Mariners Hit by Opening Day Hayles-Storm

Ridley, Hayles

DATE: Saturday 8th August 2009 | VENUE: The Abbey Business Stadium | COMPETITION: Coca-Cola League Two | ATT: 3572

If ever there was a game of two halves then this was it as the Mariners were hit by a Hayles-storm in the second half at Cheltenham Town.

The introduction of veteran striker Barry Hayes sparked a revival from a home side who had been outclassed in the first 45 minutes.

Barry Conlon’s opener was scant reward for Mike Newell’s men who had confidently stroked the ball around the Abbey Business Stadium pitch. Conlon and Peter Sweeney had already tested home stopper Scott Brown when the Mariners took the lead just before the half hour.

Neat build-up on the right from Chris Jones, Sweeney and Adam Proudlock saw the latter cross for strike partner Conlon to bundle home from close range.

The second period was a different tale and the Robins soon drew level. Substitute Hayles was the architect with a quick burst of pace that left the Mariners’ midfield static. His cross-field ball was picked up by Lee Ridley and the ex-Scunthorpe man saw his deflected 25-yard shot fly into the top corner.

Midway through the half the turnaround was complete and this time Hayles was the scorer. Strike partner Elvis Hammond caused problems down the right and his low cross was slammed into the roof of the net by ex-Fulham man Hayles.

The Mariners threatened an equaliser at the death but both Conlon and Robbie Stockdale missed good chances to snatch the point.

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