Matt Gray was able to celebrate his first FA Cup win as Sutton manager, but not before U's had been given every bit as hard a test as was expected against a Hayes & Yeading side suffering their first competitive defeat of the season.
U's place in the second round for the first time since 2016 was secured by one of the few moments of quality in a scrappy and untidy game that wasn't helped by a gusty wind, but in the FA Cup the result is all that matters and U's deserve credit for overcoming what could have been a large banana skin against an in-form and confident side who had scored in every game so far this season.
In an untidy first half hour neither side was able to take any control, the early enthusiasm shown by Hayes on and off the pitch dampened by an efficient defensive performance from U's, who were however unable to stamp any more authority on the game in the opposition half. Hayes goalkeeper Tyla Dickinson had to be watchful when a Joe Kizzi header from a free kick threatened to dip under his crossbar, and Isaac Olaofe put a header too high as U's created half chances, but at the other end Dean Bouzanis was untroubled, apart from when he needed brief attention from the physios, and watched one shot from Amos Nasha drift harmlessly wide.
The best moment of the half came eight minutes before the interval when Omar Bugiel, making his 100th appearance for Sutton, guided David Ajiboye's cross in to the path of Olaofe, who made space and fired in a rising shot that was superbly tipped over by Dickinson, while former Sutton striker Moses Emmanuel should have done better at the other end when he escaped the Sutton defence to meet a free kick with a header which he glanced well wide.
The home goalkeeper had to be alert twice early in the second half, grabbing the ball in his six yard box as Sutton looked to capitalise on knock downs at free kicks, but just as it seemed U's might be gaining the upper hand Hayes enjoyed their best spell as Emmanuel scuffed a shot wide after Hassan Jalloh had escaped rather too easily on the left, and the lively Tyler Goodrham produced somce neat skill before sending in a dipping shot that Bouzanis had to push away to his left. Moments later Francis Amartey created space for a shot on the left that was diverted in to the path of Emmanuel, and Bouzanis again came to U's rescue as he dived at the striker's feet to save.
David Ajiboye was unlucky with a dipping 25 yard shot that went just over, and soon afterwards U's made their first change, bringing on Donovan Wilson for Olaofe, and it paid almost immediate dividends as within three minutes of his arrival Wilson beat two defenders on the edge of the penalty area before laying a pass out to Randall, who curled his first time shot beyond Dickinson in to the far corner of the net.
There were some predictably difficult moments for U's, playing in to the wind, in the last twenty minutes as Hayes fought to preserve their unbeaten record, none more so than when another former Sutton striker, Shaquille Hippolyte-Patrick, headed just wide within moments of coming on after a misunderstanding between Bouzanis and Ben Wyatt had seen the defender loop a header across his own goal, but despite losing Bugiel and Randall to injury in the closing stages U's were able to close out a valuable, and extremely hard-earned, victory and look forward to Monday's second round draw.
Sutton: D Bouzanis, J Kizzi, B Wyatt, C Rowe, B Goodliffe, A Smith, D Ajiboye, I Olaofe(sub D Wilson 68), O Bugiel (sub T Sho-Silva 81), R Milsom, W Randall(sub E Boldewijn 90+4). Subs n/u B House, K Davis, C Dundas, R Korboa. Booked: Milsom, Goodliffe.
Hayes & Yeading: T Dickinson, K Robinson, J Connors(sub J Neville-Williams H-T), A Nasha(sub O Rowe 69), L McDevitt, B Frempah, S Odelusi, H Jalloh(sub S Hippolyte-Patrick 81), M Emmanuel, F Amartey, T Goodrham. Subs n/u D Gillela, R Constable, S Shulton, J Williams, R Meoded, H Sells. Booked: Odelusi, Emmanuel.
Referee: Sam Allison
Attendance: 1,201(402 away)