The battle at Champion Hill between two of the Blue Square South's in form sides saw the home side collect all three points after outpacing the visiting United side with wingers Shaun Batt and Luke Hickie prominent and very effective against a re-shaped United defence.
The Fish opened up at a pace and just seven minutes had been played when Alessio De Angelis had to be brave to dive at the feet of Shaun Batt who had been put through by Jeff Goulding. Sadly for United the pair reversed roles just four minutes later as Goulding was found in acres of space and he beat De Angelis from just inside the area to give the home side an early lead.
Just three minutes later United were indebted to a well placed Peter Collins who was on hand to block a close range Batt shot after he had twice been allowed to exchange passes with his full-back Nic Plumain. United's first opening came just before the half hour mark when a free-kick was half cleared to Peter Collins who fired an instant drive from 25 yards that swung just wide of the upright.
The 33rd minute saw Goulding once more free Batt on the left, the winger advanced into the area whereby his first attempted cross was blocked and when the loose ball came back to him it was only a last ditch Adam Thompson tackle that took the ball over the goal.
Then two minutes later United got themselves level, Liam Collins cross being helped on by Danny Allen-Page to Ram Marwa at the far post who outjumped his marker to head past the dive of Simon Overland in the Fish goal.
Early in the second half a flurry of chances came within a five minute spell, a long ball to Gavin Tomlin saw De Angelis race from goal and although the former Yeading man got to the ball first his attention was distracted enough for his lobbed effort to miss the target. This chance was closely followed by another as Gavin Dayes connected with a corner only for Allen-Page to clear off the line and then just seconds later the United defence was beaten for a second time. Batt again found himself in space on the left, he cut inside Thompson before letting go a shot that seemed to go through De Angelis who will be disappointed to be beaten.
Within seconds of this chance being converted, United surged forwards and found Liam Collins on the left. His centre bypassed Josh Scott and fell nicely to Kieran Knight who was only thwarted by an outstretched Overland leg. The resultant corner was fired deep and fell to Peter Collins at the far post but his luck was again out as his shot went wide off the post.
Still in the same five minute spell, Tomlin cut inside from the right and fired goalwards but De Angelis comfortably held his shot.
After such a frantic period it was to be seventeen minutes before another chance came and once more it came about from a neat interchange by the home side as Goulding and Hickie combined with the former lobbing the oncoming De Angelis but also the crossbar. The respite sadly only lasted two minutes as a quick break saw Goulding thread the ball through to Tomlin who despite being blocked by De Angelis on the edge of the area was lucky that the loose ball ran nicely thus gifting him a tap in.
With six minutes remaining United gave themselves hope of what had looked an unlikely comeback when Allen-Page slipped the ball to Staforde Palmer at the near post and he squared the ball across the six yard box to gift a third in three games to Knight. Just sixty seconds later it would have been 3-3 but for an excellent stop from Overland who dived full stretch to fingertip away a Palmer drive.
Sadly for United just a minute later the home side found a fourth and thus ended the contest. Yet again Batt was given space on the break and his pace took him to the United area where he picked out Danny Green who despite having his first effort saved was able to fire home the rebound.
Report by Kevin Watts. Photos by Ray Peploe.