A comfortable three goal victory over the Seagulls of Weston-super-Mare saw Hayes & Yeading United to a tenth consecutive Blue Square South victory with all of the goals coming in an eleven minute spell either side of the break at Church Road this evening.
Manager Garry Haylock restored top scorer Josh Scott to the starting line-up after suspension at the expense of Scott Fitzgerald who dropped to the bench this evening. It was indeed Scott who showed early danger signs to the visitors as twice he was flagged offside with very little margin which would have seen him through on goal.
The first shot in anger actually came from the Seagulls after nine minutes when Ben Wells beat the wall with a free-kick from the edge of the area but his effort dipped over Delroy Preddie's crossbar. Another free-kick a few minutes later could also have caused problems for the United defence but for a timely James Mulley clearance after Marvin Brown had chested down Adie Harris's kick in the area.
Within a minute United went close for the first time. Scott fed the ball into the run of Dale Binns on the left, his angled shot was pushed out by Northmore who followed this save up by clawing out Will Hendry's follow up before his defence offered a helping hand by booting the ball into touch.
It all then became a little tame until a two minute blast that saw United establish a never to be threatened two goal advantage. First onto the scoresheet was Scott who was played in beautifully by Hendry with a slide rule pass from the centre circle, the striker advancing and beating Northmore with his weaker right foot into the bottom corner.
Just about sixty seconds later the lead was to double, again through the creativity of Hendry and Scott. Having received from Hendry, the striker showed his unselfish side and knocked the ball right to Ram Marwa, his shot was touched onto the post by Northmore but Staforde Palmer ran in to volley the rebounding ball into the net from six yards out.
Five minutes had passed in the second half and the lead became an unassailable three. Hendry played the ball to Palmer, his miscued shot fell nicely to Marwa who advanced and hit a shot that Northmore blocked, the stopper quickly blocked Hendry's follow up before Scott picked up the loose ball and tapped it home.
Further chances came United's way, especially after Seagulls skipper Harris saw red from referee Serrano, one can only assume for something that was said during United's substitution. Just prior to this James Mulley set up Palmer to volley but Northmore was equal to it and just after the incident Scott met a Binns corner but could not keep his header down.
With just over ten minutes remaining Scott came close to a first ever United League hat-trick when Palmer sent him into the area, his shot across Northmore gave the keeper no chance but the ball agonisingly came away off the upright.
The last action of the game saw a rare half chance
for the visitors when Wells played a free-kick to the back of the area but Marc McGregor was well off target with his headed effort.
Report by Kevin Watts.
Match Highlights available at www.fcvideo.co.uk
Sponsors United Man of the Match: Josh Scott.