the end of 2006 and a man who knows what its like to play much higher up the football food chain. As a player, Horlock was a prolific goalscorer at clubs such as Huddersfield Town, Shelbourne, Dundalk, Linfield, Glentoran and Portadown (where he topped the Northern Irish league scoring charts in 1996 and 1997).

He's also played in the European Cup during his spell in Irish football as well as Greece where he once played for Panionios GS. While there, he appeared in the quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup Winners Cup in 1998-99 where Lazio were his opponents.

With that sort of pedigree, you'd think today's oppenents, Maidenhead United, would be quaking in their boots - especially as they're five places lower than Hayes and Yeading in the Conference South table.

Well let's just say they obviously hadn't read his biography before today's encounter because this afternoon's ninety minutes of toil and hard graft ended up in a 1-0 win for Maidenhead. Manny Williams goal just before the half-hour mark wasn't equalled by the time the referee blew his whistle, so that's it - SPAOTP lose another team in an away fixture and we have to say goodbye to Hayes and Yeading for this season.

On the plus side, we now have Maidenhead United as our new team and it's them we'll be following for the thrilling FIRST ROUND PROPER on Saturday 10th November. Oh and hot news folks - they've already done the draw at FA Headquarters, and guess what? Our team will be playing away AGAIN!

Maidenhead were pulled out of the hat in tie number 26 of 40 to play Horsham, who play in the Isthmian League Premier Division where they're currently fourth in the table, three places below one of our previous Road to Wembley teams, Chelmsford City!

Could this be a rare win for SPAOTP in this season's FA Cup (sponsored by E.ON)? Watch this space to find out...

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