NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Late leveller leaves Wisbech Town frustrated ahead of crunch basement battle
PUBLISHED: 08:54 28 November 2019 | UPDATED: 08:54 28 November 2019
Two precious Northern Premier League points slipped away from Wisbech Town last Saturday.
The Fenmen were stung by a last-gasp equaliser from Sheffield FC as their South East Division clash at the Elgoods Fenland Stadium ended in a 2-2 deadlock.
Hayes' men had earlier taken control thanks to two goals in as many minutes from recent signing Danny Draper.
The former Eynesbury Rovers midfielder opened his Fenmen account in the 14th minute and then quickly doubled the advantage.
But Wisbech saw their lead halved five minutes before the break and were then pegged back in the 90th minute.
"There's no doubt it's a game we should have won," said Hayes.
"We created more than enough chances to do that while dominating for long periods, but couldn't take anywhere near enough of them.
"Then, at the other end, we didn't manage pressure well enough and conceded goals late in both halves which are pivotal parts of games.
"We've showed in our last two home games against Belper and Sheffield FC that we can compete against good sides at this level.
"There were loads of plusses, but we need to pick up more points."
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And Hayes admits the pressure is on this Saturday when the Fenmen travel to fellow strugglers Sutton Coldfield, 3pm, for a crucial clash in the race to avoid the drop.
The two sides are level on 10 points - one above basement side Newcastle Town - but Sutton Coldfield boast four games in hand on Hayes' men. Sutton Coldfield beat Newcastle Town 2-1 last Saturday.
"It's a massive game and it's one we have to go and win," added Hayes. "Sutton Coldfield will see it as a great opportunity to follow up their win last weekend and move clear of us while still having a lot of games in hand.
"But we need to ensure that doesn't happen. We've got to go there and perform for the full 90 minutes.
"I feel we're one result away from turning the season around and hopefully we can get it at Sutton Coldfield.
"I've said many times that I believe we will stay up, but talk is cheap and we need to prove it on the pitch."
Hayes was delighted with the contribution of defender Beckham Kennelly against Sheffield FC in his first Town appearance for several months following a serious knee injury.
But Kennelly is unavailable for the trip to Sutton Coldfield as he is unable to play on a 3G pitch.
Hayes has received a boost after full-back Conor Green opted against a move to Belper Town.
But another recent signing, central defender Michael Adeyemi, has been released by Hayes after only two appearances for the club.
The London-based man couldn't commit to training regularly with the Fenmen.