The visitors spurned a couple of great chances early on but found themselves in front 20-minutes into the match when Skepelhorn bundled home Luke Daley’s cross.
United centre-back, Devante McKain, was then shown a second yellow card for hauling down Skepelhorn 25-yards from goal, and Matty Whichelow took the chance to double the lead, dispatching the set-piece into the top left-hand corner.
Luke Daley, Skepelhorn and Bricknell, on his return from injury, then added gloss to the win with second-half goals to make sure of the three points and breathe some much needed confidence into the squad. Lee Sawyer did, however, have his last minute penalty saved by 'keeper Dan Lincoln.
The Clarets, who had struggled for goals and form prior to this match, made two changes to the side that lost the last League match at home to Truro, with Mark Haines and Bagasan Graham coming in for Michael Thalassitis and Aiden Palmer, while Billy Bricknell returned to the bench after two months out after suffering a broken toe. Hayes, meanwhile, started the match with Ismael Ehui, their top scorer with five goals, on the substitutes’ bench.
On a soggy and heavy pitch, the passing from both teams was somewhat slow with the ball holding up and rolling very slowly. It made for treacherous conditions, although Skepelhorn almost profited from it as his interchange with Luke Daley – playing in a slightly more central role – resulted in a shot that sailed just wide of the far upright early on.
The formation felt a little jumbled in the opening stages with Matty Whichelow, skipper Mark Hughes and Ben Marlow figuring in central midfield with the lively Bagasan Graham and Rob Girdlestone acting as wing-backs, although City soon got a foothold and used it to their advantage.
The first clear-cut chance came after Whichelow’s cross-field ball dropped to the unmarked Graham. The winger took it down on his chest before sending a teasing cross into the box which the on-running Daley could only side-foot over from six yards.
It was a poorly taken effort that has perhaps summed up City’s misfortune in front of goal that had seen them score just twice in their last four matches prior to this – with both those goals being sourced from Skepelhorn.
Graham and Daley then had a chance apiece to take the lead, first it was Graham’s shot that was hit straight into the stomach of goalkeeper Lincoln, and Daley was unable to convert the rebound thanks to some last-ditch defending.
Chelmsford unquestionably dominated the opening twenty minutes and were eventually rewarded when Daley was set free on the left flank. He drove into the box, feasting on the United defence getting dragged towards the ball and, when the chance looked to have eclipsed the Clarets, he teed up Skepelhorn to slide the ball home.
Dibble’s gloves were then stung as ex-Claret Mason Spence looked to get his side back in it, but the City ‘keeper was equal to the effort from 25-yards and parried away.
Things then went from bad to worse for Hayes as they were reduced to ten men seven minutes before the break. Devante McKain hauled down Skepelhorn when he was through on goal, leaving the referee with no option but to give the centre-back his marching orders and his second booking of the match.
And if that wasn’t enough, Matty Whichelow inflicted further damage as he curled an unstoppable free-kick into the top corner from 25-yards to double the advantage.
It set the Clarets up nicely going into the second-half and their lead was furthered three minutes into the second-half when Hayes failed to pick-up Skepelhorn in the box. The youngster then turned provider to set-up Daley who watched as his scuffed shot dribbled over the line to make it 3-0.
Adam Everitt then looked to claw United back into the match, but the skipper dragged his shot inches wide of the post with Dibble stretching.
Hayes’ woes were exaggerated four minutes later when Skepelhorn netted his fourth goal in three games, tucking low into the bottom corner after being set free by Matty Whichelow.
Skepelhorn was then denied his first City hat-trick when his outside-of-the-boot effort was palmed away by Lincoln who was outstretched and exposed.
Soon after, he was replaced by Billy Bricknell, making his first City appearance since 19th September, and was greeted by a warm cheer from the travelling City faithful.
Chelmsford dominated the closing stages as one would expect and restricted Hayes to limited chances, and Bricknell marked his return with a well-taken finish ten minutes from time as he coolly picked his spot after wriggling free in the box.
Lee Sawyer had a penalty saved with one minute remaining and Girdlestone was denied a stunning goal from the gloves of Lincoln, but the result and performance is one that will undoubtedly please Mark Hawkes and the Clarets’ fans who return to Essex with a crucial and well deserved three points, taking them up to seventh in the National League South table.
Hayes & Yeading:
1. Dan Lincoln
2. Jim Fenlon
3. Max Worsfold
4. Lewis Ferrell
5. Devante McCain
6. Adam Bygrave
7. Cole Brown
8. Adam Everitt (C)
9. Josh Scott
10. Mason Spence
11. Elliot Benyon
12. Ismael Ehui (On for Josh Scott, 84’)
13. Delroy Preddie
14. Colin Mugoya (On for Mason Spence, 65’)
15. Matt Sinclair
16. Dylan Kearney (On for Cole Brown, 65’)
1. Christian Dibble
2. Rob Girdlestone
3. Bagasan Graham
4. Mark Hughes (C)
5. Marvin Ekpiteta
6. Rory McAuley
7. Ben Marlow
8. Mark Haines
9. Matthew Whichelow
10. Luke Daley
11. Hugo Skepelhorn
12. Billy Bricknell (On for Hugo Skepelhorn, 61’)
14. Harry Morgan (On for Mark Hughes, 83’)
15. Lee Sawyer (On for Bagasan Graham, 78’)
16. Aiden Palmer
17. Damien Green
Referee: Mr. Daniel Leach
Assistant referees: Mr. Nicholas MacKenzie and Mr. Neil Templey
Hayes & Yeading: Devante McKain (12’, foul, 38’, foul), Jim Fenlon (61’, foul)
Chelmsford City: Bagasan Graham (61’, dissent)
Hayes & Yeading: Devante McKain (38’, second bookable offence)
Chelmsford City: None
Hayes & Yeading: None
Chelmsford City: Hugo Skepelhorn (20’, 53’), Matty Whichelow (39’), Luke Daley (49’), Billy Bricknell (80’)
City Man of the Match: Bagasan Graham