Hayes & Yeading United got off to a winning start to their Allied Counties League Premier Division campaign with a narrow victory over newly promoted Kidlington.
For the most part, United were in the ascendancy but they were made to work hard by a physically strong and resolute Kidlington side.
After an uncertain start, United started to create chances and Ollie Fayed forced the first save out of goalkeeper Matthew Hutton with a 25 yard shot.
A minute later, Hutton was thankful that Daniel Mehmet could only shoot weakly straight at him after Michael Bryan had found him with a cut back.
Ray Curtis’s quick free kick caught out the visitor’s defence and Esmond James laid the ball off to Abdula Nsubuga but his long shot rose just too high.
Further chances fell to Fayed and James as United piled on the pressure, but Mehmet had the two best opportunities to earn a half time lead, only to fire just over from a good position and shoot narrowly wide from long range.
The breakthrough finally arrived nine minutes into the second half. Bryan fed the ball to James whose neat turn created space in the penalty area, and although his shot was pushed away by Hutton, Mohammed Bashley was on hand to slam the rebound into the roof of the net.
Three minutes later, Bashley nearly doubled his and United’s tally when he charged down Hutton’s clearance and retrieved the ball, but Hutton made amends with a fine reflex save to block the winger’s fierce shot.
Mehmet tried an audacious volley from the tightest of angles soon afterwards and it almost came off but for Hutton’s alertness.
With United failing to extend their lead, Kidlington grew in confidence and after Nsubuga’s stray pass back, Ben Willoughby cut the ball back and Piers McGlynn fired a shot at goal which a well positioned Matthew Faley palmed away.
The Oxfordshire based side threatened again soon after when Callum McMahon got on the end of a Rob Newport cross but his volley flew just over. McGlynn hooked a volley over Faley’s head only for James Walters to read the danger and head clear off the goal line. McGlynn also fired a shot right across the face of goal just missing the far post as United’s defence felt prolongued pressure for the first time in the match.
They held out though and in fact United nearly added another late on but Hutton pulled off a remarkably brave save at Bashley’s feet as Bryan’s cross fizzed across goal.
Report by Nick Bell.