Alex Harris marked his return to the under 18s line up with a clinical hat-trick against a luckless Molesey side in the latest Southern Youth League match played at Beaconsfield Road.
With the visitors arriving late due to traffic problems delaying the kick off, United’s strong line up took full advantage and were ahead on six minutes with Harris’ first. Ashley Barnes hit a fantastic cross to the far post where Dominic McAuley was lurking, and although his shot was well saved, Harris was on hand to steer the ball into the vacant net.
Mohammed Bashley showed neat footwork on seventeen minutes to create space on the edge of the box but his fierce drive cannoned off the crossbar.
United keeper Matthew Faley only had one shot to save all match, but it was a cracking reflex save to deny the Molesey forward from point blank range.
Josh Andrew thought he ha’d put United into a two goal lead soon afterwards with a stunning diving header from another pinpoint Barnes cross but the referee’s assistant controversially ruled him offside even though he appeared to have timed his run perfectly.
United weren’t to be denied for long however. Andrew wriggled past his marker and crossed for Harris to power in his second with a header from close range.
Molesey’s best spell came after the break, but the well disciplined defence marshalled by the excellent Jamie Lindsay protected Faley from any threats to his goal. And within a two minute spell, United dealt a cruel double blow to Molesey’s hopes. First a short corner caught the visiting defenders out and McAuley was allowed the freedom of the park to run in and shoot at goal. Although the visiting keeper blocked his shot, Harris was on hand to snap up the rebound as it spilled from his grasp and complete his hat-trick.
Just a minute later, a looping Nathan Webb cross could have been put in by any of three United players who were waiting unmarked at the back post, but Barnes duly obliged with a thumping half volley back across the goalkeeper.
Harris nearly got a fourth on 71 minutes when his low shot was well saved by the diving Moles’ keeper, but unfortunately for him, substitute Festus Mansaray was on hand to tuck home the rebound.
The remaining minutes saw the game peter out as a tiring Molesey side couldn’t penetrate a United side who were already content with the result their work had provided.
Report by Nick Bell.