Hayes & Yeading United's under 18s side returned to form just at the right time to defeat Edgware Town and return to the top of the Allied Counties League Premier Division.
Both sides were chasing top spot with a win and the lead in the title race and the importance of the occasion was clearly evident in the enthusiastic approach to the game from both sides.
But United were to prove too good for their opponents in the first half and set about stretching into a three goal lead before half time and comfortably playing out the second half.
Edgware gave United an early scare however, as early as the second minute. Jake Furman's perfectly weighted throughball was right in the path of Justin Ebosie but Matthew Faley stood up well to block his effort and Ange D'Or Thomas was wayward with his rebound effort.
United soon got into their stride and Josh Andrews galloped down the left wing before crossing to Jake Lovell whose header was deflected just wide of the post.
United took a crucial early lead in the 12th minute. Once again, Andrews orchestrated the move on the left as it was his pass inside to Lovell which set him throguh on the left channel. Lovell's cross was headed goalwards by Alex Harris and Dan Mehmet was on hand to hook a volley in at the far post.
Charlie Wassmer made an important defensive header minutes later after Andrew Twagira's header back across the goalmouth looked like being finished by any one of three Edgware players and Perry Mundle fired a rasping drive just over the bar after Wassmer had half cleared a D'Or Thomas cross.
But United's passing style of play looked threatening and at times, Edgware seemed to be struggling to cope.
In the 28th minute, United doubled their lead. First team graduate Ollie Fayed swung over a corner and although Twagira cleared, Jamie Lindsay sent the ball back into the six yard box and Harris diverted the ball past Edward Stopps on the turn.
And before half time, it was three with a fantastically executed goal. Andrews volleyed the ball first time into the penalty area and Lovell belied his diminutive frame by leaping up to meet the ball with a towering header which thundered into the goal past the helpless Stopps.
Fayed will be disappointed not to have added a fourth before half time, as he shot into the side netting with most of the goal at his mercy and Dominic McAuley's long range shot was gathered in by Stopps for the final action of the first half.
And this was to prove enough for United, who managed to stifle any chance of a comeback. In comparison, the second half was bereft of chances for long periods and indeed as Edgware tired, United may well have added a fourth.
Aga Brianidt caused quite a stir with a marauding run almost through the entire length of the pitch and his shot just missed the far post.
And Stopps spilled shots from both Fayed and Lovell but managed to recover the ball in time. In stoppage time, Harris ran clear of the defence but his shot was rolled just the wrong side of the far post. It wasn't to matter as referee Ben Furneaux brought an end to a surprisingly comfortable victory for United.
Report by Nick Bell.