A ruthless Wealdstone team claimed a victory over Hayes & Yeading United by a scoreline which belied the effort and endeavour of the United side.
On a frosty evening with a bumpy pitch, United’s attempts to play a short, ground passing game were admirable, although Wealdstone’s longer, more direct approach reaped greater rewards.
United opened up the home defence on eight minutes when Malachi Bulley found Sam Arhin in a lot of space on the right hand side. Bulley got on the end of his eventual cut back but couldn’t direct his near post shot on target.
Wealdstone’s best threat came from Nick Salapatas’ dead ball deliveries and he twice went close with free kicks, the first somewhat surprisingly from the halfway line.
Salapatas set up Wealdstone’s opener. The ball was quickly cleared from a United corner and Salapatas sent a long ball over the United defence. Daniel Campbell got to the ball first and lobbed Adam Thomson precisely.
Eight minutes later, the home side doubled their advantage again thanks to a long clearance by Salapatas and again with Campbell getting in behind the defence. This time, he fired in a low finish to the far corner.
A succession of United corners created pressure just before half time. Bulley’s first delivery was met firmly by Billy Matthews whose header was blocked on its way towards goal. The resulting corner was cleared but Bulley retrieved the loose ball and crossed for Keah Nathan whose header deceived keeper Joel Canning and sneaked in at the far post.
United looked strong at the start of the second half and seemed likely to equalise. Billy Matthews headed another Bulley corner just over and Chris Lapierre would have been disappointed with his wayward finish when clean through on goal. Young left back Harry Shankster also got in an advanced position but the bumpy pitch got the better of his close control.
However, against the run of play, Wealdstone restored their two goal advantage. Derek Quate hit a fierce volley into the penalty area which was inadvertently blocked by his team mate Wayne Reed. Fortunately for him, the ball landed perfectly at his feet and he had the simple task to apply the finish to the bottom corner.
Ten minutes later, Wealdstone completed the scoring with Campbell claiming his hat-trick. Adam Thomson was still nursing a knock from a previous challenge when he sliced a clearance and Salapatas crossed for Campbell to head the ball home.