United finally threw the monkey off their backs and won a home league game for the first time on Tuesday evening as they came from behind against a very good Fisher side to take all three points.
The first half was to be a rather turgid affair with the visitors passing and movement putting United under pressure without overly testing Delroy Preddie.
The opening stages of the game saw a couple of half chances for United but Fish keeper Simon Overland comfortably dealt with a Calum Botham cross that was deflected goal wards and a left foot Kieran Knight effort from a Staforde Palmer knock down.
United failed to create any openings for the rest of the half but were twice indebted to Preddie who kept the scoresheet blank. With 19 minutes played impressive Fish skipper Luke Hickie played the ball perfectly into the run of Wesley Thomas but the United stopper was quickly off his line to block his shot away and wide of the target.
Minutes later the visitors again went close as a corner was only partially cleared to Kenny Beaney who in turn was only inches wide from 20 yards. On the half hour mark United were thankful for a last minute intervention by Tom Cadmore, Thomas eluded a Nick Beasant tackle before squaring the ball to Hickie who was only denied by Cadmore’s sliding block.
With the break almost upon us, Preddie again came to the rescue as Gavin Tomlin set up Thomas who shot across goal from the left side of the box with Preddie pushing his effort away to safety.
The second half was to be much more of a game for the spectators as chances came and went and we also saw three goals in just seven minutes around the hour mark.
United were first to go close as Knight forced an excellent save from Overland when he met a Botham free-kick, the Fish keeper tipping his glancing header over the crossbar. Within seconds play had switched to the other end as Overland caught the resultant corner and launched an instant attack. Tomlin slipped the ball through to Thomas, Preddie came out to meet him but appeared to overrun the ball leaving Beasant to hack clear from inside the six yard box.
Just a few minutes later Thomas returned the favour by setting up Tomlin but his effort was across the face of goal and wide of the upright. Ten minutes of the half had been played when the Fish finally took a deserved lead, sadly for them this seemed to awaken the sleeping United side as the reply was almost instantaneous.
Tomlin evaded a tackle from Beasant but Preddie did well to block with his legs, the ball rebounded to Kieran Murtagh on the edge of the area who fired goal wards only for Preddie to throw himself back across goal and push his effort away, sadly though the quickest to the loose ball was Thomas who fired into the roof of the net from an acute angle much to Preddie’s obvious annoyance after two excellent saves.
However, going behind seemed to stir something in the United side, a passion that inspired an almost immediate equaliser as Knight rose at the far post to head home a perfect Liam Collins cross, despite receiving a boot in the face for his trouble.
A now resurgent United did not stop at drawing level, just five minutes later we were ahead, courtesy of yet another piece of magic from Staforde Palmer. Nevin Saroya played a free-kick from halfway into the Fisher area, Steve Perkins rose highest to nod down to the young striker who once more, with his back to goal, fired an inch perfect overhead kick into the net.
As the Fish pushed for an equaliser, Cadmore made a sliding block as Hickie latched onto a Murtagh pass and after a good run and cross from the right by Jeff Goulding it was a great relief when Thomas volleyed the ball into the car park from 8 yards out. In between times Knight was only inches away from a third for United after meeting a long Danny Allen-Page cross.
The final ten minutes only really saw one chance come and go thanks to some excellent defending from Beasant who was making his first start for United under the gaze of his more famous father Dave. Beaney fed a quick free-kick to Hickie, his cross fell nicely to Goulding eight yards from goal only for a sliding Beasant to deny the former Yeading and Hayes striker a shot at an equaliser.
Report by Kevin Watts. Photos by Ray Peploe.