Hayes & Yeading United must think they are a Premiership side as the season only started today, didn't it?
Manager Garry Haylock made a couple of changes to his side that certainly appeared to give some solidity to the back line as skipper Nevin Saroya was left on the bench while debutants Matt Ruby and Neil Martin came into the side. Garry also gave a first ever United start to 18 year old Esmond James who had an impressive game on the right side of midfield.
United started the game at quite a pace and within the first ten minutes had the ball in the City net twice, sadly one was chalked off for offside but the other gave us the lead. On five minutes a poorly cleared ball fell nicely to Will Hendry who unleashed a shot that Danny McDonnell did well to push out and as James nipped in to tuck home the loose ball he was flagged for being offside when the original shot was made.
Not deterred though United continued to threaten the Worcester defence and just two minutes later Ram Marwa chased the proverbial lost cause to the corner flag before sliding to keep the ball in from the shepherding defender. He then played it to James who quickly found Hendry in the box, the midfielder moved past his defender before hitting a shot across McDonnell that hit the far corner of the net.
Still within the first ten minutes, a corner from the right was met by Ruby who appeared to have looped his header just under the crossbar only for McDonnell to find that extra inch and tip it over. Marwa then fired just over from distance before in the 18th minute City finally moved forwards and when a Graham Ward free-kick was only partially cleared to Ollie Barnes the defender let fly but was well off target.
Minutes later a long punt upfield saw Mark Owen race onto the ball but the recovering Ruby did well enough to distract the striker and he fired across goal and wide. Less than 60 seconds later United were two ahead. Quick thinking from Hendry saw him play a free-kick into the forward run of Marwa and despite being wide of the target he was tripped by McDonnell as he touched the ball past him and referee Foley duly pointed to the spot. Josh Scott stepped up and with his usual coolness beat McDonnell despite the keeper guessing correctly.
Just after half hour mark a McDonnell goal-kick was neatly flicked on by Owen to his Italian strike partner Marco Adaggio who tried to return the ball to Owen from the right but Delroy Preddie was off his line smartly to take the ball away. The final ten minutes before the break saw James hit a left foot drive that McDonnell held well on the slippery surface and at the other end a Jamie Price free-kick was flicked goalwards by Craig Wilding but Preddie gathered it comfortably.
The second half started with rain starting to fall and the first 15 minutes were probably to be the home sides best spell of the game although very little was created that caused problems for the United defence well marshalled by stand-in skipper Tom Cadmore. A Price free-kick that was fired to the far post came close as the wind took it towards the top corner only for Preddie to tip it away from danger and Adaggio went close when he got his head to a right wing cross but the effort was just too high.
Twenty minutes remained when the tireless Scott Fitzgerald finally opened his United account by turning his marked just inside the area before firing low under the dive of McDonnell. Steven Gregory then planted a free-kick on Hendry's head but he could not keep the effort down and at the other end Adaggio again got his head to a centre but failed to trouble Preddie. With time running low and the three points already coming back to Middlesex, Marwa found substitute James Mulley but on his weaker foot he fired wide.
Report by Kevin Watts. Photos by Ray Peploe.
Website United Man of the Match: Scott Fitzgerald.