Hayes and Yeading United's opening pre-season game at Church Road saw us entertain a youthful QPR side that contained Chris Arthur who was with us on work experience from them last season.
After an early flurry by United, it was the visitors who had a five minute spell that could have seen them take the lead on four separate occasions. Firstly, Chris Flood held off the attentions of two United defenders only for Delroy Preddie to push his effort around the post and minutes later Preddie again did well, this time to palm and gather a deflected shot from Matt O'Brien. Two chances then fell within seconds of each other, Leon Solomon was well positioned to head a Flood effort off the line and then Preddie needed to go full stretch to tip a crisp Arthur volley over the bar.
United then began to slowly make inroads into the Rangers defence, Esmond James found Kieran Knight
and he in turn found his strike partner Scott Fitzgerald with a perfect ball over the defensive line, having cut inside though the striker could not keep his effort down. Just a couple of minutes later Fitzgerald knocked down neatly to Ram Marwa but his shot was cleared off the line by Joe Ostler.
Rangers keeper Nicky Bulmer was twice called into action in the remaining part of the half, fielding a Tom Cadmore shot on his line after a goalmouth scramble and then blocking away a close range effort from Knight after the ball had fallen nicely for the United striker.
The visitors started the quicker in the second half and just seven minutes had passed when they took the lead through Christian Nanetti who had just seconds earlier hit the bar. A scramble to clear the ball away from the United area saw it fall nicely to the tricky winger and he duly fired past Preddie.
Both Marwa and Knight had gone close before with just 12 minutes remaining two United subs combined to level the scores. Steve Perkins worked space for himself on the right flank and took the ball to the byeline before cutting it back to just beyond the penalty spot where former under 18s star Dan Mehmet met the ball sweetly on the volley giving Bulmer no chance.
From then on if anybody was going to score again it was going to be United, Staforde Palmer won possession in the Rangers area and found Knight who with the keeper out of goal contrived to chip the recovering defender and hit the crossbar. Six minutes from time almost saw one of the most spectacular goals scored at Church Road and who else could it be but Palmer. The young striker attempting an audacious overhead scissors kick from 20 yards that beat Bulmer but sadly came back into play off the angle of post and bar.
The crowd didn't have to wait long for the deciding goal as just a minute later James Mulley found space on the left flank and cut the ball back perfectly for Knight to sweep home from close range.
Report by Kevin Watts. Photos by Ray Peploe.
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