Despite dominating large periods of the game that was being played at Maidenhead United’s York Road ground, City were unable to respond to a superb free-kick from MacDonald and a deflected effort by Layne.
Lee Sawyer won and converted a penalty for the Clarets just before the half time interval but despite creating by far the better chances of the second period they were unable to beat Grant Smith for a second time and snatch a point.
It was a disappointing start to a busy Christmas period then for Mark Hawkes and his side, and off the back of the last-gasp 3-2 win against Eastbourne Borough last weekend the City gaffer named an unchanged side.
Earlier in the week Hayes & Yeading released a number of their squad, including top-scorer Pat Cox, and the absence of Cox was one of three changes to Phil Babb’s side following the defeat to Wealdstone in the FA Trophy last time out.
Attacking up the slope City made the brighter start of the two sides but they found themselves behind after less than quarter of an hour after Gary MacDonald put the home side in front.
After Mark Hughes was adjudged to have committed a foul on the edge of the area MacDonald curled an unstoppable free-kick into the top corner past the despairing dive of Bradley Watkins to put Hayes in front.
For City to make it four consecutive league wins they would need to come from behind for the first time this season and immediately set about finding an equaliser as Jason Williams stung the palms of Grant Smith.
But after a strong penalty appeal for City had been turned down, after Joe Ward went down in the area, Chelmsford’s task was made twice as difficult as Isaac Layne doubled Hayes’ advantage.
Under pressure from Yado Mambo, Layne managed to get a shot away with his left which took a wicked deflection to deceive the already committed Watkins and find the bottom corner.
Hayes were now in dreamland but having failed to secure a league win since September if the Clarets could get a goal back they were right back in it.
Shortly after going two behind Ward’s free kick beat Smith but couldn’t be converted at the far post by Mambo and Marvin Ekpiteta.
Williams should have done better after a long ball from Leon Redwood saw him the wrong side of the Hayes back line, but after cutting inside onto his right foot his effort was deflected wide.
But just before the break Chelmsford did manage to cut the home side’s advantage to one after Lee Sawyer was brought down in the penalty area by Greg Morgan. The City number seven brushed himself off to calmly slot Chelmsford’s 11th penalty of the season home to make it 2-1.
Going into the interval with their tails up City came out looking to level early and created two chances when Rohdell Gordon’s strike was blocked wide for a corner and Michael Cheek’s header narrowly missed the far post.
Hayes arguably should have had a penalty when Redwood bundled over Morgan in the area with the referee waving away the appeals, but it apart from that it was all City as they continued to create the best chances in front of goal.
Hughes was guilty of heading over from point-blank-range after a deep corner and, after Cheek had seen his effort deflected wide, another deep corner was headed back to Hughes whose volley was brilliantly tipped over by Smith in the Hayes goal.
City continued to huff and puff with Williams flicking a near-post volley over and Sawyer’s low effort from a cleared corner failing to test Smith.
With time running out Chelmsford kept the pressure ramped up on the Hayes goal but were unable to force an equaliser.
Williams’ half-vollyed effort went just wide of Smith’s right hand post and deep, deep into stoppage time Williams was unable to get his header under the crossbar as the Clarets succumbed to defeat in the league for the first time in over a month.
Hayes & Yeading United:
1. Grant Smith
2. Lewis Ferrell
3. Adam Everett
4. Gary MacDonald
5. Matt Ruby
6. Dean Inman (C)
7. Greg Morgan
8. Matty Harriot
9. Nathan Elder
10. Isaac Layne
11. Mason Spence
12. Ashleigh Artwell
14. Rhys Murrell-Williamson (On for Isaac Lane 90')
15. Dylan Kearney (On for Nathan Elder 63’)
16. Josiah Benjamin
21. Calum Kitscha
1. Bradley Watkins
2. Robert Girdlestone
3. Leon Redwood
4. Mark Hughes (C)
5. Marvin Ekpiteta
6. Yado Mambo
7. Lee Sawyer
8. Joe Ward
9. Jason Williams
10. Michael Cheek
11. Rohdell Gordon
12. Nicky Nicolau
13. Niklas Freund
14. Michael Toner
15. Sam Gregory
16. Christian Smith
Referee: Timothy Wood
Assistants: Kevin Howick & Benjamin James
Hayes & Yeading United: Gary MacDonald 13’, Isaac Layne 27’
Chelmsford City: Lee Sawyer (p)42’
Hayes & Yeading United: Isaac Layne (Dissent – 26’)
Chelmsford City: Mark Hughes (Handball – 52’)
City Man of the Match: Lee Sawyer