The first Saturday of August brings Cray Wanderers their final pre-season fixture before the Isthmian Premier starts and a first ever meeting with Hayes & Yeading United. Kick off at the SkyEx Community Stadium is 3pm.
After around three weeks of pre-season training and four and a half weeks of friendly games we reach that exciting point where everyone is ready to go for the start of the season but could happily perhaps fit in one more warm-up match before the serious business begins at Kingstonian next Saturday.
Cray would not have long to recover from a local derby game against Phoenix Sports on Thursday night which ended in a 5-3 defeat which followed on from three straight away wins. Two goals from Joe Taylor and another Karl Dent special were not enough to prevent defeat on Thursday night but certainly there have been plenty of positives pre-season and Cray were without three regulars against Phoenix (Barney Williams, Bradley Pritchard & Tom Phipp) so maybe weren’t totally at full strength.
Hayes & Yeading United like Cray Wanderers were impressive Isthmian League champions in 2018-19 with Hayes & Yeading winning the newly formed South-Central Division at something of a canter. They racked up 93 points and 129 points and Paul Hughes’ side begin life in the BetVictor Southern League Premier South having relocated from the Isthmian for 2019-20. They too begin their league season next Saturday with a very pleasant sounding trip to Tiverton Town. Their last friendly match was on Tuesday night where they drew 1-1 at Chalfont St Peter.
Hayes & Yeading United were only formed in the summer of 2007 as a merger between two Conference South teams, Hayes & Yeading and despite their relatively short history it has certainly been dramatic. In 2008-09 Hayes & Yeading United were promoted to the Conference National via the playoffs beating Eastleigh and a 3-2 win against Hampton & Richmond Borough in the final. Against the odds they remained in the Conference for three seasons before being relegated in 2011-12. They stayed in the Conference South until 2015-16 when they were relegated to the Southern League Premier and in 2017-18 relegated again but were relocated to the Isthmian South-Central. They made their way out of the division as champions and now back in Step 3 albeit back in the Southern League Premier South.
The original Hayes club were an established Isthmian League side gaining promotion as Champions in 1996 up to the Conference South. The Middlesex club brought through England internationals in Cyrille Regis and Les Ferdinand so produced quality forwards. Meetings with Hayes were rare as they played at a higher level than Cray but during the Wands run to the last 8 of the FA Amateur Cup in 1967-68 the Wands were drawn at Hayes in the round of the last 16 and Cray earned a replay after a 0-0 draw. Cray won the replay by way of an own goal and Hayes were one of three Isthmian League sides the Wands met in the competition. Yeading also played at Conference South level gaining promotion from the Isthmian in 2004-05 and gained nationwide publicity by reaching the 3rd Round of the FA Cup and were drawn at home to Newcastle United. The match was played at Loftus Road and despite a few scares Newcastle won 3-1. The following season they travelled to Nottingham Forest in the 1st Round of the FA Cup before bowing out 6-0. It wasn’t long until the merger of the two local clubs. Cray did play Yeading in the FA Trophy in 2006-07 and Cray were a whisker away from a famous win through Colin Luckett’s goal but a late leveller meant a replay at Yeading where they proved far too strong and another Luckett strike was mere consolation after a 1-7 defeat.
In 2017-18 the club moved into their new ground, the SkyEX Community Stadium after leaving Hayes’ old Church Road ground in 2011 and after that groundshared at Woking, Maidenhead and Beaconsfield Town and are now fully settled in their new home.
It is unusual for two Step 4 Isthmian champions to meet and then head off into different directions but both sides were worthy title winners last season in newly formed divisions and of all the pre-season games this is the one perhaps most looked forward to.
DIRECTIONS TO HAYES & YEADING UNITED FC
SKYex Community Stadium
Middlesex UB4 0SL
Admission for supporters is £6 adults, £4 concessions and £2 U16s – Please note that will not be a match programme available for this game
From the M40 / A40 (M):
Head eastbound towards London.
Take the Target Roundabout exit, signposted Northolt, Harrow & Hayes.
At the top of the slip road take the third exit (the first after exit towards London) onto the A312 towards Hayes.
The next roundabout (The White Hart) is about 1 mile and a half on. Here ignore signs to Yeading (3rd exit) instead take the second exit towards Hayes and Heathrow to stay on the A312 (Hayes By-Pass).
At the next roundabout, again ignore signs to Yeading and carry straight over.
Take the next exit signposted Southall and Uxbridge (A4020 Uxbridge Road).
At the top of the slip road take the first exit towards Southall and follow the ‘directions continue here’ below.
From the M4:
Take Junction 3 (Heston, Hounslow, Southall & Hayes).
Head northbound towards Hayes along the A312 The Parkway (Hayes By-Pass).
Go over the first roundabout (Tesco’s is off to the right) and over the flyover.
Ignore the next junction signposted to Hayes and take the second signposted Hayes, Uxbridge & Southall.
At the end of the sliproad is the Ossie Garvin roundabout.
Take the third exit towards Southall and follow the ‘directions continue here’ below.
Directions continue here…
Head eastbound along the (A4020) Uxbridge Road signposted to Southall.
Get into the far right hand lane as soon as you can to turn right into Springfield Road at the next set of traffic lights (There is a retail development with a Wickes on the corner of Springfield Road)
Follow the road, past ‘Goals’ on your right.
The road bears left into Beaconsfield Road, and about 100 yards on your right is the entrance to the ground.
By Public Transport
Hayes & Harlington Rail Station is 15 minutes from Paddington and easily reached from the West. From here it is best to take a 5-10 minute cab ride to the ground as it is a good 30 minutes plus walk, through Hayes Town up Coldharbour Lane and onto the Uxbridge Road where you can pick up directions above. There is a cab firm just by the station.
Trains from Paddington leave on a Saturday leave at pretty regular intervals and at least 8 trains an hour. On the return there are also plenty of trains getting back it is just getting to Paddington from our part of the world you need to sort out (possibly via Victoria and the underground).
Hayes & Yeading United do not suggest you try Southall station as the Beaconsfield Road you can see on most maps near Southall Station does not connect with the Beaconsfield Road the ground is on, it is divided by the canal.
Alternatively take the tube to Uxbridge Underground station (Metropolitan or Piccadilly lines) and at the bus station adjoining, hop on a bus towards Shepherd’s Bush and alight at Springfield Road. It is 7-8 minute walk to the ground from here.
Admission for supporters is £6 adults, £4 concessions and £2 U16s – We will not have a programme available for this game
Nearest pubs. Your best bet would be to go into Hayes Town where the Botwell Inn, The Old Crown, The Steak & Lobster and the Adam & Eve all look to be worth a visit. As the ground is a bit of a hike from the station/town centre it may be best to hop their after the game if you’ve got time especially as trains are regular back to London. There aren’t too many towards Southall so maybe to sample the wares inside the ground. I imagine plenty of curry houses and places specialising in Eastern food en-route to the ground.
Hayes was historically part of Middlesex but became part of the London Borough of Hillingdon in 1965. The area is famed for its part in the music recording industry as the EMI and also the Old Vinyl Factory which printed many famous records and LPs particularly the legendary Sgt Pepper’s Lonley Hearts Club Band. Also the iconic Marshall amplifier stack was first produced there. It is also the home town of the great British author George Orwell and one of the leading early British composer William Byrd. You probably don’t need to go to Yeading which is not too far down the road from Hayes & Southall and stands on the Grand Union Canal. We did play at their old Warren Ground which was used for the filming of Bend It Like Beckham and the Vinnie Jones remake version of Mean Machine.