Evo-Stik League Southern Hayes & Yeading United are home at long last – and now they want a push for promotion to get the crowds flocking.
After five seasons of playing in exile, the club are finally back in the borough of Hillingdon and on Friday returned with a game against Hendon, albeit a 2-0 defeat at the hands of the Ryman Premier’s Greens for Micky Lewis and his United side.
Since selling Church Road the club have endured troubles, sharing with Woking and Maidenhead as their Beaconsfield Road base was hit by various delays.
Despite the ground not being totally ready, they will be playing their Evo-Stik League Southern Premier matches there after gaining permission last week to play league fixtures on the site.
Chairman Tony O’Driscoll has worked tirelessly to get the club back home and says the wait was worth it. Now he wants the club to be fighting at the top end of the table to get the supporters coming through their new turnstiles.
He said: “It’s wonderful – a relief of course, but it’s fantastic to be back. It’s been a long old road but to play a game in the ground with fans watching, it’s great. It’s what we wanted, a place the club can call home. It’s not been easy but we stuck at it. We had to for the fans more than anything.
“I’m happy we’re in the Southern League – it’s more travelling but there are some new places to visit and with a bit of luck we can do well and see the new ground busy every week. That’s the goal.”
Hayes & Yeading United open their top flight campaign in the Evo-Stik League Southern at Frome Town on Saturday.