The Rebels returned to Holloways Park – Hayes & Yeading’s temporary home – for the first time since August, but their struggling hosts made much the better start to the game as they took the game to Slough, who had dropped to fifth place following the Boxing Day fixtures.
Despite losing striker Josh Hutchinson to injury inside the opening ten minutes, United started strongly with former Slough midfielder Ryan Hope testing Mark Scott from distance.
The hosts took the lead with 16 minutes played, from a swift counter-attack which started in their own half. Mahlondo Martin won the ball in his own penalty area and picked out Hope, who ran at the Slough defence before releasing Mitchell Weiss in the left channel. Weiss advanced on Scott and fired the ball across him and into the far corner to open the scoring.
Just two minutes later, United could have doubled their lead, but substitute Dylan Kearney’s fierce 25-yard effort was tipped over by Scott.
But a deserved second Hayes & Yeading goal did arrive just before the half hour mark. A corner was only partially cleared after a punch from Scott, and after Martin chipped the ball back into the danger area, the Slough defenders moved up the pitch but Terence Carter remained onside, and got in front of Scott to toe the ball past the out-of-position keeper.
Slough only really started to threaten near the end of the first half; Charlie Moone had a shot deflected wide by Darren Locke, and from the resulting corner a swerving shot from Simon Dunn was kept out by Danny Boness and gathered at the second attempt.
The Rebels were in fact fortunate not to fall three goals behind on the stroke of half time, as Callum Adebiyi headed a near post corner from Martin off target.
However, after a stern talking-to during the half time break, and a double substitution with Gavin James and Warren Harris entering the match, Slough very quickly got back on level terms early in the second half.
Less than a minute had been played when Lewis Putman’s floated free kick delivery was powerfully volleyed in by Mark Nisbet from six yards.
Three minutes later, Boness produced a tip-over to deny Paul Stonehouse, though the full-back mishit his effort from Putman’s ball into the box.
But the scores were level on 51 minutes as Rebels skipper Sean Fraser scored only his third goal for the club on his 199th appearance. The right-back linked up with Harris on the right and found space in the penalty area to drive into, before lashing a powerful shot high past Boness.
United thought they had regained the lead soon after, but Kearney was adjudged to have been narrowly offside after being fed by Martin.
Putman went close for the Rebels on the hour mark, putting the ball wide from 35 yards, and Boness was well placed to hold an effort from Lee Togwell as Slough pushed on, looking for a third goal. Warren Harris then hit the far post with a low drive across the face of goal as Slough increased the pressure.
Flood headed another Putman free kick over but on 72 minutes, Slough found the goal they had been searching for, and it proved to be decisive. Gavin James capped a fine second half performance by lashing the ball into the bottom corner after turning inside two United defenders onto his left foot. It was the striker’s first goal in three months, and the Rebels will be extremely glad to have him back after his injury lay-off.
Hayes & Yeading United Line up
Danny Boness, Jack Smith, Callum Adebiyi, Connor Toomey, Tom Broadbent (c), Darren Locke, Mahlondo Martin (Adam Everitt), Ryan Hope, Mitchell Weiss, Josh Hutchinson (Dylan Kearney), Terence Carter (Cole Brown). Substitutes not used: Chris Benton, James Taylor.